the work picnic was nice - not the best iteration of the picnic that i've seen in my 4 summers at my work, but serviceable. i booked it home to pick up painting supplies and awaited the arrival of bwong, who helped me bang off two coats on the dining room. the colour FREAKED me out at first. i was really concerned that we had made the bad call and that i should have stuck with the original colour.
we took a work break to eat dinner (chino loco's) and watch "shottas" which is kind of like a jamaican backwards version of "belly" (that hype williams hip hop flick) with a $10,000 budget, gratuitous fake boobs and horrible acting. it was kind of awesome, even if the thick patois meant that i only understood about 15% of the dialogue (if that.) it features a performance by wyclef and a pretty boomin' soundtrack. i was exhausted so i fell asleep and missed a really ace scene where they show the requisite, insane-o enforcer goon, mad max, smoking a cigarette. pan out: it's being held in A DEAD GUY'S HAND. lol!
saturday we woke up hella early and got pwned first thing with some probable car troubles. the dotytron was driving in scarbs and some kids at the side of the road were like, "guy! your tire is on fire!" so he pulled over and checked and the rear right tire was smoldering. he called CAA and had them tow the car to our mechanic. i was home and the dotytron was en route to teach a lesson, so i dealt with the mechanic. it was my first time talking to him, and quite frankly, HE'S THE BEST GUY ON THE PLANET. CAA guy was telling us it might be our calipers seizing up, which would be a TOTAL piss-off because a) we just got the rear calipers replaced less than a year ago, and b) calipers cost around a grand. but when i talked to our mechanic, he said it wasn't that. he can't find out what's wrong, but he's going to take another look at it on monday and do our oil and a transmission flush at the same time. i can't convey how reassuring, calm, professional, and NON skeevy our mechanic is. he instantly puts you at ease, if you can find a cheaper price someplace else, he'll work something out with you, he doesn't try to force you to get work that doesn't need to be done, he's super-informative, busy enough so that there's always cars there but not so busy that he can't squeeze you in...i pretty much fell in love with him talking to him on the phone. the dotytron has won himself mad "get yourself out of the doghouse free" cards by finding this guy. to the point where i was all worried that he was old and was only going to be around for maybe 10 more years, and then we'd have to find a new mechanic again, but the dotytron has met him and told me that he's actually in his late 30s. phew.
we were supposed to go to deep richmond hill to attend our friends' P & R's baby shower, but there was no way we could get there with no car, so we had to bail, which meant that the day was consumed with going buck cleaning the house and finishing painting the dining room and doing the groceries. lil' ugmo has never been this clean. it's all because i'm hosting academic book club on wednesday and these are all grown-ups and i want to impress, i guess? i dunno. i do know that i effin' love a clean house. the dotytron and i are both like that. we luxuriate in it. we love just sitting in our freshly cleaned house and breathing in that natural cleaner smell and surveying everything being in the proper place. it's so calming.
so the big dining room overhaul is done. this is the dining room we inherited:
pretty hideous. awful acoustic tile ceiling, that disgusting fluorescent light picking out all the yellow tones in the walls, drab furniture...ugh. it's a wonder what we (read: the dotytron) ever saw in lil' ugmo and it's a wonder he managed to convince me that we should actually buy the thing.
this was the interim iteration of the dining room, that we've been living with for the past 8 months or so, featuring that blue paint that was supposed to be a steely gray-blue but ended up more sickening, baby's room blue and would drive me crazy every time i looked at it:
i only have 1 photo of it. i guess in my heart i always knew it was provisional.
this is the new and improved, for keeps (or for the next good long while, at any rate) dining room iteration:
the colour is a little off in the photos - it's a deep, greeny-blue with lots of red tints in it - like a deep, deep aquamarine. we picked it because it goes nicely with the red vignette on top of the refrigerator chest and the pale yellow in the embroidery hoops. the yellow picks up the yellow in the drapes and in the 2 chairs at the head and foot of the table.
here's a shot of the opposing wall, which is all white and features that fabric i bought at that vintage sale i went to a while back, mounted on a canvas frame and hung:
the plan is that later on, i'm going to stretch some twine in between two tacks just below it, and do a revolving photo display of photos that we like of friends, family, vacations, etc. hung from mini clothes pegs.
here's a closeup of the embroidery hoops - i bought vintage yellow fabric online and we hung our favorites in the hoops:
the dotytron totally got into the embroidery hoops - way more than i thought he would. i'm totally besotted with the new dining room. it's fulfilling all my nesting urges.
i love sitting on our new couch (!) from the living room, which is all thunderdome with couches...the new set-up is a little squishy, but not bad, and totally suitable for hosting movie club and whatnot:
we're calling new couch an homage to smudgie, because it's the exact same grey as him and is super soft and squishy.
we moved old new couch under the window, with a side table with the vintage lamp on it right next to it. shifted the colour-coded bookcase down and moved the tv to the far left of the buffet so that it can be angled so that anyone sitting on the couches can see it. pretty aces! i'm waiting to get my international year of astronomy posters framed and then hung above the new couch. the colours in there are grey and dark grey, the purple, red, and yellow. the drapes are the same in the living room and dining room, and the yellow and grey and red are continued throughout both rooms, providing some continuity.
last night i made us a pretty boss dinner. we had grilled flank steak with chimichurri (chimichurri is SO GOOD! that was my first time eating/making it), with cumin black beans and brown rice, with lime squeezed over. we also had that cucumber, radish, feta and dill salad i like so much. for dessert we had another slice of the strawberry rhubarb crostata i made on friday, with whipped cream and ice cream:
we were EXHAUSTED after going to town on the house and doing errands yesterday...i think i passed out at 10:30pm in our blessedly cool house now that the heat has broken a bit AND tillers passed on the super-awesome tip to have the fan going on the furnace (no heat, just fan) to circulate the cooler air from downstairs up to the second floor.
even though we worked like, nonstop for about 12 hours on saturday, it was so worth it, seeing the results above and having everything tidy. i'm such a freak. my vices consist of being prepared, working hard, organizing and multi-tasking. it's sick. i'm addicted to all of the above and the hit of euphoria i get is a pure dopamine shot to the brain.
this morning we woke up at had a shanghai dim sum brunch with cousin yeti and his partner E. cousin yeti plays in this awesome 80s hair metal band called the diemonds. i think i've talked about them before. they are the best! so rockin! and so sincerely rockin at that. we're going to see them play their NXNE show at the newest hipster bar/restaurant sensation, parts and labour (owned by the same people who brought parkdale the social). cousin yeti started off as their drummer, played on their first album, took a break to go on tour with some other bands as a guitar tech, and now is back as their second guitarist.
tonight i think the plan is to go back to chino loco's as a nice treat before the dotytron abandons me for 3 days to take a bunch of grade 8s to montréal as part of their grad trip. i think we're also going to try to do some no-rules tennis or go for a bike ride, too.