Monday, September 27, 2010

Allergies. Blech.

Every year, my allergies find new and interesting ways to torment me. This year, they clogged my left ear with fluid for a week straight. The very descriptive diagnosis would be something like this: everything sounds like it is under water-itis. There really is no way to clear it up, short of slicing open your inner ear and sticking a tube in it. No thanks. Instead, I devised my own cocktail of over the counter drugs and finally have found some form of relief. Also, generic Zyrtec is bullshit. Real Zyrtec knows this and laughs whenever someone grabs the fake Target brand off of the shelf, knowing that they'll be back begging for the relief that only the real shit can provide. Fuckers.


This week in new house construction, I give you the tearing down of the wall to expand the foyer. While less dramatic than the breaching of the wall between east and west Berlin, it was still a pretty cool moment, walking into the house and seeing the expanded space.

Interior--new foyer

Also, this week, CPM's great design idea came to fruition. "We" (meaning I watched and photographed while others worked) installed the former front window high up in the wall in the dining room. I believe an architect might refer to this as a "clerestory."

Window Installation

We are now ready to move onto the mechanical phase of construction. Bring on the plumbing, HVAC and electrical work!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

First World Problems, People

For the record, we are nowhere near being ready to do any decorating at the new place. Still, that doesn't stop me from trolling various design sites for inspiration (read, steal ideas that I can do in my house for cheap/free).

Alas, lights are not free. And we have a dramatically high entry way. The foyer ceiling will be about 10 feet high, which leads directly into the dining room, where the ceiling height is 12 feet or more (I forgot to confirm the height with the spouse). I know, I know. I'm gonna need a really big light up there. Like I said, first world problems.

The current house has ceiling fans in the kitchen and dining area. As a regular watcher of the now defunct Trading Spaces , I know they are not "design elements." They serve a purpose, to keep me cool. Now, however, I feel that I do not want a "big ass fan" in my grand entry way. I want a lovely light fixture. These are just inspiration/ideas. I'm notorious for buying stuff, looking at it, and changing my mind and kicking myself that I wasted money (if it's not returnable). The main problem is that I have no idea what my "taste" actually is.

I was surprised to find myself interested in anything this glassy, but there will be a pretty big leaded glass window behind it, so maybe that's what I'm feeling:

Then there is this "natural" chandelier. As Jaime pointed out via email, this will be a pain in the ass to clean. Also, it feels pretty "faery" to me. I'm not sure I'm a "faery" decor person. I've never actually been to a Renaissance Faire.

The next two are more along the lines of classic chandelier in my mind. Not gaudy, pretty simple, although the one is pushing the limit with the extra crystal hangers. Still, not too bad at all, right?

Finally, I include this one not because I am actually interested in it, but because I think it's crazy that Pottery Barn would charge $300 for something I think I could make on my own. I add the fact that I get to drink all of the wine in order to do it, so it's a pretty amazing project.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Apparently I Lack Vision

We are now approximately one month into Operation Let's Build Us a Damn House in the Burbs and Move Away from the City. Let's recap, shall we?

For the last five weekends or so I have found myself covered in various forms of dirt and debris. It started with plaster dust and mouse poop as we demoed walls, which became squirrel nesting debris and cotton insulation as we demoed ceilings, which transformed into tar and pitch remnants as we peeled off the flat roof, which finally was capped by the piece de resistance of the human fecal matter from the basement poop pipe when we finally demoed the plumbing and mechanicals. This home renovation is brought to you by ample amounts of Tide and Downy.

I have sweated way more than I like to. I have eaten way too much pizza (home renovation also sponsored by Jules Thin Crust and Peace a Pizza). I have gained four pounds (seriously, WTF is up with that, I guess it's the pizza). I have used the porta potty and decided that running water and flushing toilets are gifts from God above. I locked myself in the garage for an hour and cried. I filled buckets too full with trash, couldn't lift them, and cried. (I have actually cried a whole lot less than I expected too on this project.)

I used a sawzall for the first time. (I want to use the nail gun next.) I'm good with the crow bar. I can eyeball a dumpster and estimate approximately how much more crap we can fit into it. But I am ready for the demo to be done and construction to begin.

And just like that, poof, we have a new wall. A new, really high wall.

Human Featured is Actual Size
New House

When I walked through the house before we made the offer, I never even considered creating cathedral ceilings. That was all CPM's idea. I'm five foot two inches tall, and I rarely dust the corners on my normally sized house. I'm scared to death of the ceilings in the new place. I'm going to need a really long pole. (Pause for whatever dirty joke you wish to insert here.)

I also couldn't "see" how the new interior wall would look with the original leaded glass installed high up--that was also all CPM's idea. Now that the frames are built, I can see how amazing the place is going to be.

New House

I've started obsessively trolling design websites for inspiration. HGTV is on constantly. Now the fun really begins, right?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Highlights of My Weekend

Highlight 1

I locked myself in my new garage for about an hour on Saturday. I pause here for a renewed sense of panic as I relive the moment. Imagine lifting a spring-less garage door open from the outside, entering the garage, then, hearing the door slam down behind you. Now imagine trying to lift said spring-less door from the inside. The door does not budge. If you were me, you would be thankful that you could call your husband, who is busy at work, and panic over the phone, because you remembered to put your cell phone in your pocket. As he later told me, tears are his kryptonite. He was home to rescue me within an hour. I was shaken up and unable to work much for a few hours. As a thank you to CPM for the rescue, I gladly killed a bunch of ants later in the day (he hates bugs). Marriage, it's all about give and take.

Highlight 2

CPM made me pick up a pipe full of poop. The scene went something like this:

Me: (Returning to the basement after my millionth trip to the dumpster. Silently prepares to pick up some more trash to carry to dumpster.)
Him: "Take these pipes out, they are ready to go."
Me: (Struggling to lift heavy and unwieldy pipe, clutching said pipe close to my torso, "dirt" falling out of pipe onto me.)
Him: "You know, that pipe is full of poop."
Him: (Laughs hysterically)
Me: "I will never forgive you for this, ever."

Highlight 3

Hey, the new bathroom is up and running:

Man, that just doesn't get old.

Highlight 4

We also put in the new indoor pool:

Okay, it's not a pool. It's a hole in the basement floor. I'm killing myself with my construction humor.

Highlight 5

My husband, he has a big tool...collection.