So this is kind of weird for me, as I hardly ever watch television, but I've gotten really into Portlandia lately. Maybe it's that the show's comedy skewers your stereotypical urban hipsters, which is a favorite pastime of mine. Maybe it's that I (regrettably) see a little of myself in there sometimes too. Who's to say?
Regardless, I may or may not have watched every episode available on Netflix over the course of two evenings. Oopsies...
My life can essentially be summed up in two sketches:
Yep, my house is definitely cursed. No doubt about it.
First the roof leaked in the second story. Then it leaked in the bathroom, spare bedroom, and living room. Next came the clogged waste drain pipe, the peeling drywall tape, and cracking plaster walls. After that, the windows began leaking and a pipe burst in the basement, flooding the area with sewage and necessitating the removal of a section of the concrete floor. Oh, and we can't forget the water seeping into the basement and the settling/cracking foundation. All of the above were expertly hidden by the lovely renovators who redid my home and then promptly fled to Eastern Europe as soon as the ink on the paperwork was dry (presumably after casting some sort of gypsy curse on my abode).
As if all of that happening within a period of 8 months wasn't enough, the a/c has now conked out and there's a fresh leak in the sunroom.
Not the best way to start Memorial Day weekend, but I did end up getting a few hours of respite.
There wasn't much Mid-Mod left after Mr. Mod cleaned the place out (nor were there any gypsies who could lift my curse), but it was nice to get out of the sweltering house and get some sunlight on that pale hide of mine.
So now it's time to start combing the review pages to find a decent (and cheap) a/c repair company... and perhaps an exorcist.
We had a deadly round of storms blow through the St. Louis area several weeks back, and, fortunately, the house (with its brand-new roof) was spared. However, the plant wasn't so lucky. Looking back at the security footage, it's amazing that nobody was hurt as baseball-sized hail quite literally tore the place to pieces. Who knew that hail could go through a tin roof?
The last few days have been a frantic blur as we've performed hasty repairs, documented damage, gathered bids, and dealt with insurance claims. All fun stuff, for sure.
With so much to write about and so, so, so little time, I'm gonna clear out the backlog and tie up a few loose ends. So, I'll be covering some of the mid-mod items that you might have seen in the background on other posts, but which haven't received a proper write-up of their own.
Recognize this guy (that outdated living room shot makes me realize just how much has changed around here lately)?
Yep, that's another Artisan House by Curtis Jeré sculpture/wall decoration. I find some of the Jeré stuff kinda tacky, but LOVE the seagull series. That man, or rather those two men, Curtis Freiler and Jerry Fels, for whom Curtis Jeré was a shared pseudonym, really did have a strange affection for seagulls.
What seagulls? Oh, here they are... or would have been if the previous owner hadn't gone wild with a pair of tin snips.
This appears to be a fairly common modification though and I've seen several like it. Perhaps seagull themed decor went out of vogue?
I'm sorta glad they did. With the Birds in Flight up on the dining room wall, it would have been a little too much seagull action for me. I'm not trying to run a brass wildlife reserve here.
... because I've got another 12 (Yes, t-w-e-l-v-e!) Wegner-style office chairs all up in here.
Designed by Hans Wegner in 1949, the round chair was deemed "the world's most beautiful chair" and featured prominently in the 1960 Kennedy-Nixon presidential debate. It later became such a design icon that it was simply referred to as "The Chair".
Source: Apartment Therapy
Now, obviously, these aren't REAL Wegner's. If they were authentic, I'd likely be out living a life of luxury in the Bahamas rather than sitting blogging in my dingy office. These are vintage replicas done by a company called The Empire State Chair Co. out of New York. They do seem to be fairly decent copies though.
The pads and frame are a few centimeters thicker, the finger-joints (where the arm meets the backrest) are missing, and the "flow" of the armrests is slightly off, but the workmanship is quite good and they are very sturdy and heavy. Most of the originals were done in walnut, but I have seen them done in oak, like mine, on occasion (see above examples).
Per the girlfriend's orders, these will need to find a new home, stat! So, I'm gonna give them the old Howard's treatment and send them on their merry way. Anyone need to outfit a whole office building?
They may not be retro (made in 1992), but these Herman Miller Soft Pad Management Chairs (EA435), designed in 1958 by Charles and Ray Eames, are still pretty darn cool, no?
The set of six popped up on the Jefferson City Craigslist a few weeks back and I just couldn't pass them up. Unfortunately, my plan to break up the monotonous drive with amazing rural picking adventures was interrupted by kidney stones. I've still not forgiven them.
No matter. The chairs were quite the steal, and the build-quality is simply amazing when compared to the typical office chair (as would be expected at their retail price). No plastic or cheap stamped steel here! Just look at those beefy casters!
I'm not in love with the oh-so-90's upholstery, but might end up keeping one or two for myself. After all the discomfort that my current cheapo, duct-taped throne has put me through, I think my backside could use some pampering. The rest are going on Ebay. In fact, one already found its new home (my first Ebay sale!).
The really interesting part about the chairs is their backstory. Remember Northern Telecom (Nortel), one of the first big corporations to go bust during the 2000's recession? Well, they recently went belly-up and auctioned off their assets, including their Herman Miller office furniture.
These chairs, in particular, came from the Nortel Headquarters in Canada, which was, according to online sources, some kind of wonder of modern office design done in partnership with Herman Miller. I wonder how they made it all the way to a dusty old town like Jefferson city.
We'll be having tomatoes-aplenty at the nickarmadillo homestead in the coming months. There's a whole 24 plants sprouting out of those plastic containers! Good thing I love tomatoes, right?
I LOATHE tomatoes with every fiber of my being!
You might ask yourself, "What would motivate a man who despises tomatoes so deeply to plant this many of them?"
Well, my girlfriend is a huge fan. However, she's snuck off to England and left me on caretaker duty for these vile vegetables (or fruits, depending on who's asked).
I hope and pray that they will either wait to ripen up until her return or my lovely friends and neighbors can take a few home when they're ready. Otherwise we might have a big pulpy mess on our hands.
What I am looking forward to are the carrots, strawberries, zucchini, parsley, and peas. There's nothing better than sliced and barbecued zucchini with olive oil, ground pepper, and a sprinkle of salt. I'll use any excuse I can to get the grill out!
Rabbits take notice: We're on to you. We know what you did to our poor evergreen saplings and have beefed up security around this joint. Just try getting through these Clampett-inspired fences!
I'd planned on posting this the other day, but there's just not been a single minute where I could sit down and write up an entry. I've been a busy boy.
See, Mr. Modtomic and I went halfsies on this striking Broyhill Brasilia bedroom set and I've been selling like mad on Craigslist and Ebay. Grueling work that selling is.
I've already got one of these gentlemen's chests, but you have no idea how hard it was to part with the rest of it. I've set my heart on a roomfull, but it'll have to come another day. There's bills that need paying, after all.
The buyer just moved into an amazing mid-century home (with a freakin' stream running under it and a huge sunken living room!) that I hope to feature sometime soon.
If you want to hear the details on this rather convoluted flip, head on over to Mr. Modtomic's place. It's always a pleasure, Mr. Mod.
Also, for the Tom Waits fans among you, click this link. It's mesmerizing.