Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Happy Halloween, saucy survivors!

I had a Halloween post written from months ago full of terrifying art and creepy shit so disturbing it'd make your panties curl but I don't feel like being creepy right now.  Maybe I've seen too many sad Sandy picture of people's lives underwater.  Or maybe I've read too many Donald Trump tweets.

For whatever reason, instead of terror you get vintage pictures of ladies with pumpkins.  


All images from Graves and Ghouls.

Obviously people suck at carving pumpkins in olden times.  These things are fucking terrifying.

Of course Vampira did some freaky shit back in the day to some poor unsuspecting punkinheads.

speaking of saucy bewigged ladies, I kinda like Elvira for her blatant....
...hair.  It's all about the hair.

And respect for power tools.  

But sexy costumes aren't a recent occurrence.  Just look at this sexy retro skeleton with "pumpkin" boobs.

Whoa, whoa, whoa saucy lady.  Let's tone it down. 

But if I was going to dress up as a sexy vintage lady with a pumpkin it would end up looking like this 1920's risque trading card:
Sorry it just rained more jizz in your house than Sandy produced in a week.

Happy Halloween, y'all!  

May you be free of damage from drenching rain and jizz storms.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Madame, get your gun. Part 2.

After I successfully didn't die or make a complete ass of myself (debatable) during my private gun lesson (see yesterday's post), I was a seasoned pro and ready for my real gun class the following weekend.   

What my friend and I thought was just an intense, all-day educational class in preparation for later classes turned out to be THE class for receiving your concealed carry permit.  A fact that didn't really register until about 20 minutes before class began.

There were tests.  Written by hand and by bullets.  Shit got real, y'all.  

So for the first half of the day, my friend and I sat in a trailer with some grandpas and watched slow motion gun porn.

This is exactly how I thought it would look.
One grandpa, who we'll call Tea Party Tom, had been shooting for several decades but still didn't have his carry permit.  This class might seem like an excessive requirement for someone with his experience, which he reminded us of at every opportunity, until you learn that he managed to shoot himself in the thigh recently while trying to remove a gun from his pocket.  

I know this because he showed me the bullet hole and a large part of his hairy, white groin in the parking lot during our snack break.  

Already getting my money's worth!

Unfortunately there was no polite way to decline Tea Party Tom's offer to dine with him at Burger King when it came time for lunch.  Over our fries he loudly regaled us and Burger Kingdom about the gruesome details of his accident, how he wants to get a carry permit because he's terrified of the world around him and other general cantankerous yelling.  I'm not sure, but eating a fast food hamburger together might mean we're common law married according to the Tea Party.  

I really couldn't stuff down that hamburger fast enough so I could go shoot.  And not think about Tea Party Tom's thigh anymore...

During the range test I did slightly worse than I wanted.  I think I shoot like I bowl - I start out on FIYAH with a few strikes but then I tank and throw gutter ball after gutter ball.  I need the firing range equivalent of bumper pads.  But in my defense it was 117% humidity and empty cartridges kept hitting me in the face.  I had an actual forehead bruise.  I believe this is called street cred and I haz it now.  Me and 50 cent.

My victim.
Shockingly, I did slightly better than Tea Party Tom with his 20+ yrs experience and his gun that kept misfiring even though 'that has never happened before!'  Performance problems, hhmm??  He probably didn't have time to properly clean his gun because he was too busy telling me about the things I was doing wrong even though he's never seen me shoot.  He's considerate and sexist like that.

Well, at least I'm consistently inaccurate.
But don't worry, Tennesseeans.  I passed with an A on all portions of the exam!  I feel in no way comfortable enough to carry a gun right now nor do I actually want to but we completed the class so...     

The class was great not only so I could get my learn on but also for the gun porn and entire day of being immersed in all the suggestive firearm vocabulary used.  I think it does something to your brain (and your yes yes parts) to repeatedly hear about unloading, cocking, hammer, single action, double action, 'a hot casing jammed in the magazine lips' (I swear to gawd there was a slide that said that) and my favorite - 'tap, rack, bang.'   It's like this hobby was made just for me!

In the end I was right about myself.  Once I got past the physical terror and mind fuckery, I really really enjoyed shooting.  I've been on Youtube a lot watching other people shoot guns because I can't wait to do it again.  Maybe it's the Texan in me.   I'm like a creepy gun voyeur now.

WARNING: serious discussion about feelings ahead!

What I wasn't expecting was all all the crazy "emotion" things that I started to "feel" in my "emotion area" after my classes.  It was like therapy with gunpowder.  It's not about just shootin shit cuz shootin shit is cool - that's the fun part, the sport part.  Instead it was about - and I hate myself for saying this - the... *cringe* ...power.  


My new (rented) friend, a .40 Sig Sauer that I took my test with. 
At the most basic level, I feel much more knowledgeable about a subject that was previously scary to me and that in itself feels powerful.  However I don't think I feel any more comfortable shooting at a person for my personal protection should the need ever arise.  In fact, I think about that situation with much more apprehension and gravitas now.  With great power comes great responsibility, y'all.

Even though it seems cliche that a lady person picks up a gun and immediately feels the power of Thor's mighty hammer, there was a twinge of truth to that.  It certainly didn't feel cliched when I had the gun in my hand and was destroying Mountain Dew bottles on the practice range.  (DO THE DEW!  Or at least the dirt all around it...)  But that's just the fun part.  

There's something affirming about the amount of control you must exhibit to create an explosion in your hands and manage it in a way that is safe and graceful.   The amount of body awareness necessary to shoot well feels powerful.  Kinda like being good at playing the flute or tap dancing if those were skills you could use when the zombie apocalypse comes.

After my lessons I realized that my fear of handguns had become normal for me.  And not just the fear of guns themselves, but the fear of being powerless and vulnerable felt normal.  So normal that I didn't even recognize it as existing in a state of 'less than' anymore, but as a permanent character flaw that must be overcome with grit, verve, meditative vagina pilates and gobs of Diorshow mascara.  That's usually how I usually psyche myself up - makeup and a stern talking to.  

Shiny things makes me feel nice.
And those feelings of vulnerability weren't isolated to activities where a gun might factor into the equation but everywhere - some ladies might be pickin up what I'm puttin down here.  It's been refreshing to take a step back and reevaluate where I feel complacently vulnerable.  Accurately seeing what I am in control of and what I'm not feels more powerful than how well I might shoot a gun.  Challenging my sense of normalcy feels powerful.

Maybe it isn't feeling powerful at all; maybe it's just about feeling a little more capable now.  Knowing I conquered a fear gives me more confidence for other endeavors without needing a king's ransom of designer mascara.  I'm not sure where my fear actually came from - possibly just being put in a new situation is enough to send me head first into a therapeutic bag of Sour Patch Kids.  

I did have a (somewhat distant) family member killed by a gun when I was younger so maybe that affected me more than I realized.  Oddly enough Mr. Instructor Man's name was the same as that family member.  Whhaaaat...??!!!  The circle is complete!  

But all this talk of power and confidence hasn't cured me of all my irrational fears and anxieties.  It took me two days to work up the nerve to call a range after class to ask them about their hours.  TWO DAYS.  Just because I'm the #1 download on ManicuresAndMagnums.com hasn't solved all my problems like talking to strangers on the phone and working the cruise control on my car.  

When you type that out it seems a lot more insane than when it's just hanging out in your head...  I should probably start tackling those before my next birthday.

So even if no one reading this super long gif-tastic memoir gives a shit about guns, I hope your fortune cookie takeaway is how important it is to challenge your sense of normalcy.  There's only so far meditative vagina pilates can get you, y'all!

A friendly reminder to my dinner guests that they BETTER FUCKING LIKE MY FOOD.
I just wish my new skillz could be used for good like stopping hurricanes.  At the very least I'll be prepared for the Tea Party revolution.  I'll be one of seven liberals in the country fully armed!  I won't be able to drive anywhere at a consistent speed to help you but you could totally tweet me and I'll get there eventually.

Don't call.  I'm not at that level yet.  

Maybe we'll just develop a batcall that is a big sriracha bottle in the sky.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Madame, get your gun! Part 1.

The past few years around my birthday (this is a month late because of being sick) I've decided to act like an adult and tackle some issues standing in the way of world domination - like drive-thru tellers.  So this year I got the chance to try something I always wanted to do - shoot shit with a deadly weapon!

So recently if you've experienced a sudden and overwhelming feeling of safety - like a giant teddy bear was rocking you to sleep while fingerbanging you - it's because I passed my safety course in Guns 'N Bang Bang Shit!  

My heart feels like shooting some pistols in the air like Yosemite Sam but that would violate the first rule of gun safety which is to always point the muzzle in a safe direction.  I learn good.  The second rule of gun safety is to say filth and farn and filth when you miss your target.  I also violate this rule because I use other F words.   

Somehow I managed to control my mouth and this Madame is now certified to carry a concealed firearm should I wish to do so!   

Wait, that doesn't sound very safe after all... 

My family hails from Texas so I'm genetically predisposed to liking red meat and weapons.  If that weapon was able to procure the red meat even better.  I also grew up in the kuntry where we had more guns than minorities.  I'm not scared of rifle fire unless I know Dick Cheney is nearby.  

And although I'm a product of my generation - a generation whose defining cultural contribution was gangsta rap -  
I am terrified of handguns.  


Terrified like an errant chest hair during the filming of Magic Mike kind of terrified.  I've never even touched a gun and just the thought of physically holding one made my stomach flip flop.  

Which is oddly the same reaction I have when I see this gif...
But there was always a nagging feeling that if I could just get past the excruciating terror then I'd probably really fucking dig it.  Kinda like my relationship with Brussels sprouts (and possibly my feelings about waxed chests...?).  At the very least I'd have conquered a fear and Oprah says that's important for my spiritual growth.  

So an opportunity presented itself for a class about safety and I put on my big girl panties and signed up with a friend.  I was hoping for something similar to those paint-your-own-pottery wine nights but with no wine and we get to learn about deadly weapons instead of pumpkin mugs.   Knowledge is power, y'all.  The more you know. *shooting star* 

Seeing as that I had zero experience with firearms I decided to have a private lesson before the main class.  Here I would get some preliminary knowledge and try all different kinds of guns which sounded exciting if I survived the excruciating terror part.  

Between you, me and the interwebz, I needed a private class because I was so nervous that I thought I might either pee or vomit or cry or all of the above once the gun thingies were introduced into the equation.  Excretion of bodily fluid was imminent and I wanted to limit the number of witnesses.  I would be paying the one instructor/witness so he would be contractually obliged to hold my hair back should the need arise.

Not gonna lie - there were a few times on the drive to the shooting range that first morning where I almost lost my grande iced soy latte.  Not only was I going to try out some death cannons but  STRANGERS! NEW SITUATIONS!  SUMMER HEAT!!!  

These are a few of my least favorite things.

When Mr. Instructor Man started laying out all the guns on our bench my mouth went dry because all moisture had left my body in the form of an intense and immediate full-body flop sweat. 

I think I managed to hold it together thanks to adrenaline and the caffeine.  I tried to plaster a winning smile on my face to distract from the terror I was feeling inside.  

Look at me I'm so normal right now!  AHAHAHAHAHA I'M BREEZY.
I don't think he could tell at all.  But things were dicey there and I I'm not sure what happened during those first few minutes.  Mr. Instructor Man may have thought I had a mild stroke because of the gibberish and profuse sweating.

But we started slow using our mouth words and away from the thousands of terror pistols he had laid out on our death bench.  I learned all kinds of important things like all the parts of a gun and the ammunition and the fact that I'm cross dominant.  

"MOTHERFUCKING YEAH I'M DOMINANT!  *air guitar solo* Uh... what does that mean?"  

Turns out that even though I'm right-handed (the Lord's way) I use my left eye for important things like lining up a shot and scoping out the clearance racks at Target.  I'm special.

The first taste of my new gunslinger lifestyle was a laser gun which was a nice gateway drug to the real stuff and lessened my impending hysteria.  It would be great to use during PowerPoint presentations to jazz up your meetings too.  I aced this one due to my previous Duck Hunt experience.

The first real gun with actual bullets he let me shoot was a .22 caliber giant canon of some kind with a scope, a wood handle, a mile long barrel and a windsock.  I lined up the windsock as best I could in my shaky grip,  released some bodily fluid that I'll let you use your imagination with and took my first shot...  


That's the (totally realistic) sound of the gun and my panties simultaneously exploding.  A proud moment.

Actual footage from my lesson.
It felt really good - exhilarating and maybe sexy (?) and weirdly anticlimactic.  I guess when there's so much build-up that's bound to happen.  Especially when you're losing your shooting virginity with such a small caliber bullet.  

Regardless of the small size of the bullet, I had an immediate urge to mount something and SHOOT ALL THE THINGS!!  RAWWRR!  Instead I gleefully and embarrassingly exclaimed "I did it!" like instead of shooting a bullet I pooped in the potty for the first time.  

I did it!  I'll let you guess what.
Mr. Instructor Man had the good manners to not roll his eyes to my face.

Once I realized I was more in danger of mounting unsuspecting range guests than passing out, I was able to settle down and get to work shooting shit.  My initial fears were replaced with even MOAR adrenaline and pheromones and I started destroying everything within a 5 foot radius of my target.  We'll figure out the aim part later.

However, the raging chemicals and the nervous state of my insides dropped my IQ by at least 20 points and made me awkwardly chatty.  I had this weird one-sided conversation throughout the morning where I threw out intelligent gems like:

"This magazine is heavy!"

"My fingers are weird..."

"Wow, this gun is getting hot."

"It's not me, it's the targets..."

"Does this come with a comfort grip?"

"That was oww-y."

"Have you had any accidents in any of your classes?"

"Can you make a tourniquet?"

"Gee golly, that was loud!"

"Am I doing good do you like me can you be my life sensei how about BFFF best firearm friends forever?"

And on and on and on with my bullshit drivel.  To his credit, my instructor was exceptionally nice and very encouraging in the face of such blatant vacuity.  I felt really comfortable which probably led to my inane chatter.  It's his fault really.

Probably like many other lady people, that was another area that kept me from taking lessons sooner: the possible instructors.  I figured I'd get a weirdo ex-military crank job who kept calling me honey and talking about how girls have no upper body strength.  I mean, I DON'T have upper body strength but I don't need strange men yelling at me about it. 

I was born with these tiny biceps stop yelling at me!
But I was the one with the prejudices that were proven wrong so #1 I'm the asshole and #2 don't be scurred, ladies.  Before even having met me, Mr. Instructor Man had much more confidence in my abilities than I did.  

So with a lot of his encouragement and probably a bit of beginner's luck (adrenaline surges make your senses ON POINT), I was surprised to find out that he was totally right.  I did fine and am actually not the worst shooter ever!  I don't think...  Ten years of drawing every day for a living does wonders for your hand/eye coordination.  

By the end of our class I got to put my sweaty hands on at least half a dozen different guns.  A Glock so I could pretend to be in a rap video, a few carry options, some revolvers and even a .357 Magnum because fuck it - LET'S DO DIS!  Mr. Instructor Man told me I didn't have to shoot more than one round because it's a big ass gun but I emptied all the rounds into that paper plate target like a boss.    

Apparently, Mr. Instructor Man was impressed by my saucy shooting because he videotaped my hands firing the .357 for his "website."  A website that I'm guessing is called ManicuresAndMagnums.com.  Dudes everywhere are jacking off to my delicate lady hands around a gun right now.  [MS sidebar: I'm kidding.  He was not a pervert - obviously I am.  For serious, let's take another class together Chattavegas peeps!]

I left my private lesson drenched in sweat, make-up running, physically and mentally exhausted (strokes and explosions will do that to you) and immediately went home and had a very long but fitful nap where I dreamed about guns.  

And then I dreamed about guns again that night.  

I think I had a shooter's high. I had so much energy I was forced - FORCED! - to go outside and aggressively pull weeds until I exhausted myself again so I could go to sleep and dream about shooting targets again.  Next stop: Olympics 2048!

I've thought about shooting pretty much all the time since then.  I have a Tiger Beat style crush on putting holes in things.  We have unleashed the monster and - watch out! - I have reasonable aim.  

It would have been nice to find a new hobby that was cheaper and less dangerous than shooting guns but I always have to make things more complicated.  Maybe I should investigate crocheting or cooking or blogging...?

But this was just my first few hours into my new hobby, come back tomorrow for the 2nd part of my gun class adventures.  And then I'll shut up about it for a while.  


Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Sweet and sour is how I like my chicken and my colors.

Sometimes the interwebz shines a rainbow on your sad, pathetic, too-many-salads life and gives you good things like grumpy cat, recipes for butternut squash macaroni and cheese and this: 
via Net-A-Porter
Here's a McQueen peplum top that is so pretty I want to cry but I could never afford or even look good in because I already have a built-in peplum called a 'muffin top.'  It's couture.

I apparently have a thing for the colors 'blush and bashful' as indicated by this post I did earlier this year.  This is not a color I wear so I guess I just need to get it out of my system sometimes courtesy of ye olde blog.  You'll just have to deal with it.  The fact that it's in October which is breast cancer awareness month is just an unintended coincidence.

Or have I been pinkwashed?!

I think I'm safe because I want Ms. Peplum to be friends with this little dude: 
Debra Baxter
Oh, helleerrrrr.  I said I was over neon but I hadn't seen this yet.  

So when my favorite-sock-color-from-1987 becomes friends with Shelby's wedding colors this happens:
From a link that Pinterest told me was sketchy so no idea...
Hhhmm....  I feel unsettled and yet intrigued.  It makes my eyeballs burn a little but I can't stop looking.

Christian Siriano Spring '13 from Stylecaster
Twice on Pinterest in one week? See I'm not that crazy, y'all.  I don't think I'll ever put these two colors near my house or body but the pairing makes me tingle.  And not in a good way, more like the tingles that happen when your foot falls asleep and then takes five minutes to wake up while you try not to limp around too grotesquely in public.  

I should probably be busy crafting some deep and memorable post about chartreuse and Pantone's 2013 color picks but my mind is currently occupied by other things - namely my financial cleanse.  Okay and naps.  Where I dream about butternut squash mac and cheese.  

But my financial cleanse is going well!  Exceptionally well once I realized I forgot to add in an entire paycheck from October so now I can eat next week!

Essentially, I've been drastically reducing my spending and I'm only allowing myself the necessities - no eating out (except two social meals a week - I do need friends, ya know), no shopping other than for pre-approved survival items, no more lunch runs to TJ Maxx just to see what's on clearance because I might need more broken picture frames!, etc.

I'm not thinking of it as wallet anorexia because anorexia isn't healthy but a CLEANSE can be done in a healthful way.  I think.  I've never done a cleanse because that shit seems hard and I don't know how much kale I can eat.  This way feels good and I don't feel deprived - I feel in control of my monies.   All 12 of them.

In fact, because I'm so strong here is a list of things I DIDN'T buy this week even though I really wanted to:

- Latte, latte, LATTES!

- a book about rocks

- Buy 1 get 1 free succulents at the nursery.  That one still hurts.

- New black skinny jeans even though I keep wearing the old ones and hoping no one will notice the hole or that they're grey now.

- A geode I could paint in neon colors. Damn you, Pinterest.  

- Cheese. 

- A practice pistol. (I'm really into pank and guns together it seems...)

- A pistol that shoots cheese sauce...??  I might need to research that just for scienze reasons.

- Fall mums.  My front porch looks so sad.

But I'm "healthy" (especially after I bypassed the cheese) so here are the things I cheated on my financial cleanse for:

- The expensive vitamins.  Surely that's a necessity, right?  My insides are high maintenance.

- Tea at Starbucks with friends.  Well, it wasn't a latte.  DON'T JUDGE ME!

- An iPhone app for stargazing so I could find the meteor shower last week but then I didn't see a gawddamn one. 

- A Vitamin Water.  It was before I bought the vitamins.  I'm such a sucker. 

- This painting:

I found it for $10 at a sidewalk sale outside of my favorite antique mall which I ONLY went to so I could use their bathroom and not shop at all.  I didn't even know about the sidewalk sale before I turned in.  Neon pinkie swear.

I kinda want to reframe it in something simple and not so 1970's-wood-bonanza but I'll have to see how the cleanse feels about it.  Unless you think it's fine as is...??  My cleanse would appreciate it.

Then I could use that reframing money to buy a geode or twelve and paint parts of them in Lisa Frank colors!  It might become a necessity.  

Just like HBO and organic butternut squash.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

This house wins the Newbery Medal for sauciness.

After my wallet and I had our come-to-jeezus moment recently I've decided to put myself on a financial cleanse.  It's like a food cleanse but less gassy.  Mostly because I can't afford to buy anything to eat...

Just kidding.  I'm just eating through the freezer and pantry right now and doing my best to not spend anywhere else except necessities like HBO and organic cheese.  I may even take up couponing!  I'll let you know how all this goes and when my Xtreme Couponing episode will appear on TLC.

Good thing the internet is magically free so I can at least shop for fake real estate even if I'm not allowing myself near an antique mall or Starbucks.
Just look at those black tiles in the fireplace.
This 1972 modern beauty built by Harry Seidler is full of concrete and wood is for sale in Sydney.  Not only can I not afford it, I can't even get there!  The internet might be magically free but it's the ultimate cock tease and my design boner is at full attention.  Booyah!

(this is getting gross...) 
Let's move this space to my special binder of soul style interiors.  #Bindersfullofinteriors  If you take away the sexy rainbow art you're left with wood paneling and concrete bricks which feels a lot like the public library I frequented while growing up.  

That's back when we didn't have Kindles.  That's a long time ago.  I'll give you a minute to remember the Dark Ages...

Six year old me was actually featured in the local paper for reading the most books during the summer of 1986 so I obviously spent a lot of time at that library.  My life pretty much went downhill after that brush with fame.  That's what happens to child stars except I didn't have any coke benders.  Just benders with organic cheese.
The library was menacingly long and low; the neanderthal cousin to this house.  I can't imagine a more perfect building to create an inviting atmosphere for kids.  However it did have lots of natural materials, poor lighting and sunken reading areas with groovy biomorphic furniture for all your day-long lounging needs.  (Looking at you, homeless people.)

Every library I've ever been in always has great modern furniture like it was no big deal - plywood Eames chairs under a few tables, a wire Bertoia stacked by the water fountain, whatever.  It's probably because no library has been built after 1969.  Fact.

These library memories are starting to crystallize some things in my early design vocabulary. Self-realization in 3... 2... 1...
We had a librarian that both scared and fascinated me because even at 6 I knew there was something unnatural with the amount of polyester she wore.  What was more unnatural was how frizzy and high she got her bouffant to go.  I was never sure if she spent hours getting it to look like that or did her hair once in 1963 really really well and just left it like that.

But gawd bless her, she organized those Newbery award books like her crazy cat lady life depended on it.  Her sanity probably did, at the very least.

Ahhh...  good times.
But since it's now illegal to wear that much polyester concurrently with that amount of hairspray, I'll have to relive my childhood a different way.  

With million dollar homes that have pure sex wood ceilings. 
And backlit fauxdenzas.  Say what?!

I'm certainly not going to read a book or go to the library to remember like some kind of crazy old weirdo! 
But that's not as crazy as having that creepy picture on the floor staring at you while you sleep.  Its eyes follow you EVERwhere!  Hope you like being watched while you masturbate, pervert.
The yard seems pretty secluded so you're probably safe to indulge all of your disgusting, pervert dreams out there, outdoor pervert.

I mean, you're basically at a public library, for chrissakes!!  THINK OF THE CHILDREN!
Fuck the kids, this house has a SECRET POOL around the side!!!  Just look at that curvy brick wall.  My old library just got pwned.

That is an appropriate use of hedges.  
All images via Desire to Inspire.
If I had a place like this I might even be tempted to go check a book out from the library and read it in front of the pool.

Ahahahahaha just kidding.  I'd just sit there and clip coupons.  Financial Cleanse 2012.

I've got to save up money to buy an old library somehow.