Friday, August 26, 2011

Why aren't you following me? (sniff, sniff)

I have a Facebook page, Tamara Kells, The Brunette Lucy. Don't forget to go over there & "like" me. You'll be updated when my latest article gets posted as too often, it takes me a while to put it over here. 

As I was thinking about writing this, I remembered this post I wrote over a year ago. I thought it was worth re-posting as it's every bit as true now as it was then!


I started this blog, not really knowing why. I’m a complete moron when it comes to all things technical. But, my husband, Matt, said it’s the thing to do. So, I just do what I’m told.

Then, I got a “twitter” account on accident. I was trying to get in touch with the editor at the Inquirer. Since my article appeared there a while back, the head muckety mucks have changed. Well, he doesn’t post his email online. Instead, he has a link to his twitter thingy. I follow the link, & find out that I have to create an account to write to him. So, of course, I do what I’m told & did it.

THEN, & I really don’t know how this stuff happens, I get an email saying that Gavin Newsom is following me. Following me where?? Anywho, I look into who this guy is & it turns out, he’s the mayor of San Francisco. Ok, I personally didn’t have that little tidbit of information – Michele told me. Thank God for good friends!

Next thing I know, some guy named Dave Peck is following me. What am I; the Pied Piper?? I have no clue who that guy is, except that it appears he has some talk show on the radio. How in the world did these folks find me?

All this leads to a conversation our family had about blogs & twitters while on the way to eat (ooh, ask me about the Chinese buffet we went to! Holy cow, they had everything under the sun to eat & we went there because for some reason both the girls decided to give up meat for Lent which is making me crazy especially since right before they announced their plan, I bought a bunch of meat that was on sale & now I have a freezer full of beef I can’t cook. Um, probably another rant. I’ll stop).

Honestly, I can’t believe that this is where the English language is going. But I digress. I’m supposed to network through twitter to link to my blog, then get people to follow my blog, especially if they’re twitter people, because it’s supposedly the new “thing” to do, but “netiquette” requires me to then link to their blogs & twitters & follow them around. At this point, I got lost in the conversation. How do I link, why do I care, & why don’t people get paranoid when strangers are “following” them? Could I lead them off a cliff or something? It seems like a rather large responsibility to entrust to an idiot.

Matt then summed up, kind of, how folks link to bunches of people. Apparently, they can throw out a virtual net & get a bunch of people on their “followers” twitter home page. Don’t ask me for particulars – I zoned out during the explanation. I have no clue why people link, follow, twitter & blog. I’ll leave all that technical stuff up to Matt. I just do what I’m told. 

OK, it's time for you to head over to my Facebook page & start following me around. Go. No, really, shoo. Off with you; go let me know that you like me, you really like me!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

I Don't Think So, Tim

Here's my homage to men and home improvement. It ran this past weekend.

Do you remember a popular television show that ran in the nineties, “Home Improvement”? Tim Allen's character (Tim the Tool Man) was a home improvement television show host who was fond of grunting like a pig when he was in the presence of power tools. He also bumbled almost every project he laid his hands on. He'd often invite his sidekick, Al, to help him do something foolish, causing Al to say, “I don't think so, Tim” on a somewhat regular basis.

Many people watched the show and laughed, not realizing how accurate Tim's portrayal of a man (and possibly some women) can be when home improvement is involved. I was reminded of it when Matt wanted to take on tiling our kitchen floor.

Normally, going shopping with him is as enjoyable as having a root canal without pain medicine. But once he stepped inside the doors at Home Depot, he seemed to become a different person. His eyes glazed over, and he looked as if he'd just witnessed Moses parting the Red Sea.

I wish whatever it is they're pumping through the ventilation system at Home Depot could be shared with the grocery store and malls. I could actually enjoy shopping with Matt. Sadly, it seems to be non-transferable.

He gently coaxed a bright orange cart out of its corral, and walked reverently through the brightly lit store, occasionally stopping to pick up some gadget or another. As he held it in his hand, he grunted in obvious approval.

We finally managed to get to the tile area; of course, not without stopping to marvel at a variety of tools and gadgets whose use was lost on me. The happy grunting continued.

Little did I know that there would be so many tiles to choose from; nor did I know about the cornucopia of tools that would be required to do the job. I was actually able to decide which tile I liked well before Matt was finished shopping for the necessary equipment.

That was something that had never happened before in our married life; me picking anything out before he was ready to bolt for the door.

He picked up what looked like a bacon press to me, but I was wrong. It was a notched trowel, used to spread something called grout. Apparently, we also needed spacers, a float, sponges, nippers, sealers, and the list went on.

We also needed what looked like an over grown pumice stone to me, but it turned out to be a grit sanding and rubbing stone. I'm glad I found that out before I tried to use it on my fingernails.

When I finally managed to get him out of the store (which seemed to take hours), we came home and he set about tiling the kitchen floor. I could have sworn I heard him making more happy grunting noises. Unfortunately, hours later, we needed a few more tiles, and Matt asked if I'd like to come along to get them.

And that's when I said, “I don't think so, Tim”.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Don't forget; if you want to be cool like all your friends, "like" me on Facebook. Or start a trend & like me before your unenlightened friends do!

Furnishing your house through the years

When you're single and you get your first apartment, half the fun is decorating it. And if you're anything like me, money was tight so decorations and furnishings were often purchased at the thrift store, or you made do with hand-me-downs. You also get really creative, which translates to not being very picky.
For example, I needed a table to eat on that wasn't collapsible and meant for television viewing. I spied one of those huge electrical spools behind a factory and asked if I could buy it. Luckily, they took pity on me and gave it to me. With a table cloth that I purchased at the Salvation Army and some folding chairs, I had my first dining room set.
Bare walls were not a problem. I had a large collection of hand held fans and tacked them to the wall in between large posters of Def Leppard and Pat Benatar - attached by scotch tape.
Then when Matt and I first got married, we had to mingle our meager furnishings. Unfortunately, his art consisted of neon signs for various brands of beer and other such bar room décor. Since I wasn't particularly enamored by having maidens wearing low-cut blouses carrying mass quantities of beer on my wall, we had the talk.
I explained to him that while those were probably awesome in a bachelor pad, it was a little frowned upon in married couples' homes. I didn't, however, tell him that the folks who were frowning upon his collection were my friends and family. His friends still thought they were awesome, and his parents had, by all accounts, given up on his taste in most departments.
Being a good guy, he agreed to store the scantily clad maidens. However, he really, really liked those other neon beer signs. And I really, really hated them.
Noting that the majority of his bar room décor was in bright, primary colors, I promptly purchased pastel curtains and painted the walls in a warm cream color. That backfired on me, though, when Matt came home and thought the combination looked amazing. I was at my wit's end.
Then the weirdest thing happened, a poltergeist moved in. Neon beer signs kept falling off the wall and breaking into little pieces. Surprisingly, all the acceptable decorations were left intact.
Not wanting the rest of his beloved wall art to fall prey to the ghost, Matt reluctantly packed up the remaining neon signs, and carried them to the thrift store. The poltergeist must have moved on, as there were no further incidents.
After we'd been married for a little while, we were able to purchase much better furniture, but only because of Matt's generous uncle Warren. Uncle Warren owns a furniture store, and he gave things to us for his cost. He's awesome that way.
We got our first real dining table – complete with chairs that didn't fold up. We also purchased an overstuffed light beige couch with a matching La-Z-Boy recliner. Or should I say, Matt's La-Z-Boy recliner. I think I sat in it once, but I can't be sure it wasn't a dream or wishful thinking.
I sought better wall decorations, and instead of posters hanging from our walls, we had framed posters.
I carried over our new sophisticated tastes to the kitchen. I purchased new silverware, new stoneware dinner sets, glasses for every type of drink known to man, and even a few kitchen appliances. I was so happy.
When folks would come to our house, I'd offer them a drink in one of our brand-new glasses. I also wielded coasters quicker than a ninja - it would be under your glass as soon as it left your mouth. I took great pride in setting a beautiful table with our new stoneware and perfectly pressed tablecloth.
Then we had kids, a dog and a cat. Things were about to change.
That beautiful cream-colored couch was liberally doused with Kool-Aid stains, mingled with jelly, chocolate ice cream and a myriad of other stains. I tried to do damage control, and bought a throw cloth to cover it.
Which was promptly doused with Kool-Aid.
The carpet that I so lovingly vacuumed and shampooed was covered with dog and cat hair. It also shared the same fate as the couch; embellished with a dizzying array of splotches and embedded with graham cracker crumbs.
My coffee table had enough water stains to qualify as abstract art.
It's a good thing I knew where my refrigerator was. It was covered in crayon drawings and colorful, magnetic ABC letters. For that matter, most of my wall art was drawn by one of my kids. And if I'm being honest, some of the walls themselves sported murals drawn by them.
I began to notice that grown up things were disappearing. My kitchen cupboards were now filled with jelly jars and sippy cups, mingled in with my beautiful (and dwindling) stemware. Baby bottles occupied the cupboard that used to house the wine glasses and my silverware drawer now held more plastic spoons with cartoon figures on them than actual cutlery. If I needed a steak knife, or really any knife that had the ability to cut through more than bread, I had to go next door to borrow one from the neighbor.
Remember those pricey stoneware dishes? I think I have three left - sandwiched between warped, brightly colored plastic plates. To this day, I doubt I could put a complete dinnerware service for two together without some type of Disney character smiling back at me.
I'm so used to eating out of mismatched dishes that once, before I had my cup of coffee, I grabbed a bowl out of the sink. I rinsed it, and poured my Cheerios, sugar and milk. As I ate, I noticed a slightly off taste. I couldn't place what that somewhat meaty taste was.
That's when I realized I was eating out of a dog dish that had been put in the sink to be washed.
And when did we install those child safety locks? If I needed something in a hurry, I'd have to remember all the steps to bypass their intricate security system. Launching the space shuttle would be easier.
As the kids got older, I began to think I could once again buy stoneware that had an actual pattern instead of primary colors. I even entertained the idea of buying another cream-colored couch.
That was before the kids had parties and I learned that cheese curls stain worse than Kool-Aid.
Oh, well, in the future, my kids will be out and furnishing their own apartments with hand-me-downs and posters taped to the wall. I can always get my cream-colored couch and maybe a new set of dishes when that happens.
No more eating out of a "Sponge Bob Squarepants" bowl and drinking from a "Toy Story" cup for me! I can also throw away all those sippy cups with an adorable Simba, the "Lion King" grinning at me. And boy, will I miss it.
Bring on the grand-kids!

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy

The Curious Case of the Brunette Lucy
She was pretty dumb.