Archive for May, 2010
I know you just can’t wait for such an exciting post about my tiling adventures!! Well, it was easier than I thought and I’m thrilled with the results. All you have to do is have the right tools, some patience, and follow directions. Just that simple. Here are the results…
I used slate tiles which are very forgiving because they are a bit irregular themselves. And I offset the pattern in case I was not able to create a straight line the length of the bathroom (that was a killer suggestion from Paul). Cousin Paul, Uncle Tom’s son, loaned me the materials which was very helpful, so major thanks go out to him for his tools, encouragement and guidance. I would not have been able to save as much money had I bought the materials (and where would I store them?). The other part that intimidated me was mixing the grout and mortar, so you can imagine the elation (that is not a hyperbole) I felt when I found the pre-mixes of both. I thought I was going to cry tears of joy.
I made the biggest mess and it was so much fun! I put the tile cutter on the kitchen counter and thank goodness I had not cleaned the kitchen yet because there were brown clay speckles everywhere – fridge, wall, stove, sink, you name it. The saw just poured and poured brown water out the back and front like the New River. I used two whole rolls of paper towels just to clean up the mess. We’re talking puddles of water and dirt. Nasty fun.
I figured I saved about $800 doing this myself. And my back hurts and it took an extra two days plus one day of PTO, but whatevs. I love it. And some of you guys had doubts….at least you didn’t tell me until after the fact. Today when I get home, I will have a toilet and sink (worth another post for sure), Oh Happy Day!! It’s been nine days without a toilet and sink in the bathroom – I’m so ready. (Yes, I’m using the basement apartment for all my, ahem, needs). Then the baseboards, paint, installing the mirror and lights, then decorating!!
Mom and Dad are on their way to DC as I type this, so I’m pumped. They are bringing ladders and plants and tools and willing hands. I’m so excited to see them and show them the house and work together like old times. Old times meaning when they made me help Dad because Mom had no physical strength, Melissa was too clever, and Emily was too fragile to help.
My, my world. What will you bring me this weekend? It seems I will barely know you before you are gone. My prediction is that you will bring me paint, tiles, more than two trips to Home Depot, a quickly emptying bank account, a few beers with friends, three powerful improv showcases and hopefully some down time.
This homeownership thing is kind of cool. I have no clue what I’m doing, but I’m figuring it out as I go. And with each step I take (or is that each check I write?), I get a little bit more confident that I won’t ruin my house. I imagine it to be much like having a baby – something that you are preparing for, then you are in shock when you get it and terrified at the same time, then you figure it out and realize that small mistakes really aren’t that big of a deal in the grand scheme of things.
So I ripped off the baseboard in the bathroom – so what? Or that I cut a hose under the kitchen sink with scissors and water poured everywhere. Will the house police come to take me away? Nope. I have no toilet and no bathroom sink, yet I am getting along quite well. Humans are resilient. Houses are resilient. And when neither are, you call a professional. I have a very nice solid bathroom floor thanks to a contractor that finally called back, and awesome new working ceiling fans, smoke detectors, outdoor lighting, etc. thanks to a swift electrician. Ahh, patience.
At this point I worry about Corey and whether he can tolerate it! So far he’s stayed away from the craziness and has continued to stay at 1357. If he rents a place, he should at least expect it should have a functional bathroom, you know? It’s one thing for me to deal with it – I’ll be okay. It’s another for a tenant to pay good money for a place that looks like this! However, he’s awesome, and I’ve said it 100 times and will continue to say that he is the best roommate ever. I am so pleased and tickled that he has decided to join me in this next place and next phase. I am very lucky to have him and very happy that he lets me sing Christmas carols while we paint (and it wasn’t my idea!!).
Special shout out goes to Cameron, who I’ve “hired” to help me decorate, thanks to Meghann connecting someone with a need (me) to someone who can help (Cameron). We’ve come up with a plan for the bathroom and she’s reminded me of some very good mantras for decorating. Plus, she’s helped me make some decisions and look at things a bit differently than I would have without her, and for that I am very thankful. I’ve been very pleased and can’t wait to see how it turns out. It should be done by Wednesday or so. The plan is thus: buy some tiles today, get an estimate and lay out the tiles where I want them tomorrow, mortar and tile on Sunday morning, grout on Monday evening, paint sometime without messing with the floor on Tuesday, plumber to install stuff on Wednesday (hopefully). That’s a long time to be without a toilet, and I’m already pretty dehydrated from not drinking water so I won’t have to pee…not real sure that’s the best action plan.
In the meantime, we’re closing up shop at 1357. Corey and I spent Wednesday night putting primer on the blue walls while singing in the fabulous acoustics that is an empty house with hardwood floors. I have one more trip to make with stuff, another coat or two of primer then the final walk through on Sunday. Our landlord Michelle has been awesome and I hope to follow her example as I am soon to be a landlord myself. If anyone is looking to rent a great two bedroom row house on Capitol Hill close to the metro and grocery stores, please don’t hesitate to send them to me.
One final note…I need some help. If you have a free evening and want to drop by and put some Ikea shelves together or just keep me company while I work, I would love it. Corey leaves on Sunday for a nine day adventure, so I have no manly hands to help with stuff like untwisting the hose pipes or moving the stove back in place. Now that improv class is over, my schedule is a bit more free.
Luckily my parents are coming to visit for Memorial Day to help out!! Yay!! So, everyone is invited when they are in town! Come by and meet them and help plant a plant in my front yard!
So, future, I’m not exactly sure what you hold for me. I am sure that whatever it is, I can handle it. And if not me, my friends, parents or professionals. Or Uncle Sam if he would ever get that sizeable check sent my way.
Just testing out this upload feature for droid and wordpress. Movers are gone. Everything is physically in the space, however, the boxsprings cannot make it up the stairs. Oh well, time to get creative! More later once we get internet…which should be sometime this afternoon. Off to unpack curtains and hang so I can use the bathroom!
First, I want to thank all the Kernels who came out to support The Corn in our debut on Friday night! That includes Arlene, Reyna, Laura, Nancy, Mark, Fanny, Mike, John, Corey and Andrew. It was very comforting and scary seeing your faces in the crowd! And I hope you all had a great time.
To recap: the get was guitar. Darnell sang five ditties, Lizzie got to use her Keith Richards accent, I said “sex” a bunch, Goli got some tic-tacs as part of a potluck party and Steve played some awesome tag out games. At least that’s what I remember. Everyone had a great night. I guess the rest you just had to be there. We missed Nick and can’t wait for all six of us to play together!
Two great things did come out of it. 1. We got invited back for the next run in late June/early July, so that’s good news. 2. Laura has decided that we weren’t the worst troupe she’s ever seen and will be practicing with us soon. Yay for us!
I think a lot of the kinks and lack of, shall we say grace, will be worked out the more we perform. A special thanks to MicroCOSM for taking a chance on a little known troupe. Someone has to believe in us so we can get more stage time and add to our resume, and I’m glad it was you guys. Thanks for making us feel so welcome.
As a personal note, I’m not sure where my brain was! As I was performing, I kept seeing people in the audience, and I think that totally freaked me out. And I keep having this low energy, negative, lack of physicality/voice thing going on. Ugh. Not sure why that disappears when I hit the stage, but that’s twice now that I’ve subconsciously/purposefully done that. I’ll talk with my teacher and figure out what’s going on, then have a chance to work it out at the showcase on Saturday. My class is in the noon spot, so come on out and enjoy!
Yes, I’ve been quiet lately. I’ve got lots on my mind, yet unable to communicate it. But here are some highlights…
- Subsidized Corn is performing in our national debut on Friday night at 10:00 at the DCAC in Adams Morgan. Hopefully you can join us. It’s a tiny theater, so get there early.
- Tomorrow I’m taking a day off of work to run errands and get crap done. That includes hauling seven bags of stuff to Goodwill, a trip to Frager’s and a load of crap to the new house. Then I’ll clean and piddle while waiting on the gas guy and potentially two electricians.
- In the late afternoon, I’m hosting an open house for potential renters. I’ve had about 18 people tell me they’ll be there, but I’m sure not all will show. Only the good ones.
- I’m in a funky mood at this moment because someone recently reminded me that in not too much time I’ll be 33. My Jesus birthday. What have I done? And why is everyone on facebook having babies and getting preggers at the same time? Which means my most logical thought out of all this is this: who is going to take care of me when I’m old? My baby making years are flying by. I’m just sayin’.
- Work has been crazy busy. I love my new office that overlooks Connecticut Avenue. I saw Alan Greenspan the other day. And my distractions are fewer, and thankfully because I’m so busy. We have a new logo and style guide, and new website in the making, which means everything, everything gets to be redone. Plus, my regular work. But it’s still fun and I’m thankful to have such a great job with such great people.
- My camera broke, so I have no new photos to share. Sad, but sort of the last thing on my mind right now.
- My parents are coming over Memorial Day weekend and that will be fun. They haven’t been here in over two years, so I’m excited to show them where I’ll live. And to get their help installing a new kitchen.
Well, I feel a little better. Thanks. Sorry guys, my heart just isn’t in it tonight. Maybe another time. Maybe after my improv high tomorrow night. We’ll see. Goodnight.
No time to write these days. Today I’m posting emails I’ve sent to my Aunt Bonnie in the last few days to get her updated, so maybe this will give you some idea what I’m up to. More later…
—– Original Message —–
To: Aunt Bonnie
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 10:32 AM
Not much to report, but I do want to get on your calendar for a fun fix-up day. There’s so much to do that I’m not sure of the order or how it’s all going to come together. Washington Gas is coming on Friday, May 14th in the afternoon, so I’ll be home cleaning and such. Maybe we want to go to the Community Forklift place that morning? As long as I’m back by noon for the Gas folks. Do you want to play that day?
I’m still aiming for a day during the week of the 17-20th to move. Generally the plan is to take this weekend to get crap out of the house and to Goodwill or trash and organize, next weekend is packing, the next few weekends are house stuff and unpacking. Easy enough, right?!?
Also, I was wondering if I could borrow some tools until the end of the month. Specifically, I’m looking for a ladder, some hand held stuff like a cordless drill (mine is old and plug in)…I’ll come up with a better list than this.
The work move went really well and now I feel so organized. Plus my new office is much quieter since I’m not near the kitchen and I’ve been wonderfully productive. And the window to Connecticut Avenue isn’t so bad either! Very happy here.
That’s all. Hopefully Jean (my former landlord and GC) will come by late this week to give me some estimates. I’m working on getting an electrician in, too. Whew!
—– Original Message —–
To: Aunt Bonnie
Sent: Tuesday, May 04, 2010 11:12 AM
Subject: RE: Update
Well, I think I’ve convinced my parents to come up Memorial Day weekend – Corey will be gone, my stuff will be in and they can stay with me. I’ll be too worried about the move if they come the 14th, so I nixed that.
As for the shopping, I figure I can look for bathroom stuff because that needs to be mostly done before I move in. I need tiles, sink, sink cabinet and a light fixture. And since the bathroom floor is getting done before we move, then those items must be purchased sooner rather than later. Everything else I’ll wait for. I really don’t NEED anything else until after moving in anyway.
Washington Gas is coming out to turn on the gas. I’m getting an estimate from Jean about the bathroom floor, dryer vents/bathroom vent, installing a dishwasher, sealing the basement door at the floor and a few other little things.
As for the floor in the basement, turns out it’s vinyl. It’s the weirdest thing, but it’s certainly some sort of plastic. I’ll have Jean look at that too, but I’m pretty certain a hardwood floor guy is not what I need for the basement!
It is okay if you cannot help any of those weekends…there will be plenty more where they came from!! Lots of projects for later that are not a priority, but tons of fun!
—– Original Message —–
To: Aunt Bonnie
Sent: Wednesday, May 05, 2010 10:41 AM
Subject: RE: Update
Yeah, the floor is really weird once we had a chance to look at it. It was peeling in the corner of the closet, which is how we found out.
I have a drill, it’s just older than me and not cordless. It works just fine. Oh, and Paul and I have traded several emails – he’s going to loan me his tiling materials!! I’m very excited. That was the one reason I didn’t want to do it myself was the cost of the materials and storing them somewhere. But he has everything and will be loaning them to me, and I’ll pick them up next weekend on the 15th (if that is good for him). So, I’ll probably be tiling that day. But there are other days to play once the house gets moved. That’s my main priority at this point, after finishing the bath floor joist. I’ve confirmed the moving date for Tuesday, May 18th.
Whew, much more to do…