Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Once upon a time...

Imagine you spent many months of your life trapped in a tiny little prison with very little room to roam, a miniature washer and dryer and no dishwasher. Granted, your prison had a pretty big bathroom and fit a comfy couch in front of a pretty good-sized television, but it still felt cramped and cold (did I mention the heat worked only intermittently?)

Anyway, you worked really hard, saved your money and purchased a castle to make your own. Imagine you put your heart and soul (and even some of the blood from your knuckles) into this castle so it had beautiful rooms filled with colorful paint instead of wallpaper and the most gorgeous hardwood floors instead of, say, pink carpeting.

And just as you were starting to feel as though the castle was really yours, you were forced to move back to the prison. Even if it was for, oh, only four days or so, you would really miss the castle, wouldn’t you? And those four days would probably feel like 40 days, don’t you think?

So, that’s my announcement. We’re back in our old place for a few days while we have the hardwood floors in our castle refinished. And even though our place isn’t quite a prison– now with television! And a real bed!– it isn’t where I’d like to be living right now (Now appearing with no dryer! And sporadic heat!) But it’s only for a few days (did I mention we get to sleep on our bed instead of a futon? It’s almost worth it!) and then we’ll get to move back into our house and work our fingers to the bone again.

I am not organized enough to have the before and after photos ready to post, but I will eventually. And overall, I’m really happy with how everything is going, even if it is a little too slowly for my tastes.

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

My life in a nutshell

* The renovating gods are working hard against us, it seems. For Sunday, we lined up not one, not two, but four of our friends to come help us rip up carpeting (and the eleventy billion tacks holding it down) and slap some paint on the walls. Well, two of them had to cancel pretty early when their vet told them to stay home and keep an eye on their dog. That was OK because the two remaining ones are our super friends… now with added home improvement skills! One came with– no lie– at least eight bags of tools to fix electrical, plumbing and lots of other stuff I know nothing about (the other came with doughnuts, so he was my favorite).
In any case, we were so excited to put our super friends to work on our house. It went pretty well in spite of them sending the least-qualified person (that would be me) to the store to buy the correct wood to build pantry shelves. I don’t know how much time you spend in Home Depot, but you should know that they sell many different kinds of wood. And many of them are appropriate for pantry shelves, so don’t think you’re going to be narrowing down your options without a panicked call to the fiancĂ© and super friends. Just sayin’…
Anyway, the super friends were there for less than two hours when one got a call from his wife that their cat knocked a bottle onto one of the pipes in the bathroom, which was then spraying water everywhere and the shut-off valve didn’t work and for-the-love-of-God, where is the main water shut-off?!? So they finished what they were working on, but then had to leave to deal with bigger issues.
The Pretend Husband and I? We’re good workers and all, but we could have used the super friends for more than 45 minutes.

* A girl on my soccer team twisted her knee the other night during a game. While we were comforting her, a girl from the other team (wearing short shorts and with very questionable soccer skills…) came over, picked up the player’s leg and started trying to figure out what happened. She asked her where it hurt, had her press her foot different ways, told her to make sure she goes to a doctor even if it begins to feel better, told her it wasn’t a torn ligament, etc. Then someone asked her a question and her reply? “Oh, I’m not a doctor, I just played Division 1 soccer and saw a lot of this.”
Excuse me?!? I’ve seen a lot of car accidents, but that doesn’t make me qualified to estimate the damage to your car!

* My brother called on Sunday (I think he was answering my message asking if he perhaps wanted to come work on our house) to say he was in the emergency room. He ended up getting admitted to the hospital with tonsils that are so swollen, they’re touching (I know because I used that little light thingy doctors have to check them out) and some other aches and pains. Turns out the guy went out and got himself Mono. He’s actually still in the hospital while they try to get the swelling down and get him back on solid foods. All very depressing and kind of gross.
The first night, I was with him in the E.R. when my dad called for an update. I explained what was going on and then said to my bro, “Anything else?”
“No, that’s it in a nutshell,” he rasped.
“And this is me in a nutshell,” he said, pantomiming being trapped inside… well, a nutshell. And that's when I knew he was going to be OK.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

@#%@ blogger.

bad sign when you start typing a subject line with funny characters so as not to type the actual swear word you were thinking, and google pre-populates the form. apparently, google and i have been down this road before.

@#$@% google.

so anyway- i've been incognito, trying to post comments, but stupid blogger doesn't like stupid safari and it's been causing me problems. so here are the comments i was going to say:

KAT: no shout out for the wallpaper debacle? come on now! for the record, i only chewed on a minimal amount of paper.
Chris: they burned witches in *massachussetts* -- you know, where the pilgrims fled from .. oh. nevermind.
Molly: plaster walls: fun to paint, not fun to knock down.

in other news: if you got bit by a rat, that you found in your apartment -- would you go around telling the story? because i wouldn't. i wouldnt' want people to think i live in a place with a rat. ewww. and how can a rat leap at you? and if a rat is hissing at you, don't you run away? (so there's this woman that i work with that got bit by a rat. that's where i was going with this.)

Monday, February 05, 2007

Warning: Wall Paper is Hazardous to Your Health

From the title of this post, do you have any guesses about how I spent my first weekend in my new house? Do you think it was spent ripping out rugs? Or painting? Nope, it was filled with plenty of scraping fun as we took down a couple rooms worth of some pretty ugly wallpaper.

Old, stuck-to-the-wall wallpaper that’s wasn’t very cooperative. So we ripped it off in whole sheets and then spent hours wetting the paper backing left on the wall and scraping it off.

And here’s why it’s so hazardous. I will never, ever allow anyone I know to put up wallpaper. I will personally sneak up behind them and tackle them to the ground and bang their head against something hard in an effort to prevent them from putting it up. You’ve been warned.

I cannot, in good faith, allow any new wallpaper to be hung. While it may be pretty and you might love it for the entire time you live in the house, you MUST think about the new owners. There’s a small chance they might love the wallpaper too, but probably not. And think about the hours they will waste undoing your work. And there’s so many other things they could be doing with their time, such as playing with their dog so she didn’t feel completely neglected and rebel by chewing on EVERYTHING or cooking actual food instead of surviving on cold pizza and champagne or even moving their stuff out of the crappy place they were living so they never again have to return home to find it at a mild 42 degrees because the f-ing heat doesn’t work properly and hasn't for the entire time they lived there.

And that's why you should use paint.