Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Man Week 2010

There are defining moments in any man’s life: learning a Windsor knot, sipping that first beer with dad, buying a 40-inch flat screen TV, etc. For all testosterone-generating dudes, the desire to measure his worth in repairs and construction is ubiquitous. Some men tackle this challenge by remodeling a bathroom or rebuilding an engine. I am not those men. My benchmarks are markedly more rudimentary.

“Man Week 2010” started on 11/27 when I winterized the backyard (put picnic table in shed), and continued on 11/28 when B and I collaborated to build a breakfast table and two stools (insert wooden dowels and screw in twelve bolts with an Allen wrench). The holiday season is an electrician’s dream, providing ample opportunity to channel Bob Villa (find the broken bulb and set the timer), and no fix-it foray is complete without plumbing (pour Drano in the tub, wait 15 minutes, and rinse).

Alas, my stint of male domination ended with a shovel, a driveway, and seven inches of lake effect snow. The flakes could not escape my wrath, and the ice crystals could not outlast my unbridled attack of the asphalt. Unfortunately, neither could the pinched nerve in my back. “Man Week 2010” ended with me feeling like a man, alright: a 75-year old one. Somebody bring me some ice and Advil.



Tuesday, November 23, 2010

What the Cell?

I spent the day without my cell phone. I drove, worked, exercised, showered, ate, read the newspaper, had conversations with people within earshot, and lived to type about it.  November 23, 2010: the day I braved this cruel world while my Blackberry lay idle atop the couch in my empty living room.

It was like a day straight out of 1997. I listened to the car radio and spent my down time resting my texting thumbs, contemplating a diplomatic way to ease the growing violence between the Koreas. My anxiety waned as my disconnected day wore on. I realized how attached I have become to that PDA in my pocket. It was freeing to spend a day in the dark. It made me nostalgic for days where plans had to be made in advance and words had to be looked up in a dictionary. But today is over, my phone is charging, and it will not leave my sight tomorrow.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Have Your Dictionary and Planner Ready…

Planning a wedding takes patience, hard work, and the ability to learn a new, very technical, vocabulary. For example, “tool” is not only something that I have trouble using during failed home improvements, nor is it merely a title given to a middle-aged divorcee who wears a tank top on the dance floor at Taylor’s Night Club. It is also a decorative cloth used to soften the light of a wedding reception. Dupioni is a popular type of silk used for bridesmaid’s dresses, not just the last name of your father’s buddy who is always giving you merchandise that he didn’t pay for. You know what I’m talking about.

Along with the new jargon, nuptial preparations require a man to write things down! Grab the back of a receipt, snag a Holiday Inn pen from the junk drawer, and list everything you need to accomplish along with deadlines for completion. Take the lead on the tasks that most likely fit your skill set:  the food, the booze, and the band.  The days of playing dumb are over. Take initiative, lest you want to be stuck putting together floral arrangements.


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Getting Domestic

There is steep learning curve when making the move from bachelor pad to domestic partnership with your significant other. It’s tough transitioning from a ten bedroom, downtown rental stocked with the finest in canned beer and day old takeout to a suburban ranch with two bedrooms, a Brita, and a teakettle. Both houses do have character, albeit one from a Jane Austen novel and the other from a National Lampoon movie.
Not even growing up with sisters can completely compare a man for moving in with his bride-to-be. It's not worse, just different. For example, I now get to use a bathroom with a hand towel that has been changed within the last six months, the couch is rarely boarding a stranger from a Tuesday night after party, and I have yet to come eye to eye with a mouse in the kitchen as I frequently did while residing at the Chateau de Bachelors.
All in all, it has been a welcome change, but not without its bumps. Who knew rinsing a dish isn't a good enough cleansing to authorize its reuse, and was anyone aware that a curling iron can't be put back in the vanity (a new word I learned, by the way) for SEVERAL hours? We are different animals, guys and dolls, and we practice divergent grooming regimens as a result. B introduced me to body wash and the “poof”. Hesitant at first, I tried a few showers lathering with the Koosh ball turned washcloth. Low and behold the experience was a joy. Not only does the poof improve rinsing efficiency, but body washes come in a variety of flavors that trump Dial’s waxy aroma. I now leave the house with a newfound confidence knowing my 2,000 parts smell of vanilla, tangerines, and honey. Thanks, honey!


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Home Improvement ManShee Style

So.....M & I decided to give our cozy little home a much needed facelift. While the first part of the summer was dedicated to the outside of our house, we decided to dedicate the fall to redecorating the inside, one room at a time. For a house that is under 1000 square feet, you'd think this would be easy, yes? No. A successful redeco requires two vital things: an eye for good taste and the ability to translate that good taste into your decor. We're working with neither. Now don't get me wrong, M can wear the hell out of a nice suit, but when it comes to home decor, he'd throw a Godfather poster on the wall and call it a day. And then there's me. I've always taken the road less traveled in terms of personal style, and when it comes to decorating, I suffer from multiple personality disorder. Part punk rock, part hippy, part Pottery Barn - I'm all over the place. What my mom politely refers to as "ecclectic" I refer to as urban kitsch. (Like your grandma's house, only a little less Betsy Ross and a little more Betsey Johnson.)

Keep in mind we're working with a small budget...and by that I mean no budget at all. Weddings don't come cheap and we're saving for one, so we're going to do everything we can to make this project an inexpensive one. If there's one thing I've learned from countless hours of HGTV it's that a fabulous alternative to buying new stuff is taking things you own and making them new again! For example, we're still rocking the same clunky IKEA coffee table I bought for my studio apartment in Queens 10 years ago but we're not ready to buy a new one. Easy solution? A new coat of paint in a new color. It's like getting a fun new table that didn't cost you a thing. We did the same with two side tables and two Adirondack chairs for our yard. Not only does a new coat of paint make your old furniture pop, but it's a great money saver. PLUS, you get to spend time with your honey doing something fun for your love nest. (Cut to me screaming "You're doing it wrong!" and M screaming back "How do you paint wrong? Seriously. Brush, paint, table. I think I can connect the dots.")

Quick tip: When painting (especially in 90 degree heat) make sure to have proper ventilation and drink plenty of water. M found that out the hard way when he almost passed out into a can of paint. Luckily it was Espresso Gloss, so he would have matched our TV stand.

Blog ya later, peeps.

Friday, August 27, 2010

First Day on the Blog

Hey Blogosphere, it's The ManShee Chronicles. We're improvisers from Rochester, New York. We're also engaged to be married.  It's a good thing we have senses of humor. You'll see me refer to M & B. I'm B and I make up the She in ManShee. M is the Man. (He'll love that.)

We started this blog to share laughs, stories and random nuggets of ManShee wisdom. 

Here's today's tip for you: When planning a wedding, don't forget to COMPROMISE. Seriously, people. Be ready to give in a bit (not give up!) because if you don't, it will be a long, hard and not-so-fun trip to the altar. Understand that you and your betrothed may not share the same ideas about what makes a dream wedding, so be prepared to meet in the middle. For example, M wanted 350 people at our wedding and I wanted 80. We agreed on 200. TWO HUNDRED FREAKING PEOPLE. Sorry, still working out the kinks in that particular compromise. The point is, we found a number that we both could manage and no one got hurt.  Before you turn into a wedding planning monster, remember the reason why you are marrying your honey, take a deep breath, and stop sweating the small stuff. Chances are, the thing you'll remember most is the part where you said "I do."

That's all for today. My shower is calling me. We've been staining Adirondack chairs all afternoon and I look like I have a strange, patchy, chestnut brown tan. I hope this stuff washes off....

Talk to you soon,