Friday, June 24, 2011

Ode to Ryan WINN Kapitz

Tomorrow evening one of my dearest friends will be tying the knot. To anyone that has had the pleasure of meeting Ryan Winn ("as in my parents knew I would be a winner but just left off the "er") Kapitz, this may come to you as a shock. A few years back he met a great girl who totally "got" him, Don't know if she's Czech though... They fell in love, bought a condo in an old folks home and adopted a furry rat named Iggy. Life is good. Kapitz and I met freshman year in college and bonded immediately over our love for Bob Saget (please see above picture) and due to our heritage. However that part came crashing down when my father told him that the Czechs were the rich businessmen (Kapitz) and the Slovaks were the poor farmers (Graycar). This lead to years of dry humping and demands for various pies baked at three in the morning. Alas, we were two Muppet loving peas in a Czechoslovakian pod. After two years of being joined at the hip our parents allowed us to move in together off campus. Probably because his parents knew I would keep him on top of his laundry and well, my dad thought Kapitz was sent from heaven. So Kapitz and I lived together our junior year in college in "The Barn." We shared our living space with our friend Will, He Who Shall Not Be Named, and a stray cat that we named Bonzo Lionel Apple Laptop Or BLAH. I dare you to say "Apple laptop" three times fast and NOT have a better day because of it. Though we had ZERO heat and something died in the basement that released enough flies to think it was a sign of the Apocalypse, we made it work. Cheeseburgers for breakfast, mountain dew for lunch and whatever we could rummage at the Beaver Market with the money Will gave us for dinner and post racing game snacks. Life was simple and we were happy. Even when Kapitz got bit by that dog on the way home and had to go to the hospital, we were smiles. Even when Kapitz got so drunk that the next door neighbors thought he was my mentally retarded brother, there was joy. Kapitz and I spent the next few years being Non-Romantic Life partners. We were each others dates at endless weddings and family events. We spent all of our vacations together, and most weekends taking random road trips. Like that time we ended up in Manchester for no reason, or when we went to the Castle In the Clouds to celebrate your half birthday. Ill never forget out 4 state road trip with Rita to go Visit our friend Josh in NY. We started the night drinking in Westy B, made our way up to Keene for a night of complete debauchery, stopped in CT to say hi to BoobNuts and finally made it to Long Island to have one of the craziest nights on record. How many Polish kids can you shove in the back of a mini van? Why were Rita and I the only girls? Why did that guy flip backwards on the beer pong table for NO REASON? Why did Rita have to give us a $20 to get back to Boston? Why were people always giving us money? These questions may never be answered. But Kapitz and I were adventure bound and couldn't be stopped. We lived together after college as well. Once we bled our parents dry we settled into a tiny apartment with my cat Motoko on Comm Ave. In Allston. Most of that is a blur so this paragraph will be short. The point is, life would not have been the same without Kapitz. The good times would not have been as good and the hard times would have been downright impossible with him. When my father started seriously dating for the first time since my mother passed away, he brought a new girlfriend (now my step mother) up to Keene to meet me. I was a wreck and nervous and not sure how to feel. But when my Dad introduced Bernadette to Kapitz he looked her up and down and said "Daaaaaaamn. Good Job Papa G!" Couldn't have done it without him. I could go on for hours about all of our jokes, antics, adventures and stories but eventually I will have to leave for the wedding, where I'm sure we will all be reliving them throughout the night. I will leave you with this... A few years back I made myself take a writing course in Cambridge. The assignment was a comical piece that told the story of a real character. I could not and still to this day cannot think of a better character that Ryan Winn Kapitz. My story was voted #1 in class and I think every person left that room a little better knowing someone like Kapitz was in the world. Now some of it was fudged for creative/writing purposes, but ironically not any of the parts you may assume. Those are real. It's always been real and I can't thank you enough for all the laughter you have brought into my life. I love you Kapass and I am SO INCREDIBLY HAPPY for both of you! Czech Bump!
Maine, The Way Life Should Be
By Katie Graycar
My best friend Ryan, or Kapitz as he is more affectionately known, has been putting off coming to visit me in my summer house in Maine for over 7 years now. Kapitz is always up for an adventure which is why I can't understand his hesitance. But every time I ask him his response is "The last time I went to Maine I hooked up with a fat chick and fell out of a tree." No further detail. I don't push the story but I do continue to insist that he come!
Finally Kapitz caves and agrees to come for the weekend. I am ecstatic and promise him nothing but a good time! Knowing that he is happy with a cheeseburger and a beer, this shouldn't be a hard promise to keep!
Kapitz finally arrives to the island and before he can even put his backpack in his room, he is off to go cliff jumping with my brother. I have no worries about Kapitz's ability to jump off a 30 foot cliff, but he does have a tendency to be accident prone, so I try not to worry. About an hour later I realize my assumption was right, jumping off was no problem, it was the getting back up the cliff. Coming down the sidewalk are two hobbling bodies leaving a trail of blood. "That freaking cliff ripped off my toe as I was climbing back up!" Kapitz yelled. I knew this was a start to a great weekend...
A few hours later even though Kapitz was down to 9 toes, he agreed to come kayak around the island with us. It's a rough but gorgeous ride and I figured we would have life vests so it would be safe. As we rounded the bend of the island where the cliffs were Kapitz put down his oar to shake an angry fist at the cliff that took his toe and managed to hit the only buoy in sight, knocking him off his kayak and into open ocean. The sounds of swearing and shouting were muffled by the water as Kapitz desperately tried to climb back into the kayak. As it began to fill with water it became obviously that his only option was to swim along side it and pull the kayak back the mile and a half back to shore. When we finally got to the beach Kapitz was breathless. I tried not to laugh but he looked as though he has been attacked by a wild animal, his entire torso was covered in scrapes and bruises and all he can say between breaths is "I.... Hate.... Maine...."
We helped Kapitz back to the house and I am dying to tell the story to someone. I run into the kitchen dragging Kapitz behind me to tell my father what happened and show him Kapitz's wounds. Just as I began my tale, my Grandmother comes in from the porch letting in a stray bee. A bee that flew into the kitchen. Found Ryan Kapitz. And stung him. In the jugular. "Son of a bitch!" Yelled Kapitz as he cupped his throat. The timing of that insect was so precise it was as if God himself sent that bee to punish Kapitz for some unknown sin.
Before I could get the first aid kit Kapitz was upstairs packing his things and heading for the next boat to the harbor. "F' you and this crazy state!" I begged him to stay. I pleaded, offering copious amounts of free beer and women but his mind was made up.
Later that night I received a picture text message from Kapitz that read "Apparently I'm allergic to Bees" And there in the picture was Kapitz holding up his middle finger, which was the only thing on his body not bright red and swollen. He was pointing it at the Maine state Sign that reads "Maine, The Way Life Should Be"

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

One Step At A Time...

I recently had a small mental break down over the state of our house. I felt as though we should be further along than we are. Like I said before I just want it all to be done and perfect, like now. But I know that's not reality. Reality is that Pete is commuting down to Boston every day and I'm commuting 2 days and that takes a huge toll on you! The truth is that we got rid of so much furniture that we have no where to put anything. I unpacked 15 boxes of books and we only had one small bookcase to put them so now they are piled on our landing. Our clothes are in heaps on the floor because we still need a bureau. And we JUST bought a couch yesterday! We are stuck in this crazy limbo. We wanted to do some renovations to the house, but an unexpected $1450 to fix the roof so the Black Hornets of Hell won't come back in sort of put a crimp on things. And our little savings for the house is draining faster that the downstairs tub. Actually Molasses drains faster the downstairs tub. Never in my life have I consistently spent more money in a month period, not even in Europe! Really my paychecks should just go straight to Lowes. I'm trying not to get discouraged, rather encouraged... to be creative. I have to take a breath and realize that SOMEDAY all these things will be done. For now We need to focus on what really needs to be done. Also we need to realize what we can splurge on and what we should save on. We splurged on a really nice living room couch/chair set from Jordans. I wanted to find something used on Craigslist but God said No and told me to talk to Barry and/or Elliott (whatever happened to the other one??) But it will be worth it, it is THE most used piece of furniture in the house, next to our bed Aaaaaoooohhh ZING! No, really that makes us sound like really lazy people. Anyway we splurged on a nice sofa and chair and saved on the chandelier in the dining room. The one I wanted was gorgeous and looked like pillar candles and was $250. The one we got works just fine and fits the decor and was $36. You can't beat that. And you can't watch the game on a chandelier! And instead of buying a $1000 dining room set from pottery barn we scouted around and have the beginnings of an even better set that is so US! We found this amazing rustic table at The Maxx for $220! Gorgeous gray distresses wood and with nailed galvanized tin on the top. So perfect. But we needed chairs. Finally craigslist provided us with these Pottery barn ladder backs (Pete has a thing for Ladder back chairs) 4 for $100 instead of $135 each!! Now we just need a long bench to go on one side and we are set!! Here's my question, leave the chairs the way they are matching the floor and surrounding wood or paint and distress them to match the table?? Help please!
I also found these perfect seat cushions, gray and yellow with lemons and Italian writing! Chello!!
Also thanks to a lovely lesbian in Medford (craigslist again!) I have fulfilled my dream of owning the pottery barn Modular wine hutch!! I'm not joking since I was old enough to start ordering my own catalogs I swore to myself one day I would own this. The problem was if you buy it from pottery barn it costs up to $2000. This beast is pure mahogany! But I scored it for $425!! And it is so perfect. Sometimes I say goodnight to it. It's that beautiful.
We found a few more craigslist scores like the antique corner hutch to hold our never used china. (Thanks Aunt Theresa!) We swapped out the old broken white knobs for these funky brass ones to give a less dated feel to it. And of course a couple of huge spoon and fork chalk boards next to the Buddha and ladies and gentlemen we are almost done with the dining room, just have to find that bench and hang some goodness on the walls!! Who's coming over for dinner?! So now only a few weeks after the movers have come we have one room really done!! Even though we rarely use it the downstairs bathroom is done! Originally we had big plans to gut this room completely. The window is broken, the sink vanity doesn't have real drawers, they are fake but come out?? Who does that?? The mirror looked like a 1st grade art project and the bath tub/shower drain is broken and it's a lovely shade of powder blue. Our plan was simple. Rip everything out! Replace the window, make a kick ass mirror with shells and rocks from Squirrel. Find a claw foot tub from a salvage place and a shower curtain from Garnet Hill. Replace the light fixtures and tile the wall with river stones. Make a new sink Vanity out of a vintage dresser to have drawers for storage and also have a funky old feel and put a bowl sink on top. And WHAM! New fabulous bathroom. Sigh. Our new plan was this. Toss the gross mirror and replace it with a small port hole mirror we had in our bedroom. Change out the knobs on the vanity, even though they aren't real drawers, they look better now. The knobs were only $1 and make a huge difference. We painted the walls a deep heather blue to make the wainscoting and tin ceiling pop. It's amazing what a little color and new fixtures can add to a room! Bought a $30 shelf at Walmart to add storage to the wall (added matching knobs) and raided Homegoods for a shower curtain, rugs and towels that matched. Replaced the old silver towel rack with a funky one I found for $12 at The Maxx and Voila! New Bathroom for $120 instead of $2500. Its not my dream bathroom but that will someday come. For now, It works. And like I said we are hardly in there, Its cheery and cozy and does its job. Just pay no attention to the blue monster behind the curtain!