Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Architecture Wednesday: Red Rocks House

The Red Rocks house was designed by The Ranch Mine, and is a remodel of an older, more blasé, Spanish Colonial Revival home to into something far more spectacular.

It’s a house that now makes the outdoors part of living space, having added over 2000 square feet of shaded exterior patios, to extend the living of the house in every direction and providing shade for the interior spaces. Across the veranda, there are several bi-folding custom steel screens that help shield the deck from the harsh desert sun while still allowing the breeze to come through; in addition, they can be folded aside at dusk to enjoy an Arizona sunset.

The architects stripped away all the faux ornamentation of the original house leaving a simple, two-story box. Then the floorplan was rearranged to prioritize the connection between the living spaces and the views. An additional ensuite bedroom was added inside a second story addition that cantilevered out over the mountain.

It’s a house that went from nothing special to something amazing, both inside and out.


When Nothing Else Works, Paint The Rainbow

Sherry Lau and her wife, Lisa Licata, bought a house in Penn hills, Pennsylvania, and almost as soon as they moved in their neighbors began harassing them because you know, Gay.

Sherry, a carpenter, and Lisa, a stay-at-home mom to her 13-year-old autistic son, say their neighbors, Ron Makay and his wife, Iolanda Wieczorkowki, made a bigoted comment to them when they first moved in because, you know, Gay. But Sherry and Lisa, hoping to avoid any trouble, told the neighbors they were actually mother and daughter, until a year went by and Ron Makay learned they were gay and :::gasp::: married.

And then the trouble started, though it was mainly Makay and Wieczorkowki shouting at the women, and Sherry and Lisa yelling back that they simply wanted to be left alone. And, to that end, they wanted to build a fence between themselves and the unneighborly neighbors.

Ron Makay took issue with the fence and took his complaints to a zoning hearing board meeting last July, noting an ordinance that doesn’t allow a fence taller than four feet to be built; Sherry and Lisa wanted a six-foot fence.

Makay also wanted the color of the fence to be limited but since there was no ordinance for that, the ladies erected their fence and painted it in Pride colors about two years ago, hoping, as they say, that fences make good neighbors.

It didn’t; after the fence went up, the confrontations continued, and things came to a head when Makay allegedly shot Lau’s 3-year-old pit bull mix, Niko, with a BB gun. Local police arrested Ron Makay and charged him with cruelty to animals and discharging air rifles in connection with the incident.

After that, Sherry and Lisa took another step … and painted the side of their house in Rainbow colors and that, and the fact that he was cited for cruelty to an animal, Ron Makay and Iolanda Wieczorkowki have, mercifully, kept quiet and to themselves.

And watching the Rainbow next door.

Tuesday, September 18, 2018

An Emmy Stream of Consciousness

The best way to describe the Emmy Awards … meh. I mean, it was okay; it was nice to see some different people win, but man, where was the funny? I loved the idea of Colin Jost—whom I find totes adorbs—and Michael Che because I thought they’d bring an SNY edge to the show; and yet they felt more like Buddy Hackett and Nipsy Russell 2.0 …Google ‘em kids.

Still, that opening number? Any fool who has ever seen an awards show, save the Tony Awards, knows that the opening musical number is over. And this one, “WE Solved It,” was a hot mess; the more people who cam out to sing the more jumbles it became so that you had no idea what they were signing. And the We Solved It dancers? They couldn’t solve “I Love _ _ _ _” on Wheel of Fortune. Like RuPaul, I was pissed at the whole mess, but Ru was kidding; I’m not. The two best parts were Sterling K. Brown, cuz he revs my motor and John Legend because he sings like caramel.

Still … the show … lame jokes about the people in the room who haven’t been “caught.” Lame jokes about people drinking during the show… “people losing their inhibitions at a work function.” Lame.

Matt Smith, British, perfectly coifed and clothed, and hot, this years Tom Hiddleston, and maybe next year's, too, presents...

... OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR COMEDY SERIES to Henry Winkler, for Barry, who was last nominated forty-three years ago.  

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS COMEDY SERIES went to Alex Borstein, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, who for some reason took off her shawl, shook her boobies and then rubbed her nipples onstage. Yeah, I didn’t quite get it.

OUTSTANDING WRITING AND DIRECTION COMEDY SERIES … two awards … went to Amy Sherman Palladino, who appeared to be channeling Hugh Jackman from The Greatest showman.

But Sandra Oh and Andy Samberg, looking all Hot Gay Nerd to me, though perhaps he’s Hot Straight Nerd. Oh was hilarious ripping up the envelope and then announcing the winner is La La Land.

“Netflix has the most nominations … if you’re a network executive that’s the scariest thing you could ever possibly hear except, ‘Sir, I have Rona Farrow on Line One.”

Finally, some edge…and then nothing. Tiffany Haddish, who apparently is the It Girl, though I get more Not It, presented OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTRESS COMEDY SERIES with the glorious Angela Basset; the award went to Rachel Brosnahan, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel.

“The Handmaid’s Tale is like Roots with bonnets.”

Michael Douglas gave the trophy to OUTSTANDING LEAD ACTOR COMEDY SERIES to Bill Hader, for Barry, after telling the losers to carry the rage of losing for the rest of their lives. I wondered why Douglas was there, but, yeah, he was kinda funny.

“A Limited Series is when as movie star reaches the limit on their credit card and has to do television.”

Chrissy Teigen and John Legend are next, and he talks about what a great week it had been, and Chrissy says:

“All right, It’s enough. We get it, you’re an EGOT [Emmy, Grammy, Oscar and Tony winner] now.”

He says:
“I was talking about our anniversary.”

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS LIMITED SERIES went to Merritt Wever from a show called Godless that I have never heard of. Judith Light, The Assassination of Gianni Versace, was robbed’ that’s all.

Che and Jost are back and trot out Maya Rudolph and Fred Armisen who do the least funny, longest running gag of the night at Emmy Historians. Seriously, two seriously funny people who were as funny the election results in 2016.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR LIMITED SERIES went to Jeff Daniels, also for Godless, who gave a great speech about his horse and a broken wrist.

“Brooklyn 99 was canceled by Fox and picked up by NBC … Roseanne was canceled by herself and then picked up by white supremacists.”

Aidy Bryant and Bob Odenkirk came out and did some of that patented stilted presenter banter and patter, though theirs was a joke, whereas others weren’t in on the funny. 

OUTSTANDING WRITING FOR A LIMITED SERIES went to William Bridges and Charlie Brooks, whom I do not know, though William Bridges was Hot Cute and Charlie Brooks was Cute Funny, for USS Callistar [Black Mirror].

“There’s a Latin Magnum PI and a black Samantha on a Bewitched reboot, but that’s balanced out by an all-white reboot of Atlanta called Fifteen Miles Outside Atlanta. The story of white women who call the cops on the cast of Atlanta.”

Alec Baldwin and Kate McKinnon did another bit about that first Emmy show back in 1949 and then introduced 94-year-old Betty White. Gosh, I love me some Betty, but clearly she was a bit confused and rambling and I hate it when awards shows trot out legends just for the sake of legendary status. Leave Betty alone!

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR LIMITED SERIES goes to Ryan Murphy for The Assassination of Gianni Versace, who thanked all the fabulous women in his life and in his shows …Sarah Paulson, Kathy Bates, Angela Bassett and more.

“Black-ish is nominated. Black-ish is also how I’ve been told to behave.” — Michael Che who also gave us Reparations Emmys which just seemed an insult, both to the audience last night, and all of the actors of color who’d never won an award before. Not terribly funny.

RuPaul and Leslie Jones give us drag race realness and fierceness before presenting OUTSTANDING ACTRESS IN A LIMITED SERIES to the brilliant, in everything she does, Regina King, for 7 Seconds.

OUTSTANDING ACTOR LIMITED SERIES went to Darren Criss for The Assassination of Gianni Versace. Criss was sociopathic, deadly, homosexual scary in the role.
Fred Armisen and Maya Rudolph ate salads because, yeah, funny.

OUTSTANDING WRITING VARIETY SPECIAL … John Mulaney for something starring John Mulaney and wearing the same tuxedo I wore to my sister’s first wedding in the 1980s..

Tina fey gave us the Death March, featuring those in television that we lost this year and the insertion of John McCain was off-putting because I don’t remember him on McHale’s Navy and I think it was added just to take a non-verbal dig at _____.

The OUTSTANDING DIRECTION VARIETY SPECIAL went to Glenn Weiss, for The Oscars, but best of all was when Glenn proposed to his girlfriend from the stage … biggest ovation of the night because it was an honest sweet spontaneous lovely fun moment in a show devoid of them.

OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTOR DRAMA SERIES went to Peter Dinklage, Game of Thrones, who is such a hottie … rugged and makes me tingle. Plus, he pointed out Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, the beefiest of cakes.

Elisabeth Moss, as drab as her last name, and shimmering Samira Wiley present OUTSTANDING SUPPORTING ACTRESS DRAMA SERIES to Thandie Newton for Westworld; she’s a creepy robot but a lovely woman.

“I’m so glad Peter Dinklage didn’t start his speech and then wait a year-and-a-half to finish it.”

OUTSTANDING WRITING DRAMA SERIES … Joel Fields and Joe Weisberg for The Americans.

OUTSTANDING DIRECTOR DRAMA SERIES was presented by Hannah Gadsby, whom I have pegged as the Aussie Ellen, and who stole the show for a few welcome minutes:

“This is … not normal? The world’s gone a bit crazy. I mean, for somebody like me — a nobody, from nowhere — gets this sweet gig, free suit, new boots, just ’cause I don’t like men? That’s a joke, of course. Just jokes, fellas, calm down. Hashtag NotAllMen, but a lot of ’em. No, it is just jokes, but what are jokes these days? We don’t know. Nobody knows what jokes are. Especially not men! Am I right, fellas? That’s why I’m presenting alone.”

I need her to host next year or I may not watch; anyway, she gave the award to Stephen Daldry, The Crown, who was not there and so Gadsby just sort of wandered off, while I shouted:

“Come back! Come baaaaaaaack!!”

OUTSTANDING ACTOR DRAMA SERIES went to Matthew Rhys, The Americans, who mentioned his girlfriend, Keri Russell, in the audience, and said she would punch him clean in the mouth if he proposed from the stage …so he didn’t.

The OUTSTANDING ACTRESS DRAMA SERIES went to Claire Foy, the Crown, who is simply British eleganza and whom I could listen to all day … seriously, Claire, come to my house and read my shopping list aloud.

Armisen and Rudolph appear again, and Michael Che says, “I’m against this,” while I said, “#MeToo.”

Then came the last of the awards, in a rush … OUTSTANDING REALITY COMPETITION SHOW was awarded to RuPaul’s Drag Race, which I loved, unless I saw sycophant Ross Mathews take the stage; luckily, only Ru spoke … OUTSTANDING VARIETY SKETCH SHOW, to Saturday Night Live … OUTSTANDING VARIETY TALK SHOW to Last Week Tonight with John Oliver… OUTSTANDING LIMITED SERIES to The Assassination of Gianni Versace, and Ryan Murphy talking about the LGBTQ community and those who are not here because of suicide and murder.

Will Farrell—how much do I hate, yes, hate, him—came ambling out as slow as possible in what was an apparent applause grab that failed, to present OUTSTANDING COMEDY SERIES to The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel …and then finally, OUTSTANDING DRAMA SERIES TO Game of Thrones.

Gosh, what a dull mess, except for a few brief highlights. If Jost and Che cannot be themselves and be edgy and funny, then give me Hannah Gadsby next year; hell, give me Hannah anyway.

Let her host and present all the awards.