It's not about the house.

Saturday, June 30, 2007


Rocky Balboa stinks.


Let me just explain why I love Rocky so much.

Sly Stallone wrote the first movie when he was no-one, and refused to sell it (for a load of money, twenty years before Good Will Hunting was even a Hershey bar) unless he could be the star.

That film was nominated for nine Academy awards.

Won three.

Including Best Picture.

Yeah, Stallone is a joke. Now. But that first one?

All I've done so far is listen to the theme music, and I had to jump up and come post this crap.

I have a winner in my latest contest, but I'm busy watching big boys hit each other. I'll write a poem in the morning...

Day 30, Project 13: Stank!

Turns out I didn't have to just sand the woodwork.

I had to sand it, and then vacuum all the crap off, and then wash it with denatured alcohol before I could even think about staining anything.

Why couldn't Andy just stay a-freakin-wake and take Johnny out of here today?

So yeah, I'm not staining. Which is not just my decision (and I'll get into that later), but for now, here's these:

And (CONTEST ALERT) if you can tell me which one is "before" and which one's "after," I will write a poem with your name in it that compares you to Sherlock Holmes and Albert Einstein.

This is why I hate sanding. The work itself is not so bad, but there's no accomplishment in it.

It took two hours all together. And it took away my dream of getting the back hallway stained and then folding laundry while watching Rocky Balboa.

Laundry's piling, Rocky's waiting, but I learned a lot.

Here's something I learned:


... and especially this...

... is what happens when you wait two years after putting in the windowsills before you get around to staining them.

I also found this ...

... which is not a great picture, but which is obviously water damage.


Because there is simply no way that water could have damaged this doorjamb. There are no pipes nearby, it's not an outside wall, and anyway the damage starts and ends in the middle of the doorjamb -- there's noplace it could have come from except, oddly, the hinge...

... which would make sense, actually, if you closed the door in the winter to keep the cold from the hall out of the kitchen. And if the kitchen was a mere three feet from this particular hall. So that the coldness of the hinge would conduct the heat from the kitchen and condense water from the air.



I also learned another use for a five-way (I don't know if this is one of the official "five" but, still, it works): cutting sandpaper. Johnny showed me -- or, not that he showed me, he just did it and I watched.

You fold it first and then you jab the point through:

Then you just pull it:

Ta da! No tearing and screwing it up, no ruining your scissors.

Ooh, here's something else:

I found this wee vacuum in the closet I cleaned out yesterday. Made today a little easier. So maybe karma really does come round after all..

Oh so PS: I did think I was going to stain today also, but Johnny reminded me that I had to not get stain on the new windows, and I've had three beers already. So tomorrow...

And don't forget the contest (if you can tell me which one is "before" and which one's "after," I will write a poem with your name in it that compares you to Sherlock Holmes and Albert Einstein)..

Day 30: Accomplished.
Time: 2 1/2 hours (I swear to god).
Cost: Nothing.
Having An In-House Expert To Tell You How To Do Everything The Right Way: Pain in the bollocks


I just had a complete temper tantrum (shy of tears, but only just) and yelled at my husband, because he reminded me that I had to sand the woodwork before I stained it.

He was supposed to be helping Andy paint today but Andy work the night shift last night and so he's gone to bed. If only Johnny were gone like he was supposed to be I'd be staining already.

Bollocks. I hate sanding.

I don't know, either, if I'll have time to sand and stain all in one day, and I so wanted to have this project finished by Tuesday.

I think I need to make a packie run before commencing...

At Least It's Not A Cat Picture, Per Se...

Sister finally abandoned her permanent position on the back of the couch.

I thought it was becuse the heat wave broke, so she could be comfortable in her cat bed again, but I was wrong.

Because today when I (yes) dumped some more clean laundry on there---

Oh, hush up, Goody. I'll fold it later, really. I never did watch Rocky yesterday -- or go through that box -- and I figure those domestic tasks will go nicely with a little pugilistic peurility this afternoon. Anyhoo...

I dumped a basket of laundry on the couch this morning and I discovered this:

Never in a million years would I have imagined that my first thought, upon discovering a pile of days-old cat puke on the love seat, would be "Where's the camera?"

Actually, that's disturbing on so many levels I don't even know where to begin. Especially when you consider that I haven't cleaned it up yet.

Well, hell, it's all dried up already -- how much worse it it going to get if I have a cup of coffee first?

Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 29, Project 12: Happy, Nana?

I don't have a "before" picture -- because it turns out when you check the box that says "delete photos from camera after copying", it actually, you know, does. Same thing happens when you highlight all the pictures in your folder and hit "delete." Go figure.

So I don't have a before picture and I don't have as many other pithily-commented illustrations as I'd planned (and maybe, just maybe, when I deleted all my photos after spending an hour carrying heavy boxes -- of albums, no less -- to the basement on a day I didn't feel like doing anything at all... maybe, just maybe, I squeezed out a tear or two). But I cleaned out the closet in my office.

Found a lot of good stuff, too.

Found lots of things for hanging on the walls (potential projects for the next feel-like-doing-nothing day, t'ank god).

Including this beautiful thing:

Which I went ahead and hung already. Because really, how can you be expected to write without an Afro'ed, eight-ball shooting, Schlitz-drinking disco muse? Now maybe I'll finally be able to get some work done...

Ooh, speaking of books (which I know I wasn't, but anyway), I found this:

...which I'm not entirely sure was ever ours, and which I think I might be better off to throw away. It ain't exactly current (it boasts "covers 1987 code; the next code will be the 1990 edition") and, as I've proven over and over again, a little knowledge can be a kangaroo (which rhymes with dangerous if you pronounce one of them incorrectly, and they'll both kick the shit out of you if you try to pin 'em down).

I thought to run a contest to guess what this thing is, but then I realized even I'd have no idea, and the dang thing belongs to me. Any thoughts?

It's my old, "portable," Macintosh IIsi. It's a pre-internet machine, so I haven't used it in, I guess, ten years. But I love the dear old thing, and I've never been able to bear the thought of letting go. Besides, I wouldn't know how to throw away an old computer if I wanted to. (Although, now that I'm looking at it, I think there might be some old poetry in there from the first time I ever fell in love. Hmmm... Sledgehammer, anyone?)

Ooh, and I found this:
It's a leather case for videos or cassettes or something (yeah, it's a little dusty: so?). But when I opened it up, and I don't know why I did that, I found these:

Shelf brackets! Yeesh. See, before I decided that I wasn't doing anything today, the shelves were going to be my project. I wasn't certain where the shelves themselves were, but the brackets, I knew, were in a grocery bag in the leftover kitchen cabinet in the attic.

Obviously not.

Whatever. For today I'm done. All that's left to go through is this box:

Which I dragged out to the living room and will tackle while I watch Rocky Balboa. I believe -- yes, I'm certain -- that this is the very last box left in the house from when we moved in three years ago. If boxes of record albums can be excepted, that is. Wow. I wonder what I'll find in there?

In fact, oh my gosh! This closet was the last bit of untouched space. I didn't even think about that fact until now. I guess you could say that, with this little project, the house is now officially 100% ...


It's needs a good scrubbing and a coat of paint -- but hey, you know what?

So do I.

Day 29: Accomplished (thanks, Nana, for the nudge!).
Time: Including the temper tantrum and having to re-take the pictures (oh you bet it counts): 95 minutes.
Cost: Nothing.
Owning My House All The Way Through Front To Back And Top To Bottom After Three Hellacious Years: Pro tempore...

Dig this:

Sorry to write about them again, but somebody's having a contest and the rules for me to enter say I have to tell you about my ugly doors so I can win some pretty ones...

Not only do I have the door that I've been blogging about endlessly (here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here and more places, too, but I'm bored with making links) -- not only do I have that door which, it seems, will never-never-never be finished, but I also have this:

Which I wasn't even going to write about till next month.

I think I win.

Oh poop. I just realized it's just a random drawing. No bonus points for extra suckage.

Make Me.

I don't feel like doing anything today.

It's rainy and cool outside, and I've got Rocky Balboa coming in from Netflix (hey, even Prudie's got her closet vices, all right? I love Rocky movies. Make something of it. I dare you.).

I have to go to work of course, but after that I don't feel like doing anything..

Make me.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Day 28, Project 11: Swearing A Blue Screen

My plan today was to drop the screen-door screens off at Curry Hardware (the Ace Place where I have the plus-five-dollar coupon for) -- which is conveniently located on the way to dropping Johnny off at work -- because they’re both torn and we were supposed to get them fixed sometime over the winter. (Oops.)

It wasn't until we were actually driving by Curry Hardware that I realized I forgot to bring the screens.

So my new plan was to drop them off at the other Ace Hardware on my own way to work.

I won’t get to use the extra $5 coupon from Curry (which expires tomorrow), but the fact is, as great a store as Curry is and everything, they are generally more expensive than the competition. The $5 they're offering would probably save me just about the difference between going there and going somewhere else (if I’m explaining myself clearly, which I don’t know if I am because it’s really, really hot still).

So okay. I put the door-screens in the car (step one: accomplished!), and I head to work. I park where I always park and I carry the screens (which aren’t heavy, just awkward and conspicuous) for the two blocks to the hardware store.

There’s someone waiting at the register, but I raise the screens above his head and ask the guy behind the counter “Do you do these? Just, you know, before I wait in line…?”

(Ruder than I usually allow Prudence to be, but I haven’t exactly left extra time for myself to get this done and still be to work on time. But if I wait to do it on my way home, then I won’t get to pick them up on my way home -- which was the beauty of the whole plan to begin with. Drop them off, go to work, pick them up, go home, put them in -- practically no time spent and day 28: accomplished!)

Yes, they do do them -- and, bonus! The guy at the register isn’t actually in line. He's just standing there. So I don’t have to wait!

Measure, measure, math, math, and then…

“There you go ma’am, that’ll be $30.09.”

See? At Curry I had a free $30. Here I only have a free $25. But I bet it would have cost more at ol’ Curry, anyway. I flip the guy my $25 Ace card and my five-dollar bill, and I go fishing in my pocket for nine cents.

“Um,” he says. “We’re not Ace, anymore.”

What? Oh crap. I knew that. They changed hands like a year ago. Crap. Crap crap! Now what do I do? Do I pay $30 because I’m here and it’s all done? Or do I got back over to Curry this afternoon? But I was just over there! But the only reason I'm doing this in the first place is because I have the card…

“You could go to Curry,” the guy sas, while I'm thinking. “But they’re all the way on the other side of town…”

Screw you, Mr. Guilt-Maker, I’m Curry-ing!

So I put the screens back in the car and go to work. And after work, I head back over to Curry.

Try to look on the bright side, I think to myself, as my brain fries in the 130 degree heat inside Chuck the Fucking Truck. At least this way you get to use your coupon.

Oh, yay.

So I get there and the lady at the register measures them and rings me up. She’s funny and she's nice and she's everything we love in Curry Hardware. It comes to $35.60. Minus the $5 coupon is $30.60 -- so I was right, almost spot-on, about what the difference in price would be. Minus the $25 gift card, it comes to five dollars and sixty cents.

Here’s $10.60. Just to make it easy...

“Thanks very much,” she says. But before she rings it in, she adds: “We’re lookin’ at two weeks.”

Two weeks? Crap crap! I thought I could pick them up later, or tomorrow. Or at least in time for the fourth of July. Okay two weeks fine whatever. Balls.

“Great, then. We’ll call you.” And she punches numbers in: $5.60 due, $10.60 paid…

NOT VALID AMOUNT the computer tells her.

HOLY MOSES the computer says.

And dies.

Bottom line: I stood there for another half-an-hour (okay, ten minutes) got three different sets of receipts (okay, two), paid $5.28 actually (instead of $5.60) and still have to wait two weeks for my screens.

And I got stuck behind the bridge on my way home.

So when I got here, for Goody's sake, I stuck this to Fucking Chuck:

Which I’ve been meaning to do since last December, when I got it in exchange for babysitting the wee Football Buddy. And also I stuck this:

Which I’ve been deliberately not putting on any car for seven years because the last car that I put one of these on passed away a few days later. But Chuck’s on his way out already, so who cares?

And then I baked a cake.


Day 28: Attempted. And, therefore: Accomplished
Time: All freakin’ day.
Cost: What’d I say? $5.28?
I Need A Shower Because I Smell: Pungent

Last Cat Picture, I Swear...

... but seriously, this can't be good for the computer:

(And yes, he is fat, but not quite as morbidly obese as this photo makes him look.)

Hm. Maybe Prudence should clean her office...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007


slap commissioner said...
Dear EgE - As newly appointed slapbet commissioner, I regret to inform you that I have to over-rule your self-proclaimed victory. I note that the slap bet was made (and accepted) at 7:25 and 7:40 am on Thursday June 14th, and stripping was again (gloatingly) mentioned at 3:40 pm on Wednesday June close.Khurston wins!:)

I looked at my calendar wrong!


Please don't hurt me, Khurston!

Here's to turning the other cheek...

Day 27, Project 11: Ta Da!

Le laundry, c’est finis:

Here’s the thing.

I woke up this morning (sweating, I might add -- it is so hot here! 97, for those of you inclined to scoff, which I think is like 36 or something for you “Zed”-sayers) with a mind towards staining. I wanted to stain the back hallway -- two doors, three doorframes, and four windows.

Trying to decide whether to do it before work (when it would be less hot) or after (when I’d have more time) I asked Johnny how long he thought it would take.

“For you to do?” he answered. “Or for me?”

Which is not as obnoxious as it sounds because, remember, he has been doing this for thirty years

“For me.”

“Oh, probably a day.”

“A day!?”

“To stain it all and rag it off and everything? Yeah.”

“How long would it take you?”

“Probably about four hours. Four, five hours or so.”

Suddenly my mind felt more in the humor of hanging a quick shelf. (I’ll stain on the weekend, Goody, when there aren’t breathing-danger-warnings and I have more time…)

I’d love to say I put up some nice shelves for Shakespeare, but that would entail a.) deciding where to put them (the biggest obstacle), and b.) going to buy them (which I don’t feel like doing), and c.) probably staining them (which I might as well do when I’m staining anyway, if I can remember to go and buy them first).

We did, though, get some closet-type shelves handed down to us (by the same folks, in fact, who handed down the nice red love seat that’s been featured so prominently of late), and they would look just lover-ly in the laundry room. I mean, instead of having to step over the jugs of detergent on the floor, which has always been the strategy thus far.

I asked Johnny if he knew where the shelves were (oh yeah, he’s not working today after all. We got caught behind the drawbridge on his way to work this morning and his boss left without him. Nice, huh?).

“If you don’t know,” I said. “I’ll look. But do you happen to have an idea?”

Well, then I had to hear the “where-are-you-going-to-put-them” and “my-god-the-shower-plumbing-is-in-that-wall” speech, which boiled down to if I wanted to hang a shelf I had to move the washing machines. Again. And move the picture (that I just hung) to the opposite wall.

Good thing he missed his ride, though, huh? Otherwise yeesh, I might have burst a pipe in our brand-new bathroom and be writing this post from the loony bin instead of from the freezer.

So I shoved over the machines, then I had to vacuum and mop under where they’d been because apparently I’d missed that spot the last time, then I measured and drilled and put the hangers in and set the shelf and voila (with an accent, which I don't know how to do in blogger)!

And then I decided the picture really would look better hanging up behind the shelf instead of practically hidden over there next to the door.

So I crawled under and ooched up behind the shelf that I’d just hung. I forgot to bring the measuring tape so I just eyeballed it, and I didn’t have room to swing the hammer properly so I dropped the nail a few times (once, I caught it in my armpit-cleavage but once I had to slither down the wall and feel around for it). Of course once the nail was in I realized I’d forgotten to bring the g-d picture, so I had to back out bum first and grab it (and if anybody even thinks that beeping sound I’ll slug you) and -- once more, with feeling…

Le laundry room, c’est freakin' finis. I’m so glad I didn’t stain today, or I might have got myself all sweaty.

(Oh, and by the way, two weeks is up: I spent two years stripping paint, and I win the slap bet. You better watch your back, buddy. Nyeah!)

Day 27: Accomplished.
Time: Between finding the shelves and vac’ing and mopping and everything else: 40 minutes.
Cost: Nothing.
Choosing Not To Slap My Sister As Hard As I Want To The Next Time I See Her And Therefore Having Something To Lord Over Her In All Of My Prudential Goodness: Not as priceless as actually getting to slug her, but pretty close.

We Have A Winner!

Someone named Janice (whom I call my Nana)
Is, for this contest, our top-tier Banana
Or Kiwi, I should say, since she is from New Z.
(Which for some reason's endlessly tickling to me).
At any rate, Janice -- with her eagle eye --
Spotted the constant I asked you to spy.
(And also did Sammie, though she's #2,
But I wasn't specific, so Sam, here's to you.)

On the back of the couch, in the upper left corner
Lies Sister, the cat, just like Little Jack Horner.
Only sister does not have her thumb in a pie,
She just has a really mean look in her eye.
She always does, really, it's no fault of Jan's,
Or Sammie's or any of you also-rans:

She's also not dead, though she does look that way.
She's just mad that I took all her laundry away.

A Clarification

Regarding what I posted yesterday about The Queen:

Johnny wanted me to clarify that, when he says "dozy old you-know-what," he says it with a smile...

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day 26?, "Project" 10: The Storm Is Over...

I did it! I folded all the laundry and put it all away! I have a couch in my bedroom, look!

Oh, and I may have overreacted about the rag-bag. I waited to fold laundry till they came out of the dryer, so I could do it all at once. But then I realized there wasn't enough shelf space for all those t-shirts, so I asked Johnny if he had any ideas. He said "Put them in a trash bag in the basement, Hon. They're only rags."

But I thought--? You said--!

He's only keeping two of them, apparently. He washed the lot because they smelled bad. Because, you know, your rags ought to smell lemony-fresh before you put them in a trash bag in the basement.

The thing is, though, I may have caught a bit of Johnny Fever. Because I found this shirt and pulled it out:

It's Van Heusen! And it's perfect! That doesn't make me as bad as Johnny, right?

You may even notice that the closet doors are closed. That's because I cleaned the closet out while I was at it (sort of -- not enough to show you pictures of the inside but enough to shut the doors). I had to. There was no place to put the clothes. And in the bottom of the closet I found this:

My Yale Shakespeare! That I got at...

the Brattle Book Shop -- on their outside shelf! For $3/book! Complete! That was like three and a half years ago and they've been sitting in that bag waiting for me to do something about them ever since. Ooh, I think I smell a shelving project for Miss Prudence...

While I was still folding clothes, Johnny had the sterile balls to come in and ask me if I'd go get him a pack of cigarettes. I was wearing sleep shorts and a wife-beater tank top without a bra (don't try to picture it, it isn't pretty) and I was sweating from all the cleaning and folding, so I told him I thought he'd live another 45 minutes until his guitar lesson was through and he could go himself (honestly, I didn't use the F word). Then I started to feel bad, and I decided that if I was done folding before he was done guitaring then I'd go.

But then I opened the closet door -- right after I took that picture -- to put the shirt away, and the door fell off the track and I had to spend the next twenty minutes in there with my flowery screwdriver trying to get it level.

He's gone now, for his own cigarettes and (I imagine) a wee pint.

So I flipped the mattresses and made the bed without him.

Aren't you proud of me?

Here's your contest for today, same prize as before (guess it right and I'll make a poem with your name): can you spot the one constant in all these couch-pictures?

Day -- hm, I seem to have gotten confused somewhere. Let's just say 26: Accomplished (yuh-huh, my Nana says so).
Time: Diana's been dead for four days, plus previews and everything.
Cost: Nothing.
Johnny Having Work Lined Up For Tomorrow So I Can Actually Do Something Around Here: Priceless (he's back, by the way: I just heard him crank up the lawn mower...)

MORE Laundry.

Oh my god it is breeding! This is the last time I'll post pictures of my laundry, I swear, but seriously -- look...

This is the picture I posted earlier:

And this is it now:

And there's another load almost ready to come out of the dryer!

We'll just not discuss the fact that Tazzy* over here claims to have "forgotten" about the clothesline -- where in god's name did he come up with two more loads-worth of dirty clothes?

I'm so glad you asked.

"Andy gave me a bag of rags, and there was a lot of still-good stuff in there!"

Oh my god.

I'm going to have to kill him. I love him, but I really don't see any other way...

*and yes, for my antipodal friends, I do know the slang meaning of this word. I did not intend it when I wrote it down, but upon reflection I've decided that I mean it! Big girlie.

Anybody Want A Husband?

Oh my god he's making me nuts!

I just got home from running all those errands (ooh, and I got road-raged while I was out there! Some guy tried to cut me off in a parking lot and I didn't let him, and he honked and then he followed me! I wasn't sure he was following me until I pulled into Wendy's to get a soda but the drive-through line was too long and I didn't feel like parking and walking in just to get a soda when I was on my way to the grocery store anyway, so I just drove around and pulled back out again, and he did the same thing right behind me! Scary. I finally lost him by cutting through the liquor store parking lot on my way to Super 88. Phew!)

Anyway, so I just got home and while I was out he "cleaned up" the back hallway. Where I'd been working all this month. Which means that now the paint thinner, the 5F5, the gloves and rags and steel wool are all in the kitchen -- on the floor next to the basement door but not actually in the basement. Because this is how Johnny cleans things up. He moves everything to another place, then he sweeps the floor and leaves the pile, all the while making jokes about what a slob I am.

That, or he follows me around and offers to do whatever I am doing. If I let him and move on to something else, he follows me again.

Yes, Dear. Thank you, Dear. Now go away.

He didn't help me put away the groceries so much as stand over my shoulder asking what everything in the refrigerator was, and then he decided it was time to go through the cupboards to visit his canned fish (the anchovies and mackerel and such he likes to get in his Christmas stocking but very rarely ever eats).

Didn't you say you planned to mow the lawn today, Dear?

Well, he figures he'll wait for that until the sun goes down a piece (it is really hot, but he has a guitar lesson at 5:30 that is supposed to be an hour but always runs till sometime after eight) so he thinks he might's well go ahead and make some pasta salad. Boiling the big blue pot of water on the gas stove. Because it's just too hot to mow the lawn. Yeesh.

He's already announced that we'll have pork roast for dinner. (Did I mention that it's hot? And that he's giving a guitar lesson through the preparing-dinner hour?) And now he just marched in to show me a spaghetti sauce he found in the freezer that he thinks we'll have tomorrow. Canned mackerel and salad the night after that (yuck, not for me, thanks). I don't know when he thinks we'll eat the pasta salad...

I'm not sure if I can manage to accomplish anything Puritanical with Wee Jimmy on a tear like this. He'll sit down when Christine gets here for her lesson, but I make myself scarce when she arrives because she's thirteen and I don't want to make her shy to sing and play.

Besides, when she's here is the only time I ever fold the laundry. Hide in the bedroom, sit on the floor, watch a DVD of something Johnny would not abide (tonight it's The Queen -- a woman often referred to in this house as "that dozy old fuck") and fold, fold, fold my little heart out. I'm not sure, but I think the pile might be breeding...

If I get it all done, does that count?


Cheese and crackers, Johnny's on a tear...

Home from the Cape, no work lined up for the week, looking at all I've been getting done while he was away, house a mess, 4th of July coming up next week and people coming over -- he's like a Tasmanian devil (only without the awful mouth-tumors), spinning around and around and around, kicking up a storm all through the house!

It's hot and I'm lazy and I was considering just dragging the grill outside and calling it accomplished, but Johnny went and dragged it out while I was in the shower.


Now he's organizing all the empty cans and bottles (and if you've been reading this blog for a while, you know there are a few) and loading them into Chuck the Fucking Truck so I can take them to the place. I sure wish he drove, then he could take them to the place.

And he's written up a grocery list for me to pick up on the way home that includes stopping at three different stores.


I asked if he wanted to come with me on this little excursion but he said no, he was going to be too busy around here, cleaning up the yard and mowing the lawn -- the 4th of July is coming up, you know!

Oh, dang. I'm exhausted already.

So I'm off to run the dang errands, and then when I get home I guess I'll hang some dangin' shelves.

Dang ity.

(another typo that I like and so I left. Dang ity. Pass it on.)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Twenty-Eight Days Later...

Okay, so yesterday we went to this old inn for dinner (yes, I know it's summer now, but I liked the winter image best of all the pictures on their website) and Johnny pointed out to me, practically the minute we walked in, a door there that looked a lot like our one I'm so obsessed with.

And I do realize I'm obsessed.

In my defense (especially for those of you who so kindly expressed a refreshingly-honest "Throw it away!" on yesterday's post), this is exactly why I asked for your eyeballs' opinions. I've spent a month now (good god! no -- yes, almost: 28 days exactly) stripping and sanding and bleaching and raining and generally fretting on this door. I simply cannot see it anymore.

Plus -- and this is a story for another day, but -- this is the door that made us buy the house in the first place. The inside of it, which was never painted and which I didn't strip:

was the one thing in the whole house that told us what was possible.

(Hey, how proud are you of me that the inside of my front closet is presentable enough to photograph? And how sure are you that I would have posted the picture no matter what it looked like?)

So anyway, Johnny found this door at the old inn that looked all beat up like ours. I hadn't brought my camera so I asked my brother-in-law to take a picture of it for me (he has a two-year-old: he's never without a camera) and email it to me today so I could show y'all. But he didn't. I sent him an email to remind him, too. Didn't even write back.

Poo on you, Brother-In-Law! It's not like it's your first day back from vacation or anything and you have better things to do!

That's why it's taken me so long today to get around to posting. Because my post was going to be "We went here and I saw this and so I've decided to (as it were) Let It Be."

But while I waited and waited (and waited) for the photo that never came, other people wrote and said and did things. For example, my Nana (my pretend Nana, who I met on the internet like a week ago) took a picture that I sent her and "painted" the door so I could see what it would look like. And it doesn't suck!

It's an awful picture because (aside from the fact that, as we've established, my camera sucks eggs and so do I), Nana asked for a full-length image of the door and in order to pull that off I had to stand outside. And in order to stand outside and still be able to see anything that was inside, I had to do it at night. It's not her fault it sucks, her part came out great! And besides, at least she sent it. Ahem.

(Have I mentioned my new Nana lives in Auckland? As in New Zealand? As in the other side of the freakin' world? But then, I imagine Nana probably doesn't have a two-year-old.)

Anyway, my point is: painting it doesn't seem, now, like quite the arse of an idea I thought it would be yesterday. I'd still rather that it worked out according to my been-doing-this-for-28-days plan, but sometimes, Joel, you've just got to say...

So the new plan is to wait to actually do anything until after the 4th of July, on which day I will have a bunch of people over and I can show them all the actual door in honest-to-goodness-person. That way I can get a real-world, what-does-it-look-like opinion (Mom, no fair sneaking people in and talking them into a beltsand). But if the vote is paint it, I'm okay with that.

(Even though I'm the one that brought it up, I just can't see buying a new one. There's that whole reason-we-bought-the-house thing and besides, I've invested too much time and energy into fixing it up to throw it over for a new one now. I mean, for God's sake, I married Johnny after much less work than this.)

(okay, maybe not much less)

(okay, maybe a lot more)

(but still)

So be warned, those of you who have the dubious honor of attending my half-assed 4th of July festivities (sorry, NanaJan): you will be asked for your opinion.

Except you, Brother-In-Law. You don't get a vote.

P.S. I didn't do anything Puritan today. I got held up at work and then I had to waste a half an hour making fun of Brother-In. But I wasn't supposed to have to do anything yesterday, and I did, so I'm square with my board.

Right Goody?


Sunday, June 24, 2007

Day 25, Project 3: Opinions, Please?

Johnny’s a pain in my butt.

I finished working out this morning, and was going to step in the shower, when I realized if I got in now I’d have to listen to church on the radio while I was in there. So I decided what the hell -- family plans or no family plans -- I can take twenty minutes and slap a coat of varnish on the door, and that way I can listen to something more interesting than sin-and-salvation while I shaved my legs.

The irony of the fact that I am working Puritanically in order to avoid religious services on a day I was supposed to rest -- a Sabbath day, no less -- does not escape me.

The first mistake I made was mentioning this little plan to Johnny.

“Don’t you remember what I told you to do?” he said to me.

Um, take a day off, dear? Open up a bottle of champagne, we’ll have mimosas?

“You’ve got to hang the door first and decide if you like it. If you varnish it first it’s going to be a pain in the hole to have to paint.”

Pain in the hole is right. Johnny has to always do everything the right way. It’s so annoying.

Fine. I thought we agreed we didn’t care if the paint peeled off the door after we sold the house and moved away, but fine. I am kind of eager to see it hanging, anyway, so now I‘ll get to see it three days early. Plus this way I don’t have to wash a brush.

The good news is I seem to be only missing one screw after all. I don’t know if Johnny found them, if they were there all along, or if the polter-goosed picked them up for me, but there you have it. And that is good news. Because I wouldn’t have been able to do this at all if I couldn’t put the doorknob on, and I was not going to Lowe’s this morning.

But now it’s hung, and I don’t know what to do. There’s a part of the woodwork right next to the closet that didn’t come quite clean when I was shtupping it for beers. It never bothered me before, but the ass-hat door hanging right there accentuates it , and I think the whole entryway now looks like a a bag of coke exploded and everybody ran.

But if I paint it, I think that will look stupid as well.

Johnny doesn’t have an opinion. And he apparently means that literally right now. He wants to live with it and look at it a while.

So what do you all think? I know you’re out there, so come on. Tell me, Kalamazoo. Chime in, Edmonton. Hello, San Diego. Good morning Longmeadow, Massachusetts…Help me!

Does it suck?

Day 25: Accomplished, with apologies.
Time: 50 minutes, including panicking.
Cost: My sanity.
Having A Forum Where You Can Get Instant Opinions From People Around The World (Please Please Please): Priceless

Yesterday (A Timeline)

This got long so I'm only posting the morning. If I have time later I'll post the afternoon. Or, I don't know, now that I re-read this I think it's kind of boring, so maybe I won't bother...

6:30 Awake/ Cold microwaved popcorn for breakfast -- yum!
Why up so early on a weekend morning, you ask? Because I, apparently, am old before my time. Johnny still can (and still wants to) sleep until 9, 10, sometimes even 11:00 (if I’m sick or out of town -- or if I‘ve done something I don‘t want him to know about), so I generally write for a few hours, work out at the other end of the house, shower… But eventually I forget and slam a door or something and than boom, the giant’s awake. It makes for martially blissful weekend mornings, let me tell you…

7:21 Andy knocks. Johnny answers the door in his underpants.
Andy had said he’d call for us “probably not until 9:00.” I thought I had time to write for an hour and still get in a quick workout and shower, but now…? Well, now I’m not quite sure what. Andy stopped in, apparently, to tell us that he’d see us at 9:00. Okay?

7:23 I stain the g-d door.
Now I’m all kerfuffled, so I decide to go ahead and get it over with. In the twenty minutes that it takes (all together: from going to the basement for the stain through washing out the brush: 20 minutes), I get yelled at for not putting a drop cloth down (I put plastic grocery bags -- well, it was only going to take a minute and I didn’t know where the drops were and I didn’t want to bother him!) and I, as I’ve already mentioned, realize it looks like ass.

Johnny: “If you don’t like the way it came out, I can always paint it for you, hon.”

Me: gurgling sounds


Me: “Okay, here’s what I’ll do. I’ll finish it, and I’ll hang it, and we’ll live with it for a while, and if it’s just truly awful then we’ll paint it.”

See, the thing is, we aren’t going to live here forever. Hopefully we won’t be here anymore by the time Barack gets reelected. So everything we do, we do with an eye towards selling the house. And this freaking door is literally the first thing you see when you enter the house. If it looks like ass, it cannot stay, no matter how much glass I crawled through to achieve this assy grace.

Johnny: “Can’t paint it once it’s varnished.”

Me: more gurgling

Johnny: “Well, you can, but it’ll peel right off.”

Me: “How right off?”

Johnny: “Well, like in a couple years.”

Me: “So we’ll wait until we’re selling before we put it on.”

Ta da, problem solved!

Oh, don’t give me that look. It’s not like I’m propping up a deck with strawberry ice cream. If I hadn’t had The Expert here I wouldn’t have known it was going to peel and, knowing me, once I hung it I wouldn’t have gotten around to painting until the last minute anyway.

So I’m absolved.

And besides, maybe the door will turn out lover-ly.

8:42 Andy calls to say don’t come until 9:30

9:45 We get to his apartment

11:00 We leave his apartment

12:30 We get to his house
It’s supposed to be a 45 minute drive, but I was following him and he decided to take the scenic route. Plus the town of Plympton was having its 300th birthday celebration so the road was closed and we had to take a 20-minute detour through the backwoods of Plympton.

We still don’t know how one was supposed to actually get to the celebration, if one was so inclined…

I'm not supposed to have to Puritan-Manifest today because we have family plans. But if I get a wild hair I might play with a little varnish...

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Day 24, Project 3: Quick Like A Bunny

Johnny and I just got back from helping Andy on his house all day. That is a long story that only starts with a baby bunny getting runned-over with the lawn mower. I promise to tell you at least some of it tomorrow (though that's all I'll say about poor Peter) but for now I just found out I have to run back out again and save my husband from himself. So here are some pictures to tide you over for now -- and to satisfy my Prudent Heart.

I did the door before we left this morning. Here it is, looking assy:

It actually looks even worse than this. You think that's a glare on the top part but it's not. It really is all white and washy. Johnny said if I don't like the way it came out I can paint it. So I killed him.

I meant to take a picture of the clothes hanging on the line, but there is so much wind around here they dried in an hour and I took them down before we even left this morning. So instead here's one of just the line:

And one of my dry clothes:

Use your imagination.

Oh, and here's a picture of the grill I bought and put together last week:

Yes, it's in the dining room. I don't feel like explaining why we haven't taken it outside yet. Okay, I don't know why we haven't taken it outside.

And here is the name of the stain I used on the door and all the woodwork, which I knew but had forgotten till I saw:

In case you can't read that because my camera's ass, it says "Puritan Pine."

Okay, now I have to go because Johnny called from the pub to say he'd mentioned our spare bedroom to this English couple who really need a place to stay until they find some jobs....


I have to go!

Day 24: Accomplished.
Time: 20 minutes
Cost: Nothing.
My Spare Bedroom Staying That Way: Freakin' priceless! I gotta go!