Friday, October 28, 2011


Somehow, despite feeling like I remain inert most of the time, this kitchen is getting rebuilt. You may have to endure a few rounds of this as appliances get put in on Saturday and next week and counter tops arrive. I did take a picture of my light switch that I won't subject you to.

Here is where the dishwasher will go, if the dishwasher people can ever get around to scheduling a delivery.
I have lots of drawers. I'm not sure why.
The cabinets. The counter people are bringing the sink. It's an under mount sink and should be easier to clean.
Can't wait until that broken oven no longer mars the beauty of the room.
Shelf beside the fridge. More drawers.

Side cabinet. Drawers.
We were going to try to run the counter across to the shelf, but I don't think I want to do that anymore.
Easy storage for cats.
He's always only thinking about how he might be able to get outside.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

More Kitchen

I can't stop. Here are the cabinets that they put in yesterday. Today when I get home from work, all of them should be installed, down to the very last faux silver handle. Thank you, Colin, for making up this whole entire design while I stood passively by with little or no opinion or feedback to offer.

New cabinets with actual glass on them.
The hole to the right is where the tiny, baby dishwasher will go
The only thing I will miss about this fridge when it's gone is the Obama sticker
It's hard to make the photos exciting
Looking in. Goodbye, shitty oven

In this empty area, there will be a new microwave
These drawers should be in when I get home tonight
And just because I realize other people's house crap is boring, here's my co-worker, Jason, dressed as Gumby. He scared me when he came in looking like this.I am not a fan of the full body costume.

Some Halloween Windows for You

Lots and lots of great window displays and house decorations this time of year. South Philly people do not skimp. Not like me who has a 99cent felt pumpkin Scotch-taped to the window.

I pretty much hate this one because it's too scary.
Here's the fuller view. You have to admire the amount of work put into this, along with the dollars wasted.

Awesome witch and ghosts.
And cute!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Naked Kitchen

The kitchen has been stripped of all of its cabinets. Today, the professional IKEA installation men arrived promptly at 8 AM to begin IKEA-fying the new space. On Saturday, I sat around biting my fingernails, waiting for the cabinets to arrive and they did at around 7 PM. Not sure what to expect when I get home. He said it would take about two days. I can't wait to put my cereal boxes away. The hardest thing, I think, will be not having a sink for the next couple of weeks until the counters get installed. And also dealing with the angst of the cats who are locked in the basement currently and probably eating one another.

Here's some photos of what we did two weekends ago.This is Dan bravely painting with his eyes shut to avoid retinal damage.

Side view.
I did help too. I cheered him on.

And then this past weekend, we tackled the hardest part of the kitchen which was the sink cabinet. 

First, Dan had to disconnect the garbage disposal and work with the plumbing, and then we had to figure out thebest way to get this mo-fo out of the front door.We did it my way, which is to use blunt force and jam it out as fast as possible, regardless of consequences. No one was hurt, though the cabinet did start to come apart.


My neighbors love me for trashing up the place. When I got home from work on Monday, I discovered that someone had removed the sink. This sink with the faucet we broke on the way out. They took it all. Fingers crossed that the garbage men will toss this whole thing in their truck. Otherwise, I might just start hosting outdoor drink specials.

Lovely and amazing. Didn't bother to paint this part b/c it'll get covered up by cabinets anyway.
Emma Carol's momentary interest has waned.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

No Sleep

I had a hard time falling asleep last night--no real reason, except for my friend Liz was telling me about her friend who was walking to catch a bus recently and a tree branch fell on his head and he died. Such stories can prompt one to wondering if perhpas she isnt wasting a little too much time on marathon episodes of Law and Order SVU or computer Solitaire? 

I also had just finished Janet Fitch's bok, White Oleander, which I purchased from a thrift store for a quarter recently. I would say that a quarter was about what one should spend on this book. That's not totally fair; I did read the whole thing pretty quickly (skimmed most of it), because it did have a compelling central situation and character, but it also made me wonder just how much bad stuff can happen to any one character in a novel. This girl could not catch a break. First, her mom was a sociopath-ish murderess who ends up in jail. Then, the girl is sent off to a series of foster homes, none of which are good foster homes. She gets seduced by the older boyfriend of one of the foster mom's, then shot in the stomach by this same mom, attacked by a dog so she has scars all over her body, discovers that one of her favorite foster parents has overdosed and died, she turns tricks, ends up selling all of her clothes, takes drugs, and then finally, in the last ten pages of the book, meets a nice guy and settles down in Berlin. But whatever, at least this woman wrote a book. My writing life is desolate in comparison.

I finally fell asleep and dreamt about a boy I knew in college. He had returned for a party, and he looked almost exactly the same as he had in school--same sharp face and curls--and was still elusive and pretty much uninterested in me. Will I be 95 years old and reliving my past rejections from my twenties in my dreams? That seems like some kind of awful modern day fairy tale curse.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Overheard in Philadelphia + Painted Walls

Dan and I were sitting at the light on 11th and Snyder, on our way to Home Depot, when we overheard this couple standing on the street corner. We noticed first that they were arguing, and so Dan nonchalantly rolled down his window so that we could hear what it was about. The woman was half-crying, and she said, Tell me what I physically did wrong! I could be mistaken, but I think she meant that he should tell her what she literally did wrong. Unless, of course, he was her dance teacher and they had just come from a recital at the Walnut Street Theater. This didn't seem to be the case. That's my grammar snobbery for the day.

Here is some street art for you:
And then this is window dressing from the American Apparel store in West Philadelphia. The "in" thing for youngsters now is to wear petticoat's on your head, apparently. It reminds me of being in high school and how we used to think it was funky and subversive to put giant bows in our hair ala Material Girl Madonna. 

Love this display of lit-up pumpkins. You can find it on 11th Street, near Tasker (I think). 


Spooky spider web window.

just liked this one because it looked like artwork authentically done by kids and not fake-authentically done by Hallmark


And then this is a photo I took on my way to the Philadelphia Stories' writer's conference this weekend at Rosemont College:

The conference was great, as I got to be a speed date editor and pretend for an hour or two that I knew something about the publishing world in Philadelphia. I met some awesome people. I had a pretty low number of embarrassing situations, though one does stand out. I was talking to this woman I just met--a very funny and friendly editor of a new literary magazine. I liked her immediately because she was wearing a funky yellow dress and cowboy boots. Anyway, we were discussing writing teachers at Penn and she told me how she took a nonfiction class that she liked a lot; she said it wasn't like a typical undergrad class where you're writing alongside a bunch of 18 year old's. I said, Oh, yeah, that sucks. They all write essays about their grandmas dying. She hesitated for a second before saying, Oh, well, that's what my essay was about, but it turned out pretty good. And, unfortunately, she wasn't kidding. I'm an idiot.

But I can make it up to her (a little), by plugging the journal, which is called Apiary and can be found here. All donations to support the arts and the writing lives of artists young and old are welcome! Or just send me $20 and I'll get it to them somehow.

Friday, October 14, 2011

House Renovations

The whole kitchen is coming down. A couple of weekends ago, Dan helped me take out the cabinets on the wall above the oven. This weekend, we will try to paint. I was very happy to not discover giant holes in the wall or a family of Scarab beetles or 100 mice coveys. Still, it's not pretty right now.

Friday Photos

Happy Halloween windows from South Philly.