Saturday, December 08, 2007

Best Holla Ever

On my way home tonight, the whole two blocks from the party to my apartment, I approached a crosswalk, as a car rolled up to the stop sign. I passed the front of the car and the man leaned out the window, the near area abandoned except for me, and he, not yelled, but said loudly, in a thick Indian accent, "I love websites!"

Thursday, December 06, 2007


8:30am -- Overslept
9:20am -- Grab yesterdays' mail as I leave for work. Find jury summons.
9:22am -- Walk to the end of block, wimp out and decide to metro to work rather than brave the icy sidewalks no one has salted.
9:35am -- Encounter clusterfuck on red line. Suddenly remember why I bought those snow boots last year.
9:50am -- Enter office, lock door so I can strip off sexy long johns I didn't need, unlock door and instantly face senior associate who Needs Assistance Now.
10:30am -- Finish training grandpa senior associate on database program. Enter office, phone rings with senior associate for follow up question.
10:30-3pm -- Start and stop and start and stop arts agenda.
10:30-3pm -- Accept and make 10 phone calls to heating contractor and iron gate contractor to negotiate logistics from hell. Authorize heating contractor to play my boyfriend so Washington Gas stops screwing with me for Fun and Profit.
4:00pm -- Answer phone. Boss begins, "Did you buy that plane ticket for Christmas? Right. Great. Let's hold off on that."
4:02pm -- Second line rings. Click over to find heating contractor, "So...don't come to the house for a few hours. You have a gas leak."
5:35pm -- Really excited about this week's Thursday firm happy hour because it's Indian Food. "Indian food" contains undigestable spices not known to humankind.
8:00pm -- Read aloud prayer for Day 1 of Hanukkah, naturally, in front of a group of strangers at a casual holiday party thrown by a friend of my date, a party which they also sometimes call, "Festival of the Baby Carrots."
8:02pm -- Have another beer.
8:15pm -- Then another.
10:20pm -- Discover Spike is guest starring on Without a Trace.
10:21pm -- Decide the apocalypse is nigh.
10:21:30pm -- Have another beer.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

It all begins again...


The past few months have seen me scouring the city for a suitable venue for this years' show and compiling all the little details necessary for today's announcement. The show is officially open for submissions. We'll be hosted at Civilian Art Projects, and I'm excited that we'll also have some events (okay, probably just one) to go along with it.

Tell your friends and enemies to get in while the gettin's good. Now I just get to kick back and watch the pool fill up with awesome photos.

Also, I'm tired, y'all. For real. I actually just wrote two paragraphs on today's house drama, but deleted it because, well, it made me even more tired just reading it over again. But Washington Gas can suck me. I'll say that much.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Turns out there is such a thing as an "emergency stove purchase"...

...and other things I learned today. Like:

  • If you give me a set of keys, a telephone number, a set of nuclear security codes, I will immediately, permanently lose them and/or lock them inside something.

  • If you walk over six miles throughout the day during a severe wind advisory, bring a hair clip or something.

  • If you need advice or anything at all related whatsoever to hardware or appliances, skip Headache Depot, which doesn't actually keep these things called "appliances" in stock on the premises and disclaims any and all knowledge of the such, and just go straight to Lowes, ferchrissakes.

  • If you leave something outside by accident, god will rain all over it.

  • If you hire some dudes to put in a new heating system, they'll call you at noon and make you buy a stove.

  • If the first person you see outside at 7am is a ninja, that might be a sign of coming events.

  • If you live near a bar, you'll always know where to find your pen-carrying friends when FedEx leaves you a package slip and you realize there's nothing in the house to sign it with.

  • And lastly, don't let incompetent fools be in charge of your money, or you'll suffer the yanking of your chain for days on end while she disappears just in time to not answer your time-sensitive questions, only to reappear just to confirm your suspicions that she's totally screwed you during her imitation of a lazy city employee, and you spend the next hour post-morteming your phone call with her over IM in a conversation that's mostly you typing "fucking whore, FUCKING WHORE" over and over until your forehead becomes cemented in the furrowed position.

Luckily a good six mile walk and some coffee ice cream clears that right up.

Sunday, December 02, 2007

I love the smell of sawdust

There's been some exciting progress at the house over the past week. I walked in on Friday to the smell of sawed wood floating through the door, which is right up there with freshly cut grass and apple pie. Must be from my old days in my seventh grade woodshop elective when I learned how to use the drill press to make a pencil holder in the shape of a six-sided die and spent so much time lining up the holes correctly that my teacher finally took me aside and famously told me, "Heather, if you don't chill out, you're going to get an ulcer before you get to college." So yeah, it's kinda just like that.

The sawdust was from two sources. One was the counter I had to get chopped up. I have to rearrange the layout of my kitchen, plus the entire cabinet system needs to go eventually because the guy who put them up was an idiot. I need to take some measurements and come up with a game plan for the fridge location and counterspace.

The second source was because my gate guy -- who put up my new gate to complete the entrance to the backyard, woo! -- found out that some of my window sills were rotted (because the genius before me used untreated wood). So that was another $200 to have a handyman come and saw them out to splice some good wood in there, enabling my gate guy to secure the windows in later this week.

Yesterday, Brian came over to graciously help me with the really glorious task of hauling all the crap someone dumped in my backyard to the junkyard. He has a friend with a dumptruck, so Brian relearned to drive a five-speed (if by "relearned" one means that when you pull up to the junkyard, the guy in charge of the junkyard says, "What's that smell?" and the only answer is, "Um, I think that's clutch.") and we backed it up to the yard. After filling it to the brim with old roof tiles and two by fours spiked with rusty nails, we realized we were going to have to make two trips. We took a couple nice tours of Catholic University to find the DC transfer station -- which is actually good to know about. You can just pull up with any kind of car and dump your old house repair trash, leaves, whatever, all for free if you have a DC license (although, they didn't actually look at mine). After a quick call to his friend, Brian got the bed off the ground and we headed back for the second trip.

Then it started to get real fun. Turns out everything that was left was just a stack of garbage bags overstuffed with plaster -- too heavy to lift in the best of conditions, and this was already 2 hours into the ordeal, with my fingers officially too numb to wrap around anything to pick it up.

As we finished up as best we could, I did the unthinkable. I grabbed my bag from inside the house, twisted the doorhandle lock...and the door swung closed, with its previously broken window I'd just repaired sidling up to my eyes just in time for me to see MY FUCKING KEYS WERE INSIDE ON THE WINDOW SILL. I can't even remember the last time I locked my keys inside something, but there they were, leaving me with options totaling nothing short of breaking something on my house I'd just gone through great lengths to repair.

Eventually Brian and I decided we were not going to get to the dump before it closed in 15 minutes if we dealt with the key situation, so even though I'd just had my fucking gates installed, I was going to have to leave them unlocked and risk coming back to my house in the same Broken Windows state I'd bought it in. When we got back, we parked the dump truck out front and decided we'd have to take a manual screwdriver to the board covering the window that's still broken, even though the board was put back up with a power drill and drywall screws.

But when we got to the backyard, Brian realized the screwdriver he brought was too big, so ran around to the truck while I waited. I stood there thinking, "There's no way this is happening. There *must* be a better solution than spending the next 1-2 hours dealing with this after a 6 hour junkyard day." I mean, What Would MacGyver Do? And then it came to me -- if I was on TV, obviously, I'd take out my Mastercard and finally make it USEFUL for a change. And it worked! It seriously worked! I jimmied that lock in 8.5 seconds like a common criminal. Woot! Then I did a victory lap around the alley back towards the truck, where Brian probably thought I was sprinting from some backalley mugger.

The last chapter of this little drama is called: When The Dump Closes Half An Hour Earlier Than You Thought. We got to the DC dump for our second trip and they'd already shut down for the day. Brian said the Fairfax dump was still open, and it would cost me a little money, but not too much and it was, at that point, our only option. Of course when I hear Fairfax I sort of think, "Just Outside the Beltway." But oh no, we just kept driving...and driving...and driving. For awhile I thought I misheard him and we were actually headed towards Fairbanks, Alaska. But it does turn out that when you drive 45 minutes into Virginia, there are things there. Like junkyards. And TGIFridays.

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