You Should Know How to Do This: Be Clean

Everyone who knows me, with the notable exception of my mother, agrees that I am a Clean Person. Staci’s house is kept at all times at hospital-grade sterility and Pottery Barn catalog levels of lovely, and she considers the Dairy Queen to be the absolute height of filth, so in recent years I decided her opinion is not one I can take into account. Sorry, Mommy! Everyone else, though– they all agree I keep a real clean house. There’s pretty much nothing worse in the whole world than staying the night with a friend, or being invited to your cousin’s for dinner and finding that everything is covered in a sticky film, or that there’s cat pee staining the rug. I’m not saying you’re that cousin, but if you are, I want to show you how to dig yourself out with a minimum of cussing and sweating.

It was not always this way. To paraphrase 1  Corinthians, when I was a college student, I swept as a college student, I laundered as a college student, I Windexed as a college student. When I became a grownup, I put the ways of college behind me. I first got my own space about four years ago. Initially, I was so pumped because any mess I made was my mess, and I was the only person I had to clean up for. I had a washer and dryer at my place for the first time ever and I had a dishwasher. After four years in dorms and keeping it as clean as I could in the wake of seven suitemates, I was in tall cotton, and I let it get filthy. I embraced dimmer switches and lived out of a series of piles.

dirtyhouse
No, of course this is not mine. That coverlet is ugly.

That worked for me for about 3 months and by September or so, I hated everything. I had always dreaded cleaning as a kid– and to be honest, it’s not like I love it now– and I didn’t want to devote my whole Saturday to Windexing baseboards and polishing silverware. I was also living on $12,000 a year, and couldn’t afford stuff like Pledge wipes, which were suddenly a luxury item. So I decided to change.

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Moving In: Pushing Daisies

Was I the only one who watched the excellent ABC show, Pushing Daisies? I feel like I was.

pushing daisiesThe show was about Pie Maker, the gentle-looking besuited Lee Pace who has a special supernatural talent: he can bring back someone or something from the dead with his touch. The show is about his relationship with Chuck (above, yellow dress, also known as Anna Friel), his weird agoraphobic aunts and their birds (red dresses), Kristin Chenoweth’s being funny, and a sort of complicated relationship with a P.I. (purple shirt). It was inventive, whimsical, and well-written; in short, it was never going to make it and was cancelled after one season. Here’s a quick primer:

The set design and costuming almost stole the show, so to speak. Wouldn’t it be fun to live in the Pie Hole? After the jump, I’ll walk you through making that look your own.

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Moving In: True Stories

This movie, more than anything else, defined my teenage years.

True confession: I was a teenage hipster dirtbag.

To be fair, I grew up into an adult hipster dirtbag, so I guess this is at least representative. My friends and I found this DVD at the bottom of the Wal-Mart $5 bin and were like, “hey, I’ve heard of the Talking Heads, I wonder what this is.”

And oh, what wonders were contained within. You’ve got John Goodman singing karaoke, you’ve got a lot of broken fourth wall, you’ve got a half-joke about how weird and wonderful Texas is, and a lot of bizarre filler, all set to an amazing soundtrack.

The look is pretty 80s, but the liberal use of colors and weird shapes can be easily updated– check it out after the jump.

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