Thursday, September 20, 2007

Gossip girl, mmmmmm

I only watched the premier of Gossip Girls last night because Kristen Bell (the erstwhile Veronica Mars, RIP) is the narrator. This is somewhat less than satisfying, because you don't get to look at her. And look how preposterously cute she is:

Ahhhh. But Gossip Girl was pretty awesome anyway. The premise is that Kristen, Gossip Girl, is an anonymous blogger who writes about the tomfoolery of the insanely good-looking, rich, jaded, ridiculously-named kids at a schmancy private Manhattan high school, as follows:

Serena van der Woodsen: Lovely, possibly sad, possibly bad blonde who would look like a Hitchcock heroine if she weren't falling over drunk a lot of the time (falling over gracefully, though); disappeared to boarding school in Connecticut last year under mysterious, possibly sad, possibly bad circumstances.

Blake Waldorf: The feisty brunette who used to be Serena's best friend, but resents her mysterious disappearance and re-appearance, and considers her a threat to the social power Blake has consolidated over the last year.

Nate Archibald: Blake's boring boyfriend who (SPOILER!) did it (yes, IT!) with Serena last year, unbeknownst to Blake until ~40 minutes into the premier.

Chuck Bass: Bad, date-rape-attempt-prone boy. You can tell he's evil because he combs his hair forward, wears ridiculous things like ascots, and uses the phrases "seal the deal" and "tap that ass" both in the same scene. That and the date-rape attempts (two in one hour!).

Dan & Jenny Humphrey: The Brandon and Brenda Walsh of this show--they're sweet, innocent, not rich, and from a frumpy, faraway land (Brooklyn). Dan's in love with Serena, and Jenny wants to be popular and is Chuck Date Rape Attempt # 2.

There are also an Asian girl and a black girl who I don't think got names yet. And some parental characters who, very much unlike the Walshes, are busy having illicit affairs and directing their children to sleep with their classmates so as to advance their business interests.

One could point out that Veronica Mars would hate these people and would spend her time finding out what crimes they're guilty of rather than writing "Gossip Girl loves parties" on a blog devoted to the minutiae of their lives, but who wants to be such a negative Nelly when you could just watch the teevee?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Status as home-improvement guru soon to be reinstated!

So we had the guy who previously built us new walls after we got air conditioning installed come over to look at the somewhat-destroyed-bathroom-walls situation. He said he'd come over and TEACH us how to fix it ourselves. He told us that he taught a guy (the son of Sen. Pryor of Arkansas, he said) to plaster his walls and he went on to become a professional plasterer. Mr. T&A would prefer that he just do it himself, but I am very psyched about learning how to do it, and perhaps becoming a professional plasterer myself. Yahh!

Wherein I use interior design principles in lieu of a lead dust test kit

DC seems to be entirely bereft of lead paint test kits,* so instead of using science, I put my powers of deduction to work. 

The layers we scraped off our bathroom were as follows:  top coat of off-white paint, almost certainly applied by Previous Owners in the 1999-2006 period. Then, wallpaper border, navy with teal and pinkish flowers in a kind of diamond pattern. Then, mauve/dusty pink paint which came off largely stuck to the wallpaper.  Underneath that was a kind of greige paint which stayed in place, and below that were bright pink and teal paint layers which we only saw fleeting glimpses of through the greige. 

I feel that the mauve paint must have gone up pretty much around the same time as the wallpaper border, both because they stuck together so much and because they coordinate.  And (drum roll), the mauve/navy/teal scheme MUST be from the '80s.  Yes?  And thus must not contain lead, because only paint from before 1978 has lead.  Yahhh!  All the vacuuming and 3-bucket stuff was thus hopefully just an unnecessary lark.

*The Home Depot on Rhode Island Ave. said they never have them although people ask for them all the time (which, then, why don't they order some?  but who am I to judge the wisdom of the Depot), and Logan Hardware says they usually have them but they don't now, or else they got some in on Monday but they can't find them, but they should get some more on Thursday.  They were very nice about it, though.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Plaster repair despair

Several weeks ago Mr. T&A and I embarked on the project of painting our bathroom. We were fresh off a smashing success in painting our office ("Plantain," a very nice yellowish green), and the bathroom is teensy, so it seemed like it should be relatively painless.

Ahh, the folly. We've spent eons chipping off layers of wallpaper and paint (the bastards who painted over a wallpaper border should be condemned to an eternity of trying to remove it). This has resulted in a disaster zone of cracked, holey plaster with random patches of paint. Tonight I attempted to patch some of it with spackle, but it was like trying to smooth out a 90-year-old's face with frosting.

To add to the problem, the other day, weeks after we started, we realized that our house is old so some of the paint we're chipping off probably contains lead. And we're having a baby shower here next weekend. (For somebody else, not me!) Pregnant ladies are not supposed to inhale lead dust. So now we need to clean the house using an EPA-approved method involving a HEPA vacuum cleaner and 3 separate buckets, and even so I feel like the worst baby shower hostess ever. (Plus maybe we've already lead-poisoned ourselves.)

Anyway, I have now officially hit bottom on the bathroom, and have acquiesced to Mr. T&A's plan to hire somebody else to do it. I now realize that I had been harboring visions of myself as a budding home-improvement guru, but now those dreams are dashed. Maybe I'll try gardening instead.