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January 07, 2004

Seattle: Winter Wonderland

Yesterday, it snowed in Seattle. Now, for many cities this is nothing to get excited about. But here in Seattle, when it snows it's a special occasion. The entire town shuts down, pretty much, and the media has a field day. The whole day before: "it's gonna snow!". The whole day yesterday: "hey, it's snowing!". And all today: "the aftermath of the snow". It's pretty funny.

But me, I love the snow. Because of the treacherous roads the offices were all closed, so Jay and I had a day at home. It was nice to be working in the living room, laptop wirelessly connected to the office via VPN, and watch the cross-country skiiers go by.

And it was all the better because yesterday was my birthday. Really, I don't think it could've turned out better.

Here are some photos of casa nonfamous in the snow.

October 07, 2003

Watch it? We're living it!

So Adrants is covering a new reality show, Merge, to be sponsored by Home Depot, about a couple moving in together and merging their belongings. It promises to be interesting-- unless, of course, it hits too close to home. Watching it would probably make me thank my lucky stars-- I think the worst argument David and I have had about moving in is whether we should have a stereo in the sitting room. (We're trying it with the sleek, almost hidden, iPod system for now.)

September 15, 2003

A little correction and a big one

As David and I prepare to move into the new place this weekend, it seems like a good time to point out that the house is technically not in Madrona, but in Leschi. Apparently Leschi is a bit tonier but Madrona's where the fun is (cool restaurants, fun shopping, etc.). We're right on the line-- maybe we should call it Madschi? Maybe not.

The bigger correction, which is related, is that the eponymous Chief Leschi wasn't a murderer. So says the Nisqually tribe, respected historians, and even a former Pierce county prosecutor. Looks like it was a pretty standard White Man Speaks with Forked Tongue affair 150 years back, as settlers and the government attempted to force native tribes onto reservations. Leschi became the tribes' "war chief" and was convicted of murdering a militia soldier, despite evidence that he was not present at the ambush in question. Leschi became the first person sentenced to death by white justice in the Washington Territory. (Even if he was guilty, I think the settlers had it coming.)

Anyway, with the help of historians the Nisqually tribe is making an effort to formally clear the name of the Chief whose memory is still alive and well here in the Northwest. As a soon-to-be Leschi resident, I wish them all the best.

August 21, 2003

Austrahoma Style

Of course we’re still waiting for our thoroughly freakish sellers to get over themselves on the minor things we want done with the house. My fingers are cramped from excessive crossing.

The good news is I’m feeling slightly less panicked about home décor. David picked up Country Living at Home Depot last weekend, and I was much reassured that the phrase “modern country” is not an oxymoron. The magazine also helped me arrive at a design concept. And as you know, once I have a concept, everything else falls into place quickly.

It’s simple, really. David and I both grew up on the edges of cities feel more like big country towns. David, in fact, grew up in a home not unlike the one we are buying. My farmhouse-of-record is, of course, Memommie and Skelley’s big old place outside Lawton.

Somewhere in the country between Adelaide and Oklahoma City, there is a place with cattle ranches, wheat fields, and pioneer settlements parked on the dry plain. There is red earth, and from at least one side of the river, beautiful vineyards. So all of that is going to be our inspiration, and when we’re home in both places over the holidays we’ll be doing some scouting for specifics. We’re going to need lots of help, so if anyone has any brilliant ideas, let me know!

August 18, 2003

The madness begins

Yes, we've started thinking about home decor. In particular, I'm starting to take a real interest in lighting, as there are a few fixtures that just have to go. (There shall be no exposed lightbulbs in the hallway!)

So imagine my joy when I looked up the Rejuvenation website. It's amazing, and surprisingly affordable.

But the façade of affordability crumbles when you start looking at the whole thing. A fixture here, some paint there, and--oh, a new sofabed!--and suddenly Jay has no lunch money for two weeks.

I am way too much of a control freak to do a Trading Spaces-type thing, but as it gets closer to closing we may have to invite a few folks over to give us your thoughts on paint colors and things like that. I have probably indulged the decorative urge a bit more than David, but I feel like I lack the Interior Design Gene that we gays are all assumed to have. I know what I like, but trying to explain how I think wall color and trim and fabrics should work together is exasperating.

The other weird thing is that although I love the farmhouse style of Casa Nonfamous, I've never really had much interest in anything country (with the exception of my "Okie kitsch" fascination of 1997-1998). So my personal style (if one whose entire furniture collection comes from Ikea can reasonably claim to have a personal style) is in abeyance when it comes to this house. I'm definitely a minimalist, and that will work, but my love of sleek, modern shapes doesn't necessarily fit the spirit of the place. Currently, the Venn diagram of "what I've thought I liked all these years" and "what will look good" really only intersects at "black and white photography."

My big concept is that David and I will find ourselves in some small-town antique shop in Oklahoma over Christmas and find a house full of amazing furniture for like $500. That's probably not going to happen, but if anyone there wants to do some snooping around, it sure would make me feel better.

August 14, 2003

This Ole House

So Jay and I have taken the plunge and bought a house. We made the offer this morning. The seller was about to drop the price on the listing, but we managed to get in early and offer the new price before anyone else got a chance to. So, barring any problems with the inspection/neighbourhood review or financing, it's as good as ours!

The house is a 1904 farmhouse with a gorgeous, newly remodelled interior. On the lower floor is the sitting room with an attractive (but nonfunctional) fireplace and a large dining room, with a modern kitchen in the back. Upstairs is the master bedroom with lots of closet space and a view of the Cascades and Lake Washington, the guest bedroom, and a third bedroom which has no closets (and so we'll probably use that as an office). The bathroom -- featuring a clawfoot tub with low water pressure -- is upstairs also.

An extension has been built on the back of the house which provides a large family room and a small bathroom. Unfortunately, it wasn't built very well, and the inspection report about it was frightening: "the entire addition is in poor condition ... and would be recommended to be removed or completely reconstructed". But it's OK for a few years at least, and the house is still good value even if we knock it down, say for a patio in a larger backyard. (The backyard is tiny but the front yard is nice, and the entire house is fenced in so Dozer can run around.) In the meantime, we'll probably use it for the home theatre system, provided the electricals can cope. At least we have a room where we don't have to worry about damaging the walls or carpet in a party!

All going well, we should be moving in at the end of September. It's a big step, and kind of stressful, but I can't wait until we can settle in to our first family home together!