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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

day of doom

I had a bad day yesterday. Really most of the day was fine, it didn't get bad until I stepped off of the train, and then I had about a week of badness crammed into less than three hours. It sucked. Various bad things happened, and then I finally got home where (I thought) I would be safe. Not so. Don had asked me to take those four bags of garbage down to the curb for the trashmen (who were ever-so-helpfully blocking my way out of the neighborhood this morning, incidentally), and also take the pile of mysterious rakes, shovels, brooms, and other long skinny things which was next to the bags to the curb as well (turns out our trash guys take ANYTHING-- for this I forgive them the street blockage). He forgot to tell me that the bags were really, really heavy-- I had no idea, as I'd been asleep when he filled them. He also forgot to tell me that one of the long skinny things was actually a large hunk of metal pipe-- very heavy, and very cold. By the time I got done with that, my hands were close to frozen-- I hadn't brought gloves out since I thought everything was going to be plastic or wood. Having an extra-long driveway is great every day of the week except for Monday nights. Dragging all that stuff down to the curb was not fun.

Then I went inside, and while I was unloading the groceries, I stepped on the cat, screamed at her, and burst into tears.

Don came home to find me weeping into a bowl of cereal. It wasn't a good day.

Sunday, February 26, 2006

no, really, doom

This weekend we took a break from playing EverQuest 2 to take a whack at cleaning out the garage. Well, really, Don did. I was sleeping. He's such a nice man, he didn't want to wake me up, so he headed outside and managed to fill up four huge contractor-sized garbage bags by the time I woke up and came wandering out to find him. Yes, four. Full. Of trash. From the garage.

The catch?

He didn't even make a dent.

We're looking into renting. First a dumpster, then a keg. Invitations to the cleanup party will be going out as soon as it's warm enough to hold it.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

UMBC kids unite (and eat caviar)

If any of you are UMBC alumni (and haven't already been bombarded with emails from Kari P., that adorable yet relentless girl), consider going to this Young Alumni event. If you're too lazy to click the link (like I would be if I were you), it's a wine-tasting and hors d'ouvres thing for a very good price (ten dollars if you pre-register, fifteen at the door) on March 10th from 7 to 9 P.M.

My mother used to pronounce hors d'ouvres as 'horses' doovers'. I'd like to think it was a sharp and witty social commentary on the unknowing pretentiousness of the bourgeoisie, but I think she was just being silly. And, you know, taking a three-year-old to fancy academic parties. Maybe that was the social commentary right there. Or maybe I just like caviar.

A title disclaimer: I have no idea if there is going to be caviar at this thing. We can only hope. If not, we can all go back to my place and break out the alabaster spoons. Sure thing.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

garage of doom

Since we both work for defense contractors on contract to the federal government, Don and I had yesterday off. Thank heaven for federal holidays, and thank heaven I don't work in retail anymore. On Sunday, we went to Home Depot (the retail I used to work in, natch) to pick up some wood for a project Don is working on for his fraternity. We left the wood in the car overnight, because we're lazy. But yesterday, we needed to clear out the car so we could take our massive amount of laundry over to his parents (did I mention that the dryer doesn't work? Yeah. We're going to buy a new one... eventually).

Rather than, you know, just moving the wood onto the porch or something SIMPLE, Don decided to put it in the garage. See, the garage has been divided-- it's a two car garage, but the Brinkleys built a dividing wall down the middle and turned half of it into a workshop. It belonged to Pop-Pop Brinkley first, then Uncle Eddie. Now it's Don's. You can still see the outlines of where Pop-Pop's tools used to hang on the walls, and some of Eddie's unfinished projects are still tucked away in the corners, but for the most part it's empty. It's well-lit, of course, and perfectly set up as a great shop, just empty.

So. Putting the wood in the workshop. Okay. Simple, right? Not so much. The only way to get into the garage is of course the garage door on the left side (the right side, which is the workshop, was sealed shut long ago). It's got an electric opener, and there's a little keyhole by the side of the door with a cover over it so it won't freeze, and there's even lights above it (one red, one green) so you can tell when the door is in operation or something. Or at least I think that's what they're for, since they-- and the garage door opener-- don't WORK. Rather, the opener works just fine if you are inside the garage. (Don, standing inside the garage, looking helpless as he made the garage door go up and down: "So what do I do?" Me: "...run.") But the fancy little key thingie? No go. We have a key that fits it, but it doesn't turn and nothing happens. So Don spent an hour trying to figure out what was wrong (and learning about how garage door openers work-- I didn't know he didn't know anything about them, or I would have been able to save him some time!), and then finally just turned the damn thing back off (it was off when we got there, we got in by just hauling the thing up by hand) and put the wood in the shop. Finally.

Eventually, of course, we're going to have to figure out another solution, because we plan to put a glassworking studio in the unfinished side of the garage. But that's a long way off. Maybe Don can make something in his new workshop to pass the time.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

at least my computer isn't chuck norris

I had a cute little post all ready, but then I had to go to a meeting and when I came back my computer freaked out and jumped out a window while righteously slashing on a guitar. Totally. So instead I'll just say that today I fell down. On some ice. And wrecked my knee. Which means I will accomplish very few useful things this weekend, as I will be busy complaining.

Monday, February 13, 2006

four wheel drive and drop ceilings

We had a snow day yesterday. It started snowing Saturday afternoon, and it managed to keep doing it until Sunday afternoon, resulting in about eight inches of snow in our driveway-- pretty astonishing for this area. I finally got to use my four wheel drive. Admittedly, it was just to drive to 7-11 for some rock salt, but still! My car (a 2006 Ford Escape) was my birthday present this year (and for the next ten years, Don says), so it's still brand new and it was super-exciting to get to drive it in the kind of weather I learned to drive in. My mom, back in Washington, has had snowfall pretty constantly since October. This is the first hint of snow we've seen all year. All in all, I much prefer Baltimore. I like snow, but not THAT much. Here's a picture of me complaining about it.

Anyway, we had to find SOMETHING to do to take up our lazy Sunday. So we took down the drop ceiling in the office. First we had to gear up and put on our face masks:

face mask me face mask don

Then we took down the ceiling, tile by tile (actually Don took it down, I held the garbage bags for him to put the tiles in):

action shot

And were totally unprepared for what we found within:

old alarm clock vintage video camera

That's right, Don's grandmother had hidden away an alarm clock and a vintage video camera in the ceiling. It was like finding pirate gold.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

we probably shouldn't be pen pals

I know, I know. I'm a terrible correspondent. I can't even be bothered to keep one paltry blog updated. It's ridiculous.

Hopefully that's enough shameful groveling, because it's boring. Not a lot is going on with the house. We did spend some time this weekend deciding (okay, arguing about) what we want to do with the interior. And we bought a tree trimmer.

Tree trimmers are very strange. They seem to be large saws combined with scissors. On sticks. Operated by pull-strings. How archaic. We haven't taken ours out of the package yet. Don got all fired up Sunday morning and wanted to trim the large, overgrown, covered-in-mysterious-red-fuzzies tree in the backyard before we went to his parents' place to watch the Super Bowl. Like the sensible, sane human being I am, I talked him out of it. Really, who wants to trim a tree when you can go over early and get dibs on the chips and salsa? Right, I know, nobody. Plus, you know, there's the whole 'know-what-you're-doing' thing, that would probably be good too.

In addition to buying the venerable and mysterious tree trimmer, we also spent quite a while roaming around Home Depot looking at things like tile and light fixtures and faucets and the like. We were ostensibly there to write up a price quote for a project Don is working on for someone else, but we got distracted. I love Home Depot-- and not because I used to work there, either (and no they don't give you discounts if you work there [dammit]). I like to walk up and down the aisles realizing all of thing things I can do. It makes me feel well-rounded. Because, you know, I can create a spreadsheet, write federal guidance procedures, change a tire, write a poem, and tile a countertop. I'm so neat.