May 29, 2010

Cosmo doens't get it

So at some point recently I heard that Cosmo wrote an article about how to make your guy the perfect sandwich. Which at first I thought was just funny but then I realized they probably meant this as a real teaching/relationship tool. Like "Hey ladies, you might not know this, but if you treat your guy like he's the king and you bow to his every whim you might hook him".

Which is bologna. On white.

It's such a mid 20th century view that you must cook, clean and bow down to your man to have a healthy relationship. R and I share the house duties, we share responsibilities, we take time to spend at home being as I call it, domestic.

And by domestic I do not mean making my guy a sandwich. If we're going to be honest, R does about 95% of the cooking, so if anything Cosmo should write articles to men telling them to be more like that. And Maxim should follow suit.

By domestic I mean cleaning the house together, getting food prepared for the week together, getting the things in our lives in order so we can enjoy the together-time we spend, rather than argue about whose turn it is to do X,Y, or Z.

I don't think that by R cooking more than I do is in anyway saying he is a "feminine" man. Not at all. He's SUCH a guy (Gears of War, sits in his boxers, drinks beer, loves sports and music, grills, does the yard work and heavy lifting) but he enjoys cooking. (or seems to enjoy it enough to have fooled me for 4 years now!)

He is an enlightened man. He gets that we women are delicate and fickle creatures who cannot be classified just by our gender. None of us are the same. He knows that if he wants a sandwich be better be prepared to make it himself. And if I offer to do it, it's because I want to do something nice for him, NOT because I feel it is my duty.

But his being able and willing to cook does not negate any of that, and I think more men need to get that memo, make their own damn sandwich and get on with their lives.

Magazines like Cosmo need to take a page from ones like Glamour, and realize this is not the 1950's anymore, woman need more information than "7 Great new sex positions" and "How to fool a guy into proposing." They need real advice for the real world that we live in today. Advice about how to not only ask for, but get the raise you deserve. Advice on how to stop being a shop-a-holic and start saving for the future. How to negotiate your used car sale. There's nothing wrong with how to host a dinner party advice either, but there is something innately wrong about saying we need to do this for a man. We need to do this for ourselves.

{steps down from soapbox}

Wax on, Wax off.

No, not the Karate Kid (either original or New)

I have always had a love of arts, crafts, painting, collaging--basically anything artistic and creative. 3 years ago I started taking classes at the local ArtsCenter in wheel throwing. I had always liked playing with clay in art classes at school, and therefore thought this was the perfect chance to get back into it. I have taken pottery courses since then, and would say I have gotten markedly better than when I started.

In doing these classes though, I had the chance to meet a great teacher and a wonderful potter, Ronan. Being a professional potter he had several openings at galleries, sales and shows. It was at one of these gallery openings that I was introduced to encaustic painting.

And I must say, I fell in love with it. To sum up what exactly encaustic painting is: applying heated, pigmented beeswax to the surface, then heating it again, carving into it, scratching it, collaging into it...basically doing whatever moves you. More info on encaustic painting can be found by clicking here, or by just google-ing "encaustic". Since then I had seen a few other encaustic shows or displays, and was always amazed at the quality of work this medium presents. No two paintings look the same, some are glass smooth others are just raw with energy and motion. It's an amazingly versatile substance.

I always thought to myself I wish I could find a class on this. I wish, I wish I wish...and then in October of last year I was flipping through the spring catalogue of said ArtsCenter, and low and behold, there was an encaustic workshop.

Sign. Me. Up!

I took the two weekend workshop, and loved it. LOOOOVED it!!

I went home and converted my office into an office/studio, and bought the very basic supplies to to encaustic painting at home. I was lucky to find on etsy.com an artist who sells the medium for way cheaper than some other brands, and have been playing around ever since. It's one of the most fun, unusual, interesting artistic mediums I've ever played with, and I find myself day-dreaming about what I can do in the next piece I create.

So far I've been pretty safe in my painting, not throwing a lot into the wax to add texture, but I'm hoping after this weekend I will have some new pieces that are a lot more involved. I have added paper and like the results, but I want to do more. I'll try to get pictures posted at some point.

May 26, 2010

O-HI-O

This past weekend we went to Ohio for a friends' wedding. We drove. It was a very long drive, and I wasn't even the one doing the driving. R took the wheel and drove (round trip) 16 hours. Shows our dedication to our friends. The plus to this is we rented a nice car to drive which had Sirius Radio, a CD player, dual control heat and air, heated seats and cruise control. The minus-still an 8 hour drive each way; mostly through West Virginia.

Now, before you get all "Why you hatin' on WVA??", let me just say I am not hating on WV. I shall in fact keep all my thoughts about WV to myself.

But got through WV we did, and entered into Ohio, and made our way to Columbus. We had a GPS which made finding the hotel a breeze, and except for the $23 a day valet parking we had to do (because of course we are not capable of parking our own car at the hotel) it was a very nice quick check in. R had used his bargaining savvy on priceline.com and got us a hotel room at The Columbus by Renaissance Hotels. Normal Room Rate up to $400 a night. What did we pay? About 80% less than that. It had a king size bed, nice bathroom, great view, and was blocks away from where we needed to be. Very good deal.

Rested for about 45 minutes, then got ready for the rehearsal dinner at the Greystone Wine Cellar. What a nice place! It was a great gathering place, curved ceilings that made you feel like you were really in a cellar, lots of wines (go figure) and great food. It was very nice to see our Bride and Groom, and nice to meet a lot of the people I had heard about. After everything had wound down, we were invited back to the wedding hotel for some less formal gathering. We thought it would be a good idea to drive back to our hotel, leave the car, and walk. And in theory this was a good idea. 4 blocks isn't that long unless it's pouring down rain. But a few beers later and we were all good again.

Flash forward to Saturday morning. Knowing R as I do, we decided not to partake of the overpriced hotel breakfast and instead walked to the Rise and Dine diner in the Arena District. We had a very nice walk there, had a yummy breakfast and then went to the Ohio tourist information center. I bought the softest shirt known to man.

Then we went and saw Iron Man 2. In a word : AWESOME!!!!!! in more than a word, I really enjoyed it. I realize I know nothing about comic book movies, but I liked the first one and I really liked this one. Very entertaining.

Then went went to Casa Sason, which is a latin-Euro grill with strong ties to Venezuelan food. We ordered the Pabellon Venezolano, and it was a-maz-ing. DE-lish. Yummy. Call it what you want, the food rocked.

We got ready for our departure to the COSI where both the wedding and reception were being held. It was lovely on both counts. But the reception itself was the most fun I think I've ever had. COSI is a hands on science center, and if that were not cool enough, the reception was held in the ocean wing. Let's just say open bar and water hands on science experiments=fun had by all. Great food, great dancing, great time.

Sunday was a slow trek back home, mostly because we weren't in a hurry. We stopped a few more times that we had going up to Ohio. This was a very good weekend and we had a lot of fun. But it sure was nice to be back home and see our doggie and kittens again.

May 17, 2010

RadFest

This weekend I went to a Rad Fest.

No, really, it was called RadFest. And it lived up to its' name!!

There were close to 100 bands there, playing everything from sea-shanties to hard core punk and some folk-y bands in between.

It was FUN!

I was most excited about seeing Greenland is Melting and Sharks Come Cruisin' and Coffee Project. Followed very closly by one of my favorite local bands, Red Collar. and the only reason they are not on my top three is I am lucky enough to get to see them more regularly. I had so much fun at these shows! Ask R, or anyone who really knows me, and they will tell you I am generally not a fan of large groups of people, or loud noises. This fest made me forget that those are 2 very big components to a fest. It was close-knit, friendly, not over-crowded, no long lines, but plenty of music. I got to talk to every band I wanted to. I got to be as close to the stage as I wanted (or as far!) I got to sing along! How could this be anything *but* fun?

I'll tell you, it couldn't.

I tend to lean towards the less yelling/screaming/sounds-like-you're-hearing-a guy-get-his-throat-stepped-on-and-ripped-out-at-the-same-time, and these three bands totally delivered. GIM was fun, bluegrass-y music that made me want to sing along, (and I did, trust me) CP made me smile and I was so glad they played my new favorite song by them, and the sea shanties and props of SCC make my night. Go listen to them. I'll wait for you to follow the link.

...

...(followed it yet?)

See?! It's fun, yet pirate-y at the same time. and who doens't love a good pirate. Now imagine that with posterboards with the words written on it so you too can sing along. Seriously, it's like the best thing ever. Don't you hate being at a show and loving the music, but not knowing the lyrics? Problem solved!! Stick to sea shanties, I'm telling you!!

I came home with 4 new shirts, a tote bag, a CD (well, that's the boy's but he wants me to listen to it) and a sunburn ( it was in Wilmington after all, and we had a condo on the beach). Over all, a great relaxing weekend. If there is a RadFest2, I say book it, go, listen, and you will be amazed.

May 08, 2010

Rooms to Go

as promised, a story that you will read, and say to yourself: "No, that can't possibly have really happened!!" But I assure you, it did. Oh, it did.

Back in 2009 R and I were looking for a couch. We had plans of purchasing a couch that was also a sleeper sofa so when various guests came we would have plenty of space for everyone. We had plans of purchasing a couch that said "the people who purchased me want you to feel comfortable and relaxed in their home, while at the same time admiring their taste" (that might have been more me than R, but ya know...) We had plans of purchasing a couch for under $500. Ha. HAHA. ahahaha, that plan quickly changed. But we did our due diligence, and shopped around and around and around, and finally found a sleeper sofa in a color that did not bother us, was comfortable and in our price range. We bought it. We arranged for delivery, and were proud of ourselves.

Delivery day came, and I got a phone call from R saying "it won't fit in the game room" but we quickly decided to leave it in the living room, move that couch to the game room and be done with it.

Upon my arrival home, I discovered that this couch was not the couch we had sat in at the store. It was the same type of couch, but it was not comfortable. It was not inviting. It was not pretty and latte colored. In short, it was not what I wanted after all. But RTG would let us pick a new one, arrange a new delivery and exchange this one, so I was sure we would be happy.

Jump ahead to the new delivery date, R and I are anxiously waiting our couch exchange ( after they have called us and said, sorry, we're late, be there sometime) and then hung up on me when I called and complained about that, as they had been very clear that we had to be there at the Window of time they were delivering our couch, or they would not call or anything, they'd just leave.

We are ready when they do show up! Delivery Guy (DG) shows up and says:
"I'm here to deliver a couch."
"Great" I say. "It might be easier for you to take this one out first"
"WHat? We're just delivering one, we ain't takin' nothin' away" he says
"What?!?" I say. "We arranged for an exchange"
"No, you didnt" he says oh-so-helpfully.
"Let me call the store and see what happened" I say "We need a moment" I say.
"You can't have a moment" he says so nicely. But I persist and call the store only to discover it turns out the very "helpful" salesman at RTG didn't finish the order, which would have made sure they could exhange the couches. After calling the store and being told, well sorry you'll have to call customer service tomorrow (at which point they would have taken the new couch, not taken the old couch, and not been able to reschedule a delivery for when we needed the couch by) and being told there was nothing they could do, DG says to us "You've missed your window, and we're leaving"

At which point R says" Now wait a minute..."

and DG gets up in his face threatening to "Whoop your ass boy"

Then storms off and drives away, taking my new couch with him, not taking the old new couch, and not giving us much time to make a decision.

Yes, he threatened violence. Yes, he took my paid for property. and what did RTG do? Not a dang thing.

They agreed to take the old sofa back, to cancel the new one, and let us be done. But no apologies, no credits or free coupons, or calls from customer service to offer assistance, nothing to make me want to ever shop there again.

Then about a week ago, they had the audacity to call and ask if we were happy with our recent purchase. That poor woman, she got an earful about just how "happy" we were. They didnt even have a note about the "situation" in our file. I'm amazed that the couch was taken off my credit account honestly.

So boys and girls, the moral of the story is: DON'T shop at Rooms to Go. Shop somewhere else. And make sure you confirm everything. Twice. With names and dates and who is in charge and phone numbers.

but the silver lining is we now have a lovely chocolate brown couch that is comfy and in our house, and was WAY cheaper!!

May 05, 2010

Things I've learned

I've learned that if you are tired and you're the boss, you can decide to go home early. It's one of the perks.
It's also the only perk.

May 04, 2010

Braces

Can I just say, having braces must be very difficult if you are between 12-18. It's a p.i.t.a to me, and I am well over 18. I honestly cannot imagine having them while also in the throes of puberty, so for this I am thankful my mother did not make me get them. Every meal is a production, every time I eat something I worry if there is food caught in my teeth, my lips seems endlessly dry and chapped...and this is on a good day. Don't even get me started on when they have to put new wires on, or some other painful checkup.
My orthodontist is great, so that's a big plus, but really, what was I thinking? An aligned bite is nice sure, but was it really that bad? I'm not remembering it being such...