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Thursday, August 30, 2007


I have a cold. Nothing I have to write about right now feels more important than the prospect of going home, drinking a glass of orange juice (oh, Simply Orange, how I love thee), and going to bed.

For what it's worth, though -- know how one of those standard 'what if' questions is always 'what superpower would you most want to have?' Forget super strength and flying. I'd be a home-improvement version of Aquaman. Able to summon contractors and vendors and loan specialists just by going "OOOOOOOOOO".

Also, all that undersea treasure would probably come in handy paying off my roof loan.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

we still love you, window people

Our window order is officially on hold. Because the window guys will be doing a bunch of framing when they put in the windows (both because some are bay windows and because several windows are getting moved around), they need us to have all of the appropriate walls laid bare. Unfortunately, this STILL can't happen without the HVAC being finished so we can move downstairs and gut the upstairs. So Don told the window people to go ahead and put the whole thing on hold until we get the stupid HVAC finished, whenever that is. I think HVAC guy is supposed to call today or tomorrow to let us know when he can come out and finish.

On the plus side, that's one bill we won't have to start paying for a while, which is a good thing since Don is still unemployed. Anyone have any jobs?

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

happy birthday to me

I'm officially twenty-five today.

Monday, August 27, 2007

home again

I don't think any of us really felt like leaving the beach. I think in the day and a half we've been back I've probably said to Don, "Hey... let's go back to the beach now!" at least two dozen times. He's agreed with me every time.

Photo is, as usual, courtesy of Lindley, because I barely took any. You can check out my very limited set of photos -- mostly of the house we stayed in, typically enough -- here, and her much more exciting set -- including some awesome night photography on the beach -- here.

I got a tan, but you can barely see it because of all the freckles I also got. Sigh. We came back in the middle of a somewhat horrifying severe thunderstorm -- I think my knuckles are probably still white from the grip I had on the steering wheel from Washington, D.C. to Baltimore. The power was out when we got home, which was a lovely welcome. If it hadn't been raining and blowing so hard I was afraid the car would be blown right off the road, I might have just turned around and headed back to North Carolina. A full week in a house that was actually finished, with real walls and windows and doors and paint and furniture! Seriously! Furniture! was so incredibly relaxing. Next year we're going for two weeks. And we've seriously considered sneaking away for another week in October. Off season is cheap!

But now it's back to the grind. Time to call the HVAC guy and find out if he's recovered from Installation Guy's disappearance and if he's going to come out and finish our vents anytime soon. Time to call the window people and find out if our financing has gone through and when they might be starting. Time to start pondering schedules, and money, and priority lists. Time to worry about Don's employment, about school costs and scheduling, about family, about money, money, money.

Let's go back to the beach now.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

for your shopping pleasure

It's officially time for you people to start shopping for my birthday. Seriously. August 28th, people! Wanna see my wishlist? Shop away.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

i have made weirder requests

Does anybody have a wooden coat rack they're willing to part with? I need one that's not particularly heavy, and it's got to be wood or something else cuttable, since I really only need the top half.

Doesn't it sound like I'm preparing to do something really strange? Actually I need it to display handbags at craft shows; my mom makes these fabulous handbags and we'll be selling them along with our jewelry and accessories at several craft shows this season (I've added them to the calendar on the website, check it out). So I'm looking for something to hang them from, and a coat rack seems like the best option. Anyway. Let me know if you have one.

Nothing is going on with the house; we're waiting for HVAC Boss Guy to call and let us know when he can come out and finish up. Don's changing the locks this week, as No-Longer-Installation Guy still had our keys when he up and quit. I'm trying to use up all the stuff in the fridge before we leave for the beach without going to the grocery store, which may result in us eating peanut butter and pickle sandwiches or something later in the week.

Monday, August 13, 2007

true dork confessions

Do not call me on Friday night. I won't answer. I won't be on the computer, I won't be available to anyone. Why? Because I'm going to be glued to my television, watching HIGH SCHOOL MUSICAL 2! I'm so freaking excited.

You can start making fun of me now if you'd like.

(I'm also excited about the new episode of Hannah Montana that's going to be on after the movie. She's performing with the Jonas Brothers! God, I'm a dork.)

Thursday, August 09, 2007

a little more coherent

Thank you all for your positive comments to my slightly hysterical post yesterday! Seriously, people were coming out of the woodwork (I'm looking at you, zenchick). Anyway, here's what happened:

When we found out on Tuesday that Installation Guy had quit (which reminds me, we need to change the locks, he still has a key), Sales Guy said he'd come out yesterday to assess what needed to be done. Once he'd seen how much was left to do, he'd be able to schedule a time to come out and finish. This was totally fine with us -- we know the situation IG's actions have left poor Sales Guy in, and it's not a pleasant thing.

So he comes out in the afternoon, looks around, and says, "It's pretty awful in here. Let's see if we can at least get the air conditioner turned on."


(If you could pronounce exclamation points, I would have at that point.)

So he banged a few things, fiddled around in the basement for a while, and lo! The air conditioner was turned on! The job's not done, mind you -- ducts still need to be run to the kitchen and bathroom, and one or two vents in the living room aren't hooked up, and one of the returns isn't installed yet, but most of the vents on the first floor are in fact blowing cold air. He'll come back as soon as he can to finish up the ductwork, but in the meantime we have blessed, blessed air.

It's not really cooling the house down, since there's no insulation right now and no walls to separate the rooms, but it's performed a huge service by getting rid of the swamplike humidity on the first floor, which has already made our lives SO MUCH BETTER. The cat, last I saw her, was sprawled happily on the living room floor, enjoying the change. I may join her.

Wednesday, August 08, 2007



Tuesday, August 07, 2007

good lord

Installation Guy apparently quit on Thursday. Just stopped going to work. Didn't call, didn't do anything. He didn't attend the meeting he was supposed to be at yesterday, and Sales Guy finally figured it out. Don just heard from Sales Guy, who is now apparently frantic, baffled, frustrated, and probably swearing a lot. He said he'd come out tomorrow and see what stage our project was at and schedule a time to come finish it up.

Part of the reason we do so much stuff ourselves? We have the WORST LUCK EVER with house-related people (ask our last insurance agent about her broken leg sometime, and our mortgage guy about his surgery, and the home inspector about his wife's serious illness, and you could ask our first realtor about anything you like but she probably won't answer because she is DEAD).

in the TMI department

Yeast infections: really crappy.

Yeast infections in this weather:

Much worse.

Monday, August 06, 2007

back to stress

I have no updates today. My "stress-free" weekend has kind of accomplished the opposite -- since I purposefully didn't get anything done, now there's an even larger mountain of stuff for me to do today than usual. Sigh.

HVAC Installation Guy apparently has some kind of meeting to attend today about a commercial installation, and has promised to come finish up at our house after the meeting. In other words, as I said at dinner last night, we're probably not going to have air conditioning today.

I feel like this blog has gotten awfully boring. This whole HVAC thing is just consuming my life; we've wasted like an entire month on this crap. A month we had planned to spend moving forward on the house and getting a lot done. Ugh! Hopefully our lives will start getting interesting again soon. In a good way, not in an ancient-Chinese-curse way.

Friday, August 03, 2007


Hours of sleep: 10
Episodes of Barefoot Contessa watched: 1
Pints of chocolate ice cream consumed: 1
Reservations made for Sascha's tomorrow night: 1, table for 2

Relaxation: getting there.

Thursday, August 02, 2007

mandatory relaxation

Don's dad is downstairs working on hooking up the last of the wiring for the HVAC. Installation Guy is set to come out and finish up on Monday -- but I don't care. I'm not worrying about it.

I'm under boss's orders to take a "stress-free" day off tomorrow -- he told me I'm not even allowed to check my work email (not so easy -- I'm a total email junkie). I'm not to work on Anapurna stuff either, says "boss" Lindley (unless it's totally stress free, that is).

So I went to the grocery store, got a pint of Haagen-Daz chocolate ice cream (full fat, even), and then came home and put together a huge bowl of pasta salad, an equally large bowl of pickled eggs, and a bunch of cut up vegetables with dip. Tomorrow, I'm going to stay in bed until noon, and then stay in bed some more and watch my favorite Food Network shows (I'm a huge Barefoot Contessa fan). I'm going to snack on food that's already made, that I don't have to worry about -- and that's cold. I might play some video games; I might not. I'm not going to leave the air-conditioned rooms upstairs. I'm not going to correspond with anybody, I'm not going to answer the phone, I'm not going to talk to anybody but the cat and maybe Don. Total shutdown, here I come.

And, in case you're curious --

Pickled Eggs

2 jars pickled beets
4-6 hard-boiled eggs

Empty the jars of beets into a big bowl (juice included). Peel the eggs and nestle them down into the beet juice. Add a little water if the eggs aren't submerged; try to get the beets to spread out and cover them some too. Refridgerate at least overnight; the longer they soak, the better they get. You may have to add a little vinegar later if they aren't sour enough for you.

Recipe courtesy of the lovely inhabitants of Chez Brinkley, ten blocks over. It's infinitely expandable. The bigger your bowl, the more you can make. Just add another jar of beets!

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

mmm restaurants

How about something that has nothing to do with my total meltdown whatsoever?

It's Baltimore's Restaurant Week this week. A whole bunch of really nice restaurants where it normally costs like a hundred bucks a head for dinner are offering a prix fixe menu for $30.07 a head. You can do lunch for $20.07, same principle. Go to the website here and check out all of the menus. I don't think we can afford to go this year, but I still like to drool over the menus. Plus, you can live vicariously through the Baltimore Snacker as he makes his way through Restaurant Week. That's always good.

DC's Restaurant Week is next week, and my favorite tapas restaurant, Jaleo, has a fantastic deal. Check that out, too, if you're down that way. I'll be up here, drooling.