Oh Yeah Baby, Just Like This!

Jefferson saw alcove beds while he was in France, and incorporated them into Monticello. The other beds in the house are built into walls, but Jefferson's bed is open on both sides, connecting his Bed Room and his Cabinet. As one guest wrote, "The President had his Bed placed in a Door way."

Jefferson saw alcove beds during his years in France, and admired the space-saving qualities of these beds built into walls. Upon his return from Europe, Jefferson redesigned Monticello, adding at least one alcove (and sometimes two) in every bedroom. A continual innovator, he varied the design for his own bed, leaving both sides open to loosely connect his bedroom with his study. He also saved space by placing closets in the walls over his and other beds. His closet -- which has openings for air and light -- was accessible via a small ladder kept at the head of the bed.

-- from monticello.org

Cycling Across America

Larisa's honey, Carlos, is riding his bike clear across this country, from Atlanta to Portland, Oregon. I just find that completely ASTOUNDING. He quit his job, divested himself of nearly all material crap, and took off about 3 weeks ago. We saw them both ever so briefly at PieBar in Atlanta when I was there for the moving... and Carlos was excited on the eve of his big adventure. Anyhow, check out his progress you guys.

He is posting with a phone... another thing i find astounding. If it weren't for Larisa, and my friend Mark in LA, I wouldn't even be texting, and Carlos is going way beyond that.

And in addition to that, Larisa, the Chef-du-Cuisine Goddess, herself will be embarking on her adventure in Switzerland for the summer, cooking, coffeeing, yodelling, caking, baking and making new friends too i am sure. We await your blog with much, much anticipation my dear! Starting the drumroll now...

Here is a pic of them both, stolen from Wide World of Spokes (what a clever name dude!) Aren't they cute? Miss ya!

Notes on the New House

Ok I know I shouldn't be so materialistically attached to THINGS, but Christ this Sputnik Chandelier is so gorgeous i can hardly wait for it to get here. It's going in our craftsman Dining Room and it is going to be hot Hot HOT! We met a floor refinisher this morning for an estimate to redo the floors and will soon with another HVAC guy I met a few weeks ago for another quote on that... the first guy acted like I was asking him to mount some Sisyphusian Nightmare. Oh, to put ductwork and air conditioning in an 80 year old house! Impossible! Crazy! He was full of lots of NOs, and his price reflected how impossible he really must think the job is. Steven and I will be scraping up 80 years of vinyl and linoleum in the Kitchen so the floor guy can refinish the wood we will hopefully find below. And we came up with a "make-do" plan for the kitchen for a while, until we go totally materialistically crazy and decide to sink gazillions into it to make it super dreamy. Two of the upstairs bedrooms have giant walk-in closets, one on each side, and one side of which is finished with hardwood floors and built-in shelving and cubbies galore. The other side in each has plywood floor, but still a lot of space. We are thinking of doing a bed which builds into that space with a curtainey/portiere kinda thing... inspired by those cool beds Thomas Jefferson tucked away out of rooms in Monticello 200 years ago. And we'll still have a 8 x 8 walk-in left next to that. Ok turning off my bourgeois dreams now.


Hello, Country Life!

We've had a busy day today, mostly full of leisurely stuff. I got up at the normal hour and rode my bike to Chauncey or so and back, then to my Pilates class, and then Steven cooked lunch. We both have garlic breath from hell, thanks to his sesame noodles.

Next, we went to White's Mill on the Hocking River, which is a garden center in an old converted grist mill that Melanie told us about. Steven was entralled with the tiny chick pullets for sale there. It is a great place for us to get garden supplies, tools, etc... and maybe even Ms. Gormes Science Diet. It is a beautiful place, and one of the dozens of hubs of this community, I could tell in our short visit.

Then we went to Our Gang Antiques on the way to Pomeroy, on Carole's recommendation. It is only about 4 miles south of Athens, and on the way there, there are several breathtaking, sweeping vistas of the Ohio hills. We both noticed how not a single man-made anything was visible anywhere. No power lines, no roofs, no big box retail chain, none of the ugliness that i'd just taken for granted living in Atlanta. Anyhoo, Steven bought a couple pieces of china at Our Gang for flower arrangements, and we got a cedar chest, since my Mom and BC finally took theirs that had been at our house in Atlanta for many months. We got attached to it. Chests are wonderful. You can throw a whole pile of crap in it for a really quick cleanup. And then you can sit on it to put on your shoes. Anyhow, Our Gang was a great place, we met the proprietress (Susan), her husband (who is the manager of the Athens Kroger), and her Mom (who lives in a 95 year old Sear's Kit house not far from us on the east side).

After that, we headed over to Stewart to see the GlassHouseWorks studio and garden place, but we detoured on the way to do a drive by of our friend Robin's place, which used to be the Athen's favorite BIG CHIMNEY. We've been dying to see it, since we never made it out there before it closed forever recently. Well, sure enough, Robin was sitting on her terrace with a whole bunch of people, and would not just let us drive by without stopping. I am LOVING this small town stuff. Robin is just the friendliest person, and has made us aware of our sometimes calcified Big City roots that sometimes might cause us to otherwise keep to ourselves. I certainly think cities can isolate people from one another unnaturally, although we had the opposite experience with many wonderful neighbors on Braithwood Road in Atlanta. But meeting Robin has reminded us both that we all, no matter how different we may seem, have so much in common, and that it is so easy to make new friends. So, we met her various friends and family, her husband Matt, and her big fluffy doggie. Matt is the new Executive Chef at OU, and he still prepares lots of things for the Athens Farmer's Market every Saturday. Today when we met him, he was preparing for some catering gig tomorrow...what a gigantic fabulous kitchen he has. And what a fabulous place they have. There are the ruins of a coal mine there, with a giant chimney that once burned coal to fuel the company town with power (hence the name BIG CHIMNEY). It seems they own most of what was once the company town, including the ruins, a big old log cabin (which we didn't get to see, yet) which is now a bed & breakfast, the old company store... and both their mothers live there with them in various buildings. Check out their website: http://www.bigchimney.com/index.html Robin's Mom, Mary Dewey, is an artist, she does these great bas-relief stylized cat scuptures that are sold from coast to coast. Robin is a total sweetheart, we have really enjoyed our brief bits of time with her. And what a great alternative they have in life, to the bogus "professional" world of phony 9 to 5ers (pardon me for being so Holden Caulfield). They have a really relaxed, down-to-earth thing going on out there at Big Chimney.

Finally, we made it to GlassHouseWorks, and what a paradise. They have plants and all kinds of gardeney objets d'art, in a beautiful setting that reminded me of a slightly more devil-may-care-about-maintenance Ryan Gainey garden. If you click on the title of this post, it will link you to their extensive website, which even includes a bunch of Mary Dewey's pieces that they sell.

I haven't told you guys that last week i got stuck behind a tractor on my way home from work. It was a situation in which it was impossible to pass. I've never enjoyed driving 5 miles an hour for 15 minutes or so in my entire life. And day before yesterday, a loose steer in the road leading to our office created a little bit of mayhem for the comings and goings of staff and vendors around lunctime. I felt a pang of remorse that I'd brought my lunch and hadn't gotten to be involved in the drama. And today's little adventures... geez i feel like i am turning into an old man or something, loving all this small town hippie life stuff in which I seem to find myself. I really had no idea that life here would be so much different from Atlanta. Wacky as it is, my Green Acres premonition seems to be completely coming to pass. Now if i can just climb a telephone pole to make a call... and if Mr. Haney shows up with a pig in the back of the truck, i'm gonna fall out.

I'm watching Steven make a new little Bonsai garden with some nice plants we got in Stewart.


Wierd Ohio, Part II

We see crazy stuff all around here. Today, we happened to have the camera with us when we saw the craziness, so you get to see it too. The Tree People get a change of clothes with the seasons (when I first met them they were appropriately attired in wintry apparel). The filters from some blunts--arranged cleverly to deliver this message--were found in an alley on the Westside in some student ghetto. The caryitid-like gold mannequin and miscellaneous baby dolls parts were found along the same street. The baby bunnie was eating everything in sight in a little park at OU where the river used to be, undettered by our presence. This cool building used to be a power switching station, but is now an architecture firm. This all from one walk around town, after dinner tonight. Oh, and we also stopped at my new favorite place in Athens, a little divey canteeney place in the heart of the OU campus called THE OASIS (sorry, no pic, we were busy eating ice cream and drooling over all the cute kids). Much as I miss home, way cooler and much more interesting than our walks to Chocolatte on Shallowford.


Elections Coming... Time to Gay Bash!

Click on the title of this post to see this piece in my email box today from the Human Rights Campaign. You can practically set your watch by this crap popping up before each and every election these days. Call or write your Senators to tell them what you think about treating gays in committed relationships differently from straight people. Chances are they will be way too distracted performing analingus on some Military-Industrial contractor they work for or Corporate donor writing "legislation" for them, but you never know, maybe your voice will be heard.


Some Great Moving Pictures

Well, even though it was hell, and even though it is not totally over yet (we are both sleeping WAY too much, STILL, 5 days later, after the exhaustion of simply of moving plants and stuff the movers didn't take), thank goodness we got some good pictures out of it! Gormie has weathered the change really well, even though you can see she was freaked under the seat of the truck.

Goodbye Braithwood Road

Here are some pics of our empty house in Atlanta, just before we finally left. Steven and I have so many memories there of his Ma, Trotsky and Eydie Gorme, our family and friends... geez it is wierd how a house becomes a vessel for all that. We hope John and Jill will enjoy it and put their own life into the place. So funny how nice it looks empty...we kept saying how we should have lived in it with nothing for a while. There is a lot to be said for minimalism.

308 State

Don't worry Mom, it's being painted right now!

What a lovely dormer. There's one on each side.

Take a picture of that lovely dormer up there, Mister

Back is kinda ugly, but Steven will have it shaped up into a beautiful garden in no time.

Need to go? Thru there is a lovely can!

More on 308 East State

Come on in, welcome to 308 State

Wanna have a seat on the porch?

The moulding and stuff is great; the dining room is big... maybe we'll get a bigger table?

That's me and Wil, the seller's agent, in the perfect carnival of color kitchen. It has got to go. Someday.

This'll be our mod-ish thrift-store-ish furniture soon.

International Street Fair

Today we went to the farmer's market (only on Saturdays from 10 - 1) and and bought some bread and a sweet roll and a yummy chocolate/almond tart from Robin Dewey. She is another agent at Athens Realty that we have gotten to know, and we like her alot. We like Carole too, but Robin took us out one day when Steven was up several weeks ago when Carole was in Cleveland, and she also took care of us during our renegotiation after inspection on 308 State. Nothing major is wrong, but it is an 81 year old house, so a bevy of little problems had to be negotiated. We verbally still have a deal, as of yesterday, but have not signed anything as yet. I guess we'll do that Monday. Anyhow, Robin's husband Matt used to own this great place we never got to visit called Big Chimney, which was his catering business and weekend haunt of Athenians seeking a nice brunch. At the Farmer's Market they mostly sell fresh breads, rolls, and sweet things. Now Matt is the Executive Chef at OU. I think Robin will be a good friend, we'll see if we really have dinner with them after all this house stuff is over.

After all that we walked into town, stopping by a bunch of garage sales on the way, and checked out the International Street Fair. Mostly this or that student organization cooking food, with a big bandstand in the road and music, bellydancing, and all kinds of hippie treats. We had Kebabs from the Muslim Student Organization, stuff from the Korean Smiles Club, lots of Chinese food, and there were many wares and crafts for sale. Click on the title of this post to see all the stuff hosted by OU as part of International Week here.

We also went to some stores we've been wanting to check out, like this great hippie shoe store where Steven got some new running shoes on sale. And Athens Underground, a super duper vintage store a la Stefans in L5P, but with more than just apparel.

And Friday night, we went to a free concert at OU, the Spring Jazz Concert. It was really great, a wide selection of stuff, from Pat Metheny to Thelonius Monk.


Bonjour Les Petits!

These kids are so incredibly adorable! From left to right, we have Jules, Marion, and Martin Troadec, the kids of Charlotte, our friend Marianne's sister. We spent an incredibly short week with them all last summer in the south of France, and Steven still can not stop talking about it. Steven was so affected by Martin and what a precocious, wonderful boy he is. He would make like a little tiny Napolean, vocalising a little "Ta da!!" sound before charging into the pool with an heroic giggle. And Jules played badmitton all day with Steven and then would read every night after dinner and before bed. Marion was a tiny enfant, sleeping all the time...but now she is a little girl! Steven was also impressed with how the boys would patiently proceed through multiple course lunches their Grandma would prepare for them everyday, singing and talking at the table while the vegetable course would be cleared away and their yogurt or cheese course would be prepared. Steven always says if he knew we could have a kid like Martin, he would sign up immediately. I think I would too.



That is the continual sound of shrink wrap tornados touching down all over our house, wrapping blankets wrapping our (mostly) thrift store furniture. I just ran into a brick wall, and my knee is bloody. My Mom and BC came back over today to help us, bless their hearts. They'll be pissed to know later that i'm blogging while they are downstairs dealing with dust bunnies. But i just need a break. I guess it is going along swimmingly, but time is really all fucked up today. It is only 3:23 and already it feels like this day has been 32 or so hours. Of course, we've gotten WAY more done in the 11 th hour while the movers are here, than we ever did before. Well, that is fine as long as it all gets done and the movers get out of here by 7 or so. We have to go to Jackson's next door for dinner then. He's a sweetie to cook us dinner tonight... even though he has only been our neighbor now for a few months, I do sense he would have been a really good friend, if we were still living here. Ok, back to running into brick walls.

Goodbye City Life! and Goodbye Dear Trotsky

It is 2:56 am, and the movers will be here tomorrow at 9 am. I hope they won't be too fast because we are not totally packed, and we both have to go to bed. We can barely stand up. Tricia and Karen and Mom and BC all helped today. We ran out of bubble wrap, and have to get more in the morning. And though everything is well organized and ready to be boxed, a lot of stuff down in the basement still needs to be boxed. Yikes.

And on a really sad note, poor Trotsky is really doing badly. Whatever is growing inside of his head is pushing his eye out of its socket. He is on anti-inflams and pain pills, and seems to not be in pain. We've decided to put him down on Monday afternoon after our house closing. It just doesn't do anything good for him to keep him alive and take him up to Ohio, knowing he is only going to get worse, and that at some point the pills are not going to work. We want him to go while he is still Sir Trots Alot and while he is not in terrible pain. We are both so sad about it, but we keep reminding ourselves of what a great life he has had and all the things he has accomplished in his life. For a dog, he has quite a resume: In 1993 he made it through Obidience Training at the top of his class. In 1999, he successfully decimated an HVAC outside unit by repeatedly peeing on it. In 1996, he was hit by a car on Moreland Avenue, but walked home pretty much unscathed. In 2003, he had to go to a real life doggie ER after digging a giant hole in which he gashed his leg open on some sharp buried crap in our EPA Superfund site of a backyard. In 2000, he slipped into Panther Creek and went down the waterfall while we all watched in horror. In the fall of 2005, we joked that he was barking himself to death... little did we know that it was his last hurrah of doghood. If any of you remember any of Trotsky's other accomplishments that i've forgotten, please let me know!


This Just In

How is this for serendipity: My agent in Ohio just told me that the folks we are buying our house from at 308 State are buying the house i was salivating over at 51 Madison. Now that is just WACKY. I think Carole was afraid to tell me about it, because i think she sensed my disappointment at having missed 51 Madison. Well, this Craftsman we are buying instead is a stellar beauty, and we are both looking forward to doing vintage instead of mod for a while. More accurately, we'll be combining vintage and mod, colliding Craftsman with Zen, Old Porch with Butterfly Chair, Chromey Ultrasuede with Rubbed Oak.


Thanks France

Click on the title of this post for the full contents of the much-hyped letter from Iran's President Ahmadinejad to our President George W. Bush. Have to say he makes many good points. And he even mentions the USA's 1953 injustice to the Iranian people. And by the way, I had to go to France's LeMonde to find this... gee, thanks to our zillions of excellent media outlets here who can't even report the honest contents of a public letter. Fucktards.


My Niece Kitty

Introducing to the Blogger World, Miss Shorty Everett. Isn't she the cutest? I haven't even seen her yet, but i thought I spread her sunshiney disposition all out into the ether. Quotes from my sister Tricia, Shorty's mom: "She makes what we call little “shorty noises” that are so sweet. And I swear she will lick you for an hour if you let her." Maybe i'll get to see her next week, if we get done with all the packing.
I went to the National Ceramic Museum & Heritage Center yesterday, near Roseville, Ohio. BC has a beautiful Roseville jardiniere, and they had lots and lots of examples here. The place itself was kind of an interesting assortment of 6 buildings arranged around a central court with a kiln and other stuff for demonstrations, which was interesting...still, when i go to a place like this, I always wish it were actually in an old factory that produced this stuff, so you could really see with your own eyes how it all happened. This was basically a giant china cabinet and the courtyard. But very interesting.

And Now for Something Completely Different :: OUR NEW HOUSE!

Well, not that different i guess. You guys know i'm obsessed with finding a great house in this little market of very few great houses and many trashed, chopped up rentals for students. But doesn't this one look great? It comes on the market today, and i'm going to see it today (I hope). Not at all like the moduliciousness of 51 Madison, but still, I like everything i can see here!

: : Ok i've seen the inside and bombarded Steven with a walking tour over the cell phone in which he had to listen to me and Carole yammer on about how perfect this house is... and we just made an offer for full asking price. It is fabulous, in lots of ways. A big double drawing room, fabulous 1925 details, a big front porch, a big screened porch in back, 3 full new
baths (the first house i've seen here that doesn't need it's baths ripped out by the rotten plumbing)...and it is a Hilferty alum house. The current design director at Christopher Chadbourne & Associates in Boston owned this house in the 90s. The sellers have till 10 am tomorrow to accept our offer. : :

It's ours! I'm excited...


Is This the Cutest Man Alive or What?

I love this picture. It was a chilly morning two Novembers ago, and somebody had just woken up with Rooster hair, ready to start a weekend bad hair day. I love you to pieces, Mister. You are the cat's meow.

I feel sooooooooooooooooooo guilty right now not doing any heavy lifting for the move. Steven is doing ALL the work right now. Well, i guess i went through my moving purgatory already, packing away tons of stuff to get the place on the market, and painting 5 or so rooms, building a bar, etc. Well, i'll be there next Wednesday, just in time to boss around some movers.


Nineteen Eighty-Six

The rest of us were watching Oprah for the first time on Television, in nineteen eighty-six. Many I knew gathered on Wednesday nights around the newfangled widescreen television in the Student Center to watch Alexis Carrington Colby on Dynasty get her bitch on. Some were even already lamenting the birth--however retroactively--of Murdock's neo-network Fox. Reagan was riding high on his mostly secret agenda. Ferdinand Marcos was in flight from the Phillipines. Big hair, post punk no hair, plaid preppy and goth girls were all in vogue, simultaneously. We were all listening with pleasure to Sade and Madonna.

And Rosie the Maid? Well, Rosie was kickin back and having a cocktail, in style as always. Love ya Rosie.
Fight the H8 in Your State