Archive for October, 2014

Paint Job!

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Our house used to be gray and black. Now it’s blue and blue. Happiness!

I apologize to everyone (especially John) who had to endure The Great Color Search, which began in June and didn’t end until September. I purchased over 50 samples, and John and I (mostly John) put up at least 30 of them. Probably more like 40, in the end. So that was rough.

Anyway, that’s all behind us now, and our house is looking so very lovely. Here are the befores:

Gray and Black

Gray and Black

Front View

Front View (with Husband)

And here are the afters:

Bluey!

Bluey!

 

Frontal Blue

Frontal Blue

Rive Gauche

Rive Gauche

You’ll notice that we replaced the garage door, which we love for practical reasons as well as aesthetic (i.e., we can finally pull the car all the way up to the door, where it’s out of the way of the sidewalk, rather than having to leave room for the old-style door to swing out). We (John, heh) also just put up those lovely new house numbers, all craftsman-styley.

I’m pretty darned pleased with how it came out. Yay, paint! Yay, Platypus Painting! Thanks to owner Colin for being a good guy, and thanks especially to Hector, Adrian, and Elvin, the workers. Those guys were sweet and fun to have around.

Five Recent Reads

Thursday, October 16th, 2014

Hey, Folks.

We’re mere days away from a before/after post of photos of the exterior of our house! We had it painted in September, and it’s beautiful. It’s also already a leetle bit dirty, which makes me crazy even as I am well aware that in the face of entropy, acceptance is the way of peace.

Anyway, first I had to wait for John to get the new house numbers up, which he just did. And now I have to wait for the right light in which to take the photos, which is possibly later today and possibly tomorrow morning. And then I’ll get that post up. I imagine that your bit is near chomped-through at this point (Mom), and for that I apologize.

Meanwhile, let’s do a rundown of the latest reading by moi:

  1. Another Great Day at Sea: Geoff Dyer in his charming, funny, and companionable mode of observing a world unfamiliar to him. Nothing at all deep here or even remotely critical, but an enjoyable look into life aboard an aircraft carrier.
  2. Epilogue: A Memoir: The perfect title for a smart, wry, and very sad story about a young guy who loses his mother, brother, and father in a span of (I think) less than ten years, only to discover a different family he was never told about, alive and well in England. Beautifully written, carefully observed, and very rich. Full disclosure: Written by a friend of a friend (but I’ve never met him).
  3. An Exact Replica of a Figment of My Imagination: So good to have rediscovered Elizabeth McCracken after losing track of her. I love her writing. Bold, intelligent, unflinching. This is a heartbreaking memoir about the loss of her first child, a stillbirth. She’s very generous in her honesty, writing openly and with raw nerves about pain. I can never get enough of that kind of connection, not to mention the unapologetic realness. Thanks, Elizabeth!
  4. The Paying Guests: I read/heard a few different raves of this book before succumbing to its purchase. Why so reluctant? Because I read Tipping the Velvet a million years ago and, well, it mainly left me cold. The sentences were perfect, but I could never get past the feeling that it was all so very made up. The same was true, for me, with this novel. It came through in all the promised ways (grippingly suspenseful, satisfyingly emotional), but I never stopped feeling that I was reading a meticulously written work of historical fiction. Sigh.
  5. The Children Act: Ian McEwan is fantastically intelligent, and I always begin his books with the expectation of being educated—not merely in a particular topic, although that happens, but in the way of writing fiction. In this case, I was initially worried that he was committing what I consider to be an essential error, i.e., creating a conflict between two people that would be resolved if only they would tell each other how they feel. To an extent, he does do that here (and it would take only one disclosure, by one person, to resolve the conflict), and for that reason this book didn’t send the usual shock waves of admiration through me. Fortunately, the novel is about more than just that conflict, and still more fortunately McEwan deepens it by the book’s end. In fact, the very point is that a woman’s marriage is in jeopardy precisely because she has stopped sharing herself emotionally with her husband . . . but. Still and all. I wish that the conflict in the marriage were a little more complicated than that.

That’s it for now. I’ve got a lot of delicious reading lined up in front of me in the coming months, including Lena Dunham’s book, Amy Poehler’s book, and plenty of great-looking stuff by people you’ve never heard of.