Archive for the ‘the perils of homeownership’ Category


Not having Richard around for a week has driven me to do odd things out of boredom.  Like eating an entire tub of hummus.  And then, later, an entire wedge of blue cheese.  And the night before, I remodeled our master bathroom.  …at least one of these activities was productive.

The master bathroom has been sitting in a desperate state of disrepair since we bought our home last May.  It’s the one room that we haven’t done a damn thing to, and on Tuesday evening, I finally found myself unable to look at it anymore.

I pulled on some pants (yes, I wander around the house pantsless — don’t you? — I highly recommend it) and headed out to the local home improvement store.  Returning home an hour later, and down $100, I set to work.  By 1:00 a.m. the next morning, the bathroom was a masterpiece.

I painted.  I edged.  I patched drywall.  I drilled things.  I grouted.  I undrilled things.  I did minor electrical work.  I cleaned.  I organized.  I built a shelving unit and bolted it to the wall.  And no one was there to take the drill or the tools away from me and tell me that I was going to “hurt” myself.  It was spectacular.

The only thing left to do now is replace the toilet and the tub (both are leaky and require professional work, unfortunately) and tile the floor.  Well, and take pictures.  But I think that despite the continued presence of Drippy McToilet and the Rusty Tub From Hell, Richard will be quite surprised and pleased when he comes home tomorrow night.

Now all I need is something productive to do tonight


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Richard bought me a new digital camera on Sunday.

Okay, he didn’t buy it expressly for me.  He bought it for both of us, with the Goldberg-esque idea that buying a nicer digital camera would enable us to take good pictures of the couches we wish to sell on Craigslist and that the proceeds from the sale of the couches would more than pay for the camera.  Unfortunately, only the first part of that Mouse Trap has worked out so far.  But I’m not too concerned: we have a shiny new toy!

I’ve already succeeded in annoying the piss out of Richard, the dog and the cat as I harass them incessantly with the camera, wanting to try out all the settings and ISO levels and shrieking after them, “No — wait!  Just one more shot!”  So I’ve been reduced to taking endless pictures of inanimate objects around the house until I get a good feel for the camera.

Up first, we have a game I like to call “Potato or Pear”: (more…)

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In the ongoing, agonizing struggle to free myself from the townhome that I was leasing (very little of which I’ve bothered to complain about on here because: provokes anger), I had what I thought would be the final walkthrough tonight with the leasing agent and the new tenants. The new tenants are nice enough, I suppose – although I could really give a shit at this point – but they are the type of very anal-retentive foreigners (you know the type, don’t act like I’m the asshole here) that make people from a certain subcontinent look really bad and perpetuate a certain stereotype, which I hate (stereotypes, I hate stereotypes). So, by the time that they’re finished with their “walkthrough” an hour later – and what am I even doing there? I’m not the landlord! – they’ve compiled a handwritten, two-and-a-half page list of “problems” that need to be fixed before they’ll move in. Which they then give to me. And the proceed to explain at length how they won’t be moving in until I fix these things. Again: not the landlord.

Among the many, many things on the list are the following items:

1) Re-key the locks (I’M NOT THE LANDLORD)

2) They want the showerhead that was in the bathroom when they originally viewed the townhome, which was mine. I explained that the showerhead currently in the bathroom is the one that came with the home and that the one they saw was my showerhead, which I suggested they could purchase at Lowes for $49.99. They didn’t seem amused by this.

3) They also want the shelves that I had hung in the bedroom. Again, my shelves. When I explained that they were my shelves, the husband launched into a shrill tirade which went, verbatim: “We agreed to rent this particular unit based upon the assumption that certain items would be retained in the unit and if these certain items aren’t included with the unit, then we will be unable to rent it!” So, in other words, you want me to bring back my shelves, rehang them and just flat out give them to you? Sure thing. I’ll get right on that.

4) One of the wall sockets in the bedroom was missing A screw. One.

5) The baseboards were dusty.

6) And, finally, my favorite – they were convinced that I had been living – nay, squatting – in a townhome with no electricity and no A/C and they wanted me to fix this immediately. Actually, the electrician that had been out the day before to fix the wiring had accidentally turned off the breakers in the breaker box. But no matter how many times I tried to explain this and the fact that I’d been living in my new house for over a week and not in the townhome, they just kept asking me, “How could you live like this?!?” in incredulous voices as if they were speaking to a woman who’d been found living in a house filled with 57 cats and two feet of feces in every room.

I can’t even tell you how incredibly relieved I am to not be living in a rented house anymore. Escaping my lease has been an utter nightmare – a story for another day, though – and I can’t wait until we’re completely settled into the new house, drinking beers on the patio with the doors open, listening to salsa music on the stereo until the late hours, and then – much later – driving by my old townhome with six dozen eggs and egging it for all it’s worth.

I love italics.

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Soooo tired.

Richard and I only closed on the new house last Thursday, but we’ve been blowing like mad to get her into shape before this Tuesday.  It’s like flipping a house and then living in it afterwards.  I have a whole new respect for the people on those shows like “Flip This House” and its ilk.  This shit is hard, I’m not gonna lie to you.

So far, since Thursday night, we’ve done the following:

1.  Painted the entire interior of the house (living room, dining room, kitchen, halls, staircase, closets, bedrooms and three bathrooms)

2.  Pulled up carpets upstairs and downstairs

3.  Pulled up linoleum in kitchen and breakfast room and crappy old tile in foyer

4.  Yanked off all the old baseboards

5.  Had carpet installed upstairs and on staircase

6.  Installed ceramic tile in kitchen, breakfast room, foyer and powder room

7.  Installed hardwood floors (Brazilian cherry…yum) in living room, dining room and hallway

8.  Installed crown molding throughout house

9.  Installed new baseboards throughout house

10.  Planted four banana leaf palms in backyard

11.  Tore out old wrought-iron banisters (one upstairs and one downstairs), refinished them and painted them black

12.  Installed new lighting in dining room, breakfast room and foyer

13.  And we’ve also packed half of the old house in the meantime

I can’t tell you how glad I’m going to be when this is all finished and we can just enjoy the fruits of our labor (I really hate that phrase…”fruits of our labor”…but it’s late and I’m tired and I can’t think of any other clever euphimisms right now).  And it will be so nice to get more than four hours of sleep on a routine basis again.  I’m getting to that point where, like after a really long and intense game of Tetris, all I can see when I close my eyes at night are paint cans and grout.

No photos yet, but soon, my pretties…soon.  I’m off to finish up our packing.

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