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.

This summer we decided to do a simpler easier vacation. We spent 5 days in Nantucket. Kate’s favorite little New England island. Not too much to do but take it easy. Which is good.

We seemed to catch all the rainy days they’ve had this season. Sunday through Wednesday morning we saw nothing but rain and cloudy skys. We decided to extend our tip by a day to try to eek out a little sun. No worry though we managed to keep ourselves busy. Our hotel had bikes so we rode them out and around the island. We went to the local brewery on the island called Cisco Brewing. They have a nice little beer garden. We went to dinner at a bunch of places but one stood way out in front of the rest. The Nautilus, it’s a Asian inspired place, and it was really really delicious! We had the crab fried rice and the noodles it was great!

We had most of Wednesday and Thursday on the beach. We got ourselves as burned as possible. It was a good save.

We ended up staying at two hotels because of extending our stay. The first place was the Jared Coffin house. The second place was Union Street Inn. We really liked Union Street.

I always end up taking a lot of car pictures while we are here. When you are at a place where the vacation homes go for 1.5 million on the low end you are bound to see some nice rides.

Paint finished! My feelings? Full success!!!

I left things on a classic cliff hanger in the last post. There were many ups and downs with that part of the project. We really had to get in there and fight. In the end it’s a very acceptable job.

This past week the backsplash started going up and it looking pretty good. You can see in the photo the grout isn’t in yet but it’s certainly starting to take shape.

This is very exciting. I was looking back at the renderings in the earlier posts and the kitchen looks just as we planed. That may seem like a dumb thing to be excited about. Although I find projects rarely turn out as planned, unless the plan is well layed out. That said we are not done yet so let’s see how I feel in a month.

The last bit to do is the hood and the shelves. The hood had a 10 week lead time and I think we might be about halfway through.

Pictures for you to enjoy.

I know you’re concerned (J-bone)…. The last few weeks have been pretty stressful both with the house and work. That said, I’m not here to complained so let’s catch your ass up on the kitchen progress!

Ok, so in the last post the countertops happened. The plan was then to get the backsplash in and the rest of the molding done. Then we would be ready to paint… That didn’t happen. The molding on the ceiling got done and then our carpenter had other jobs to take care of and ghosted us. This meant we had to go into painting a bit deficient. So, we had to ask the painter to finish the molding on the floor.

August 2:

The painting begins. They take all the doors off and start to lightly sand. I’m nervous because I’m not sure this can even be done well in the best conditions.

August 3:

Kate’s birthday, the painters finish the rough sand and spray a layer of primer. The primer is done a bit rough but knowing how much sanding is required to paint, it should be fine.

August 4:

Kate and I are scheduled to fly to Cincinnati for a family wedding but the flight is cancelled, long story the trip got cancelled.

The painters sand and put on the first layer of white paint. The job is clearly being rushed. The sanding of the primer was know where near thouro and the first coat is done terribly. Spots with heavy spray. Orange peal everywhere. Dust sprayed into the paint. It was my worst fear come true.

When Kate and I saw the progress a freak out ensued. Kate started calling the office. I emailed the owner with pictures. The fire storm was lit!

August 6:

The project manager came to the house to talk to us in the morning and we showed him all our concerns. He played it cool but then shit started to happen. 8 guys showed up and started sanding like crazy. I got home at about 8 and they were still sanding. They left around 8:30. Things seemed to be going in the right direction.

August 7:

We had another walk through with the project manager and thanked him for the progress. Pointed out a few areas that still needed a bit of work. They then sprayed another coat of paint. I got home around 9:30 and things were looking pretty good. They painted the kick board under the cabinets and with another coat I think we will have beat this thing.

August 8 (today)

They should come in and put the new hardware on. Then touch up work. We may be done today or tomorrow.

It’s looking pretty good in the end. It’s not perfect. It’s white, and it’s painted… There is no way to achieve a factory finish. Without a spray booth. There is no way to get it perfect. The goal here was to do a job that was in line with the budget and the over all value of the house. I think we did that and I think it’s a pretty solid job. We will see how it wears. If we had kids I would be terrified.

The pictures below are from today. I don’t want to post the rougher pictures because they make me anxious and I’d like to forget.