Tuesday, December 30, 2008

To walk or not to walk. That is the question.

Ok people. I'd like to get some input, please.

As I've mentioned about a billion times on this blog, I'm graduating in April (barring illness, a teacher's strike, or the proverbial bus). I need to decide - and soon - if I'm going to actually take part in the graduation ceremony.

My inclination is to participate - to actually mark the occasion of finishing this phase of my formal education. After all, when it's said and done, it will have taken me 19 years to earn a BS. I think a ceremony is well deserved.

What say you?

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Holiday Crazies

Been nuts around these parts, people. Nuts, I say. So you get a bullet post:
  • Friday, 12/19, went with F & E to Holiday Nights at Greenfield Village.
  • Had a BLAST.
  • As usual.
  • Tons of snow made the event more magical than ever.
  • F mentioned that he would like to appear on my blog.
  • But of course we forgot a camera.
  • Have two weeks off from my real job.
  • As of right now, my house is STILL a disaster zone.
  • Call in reinforcements, I'm going to need help to clear this place up.
  • I did get all of my Christmas pressies sewn in time.
  • Christmas came and went and I'm glad it's over.
  • I got some fantastic loot.
  • More than I deserve, in fact.
  • But NO WAY can the givers have any of it back.
  • Cashmere sweater.
  • Pandora bracelet.
  • Books.
  • Obama stuff.
  • Much more.
  • Spent the holiday at S's cottage.
  • His mom and her two dogs were there.
  • Our big dogs were perfect.
  • Her dogs are are yappers.
  • And that's all I'm going to say about that.
  • Visited family.
  • Ate too much.
  • And am pretty much exhausted.
Hope you and yours had a wonderful holiday!
Happy New Year!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Penfield House, or, End of the semester = Time To Blog

Oh, people. I'm free from school until after the new year. My relief is immense.

Now. Finally. The post I've been trying to sit down and write for a week -- the post about the other house we saw when we were in Cleveland.

C & C, huge Frank Lloyd Wright fans, invited us to stay at FLW-designed (!) Penfield House.

I have been to Taliesin West in Arizona. I have seen books. I have heard the Frank Lloyd Wright hype. I thought his buildings were interesting and I liked the idea of organic architecture. But it is now, after my weekend in Cleveland at Penfield House, that I can honestly say I am a fan.

Louis Penfield was 6’8”. The story goes that Penfield drove to Taliesin in Wisconsin and asked Mr. Wright to build him a house. Mr. Wright had Penfield stand under a beam (to gauge his height is the only reason I can think of) and accepted the challenge. The result was a very long, very tall house built for a very tall, very skinny man. And it is beautiful, this house.

Let’s take a tour, shall we? This is the view when you walk in the front door (a very tall and skinny front door!)(off to the left is a short hallway that leads to the kitchen):

Here’s the view back towards the front door (if I'm remembering correctly, the chair in this picture was actually designed by FLW for the other FLW-designed house the Penfields have the blue prints for):

The living room in the evening. The lighting really was this warm:

The Japanese-influenced end of the living room. The bamboo outside was fantastic:

These lights? I covet them:

The view from the farthest end of the living room looking back. The kitchen is to the right of the fireplace, front door to the left.

All of the little boxes on the wall have lights in them (see the “evening” photo above).

The living room and it’s wonderful view out the wall of windows:

(The floor cement was colored when it was wet so it never needs to be painted. Also? The floor is heated.)

The kitchen. Galley style – no oven in FLW’s design.

Up the very narrow stairs. The risers were very deep. Designed for big feet, I guess.

The master bedroom:

The other side of the master bedroom.

There was a full bath and two more bedrooms upstairs. We did not get pictures of those. Half-bath on the ground floor.

Mr. Penfield's son, Paul, restored the house over a four year period. You can read about that here: http://www.penfieldhouse.com/article_toh.htm (here’s a link to the TOH magazine cover: http://www.thisoldhouse.com/toh/magazines/0,,725319,00.html)

The family owns plans for another FLW house (to be called River Rock). When we took a walk around the property, we found a staked-off site. We are hoping beyond hope that what we saw is the site for River Rock. Because it'll look like this:

Saturday, December 13, 2008

A Christmas Story House

Last weekend was a weekend of amazing houses. One was fun and linked directly to happy memories of a favorite movie. The other was an amazing new experience.

First up, the A Christmas Story House, Cleveland, OH. S and I walked about 3 miles from our hotel downtown in order to see the house lit up at night. We walked our butts off in the freezing Cleveland night (yes, we're a bit touched) and it was so worth it!

We went back the next day to tour the place. They did an amazing job rehabbing the house. Did you know that when they filmed the movie, the house was a duplex? And that the living room - the room where the leg lamp sits - was, at the time, a bedroom?!? I will tell you this: I <3 this house and would move in in a heartbeat. They left the kitchen original to the house. All the kitchen scenes in the movie were filmed elsewhere.

The "Deranged Easterbunny" stairs:

The bathroom where Ralphie stole away to decode Little Orphan Annie's secret 'message':

It really is a grand old house.

Across the street at the museum, they have Randy's snowsuit, scarf, zeppelin, and a bunch of other stuff. I 'bout tinkled myself I was so thrilled.

And Flick's hat! I COVET this hat and want to learn to knit so I can make one for myself.

I bought myself a leg lamp. Behold:

Next post will be about the other house we visited last weekend. But right now I've got two finals to study for and a 6 page paper to write - all of which is due Monday. So that's all you get for now.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

I have so much to tell you...

Yet I've not had the time to sit down and write the post!

A quick summary: A great weekend was had in Cleveland.

I will post soon.

With photos!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

A Christmas Story House preview.

I couldn't wait until I got back on Sunday to post.

We went to the A Christmas Story house this evening so I could see it all lit up. After walking almost three miles, in the snow, uphill, we cut down a side street, walked a block, and THERE IT WAS. 3159 W. 11th Street, Cleveland, OH. It was a wonderful moment. (S took a ton of great pictures with his camera but the laptop I borrowed doesn't have a USB port...so you'll have to wait to see those.)

Until then, enjoy this one (poor quality- it was taken with my cell phone):

We'll tour the place tomorrow so I'm hoping for a ton of pictures of the inside. My goal? To get the picture that will serve as my Christmas card this year.

Wish me luck - flash photography is a no-no.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

4-day weekend - #2

This is my second 4-day weekend in a row. Except this weekend I don't have to work at my second job.

This weekend is all about hanging with C & C, exploring Cleveland, and staying in a fantastic house (which I will describe in detail upon my return). It's also about going to see the 'A Christmas Story' house.

This weekend is also about making S drive so I can sit in the passenger seat and write a 10-page paper on community policing. The paper is due Monday. PROCRASTINATE MUCH? Yes. Yes I do.

So until my return:
  • don't shoot your eye out
  • be on the look out for packages marked fragile because who knows what they may contain
  • write a Theme: What I Want For Christmas (and it better not be a football because they don't make very good Christmas presents) (and remember to watch those margins!)
And I triple dog dare you to stick your tongue to a metal pole when it's freezing cold outside.

Monday, December 1, 2008

You Look Healthy

Yesterday while at work at my second job, a random customer said to me "you look healthy."

I didn't know what to even say to that. I had been running around so I was very warm and I'm sure my face was flushed. But when I'm flushed, it's not very pretty - my whole face turns red and I look pissed off. Did she mean that I look chubby? (If so, how FRICKIN' RUDE!) I know I've put on weight but I don't look totally awful. Was she hitting on me? Had she confused me with someone who, at one time, wasn't always so healthy? (Why in the hell aren't I ballsy enough to say, "and what is that supposed to mean?")

I think I mumbled something about it being warm in the store, then promptly changed the subject to product talk.

Seriously. How would you have responded to her?


Also, my Christmas season has officially begun. I heard The Hippopotamus Song just a few minutes ago.