grumpy about the construction project (thank heavens for ugly light fixtures)

After the kids went to sleep last night, Anthony and I spent two intense hours hunting light fixtures on the internet. What a great way to spend our precious private hours together.

Finding the right light fixture is as hard as finding a Petosky stone on the shores of Lake Michigan. The problem with light fixtures is that they are so capable of being ugly and strange. And also, it always passes that whatever Anthony and I are in the mood for is out of vogue. Right now, we want cobalt blue, like a hardcore blue:


Very clean and simple, a hard pop of color. Simple glass cobalt fixtures were a dime a dozen ten or fifteen years ago, but nowadays anything that’s sturdy and solid is a little more fancy, and the colors tend to be soft and variegated.



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Oh well. We ended up getting the last one for our kitchen; I call it “amoeba” blue. In person, it looks a lot prettier.

We hunted ad nauseum for a full dining room chandelier that had handsome blue glass. In desperation, we finally did a yahoo search, “cobalt blue chandelier.” The images that came up were troubling.

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Is it possible to fit more ugly into one screen? Look at that Medusa head at the bottom right. Is Chihuly cringing or clapping?

I know lighting is a very personal thing, and there’s no accounting for taste. I know that’s  true for me too. But I hope, desperately, that we can agree that the following items are wrong on many levels.

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This one is on sale. For $54,700.

Does that do $54K worth of anything for you? To me it looks like they clothed the fixture in snake skin and gargoyles. Creepy.

Not to worry. You can save money and get this less creepy one for just $44,200.

They throw in the umbrella for free, because after paying for the fixture you won’t be able to afford a roof over your dining room.

Still not working for you? Try this beauty for just $16,000. It is named “Invisible” and is described in the sales pitch as follows: “Just…wow. A deconstructed floating cloud of irony, the Castor Invisible Chandelier must of been conjured up within the framework of an overwrought fever dream. Discerningly assembled from hundreds of burnt out light bulbs – with no deference given to type, base or light source – Invisible ‘organizes’ the discarded lamps around energy-efficient LEDs that are discreetly tucked away within the unconventional diffuser.”


Just wow indeed. “A deconstructed floating cloud of irony” is what I think happens when you mix electricians with over-worked designers and weak writers. They must “of” been taking hallucinogens. But really, dear reader, you already know what I think of when I imagine a deconstructed floating cloud of irony:  gas. Post-cabbage.

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Miss your mommy and need some deep connection to your infant days? Hang a giant yellow nipple from your ceiling. Sixteen-inch-wide trove of mammary memories.


There’s a fair amount of BDSM-ish lighting available. Build your own star chamber dining room, add proper medieval mood lighting. Because who wouldn’t want to be reminded of the inquisition while settling down to a Sunday dinner with the family?

14006_8+4+4  65007-5

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I think these are from some sort of Disney-esque collection. First, the crown Angelina Jolie wore in “Malificent.” Or so I imagine.


Next, the medallion from the top of Cinderella’s magical coach.


Too busy, you say? Not to worry, I can out-busy that.


BAM. Isn’t that a lovely, lovely fixture? It has so much to say to guests about you.

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So does this one. Since one of Jesse’s obsessions involves what happens to people and animals when they are hanged, this seems perfect. I can hang several of these pendants in her room to help her face her obsessions dead on.


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I call this one “exploding pineapple reference, aka tropical mess.” I don’t know how to keep something like this clean, except with a tiny vacuum hose and a little forced air canister. Or a maid service, which I would undoubtedly be able to afford if I could afford this hideous chandelier.


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When I look at this next one, I think of the New Year’s Eve ball in Times Square. The crystal cage really ought to move up and down the shaft randomly. I wonder if it could house a couple hamsters.


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Feeling the need for some nature and plants but don’t feel like going outside or watering something? No worries. These chandeliers can bring nature to you.

A robin made something just like this one in our back yard last summer, so I’m not sure I could justify paying hundreds of dollars for it.


No words, really.





Dude! That same twig is hanging in my dining room! I better go change it out:


Want to spend hundreds of dollars on two-dimensional cut-outs done by a kid? Go for it.


The great thing about the bird fixture is that when you eye it on the on-line retailer selling it, you also get this outline depiction of how big it is.


Very helpful. I can’t imagine eating at a table under a bird. It teaches all the wrong lessons: someday my kids might apply them and decide to eat under a real bird. NEVER eat under a bird. Birds shit all the time. You will end up eating bird shit, and if you have food that’s sauced you might not even notice.

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These became deformed somehow. It appears the lighting companies still want to sell them.



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And finally, my favorites.

Stick thing. Because why wouldn’t you encase bulbs in a massive stack of white-painted twigs? Nick made one of these last week in kindergarten. I didn’t know he could sell it for hundreds of dollars.


Baton chandelier. Yes. Batons. I cannot wrap my head around this one.


I like this next one because it can be and do many things. First, it can be your chandelier. Then, if you ever break your neck, you can screw it onto you head as the locking vice for the brace, and it’ll also double as a head lamp. And you can walk around with stiff legs and your arms out, pretending to be a Frankenstein-style monster. This is a versatile fixture.


Grand prize goes to the lighting manufacturer who finally found a way to up-cycle used blood-draw vials. uu567549

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As for us, we’re keeping it simple. I think we’ve settled on this blue dish.


It’s sixteen inches wide, so it’s bigger than it looks. Yes, there is a boob-and-nipple-ish feel to it, but I think it’s less obvious and the blue color will distract from anatomical connections. And I can buy it on Amazon, free shipping. Sold.

2 thoughts on “grumpy about the construction project (thank heavens for ugly light fixtures)

  1. I am totally incorporating the phrase “deconstructed floating cloud of irony” into my daily lexicon. 😀 The baton chandelier would be amazing for a conductor’s house. I LOVE the one you ended up choosing; it looks even better after guffawing over the others!

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