Saturday, December 31, 2011


My parents stayed with me for the last few days, and as they have before, they rained down a storm of house results accomplished while they were here.   My dad got the tub unclogged and got an estimate for fixing my chimney; my mom cleaned floors and got new flowers for the front.  My brother even got in on the action by bleaching my kitchen counters and helping mom unpack my china.*   Housenstein may now be in the best shape of his life after 90 years here, hanging out on this mortal coil.

One of the fun results accomplished was the prettification of my fireplace.  My chimney is not, you know, technically speaking, safe for use.  It's not even really guaranteed to stay attached to the house in the event of an earthquake or other seismic disturbance.  On the exterior, it's made of bricks held together with a kind of sandy substance.  For all I know, it's actually just sand-- when you run your finger in between the bricks, the substance crumbles and flakes out.   Naturally, I live not too far from the Eagle Rock and Verdugo fault lines.

Since I can't use the fireplace, a standing unresolved question has been: What do I do with this un-usable thing?  Answers over the last five months have included:
  • Nothing
  • Scowl at it
  • Paint around it
  • Put pictures on it!
  • Park a large plant in front of it 
  • Have gas company people come look at it 
  • Decorate it for Christmas, like this:

Cute, right?  Christmas cards from my friends are on the mantel, which maybe should be spelled mantle?  But that may be more the meaning of 'take up the mantle' of something.  Then again, 'mantle' may be the way both are spelled.  Which would not make the two words either homophones or homographs.
Or, wait-- maybe it would make them both?
I enjoy the immensely asymmetrical Christmas stockings.  Clearly, one part of me was better than the other this year, and expected big things.

It's cutebut.  As in 'that's cute, but...'  It's cute, but there's a giant black hole in the middle.**

For a while now, my mom has been telling me I should get a candle thing for the fireplace.  You know those candle things?  A candelabra, like this, for your non-functional fireplace?  I resisted this idea, because I kind of thought-- meh.  Everybody does that.  And because everybody does that, I WILL NOT.  I RESIST!  That's when I put the plant in front of it.  That was cute, but...cutebut.  I liked the idea of a fireplace screen though-- in particular these screens at Crate and Barrel:
How perfect would this be with the front door?***
It speaks to me.
It says: You love me.
I say: That's true.

These are both $179 though.  So, no. 

Then, a couple days ago, my mom and I went to Target to get a few house things.   We ended up looking at fireplace screens, and I saw one I liked OK, but...


Me: I kind of like it, but I don't know whether I'll like the yellow color of the diamonds?
Mom:  Well, there's one way to find out.
Me:  Um...what would that be?
Mom:  Open the box and look!

Whaaaaaat?!  Well, OK!  So, we opened a box of one of the accessories that goes with this screen:

 I was not a fan of this yellow, as it turned out.

Also, as it turned out, we were not the only ones with the 'open the box and look' idea.

I ended up finding a simpler screen that I liked for about $40.  And, while were in neighborhood, my mom said-- hey, why don't you get candles for your fireplace!

Mmmmm, ALRIGHT, I said.  I will LOOK.  We will SEE, but I MAKE NO GUARANTEES.

Twenty minutes later, we ended up with this:

The middle candle is my favorite, and it knows that, but I also enjoy them as a cohort.
I love the ikat-ishness contrasted with the metallic and the white.

We debated a bit about whether the candelabra should be in front of or behind the screen.  Eventually, we decided behind was better, and it ended up looking like this:

And the question of: How do I use this un-usable thing? was thus resolved.

Happy New Year, everybody!

*Yes, until a few days ago, my grandmother's china had been sitting in the boxes I packed it in 5 months ago when I moved.   Shhhhh.  I hear you judging me, through the internets.
**No, I still haven't fixed the place where the paint ripped off the cement 'tiles.'  Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.  I hear you judging me again.
***There's a cheaper version of this idea here, at, of all places,   But if I had the Target version, I think I'd always look at it at it tell it that it could never live up to the Crate and Barrel version, and that would just be hurtful.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


The Iliad, which I have not exactly read but have definitely heard of, is an epic poem that tells of the tale of Achillesita, a brave homeowner warrior who wages a courageous battle over many years against a shifting coalition of Greek city-states in order to have new windows installed on her old house in Troy.  She tells her story in flashbacks, leading the reader in through the beginning of the action even though she is close to the end of her life-- the windows end up literally killing her, which launches a thousand ships captained by Athena, who sprang fully formed from Zeus' head right around the time Prometheus was looking to buy a place and ended up on an isolated lot outside of town, over by that big rock.    

Achillesita's first task is to forge an army.  She makes the rounds among the mercenaries, explaining what she needs and asking who will join her.  A mercenary pseudonym-ed Mr. Petrov volunteers for the challenge, and Achillesita determines that Mr. Petrov is sufficiently knowledgeable and affordable, as mercenaries go. 

Mr. Petrov and Achillesita agree that the war will be waged at 9am on a Tuesday at the beginning of December.  On the appointed day for the first battle, Mr. Petrov's installation phalanx arrived at 11am and said:

Oh, it's too late for us to get started now.  
We'll have to come back another time.  This is a big job.  
Hey, in the meantime, can we leave these windows in your garage?

[Obviously, they said that in ancient Greek.]

Disheartened, Achillesita beat her chest and gnashed her teeth and wailed to Mr. Petrov, but to no avail.  Achillesita sighed deeply, and then called Mr. Petrov's office assistant, Candi, to reschedule for the following Monday.

On the day of the second battle, the gods laughed at Achillesita, and made the heavens open and the rains pour down.  Mr. Petrov's office assistant Candi called and said

So so sorry about this, we do apologize, but we can't install in the rain now can we?  We'll put you on the schedule for Thursday.

[Again, I'm translating here from the Homeric verse she used.]

Achillesita, who is trying look on the bright side, reminds herself how much new windows mean to her.   She reassures herself that he has done the right thing by choosing to have new windows installed.  It's winter in Troy; it's cold.  She knows she can't go through another Troy winter with only decrepit window slats to protect her.  Whatever Mr. Petrov or the gods throw at her, she will have new windows, and it will be worth it.  It's not like this is the Trojan War or something.
On the day of the third battle, the installation phalanx arrives on time!  The phalanx gets to work!  The phalanx is taking old windows out and putting new ones in!  Achillesita heads off to work, gladdened that the tide of the war has finally turned in her favor.

In the early afternoon, Achillesita gets an e-mail from Mr. Petrov.  The subject line says 'change order request.'  

The heart of Achillesita sinks, all the way to her heel.  The e-mail reads, in part:

Your crazy Frankenhouse was built by Dionysus, and so it has a wall that is not level 
Because of this, there are 3 windows that  need to be re-framed 
Re-framing will cost $$$$ 

In a very dramatic scene, Achillesita meets with the installation phalanx to see the windows that need to be reframed.  
She sees where the wall sinks in the middle; she lashes out and curses Dionysus' drunken homebuilding technique:

curse this 

She sees the windows now hanging in midair; in horror and wonderment, she pokes at the  exposed guts of the 
Dionysus Wall.  She wonders if someone has stuffed paper bags in the wall's wounds:

The installation phalanx also says that because they were so busy marveling at the ridiculousness of the Dionysus Wall, they did not have time to do the big windows in the front of the house.  
Or rather, they started the battle on those windows, but did not finish:

plastic windows...
...almost as cool as my cardboard fix.

At the end of the third battle, Achillesita slumps in her armor, exhausted.  The mercenary installation phalanx deserts her.  She calls Mr. Petrov's office assistant Candi and says to her, in ancient Greek-- when can the installation phalanx return to finish the war?  Mr. Petrov's office assistant Candi says, Greekly:

The soonest would be a week from today.  I'll put you down.

Her spirit stirs at the indignity of living for a week with plastic windows.  Achillesita regains a bit of herself and tells Mr. Petrov's office assistant Candi she wants to get another estimate for the cost of re-framing the windows, so waiting a week would be fine.  Mr. Petrov's office assistant Candi says, in her Spartan dialect:

Well, that's a good idea.  That's just good business.

You're darn right that's good business, Achillesita thought to herself.  And with that, she headed back downtown to meet her friends for dinner.



New windows are, theoretically, being installed tomorrow.  More on that saga later.  Tonight, I was moving furniture, trying to get things away from the windows and thus away from the dirt and debris that I'm sure will end up on the inside of the house from the installation.

In doing that, this happened:


I was thinking I'd put this chair in the second bedroom, away from the kitchen window it sits under during its everyday life.  In trying to do that, I got stuck playing an unplanned round of "How Wide Are Your Hallways?"  Ohhh man.  This is not an extraordinarily wide chair.  It's a totally normal width, ready to accept rear ends of regular sizes!  My hallway, however, was not ready to accept my chair.

Um, so-- how wide are your hallways?
Nooooot very!

(You may be wondering how many more times I'm going to post pictures of things stuck in my hallways.  My answer is-- probably several more times.)

Thursday, December 8, 2011


You know you live in LA when you come home to find one of these taped to your garage...

Hmmmm.  What will this mean?

...well, two of them actually (one in English and one in Spanish):

So, I get free tickets to the movie?

From the notice, it looks like most of the filming will take place in two segments: first, tomorrow and Saturday, from 4pm-8am, and then again next Friday and Saturday at the same times.

Friday night, really?  And overnight to Saturday, from 4pm-8am?  Two weekends in a row?  Heaven forbid anyone around here be planning to have a quincea├▒era, or a kid's birthday party or any other celebration.  Why would anyone shoot anything at the absolute most congested time of LA's weekly congestionfest?  I mean, not that my neighborhood streets are super congested with traffic.  But they are pretty packed with street parking-- and from the description, it seems like there will be quite the influx movie people and their cars.  That whole middle chunk of the announcement is devoted to detail on where the Film Invaders will be parking.

The lower middle section of the notice is devoted to street closures.  Mmmmm.  Good, sure.  Close my streets to make your movie, fine.  But wouldn't it be nice if you gave me free tickets to your movie when it's done?

And just what will this movie be, I wonder?  This is the scene they are shooting, verbatim from the notice:

EXTERIOR SINGLE SHOT, 1/2 LOAD GUNFIRE & SIMULATED BULLET EFFECTS.  (location is listed in parenthesis-- it's very close) 12/09, 12/16-12/17, 4PM-8AM.

[What?  Are they going to survey me and ask me how I feel about simulated bullet effects?  Well, if they ask, I will tell them it'll just be like when my neighbors set off illegal fireworks on random Tuesday nights.  No different than that, really-- carry on.]

Driving scene, Driving shots, Intermittent pedestrian control, Intermittent traffic control- 2 minute standard (except 0700-0900 hrs & 1500-1900 hrs), Equipment on sidewalk, In curb lane & across street, Exterior Dialogue, Rain effects, Wetdown, Man running across street, Neatly stacked prop trash bags on sidewalk, Banners on street lamps, and newspaper boxes., Steam effects.  Generator.  Picture vehicles.

[So, in the film industry, we Capitalize everything that comes, After a comma?  Sometimes, we also have a period., Before a comma.  We also distinguish between 'rain effects' and 'wetdown,' which I am extremely curious about.  But thank heaven those prop trash bags will be 'neatly stacked'-- whew!]

Simulated bullet effects!  Wetdowns!  Men running across streets!  Banners on street lamps!  PICTURE VEHICLES?!  I am kind of excited, I have to admit.  Where on earth could this all be going?  What will this movie finally turn out to be?  The notice also makes reference to a 'base camp' for extras.  Extras!  I want to corner a bored extra and ask them what this is all about.  And., Ask how they have the audacity to not provide me free tickets!

Sunday, December 4, 2011


Los Angeles isn't the Windy City, obviously.  But last week, it was a windy city.  The Santa Ana winds usually crash the L.A. party scene in September, and manifest as That Guy You Wish You Didn't Have to Invite to the Party, Because That Guy Is Kind of Weird and Unpredictable and Is Always Trying to Set Things On Fire.  This year though, the Santa Ana winds came later that usual.  Or maybe they came on time, but just didn't get really crazy enough to wreak havoc until autumn's party was almost over?  Either way, the winds' speeds reached an amazing apex last week-- hurricane force winds, people!  Last Wednesday night, we had ourselves a Santa Ana windstorm, and I really thought a hurricane* was blowing through.  It was severe enough that I, like many other people in eastern LA and the San Gabriel Valley, had no power for a couple of days afterward.

Given Housenstein's precarious hilltop location and his vaguely illegal construction, I was a little worried that Santa Ana's party crashing would lead to something truly disastrous, like windows blowing out.  Or that the house would blow over, or come sailing off the hill, or just...I don't know.  That something really big would happen.

Luckily, that was not the case.  The new roof held up, and Housenstein stayed firmly in his place.  However...oh, my yard.  It was bad before, but it's a bit more expensively bad now.

east siiide

This is the rosebush along the east side of my house.  It used to stand up straight, in line with the fence, except-- whoops!  The wind blew both the bush and the bamboo lining free of their moorings against my chain link fence.  Now I have the Leaning Rosebush of Highland Park in my side yard.

Also in the side yard, on the other side--

west siiiide

This is the other side of the house, and you can see how the bamboo liner was blown off the fence on this side too.  I took that bamboo for granted until now.  At least the bamboo was nicer than just the metal, and it gave me privacy.  Now, with the bamboo blown free, I can see alllll my neighbors-- which means they can see me.  Hi, neighbors!

east siiide- used to see a rosebush!
west siiide-- used to see bamboo

How much will it cost to make the Leaning Tower of Rosebush stand up again, and restore my bamboo-based privacy?  Not sure.  But I'll need to find out.

The windows were kind of an issue, although a minor one considering how bad it could have been.  I reinforced my bedroom's cardboard filler before the winds were at their worst...

I am a DIY genius

...and my amazing cardboard fix stayed in place through the storm.  

Not oreo crumbs

Dirt did come in through the window though, which I discovered the next day.

The saddest outcome of the storm was the fate of the riesen-growing beanstalks that magically started growing in a planter box in the front yard, even though I hadn't planted them there:

 amaranth plants, before Santa Ana
amaranth plants, after Santa Ana

They're all broken now, their stalks snapped by the wind.  Who ever, in a million years, would have thought that I would buy a house where amaranth would magically grow, only to be cut down just before harvest by the clumsy Santa Ana winds?  I guess I was always going to take them out, but now, it needs to happen not just 'someday' or 'when I get to it' or 'after I find authentic Aztec amaranth recipes,' but soon-- it's not easy to get up those steps through the tangle of downed plant.

So, after the windows are done next week, I have my work cut out for me in making my yards habitable again, or at least not-visually-evocative-of-disaster.

*I really did think that.  And then I kind of thought-- but hurricanes only happen in the Atlantic?  How did this one get to the Pacific?  Unable to answer my own question on the migratory practices of hurricanes, I stopped there.  Oh well, I thought.  Guess it got over here somehow.  Maybe it's a lost cyclone, far from home.  On a separate note, I really think that if Herman Cain resurrects his presidential campaign, the word 'hurricane' should factor in to that somehow.  How has no one thought of that?  Where are his PR people?  Herman 'Hurricane' Cain, Blowing You Away in 2012!

Oh, wait-- I see this is obvious, and so someone has already thought of it.  Excellent.

Monday, November 21, 2011


It's been raining in LA.  My backyard, which is one big hill, is very excited about the rain and has made good use of the nourishment.  When it rains, the hill comes alive with the sound of music.  Except instead of music, it's mushrooms.  My hill is aliiive...with the many fun-gi...

This causes...death, I believe.

And here, the ground grows...death.
So, this is causes death, yes?

The other thing that happens when it rains is WEEEEDS.  Weeds so thick and green it's like someone laid a Celtic carpet on my yard.  They're growing in the front yard too, which has been a real enhancement to the curb appeal of the house:

Doesn't this sort of look like I'm growing herbs among the rocks?
Let's pretend that this is my delightful urban lettuce garden!

Unless I plan on making lots of death-mushroom and herb-weed salads, I need to call my gardener. Soon.

And remember these three plants?

These three mystery plants have continued to grow.  They are so heavy with their fruit that they are starting to lean over, like the plant on the left.  Their stalks are unbelievably thick now-- my entire finger disappears around the back of one stalk!

Myriam figured out what these are-- these are amaranth plants.  What?  Yes.  Amaranth, a plant with both a noble Aztec history and a fraternal Masonic Order named after it.  A plant whose crop is recommended for use in gluten-free recipes; a plant whose product you can buy from Bob's Red Mill.  I  had always planned to uproot these at some point, because I didn't plant them-- they just started growing like crazy out of nowhere when I moved in and began watering this planter box.  Recently, the little green fuzzy grape nut clusters that they produce had started to turn color, and I thought-- oh, that must mean they're going bad, so I'll take them out soon.

But no-- if the amaranth theory is correct, I think the change in color means the grain may be ready to harvest?

My amaranth
Amaranth on the internets

So, I'm going to leave them in for now.  What if I set up a deal with a local health foods store to supply them with 100% organic, seasonal, hyper-local amaranth grain?!  That is, assuming I figure out how to harvest whatever seed or grain is in those fuzzy grape nut clusters.  I've always intended to have a garden at some point!  The amaranth plants were just a little bit ahead of me on that front.

Sunday, November 20, 2011


I've told you about my house's windows, haven't I?

Kitchen window--
my very classy way of dealing with a broken panel.
  I had to keep bugs from coming in somehow..

My house is full of old jalousie windows, like this one.  Louvered slats of glass that crank open when you pull a lever on the side.  Sometimes, as you can see, the slats break off.  When that happens, you make these adorable DIY replacement slats out of Uhaul box cardboard.

bedroom window

office window

These were all the rage in the 50s and 60s, I think.  I'm pretty sure they're called jalousie windows because they make other people...jalous.  Aren't you jalous of my jalousie windows?  They are cute-- visually, they are charming.  Practically however, they leave much to be desired.  Would you like energy efficient windows?  Or windows that block street noise?  How about windows that keep the creepy crawly things in their proper outside place?  If you would like your windows to act as some kind of barrier between you and the world, then jalousie windows are not the windows for you.

In pursuit of new windows, I've obtained five estimates.  Yes, five different contractors have come, from five different companies.  If you ever need to get a house full of new windows, be prepared for the following:

  • Window estimates are time consuming.  For me, each estimate took 3-4 hours.  My ~1300 sq. ft.  house has 20 windows that are (of course) all different sizes.
  • For the first 1.5 hours, the contractor will want to make small talk as they measure.  Small talk is fine, for a while.  It's less fine for an hour and a half.  At the end of that, you'll wish you were doing something, anything else.  Like maybe your taxes.  The contractor will tell you about casement, single-hung, double-hung, and slider windows.  All that's important is when they say "casement," what they mean is "expensive."
  • For the second 1.5 hours, the contractor will sit you down and give you a full on old-fashioned traveling salesman show.  He'll pull out a laptop and show you a PowerPoint.  He'll show you figures on energy conservation.  He'll give you a demonstration of the windows with a heat lamp.  He'll tap dance if he senses this will get you to decide *right now* to sign a contract to hire his company to fill your window needs.
  • If the contractor is not from Home Depot, he will do his best to make you very, very afraid of Home Depot and the way they sub-contract work. 
I got estimates from Home Depot, Andersen Windows, Sears, and 2 smaller companies.  Each estimate was special in its own wonderful way, but the last 3 were amazing.

Sears: The Braveheart Estimate
Picture it, a Thursday night, after work.  Sears rep shows up, starts measuring.  He has a thick accent of some kind.  As we kick off the first 1.5 hours of the experience, he says: Can ye guess where I'm frrrom?
Ireland, I said.
Nooh, but cloose, he said.
Thaat's rrright!  he said.

Fantastic, I thought.  Braveheart is my Sears rep.  Good.  I don't mind an accent at all-- and the sound of it did make the first part of the visit pass by a bit more quickly.

In the second portion of the program though, he was putting on a very serious hard sell, at a price that was much higher than I could afford.  He talked about financing, but wouldn't give me details on the interest rate.  I finally shut down and just stopped talking.  He said:

Sooo, I'm jest cuurious, what would make ye sign up with Searrrs tonight?
Nothing, I said.
After another half an hour of attempting to get me to talk, he finally left.

Small Company A: The Fearful Freckles Estimate
Picture it, Friday night after work, the day after Braveheart's visit.  A rep from a small local company shows up.  He is young-looking, though probably 40 or so.  His nose is sprinkled with freckles, and he proclaims how much he loves old houses.  Old houses like mine, where there's most likely lots of lead paint that's been slathered on everything.  He mentions many times in the first 1.5 hours that lead is something to be very, very afraid of.   Very afraid!  Have you heard of chelation therapy?  Why, a sugar packet's worth of lead is enough to contaminate a football field!  Isn't that scary?  Be afraid of that!

Through the second 1.5 hours, I thought-- oh yes, I should be afraid.  I listened to Fearful Freckles, and listened to him as he talked me up to an estimate that was more than I should have paid.  I signed up, feeling relieved that I wouldn't die of lead poisoning.

Small Company B: The Mr. Petrov Estimate 
Picture it, Saturday afternoon, after Braveheart's sacking and the Fearful Freckles paranoia.  A rep from another local company came.  I said-- listen, can we not do the small talk and the song and dance?  Can you just measure my windows and tell me how much it will cost?

He looked surprised, but said-- sure, OK.

But of course, when someone's wandering around your house, you can't not talk to them.  Eventually, it comes out that he has a background in Eastern Europe, as do I.  We trade a bit of Russian, a bit of Czech.

He gives me an estimate that I can afford.  He can hook up financing at 0% for 2 years through Wells Fargo.  Good.  Great.  Done.  Mr. Petrov, you have yourself a deal.  I signed up, and the next day, I cancelled the Fearful Freckles contract.  

So, then what happens...?
Theoretically, the project is supposed to get started soon.  I thought it was supposed to start Friday, but now it will have to wait until after Thanksgiving.  As we know, I don't have an amazingly solid judgement when it comes to things like this, so I'm nervous, but we'll see how it goes.  As long as I am dispossessed of my jalousies soon, that in itself will be success.  

Thursday, November 3, 2011


Oh, eventually.  Someday, my dining chairs will look wonderful, and I will have pictures I am proud to show you.  This week, all I have is shamefacedness and wonderment at how I really never seem to get things right the first time.

A while ago, I had something of an emotional experience when I bought my dining room table and its 6 chairs.  The table and the chairs are an awesome mid-century set.  But, the whole set needs some work put in before it will look as nice as it can.

A big part of this is recovering the chair seats--

vintage dirt on that seat

--which people do all the time.  I bet someone's doing it right now.  Somewhere, a novice do-it-yourselfer is recovering chairs like this.  Or an expert is explaining it.  Because it's easy!  All you do is get some fabric, some glue, and a staple gun and you're good, right?

I mean--

ohhh.  oh no.

--oh.  Um.  Whoops!  I bought foam cushion material that was 2" high because I thought oh, that'll be so nice to sit on, so comfortable!  Which it is, but it also obstructs the lines of the chair.  And 2"(it turns out) is a lot of cushion-- when I sit on this, my feet barely touch the floor.  Also, I really liked this fabric in the store, and I even bought a coordinating fabric to make pillows for the chairs.  Because I thought--pillows!  How cute would that be, to have little dining chair pillows!  Upon reflection though, I believe this is what's technically known as as 'biting off more than you can chew.'

Back to the drawing board with the fabric and the seat padding.   It's a work in progress.

Monday, October 24, 2011


"Trash the Rental," Sohodolls

It's not often that I hear a song about real estate.  So, the other day, when "Trash the Rental" by Sohodolls came up on my Pandora, I thought: hey, a song about real estate!  People should write more property-based songs!

You may listen to this song  and ask yourself: but is this really about real estate?  Or is it about a larger sense of impermanence?  Or about the progressive debasement of the idea of 'value' over time?

Or, something else?


Battle Hymn of the Garbage Disposal
~a ballad about fighting the good (long) fight~

Mine eyes had seen the glory of disposals in the sink
I would like to have one too, that is a thought that I did think
I'll just buy one, have it put in-- not an eyelash did I blink
About that, I was wrong

Holy holy of the moly
Holy holy of the moly
Holy holy of the moly
Took so long to get done

I asked my friends for their thoughts and in unison they said:
"Do make sure it has the power of a half a horse's head"
But when I got home I saw that I had one full horse instead

One more time I was wrong

Lazy lazy, I just kept it
Lazy lazy, I just kept it
Lazy lazy, I just kept it
Just wanted this all done

There had never been a disposal in all my kitchen's years
But to live a day without one, that did make me feel some fears
So I asked my Handy Lady and then she lent me her ears
The truth was, I was wrong

Worry worry, I began to
Worry worry, I began to
Worry worry, I began to
Would this ever get done?

The first thing that I needed was some electricity
So I had my friend Sir BillTed come and install that for me
After many hours, under the sink, an outlet I did see
But it's taking so long

Slowly slowly, there was progress
Slowly slowly, there was progress
Slowly slowly, there was progress
But it still wasn't done

Then the second thing I needed was to have a plumber come
So I poked around on Angie's List and found someone to plumb
He came and named his price to work; by this time I was numb
Just please don't take too long

Quickly quickly, he installed pipes
Quickly quickly, he installed pipes
Quickly quickly, he installed pipes
And finally it was done!

(with apologies to Julia Ward  Howe)

garbage disposal, installed
air switch in the sink that turns the disposal on and off;
the plumber took out a soap dispenser to use the space for the switch

Friday, October 21, 2011


Trapped in the Closets, Part 2
~a closet-based saga of epically normal proportions, as told by R. Kelly~

Now listen up, when I first bought my house
Closets had no doors, you see
Take a look at these closets here-- just curtains flying in the breeze

2nd bedroom

And I said:
"Wait a minute!  Now, where am I gonna store all my things?
Without all these people coming in, and seeing everything?"
So I thought:
"Now hold on!  Let's think about this.  There's got to be a way
A way for me to get some doors put on and live to see another day"
So I called a company,
And I said
"Hi and here's my situation, now how fast can you help me out?"
The lady said she'd come over in about a week from now
Finally the day came and the lady said here's some options for you
I said how about that there cheapest option?
She said, go ahead now, think about it
I said I already did that, thanks, what are you talking about?
The lady started going off about the door materials
And I said- Lady, can we do the cheap option or not?
She kept sending me weird e-mails and I said to myself: "now, that's not hot"
So I called another company,
And the lady came over
And she said here are some options for you
Let's take a look at this catalog
And I'm looking at the catalog and I'm all: Lady, why are these catalog pictures so so old?

And the Lady says girl, that ain't your problem, you just mind your business and pick some doors!
And I pointed my finger at her and I said: Well, I think the aesthetic is poor!
She says now hold on, let's get back to business and act like ladies!
And I said OK
She says now, I would suggest the off-white doors, I think that would be best for you.
I said Lady, alright, you know what, I think that seems right to me too.
She said we're having a special promotion, and with that, here's the price we can do
I said I just want some doors on my closets, so I'm not gonna say no to you
I pointed my finger at her again and I said
Now I'm gonna count to four to give you time to install those doors!
And she said no, that's not really how it works
And I said ONE!
She said I think you've misunderstood
I said TWO and I am gonna unload this whole finger on you!
She said what would that even mean?
THREE! Are you ready for this finger load?
She said sure
And I could hardly believe my eyes, what I saw
All the closet doors got put on, and the 2nd bedroom closet even had the inside fixed up a bit!

2nd bedroom
2nd bedroom

And now I'm like
Maybe off-white was not the right choice
But we can't go back and re-choose our past
Not unless we want to do a lot of painting
So I'm pretty sure I'll just live with them for now, with these doors I chose
Unless they really start to bug me
Because at least now I have doors that open and close
And the closets are much less fugly