First off, a bit of housekeeping. I'd like to thank my good friend Darren for his excellent guest post the other day. I almost forgot what well-crafted writing with a meaningful start, middle, and end looks like on this site. You mean I'm not just supposed to ramble along about whatever's on my mind? You mean people still write in full, logically sequential paragraphs rather than random bullet points? OK then. Perhaps I'll work on that.
Secondly, I thought I should mention that what you're reading right now is the 500th post on Stefanie Says. Considering it took me over three years to get here and considering there's no prize (not even a flurry of confetti, a balloon drop, or a startling and enthusiastic announcement over a bullhorn), perhaps it's a bit anticlimactic to mention this milestone, but since I'm a little surprised I even noticed the post count in time to announce it, I thought it bore acknowledgment of some sort.
With that in mind, perhaps the best way to commemorate 500 posts is to write a list of 500 more little-known facts about me. Are you ready? Just kidding. That wasn't funny when I threatened to do it after 300 posts, either.
Instead, how about I write a little something on each of the five topics I probably return to most often? Without any scientific polling or counting of any sort, I'm going to decide that those are the gym, Target, dating, alcohol, and my own stunning ineptitude. Sound fun? I thought so. Let's get started.
Regarding the sweat shop...
The other day, my kickboxing instructor had us try a move we haven't done much before. It was nothing complicated, but apparently she was worried if we didn't watch our form, we might throw out our backs. Considering I injured myself cleaning my bathroom last weekend, it's probably more than fair to assume I might need some sort of warning. The instructor apparently doesn't know I'm less coordinated than the average ball of twine, however, because after warning us to be careful, she looked at the small group of only five regulars assembled that day and said, "Oh, you guys are fine. This is the advanced group, right?" Um, advanced group?? Me?? I am the girl who once tore a ligament in my ankle when I tripped on a balloon. The girl who never once won that stupid patch from the Presidential Physical Fitness award--not even in the early years, when the challenge was an eraser relay and flexed arm hang instead of a mile run and a series of chin-ups. I have never been deemed "advanced" in anything athletics-related. But in kickboxing? Apparently I rule. I can crush imaginary foes like no one's business. Look out, air; I'm coming for you. I'm gonna kick air's ass. Kick the ass of air. Ahem. I may be taking this small victory a bit too far.
I tempted fate and went into Target with unwashed ponytail hair again. Apparently Target IS still my happy place, however, because I saw no past meMarmony dates while I was there. What I did see was the bar stools I had found online for $99 marked on clearance for $24.99. I got TWO bar stools for my newly sort-of-refinished basement for HALF the price of ONE. As indicated by all that capitalization, I am ridiculously excited about this. I was even more excited when I returned to that same Target this past weekend and saw a fresh new shipment of the same bar stools now marked $99, just like online. I realize this isn't a very interesting story to anybody but me, and yet I've told at least six people (plus now the Internet) about it anyway.
I don't have much to tell you here, but I do have a date with another middle-aged bald man tomorrow and a possibly pretentious English professor next week, so perhaps I'll have some stories to share again soon.
Apparently at our dinner for 18 last Saturday, my friends and I consumed 16 bottles of wine. There was one nursing mother and probably at least a few other non- or light-drinkers, which means that more than one guest drank more than a bottle of wine on his or her own. I'm very much hoping it wasn't me, but considering the five-course meal and subsequent socializing lasted well into the wee hours, I can't guarantee I didn't make a dent.
This weekend, the plan is to skip the wine and mix up some retro cocktails for the inauguration of my newly updated pine-paneled, sixties-tastic rumpus room. Tonight I went shopping for ingredients I have never actually purchased before (Angostura bitters, blended whisky, sweet vermouth), and after dinner I decided I should do a test run and try out a retro recipe or two. I have never actually had a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned before. I figured it'd be best to know what I am in for Friday night. Um, did you know Manhattans and Old Fashioneds are nearly straight-up alcohol? And not the really tasty alcohol, like Kahlua or Baileys, but straight-up whisky with a little ice and sugar just to pretend you're diluting a bit.
I'm curious if there's no chance I will ever like either of these drinks, or if I just picked a bad recipe off the web. Tell me, do any of you make either of these? Do these recipes sound about right? If you have a more successful ratio to share, please do so. Otherwise, I'm just hoping for better luck with the Tom Collins or the Sidecar. If not, it's back to the standard G&Ts for me.
Regarding my stunning ineptitude...
I've already told you that I managed to injure myself during the seemingly simple and innocuous task of cleaning my bathroom the other day. What I did not tell you is just how ridiculously that transpired. My shower is not lined with normal tiles like any normal house. Instead, the walls of my bathroom are covered with thin sheets of metal with indented lines meant to look like grout. After years of water and wear, the fake grout lines have sprouted cracks and rust spots, and that, combined with the chipping coat of paint that the previous owners thought was a good idea to apply, have made my shower a very sad, shameful looking place. I've tried to patch the cracks with caulk and sealant, hoping to get a few more years of wear out of the stuff, but I'm fighting a losing battle. The HGTV "Bad Bathroom" folks would love to rip those metal sheets out of there (if only I could get their attention to come do so). It's a sad, sad site to behold.
Anyway, Saturday morning I decided it was time to scrub the newest rust and mildew stains from the layers of caulk I've already applied and try caulking once again. There's a portion of the fake tile that fell off completely a few months ago and I'm embarrassed to say has been secured with duct tape ever since. My plan was to clean the shower, remove the duct tape, and recaulk anywhere the metal fake tile was cracked. I should know by now that things rarely go according to plan in my house.
About three minutes into this project, I was reaching across the shower scrubbing with a grout brush, holding on to the ceramic soap holder on the wall for balance. At the very moment I thought to myself, "You know, I probably shouldn't be putting this sort of weight on this," the soap tray broke away from the wall and smashed into pieces on the floor of my tub. My left thigh took a blunt hit against the tub as I fell, and only today have I finally stopped limping and wincing in pain with every step because of the resulting bruise. At the moment, I was in such pain (and was so frustrated--at my thwarted plans to end the day with less duct tape in my shower instead of more, at my fear about just how much a full-fledged bathroom remodel is going to cost, and at the fact that I now had a mess to clean up that was going to put me even more behind schedule for the day than I already was) that I sunk down to the floor in a flurry of tears and profanity. And then I looked down and realized that on top of the throbbing leg and the hole in my shower wall, I was also bleeding onto my floor. The gash in my wrist was deep enough that I worried for a minute I might actually need stitches (which would mean not only admitting this ridiculous injury to an emergency room doctor but also completely missing the roller skating party I was already late for).
By now, I have finally accepted that I need to find the budget for re-tiling (sooner, rather than later). I have also accepted that it's actually much more interesting to hurt myself cleaning my bathroom than to do so roller skating. (Anyone can fall and hurt themselves at a roller rink. It takes a special kind of absurdity and ineptitude to do so in one's own bathroom.) What I have not made peace with is how to address the fact that I have at least ten friends coming over on Friday who might be nosy enough to peek behind the shower curtain to see what's there. We all have medicine cabinet-peekers in our life, right? Surely checking behind the shower curtain at someone else's house is equally tempting, don't you think? So what now? Do I tell people about the garbage bag duct taped to the wall before they see it for themselves? Do I hope my friends are less nosy than average? Or do I tape a note to the shower wall for anyone snooping there to see? "Yes, I'm aware my shower is more ghetto than a double-wide. Wanna make something of it?" No? A note like that doesn't say "Welcome to my home"? Well, what do you think the note should read?
Note: Can you believe I got through this entire post before I realized that I completely neglected to include in that list of five the topic I undoubtedly write about the most?? Surely I talk about grammar and spelling at least as often as wine, don't I? I mean, I've gotten awards for that obsession! Oh well. Have to save it for my 600th post, I guess.