Saturday, October 15, 2005


A few of my friends came over and fucked up my perfect schedule for today, so now I have some downtime. It's picture time!

Remember, this is what the backyard looked like in the beginning:
In the beginning...

Then I weeded, which turns out to be a great ass workout:
Stage two

Here's the final product. I wish I could describe the effort it took to finish this. If you notice the parking lot next door, you won't be surprised to hear the dirt was filled with trash. I mean, you'd literally think the yard was on top of a landfill it was so disgusting. I spent a few weeks just picking out broken glass, cigarette wrappers, and the occasional children's shoe. Eventually, I took our extra pasta strainer and sifted through the dirt - the new dirt underneath the stone is a regular fucking beach shoreline with the finest sand in all the land. Notice the new tarp covering the parking lot view, the christmas lights (I'll post a night picture later), the plants that were moved to the back, and the nice rich black dirt. Sorry the picture is kind of dark, it's a beautiful day today, so there's a big shadow. Notice also the bright white sidewalks (with a few puddles). The thing on the left is an old washing machine the landlord put back there; we're moving it this afternoon.
New Backyard!
And here's the fabulous new grill:
BBQ Time.
That hallway in the back is where we were keeping all our trash, so I can't tell you how amazing (and Pine Sol sanitized!) it looks now in comparason. This is where the keg will be in a few hours. Those white trash cans are supposed to be in the kitchen, but C was mopping.

Bring on the beer!

Meat and beer!

Wooo! Party tonight!

Let me tell you something: The backyard fucking sparkles. I'm serious, you could eat off the sidewalk. It was so dirty from the trash being on it for so long and from us tramping dirt back and forth while we finished the backyard area, so I got some Pine Sol and a scrubbing brush and Cindarella'd the place. Sparkles. We're so happy with it. I got some food from the Chinese place next door, who's backyard is separated by an open fence, and the lady who owns the place said we had done a great job with the back and that it looked great for a BBQ. :)

The bad news is our homeless friend screwed us with the trash pick-up the other day, so it's still sitting there, except he brought by some barrels, which we're afraid he stole from our neighbors, so there's now four barrels next to a big pile of trash bags. Yesterday I was coming home from work and as I crossed the street to our house I noticed some floppy disks strewn on the asphalt. As I reached the other side I froze and thought, "Fuck me, those are mine." They are really old and there's nothing important on them, but I stood in traffic and picked them all up again. We are angry beyond words with DC at this point. My neighbor is sympathetic at least, she said she saw the trash truck drive by on Tuesday and tried to flag them down, but they ignored her.

Okay, on to better things. We're going to clean, then grocery shop, then I'm off to get a pedicure, then get the keg, then DRINK AND GRILL. Pictures and update later. Maybe I'll even reveal myself.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

Cal Bar: At it again.

Out of morbid (and futile) curiosity today, I checked out the Cal Bar website just to see what was up. It was a dramatic day at work today, since the VA bar results came out. A few people at work passed, but since the results are public, we found out one girl who decided not to come into work today failed. The whole day was really stressful and, for the rest of us, the thought of the upcoming results just made us sick. Really, sick. Sick about what we're going to do with ourselves that day, about our future, whether we're going to have to take the exam again, whether we'll have to keep temping, and if so, will we at least be able to make attorney pay (triple, quadruple what we make now), how we're going to face the light of day if we fail. Ugh. Sick.

So, I looked, just cause. And guess what I found out. First, the fees are being upped in January, so it's now about $530 just for the exam (thank god I won't have to pay the $450 moral character app fee again). So, that's awesome. You know what's even better? Timely filing is November 1st. Our results don't come out until the 18th! So as soon as we find out we fail, we are going to owe a $50 late fee. They fuck you coming and going.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005


I just went down to talk to C, because I heard the guy come to the door again. We're pretty sure he's a homeless guy, because he asked C if he could provide other services, such as raking our yard. Nothing like vagrants coming to your door at midnight. Welcome to U Street! C said the trash is good for now. I guess he's doing a few yards down the street tonight. I asked C where he thought the guy was taking our trash and C laughed and said, "Honestly, that's not our problem anymore." Good thing I shred my junk mail I guess, ha.

I keep saying I'll take a picture of our beautific backyard, but I will definitly do it in the next few days. With the rocks down, the trash gone, the sidewalk swept (and tomorrow, Pine Sol-ed!), and our new white christmas lights up, it looks like an outside cafe, seriously. We're really happy with it and the lights are just perfect. We were worried they might look slightly cheesy. Now if we could just find ONE (preferably five) god damn plastic patio chair in the entire city, it'd be perfect.

Take twenty!

The trash situation has been a real roller coaster. First we're annoyed that our trash barrels didn't arrive very quickly, and grossed out as we started piling our crap in the backyard. Then we're peeved that no one is responding to our repeated phone calls and email. Move on to total raging anger as we realize animals are eating the trash, ten inches from our back door, and we resort to contacting the city councilmen and mayor's offices. Finally (!) the barrels arrive the other day. It takes two evenings to get all our trash (plus recycling, which includes our moving boxes, also bags of weeds and the trash I sifted out of the dirt in the backyard, and little trinkets we've sifted out of the house, like extra mugs, etc) to the front. Obviously we filled up the barrel quickly and left the rest of the bags next to it.

The first night a cadre of homeless people searched and found what they wanted, leaving the rest of it strewn around the curb. We pile it back up. Last night we brought out C's boxes of books he was planning on keeping until they stayed out in the rain. Apparently bums like to read, because most of those were picked through this morning. But we were excited because Wednesday is Trash Day (a day later because of the holiday).

I come home from work to find: trash. Piles and piles of unmoved trash. Our neighbors trash has been emptied, so obviously the truck came by. RAGE! C was even more pissed than me and left an angry message at DC Public Works, promising them a follow-up tomorrow morning.

Then - a solution! At 11pm tonight the doorbell rings and it's some guy who says he does the trash (or something?) for Ben's Chili Bowl a block away. He says he's noticed our trash and feels bad because he's seen people picking through it. And - wait for it! - for FIVE dollars he'll take it all away for us!!

Can you believe that! We're like - Hell yeah you can take it! C asked me if I had cash cause he was out and all I had was a twenty, and I said "Dude, just give him $20, he's like our saviour." We should have put our trash out on the curb earlier, ha. So he's down hauling it away right now. Believe me, it was a LOT of shit, and this is really nice of him. I can't believe he just wanted $5. I don't care if he's a homeless guy who's taking it all to his shelter or a junkie selling the broken down boxes for a quick fix.

I noticed he was using our barrels to move it to where ever he's taking it, and the thought crossed my mind that he might just steal them. I told C I authorized him to use deadly force if that is the case because at this point, our barrels are very much worth a human life. Oh man, I can't wait to wake up tomorrow to a trash-free world.

Sunday, October 09, 2005

Oh sweet Jesus, it smells like death!

We got the backyard done! I wanted to post a picture, but the sun went all the way down by the time we finished, so it'll have to wait until daylight. Since the trash barrels are here we even moved some trash out of the backyard, which was sick. Of course, the barrels are teeny, so we couldn't put a lot in them, but we shifted enough stuff around to make it look marginally better.

The really nasty part was putting all the weeds I'd picked nearly a month ago in bags to be tossed. They've been decaying in a makeshift compost pile since then, and with the rain the past couple of days they had become limp wet rot. So nasty. My roommate put on gloves and picked them up while muttering in a high pitched tone, "Oh god, sweet jesus, it smells like death! I'm going to burn these clothes. Don't let them touch you! You got death on you!" I was holding the trash bag. As gross as it was, I couldn't stop laughing at him. For once I was thankful I spent a few years on a farm.

We even got the white christmas lights up. And we got a clock for the living room, even though we hate it a little bit, it's better than the constant time warp we were in. We got a door sweep for the front door, an ice cream scoop (!), and...some other stuff. We bought out Logan Hardware.

I LOVE getting things done in this house. I never thought I'd want a "fixer-upper," but it really gives you a lot of satisfaction. We're contemplating painting an accent wall in our living room, because there isn't much color in here, so that's the next project. That will have to wait until after the party, I do believe.

This just in:


The adventures with CalBar never end...

When I moved a little over a month ago I sent, as required, a notice to CalBar with my new address. I promptly received it back, rejected, with a request that I send proof of identification along with it. Alright, whatever. So I make a copy of my driver's license and send it back, to the exact same address and to the same woman who's been assigned to my case since April.

I received my own letter back this time, with her name crossed out and a note written beside it in blue ink that said, "Not at this address." What. The. Fuck. Did the entire office move to a new location? Did she switch cubicles with the office bitch who's now returning all her mail unopened instead of throwing it over the particle board divider? And if she did actually move somewhere else, should she not have sent me a change of address notice (with proof of identification)?

You know what this means now right? I have to call and speak to someone at CalBar.


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