Monday, August 24, 2009

Back to Work

I've been terrible at working hard as of late. It's oppressively hot in Providence, plus super muggy, and I've been getting sucked into sitting on the couch. Add to that the fact that Al Medina, General Contractor and Richard, The Guy Who Hands Me Money were on vacation for the past three weeks, and you get an unmotivated Ryan. I stink.

Things got back to full tilt this weekend. I finished up a lot of little things and the Guy Who Hands Me Money will be coming over today to take a look. Hopefully he'll sign away the last of the money and I will be able to schedule the final inspection (with the terrible city inspectors) for Friday (right before Amanda and I fly to Philadelphia for the weekend).

Here's a sampling of what I did over the weekend:

Painted outside
Painted inside
Glued some trim in the bathroom and fireplace hearth
Caulked a terrible shower enclosure
Cleaned some windows (more time consuming than you think)

There are a ton of little things left to do, but I got a lot of little things done over the weekend, so I'm starting to feel a little better about where the house is. Hopefully it will be inspected a few times this week, and pass. Once inspected, I get to tear down a shower stall and replace it with a tub (long story). Once the tub is finshed, it'll be on the market. Hooray.

Also, great news from Friday: Jeff Doors is done. Really, very great. He finished up his kind of OK work, I didn't yell at him, and he was on his way with some of my money.

On Friday, when I got home from work, he was there, as was his gigantic girlfriend (?). As I am obliged to do, I stopped to chat with the enormous woman while she was in her white Caravan waiting for Jeff to finish packing up. Since it's been so hot, the conversation obviously took a turn for the weather. I explained that the house isn't too bad heat wise, plus we have ceiling fans, so while hot, it could be worse. She then let me know the following, white sweating, possibly panting and leaning halfway out of her car with the door open. I have typed it up as best as I could from memory:

"When I get home after a day with doctors or taking Jeff around town, I usually go straight in the house. It's too hot for being outside this week. It's just awful. When I get home I just lock the doors and strip off all of my clothes. I strip 'em off and try to cool down in bed or something."

Really. She said this to me. Ugh.

In other, less debilitatingly disgusting news, here are a few pictures of some progress.

Amanda, scraping a freshly painted exterior window:

The Master bedroom (also known as "Dan's Bedroom"):

The Master Closet (it's huge):

And lastly, not house related, this great mural:

I drive past it everyday on my way to work. It is just fantastic. Not only is the art style great (terrible) but there are two very peculiar portions of the mural.

Here they are, side by side:

The first one, of the basketball player, first caught my attention when we moved to River Ave, all of those months ago. You cannot tell me that the person who painted it said, "this is not a person squatting, and pooping out a basketball as a gift for an unsuspecting mailman coming to pick up the letters in the adjacent mailbox." I cannot be convinced otherwise.

The other, I just noticed this morning, while snapping these photos. It appears to be an adult man, calling over a running midget in semi-business attire for a warm embrace. This made me laugh for the entire 10 minute ride to work.

The question is: what kind of person is that little one? He looks kind of like a midget, but his proportions aren't midget-esque. His face and hair are much too adult to be a child running to hug his relative/mentor, plus what kid wears a tie? Does he attend a private school, with a dress code? If so, what kind of self respecting private school allows shorts? This isn't a movie set at a boarding school in Leeds, England, so that option is out.

On the other hand, and presuming that the man on the bench is a giant, what adult male wears red shorts with a shirt and tie? Does he work behind a desk, and thus, only have to appear to be dressed professionally from the waist up? Is he a Telemundan news anchor?

On the third hand (that's poor writing), was he in the middle of changing, when the obviously creepy man on the bench somehow caught his attention? If so, why would he tuck the professional looking shirt into his obviously casual shorts? Is he afraid of looking slovenly to his seated friend?


The point is this: think about things before you paint them. If you don't, I will be forced to over-think about them when you've finished. Idiots.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Lost Bets and Neighbors

Minimal updates, as usual.

Last weekend, Amanda and I went to a local state park and hung out. No big deal. Big deal? It was time to pay up on a bet I lost. Here's the set up:

Before we got married, we made a bet about a friend of hers. I was of the opinion that this friend of hers would be proposed to by her then boyfriend when we were all in Puerto Rico. Amanda said that it wouldn't happen. We made a bet with the following terms: I win, she eats a big spoonful of mayonnaise, which she hates. I lose the bet, I take a big bite out a a disgusting, probably poisonous tomato.

A month or so before the wedding, Amanda informed me that these two had broken up. F.

Here are a few photos of me trying not to throw up:


I know that had nothing to do with the house and it's various projects, but it was worth mentioning.

Next up on the picture tour? The neighbors. I snapped a few shots of the crazy neighbor lady and her poor husband. How those tiny legs support that forward leaning mass of rolling fat is beyond me.

I made a comparison of her body to three stacked ring-shaped pool floats on top of legs and feet. It's apt I think.

Lastly, some house news. I'm going to try to get the final inspection scheduled for next Wednesday. General Contractor Al Medina should be getting back from Portugal this weekend, so we can finally get it done. Good times.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Dining Room

Here's the Dining Room. All it needs now is some more crap to fill up the shelves (this is our biggest problem right now. We have bookshelves everywhere, but not enough stuff to fill them up). More to come next week.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009


The house is coming together. I guess. I have been lazy this last week, both in house work and updates. My apologies.

I'll post some picture updates this week, as rooms come together (for good), but for now, my update is Crazy Jeff Doors oriented.

He hasn't shown up for a week. It's the best. He called me yesterday, while I was at work, and left a message for me. I don't have it, so I cannot transcribe it word for word, but I will do my best to give you the gist of it. Here is the gist of it:

He has been off of his medication. He got medication yesterday.



He is crazy, this has been documented here. Literally crazy. Text book crazy. I was unaware that his craziness was at the 'need medication' level. Astounding. I fear that his enormous companion is dead. More on this as it develops.

Last week, he started to put up some crown moulding in the dining room. I had purchased hundreds of feet of the moulding and corner pieces so I could install it myself. Since Jeff was around, I asked him to start things. Big mistake.

One day last week, the only day he showed up, I listened to a voicemail he left while I was driving home. In it he described how he cannot use the MDF moulding that I purchased because he is, "a carpenter. Carpenters use wood."

When I got home, he told me the same thing and I told him that I would gladly install it myself. Below is his attempt. Judging by the look of things, he would not be able to put up wood crown either. The corner he attempted, and then abandoned, is terribly misaligned:

The only problem with my idea? The corners in each room are not square. Thus, the generally square corner pieces I purchased, to avoid crazy mitre cuts, will not work. They have huge gaps between them and the walls, and thus, the walls will be painted, the moulding returned, and the house crownless. I lack the skill to put up crown without cheating by using corner pieces. Lame.

Another Crazy Jeff update: I found his last name. It is Gagne. I spoke with the man who referred him to me, the man who took care of my sod, and he let me know. He also told me that he does a background check on everyone who works for him, and informed me that Jeff has two DUIs from 9 years ago, and that was it. I suspected as much, as Jeff doesn't drive, nor does he drink any longer.

I still searched around on the internet for a few minutes, looking for more recent transgressions, but there are none. Jeff, as usual, was a terrible manager of my expectations and led me to believe that he molested a child just two weeks ago. Instead, it was a crime or two from the 90s.

For your pleasure, I took some guerrilla style photos of Jeff and the Behemoth the last time they were at the house. Enjoy:


America is tops. It produces a lot of pharmaceuticals.

And her:

And her ham arm:

I will try to get some better images of them, but this was the best i could do without them noticing.

Lastly, we don't have cable. I explained this awhile ago. Since that decision, I have been trying to find ways to make the most of my huge TV, despite the lack of HD programming. Late last week, I found a fantastic little program that turns my computer into a virtual server for Hulu, Netflix and other such streaming video sites. Here's how it works:

The wireless network in my house talks to my desktop computer, and my Playstation 3. My desktop computer sends the Netflix, Hulu and other site information to my ps3. My ps3 displays said information. We choose from hundreds of movies, shows, etc. My ps3 sends the request to my desktop, which sends the request to the site. The site then serves up the information to my desktop, which sends it to my ps3, which sends it to my TV. It is just awesome.

Images to come this week.