Saturday, December 29, 2007

And so it all begins...

Tonight is my last night in the best apartment I ever had, with great landlords and neighbors (except for the elephant herd), perfect entertaining space, awesome kitchen...

Tomorrow morning, bright and early, I pack it all up and move to My First House. I don't know if the water heater works yet (I turned it on before I left Friday morning, but it takes an hour to warm up), forget light fixtures -- there are no lights at all in either bedroom, the bathrooms are absolutely filthy after acting as staging areas and closets for the last month of construction, one window is still boarded up, my fridge and washer/dryer haven't been delivered, and I haven't yet fenced in the backyard. But I did get my first gift from the neighborhood welcome wagon (I'm actually standing in my backdoorway taking that shot, ha).

So yeah, I'm pretty nervous. I still have a lot of things to fix up and no more money to spend (for now) and am going to be living with some pretty big inconveniences for awhile. Like, eating out of a cooler and having 0 counterspace because I've already ripped them out but can't replace them. And using this hideous, open shower until I can save up enough to renovate it.

And let's not kid ourselves. I probably haven't found half the problems with this house. Friday I noticed the entire doorjam is coming out of place in the second bedroom.

But the important things are there. The water is on (after a supreme display of incompentance by WASA), the gas and heat are on with no remaining gas leaks, the floors are gorgeous, the electricity works and most of the outlets even have plates, and I have a stove so I can cook. What more do I need to get by for awhile?


Thursday, December 27, 2007

This is really going to speed up that cell phone brain cancer

I've had my damn phone pressed to my ear almost all day today. Of course if I learned how to use the speakerphone on my Razr it would probably help out quite a bit. Most of it was spent on hold waiting for either Verizon DSL to get their shit together or, an hour later, Comcast High Speed Internet to process my order.

I had some contractors at the house today blowing in some insulation in the attic, who called me around 9:30am saying they smelled gas coming from the heating unit on the roof. Sigh. So then I was on the phone with the heating guys for awhile.

And since I don't have any work I can even pretend to do at the office and am pretty much forced to take vacation time since I can't bill, I decided I was at least going to spend my precious "vacation" in front of my tv and fireplace, and not at my desk waiting for someone, anyone to call me back with a task to do. I did have one small thing to talk about with someone, but for some reason whenever he called me it would go straight to voicemail, and whenever I called him he was away from his desk, so we played phone tag for about 6 hours before we finally caught up with each other, and he assigned me a memo that would take about 10 minutes to write, asking, "So you think you can get that to the partner by early next week?" Sigh. Yeah. If I work super duper hard this time.

In other news, I had my very first photo make it on Flickr Explore! Very exciting. Compared to gas leaks anyway.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Oh yeah

And the VCR ate my exercise tape yesterday. Dang it!

(enter total self-pitying wallow hole)

So the second time this year I spend the 45 grueling minutes to blow dry my hair, 1) it rains and I forget my umbrella and 2) I go to one of the only bars that still allows smoking. Mmmm...frizzy cigar smelling hair.

Well, this week has not been a stellar one for me. First, and this doesn't seem like a bad thing at first, but the rough case I've been working on for months with the Dec 24th deadline, and for which my boss said, "Don't make plans to go home for the holiday," actually ended abruptly about 9pm last Friday. So, hooray, I didn't have to work all weekend, but wtf, it was way too late to get a ticket home. And to top it off, no one in the firm is around to give me more work, and my job depends on me billing a minimum of 8 hours a day. And no, I can't bill for internet surfing.

The other reason I was going to stick around over Christmas was to work on house tasks and do a little moving. Here was my Sunday:

1) Turn on main water valve. No water comes out.
2) Reattach wires on thermostat, unhooked by HVAC people so the flooring guys wouldn't suck two tons of sawdust into the new system. No heat comes out.
3) Finish installing toilets, now that I'd taken a separate trip to pick up the rubber washers that were missing in the kit. Find screws to attach toilet lid were missing.
4) Try to caulk backdoor. Find my boxcutter missing; can't even open the caulk.
5) Explode in mindblowing frustration.
6) Decide not to get on 8 foot ladder and learn to attach lighting fixture alone, because clearly I'm just asking for trouble.

Sigh. So I can't get any tasks done, and Reason #2 for me being in DC for Christmas ceases to exist.

On Christmas Eve I decided I needed to get the eff out of the house. I've been meaning to see the Hopper exhibit since it opened in the fall, and the weather was gorgeous, so I walked to the National Gallery of Art (and copied a bunch of my favorite photographers) on the Mall and what did I find? Reams and reams of freaking tourists. Yeesh. But the exhibit was fantastic (and so apropos for being alone at xmastime), and I strolled through the modern art afterward to see the Picassos and Kandinskys and Gorkys again.

I wanted to catch a movie at 5pm at Gallery Place, so I walked up 7th Street to the Smithsonian American Art Museum to check out the new Kogod Courtyard before the show. It's just as fun to photograph as everyone says (and apparently I was sharing photography space with the IR king zachstern). Then I saw the Katharine Hepburn exhibit at the Portrait Gallery, which was so cool. They even have her four Oscars there, and an interesting story about how Hepburn and the director of Guess Who's Coming to Dinner? both put up their salaries as insurance in case the very ill Spencer Tracy died during filming and they had to film it over again with a new actor.

Then I saw Charlie Wilson's War -- definitely go see it. Aaron Sorkin did the screenplay, and it shows. Ignore the asshole who laughs hysterically at the end at the, sure, good delivery of the line that's, you know, actually about how Congress helped set the stage for 3000 people to be killed on American soil twenty years later. Sigh. And then I got drunk.

Anyway, Christmas was spent mostly cleaning my house, opening my new knife set, making cinnamon rolls like my mother usually makes on xmas morning, and hanging out with some other misfits who came over for beer and chinese food. That was fun, but I'm pretty much in an inconsolable wallowing mood that is not clearing up. Made even worse by an entire day spent at work today doing absolutely nothing.

Oh, except I did find out I have plumbing problems at the house today. Awesome! That's why the water isn't on yet. Long story, and I'll find out tomorrow if the fix will cost me anything or if it's WASA's problem. But then I had one friend buy me a delicious lunch and peanut butter/chocolate milkshake at Java Green to cheer me up, and another buy me some Bushmills on the rocks after work to cheer me up. And now I'm going to watch Disk 1 of Flight of the Conchords that another friend brought me for xmas yesterday. So maybe I should just keep wallowing to keep getting free stuff from my friends. (Thanks guys!)

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