No Animals Were Harmed In the Creation of this Blog Entry

It’s July 13th, 1:00pm. The Bike is strapped into the back of the Ugly Truck as well as boys’ bikes, tents, camp stove, and other assorted torture camping paraphernalia. Our whole family is crammed into the cab, sitting four across the bench seat and the boys are sharing the middle seatbelt. The dog is also with us and is so excited she is alternately jumping from my lap to Hunk’s lap and back again and VIBRATING. I turn to Hunky and announce, “We ARE the Clampetts Go To Maui”. The truth hurts sometimes, folks.
The boys really enjoyed themselves. There was bike riding, and dirt, and new kids, and tents, and more dirt, and McDonald’s THREE TIMES. Ugh. My Great Idea of not packing any food and just buying it at the local grocery store, upon theory, was sound. But at 7:00am, after realizing at 12:30am that the cigarette lighter wasn’t working ERGO the mattress was rendered impotent, one doesn’t go grocery shopping. One hits the drive-through. Then, a few hours later, one doesn’t go grocery shopping, one takes a Much Needed Nap. McDonald’s. Three times. Ugh. My colon is still recuperating.
Elli digs camping. Of course it being a little chilly at night, she insisted upon sleeping IN the sleeping bag; and of course me being a huge pushover and confronted with her very best sad face complete with intermittent shivering, burrowing inside the sleeping was permitted. It helped her case that my feet were cold and she’s like a heater unto herself.
On the way home, what should have been a three hour tour turned into a five hour mobile sauna. Traffic was at a standstill for quite a while, and pressed for entertainment to divert our attention away from the absence of air conditioning, we started naming neighboring vehicles. Mr. Hunnert- Grand- Mobile RV cut off Mr. Motocross- Vacation and incited some road rage, and Ms. Eighties Hair, oblivious to the drama, carried out her entire makeup routine while she waited for traffic to pick back up. Ms. Hair- Twirler had a barking rat mini-chihuahua hopping from front to back to front to back to (well, in perpetuity) and Ms. RV- Bigger- Than- My- House let her huge black lab out of the camper to take a huge… well, I’ll spare you the details, but I had to cover the children’s eyes lest they be scarred for life.
Only Elli didn’t let the heat and boredom dampen her spirits. She greeted and charmed the pants off every person in vehicles in a 20 feet radius around us.

Notice the harness? This is the best thing you can buy for an exuberant ADD-addled Jack Russell Terrier. Very often only my white knuckled hand looped through the harness kept Elli from tumbling out the window to certain death. In her estimation, if her head stuck out the window is enjoyable, then her entire body stuck out the window is exhilarant and not at all death-defying. She is a furry toddler, completely fearless, ten feet tall and bulletproof.

In other news, I’ve moved back into the office even though the curtains have not been started. I just couldn’t stand having my house throw-up anymore. I had company coming on Friday, and desperate measures had to be taken. I’ve moved everything back into the office, but have not yet organized and put away everything. My To Do or Die List has got to be prioritized. Today it is clean the litterbox (check), email requesting project estimates (check), sweep and mop kitchen floor, spend one hour folding laundry, and send out three resumes (have to burn a portfolio CD for each). I’ve also promised the children I’d put up the tent in the backyard for them to play camping. I was going to put up both tents, but they ruined that with an immediate heated verbal altercation concerning who was not going into whose tent, that which would rival the the Quayle-Benson vice-presidential debate. It was promptly squashed soundly by my mommyencial pronouncement that There Here and Forthwith Will Be One Tent Raised Not Two.

I’ve taken the freelance graphic design business idea beyond “yeah, right” into “maybe I could actually do this”. What the hell? What better time to try to make this fly than when I’m collecting unemployment and seeking a “real” job anyway? I got on Amazon and splurged $60 on pipe-dream-encouraging literature such as

  • 1 of: Graphic Artists Guild Handbook: Pricing & Ethical Guidelines (Graphic Artists Guild Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines)
  • 1 of: Self-Promotion for the Creative Person: Get the Word Out About Who You Are and What You Do
  • 1 of: Starting Your Career as a Freelance Illustrator or Graphic Designer
  • 1 of: Business and Legal Forms for Graphic Designers (3rd Edition)

I’m made it all the way through “Starting your Career…” and halfway through “Self Promotion…” and I still think I could totally pull this off if I don’t let me get me. I am my own worst critic and no one else than yours truly is better at psyching me out, trash-talkin’ me, and self-sabotaging. Goodness, I’m just two more psychobabble terms away from “Codependant No More”. Yikes. (The other two books aren’t reading material so much as tools to use when it’s time to cross that bridge when we come to it). I’m going to get out the Bryan Dodge DVDs that The Seester loaned me and set up the “You Go, Me!!!” cheerleaders only section in my living room. I have a meeting with a client tonight about some posters I’m doing for him. I met with him last Thursday night and had sketches and estimates from the printer emailed to him by Friday 5pm, and on Sunday he requested a meeting with me tonight. I don’t know whether this is a Good Thing or a Bad Thing. One of my school textbooks advised, “Graphic designers must have hard hats and thick skins”. This is all too true.

I have made a submission to icanhascheeseburger. It has not yet made it to the voting page, but I’ll let you know when it does so I can shamelessly bribe you for votes. 🙂
On that note, I bid you a fond adieu.

Rip it, roll it, and punch it, dude.

progress (somewhat)

The painting is finished. The trimwork is all stripped and sanded. Last night I got all trimwork except the one high window put pre-conditioner and one coat of stain. I really like the color of paint I chose, it was uncharacteristically brave of me. I eshewed the safe “realtor beige” for a toffee color that I pulled from the material for the curtains. And the hideous mural is gone! BUT. (There is always a but.) I am very disappointed in the way the trim turned out. After I stripped it, I was surprised by how bad a shape it was in, but I thought the stain would cover more than it did. The nail holes I filled with stainable filler and the gouges that were too deep to sand out stick out like a five dollar hooker on Rodeo Drive. The Hunk took a look at it and says it Adds Character. I say it Looks Dumb. But I’ll lightly sand with steel wool and put on the second coat of stain and re-evaluate. If I still hate it, I’ll paint it the color of the cream in the material in the curtains. But that means a few more hours my house is a mess and my husband is surly. And I still have a lot on my To Do List that is very pressing, such as updating my website. I sent out three resumes yesterday so potential employers could be checking it out soon. My Me page still says that I work at A and none of my real world work is on my portfolio page. Yikes! My house is a mess too. *sigh*

That pic of Elli was taken right after she sat in the paint pan! I gave her a bath and it came out pretty easy.

Rip it roll it and punch it, dude.

What the hell was I thinking?!

I’m blogging this from my phone bcus my computer is partly in the living room and partly in my bedroom. Why? This weekend I got a bug up my butt and started cleaning the Bottomless Pit That Is My Office. I was wiping down the baseboards and some gouges in the wood told me that there were three coats of paint and/or varnish adorning them. And that Elvis is alive in Uganda. Anyway. So then I get to thinking. See that ugly mural? When I moved in almost four years ago, I said “That has got to go. STAT.” So apparently Stat means in almost four years. I decided to paint. And strip and stain the trimwork. AND make curtains. I went to walfart and walked out $150 lighter, but with drop cloths, stripper, stain, wood filler, pans, rollers, paint (toffee), curtain material (cream, plum, and deep olive – wow, are you hungry too?), and painter’s tape. And yesterday I picked up a wood scraper, which surprisingly, works much better than a putty knife or an ice scraper. Huh. The window trim is entirely stripped, three of the four wall trim, and now one baseboard and two doorways to go. And my husband is not thrilled so much as supremely annoyed. Oops. Oh, and did I mention we’re leaving for MI Friday night or Saturday morning?. Yeah. I’m a dumbass. So we are taking the boys to MI so they can visit The Seester for a week, and I’m going to spend the boy-less week staining and painting and making curtains instead of holding Sexfest 2007. Maybe THAT’S why The Hunk is so decidedly not-so-enamored of my little project. Huh. AND Elli says “Hi.” Or maybe it was “Mommy is insane.” It loses a little in the translation.