Archive for January, 2013


cue the waterworks.


It’s no secret that I love my birthday. It’s embarrassing, maybe, but I embrace it. I don’t want to be annoying and ask you all for gifts, but here I go anyway. Could you please indulge me and tell me your favorite paint colors? I have lots, but feel like I should branch out. AO has offered to repaint our dining area (it has been off-white, very green-y green, orange and bluish-gray since I’ve been the owner of Chez Us) and I’m grateful, excited and soliciting ideas. Please, friends, help!



When I bought this condo in April 2005, there was really only one thing I couldn’t stand: the pendant light in the ‘dining area.’ Since April 2005, we have had the kitchen completely gutted and updated; had all of the flooring replaced (except the upstairs bathroom tile) – bamboo upstairs, new carpet downstairs, new tile in the downstairs basement; painted almost every wall; had several windows replaced; had the downstairs bathroom shower tiled; had both toilets and one sink replaced; and had a walk-in closet built. Still, that damn chandelier remained. But no more! Ugly pendant light, b. Unknown – d. Jan. 20, 2013. RIP.

Old pendant

Old pendant

I hope you’re not thinking it’s not that bad. I mean, I know it’s not THAT bad and it could be worse and Brady, don’t start on your weirdo number. Yes, it doesn’t have fake melted wax and it’s not made out of leather or crepe paper or anything but really, I did not like it and I felt like it was staring at me every day thinking, “I know how you feel about me, but I’m still here.” And then there would be a wicked cackle.

Closer-up of ugs light

Closer-up of ugs light

I’m really struggling to photograph anything well these days. Ok, you know what else was wrong with this thing? It collected dust like nobody’s business and resisted all of my best efforts to clean it. Consequently, it always felt like the light it gave off was filtered through a serious cover of dust on a thick piece of opaque glass. Not very illuminating.

It took me some time to figure out just what I wanted to replace it, which was part of the delay. I didn’t want to spend too much because (a) we’re broke and (b) I hope we can move in the next few years and I don’t intend to make the lighting fixtures part of any potential counter-offer should we be lucky enough to get an offer in the first place. So I knew my desire for a Le Klint would have to wait. There are knock-off Le Klints, but I ultimately felt that just wouldn’t be the right look. Enter: Schoolhouse Electric & Supply Co., which led me to Barnlight Electric. I pretty much love every lighting fixture they sell. Thank you, Barnlight Electric.

Our new light

Our new light

Please excuse the mess; I’ve turned half of the table into my crafting zone of projects for Bear’s birthday party. Don’t look too closely – you don’t want to ruin the surprise! Anyway, AO & I put up the light together with me mostly acting as the brawn. Aside from a few frustrating moments (Thanks to my mom for entertaining Bear while we worked on this), it really was pretty easy. And I just love the new light. I get that you may not, but I do. And I think AO does, too. And I’m nearly positive that Bear is completely on board.

Our made in the USA pendant

Our made in the USA pendant

I don’t know if you can tell, but the light is a white porcelain enamel with a black line of trim around the bottom. I chose the black cord and black canopy to make it pop a bit. The company is so great because you can make all sorts of choices – porcelain color, cord color, canopy cover, stripes (on certain models), cages, etc. So cool. AO said he’d be willing to do this all again, so I have my eye on a few numbers to replace some of the more obnoxious flush-mount fixtures chez us. Maybe we’ll just live here forever.

New developments

This is not really a new new development, but I feel like it needs to be remarked upon here. When Bear wakes up now, she is almost always sitting up in her crib. It is one of the cutest things I’ve ever seen. This may not seem amazing to those without child, or maybe not even to those with, but to me, it’s pretty amazeballs. [Thanks Guiliana Rancic for putting that word into my vocabulary. I can’t say I love it, but it has stuck.] It’s just incredible to me to think that a person would wake up and then sit up and start babbling. Though I suppose, why not? She obviously can’t get up yet, like the rest of us, so I guess this makes the most sense. Still, it’s a sight to behold.

Want to hear something even crazier? Of course you do. This morning, at 3 am, Bear woke up. I looked at the video monitor (a contender for best invention ever) and she was sitting up, half-babbling, half-moaning. Ugh. It was my night. She never does this anymore! Or, rather, she rarely does it and the last time she did she was way sick. I went upstairs. AO offered to change her (thank you) and I got a bottle. I fed her and she was smiley and happy and adorbs the whole time. When she finished the bottle, she just turned in my arm and appeared to be ready to go back to sleep. I put her down. She cried. She sat up. I told AO I think she’s just being weird. He thought she was still hungry. AO fed her another bottle. He put her down. She cried. She sat up. Then something very weird happened. And I know this because of the wonder of the video monitor. She stopped crying, babbled only occasionally, but continued to sit up and play with her hands. For awhile. I mean, a while. I dozed in and out of sleep as she did this. Then, at some point, she put herself down and back to sleep. People! Are you listening? She put herself down and back to sleep! She’s amazeballs, don’t you think?

My little baby is growing up.

And the Oscar goes to…

Sara made a good point in her comment on the last post: why are we not talking Oscar noms? Ok, she didn’t really say that, but I read between the lines. Kate, stop talking about your boring existence and get to the glitz and glam of Hollywood. It’s a message I eagerly receive.

Ok, so I’ve said it before, but I’m going to say it again: it’s completely annoying to nominate more than five films for best picture of the year. Maybe I could handle six nominees. Seven? I think that’s a stretch. The current nine nominee format is ridiculous. It dilutes the whole idea of being a nominee. Yes, I know there are a million films made a year (maybe slightly less), but still: narrow it %$#@#$%$#@ down!

Here are my thoughts:

Argo: Loved it. So fun & fun & fun. Best picture? Nah. But, it was good and I suggest you see it. Despite what the dumbest review on the planet says. Read the comments: they’re hilarious.

Amour: No clue. Haven’t seen it and I don’t think it’s chez Madison yet. It somehow irks me, though, that it can be nominated in the best pic category and the best foreign film category. AO asked me why I felt this way. I can’t really articulate it, but I think it’s because it seems like there shouldn’t be a separate category for best foreign film if foreign films are in the best film category. It also seems like it’s a given it’ll win best foreign film when they set it up this way. Why the separation? Just. Seems. Weird.

Beasts of the Southern Wild: I haven’t seen it, but the trailer for it sure looked cool. Still, I think it has no shot at winning.

Lincoln: Didn’t really want to see it, but I pretty much adored it. I don’t think it’s possible to see the movie and not think it’s amazing. During the movie, I turned to AO and said, “I’m pretty sure that Daniel Day-Lewis and Lincoln are the same person.” In addition to amazing performances (James Spader?) and compelling subject matter, the movie has so much humor in it that the whole product leaves almost nothing to criticize. I predict it’ll win best picture and DDL best actor. After seeing it, I thought this a given, but now I’m not so sure because I’ve seen…

Silver Linings Playbook: Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. This movie has it all: a story that is quiet and unassuming, brilliant acting from every.single.person, a dance montage, a sweet love story, gambling, hilariousness, painfully-felt emotion and an incredibly satisfying ending. Loved it. Loved it. Loved it. I don’t think it’ll win best picture or director, but I think best supporting actor nominee, De Niro, and best supporting actress, Jacki Weaver, have a real shot. At least they would if I were voting. Especially Weaver.

Django Unchained: Holy ^&*$%#@*!& crap. This movie blew me away. Blew. Me. Away. Despite what my dad would tell you (see Argument #579472862836 between Kate & Bill, ca. 1994, in re: Pulp Fiction), I’ve never been a big fan of Quentin Tarantino. I don’t think I’ve seen Inglorious Basterds all the way through, but what I have seen I found pretty damn good. Django Unchained is more than pretty damn good. It may even be brilliant. There are a few parts I definitely could have done without, but overall holy fun! Aesthetically, the pic is a gem and Chistoph Waltz’s performance alone is worth the price of admission. Yes, it’s violent. Yes, it’s bloody. But you know what? It’s essentially a war movie and I found it way, way less horrific than most war movies I’ve seen. And a million times more fun.

Life of Pi: I haven’t seen it and – gasp – I pretty much have no desire to see it. I read a few pages of the book at some point, based on peer pressure, but it didn’t take. I’m just not that interested in this story. I apologize to any one offended by my disinterest.

Les Mis: I haven’t seen it and don’t plan to. I’m just not really a musical person. I think I may have thought I was at some point, but it’s not really true. After AO & I found our seats at the Overture Center for the Wicked performance, I immediately turned to him and said, “Crap. It’s a musical.” Um, hello? I bought the tickets. I knew it was a musical. I ultimately really liked it, but boy was I nervous. I don’t think I’ll be seeing Les Mis anytime soon. Or ever. I hear, though, that Ms. Hathaway’s performance is superb. I consider her a strong contender for an award.

Zero Dark Thirty: I haven’t seen it but I CAN’T WAIT until I do. I mean, I can, but I don’t want to. Please let me see this movie soon.

Here are my totally amateur predictions about the big six:

Best pic: Lincoln

Best director: Steven Spielberg

Best actor: Daniel Day-Lewis

Best actress: Jennifer Lawrence

Best supporting actress:* Anne Hathaway

Best supporting actor:* Christoph Waltz

*I think the best supporting categories are crazy-packed with amazing performances!

January 2013

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