Well this is it! 12/06/2018!!!

The kitchen project is complete! Coming in at 177 days from start of demo. Countless hours of prep, 1 lost summer, and an undisclosed amount of money that I know down to the cent!

In choosing to manage this project ourselves we saved about $20K. This made the project possible. We stayed with in the budget we planned for when we started. While still being able to include many custom built pieces. The island table, the range hood and the open shelving. The stroke of luck was the neighborhood carpenter that did all the cosmetic work except the painting. Doug is a true professional, and a great craftsman.

Is it perfect? No, of course not. Is it appropriate in budget for the house? Yes! It is also very much loved by Kate and I and that is most important.

Now check out the pictures!

How can we forget where we came from. The Italian French fusion that haunted my life

Hey everyone. A couple of updates so I don’t forget.

2 weeks ago my brother Big John Diehl and his fiance Kristin came to visit. They had plans to go to the Noter Dame football game at Yankee Stadium and came to stay with us for an evening. It always great to see John, and it was great to show him the house and all the work we did with the kitchen. The people they were going to the game with backed out at the last minute so Kate and I went to the game instead. We all know how I feel about Noter Dame and how I feel about football so I won’t bore you. That said it was worth it to spend some more time with John!

Happy Thanksgiving! We stayed home in West Orange NJ this year for the entire holiday. Kate made (and I can’t stress this enough) the most wonderful Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, potatoes,homemade stuffing,corn casserole, brussel sprouts, and 2 pies! We had our friend Nick and Annie over to enjoy the meal and it was a nice time. On Saturday John Schulman,Katie Nolan and Jenn Norwood came over to hang out. It was a fun evening of acting stupid and being loud which is my want!


Just a couple of updates:

First, the hood is up! The tile and potfiller are in(not pictured)! Only the shelves are left to be done and this long national nightmare is over! We meet with Doug (the carpenter) tomorrow morning to go over how the shelves are going to work. It’s exciting!

Second, my best friend Jon John Schulman came up for a visit last weekend and we had a fun time. We went to this thing called the Color Factory which was kind of a color exhibit or installation. Just a bunch of different ways to experience color. All and all it was a fun weekend just making jokes and hanging out. Sunday we even took the van out for a drive.

Last night was such a great surprise! As an early birthday present Kate got me tickets to the Beastie Boys book launch at Town Hall in Manhattan. It was kind of a little play. Ad Rock and Mike D read/ acted out some of the stories from there new book. I knew this event was happening but hadn’t gotten tickets for myself as I was worried they might be a bit hard to take on stage.

I was delighted to be wrong. It was like hanging out with your old best friends that you haven’t seen in years. They borrowed heavily from the “Oh Hello” formate that was on Broadway last year. They tried to tell their story in sort of a timeline, but there is just too much. To many anecdotes that lead to others all out of order. It was fantastic! I couldn’t have enjoyed it more.

It sounds stupid to say, so I often don’t, but the Beastie Boys where a huge influence on my life. They helped me see the world in a less serious/apocalyptic way. At a time (high school) when every decision felt like the end of the world. They taught me t relax, its all just a big joke anyway. All this stress isn’t helping anything. I needed that refresher course, and last night was it. It’s important to remember to be stupid. Be funny, make jokes and goof.

Although their story ends with MCA passing away, it is bolstered by the 40 year friendship they had. To experience so much of life together and come out the other side still great friends is an accomplishment and a testament to each of their characters.

I wish it could have gone on for 4 hours and I think they wish it could have to. As I stood up at the end with everyone to applaud it was hard not to feel as if I was saying good bye. I’m so delighted and greatful that I got to see this last show. I will always remember it.

Lastly, thanks to Kate! (She dosent read the blog so she’ll never see this.) It was such a tremendous gift to get these tickets. It was kinda a one shot deal. Kate is the most amazing person, and some how I tricked her into hanging out with me. Then in what has been called the greatest slight of hand, I tricked her into marrying me. It’s the greatest move of my life.

This was the big surprise reveal.

Hey everybody we carved pumpkins this weekend. I know what your saying. ” Paul, this blog is getting more and more boring every post. First Steely Dan now this? Wtf!”

Your not wrong, but I don’t care. Kate enjoys a good Halloween pumpkin carving so we do it. This year we went non traditional just so our neighbors could be reminded we are creative professionals (barf). I went for a swirl type cage to represent the futial nature of human existence. Kate went for a perferated gradient hole pattern to represent the endless windows of opportunity that surround us all everyday….

Enjoy the photos!

the scariest one of all!

Man oh man! This weekend I went to see Steely Dan at the Beacon theater..It was on Saturday night and the average age of the folks in attendance was about 75.

Stealy Dan consists of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Last year we lost Walter, so Donald has to go it alone (with a giant band). To be completely fair, Donald looks terrible, but sounds great!

I was set to go to the show with my neighbor down the street Jose. Unfortunately he had lazer eye surgery and could go. I got that info on Friday at 7pm. It is not easy to find aonther taker for a Steely Dan show. I started asking around to people I thought might be interested,and not even bothering with people I knew wouldn’t. In the end I was able to talk our friend Matt into going with about 2 hours before show time. He saved Kate from joining the long sad trail of tears that is the plight of a wife at a Steely Dan show.

I got myself a real cool t-shirt, and was really impressed with how good the show was. Donald Fagen was backed up by a great, and I mean GREAT band which if you know the songs is pretty crucial for the sound.

All in all I’d say it was a win! I enjoyed the show and had a great day in the city before hand.

Weird week last week.

On Monday I head into the office to find that a sewage pipe had busted in the basement and the building would be closed the rest of the week. That means I had to work from home. I do not like working from home as it makes me anxious. I don’t have all the files I need. I also hate mixing those two world’s anymore than I have to. Home is a safe place.

You might be thinking “Hey Paul, what is the deal with that range hood?” You’re right it’s been for freaking ever! I called Range Craft last Monday to get the ETA and they said they needed to check the progress and call me back. I called them back Tuesday afternoon and the woman tells me it’s going to be 3 more weeks as their welder had a heart attack the prior Friday. I informed her that although I was very sorry for said heart attack, my hood was slated to be done before the unfortunate event took place. Thus they hadn’t held up their end of the contract and there should be some consolation for this. I did not yell or curse but I was stern.

(Smash cut to the next morning) I receive a call at 10 am from the Range Craft sales woman informing me the hood was ready to be picked up. I responded with some suprise laughter and asked how this was even possible after yesterday’s conversation. Then to my surprise a different voice was on the other end of the line. It was the owner yelling at me for being upset when I was told the hood would take another 3 weeks. She informed me that I could not talk to her employees that way…. I had to get stern again and inform her that, it was not that case that I treated her sales person poorly. I was rightfully upset that we have wanted over 10 weeks for this hood, and that they were using a irrelevant excuse to delay it aonther 3 weeks. This made her even more mad and she told me to come pick up the hood.

Because I was working from home I was able to take my lunch and drive to pick the hood up. The van was again a life saver on this one. As you can see it fit in there perfect and we made it home no problem.

“Hey Paul is the hood installed then?” Nope! We called our guy but he’s busy and probably won’t get to it this week. Man oh man this job is taking forever! We started this relativity small project in June and it is October 1 today. 🙁

Birthday camping.

This past weekend we celebrated our friend Lisa’s 3oth birthday with a camping trip.

We had a great time. Really great weather. Amazing location in NJ called Round Valley Reservoir. The challenge came in the hike into the campsite. It was a 3 mile hike. The distance wasn’t the issue it was the weight of the backpack and the hilly terrain that made this one a buster.

My entire body my hurts today, but I’m proud of everyone for toughing out that hike and making the weekend a fun time!

birthday crew

My 600lb back pack

Round Valley

Man oh man what a poopie weekend! Rain on rain on rain. Saturday we waited around all day for the new dishwasher to be delivered. It didn’t get to the house till 6:30 then took an hour and a half to install. Totally wasted the day. Kind of a bummer, although I did get a nap in which is a true delight.

Sunday on the other hand was adventure time. One thing we did on Saturday was watch a documentary on Andrew Wyeth the fantastic 20th century American painter. It turns out his home and museum are in Chadds Ford PA, about a 2 hour drive from us in WeO. There is a museum there called the Brandywine River Muesum of Art.

Having nothing to do in all this wet, Kate and I got in the car and drove there. Let me say, if only it had been a nice day the landscape around there would have been beautiful. As is described in the name there is a little river that runs behind the museum and the structure itself is quite interesting as it’s a combination of an old building and new construction. The museum is great because is showcases new Modern Art as well as the art of the Wyeth family. Andrews father and sister were also great artist in their own right. Andrew’s son Jamie Wyeth is quite accomplished as well. After walking through the 3 floors of the museum we went on the tour the Wyeth family house, and studio. It was all very good. If only the rain had let up just a little bit things would have been even better.

You may be wondering, “Hey Paul, what ever happened to the van?” Great question, thank you for asking. Well, it’s been a fast and tricky summer so not many van trips. Although on Saturday I did try to get my lazy self to work on the window cranks I never finished. For some reason I just can’t make up my mind on how to snap the knob to the crank. So I did some section drawing and I still don’t know. Last week I also got this super cool air freshener for the van and the free sticker came with it.

Chicago! 8/28/2018

I went to Chicago for Big John Diehl’s 40th birthday. It was a great opportunity to see John, Kristen and my parents. It was only a day and a half but it seems like we did a lot. The original intent was to go see a Cubs game. Turns out they were going to be playing the Mets so it seemed like a fun idea. John went to see the games on Sunday, and Monday as well. I joined for Tuesday. It was great. There is nothing better than Wrigley Field on a summer evening. The game stayed close all night. It was 1 to 1 in the 10th inning and then the rain started. The game got called till the next morning. The Cubs went on to win the next day. We had a happy birthday for John on the scoreboard which was really exciting.

Earlier in the day we went to the Fields Museum. What a huge place. It’s a natural history museum and they have everything. Including the two lions from the movie Ghost in the Darkness. Check out the link.

So, when I was a kid I remember these molding machines from the 60s that you would see at zoo’s or museums like this. I always think about them because it’s such a cool was to show how a mold works. They had one at Fields and it was super fun to do that again. Keep your eyes out for them, especially in the Chicago area! Mold-O-Rama.