A chronicle of my attempts to live a classy life as a single girl in the Nation's Capital

Friday, March 23, 2012

It was 1998..

  • Many of my students were just being born... (chew on that) 
  • I was just starting high school and started crushing on a guy (that would last all high school) who is now married (yeah, I just said "crushing")
  • MTV played lots of music videos (and TRL still existed)
  •  I got up at 5:00 every morning to wash my hair in the bathroom sink and then blow dry it (I can't shower at night, my hair is too fine.  And I was still on a "shower at night" schedule then) 
  • And then I ate a breakfast of Lipton Cup a Soup (Don't ask why) while watching MTV.  This video always brings me back to those mornings:

I can taste the noodle soup in a teacup...  Anyone else get nostalgic listening to this song?  Not that I really understood it then.  I do now.

But here's the thing.  I forget that 2000 was more than a decade ago. That movies from 1997 now look miserably old.  I am shocked that someone born in the 90s can legally drink.  My students don't remember 9/11...

It's really funny how you feel when you get "older" and, being a teacher, I am more attune to it than many. But the funny thing is,  it doesn't bother me in the slightest.  I find it curious and amusing and I kind of love the feeling that I am finally get old enough to feel and act the way I always have any way.

But what brought this to mind was Train.  They also had a popular song in 1998--"Drops of Jupiter"--that I also watched in the early AM.  They were young right?

They were in my memory.

Then they started coming out with new music again.  And I loved it.  But I recently watched the video for "Drive By" and loved it, but was shocked by the aging of the singers.  And it's not that they look ancient; it's just that I caught myself thinking "she's too young for him."

Maybe it's just what I call "the Gatsby effect" or maybe time is a wrecker.  Either way, I felt older watching this video.

And I kinda really liked it.

What makes you nostalgic?  Are you afraid of aging?

Two weeks of house guests....

And as a result, I've accomplished absolutely nothing. Not to mention, I promptly got a cold probably brought on by stress.

I loved seeing my family and friends and will have them stay over many more times.  But from an introvert's point of view... two weeks in a row is just too much.  I am really looking forward to this weekend of going to Lowes (which is fast becoming my new favorite store), doing house things and hanging out with my friends Beth and Luke.

I'm also glad to have my office back--which is where I blog--since it is also the "guest room."  I am happy to report that the set up works really well considering the space constraints.

But on to the actual topic of this post--before all the guests and sickness I was really productive one weekend.  Here's what I did:

1. Turned a vintage window into a faux mercury glass window.

The problem was our bathroom window.  The previous owners left behind some lovely curtains for us: 
In addition to the generic Pottery Barn floral embroidery, they really gave you a sense of privacy. 

I had an idea after reading a post on another blog about creating faux mercury glass.  I thought: what if I did it to a window and then hung it in front of this window?  Not only would we still get light, but it would look really cool and give us more privacy. 

The project was really easy and I love the way it came out.  I don't have a finished picture yet as I need to go to Lowes to buy cup hooks, but it is currently leaning in the windowsill and I will add a picture soon of the completed project.  

It was actually really easy to do, here are the steps: 

1. Assemble the supplies
You'll need a vintage window, a soft cloth or paper towels, painters tape, a spray bottle filled with 1/2 water and 1/2 white vinegar and Looking Glass paint. 
This stuff is AMAZING!  It turns glass into a mirror.  You spray it on the reverse side and voila!  Mirror.  It is really thin so you have to do many coats.  Also a tip: this can be bought in the craft store but is it in the spray paint aisle?  No... It's a few aisles down with hobby paint and such.  Probably on the bottom shelf.  They don't want you to have it. 

2. Make sure you are working on the reverse side, tape off the edges (or not. I realized that no one is going to see it.) Clean and dry the mirror and then start applying several thin coats, waiting a minute or two between each. 
This is about 2 coats, half dry.  It does this cool cloudy thing as it dries.  When the cloudy parts are gone, you're ready for another coat.  I think I ended up doing about 6-8
3. Ruin everything you just did. And love it. 
I didn't take pictures of this part.  But here's what you do: 
  1. Wait about 10 minutes for everything to dry well 
  2. spray the diluted vinegar mixture onto the paint gently so it forms beads
  3. Wait again for about 30 seconds to a minute 
  4. wet your cloth with more vinegar solution and gently rub. This will take the paint off.  The harder you rub, the bigger the area of no paint will be.  Vary the amount of paint you take off.
  5. Spray one more time with a very fine mist.  Then (after waiting) rub very gently so you have tiny little holes too (it adds dimension) 
  6. Finally, gently dry the glass and add 1-2 more coats of mirror spray
Pictures of final coming soon! 

2. Replace the ugly light

I'm getting very proud of my electrical skills.  Just don't call me over to do anything for you--I'm not that proud.  I also used this weekend to replace the very old, builder basic light we have outside.  Here I tell you the story of replacing the light with pictures. 
See your $4 light while at Lowes.  You always hated it, but now even more.
Pour some wine.  Because it's the weekend and you want to.  

While up on the ladder, I saw the neighbor's light.  A bare bulb.  Condo fees at work here. 

Take old light off and roll your eyes at the horribly rusted screws and incredibly old wiring you now have to deal with.  Remove this and attempt to put in the new bracket.  It won't fit.  Nothing "standard" fits in this house.

While doing this, drop the screws you need down the basement window well about 5 times.  Assess whether you can crawl down and back out on your own.  Then debate how long it would be until someone found you.... retrieve one screw but lose the other.  Now you must use one of those old rusty screws. Insist that the wine has nothing to do with this mishap.

About an hour into your 30 minute install you have a light!  Doesn't this look so much better?  In addition this light puts off brighter light and has a motion detector.  Because, clearly, safety was my #1 concern while installing this light... 

And that's what I accomplished in one day before all the (very fun) busy-ness of house guests. I love how big a difference all these small changes make.  Next project: revamping the patio! 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Would I ever move to Portland...

Probably not.  But I have discovered Portlandia on IFC and it is hilarious!  The show is a sketch comedy series that pokes fun at several trends in our society right now--from the local food movement, to recycling, to crafting, to technology overload, and even brunch (I really don't get the "lets do brunch" thing.  It's early. It's a weekend. I can make eggs at home in my PJs and not be forced to make conversation at 10:00 on a Sunday.)

I really want to share some of the clips that I love but I am going to try to hold back and just do the top 5 clips, which will be hard enough.  The show is about to end it's second season now, but the entire first season is on Netflix instant view.

1. Jewelry making.  This song has been stuck in my head all night--if it was on iTunes, I'd totally buy it and rock out to it pre-crafting

2. "Did you read that?"  In the academic world (and, frankly, in life) I often encounter people who try to show off their intellectual prowess by bragging about how many articles they've read.  And it does become this ridiculous contest...

3. "Put a Bird on it!" Seriously, just do it.  Now it's quirky and cute! I think half the things in Anthropologie have birds on them--not that I don't still like it.

4. "Over!"  People like this bother me... and we've all known one or two.

5. "Is it local?" Colin has papers...I like local, free range meats. They do taste better and it feels more humane. But some people get way too wrapped up in it.

Anyone else out there as big a fan of this show as I am? I hope there's a season 3!