Monday, May 28, 2012

And now . . . the Exterior

It's been quite a while since I've posted much house-related blogging material.  It appears we're back in the thick of it.  K's job will give him some free time this summer so now, the moment we've long been waiting for . . . drum roll . . . the aluminum siding comes off the house . . . 

 Boo, bad siding!  Boo!  You're ugly!  Now go away!

Unfortunately, I'd lost track of my camera when this process first started so I only have pics to show you from mid-demolition.  I don't remember what the area around the door looked like before but here's the real 1909 wood that was underneath.

The lower part of the porch enclosure is gone.

Above the porch, shingles are revealed. We'll likely keep the shingles uncovered and just paint them.

This is the side of the house, half aluminum, half wood. You can see clearly how the proportions of the aluminum siding are out of kilter with the original planks.

These windows were windows in the 2nd kitchen, from when the house was a duplex.  As we barely use the first kitchen, a 2nd kitchen seemed excessive so we turned it into a master bedroom.  But we didn't need these two mismatched windows over the bed so we covered them up with drywall on the inside and now the windows stare blindly into space, a bit of architectural weirdness.  Soon, they'll be forgotten.

Perhaps you should avert your eyes at this point.  This is the other side of the house.  The small window on the left is in the guest bath (the Victorian bath) but that part was added onto the house at some point in time - but not by us.  That area was once a porch.  The window on the right is in the kitchen. It's a different size than the original, therefore all the plywood patching.

More of this eyesore. Like my 'hood's not ghetto enough.

Pile of aluminum.  Don't cut yourself. 
It's not yet certain what will replace the old siding.  We could keep the original but there's a heck of a lot of patching to be done to make it all nice.  We're considering James Hardie fiber cement siding.  It would be great to keep the house as original as possible, but considering that there is so little "original" left, this may be our best option.  And we won't have to worry about painting as often.  Scraping paint off the wood siding to re-paint sounds like a pain in the neck.  Not that I'll be doing it but I know that because it is such a pain, the project seems a lot easier to postpone and neglect.  And it's pricey to keep painting all the time.

The other thing that K mentioned is that if we do go with the siding, it will provide two more layers of insulation than we would have if we stayed with the original wood.  There would be the siding itself, plus the plywood that the siding will attach to.  That means the house will stay that much cooler and since we chose not to install air conditioning, that should count for something. 

A while back, I wrote a post about the CoolWall product.  I got a lot of comments asking if we went with that.  I don't think we're going that way.  I'm not sure why.  It seems like we'll have the same challenge to re-paint every few years. 

All weekend I've been obsessing about colors.  We're poring over the James Hardie design tool -

and driving around various neighborhoods looking for Craftsmen in like color combinations.  We'll probably go with green and something.  It's the "something" that's got us stumped. 

During the time my still camera was missing, I shot this video with my laptop.  It's like a little tour of debris and disaster.  Make of it what you will.  In the meantime, I'll keep you updated on the progress.

And for a bit of beauty to offset the ugly, this year's blooming of the agapanthus. 

Monday, May 14, 2012

A Weill Night in the Madhouse

With faith and nerve and a lot of resolve, we're moving forward with our big, bad play.  This Thursday, on May 17th, we'll be presenting an evening of the music of Kurt Weill to benefit our upcoming production of Bertolt Brecht's A Man's a Man. If you're in LA, please come out and support The Madhouse. I'd love to see you there.
A Weill Night in the Madhouse

Please join us on Thursday May 17, 2012 at M Bar on Vine, 1253 Vine Street, Los Angeles, CA 90038.
A Weill Night in the Madhouse will be an evening of song and madness as friends and inmates of the theater cabal, Uranium Madhouse, regale you with the music of Kurt Weill to benefit the upcoming Uranium Madhouse production, an original translation of Bertolt Brecht’s A Man’s a Man.

With appearances by:
Dylan Jones * Terence Leclere * Matthew McCray * Andrew Perez  * Yolanda Seabourne  * Tamara Silvera * Brenda Varda  * Ben Miller  * JB Waterman and others!

Kurt Weill composed music for several of Brecht’s plays, including “The Threepenny Opera” from which we have “Mack the Knife,” one of the best-loved jazz tunes of all time.

Weill’s songs evocatively mix the seaminess of modern urban life with unexpected bursts of lyrical romance - - the original urban hipster avant la lettre.

Doors open at 7:00. Please call 323 856 0036 to make a reservation.

$20 cover + $10 minimum for food.