fj: (phkl)
And I am absolutely thrilled. I ordered this Celle chair weeks ago, when it didn't seem that bad an idea at the time financially, and I had to wait because I didn't want it in the stock black on black. I had to take the back off upon receipt so I could get it up the narrow staircase -- and boy were those bolts tight, I had to use the drill -- but now it is behind my desk, and my desk is at the right height, and I am comfortable again behind the computer. Everything is supported and angled just right, which is so important when you compute over 8 hours a day. No sitting on the couch propping up elbows with pillows, no never being comfortable in the folding dining chair, no, a real office chair with tilting and everything. I can feel my shoulders let go of tension as I type.

It is an investment every tech worker must make.

Wish it was a little brighter, though. I will have to decorate it with some white covers.
fj: (phkl)
My most watched item on

This photoset.

1013 views since it hit the front page of Apartment Therapy. The pic with the most views has 984 or so.
fj: (Default)
Trying to find a light bulb I actually like, I hopped on the bus to go to a B&Q, a UK chain of large DIY stores. I got side-tracked by wallpaper. I do want to give a specific area of wall in the flat a specific color, but I can't really paint as a renter. So I experimented with wallpaper and adhesive tape.

Wallpaper is not my medium. Geezus it is tought to get that right, and I get to reposition. It'll work, though, if I tweak it. If I get it all done right I may submit this place to Apartment Therapy's Small Cool Contest next spring.

Also spent this afternoon in the park sleeping away having been up till 3 AM at a warehouse dance fetish party. The late October weather is lovely here this weekend, which is nice after a few weeks of chill that made me wonder if I had to turn the heating on.

Now off to Sunday roast at the pub, like I cap every Sunday.
fj: (phkl)
Utterly unrelated to thinking brunch would be an hour earlier than it was and the fact that my ex and biggest fan of my interiors was coming over, I found myself in the Oxford Circus area Saturday mornin at 9.30 shopping for some finishing furnishings. Hence the Tord Boontje Garland lampshade for the naked bulb in the hallway from my previous entry, and a real lampshade for upstairs, and a rug. It takes me three department stores to buy a simple chocolate floor rug, and it is not because I am looking for the most exclusive one, but because I am looking for the right one. Which in my case is usually the item that has the fewest detailing and the simplest shapes or colors, but without looking dowdy.

'Really simple and just nice' is actually a difficult combo to find, usually, but when you put that all together it works. My table and chairs are a set IKEA designed for outdoors and made in white plastic, but they were the smallest really simple and nice tables I could find. My teacups are round and stark white china. Yet when you put it all together I was happy with how the whole afternoon tea for 6 people ended up looking and being in the small flat. It was just nice. [ profile] zombietruckstop noticed at the actual brunch, at a place called Christopher's American Grill, hours before tea at my place was to happen, that I was wearing combat boots to brunch. Yeah well, it is the style these days, just look at any Uniqlo display, but also, getting the right rug is sheer combat. I won at John Lewis, by the way. The appartment is now looking pretty nice by day, but I still can't get the lighting right for night, which is mostly a problem of lightbulbs.

As far as brunch went, the company, setting, location, and food was lovely, but I couldn't escape the thought that Christopher's missed that little essential item about what sets American Breakfast and Brunch Food apart from all other cuisines: conspicuous abundance. It was totally delicous, lovingly presented, and perfectly portioned for the European upscale restaurant experience, but I felt like someone missed the point of what makes a specific cusine unique, you know. It would be like going to a Japanese restaurant and getting correctly-made sushi just haphazardly dumped on a bed of lettuce on an individual plate. You'd be all like wait, this is indeed sushi, but uh, you know, the Japanese are supposed to go for the whole esthetic thing?...

After brunch I ran off home with my purchases, cleaned, installed, and went to Tesco for the actual food to serve for tea. Tesco is basically the Walmart of the UK, but if you grab their 'Finest' store brand you really get good stuff. The strawberries were the best I have had in a while. I served them and other fruit with ramekins of Devon clotted cream (I thought the top layer had gone rancid when I opened the pot, but upon reading it turns out this "Golden Crust" is a feature. I am obviously lacking in my knowledge of creams, not something I ever expected of myself) and pre-made sandwiches cut down to quarters. It all ended up working well.

We walked through Kenington and Vauxhall because [ profile] pinkfish wanted to see how I ended up, and then I told them about how [ profile] mattycub and [ profile] zombietruckstop had told me at brunch about going to Eurobeat: The Musical About Eurovision and somehow, thanks to the insistence of an American with a aspirations of being a British Dizzy Queen, ten minutes and a credit card later Barry, Adam, [ profile] pinkfish, and I had tickets and had to be on our way for dinner to be in time for the show. After which we ended up in a tiny busy club in Soho dancing to 80s electro hits after having charmed our way in for free by telling the door Drag Queen about the theatre. It was kind of nice, all.

Now, after my Sunday roast at the corner pub, as I try to do every Sunday, I am looking back on a week on seeing many friends and making new local ones. Suddenly the anxiety that was building after 3 weeks of no interaction is gone, I may not need to resign myself to being a hermit. Now just the job thing.
fj: (UK)
Well, caught up on almost all paperwork. Unpacked.

Seems my furniture arrived in the UK while I was gone. Left a voice mail to follow-up, hope to get that delivered soon. Crack den no more! HSBC in the UK wants me to confirm I actually live where they have been sending me all my mail for months. WaMu in the US wants me to activate a new bank card from my home phone number. I don't see myself spoofing US Caller ID from the UK, so I guess I will have to call a human.

London was beautiful yesterday, little cloudy and humid today. Took a sleeping pill (Temazepam) at 2.30 AM to make sure I would get in the rhythm here, and boy do I feel like lead today. So hot last night I slept over the covers. They don't believe in ubiquitous AC for small rental units here. While I was on holiday I was considering moving somewhere cheaper, but now the effort involved tires me when even considering it. Or maybe that's the Temazepam.

I should get dressed, I am meeting with a company to talk about me taking a permanent job. Not sure I want one now. Mercenary life has its moments, like taking a whole month off like I just did, and I am being approached for new contracts.
fj: (phkl)
With my company co-worker on workshop Monday and Tuesday, and Thursday being a day off in Germany, we decided it was ok if I stayed in the UK this week. Which is good because I have to absorb a lot of documentation previously made for this project, those mostly being evolutions of a design.

Half of my clothes, and my sofas and artwork, are still in LA, previously awaiting a sale before being shipped over here. Now it seems that sale ain't happening, I will have them shipped soon anyway, since our future tenant will have their own furniture anyway, we think. Or not. Much is still undecided about that. But anyway, this anticipation of future furniture is why my small flat has an empty room, with just a mattress in it on which I sometimes lounge in the afternoon and take in some sun when it shines. [ profile] iejw says that with a room with a mattress in it I am living like a crack-whore. I pointed out there are no blood stains on the mattress, so obviously I am no junkie. And my front-room looks lovely.

The empty room did give me the opportunity to print everything out and put the pages of slides on the floor, and arrange them to create associations and understand the design space and previous thinking, culling superfluous slides, putting interaction sequences in order until I could see everything right. You just can't do that easily on a computer screen; you need an empty room.
fj: (Default)

I Will Miss These Moments
"I Will Miss These Moments", Nokia N73, Los Angeles County, 2007


Dec. 20th, 2007 02:17 pm
fj: (Default)
Anybody any experience with international moving and shipping? I guess my personal items -- pictures, vases, Christmas ornaments, all fragile, and my few books and most of my clothes -- I will want to send to my Dad to store in the basement until I have settled somewhere. I think that's not just a Take It To FedEx job, because some of these things are big paintings and will be bulky when protected and there is no need for speed at all. I would like to do that before I leave, now tentatively the end of January.

Then there's the furniture, of which I will not want to take much. I'd rather sell most of it with the house because really, how likely is it that I will need 12 feet of table in London or Amsterdam? The small tables, the desk, that is all IKEA and West Elm, almost disposable after the sale. But I doubt I would get what I want for the couches and the console table, so those will need to come over on the slow boat too. It would be better if those stayed until The Loft has sold, even if I have left, in case they could become part of the sale.But if they are not, I need a company that my broker can call, will pick it up, put it on a slow boat, and end up somewhere in storage until I decide which country I will live in. You know, for just a set of couches, that could be more money than what I would want for them. Sigh. Who do I call?

As for my tools, cookware, impressive collection of cables and peripherals (among which one will find a PCMCIA to SCSI card for example), linnens, stereo, loudspeakers, TV, TiVo with lifetime service, everything else? I am not attached to any of it and it is not required for staging, so I guess I will just have an open house and hope my friends go through my space like locusts.

Freecycle the rest? I don't know. But it is the shipping that is keeping me up at nights. But the hard disks go with the travelling clothes. Oh yes.
fj: (Default)

I've had to be cabinet-maker, carpenter, buider, electrician, and plumber for the venting ducts for this one, but they are now all up, and I get to hide all my flatware, glassware, and other visual distractions.

Makeover... )
fj: (phkl)
In an effort to both be cheap and stay with the industrial look, the builder who ddi the retrofit of this office building into lofts used an alarming amount of fluorescent fixtures. Two in the kitchen area, one in the bathroom. I have removed and replaced one for halogens pointing up. But in the other two, I have made a change that has had the most impact in changing the look of this place for the buck: taking out the tube rated "cool" and replacing it with a tube rated "warm" or "soft warm".

Skin tones look great, food looks delicious, the icky green hues in the lights are gone, and getting these tubes at Home Depot costs between 7 and 5 dollars. If you have any fluorescent fixtures in your home, check if you can replace the tube, and then do so, even if it is still working. Beautoful light makes living so much better.
fj: (Default)
If you think your kitchen looks like a wreck, wait until I post a pic of what mine looks like right now. I took the cabinet and open shelving and microwave / hood above my sink and stove down to replace the visual mess with something sleeker. I only got halfway: taking everything down, and installing the new hood (Whirlpool for IKEA Luftig) into the cabinet to be hung up. This involved sawing a hole in the cabinet floor to fit stuff in, and adding filler wood and whatever. Of course it didn't go as planned, and I am improvising like crazy. I hate the hardware world.

This did lead to an interesting rediscovery: everything was attached into the drywall with 4" or so screws without anchor plugs. The screws seem to have been screwed directly into the drywall, and no, not into the studs behind the drywall either. Just the drywall, which, incidentally, is double thickness and supported by metal studs 20" apart. Yet everything was just hanging off these screws. This included shelves with all my dishware. I didn't know you could do that, fasten hanging objects to drywall without drilling holes first for anchors.

I don't trust it. I am drilling anchors tomorrow when I hang the rail to hang the new cabinets from. Well, Friday.
fj: (Default)
Things I learned in The Netherlands: nobody knows what 'Staging a house for sale is'. I guess in NL people actually need to use their imagination when looking at a place. Then again, I didn't know what it was either until HGTV decided I needed to know there was a whole industry in it, run by musclebears. Also, the classic mortgage we in the US know best, by which you pay every month a certain amount for 30 years, which consists in the beginning mostly of interest on your loan and by the end is mostly principal, is actually almost never used in NL. Instead, there are multitude of mortgage products coupled to life-insurance, savings-accounts, and interest-only, but you have to bring a 30% lump sum. I had no idea.
fj: (Default)
I want to clear up the mistaken impression that all I do is sit on my ass and have kittens lick me. First of all, since I skipped the gym Friday I did manage to make up for it yesterday and today. Yesterday I also picked up [ profile] epilady from attending a student fashion show in Glendale, to spend the rest of the day with her and [ profile] chestertodd in Santa Monica. I over-braked only twice during the trip and she was quite graceful about it, Then we had Build Your Own burgers and spent time watching art being made on Pico Place, after which I promptly fell asleep on their couch. I think the week had gotten to me.

But this weekend, over two days, I also managed to do the most difficult and tricky of all the scheduled painting without dripping paint anywhere; the conduits for the new electrical work for the blinds and the chandelier now match the ceiling color, thus recede visually. All the big painting I can do myself is now done. In fact, I think all the minor projects I can do myself are now all done, so unless I want to start on ripping out the 'original' kitchen cabinet and shelves, this may be it for DIY now. Then again, I should rip them out and replace that mish-mash for something sleek. Oh sigh, I am so over this manual stuff. I think I will do the beach. Or confront my resume and job search first. I can't keep avoiding it. I bet all the good jobs at Disney have now been taken by my colleagues. I wonder if this was all a big subconcious ploy to avoid transitioning to another job inside Disney.

Tonight I settled down to finally watch a movie. I made my late-night protein shake with a drink mix of molten chocolate, which I bought as a treat for Sundays but never get around to actually using. I borrowed the kitten from next door, which I am watching this weekend since the owners are at a wedding. I stretched out on my couch which I have now configured to be an enormous movie-watching lounging pit. I queued up 28 Days Later, which I always wanted to see. 90 minutes afterwards my drink is gone, the kitten is still sucking my ear, and the lone survivors of the plague are about to enter the military compound and I know where this is going, and I don't want to be jostled anymore by a derivative story shot half-heartedly which at this point feels the need to go into the issue of the inhumanity of humankind, an overdone standard plot element of post-apocalyptic movies. I switch it off, look up the movie on Wikipedia, and confirm it would go where I thought it would and I had no desire to experience. Now I am wondering if I am withdrawing from media even more.

As mentioned in comments, it seems that indeed even without a cable box I still get basic cable from the cable outlet, something the TiVo seems able to deal with just fine. And infomercials seem to be part of basic cable. I may have something to watch after all.*

Also, I have deided to stop worrying about staying awake till 2 AM. Just means I'll wake up at 10. I can do that now. I should enjoy it. It need to keep reminding myself that this is the most free time I have had in 10 years or so, and I managed to fill it up with projects all the way. I need to take an actual frickin break.

* I may not have mentioned this recently, so new readers may not be aware of this trait of mine: I like watching infomercials. Not all of them, I have my preferences, but I do enjoy having them on. Mainly because life is beautiful and perfect on them, and when something gets you down and you think "There must be a better way!" it turns out there actually is. And that is wonderful.
fj: (phkl)
This week is Painting Week at The Loft. Just taking care of a lot of things I wanted in a new color.

These days, on makeover shows, when people say they want a sophisticated chic glamorous bedroom, the designer says "Ok!" and responds with a room looking like a very well-appointed Mariott. Even high-end design media succumb to it, more often than not the latest Design Inspiration rooms look like a W suite. Or actually is one.

Today, thanks to the new fashion of making small pots of paint available as samples, I did some color tests on a massive concrete wall in my bed area, next to the front door. Tried two finishing products over the sample. I have this vision, this idea that I need to get out of my head and on to my wall. And even though the color I sampled is wrong -- too red -- it has become apparent that what my vision will look like when executed.

I am not sure if I am actually staging The Loft for a sale right now or not. I just know I want to do this. I was talking to my neighbor David, one of the two humans soon to be owned by the kitten you saw previously -- kitten needs to first learn to own its tail, then the humans -- about what I am going to do and why I am still thinking about improvements. David is a stage actor, used to work in London and New York. Now he is here and the only parts available for men his age are not on stage but in film or TV, and are stalked by aging actors far more famous than he is, who all get increasingly desperate as with every year the parts available to them are fewer and fewer. David's given up and is thinking about getting his contractor license, I tell him that's the wrong order to do these careers... So why do I paint and think of moving walls? "You just want to see it through," he says, "see it finished." He's right.

But I am a little worried about my own eye right now; it seems that what I am doing to my enormous bedroom / front door wall is not so much Upscale Hotel Room but more Swanky Hip Club.

Still, I want to see it done, see it through. See it on Apartment Therapy.
fj: (bqw)
How do I become one of Kathy Griffin's gays? She always goes on about her gays, how she watches awards shows with them, how they help her though parties, how they mainline caffeine into her before a show. I can't even aspire to being D-list, but is being one of her gays attainable?

Could anyone of you who know her recommend me? Thanks? I make a really good gay, honest I do. I even can supresss a wince when anyone uses gay as a noun.

In other news, I have been running through colors for my bedroom wall in my head, but none of them stuck, all of them rejected in seconds. I was about to go for my ole standby, Benjamin Moore Atrium White, but I finally hit a look I am now completely obsessed by and can't get out of my head. Oh frack, painting, and a huge concrete textured wall as well. This was so much easier when I could con [ profile] pinkfish into doing that.
fj: (tech)
1. Go to
2. Put in Username: nycareers and Password: landmark.
3. Take their "Career Matchmaker" questions.
4. Post the top ten results.

1. Multimedia Developer
2. Foreign Service Officer
3. Website Designer
4. Rehabilitation Counselor
5. Animator
6. Desktop Publisher
7. Mediator
8. Librarian
9. Computer Programmer
10. Interior Designer

Other notables from that list:

13. Probation / Parole Officer  ("So this Jesus you found, what is his skin color?")
16. Addictions Counselor ("Maybe you are just weak willed. Have another, call me when you are sick of it.")
18. Funeral Director ("Really? In that outfit? Are you sure? His ass looks huge.")
22. Genetic Counselor ("The bad news: I don't give you till 40. The good news is, at 50 your ass would be huge.")
26. Sport Psychology Consultant ("Maybe a medal is just not worth it, you know?")
34. Lifeguard ("So, had a wet dream about me yet?")
35. Fashion Designer
39. Costume Designer ("No. Not in that outfit. I am sure. His ass looks huge.")

Then I took the refinement test.

1. Database Developer (Oh god kill me now if that is to be my job.)

3. Business Systems Analyst (Well, at least it involves gobs of money.)
4. Librarian
5. Researcher
6. Political Aide
7. Desktop Publisher
8. Video Game Developer
9. Website Designer
10. Web Developer
11. Multimedia Developer

With at number 2:

2. Interior Designer

Oh shut up, all of you.
fj: (Default)
Didn't leave the loft all day, except to fetch Oliver a couple of times when he started enjoying his own echo in the hallway a bit too much. Did install some extra lights above the closet. Took care of loose ends, but not enough. Had some food. Still wonder if I should take up Allstate on their earthquake insurance offer.

And finally tried out the Amazon / TiVo cooperation called 'Unbox' where you can order a movie from your account on Amazon (or on your TiVo if you told Amazon what your credit card is) and rent or buy a movie and have it uploaded to your TiVo. I'd never buy that way, because I'd want to offload it off my disk and burn and back-up and I bet that is a pain, but rental seems ok. They had a special on "Happy Feet", which I have always wanted to see, for $.99. ([ profile] jpeace says that won't even cover flipping the bit on the database row at Amazon, but I think he's wrong -- I bet it is at&t who is paying the most having those bits delivered to my home).

The integration is spiffy and spooky: buy something here, have it appear there. I could order a movie at work and have it on the box when I come home. The picture quality is excellent on my standard television, and although the sound alas does not seem to be encoded in some 5.1 or more dedicated standard, the quality of the signal does allow my receiver to interpret the standard broadcast Dolby (Faux-encoded) Surround quite lavishly, exercising my modest investment in home theater nicely (two subwoofers rumbling hard, woo-hoo).

And Happy Feet is a glorious little movie. As [ profile] nanne said, you expect one movie and it turns into another one halfway, and then it goes back, and then you realize the whole movie is built around leading up to the words of the bridge of a Prince song.

Which really, every movie should aspire to.
fj: (talking)
fj: (Default)

Overview With Pillar
"Kitchen Build Out (Set)", 2007, Los Angeles County, Nokia N73

Well, amateur shelter/design porn. Here's the first set of one of the major structures created in the loft. I really like the results, and this is the first I want to show. Martin will adjust the position of the blind slightly and paint a white seam charcoal, and I am having the electricians install low-voltage halogen uplights above the new structure connected to a dimmer, but this is what it looks like where there used to be just a wall. More explanations under the photographs.

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