I’ve been tagged

Chicago 2-Flat tagged me. For those who don’t know this Houseblogs game, if you’re tagged by another house blogger you’re supposed to reveal five things about yourself that most people don’t know. Then you tag five other house bloggers.

Because of something I revealed about myself on this blog, I won This Old House Magazine’s Stupid Human Trick. So I don’t have much of a problem making an idiot of myself for a little attention. The challenge is finding five other house bloggers who haven’t been tagged already.

Okay, here goes.

  1. I’m an Army brat who was born and partially raised overseas, including three years in Japan. My dad was a JAG who finished his hitch as a bird colonel at the Pentagon. He would have been livid over how the military and its justice system are being abused now. He was also a relentless home tinkerer so this stuff is in my genes, I guess.
  2. I’m a former professional musician (bass player). I’ve played professionally since I was 16 years old and came to NYC from Alexandria, VA at age 19 to be a hired gun. I played on a lot of jingles, demos and toured with some well-known 70s and 80s acts. The highlights of my musician years were playing with George Harrison and Eric Clapton on a Super Session cut (I was in too much awe to speak with them beyond a few babbled questions about the song), jamming with the James Brown Band, playing in the last Christmas show at the Fillmore East and spending a couple of hours in a hotel bar in Cleveland chatting about woodworking with one of my early idols, Led Zeppelin bassist John Paul Jones. But, mainly, my livlihood was as a Local 802 hack working in the pits of Broadway rock musicals, including eleven tedious years in Oh! Calcutta! (which is when I decided I needed a career change).
  3. Continuing on that thread, only because this is something that very few people know: I was in a studio band with four blond, white guys, including a native Swede, Georg Wadenius. We did all the rhythm section work for a large Latin pop music label. To us, it was just non-union chump change work. We played, they paid us cash, we left. They booked a Saturday at Radio City Music Hall to showcase their talent and called us. I showed up in my ratty black tee shirt and jeans, expecting to be playing off stage, only to find a 40-piece orchestra (which we’d never rehearsed with) and spotlights on each of us because we were one of the featured acts! They had repackaged our dance tracks and released them as an album, calling us “Salsa Gringa, Super Groupo”. Both shows were sold out. We had no idea how huge this stuff was in the hispanic world. We were passable salsa dilettantes but I never wanted Tito Puente to hear us.
  4. While I was scuffling in my early NYC music career I paid the rent by doing carpentry and building maintenance jobs. One of those gigs was set carpenter for a busy porno film studio. Forget the fantasy, guys. It was the most grueling job I’d ever done: 14 hours/day, six days/week under intense pressure (“where’s my !#% hospital room set?!!”). Thankfully, Godspell picked me up so I quit after a short time. But it was culture shock going from Caligula to a Jesus rock musical.
  5. I’m the only single guy who owns a house in a neighborhood where even childless couples are viewed suspiciously. After seven years here many of my neighbors still believe that I’m a professional house flipper.

Is there a central registry of which bloggers have already been tagged? If not, I tag:

Days’ Shore House
Enon Hall
Here Is The House
Hudson River View Restoration
Crazy Stable


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Welcome to Brooklyn Row House

This blog is about the challenges of renovating an old (1903) Brooklyn, New York row house.

My last major renovation project was the master bedroom, most of which is about finish carpentry. You’ll find other completed home improvement projects in the Projects submenu at the top of this page.

I’m not a professional builder and don’t pretend to be. I’m just an experienced amateur raised in a family of committed DIYers. I try to closely follow local and national building codes but don’t mistake anything on this site to be professional or even accurate advice! Your mileage may and definitely will vary.

This is the third iteration of BrooklynRowHouse.com, from scratch-built to Drupal and now Wordpress. I hope you enjoy your time here.