All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

All original work © Jason W. Wong. Please ask for permission to reproduce any work.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Neverending Story

Construction on our flat continues...this time our back sun room is being fortified so it doesn't crumble in the next big earthquake storm. It was pretty bad, and our back door had become about as secure as a paper bag.

So we had to move all our stuff into the Living Room. After sending a car load of stuff to Community Thrift and Goodwill, here's what we have left:

This is just a reminder to everyone that a contractor's timeline is often an estimate. Things happen--people get sick, someone else has an emergency that trumps your job (like a leaking roof), or you request to add things that push back that timeline. Both at home, at Retrograde, and at Ye Olde Dayjobbe, I've found that life happens. When you've got a hard deadline (like someone moving in, or returning from a trip) and they demand all the work gets done in time, guess what happens? Concessions are usually made. Or you work overtime to make sure it gets done on time. Or you agree to a second phase.

I'm looking forward to when everything can be cleared up and put away. I have some plans for new art and a new life for the Living Room. Stay tuned!

Monday, January 23, 2012

And when you smile for the camera...

Well, construction continues on my flat, so everything's a mess. No way I could even get the place camera-ready in 15 minutes. Or an hour. Or a week. The good thing is that we've been sorting through all the stuff in our back storage room, donating carloads to Goodwill and Community Thrift.

We've also had a lot of time to catch up on some movies. As a member of the Screen Actors Guild, I got some great screener DVDs of SAG Award-nominated films to watch at home. They've been a great distraction from all the chaos and construction, as well as a good reward after several days of Retrograde work on the weekends.

Here are my faves--get out there and watch 'em when you can!

The Artist, set in Hollywood during the late '20s and early '30s:

The Help, set during the cusp of the Civil Rights Era:

The Descendents, set in modern-day Hawaii:

Loved them all. I won't tell you how I voted, though ;-)

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

This is your payback, moneygrabber...

Okay, I've been busy at Ye Olde Dayjobbe and working on two relatively fast projects for Retrograde--hoping to be done by the end of the month! Can't wait to show you photos soon. In the meantime, expect some irregular posts and schedules...

Just got this photo today from one of my jobs--this ceramic stool from One Kings Lane arrived totally broken!

Now I've packed things before for One Kings Lane's Tastemaker Tag Sales last year and it was a pain in the a**. (They make each designer/firm handle the actual packing of items they sell and simply provide pre-printed FedEx labels.) It ended up being a lot of hard work on our end, and we even had to schlep the boxes to FedEx, otherwise we'd incur a pickup fee for ground service.

Let's just say one of my colleagues and I became pros with the tape gun and bubble wrap.

Not sure how they make their other vendors do things, but c'mon, folks! This is just bad. Look at the skimpy styrofoam sheets between the ceramic and the cardboard. Unacceptable! At least they gave my client a refund.

I guess that's the risk we take looking for a bargain. Or maybe that's what happens when a retailer cheaps out on common sense things like packaging...

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Dream a little dream with me...

Happy new year, readers!

After a crazy Christmas in Palm Springs (where I delivered my beloved lounge chairs to a friend), my partner and I had a quiet New Year's Eve at home. The Friday before the long weekend, we finally got around to getting a new mattress set. For those of you who don't know, your mattresses should be changed about every 10 years or so. (Disgusting trivia fact: after 10 years of sleeping on the same mattress, it will weigh significantly heavier than when you bought it--all the dust mites and their waste will add several pounds over the years.)

Well, I had been sleeping on my bed since I moved to San Francisco--about 12 years! The increasing backaches and restless nights of sleep were NOT a coincidence...

I had already been researching some eco-friendly solutions for the past year. Keetsa opened up a shop in San Francisco a few years ago and I was immediately intrigued. Some friends got their bed there and recommended them, partly for their no-pressure sales team. Maxwell at Apartment Therapy had begun his Year in Bed series of reviews, which also helped us make the decision. (They even reviewed the Keetsa and gave it decent marks!)

In the end, we chose the Simmons Natural Care mattress on Friday. We basically made the decision, paid, and scheduled the next day delivery in part because the set was on clearance and we got the mid- to high-range series for about $1300 (pre-tax)! That's the price of the lower-end model! The top review from Maxwell several months ago also helped seal the deal.

This past weekend we caught up on our sleep. We call the new bed "The Poppy Fields From Oz" because it's so hard to get out of bed each morning, even after a full 8 hours of sleep! The higher, thick mattress height also works well with our higher bedside tables (one of which is actually a small desk)--no more reaching up for that glass of water in the middle of the night!

Being green(er) was a big factor in this choice. The natural latex and other materials (wool, soy foam, etc.) are naturally dust-mite resistant. (This was another reason why we considered Keetsa, too.) After years of extra-firm mattresses, we also finally learned to embrace the pillow top. Sinking in each night is such a luxury. And this foam mattress doesn't feel like foam--it honestly feels like a standard spring bed with a cushy pillow top.

So...have you bought a new mattress recently? Considering one? Let me know--I'd love to start a conversation!