Things I Loved/Hated This Week #23



2013-03-10 14.33.34

When you live in a place that never changes, you get exhausted of the monotony. It gets even worse when the things that never change are hideous. All my life, the living room in my home has been exactly the same. Three white walls, a nasty ceiling fan (I find them all hideous, mind you), popcorn ceiling, vile brown and yellow and every shade of nasty carpet, and one wood paneled wall. Of all of it, the wood paneling has always offended me the most. I think it’s terrible. It’s the worst thing that ever happened to interior design. I don’t know why anybody ever thought it looked alright. So, this weekend, when I was home all alone, I lost my mind and couldn’t take it anymore. I ripped the paneling off the wall and shrieked in horror at what lay beneath. There was some decent looking wallpaper, but some idiot in the past had tried to paint it white before giving up. Whoever they were, I hate them. I wiped the paint with some rubbing alcohol, but that would have taken a decade and it took the color out of the wallpaper. “Shit, shit, shit!” I mumbled, this was a disaster. Then, inspiration struck me. I recalled that I have a professional steamer that I’ve never used. I have lots of weird shit. My father gave it to me after his work bought a new one. So, I ran across the street in the mud and falling snow to our other house to get the steamer and then run across the street again in the mud and snow and darkness. That old steamer has changed my life. Wallpaper falls off the walls with it! In the past, I’ve relied on chemicals and patience, but now, that’s a thing of the past. It’s amazing what steam can do. So, I started peeling off the cranberry colored wallpaper with it’s charming painted images of peasants drifting down a river. Beneath was an interesting, but hideous patterned wallpaper with pink and purple stripes interspersed with flowers. Blessedly, I scraped it a bit too hard and found yet another layer of paper beneath this. This was the original layer, probably put up sixty years or more ago. I don’t know exactly. I have a picture of my ancestors in the same room with that same paper.

Max At HomeOur Living Room TV In Living Room

It’s grey with a huge floral pattern–things like that are very much in again, you know. So, I’ll finish peeling it off tonight and then working on repairing it. It’s not in the best condition, unfortunately, but it’ll be a nice change from the hideous paneling. Anything would be.

Daylight Saving’s Time (End? Beginning?)


I don’t think there is a point in this anymore, I understand it’s original purpose and it was a noble intention that I’m sure did something, but in these modern days of constant illumination, it seems quite pointless. That being said, I enjoy whatever it is we just went through. Was it the end or the beginning? Doesn’t matter. It stays light out much longer and I’m obsessed by it. Even though it’s still freezing out, and I’m dying a little, it’s nice that the sun stays out. I can’t go out and enjoy it, yet, but it might happen soon. Probably not until April. This is the worst winter ever. It is much harder waking up, though. I wake up a lot in the early morning and then find myself unable to wake up at my alarm’s ringing. I’ve never had this kind of trouble before, so I’m not sure what’s up, I’m sure it’ll just take my body adjusting. I am so excited for it to be in the eighties again and have the sun linger until ten o’clock. It’s marvelous. One of my favorite memories of France was visiting the first time in June and wondering when the sun would set. It was up all night long, it was amazing, you could go out at eleven o’clock and not need any street lights. Bizarre and wonderful.

Topman Shoes:


I’m awfully cheerful when I wear my very European dress shoes from Topman. They’re long and pointed in the French fashion and nobody wears anything like them here. When I lived in Paris for school, we went out to a very fancy dinner and I didn’t have any fancy shoes. I had a vintage Dior suit, thankfully, I rarely travel without something nice to wear. I’m not a peasant, you know? I’m sad about my suit. It doesn’t fit me anymore. It’s way too big and I think it would need so many alterations that tailoring wouldn’t salvage it. So, it hangs in the back of my wardrobe where I can occasionally take it out and wonder how I was ever that obese. Anyway, I had no shoes and was not about to wear tennis shoes to a formal dining establishment. Who does that? Well, one of our teachers did. That night we discovered that he moonlit as a DJ. What a strange man. Loud, crude, but could be rather kind. As I walked along the rue de la Roquette, I would see shoe shop after shoe shops, but was always far too intimidated to go in. Back in those first Parisian days, I wasn’t very confident with my vocabulary or ability to interact socially. These days I can’t be bothered to worry, I just do my best and generally get what I want. I love French. I don’t get to speak it often enough in the middle of Iowa, even though we used to be a French territory–our flag is the French flag. So, I decided to go to London to buy a pair of shoes. How chic is that? I never tire of saying it. I booked the train, got a hotel room, packed my bag, and scurried off to England–to buy shoes! What am I–a Real Housewife? I went to Topman and found the perfect pair, which I told you about earlier. I also was lost after a presumed terrorist attack, almost crushed by a mob photographing Robert Pattinson, ate pasties, watched an intimate Eddie Izzard show, and discovered the delights of Paris Hilton’s British Best Friend.

I love those shoes and still wear them regularly. Whenever I do, I think of all the places that I’ve worn them in the past and the people I’ve met…

IMG_1720[Cough…Dita Von Teese…cough…Count Louis Marie de Castelbajac…cough.]

…and I wonder about all the delightful places I’ll wear them in the future.

Washing Shoes:


I’ve never washed a shoe in my life. I don’t know what on earth I was waiting for! I had a collection of shoes that I wasn’t wearing because they were filthy and I wouldn’t dare be seen looking less than impeccable in public. Tennis shoes, canvas shoes, and some others. I was worried, but I wasn’t wearing them, so I didn’t really have anything to lose and tossed them in the washer. I came back an hour later and my jaw dropped. They looked brand new! I was so very impressed. They took quite a long time to dry and I hate lacing up shoes, but it was so worth it. Now it’s like having four new pairs of shoes! #lovesit. Now I don’t need to buy new tennis shoes and can spend some money on sandals for my trip next week. DISNEY WORLD! After I washed the shoes, I buffed all my nice shoes and my shoes look amazing. Like Diana Vreeland, my should-be-BFF, once said, “Unshined shoes are the end of civilization.” So very true.



I haven’t had Smarties in forever! One of the people I work with had some candy on her desk and I just had to have some. I LOVE THEM. I also learned that there are only 25 calories per roll, so, I can eat as many as I want because it’s basically a health food. I remember in high school, Alison and I ate roll after roll in one of our “classes.” We were clever bitches and bullied the counsellors into giving us internships from the teachers we liked. We had a band internship where we took over the school’s attic, remodeled it, wrote bad plays and, the entire score of Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street, and laminated shit. Then we had an office internship where we hung up a few posters. Then we had a French internship where we didn’t do a damn thing but eat Smarties, leave school for ice cream, and chat with the teachers. Good times. I hated school, but I loved internships.


Stuck Inside For Months:


I have begun losing my mind. I can’t take this weather anymore. I can’t stand another day of being cooped in the house like a poorly treated piece of livestock. I need the sun and fresh air and grass and clouds and a tan and a bicycle ride. I can’t take it! This is the worst winter ever. Last year at this time, I was already going on long bicycle rides, napping in the abandoned cemetery, walking through the country and wearing shorts and generally being the happiest man in the world. I have an app called Timehop on my iPad that shows statuses I posted in the past. Good fun, that. Anyway, Spring Break is next week and it’s going to still be in the thirties. I won’t be able to deal with this. I need to get away. I was going to save my money for the summer, but money always seems to come back, and a trip is only once in a while. We’ll have to see if I can make it work because there isn’t much prep time…but I need it. I gotta get out of here before I scream. (I did make it work, you read about it earlier.)

Starving At Night:


My old disease has returned where I find myself unable to resist gorging once the sun sets. I can’t stop eating everything. I’m not even hungry, but I never feel satisfied. I eat soup and then cheese and then I want Cheerios and that makes me want cottage cheese which makes me want chocolate which means I have to brew tea which means a tart sounds nice and then my mouth is far too sweet and I need Cheerios or peanuts or something and then before I know it, I’m the size of Montana and all my exercise was for nothing. I have been doing a better job of this, but lately I find myself unable to resist. Last night everything was delicious. Mainly because I had tomato bisque and that made me want everything and besides that, the poppyseed baguette I made was divine. I love food! Me want food! Tonight I’ll do better, but then again, I’m making lemon macarons, and I can’t resist those wonderful little angels.

Sifting Almond Flour:


Almost every macaron recipe, no, every single macaron recipe calls for sifting the almond and powdered sugar combination. I never do this because I can’t stand to do it. It takes all damn day! Instead, I just pulverize the almonds in the food processor and call it good. It usually is, but last night I was feeling the need to be super elegant, so I sifted the little buggers and didn’t notice any difference in quality. I wasted my time and had to unclog a mesh sieve. Le sigh. I’m never doing that again. I hate sifting in general, too, just whisk things together and be done with it. I’m a fan of taking shortcuts and making life easier. Why work hard when you needn’t?

Douchey Paranormal Investigators:

[French & Saunders are genius. Perfect spoof!]

I love the paranormal and ghosts and all things supernatural. I’ve always believed in ghosts and love hearing about them, researching them, and wondering about them. I went to Villisca last year with friends to investigate the Ax Murder House and had so much fun–we were serious, but didn’t take ourselves seriously and some very curious things happened. Tomorrow, out “team” is going to a haunted school in Farrar. Very excited for this. We always have fun when we get together and it’s supposed to be super haunted, so I can’t wait. I’ve been watching videos from other people who have investigated the school and am exasperated by them. Why are most of the people who investigate the paranormal such douches? They act like they’re bad asses, curse nonstop, wear baseball caps and unfortunate shoes, run around screaming, and don’t do anything to benefit the field they’re playing in. It drives me to insanity. Act like professionals. Do real research. Don’t think there is a ghost in every crackle of white noise. Be reasonable. Also, why don’t any of these teams investigate in the daylight? If there is a ghost there, they are going to be there in the middle of the afternoon the same way as they would be there in the middle of the afternoon if they were alive. That was a confusing sentence. Most hauntings are probably residual anyway, so a daylight investigation seems to make more sense. That’s just me, though. I also hate when these “badasses” start screaming like a terrified kitten. Cue terrified kitten!

We aren’t awful, so we’re going to have a delightful time. We should have a show. When we get together, we’re hilarious. That’s a lot of “we.”

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