Monday, May 26, 2008
As I enjoy the time to work on my own home this Memorial Day weekend, I want to be perfectly clear that I fully appreciate the blessings and privilege in my life. I am truly fortunate if the most immediate invader I have to worry about is a cockroach - and I never, ever forget that.
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Sunday, May 18, 2008
I rode eastward from West Hollywood down Sunset Blvd. Then transferred to go north, waiting for my second bus under the protection of The King.
Even though it was a little over a score or so ago, I distinctly recall looking up into the hillsides of Silverlake and Echo Park and thinking to myself, "I bet those people who live up there have cockroaches in their houses."
How could my younger self have been so prescient?
I don’t know what prompted that thought. I suppose it was that the houses were so old – so vulnerable to invasion. But I think it was also the hilly-ness . The fact of hilly-ness made me think "roaches." I doubt I would have thought it had the landscape been flat.
So – cut to the Time of The Decider. The Best Man comes over on Friday night to show us his photos of his recent trip to Argentina. He and We are comfortably settled into the deck furniture that currently passes for living room furniture.
Best Man’s photo album rests between him and me; we are chatting, relaxed; ready to mentally transport ourselves to The Casa Rosada . . .
. . . and then, what should scramble across the suede-bound album but a gigantic Kafka-esque nightmare of an antennae-ed creature, joining our little party as if he too wanted to hear tales of warm spring nights whiled away listening to the sounds of Tango.
We should all know by now that the preemptive attack doesn’t always have the intended consequences. It sometime serves to make your enemy more belligerent, more aggressive, less likely to play nicely. In this case, the ploy worked. It made me run. And once I fled, the Insect continued in the direction of the Best Man.
And then, manly as he is, K swooped up the horrid creature in his bare hand. To which Best Man and I both cried "Eww – you touched it with your hand! How could you do that?"
Then K was out the door to toss the invader into the street.
Jenni at ThirteenEleven has her own trouble with insects. But hers seems to be a problem of quantity. This was definitely a problem of quality. I’m sure this could qualify as a NYC sized roach. Though, to be honest, I don’t think I’ve ever seen a roach in NYC. Maybe I’m just not going to the right places.
What could have caused this horror? K pointed to the gap under the front door. "He probably came in through there." Best Man offered the gap as "an opportunity." I pointed to holes in the floor, drilled for access to wiring in the house's previous incarnation. It dawned on me that any insect could make its way from the basement into our house.
Better get that new flooring in soon! I've become one of those people!
Saturday, May 17, 2008
Here's the track. This was all a mystery to me. I had really never given any thought to the magic of the pocket door.
First, K built the framework on the library side.
I don't have much to say on the process. Build the frame, hang the doors. The trick seems to be to get the little wheels correctly on the track. And they're awfully little wheels for such heavy doors. Seems to work, though. There are videos on YouTube to explain the process. The guy that voices them is kind of dry though. Very dry.
Tomorrow, Mr. U will come to help with putting up the drywall on the library side. As fascinating as the track system is, we don't want to look at it forever.
Later in the day, K was working on building additional storage around the fireplace, while I was upstairs simultaneously paying bills, researching our June vacation and looking for crap on YouTube - -multi-tasking.
He comes to the office door and asks if I could help him. "Sure," I says. Then he says, "I shot myself with the nail gun."
"Not the big one," he says, "just the little one."
He's fine. Some Neosporin, a bandage and he's back to work. He's a trooper.
Kids, let this be a lesson to you. Home improvement is not a game.
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Fortunately, it was only there a couple of hours.
As a happier development in the inevtable, our first agapanthus of the season has bloomed . . .
and two more are on the way . . .
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
Oh, and K also installed the pocket door between the kitchen and hallway. The hardware works great. We got the door for $15 from the Habitat for Humanity Re Store in Pasadena. The door still needs to be painted but here it is for now.
This was a good test before K installs the big mahogany doors in the living room.
Wednesday, May 7, 2008
When I was a child, I got into my head that the ideal house has a circular driveway. Maybe the ideal house does have a circular driveway. But my house doesn’t. It does have a driveway, unlike the house next door and the house next door to the house next door. But it’s pretty much only wide enough for a gullwing – which I also don’t have.
In the meantime, we hunt for parking with each return home. Sometimes we find it in front of our house. Sometimes down the street. Sometimes around the corner and sometimes down the block. Or down the next block.
Last Sunday, I found two stretch limos:
If I wanted bad karma, I suppose I could check with the city about the any laws against running a limo service out of an apartment.
Even without the limos, we still have trouble parking. Sometimes it’s because it’s trash day and all the containers are out in the street and you can’t park around them.
Sometimes it’s because it’s street sweeping day and half the street is off limits.
Sometimes it’s because someone is having a party.
Sometimes it’s because filming is scheduled so a street is blocked off.
That Silver Peony (2nd from top) might be nice. Maybe I'll try a sample of that. Maybe I'll take up painting canvases with all the leftover samples I'll have.
The computer doesn't reproduce this color well at all.
Sunday, May 4, 2008
While he did all that, I tested out the paint colors that I had in mind for the living room and dining room walls and all the ceilings. The intended wall color was Sherwin Williams Hubbard Squash, from their Arts and Crafts Preservation Palette. I had already painted a piece of board that was about 2.5" x 2.5" and I was about to show it off to a friend after last week’s window-lift-a-thon when K revealed that he had pitched the board in the trash. He thought I was "done with it." I hadn’t even started with it but he thought I was done with it. That’ll teach me about not keeping my things locked up.
The plan was Hubbard Squash above the wainscoting in the living room and dining room and Sherwin Williams Tealight on the ceiling. I was also considering Bunglehouse Blue in the library.
Bunglehouse Blue on a test door
The Bunglehouse Blue seemed like quite a contrast so I wasn’t feeling that confident about it. I’d also planned an even darker blue on two of the walls in the kitchen. It was supposed to have matched a small piece of tile that would be the behind-the-stove back splash. Well . . . That small bit of tile wasn’t blue. I finally had a look at it today (why I hadn’t really looked at it before, don’t ask) but the tile I thought was blue was actually various shades of purple.
So I’m off to Sherwin Williams and I return with sample pitchers of Tealight and Mythical.
Once home, I bring out the sample pitcher of Hubbard Squash and painted an actual wall with it. I also painted part of the wall in Tealight. And then it hit me. It would be Tealight all around.
K thought the Hubbard Squash looked like mustard. I just thought it was muddy. But the Tealight seemed perfect, for both the walls and the ceiling. It was even right for the library.
Hubbard Squash and Tealight meet
Why did I want all those different colors? One unifying color would make the rooms flow together – would make the whole space seem larger. Why would I want to draw attention each little room? Why shouldn’t they all be one continuous space? Why am I obsessed with contrasting ceilings?And then there was the kitchen. I painted swatches of west and east walls in Mythical and I immediately loved it. The blue that I had in mind would have been too dark and too heavy with the black kitchen cabinets. Mythical was perfect. It’s actually lavender – like Elizabeth Taylor’s eyes. I don’t have the cabinets up yet but I’m sure lavender will play off them better than blue would have. The cows will glow against it as will the glass knobs I have planned for the cabinets.
Mythical and Tealight together
Mythical on the east wall
This is a huge leap for me. Just knowing what the final colors will be I consider a huge, huge accomplishment. Even though the lavender Mythical is not part of the Arts and Crafts Preservation Palette I don’t care. I like it. K likes it. The cows will love it.