Entries in m-dashing (35)

Thursday
Mar282013

Relationships in Need of Repair

In the summer of 2011, on the floor of a bathroom, I damaged a really good, really healthy, really important relationship.

Thing is, I'm someone who knows better. I am experienced, and I am careful, and I am considerate. I am gentle, when necessary. Someone even recently told me that I am very "present," and I believe that's true. But sometimes, like all of us, I do things that screw things up. Royally. Like jewel-in-the-crown, drape-it-in-fur, call-it-your-majesty, purple-like-Prince royal.

During a visit to the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, I took a pit stop after seeing an exhibit curated by John Waters. (Said pit stop and Waters' artistic taste were not related, FYI.) Like any lady, I had my bag on me. And like me, I had my camera on me. As you do, I had to hang up both items on the single hook that a ladies' bathroom tends to provide a lady, if that lady is lucky. As luck would have it, as I was exiting the stall, the bag made it back to my shoulder. The camera, however, fell fast, bottom first, to the floor (and you know a bathroom at Walker is tiled in some hard, high-quality stuff, y'all).

Glass: everywhere. Me: panicking, and also grossed out by a bathroom floor. Quickly, though, I realized that the shards were from a filter I had affixed to the front of my (favorite) lens, and not the lens itself. Relieved but still anxious, I cleaned it up and rushed out to survey the real damage.

The camera still seemed to work. The lens was intact and reacting properly--it dragged at first, but then felt okay. The loss of the filter was no biggie. I continued to take pictures throughout the trip and through the summer.

Slowly, however, I started to notice that something was off. My camera and I weren't in sync. My photos, while acceptable, weren't totally working for me. I thought it might be the lens, and, after taking it into a repair shop, I found out I was right. The lens had been bent, but could be tweaked for a fee. I forked it over and hoped for the best.

The first several months after that were, admittedly, better. I went on a few trips, and she came too. We had fun--maybe not as much as before, but we made do. I took her exploring in the neighborhood and out to restaurants. We went to more museums. We avoided bathrooms.

Soon, though, we were struggling. The focus was shifting; things weren't so clear. It wasn't working--and it's still not. We're off and fuzzy and weird. These days, I think the problem wasn't just in her eyes; the real issue lies within her body. Her aging, tired, slightly broken body.

As a result, I avoid her like the plague. We stare down each other like bitter former lovers. I'm all, "Oh, hey, what's up" and she's like, "It all ended because you stopped touching me," and I'm like, "You weren't who I thought you were." And then she says something to the effect of, "We weren't clicking," and I openly judge her because I'm a professional writer and I don't approve of plays on words like that. (And THAT'S a lie, because I clearly do and am just being defensive.)

To try to improve my situation, I gave something else a go. I got all modern and decided to commit to the perky little camera on my iPhone. It's younger and sexier. It doesn't weigh me down. I like to show it off and introduce it to my friends. My mom likes it; my dad LOVES it. It sings me songs and helps me pay my bills. It has an app for that. And it gets the job done.

Except that it doesn't. It's not the same, and I've got to quit kidding myself. I've stopped doing things that are important to me--taking thoughtful pictures, writing lengthy posts to accompany them here on my blog--because I've let my old lady go, and the now-freelance me sort of fears the cost of what it would take to get her back. But I was more myself with her around, so I'm going to fix this mess--or at least find a way to pay someone else to. I miss the real deal something fierce, and I hope you'll stick around as we get our act together. Stay tuned. And in the meantime, follow my little fling on Instagram, won't you?

xo

Sunday
May272012

The Thing About Obsessions

If you know me and my blog, you know that we are hardcore into cool products. I've been a maniac on Pinterest since forever (remember when I tried to make you all join back in October 2010?), I've worked on product roundups for Herman Miller's Lifework blog for a little over two years, and I've been doing my "Daily Dash" column off and on here at M-Dashing for a good long while now.

So, anyway, you know: you get it. I'm always on the hunt for this stuff. It's like a sickness, really. A sweet, sweet, very expensive sickness.

Several weeks back, my sick self got invited to be part of Currently Obsessed, a shopping network that lets bloggers recommend products to readers in return for a small referral fee. Once I reviewed the whole thing -- including the kind stores it supports (basically, all the places I shop at anyway) and who else was participating (heavy-hitters like Oh Joy!, Mrs. Lilien, Little Brown Pen, and Sweet Fine Day) -- I was sold on the idea.

But, of course, I certainly want to be transparent about it all! That said, on occasion, if I come across a good find that I want to share, it may appear in a Daily Dash post. I will also be posting picks regularly over on the right-hand side of this blog under the title "Obsessed." I will pin some items to this board on Pinterest (there's also a full-disclosure there). And in addition, you can "stalk" me at Currently Obsessed itself (it's much like Pinterest).

Whew! So there you go. If you have questions or concerns, please do leave me a comment. And if you're a blogger who would like to be recommended, drop me a line.

Friday
Jan202012

Friday's Pick: Border Stripe Canvas Camera Strap

— Snappy. —

MAKE A DASH FOR IT:

Visit Union Los Angeles

Image source via featured link

Thursday
Jan192012

Thursday's Pick: Martino D'Esposito Drink'Tray

— Hold it--for real? —

MAKE A DASH FOR IT:

Visit Bonluxat

Image source via featured link

Monday
Jul192010

Mat’s Hemingway-inspired DIY Flooring

When you first met guest posters Mat and Guerrin, we talked about how Mat’s former apartment made the cover of Apartment Therapy’s Big Book of Small, Cool Spaces (see it here). Mat has since moved to Brooklyn and is now transforming another unsuspecting rental--this time with a Hemingway-esque feel, starting with the floors. Oh, the magical floors! Read it and weep. Gorgeous, ya'll.

Guerrin: Mat, where the heck have you been? I’ve been calling you for two days and nobody has been able to get in touch with you. What gives??

Mat: Parallelograms...Parallelograms.

G: What the...your eyes are bloodshot and you’re a complete mess. You like a candidate for A&E’s "Intervention." Mat...are you high right now?

M: Did anyone see you?

G: Well, just your landlord downstairs...

M: Get in, QUICK!

G: Are you in some kind of trouble? Oof, these fumes...hey, these floors. You painted ‘em. They look incred!

M: Thanks, I’ve been at it all night. It’s the first step in my apartment’s Ernest Hemingway transformation. I’m beginning from the bottom up. You see, as Hemingway was an adventurer in life and his writing, I too will be an adventurer...but in home decor!

G: Why don’t you just have a seat. I’m gonna make you some coffee.

M: Ok, but we have to keep our voices down, if the landlord finds out, it’s eviction city, toot sweet. So you remember what my floors looked like before, right?

G: You mean, where parquet came to die?

M: Precisely. Hemingway never would have tolerated such a floor. In fact, he probably would have ripped them up by hand in a drunken tirade. So, I was down in the Keys on my family’s annual fishing trip and visited his Key West home.



M: I was completely entranced with the detailed, colorful tiles throughout the house. My favorite were these bright yellow, deco tiles in the kitchen and bathroom. Also these hand-painted yellow and red tiles around pool.

M: I knew I wanted to do something bold like this in my great room--the only room in my apartment whose floors got beaten by the ugly stick. And remember when we were at the Standard Grill last weekend...

G: How could I forget? Those oysters, that Pims cup, the gorgeous old-world interior...oh, and those patterned tiles!

M: It’s exactly as I imagined Café Select or one of the many other fabulous bars and restaurants would look like that Jake and Lady Ashley bop around to in The Sun Also Rises. And this discovery! It was too good to be true!

G: Lord, have mercy. Mat, sit down and speak slowly. How did you do this?

M: (Speaking very quickly) So in this pattern there are three colors--I wanted to stick with vibrant yellow and brick combo I saw in Key West, and I decided to leave the parquet as the third “color” to add some additional texture and increase the wow-factor. The first step was to cut out the diamond shapes out of contact paper and stick them to the floor, using the existing tiles as a guide. For my project, I used approximately 82 diamonds.

G: Sheesh. Your poor fingers must have been blistering from peeling all those little shapes. Why didn’t you call me? I would’ve helped you!

M: Because it hurt so good! The next step was to prime the entire floor, two coats. And then go over the whole floor with gold paint, two coats.

G: Waiting for four coats of paint to dry? All I imagine is you sitting atop a pile of furniture in your bedroom, feverishly reading The Old Man and the Sea and drinking heavily.

M: You know me too well. Once the gold paint dried, I taped out the brick colored parallelograms and painted each one. Individually. By hand. Two coats.

G: Ok, this project is officially a D.I.CRY.

M: After the paint dried, I carefully removed all the contact paper and painters tape. Because the parquet was showing through, and I wanted to make sure the paint didn’t chip away over time, I applied a couple of coats of low-lustre sealant.

G: I can’t believe you did this project in one night! That explains the strange message you left at 5am asking me to come by and make sure you are still breathing.

M: Yeah, the fumes were crazy, but the floor turned out great! And right when I was finished there was a knock at the door. And who was on the other side? Hemingway himself! And he brought friends along--Martin Van Buren and Tupac Shakur! And we all played twister and ate Totinos Pizza Rolls!

G: Wow. We gotta get you out of here and get you some air, Crazytown. Come on, there’s a new cocktail at The Counting Room. From what I’ve heard, it’s a variation on a classic Hemingway daiquiri. You’ll love it.

M: Ok. (Calling into the other room) Tupac, I’m going out so hold down the fort! And keep Ernest out of the liquor cabinet!



Delicious Vanishing Sun Cocktail from Maksym Pazuniak

from The Counting Room in Williamsburg, Brooklyn

1.5 oz Clement Rhum Agricole

0.75 oz lime

0.75 oz grapefruit

0.50 oz honey syrup (1:1 honey:water formula)

0.25 oz maraschino liqueur

4 - 6 mint leaves

1 dash Angostura bitters

1 dash Regan's orange bitters

Shake everything and strain into a coupe – no garnish.


Among other fantastical projects, best friends Mat Sanders and Guerrin Gardner have appeared as Sandy the Dandy and Charlie McGee, which was a critics’ pick in Time Out New York, The Onion, and NYTheatre.com. They’re currently developing a multitude of new comedic ventures, including a monthly comedy variety show and a live-action, highly stylized version of the Dick Van Dyke Show. See more of their work at toomuchery.com.

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