There is no need to check my pulse. I am, in fact, alive and swell!
Things have not slowed down since my last whiny rant about my absence (see my previous post which I’m just realizing now WAS BACK IN FEBRUARY) but I feel like the small amount of good faith I’ve earned is wearing thin the longer I remain silent. Am I right? Please confirm my suspicions by opening this in your favorite picture editor, drawing on it and sending here.
I’m in a precarious position. On one hand, I wish I could set aside a few hours a week to answer emails, chronicle my projects and schedule posts. On the other I just want catfish you all into thinking I was hit by a city bus, thereby alleviating my guilt and any personal responsibility to this site henceforth. You can’t expect me to write with a shattered pelvis, two broken tibiae (that’s the plural for tibia, you n00bs) and a ruptured spleen. YOU CAN’T, INTERNET, YOU JUST CAN’T.
Sadly, I am too virtuous for that kind of deception. Like this woman at Starbucks once told me, who was selling overpriced tea and calling herself Oprah, I should be living my best life and tricking you well-meaning individuals into thinking I now use a bed pan does not fit into that equation. Plus when I asked the MTA if they would mock up a fake incident report on their letterhead I was told to QUOTE Stop calling here, sir, and please learn to breathe through your nose. END QUOTE
In the meantime, while I work on generating some more content for the site and being a more reliable blogger, I’ve decided to publish some TINAH reader mail. It’s been months—MONTHS—since I’ve posted anything and since I haven’t had much time lately to think of anything original I figured posting someone else’s words would be much easier than struggling to put together my own. (For those of you taking notes my spirit animal is one of those inflatable dancing tube men that’s been popped and kind of just lies there while all the air pours out of his lifeless corpse.)
Surprisingly I get a lot of emails and that’s unusual for two reasons. 1) Most people only find TINAH because they click through from an article on Apartment Therapy. As such I’ve always assumed that the core of my readership consists of one-click wonders. These are people who stop by the blog, give it a quick read, have a little chuckle, comment on my asymmetrical face and body that looks like wet bags of nickels strung together, and leave. I just imagine these people aren’t coming back for seconds of this shit casserole let alone taking the time to drop me a line. 2) This site is really no more DIY than Miracle Whip is mayonnaise, which is just not mayonnaise and I don’t care if you grew up in the Midwest it’s just not, you monster. As I’m sure you’ve gathered TINAH is like a wolf in sheep’s clothing and by that I mean I may write about how to install a bathroom vanity but really it’s just an elaborate way to talk about the Jewish ghost that haunts my can. Most of the stuff I write about here doesn’t really facilitate follow up questions (unless you too believe a turn-of-the-century immigrant spirit inhabits in your apartment, which I have to guess is a very small percentage of you). Whatever the reason, I love that I get so many emails! It conveniently confirms the delusion that I am a public figure while also satisfying my raging narcissistic proclivities. And I respond to every email. My responses are delicate, like petit fours, and just as sweet. I try to be as thoughtful as possible but sometimes it can be difficult because I’m so high on my own self-importance while writing them that I forget to answer the question. Oh well! People like me and that means global warming is just a myth!
The types of emails I get are all over the map. Most of them are good questions, some of them are incomprehensible and a few are downright pornographic, but as Maya Angelou once said, “Questions are like butts: Each one is worth sticking your finger in and exploring a little.” The DIY-related questions are usually from women looking for workarounds to projects their husbands fucked up and these are my favorite! They’re incredibly passive aggressive. It’s starts off sweet and accommodating and by the end they’re describing the pile of wood and nails on their kitchen counter that looks like a birdhouse but is actually a wine rack. [To all the husbands out there, listen up: YOUR WIVES ARE ONTO YOU! They’re not fooled by the size of your power drill and they know you watch Property Brothers, so next time you’re refinishing the deck and the stain dries unevenly just own up to it.]
Then there are the lifestyle-focused questions. Things like, what’s the best online lighting resource, where do I find the perfect cocktail napkin, is bleaching your asshole still a thing, yadda yadda yadda. Sometimes I hesitate to answer these because I don’t think I have the authority to do so. I mean, who am I to tell anyone anything non-DIY related? It’s not like I’m fancy! I’ve never had a facial. I rarely get massages. I don’t drink cold pressed juices and my colonics are filled with used bath water so why am I qualified to be a lifestyle guru? BECAUSE I HAVE STUNNING TASTE AND AN ASS THAT WON’T QUIT AND IF YOU NEED ANY MORE REASON THAN THAT THEN PLEASE TAKE IT UP WITH MY MOM-AGER, GWYNETH PALTROW.
But the majority of the correspondence I get is actually fan mail for my dog, Finn, which I’m suuuuuper fine with and does not toast my baby berries at awwwwll, OKAY? I mean, this is my site and he is just a dog and I do pick up his shit three times a day and feed him when he’s hungry and scratch his belly when it’s itchy but I’m not bothered by the attention showered on him by TINAH readers. Not bothered at all.
(I’m very, very bothered by it.)
If you see your email below (or in future posts) and it’s been mangled beyond recognition do not fret! I will be condensing some of them so they’re a little more manageable. I love the long rambling emails I get from time to time (because it offers me a chance to answer in kind) but they aren’t always so post-friendly. Some people include their location when they write in and I think that’s a fun thing to continue doing. Not that I need you to. After all, I already have your IP addresses. Including your location in your email will only save me some time when I’m trying to steal your identity!
By the way, if you have a question but absolutely do not want it posted just let me know and I won’t post it! I promise! I’m a good guy. Remember: I may have quoted a brilliant Civil Rights activist as having used the word butt…but I mean well. (I’M SORRY AGAIN)
ENJOY AND KEEP THE QUESTIONS COMING, YOU MONSTERS.
Hi! I saw your apartment on AT and loved it! What is your design secret?? Would love some quick tips! Thanks!
Thank you! My one piece of advise I tell everyone (friends, family members, people on the street who didn’t ask my opinion but did make eye contact with me so I know they want to hear what I have to say) is to imbue your stuff with meaning! Make the stuff in your home special. Make sure there’s a story behind everything around you. If you do that, you will build super luxurious and relaxing space.
Also, you are SO SWEET but this question has nothing to do with 1) my stunning looks 2) my rockin’ hot bod or 3) my commanding rap battle/freestyle ability. Next time, please try to incorporate one of the three. Thank you.
Do you consult/do design work remotely? Thanks! Love your website!
– Cat, Florida
A little known fact about This Is Not A House is that YES, I DO! I probably never made this known publicly and for that I am sorry, but I do, in fact, consult and design!
If you’re every interested in my services please shoot me an email! We can discuss what you’re looking to accomplish, budget, timeline, furniture selection, fabric choice—everything! I can offer you floor plans, renderings, color stories, etc. In return I usually ask that you name your first born after me, but if you’re not planning on having children ever (because you’re a sane and logic human being like me) then we can always discuss a monetary fee. But, really, if it were up to me I’d just have you name all your kids Evan and be done with it.
Dear Evan, your blog makes me laugh but not in a ha-ha way…more like a ‘heh’ way. Anyway keep up the good work dude.
I’m sure you sent this thinking you were being cheeky but the joke is on you, my friend, because I’m a huge narcissist and all I read is that someone somewhere thinks I’m Amy Schumer with balls so ah-thank ah-you!
Why do you have to cuss and say unbecoming things on your blog?
– My mother
When my brother and I were young my mom forbade us to watch The Simpsons. She hated when Bart would say ‘eat my shorts,’ and she hated it even more when we would both repeat it. Same went for Adventures In Babysitting, which was one of our favorite movies. I had one of those combs that looked like a switchblade; on the handle was a button and when you pressed it the comb would come flying out. It looked like you were going to mug someone every time you fixed your part and I loved it! Anyway, in the movie there’s a scene when Elisabeth Shue defends herself and the kids she’s watching against this thug in the subway. She holds a switchblade up to the attacker’s face and says, “Don’t fuck with the babysitter!” My brother and I would trade off being Elisabeth Shue and use the switchblade comb against each other. And we would overemphasize the word fuck. It sounded sort of like Fffffffffffffff-UHHHHH-CCCCKKKKK-uhhhhhhh!!!!!!!! Over and over and over we’d do it and die laughing each time. That drove my mom up the goddamn wall.
I sort of imagine TINAH hits the same nerve for her.
Hi Evan! What’s NYC like? I am thinking about moving in the fall from Ohio. It seems like you live an exciting life. Can’t wait!
– Chris, Ohio (duh)
I’ll tell you what New York is not like. New York is not like what you see on TV. Not even in the shows that feel authentic because one character is curvy and curvy is real. New York is not like Friends or 30 Rock or any of the hundreds of Law & Orders. It’s not like Gossip Girl or Damages and it sure as shit is not like Sex & The City. It’s none of those things! In my opinion, the only thing that gets it right is Home Alone 2. That is New York! Running hysterically through the streets, racking up insane credit card debt, defending yourself against muggers, letting pigeons crawl all over you, squatting in vacant buildings—it’s all here and more.
I think there’s a misconception about New York and its residents. We’re real people! Living in Manhattan doesn’t mean you don’t eat a block of cheese at 11pm on a Tuesday or walk outside in your pajamas or spend a Sunday morning in bed making a fart tent with your sheets. We do all those things and more.
I don’t know if that really answers your question but I hope it contextualizes the cosmopolitan sheen most people apply to New York living. And I apologize for the delay! I realize you sent this email to me back in May, and while I responded to you then I’m also pretending as if I’m responding to you now and by now you are no doubt living in the city, killing it at school and ready to push me into oncoming traffic, should you run into me on the street.
P.S. I was fortunate enough to actually be stopped by the actual Chris in front of the actual FIT building and he is so nice and sweet and not all interested in shoving me into a traffic!!
Do bed bugs bother you? Reading through your blog I see you picked up stuff from the street and I’m just wondering if that’s something you ever consider. I don’t think I could do it!
– Jen, Michigan
Bed bugs didn’t bother me and I never considered them when picking up my junk from street but I will now SO THANKS FOR THAT, JEN.
Doesn’t NYC have bed bugs?! Eck!!!!!
– Sharlene, Wyoming
I see what’s going on here.
I like your re-done furniture but I think there may be insects on it. How do you remove?
– Frederic, Germany
Let’s set the record straight. Bed bugs were a problem a few years ago. Like we all should have done, those critters heard Bloomberg was leaving office and De Blasio would be stepping in and they started to revolt. They were showing up everywhere; in movie theatres, cabs, subway benches. But things are under control now. Time has passed, we’ve all made peace with this flaccid mayoral administration and things are better.
As a general rule, I don’t pick up upholstery from the street. That, I think, is a red flag, but everything else is fair fucking game. If you feel like anything not-upholstered might have a hidden bug or an egg on it (which I can assure you it does not) just spray it down with some white vinegar and white it off. You’ll be good to go and enjoying that broken papasan chair frame in no time!
I think I’ll end it on that note. The bed bug one.
Finally, for all the Finn fans out there (Fanns? Finnheads? Finn Army?), I hope the following will satiate your incessant need to email me about him and not, as I always prefer, me.
Here he is turning 8 last month and wishing he didn’t have to pose for this goddamn picture:
Happy Veteran’s Day!