Saturday, December 22, 2007

Home stretch

First I'd like to share a story of weirdness. Like I do everyday, I opened a can of Progresso soup at lunch yesterday, poured it into my trusty tupperware bowl with the lid loosely on, and stuck it in the microwave for 2:30. I can usually hear the ding in my office, but it never came, so I went to check on it. There was the microwave, stopped with a whole 51 seconds to go, and inside someone had put a stack of 15 dessert paper plates under my bowl. WHY. It was the kind of scene you stumble upon the next morning after a fifth of Jack when you slithered home and attempted to make food at 4am. The plates did not extend beyond the bowl, so it's not like it was protecting the microwave from splashes. Plus I cook that shit everyday, and there was a lid on, it doesn't splash, and even if it did, um, let me clean it up, hmm? So some freak stopped my lunch mid-heat-up to fuck around with it and ruin a bunch of plates for no reason. Fucking lawyers.

Anyway. The floors are done. Behold the floors:
New floors!

And I will speak the name of Alpha Flooring far and wide. They did a beautiful job, especially the stairs and the little decorative effect on the side, which we hadn't talked about. The stairs were an absolute mess, totally unlevel, with a banister barely hanging on. They stained the banister to match the floors, and double secured it in with wooden screws. There was even one misstep -- they broke a piece of piping under the kitchen sink when they removed the sink/cabinet, which wasn't even really their fault, because the idiot who used to own the house glued the piping together instead of screwed it. Nevertheless, they bought a new piece and came back today -- on a Saturday -- and repaired it for no extra cost. You can reach them at 301-428-9216.

Today I rented a ziptruck and hauled all my non-essential non-furniture to the house. I had 7 boxes I stole from work and some various bags, and unloaded them each time I went to the house. I made 3 trips and actually did a pretty thorough sweep. Only kitchen stuff and a few office papers are left. Then I went to Home Depot to buy smoke detectors and fire extinguishers, then to Giant for a case of essential beer.

I rediscovered today that the people at Home Depot are idiots, and I'm past the point of attempting sweet talk to get my way. It might be the first time I've ever actually told someone she was a fucking moron and could go to hell. Had to happen someday I guess. And she was a fucking moron. Unfortunately, HD was the only public store that sells the fridge I want. Costco also sells it, so in the end I had my mom (who has a membership) buy me the fridge, where it was also $50 cheaper, and I bought my washer/dryer at Lowes. I had to call Lowes with a question about the appliance, and the world of difference in customer service between them and Home Depot is ridiculous. They're so nice and knowledgeable. Christ I hate Home Depot. Even the guy in India was an asshole -- I mean, do they put that in their job ads??

But they're both been purchased, and that officially ends the my loan-approved renovations. As soon as they're delivered, I can get the inspector to come check them out and get the other half of my money. Thank god. Though no doubt that will come with a number of mini-nightmares. The attic insulation (not loan approved) goes in Thursday, and I move in Sunday.

Of course, today I meant to do all the house tasks I still need to do before I move in, the most significant of that being the water. I still haven't turned it on. If there's a problem, or a problem with the water heater, things could get ugly. I'll know tomorrow. I also have to patch and paint the front door, add some weather stripping, install the previously broken window, caulk the back door, install the toilets....and that's just tomorrow. Almost there!!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I had a morning from hell, or at least the business end of some kind of karmic retribution. After a nightmarish -- but typical -- time at an offsite location in Bethesda for work, I then waited an hour and a half for a cab that never came. I finally called Nick, who I knew was making deliveries and would probably be in the area, and he generously offered to pick me up and drive me to my office before I even had the chance to ask. Apparently bringing my karma with me, his antifreeze tube burst in the parking lot where I was waiting, and we spent the next hour and a half at the mechanics, heh.

Finally, we were on the road and flying down the GW Parkway, chatting about whatever.

Me: "So, I've always wished I could do ... some sort of trade. You know, make something...[empty hand gesture]...with my hands."
Nick: "Oh yeah?"
Me: "Yeah, or something. You know...[wild hand gesture]...CREATE something. See it made."
Nick: [sidelong glance] "Uh huh...?"
Me: "Yeah."
Nick: "..."
Me: "..."
Nick: "..."
Me: "I hate my job."
Nick: "Yeah, I thought that was going somewhere."

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Man, that was a really good sandwich.

I bought a loaf of sourdough bread the other day because I didn't want to go out of my way to a real grocery store, so I stopped at a bodega on Rhode Island Ave that carried a total of three loaves of bread. I haven't purchased something other than wheat bread in about six years. I made a turkey melt for dinner (with a Cheddar/Muenster cheese combo and some diced onions) and I swear to god it was wrapped in some kind of unearthly liquid edible gold.


So, someone somewhere has already made the requisite jokes right? To "The Moment of Truth" on Fox Network? Like, a whole moment, Fox?? Woo! Tune in for the moment of the century!


Remember that fireplace I bought last weekend? I actually remember when he brought out the two open boxes, asking him, "Why are they open?" "Because I double checked to make sure it had all the pieces." Not quite. Not only was it missing 6 of the 7 logs but it had TWO burners and a bunch of bags of sand and decorative crap -- which, upon traveling back to BBQs Galore in nowhweresville Maryland this Saturday, I discovered was for a vented, not a vent-free fireplace. Essentially, it means if I'd turned the burner on I would have died of carbon monoxide poisoning in my sleep. So after conferring with five Galore salespersons and spreading out multiple boxes all over the floor of the store, the manager finally said, "Okay, I'm going to collect all the pieces you need and go to your house and make sure you have the correct burner installed." Nice! Oh the wonders of legal liability.


Bearz r stoopid. Since I've been doing a lot of mindless but time consuming work lately, I need mindless but time consuming television to drone in the background. Turns out I've seen every single episode of every Law and Order incarnation, so awhile ago I discovered Turner Movie Classics and their old movie marathons (today was Cary Grant day). But this weekend I tuned into the Planet Earth series and listened to Sigourney Weaver tell me all about the tragedy and getting-eaten-ness of animals' lives around the world. Bears tend to feature a lot in the episodes, and it usually goes something like this:

**"The grizzly bear chooses to live in this barren Ethopian desert, where he travels over the rocks and sand looking for something, anything alive that he can consume."

**"The polar bear chooses to live in this barren, frigid land of ice. She's lost 50% of her body weight over the winter, and if she doesn't find food soon, her cubs will die when she stops producing milk. She'll hunt for seals, but will only catch 1 for every 20 tries."

And my favorite:
**"The panda bear chooses to live in the desolate high mountain peaks of China, because this is the only place bamboo grows, the only thing he can digest. If the female panda gives birth to two cubs, she must choose, because the bamboo she eats produces weak milk, and not enough to share."

Hello, bears? Maybe it's time for some kind of exit strategy. Get some Pepcid AC and a couple of cheeseburgers. Move in closer to the reservation and order some Peapod delivery with some tasty cows milk that'll fatten your little kids right up. I know, I know, a gallon is going for, like, over three bucks now, but if you just cut back on those long winter naps your lazyass can bring in a little more cash for your species that's always hanging on the brink of extinction. Man up, bears.

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