Monday, July 27, 2009

Crazy Jeff Doors and a Day Off

This is long. Enjoy.

On Saturday, Amanda and I hosted a kind of housewarming cookout. The house isn't done, but it's far enough along to show pretty well. In order to get it fro m "paper on the floor, dust everywhere, bare walls" to "you want to take the tour?", we worked a lot on Friday night and Saturday morning.

Luckily, Dan Riley, friend extraordinaire, was coming into Providence, from Philadelphia, for the cookout and was more than willing to pitch in. He got there on Friday evening, after a million hours on the road, and he helped clean up, hang doors, etc. He also played some Wii tennis. Poorly:

His trip to Providence was hopefully pretty good on it's own, as he got some fantastic steak tips, got to listen to my sister talk constantly, and found out what the best Nerf football ever made is (it's this one). Also, he got to meet not just Crazy Jeff Doors, but also Crazy Jeff Door's female companion. Lucky him.

As if meeting him wasn't enough, he also got to witness not only the craziness that is Jeff Doors, and on top of that, me yelling at Jeff.

Three days previous, Jeff didn't show up at my house. He called me at 6:30 in the evening to ask if he could come by and do 'a couple hours of work'. I told him absolutely not, as there's no way I want him crazying up my house past nightfall. He seemed miffed, and hung up.

The next day, he didn't show up at my house. I gave him a call (which is really giving his huge female partner a call, because he doesn't have a phone) and I found out that he was working on a deck somewhere else. She said that he would be wouldn't be there the next day either. I asked her to have him call me so I could get the story from him. She said OK, and we hung up.

At 9:30 that night, my doorbell rang. I was intrigued. I checked the front door, and no one was outside. I started to make my way to the kitchen door and heard Jeff announce himself. Amanda had just finished showering, so I warned her to stay in the bathroom, as "it's Jeff Doors".

Livid, I answered the door, after some more impatient knocking by Jeff, and he explained that he needed to pick up some tools for the next day of deck building. I glared at him, but held my composure and let him in. He grabbed some tools, made a list of things he's missing (which he has found) and headed out the door, closing it behind him. Upon hearing that, Amanda made her way to the second floor bedroom, which didn't yet have a door on it, to get dressed. Not two minutes later, Jeff burst through the door and bounded up the stairs. I was in the living room, and hurriedly went to the foot of the stairs to see what was going on.

Jeff was gathering tools on the landing. Awesome. Luckily, Amanda, still in a towel, heard him coming up the stairs and got out of his line of sight. That was a close one.

Thursday came and went with Jeff not working in my house. Friday, however, he had promised to come by and do something. When I got home from work in the early afternoon, there was no sign of Jeff. I immediately called him and reminded him , once again, that I was having friends/family over the next day and he needed to get his crap cleaned up. He happily let me know that he was going to get something to eat, take a shower and head over. I hung up.

Two or three hours later, I called him again. He let me know that something had come up and his girlfriend's son's engine "would have blown if he didn't do something". I told him that I didn't believe him, and that I didn't care, and that he needed to come clean up. He told me he'd "be there in an hour". I laughed at him. He then said, "well, an hour and fifteen minutes." I laughed again and hung up the phone.

Two and a half hours later, he arrived.

He did some more work on the banister on the landing, talked way too much and I tried to avoid him. He summoned me a few times with questions and I did my best to remain calm and answer them. He also provided a little comic relief by asking, "do you know who the best carpenter in the world is?"

"Please don't say Jesus," I replied.

"It's Jesus," he said.

"Ugh. He's dead. He's not a carpenter anymore. That's ridiculous."

"Oh, he's not dead."

"Yes he is," I countered. "He hasn't made a table in years."

"He's alive, sitting at the right hand of the father."

"No. He's dead. He may be sitting there, but there are no living people in Heaven. Being dead is an entry requirement as far as I know."

I'm ok with people being religious, but don't say stupid things like that to me. Please.

Also in our conversation? He asked me if I had looked him up on the internet yet. I said no, but my interest was piqued. He informed me that if I did, I would find out that he had been a, "bad boy". I am dying to find out what he is talking about, as he wouldn't divulge the info, but I have no idea what his actual last name is, and thus can't look him up. He told me once (it was some convoluted story about how he has two last names, both of which I have since forgotten), and he refused to tell Amanda (probably because she is a female, who he generally lacks respect for). I will certainly relay the news as soon as I find out.

Jesus and probable felonies aside, I let him know that Amanda, Dan and I were heading to dinner. It was around 7pm. He told me that he'd be there when we got back. I cringed.

After dinner, I was about to pull into the driveway, but his girlfriend's van was sitting in it. We saw her shuffling slowly towards the house (roughly two minutes after we discussed the probability of the two of them necking while we were gone). I parked in the street and we made our way into the house. We quickly learned that his girlfriend should not "have gotten that iced coffee and Burger King" while motioning to her stomach. Gross. Super. Mega. Extra. Very. Gross. No one ventured to the bathroom to find out why.

A few more hours thereafter, and Jeff had finally finished up. Or so he thought. The main reason that he absolutely needed to show up and work was to clean up his stuff so we could get the house prepared for guests. I looked upstairs and asked him what all of his scrap wood was still doing up there. I let him know that he needed to get rid of it. He started to do so and Dan, Amanda and I continued the process of house keeping.

On one of may trips to the garage with garbage, I noticed that Jeff was not, in fact, getting rid of the scrap wood, but instead, he was throwing it in the driveway next to the house. I told him that it was unacceptable and that he needed to actually get it off of my property. He refused. I slowly lost my ever harder to keep composure over the next few minutes.

I don't remember the specific order of things (not because I was a raving lunatic, but because my memory is generally bad), but I'll do my best to record the transpirings.

I told him that he needed to get rid of the scrap wood. He said that he wasn't going to take it. I told him that he has to take it, as it's not my job to clean up after him (even though I had been doing it for months). He then said that "all you have to do is cut it up and put it out with the garbage". I let him know that it's not my job to do that, it's his. I told him to take the wood with him. He said he couldn't, and I told him that I didn't care how he got rid of it, but he had to.

My voice raising, his lowering, I bellowed at him to, "be a effword professional."

He responded that he was, in fact, a professional. I wasn't yelling, but certainly speaking with more power, "you come here whenever you feel like it and only do half of your job. A professional actually cleans up when he's done. Effword be one."

Sheepishly, he told me that he'd be there in the morning to clean up. I immediately snapped, "what time?"

"Ten o'clock."

I laughed at him. After a beat or two, I said, "if you don't effword show up at ten o'clock, you're going to owe me $50."

He raised his voice a little, "like hell."

"If you show up at ten, like you say you're going to, then we won't have a problem. Get this essword cleaned up."

I went into the house thereafter and Jeff followed. He started to try to talk to me.

"Shut up Jeff. Just do your effword work."

Not the best, most mature response, but I was kind of mad.

A few minutes later, he muttered, "screw it, I'll take the wood."


He left around 10 o'clock that night and that was that. Rereading this, it seems like I was a little harsh on poor Crazy Jeff Doors, and that may be the case, but his wood is off of my property. I never insulted him or actually yelled (only spoke more powerfully, and peppered in some vulgarity, for seriousness' sake), so I guess it could have been worse.

The next day, we cleaned up some more, had a killer cookout, saw some friends and family, listened to my sister talk too much, and played some video games.

Sunday brought breakfast with Dan and not much else. I decided to take the day off. Amanda and I went to a movie theater and saw the first thing that was playing (sadly, it was the new Harry Potter) and that's about it.

Even though not much work got done, it was still fairly productive. We live in a relatively clean house and not much remains on the work front.

Back at it tonight.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

If You Listen Closely, You Can Hear the Heat.

I've documented, many times, the ridiculous workmanship in the house I currently live in. There have been wiring issues, hair problems, and gutter problems, among other things. I guess, in a strange way, you can say that this house is a custom home. Not because it's remarkable design wise, but because of all of the interesting quirks it has come with. I discovered yet another one yesterday.

I grabbed a radiator cover for the mudroom, to paint it white. In the grill of said cover, there is a weird input of some sort. Behind it, there are a bunch of wires sticking out. I didn't think much of it when I first saw the cover, months ago, but yesterday evening, I got a good look at it.

Here's the input hole:

Upon closer inspection, I still had no idea what it was. Even seeing the back side of the input left no real clue as to what it was:

Luckily for me, there was some writing on the little canister thing that housed the electronics:

The weird mystery hole in the radiator cover, was, in fact, a headphone jack.


Who would do such a thing? There is, as referenced earlier, some very terrible/strange wiring in the house, but this is just ridiculous. Someone actually sat in the Mud Room of this house, plugged their headphones into a radiator, and, in theory, had this system wired to some sort of music player to enjoy some Haitian music.

I have so many questions about this house and the previous owners. All will, sadly, remain unanswered.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Hard Work and the Beach.

Sorry, again, for the lack of updates. The reasons behind the reluctance to post are twofold: I'm not doing anything interesting, and I am constantly working, so I don't have much time to update this thing.

That said, on Friday, I finally mustered the juevos to ask Crazy Jeff Doors why he goes to counseling. I may or may not have mentioned this before, but one of his frequent excuses for not showing up to work is because he has counseling. Such things always pique my curiosity, so I finally asked him what type of counseling he goes to. I find that I am more and more willing to ask uncomfortable questions of people for no other reason than to satisfy my curiosity. This will probably end badly for me in time.

I had three theories about what type of counseling he seeks. The first, based upon his repeated comments about how he no longer drinks, is the obvious alcohol avoidance treatment. The second theory, based upon his generally skittish personality, is treatment for some type of general craziness. The final theory, and this is the most speculative of the three, is based upon conjecture. His personality, which, as described previously, is fairly up and down, leads me to believe that he has 'outbursts' from time to time. Since he swings so effortlessly from depressed to happy, it is not too big a leap to infer that he sometimes swings to the 'enraged' side of the swing set.

Theories aside, I, as delicately as I could, asked him why he goes to counseling. He said, with a nervous laugh, "because I'm crazy". He stopped the laugh immediately thereafter and pretty much stopped talking.

There you have it. Theory number two is the winner. He is actually crazy. The nickname I have given him is, and will remain apt.

As for work on the house? It continued. Saturday was a day off, as it was Amanda's 25th birthday. We got some breakfast, went to the beach, got some lunch, watched The Jerk, and ate some dinner. I did no work. It was both great and terrible. Mostly great.

It was mostly great, for reasons obvious. It was slightly (maybe .05%) terrible, because no work was done. In order to make up for lost time, I worked from 9am to 11pm on Sunday, with only breaks to urinate or eat. It was a rough one.

The house is coming along and the painting will be finished tonight. Awesome. Only touch up painting left. This Saturday, we're hosting a cookout/housewarming party for some friends/family and will spend the rest of this week getting the house presentable. We'll work tonight, but after that, it's only cleaning/setting up furniture until Sunday. A friend of mine is coming in from Philadelphia for the weekend, so unless he wants to caulk some floor trim, not much work will be done.

It will be mostly great. And, considering I won't be doing any work, it may also prove to be slightly terrible.

Friday, July 17, 2009

My Face Is Stuck.

For the past few days, we've been working away. The dining room is painted. The Mud Room is cleared out and sanded. Yippee.

The Southern fellow came back a few days ago and finished up the carpet on the stairs. It looks OK. When he was finished, he invited me to take a look at his work. I checked it all out and said it was adequate. Once he got approval, he said, almost shyly and in a super southern accent, "Can you let me know how to get to the nearest hospital?"

I was a little surprised and obviously asked if he was OK.

"Well, I didn't want to bother you, but I cut myself pretty bad on a nail."

After saying that, he held up his left hand, which had hilarious blue painter's tape wrapped around his ring finger. I looked pretty funny, as there was a lot of it. Also funny because he wrapped his probably bleeding finger in painter's tape.

I let him know where the hospital is, thanked him and he was on his way.

Since the carpet was installed, Amanda and I decided that last night would be a great night to move our bed upstairs. It's a king sized bed, so it's very big. The stairway to the second floor isn't as big.

We basically had to fold the mattress like a comfortable taco shell to make it fit into the stairway:

When we finally yanked on it enough and shoved it around for ten minutes, it was time to lift it up onto the landing. Since I was doing the pulling, I was already on the landing, leaving Amanda down the stairs, shoving on it.

While I was pulling up on the mattress, a sharp bellow of pain quickly rose up the stairs. Amanda had apparently pushed up, leaned back a little bit, and almost impaled herself on one of the hand rail supports. Luckily, they're pretty blunt, so she'll only have a huge bruise, rather than a huge gash.

The rail supports can be seen in this picture (taken pre-carpet installation). Ouch.

At another point during the struggle, Amanda made a little noise, stopped shoving and said, "Um. My face is stuck."

Sure enough, the top of the mattress, which was slowly rising, had leveraged itself underneath her jaw, essentially pinning her face to the wall behind her. It was just hilarious. She was cracking up, and so was I. All of this laughing led to her face being stuck for even longer, because while laughing, our muscles don't work so well.

When we collected ourselves, we finally got the stupid thing onto the landing, slid it into the bedroom, vacuumed a little bit, and put the bed down.

We now sleep upstairs like adults.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


Yesterday, I worked from home. I can do this because my job requires two things: a company laptop, and an internet connection. I have both of those things. While I can pretty much do my entire job from anywhere with an internet connection, it's generally accepted that I have to do it at my desk instead. That said, I had a good reason to work from my house yesterday: the carpet upstairs was going to be installed between 11am and 4pm. A nice big window for me to wait around.

The Southern carpet installer showed up at around 1:30 and I invited him in. I showed him where he was going to be putting the carpet as he continually looked at his work order. When I was done showing him the one room and set of stairs he would cover, he said, "this thing says you only have three stairs."

That's not the case. I have 13 stairs to carpet. Someone forgot to type the '1'. Awesome. The day previous, when someone called me to confirm the installation day, they said, "OK, you've got a bedroom, two closets and three stairs." I quickly corrected them and hoped they would note their mistake. They did not. Needless to say, I now have carpet in the bedroom:



But not on the stairs. Instead of carpet, he put the tack strips down. Dangerous:

While he was working away, I started thinking about how people generally don't exhibit much common sense these days. What could I possibly need only three steps carpeted for? Wouldn't you, if you saw that someone had ordered only three steps worth of carpet installation, at least check with someone? Of course you wouldn't. It's not your job to check, only look at the form and follow instructions blindly. What a good worker you are.

I thought about this a lot, probably too much, and have surmised that the only set of stairs with only three treads would either be ones leading up to an outdoor deck, or little stairs leading into a hot tub. Both of those seem like illogical places to put carpet, as both would get wet on occasion.

Dumb people aside, he's coming back after 5 today to finish up the stairs. Hooray.

In other stairs news, I ordered outdoor railings for the front and side of the house. I know the old ones were great and fun, in a dangerous 'don't lean on these too much' sort of way, but I figured most buyers wouldn't like them. That said, when I met the welder for an estimate, he said he could do it, but it would take two weeks. Surprised, I let him know that it would have to be done much sooner than two weeks, as I'd like to get the house inspected before that. He crumpled his face up, adjusted his stance, hemmed and hawed a little bit and let me know he could do it in a week, at best. I said OK, and we had an agreement.

Literally two business days later, he gave me a call while I was at work and told me that the railings were done. I said "Holy essword" and thanked him. Here are the side of the house railings:

I cleaned out the Dining Room last night, we sanded and I started to prime the trim in there. I should be done painting it tomorrow, and we'll do the same in the Mud Room. Once that's done, all of the major stuff is done.

Here's the empty room. It's a little less messy than it was yesterday:

I'm very tired.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Hair. Gross.

Very busy weekend. I am very tired and sore. Here were my goals for the weekend:

Mow the lawn
Finish the lanscaping
Scrape and paint the window trim outside (first floor)
Semi-organize rarely used tools
Clear out the Second Floor Bedroom
Empty out the first floor bedrooms to paint
Finish painting the first floor bedrooms
Clear out the Dining Room

Here's how Amanda and I fared:

Lawn? Mowed.

Exterior Trim painting? Scraped and painted.

Rarely used tools? Semi-organized.

Second Floor Bedroom? Almost cleared out.

One first floor bedroom? Painted.

The landscaping, Dining Room and other first floor bedroom?

We didn't have time to finish those things. Mainly because everything takes longer than you expect it to. That and the annoying need to sleep and eat.

Here's our current Dining Room:

Yikes. it looks like my childhood bedroom as there is a bunch of crap, but still a slim path to walk on.

Also, I spent an ungodly two hours in Home Depot trying to set up carpet installation, buy a bunch of stuff and pay for it all. That place is such an amazing time waster. It's crazy. I have spent more time in Home Depot than with my wife lately.

The good news is, the carpet is coming tomorrow. Once that's in? That room is pretty much done. The bed will go in there, the doors will be rehung (after I painted them) and we'll have a completed room that is clean. It's kind of exciting I guess.

The first floor bedroom that isn't done is actually much further along than I expected it to be on Sunday morning. I am kind of impressed with how it all transpired. I was able to:

Clear the room out
Sand the walls
Sand/scrape the trim
Sweep/vaccum the joint compound dust
Two coats of primer on the trim
One coat on the walls
One coat in the closet
Two coats of paint on the walls

All in the same day. All that's left is cutting the walls and painting the ceiling. That'll be done tonight.

One thing to note, going along with the recent post about Haitian craftsmanship, are these images of the baseboard trim, presanding/scraping:

If you look closely (and can get past the fact that it's pink), you can see not only all of the joint compound dust (from wall sanding) but also super disgusting hair in it. This is only an example of a problem that was throughout the room. The hair was painted into the trim. Gross.

In short, all three first floor bedrooms will be finished today (minus closet doors), the second floor bedroom will be ready for carpet and it finally feels like we're reaching the end of this crap. I know there are still a million little things to do, but it should be wrapped up pretty soon.

The two remaining rooms with a lot of work left are the Mud Room (easy) and the Dining Room (harder). I want to get those wrapped up this week as well.

Crazy Jeff Doors is still working along, despite his crippling depression, and is almost done with his stuff. We should have radiator covers to paint this week. Hooray.

For fun, here's me carrying a huge and heavy closet door form a first floor bedroom. It weighs probably 75 pounds because of the huge piece of glass in it:

And here's how I feel about having to carry it:

Also, finding headbands while cleaning is sweet.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Hallelujah, It's Raining Lead. Amen.

If you've been following along, which, I mean, obviously, you have, then you know I bought a super run down foreclosed-on home from the 1930s. The previous owner (who I have found out was a Haitian immigrant who tried to run an illegal daycare from the basement), didn't take very good care of the place. The updates that were made were generally half-assed, jerry-rigged or worse. While working last night, I decided to take some pictures of some of the first floor bedroom only examples of the great work.

The inspiration for the photo barrage came from this:

It's a door hinge. I was attempting to remove the door, in order to paint the jamb/trim and ran into a little problem. There should have been a total of twelve screws holding the door onto the jamb; six per hinge. After removing a few of them, I came upon what appeared to be a nail (it's on the middle right of the hinge). There was no channel to insert a screwdriver (I have no idea what the technical term for that part of the screw head is), like all of the others had. I immediately thought to myself, "what is a nail doing in here?" I removed the remaining screws, grabbed a hammer and started prying the hinge out.

After a bit of a fight with the hinge/nail/jamb, I realized that it was, in fact, not a nail, but a screw. I have no idea, nor will I ever have an idea, of how this screw was inserted into the wood without a proper Phillips or regular head on it. I remain dumbfounded.

My second example is Haitian craftsmanship comes from the window frame:

Above is an image of an old timey/cheap curtain rod bracket. You put this bracket up, slip a curtain onto a crappy rod, and mount the rod to this thing. I have no problem, other than aesthetically, with the use of this bracket/rod system. Sure, it's ugly and cheap, but, much the same as a middle aged hooker, it has a lot of experience and performs ably. My problem is with the effort with which the mounting of this bracket was overlooked.

As you can see, the bracket on the right was mounted according to the instructions. The bracket on the left, was not. Looking at the proper mounting, there is a screw at the top to carry the load of the heavy curtain/rod, and a nail in the bottom to ensure that the bracket remains in place. The bracket on the left however, uses a non-included drywall screw for the top, and some sort of flexible screw for the bottom. The top screw is excusable. Perhaps the original screw was misplaced. The bottom screw, which should be a small finishing nail, is abhorrent. It is obviously too girthy for the nail hole, so instead of screwing in cleanly, it warped into what is seen above.

Furthermore, the bracket assembly was overlooked at least 3 more times. There are three coats of paint on the thing. Someone took the time to paint the out of place screw instead of removing it and replacing it. In short, someone put it up, said to themselves, "nice. We can hang some drapes and/or Haitian flags now." Compounding things, someone, presumably the same person, painted over the offending bracket three times without taking the, literally, one minute to remove the screw and replace it. Jesus.

My final example of 'how to not take care of a home' is below:

The image above is the ceiling of a first floor bedroom closet. Fairly flaky I'd say. The best part? It's definitely lead paint. How can I be so sure that it's lead paint? Because it's the only layer of paint in the closet. Duh.

Every inch of this house has been covered in, at least, three layers of paint. The original paint, plus the, at least, two other colors (sometimes more). Since the house was built in the 1930s, as mentioned above, and lead paint was the dominating paint then, one can surmise that the first layer, at least, is lead paint. The only places that don't have more than one layer of paint in the entire house? The ever neglected closets.

The good news? Once all of the flakes are removed, you can prime twice and paint over lead paint with latex based paint to effectively seal it in. Easy enough. The bad news? You have to scrape lead paint. I spent a half an hour in a small closet scraping lead paint flakes/dust. The paint was everywhere. In my hair, under my fingernails, in my eyes and despite my best respirator wearing efforts, in my mouth and nose. I fully expect all of the food I eat to taste a little off for the remainder of the weekend.

Not even one coat of paint in the closets, you lazy jerks?

On the one hand, it's maddening to know that people like this exist and let their kids draw pictures on the door of a closet covered in flaking lead paint. On the other hand, if it weren't for them, I'd still be looking for a house to fix.

Speaking of the weekend, it's going to be a busy one. Paint the two bedrooms downstairs, organize my tools, paint the trim outside (weather permitting), finish up the landscaping, mow the jungle themed lawn, etc.

Almost done...

Tuesday, July 7, 2009


It's days like yesterday that make me wonder why I have a job at all. Amanda had the day off (score one for being unemployed, based upon jealousy), it was 80 degrees and sunny with a slight breeze (score one for being unemployed, based upon vastly inferior artificial indoor office weather), I have a crap-ton of work to do at the house (score one for unemployed, based upon the premise of 'better things to do'), and lastly, I had a meeting about stupid made up corporate crap in the morning (score one for unemployed, based upon having to put up with stupid made up corporate crap when it's really nice outside).

*Aside Alert* - I fully understand the need for Human Resources employees. People need to be hired and benefits need to be managed. I have no problem with that, as it serves a purpose and generally helps the employees and the company function. What I do not understand, and will never understand, is the other arm of HR, which sadly, has a much greater reach to me (as I'm already hired, and I don't have any health problems, yet); the HR employees that stay employed solely to make up things. They drag me to day long seminars about how all employees, even if they don't have direct reports (aka, underlings) should be leaders. Instead of saying these are your strengths, and these are your weaknesses, they say, these are your strengths, and these are your "opportunities for development". They make up acronyms for things. They waste thousands of dollars printing and laminating those acronyms to distribute them to people who will throw them away immediately. It's appallingly wasteful, in many ways; time (mine), salaries (theirs), supplies (paper), brain room (anyone who's retarded enough to remember such things). Why are these people employed? Rather, why is such a position not only tolerated, but allowed to infiltrate the jobs of everyone else in the company? Do these people take themselves seriously? All questions I may never have the answers to. If I ask, I will probably get in trouble.

*Aside Over* - My apologies.

On the other hand, my employer pays me every two weeks (score one for employed).

Currently, and presumably for a great long while, the latter (employed) outweighs the former (unemployed), even though there is really only one reason to remain employed. At some point, the scales will tip in the other direction, but it's, sadly, going to be awhile. Sigh.

After work, I headed home and got some more awesome paint scraping done in the front of the house. It's a real pain. All that's left scraping-wise is the left side of the house. Windows are much easier and we should be done painting the house trim this weekend. Hooray.

Amanda's been painting her brains out on her two days off (yesterday, today), so what will become the office should be all painted and ready for furniture today. That's kind of great.

The electrician finished up his duties yesterday, so we have working, up to code electricity. I hope the inspector agrees.

Lastly, Crazy Jeff Doors got a ride from his girlfriend and is working in the house today. He's got a lot of stuff to finish up, so hopefully he shows up a little more frequently. I'm debating on whether or not to entice him with some sort of, "if you finish by X date, you get X amount of money" bonus system. I'm leaning towards doing it, but we'll see what he finished up today.

Monday, July 6, 2009

I Did Not Celebrate Independence From My House.

It's been awhile since I've updated, and all of the work I do at the house blends together, so I don't have a day to day update list. Instead, I will write what was done over the long weekend.

Ran a bead of caulk around the first floor bathroom.

Scraped and painted the windows in the back of the house:

Scraped and painted one window in the front of the house. This picture serves as a kind of Living Before-And-After:

Scraped the landing in front of the front door. As you can see, there are layers and layers of paint. These stairs were once many different colors, most of which were preferable to the color they were yesterday. It looks a little like an Everlasting Gobstopper with all of the layers, but instead of a delicious core of sugar, there's an equally delicious core of lead paint. Yum:

Mowed the lawn. Here it is before the mowing:

Looks like a regular lawn? Maybe a little long, but not too bad, right?

Here's how long it was ( keep in mind that what looks like the base of the grass is actually buried in three to four inches of other grass) (also it was installed a long long time ago and has since absorbed a lot of rain to help it grow):

And here's my poor lawnmower trying its hardest to cut the thatch. Recently purchased and with no knowledge of what it was getting itself into (it's on the highest possible setting):

The lawn took forever to cut. The mower choked pretty much every time I moved quickly, so it was slow going. I had to do two separate passes to even make a dent.

Also making things slow? The bag on the mower isn't huge, capacity wise, so I had to stop and empty it a million times:

Painted a bunch of interior doors in my structurally unsound garage/paint booth:

I also did a bunch of other stuff on this long weekend, but didn't take pictures, so it's boring.

Also of note, on Friday both the electrician and Crazy Jeff Doors were supposed to work. Both, in lieu of calling, decided to stop by to tell me they weren't going to work that day. Both had miraculously forgotten that it was a holiday weekend.

When Jeff stopped by and chatted with me, he said that his crazy girlfriend, who is enormously fat and equally crazy, had an MRI the day previous (I don't have any idea how she fit into the tube, but whatever). He mentioned that the doctor said that the tumor, which I assume is somewhere in her chest, as he motions to his every time he mentions it, is getting smaller. I said how great that was and was thinking to myself at the time, "the tumor is smaller. too bad she isn't."

It probably makes me a terrible person to have that thought, but at least I didn't say it out loud? Right?

Thursday, July 2, 2009


Right on cue. I got sick. I was just complaining about working too much and feeling like an elderly person, and sure enough, it caught up with me. I laid around yesterday while Crazy Jeff Doors traipsed all over the house doing some trim work. It was great. No it wasn't.

Speaking of the elderly, it's always said that they have weaker immune systems. How can that possibly be? From the day you slide out of your mom (or are pulled out after a stomach incision, in my case), you are basically catching viruses and manufacturing cures for them. These cures spend the rest of your life floating around your bloodstream, just waiting for that same virus to come along. If it does, they eat it. If it doesn't, no big deal, at least you're prepared.

The point is, by the time I'm 80, I figure my bloodstream will be so jam packed with virus specific antibodies that I'll get sick once every two years. In other words, my immune system will be even more prepared for sickness, and thus stronger, when I'm old. Even if it isn't stronger, how can it possibly be weaker? It's even more prepared for sickness than it was when I was in the prime of my life. I don't get it.

That was terrible writing. I am sick. My apologies.