Thursday, December 28, 2006

I've been framed!

I have more than a few Shag prints that are in desperate need of framing so that I can finally hang them up. I have spots where these prints will be going as soon as I get 'em framed... meaning: I have a giant blank wall in my living room screaming for art.

Soooo.... the other day I was looking around for suitable framers to do the job and stumbled upon this:

My tiki-god! They've got a rather large gallery of Shag frame-work. Admittedly, these framers are priced right out of my budget...but a girl can dream.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

And then there was none...

Joe Barbera has passed away...

Some fitting words regarding his passing, as well as his life, can be found here....

For those of you who don't know who I'm taking about, for shame! References to his work pop up all the time in modern cinema and pop culture in general.

His writing/producing/directing partner, William Hanna, passed away in 2001.

Monday, December 18, 2006


I've changed the look of this blog a bit, and I'm still working out some kinks... bear with me.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


Happy Frank Sinatra's Birthday.

The Chairman of the Board would have been 91 on this fine December day.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Call ralph on the porcelain phone

Hmmm, so last night my toilet stopped working. I tried to snake the toilet pipe myself and ended up scratching the porcelain in the bottom of the bowl. Wonderful, now my toilet will constantly look unclean.

My snaking efforts were in vain so I call a plumber and ask if someone can come out that night. "For an emergency off-hours fee of $190.00 someone can," he says. I opt to make an appointment for Friday. He tells me that he'll have the "scheduling lady" call me in the morning to give me a time window. Oh great.. a window. There goes my whole day.

The "scheduling lady" calls around nine in the morning and tells me Craig the Plumber will be by between noon and three. She takes all my info and hangs up. I've been eating crackers all morning and haven't had anything to drink, to try and quell the need to pee, as my only bathroom is currently out of order.

Around one in the afternoon this phone call occurs:

Maryann: Hello, this is Maryann from ** Plumbing and Mechanical. Craig the Plumbler will be by in about 30 minutes, he's just finishing up a job from hell in the South End. What cross streets are you at?
Me: My street is between ** and ** Street. My house has a pink foundation, you can't miss it.
Maryann: Oh! How did that happen?
Me: I painted it.
Maryann: oh. ok then. Look for a big red truck.

Three minutes later, the phone rings again...

Maryann: Hello, this is Maryann from ** Plumbing and Mechanical, again. I just need to verify some information...
Is your name spelled B-E-C-K?
Me: Yep.
Maryann: Oh Ok. So this isn't a typo. Is that short for like, Rebecca or something?
Me. Yep.
Maryann: oh. ok. Look for a big red truck.
Me: ok. Bye.

Craig the Plumber arrives, along with some sort of plumbing intern. They think that it's probably just a clog of some sort and snake the pipes with an industrial heavy duty snake. I'm in my office, catching up on some Bag Lunch stuff, and for the next forty minutes all I can hear are the grunts of hard labor and the screeching sound of the super snake, working it's way around in my toilet.

Then Craig the Plumber comes out of the bathroom, wipes sweat from his brow and we have this little dooming conversation...

Craig the Plumber: Uh, Beck... whatever is clogged in there isn't coming out. You need a new toilet.
Me: oh shit.
Craig the Plumber: No. No, that isn't what's in there.
Me: eh, I know.. I just... nevermind.
Craig the Plumber: Well, if it matters any, that toilet you have is really really old. I haven't even seen one of this brand in years. Now, we have toilets on the truck, but we charge a huge overhead on them. Are you near a Home Depot?
Me: Yeah.
Craig the Plumber: Ok. Why don't you go run and pick one up while I take apart this old one and we won't charge you for the snaking at all, just for the toilet installation. Ya know, it could be anything in there. Last week I had a job where we couldn't get the clog out. The whole toilet had to be removed and we took it outside and smashed it to see what the obstruction was. It turned out to be a tiny picture of Saint Anthony. Isn't that weird?
Me: Yeah, that is weird. How much do toilets cost?
(This is very nice of him to not make me buy on of his rip-off truck toilets, so I run to that big orange savior and pick out the cheapest setup I can find. Whatever.. I'll upgrade to a "luxury" toilet when I win the lottery.)

I come back with my economy crapper and he looks at the box, raises his eyebrows and says he hopes it will work out. He dissed my new John!

I go back into my office to work while Craig the Plumber and the intern install my toilet. I hear a cell phone ring and some hushed talk in excited tones. Craig the Plumber comes out of the bathroom...

Craig the Plumber: Uh, Beck... my wife's water just broke. I have to go, right now. We'll send someone to finish up the job. I'm sorry.
Me: oh! Congratulations!
Before I get out the "ulations", he's already back in the bathroom trying to quickly pick up all the packing materials from the cheapo throne. I run in there and tell him: "Go! Go! I can clean this up. You go!"

He thanks me and dashes down my front steps, his little intern clipping at his heels. The big red truck races down the street, leaving me alone with my half-installed toilet.

So right now I'm waiting for the relief plumber to get here and I hope he gets here soon, because I have to pee.

Friday, November 24, 2006

It's in a bucket on the porch...

This year, as a thank-you to my family for helping me re-hab the house I recently purchased, I hosted Thanksgiving.

I did everything myself, except for removing the bag of turkey guts from inside the turkey. I cannot handle sticking my hand inside a bird carcass. I even had rubber gloves and still couldn't do it. Call me a wuss if you like, but this wuss was not about to fist a fowl.

I decided, under direction of an Alton Brown Thanksgiving cooking special on television, to soak the turkey overnight in a brine. This worked well for two reasons... it made for a juicier turkey and also eliminated the need to bast the bird at all. (anything that eliminates a cooking step is okay with me!) I didn't have a pot large enough for the turkey to fit and be fully submerged in brine, so I had to buy a big ol' bucket from Home Depot. The bird/brine/bucket combo needed to be kept cool all night, so I ended up putting it out on the porch with the windows open.

Everything went well except for...
...the right side of the bird. Charred!

Luckily, he was dead before he got here, so he didn't feel a thing.

Monday, November 20, 2006

There is a worm in this apple.

Although fun, my New York trip did not go as planned....

What was supposed to happen: Travel by bus to NY Port Authority... meet Chet at 11am outside of Duane Reade, which is across the street from Port Authority... part ways with my mother... spend the day with Chet, doing goofy touristy things and treking to "Toy Tokyo" ... meet up with my mother for dinner ... the three of us go to the art opening .... say goodbye to Chet and catch the 10:45pm bus back to Massachusetts.

What actually happened:
Our bus got into Port authority half an hour early, which was nice. I gave Chet a call and it went straight to voice-mail, which was fine because we had gotten into town early. We decide to double-check the bus schedule for our return trip back. Oddly, there isn't a 10:45pm bus, as the printed schedule says exists. Wonderful. The next bus was at 4:30am. I'm too cheap to book a room anywhere, so my mother and I decide we'll just diner-hop after the art opening. The opening ended at 9pm... so we'll have about 7 hours to kill before our morning bus.

Eleven rolls around and I'm loitering outside of Duane Reade with no sign of Chet. After several phone calls and over an hour of waiting, I come to the conclusion that Chet is still sleeping. I leave a message and decide to spend the day with my Mother. It was nice of her to let me join her, as she likes to wander around the city alone and now she had the company of me forced on her.

Part of my original plan was to walk over to an obscure toy store that I visit everytime I'm in New York. My mother, the saint that she is, said she wouldn't mind going. I'm horrible with directions so we end up walking 127 blocks to get there, which in actuality took us in a giant backwardy path. It should have only taken us about 15 blocks to get there. In my defense, the several other times I've been there, I've walked there from "Kid Robot", and I only know one way to get anywhere. Heehee.

Chet finally calls and we meet him at the gallery. The opening was fantastic, obviously. Then the artist shows up...
In general, I have no problem speaking to anyone with any amount of celebrity, but for some reason, I get really red in the face and star-struck in the presence of Josh Agle. It's odd.

At the last opening of his that I attended, I rambled on to him about whether or not he found it irritating to be referred to as a "retro" artist. (For the record, he says he's used to it, but that he himself doesn't think of himself as "retro" or "throwback").

At this opening I end up rambling on about his use of color and some questions regarding a set of paintings which are a departure from his regular work. Then, I actually told him I was nervous to be speaking to him! Fantastic. Fantastic. How stupid. He's really gracious, and I assume it isn't the first time that some idiot fan gushed over him and his art, so he took it in stride, thanked me and drew me a little martini glass on a gallery postcard. I could feel my face turning crimson. We spoke for a few more minutes and then my mother, Chet and I got the hell out of there for fear I would throw up from embarassment. Thankfully, I did not.

We ambled over to a diner, as my face slowly returned to its normal, near translucent paleness. Since we had seven hours to kill, we ate very very slowly. Chet and I walk around Times Square to people watch, while my mother decides to sit in a theater lobby.. something about her feet hurting a bit because of "that freaking long walk just so you can buy some tiny plastic food." eh. It was a really warm night for this time of year, so Times Square was really crowded. We saw 2 people dressed as Spiderman for no apparent reason. Chet eventually left to catch the subway back to Queens.

I met up with my mother and spent the next 5 hours killing time by watching a movie, eating and then just sitting in Port Authority, listening to the audio book of "The Kid Stays in the Picture" on my Ipod. We shared a pair of earbuds.. how cute.

The bus finally arrived and I'm pretty sure we both fell asleep before it even left the station.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Put the Lime in the Coconut...

My yard needs this thing. Not only is it really neat looking, but a cooling mist rains down from the top of the palms, where a fine mist generator is hidden in one of the fake coconuts. I could waste many a Sunday afternoon lounging around in this thing.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Hey Frank.

This weekend I'm going to New York which is really great for several reasons...

1. I'm going for an art opening of works from one of my favorite artists. (I say "one of my favorite" because I find it alarming and weird to claim something as your number one favorite anything, but trust me, he's up at the top of the heap of artists I like.)

2. I'll be meeting up with a friend I haven't seen in a year, the last time being a funeral. It'll be nice to see him in happier times.

3. The abundance of street vendor food possibilities makes me giddy with anticipation. Sure, we have food carts in Boston, but not nearly as many or with the vast variety that the carts in New York City offer. Hmm, although we do have "The Sausage Guy," but that's another story. Last time I was in New York I walked the perimeter of Central Park and grazed all the carts on the sidewalk, resulting in my eating 5 hot dogs in roughly forty minutes. I wish I was kidding. Takeru Kobayashi, look out.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Recent Things of Note...

the house across the street from mine caught on fire • found a few more pieces of "Blue Heaven" dishes at a tag sale • my kitchen sink has been fixed, although now there is a leak in one of the pipes • candy corn is still gross • the grocery store near my house has stopped carrying my frozen pizza of choice, which is more devastating than you would think • for the past week I have poured roughly 200 lip balms a day • i've been having re-occuring dreams about Coney Island, which is odd, as I've never been there • the world juggling competition was on last night, and it was oddly compelling • rainy weather really compliments breakfast foods

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Cat on Refridgerator.

In the Kitchen...

Barbara... They're coming to get you, Barbara.

I have a creepy basement...
It's the sort of basement where zombies would take up residence during the Zombie Revolution. The boiler in there makes creepy gurgling noises. I've got a flickering bare lightbulb in the corner. Creepy. Whoever owned the house before me installed a working toilet down there.. right in the open. It's odd. I've never been in my own basement after 9pm.

So, I have a creepy basement, which is amusing. But this is the icing on my creepy basement cupcake....

My parents came up this weekend for a visit and also so my father could help me do some electrical work. When I say "help," I actually mean "do all the actual work while I hold a flashlight and wonder where we should go for lunch".. so anyway... We were in the basement looking at the fusebox when my father noticed a really old, blacked out window. I've seen it before and always assumed it led to nothing.

He went over and OPENED THE WINDOW. I don't know why it never occured to me to do this myself. The window opens to a whole room! A SECRET ROOM. How creepy. Dozens of dead bodies could fit in there. Uh, not that I would need to store a bunch of dead bodies, but I've been watching zombie movies all weekend, so the thought crossed my mind.

Dead bodies.
I suppose I could have said that "dozens of puppies could run around in there", but "dozens of dead bodies" really lets you visualize how much space I'm taking about here. eh?

About that Zombie Revolution... It could happen. I've heard things. ANNNND, when it does.. I'm renting out my creepy basement. Zombies are people too. Or at least, they used to be.

Viva La Revolution!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Everybody eats when they come to my house...

My friends and I started a Supper Club, where once a month one of us will cook a big meal and everyone shows up to eat. There are 10 of us in the Supper Club, so even though it's quite a large group to cook for, you only end up having to cook once every ten months or so. This month was my turn....

The main dish was a meatloaf cake frosted with mashed potatoes. I got the idea from someone on this here internet..I wrote about it a month or two ago and that post is somewhere in the Suburban Wonderland archive, if you're so inclined to see the original. I wasn't sure if I would be able to actually succeed with this, and admittedly, it's not as good-looking as the original meatloaf cake, but it tasted quite good...

Teeny Jello® molds...

Cherry and Orange Whip...

All in all, things went well. I had the phone number of the local pizza shop handy in case the meatloaf cake was a failure, but it wasn't needed. No one got food poisoning and everyone seemed to have a good time.

Hot damn, I'm glad I don't have to do this again for quite a while.. I just have to show up somewhere next month and eat!

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

I shed a tear for thee....

Oh Dear.

Union Products will be closing it's doors on November 1st. For those of you who don't know, Union Products are the geniuses behind the original Don Featherstone lawn flamingos.

This is horrible news, and is causing me to go into flamingo-hoarding mode. This past weekend I drove nearly two hours to snatch up a few pairs, and now I wish I had bought a few more.

Apparently, production of the birds halted in June.. so whatever stock is out there is all that will be. No more will be made before Union Products closes for good. I think I need a glass of water. I feel faint.

This truly is awful.

Friday, September 15, 2006

The Electric Slide

When I lived in apartments I never cared about leaving lights on. Even though I was responsible for the electric bill, If I left a light on all day, it didn't faze me. It never bothered me.

Since moving into my house, this has changed. I have now become really aware of lights being left on in my house. I don't know why. It's technically no different than if i left a light on in my old apartment.. I was responsible for the electric bill there, and I'm responsible for the electric bill now. But, for some reason I have this notion that it costs so much more to power a lightbulb in a house than in an apartment. Crazy. It's not even logical. Gah.

I'm turning into my mother. If I start physically unplugging the toaster oven and microwave when they aren't in use... I'm really in trouble.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Ahem.. this is important.

This Sunday, Bag Lunch will be participating in the 26th Annual MSPCA Walk for Animals on the Boston Common.

We've put together a donation page for our little walk team, and if you'd like to donate, please visit

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Oh my! What a lovely yard you have...

The lawn flamingos are thriving in my front yard. Right now there are four pink plastic beauties out there and I'm going to slowly add to the flock until I run out of room or my neighbors become so disgusted with the tackiness of it all that they birdnap them. So I've been hunting around the internet for the original Don Featherstones. The ONLY flamingos in my yard are Featherstones. If you don't know what I'm talking about, just look up "Don Featherstone Flamingo" and you can read all about them. I do realize how insane it sounds to be a flamingo elitist, but really.. who wants inferior plastic birds? If you're aiming for suburban splendor, you have to go with the original.

So anyway, I found a bunch of great links:
This site has a ton of great flamingo themed products. The odd thing, though, is that they don't sell the Don Featherstone Flamingos. They only carry cheap-o knock-offs. I'll overlook this fact because the other flamingo stuff that they carry is so great. This site is really worth a look if you're looking for things like flamingo tablecloths or nightlights.
they carry a less varied inventory of flamingo related knick-knacks than, BUT they carry Don Featherstone flamingos and also Don Featherstone Snowmingos! A Snowmingo is a white lawn flamingo, which is perfect for yards in the winter months. They are made from the same plastic mold as their pink cousins, so they have the Featherstone butt signature just like the pinky originals. I'm going to swap out the pinks in my yard for snowmingos on the first snowfall this year and then swap 'em back in the spring. The photo below is a good comparison between the two plastic species...
assorted flamingo themed goodies for purchase, and they carry Don Featherstones in the classic pink and snowmingo varieties.
the flamingos on this site are a bit expensive... it's much easier to find them cheaper elsewhere. It's worth a mention though, because they sell spare flamingo legs which can come in quite handy, if you accidently bend or lose one.
this site is a treasure chest full of suburban tackiness. In addition to lawn flamingos, this site sells kitchen decor, barbeque trinkets, tablecloths and things like toilet paper cozies. I love this site. Below is a small sample of the great crap you can find at

How plastically cute!

And what about these....

...fantastic!, I'm more of a flamingo gal than a fan of lawn geese, but I think I may make an exception and find a place in my yard for these...

These geese combine two of my favorite things... midcentury rock 'n roll and tacky plastic lawn ornaments.

If I could only find tiny bowling shirts for my lawn flamingos, my life would be complete.

Monday, August 21, 2006

I am a sissy.

When I first graduated from college I moved into a very tiny apartment in Boston.

The apartment was directly above the boiler room for the entire apartment building. This caused the shoebox I was renting to remain VERY warm year round. The apartment was so warm that there wasn't a radiator in the unit.The heat from the boiler below was enough, even in January. In fact, I had to run the air conditioner 24 hours a day, for the entire time I lived there. This jacked up my electric bill substaintially. The landlord agreed to pay a portion of the electric bill each month after I made him sit in the apartment for 10 minutes without the air conditioner running. It was that warm.

The warmth of the apartment made it the perfect playground for mice. Apparently they LOVE really warm small apartments. The apartment became overrun with these rodents. It was horrifying. Normally mice will scurry away from people and generally only come out during the night. These mice were lounging around, with no regard for my presence. I would see them running around on my countertops and sitting around on the stovetop. Gross. It was so bad that I moved before my lease ran out. Since then I have been really terrified of mice. I hate them. I've trained Dolemite to be a stealth assasin, in case one of those little bastards gets into my house.

So.... last week my friend Myk, his girlfriend Allison and I took a small car trip. Halfway there Myk said: "Beck, a mouse!" and threw something at me which stuck to my arm. I began screaming and flailing my arms around, trying to get the thing off my arm. Tears were streaming down my face as I jumped around in the passenger seat, yelping and flailing.

It turned out to be one of those little sticky toys you can get for a quarter in machines outside of grocery stores.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

There is no denying the genius of this...

I'm almost positive that I will marry anyone who will make this for me on a weekly basis:

A Meatloaf Cake!

I'm assuming you had a knee-jerk reaction that was something along the lines of "eeeew" or "that's disgusting."
But think about it.. it's simply a meatloaf in a different form than what you are used to. This is a classier meatloaf. A formal meatloaf. The sort of meatloaf that you could take along to a housewarming party *ahem... cough, cough*

Several things about this are fantastic....

The "frosting" is mashed potatoes, which goes well with a meatloaf. Also, you could tint the mashed potatoes with food coloring for a more colorful, festive cake.

It seems sort of easy to make. Even if the construction comes out lopsided or wonky, it's still going to taste good.

Food is funny when it's disguised as other food.

Meatloaf is delicious.

To read more about it, visit here:
(this is also where the image I used came from)

hmm, and I understand that Martha Stewart made a meatloaf cake prior to this one, but who cares? This one has more charm, and a better story behind it.

This thing is a work of genius.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Mister Magoo

My neighbors kitty-corner to my house have a Parrot. It sits on a perch in their screened in porch. I've been looking at this bird for weeks and commenting on how well behaved it is. All day the bird sits quietly on it's perch, never squaking or trying to fly out of the porch. I've been pointing this out to friends when they visit.

Last night I got a better look at it and realized... the parrot is fake. It's one of those fake stuffed birds that you see at tropical themed restaurants and bars in tourist locations.

Perhaps I should wear my glasses more often.

Thursday, August 10, 2006



I've finally moved into the house. I'm currently unpacking. I'm amazing at how I crammed all this stuff into my tiny apartment now that I see it spread out throughout an entire house.

And, more importantly, Dolemite moved in too. He was freaked out at first and hid under a bed for 5 or 6 hours, then slowly emerged and crept around the edges of every room in the house. He's fine now and is back to his old, destructive self... He already managed to knock a chair into a door, thus cracking the wooden slates of said door. That cat is so lucky he's adorable.

To make it official, this weekend the pink lawn flamingos will be unpacked and will take up residence on the front lawn.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

I can't believe what I've done.

Today I did something that I promised myself I would never do: I bought boxes.

I. bought. boxes.

Now, I buy a lot of boxes for shipping out Bag Lunch orders. That is not what I'm referring to. I'm talking about purchasing boxes for the sole purpose of carting one's own stuff from one place to another.

I have moved several times over the years and have never once bought moving boxes. I find it to be a stupid notion: purchasing moving boxes. Moving boxes aren't purchased. They are aquired. You find emtpy boxes around your home. Or friends give you empty appliance boxes that they haven't gotten around to tossing out yet. They are never bought.

Moving boxes should have things like "Maytag" and "Fridgedaire" emblazoned on the side in slightly worn off ink. Moving boxes should have to be reinforced with lots of packing tape, because they are old and have been used before.

My moving boxes say "Staples Large" on the side and need no reinforcement.

I am so ashamed.

Monday, July 24, 2006

The Day is Drawing Near

I am officially moving into Suburbia on July 30th. It's official because I've rented a big ol' truck for that day and the deposit is non-refundable.

I've got flooring tiles that aren't going to be delivered until thursday, and I'll be installing them on Saturday. This is cutting it close, but there's nothing I can do about it. It'll be nice to finally move into the house, as I've been spending countless hours working on things in it over the last 2 months.

My cat will be moving in on August 1st. I want things to be sort of settled and unpacked a bit before he moves in, that way he'll recognize things around the new place and possibly feel a bit at home right away. The last time I moved apartments he freaked out and hid under bed covers for 3 days. I had to bring food and water to him, for fear that he would starve to death under my bedspread. I want to make this move as less stressful for him as possible.

And yes, I realize that the last paragraph makes me sound like a loony cat lady.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Some unrelated rambling...

So, I'm feeling better...not great, but better. I'm taking it easy this week, because I've set a move in date for July 30th, and I want to be fully recovered by then. Moving House is the bane of my existence as it is, and I can only imagine how awful moving will be if I still feel under the weather.

I've been taking a car-load of junk to my house everyday, so that by July 30th, I'll only be moving furniture.
This is the plan anyway... It's amazing how much stuff I've accumulated over the years. I have a problem where I like to collect things. Things like interesting packaging, amusing images clipped from magazines, clothing that doesn't even fit anymore....
I'm hoping there is some sort of support group somewhere for pack-rats.

And now for something different...

The Genius behind has a great article posted on You can read the article by visiting here...

In addition to being really well-written and amusing, I also find the article to be really accurate in the experiences it documents. Although I've noticed that I get less mouth-agape stares from people gawking at my artwork in recent years than I have, say five years ago, I still encounter similar situations to those mentioned in the article.

Uh, I'm rambling, but cut me some slack..
I'm under the weather.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

That "Apple a day..." thing? It's a lie.


I am WAY behind on my "To Do" list for house-related things. I was hoping to be finished with all the painting by now, but I'm not. This is delaying everything. I can't actually move in until the kitchen floor is installed... and I can't install the kitchen floor until I finish painting.

And this is because I am sick. Really sick. This morning I coughed so hard that I threw up. IN MY HAND.
Everyday I wake up thinking.. "yeah.. I'm cured." Then I hack something up and that thought flies right out the window, along with some phlegm.

I can't really do much except for sit around overanalyzing symptoms. I hate that I can't do something because of some sickness-induced limitation. And I've been told not to do anything for fear of a relapse. This scares me. I don't want to relapse and be sick for twice as long. I feel lazy for just lying around, yet scared to over-exert myself and relapse.

And now for a purely infantile, childish complaint... My parents are in Bermuda, so I can't even call them to whine about how crappy I feel. Nothing helps recovery quite like calling your Mother and whining for hours about being ill. Because they have to listen. Because they are related to you and have to provide sympathy, whether genuine or not.

The other scary thing is that my cat has been sleeping next to me at night. He hardly does this during the Summer.
I'm pretty sure the only reason he's doing this is so that if I perish during the night, he'll be right there to immediatly start gnawing my face off.

He's that sort of feline.

cough cough.

Friday, July 07, 2006

Yep..Did that myself. That too. And that.

So, I'm doing all the stuff to my house myself, with help from family. Whenever this comes up in conversation, I always hear, "It must feel so satisfying to know that you're doing all of it yourself. Just think, when you're all done, you can look around your house and know that you acomplished all that yourself. It's going to be so satisfying and gratifying for you."

At the beginning of this house-rehab, I agreed with these people. It is sort of neat to be able to say, "Yeah, I painted that. Yeah, I ripped that paneling down. Yeah, that's when I sprained my wrist, installing that blah blah blah..."

Now I think it's crap. People say that crap to you to make you feel okay about not being able to afford contractors.

I now know why people hire people to do things. Because taking on this much is insane. I'm tired all the time and I keep finding paint in my hair. Wah. When is the last time you heard of some wealthy person throwing their back out painting a ceiling? Yeah, never.. Because they pay people to do these sorts of things.

Granted, my Father is taking on a lot of the work requiring actual knowledge of house construction, but I'm still doing a lot of the painting and sanding and non-potentially damaging to the structure type things.

It's all worth it, because I'm going to feel very satisfied when I'm done.



This weekend I hope to get a majority of what's left to do, finished.

On the "To Do" list for Saturday...

Paint a second coat of white on the kitchen walls and trim

Paint the color brick pattern on the brick wall in the kitchen (turquoise and black)

Paint the weird ceiling drop thing in the kitchen (turquoise)

Second coat of paint on the bottom trim in the bedroom (satisfyingly bright pink)

Paint the arms of the ceiling fan in the kitchen (turquoise)

Eat something (hey, all this painting is going to make me hungry)

Move some of my stuff into the newly floored office
(My parents installed a new floor in my office while I was at work..I love them)

Hopefully I can get all this done.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

What the paint?

I'm painted all the walls in my house with high gloss paint. Everytime I mention this, someone says, "Oh dear, No.. You aren't supposed to do that. High-gloss is only for trim. Semi-gloss is for walls. Why would you do that?"

Other select responses to my apparent paint blunder:

"High-gloss on walls? That's interesting." (with "interesting" said in a tone of slight horror.)

"You'll need two coats on everything. Why are you using high-gloss, anyway?"

'Are you crazy?"

I don't understand what the big deal is. Who made these paint rules? Who cares that I'll need two coats? I'd probably need to apply two coats anyway, the colors I'm using are so bright.

Throughout my entire life I've been told I don't quite follow the crowd.
Apparently, this also applies to my choice in paint.

Doesn't matter... I'll be living happily in my double-coated, shiny house.

Friday, June 30, 2006

Someone Left the Cake Out In the Rain

This pan....

...makes these cupcakes.

(The above images are from the Williams-Sonoma website, where the pan is available for sale. To Purchase, for a house warming gift or something hint hint, visit

I've not really done a lot of baking in my life thus far, but that is going to change. Now that I'm the owner of a fairly good sized kitchen with ample counter space, I have no reason not to whip up a batch of novelty cupcakes. Or a bundt cake. I like the word "bundt," and if I bake one of 'em, I'll be able to say that word a bunch of times.

I've made a lot of excuses in the past as to why I don't utilize the kitchen, including, but not limited to....
"Apartment kitchens are too small to do any real cooking or baking in."
"I live with a chef... why would I step foot in his territory?"
"I haven't got any good pans."
"I have no cookbooks."
"Grocery store too far.... must continue to sit on couch."

Once I'm settled into my Suburban Wonderland (notice the call-back to the name of this blog... nice touch, eh?) none of these excuses will apply to me anymore.

I will do some baking.
Frost my words.

The House BC (Before Construction)

Here are some pictures from before I did any sort of anything to the property.

The two areas sandwiching my front door now have gardens sprouting there, thanks to my Mother, who I might add planted them in the rain. She assures me that all the plants she put there are low maintenance, which is a good thing, because I always end up unintentionally killing anything green that is under my care. Luckily, Dolemite the Cat is a nice soft grey color.

Note the dark brown foundation. This will soon be "lawn flamingo pink" if it ever stops raining long enough to paint outside. This will match the small flock of plastic flamingos that will be residing in the front gardens, once I'm living there full time. Right now I'm only staying there on the weekends while I'm working on things.


The other day I bought a small oscillating table fan to bring from room to room as I paint. I just needed a cheap-o one so I bought one made by a company called "2Cool."

You can tell that a product is high quality when a word is replaced by a numeral in the brand logo.

Especially when that logo has tiny icicles dripping off it, to further convey the arctic theme.

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

A House of a Different Color

I painted my living room this weekend. (Actually, my father and sister painted it, I was in another room painting something else, but anyway)

I chose a bright spring green, to match the fabric of my ottoman that will soon be residing there. The ottoman fabric is a 1950's barkcloth atomic pattern, with sections of it in the same bright spring green. Now this paint is bright. Very bright. I happen to love it, although other people that have seen it have rather interesting things to say about it.

Below is a list of some comments made regarding my new living room walls:

"I'm Blind."

"Can you hand me a pair of sunglasses?"

"This color is the color of toxic waste."

"This is brighter than Sarah's car." (my sister has a blindingly yellow car)

"I'm nauseous."

"Maybe it'll look calmer when your furniture is in here."

"Wow. That's quite a color."

Now, I love the color. The room is rather small, so it really brightens up the space. Trust me. It'll all come together.
Plus, everyone that walked into the room grinned like an idiot, so i'm pretty sure the paint contains some sort of "smile-inducing" agent.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Whistle While You Work

Things I have done to the house thus far (with help, of course):

Painted Master Bedroom - I wanted a nice blushy mango pink, but ended up with something close to 100% magenta. I repainted the entire room and now have the color I wanted originally.

Removal of Wood Paneling from Living Room - Technically, my father did this...I just carried the paneling shards to my basement

Removal of Living Room Rug - The rug was so old that the rug-pad underneath disintegrated into a fine dust, which then blew all over the place and had to be swept up. I didn't have a push broom at the time, so I ended up using a small brush and dustpan. My back still hurts from crouching over.

Removel of Master Bedroom Rug - Came up rather easily, revealing a wood floor underneath that doesn't even need to be sanded down and buffed. A coat of floor wax should do the trick.

Kitchen Cabinet Rehab - Cabinets were sanded down by my Uncle, then primed and painted a base color by my Mother.

Kitchen Brick Makeover - Red brick will not do in a Turquoise, Black and White kitchen, so I primed them and then we painted them white. Later on, I'll paint a few of the bricks Turquoise and a few bricks Black.

Painted Porch - The original color of my porch was sort of Silly Putty colored...blech. So It's been painted a nice bright white.

White Kitchen - Painted the first coat of white to the kitchen walls. The walls were a soft peach color originally.

There is a lot more to do, although everyday the "To Do" list shrinks a tiny bit more.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Kid in a Candy Shop...

I recently stumbled upon J & O Fabrics and am mildly obsessed. They have such a huge selection of fabrics in general and many in prints I've yet to see anywhere else. I can see myself ordering many many times from much great fabric.

I'm making cushions for some porch furniture and am currently deciding between these prints:

I can't decide!

To visit J & O fabrics and see all the great fabrics for yourself, click on the link in the "Shopping Delights" section on the left side of this page.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

Howdy, Neighbor

Yesterday i went to the house to take some measurements and take in the mail and generally just walk around in the empty house because I sort of still can't believe I own property.

So anyway, as I was pulling into my driveway I noticed a giant river of what appeared to be white paint running down the length of my driveway and pooling on the sidewalk in from of my house. Being new to this whole home-owning thing, for about 30 seconds I thought, "damn, better call the landlord."

Then I remembered; Oh dear, I AM the landlord.

Upon further inspection of this giant swatch winding its way down my driveway, I came to the conclusion that it was originating from my neighbor's back yard. Since it was pooling on the sidewalk and dogs walk by with their owners quite often, I wanted to make sure that it actually was paint and not anything that would harm paws, so I went next door and rang their doorbell.

Now, I didn't want my first meeting of my new neighbor to be on these terms..
I would have preferred my first meeting to be more like "Hi, just moved in, lovely weather we're having, etc.." rather than "Hi, just moved in. By the way, what in the world is spilling down my driveway from your backyard?"

But I really wanted to know what this garbage was...

We went over and assessed the situation. Apparently, her son had painted her fence a nice bright white and left a paint tray in the backyard. Later in the day it began to rain buckets, and overfilled the paint tray, thus creating a river of watery paint that then cascaded down my driveway.

Normally this sort of thing would have made me pretty livid, but she was very apologetic and seemed genuinely sorry.

So I just sucked it up and blamed the rain. It's more important to me to have a nice friendly relationship with my new neighbor than to throw a hissy fit and demand that she get this fixed.

I can simply fix it myself.
After all, I'm my own landlord now.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


This would look fantastic in my new pad.

*cough, cough* If anyone feels the need to shower me with housewarming gifts... this speaker system would be the way to go...*cough, cough*

Sunday, June 04, 2006

"Let me help you with that, little lady."

I've been to Home Depot countless times in the past...
When I was very young I used to tag along with my father and marvel at how huge the place was, and years later while in art school I used to go quite often for project supplies.

But this time was different...
This time I marched into that orange-branded giant store as a homeowner.

I had no idea where I was going.. I needed sandpaper, wall primer and some paintbrushes, and couldn't find anything. The store is way too big. It's daunting and overwhelming.

After a good 20 mintues of accidently crashing my cart into various things as I steered up and down the isles, I finally found the wall primer. I found a 5 gallon drum of the stuff.

Now, I'm small and really short (and weak), so I had a terrible time trying to heave the five gallon drum into my cart. I must have looked completly hopeless, because some customer came over to me as i was struggling and said...

"Let me help you with that, little lady."

I thought people only spoke like that in movies set in Saloons, but whatever.. he lifted the drum of primer into my cart and saved me from what would have probably resulted in me dislocating my own shoulders.

After wandering around some more I eventually found everything I needed, checked out and left.

It's nice to have the "Home" in "Home Depot" actually apply to me.
I never thought it would.

Monday, May 29, 2006

No more off-white apartment walls for me....

You'd think with four years of color theory under my belt, that I'd have an easier time deciding on colors for the walls of my new pad. I think it actually makes it more difficult, because I'm hyper sensitive to how color interacts with everything.

I'll tell you one thing, though. There will be no yellow. Yellow is so offensive. I don't mind a nice pale yellow or an orange-based yellow, but no way will there be any 100% yellow anything in the house.

I'm the king of this tiny castle.. and I'm outlawing yellow.

So there!

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Official Bird of Suburbia

Yesterday, I came to the realization that many people don't know the history of the infamous Lawn Flamingo. It's such a neat story that I wish more people were aware of how they came to be. Plus, they were invented in Massachusetts, which is where I've lived all my life, so that adds a bit of extra value for me!

The below text is from Wikipedia, which recounts the history quite well...

The History of the Plastic flamingo...
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

"Pink plastic flamingos are a symbol of North American consumerism and how quickly a fad can catch on. One of the most famous of lawn ornaments along with garden gnomes and other such ornamentation, the pink flamingo is an icon of pop culture, as well as a statement. It has even spawned a lawn greeting industry where flocks of pink flamingos are installed on a victim's lawn in the dark of night. Plastic flamingos are widely considered to be the stereotypical example of lawn kitsch.

The history of the pink flamingo can be traced back to 1946 when a company in Leominster, Massachusetts called Union Products started manufacturing products they titled “Plastics for the Lawn”. Their original collection included two dimensional dogs, ducks, frogs, and even a flamingo.

In 1956, the company hired a young designer named Don Featherstone. Don's first project was to redesign their popular duck into the third dimension. Don used a live duck as his model and after five months of work, the duck was retired to a local park.

His next project would prove to be his most famous. He couldn't get his hands on real flamingos, so he used photographs from a National Geographic in its place. He sculpted the original out of clay, which was then used to make a plaster cast. The plaster cast, in turn, was used to form the molds for the plastic. The original design called for detailed wooden legs, but they proved to be too costly and were replaced by the metal ones still seen today. While the exact date was never recorded, the first pink flamingo was born some time during 1957.
Some lawn flamingoes were cast in reinforced concrete with iron legs.

In the late 1950s, the flawless American lawn was beginning to take over, and with it the bright colored pink flamingo. Pink was a big color, plastic was still news.

The 1960s were not as friendly to the pink flamingo. There was a rebellion against everything man made. It was a time to go back to nature, and the plastic flamingo quickly became the prototype of bad taste and anti-nature. By 1970, even Sears had removed the pink-feathered bird from its catalog.

But that wasn't the end, because some people just love to do things that annoy people. If pink flamingos were the ultimate in bad taste, then people were sure to place them on their lawn to bug their neighbors. And they did so in great numbers.
By 1984, Miami Vice had kicked the sales of pink flamingos into full throttle. For the first time ever, Union Plastics sold more flamingos than they did ducks.

Today pink flamingos are sold for just about every purpose. They are purchased for use as wedding decorations, housewarming gifts, and as replacements for reindeer at Christmas time. Church youth groups sometimes use pink flamingos as fundraising tools, planting them in church members yards, then asking for donations to have them "removed."
Some people actually travel with their pink flamingos. The plastic birds go camping, hiking, skiing, and mountain biking. Entire web sites are devoted to the travels of these artificial creatures. Pink flamingos have also become a prime target of pranksters. Many are stolen off lawns every year, particularly by kids that have been drinking. Others are kidnapped and held for ransom. One particular pair was kidnapped and had their ransom paid in play money.

Authentic flamingos always have Don Featherstone’s signature under their tails. Each has a yellow beak with a black tip and they are only sold in pairs."

The above image is taken from They sell the original pink flamingos, as well as other great pink flamingo products.

Needless to say, I've got a pair of flamingos which will be taking up residence in the tiny front yard of my new house as soon as I move in. I just hope no one birdnaps them!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Welcome Mat

I've just bought a house.

In order to keep "The Juice Box" free of all my home-related ramblings, I'll be posting them here.