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Archive for May, 2009

Those folks at 1402 Division are too liberal, too progressive, too blue-state, too potentially-Canadian to fly the flag, right?

Wrong-o.  Happy summer, America.  Want a Leinenkugel’s?

Flag 002

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That’s capitalized Home Restoration: the blog – not lowercase home restoration: the activity I have not engaged in for one solid week.   [deleted: too-harsh words for something as trivial as a houseblog aggregator.  Let’s all get some Leinenkugels and drink them on my porch]

Update: Joe left a comment and e-mailed me, and he’s just as unsure what’s going on as everyone else.  No hard feelings, Joe – it really is a stunning house in a beautiful location (on a bluff overlooking the Hudson – check it out), and I enjoy reading about your work!  I dream of living in a big, cedar-shingled house.

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Porch Etiquette

Filed away under: excellent advice from the Baltimore Sun.  It’s a small file.

The coincidence of economic collapse and spring in Baltimore has led to a spate of stay-at-home drinking among my circle of friends.

And thanks to my porch, the home everyone’s drinking at is mine. Which, mostly, is a good thing.

I’ve lived in a few towns with traditions of boozing on porches, so I fully support the cause.

Here are a few guidelines for those who participate in the Sport of King’s Cabin, N.C.:

1. Drink what you drink. If you think it will be hilarious to pick up some forties of Colt and slurp them from paper bags, you are wrong.

2. Everybody’s welcome on the porch. There’s a time and a place for exclusivity: middle school. On the porch, your influence extends only as far as your generosity.

3. Do not cough every time someone lights up. I quit cigarettes a while back, and now all the bars in town are pristine and sweet smelling (sort of), but the day smoking is banned on porches is the day Rome falls.

4. Get a real ashtray, even if you don’t smoke. It will be worth it when no one ever again takes a sip from the wrong can.

Editor’s note: Blech!

5. Whether you’re the first soul invited or the near-stranger whom manners compelled the host to welcome, treat the porch as if it were your own. No one likes to pick up shards of glass.

6. Greet your neighbors as they come in and out of their front doors, which are, after all directly adjacent to your drinking area. Not to do so will create a weirdness force-field for all future interactions.

7. After 10 p.m., take it inside. It’s fun to carouse by the light of the moon, but it’s not fun to comfort your screaming infant while outside jerks are carousing by the light of the moon.

8. Speaking of which, don’t call the cops unless there is an actual crime being committed. Go over and introduce yourself or leave a note or just take a deep breath and realize how close you came to becoming that guy. Neighbors who communicate through public servants are not neighbors.

9. When the cops come to your door, be excruciatingly polite to them. Do not remind them that there are murders they might be solving. They know this, and it is why they are irritated with you.

10. Clean up after yourself, but don’t scrub too hard. A porch should never feel too clean to spill a beer on.

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Slacker

Oh man, everyone is posting such accomplishments – pergolas and guest bedrooms and ponds – and what are we doing?  Lamenting the rain and wishing it was warm enough to drink beer on the porch.  “Le sigh” – Joanna.

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On the Rocks

What would you say if I told you that we’re moving to Rhode Island because we just bought this house?  Hypothetically, with ten million hypothetical dollars.

24242719

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The house from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off is on the market. But if you have $2.3 million for Cameron’s house (and if you do, thank you for consulting with me – my fees are very reasonable), I’d spent $490K more and buy this house instead.

Do you know the Ferris Bueller/Fight Club theory?  I’m one hundred percent convinced.

My favorite thought-piece about Ferris Bueller is the “Fight Club” theory, in which Ferris Bueller, the person, is just a figment of Cameron’s imagination, like Tyler Durden, and Sloane is the girl Cameron secretly loves.

One day while he’s lying sick in bed, Cameron lets “Ferris” steal his father’s car and take the day off, and as Cameron wanders around the city, all of his interactions with Ferris and Sloane, and all the impossible hijinks, are all just played out in his head. This is part of the reason why the “three” characters can see so much of Chicago in less than one day — Cameron is alone, just imagining it all.

It isn’t until he destroys the front of the car in a fugue state does he finally get a grip and decide to confront his father, after which he imagines a final, impossible escape for Ferris and a storybook happy ending for Sloane (”He’s gonna marry me!”), the girl that Cameron knows he can never have.

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1 Monkey Row

Ware Hall 1

This is inspirational, to say the least.  I didn’t think I was going to finish the porch skirt today, but now…I’m still not going to, but I’m going to feel a lot lazier about it.

In 1969, when she was 58, the bulldozers reached her gate. Her response was to number each beam and pane of glass so that her home could be reassembled like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Dismantling the heavy oak timber frame, held together with tapered wooden pegs, was both difficult and dangerous. A team of local demolition contractors helped May. She traced over a sample of brickwork using greaseproof paper and crayons so that she would know which bond to use and how thick to lay the mortar.

She continued to live in the house as it was taken down, sleeping beneath the stars in the freezing cold.

‘I just won’t have such a marvellous old house bulldozed into the ground,’ she said. ‘I’ve got nothing to do all day, so I might as well do the job myself.’
Ware Hall 2
The book is A Lifetime in the Building: The Extraordinary Story of May Savidge and the House She Moved, written by Christine Adams (May’s niece, who runs the Ware Hall House as a bed-and-breakfast in its new location).
Ware Hall 3


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