Archive for May, 2013

Before & after: the sewing room edition

As you know, Dear Reader, AO, Bear, Gracie & I live in a one-bedroom condo. Over the years, we’ve made a number of changes. Some might even say improvements. At least I hope they would. Space, though, remains an issue. The most recent dilemma with space I faced was my strong longing for a sewing space. I had had the sewing machine on the dining room table, but that was annoying. It was either annoying because the sewing machine was on the dining room table, or annoying because I’d put it away in a closet. And then it was in the closet. I’m a million times less likely to sew (or do anything) if it involves taking items out of a closet and setting them up. And then undoing the whole thing and putting them away. Because I really wanted to commit to this new sewing endeavor of mine, I wanted the machine out in the open. Just not on the dining room table. Enter: Ikea! The Seventh Circuit called me down last Monday for an argument, so I took myself to Greatest Store on Earth as a reward for not passing out in that gigantic courtroom of theirs. And this is what happened to our bedroom, aka the basement.

Bedroom before

Bedroom before

So I needed to move the bed (and rug and tables) over a few feet.

Opposite wall

Opposite wall

And then the Murphy bed area…

Murphy bed

Murphy bed

Then came the hard work.

Eeks

Eeks

SONY DSCAnd then … voila!

Ikea magic

Ikea magic

Sewing space

Sewing space

Space for cutting

Space for cutting

Bookshelf

Bookshelf

Keep calm

Keep calm

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How does it happen?

I mean, I know how, but it still feels like: HOW did this happen? One minute she wouldn’t look at me, she couldn’t roll over, she couldn’t smile. Now, thank God, she walks, she laughs and sometimes it seems like she even wants to look at me.

Molly on May 18, 2013

Molly on May 18, 2013

We have a toddler now. And I’m so grateful.

Orson Welles slept here

On Saturday, we celebrated my mom’s birthday (observed). After a lovely family brunch at the always pleasant and taste-a-saurus Sardine, we migrated to The Baskerville for the so-called Tour of the Century. I was super psyched to see these apartments-turned-condos and the visit was only enhanced by the presence of my family. Sure, it was a pain to hold Bear for the whole tour (and most of that pain fell to AO), but it really was our fault for forgetting the carrier (it’s in the car, why do we always forget it!?). Anyway, the tour was super cool because it included a showing of one unit on all five floors, including the two-story penthouse; the whole place having been described as a community.*

On the first floor, we were shown two units that had been merged into one by breaking through a wall and installing a period-appropriate pocket door. Cle-ver! The real jaw-dropping part of this show, though, came when I heard this phrase, “And this was where Orson Welles slept for about a month.” Insert record needle scratch sound. Whoah, what? Yes, apparently Orson Welles lived in Madison (how did I not know this? Oh, maybe because it’s not necessarily true) for a short time. Hello!

The basement condo was super cool with a odd glass window into the guy’s bedroom as if it were some sort of museum exhibit. Anyway, the second floor condo we got to see was small, but super cute with the most amazing kitchen. The couple had reoutfitted the outlets with vintage-looking push button fixtures. Love those push buttons. The penthouse was pretty amazing. It was over 2000 square feet with a huge wraparound balcony with Lake Monona glistening a couple of blocks away. For all of its ample space, though, the condo featured only one actual bedroom, though the second floor boasted a cool Murphy bed that could be secluded from the living space with a built-in curtain hung from the ceiling. Because it was someone else’s space, not everything was my taste, but the space was remarkable and impressive nonetheless. I was ooh-ing and ah-ing.

I think the condo on the third floor may have left the longest impression on me. Not so much for what it looked like (though it was cute), but for what it held. A family of three – a mom, a dad, and a two-year old – call this 432 square foot one-bedroom condo home. I don’t know how they do it, but they do and they seemed quite happy and hospitable to boot. In fact, they were serving scones! I’ve been thinking a lot about them as I contemplate our space. Although we have just one bedroom, we also have an additional 800 square feet of living space than they, which includes a second full bathroom. In addition, of course, we have a significant basement space, which gives us oodles of storage. I’m so impressed by this family.

Actually, I’m impressed with all of the families who opened their doors to strangers for hours and hours over the course of two days. I can’t imagine they were jumping up and down to show off their most intimate spaces, but I hope they know how grateful we all are that they did so. And I’m so happy to have been able to see the spot where Orson Welles may or may not have slept.

*AO has since described the scene as a good starting point for Wes Anderson’s next movie.

More proof that Ebert was a gift from above

Aaron sent me this a few weeks ago and, for reasons I can’t fully explain, I just got to reading it today. Oh, Roger. Thank you.

This movie doesn’t scrape the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t the bottom of the barrel. This movie isn’t below the bottom of the barrel. This movie doesn’t deserve to be mentioned in the same sentence with barrels.

Good God. And then there’s this.

Ok, so…

I got this article off of a facebook/Twitter (everything is connected these days, isn’t it?) post from GAOOG. I like it a lot, but I have two things to say. Well, maybe more than two. I agree, of course, that women being mean to women is upsetting, sad, unnecessary, hurtful, cliched and all things icky. I also note, though, that it’s really nothing new (see: Caroline Bingley & Eliza Bennet, for example). I’m not saying this because the post asserted it was a new phenom, but more just to note that I think we have a long way to go before we improve in this area. I also say it because we really probably shouldn’t be surprised at the Most Hated List. Well, maybe a little.

Ok, back to my two things. One, I acknowledge that probably most of the reason women are mean about other women is because of insecurity issues. Wanting to tear others down to make yourself feel better is a pretty well-established phenomenon, I think. Blah blah. On the other hand, sometimes I think women are mean about other women is because women tend to simply be more interesting than men. Yikes. Did I say that? I did. It seems to me it’s easier to criticize people with complicated personalities (and annoying ones) than people who are just boring. Or maybe not boring so much as just not interesting. Or maybe not not interesting but just not as interesting. I mean, I have about zero feelings about K. Stew, but I’m pretty sure there’s a lot going on in there. Whether it’s annoying or not probably has more to do with your age and your relationship to vampire movies than anything else. Remember when everyone was really mean about James Franco because he seemed to be kinda frenetic in his quest for degrees? It just seems like if you’re not really doing too much to show much personality, you’ll stay below the haters’ radar. This of course doesn’t really explain Chris Brown being so low on the list, but I attribute that to no one really caring about Chris Brown. Whoah. Did I say that? Moving on.

Gwyneth. This is my number two. I used to really like Gwyneth. I thought she was spectacular in Emma and The Talented Mr. Ripley. I loved her in Shakespeare in Love. I was never much of a follower of Goop (partly because I can’t navigate the site), but I certainly didn’t hate her for having a blog. I mean, that would be weird, wouldn’t it? I don’t really even hate that she has a crazy diet. In fact, I like that, as the author of the post alludes to, it’s nice to see her fessing up that it takes tremendous craziness to look the way she does. Not that she calls it craziness. What makes me worry about Gwyneth and her whole message is exactly the quote the post’s author ends with: “We have to be the women we want our daughters to be.” I don’t like Apple being so restricted in her diet (or Moses for that matter). It breaks my heart. Even if she allows them to “cheat,” they have to be incredibly aware of their mom’s (impossible) standards. And that’s sad.


May 2013
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