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whores for experience [05 Jun 2008|07:00pm]
I've seen quite a few people making to-do lists lately. Not the kind you make before running errands, but a more of a goal list of experiences. I've had one in the works for quite a while now, so I've decided to make it public and cross items off as I complete them, add new items as they come to me.

not your everyday to-do listCollapse )

There is a website based on this idea, 43Things, that is a ton of fun. Start your own list!
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difficulties on day two [03 Jan 2008|09:43am]
Snow flurries in the afternoon signaled the start of ridiculously cold weather for the foreseeable future. Zan nen. Opportunity to complete some indoor projects?

My roommate Matt and the manager of ArtSource Kate. The beautiful people. The lighting in this picture is terrible, but I like it anyway.
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we spin with such significance [02 Jan 2008|11:10am]
So helloooo, 2008. Despite some really great things that 2007 brought, I've been hoping this year would be better to me than the last. What that really means is that I decided to be more responsible for my own satisfaction than I have been of late, and with that comes the inevitable string of self-improvement promises. In the spirit of reclaiming the things that make life a little more sparkly, I've adopted a 365-day photo project. The only goal is to take at least one picture every day and share it with the world. The hope is that it will capture the spirit of each particular day, force me to improve my skills, and prevent a beloved hobby from falling victim to (as a certain Sunday preacher used to say) "the tyranny of the urgent".

For New Year's Day, Thom and I drove down to Charleston to celebrate with friends, and by strange coincidence my friend and roommate Alia was already there with other friends. On the way back, her group broke down on the side of the road. When we arrived to "rescue" her, they had made such a merry party of it, singing and doing the "gypsy shuffle", that it seemed like a great start to another rotation around the sun.

Happy New Year's!
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faces of teenage desperation (for beer) [29 Nov 2007|11:20am]
Arguably the worst plan of all time, overheard at work:

"When I was in high school, my friend and I saw The Faces of Meth and decided to do crystal meth for five weeks just so we'd be able to buy beer."

For a lot of kids it might actually be easier to get meth than alcohol, so maybe it isn't that farfetched. Either way, what an amazing scenario for a comic strip or South Park episode.

In other news, after working with an amazing Czech tattoo artist/painter for several months, I've decided to get a tattoo. I never thought I would get one, but it would be quite an honor to have an incredible person like Kamil tattoo me. I wasn't sure what I would get, but yesterday it came to me: Salvador Dali's burning giraffe, from The Burning Giraffe:

Dali described the image as “the masculine cosmic apocalyptic monster” and believed it was a premonition of war.
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Zombie apocalypse [26 Nov 2007|08:20pm]
[ mood | braaaaaaaaaainsssssss ]

I feel like my life pretty much ended for the months between the sudden death of my digital camera at Bonnaroo and the purchase of a new one several weeks ago. Things just don't seem the same when you can't post the pictures on the internet later. ;) Luckily, one of my friends came through for me and made sure that this Halloween would be captured and remembered, which is pretty important considering I had the sweetest costume in the history of the universe.

Those who know me have heard me spout endless streams of contradictory shit about alternatively being a zombie, hunting zombies, and surviving the inevitable zombie apocalypse. So I'm sure it can come as no surprise that that's what I tried to transform myself into this year, with the help of a few days practice and a lot of reading up on special effects makeup. Sadly I didn't get any good, close-up pictures of the nasty gashes and wounds I made for my neck, face, and arms, but rest assured that they were gory and meaty enough for any Japanese horror movie and maybe even a few Italian ones:

After the wounds and makeup were in place, the look was completed with the help of my friend Candace, a huge bowl of homemade blood, and the most extreme Blood Fight ever, documented for your convenience!

It was a shame when it was all over, although next time I would definitely add a lot more blood on the chin and chest, because zombies aren't such neat eaters. Luckily the owners of the coffee shop I manage made the questionable decision to make our employee Christmas party theme "Come as your favorite dead person" despite having someone with a proclivity for gory zombies on the payroll. So come December, it's Round 2!

PS. The rest of the photos can be found here, at Binrock. Rad, huh?
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house pretties [19 Nov 2007|03:30pm]
So, I think as early as tomorrow I may be a holiday employee at Urban Outfitters and thus the recipient of a sweet discount at Urban, Anthropologie, and Free People. In celebration of the cool things I will be able to get in the future, I thought I'd share some of the awesome finds I've made in the past few weeks (and one recently-completed home project)!

The past few months, my and Thom's book collection has spent most of its time stacked haphazardly two feet high on my dining room table. Obviously a very convenient and effective storage method, but sometimes it would be nice to eat dinner at a table instead of from my lap on the couch. When my grandmother graciously offered to buy me a bookshelf to take care of the problem, I found this beauty for a mere $250 and decked it out like so:

Hooray, rainbows!

Other recent home finds:

1) 1960's mod calendar
2) gorgeous green art deco clock
3) mirrored art deco serving tray
4) bowling pin
5) a freaking accordian!
6) brown flokati rug

The care instructions on the rug read: "Brush it through with dog brush." Niiiiiiiiiiiice.

By far my favorite of the lot is the accordian. I've wanted one for some time, and this one was a steal at $50. It needs some aesthetic repairs, but it's entirely functional. So far I've tried (and failed) to rock it out, but I'll learn.

More to come!
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remember that junkyard? [03 Jul 2007|09:12pm]
fuji 100 acros, so far my favorite b&w film.

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a trip down south [03 Jul 2007|01:06am]
I never posted about my birthday, but I came out with awesome loot from friends. Tasha and Darin made me this amazing bag--

-- and my coworker Chadd gave me a sweet old Polaroid One-Step camera!

This summer has been the summer of cameras. I bought myself an overpriced Lomo LCA with birthday money, found a Polaroid SX-70 Sonar for $2 at a thrift store, I'm taking a photography class which I'm using my mom's old Canon T70 SLR for, a friend just loaned me a crazy Nikon N2000, and yesterday a guy I knew at university drove up to do a small photoshoot with me via his Canon Digital Rebel XTI.

It was a gut-wrenching moment, though, when last week the local camera store pronounced the camera that started it all-- my tiny little Powershot S230-- dead with no hope of revival. The first two days at Bonnaroo it had been working fine, then on the third day mysteriously and quietly gave up the ghost. That digital camera has been an almost constant companion since I got it for Christmas almost five years ago. It took 12,252 pictures for me and was without a doubt the most splendid and useful present I've ever received. I feel like I've lost a great friend, and shopping for a replacement will be tough.


pictures from my polaroid one-step on a recent trip home

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i'm a trashy criminal [06 Jun 2007|01:29am]
I got pulled over for the first time in years the other night.

Was I speeding? No. The light had just turned green, and I was probably going three miles-per-hour, tops.

Did I forget to turn on my headlights, or was one of my tail lights out? Definitely not. In fact, I wasn't even in a car. Ladies and gentlemen, I got pulled over while driving... a trashcan.

It was raining heavily and the streets were flooding, but no matter what, the garbage at work has to be taken to our dumpster at the end of the night (a trek that requires crossing two different traffic lights because it's so far away from the coffee shop). It was my job to take it this particular evening, even though I was sure to get soaking wet. I grabbed a wayward hoodie from the lost-and-found, threw it over my head, and pushed Incredibly Full Trashcan over to the dumpster (hopping over deep puddles the entire way).

On the way back, blue lights exploded in the sky around me. And there he was, pulling right up beside me in his Crown Vic: the cop. Being the cooperative citizen I am, I used my turn signals and came to a full stop (you try parking rolling Rubbermaid dumpster in moving water!), but I gave him the "are you serious?" look anyway.

COP: What the heeeeellllll are you doin'?
ME [looking pointedly at the GIANT TRASHCAN in front of me which had perhaps escaped his notice] Ummm, taking out the trash.


COP: Well, yer dressed all in black and walkin' in the middle of the road!

I looked around briefly to verify that I was not in fact dressed all in black and that I was pushing the trashcan on the shoulder of the road, not blocking oncoming traffic. These things confirmed, I was sortof at a loss what to say. So I went for the completely fucking obvious.

ME: There's two feet of rain in the gutter! I'm wearing canvas lo-tops. I'm not going to walk in that!
COP: Yeah, I know. Well... you better be careful!!

And he sped off.

And that is how I got pulled over in the rain while driving a trashcan. It's probably one of the most ridiculous things I've ever experienced.
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the allison and kyle wedding experience [02 Jun 2007|02:36pm]
I got so preoccupied with preparing the masses for wedding emergencies that I forgot to link to the photos from The Allison and Kyle Wedding Experience!

I was finally able to meet Kyle, who is not only pretty hot but also quite awesome (nice job, Al!), and then various wedding-related activities took up every second of my time at home (well, except for those errr... seconds when I discovered Guitar Hero and the power of rock).

Pregaming consisted of a lingerie shower and bachelorette party , both full of penis-like party favors.

Then the infinitely classier wedding followed that weekend (and by "classier" I mean "involving fewer pint-sized reproductions of male genitalia"), and fun was had by all!

The professional photos from the wedding are also online. But there are almost 800 of them, and the gallery software the photographers use can be classified as an exotic variety of "Steaming Shite" (meaning it took me over 5 hours total just to view the photos on their webpage because it is so bloated and slow!)

To combat the proliferation of nightmarish gallery software and save you the trouble, I thieved the best photos and uploaded them to my own site. Here are the best from the wedding and some truly amazing ones from the reception. (If you prefer to see the complete, uncut set of photos at a snail's pace on a horrible website, they are here. But don't say I didn't warn you.)

Anyway, congrats Allison and Kyle! Your wedding was awesome and you both looked great!

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In Case of Wedding. [02 Jun 2007|01:57pm]
As of recently, my oldest younger sister Allison is now a Wife. I'm not sure how it happened, but I think it must have had something to do with this very long church outing and the following party. The wedding was incredibly beautiful, good times were had by all, and it was a wonderful way to send Allison and Kyle off into their new life in Virginia. And almost as importantly, Allison gave us bridesmaids the rarest of wedding-day treasures: non-hideous bridesmaids gowns.

But, "Wait", you say! "Such a thing has never been found in all the earth!" And yet, here you see this proof:

However. There were a few hitches here and there that can teach all of us something should we suddenly find ourselves in the midst of planning our own weddings. And although old lore tells that I will never be married ("Three times a bridesmaid, never a bride!"), I will be damned sure to take my own do and don'ts advice "in case of wedding":

01. There must be a scientifically proven positive correlation between "number of formal portraits taken of the wedding party" and "levels of marital bliss" for the couple, because that is the only explanation for the staggering number of staged photos you are forced to sit for in almost any wedding. (At least 234 were taken for this wedding. Two-hundred thirty-four!) And while some of them--

-- are nice, most of them are ill-conceived, unnecessary, or even more boring to look at than they were to pose for. Couples-to-be, take note: maybe your stiff, formal portraits Don't need to number in the hundreds.

02. Don't punch your 11 year-old sister right before the ceremony.

I know, I know, she looks devilish right now:And she'll probably look much nicer after you "put her in her place":

But she'll also cry alot, and you'll have to do your best to cover her black eye and swollen face with makeup, and won't that really puts a damper on the festivities?

03. Please Do keep that wandering whore of a guest list firmly in check. The wedding guests should be somewhat representative of the couple's friends and family. I realize that parents usually pay for the ceremony and reception and should be entitled to a few guests of their own, but when the average age of attendants is 30-40 years above the age of the couple... your parents probably got a little happy with the invites. Just a guess, but this likely leaves the couple stuck chatting with a lot of people they barely know and don't care about instead of enjoying their own reception. Seriously, who are these people?

ha ha. amazing.

04. Don't, whatever you do, hire this guy to DJ your reception:

Unless, of course, you want to slow dance to Celine Dion with your father while everyone watches. Or have "the Macarena" as modern music's only contribution to the evening. Or have him pack up and leave the second you and your new spouse leave, even though he was paid for another two hours, forcing the bride's family to move the entire reception to their own home because everyone still wants to party!

05. Cakefight For Sure. Because fighting and food are both awesome, but fighting with cocktail weenies and brie just isn't as fun.

06. Finally, Do make sure this guy is at your wedding, even if you have no clue who he is:

What a bargain: Not one, not two, but three totally rad dance poses for the cost of a few hors d'oeuvres!
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wtf, jenn [22 May 2007|02:03am]
The following words actually came out of my mouth at work:

What? You don't like mocha head, Matt? Well, I'll show you how much fun mocha head can be!

I realize it will be difficult for readers to imagine a context in which that is not a dirty come-on, but I swear it is so! Apparently no one present at the time could either, which leads me to wonder what the hell I was thinking when I opened my mouth.
10 comments|post comment

more summertime fun [22 May 2007|01:49am]
[ mood | sleep-deprived and hallucinating ]

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off [09 May 2007|09:43am]
Pictures from Charleston last summer, when we drove down for-- and completely missed-- xenyomega's wedding.

I don't think I ever shared that story, but when Thom and I arrived in Charleston, our directions sucked, it was pouring rain, the city was flooded, and we didn't know how to call anyone else who was at the wedding. We finally found the church two hours after the wedding and after another hour of searching for the reception, gave up and called some other friends who were in town. Eesh! On the other hand, I learned how to play pinball and checked out a bartender's sweet Fantastic Four tattoos.

I'm heading home for my sister Allison's lingerie shower/bachelorette party/rehearsal dinner/wedding today, hopefully with less disastrous effects and plenty of picture opportunities. Do something adventurous for me this weekend, ok?
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first pro haircut since 2005, yo! [08 May 2007|02:12am]
It's been over a year since my last professional haircut (scared of Japanese stylists, scared to find a Raleigh stylist, etc)! The truly horrendous state of my hair finally became TOO MUCH TO BEAR, so I had it all cut off.


An upgrade, right?

Hooray! Thanks to Amy at Salon Kroma, who I highly recommend. After Allison's wedding next week, I think I'm going to get hot pink tips. Wouldn't want to distress the family with "eyesore" hair color in the pictures, would we?
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M≠♥ [06 May 2007|12:56pm]

my bright red cut

i want to eat you all up

I want to take a real photography class this summer, but they are hard to find.
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baby's first upholstery project [05 May 2007|10:14pm]
[ mood | accomplished ]

The most important things I learned at university were largely concerned with intellect, philosophy, and reasoning. I love academics and the blood-boiling excitement of all its theories and abstractions, but their intangible nature can often be incredibly unsatisfying. I discovered that I need to work with my hands sometimes, to give me something physical that I can point to and say, "I created that".

With that in mind, I enrolled in an upholstery class through the local community college in January. Despite the fact that there was at least a 300 thousand20 year age gap between me and the next youngest person in the class and all my classmates looked on my sense of style as completely misguided (the "craziest" thing anyone else did was recover a classic wingback chair in a contrasting black and cream print), it was really enjoyable! The 9:00am Saturday class time combined with my 4:00pm Friday - 1:00am Saturday work schedule had me missing enough classes that I only just finished my first project on the last day of class, but I'm really pleased with it!

Upholstery project #1: Stacking 1960s office chair

see how it's doneCollapse )
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the guys of third place [30 Apr 2007|01:02pm]






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things and things [26 Apr 2007|02:49pm]
My goal is to move to my new house with nothing I don't really want. To that end, I've been going through the seven gigantic containers full of "keepsakes" I've acquired. There is an endless array of things that means nothing to me, like 2nd-birthday cards from names I don't recognize. Still, there are plenty of things that I love, or are funny, or that bring back memories.

an early mention of zombies (yes, that's what it says!)

an assortment of random pictures and things, some with more significance than othersCollapse )
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her crazy may be a deal-breaker [22 Apr 2007|12:45pm]
Very soon, I need to move to a new house. It's been tough finding places I like in my price range. There just aren't that many houses for rent in the interesting areas of town, and the ones that do exist seem to go to other people before I can even get a call-back from the realtors. After a few hours of driving around and looking around today though, I found a place that looks perfect. Only one problem: I think the landlord might be a raving lunatic.

When I called to set up a tour of the property, I had barely gotten the words out of my mouth when she blurted, "Are you college girls or a single family?!" I explained that we were neither-- a group of four working, post-college roommates. She was silent for a few awkward moments, so I prompted her to, y'know, give me information about the house. This seemed to annoy her, but I didn't care much because it sounded amazing: 4 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, nice hardwood floors, 2700 square feet, washer/dryer, great location. Best of all, the rent was only $1250, and she was willing to lower the rent for tenants who "won't throw wild parties".

So I decided to set up an appointment to see the house, which was obviously a mistake because Possibly Crazy Landlady made it as difficult as she possibly could have without physically sneaking over to my house, letting the air our of my tires, and then slicing my calve muscles with a sharp knife for extra insurance:

Me: I would love to see the house. When is convenient for you?

PCL: Weeeeeell, people are living there right now, so I don't think Sunday would be good. No, no. I can show it to you Monday.

Me: Monday sounds great-- how about 2 o'clock?

PCL: Can't you just come at six?

Me: No, I'm sorry. I have to work at four. How about Tuesday at six?

PCL: (sounding very annoyed) I haaaaaaave choir practice. That isn't a good time!

At this point, the tour date is moving so far into the future that it's getting difficult for me to keep track of. I work nights, and it sounded like she wasn't interested in showing it during the day. So I suggested that one of my roommates could come see the house instead on Monday at six, her original suggestion.

Me: One of my roommates could come look at the house tomorrow...

PCL: I told you. People live there. Sunday is no good!

Me: I'm sorry, I meant to say Monday.

PCL: Well that's no good! How will you know you like if you don't all see it? (condescension practically dripping from her voice at this point) No, I don't want to have to show the house more than once, so you'd better do it when you can come.

Never mind that it would be almost impossible to find a time when ALL FOUR potential tenants could tour the house, especially at a time that was acceptable to a landlady who was proving exceptionally difficult to schedule with.

Me: Well, how about Wednesday?

PCL: Okay.

Me: Two o'clock?

PCL: Can't you come any later??

Me: I work at four, but I could come at three or three-thirty?

PCL: Three o'clock then. But, call me before you come just in case there is a problem. Or, I'll call them and call you right back. But, if I don't call back, call me on Wednesday before three.

What a fruitcake!! Could she have made it any more difficult? A friend's mother has warned us in the past about a crazy landlady in Raleigh who used to come into her rental house all the time while she was gone and make up excuses later when asked about it. After that phone conversation, it seems likely that she's the same woman. Hopefully I'll find out if it's her on Wednesday, when she realizes that I am touring the house alone and not bringing any of my roommates.

When I was in school, my friend Alia had a crazy landlord. I was inside her house alone, waiting for her to arrive, when the landlord just opened the door and walked right in. I screamed, and he started interrogating me about why Alia wasn't answering her phone. Somehow I ended up giving him my phone number, and he would call me all the time to ask where Alia was or to remind her that rent was due next week. As if people who've been renting homes for years and years need to be reminded a week in advance! Or like it's even remotely acceptable to call someone who is not your tenant to do so! I think he also found her parent's phone numbers at one point and called them!

I wonder if tenants have the right to keep the landlord out of the house when they are not home within reason? Because Crazy Landlady is not something I want to deal with. I hope this woman was just having a bad day and is not, in fact, the landlady of our worst nightmares. Because I think I really want that house.
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