Is That A Painting In Your Attic Or Are You Just Happy To See Me?

Wow, who knew you all had such strong opinions about mascara, huh? Not me, that's for sure. I'm sort of concerned about what I've got myself into, honestly, because in my head I assumed at least one of the top three contenders would be a drugstore brand and I wouldn't have to go bankrupt buying three fancy mascaras to test in the name of science, but you all are a fancy bunch with your Lancome this and your Chanel that, so we shall see—when I finally get around to tallying the results—whether I shall be living on cheese and crackers for the next month in order to conduct The Great Mascara Experiment of 2012. Not that I'd be complaining about living on cheese and crackers, mind. In fact, it sounds perfectly lovely. 

In other news, I have now been at my new job for almost a month and it is going swimmingly. Why do we say that: swimmingly? I am doggy-paddling my way through it, regardless—haven't drowned yet—and I am enjoying it enormously, although my days have suddenly got a whole lot longer now that I'm not working from home anymore. (Also, I miss my office. Some evenings I just go and sit in there with my wine and pour a little out for my former self, the one who used to work, unshowered, in her pajama pants and slippers, her sleep mask often still perched atop her head until the doorbell rang and she threw on some normal clothes and ran a brush through her hair so the UPS man wouldn't recognize her for the sloth that she was.) 

Ironically, what I assumed was going to be one of my least favorite parts about the new job—my hour-long commute each way—has turned out to be one of my favorites (for now, anyway; I have a feeling my thoughts on this may have changed in a month) and this is because I have rediscovered something dear to me, Internet: the music of the 90s. 

Now, as you may remember, certain bands from the 90s never actually left my heart, but there are a great many who did—both accidentally and, it turns out, temporarily—and I am having great fun rediscovering them again through the power of the online music community (I'm a big fan of Mog, but I'd be curious to hear your thoughts on Rdio and Spotify, if you like those better.) Every morning, while Sean drives—we're commuting together at the moment, which not only gives each of us someone else to talk to, but also allows us to use the carpool lane, HURRAH—I queue up my iPhone with long-forgotten gems of the 90s, and we both rock out in that way particular only to aging thirtysomethings who are quietly and desperately lamenting the loss of their youth. 

Remember Shed Seven, for instance? Kula Shaker? Ocean Colour Scene? Suede? Elastica? Sleeper? Feeder? Placebo? Lots of other bands who decided they would be more successful if their name only consisted of one word? And that's only the Britpop segment of our morning jam session, too; if we've got time, we veer into the American stuff afterwards, calling up lost memories over the dulcet tones of the Gin Blossoms, Soul Asylum, Alice in Chains, Better Than Ezra, the Smashing Pumpkins, Crash Test Dummies, and the Butthole Surfers. Ah, the 90s, man; glorious times. I used to think that if I could time travel, I'd want to go back to the 60s if only to see for myself what it was like, but now I think I'd probably rather head back to my heyday of 1996 and just, like, rock the heck out of some denim overalls and a bindi. 

The only other exciting thing happening right now, really, is that we're getting the outside of our house painted this week, which is an event more thrilling to me than Christmas, a 50% off sale at Restoration Hardware, and my (upcoming) birthday all happening at once. (Can you imagine if that did all happen at once? I'm sure it has to someone, somewhere. I hope their brain didn't explode too much when it did.) 

In preparation for the house-painting—which will not be done by us, despite the fairly decent job I think I did on our front door last month, painting it red just in time for the holidays, which was hilarious because then I just kept telling people "oh, I did it for Christmas. The red just goes so much better with the wreath. What, you don't do that too? You just put up a tree? Underachiever!"—we spent most of this weekend trying to narrow down a paint color. Narrowing down a paint color for the front of your house is a lot more unnerving than narrowing down a paint color for, say, your master bedroom, because when you are narrowing down a paint color for your master bedroom, you can at least be comforted by the fact that no-one is going to see that color besides the people you invite into your master bedroom, which—as long as you don't have some sort of kinky open relationship, I guess—will be a) not many people, and b) mostly people you like. When you are choosing paint colors for the outside of your house, however, you cannot get it out of your mind that every Tom, Dick, and Harry out for their afternoon walk might be passing judgment on the fact that you chose a cobalt over a charcoal, THE HORROR. 

Anyway, after much debate, we've narrowed it down to Pewter Cast, Ellie's Gray, and Mindful Gray, which—as I'm sure you can tell from the names—are three fairly neutral shades of chartreuse. Ha! Just keeping you on your toes; they're gray, of course. Though you have no idea, as a former English major, how tempting it was to go for the one called Dorian Gray, which yes, I am not even kidding, was actually one of the paint samples we saw. I love that somewhere out there at Sherwin Williams' headquarters, there is a dude sitting back in his chair and laughing. "Dorian Gray," he is chuckling to himself. "Damn, I'm the best paint namer ever."  

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1
newfoundlander
Jan 30, 2012

Anything named Pewter just HAS to be beautiful!
Now,back to the mascara..pleeeze be sure to let us know what the top three DRUGSTORE brands are anyway...even if the hoity toity fancy ones top them in the survey. I can't afford, much less find here in Corner Brook, many of the brands being mentioned. But, I still want my lashes to sweep the inside of my glasses...to hell with having to clean the lenses. Some things are worth it!

2
One Third Acre Woods
Jan 30, 2012

For a minute I thought I had lost touch with the music scene of my youth when I didn't recognize even one band you mentioned. I felt much better when I knew all of the American bands. Whew!

Good luck on the paint color. That is a huge decision. I have every faith in you that you will pick a delightful shade of grey.

3
jen
Jan 30, 2012

we are looking at nearly the same set of colors! i made a dorky oscar wilde reference to the paint counter guy about the color and got a blank look. i think perhaps i'll let you paint first and then just copy you. :)

4
Alison Presley
Jan 30, 2012

Just wait until you start doing the podcasts of This American Life or listening to Jane Austen books. I have a weird thing for somewhat long commutes. They can be a nice refuge!

Can't wait to see the house looking all spiffy!

5
Moira
Jan 30, 2012

Ohh, whenever I walk through our neighborhood I look at house colors and judge (I suppose that doesn't make you feel better). This one poor house is painted a green that is much more olive-y than I am sure they intended. You can't go wrong with grays!

I think you should find the best high-end mascara and the best drugstore mascara and have a throwdown.

6
Marcheline
Jan 30, 2012

That dude? The one sitting back and laughing?

He is RIGHT.

7
Thespian Libby
Jan 30, 2012

I've always wanted to be the person who got to name various products. In my closet, I have shoes named Kiera, Sylvia, Pretty Cat, and Cairo. (These are the names given the shoes by their manufacturer. I have not given names to my shoes - much as I love them). The naming process intrigues me. "Look Bill, at this paint chip. Is it more 'Mindful', or 'Dorian'?" And I suppose no one would ever purchase shoes named "Ethel" or "Hortense"...

8
Alison C
Jan 30, 2012

I'd love to see before nd after pictures.

But I have to say I am stuck on the fact that you used the word "gray". Remember play up the British!

9
Nichole
Jan 30, 2012

That paint-namer guy should get a lifetime achievement award.

We're going to get our house painted sometime soon, too, but I'm leaning toward not changing the color at all. Because I'm afraid we'd make a horrible decision, and because I don't know yet whether it would cost more.

10
Aura
Jan 30, 2012

if you really want 90s nostalgia overload, watch "so i married an axe murderer"... some gems on that soundtrack and a nice reminder of why mike meyers would be THE WORST boyfriend ever.

11
Amy
Jan 30, 2012

Any tips I can use to recreate your successful front-door-painting experience? My door desperately needs it but I have been reluctant to start-- for some reason painting a door is more intimidating than painting a room, not least because of the neighbor-judgment issues.

12
Kate
Jan 30, 2012

If I didn't already love reading your blog, your love of music from the '90's and that adorable Dorian Gray closing remark would ave endeared you to me for a long time.
-K

13
heidikins
Jan 30, 2012

My brother is a brilliant pianist and he painted his garage door and front door "Chopin Blue" based on the name only. Coincidentally, I painted a former bedroom "Claire de Lun" based solely on the name.

Two cheers for paint color namers!

xox

14
Julie in NC
Jan 30, 2012

First, it's great to hear that you're enjoying your new job! Second, I'm dying to know the results of the Great Mascara Experiment. Third, rekindling appreciation for Nineties music is brilliant fun... I've got a bunch of old chestnuts on my workout playlist and they are incredibly motivating.

Fourth and most exciting, I've lived through your paint selection process! We agonized over some of the very colors you're considering. I secretly wanted Dorian Gray to be the best choice for our house, but in the end Mindful Gray was the winner. We painted all our bathrooms with it and I still LOVE it after two years. We ended up going with an even darker gray (Night Owl) for the exterior and I love it too. Good luck picking your winner- can't wait to hear which one you select!

15
Meghan
Jan 30, 2012

I still listen to a lot of that music all the time (Better than Ezra specifically) and sometimes forget that 1997 was not a couple years ago. Also, I just heard an Elastic song the other day and got a little too excited. I even tweeted about it. And it was coming out of my own itunes. So.

16
Rhea
Jan 30, 2012

I soooo would like to be The Namer of Things. My sexy librarian reading glasses I just noticed are titled "Smarty Pants", so sassy! Can't wait to see the shade if grey you chose!

17
sarah
Jan 30, 2012

CRACKER!!
(90s band, not a paint color).
You're welcome.

18
Auburn
Jan 30, 2012

Am recently engaged and my betrothed is, to put it mildly, obsessed with music from the 90s. Or, as he calls it, college music (he graduated in the mid 90s). We are contemplating wedding bands and he is very seriously looking into getting Cracker. I don't know whether to be scared or excited, quite honestly.

19
Kate S
Jan 30, 2012

Absolute Radio 90s... our kitchen radio is permanently tuned in. You can listen online!

20
Carroll
Jan 30, 2012

I second the "fancy pants" vs "el cheapo" mascara selection brush off (like a "taste off", y'know?) No one of us among your loyal readers would fault you for changing the rules after the game has already started -- it's your blog! :-)

Also, any one of those colors will be spectacular with a newly red door.

21
Kim l
Jan 30, 2012

Oh man, now I want to paint MY house just to use Dorian Gray. Also, my cat dies under similar circumstances and screw that mean commentor. It is always hearbreaking to lose a pet.

22
Heather
Jan 30, 2012

I have almost all of those (American) bands on my "run 4 fun" playlist. You know. When I'm running for fun.

Will I see you Friday to spectate our BFF?!

23
Nothing But Bonfires
Jan 30, 2012

Heather, I'll be there! I'll email you. Looking forward to it!

24
jasmine
Jan 31, 2012

I totally would have gone for Dorian Gray because I know that it would look beautiful on the outside for ever and ever!

25
Dawn
Jan 31, 2012

We had new siding put on our house about 5 years ago, and completely changed the color of our house...a decision that made me lose sleep at night! Such a daunting task, especially since everyone will see it. My jumping off point was much like yours...knowing that I wanted our front door to be red (it used to be white). From there, it was between a darker khaki color or a grey, and we went with the khaki because there are two other grey houses on our street. So we went from white house with a white door and blue/grey shutters to a dark khaki house with black shutters and a red door. For all my misgivings, it looks fantastic, and I can't tell you how many people have knocked on our door wanting to know who did our siding because they love it. Phew!

Good luck, Holly...I know with your great taste that it will end up looking wonderful.

26
Sheila
Jan 31, 2012

Dorian Gray: I can just picture it.

Ha! See what I did there?

27
Anna Louisa
Jan 31, 2012

1. Spotify is amazing! You have to try it.
2. Dorian Gray (I always want to type "grey") made me laugh much harder than it should have...probably because I'm also an English major and am currently trying to figure out the perfect grey for our living room :).

http://anna-gemutlichkeit.blogspot.com/

28
Jane
Jan 31, 2012

This just reminds me we bought some tins of grey paint for the outside of the house a couple of months ago and still have yet to made a start. (Thinking we might get someone to do it professionally rather than slaving away at it - I mean who has the time to do that!)
Choosing the correct tone of grey was the hardest part. We've opted for a very safe light grey whereas a member of our family chose a deep grey and now her house has a purple look to it. Not what she wanted at all but had to live with it.

29
cec
Jan 31, 2012

an hour commute will get old, but yay for 90's music to get you through it!

i am surprised you spelled it "gray", too.

i've also preferred the look of the word when it has an "e", for some reason.

30
Nothing But Bonfires
Jan 31, 2012

I guess I spelled it gray because those were the names of the paint samples? Honestly, I swing both ways on it

31
jive turkey
Feb 01, 2012

The Lemonheads! Remember them?! Ahhh, the 90s.

I vote that we combine 90s music and paint colors. I'd paint a room Butthole Surfer Blue or No Doubt Beige.

32
Kim
Feb 04, 2012

Okay, what did I miss? You had one job, that turned into your telecommuting job, but now a new job? Help...

33
Kim
Feb 04, 2012

PS - Did the girl who was planning the wedding in like a week or whatever a few months ago ever write back and tell you how it all went????

34
Tarik
Feb 24, 2012

Someone told me they were tnniderg towards polished country . Looks like that ceiling will take your kitchen there! And the Twilight wasn't lost on me! Love the way its looking!

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Carlin
Feb 27, 2012

My Brit boyfriend just did a little jig because you mentioned OCS. They are still his favorite band. I was a Gin Blossoms girl myself. He also sides with you on what "just about" means. I side with Sean. You Brits like to stick together, I guess.

37
Ethanael
Mar 11, 2012

Aww, love this. That sweater is fabulous (and so are you!). I have a sweater that's quite faded and several sizes too big, but it's gone through three generations of women in my family and although my mom keeps egging me to get rid of it I don't think I'll ever be able to.

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