Sunday, September 28, 2008

I Should Run for City Council

I just realized it. If I can see the community of Silverlake from my front yard, that must qualify me for some kind of political office, right?


I'm on the border. And everybody knows, you can't get to a Dodger game without going through Echo Park.

Maybe I should start with mayor.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Why do I not believe this?

I saw this article on Yahoo this week - Clean Your House in 19 Minutes.

Why do I not believe this is possible? It may be possible for some, but not for me.

Fifteen seconds to spray my shower? Yeah, assuming the spray bottle doesn't need a refill.

Pop in a CD while I dust? Yeah, it would take me 10 minutes to decide what I want to hear while cleaning.

Two minutes to throw out newspapers? It would take me two days to catch up on reading them before I throw them out. And I can't throw them out before I've read them.

Do you think this plan would work for anyone? Would it work for you? Or does this person just get paid to write ridiculous things with headlines no one can resist?

Friday, September 26, 2008

The Floor Man Cameth, and Wenteth and Will Cometh Again

Remember our bowed living room floor? About a month after that post, the Floor Man returned to start work on leveling the floor. I just didn't get around to posting about it.

Not only was the floor lower around the edges than in the middle, it was softer, too. Back in those days, in this modest area, they didn't waste the good wood on the whole floor. They figured the middle section would be covered with a rug so the prime wood was only for the part that would peek out around the edges.

It just occurred to me that that may be the reason the floor settled differently, two different kinds of wood.

So, the Floor Man and his crew came and leveled us off and in the process, ripped out all the old floor in the living room. It's a shame. It was one of the only original parts of the house that remained, other than the framework. But there was no way we could make it work with the floors in the other rooms, all of which were a wreck, all covered with nasty vinyl adhesive.

Floor Man and crew then put down plywood . . .

. . . on which will lie our Red Oak . . .

But then, our Red Oak was on back order. At first, we wanted to get it from Lumber Liquidators, but they didn't have it. Then, we decided to order it from the Floor Man because we liked the colors available from him better than the colors that came from Lumber Liquidators. But his oak was on back order as well - for two weeks. Okay, we could be patient.

Well, yesterday was the day for the Red Oak to be delivered and come in and sit a spell and get to know us better before being nailed to this house for eternity.

Except that somebody ordered White Oak.

So now we wait. We wait for the wood and then we'll wait for Floor Man to find time to come back.

If she can be patient, I suppose we can be too.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

How is this NOT a capital offense?

This morning, I was walking around the neighborhood where I get my hair cut. There are some lovely examples of well-loved Craftsman homes there. And then there was this:

No, that shop is not in front of and overlapping that old Craftsman house . . .

. . . that shop is actually built onto the house, cutting it in two!

Ladies and Gentlemen of the jury, how is this not a capital offense? Who would commit such an act of depravity upon an innocent house?

The blog, Casa Decrepit, has an excellent post called
Crimes Against Victorians. As you see above, the humble Craftsman bungalow is no less under attack than the stately Victorian.

On a leisurely stroll today alone, I observed:

Why? Why so much white paint? Why so much pointy fencing? Why so much stucco? Why so many satellite dishes? Why are Christmas lights still up? Why are there two white lions on the porch? (I couldn't get a good picture of the lions through all the fencing. But they're dutifully guarding the place.) Why? Why? Why?

Also on my walk today, I saw this nice house:

This is the kind of house that makes me want to invite myself in and get to know the people who live there.

And then there's this house, right next door:

The sad thing is, viewed side by side, they look like they may have started out as sister-houses:

It happens in so many families; one good girl, one shameless hussy.

The house on the left also displays not just one, but two fine sculptures like this:

I know, I should contain my cattiness a little. But was this really necessary?

Sometimes, a crime against a Craftsman can be as simple as the perceived need for a security door and bars on the windows:

Our house came with three security doors, one in the front and two in the back. As a special bonus, one of them came with a bullet hole. In its day, the bullet hole was the highlight of the tour. Alas, that door is gone now.

The opposite of protecting yourself with a steel door is surrounding yourself with glass:

I'm not sure why anyone would want to enclose their porch behind a big glass window. I don't even see any orchids, though they don't appear to have a green thumb anyway.

And speaking of green, closer to my own home (around the corner), I offer this:

Isn't there a rule about using three colors on a house exterior? Aside from the siding and trim, couldn't the stones on the pillars have been the third color? Did the stones have to be green as well?

Is there a house in your neighborhood that is more sinned against than sinning? Send me a photo along with any catty comments you'd like to include. I'd love to post a nationwide crime-spree. No prizes, just links - unless you want to get really catty and prefer to remain anonymous.

You can send the gory evidence to why.s999 at

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

The Larder

Now that most of the kitchen cabinets are in, I got to take the food we'd been storing in the big, ugly Rubbermaid thing,

and put it away in the cabinet of the Lazy Susan. What an insult to that ingenious device. She's not lazy at all!

Why do I have so many cans of black bean soup? Why do have so many cans of garbanzo beans? It's true, I do love garbanzo beans. Maybe I have a fear of running out. I think I couldn't see everything I had in the big, ugly Rubbermaid thing. The Lazy Susan should solve that problem. Now all my provisions will be visible at the flick of a wrist.

Here's the weird thing (and it's so weird, it doesn't even sound believable to me), this is the first time in over 20 years that we are able to store food in the kitchen. Up until now, we've had to find storage in other rooms, usually in some little storage unit that was meant to hide media. We just had too much dishware and glass ware and what-all ware taking the valuable kitchen shelf space. There was no room left for food. When we packed to move, I counted over two dozen martini glasses. There is no room for black bean soup, or even garbanzo beans when you are sheltering that many cocktail glasses.

But this time, the secret is that the food gets to move in first. The martini glasses are still in a box in storage. Except for a pair kept out, I haven't seen them for almost six years. Ha! Won't they be surprised! But they'll be fine. There's still plenty of shelf space left. They wouldn't have liked the Lazy Susan anyway.

More Terror than Pity

All the convention watching was distracting. It was a lot like theatre - comedy and tragedy, terror and pity. While it was all going on, I got behind in my life. I also got behind in my blogging and blog reading. I have a lot to catch up on.

While I was distracted, we received the renewal for our homeowner's policy. I hate this time of year. This is one of the things that Suze Orman tells us to budget for, yet I never do. I have to buy appliances, go to the theatre, travel. But this year, more than ever, I know I really have to evaluate all the upgrades and come clean about how much coverage we need. Ugh. So much easier just to write the check and send it off. I really don't want to do a full accounting of all the new stuff. I hate this part of being an adult. I'm really only into adulthood for the drinking and staying up late.

As a new homeowner, one of the first things I learned was that we couldn't get homeowner's insurance to cover us if we owned a pit bull. That surprised me. Pit bulls and Rottweilers are absolutely verboten if you expect liability insurance. Now, I've met some nice pit bulls. My family had a couple of pit bulls when I was a kid. But these days, I don't recommend them. So if you're thinking of choosing a pit bull, any pit bull, for any reason, any reason at all, think again.

Everything you have may be at risk.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'll have mine on the rocks with salt

Tonight was a momentous evening in our House on Red Hill. Now that the new sink is in, the new dishwasher is in and the new garbage disposal is in, I made our first dinner in our new kitchen - guacamole and chips. Well, I didn't make the chips, I just poured them into a bowl. But K made margaritas.

It may not sound like a balanced meal but that's not the point. The point is that I put the rind from the lemon down the garbage disposal - my first garbage disposal since we moved nearly six years ago. AND, and, and . . . as I type, THE DISHWASHER IS WASHING DISHES!

Ladies and gentlemen, I have not lived with a working dishwasher since I went away to college during the Carter Administration. All I can say is, I'm happy that I lived long enough to see the day.

The new stove is not yet installed so I'm not sure when any actual cooking will take place. Until then, there's still a half bag of chips.