We headed up to the Catskills, more accurately Phonicia to a house with our friends for New Year’s Eve. It was a good time. The house was roumored to be haunted and by looking at it you would certainly agree. Although it was just wishful thinking on our friends part. Kate and I stayed on the top floor of the house (the most haunted floor) and sure we saw the ghost of a little boy from the turn of the century playing with that stupid wooden hoop that you hit with a stick. His name was Oliver and he died of the whooping cough in 1903. But that doesn’t make a place “hunted”!
On New Year’s Eve 5 of us went for a cold weather like up to the top of Giants Ledge. There was a bit more ice than I had planned for but we made the hike just fine. I used my osmo 2 steady cam to shoot a super boring video which you can enjoy here.
This may or may not be well known, buuuuuut after I have a few holiday drinks I tend to be easily cajoled into singing some Beastie Boys songs if there is a mic around. Turns out the speaker playing the music happened to have a mic plugged into it. I took the opportunity to indulge myself.
All in all it was a great time, it was great to see everyone. Things certainly got rowdy.
Resolutions you ask? Well, that’s a great question. I think the only one I’m interested in discussing is the Van trip we are planning this year. We are hoping to go North West this time. I will divulge more as the planning progresses.
This year we all went to Stowe Vermont to a rented house my parents organized. In keeping with the Holiday Spirit, we all attended Kate’s parents, us and my brother John. It was a great way to get us all together for the holiday.
There were many many cookies, ham, and a kitty puzzle. On the 26th we went skiing at the Stowe Ski Resort. It’s a beautiful place. The runs are pretty long but really icy.
It was great to see everyone and have a comfortable place to enjoy the Holiday!!
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!
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.
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….
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.
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. 🙁
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!