July 2016 archive

Neil Gaiman and American Gods

I had never heard of Neil Gaiman until last year. My friend bought tickets to a reading and he asked me to come with him. I was excited and so I decided to do a bit of homework prior, and the first book he recommended I read was American Gods. It definitely was a good introduction to the author. The book was so amazingly written. You know the feeling, when you finally finish reading a book and you just sit there telling yourself “It’s all true. It’s all so true.” That’s what effect it had on me.

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The reading itself was also an experience. Neil Gaiman is a very charming, and wonderful speaker. He read some, answered some questions, but what I loved the most were the stories. He inserted anecdotes here and there and all were funny, sometimes cynical, but always “so true” as I laughed and nodded in agreement with a man too far to even see me, but somehow I felt I was having a one on one. Thank you again, to my friend, for the experience and for introducing me to another wonderful author.

Neil Gaiman

As everyone knows, the blog became stagnant when I was switched projects at my last contract. Times got busy, but I always meant to post about this. Now more than ever, if I could, I would urge you to pick up a Neil Gaiman book. Let’s start with American Gods. Why? It’s been adapted into a TV series. Yes, my friends, I am totally nerding out.

I really don’t want to spoil the plot, because I want you guys to read it first, but here’s the trailer because it looks like they will do the book justice. Or, at least, I’m hoping. We’ll find out soon, so far the release date is a non specific 2017.

My Jewelry Making Hobby

In the age of Pinterest, idle hands always get inspiration, but inspiration doesn’t always come with the monies to complete what you want to. I got a little crafty one day and found a $2 necklace at the local Goodwill. (One man’s donation, is another man’s cheap project supply.)

Initially it looked like below, which was pretty enough on it’s own.

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Then I dismantled it, and decided that instead of one necklace, I could create multiple matching jewelry sets.

For the earrings I used a head pin, wire hook earrings, and small long nose, (all hand-me-downs from my sister’s forsaken hobby.)

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The concept is pretty simple, put them together, and make it look as polished as possible. Used the same technique to make the pendant, except instead of the hook earings I had the silver loop rings.

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The finished project (one of them) below:

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Fun stuff right? So next time, you decide to get some crafty therapy, instead of running straight to Hobby Lobby or Michael’s, try the local thrift shop. You’ll never know what you’ll find.

Ghostbusters – The 2016 Movie

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*Save your money.

Melissa McCarthy is always Melissa McCarthy and the her sense of comedy has gotten old and the humor was lacking, even with Kristen Wiig at her side, who I usually expect to be very hilarious. Kate McKinnon’s character was probably the one that lucked out with the best lines, I mean best if you had to choose from all the bad ones. She had like one good scene, and then it was over and I was watching the time again. Leslie Jones’ character also had potential. She was your know it all New Yorker, knowing all the ins and outs and history of every corner of the city. I thought they could have really used that to make the plot just a bit more interesting. Seriously, even Chris Hemsworth couldn’t salvage the movie for me. I cringed for him. There’s even a dance scene with him after the end credits, but I was already so disgusted I opted to walk out of it.

I don’t think I’ve felt this strongly about not liking a movie in a very long time.

Furnishing an Apartment on a Budget

I’ve resided in the same apartment going on 2 years now. I rarely ever have visitors so I was not in an immediate hurry to furnish it. My first priority was a bed to sleep in, which I already owned.

I started with chairs from Mom’s old office which made my living room look more like a waiting room, (I wish I had pictures.) But when I first moved in I was working 50 to 60 hour weeks and was barely home, so still, the bed was my only necessity. As work settled, and I got into Pinterest more, I decided to tackle a DIY pallet furniture. Luckily, I had a friend that was willing to help. I posted the chairs I got from Mom on a Facebook group page for selling furniture and got about $70 for all of them. That helped go towards the project. My friend’s initial design was this:

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I told him to lose the back support, and after I got the measurements for my apartment he brought the pallets over to the vacant lot at Mom and Dad’s for me to work on.

First thing about pallet work, you have to power wash them and get rid of any possible insects, wait for the to dry and sand them down to prevent possible splinters.

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I got cheap paint, roller, brush and cloth drop from WalMart and got to work.

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Granted I got lazy and cut corners with the painting, but I figured it wouldn’t really show once the everything was put together. I think the hardest part was loading 4 pallets into the back of my CRV and hauling them up the stairs to my apartment by myself. I was so proud and exhausted.

And my apartment looked like this for a while.

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I did a lot of research on foam. I wanted something comfortable enough to sleep in. I chose to have the pallets 4ft deep so it would be comfortable to lay on. After a lot of asking around, and shopping around, I found an online store that would cut to spec any foam they had in stock. Basically, the foam was made of the same material they use in baby cribs. (I have napped on my sectional many a times now, it really is similar to sleeping like a baby.)

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Now, prior to the pallet project I had already bought new bedding for myself. The older bedding was stored and using space in my laundry room. I freed up that space by deciding to use the sheets as cover for my foam mattress, I used binder clips underneath to keep them snug instead of sewing them. This makes it easier for me to wash the sheets when I need to. I used the pillows, and comforter as backing. Losing the back support from the original design also made the electric outlet on the wall easily accessible.

The finished product:

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BTW, in that same Facebook group page I sold the chairs to I found a dresser drawer with mirror posted for $20. This time my friend helped me pick it up and bring it up to my apartment. I took off the mirror, and the hardware, sanded it a bit, and used left over paint from the pallet project.

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I’m pretty darn proud of myself.

The tally:
Pallets – Free
Drop cloth – $5
Paint – $8
Roller/brush set – $7
Custom Foam – $120
Dresser – $20