Saturday, May 7, 2011

Lessons in home ownership/renovation/common sense

I spent about 12 hours at the house today--well, some of that was at lunch and at Lowe's. Whatever.

I learned a few things:

1. Don't dismount a ladder that is near the corner of a windowsill without paying good attention to your surroundings. Take it from me--or from my butt, which now bears an unsightly, oddly shaped bruise--and spare yourself the painful lesson.

2. If you ever need to scrub blood off your textured ceilings, use a spray bottle to spray the ceiling with a TSP mixture before you scrub. I don't know why it took me so long to realize that, but it's GENIUS. I finished the last of the blood today in about 1/5 the time it took me before. Hurrah! Bloodbegone!

3. Drinking beers while you work all day will make you very, very, very sleepy in the afternoon. You might even fall asleep in a chair.

4. I would rather clean someone's blood off the wall than someone's hair from anywhere. Oh man, hair is disgusting.

5. Louvered doors are a fucking bitch to clean. Seriously. Fuck those doors. They can go straight to hell.

6. 93.9 literally, truly, honestly plays the same five songs over and over and over again.

7. I could do without EVER hearing that commercial for the Speedy Beverage Club again. So. So. Bad.

8. I really need a contractor to start working. Like, now. Yesterday. THREE WEEKS AGO.

I also had a really amazing, touching encounter with a dude from Craigslist. (No not THAT DUDE. Hahaaaahahaha.) I hired this guy to pick up a washer and dryer from a friend and deliver it to my place. He charged me $30 (for the 25ish mile one-way trip), and I was planning to give him $10 extra. Then it turned out that my friend added in a patio table and a couple of chairs, and we didn't have any burly help on either end of the trip, so it was just us girls helping the Craigslist guy load/unload the stuff. So, I figured I'd throw in another $10. But then the bank only gave me twenties, so, meh, ok, I'll give him $60. So the guy showed up and was super nice and friendly and helpful. I handed him the cash and thanked him, and he looked at it, and sorta confused, asked, "Do I owe you some change here?" I told him no and thanked him for being so helpful. And he paused for a minute and then said, in a really sincere, totally not obsequious way, "Well, thank you, very much. That's an answer to a prayer. We weren't sure how we were going to make it this week. Thank you." He left just after that, and I went inside and cried. I can't quite verbalize all the reasons why, but it was just really touching. I really appreciated the opportunity to meet and have that encounter with him.

It was a good day today.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Contractor woes, to-do lists, and small victories

As you may remember, I planned to have General Contractor Greg do the remodeling work on my bathrooms. We talked on the phone a few weeks ago, and he said he was in Florida but would be back in a couple days and would call me then. Well, a couple days passed, and he didn't call. On the day after he said he would call, his wife called and said that he'd been really sick in bed, but he asked her to let me know that he hadn't forgotten me and that he'd call me as soon as he got out of bed.

Two weeks later, I still hadn't heard from him. I wasn't sure whether to be worried about him or pissed that he hadn't called me. Plus, I was two weeks behind schedule--I'd hoped to have the bathrooms nearly done at that point! Anyway, I called and left a voicemail for him after two and a half weeks, and I sent him an email, too, because my realtor told me that he thought GC Greg was pretty good about his email. Three days (from the voicemail) passed and I hadn't heard anything, so I got the name of another guy from a partner at work, and I called him.

He responded right away--yay!--and said that he was definitely interested in talking to me about the project and that it sounded right up his alley. BUT.... he also said that his mom had passed away that weekend, so he would need to touch base with me later in the week. I mean, what can you say to that? So I said ok.

And then the next day, GC Greg finally contacted me. Turns out he'd had some melanoma spots return and had to have them removed. But now he's ready to move forward!

So now I'm in a pickle. I guess I'll just get quotes/bids from both guys and go from there. But in the meantime... I STILL DON'T HAVE A CONTRACTOR.


Anyone who knows me well knows that I like to plan things and make lists. Listmaking is soothing... usually. I've never really had a situation where making a good, detailed list didn't immediately make me feel better, where committing my little falling-asleep-oh-no-i-must-remember-to-do-XYZs to paper didn't make me feel more in control and able to figure out the details of whatever project I was wrestling. But this house... I... I'm overwhelmed with lists. Or, at least, there are so many things to do that I just can't think about all of them or I will go crazy. I have to rock some good, old-fashioned Scarlett O'Hara denial just so I can get through the day. And although that makes me feel better, I also worry that I will forget something major. WHAT IF I FORGET TO BUY A STOVE?! (Oh actually I do need to go do that.) WHAT IF I FORGET TO PACK MY APARTMENT UP? WHAT IF I FORGET TO... whatever.

But I generally know that the cleaning has to be done before painting, and painting comes before new flooring, and ripping up existing flooring comes before new flooring, and getting the bathrooms done comes before new flooring, and kitchen drywall comes before painting the kitchen, and kitchen drywall comes before the kitchen's new flooring, and new flooring comes before kitchen install, and... oh man I have a lot to do before July 1.

I will take them where I can get them! I bought a new remote for my garage door opener, because no remote came with the house, and who knows how many there were and who had them. Given the blood-splashing, I don't want to eff around someone maybe still having a remote to my garage and hidden access to my house. So, a new remote!

I crawled up on a ladder to figure out how to make the remote and the opener "talk", opened the cover, and found....

a remote inside the cover. All righty.

Anyway, I managed to get the remote and the opener to "talk" so now I have a working remote! Holla!

Yeah. Like I said, SMALL victories.