Sparkle Surprise!

Sparkle Surprise Collage 1

Here’s some ultra shimmery, very unicorny nails for no reason other than it’s Thursday, the weather’s all bummy and I have an entire diningroom’s worth of painting to get done before 5 pm this evening.  No sweat, says I!  Although I have been sweating a great deal, which is what happens when you’re contorting yourself into positions never before attempted by the world’s most practiced yogis in order to just. reach. this. onnnnneeeeee. spot. in. the. corner. of. the. closet. that. no. one. but. you. will. ever. see. or. even. know. is. there.  But it will haunt your dreams if you I don’t deal with it immediately, so here we are!

I won’t tell you the base colours I used in this manicure – a chromatic, vaguely fuzzy-looking pink topped with diagonal sponging in chromatic teal and green to mimic the prism of light captured along the edge of this new cup I purchased – because the company is long out of business, and also went down in a spectacular blaze of not-so-glorious glory.  None of the polishes I own were affected by said blaze, so I’ve continued using them, although I try not to talk up the company.

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But I did top the whole works off with another polish that I’d be happy to talk up, Orly’s unicorn-in-a-bottle glitter topper, Anything Goes.  This polish hits all the fun P requirements – pretty, pastel and purple!  Now back to a P word of my own, sigh – painting.

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Those 70s Nails

Those 70s Nails 1

SO 70s, right?  Like, somewhere a wood paneled rec room is missing its rug-hooked wall art (ah, here it is, behind the macrame’d basket for the hanging spider plant.  Never mind – call off the search!) 🙂

Those 70s Nails 2

Monday Bloody Monday

Toilet Collage

Ah yes, but a better Monday than LAST Monday, because on this particular Monday Bloody Monday WE HAVE A TOILET!!!  I so jinxed myself last week talking about it, too, as I knew I would – sure enough, the plumbers went to install the thing, only to discover that the piece that connects the toilet to the pipe in the wall would not fit.  And this on a model whose specs were mandated, recommended AND approved by the condo board, individuals who presumably (?) have functioning eyes and brains, although you’d never know it.  Too busy giving me crap because the contractors left a bit of dust in the elevator to pay attention to critical matters of shared infrastructure, I guess (made all the more galling by the fact that they had the printed schematics from the manufacturer right in front of them, something we didn’t actually need to provide, but did so out of an act of woefully misguided kindness.)

Anyhow, we ran about the city sourcing a new toilet on our dime and time, returned the old guy and paid the supplier restocking fee, paid the plumbers for the first aborted install, wrote a furious e-mail to our property management company, Reid Property Management, which has gone completely ignored (edit: received a response today, one of those classic “Sorry you feel this way” non-apologies), wrote another furious letter to our condo board, put the wheels in motion to move out of this horribly mismanaged hole if this reno ever nears completion, and finally – finally! – had our new toilet installed on Friday afternoon.  The rest of our bathroom is within striking distance of being finished, but I’ve learned not to talk about this stuff too much, lest I absolutely jinx it.  So I’ll just be over here smooching my new toilet, as you do, because I’m just so happy that it’s here and it fits.

I also have a new Disney foodie video I published to our YouTube channel, Park or Perish!, all about yummy grub to grab at the Animal Kingdom, a mostly reno-friendly activity I’ve been pinning my sanity to in the absence of nail art or reading or just having two seconds to myself where I’m not besieged by filth, grumpy contractors or my own dumbass neighbours.  I love putting together these little videos.  Love how righteously ravenous they make me ever so slightly less, particularly when our kitchen is also out of commission, but the memories are nearly enough!  Enjoy!

Down, But Not Out

Snacks Collage

Goodest of mornings, friends, from the Reno Zone, population: still my husband and I!  But against all odds, we had a lovely long weekend – thanks in large part to the great, Fishbowl-enhanced time we had at the wedding of a couple of old friends (I’ve known the bride since grade 6!) – so despite the fact that everything is still quite torn up (you try navigating a floor full of ceramic tile clips at 3 am, especially if you’ve been drinking something called a Fishbowl!) we’re feeling slightly more optimistic about the renovations.  There’s even been appreciable progress made on the bathroom, and at the risk of jinxing things further (but really, could we get more jinxed?) we may have a semi-functioning bathroom by the end of the day.  Yup, totally jinxed it!

Cheryl's Wedding

But I haven’t been so out of it that I haven’t had a bit of time to work on another Fave Food of Disney video for our YouTube channel, Park or Perish! – need something to occupy my time whilst tiled into my livingroom for the next five to seven hours of adhesive-setting time (I now know far too much about ceramic tile adhesive and underlay materials – wasn’t exactly an area I felt I needed a lot of edu-ma-cating in, but I suppose it’s always nice to learn something new.)

And so here’s the five-minute result of all that time-wiling!  As always, I hope you enjoy this video and don’t become too fixated on some Disney nibble that’s only available at the Magic Kingdom for Five Days in May – that’s a Blue Rodeo joke, and one of my favourite songs – because that’s totally Disney’s jam.  But these snacks are available all the time, so, you know, just a hop, skip and a jump down to central Florida, no big. 😉  Thank you – always – for watching!

Bedlam

For all intents and purposes, this is a nail blog, but observant observers may have noticed that Finger Candy has been most bereft of actual nail art for quite some time now.  And that’s in part because I’m currently mired in a renovation hell of my own making that I’m beginning to think I may never emerge from?  What was to be a one-week job has now sprawled out into its third week, and our second full week of no plumbing.  Having (regrettably) lived with renovation-like activities for my entire life, I knew things were not going to proceed exactly as planned and to schedule, but I’m starting to feel quite twitchy about how long this has dragged out.  Maybe I’m just worn down by REPEATED eyefuls of my naked neighbours in the bathroom change room, which I visit on average about 10 times a day.  In their defence, that is what one does in a change room – get changed, which does require a temporary state of nudity.  The key word there, however, is TEMPORARY, so I really don’t get these broads that strut around with their everything out in the breeze, gabbing with their friends, washing their unmentionables in the single sink (WE HAVE LAUNDRY FACILITIES, YOU CHEAP OLD FREAKS, HERE’S A LOONIE FOR THE WASH SO YOU CAN REMOVE YOUR GUNGY OLD GIRDLE FROM THE SPOT WHERE I’M TRYING TO BRUSH MY TEETH) or maybe chatting me up in the mirror while I attempt not to look at anything with too much specificity.  I’m (Joker) smiling in this picture, but that’s just because my brain has broken and I’m two seconds from being hauled off to Arkham Asylum.

Change Room of Fear

And while I’ve already discussed the neighbours I walked in on the other evening boning in the sauna (did I mention that?  Well, they were, and I did, and I’m now horribly traumatized) I shall never speak a word about the bathroom-encompassing biohazard that greeted me at the beginning of the week, and which I think has been the deciding factor in us coming to the conclusion that when these renos are done, we’re moving.  Our neighbours are disgusting friggin’ savages, and I’ve got zippo desire to continue tying our financial futures to these animals.  I don’t even want to share a common wall with them.

Anyhow, while I was ripping out the floor, I tore off every single one of my nails on my good hand, so I’ve been living a nail art-less existence, as has this blog.  But until I return to my adventures in acetone, I thought maybe I’d lay out how this reno process has been not going for us, so if you’re contemplating any major renovations of your own, I can thoroughly dissuade you.  Please learn from my mistakes and frustrations – some good has to come of this.

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First, the major obstacle to these renovations (new bathroom and flooring throughout) has been the fact that we live in a condo apartment.  For those of you who may not be familiar with how condos work, they’re essentially buildings or communities in which you purchase a stake, said stake being your unit.  This is really no different than purchasing a home, and indeed, we own our apartment just like you own your house.  But we also have a financial responsibility to the community or the building as a whole for things like landscaping, maintenance and building management, and we pay for a portion of those items through monthly condo fees.  This is essentially what a person with a single family home would spend every month on maintaining their property.  That’s utter bullshit, of course – our condo fees are gigantic, and I highly doubt you spend nearly $900 every month on maintaining your home, because while your teenagers might be kinda gross and perhaps not the most respectful of your space, they’re not 2,000 disgusting stranger neighbours (“You haven’t met my teenage son,” you may be saying.  Fair enough!)

So owing to the quasi-communal nature of our living arrangements and the fact that financially, we’re really all in this together, there’s a lot of oversight to living in a condo.  As in the condo board will be up your ass every second of the day, as will your neighbours, who apparently don’t mind midnight sex parties in the sauna, but will rip your head off and rat you out to the board if you so much as allow the pizza delivery dude through the front door as opposed to the SERVICE ENTRANCE (yes, we have a service entrance, like we’re effin’ slave-owners over here.)

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More specifically to this renovation, we’ve had to jump through some Cirque du Soleil-level hoops to get everything from the work, to the materials, to the actual tradespeople themselves approved.  And we have jumped through their hoops, pushing the work back by about two weeks while we sought out all the necessary approvals.  But now that everyone in the building seemingly knows our business (news travels fast in a biddy-based building, let me tell you) I feel like we’re under the microscope.  Everyone’s watching us for that moment when we break the nit-picky rules and regulations (and it’s happening; the restrictions are cumbersome.)  Like, are you really giving me shit about the tilers lugging their stuff up in a non-service elevator when I can’t book the service elevator in the first place AND someone has turned the women’s room into an abattoir?  One of these things is not like the other.  So if you live in a condo and you’re contemplating renovations, first give some thought to the reasonableness of the condo board and its (your) policies.  Because while I’m in full agreement with any rules and regulations that make life easier for my neighbours, my neighbours are not extending me the same courtesy, and trying to renovate around that simply may not be worth it.

But if you’re mental like us and you’ve decided to jump in with both feet, the best piece of advice I’ve got for you is to split up the job(s).  We quite hopefully – naively – thought that the best way to approach this was to blitz it, which means our home has been completely torn up for three weeks now.  We have the use of the sink in our kitchen, but our appliances are unplugged and sitting out in the diningroom, and our bathroom currently looks like Bosnia.  All of our possessions are sitting in boxes on our balconies and any elevated surfaces I can find, and everything is filthy all the time.  We are camping in our own home, and this campsite is a nightmare.  Please gaze upon the state of my diningroom right this very moment:

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There’s just too much planned work going on in too small a space, and we’re tripping all over ourselves.  So while it may be tempting to say, “Yes, let’s get this done as quickly and efficiently as possible,” those are two descriptors that generally don’t apply to renos, so save yourself the hassle and break it up.

But really, at the end of the day?  Maybe just, you know, DON’T.  I was visiting with a friend the other day who’s contemplating some pretty major renovations to her house, and I do believe my tales of woe scared the living crap out of her.  She really likes her house and it’s a good fit for her family, but given the extent of the proposed work, I’d recommend that they just move.  But I’m ready to move to an entirely different solar system at this point, so (frustrated) grain of salt, yeah?

So in conclusion, class, what we learned today is that if you live in a condo and you’re contemplating renovations, your best bet is to take all your money, light it on fire and then slingshot yourself into the sun.  Problem solved. 😉  See you on the other side (of my sanity), peeps.

Loner

Loner Girl

Bored, fidgety, harbouring a gigantic crush on a sketchy English moppet and in possession of coloured greasepaint pencils – what could possibly go wrong here?

I’m seriously so obsessed with this Yungblud kid.  He’s got a twenty one pilots-by-way-of-Stone Roses kind of vibe going, with a pit stop at the three-way junction where My Chemical Romance, Oasis and a Hot Topic warehouse intersect.  He’s a bizarre little munchkin with too much hair, and I’m delighted to now be aware of both his existence and music – with Keith Flint of The Prodigy now off bouncing around the afterlife, I was in need of an inexplicable crush on a transient-looking Englishman in too much guyliner, and Yungblud is providing in SPADES.

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And when I’m obsessed, well, I kind of start to dress like them.  Already working out our Halloween costumes for this year’s Mickey’s Not So Scary.  Can’t wait to see Mr. Finger Candy in pink socks, creepers, chipped black nails and nine pounds of charcoal-coloured eyeshadow.  Um, actually, wait – YES, now that I think about it, I’d kind of like to see that hot ass look right NOW… 😉  I love rock star cosplaying at Disney – in a sea of Little Mermaids, it’s fun to be an Ursula.  If Ursula was into sketchy English yobs with insanity hair and a major set of crazy eyes.  Which she might be.  I mean, I don’t know her life.

But for right now, I’ll content myself with this test run on a Loner-esque look, complete with face paint and my best approximation of Yungblud’s batshit, gravity-defying coif (it’s like Robert Smith got his hair did by Edward Scissorhands.)  We’ll revisit this at Halloween – d’you know what I mean, yeah?

So Much Hairspray 2

Naked and Afraid: Reno Anecdote of the Day

No photos to accompany this little tale, but you’ll thank me for that shortly.  So, as I’ve mentioned a time or 80, we are undertaking some fairly major renovations in our condo apartment – new bathroom, new flooring throughout, so absolutely everything is torn up right now and we have no access to proper plumbing.  We do, however, live in a building with an indoor pool and attached change rooms, so we’re able to nip on down there when the nature need strikes.  We’re really, really fortunate in that regard – bathroom renovations are such a bitch, man.

But it’s somewhat difficult to plan a biological function that generally does not wish to be planned, which means Mr. Finger Candy and I have been running down to the change rooms at all hours of the day, including last night at a quarter to midnight when I walked in on two of my neighbours having sex in the change room sauna.  Had the two trashy perverts just stayed IN the sauna, I never would have seen them.  There’s a tiny little window notched in the wooden sauna door, and by principle, I never, ever look through that window, because I know what I’m most likely going to see – one of my very elderly neighbours sprawled out on a towel, schvitzing in the altogether.

But these two panicked when they heard me coming through the outer doors and tried to bolt for the pool doors, unsuccessfully.  That’s when I come around the corner and find the male half of the couple, equipment not remotely covered by his hands, frantically jigging across the change room while his lady screams, “THAT’S JUST MY HUSBAND!!!” at me.  Just?  Yes, sweetheart, I can now confirm that that is indeed “just” your husband and “just” his rapidly departing winky all up in my legitimate bathroom business at a quarter to freaking midnight on a weeknight (weeknight, weekend, it doesn’t really matter, but I guess whenever and wherever the urge strikes, huh?)  Although as I queried a friend this morning, who decides that the very best time and place to get yer freak on is a ladies room sauna in a condominium run by a bunch of uppity 80-year-olds at a quarter to midnight on a Thursday night?  Have some standards, people!  And please to be removing your nut sack from atop that wooden bench, thanks. 😦

Reno life, friends – I don’t recommend it!  Now I’m going to return to the mind-numbing task of just sitting here “supervising” the contractors, which is actually me joshing with the plumbers in between developing an intense, dirty old lady-ish crush on this 20-year-old British scuzzbag named Yungblud who looks like walking syphilis (this video for a song called 11 Minutes, featuring Halsey and Travis Barker, is INCREDIBLE; I miss the golden age of videos, and this one delivers.)  He’s got that real ugly/handsome, Adam Driver-esque thing going on, and I’m obsessed with staring at his interestingly imperfect face.  He’s also not a bad musician.  Seriously, 22 years my junior or no, I just want to haul him down to the change room, toss his sketch ass in the shower for a good de-lousing and then bang in the sauna.

Sorry for the TMI (did you really need to know that I want to jump some jailbait who looks like a chihuahua with its face smashed in?) but I also may be round-the-clock high on off-gassing flooring materials.  So you might be getting Extra Truthful Blogging Action Figure Sandra today.  Hmm, best scamper on out of here before I start pontificating on politics or something else that will get me in trouble.  Happy weekend, friends – may your change rooms be free of naked neighbours and your YouTube playlists filled with sketchy British musicians. 🙂