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Party time.

Earlier this year, my brother called to tell me that my dad had died. I was packing up my office. Our whole company was moving. It was a weird day. Everything was in boxes.

I rarely spoke to my brother. Hadn't spoken to my dad since I was 18. It was strange, this notification. It was like suddenly having two awkward reunions at once. First with my brother, and then with my dad, now dead.

Two strange feelings came over me. The first was that I didn't really have a right to feel bad since my dad and I were both winning (losing) an epic grudge match. The second was this: I stood in an empty elevator bay, waiting for it to take me to a meeting and I was suddenly overcome with the urge to have a kid. Biology is a strange motherfucker. I don't want kids, but something in my legs and stomach and brain and fidgety wrists and arms knew in that moment that this shit is real. This is really your life. It was my life. And I was suddenly, right now, a half-orphan. People were leaving me. A reunion I kept meaning to get to was never going to happen. And for some reason my body's response to the failures of my family history was this: START OVER. Make your own people.

Then in October my mom had a stroke. That's a long story. But I remember a few things. She spent 5 days in the hospital. I remember wearing the same outfit all those days (I had come to see her for the day... did not expect to stay in Portland overnight, much less 7 days). I remember a woman in the ICU waiting room who looked at me and asked, "How long have you been here?" and at that point I think I was only on day two. I joked, "Why... do I smell?" She replied, "A little." So that was awesome.

Later that night at the hospital I remembered that I had a full bottle of vodka in the trunk of my car. It was intended for consumption at a Jewish women's retreat the weekend prior but I had forgotten it. I went to the hospital cafeteria. It was about midnight. I asked for a big cup of ice. I bundled up, walked to my car in the huge hospital parking garage, popped the trunk, and mixed up a giant vodka soda in that flimsy blue paper Pepsi cup. I got in the car, turned it on, plugged in the iPhone, and cranked Frank Sinatra to full volume and proceeded to drink my face off. I was tailgating at the intensive care unit. It all seemed appropriate given the situation.

After my dad died, but before mom's stroke, my dog got cancer. The vet had to amputate a few toes. This was followed by radiation therapy. This was a real treat. Three days a week, for five weeks, driving to Edmonds, which depresses me, because any town smaller than Seattle or Portland depresses me. (This is the kind of asshole I have become.) My dog, being a dog, liked the trip there. I was trying to reason with him, like, "You shouldn't be so excited, man. You have CANCER. And I have to leave work early to drive in this rush-hour traffic because you get your treatment at a human facility, which means they can only radiate your shit after hours because they are running the cancer-curing equivalent of a back-alley abortion clinic, cash payments and everything..." But you can't reason with dogs in cars. They are too excited. Because the dog is in a car. And that's happiness for a dog.

2011 was sort of a piece of shit. I'm just gonna say it. I found a funny party hat with cellophane fringe in the basement and I wore it while mopping the floor tonight. I'm staying in for New Year's Eve. With less than two hours until 2012, I'm sure as hell not taking any chances by going out. I need to make it to next year in one piece. It can only go up from here.

Who makes these lamps? I have a need for a round squat silver lamp...

"It looks fantastic and I believe it will sell in the near future."

Yes, that sink is the AFTER.




...from this:

The bar got a swanky makeover:

And the outside got a facelift, too.


Blog moment of the week:

"After the lighting was safe and sound back in the storage unit we popped a few muscle relaxers and went out to do some rug shopping."

Ha ha! That's the spirit. HERE.

Decorated by Domino.

...down to the Hicks paper in the dining room. Scioliari light, moody walls, graphic paper, parson's desk, ladylike Frenchie desk chair. Check, check, check! It's like a time machine of 2009! (And it's still a bazillion times better than my wreck, so....)

HERE for the listing and the slide show.

"Bring your own water for a fun retreat."

Ha, ha. Way to sell it. Ah, Vashon. Hippie Hamptons.

JJ - we can go halfsies on this.

A Rocio Romero prefab(ulous) right on Whidbey Island.

A 180 from the disaster I checked out today on Vashon, no?

Run, don't walk.

So amazing. Get it.

Celerie Kemble should fire her publisher.

Your book is available for pre-order, but there's no "Look Inside the Book" to help us browse the pages and see if we might want it? Who is in charge of marketing this title? They get an F.

THIS IS NOT HARD. Make it happen, someone. (This goes for you, too, Martyn, and all your new-book-releasing brethren.)

In other news, for those following along, Maison Le Tigre has an offer pending. It was a shit show. I toured it and oh my god, it was a disaster. And, as if to confirm my decision, as we exited the place my earlier "Wow, it smells here... not even like old people, but like shit," was validated when the realtor stepped in actual shit. There was A PILE OF ANIMAL SHIT on stairs. Feral cats? Maybe another realtor's stupid dog took a dump? Who knows. Just another sign from God that this house was just too much for me. Sad, but I have moved on.

That wallpaper, though, was glorious. Not even in an ironic hipster way. It was just so confident and bold and fun. And in great shape, too. I actually would have kept it.

File under "grumpy"

Is there an epidemic of people forgetting what they named their baby?? It's the only reason I can find for people STILL putting baby names up in the nursery.

And in other totally unrelated news: not everything should be turned into a light, people. Baskets, tin cans, wire frames with weird burlap covers. Just stop it everyone. Stop it.

Two words:

Tiger. Wallpaper.
Believe it.


Knock, knock.

Easy, right?

New windows, landscaping... make a landscaping situation happen in the front yard. Some paint.... BAM. Awesome rental property.

I can't get my own house together, but I could TOTALLY make this happen.

Hell yes.

This is like 90 kinds of genius. You should get it for me.

Grant Gibson spills the beans:

In THIS post, I asked Grant Gibson what a designer does with the old stuff. He responded generously. Here's what he had to say:

"First, I have to say the best thing is when you are just going about your day and checking your favorite blogs and you come across something and it happens to be your own work. Or in this case, directed right to me.

I think that my apartment is really more of a long story and how it all started. When I found it it was a disaster. You can see the whole HERE.

This was an interesting time in my life. I was in my mid-twenties, just really starting off in the design industry and I didn't have a trust fund or stack of cash to decorate my own space.

Is a designer's home ever really done? I can honestly say that I think that it will really never be done.

Does my first apartment (when I was 18 years old) look anything like my place now? No. Then my tiny (an adjective that doesn't even capture how minuscule) studio when I lived in NY was a whole other look as well. As was my first apartment that I lived in when I moved to San Francisco. Now I am saving all of my pennies to hope to buy a small house of my own.

As I mentioned it was a chance and a place for me to really experiment and I did think of it as a laboratory in a way. I could buy something from the flea market and re-do it.
I think that I kind of got into this "neo-classical" look and put my own twist on it.
I look back at the photos of it when it was published and I can't believe just how much stuff I packed into it. It really IS a small apartment. I think that I might have been addicted to "STUFF". Maybe it is because I have seen it published that I shutter when I think of what it looked like.

There is a part of me that says, "I already did that. Now I want something new." I am a designer after all. I am always looking and finding new things. I am actually not a really sentimental person when it comes to furniture.

I feel like I have grown as a designer and my styles have evolved. I think that this actually might be an ongoing process.

My new direction will seem slightly more age appropriate to me. Mixing styles a bit more. Playing with modern - but keeping pieces that I still love.

Maybe I think of it as a laboratory of a space because I can take some changes and make mistakes. The truth is that if something doesn't work for me, I might end up with it in my garage and it might end up sitting in the space for a while. I try not to force or make suggestions of things that I have done that haven't worked for me to clients. That seems kind of desperate. But I have something that I think that would work, I might make the suggestion.
My two One King's Lane sales were like a garage sale on steroids! It gave me a place to really look at things around my own house and pick and choose the things that I wanted to move on from and what pieces were important to me.

Craigslist can work to sell things. I have sold things on it before for sure. When I had a large office space and then moved to a smaller space, I ended up selling lots of craigslist. It was a lot of work and people that wanted things basically wanted to pay nothing for things.

Ebay is a bit better. It takes a good amount of time. Esty is also a great source. I have seen a lot of great pieces of furniture listed. This all takes time.

People have this incorrect idea (in most cases) that in selling an item they can expect to receive at least what thy paid for it. If you buy a sofa for $5,000 and then sit on it for a year and then decide that you don't like it, you would have to be crazy to think that it would still be worth the same amount. It's like driving a car off the lot. The value depreciates instantly. Things are worth what people will pay. You might think that it is worth more, but if someone isn't willing to pay what you want, then you are going to be stuck with it.

I do have a general rule. Buy what you love. You might fall out of love with it over time. When you buy out of desperation and try to force purchases, you really can end up with some bad choices."



Wrong. On many levels.



HERE. This is where we should send the kid and his cousin next summer.

Hey Grant:

What do chronic redecorators do with the old stuff?

Grant Gibson is in the process of changing it all up:

He wrote on his blog, "I am making some changes (and am excited to share them with you in the upcoming months). Something fresh, with some more modern touches and a little bit more color. A new version of me. I think of my own apartment as a laboratory for experiments (far better to make mistakes at home vs. more costly ones with my clients)."

What becomes of the old stuff? Sell off to clients? Craigslist? Move to the basement? Give away? Tell me everything.

Stuck in my head.



Ah, Portland! My hometown. I was only there for a night to see my beloved Edie. But I was still able to hit my favorite spots, and to get caught up on the latest in Portland, and remind myself of all the goodness I am missing by living in boring Seattle:

Why didn't I think of this?? There are so many strip clubs in Portland, surely it was time someone combined it with other amusements and services, like karaoke. Or childcare.

And I guess this is really happening. It's like sexy-gym-time for cougars. I imagine a class full of Terri Hatcher lookalikes, slithering up and down the poles.

How to open a book.

This is what I love about Powell's bookstore in Portland. The bossy sign taped up in the architecture & art section to remind you to quit fucking breaking the spines.



That light.



Donald Judd for California Closets

Not really, but you get the idea.

Rock it.

This is The Pierre. Kundig. Learn all about it HERE.

This comment made me happy, so I thought I would call it out:

In response to THIS post.

Jennie Ottinger

Ambulances, amputees, scenes from books like The Loved One, Infinite Jest, and Rabbit Run. Juries, oil men, business men, soul singers, and planes snapped in two. What's not to love?

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