Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Sexy sexy bed!

Jodi splurged on our anniversary this year and bought this leather platform bed. A bit nicer than the washing machine/dryer headboards, don't you think?

This bed is by far my favorite place in our house and may continue to be even after the construction is complete and the heat is installed. We live in small pockets of splendor (the bed, the espresso machine) amidst plastic sheet walls, open ceilings and floors, construction dust and no real heat. The wood stove is keeping the cold at bay the best it can, but we've been fortunate to have such a warm fall. The night temperatures have finally dipped into the 30's so getting up in the morning is a bit harsh and it's lit a fire under my butt. I'm spending as much of my time as I can working on the house this month. I feel the cold encroaching and as much as I like this bed, hibernation is not a real possibility. My career will have to take a breather so this Arizona girl can survive a New York winter.

This is quite an adventure and I'm certain that Jodi and I will look back on these days with nostalgia. It's amazing what a beautiful thing a bowl of lovely stew and a glass of red wine can be...especially when partaken of in our warm, beautiful bed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Warmed hearts and hearth

Hello, all. So sorry for not writing sooner. I was going to try and be better about that...

Oh, so much to tell. The cold snap ended -- just as I got the hang of how to REALLY stoke up the wood stove. This would be the wood stove that we'd like to get rid of that everyone who walked into the house would say, "Wow, you're going to need that. Good thing it's here. " To which we would reply, "No way! We'll have our radiant heat by then." Ha, ha, ha. Well, we were feeling mighty happy to have it when the median indoor temperature hit 57 degrees and stayed there. I had that indoor temp up to 78....when the warm spell hit. 

We have a wonderful friend Bonnie, who gave us a truck load of wood as a . . . house warming gift, bah-dum-bum. More about Bonnie later.

Alicia and I had our four-year anniversary last Tuesday. I got to drive in to Union City, New Jersey and see her workplace. It is such a cool place. Everyone there is very nice and what they do is incredible and very fun. We filled the Jeep with seven roughly cut heads and headed through the Lincoln Tunnel for AMAZING Ethiopian food at Queen of Sheba. The best I've ever had. What a find. Then, the drive home.

She got to work in her studio (on the sculpting job) and -- two days after our anniversary, introduced me to her boyfriend. NICE

No, her sculpted heads are very, very cool. I'm not the least bit jealous...

 Meanwhile, we've been tackling that radiant heat system on weekends (yes, working seven days a week these days). Now, let me say, this took some working up to. It took several weeks of discussing before we ever laid our hands on any of it -- just to make sure we wouldn't make any bad mistakes. Well, I'd like to think that it paid off.
Alicia is the brains on this particular project. I am the hole driller, tubing wrangler,  plate stapler and general brawn. Phew. Let me share that my upper body development is coming along quite nicely. No need to worry that I'd lose all my muscles after the demo work was complete! My new favorite tool is my 1/2" right-angle Milwaukee drill. YUMMY. We're talking 10.3 pounds of really butch tool here -- and me wielding it. I have quite an impressive collection of really big bits, too.

Weekdays, I'm still hunching like a troll over the brickwork and tuckpointing in the basement. I'm almost up to sitting height all around. 

Our new best friend Bonnie gets very enthusiastic about helping us, so we let her help me tear out the last bit of ceiling and a structurally useless (BEARING) wall in exchange for pizza and beer. See, I told you she was wonderful. Wish I would have told the story of how she daredeviled a telephone pole off of our garage roof (with me nervously helping).

With the useless wall gone and temporary posts in place that actually DO bear weight, our main floor is starting to look open as it will someday. The combination of having heat (stove) when we need it, the radiant underway, a friend and helper, and a glimpse of our future living room/dining room, and sharing four blissful years with the love of my life, I'm feeling great about everything. Period.

The fall colors are heavenly. Hope you are all well.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Brick by brick...

Hello all. My silence has spared you my bit of frustration(?) despair(?) restlessness(?), which has waxed and waned (now in the latter state) -- this due to the (house) can of worms slowing becoming a water tower-size container of oh, say, anacondas. Ha, ha, ha.

We will persevere with the help of one another, our wonderful architects and, say, a lottery win!

My troll hunching has rendered me a bit crippled, but my tuckpointing skills have improved tremendously! I am quite pleased with the results and look forward to practicing from an upright stance at some point soon. (All of my early efforts will be buried beneath the new cement slab basement floor). I still long to embody bionic technologies, just so that I could perform these tasks at light speed. Instead, time flies by, whilst my work moves -- oh, so slowly.

I would really love to hear from you, so email me or comment. Did you all get our New York phone numbers and Alicia's new email address??

I will leave you with fascinating photos of bricks (minus mortar)
and crumbling bearing walls (the x's indicated bricks to be removed and replaced). See my pretty tuckpointing at the bottom??   
It is rainy, but warm. I LOVE the weather here. It was 87 degrees still last week. 55 (today) is SOOOO much warmer in Poughkeepsie than in Seattle!! Fall colors are becoming spectacular... I should include photos of our new favorite spot for food, beer and pool. Yes, perhaps this weekend.

Alicia is working so very hard, partly just in her commuting -- quite an arduous journey in and of itself. She is liking her sculpting job though. Very cool.

I really will try to be better about all of this blogging business. It has been difficult to muster the energy and concentration. Hope you are all well.


p.s. If you're a fan, Jeanette Winterson has new book out... Alicia is just finishing it (one of the best things about a commute: sanctioned reading time!).

p.p.s. If you're into some great new music, let me know. I need some!

Monday, October 8, 2007

All hail Columbus!

Oh, the difference between the East Coast and the West Coast... Out here, people STILL CELEBRATE COLUMBUS... the explorer, the discoverer, THE ITALIAN. They have parades for him. HIM! Makes me feel young again, wide-eyed and pure, and believing in heroes.

Well, no political commentary from me. Most of Poughkeepsie was closed in celebration. Thankfully, the grocery store and hardware stores were open...

In honor of this day, Alicia would like to suggest the following activities:

1) A papier-mache globe. (materials needed: newspaper, balloon, flour and paint)
2) A tiny "birchbark" canoe. (materials: brown paper grocery bag and yarn)
3) Your idea here.


Friday, October 5, 2007

October Already

Sorry that we're so slow on the blog postings lately. It's not that things aren't happening. It's just that most of it right now is in the form of brick-by-brick construction. We are rebuilding loose sections of our load bearing walls in the basement. Not so fun, but necessary for everything that follows. I will spare you the photo of brick walls. Instead I'll drop in a photo or two of our lives when we're not bricklayers.

I drove to Union City, NJ this week to see a man about a job as a sculptor. My interview was to sculpt a huge hand out of foam. The man hired me, but even though this job is just a tunnel away from Manhattan, it adds too much commuting time, so I said thanks, but can't do it. He countered by hiring me from afar. He'll be shipping blocks of foam to Poughkeepsie and I'll be going into Jersey only in the beginning and end of a project. I've been wanting to work big, so I'm excited about this gig. My first job will be to sculpt 16 giant heads of Yankee baseball players. Weird and cool! In the meantime, I've been sculpting 6" figures and casting them in plastic for a large scale installation. I'll include a photo of Romeo - part of a piece entitled "If Romeo Were Five Minutes Late".

Our evenings are spent in our bedroom for the most part. The only room with decent light at the moment, so we watch movies or Jodi plays her guitar while I read or write. A nice end to the day and then at least once a week we make our way to the city. Tomorrow night we'll be going to Brooklyn for an art opening and maybe a club or two.

Be Well,