Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Some great news!


First off, you probably noticed that in order to get here you were redirected to the new domain!  Make sure to bookmark blog.polymathchronicles.net for the future.

Second, if you are in the greater Chicagoland Area, I am delighted to announce that the first event for Recipe for Disaster is coming!

And the best part?  It is an evening with me and my bestie Jen Lancaster!

Please join me and Jen in conversation about Recipe for Disaster, and her upcoming new memoir I Regret Nothing, and probably some other topics like Kimmy Schmidt and the enduring legend of John Hughes.

Thursday April 9
The Book Cellar
4736 N Lincoln

Both Jen and I will be signing books after the discussion.  Really hope to see you there!

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Recipe for Disaster is Here!


Just a quick note to say that Recipe for Disaster is finally here!

Thanks to everyone who pre-ordered, and if you never got around to it, you can absolutely order it today or pick it up from your favorite local bookseller!

If you want to make me the happiest author in the world?  After you buy the book, pop over and make sure you are following me on Twitter, Pinterest, and like my Facebook Fan Page.  We all know how social media numbers help, so if you haven't yet joined the team, I'd be ever so grateful.

And as always, if you read Recipe for Disaster and love it, please consider writing even a brief review on Amazon so that we can help other readers find it as well!

I will be having some upcoming events in the Chicago area, we are holding off a bit because we'd like the weather to break before asking you all to come out on a school night, so stay tuned for some exciting readings and signings in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, thank you one and all for reading, it means everything to me.

Yours in Humble Taste,
The Polymath

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Tickled Pink!


Hello from the land of DRYWALL!  We are finished with the taping and mudding and sanding downstairs, having created an insane amount of dust, but we at long last have walls that are complete.  on the excellent advice of my mother, I have done my very first video tour of the space.  It is also my first video, so I hope you will bear with me from a quality perspective.  I tried very hard not to be too herky jerky or to pan around too fast.  But I'm no Scorsese, so please take it at face value.

Here is the basement:

If for some reason you are having problems viewing the embedded video, you want watch it on YouTube.

You will notice in couple of the rooms we have our paint samples still up on the walls.  For the media room and wine cellar, we were able to make our decisions very quickly...drumroll please...

Media room and Exercise Room:  Sherwin Williams Peppercorn, a wonderful deep dark charcoal gray

Wine Cellar:  Sherwin William Black Fox, a deep chocolate brown

As I mentioned before, the special pink we are looking to do in the bedrooms is a tricky one, and the lighting isn't making the decision easier.  Check out these three pics, which are not fantastic but should give you a sense of what we are dealing with:

With fluorescent bulb

Incandescent bulb

No overhead light, natural daylight
In the first picture, we have a compact fluorescent bulb overhead, in the second a regular incandescent, and in the third, only the light from the windows.  Now you can see why it is so important to check your sample colors in all sorts of ways, because the colors change A LOT.  And this is the time when you start to really get a sense of the rooms and the light.

Which means we are having our very first "uh oh" moment.

(Well, not including the Moat issue.)

Here was our original plan:  two basement guest bedrooms would each get a ceiling fan with a light in it.  We love a ceiling fan, especially for sleeping.  Most especially when it is Spring or early Summer, when it is still cool enough to not need air conditioning, we love to have the windows open for the breeze, with the fan circulating the air and creating some white noise sound that helps block the noise from the street.  So we thought that we would do them in all of the guest bedrooms throughout the house, so that when we have company, they can choose the fan experience if they like it.

We picked this one:

It is simple, reasonably priced, we would order it in white, so that it would disappear into the white ceilings, and has a halogen light fixture with dimming capability.

The plan called for this to be the only overhead lighting, since there will be lamps in the rooms as well, and the rooms are not massive, so installing a lot of recessed cans would look clunky.

When we did the walk-through with the electrician, there were no walls, only some framing, so there was full light bleed from the whole space, and the one center light seemed like it would be totally fine.

Except now that the walls have gone in, things are looking somewhat dim in the bedrooms, particularly at night, and we are a little bit worried.  Especially since the possible paint colors, which all look fantastic in the spaces where we have overhead can lighting, or upstairs on the first floor, are looking kind of generally crappy in the current light scenarios.  And of course, now we have fully drywalled, taped, sanded ceilings, so it is not really terribly convenient to start thinking about more recessed lighting.  It isn't that it can't be done, it is just a huge pain in the butt, a big unexpected expense, would throw off the timing of what comes next, and would still look clunky, which is why we didn't do them to begin with.

So, we are in the process of debating our options.  Halogen light, which is what we have in the fans that we bought, will mute color, especially when it is in a frosted housing, so we are going to try and temporarily install one of the fans so that we can get a true sense of the quality and amount of light it provides, and to see if the colors still all look crappy.  If the light seems sufficient, and we are able to find a color we love, we will stick with the original plan.

But in renovation, you have to be prepared to have as few sacred cows as possible, and to go with the flow.  If the fans don't provide enough or the right quality of light, we will scrap them for the basement bedrooms, and find a flush mounted ceiling fixture that will fix the lighting problem, and then as we move upstairs to the other bedrooms, we will know that we will have to add some recessed lighting cans to provide more light so that we can still have the fans.  It is a perfectly fine solution.  In our worst case scenario we'll still have three bedrooms with fans, two of which will use the ones we bought for the basement, so we won't be out of pocket on those, and we will just find some sort of great light fixtures for those two rooms downstairs.

I'll keep you posted as we finalize this decision, but I thought it would be a good story to share.  I now know that before I sign off on final overhead lighting for any room, I will need it to have all the walls in place, and if there are not finished walls installed, I will put up some tarp or sheets or something to block the light bleed from other spaces and get a truer sense of how the light will work in the room.  It is a good lesson for me, and something to put in your notes for your own renovations!

Stay tuned for the final decisions on lighting and paint, we still have to pick the final colors for the bathroom and laundry room, which we will probably do tomorrow.  But we are officially at the finishes and fixtures stage, everything from here on out is about stuff we can see and not infrastructure!

Also, do me a favor and let me know how you like the video.  Because if you don't love it, I can keep going with just pictures, but if it was helpful in any way to be able to do the space walk thru with me, I am happy to keep doing them!

Yours in Good Taste,
The Polymath