Skip this if you’re 100% over reading about my dumb kitchen.
But look, I’m excited because it’s one of the few positive things that have come out of this past pandemic year for me, if we can even consider anything positive. I’ve considered it nearly 100% done for some time now but there are always little additions here and there can be done – for instance, I just put in an order for a custom roller skate rug to put on one of the blank cabinets & I’m really excited about it but the wait time is 6-8 weeks so catch me over here acting like I’m being patient while actually screaming to Henry WHY ISNT IT HERE YET three days later.
I would like to get a small neon flamingo for the wall by the fridge (not a $$$ custom one like the ramen bowl we have, but just a cheap one from Amazon or wherever), and Henry still has to do whatever to that conair phone to make it light up. So the state of the kitchen will probably just always stay in flux at this point until we move!
BUT! From the beginning, I knew I wanted a big conversation piece to go on the pink wall above the spice rack, rather than a bunch of little things. When I think of the 80s, video arcades always come to mind. Man, my brother Ryan and I spent A LOT of time at the ones in our local mall, and our Pappap was also super into them. He had several arcade games and pinball in his basement game rooms, and even gave my family two for our basement, too. I think he was friends with someone who dealt in arcade games, and I can picture that dude very clearly (I want to say his name was…Gary?) with his big-ass brown tinted eye-glasses and 1980s bowl cut.
Sorry, I’m not one to ever pass up taking the long way down Memory Lane, obviously.
Anyway, I definitely cannot fit a real life arcade game of any sort in my kitchen (or anywhere else in this house for that matter!) except maybe one of those tiny ones that were outside of Korean convenience stores in the 80s, where you basically sat on the ground and played. But I thought maybe it would be cool to get something similar to my Mouse Attack sign, and that’s how I fell down the pinball back glass rabbit hole last summer.
I hemmed and hawed over it for quite some time though because these things aren’t cheap – even the reproductions are pricey but I felt like if I was going to invest in something like this in the name of Art, then go big or go home, right? So I found an original back glass from the Coney Island pinball game, circa 1979, and I chose this one because it has something on it for all of us:
a roller coaster for Chooch and me;
a clown for me;
a bikini-clad for Henry.
I just really felt strongly about this one, so I bought it…
…and then it sat on the back porch for like 3 months, only to eventually move to the basement where it sat in a corner for another 2 months until Henry finally felt inspired to start working on.
And by working on it, I mean that it was our initial understanding that after I bought it, he would built a frame for it so it could be hung on the wall. Simple, right? Henry is Man! Man build Things! Wood, saw, rah rah rah!
But…then upon further consideration, I added, “But also make it light up. Like, with carnival lights. So it’s like a marquee.” And then Henry died inside a little, but he did agree! It took him FOREVER to find the lights though. Eventually he found some dealer on eBay who sells lots of used carnival lights so he snagged a box of them – my brother Corey thinks this is the best part of the whole story, the fact that Henry know has a plug for carnival lights, lol.
He started working on it, like REALLY working on it, over Valentine’s Day weekend, and finally finished it Friday night.
He’s really been putting his old electrician’s apprentice skills to use these days! I kept going into the basement to check on him and I would say things like, “How do you know how to do this” and the look he would give me in response would have made my weener wilt if I had one.
He hung it up on the wall yesterday and I honestly couldn’t be happier!
He is going to make a back for it that has white lights attached so that the glass will eventually be backlit, but the lights he ordered aren’t here yet. I told him to just hang it up now anyway because it’s still pretty perfect!
If you told me a year ago that one day the kitchen would be the best room in the house, I’d assume that something tragic must have happened to all the other rooms, seriously. The old kitchen was such a factory of sadness.
My whole brand is …”AND MAKE IT LIGHT UP” so having this new light feature in the house is making my mental state super leveled-out.
My decorating aesthetic might not appeal to everyone, but I just really would rather have large, crazy pieces that might not be worth much to most people, but are OOAK and possibly even made by Henry and myself, than something that I can just buy from a store. I’m luck that Henry is so willing to help me bring these ideas to life instead of being like, “Can’t you just hang a framed Marilyn Monroe quote like everyone else?”
But the best part about this getting finished is that now Henry has time to work on the Seoul subway sign that might never ever get finished but he refuses to admit defeat, so stayed tune AND HAVE A GREAT SUNDAY!