Going all in

So, I told you about the ridiculous couch I picked for my little house. Well, this week I bought some ridiculous throw pillows to go with the ridiculous couch. I went maximal.

I went for texture, and a bit of sheen, and a hint of purple.

There are two sets of the printed and pleated pillows, accounting for four of the six pillows I bought. The printed one reads black and gold in the pics, but it’s not black. It’s a deep brown that has a purple undertone. My accent colors are going to be deep blues and purples, so the couch can have some purple pillows to tie it all together.

Then there are the two oddball pillows that I just couldn’t say no to.

Yep, that’s a faux mink pillow and a faux silk dupioni with embroidery.

I have no words for myself.

final note: the pillows came from the thrift shop, and cost me a grand total of $13. I’ll give them a good cleaning (along with the couch) before they enter my house

Training a big box store

When we first started drinking our flavored sparkling water, we were living in east Texas. I got the big box giant with the blue letters and yellow star trained to keep tons of the peach flavor on their shelves for me. Then we moved here, and I eventually got this location of that big box giant trained to keep lots and lots of the peach flavor on their shelves.

side note: yes, it is absolutely possible to train a big box store. It took me going in there several times a week and buying up all of their available stock in my preferred flavor every time I was in there. Eventually, the inventory & logistics experts adjusted their ordering and made sure that more was in stock.

Then we had the “rule” that there would be no burning plastic in this community; Mrs B would be taking all of our plastic to her mom’s place in the next town over (where they actually have recycling pickup).

side note: I put the word rule in quotation marks because as far as I can tell, one person made that decision for the entirety of the community with no discussion from the rest of the community.

So we put 55 gallon barrels in the yard to collect the metal cans and the glass bottles and all the recyclable plastics. It took us about two weeks to fill the plastic one to overflowing. This situation prompted threats of a new “rule” that there would be no plastic allowed out here. I was all for it, but I wanted it to be a total ban on plastics.

side note” when I say total, I mean total. No plastic wrapped food, no plastic containers of fruit, no plastic wrapped breakfast cereals, no plastic k-cups for those ridiculous one cup coffee brewers, no plastic toothbrushes, no plastic shelves in the doors of the refrigerators (hell, no plastic shells on the outside of refrigerators), no plastic bottles of oil for cars, no plastic buckets of hydraulic fluid for tractors….. Yeah, you know that didn’t happen.

So I decided that, to reduce some of the contention around the amount of plastic we were using, I would buy my flavored sparkling water in cans.

That was months ago. I am still trying to train this big box store to keep more than 6 twelve packs of my flavored water in stock. I’m resigned to going to this store multiple times per week and buying up all of their available stock in my preferred flavor in cans, whether I need them or not at that moment. Eventually, they’ll figure it out and expand the amount of shelf space allotted to cans of my preferred flavor of sparkling water; then they’ll have enough in stock that I can reduce my stops at that store to once a week again. Until then, pray for the employees and patrons at that big box giant, because I hate going grocery shopping with a purple fucking passion.

final note: I know, bottled water is not very eco-friendly. I’ve decided that I’m ok with it, especially if I can train this store to carry enough cans, because I have given up so much in our journey towards a more simple, eco-friendly way of life.

Great Pyramids

No, I’m not referring to the ones in Egypt with sphinx heads and such.

I’m referring to the great pyramids we build here in murica.

These Great Pyramids are monuments to our consumerism. They are monuments commemorating our waste.

I wonder what archaeologists in the future will think when they excavate our Great Pyramids. Will they think that these are the things we valued enough to bury them in grand tombs like the Chinese did with clay soldiers and the Egyptians did with their gold trinkets? Or will they think that these are our modern day pirate treasures that someone buried so that nobody else would find it?

I pass this Great Pyramid every time I head to or from work. I pass this Great Pyramid every time I have to head down into Dallas. This Great Pyramid represents everything I was trying to escape when we made the decision to opt out and start living more simply.

This Great Pyramid is a symbol of the emptiness and decay that lies at the core of modern Western consumerist capitalist societies.

This Great Pyramid sickens my spirit, and makes me ever more grateful for the relative simplicity of my life today. It may not be easy, but it is simple.

We’re becoming quite the parking lot

Sunshine has two giant trucks and a jeep. I have my car. We live in a motor coach. Mrs B has her car. Mr B has his car, his truck, and 2 other cars sitting here (one for his daughter, one for sale, but still–they’re here).

Sunshine and Mr B both have four wheelers.

Sunshine has a boat and two trailers for hauling equipment (or cars or four wheelers). Mr B has his daughter’s previous car (totalled out) in the back yard. Mr B has some giant concrete pump on a trailer in the front yard.

Mr B bought that tractor along with 985839872098 implements that go with it so that we can keep the fields under control without spending all day on a lawnmower, and so we can plow the garden, and all that good shit.

We’re really starting to look like a parking lot out here. He just bought another tractor, along with 478 implements that go with it.

tractor-for-digging

final note: Seeing this picture reminds me that we also have a giant green shipping container off to the side, just out of view in front of the bucket on that tractor. I’m certain there’s more shit that I’m forgetting about at the moment. Perhaps we’re looking more like a salvage yard than a parking lot.

UPDATED to add: just remembered that Mr B has a giant crawfish cooker that is seriously so giant it is on it’s own trailer. Cajuns, man, they know how to cook

Keep on keeping on

It’s been 6 days without a day off.

I helped the neighbor with her estate sale for five and a half days. Today I worked with Sunshine.

The last thing I wanted to do after the physical work part was done was to go to the big box DIY/home improvement store and help Sunshine pick up all of the right supplies for the job.

However, I found this.

giant-christmas-light

And I just had to have it.

Sunshine just shook his head at me and told me to get it if I wanted it.

my-new-funny-christmas-thing

Obviously, I did.

Sometimes, it’s the stupidest shit that helps me keep on keeping on.

Reason #4358 to hate big box stores

I realized that the hammered shitness might be an actual problem and not just a temporary feeling. Which meant that I needed to drag my ass into WalMart for some cough medicine.

side note: I don’t know about your local WalMart, but ours is ratfuck crazy on Saturdays. It’s also a small WalMart, so it totally sucks, but I digress.

I went to the health & beauty department and spent a not-insignificant amount of time trying to find the cough syrup that didn’t have any nasal decongestants in them, because I don’t have snot and anyway I have plenty of medicine at home for snot (and I don’t like most nasal decongestants anyway because they make me jittery). I kept getting distracted by some poor guy who was talking to himself, sounding as confused and pissed off as I was, trying to decipher the OTC nasal sprays. Being an allergy baby, and therefore somewhat of an expert on OTC nasal medicines, I finally had to get up and help the poor bastard. Too bad he couldn’t return the favor and help me find the non-nasal-medicine cough syrup.

After I finally found some cough medicine that was just for coughs, I headed to get item number two on my list: charcoal, because Sunshine would rather turn me lose in WalMart with access to all of his money than go in there with his picky ass and grab his own charcoal.

On my way to the charcoal section of the store (which is oddly on the same wall as tampons and garden shovels), what did I spy?

No, I didn’t see Willy the Pimp.

I saw Christmas.

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In September.

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In Texas.

texas-ornaments

With 90+ degree temperatures and 95+ heat index.

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I shit you not.

I have no words.

more-to-unpack

Well, actually, I have plenty of words, but most of them would be censored straight out of network television, and cable channels might have a problem with some of them.

This is some serious fuckery and I don’t even know who to blame for this.

final note: I tried blaming WalMart on the twitter. They have not responded to my tweets. Maybe I shouldn’t have asked them if they were fucking high.

 

Clothes shopping is bullshit

My sponsor has a 30 year sobriety anniversary coming up, and she has planned a show. Meaning that all of the girls she sponsors are going to have to perform some bit of ridiculousness on a stage in front of lots of people, and we have to wear a costume.

Let’s ignore the ridiculousness of requiring us to buy some costume that we are only gong to wear one fucking time to become some singing dancing trained puppies. Let’s also ignore the fact that I have no idea where I am going to come up with the money to buy some shit I am only going to wear once, including shoes since I have no shoes that even remotely look like they could have existed in the 50s, which is the chosen theme (white shirts, black ankle length or cuffed jeans). Let’s talk about the real bullshit going on here.

My recovery sister has volunteered to grab me some clothes that fit the costume description. That would be absolutely lovely, except for one thing: I can’t fucking tell her what size to buy for me.

In Chico’s clothes, I’m a zero or a one in pants. In some brands of jeans and pants, I am a 6. In other brands of pants, I might be an 8. In anything that is sized using Italian standards, I wear a 46 (which is roughly equivalent to an American 10). In H&M alone, I can fit into pants that are either size 8, size 10, or size 12. If it has letter sizes, I can be anything from a Gap XS to a XL in pants from the junior’s department at department stores, some women’s L in random stores here and there. And heaven help us if it’s premium denim. I have Paige jeans in a 30 that fit perfectly in the ass and gap at the waist, Helmut Lang jeans in a size 29 that fit perfectly, AG jeans that are a perfect fit in a 30, and in Balmain I wear anything from a 31 in their main line to a 30 in their bridge line, and both fit the ass but gap at the waist requiring a visit to a tailor. Let’s also throw in the fact that my Joe’s Jeans were a 30 and were so loose that I could go pee without unbuttoning them–they just slid down with almost no effort on my part. Hell, even standard denim is a nightmare, as both of my pairs of H&M skinny jeans are completely different sizes and fit pretty much the same. And my St. John knit pants? Size small, perfect fit in the ass and almost tight in the waist, which is pretty much backwards from EVERY OTHER BRAND ON THE FUCKING PLANET.

Shirts are their own nightmare. I have some shirts in my wardrobe that are size small and fit only a wee bit snug in the chest but are loose below the boobs. At the same time, I have some XL shirts that are entirely too tight. While all of this sizing nonsense is going on, let’s note that I have shirts in size M that look like a fucking circus tent on me and a 2X shirt that fits perfectly. In H&M alone, I have mediums that are too tight and larges that look like a bedsheet hanging off my shoulders. I have a top that my mother gave me that came from a plus size ladies store that fits me perfectly, a size small JCrew tshirt that fits just right, and a size 8 Cavalli that is a bit loose in the bust and perfect in the waist. Let’s add in that one random Lauren Ralph Lauren linen button down shirt in a size small that is superhuge on me, and the St. John top in a petite large (petite being for women under 5’4″ when I am 5’7″, for the record) that actually fit me and matched with the size small pants discussed above–just to emphasize the absolute meaninglessness of ladies’ clothing sizes.

Women’s clothing sizes have as much to do with anything rational as Jupiter’s 6th ring has to do with a bag of flour.

Now, let’s assume that I want to go do some vintage clothes shopping. Here’s where it gets really fun. Today’s size 0 woman would be a size 8 in clothes from the 50s. Marilyn Monroe was like a size 14 in the sizes of her day, but she would probably be a 6 or 8 or so in today’s sizes–unless it comes in waist sizes like premium denim does in which case she could be anything from a 28 inch waist to a 32.

I don’t understand it.

Which is why I do most of my shopping these days through my favorite European brand clearinghouse or through etsy. At least the Europeans stay reasonably consistent to European sizes (unless they’re fast fashion like H&M or Zara or something), so I can order based on my European size and be reasonably assured it will fit or will only need a minor modification in the waist. Etsy is great because I can have a conversation with the designer and make sure I’m ordering the correct size.

The only problem with that strategy is that, as much as I love my sponsor (and I do love her), I am not spending Eurpoean brand or Etsy level money on some shit that I will only use one fucking time to do my fucking trained dog and pony act. White shirts are awful on me, they completely wash me out and make me look like a ghoul or cadaver or something, and ankle length jeans/pants have no place in my wardrobe. I also don’t have any actual use for pants that can be cuffed to ankle length, because I like my pants with a skinny leg or an exaggerated wide leg, neither of which would fit my sponsor’s requirement.

Ultimately, I love my sponsor and will do my best to do this silly show, because 30 years sober is a big fucking deal. I just have to figure out a few things first. Like how I’m going to pay for the costume. And what fucking size I am. Because women’s clothing sizes make no sense and it makes bullshit out of clothes shopping.