The best tool EVER!

If you had asked me six months ago what my favorite tool is, I would’ve responded instantly. It would have been the liquid cool saw, hands down. Not that I’m against more flexible multiple-use tools, or that I don’t occasionally enjoy something more elemental such as a torch or sledgehammer. Still there’s something intimately soothing about gliding easily and quietly through steel bars with your saw. It just has a certain attraction.

That attraction has been trumped in recent months by Ryobi’s release of their new lithium battery powered cordless drill for individual sale. I had been slavering over the whole lithium-powered set at Home Depot since September, but when would I ever really use a lithium powered flashlight? And for $250, the whole thing was just not in my price range. But I wanted that drill…

Let me explain: I have been a loyal Ryobi customer since aught one. When final studio projects were due in my architecture classes and there was a shortage of drills available to borrow, I needed something affordable on a work-study salary. Despite my love and trust in DeWalt, it was out of the question. I went with Ryobi, a brand at that time that I barely knew. It has not disappointed me yet. I remain fond of my drill, named ‘Benny’, and he continues to be a useful part of my tool family.

Benny however is getting on in years, and is a little lonely. And for really big jobs, he needs a second battery I don’t have. And with the price of a spare battery being almost that of an entirely new drill, the time may soon come when Benny moves to the second shelf, his responsibilities handled by a longer-lasting lithium model. Not because I love him less, but instead to give him a little rest. It would be a much deserved one.

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I don’t understand ‘girl things’

Ok, that’s not exactly true. I understand lipstick and wanting to look pretty. Oh, and I’ve been told I can color coordinate. Otherwise I’m pretty clueless. Applying eyeliner? Fail. Walking down stairs in heels? I have enough trouble barefoot on a perfectly flat surface. Flirting? I have achieved the same social skill level as my bedpost.

This came to my attention over the holidays when I went to my college friend Rochelle’s formal wedding event for New Year’s. I am a dedicated friend, and I pulled most of the stops on this one, and encountered a whole range of objects and products as a result. Not to say that I wasn’t familiar with most of them in theory already, but many of them I had not actually tried for myself. So now I have a few more experiences to go into my ‘never ever ever’ list, and some others I’m still mulling over in my mind.

First on the ‘no’ list is the eyelash curler. Not only do I not understand the point of this device, it looks like giant dentisry equipment or other modern implements of torture. No doubt I should really give this thing the benefit of the doubt, since I didn’t even try it myself for the wedding, but it will take quite a bit more for me to overcome my latent fears. Also, I just don’t get it. Does curling eyelashes really make them look fuller? Why do we want full lashes anyway? Fact: Men have longer lashes than women. Fact: Pigs also have very full, long lashes.

Mascara is something I’m familiar with, and do use occasionally for big events, even though I’m bad at it. Usually I come out clumpy. I guess it could be worse. In combination with my messy eyeliner tactics, I could’ve looked like I had two black eyes. I don’t do well with soft gooshy pencil. I need something with the finest point available to counteract my unsteady hand. And with a finer point, it hurts less why you poke yourself in the eye cause it’s smaller. Really. In the end I came up with a less-is-more look when I reached the point of maximum frustration and wiped as much as possible off of my face.

But that’s ok, experimentation is good. And the end result of my first manicure remains fascinating. True, I did get my hands done in a light shade of purple to match my dress, so they aren’t exactly an everyday color. Mike says they make me look like I lack oxygen in my bloodstream. Still, I kinda like it. And it was interesting to watch a small Asian woman trim my cuticles for several minutes. I would never have guessed I had that much skin – yum.

There’s also something about the polish itself that’s almost addictive. I usually knit on the bus, and I find myself this week occasionally pausing to examine the contrast of my skin, my silver-flash needles as they move, and my nails in their lavender splendor. I find myself rubbing my nails compulsively now. Ooooh, so silky and smooth! Is this some kind of weird addiction? Should I be worried about acrylic or other chemicals leaching through my fingers to my brain? I think I may be a convert, and am slightly worried about my future life as an administrative assistant with jumbo press-ons who can’t type. If I start writing one-word blogs, be worried.

The Return of Podunk.

There was a time when the wilds of China called out for a guide. When the annals of English grammar and usage needed unearthing and distribution to modern man by one talented individual. When tea could no longer stand its improper preparation in uncultured hands and cried out for a hero. That time is now. That guide/individual/hero, is Podunk Jo.

Panama hat cocked slightly aside, she is coming to a blog near you (namely, this one) .