Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Made Some Pretty


I styled a bookshelf for a property management group. They wanted a neutral color palette with minimal objects, and some of the minimal objects needed to be lions. I think it's great for a modern office setting. Also, I got paid!


Then I made it snow in downtown Austin. It involved climbing ladders, lifting, peeling, sticking, stapling, stringing, scattering and unrolling. Oh, and redressing some mannequins.



After I finished the winter windows at work, the tailor from my store came and gave me a hug. For context, I should mention that English is his second language. He said, "You the best. Congratulations!" 

I replied, "Thanks. Why?"

He explained with lots of hand gestures, "Those windows. Everybody on the sidewalk stop and look at the sport coats. You the best!" 

Then my store manager who seldom doles out compliments, said the windows looked "great" and thanked me for updating them. Also, I got paid. 

I miss having free time to go to the gym, have hobbies, socialize and keep the 1952 House sparkly clean, but I like getting paid. Also, I like compliments on my work.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Working Downtown

RIGHT LANE CLOSED AHEAD
LEFT LANE CLOSED AHEAD
2 RIGHT LANES MUST TURN RIGHT
2 LEFT LANES MUST TURN LEFT
MERGE RIGHT
(The only open lane, on the far right) MUST TURN LEFT
PARKING GARAGE (for which I pay $160 a month) FULL
VALET PARKING ONLY
CAR2GO PARKING ONLY
NO EVENT PARKING
NO PARKING EVER

And that's just on the way into work. Today was a rare occasion when Chad and I carpooled into downtown together, because he had fancy meetings of minds.

Chad met me at my workplace at the end of the day. As we stood at the busy intersection across from my urine-and-vomit-scented parking garage for which I pay $160 a month, a man came walking towards us calling out, "Brian, Brian. Hold up, Brian." The walk sign lit up, and several people including Chad and I started across the street. "Brian's friend" started walking into my path, stopping when I stopped and slowing when I slowed, effectively herding me out of the crosswalk. I stopped and took a step backwards, saying, "please, after you." Brian's friend stopped too. Finally, I just made my way to my destination curb, not caring if he tried to get in my path. Brian's friend said to Chad, "give me a dollar." Chad replied, "sorry, I don't have any cash." The whole time, we walked in stutter steps as he tried to herd me off of the sidewalk, never touching me or stepping on my feet, but barely missing. I had pepper spray in my hand, trigger finger on the spray button. With my other hand, I must have touched my hair, because Brian's friend said, "That's it. Run your hand through your hair, girl." I stopped, turning to face Brian's friend fully, giving him a steely (yet terrified) gaze. He responded, "Oh, are you gonna call the cops on me?" I thought he had a novel idea, so as loudly as I could, (remember I am a trained actress who knows how to project my voice) I yelled the name of my work building's security guard, "Bruuuuuuuuce!" Brian's friend did not care for this. He stopped in his tracks. Took a few steps backwards and looked at me as if I might be mentally ill. Good. Once I got into my car in the parking garage, I gave in to a slight fight or flight meltdown after locking the car doors. Then I drove Chad and myself home in terrible traffic.

I hate downtown.

Sunday, November 09, 2014

Aging, Wealthy & Rocking Out



Last Saturday Chad and I got to rub elbows with the rich & infamous at a Formula One concert event starring Duran Duran. I won the pair of tickets courtesy of a media conglomerate by retweeting a message about their sponsorship of the event. (Thanks, media conglomerate!) I would never purchase such extravagant concert tickets myself, as the face value for the pair was $1350. *gulp*

The event venue, ACL Live, (Austin City Limits' huge new-ish studio) is impressively cavernous with great sight lines from every seat giving the convincing illusion of an intimate space. I won't complain about the open bar or elegantly artful catered buffet of appetizers on the mezzanine level. Nor will I complain about our fabulous reserved seats. Duran Duran put on an amazing performance, still very talented, still very gifted musicians and showmen.

I will, however, complain about the aging, wealthy, drug-fueled fellow-concert-goers: people old enough to know better, but apparently too rich to care. Side note: I have never partaken of an illegal substance, but have heard anecdotal evidence from those who have, and certainly read many studies, essays and fictional works about recreational drug-users. If I can look at the sad, over-botoxed, over-self-starved, woman dancing by herself wearing a sequined mini-dress and know with 90% certainty that she took more than one hit of ecstasy, that is beyond sad. If I can rebuff the aggressive, 60-something year old man, wearing his khaki cords with shoes matching belt and tucked-in plaid button-down, who repeatedly pulled on my elbow telling me to stand up and dance, knowing that his frivolity is cocaine-powered, that is also sad. If I worriedly watch the 40-something lady with her 60-something hairdo, shakily climb the stairs to the exit after she danced and yell-sang along with the entire concert with multiple fresh drinks in her hand throughout the show, that is sad, and she needs to fire her hairdresser. I hope all of these drug-addled & alcohol-addled people were within stumbling-distance of their hotels.

I enjoyed seeing Duran Duran perform, loved the venue and had the handsomest date there. BUT, 85% of the people around us made me sad with their aging, overindulged states. I never want to be that person.

I want to nest in my little sanctuary of a cozy house, and maybe just listen to Duran Duran's greatest hits next time they are in town, especially if the tickets are that expensive.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Happy Halloween!


Chad's Frankenstein's monster homage is so expressive and evocative. My headless horseman woodcut style pumpkin is perhaps too meta and overwrought. Once again, Chad wins pumpkin carving.

Happy Halloween. Be safe. Have fun.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

BYOP 2014

The Sweet Things Table: Kettle Corn, Pumpkin Whoopie Pies & Apple Fritters















Pumpkin Carving Tools After Washing

Friday, October 17, 2014

Let's Do This

It's about to get real. Real pumpkiny. BYOP (Bring Your Own Pumpkin) party is tonight, and preparations began about a month ago.


That blue smudge is almost certainly (not) a ghost, right? I hope it's a friendly ghost.


We totally confused the fireflies. 


Without the ghost this time.


Hector, our giant spider, made his annual appearance.





Sunday, October 12, 2014

No Idea What I'm Doing & No Time To Do It

Hey. I have been quite busy with the new-ish full-time job as the Visuals Coordinator / Supervisor (yes, two job titles for one person & yes, two jobs to be done simultaneously) at a clothing retailer, a freelance stylist project for a property management group and trying to maintain a social life.

I am not in super-love with my new job, but want to do the best work I can there. When my self-imposed year is done at this job, a few bills are paid off and money is saved for school, I am wondering if I should become a certified veterinary technician with a future goal of becoming a pet physical therapist or if I should go back to "real college" (as in not a community college with a certificate program, but a four-year accredited college for another bachelor's degree) to study interior design with a future goal of becoming an interior designer who specializes in commercial spaces. (How was that for a run-on sentence?)

I find working with pets, especially shelter/rescue group pets to be so rewarding. I like to slow down and observe a dog or cat to get a sense of what they need to feel safe, healthy and loved. Purrs and tail wags more than make up for the lower salary that this career field might fetch. I also love designing spaces for form, function and aesthetic appeal. I would focus on commercial spaces for interior design, because I can't bear to work with bored rich people who have forty five names for beige and really just want you to compliment their great taste, not really to give up one iota of control to let you help them design their space. No thank you very much. I'm truly torn between these two options. Luckily, I have ten and a half months to decide.

BTW: Be sure to check out my instagram photos on the widget to the right of this blog or follow me "therealjennc" on instagram to see more of my work & whimsy.