Thursday, April 8, 2010


In day 1 of year 2, I have resolved to listen to my readers. I don't mean the ones who shouldn't be readers. N. asked that I post at least three times a day. While that is not practical, I am going to try to post every day for a little while. At least every day that I have fifteen minutes to write something that will hopefully garner a chuckle from someone, or at a minimum, make me chuckle to myself. (As long as I make myself laugh, even a little, it was worth the time.)

There will be two important consequences to this pledge.

Blog Preview Warning1. The quality of each post is likely to decline. I will repost the Reader Warning Label periodically in case you are unsure how to handle yourself as a result of this.

2. The length of each post is likely to decline. I expect this will mean that the chance of anyone getting to the end of each post increases above 12%.

Today's post was mostly an excuse to share the cartoon you see above, which so perfectly sums up my life with N. that it is, in fact, the only thing on my refrigerator. The fridge is stainless steel, which means that securing things to it cannot be accomplished with a magnet. No, it's a major commitment involving laminate and tape. So far, this is the only thing that has made the cut.

Even though I find I rarely have time to read the New Yorker these days, I am going to renew my subscription, just because of this cartoon.

Anyway, in order that those out there can have some glimpse of what life in a fixer-upper is like, here's a summary of my home improvement projects to date. I am approaching the 3-year anniversary of owning this home.

Kitchen: I like to describe it as "the death star from Return of the Jedi." That is, even though it looks like a major construction zone, it's fully operational. I can't blow up medium-sized planets with it -- yet -- but I can make awesome pizza from scratch.

Bathroom: 99.5% finished. Total time from start to 99.5% finished: seven months.

Roof CatBasement: Minor improvements in terms of removing unwanted walls, unfortunately including the one around the basement toilet. Added a washer and dryer, the latter free from Craig's List and still working fine 3 years later.

Bedrooms: Partly done renovating one of three bedrooms, project temporarily delayed due to deprioritization. Now looks like a diaorama of a painting project, frozen in time. Other bedrooms mostly untouched.

Floors/woodwork/windows/finish work: You're kidding, right? Actually this stuff ain't so bad, it's kind of why I bought the house. It all needs some attention, but compared to most everything else, it's the nicest stuff in the house. The only painted door was the one on the bathroom, which is now stripped and refinished. Given that I hate nothing more than stripping paint, this is a major milestone.

Back yard: Still looks very much as it did the day I moved in. That is, no organic life except the invasive kind, impassable for several days after each rainstorm, no fence, several pieces of old hand-me-down lawn furniture, and more bugs than the Amazon river basin.

Front yard: Removed unidentifiable, mismatched hedge things and replaced with azaleas last summer. Said azaleas killed by snowstorm and new puppy early this year. Added french drain and new azaleas last weekend, attempting to grow grass. Will report back. Signs point to "iffy at best."

So much for short posts.... until tomorrow.