We're out

The next couple of days will be super busy, and then we're gone for a bit. When we get back I'm hoping to get on some furniture projects so posting should pick up. See you soon.

Ridiculously cute

Apparently the blue penguins that got caught in the oil spill in New Zealand benefit from a sweater while they await cleaning. Not only does it keep them warm, but it keeps them from preening and ingesting oil and sludge. A yarn shop in Napier posted a pattern and asked for help, and the sweaters are pouring in. I don't think animal first aid has ever been more adorable.

Enjoy your weekend!

Basic black

There's a third coat of poly to go on this, and then of course base moulding and such, but cute French Dan's crew is nearly done with the floors. We're very pleased with the results and nearly giddy at the thought we can move out of the master bedroom and back into the rest of the house.

Saturday night out

I turn 44 on Sunday. That being a sucky night of the week to celebrate anything, Brett's taking me to dinner Saturday night. I was told to choose anywhere I like, so I did (not McDonalds) and I'm looking forward to it. I'm also noticing a number of odd connections. Join me for a rambling, mildly interesting and ultimately pointless story all centering on one intersection in town won't you?

We're having dinner at The Rieger Hotel Grill & Exchange at 20th and Main. They're having their first Rieger Invitational, a four course dinner prepared by chefs from four different restaurants in KC, Lawrence, St. Louis and Chicago.

This building is the parking lot where Port Fonda parks their Airstream and serves up Mexican street food every weekend. You know we love Port Fonda, The Facebook records a check-in for us nearly every weekend, and after drinks with my co-workers tonight I stopped for chilaquiles to soak up the scotch.

The restaurant is supposed to be very good, and in an old building called the Rieger Hotel. For years it was the Dixie Belle, KC's most infamous gay bar, with one of the nastiest (and frankly, most fun!) basements I've ever had a drink in.

The building was eventually bought and renovated with two very nice apartments upstairs and the restaurant space on the ground floor. The formerly filthy and scandalous basement was renovated (with industrial strength cleaners I'm sure) and became Ryan Mabee's speakeasy called Manifesto. There is also a two car garage off the back alley serving the larger (full 3rd floor/part of the 2nd floor plus the rooftop garden) apartment via both stairs and an elevator.

The building is currently for sale and you can see some photographs and the floor plans here. On the representing realtor's site the price is down to 1.85 million rather than the 2.1 on the information site. We toured the larger apartment on a downtown loft tour a few years ago. Its a beautiful renovation overall, although I think the fireplace in the main apartment is far too big, and the open shower in the master bath desperately needs floor to ceiling glass. The kitchen set up is a bit wonky for me, but it's nothing that couldn't be fixed. If I had a couple mil hanging around I could totally live there.

Except, and this is the final connection, it would kill me to pay the current owners anywhere near the list price. Who are they? I did some research and I believe it's the Omers. Yes, that wretched woman who's BMW convertible I yanked the bumper off while parking the Rover when I stopped to buy dog poop bags in Brookside.

Apparently they've moved to northern California where I hope she and her 325 continue to be battered by bad drivers and careless parkers. I'm sure the carrying costs aren't anything they can't handle, but I can't help but smile every time I see the For Sale sign. Yeah, the market's been hard, but what she's putting out into the world isn't doing her any favors either.

Blue bedroom, version 2

When we moved into the house we were sleeping in the first bedroom you come to when you walk down the hall. The blue flocked damask wasn't exactly inviting, but it wasn't as depressing as the faded pink damask in the master or the dirty burlap covering the walls in the third bedroom.

Burlap was the first to go and became the gray bedroom with the window seat where we sleep now, and we turned our attention to the living room, family room and entry.

With those rooms and the hallway and closets all renovated, all that was keeping us from having the floors done was the blue bedroom. As fate would have it Bill was available, as was Chris the electrician. Down came the walls and up went new wiring, insulation and drywall. Steve worked his mud and tape magic and it was time for paint.

We had no idea what we wanted, other than some contrast. I'd thought about some pale aqua blues, but looking at chips what hit me was Benjamin Moore's Blue Danube.

It's darker and more blue-green than it looks here, the flash kind of washed it out a bit. The ceiling is the same pale grey (Sherwin-Williams' Fleur de Sel) we're using everywhere, and when the white base and crown are up I think we're going to be pleased.

I'm planning on hanging a lot of black and white art in medium toned wood frames. I got a start on that last Tuesday at KC Auction Co's fall catalog sale. It's an abstract mixed media by Lei Molin (Dutch, 1927-1990). The catalog described it as having a rabbit on the right side, but Brett sees a buffalo. Either way, it's the kind of thing I like, I got it dirt cheap, and I can't wait to get it to the framer. Public artwork service reminder: a mat serves to preserve the work, do not sandwich your piece between the mount and the glass!