Monthly Archives: September 2010

15 years: a recap

Hitting the road, 1995

A Twitter-friend wrote a post today about his 10 years in Boulder, and it occurred to me that this month marks my 15th year in Colorado.

In September of 1995, I packed up my belongings into a Ryder truck shared with two other wanderers (whom I “met” online, call me an early adopter) and headed west for what I thought would be a 2–3 year adventure before I either returned to NYC or continued on to San Francisco. But I never left. I called Boulder home until 2003, when I tired of renting and bought my own place in a suburb nestled just north of Denver.

In Ef’s post, he outlines some highlights and lowlights of his decade in the self-contained universe that is Boulder. My own memories are difficult to package so neatly. I’ve had five different mailing addresses. Every member of my immediate family has moved at least twice. I’ve flown in jet planes, turbo-props, and most memorably a Cessna. I’ve lost family and friends to age, disease, and tragedy. I’ve gained family and friends by birth, marriage, and sheer luck. I’ve had delicious meals, and regrettable ones. I’ve survived with only a scar what, by witness accounts, should have been a devastating car accident. I’ve been in love, and I’ve been heartbroken. I’ve visited other countries and other states. I nearly continued my original emigration to NorCal, albeit a decade late, but it wasn’t meant to be. Colorado will continue to be my home for the foreseeable future.

And I still can’t find my way around.

Girls with Glasses

Carrie over at This Mama Makes Stuff has a bit of a problem. Well, her daughter does. Okay, her daughter THINKS she does. And that’s almost as bad as ACTUALLY having a problem. You see, this little girl is about to get her first pair of glasses, and the excitement of being able to SEE doesn’t outweigh the dread of being the ONLY GIRL in her class who has to wear hideous, horrible, face-deforming GLASSES. Carrie has put out a request for photos of Girls in their Glasses so that her daughter can see that she is in the company of some pretty cool ladies. Me? I’m actually pretty much a dork. But sometimes I can look kinda cool. So here goes: Four phone-taken self portraits, though various years, various bang-lengths, and various states of makeup or lack thereof, always the same smirk:

Go To the Light

This post is not about any of the following:

  1. Sputnik, the miniature puppy I’m currently fostering for Rocky Mountain Puppy Rescue
  2. The multi-month design contract that I am days away from finishing
  3. Any of the Halloween costume ideas I’ve not yet decided on

Instead, it’s about the lighting fixtures in my basement.

My place was built in 1974, and while most of the house appeared to have been updated in the mid-to-late ’80s, the basement remained untouched. I personally dismantled the chintzy “chair rail” (repurposed as a bit of molding for the stair landing) as well as removed the floral striped wallpaper and mirror tiles from the main area, which sports a pair of nifty flying-saucer-esque ceiling fixtures. But the bedroom down there is still styled in a look I call Strip Mall Bordello. Acoustic tile ceiling, beige walls accented with more gold-marbled mirror tile, aquamarine blue shag carpeting, and antiqued brass wall sconces with rose pink globes. Gag me with a spoon.

It’s easy enough to find replacement wall lights that aren’t so aesthetically offensive, but “inoffensive” isn’t the same as “oooh, that’s cool.” And really, I don’t spend a lot of time in the basement bedroom. For years, it held an ungodly amount of my mother’s crap as she used the room for storage space while I was too lazy to drag all of her junk upstairs and throw it away. I was thrilled when she finally buckled down and (mostly) emptied it out, but then I started using the room as a cat-free inventory storage area for my shop, and so it still doesn’t get much of my long-term attention. I have vague plans to make it into a guest room. There’s even a mattress set down there. It just happens to be leaning up against a (mirror-tiled) wall. And my god, those faux-Victorian light fixtures! Those really need to be replaced. With, in a perfect world, the Spektr lights from Rejuvenation:

But I’m seriously lacking the $129 (each) I would need for them. And I need three, so my hunt continues. Moon Shine does faboo custom work, but I’m trying to keep these under $40 a piece. Way under if possible. Now it just so happens that I have replaced my exterior lights over the last few years, which means that I have some gen-yoo-wine 1974 light fixtures scuffling around. Three of them. Free! I already have them! They would need scrubbing, a fresh coat of paint, and definitely a replacement of some sort for the amber glass shade which gives them the look of bug lights (and is why I replaced them in the first place).

Ah, therein lies the rub. How to replace the custom-fit glass on a 40-year-old light fixture? That can’t be cheap. If I had figured out a reasonable solution to that problem in the last 6 years, I would have left these lights up outside. So I keep looking. Today, I found two definite possibilities. Both are closeouts, so I’ll have to act fast.

The brushed aluminum fixture by Lukas Sebastian ($21 each) reminds me of some sci-fi adventure involving space, robots, and curiously, what appears to be an erect nipple beaming 40 watts of light into the room:

While the Possini sconce (left, $40 each) seems to take its more understated cue from George Nelson’s 1947 “Saucer” lamp (right):


What do you think, Dear Readers? Opinions on these two? Suggestions for others? Report back, my minions!