Monday, July 27, 2015

Dared to Babysit a Garden... Yard Crashers from Hell


This (and more) is what happens when I get dared to babysit a garden for a week… 
I made some much need yard d├ęcor improvements.

A close friend of mine…let’s call her Olivia (because that’s her real name)…left her home and garden in my hands for a week while she and her husband traveled to Seattle.  Being the generous and altruistic friend I am, I said ‘yes’ right away.  Her only request was that I not kill anything.  Seriously?  It’s as if she hasn’t been paying attention the past 10 years of our friendship. 

I never do anything halfway, and I rarely do things that I don’t find entertaining.  Everything from my parenting style to my laundry folding techniques involve some measure of excitement and challenge.  In a future post I will tell you about a fun, little game I invented that combines laundry and parenting! It’s called “Mom throws socks at kids.”  It sounds mean, but my kids actually love it. 

As Olivia should have known, and, if you’ve read this blog with any consistency, you know that asking me to do something is essentially equivalent to daring me take your commonplace request and amp it up to a level worthy of my admittedly limited attention. 

Well Olivia, I accept your ‘dare’ to babysit your garden … and I raise you one heinous yard crash. 


‘Dared’ to Babysit a Garden...and an excellent ADHD Moment

As fate would have it, my friend Laura recently bought the house kitty-corner behind Olivia’s.  When she purchased her new home it came with a shed, which was fully loaded with woodworking arts and crafts from the 1970's and 80's in various phases of completion.

The Shed


Means & A Plan...Super flattering thumbnail on this video.

When my friend first examined the contents of her shed it was hard to say why the previous owners felt the need to save much of the contents. 

Now I know!  It was all by grand design! It was meant to be used for this very occasion.  I felt inspired.  Click on the video below to see the creative process.

The Creative Process

Before & After photos of one of the gems we found in the shed.

Before: Legless Bambi? No problem! I have a use for that!

After: A little red spray paint (also donated by previous owner) 
and we now have the creepiest lawn decoration ever!

Some of my favorite design elements are features in this post’s first photo, but here are some of the results of arts & crafts time!



I wanted to stay on trend, so I used a chevron pattern
on many of the items.


I tried to spray paint an eye on this deer…I missed, so I made up for it with the 
red paint. Please enjoy my shadow in this high quality photography. 
(Photographer available for wedding as well).

“N” is for Naty!

This deer had a tragic encounter with
this wheelbarrow!

Here’s most of the overall finished product.

The neighbors inquired about our lawn enhancements, and then said (this is the complete truth), 
"We have the coolest neighbors ever!"

Unfortunately for me, I’m writing this post from vacation.  Why is that unfortunate?  Because I’ve left my own house and garden in the hands of a friend (thankfully not Olivia).  Let’s just hope that friend doesn’t get any big ideas.  It sucks to get into a prank war with Naty Severson…I never lose. BE WARNED!

I’d love to here from you all!  Here’s a couple questions?
1.  How would you feel if you came home from vacation to your yard looking like this?
2.  What great pranks have you pulled off?

Leave a comment or dare below!  You have to sign-in to leave a comment.  Do that before you post comment, or blogger will reject you…and you will be frustrated…no one likes rejection.


Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Public Displays of (my) Ridiculousness...Naty shouting in NYC coffee house & the barista's reaction.

This blog and its commitment to dares has already ‘forced’ me to do some really ridiculous things in public places.  For example, when wearing oven mitts for 24 hours straight, I couldn’t help but take my crazy mitted-existence out into the world for others to see.  When I think about the idea of daring someone to wear oven mitts for a day, it has two primary motivators:

  • A desire to see how I navigate various daily activities and the frustration that results from the hassle.
  • People also want to see how I respond to the public humiliation of wearing oven mitts in public in 90-degree heat. Thank you to my friends, family, and some complete strangers for jumping on the humiliation bandwagon so quickly!

I

I have to admit the public-humiliation-bandwagon-riders are onto something here.  If I stayed in the safe confines of my house during the challenge (which I could have chosen to do), it would be disappointing for darers and readers of this blog alike… not to mention how boring it would be for me.

Why would that be disappointing to all of us?  Because we all love to see how people react when they watch or unwittingly become a part of unusual and awkward situations.  (I already wrote a post called People Fell Down… So I Laughed at Them.  Check it out.)  Society, nor our parents thought to train us how to react to someone wearing oven mitts in Target.  Our brain has no set behavioral pattern of response.  Naturally, people have a wide range of reactions: laughter, question asking, staring, or wondering if I have an infectious disease… the list goes on. 

When one of my friends dared (See New York Dares...& Blogs that Poop post) me to reenact popular movie scenes during my trip to New York City, I was totally unsurprised to see that ALL of the proposed movie scene reenactments involved me doing something completely idiotic and unexpected in front of large groups of strangers. 

As follows, I'll show you the scene I reenacted (along with a link to the original) and then I'll tell you a bit about how New Yorkers and NYC tourists reacted to me. 

World’s Best Coffee: Elf - Watch the original movie scene if you haven't seen it.

I actually love doing things like this and I often find myself purposefully creating awkwardness just to spice up life. But, in my most vulnerable moments (such as this) I have to admit to some extreme nervousness right before doing something crazy.  #worththerush  Nervous I’d screw up the lines under pressure, I must have watched the original scene 20 times trying to memorize the lines in the correct order. #harderthanithought  Here’s the result…

My Scene: 


Reaction:  Lots of people stared.  The coffee shop was very large and filled with ambient noise, but everyone who could hear me stopped once they realized what was going on.  Why wouldn’t they?  It’s unusual for people to walk into a coffee shop, shout, and then walk out.

My favorite part of this dare is that we recorded the reaction of the barista.  His reaction is pretty great… I think I may have made his day.  Watch it…

Barista Reaction Video:



Riding the escalator: Elf  (This was the most popular movie to mimic.) - Again, watch the original movie scene if you haven't seen it. 

My Scene:
Clearly, Will Ferrell is way more flexible than me

I did not include a video to this challenge.  I think you get the idea from the photo. 

Reaction:  The reaction to this scene was minimal and not funny. Why?  Because I chose an out of the way escalator in Rockefeller Plaza, and the majority of people who saw it (my friends with me) knew what I was going to do and why.  It just didn’t end up being all that funny… hence sparing you a complete video.

Running like a lunatic in Central Park: Friends - Here's Phoebe in the original scene.

My Scene: 



Reaction:  This was a stop and stare moment for everyone who saw it.  As you can see by the expression on the tourists’ faces, they didn’t expect this to happen.  I was trying not to laugh the entire time.  We passed this group later in the day and I sincerely hoped they didn’t recognize me. 

Endless Revolving Door Ride: Elf - As seen in the movie.

My Scene: 


New Yorkers and tourists alike just went around me to another set of doors.   They just wanted to get out of Rockefeller Center.  My friends’ reaction (as you can hear on the video) was to make me keep acting ridiculous for as long as they possibly could.  Thankfully I was hip to their game and stopped myself.



New York Dare accomplished.  And yes, I looked completely ridiculous in public… mission accomplished faithful readers. 

A couple of quick things...

1.  I'm still looking for submissions for the "Obeying Signage" Contest.  (See original post)
Photograph yourself ‘obeying’ signs and email them to me (naty.severson@gmail.com) within the next two weeks.  If you make me laugh out loud I will put your picture up on this blog and you may be awarded a (yet to be named) prize! Seriously, I will give out prizes… and you can take pride in your ability to be funny. 

2.  I'm looking for new dares... preferably ones that don't involve eating unhealthy amounts of food in short periods of time.  Send them my way by leaving a comment below. If you have problems leaving a comment be sure to switch to the full web version.

Looking forward to hearing from you!  


Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A New Tattoo... and Obeying Signage


Someone dared me to get a tattoo, so…



More on the tattoo later.  First…

When I was in New York City I rode the subway a lot… I mean a lot, a lot.  I had plenty of time smell other people, lose my balance from abrupt stopping, wonder if I was on the correct train, and study the signs posted inside the trains.  My favorite signs were a series of “Subway Etiquette” drawings posted in nearly every train car. 

During one late night train ride I couldn’t help myself… I just needed to act out what the sign was showing.  My friends (who were semi-embarrassed by my behavior) reluctantly photographed my efforts.  New Yorkers rolled their eyes and actually moved away from me (despite my unsmellyness), while tourists seemed to be entertained by my efforts. 

In each photo, look above my head for the sign I’m reenacting.

Example:

As posted in the subway

My version...

My mom won’t like this unladylike pose, but a dare’s a dare… 
even if you are daring yourself.



It’s hard to see but the sign says, “Don’t be a poll hog.”

Just one more… It’s my favorite.

As it appears in the NYC subway


My Rendition – It was a nice effort with very poor execution.  
I almost kicked another tourist.  She laughed about it. 

Here’s a video for good measure.




Now it you’re your turn!

I DARE YOU! 

IYes, you.  It’s time to ‘obey’ signs.  Photograph yourself ‘obeying’ signs and email them to me (naty.severson@gmail.com) within the next two weeks.  If you make me laugh out loud I will put your picture up on this blog and you may be awarded a (yet to be named) prize! Seriously, I will give out prizes… and you can take pride in your ability to be funny. 

Just keep in clean.  Don’t mimic signs such as this…



I totally did get another tattoo, but not on a dare. Even I have my limits. I just wanted to get you to click and see my blog post. If you enjoy what you read, you can even subscribe. I know that’s a big commitment most Americans are leery to make, but if there’s one thing I’ve learned from 16 years of marriage, it’s that commitment to something amazing is worth it. #wifepoints


Here’s the new tattoo, which I got because I wanted to… not because of a dare. 

These are the names of my favorite childhood pets.


What’s next?  What dares do you have for me? 
If you are having problems leaving a comment, please click to view the full web version on your phone.  Keep trying! Leave comments below… or just chronically write on my Facebook wall or send me emails… I mean, whatever… but you could just comment on this blog…

Email your sign pictures to me (naty.severson@gmail.com) within the next TWO WEEKS so I can put them together for a new post.  I want to see your creativity! I dare you to make me laugh out loud!