Tuesday, December 04, 2007

water anyone?

So, I've always enjoyed my showers. I take half an hour showers. Waste of water? I don't think so. It wakes me up and helps me mentally prepare for the day. So, I wanted to make showering as enjoyable as possible. And, since I do not have 10 or 20 thousand to drop on renovating my bathroom, I decided to settle for dual shower heads... for now. You might ask why. Well, simply more coverage. It's a very simple item I picked up at Home Depot. Installs quickly and shifts between the shower head or the hand set very easily. And, of course, you can have both heads on at the same time. The water pressure drops a bit, but its worth it. Next I'll drop several thousands on one of those systems that shoots water at you from all different sides....not really.

Sunday, September 16, 2007


I finally picked up a Wii. I have to say that I am highly impressed by this system. I was impressed with Nintendo taking a risk by not going the route of ultra realistic as all the other systems have recently. And, still trying to create the market rather than follow the market. I'm so impressed with what Nintendo has done here. They've actually created a system that requires kids(and others) to get out of their seats in order to play the games. Not an original idea, but they really took it to the next level. The controllers to this system are extremely sensitive making it hard to sit and fake movements. And, if you've figured out how to do this, you're a lost cause anyway. The remote senses motions in all directions. Forward, backward, side to side, up and down, tilts, speed, everything. Which allows for great game play. Bravo Nintendo!

Saturday, September 15, 2007


So, as a lot of artists, I've been sitting on the cheap drafting stool that comes with the drafting tables. You know, the one that you can feel the bolts through the seat padding. I finally broke down and decided to buy a new chair. Now, what is the right chair? I have a very small work area in my studio apartment, so I couldn't buy one of those huge lazy boy type chairs that you can sink into. Tempting, but it just wouldn't fit. So, I went for a ultra task chair. This is the Capisco Hag chair. It's designed to keep you moving without making you uncomfortable. I have to admit, it took a little time to get used to. It was a bit uncomfortable for the first couple of weeks. But, once I got used to it, it does do what it claims. Keeps you moving. This chair allows for many more sitting positions that a typical chair does not. Not sure about everyone else, but as an artist, its a really nice option to vary up my sitting position comfortably during the hours I spend behind my table. The chair is on the pricey side. Pricey for me... But, I figured I'd be spending a lot of time on it, so I'd definitely be getting my money's worth. Especially, if I'm comfortable hour after hour working on projects. The chair is very adjustable. The back can be adjusted up and down. The saddle can be adjusted forward and backwards. The ease that it tilts back is adjustable. The chair can be locked into position, so it doesn't tilt back. This makes sitting backwards on the chair more comfortable. And, the saddle shape of the base allows for proper circulation in the legs. Did you know that the improper circulation caused by chairs that put too much pressure on the back of the thigh can cause back pain? Anyway, this is my new funky task chair.

Sunday, September 09, 2007


The Sonicare is one of my most recent steps in taking better care of my teeth. Believe it or not, I had not been serious about taking care of my teeth before 200.....2, I think. Anyway, not until pretty recent. I had always been afraid and terrified of the dentist. I hated the feel of metal scraping on my teeth. But, my mouth was in trouble. In the beginning, I started to go to the dentist just because I was too embarrassed about my not so fresh breath. I NEEDED to deal with the issue. But, as I went to the dentist I found out that my mouth had more issues than just the breath. My gums were in trouble as well and plaque had built up. So, I decided to bite the bullet and jump in with both feet. Let me tell ya, it wasn't easy. I was out of my mind nervous. But, I couldn't ask for a better situation to go in. The dentist was a family friend that I could trust to be kind and honest. And, I had insurance. So, I had nothing to lose, but my embarrassment. It wasn't pretty that first time I went to the dentist. My mouth was in bad shape. After that first visit I had to go back in just a few weeks because my mouth needed to heal before my dentist could proceed. Yike! But, I was determined. Now, I go to the dentist regularly every 6 months. And, on good advice from my brother, I schedule my next appointments before I leave the dentist's office. If I didn't, I would probably procrastinate and end up not going for years. And, just recently, my dentist told me that my gums were still in trouble. I had not been flossing every night as he had recommended and parts of my gums were still infected and puffy. Nasty, right? But, he told me one thing that made me take my care of my mouth to the next level. He told me that if my gums didn't heal on their own, I would have to get surgery where they would have to cut into my gums to fix them. The idea of my gums getting cut into freaked me out. So, I began to floss properly every night. It was hard in the beginning because there would be a lot of blood. Which is the problem. Your gums should not bleed too easily. If they do, they're not healthy. So, floss even if its uncomfortable. Eventually, there is less blood and then no blood. My gums healed on their own. And, on my next visit, the dentist told me that there was a night and day difference on the condition they were in. So, with the recommendations from my dentist and girlfriend, I've taken the next step and purchased the Sonicare tooth brush. I'm still feeling my way on using it properly, but it seems to be making a difference. My teeth do feel cleaner after a brushing. Not "dentist clean" like the commercial hints, but cleaner than a regular toothbrush. If anything can help my visits to the dentist be more pleasant, I'll take it. I still fight my laziness to go through the process at night. But, whenever I feel too lazy to floss, brush, and mouthwash, I remember what my dentist said. "... surgery on your gums..." Then, the process doesn't seem too much anymore. :)

Saturday, September 08, 2007

food prep

Here are two items that my girlfriend bought me for my birthday this year. We both love tasty foods. And, a couple of our favorites are ham and egg on toast and Jamba Juice's orange dream machine. I had been talking about trying to make these at home, so we can have it any time we would like. So, I did some research and narrowed down appliance choices. Eliminating the most expensive and the cheapest. I really wanted to get the same blender that Jamba Juice used, but those blenders went for over $400. That just seemed a little extreme. So, here are the two items that we picked up. The blender is the Oster Fusion. It's a mid range blender that has a good amount of power to pulverize ice. Good for nice icy drinks. My favorite. It's a bit loud, but works pretty well. Not exactly Jamba Juice, but also a fraction of the price. And, the toaster is the Krups FEM2. Its supposed to be a powerful toaster that toasts quickly to make the outside crunchy and inside soft. So far, not so much. But, that could just be because of the bread we're using. It still makes a yummy sandwich. So, yummy food will be made! :)

Saturday, August 11, 2007


Finally, I got some shelves up in my work area. Again, like my curtain rod, this took a lot of emotional preparation to drill into my wall. I purchased this set of shelving from Bed Bath and Beyond(BBB). I dealt with a Paul(Asian man) at the BBB between 18th and 19th street. He screwed my order up a little, but he did everything he could to fix it. You may be saying that that's what he should do, and you'd be right. But, you'd be surprised how many times I've come into contact with incompetent people when it comes to doing what they should do. Anyway, these shelves required me drilling eight holes into my concrete wall. So, as soon as I prepared myself to permanently damage my walls, I drilled away. In the end this shelving system is quite easy to install. It requires one secured steel plate that gets drilled into the wall and the rest all hangs off of that anchored piece. And, the great thing about this system through BBB is that they will cut the shelves in almost anyway you'd want them too. Well, any simple straight cut. No fancy designs and what not. If you look closely to my shelves, you'll see that there is a part of the wall that sticks out. I actually took the proper measurements and had the store cut the shelves to fit around this piece of the wall for a built-in feel. And, I was actually pleasantly surprised at how well it came out. And, as you can see, I've made part of the shelving my desk to hold my laptop, art supplies, and even my scanner. And, my personal DVD player that doubles as my tiny TV for when I don't need my larger TV on. Hells yeah, I hooked cable up to that bad boy!! Anyway, I got the idea of the integration from this design company ip20. I got the idea from their Japanese site. Of course, I could not afford their actual pieces(which are way too cool!), so I just used them for inspiration. So, if you can afford the actual shelves, good for you. But, if you can't and need built in shelving, I would recommend Bed Bath and Beyond. Just make sure you have all of your exact measurements that you need. If you can draw out what you want, even better. Happy shelving! I'm presently working on a kitchen set as well.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Sears.com SUCKS!!

I started this summer with my old 5000BTU air conditioner that I brought over from my old place. It was fine for my small room in my old place. But, now I'm in a studio and its larger than my old room. So, I attempted to order a new ac unit. I did my research and even joined ConsumerReport online. I decided on Kenmore because I've always liked the brand. Because I'm in NYC and do not have easy access to a vehicle I decided to order online. So, I called up Sears.com to place an order. I felt good. I was excited about my order. I waited about a week and the unit was on its way. I even took a day off to wait for the delivery. The door bell clinked as it does and there it was......... a mess. The picture you see with this post is of the box my ac unit came in. The box looked as if it had been rolled down a hill. Parts of the box were ripped and the foam inside would be showing through. Even part of the ac unit itself. And, the box appeared to have been opened and resealed again with plastic straps. Of course, I returned this package thinking that it was mistreated in transit. And, I reordered the same ac unit. I got worked up again and took another day to wait for my delivery. I opened the door and there it was. Another mess of a package. The UPS delivery person told me that this was how they receive the package. Of course, that's what he says. But, honestly, I don't see how UPS could do so much damage to a box. So, I assumed that it was on Sears side. On top of horrible damaged goods the persons on the phone at Sears were incompetent as well. Not all, but I did have troubles with returning my order due to missing bar codes and Sears employees claiming to reissue a call tag and really not. Which meant I waited to be notified about a pick up and had to call Sears again to find out what was happening. It was just a big mess and it took more than a month to deal with this whole situation. And, at the end, I was back to where I started. I don't know about other items, but I would not order ac unites from Sears.com. It's just an awful shopping experience. So, my little ac unit is still working hard to keep the place bearable. I've decided to go with GE and deal with a local appliance store where I've purchased other items before. So, its supposed to arrive in a few days. We'll see how that goes. Hopefully, I'll have a new AC...... by the end of summer.

Thursday, July 05, 2007

my turf

So, here's something that's a little weird. I had started with just a little rug. Then, a longer runner, but it was never enough room. When I came in the door and had someone following me, it was never enough room for more than one person to come in and take off their shoes without having the other wait in the doorway. SO, I had to figure out a way to fix this problem. I figured that the first person in would have to step to the side in order to be out of the way to get another person in. I didn't want shoes stepping on my too delicate bamboo floors, so I knew I had to cover the floors. As I was contemplating my options, I remembered how nice and clean it was at this one hotel we stayed at in Japan. And, how they had a whole section just to take off your shoes at their entrances. I really dug this idea, so I researched my options on how to create this idea in my tiny apartment. I didn't want a plush rug. I wanted a tight clean flat covering that would separate my entrance area from the rest of my studio. I quickly came up with this company named FLOR. They sell floor coverings by the square. I was thinking of a brown or a tan to sort of work with the whole "Japanese" idea and to work with the rest of my place. Then, I came across this texture. Its a grass green and it has flickers of other colors in it to calm the intense green down. So, it comes across like grass. I knew that this option was either a hit or miss. And, that it would be a risk. But, sometimes I get these little surges of energy to go for the risk and this was one of those times. So, this is my front yard. And, I must say, I'm quite happy with how it turned out. Now I enter my apartment, scoot to the side, and place my shoes or flip flops on the edge of my lawn. And, it reminds me a little of my short time spent in Japan. Always a good thing.


And, I've finally got some cushions for my bench. I got these from a weekend bus trip to Ikea. Yep, the free bus. Not all of us have access to a vehicle. So, I ventured out there with my girlfriend and a friend. Enjoyed some Ikea food. And, spent a day walking around in that gigantic store. Here's one of the items I picked up. Yep, I'm doing my apartment slowly, but surely. I had been looking for a long cushion to fit the whole length of the bench, but haven't seen anything that works or is cheap enough. So, I went with these. I'm sure these will deflate soon, but they'll do for now. I think they were $3 or $5 each. Can't beat that. Anyway, almost to where I can have visitors. :)

Monday, July 02, 2007

like butta....

So, this is what I've been doing my drilling with. I had a cordless drill before. I thought that would take care of all my drilling needs. But, I was wrong. And, I always liked the cordless. Cordless phone, wireless internet, wireless remote, wireless gaming controllers, and so on. But, when it comes to drills, the wired ones are better. Unless you can drop some serious cash on a serious wireless set up with extra batteries, the single purchase of a nice wired drill is the way to go. There's never a weak drill due to low battery charge. You just plug it in and you're good to go. For me, I needed to drill into concrete. So, I was looking for a hammer drill. A hammer drill "hammers" the drill bit as it drills in order to break down the concrete it is drilling through. You can drill into concrete using a regular drill with a masonry drill bit, but it takes a lot longer. This is the DeWalt hammer drill. It's has settings to switch from hammer drill to regular drill. And, the power to twist your arm if you're not careful. That's what the extra handle it for. :) Grant it, this drill was probably overkill for what I needed it for. But, it's like driving a Diablo in a 55mph zone. There's really no need for it, but its nice to have the power there. So, my drill made drilling into concrete as if it were drywall. Nice!(two thumbs up) So, now I'm drilling everything into my walls. I've put up my massive curtain rod(pictured below) and my shelves(pics to come). Oh, and for those that are thinking of drilling into concrete, use anchors. It's just a cleaner safer way to go. Happy drilling!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

got rod

Aaand, finally another piece to the puzzle. I waited a while to get a curtain rod because I knew it would require drilling into concrete. My cousin tried hanging a picture in his concrete wall and knocked out a chunk of wall. That made me pause on attempting anything with my own wall. I invested in a hammer drill and a masonry bit. Yeah, that might have been overkill, but anything to not knock out chunks of my wall. So, I got myself mentally prepared to puncture my wall and started drilling. Of course, there were problems. The drill just seemed to stop penetrating and just spin. I got scared that I might have hit a pipe or some other structure, so I stopped. I'm new to this masonry drilling, so I didn't want to push too much and screw anything up. So, after some research and frustration, I decided to go full throttle and push the drill as hard as it would go. And, to my pleasant surprise, the drill did its job and ate through the cement. I just needed to put my weight behind it. So, now, I have my fat curtain rod up. I love this fat rod from West Elm. It really grounds the window. Now, I have to get curtains with grommets. Fat metal grommets. Nice!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


As a lot of people on the island of Manhattan, I'm a bit short on counter space in my kitchen. I had been thinking of purchasing one of those wooden boards that fit over the sink opening, but never knew which one to get. Then, one day it hit me. When my counter people delivered my counter, they left me the cut out pieces from my sink and my stove. I don't know why it never occurred to me earlier. Maybe, because the piece was roughly cut. Anyway, so, I sanded the letters off of it and filed the rough edge off. And, now it adds plenty of counter space when I'm preparing my extravagant three course meals...... okay, grilled ham and cheese.
And, for those interested in doing this to your left over counter cut outs or a slab of material you like, here's what I did to make the extra counter sit better on the counter. I just placed some felt pads on each corner. Make sure they're far apart enough to sit on the sides of the sink. And, there you go. Got yourself a nice little counter extension.


After (the lines and letters that you see are now gone)

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

night light...

Here's a view of my work space late at night when my girlfriend is tucked in for the night. I try to keep the light low as to not shed too much light on the living space. Yah, that's studio living for ya. Well, it will be better after I actually decide on a wall and get it installed. But, for now, got to keep the lights low. Its not too bad because I'm usually not drawing that late at night. I probably should be, but I'm usually on the computer. That's the DVD player my girlfriend picked up for me for my birthday sitting on the corner of the table. I've actually hooked up my cable box to it, so now I can watch TV on it. Which helps keep the light even more contained to my work corner. Nice!

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Whew, I haven't posted any items for a while. I guess I haven't really had anything else to pick up for the apartment for a while. All the stuff left are large items. But, I did pick up this little item. Not so much for the apartment, but just a item that I was very pleased with. My Sony headset that came with my phone started dropping out on me and soon became useless. So, I had to hunt down a headset. I had looked at the bluetooth headsets before, but the performance was shaky for the price. But, this time I did some research and found this new headset with some really nice functions. Well, one main feature. That is the noise cancelling function. I was skeptical, but it really is quite amazing. But, the headset does need to be making contact with your cheek. So, if you rock huge side burns, this headset may not work for you. But, other than that, you should be very happy with the performance of this headset. You can order it straight from Jawbone.com.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

rigged up!

So, finally, I got this drawer installed. As I mentioned in my earlier posts of 2006, I had no option but to get a small oven installed in a larger Ikea cabinet. This left me with a space under the oven. For the longest time, I just used it as a storage space to stick things in. But, it just seemed unsightly and sort of bootleg. I always liked the Ikea drawers and wondered if I could install one in the space. Because there had to be a brace built to hold the oven in place, the widest Ikea drawer would not fit. I had to go with the next size down, but this was too narrow for the space. So, I had to install extra blocks of wood to attach the rails to. Even up to the last minute of installing the rails to the extra wood pieces, I still wasn't sure if everything would fit. Then, I dropped the drawer in and I heard that wonderful clicking sound. I was just so happy. I finally installed it. Right now, I have the medal front on the drawer. I might replace it with a wood front to match the rest of the cabinets. Or, maybe, I can find a stainless steel front that would fit. But, for now, I like the metal front. Next step is to spackle and paint to give it a finished look.

Monday, March 05, 2007

love it!

MmmmMmm, I love this product. I planned a great meal for my girlfriend for Valentine's Day this year. We're both foodies and I thought it would be nice. If the meal came out as well as I had planned, it would have been really nice. But, only one dish out of a four course meal came out like I had planned. We were full and it wasn't horrid. My girlfriend was very nice and appreciated my effort. Haha, I'm sure she would have liked the full effect more. But, out of the process of gathering all the ingredients and gearing my kitchen up for a actual cooked meal from scratch, I picked this little item up. Its a pepper grinder. Didn't think much of it when I bought it. Just thought it was the simplest looking one of them all. Cleanest and most simple lines. But, this thing is great. It only requires a one hand operation. You don't even have to stop shovelling the food into your face to operate it. Pump it with your thumb and you have the great taste of freshly ground pepper added to any dish. It was bought specifically for adding pepper to a authentic Italian pasta dish, but it didn't really make a difference. Now, I use it to add fresh ground pepper to anything that it makes sense on. If you don't use fresh ground pepper, you have to try it. It just adds that little punch of flavor. Anyway, it looks great and it serves a great function. Can't beat it.....well for the price. I know there are electric ones too. I haven't graduated to that level yet. :) Till then, enjoy!


I was never one to really get into sweet scented soaps or things of that nature. But, my girlfriend is. And, I've noticed that she always smells great. One day we went to Bath and Body Works. The store she frequents for her body scrubs and lotions. We've gone a many times before and I never picked up anything. Just didn't see the purpose of buying scented soaps or lotions when the normal ones worked just as well or better. But, one day there was a sale. Three for the price of one type of sale. I'm a sucker for a deal, so I picked up a few. One of which was this one that is pictured here. I didn't expect too much out of these soaps, but I was very pleasantly surprised by how this soap smelled. It has a very light uplifting citrus scent. Puts a smile on your face type of smell. There are other soaps that have a soapy or a heavy smell that may be pleasant, but not light and uplifting. I have to say this was one of if not the most pleasant scented soaps I have ever used. Once I have used up my stash of scented soaps that I picked up for a deal, I will definitely hunt this one down again. Plus, the self foaming soaps are great. Use less soap and get that nice lathered feel right away. Nice!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007


Not much going on with the apartment lately. Little things here and there. This is one of them. I was very presently surprised one day to receive a notice that my apartment was one of the apartments that needed to be regrouted. I was especially pleased with this because I had been frustrated with the condition of the grout and borders around my bathtub. So, I made the call and scheduled to have this done. I didn't expect much because of my past dealings with the maintenance crew in my building. But, to my surprise, the grout looked great. Well, at least it looked great to me in my limited idea of what grout should look like. It just looked cleaner. Here I have two pictures. One of the tiles around my tub, which has been regrouted. And, the other is of the tiles on the other side of the bathroom that have not been regrouted. The one on the bottom is the one that has not been updated. It's hard to tell the difference here, but it's actually a very noticeable difference. The old grout appears a bit yellow and is cracked and chipping off at some points. I'm actually trying to get the maintenance crew to regrout the whole bathroom so it matches. So, That'll be my next battle.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Free stuff!

Well.... close to free. These are my latest additions to my place. Its been hard to find furniture for my place since I have all these wacky ideas of what I want to do with it. So, as I am figuring out a way to make these wacky ideas become reality, I've taken in furniture temperarily. Of course, I wouldn't want to pay too much for temperary(which will probably still stay around for a while) furniture . So, I went trolling around on Craigslist. That is were the bench was found. Listed price $75. June haggled it down to $50. Nice! Especially, when anything bench like that I've seen has been more into the $200 range. And, I had been looking for a table for a long time too. But, everything that I like is $500 and above. There was one I really liked that was $960. Sigh, just too much for my blood at this stage. BUT, I was checking my apartment building's community email group and someone was offering a table for free. Yep, free! Just needed to go by and pick it up. I was looking for squarish table, but this white round table would do for the time being. It's an Ikea item. And, it was in a very good condition. Plus, the folks giving it away were very nice. They even helped me take it apart. And, the table and bench actually helped me set the color tone for my kitchen. It actually hit me when I was at the Chocolate Bar with June. Basically, the Chocolate Bar's colors. Dark brown, orange, white, and a lighter brown. Something in there. So, I've owned my place for a year and have lived in it for less than half of that time, but its still a work in progress. Whew, its a long process...

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Oops, I done it again...

So, I got myself another game system. Well, actually, my wonderful girlfriend got it for me for Christmas. I wonder how she knew? But, I keep telling myself that I shouldn't pick another gaming system up because I end up not using them as much as I should to get my money's worth. BUT, I had been thinking about picking up the DS for a while. Over a year. Then, they came out with the DSlite. That made it even more portable, which made it more buyable. :) So, as time went on, the idea of picking one up just made its way into my little brain more frequently. I did a little research and found that its really got some good games. Not just shoot em up kill em games. But, more in the direction of just fun strategy games. Games that make you think and work the mind a little. Don't get me wrong, I like myself a good shoot em up game as much as the next gaming nerd. I splattered my fair share of heads with a snipper riffle and ripped out a good amount of skulls with their spines still attached as well when I had to work off some frustration. But, that can get old after a while. And, I'm getting old and my mind could use some working out. :P So, I am very happy with the DSlite. Plus, the games are more affordable than the PSPs. So, now, I have Brain Age and Mario Kart so far. Love them both. By the way, I have a 34 year old brain. That's down from a 52 yr old brain. June is down in her low 20s. :) Anyway, the DSlite has been a good buy so far. I would highly recommend it. Now, I just have to figure out how to do get things done and play games at the same time......