Wednesday, July 23, 2014



I've wanted to do this for years and years and years. The family room/den/tv room in our house is finally being brought out of the past and into the future. 

When my family moved into our house 36 years ago, the Den was a nice room with lovely and fashionable wood paneling and it remained that way until a few weeks ago. The room was comfy and when visiting us you didn't feel like you stepped back in time but it was time to go. I had finally convinced my mom that the time had come and we were about to update the room when she got sick. It was the room she would spend the last months of her life in.

Updating the room is needed for two reasons. One, if for some reason we wanted to sell the house (a distinct but remote possibility) the room would kill any sale. Two and this is the reality, the room is becoming my father's bedroom/office. I don't want him, and I'm not sure how much longer (it could be years) he'll be capable of going up and down the stairs. Currently he is fully mobile but it wouldn't take much to change that. 

Of course it wasn't as simple as just taking down the paneling and painting the walls. One of the biggest obstacles to updating the room had been not knowing what was or wasn't behind the paneling. As it turns out the drywall was not in paintable condition and that is how a simple makeover became a minor renovation.

I won't bore you with the details but to do it right added new windows and a door and carpeting and a ceiling and insulations (I guess those are a few details.) I thought it would be fun, especially shopping for furniture, but there are so questions to answer and details to figure out that it has been challenging. Fortunately our contractor's wife is best friends with my sister so we're getting a deal in addition to top quality work and honesty. 

Most of the room is done at this point and we're just waiting for the windows. Everything should be done in about 3 weeks and honestly I wouldn't mind if it took an extra week or two. Of course the freshness of the room will necessitate the repainting of the entire first floor - it kinda needs it anyway so I have my fall project. I'll post photos (as if there doubt) when the room is completed. 

I'll save a funny little story (to me anyway) about meeting a decorator for suggestions and confirmation of my good taste for another post. 

The room with the final pieces of sheetrock ready to go. 

Monday, July 21, 2014



Twix has created a new series of commercials to promote their new Twix Bites. I didn't think they could have created worse commercials than the series they did for the LEFT Twix vs. RIGHT Twix but they have and they have continued the theme of making their executives look like complete idiots. They try to make these commercials funny and they kind of are -- the first time -- but when you see them a second or more time it becomes very clear that someone should be fired.

I get it. Bite sized Twix is such a simple and great idea that there has to be some crazy reason they didn't make them sooner. Twix doesn't sell us on the taste or that the smaller sizes give you all the flavor and satisfaction but with fewer calories. Instead, the reason they give is that the executives who worked during the 80's were complete idiots.

In the first commercial, it's a woman who first had the GREAT idea but while she's getting ready for her presentation she uses so much hairspray (very typical 80's style so, ok, funny) she passes out -- not funny and extremely degrading, insulting and sexist to women. Then and now.

In the second commercial, and I'm sure a third and more are coming, it's a male executive who is so entertained by the new Walkman (the iPod's great grandparent) that he turns away the male employee with the GREAT idea away. I guess the idea thinker was so put off he never told anyone else. Oh, in this commercial instead of insulting women insults people of color. This one is not as obvious in it's racism as the hairspray commercial was in its sexism but it just feels insulting and smells bad. Plus, given Twix's track record, I think I could get a conviction. 

If Twix had tweeted these commercials as jokes, there'd be all sorts of outrage but so far I've heard nothing. The only desire these commercials create in me is the desire to change the channel. 


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