Category Archives: Weekend Wrap-Up

MARCH 9 2014

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▶ The Oscars were incredibly snooze-worthy, in my opinion, as everyone who was projected to win did win and if I wanted to watch something with a predetermined outcome I would just tune in for the Russian Parliament’s potato sack race during their annual summer picnic. (As if anyone would dare let Putin be a runner-up.) And speaking of jerks who have no business talking politics (me) Jared Leto name-checked Ukraine during his acceptance speech. Now, I don’t want to speak for the entirety of Crimea but I think we can all agree no one there is looking to Jordan Catalano for confirmation that their dreams can come true. UGH. I think it was the Washington Post who said it best by calling that sort of off-handed remark ‘drive-by’ politics. You know somewhere Jane Fonda was turning over in her oxygen chamber when she read that. On the bright side–the side that does not include a 3 minute bit about ordering pizza or calling Liza a drag queen, Ellen–I did win my Oscar party’s ballot contest with a personal best of 21 out of 24 correct picks. Fair warning: in the future, if you hold an Oscar party and invite me over, you will rue the day when I accurately predict the live action and animated short films because my head may explode from shock and the brain matter will ruin your nice sofa. My other misstep was going with Jennifer Lawrence over Lupita and I don’t need to explain myself on that one. I just liked her better. However, if I had known that after she handed out Best Actor to Matthew McConaughey she’d spend his entire bat shit crazy speech throwing shade (scroll down to #10) I would’ve also voted for JLaw for Best Sound Editing and Best Original Screenplay knowing full well I’d lose those categories too. Anyway, my prize for winning was an American Hustle poster, which I have no idea what to even do with so for now it’s nestled away in my closet. If there are any takers please email me your address. I’ll sign it as if I’m Amy Adams and ship it to you.

▶ During one of the many snow days we’ve had here in the Northeast I succumbed to my boredom and said alright alright alright to True Detective, and I am publicly declaring–very cautiously–that I like it a great deal. It’s good. Decent. Let’s say decent, but I certainly don’t love it. It’s beautiful to watch and the acting is superb but I have no idea what it’s really about, aside from white men of opportunity contemplating there own mortality and objectifying women (how original!). Not that I regret having invested my mind grapes in a marathon binge but, folks, tonight’s the season finale and I’m still just as clueless as I was when I saw the first episode. It’s a comment on…spirituality? Apathy? Child abduction? Woody Harrelson’s receding hairline? Who knows. One thing I’m sure of, on a creep scale of 1 to Paul Dano, McConaughey is at Christopher Walken (which is way creepier) and that’s all I really need to capture my attention, even if that monster refuses to remove his shirt no matter how loudly I scream at the TV.

▶ I mention monsters because it seems I have created one in the form of a 12-pound miniature pinscher named Finn. Let me backtrack. A few months ago my cousin called to tell me she had discovered the benefits of coconut oil. In addition to being a culinary fat buster it is also great for your digestive system, and its antibacterial properties make it great for your skin. She mentioned–my cousin being a small dog owner like me–that coconut oil is stellar for your pooch’s coat, too. That was really the beginning of the end. When I got off the phone with her I called my vet. After his approval I promptly went to the market and each day since have been slopping a teaspoon on Finn’s dry food each morning. Peter Paul & Mary, was she right! Since then Finn’s been slinking around like the apartment like he’s in a Garnier commercial. The unintended side effect, however, is that now I have a canine with a sophisticated palette who won’t eat his food unless there’s healthy dose of tropical goodness mixed in. Seriously. I ran out of the stuff the other morning and tried to sneak it by him but all I ended up with was a resentful puppy and a lot of side eye:

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He just stared up at me with that look–that looks that says, “Don’t even try me.” What dog refuses a bowl of delicious kibble? The dog who won’t stand for anything less than a drizzle of coconut oil, as I now know. If there are any dog owners out there this is the one thing I would not recommend you give to your pet. Unless you’re ready for the power dynamic between you two to change then by all means have at it, but don’t say I didn’t warn you. Finn: 1, Evan: 0

▶ I have been receiving a lot of heat lately for posting some questionably negative comments about Apple’s new Swedish-inspired line of automobiles, IKEA, and all I will say about that is it’s not totally uncalled for, though I feel like I need to ruminate on this topic a little further to give the blogosphere a clearer picture of where I really stand. I am, after all, a millennial and if I didn’t feel the need to tell strangers about how I’m misunderstood then I would be doing my generation a great disservice.  So, please, Johan and Tuva, hold off on firing those angry emails until I’ve had time to expand on my utterly brilliant/vapid thoughts in a post, will you? I promise I will explain myself but I can’t promise it won’t make you want to punch your computer’s face in its face, as I imagine most TINAH readers are want to do when they subject themselves to the silly things I ramble on about. Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think I am. If I am getting too up on myself, however, just send me a picture of a cat dressed as a human–which I HATE–and I will interpret the nonverbal communication to mean my jets are in need of cooling. It will be like our secret code word, OK?

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▶ Last week I was invited to an event by bespoke clothier Alton Lane at their showroom in Flatiron. It was a style presentation aimed at teaching men (ha) how to assemble and pack outfits for their upcoming spring getaways (wedding in the Hamptons! Stag party in Chicago! Sight seeing in Montreal!). They do amazing custom suits and shirts and since I didn’t have the heart to admit I’m not a real adult who wears things that button I RSVP’d with my attendance. Not that there was any other option, really, since I knew there was going to be scotch and BLOCKS OF CHEESE. The evening was co-hosted by Mad Men’s costume designer and thank god I was distracted by their showroom’s exquisite decor–brimming with leather-y goodness and rich texture–otherwise I would’ve cornered her and done my best Megan Draper impression. There are few universal truths in design but it is my belief that a well-worn leather cigar chair is a one of them. Can we check on that? If it’s not already it should be inducted into some kind of Hall of Fame and pront-o, Gina. Who can I talk to about that? Anyway, Alton Lane had some gorgeous ones and throw in half a dozen well-placed cow hide rugs and I was in heaven. The warm feeling the scotch gave me helped, too, but mainly it was that post-industrial, masculine aesthetic that comes from pairing rugged, natural textures and dark woods that was doing it for me.

▶ This morning I stupidly agreed to accompany my friend to a BDSM club disguised as a cardio pilates class. To quote the great philosopher Julia Roberts, “Big mistake. Big. HUGE”. When it comes to working out my routine is that of a man from the 1920s. It’s very simple. I warm up on the stationary bike and then I lift heavy objects over my head until I hear something pop. Sometimes I may go rogue and indulge in a stretch or two but that’s only if I’m feeling adventurous. Fitness fads are just not my bag, man. If I ever felt the need to take an antigravity kickboxing ballet class I’d rather sit on a knife and call it day. But my friend got me at a time when I’m feeling a little vulnerable–I’ve been coping with the brutal winter by eating pasta and swilling red wine most nights–and now that the weather’s changing I can only think about getting my beach body back. So against my better judgement I said yes. Our instructor, Kendrick, was great because he didn’t stand for anything short of total commitment. He really put the ‘sass’ in ‘go fuck yourself, you weakling’, which I admire, but I think I’ve seriously broken my body, you guys. There’s something not right about what’s happened to my muscles which I thought were healthy and strong but there was a lunge set somewhere in there that has me second guessing my own physical prowess. When we finished I left waddling down Park Avenue. It was not a good look.

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▶ Out with the old, in with the new! I’m very excited to report my new desk was completed and delivered last week! I didn’t mention this before because I wasn’t sure when it would all come together but it has been in the works for awhile now. THANK YOU to the good people over at STOR New York who very generously built me this one-of-a-kind beauty. You might remember I had a Stash desk from Blu Dot before, but I was never really comfortable with it. It did the job and looked pretty, sure, but I didn’t follow my own advice and rushed into buying it simply out of necessity. Ugh, be damned, hindsight! What an asshole move that was on my part. Once I got it into my place and lived with it for a few days I knew it wasn’t going to be something that would move with me throughout my life. This is a perfect example of how waiting to consider your options will save you time, money, energy and migraines. Not to mention it decreases your consumer footprint. If I had been smarter about it 18 months ago I wouldn’t have found myself in the position of having TWO desks. Luckily I found a guy on Craigslist who just bought a home in Westchester and whose daughter needed a desk for her new room. That makes me feel better about being a bourgeois capitalist pig, but it still gets under my skin that I fouled up on this one. If the adage is Lead By Example then I must be the David Patterson of DIYers. Let this just serve as a cautionary tale, TINAH readers, and rest assured I’ll continue this pity party elsewhere, like at the bottom of a strong vodka tonic.

The scale is almost double that of the Stash desk so I may have to change things up to make it feel like there’s not a walnut Cadillac parked in my apartment. Sadly, my treasured thrift store brass floor lamp may get the boot. It can’t hold its own against the heft of the new desk, though I already have a good home lined up for it should it lose this particular hunger games. I’m thinking–gulp–a hanging pendant? Maybe a Louis Poulsen PH5? Is that too much? Will it fit within the space or just stick out like sore digit? Am I already halfway into my self-deprecating vodka tonic and not thinking clearly? The answer may be D) All of the above, but whatever I get I guarantee it will be secondhand and beat to hell. After this double desk debacle I can’t even begin to think about buying something new.

But here’s the best part:

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Orange drawers! Boom. So much fun.

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FEBRUARY 9 2014

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▶ I’m going to make a HUGE generalization. If you wanted anything more from the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics than what Putin served then I will venture to guess you are likely to also be one of those people who abandons your shopping cart in the middle of the canned foods aisle to get ice cream from the freezer section two aisles over. That is to say, there was nothing–NOTHING–more you needed from that glorious festival of garbage and if there was then you must enjoy swinging a bag of kittens against a wall. What I witnessed–what my see rocks partook in–was the celestial intersection of all the elements any successful internationally televised event must aspire to have: 1) a Julie Taymor-inspired aerial action sequence  2) a movement piece interpreting the political bloodshed of Josef Stalin 3) a presumably tired and sweaty Lady Gaga managing to escort every athlete through the Parade of Nations 4) drunk cherubs in puffer vests and 5) those inflatable tube men outside of car lots (and that, my friends, is the true meaning of Christmas!) No but really didn’t this just make your night? It sure did mine. I can’t help but become hopelessly enraptured by the Olympics–even the Winter Olympics–despite the nagging voice in the back of my noodle which astutely points out that success in these games is predominantly measured not by athletic prowess as much as it is by wealth or proximity to it. Like, yes, I’m sure bobsledding is physically grueling and requires a great amount of discipline but your sled is sponsored by BMW so if you have an issue with that, Lolo Jones, please take it up with (1st) the kids of PS 24 in the Bronx and then (2nd) my lawyer, Finn, who is a dog. Anyway, this weekend was momentous for me in that it marked the beginning of the next two weeks in which I will spend each evening avoiding human contact so I can watch Shawn White and his impossibly high cheekbones win some medals.

▶ Speaking of Sochi this week NBC’s big tree of man, Willie Geist, informed me and the rest of the country that Russia has crab-flavored potato chips and to that I say: Congratulations, America! We’ve managed to mangle and pervert a lot of things in our time but we haven’t dipped our toe into the shellfish-flavored snack food water and that is nothing to sneeze at. Little victories.

photo 1▶ I came across the most nifty and Duh-Why-Didn’t-I-Think-Of-That solution for pot lids on Apartment Therapy and so far it’s worked beautifully. The lids have stayed on their hooks, I am not fumbling on my knees, straining my shoulder and mashing my face against the cabinet, reaching for them anymore and Finn–surprise!–saw me take out a camera and ran in to photobomb the shot. What this photo does not show are the texts I sent my mom, cousin, best friend, neighbor, old college roommate and high school swim coach proclaiming my (stolen) ingenuity or how, after doing so, I had to take a timeout to examine what my life has become and why I’m this excited over cupboard organization.photo 2▶ Have I whined enough about the weather here in New York yet, you guys? Probably. Do I care? Nope. Here’s a picture of how heavy and gorgeous and wonderful the snow made the city last week. Everything was blanketed and soft and, even though it was bitterly cold and balmy, looking up to see these white tentacles everywhere was pretty great, so don’t say I never stop to make some lemonade now and again. I have it within me!

▶ I have been thinking about adding a pair of Tapio Wirkkala candlesticks to the sideboard next to my front door but I’m not willing to pay the price. Searching online I found most of the candlesticks claiming to be Tapio Wirkkala originals are actually knock-offs, and in this instance that’s a good thing. A knock-off is actually what I’m looking for because I want to sand them down, maybe do something funky with the color, and I’d have a hard time justifying that to my conscience (and my wallet) if they were actually vintage TWs. That being said, it has been HELL trying to explain to sellers that what they have is, in fact, not an original nor is it worth what they are asking. When did this start, this whole overselling and under-delivering thing that has apparently run rampant among online sellers? For me, when I put something online to sell, I feel like I have to incentivize the damn thing just to get it to move, like I’m the fucking Ron Popeil of eBay. Well, I don’t like it and I won’t stand for it! Your shit smells like shit and not like roses so get over yourself, middle-aged woman in Central Florida, and sell me your overpriced replica candlesticks so you can have an extra $20 in your pocket and I can have more pretentious objects to put in my home, OK?

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▶ Full disclosure, I’ve had a lot on my mind recently in regards to my energy and where and with whom I’m choosing focus it versus where and with whom I know I should really be focusing it –you know, terribly self-absorbed and millennial thoughts that I will NOT bore you with further–and as a result I’ve opted to spend a little more time alone for the moment, which is how I found myself in front of a my television at 9:30pm on a Saturday evening weighing the the pros and cons of Wesley Warren Jr and his gargantuan crotch melon over another episode of Real Housewives on Demand. I’m ashamed to say I went with Wesley and his enormous nut, you guys. Here’s the thing: THAT GUY WAS LOVING HIS BIG BALL. I mean, that might be terrible and judgey to put out there but he sure seemed like he didn’t want to get that thing lopped off any time soon. Instead Ol’ Wesley there seemed to truly and genuinely enjoy what the ball gave him socially; the opportunity to interact with anyone with a sympathetic ear. The best was when he met a doctor–finally he met a doctor after 40 minutes of writhing around on the floor, calling his senator’s office and crying to his secretary (why? who knows) and launching a kickstarter campaign to help him pay for the surgery (but really it was for his rent)–who could help him but all Wesley wanted to talk about was how he hadn’t seen his penis in six years and how he didn’t realize the penis was even gone and where the doctor thought that penis went and, oh God, Doc, will you be able to dig that penis out, and the doctor was obviously uncomfortable since minutes earlier he had told him they just needed to remove the growth and he and his penis would be fine. Also Wesley wanted to auction his severed testicle off online and the look that befell the doctor’s face was worth everything I had endured thus far. So, in conclusion, uh, yea, I need to take a cold, hard look at my life and get things in order, you could say, if this is how I’m voluntarily choosing to spend my weekend evenings, hanging pot lids and watching testicular surgeries. I acknowledge that.

FEBRUARY 1 2014

Wow, this week has been a doozy! Between work, the Polar Vortex, a new design project, the Grammys, BIEBER, the Super Bowl shenanigans invading Times Square and Finn I didn’t have a free minute to sit and download a thought.image-1

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▶ I started a new project a few weeks ago. It’s small for now but may turn into something more substantial in time. Regardless, after nearly 9 years living in the city, it finally gave me the opportunity to debunk the urban myth that is the Design Within Reach Annex in Jersey. I’m thrilled to report IT IS REAL AND IT IS HEAVEN, YOU GUYS. In truth their eBay shop has been a great resource for me in the past, but I never actually saw the Annex with my own two peep balls until just last week. (When you live in Manhattan getting to anything outside of Manhattan is a huge production–especially if you’re going to a place where you intend to procure a piece of furniture–so it’s not surprising it took a gig that is providing transportation for me to get out there.) I knew it existed, in theory–kind of like how winning the lottery or the simultaneous orgasm exists in theory–but I assumed it was less like a showroom and more like a warehouse of horrors. Lucky I was wrong. It was lovely inside and the saleswoman who helped me looked like Carmela Soprano, and let’s be honest when you go out to Jersey you can’t ask for anything more, right? I scored their beautiful Tripod Floor Lamp for less than half the list price simply because the shade had a bit of a dent. Most everything else there was in a similar condition as the lamp, with a minor scratch or chip resulting in a steep discount. Holy Holly Hunter In A Hand Bag there were so many other things I could’ve gotten! They had a dozen or so Gubi semi pendants in various colors and sizes, but regretfully I wasn’t in the position to get one for myself this time. Fingers crossed when I go back there will still be a few hanging around!

Within the last few weeks I’ve gotten a lot of questions about my replica Eames, how I feel about reproductions morally-speaking, where to find them, etc. and while I make no bones about having a Feames (fake Eames) I also make no bones about wanting a real Eames, so part of me was hoping I’d see one at the Annex at a reasonable price and convince myself to finally throw down the plastic. Well, I did find a few and the prices were comparatively reasonable but something about a $7,000 chair marked down to $4,500 still didn’t seem like a move I could make. I know, I know…#firstworldproblems

▶ What happened at the Grammys, you guys? I don’t know about you but I thought it was U.G.L.Y and, no sir, it did not have an alibi. Here’s the thing: the producers need to stop trying so hard to make these damn Grammy moments happen. Whoever thought Miranda Lambert and Billy Joe should collaborate on a tribute to Phil Everly should be stripped naked and gently beaten with watery deli meat. WHATEVER but something really degrading needs to be done to those producers, preferably at the hands of Kacey Musgraves. The person who thought it was a good idea to have her perform IMMEDIATELY after Kendrick Lamar and Imagine Dragons (one of the only good performances of the night) needs a thick slice of boiled ham across the face. Was it just me or could Carol King barely contain her bewilderment during her duet with Sara Bareilles, which was really less of a duet and more of a televised master class in which Sara should have just sat there and taken notes. (Side note: WHY was that album even nominated?) And is Pink now only moonlighting as a pop star because it felt like her job at Cirque Du Soleil is taking over what was once a very fun, non-acrobatic career? Wait. I take it back. She’s too far in to come back. If at this point Pink didn’t come out and perform on a trapeze I’d commit harakiri. Well done, Pink. Carry on.

image-4      image-3▶ I went out to New Jersey a second time last week to source wood for a dinning table and some possible planter boxes I’m hoping to make for my patio once the weather gets nicer. The Gypsy Farmhouse is this kooky shack bubbling over with furniture made from barnwood salvaged from Amish farms in Pennsylvania. I was able to snag a stunning barn door table at an unbelievable price, though I wish I hadn’t gone the day after a storm–the property surrounding the house is littered with beautiful old planks dying to be made into something, but I couldn’t get to any of it. If I had on snow boots you can bet I would’ve leaped into the slush like Janice Ian into a big pile of girls. When it comes to DIY-ing I firmly believe nothing worth having comes easily, so it’s a wonder why I set out that day in a pair of converse, so unprepared to get my hands dirty. Live and learn! I did, however, get a fascinating tutorial from Patti, the owner, on how they make table legs from old farm beams. Ugh, how I wish I just had a radial saw and a workshop. My life would be complete. (There’s another joke in there somewhere about ‘making a slatted bench out of rainbows and smiles and we’d all sit on it and be happy’ but one Mean Girls reference is really all a post can handle so I won’t attempt it. TOO LATE.)

▶ I opened my mailbox this week to find Jonathan Adler and his husband laughing smugly on the cover of Dwell and all I have to say about that is really. Really? Is that what I need to be looking at when I’m going to work on the bus in the morning? No. No it is not. I don’t need to start my day by discovering how fabulous and successful Jonathan Adler is. THESE ARE THINGS I ALREADY KNOW. And things that make me feel bad about myself. And yet, there he is looking up at me, tanned and breezy about it all, not giving a fuck about my inferiority complex but instead wading in his infinity pool like he’s on his third afternoon cocktail. Ugh. UGH. The whole thing makes me want to vomit from the knot of self-loathing that builds in my gut each time I open to the article but refuse to read it. Refuse to read it but also choose to only acknowledge the emboldened quotes, which I feel is not really fair of me but the only thing I can do when dealing with someone who says they “use every square inch of the house with tremendous glee and gusto.” Gusto. God damn you, Adler. I hate you and I want to be you.

image▶ Mid-week Finn decided to start Halloween early this year by dressing as the trash underneath my kitchen sink and surprising me when I came home from work. Long story short I wasn’t laughing, but the result was a fresh-smelling pooch and a new locking garbage can from The Container Store. I thought I’d seen it all but I’m continually amazed by the new and inventive ways he discovers to raise my blood pressure. He’s 6 now–that’s nearly middle-aged–and I thought he’d be doing middle-aged doggy things but apparently he’s Benjamin Button-ing back into a puppy. At what point will he just settle down and be content with a Yoplait and an episode of Blue Bloods on a Friday evening? I’m still waiting but until then there are a barrage of cleaning products at the ready.

▶ Times Square, normally a circus, added a fourth ring when the Super Bowl came to town and eviscerated any shred of civility those of us who work in the area try so hard to maintain. Walking out of my office to get lunch was like being overtaken by a giant swell and dragged along by the undertow for three blocks, except this swell was full of drunk people who scream GO BRONCOS and ask how to get to the M&M Store. I’m a big football fan and I can’t wait for Sunday (go Broncos!) but I will be glad when Monday comes and the Ringling Brothers have packed it in and left town.

image-6▶ After a very long week it was so nice to come home to a happy little surprise from Case Study Ceramics sitting on my doorstep! What’s in the box? Spoiler alert: it isn’t Gwyneth Paltrow’s head (sorry, Coldplay fans) but it is a gorgeous planter I hope to have the energy to set up very soon.