Monday, May 07, 2007

A hodge podge

1. Spring organization and whatnot
I've been on a house projects high lately. Last weekend, I painted my hallway. If you've been to my house, you know there is an abundance of wood paneling. I've been on a quest to minimize the abrasive wood paneling look and feel throughout the house, and I've been quite successful thus far. It's right homey and comfortable in here, if I do say-so myself.

The paneling is concentrated in the living room and the hall. The living room is really nice wood moulding, if you will. It is too much to paint, and quite frankly, if ever there was nice, tasteful wood paneling, this is it. It's not really "paneling", it's just that the walls are made of wood, kinda. Instead of painting the walls, I've simply and strategically covered the walls in artwork to bring the focus to things in the room other than the all-consuming wood paneling. I'm quite happy with the room now, but it has been a project for several years, gradual and meticulous. I don't walk in and feel like the room puked wood two seconds before I walked in anymore.

The hallway is half wallpaper, half wood paneling, with the wood paneling running along the bottom half of the wall on both sides of the hall. This was just asking to be painted. But it's taken months for me to decide on a paint color. I have tan carpet, and brown wood doors and door frames, with a neutral wallpaper lining the hallway. Tough to match with a fabulous color.

I chose a dark tan, with white edging. I liked it, but it was still a long, brown hall. So... I turned it into an art project. I chose a few strategic panels and painted them black. Just a few. Now it has some depth and character. It's good.

Of course, in the course of painting the hallway, I think I got more paint on myself than on the walls. I do this every time I paint. Fortunately I'm smart enough to put plastic all over the floor so that the paint only gets on me and not the carpet.

But (and this is not a lie) I found paint on me SUNDAY. A WEEK after I finished painting. And I swear I've taken like, 10 showers since last Sunday.

It's like I pour paint on the floor and roll around in it before I'm ready to get any paint on the walls. But I don't remember rolling around in the paint. It just secretly gets all over me after, like, 10 seconds of opening the can of paint.

2. This weekend I caught the organization bug. I spent some quality time in the Container Store, then I came home and attacked the garage and my home office. I find all of this extremely therapeutic.

During the cleaning of the garage, I dug out my tennis racket (from highschool), and my basketball (from junior highschool). These are the two sport in which I excelled.

In junior high I started on two basketball teams: the school team and the city league team. I was pretty much awesome. Then we moved to Texas where basketball in my area is not entirely unlike gang warfare and/or a gladiator type killing environment (both against rival teams and amongst teammates on the same team), so I opted not to pursue trying out for a new team in a new city and a new school. Too hardcore for the new girl to have a shot at making it on the team or making friends on the team.

I lettered in tennis in highschool the one year I was on the tennis team in 9th grade. Since basketball was not in my future, I joined the tennis team instead, in the new city at the new school. I was good, not great. But good enough to win some matches and earn a letter.

Before joining the team, I had never had anything more than a group tennis lesson when I was like, 7 years old or thereabouts. I watched a lot of tennis during my junior high years. I had posters on my wall of the super-hot, long-haired Andre Agassi, and I thought one day I could make a go of winning Wimbledon or something like that. But, I never took real lessons. I watched players on TV carefully. And I managed to work up a good enough imitation of a real tennis player to tryout and make the tennis team in highschool. I learn quickly when watching people, a talent that has paid off time and time again.

Basically, I was an amazing, untrained player. Untapped talent. Who knows how much of the world I could have conquered with nothing but a tennis racket and a tennis skirt. (I never wore a tennis skirt. I refused and went with shorts).

BUT, after 9th grade, due to time constraints, bad knees and a back injury (from my other career in music, which I'll explain later), I retired from professional highschool tennis and pursued my illustrious career as drum major for my highschool band.

Some days I regret that decision. After all, the guys are much hotter in the world of tennis as opposed to marching band. And when you win stuff in marching band, you don't get one of those giant silver cups to hoist over your head and kiss. That stuff would have been nice.

But I don't blame music for my choice, although I do blame music for my back injury. See, I was also in the jazz band in highschool. I played piano. The piano is a large, heavy instrument. And every afteroon that we had jazz band practice, I had to lug a piano out of a practice room, roll it down the hall, and set it in place in the rehearsal hall. Then after practice, I had to put it back from whence it came. Guys didn't often help me with this because being the strong, independent, leader of the band Drum Major that I was, the assumption seemed to be that I didn't need any help. I should have started making people run laps for NOT helping me with the piano, but I didn't think of it until just now. Only about 12 years too late.

So, with all the pulling and pushing on the giant piano, plus the strain on my shoulder muscles from the tennis and my killer serve, I came up with a back injury that put me out of tennis, and forced me to make guys push the piano around for me during year two of my jazz band career.

I later went to physical therapy for my back. After college. When I had a job that sat me at a computer all day and made the whole injury worse.

Anyway, all of that history is to say that yesterday as I dug out my tennis racket (which aside from needing a new grip, is in excellent shape), and my basketball from junior high (which totally still holds air, thank you very much), I spent the afternoon at a tennis court reliving my glory tennis days. Followed by some time on a basketball court reliving my glory basketball days.

And today, I feel pretty good. My back is not broken. My knees are in good shape. And ladies and gentlemen, should you think of challenging me in a tennis match, I will let you know that I still have it, including a pretty killer serve. I am still awesome.

I will blow you off the court. Either court. My Kareem hook shot is still rock-solid, too, I might add.

2. I also fixed up my bike this weekend, so now it's ready for me to get back on it. See, it's time for the Tyrant's spring exercise program to kick into gear because I've been pretty much immobile for the past 108 months, with the exception of yardwork for the past couple of months. And quite frankly, I look like I've been sitting on the couch eating cheese for 108 months.

No muscle tone, a weird gut that I've never had before (I'm the only one who knows it's there, but it's there), and I'm a lovely shade of pasty white.

I'm not hideous, by any means. But I miss the rockin' cycling body I had a couple of years ago when I was in training. I'm just too lazy to work that hard now. So if I can just get a bit of muscle tone back, lose the random phantom tummy pooch that only I can see, and get just a shade darker than "invalid pale", I'll be happy.

I exercised yesterday, which was Day One.

Today I am resting. I don't want to work TOO hard. All at once. I might break my back again...

3. I bought a new shower curtain for my Blue Loo and it has changed my life. I don't use that bathroom a ton, but I can't stop wandering in there to look at the difference a new shower curtain has made in my Blue Loo. It's amazing what $10 at Target can do for your soul.

4. I bought a new vaccuum cleaner a few months ago and I can't stop vaccuuming. It has one of those clear collecting chambers instead of a bag, so I can see the dirt actually getting sucked up out of the carpet. It's one of my new favorite hobbies. I find one thing on the carpet and I end up vaccuuming the whole house, just because it's fun. It's so fun to watch the cleaner fill up with what's in my carpet. And it makes my carpet look pretty much amazing.

5. I love to start my weekend with a freshly mowed yard. I tend to stare out at my yard a lot, or go out in the yard and stare at it. It's peaceful and calming, and it looks great right now from all the rain. I come home from work on Fridays and mow my yard so that it makes me happy all weekend, trim and neat and green and inviting.

6. Remember how I'm a nerd? Yeah this post pretty much proves it.


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