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February, 2006:

The move, the move, we must get in a groove.

Even as the dust continues to settle, and as the electricians, the carpenters, the plumbers, and the painters maintain their appointed tasks, we are packing, packing, packing. We are moving!

We’ve been very busy getting everything done, but sadly, not everything will be finished by the time we move in. So we’ll be living in a construction site for the next few weeks as we get everything together. Oh what fun! The adventure! The camping! The smells!

We’ve still got painting, a little more electrical, garage roof guys, another set of alarm guys, a locksmith, and probably some other tradesmen yet to be determined. Ah yes, the plumber! Who could forget that noble trade, he who Must Not Be Plunged.

I should say that when I say that We are moving, it is not actually myself that will be yonking. Stephanie will be the first pioneer to yonk where no Stephanie has yonked before. I will follow in the next month (assuming that the X-file aliens have not taken over my body, eaten of my flesh, and replaced me with an exact replica. Barring all that, I will be in town 4-5 nights per week (and perhaps more). But if home is where your stuff is, then it will be a little time before I have officially yonked. (Partially because I’ve got so much damned stuff!)

We’ll be commandeering an outpost on the third floor to start, sleeping on a mattress and showering extra early so as not to give our workers free peeks at the merch. And as for the days that we don’t have plumbing… , brother can you spare a shower?

Well, enough procrastinating. Back to packing up my beloved’s stuff…. Hmmmm, I guess this stuff is now mine too! Like I need more stuff.

Actually, going through her stuff is really interesting, because I’ve been finding out all kinds of new things about her past. Not really awful things– nice sweet things. It’s a real joy to get to know somebody deeper and deeper. It’s what makes life worth living.

list of stressful items

This week’s highlights: cabinets, carpeting, floors, heating oil, snow. Plus a funeral.

The last few days have been especially stressful, as we rushed out of town on Saturday to attend my stepgrandfather’s funeral leaving a bunch of things undone. Prior to jumping on a plane (which we had to do Saturday early to avoid the Blizzard of ’06), we ran out to Home Depot to place our cabinet order (yes, we’re back to Home Depot cabinets, more on that in another post). Of course, not an hour after we left HD did I regret the decision we made to order partial overlay cabinets, as I really don’t like the look. Inevitably, as soon as we landed in Chicago on Saturday I called to cancel the cabinet order, and we spent the whole weekend measuring every kitchen we visited (four in total!) to make sure of our dimensions. We’ll have to reorder this weekend if we’re ever going to get them.

Then, just before the funeral on Monday, Adam got a call from Aaron, who was working diligently in the house despite the 24″ of snow. Apparently the heating oil company we supposedly contracted with had forgotten about us and we were out of heating oil! And – the heating contractor had just arrived to rework our ducts. So en route to the funeral home, Adam simultaneously shopped for a new oil company (who managed to get us oil in two hours!) and got a haircut. Meanwhile, Aaron was digging out the driveway so that he and the heating guy could pull in, as Yonkers doesn’t allow cars on the street after a blizzard. Fortunately the neighbor kids we’d hired to shovel the sidewalk had gotten that part of the job done – I don’t think they knew what they were in for when we hired them on Friday.

So on Valentine’s Day Adam and I arrived back in town, visited with Aaron to make some more decisions, and then went to buy carpeting for the 3rd floor. A very romantic Valentine’s Day and gift, indeed: beige nylon berber carpeting, about $2k of it. Installing Friday. And, starting Tuesday, the floor guy will be sanding and sealing the floors on the 1st floor and the 2nd – LR and DR on the first floor, and master bedroom and hallway on the 2nd.

All the flooring progress is fortunate, since I’m moving a week from next Monday. Which brings me to the next stress: movers. In all the commotion surrounding leaving town I completely forgot that I’d meant to hire a mover last week, and started calling yesterday to find that a number of movers were already booked for the 27th. I did manage to get a bunch of quotes, however, and chose one that was both reasonable and really, really responsive. I’m still not sure when I’m going to pack….

No wonder I’ve had a migraine for two days.

Klezmer Dance Concert/ Celebration (Saturday March 4, 2006)

In between picking out cabinets, figuring out the differences between the phone systems of Lowe’s and Home Depot (Lowe’s is much more efficient) and juggling a very stressful full time job, Stephanie is also very involved in Congregation Tehillah, Riverdale’s dynamic synagogue. (And that means by extension, that Adam is involved too) Here’s the latest event that we are helping to put together for the synagogue (It’s a five year anniversary, and it includes great music, a fundraiser for a worthy cause, and most importantly, dessert!) Adam wrote the press release, and Stephanie designed the postcard/poster.

If you like Klezmer or to support good Jewish organizations, or perhaps if only because you like dessert, you should try to attend. It’s going to be a great event.

Top Notch Klezmer Plays Minutes from Manhattan
Shirim Klezmer Orchestra to Play in Riverdale NY March 4, 2006.

Riverdale NY 2/7/06

Shirim Klezmer Orchestra, one of the country’s top klezmer orchestras, will bring their traditional Jewish jazz sound to Riverdale as part of the anniversary celebration for Congregation Tehillah, a socially conscious synagogue based in Riverdale that was founded five years ago.

Shirim, based in Boston, is considered to be one of the top klezmer orchestras in the country. Their toe-tapping arrangements of classic klezmer tunes and ingenious takes on classical composers such as Tchaikovsky, Mahler, and Satie have been featured in films, on radio, and at colleges, concert halls, and weddings across the country. Billboard magazine awarded them a critic’s choice and their album Klezmer Nutcracker has become an annual program on National Public Radio.

Many of the musicians that will play at the Tehillah party are also members of Naftule’s Dream, a jazz/klezmer ensemble that has been breaking down the barriers of traditional klezmer music. Combining klezmer with modern classical, freely improvised rock fusion, and fiery improvisation, Naftule’s Dream is “without a doubt the most startlingly original, audacious music I’ve heard,” according to Bill Milkowski of Jazz Times.

Shirim will play two dance/music sets between 9 and 11:30 pm. The concert/dance party is open to the public; doors open at 8:30. Other events will include a silent auction and a dessert tasting. Tickets for the party are $18 each (includes dessert) and can be purchased in advance through Congregation Tehillah or at the door. For more information visit http://www.congregationtehillah.org or call (718) 884-4839.

WHAT: Birthday party/fundraiser for Congregation Tehillah, featuring Shirim Klezmer Orchestra
WHEN: Saturday, March 4, 2006 from 8:30-11:30 pm
WHERE: Riverdale Temple, 4545 Independence Avenue, Bronx, NY
COST: $18 (includes dessert)
MORE INFO: http://www.congregationtehillah.org, http://www.shirim.com, or call (718) 884-4839 for tickets.

The clown decoupage….

I’ve been getting worried that in the end I’m not going to like the decor of the house. We’ve started to talk about decor, and colors, and stained glass, and mason jars, and all this other stuff. Stephanie has some very strong ideas about what she doesn’t want, and I’m more flexible (I think– but maybe everybody thinks they are very flexible) – or at the very least I don’t have very strong ideas about the decor.

We’ve been joking about the color of the kitchen cabinets, and I keep saying “Clown decoupage” and Stephanie seems very against it. It’s not that I so really desire clown decoupage kitchen cabinets, but I want to make my impression on the house. I can imagine a very cool, bright colored kitchen, with reds and blues, and silver metal, and a mechanized tightrope walker that walks from one end to the other on a little motor. It’s not what I have been dreaming about or anything, but I can imagine it.

My fear is at the end, it will be very “understated” and very professional looking, but not very fun and festive. I don’t really want something that Martha Stewart would approve of– I want to have my input and stamp on it as well. I’m not sure what choices I would make EXACTLY, if it were up to me alone, but it would probably be very quirky, and very weird, and perhaps overly “clowny”

But the big point is– IT’S not up to me alone. it’s up to both of us. And that’s something that’s going to take some time to allow for. The collaboration. I’m a great collaborator (as long as I get my own way!)

Also, we’ve been talking about color– I want very bright colors, but Stephanie seems to want very muted colors. I had a thought that maybe one wall of the dining room or living room could be a rich thick color that contrasts with some of the more muted look.

Stephanie and I talked, and I think we’ve come to a better place about it. Two words– circus bathroom!

Okay, I did a search on google on “clown room” and found this photograph-this is NOT what I’m hoping for!