Wednesday, April 24, 2013

They will see us waving from such great heights

Three shows. Two weeks. That's a record for me and I have enjoyed every moment to the core of my being. Although, I must say, I am completely exhausted!! Late nights, alcohol and dancing are  outside of my normal routine and this old lady just can't hang! 

They say that variety is the spice of life, and oh boy, our earbuds are on fire! All three shows were very, very, different. We went from an indoor expo center in the middle of SLO, to a remote countryside outdoor oasis, to downtown LA at a fancy classical concert hall. Each event brought with it a unique crowd, choice of footwear, and ambiance. But, all of them filled my soul with glee (and my tummy with beer!)

The Postal Service was all about college nostalgia. I danced and bounced around to each song, letting the music fill me up with sweet memories of a road trip to Las Vegas with my best girlfriends for Heather's bachelorette party. And how Clark Gable got me through so many long, late night work shifts. This is my go-to music - the kind of music where you can't help but get up and dance or at least bend your knees to the beat. The Postal Service rocked and it was a privilege to see them live, ten years later. 

Passion Pit played at the Pozo Saloon about 20 (curvy and narrow) miles off of the 101 from Atascadero. Quiet little Pozo is absolutely gorgeous and the warmth of the sunshine mixed with comfy sneakers, relaxing lounge chairs, and ice cold beer made the afternoon a delight. The opening band, Capital Cities, put on a great show (even better than Passion Pit!) They all wore matching neon green blazers, syncing perfectly with the intensity and crispness of their sound. If you haven't heard of them before, look them up. Their music will lift you up. (Safe and Sound is my fave).

And lastly, it's difficult to describe Sufjan Stevens' performance in LA at the Walt Disney Center, so I will copy the excerpt from the website because it describes the show so beautifully:

With the West Coast premiere of Planetarium, The National’s Bryce Dessner, singer-songwriter Sufjan Stevens, and composer Nico Muhly come together to consider the cosmos. For the first half, a string quartet performs each artist’s classically informed compositions. In the second half, Stevens’ voice anchors a planet-by-planet song cycle that melds the collaborators’ distinct creative contributions into a harmonic whole. The cycle unfolds against the backdrop of a giant orb that morphs to reflect the characteristics of the sphere being celebrated.

The string quartet was simply breathtaking - I literally held my breath as they moved those bows so rapidly you could barely see their hands! The musicians were insanely talented and brought some of Sufjan's songs to life in a brilliant way. 

Planetarium was a mix between strange and lovely. Sufjan sang each piece, but switched from using a strange robotic microphone to his regular singing voice. I preferred the songs with his normal "angelic" voice (as Steve put it) to the synthesized version. But, the fun part of the show was trying to guess which planet they were "celebrating". Between the lights, lasers, orb, and lyrics, it was like putting together clues until after each song when they revealed that yes, we know Pluto is not considered a part of our solar system but dwarf planets are planets too. 

The best part of the Sufjan show happened BEFORE the show which deserves its own post, so stay tuned for a story about cockroaches, fire alarms, and potato chips!

Saturday, April 20, 2013


We' ve really expanded our garden this year, but one thing of note is the incredible hops planter and trellis that Steve built. A friend if ours is a home brew extraordinaire, so we will grow the hops, and he will use them to make beer (and then share!) :) 

The trellis is my favorite part because it stands out like a pagoda at the entrance of our yard. It's artistic and favorite combination. 

The hops just poked their little hoppy heads up through the soil, and will soon be stretching their arms up the trellis and if all goes as planned will provide shade for our water tank. That's Steve's thoughtful planning for you.

Tuesday, April 02, 2013

Apron's aren't just for the kitchen

Steve finished the tile work on the front of the tub, also called the apron of the tub. We seriously had JUST enough tiles to do the apron, so he only had one chance to get it right, and after only a few cusses, he did it! And it looks amazing!! We decided to wait to do the apron until after the floor was in, so that the entire tub unit appears as if it is sitting on top of the floor, rather than behind it. 

Originally, we were going to use the same surface for the top of the apron as the vanity top, but since we decided to go with concrete (rather than granite or marble) we decided not to do that after all, and filled in the top with the travertine tile as well. I think this was a good choice so that the entire bath/shower area looks cohesive and simple. There are countless decisions to be made during a remodel and as you can tell, we learned as we went, changed our minds a thousand times, 'slept on it' many nights and I think so far all of our patience and thoughtfulness is proving worthwhile!

After all of the work Steve did up to this point, he decided to let a professional tackle the drywall repair and prep for painting. We are so happy we hired help because it was done so quickly, and through conversations with the contractor we decided to re-texture the walls to a more modern look. So the entire bathroom was re-textured to a smooth finish with a rustic flair. 

You know you are getting close to the end of a project when you can start picking out paint colors!! Here is what we decided for our color palette. The wood sample is the actual wood and stain of our new vanity (arriving any day now!!) It is a birch wood with an "espresso" finish. I think it will give a nice modern look, while keeping with the outdoor, ranch feel. The dark swatch is representative of our concrete vanity top. So the paint colors we chose are soothing green tea and heavy cream. We with with green because through the extra large window, you can see trees, plants and rose bushes, so the green will really bring the outdoor element in. The wall behind the vanity will be the light green, and the other walls and ceiling will be heavy cream.

Last night we slapped on one coat of green and it looks gorgeous!! It is bright, cheerful, and it really is soothing! The heavy cream may have more yellow in it than we hoped for, so we are testing it out tonight and will see how it goes from there. 

The light fixture should be in any day now too and you should look forward to seeing it because it is divine (for a light fixture!) Once the vanity gets installed, the concrete guy will come make his template and it should take about 2 weeks to finish. In the meantime we will be busy putting up last minute touches to the bathroom...the tile trim/molding around the shower, re-installing the toilet, installing our fixtures in the shower, and picking out towel racks, towels, and accessories! 

I am still hopeful for a Dwight Hotel reveal at the end of the month!!! Fingers crossed!

Monday, April 01, 2013

Passion Pit!

Passion Pit at Pozo Saloon?? Strange, but I'll take it! That's three shows in April!!

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