Tuesday, July 30, 2002

It has been a while…

Logically, I would say that is because I got the house and had much to do in order to close in just three weeks. But it wouldn’t be the whole truth.

You see, three times lately, someone has asked and/or e-mailed to ask why I am keeping this log. The e-mail query I answered at length, but received no reply. The verbal reactions to my answer were not much better…and so…I think I’ve been self-conscious about writing for the first time.

But tonight I am too tired for self-doubt and thought it might be a good time to check in.

I am a homeowner. I am a homeowner of a duplex were 10 Peruvians were living in nothing short of squalor. Hence, I have much scrubbing and repairing to do. Saturday I worked for 11 hours and saw little change. Sunday I pulled down the main floor ceiling (an attempt to save money by prepping the ceiling for the sheetrock guy) for SIX hours.

At that point, I still had nearly half of the debris to bag up, but I could barely breathe inside even with my respirator mask. So I spent another three hours of back-breaking, blister-raising labor cutting up the three weed trees I had hacked down Saturday in a fit of anger against this window repair estimator who blew off my appointment and then said he didn’t want my business. While, the yard is in MUCH disrepair, I expect you would agree with me that I should channel my energy and time into making it livable before the 25th of August—MOVING DAY. Let the yard go till later, right? Well, that is all and good, but Saturday I left myself with tree debris from sidewalk to porch that had to be cut up and bagged as well. So I sweltered outside finishing that while the air cleared inside.

Yesterday and today, I spent three hours after work bagging up the rest of the ceiling debris. I now have 25 bags waiting for next Tuesday’s pick-up.

Just to give you an idea of the squalor, I spent nearly three hours scrubbing the grease off the back door in the kitchen. I am not finished.

But the roofer, plumber, electrician, a/c installer, window repairman, and floor refinisher all have their deposits and work orders…so we will see what happens between their expertise and my elbow grease.

I do have: wood floors, original hardware on the doors including one glass knob, a fenced yard, original black and white tiny tile in the windmill pattern on the upstairs bath floor, and am within walking distance to the Metro.

And it is mine…to paint at will! Well...once I figure out how to deal with FIVE layers of peeling paint on the plaster walls...

Tuesday, July 16, 2002

Copy editor wins bad writing award

"On reflection, Angela perceived that her relationship with Tom had always been rocky, not quite a roller-coaster ride but more like when the toilet paper roll gets a little squashed so it hangs crooked and every time you pull some off you can hear the rest going bumpity-bumpity in its holder until you go nuts and push it back into shape, a degree of annoyance that Angela had now almost attained."

I wish I had known about this bad writing award! Perhaps, I could have submitted a few entries! As explained in the article linked above...The contest, which seeks the worst beginning to an imaginary novel, is named for Edward George Bulwer-Lytton, a British writer whose 1830 book "Paul Clifford" begins with the oft-mocked cliche, 'It was a dark and stormy night ..."

There are literary contests on campuses, and they're often deadly serious and end up producing some terrible writing," Rice said. "I thought, why not be up front and honest about it and ask for bad writing from the get-go?"

Can you think of a beginning to an imaginary novel? If so, e-mail me and I'll post it!


Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Well, supposedly, Friday I will be given the key through a decorator's agreement. Saturday I am meeting four contractors at the duplex and next Tuesday I am spending the day there meeting six more. Contractors 11 and 12 are looking at their schedules for me. I have house insurance and gift letters and financial statements all lined up. I have a 2.5" binder filled with mortgage and contract information. I have a 1.5" binder filled with the home inspection results and plans for repairs. I have a 5"x7" spiral notebook filled with lists of repairs (and wish items) for each room of the house and then cross-listed by category of repair, i.e., plumbing, electricity. I have questions and worries and buyer's remorse oozing out my brain.

So...how is your week going?

Monday, July 08, 2002

Fancy is sleeping on my chest, her head tucked beneath my chin. She has garlic breath. She had pasta for dinner.

I wonder...do birds in the wild ever have garlic breath?

Wednesday, July 03, 2002

I was talking with my sister while huffing and puffing on my stair-stepper. My trainer had suggested that I wear sweats as I did my cardio and I was sweltering and desperately wanting the 60 minute mark to come. I begged my sister to take my mind off the last seven minutes.

"Why did the chicken cross the road?" she asked.

"To get to the other side," I answered automatically.

Then, inspiration came. "Why did the chicken cross the road?" I asked her.

"I don't know," she responded.

"He saw some barbecue sauce and wanted to take a dip," I quipped.

While I was pleased that I came up with my own new joke, my sister groaned and suggested that I not give up my day job.

What do you think? Do I have a career as a stand-up comic in my future?

Monday, July 01, 2002

Last year for my birthday, my parents gave me two rather splendid Henckles knives. One was a boning knife. [Can you guess where I am going with this?]

Well, tonight, I was making a sandwich when I learned just why it is called a boning knife. I was (rather foolishly) using the knife to trim the end piece of some bread (I don't like end pieces, so I was trying to make it look like a middle piece) when the knife slipped off the frozen bread and sliced into my finger down to the bone.

I was stunned at how smoothly the knife cut through my finger. I went to the ER and had x-rays. The knife actually nicked the bone! But, alas, the cut was so smooth that there is nothing to stitch. I just have to be very careful of my throbbing finger for the next couple of weeks as it (hopefully) heals.

Perhaps I shouldn't be allow near knives, eh?