Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Christmas Time is Here

   The night started off with string lights. The night ended with blood and lube on the kitchen table. This is going to be anti-climactic.

   So I got it into my head this year that I was going balls to the wall on Christmas this year. New York is awash in twinkle and glitter from mid-November on so I came back from Thanksgiving ready to go. My Charlie Brown tree is adorable, but lacks omph. We need a big tree. Unfortunately, the whole dorm aspect rears its head again. Even if we could have them (despite fire hazard/buggy concerns), my roommates and I don't have space for a tree; the only spot that's not less than 4-5 feet wide is directly in front of our bathroom door.

   So obviously, the solution was to go flat. I went to Home Depot this weekend to help my dad and drool over the 20V DeWalt drills and spotted these hooks.

   Tiny. Good for hanging lights. Hmm.

   I remembered that A Merry Mishap made a really cool Christmas tree out of string lights a while back (here) and I thought that might be the solution. More interesting than a decal/construction paper and I could re-use the lights. Sold.

   The second step, of course, was to go back to Home Depot when I got back to Manhattan because I forgot to get lights the first time. Check it:

   I cannot tell you how excited I was. I was all set to post this and go I BOUGHT A BILLION LIGHTS FOR FOUR DOLLARS YOU ARE KIDDING ME SUCK IT DUANE READE. But if you pull the sucker move of actually reading the price sticker then you'll see that $3.12 is the price price a) clear lights b) only 100 of them c) definitely not the lights I actually wanted. So I ended up paying like $10, which is still really good, okay?

   When I got home I was planning on roping my friend Lindsay into helping me string them up, as she's been crashing with me for a couple of days. Unfortunately, she had some excuse about "being at the library" and "not failing my senior thesis class." Sure, whatever, Grinch.

   My roommate Katy helped my sitting at the kitchen table, reading things on the internet and occasionally saying nice things when I decided to lay down on the floor.

   So first thing you want to do is made a big triangle on the wall with a pencil. A straight-edge is helpful but I don't have one of those. I do have this art however:

My room doesn't look like this anymore.

    Draw some lines with the edge of your anatomy art. Don't take pictures, that requires three hands.

   I had to start my lights by plugging them in at the only outlet in our common area, which is directly behind the kitchen table. After plugging it in and stringing it around a door, I put some little hooks on the bottom  and and started to zig-zag the lights, adding hooks as I went.

   Then I got frustrated when hooks started falling off  all willy-nilly and vaguely remembered something about pressing Command hooks into the wall for 30 seconds and stopped to read the back of the package. Shit. You're also supposed to let them sit for an hour. I threw my one-by-one plan out the window, put all of my hooks up at once and gave them the span of an episode of Arrested Development to set until I went light crazy again.

   None of the hooks have fallen down again and it's almost been 24 hours, so I'm going to go ahead and say that's the right amount of time.I strung more lights, and ended up with this.

   I was...okay with it. But the left side didn't have the same line the right did, the the "trunk" going off to the framed doorway looked slapdash. That's right around the time Lindsay came home with chocolate milk, red food coloring, a Ziploc bag of hand sanitizer, and hair gel and asked if she could use the lube in my RA stash bag of condoms for the residents. All the ingredients for making props blood.

   I whined about the tree for a little bit, we tweaked and now I'm pretty happy, despite the zig-zags in the string itself (they'll be gone next year when I can roll and train them properly, ugh).

   I don't like that the doorway asymmetrical and not framed, but the tree is an actual triangle shape now and when we decide on a star it will look like it's shooting out a stream of wonderful lights. No trunk either, but I am eyeing wood wrapping paper at The Container Store that I know I shouldn't, but probably will buy.
   And one with the lights on, just for kicks:

With that settled, I helped Lindsay make the blood for her props class, and testing the water v. gel qualities of different packs of lube. 

   Do you hear a ring ting tingling? I do.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

In the beginning, there was a Michael's receipt

Hey guys. Grab a seat. Not on that soap box, that's mine. Listen to the tale of how I've ended up at the sad, sad point that I'm at in my life: starting a shelter blog (with minimal shelter).

So over the past couple of years, I've gotten really into interior decorating, (really, reading about interior decorating- I'd always had interest in the actual practice) after stumbling onto Apartment Therapy via some research on apartment rentals. My interest surprised me at first, but thinking back, the pieces add up. In short: insomniac little girl who reorganizes DVDs and bookcases becomes creative writer at arts high school, renowned mainly writing goofy humor columns, then moves to NYC for college and flips the bird to her high school sweetheart, English Lit, while hopping on the back of Technical Theatre's motorcycle and riding off into the sunset. End run-on sentence before presumed life-long unemployment.

Are you effing kidding me where's the stuff about DIY and making knock-off West Elm pendant lights out of egg cartons, and EAMES SHELL CHAIRS?

Calm down, this blog will mostly be about not my past, but my present fails. So here's the deal: currently, I don't actually have a place of residence where I can change like, anything. Daniel Kanter always has very funny spiels about how people who say they can't do anything to their apartments are dirty liars, and he's pretty much right. Except: I live in a dorm. Yikes. I'm even a Resident Adviser so rule-breaking is uber-forbidden, because I'll get fired.

But, but, but: I'm planning on getting a place (with roommates) sometime in the summer. Originally, I was going to start this blog then. However, my good friend Lindsay suggested I start it now: "Think of how cool it would have been to read a blog with tips on how to decorate in a dorm!" Plus, I could always use another creative outlet.*

*Thing that makes me procrastinate.