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!

Muffin – and Teenage Boy – Madness

Muffin Madness 2

A breathtakingly stupid story from my youth forms the basis for these scrumptious-looking nails that pay homage to the mighty manicured muffin!

So it was round about the end of high school when a friend fell in temporary infatuation with a cute boy from another school we used to pal around with (I defy you to call it anything other than temporary when the boy in question wears an upside down bookkeeper’s visor unironically.)  There was a big party coming up, and it was pretty well expected that it would be during this soiree that they would declare their feelings for one another in all manner of debauched Hughesian awkwardness.

But because teenagers are generally giant tools, the very first thing they did upon arriving at the party was to furiously ignore one another, my friend seeking solace in some girl talk, with Upside Down Visor doing likewise.  With another girl.  And a whole lot of public groping.  Real party killer, that.  Also the end of any flirtation between my friend and Teenage Dirtbag.

Anyhow, some time later my friend and Upside Down Visor once again found themselves at the same party, and she asked him what had happened that night – it hadn’t been her imagination, right, there was maybe something there between them?  Why the stupid freeze-out?

Oh no, he confirmed, there was definitely something there; he actually liked her a lot.  But here was the deal – and then he launched into THE dumbest explanation of the romantic-existential dilemma I have EVER heard.  Seriously, this happened nearly 20 years ago and I still admire the balls-out stupidity of this guy.  Allow me to throw it to straight dialogue:

Upside Down Visor (UDV): Okay, so it’s like this.  What’s your favourite food?

My Friend (Friend): Muffins.

UDV: What kind do you like best?

Friend: Chocolate chip.

UDV: And after chocolate chip?

Friend: Blueberry.

UDV: Okay, so let’s say you go to the bakery and there’s two kinds of muffins there, chocolate chip and blueberry.  You want the chocolate chip muffin the most, but it’s been, like, sitting out for days and it’s gone all crusty and stale and it has this weird mold starting to grow on top.  But then beside it there’s the blueberry muffin, and it’s all warm from the oven and tender and buttery and ready to be eaten………like, seriously, which would you pick?!

Friend: You’re an idiot.

And scene.

And so here we have chocolate chip and blueberry muffin nail art.  I like both interpretations equally, but in the immortal words of UDV, like, seriously, which would you pick?!  Such decisions. 😉

Muffin Madness 1

Celebration Nails

Celebration Nails

And what are we celebrating on this fine April Fool’s Day?  My impending fourth decade of existence, in a couple weeks’ time, and that’s unfortunately no joke.  Nobody likes getting older, except maybe six-year-olds. But tonight I’m going out with friends to celebrate in advance like adults, with roast beast by candlelight and something brown and bracing in a rocks glass.  Seeing as I need a pretty manicure for that (or would merely like one) I think these eye-catching, colour-shifting nails will suffice!

Center Stage

center-stage-fingers

These ballet slipper nails – three traditional pink, one the shade of sultry, heathen independence! – are for one of my oldest and dearest friends, who is one of my oldest and dearest friends precisely because she shares my love of ultra cheesy ’90s ballet movie, Center Stage.  There are, of course, other reasons we’ve been in each other’s lives going on 25 years now (oh. my. lord.) but mostly it’s just Center Stage.  Jodie Sawyer’s shitty turnout and desperation cookies are the glue that holds our friendship together. 😉

Also the completely awesome mini ballet that closes out the film, wherein Jodie, who has spent the movie embroiled in a love triangle with her sexy rebel teacher and a cute classmate, throws off the shackles of spurned and unrequited love and JUST DANCES THE SHIT OUT OF IT!  And somehow pulls off an ON STAGE quick change, going from a pink tights-and-pastels costume to a sparkly red number, complete with blood red lips, elaborately knotted hair ribbons and the devil’s toe shoes, in the span of about 10 seconds. Dance movie magic at its finest!

Fall Fun Series: Kidnap the Sandy Claws

nbc-globe-front

Owing to some technomalogical difficulties that kept me off the computer for the majority of the weekend, I’m now playing catch-up on two different challenge fronts. Today’s post in the Fall Fun Series was supposed to be about performing a random act of kindness, but I figure I’ve got that one sorted – not ripping the Wifi installer’s head clean off his shoulders with my searing hot rhetoric when we had entered day two of no service was absolutely an act of kindness on my part.

So as it pertains to the Fall Fun Series, I’m back on Friday’s prompt of my favourite Fall thing, which in my case is both a favoured seasonal item, and an all-the-time cherished possession, my Nightmare Before Christmas musical snow globe.

The globe, which depicts Santa being hauled off to Oogie Boogie by some of the residents of Halloween Town, was a wedding gift from dear friends, and as Julie Andrews herself might trill, it really is one of my very favourite things.  Despite weighing about 60 skull-crushing pounds (it’s a decorative murder weapon!) and being as delicate as the wings of a fruit fly (the first – and only – time we moved it, slim, spindly Jack broke clean in two right at his waist) the globe sits out all the time on the second shelf of the diningroom sideboard. Then, depending on whether my table has been overtaken by MY Halloween Town or not, I’ll move it over as a fabulous, dust-collecting musical centrepiece for the Fall (it plays a cute, jangly version of This is Halloween, and I wasn’t kidding about the dust either – it took me an hour yesterday with cotton swabs, glass cleaner, a soft toothbrush and two cans of compressed air to blow the dust out of Jack and Sally’s nooks and crannies – oh my!)

nbc-collage

Okay, so the globe is a heavy, dusty, sneeze-on-it-and-you’ll-destroy-it possible murder weapon.  No matter, I love it.  Oh, how I love it!  And not just because it’s gorgeous and conjures up all sorts of warm and fuzzy memories about my Halloween wedding, but because it reminds me of the kindness of our friends, who cared enough about us to seek out such a unique and thoughtful gift.  It makes me happy every time I look at it (which is often, given its prime real estate in my apartment), and that’s the definition of a favourite thing, no matter the season. 🙂

nbc-globe-back

Hello Skincare!

Another Kitty Collage

Years ago a friend gave me these Hello Kitty skincare products she picked up on her travels with the exact same instructions she gave me when she once gifted me with a bottle of bacon-flavoured soda – “DO NOT actually use this!  Just look at it!”  Sage advice on the soda AND the skincare products – the wash/toner/lotion trio is of the whitening variety, and if there’s anything this Celtic hide don’t need, it’s additional whitening (seriously, please stop bleaching yourselves, folks, and I say that as a girl who once rubbed lemon juice all over her arms and then sat out in the sun to bleach her freckles.  Know what happened?  Citric acid burns on top of a sunburn, that’s what.)

So I most likely will not use these products (maybe the sheet masks, although I note that the expiration dates on both have already passed) but, per my friend’s advice, we can all still certainly take a peek AT them, right? Right we are!

Kitty Mask Collage.jpg

The sheet masks are adorable, but what else do you expect from something branded to Hello Kitty?  I’m fairly certain that cat doesn’t know how to do anything BUT adorable. I’ve never used a sheet mask before – I’m an old school, mud-in-a-pot masker.  I’m curious to see how they will perform (and yes, looks like I’ve decided I am going to be using those masks after all, expiration dates be damned!)  I really sort of hope the results are as depicted on the back of the larger of the two masks, because it looks like Kitty got her paws into the REAL good stuff!

Strung Out Kitty Instructions

I like to think the four-part instructions, which I of course cannot decipher but for their pictograms, go as follows:

  1. Look like a bag of cat ass?
  2. Feel like a bag of cat ass?
  3. Put on this mask and join the Purge!
  4. Then you will be totally strung-out.

For real, this cat looks like she’s an extra in the next Purge movie, The Purge: Say Hello to My Little Kitty.

The whitening trio is super cute – love the iridescent sheen on the little tubes – and I’m already getting great use out of the zip-top makeup bag, but I think the contents are going to stay right where they are.  I have no desire to suffer a chemical burn from past-due bleaching products.  Safety first, cuteness second. 😉

White Kitty Collage

 

Mosquito Ghost

Mosquito Ghost

All right, who’s up for a real life ghost story to kick off the work week?  Hopefully you guys, because it’s a real doozy (not mine, although it never fails to give ME chills.)  I also HAD to use the punny title of Mosquito Ghost, a play on the title of the 1986 Harrison Ford movie Mosquito Coast – ’twas far too good a fit; I couldn’t just leave it laying there.  The less we say about the nail art, the better (“Nice bee?” asked my husband.)  Now on with the thrills and chills!

*Dims lights and jams flashlight under chin at classic “monster lighting” angle*

Somewhere around the late ’90s, early 2000s a friend of mine and one of her friends traveled to Ghana for a holiday/educational trip.  One night they found themselves staying in a somewhat remote camp comprised of a jumble of little cabins.  It was on the porch of one of these cabins that they found themselves chatting with a couple of local men some hours later who stopped by for a brief natter.  The interaction was a totally innocuous one, just traveler types swapping stories, and the men were on their way with smiles and waves within the hour, but all the same, my friends were suddenly very aware of WHAT they were – namely, white females travelling alone in a remote part of a foreign country after dark.  Maybe time to go inside, lock the doors and call it a night.

But before hitting the hay, my friends went about the cabin locking the wooden shutters from inside, throwing the lock on the door and pushing various obstacles in front of both the windows and the door.  Finally, after crawling into their shared double bed, my friend tended to the most important part of any Ghanaian traveler’s pre-bedtime routine, the hanging of the malaria netting.  On this point my friend conceded that she was pretty OCD, having adapted a unique (but slow and fussy) method for hanging and tucking the netting from another traveler friend.  I said she could – and probably should – be as OCD as she wanted about malaria netting – strikes me as one of those places you shouldn’t be cutting corners.  Then, with the evening’s origami activities all played out, my friends said goodnight, turned out the lights and drifted off to sleep.

At some point in the evening my friend suddenly snapped awake, most likely roused by the sound of her travelling companion’s rhythmic snoring, which was coming from the far side of the bed, her body turned towards the wall.  But if her friend was on the other side of the bed snoring into the wall, then who exactly was laying directly against MY friend’s back?

Rolling partway over, my friend glanced behind her and noted her friend, still turned towards the wall, blissfully sawing away, and then, laying between them on his back, a Ghanaian man, fully clothed, eyes closed, hands resting gently on his chest.  Figuring that this was some sort of half asleep/half awake confluence of middle-of-the-night fears exacerbated by the previous evening’s scare, my friend shrugged it off, rolled over and immediately fell right back asleep.

The next morning she awoke to find her friend already sitting up in bed, distractedly rubbing the sleep from her eyes and staring fixedly down at the space on the mattress between them.  Her friend then uttered a wild, disbelieving laugh and said, “Oh man, I slept like total crap last night.  I had this dream that I woke up and you were still asleep, but there was a man sleeping on his back in between us.  He didn’t move or anything, though, and after a bit I just fell back asleep again.  But it really freaked me out.”

And it freaked her out even more when MY friend relayed her nearly identical experience, right down to the clothes the man was wearing and the position of his hands on his chest. Feeling overwhelmingly confused and terrified, my friends suddenly realized they hadn’t experienced some sort of tandem nightmare.  Rather, a man had entered their cabin in the dead of night and, what, SLEPT between them?  Whatever it was, it seemed to be a fairly “innocent” interaction, but a violation of their safety, trust and privacy all the same. They could not get out of there fast enough.

That’s when they peered out through the gauze of the mosquito netting and saw that everything in the room was exactly as they had left it the night before.  The windows were all still locked and shuttered from the inside, and the door was both locked and blocked. There wasn’t a single item out of place, the cabin just as neatly buttoned up as it was when they crawled into bed and installed their netting.  And on that point, my friend’s netting, an origami-like arrangement pretty well unique to her and her alone, was completely undisturbed, still neatly tucked and folded into the mattress…from within the bed.

*Ghanaian ghost mic drop*

So what do you think, friends – ghost or pervert?  Because I can tell you which option my friends preferred, and not too surprisingly, it was the more supernatural of the two! Personally, I like to think the sleepy ghost man saw his opportunity to innocently bunk down – literally – with a couple of cool girls for the night.  It probably gets pretty lonely being a ghost trapped in a cruddy cabin in Ghana; I’d go looking for somebody (or somebodies) to lay beside every now and then, too.

Alternately, he died of malaria and was just in total awe of my friend’s prowess at hanging a mosquito net.  One of these options is slightly more romantic than the other.