Tuesday, October 27, 2009

November 2009 Activity -- Flower Arranging

Tuesday, November 17, 2009
Dilettante Amy's House, Arlington, VA
Cost: $25/person

Our Flower Arranging "teacher" advertised on Craigslist as "Practically Martha," claiming that she culled Martha Stewart's site for great ideas and tips and then simplified them so that "normal" people could entertain in Martha Stewart style. Because she was not coming to Amy's house until 8:00pm and because it was a week night, we did the dinner and drinks portion of the evening first -- at The Lost Dog Cafe in Arlington.

(NOTE: The next section is for mature audiences only. Meaning not for any of our readers...)

At the Lost Dog, Dilettante Amanda was ordering a beer and said to our waiter "I will have an Old Chub" and I (predictably) commented, "Just like in college." (We followed that up by saying to our waiter that we bet he had not heard that one before and that we wondered if the brewery was aware that the beer name was a double entendre.)

Right after that, Nicole ordered a sandwich called "The Fatty." It all seemed so phallic that when it was my turn to order, I told the waiter that I'd like "The Girth Monster." From that point on, every single thing we said to the waiter and everything he said to us had sexual undertones. To wit:

Waiter: "Are you done with your plate?"
Me: "No. I'm not finished. It takes me a long time to finish."
Waiter: "Well, take your time. I want you to be satisfied."

Nicole: "Can I have some more water?"
Waiter: "Oh, I'll get you some more water."

Amy: "Can I get some horseradish sauce for my onion rings?"
Waiter: "You really like the white sauce, don't you?"

We hope he enjoyed getting a big tip. >smirk<

(NOTE: PG-13 content begins below...)

From there, we drove to Amy's house where "Practically Martha" was meeting us for the activity.

Prior to the class, this woman had asked us each to bring two containers in which we could create a floral arrangement, so we had some pretty reasonable (we thought) expectations about how many flowers she was going to bring, and were also assuming that we'd be heading home with two floral arrangements each.

But...she only brought two tiny bunches of flowers and selected two containers from the eight that we had provided, and then proceeded to cut the stems and stick them into the containers in the exact arrangement in which she had bought them. (See photos above.) She added nothing. Except the suggestion that we might want to consider adding foil-wrapped chocolates into the bottom of the clear vase. What?

That part of the demonstration lasted about 15 minutes, and then she moved on to teaching us how to make paper flowers...all the while (kiddingly?) telling us that we were terrible at this and were probably not ready to move on to the more advanced flowers. Apparently, she did not fully appreciate Amanda's Greek key foliage pattern, which was rather inspired (by the Old Chub, most likely). And then telling us that "she was awesome" at paper flower making.

So...we spent $25 to sit there and get criticized. (If I wanted that, I would've just met my mom for a drink.)

She brought along some ModgePodge (TM), ribbon and a paintbrush, yet these never appeared during our class. When asked, she told us about all the cool stuff we could have done with these items.  (Again...what?)

Perhaps she was "Practically Martha" in her condescending attitude. Other than that...we failed to see much similarity to the entertaining goddess.

Overall, we'd give this activity (as well as Dilettante Amanda's creations) a big, fat "F".

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

October 2009 Activity -- Horror Makeup

Thursday, October 22, 2009
The Soundry, Vienna, VA, www.thesoundry.net
Cost: $27/person (instruction and supplies)

The course description on The Soundry website said, "Make your scary Halloween costume truly grotesque with this workshop on horror makeup. Learn simple techniques for creating authentic-looking flesh wounds, wrinkled skin, bulbous lesions, and more with liquid latex, fake blood, and face paint."

Soundry -- you had us at "authentic-looking flesh wounds."

Since it was a school night, we met at Bazin's for dinner and drinks in advance of our activity. (Two words: yum). Dilettante Amanda brought along some Tupperware she was returning to Dilettante Kathleen and a couple of other things that she had in a brown paper bag that she placed under the table during dinner. (Remember this fact...it will be important later.)

After our meal, we headed around the corner to The Soundry for our class. We met Jordana, the instructor, on our way in and went into the back of the space to get set up at a table. She provided each of us with our own tubes of black, white and green makeup, some liquid latex, a tube of fake blood and a palette of assorted colors of cream makeup.  Oh, and we also each got a container of a product called, "creepy skin." (Why did we not know about this when we were dating? Do you know how many bad dates this stuff could have prevented us from suffering through? When I remarket this as "Bad Date Ender" it will include the instructions: Go into restroom. Return sporting hideous growth. Bad date over.)  It's genius, really. (Except that some of the guys I dated may have been into that sort of thing. But that's a story for another blog.)

Jordana began by teaching us how to do Zombie faces (blending the black is the key -- you don't want to look too raccoon-like). The Zombie faces were super-scary -- especially when she used a stippling sponge to add blood all around Amanda's mouth. (And as scary as that was, it did not rival the horror of Amy's comment about her husband getting some "zombie strange" later that night.)

Amy took off to the bathroom with her creepy skin and returned with a bullet hole in the middle of her forehead that was dripping blood. It was exceptionally realistic and quite disturbing. Jordana transformed Nicole into a witch by adding a bulbous nose and black and green makeup to her face until she was unrecognizable and then did a scary skeletal hand out of liquid latex on Kathleen's hand that was dripping blood.

At about this time, Amanda remembered that she had left her bag at Bazin's and stated simply, "oh, well, I'll just pick it up after class." (Forgetting, of course, that she was now a flesh-eating zombie.) We did end up going to Bazin's when our class ended. The handful of people at the bar were amused by our makeup yet the Bazin's staff appeared to have no sense of humor at all. Especially when I wrote down my name and phone number for them to call me when they located the bag, and dripped blood onto their notepad.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Dilettantes featured in the Washingtonian

Washingtonian Blogger Beat -- The Dilettante Club

(Thanks to Columnist Emily Leaman -- this was a blast.)