Thursday, December 30, 2004

The long way home

We flew home December 29th and were supposed to arrive @ LAX @ 11:49am PST. Even though we were leaving @ 0 dark 30 Wednesday morning, at least we would be home early. Ah, but all the Gods were against us. Our 6:40 am flight from Edmonton to Denver was maintenance delayed until 8:30 which meant we'd miss our connection in Denver. All the other Denver/LAX flights were sold out. So, we were routed through Chicago on the 8:00 am flight. Then from Chicago to LAX, but we didn't have seats on the Chicago/LAX leg. That's bad you see. Even though you are confirmed on the flight, if you don't have a seat and its oversold then you could possibly not get on. Then it becomes all about status and hierarchy. Our trip to Chicago was uneventful and we even got the exit row but of course, we were anxious about ORD. Upon arrival to ORD we did the mad dash from terminal F to terminal C for our flight. We had 90 minutes but the sooner you get on the list, the better for seats, so off we ran.

Upon arrival at C19 the line for that poor customer service agent was about 30 deep. We were depressed. Finally, we got up to the front and I asked her where we were in the pecking order. Thanks to my status with United Airlines, we were 10 & 11 of 128 people. Don't let anyone ever tell you that status doesn't matter. We could have walked up 21 minutes before take off and still jumped to #10 & 11. That's the way the cookie crumbles. I sweet talked Elaine (the customer service agent), didn't get all uppity and pissy and magically we got on (even though the rumor in the boarding area was that there were only 9 seats to be had) and we were sitting together in FIRST CLASS. Yes that's right baby, first class all the way.

My faith in United Airlines was restored even though we didn't get home until 7:00 pm. At least we were home and we even received all our luggage.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

and here come the fuzz

We received a call from the alarm company last night. Out side door was open. Now since we've had contractors in and out of the house for 6 months I'd normally think nothing of it, but it was 10:30 pm. Who would be in our house that late. I called a neighbor and had him look over into the driveway. 2 LAPD officers were talking to a fellow with a toolbelt, and a grey pick up was in our driveway. That would be Gene then. I guess he convinced the LAPD that he was legit and they drove away sans Gene.

Gene was over working late on our heater vent cover in the new bathroom. He's a great guy to be doing this before Christmas. And we appreciate it.

Hope everyone is having a Merry Christmas. Its snowing outside right now here in Edmonton. A white, blustery Christmas is always nice.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Another setback looms its ugly head

We just found out that we didn't order the matte or non-slip pink custom color floor tile for the bottom of the shower. I had great hopes that the shower would be usable sometime during our friend Arlene's visit from New Jersey. But alas, she will have to learn to bathe, as we have. Even with paying the extra overnighting charges it appears the pink shower floor tile will be another 2 weeks. I suppose when you think about how much time we've spent without a shower, another 2 weeks is immaterial.

On the bright side of life, its wonderful and white up here in Edmonton. It'll be a white Christmas and it was snowing this morning. When it snows the cloud cover keeps the heat close to the earth and its quite nice and warm during the day. Of course, this is all relative. Its 70 above in Los Angeles.....

Monday, December 20, 2004

The Ralph Lauren adventure

My sister calls me on the phone to pick up something for her husband that cannot be obtained in Canada for Christmas. A pair of jeans from Ralph Lauren. Ah, a quick visit to the RL web site shows that there is a store in Beverly Hills on Rodeo Drive. Of course, why wouldn't there be? Now, to go shopping in Beverly Hills one cannot wear their Sunday sweats even if it is Sunday. You must dress up because if you look like a homeless person no one will pay attention to you.

So, off I go with my best jeans and t-shirt to Rodeo drive. I park my mommy mobile, minivan in amongst all the Mercedes, BMW's and Rolls Royces and trot over to Ralph Lauren. I turn the corner into the store and the entry way is bizarre. I stopped dead in my tracks. Stepped back a few steps to make sure I turned into the right store. Yes, it says Ralph Lauren on the awning. I bravely venture ahead through what can only be called a jungle/arboretim tunnelway and eventually come upon the actual store. The store is divided into rooms as if you were in a very large home that sold RL. Its very confusing. I staggered around all the finely coiffed shoppers and wondered who worked here. None of the people were wearing name tags. I suppose that must be tacky.

"Oh, there's someone with a name tag", I say to myself. I approach this hispanic woman cleaning a counter top and ask her wear the jeans are. Because I've been walking around this bizarre store for 10 minutes and cannot find any jeans. In her broken english this nice cleaning lady (as it turns out) points me to a sales associate. I'm sure I looked like I walked right out of Alabama, but she helped me anyway. I asked for the jeans section and she calmly says, "they are not displayed, what size would you like I will go get them." Why wouldn't they display them? Probably beneath the store to display them? Who knows, I thought they'd fit in perfectly with all the bright pink, yellow, orange and other loud colors that I cannot believe a man would wear. Matter of fact, my sister asked me that same question the other day. She said, "do alot of gay men shop at Ralph Lauren?" When I was walking around there were 3 guys standing around feeling boxer shorts and commenting on their softness. I looked and listened trying hard to determine if they were straight or gay. I couldn't figure it out. Perhaps the male Ralph Lauren shopper is a breed unto their own.

RL had the size I needed but she convinced me to go to the mall to look at the department stores. You see my sister wanted a specific style # which the saleswoman felt was at a department store. I'm not sure if she was just trying to get rid of me or if she was convinced of this. So off to Century City Mall I go, hitting 2 department stores, which had the same damn jeans they had in Beverly Hills but of course, not the size needed. So in a huff (as only I can do) I go driving back to the Beverly Hills store. I can't find parking anywhere! So screw it, I went home figuring I'd go back Monday morning.

Then I got this bright idea to look on ebay. Guess what I found! The exact jeans needed, perfect, with the tags and everything right on them, for 1/4 the price! Woohoo! I bought them this morning and they will be here tomorrow. Screw Beverly Hills baby! Online shopping rules!

Friday, December 17, 2004

Disappointment rules the day

I have literally been waiting almost 6 months to post something that says, "the color match tile is here!" Yesterday, I received the long awaited, official call, the tile is in. This is the pink and blue custom color matched tile we ordered 7/6/04 from Mission Tile West. We had to use B&W bisque with a Pratt & Larson color to get it right. And it took forever. Does it sound complicated? You'd think it was rocket science.

Incompetence reigns supreme as they would say on the Iron Chef. Some moron @ Pratt & Larson didn't read properly, or perhaps they cannot read, and glazed (?) our quarter rounds with the wrong color. Not a little off, glazed it blue instead of pink. I mean, come on.

So I have to admit something to all of you. When I was @ Mission Tile I was angry, thinking of where I put my Uzi and other such mundane thoughts while the stupid bitch salesperson who cost us 4 weeks called Pratt & Larson to see what could be done, so I was holding it together. But after she promised to overnight the B&W bisque to P&L and they would run it and ship it back direct to our house 12/28 I left, with this slight glimmer of hope. There's that friggin' word again. Hope.
Well, screw hope. All of a sudden as I drove down the street a monumentous sadness/frustration/anger came over me. I had to pull over. And I know this is going to surprise alot of you, I cried. Yes, me. I cried like a baby. Sobbed really. Uncontrollably. I felt a little better after that. Resigned I suppose you would call it.

I called Dena and told her the news. She asked me if I knew what we were supposed to learn from all this. You see, she believes that from adversity you are supposed to learn something. All these "tests" are to teach us lowly humans some lesson.

I threw a few lessons out there:

  • - Patience - the obvious
  • - Preserving the past is painful
  • - Preserving the past requires patience
  • - Preserving the past is not worth it, throw out the old and bring in the new <-- my favorite

What do you think? Is there a lesson here? And if so, what the HELL is it?

Its here! - except not all of it

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Life Coaching - here we go....

I have bit the bullet, siezed the day, broke the nut, grabbed the bull by the horns, I've done it. I've signed up for Life Coaching. How freaked am I? Very freaked. I met with my life coach and we've defined 3 major goals. Should I share them with you? Naw, not right now. You see, I have to mull over them, dwell on them, grind my teeth about them & most importantly, worry about them.

We do this thing when we meet, its called "clearing the space", which is kind of good, gets you focused and the big thing I was feeling when we "cleared the space" was fear. Fear of failure, fear that I wouldn't accomplish these goals. What is that all about? Why am I afraid? I've accomplished lots in my life, why do I think I'm going to fail? Do I have a self esteem problem? Is that it?

Oops, mind/time warp -- wouldn't it be cool to run a marathon. Now there would be a goal! Wow, I've always wanted to do that. Except my knees hurt when I jog. Hmm. Perhaps a marathon wouldn't be good for me, but then maybe it would. Wouldn't a marathon in Hawaii be even better? That would be so cool, running across the black beach of the big island, over the black barren landscape, across the plains into the rain forest and up to Mauna Loa, well, hmmm, maybe not. That uphill part kind of sucked, maybe if it was on Maui! Yeah. That would work. Hey, a girl has to dream. What would life be like if we couldn't or didn't dream? Think of how boring it would be. Maybe that's my problem, I don't daydream enough. Maybe I should take up meditating.

Wow, am I scattered today. Whew, I guess that's why this blog is called Dawn's scary thoughts. Well, Dena's on her way home for the last night of Hanakah. I think I'll make potato latkes.

Monday, December 13, 2004

Hope cometh and hope goeth

We left Sunday morning with the hope that the contractor would show up and get the bathtub piping fixed. We returned Sunday night with our hopes dashed. Alas, another disappointment. Frankly, what is so difficult about hooking up hot and cold water? I mean, come on, it's either hot or cold! Apparently, the "diverter" that diverts water from the faucet to the hand spray is complicated in some way. I don't know. Why did we need a hand spray anyways? We could have been using the damn tub by now.

I've just spoken with Eric, our brilliant yet phenomenally flaky tile guy. He was supposed to be here all day. Guess what.....he wasn't. He now cannot start until Thursday. I suppose that is ok since the tile is probably not even in the state of California yet, but it's on a truck somewhere!! Woohoo! See, hope.........hope is so important. Isn't it amazing how we cling to it and resurrect it even when it keeps getting squashed? Ah, humanity, so resilient. Not as resilient as cockroaches though. A cockroach can live a week without its head. The roach only dies because without a mouth, it can't drink water and dies of thirst. But I digress....she stumbles away from the keyboard muttering, "hope, hope, water, water......I'm dying of thirst. I thirst for hope...."

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Reclaiming our lives

Friday I'd had it. We were having the Chanakah party at our house Saturday night and with butcher paper still all over the floors (protecting from contractor boots and the like) and with plywood on the new tub the house just wasn't inviting. It was becoming tough to live here. If you play Sims or Sims 2, my "room environment" variable was in the red. I couldn't take it anymore. I ripped up the butcher paper and was thrilled that there was beautiful hardwood floor beneath it. Where had this been for the past 5 months? After cleaning (ok, well maybe not me but the cleaning ladies...) it looked marvelous.

Our contractor was over Saturday (and has just arrived today (sunday), and has removed the plywood from the tub and affixed the fixtures (teehee). I'm practically giddy. Soon I muttered to myself. Soon I'll be able to take a luxurious bath in the that deep, inviting, yummy tub! There are so many things to do yet and we are "not on the schedule". I mean WTF! How can we not be on the schedule? Apparently with so many delays we got off the "schedule" and never put back on. Well fuck that!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Amazing Race 6 - interesting show

Last night was the Amazing Race, my favorite reality TV show. I love this show. I'm normally against reality TV, but there are a couple shows that are entertianing and this is one of them. Rarely is there coniving or lying to people, mostly it is centered around adventure, travelling, and dealing with your travel partner. The long days and jet lag on Amazing Race make for interesting mental challenges between the partners.

The reason for my blog topic today is the place they visited yesterday, Senegal in West Africa. What an intriguing place. Unfortunately, the "ugly American" in a log of contestants reared its ugly head. Senegal is a poor country and quite dirty with probably raw sewage in some of the streets but the reaction from most of the contestants was one of distain. Its a shame these people don't learn to appreciate other cultures and ways of life. About a 1/3 of the contestants appreciated the experience. These are the people who I envy, they are exploring new places at CBS's expense and having fun doing it. The others are just ugly americans trampling over their own closed minds. The pit stop for this leg of the race was Isla Goree, the slave island.

The last to arrive was the old couple and they were allowed to stay in the race but all there money was taken away. How the hell are they going to get a cab to the airport and pay for the ferry with no cash in a poor country? Should be interesting.

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

It's truly mind numbing

The closet factory "senior" designer (and I use that term loosely and sarcastically all in the same breath) just left. I mean, here's my office, a huge 10' X 15' room with a few little architectual challenges but all in all a dream to design an office in, for someone with half a brain. She was here for 3 hours and I'm exhausted. It took me probably 10 minutes to tell her how I envisioned the return on my desk and then she drew/designed it wrong anyways. My mind has that numbed out exhausted, "get the fuck out of my house" feeling right now.

Last week the Closet World designer was over here. She was here 4 or 5 hours the first day, then came back the next for another 3 hours. She was thorough and not quite as stupid as the first one. Where the hell do they get these people? She was the best of the two though.

Feng Shui? What's that! AAARRRGGGHHHH!!!

Monday, December 06, 2004

what remains?

Some of you may be thinking, wow, they have a sink and toilet, soon to be tub, what could be left? Well, jeesh, maybe the other bathroom. The one with the shower in it. So our modernistic new bathroom is so close I can feel the 32" deep tub with the lovely airbath now on my tootsies, but alas, it has no shower. I had a shower on July 6th. This year mind you, one must look at the bright side of things. But today is December 6th you see and that adds up to 5 months. That's way too long to be happy about showering at the gym. Do you know the disgusting things that float in the clogged up bottoms of the gym shower? Well I won't go into it. The only saving grace to this whole mess is that Muscle Under where I go on Tuesday's and Thursday's have beautiful showers that no one uses.

New bathroom punch list:

  1. -- install toilet paper holder
  2. -- grout remaining little areas around window and moulding - 12/11/04
  3. -- install bathtub fixtures for the 30th time - done 12/11/04
  4. -- fix cold/hot flex pipe cross causing backflow of cold water to other fixtures
  5. -- install handles or door pulls as some people call them on vanity
  6. -- install heating vent cover
  7. -- install threshold
  8. -- fix white grout areas
  9. -- cut access panels under house for future maintenance access - 12/11/04

A usable sink & toilet!!

It's a sink!!

Friday, December 03, 2004

Life Coaching

Have you heard of life coaching? I first found out about it while watching Nip/Tuck, that awesomely disgusting little drama when one of the characters was one. I found the entire concept fascinating and perhaps a way to focus and improve myself. I have always felt that personal improvement is or should be one of the prime directives of a human on this planet.

Why hire a life coach? You hire a coach to achieve your personal, spiritual, family and business goals much more effectively, more efficiently, more completely, with more fun, and in less time than any other human improvement process.

Life coaches assist you to:

  • overcome obstacles and fears
  • focus on solutions
  • have someone to bounce ideas off,
  • no matter how silly they may seem
  • discover truths about you
  • and how you can improve
  • accomplish more than you thought possible
  • achieve balance in your personal, work and family lives

I'll let you know how it goes.....

Remodel Update

Its so depressing. Some days you have to laugh because the progress and news is so bad but some days you have to cry. Do all remodels take this long? Why oh why????? I spoke with the assholes at Mission Tile West yesterday. I wanted to know EXACTLY where in the western US my tile was since it supposedly shipped on 11/29. Well, 5 hours later I find out it hasn't shipped yet, the tile is having "quality control issues". Now, in laymen's just tell me the truth words, that means that the fucking color doesn't match.

As some of you may remember this is custom color matched tile. This tile is being specially matched to match 1924 Blue and 1924 pink tile imported from England. Back then they used to use lead and other terrible, cancer causing chemicals in tile. These things cannot be used now, especially in California. You see, we're more environmentally conscience out here but don't get me on THAT soapbox. So, on the one hand I'm happy that they are being so conscientious in matching our special tile but on the other hand, all I want are all the contractors the fuck out of my house and me to be able to take an endless hot water shower. Is that too much to ask? I'm not bitter.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Long way round

My favourite TV show right now is Ewan McGregor's Long Way Round on Bravo. This is an absolutely fantastic series on Ewan and his friend's trip around the world on 2 BMW motorbikes. They are not doing it for money, not for being the "sole survivor", not to quit smoking or land a handsome bachelor, they are doing it for the journey. A good analogy perhaps would be Amelia Earhart, she did it because it hadn't been done before. Of course, she didn't have a TV show, web site, support and camera crew with her, but nevertheless....... Dena and I were fortunate to Tivo two episodes thus far, one in Russia & the other in Mongolia. Breathtaking scenery, seemingly insurmountable obstacles both mental and physical and just the wise cracks alone were worth watching. Hopefully we'll be able to find the previous two episodes that I think we missed.

On a different note, blogging can be for profit. The author of a blog was just offered a book contract based on her blog, breakup babe. Check it out.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Remodel update

I had hope. It was dashed a little, but alas, hope springs eternal. The GC (Gene) was here today along with Simon. Simon (the electrician) is awesome. He's efficient and works quickly. I love that. He installed our new light fixtures in the new bathroom and the pink bathroom. He tested/labeled all the circuits on our new panel. I'm so happy. He also showed me something new in our house. Don't you love when something new and exciting is presented to you? Something cool that makes your life easy? Something you didn't know. Ah, life. Oops, back to the remodel. Jeesh, have you noticed I've been awfully reflective lately? What is up with that? Do you think its because my birthday is coming? Maybe I'm PMS. That's what Dena will say.

Okay, focus! The cool thing Simon showed me was the 3rd light switch in our service porch, which I haven't know what the hell its for during the 10 years we've lived here, turns on and off the light in front of the guest house. Isn't that cool! Here I thought all this time I had to run all the way out there. Over the last few years I just said, "fuck it" and didn't bother turning it on. I mean, if a thief wants to come in the dark so be it, I'm not going outside. Now I can turn it on and off from the comfort of the service porch. HOW COOL IS THAT!!

Anyways, Gene's small contribution was to install the medicine cabinet in the new bathroom. A Robern, top of the line model. He also gave me the song and dance about our new heating vent cover? Is that what you call it. Dena and I went to Liz's Hardware and she made me root around in the back room thru all this rusty salvage crap until we found this totally cool, awesome, rockin' vent cover. I mean WOW. But he gave me the oh, its gonna be hard, and take a long time, but I suppose if you really want it song and dance. Just fuckin' do it. Its takin' you 5 months to get this far, what's another 2 weeks of listening to you stall? Ooooo a little vindictive you think?

On the downward slide....

This long weekend several things kept reverberating in my head. I'm getting old. I investigated Crestor for my mom while worrying about my own cholesterol levels. While standing outside the trendiest, hippest Los Angeles breakfast place, Toast, a group of 20 somethings were saying they found out their friend was 31 and "my God that's old!" Dena and I wanted to turn around and say, WTF?? We're 40 something..... OMG. That's hurts just to type 40 something. Old people have doctor appointments, cancer screenings, portfolios and mortgages. I'm on the short side of my life now. If I live to be 80, my life is half over. Wow. That's a bummer. Just when I'm really starting to appreciate my life.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

Hope springs eternal

The contractor has promised that the "new" bathroom will be finished by this Friday the 3rd. The color match tile for the "pink" bathroom should be delivered on the 3rd. My hope meter is rising. Someone stop it!! Oh please let it all be true! Could we really get to take a jacuzzi bath on Saturday? This reminds me of Pandora's box.

You see, Pandora was just a nosy cleaning lady. She was told to stay out of a room and of course, had to go in. Us humans being curious as kittens. Pandora peered into the room, but it was totally empty with the exception of a box in the middle of it. Pandora's curiosity knew no bounds as she opened the box and out came hundreds of creatures looking like insects. The insect like creatures bit and stung Pandora all over her body. They flew up and spread out into the room. Quickly, Pandora shut the lid and sat on it. While sitting there on the box she heard knocking coming from inside it. Now she was reluctant to open the box again thinking that she had already done enough harm. "Let me out", said a tiny voice, "and maybe I can help you". Pandora thought about it and decided to take one more chance. She opened the box and out came a tiny fairy .

"I am Hope" ,said the fairy, "Pandora due to your curiosity you have let out all possible troubles for mankind. There will be no peace of mind for humans from this day forth. There will be greed and jealousy, insanity and lust, there will be plague and hatred, men will fight each other, wives will be set against husbands, sons against fathers, brother againgst brother, there will be famine, pestilence,vice and destruction. The world will know great sorrow."

Hearing this Pandora started to cry and sob terribly, for the great harm she had brought upon herself and her fellow humans. "Do not cry so much Pandora," said the fairy, "yes it is true that you have unleashed all manner of afflictions upon the world , but you have also let me out. I will always be there to bring hope to humans, whenever they are in trouble. I will always be there as the promise of Hope!"

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Croppin' on the Coast

Despite the fact that I was ill, I had a great weekend. I escaped off to Oxnard this weekend to a scrapbooking weekend hosted by Scrapbook Safari. What a blast. There were a number of giveaways, a zany group of women and lots of creative ideas floating around. I worked on our Africa scrapbook and got a lot done. Working with creative people allows you to expand your own creativity. I believe we all have to step beyond our comfort zones in order to grow. This being true for all of life's pursuits, not just creative ones. Sometimes we get in a rut and just want to stay within our comfortable realm of knowledge but its good to stretch the brain a little and take it out for a walk. Variety is the spice of life and keeps us young.

There were some "monkey" adventures in Oxnard and I'll blog about those later.........

Scrapbooking rocks!

Monday, November 22, 2004

Puppetry of the Penis

My office was painted Thursday and Friday therefore all the computers were off, so I apologize for my absence. What a busy and eventful time I've had since we've last met.

Let's start off with Thursday night(the 18th), Puppetry of the Penis night. Pete & Tony got us seats to the "show" here in Los Angeles for a graduation present. They seem to feel I have a fascination with the male "member". But (or should I say butt) regardless of their obvious misconceptions of my interests Dena and I went to the show. Well 2 people have to go right?! They got us front row seats. Oh my. Now these two fellows or puppet masters are not the original "inventors" of Penis Puppetry but they appear well trained. They are not unusually well endowed and seem of normal size to me, not that I have a vast experience in this matter. The show was hilarious and even Dena was laughing. Apparently Tony, Dena and Peter had conspired to ensure I was the "volunteer" for the audience participation part of the show. Fortunately I have fast hands and grabbed Dena's arm down so I was not picked. What a nasty view that would have been although you do get a polaroid of your experience and that would have looked good in the scrapbook. I won't spoil the show for you and give you details. Suffice it to say, it is the FULL MONTY! The warm up comedian is absolutely hilarious.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

The end of an era

I spent most of the last 2 days doing 2 things, cleaning my office for the painters and studying for my HP Exam. I've filled our huge blue recycle bin to the max, filled Gail's across the street, and dumped some in Roxannes. Then, tonight, when it was apparent that wasn't enough, I asked Matt if I could just have his. I completely filled that one so I could hardly move it onto the street. With what you ask? Paper, floppies, CDs, you name it. Mostly paper. You just don't need paper manuals anymore. I have 3 1/2 bookcases in my office, overflowing with manuals. Not anymore. Its kind of a cleansing I think. Out with the old, in with the new. As of 8am this morning I wanted to tell the painter to forget it, forget the office. Tonight I'm saying, "Bring it on!"

I also ventured out to the guest house and started in there. It was scary. You just get on a roll and everything goes in the garbage. Who needs all that old crap. Its a new era and a new Dawn. You know what I found in the guest house? The painters have REALLY moved in, there was a coffee maker (percolating with a fresh brew), cookies, cups, creamer, etc, etc. They just crack me up.

The painters are here and they have completely moved in. There is now a microwave in my garage, suitcases and everything else you can imagine. I think the suitcases are full of tools? I hope

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Another busy remodel day

Did I mention that yesterday was awesome, so much being done, however, when things are being done on the remodel, nothing gets done in my life and this includes work and studying for my HP Exam. Today was another busy day, there are no fewer than 5 painters here. The head honcho Brian, is a very detailed, anal kind of guy, my kind of painter. He's on his guys constantly. This is a good quality in a painter. The bad news. They are going to paint my office? Remember a week ago when I cleaned my office for my boss's boss who came over? Well, now I have to clean even more because everything has to be moved. The blue recycle bin (the huge one) is almost full again.

I've basically run out of patience. The trades that are coming in as the last are enjoying the wrath of Dawn. I am so sick of every day being interupted by some construction task. The constant pitter patter of work boots, scrapers on wood, compressors running, spanish gossiping and other noises destroy any concentration I might have been able to muster. Either I have to drink more alcohol and start earlier in the day, or I just need to move out for awhile.

Its 7:40p here in Los Angeles and Gene (my GC) is still here. He's hanging a door in the new bathroom. The door isn't new of course, its moved from another location in the house. These doors are original and you cannot find them. Lots of details and they are no longer made in this way. I WANT SOME PEACE AND QUIET!

A poem

Here is a rose
i give it to you
to watch as it grows
up to the sky so blue

Here is a prayer
offered by me
to show that i care
and to set you free

Here I bare dreams
i do all that I can
believe in me
and all that i am

Here is a poem
written only for you
these secrets i own
but to you i am true

for my love.....

Monday, November 15, 2004

Remodel Update

Today was a busy day in the Armstrong/Schwimmer household. I put my name first because I am the caretaker of the household. Ever notice how things go in cycles in life. This is my cycle to take care of the house, the bills, the this, the that....

Oh yeah, remodel:
  • Gas company - fixed the stove, did I mention they did this for free!
  • Hardwood Floor guy - 3 guys for 10 square feet of flooring
  • Tile guy -- no show, surprise surprise
  • Gene, my GC -- all the moulding is up
Busy day, lots got done on the house, nothing in my life 'cause I cannot deal with so many distractions. I have to check things, make sure the birds aren't freaking out, answer questions, answer the door, and then check things again.....AAARRGGGHHH!

Graduation Nov 13th, 2004 WOOHOO! That's my mom.... I'm on the right

Monday, November 08, 2004

Wine provides clarity

Who says that alcohol is bad? Well, let me clarify this. I believe that a small amount of alcholol, preferrably wine, can allow someone to let their inhibitions down and just be. Just being seems to be fairly difficult for the regular human. We are so concerned for how others think, their feelings, their feelings toward us, our preconceived notions for ourselves and others, our expectations and on and on it goes. But with a little wine, we seem to let these things go, and just be ourselves, and most importantly, things become clear. When I've had a good glass of wine, I am have the utmost clarity on issues, whether they be political, religious, personal or private, they are clear! Its amazing. We should walk around in this state, constantly.

But imbider beware! Too much, and you slip into a state that moves from clear to fuzzy. Each person's state is different at this stage, but it usually ends up bad. Sometimes too much truth, sometimes too much anger comes out, and sometimes too much sadness. So basically there is a fine line. You ever notice how there is a fine line drawn everywhere? Cross it and beware the consequences, never come near it and live a boring, malcontent life, walk it and experience life as it should be experienced.

Ah life, may all the wonders it brings bless you everyday.....

And I'll leave you with this "Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life." (George Bernard Shaw) "

Take a look at the french paradox to discover medical sciences views of red wine. Don't just take my word for it.

Friday, November 05, 2004

It looks SO good with the grout!

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Funny thing happened today...

Well, here I am sitting (working) in my house, and my boss's boss calls (Rafic). Now, Rafic is out of our corporate office in Ottawa, Canada. I never see him. Last time I saw him was in Dallas in June 2004? Anyways, he's in town and the conversation goes like this: "do I want to have lunch." "Well, I'd love to have lunch but I just took my van in for service." "Oh, well I have to drive to the valley anyway, where are you located." Well, as some of you know we have an office in Orange county, which thankfully I only have to go to occasionally. So, unfortunately, I am on the way to the valley. Dawn says, "well I'm right on the way, so why don't you stop by and pick me up" OMG! Did I just say that??!! The house is a construction zone, my office looks like a bomb went off, several times. Those of you who know me and love me and have been in my office, know what I'm talking about. Rafic says, " That sounds perfect, I'll leave the office about 12:30 then" OMG! Its 11:30 now. How the hell am I going to clean everything in the hour and a half its going to take him to drive here?! Dawn says, "ok, see you then"

What ensued later was the most amazing cleaning frenzy you have ever seen. I filled the entire blue recycle bin with stuff from my office, papers mostly. Below are the before and after pictures. They truly do not do the effort justice. And of course, this doesn't even touch on all the other stuff I did around the house, including making the bed. I mean, making the bed??!! WHY?

Why is this all amusing you ask? Because he never made it past the front door, either coming or going. He was hungry, we left right away and when he dropped me off he never got out of the car. You just have to laugh you know. Well, on the bright side, my office is clean. I mean, I even scrubbed the damn floors.

My office after my frenzied cleanup!

Before - please notice the complete lack of desk space visible

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Tile before grouting - Slowly but surely we will get there.

Tuesday, November 02, 2004

I can't VOTE!!!!

I have never voted in my life. I left Canada when I was, oh, 20 or so, there hadn't been an election yet after I turned 18, and then, in the USA I wasn't allowed to vote. So, here I am, 25 months away from getting citizenship and possibly the biggest (aka most important) election in the free world is happening. But, hey, I'm having fun figuring out how in the world Kerry is going to win. There is a very cool interactive map @ MSNBC that you can click on each state and change who wins and it counts the electoral votes. I'm so confused about this electoral vote thing. Makes no bloody sense to me, I mean if candidate X gets 2,000,001 votes and candidate Y gets 1,999,999 votes, then why wouldn't candidate X win? Americans.... always being difficult.

Remodel update:
That little pissant Eric (the tile guy) didn't show up Friday (Oct 29 - tooth ache was the excuse du jour), showed up Monday (yesterday) while I was at work and didn't really get much done. I'm not sure how long he was here, but his modus operandi is to come around 10:30a and leave between 2:30p and 3. Wouldn't you like that job? How the hell does he make a living? Well, today, he didn't show up either. I'll post a pix later of the measly little tile he put on the wall yesterday.

Well, I'm back to the TV to pray over it. It may be for naught. Kerry would be good for the economy and my job, Bush is good for people who like to go to war and for the rich. I'm not rich, but I'd like to be. I'll never be rich if Bush gets elected. Do you want your banking information and accountant to be overseas? Check out this article here. Or, if you'd like to save my job, hope Kerry wins, here's an excerpt on a Kerry promise:

Kerry says, "I will close the tax loopholes that reward companies for shipping jobs overseas. Instead, we're going to use that revenue to reward companies that create and keep good jobs here in the United States of America. Under my plan, we'll cut the corporate tax rate by 5 percent, giving 99 percent of businesses a tax break."

Saturday, October 30, 2004

Living room tent camp -- Jack & Ruby's Sleepover

Thursday, October 28, 2004

OMG! It's tile

Places that sweat

I've been taking an exercise class @ Muscle Under and am surprised at the different areas that sweat. The first week, the tip top of my head was on fire. Like fire was shooting out of there. And then later on in the class sweat came from there. I've never sweated out the top of my head before. Then the next week, my ears were sweating. They were wet, it was bizarre. Today, it was under my eyes. Now, I'm getting old so now I almost have bags under there, well apparently they've learned to sweat. Absolutely bizarre.

Remodel update:
1) Eric the tile guy is here so hopefully some progress will occur
2) Sears came out to look at our noisy stackable washer/dryer. Apparently the transmission is going on the washer. That's only $800 to fix, so I guess we'll be buying a new Washer/dryer. I suppose 13 years is long enough, eh.

Wednesday, October 27, 2004

Construction Update

Gene and his guys were here. They've finally cleaned under the house, levelled the dirt so that termites cannot infest the beams. As you probably know, it is a requiment that dirt never directly contacts wood, as this is how termites travel and infest our house. The heating contractor was over. Gene called in a professional. He installed new ducting for the bathroomfrom the furnace to the bathroom vent. He was a very nice guy and also adjusted all the vents with Gene and I so that the bathroom doesn't get sauna like and the front of the house gets equal heat. This was not done properly before so that is why some rooms had a disparate amount of heat and others little or none. I was excited and felt good about this work and actually having something done. It was also nice not be be freezing in the house, while knowing full well that you are heating the entire crawl space.

Eric the tile man didn't show up. Probably scared of a little rain. Gene says he's going to apply a cattle prod to him.

And the depressing news of the day.....The Mission Tile is expected to be ready November 29th and ship by truck from Oregon on December 3rd. Christmas is looking like a good project completion timeframe.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Thursday, October 21, 2004

8 days to get to this point

Thursday, October 14, 2004


I met a metro-sexual in Salt Lake City. He's a german fellow living in Manhattan and I was working with him in SLC. Talk about 2 people out of place in the world. Well, he says he's a metro-sexual - what exactly is that? It's loosely defined as a trendy, straight man who enjoys pampering himself with things such as manicures, facials and massages. A man with a keen sense of grooming and fashion. Confidence is key but how difficult is it to find a real rugged man on the street willing to admit he's "metrosexual?" For example, Tom Cruise, Will Smith and David Beckham (soccer) can be said to be metrosexual.

Remodel update:

The tile guy didn't start today, his girlfriend is sick. Boy if I had a dime for everytime I used that excuse.... Do people really get away with this shit? Apparently so. He'll maybe start tomorrow, if we're lucky. The drywallers were back, they were given shit for leaving such a bloody mess all over the house and not sanding their seams, etc enough. Today they were very diligent, moving, cleaning and sanding. Not in that order..... Maybe I'll have something to take pictures of next week. We can only hope.

Personally, I am really starting to get sick of this whole remodel business. I'm tired of having people in my house constantly, men in particular. I'm tired of running my life and schedule around everyone else's schedule. I'm tired of bitching at workers for messes, sloppy work, forgetting to do stuff, etc. I never thought I'd be a perfectionist when it comes to monitoring their work (i'm sure those that know me are laughing their asses off) but I am. Perhaps my standards are just higher than most people's? Ever think of that???

Sunday, October 10, 2004

October 9th, 2004 - Lima Time!

350,000 miles flown....

And boy are my arms tired...... United Airlines just sent my updated Mileage Plus statement. I was shocked that I've flown that many actual miles. 350,000 miles in 7 years, seems implausible. That's an average of 50,000 per year. Wow. I have to admit, flying for businesss has its ups and its downs. I try not to dwell on the downs, the exhaustion, the jet lag, the nightmarish security lines, breathing everyone's contaminated air, etc etc etc etc etc. But I try to dwell on the good - the 2 week trip to England and Wales, the frequent flier miles and free hotel stays that have allowed Dena & I to travel the globe, seeing parts of the country I'd never get to see, like Toledo. hehe Do you know I spent 3 week in Toledo. There is NOTHING to do in Toledo, but, (she says trying to look at the glass half full) there is a lot of green space there. And I did get to see Custer's grave site. How's that for the glass half full!

Yeah, I'm a pessimist, so what, what're ya going to do about it?

Friday, October 08, 2004

Life in Los Angeles today....

The last two days have been hectic, as usual. Our lives never slow and if they did, I wouldn't know how to behave. Yesterday we "walked" the exterior of the house with Brian the perfectionist house painter. Now this is a man after my own heart. He spent 2 hours examining our structures and pointed out the tons of things that need to be restored (you see you restore things on a 1924 house, to repair things on a 1970's house...). Anyways, what does that mean? Money, baby, money! Lots of $$$$$$ Dena & I suspect it'll be 10k. I'll take votes..... Click the comments note below.

Today the drywallers are here finishing all the cracks and things they forgot last week. Lovely drywall dust permeates every nook of the house. Sears is here today looking @ the washer/dryer. It was the first appliance Dena & I purchased together 13 years ago. I remember she freaked because it was a committment both to our relationship and to, well, the appliance. hehe Like everything around here, it needs some TLC.

The tile guy (Eric) will not be here til Tuesday, so don't expect any pix until after that. This weekend is a biggie for us, the Los Angeles Dodgers are in the Division Playoffs and we get to go to one and if we're really lucky, 2 games.

Monday, October 04, 2004

The new Electrical panel/meter - 100 AMPS!

Prepping old bathroom for new medicine chest and fixing water damaged wall

Remodel update

Things are heating up and getting more exciting around here. Saturday we went over to Mission Tile West to look at our color match (for the umpteenth time) and lo and behold, it was deemed, "good enough". After awhile, you just have to say, its good enough. So, we ordered all the tile for the old bathroom. It will be 3 to 6 weeks, because, of course, now they are really busy and its taking about 6 weeks.

Today, Simon (the efficient electrician) and his boys were over moving our meter (which was inside) outside, replacing the squirrel, weather beaten cable from the pole, and other sundry electrical items that our house needed. My office is getting two separate circuits with double gang boxes. You guys don't know how happy that makes me and my passel of computers!

Sunday, October 03, 2004

Steve Finley jsut before swinging for his grand slam!

Hideo Nomo signs Ruby's (aka my) baseball

Monday, September 27, 2004

Is it becoming a bathroom?

Saturday, September 25, 2004

Yom Kippur and drywalling....

Today is Yom Kippur, the holiest of holy days (holidays) in the Jewish calendar. Dena is off in temple and I am here, babysitting the drywallers. Odd how this Day of Attonement and reconciliation means the Jews are supposed to suffer by fasting for 24 hours, you would think they have suffered enough.

Things are looking good! As you can see by the pix the bathroom looks like a room now. A real room! The tub is all covered up but the window sure makes the room look bigger. Dare I get excited? Yesterday was golf with some friends at work, 18 holes. Wow, am I sore today, in oh so many ways. Between the golf and my classes at Dena's sister's gym Muscle Under, I can scarcely move. Today I am relaxing, no classes anymore!! YAY!! I've received my final grade for my final class at University of Phoenix and am just reveling in all this extra time. What will I ever do with it all? I'm sure I'll think of something. Today however, is important as the Los Angeles Dodgers have an opportunity to clinch the division. Can they do it? Will they choke? Well I'm watching a hum dinger of a baseball game on TV (which I normally don't do because its, well boring) but this is some game. Dena and I have tickets to the 9/28 game and the October 1st game. I'm sure they will be exciting as every game counts. Perhaps we will be fortunate enough to attend the game that clinches it! Time will tell but it will be an exciting September.

Thursday, September 23, 2004

My kingdom for a washer.....

The remodel continues with its ups and downs. Yesterday and early this morning brought fears about the new bathroom plumbing again. Either Danze shipped the wrong compression ring (aka washer) for the hot and cold faucet or Mike the drunk plumber lost them. Let's just blame Mike, because hey, every job needs a scapegoat and I nominate him! So, several calls to Danze and we finally figured out what the problem was. Fortunately,they will priority mail them and they should be here Monday, and its free. Thank goodness, that took 2 days, several trips around town looking for them locally, etc. Amazing how a 4 cent part can bring my world to a halt.

On the bright side, the window is back in, the tub is in, centered and been water tested 3 times, and the drywallers are here! Woohoo! Yes folks, you heard it, we will no longer be looking @ studs by Saturday, we'll be looking at real walls.

The window is back in!

Tuesday, September 21, 2004

Am I a cynic?

Could I be a cynic? A pessimist? Could I be? Yes, well if you lived at our house and had to deal with contractors all day long, you'd be one too! Yesterday, much to my surprise, Patrick the plumber showed up to do our earthquake gas valve. For info on this new LA City earthquake requirement go here and scroll down near the bottom. I was surprised because I thought both the General Contractor and "Patrick the plumber" forgot. I guess not. So, they installed it and it is positioned in such a way that you cannot see the top which is where you see whether the "ball" is red or green. Our valve is the one on the left in the linked picture and if you want to learn how they work, its actually pretty darn cool, go here. So, I'm probably going to have to put a little mirror and duct tape it to the side so I can see the frigging ball status!

Anyways, back to my irritations, so yesterday Patrick, who is huge, looks like he's carrying full term 9 lbs. each triplets, is telling me how they spent 5 hours under the house trying to find the leaks in the tub. This is such bullshit because Gene and I spent an hour doing the same thing and found one more leak that Patrick never marked. Not that Patrick would be under the house, he can't fit! Its just the fact that he's lying. I cannot stand untruthful people. It just bugs the hell out of me. So today, Gene's boys are here re-installing the tub. And Jason shows me the tub drain set up and how the plumber (and it wasn't the drunk guy cause he was gone by this point) broke 2 of the plastic washers, but still used them, lost a plastic cover and didn't even put another washer on, just used a whole role of teflon tape. I mean, do I look stupid? I just want things done properly. Is that too much to ask? Actually, to tell you the truth its really only the plumbing that has been such a problem in this job. Gene's boys have been doing a good job.

Today, Patrick the plumber is back. I laid into him about the drain. He said they'd fix it. And he's driving Jason nuts by nattering away to him while he's trying to center my tub. I mean, come on!! Also, Patrick's boys are under the house installing water shut off valves to the tub area. Is this code? Why wasn't it done in the first place? They say they are graciously doing it now in case there are further plumbing issues in the new bathroom. I guess its just my cynisim but in my experience, no one does anything graciously! Well, I guess I'll run out and buy a little cheapy mirror.......

Friday, September 17, 2004

Our new vanity - waiting in the wings in the "pink" bathroom. Made from solid quarter sawn oak, stained an intriguing custom cherry color to match the Ann sachs tile, it shouts, "Hey, look at me!"

Update on remodel hell

We were over @ Dena's sister's house yesterday for Roshashanah lunch and it was decided that we would hold Chanaka over here, at our house. Chanaka is Dec. 8. When I asked Dena about it later as I was concerned that we wouldn't be done with the bathroom, she said, "either we'll be done with the bathroom or you'll be in jail and the contractor dead on the bottom of that tub." Well, I couldn't really argue with her there.

My patience sometimes amazes even me, and other times is non-existent. Yesterday I went over to Mission Tile West to pick up our (yes, again....) custom color sample. The woman that ordered it for us, Nancy, apparently wasn't listening to a word I said and didn't order what we wanted. Unbelievable. Although, it is an amazing tile place, if you go there, don't let Nancy be your liaison - pick someone else! So, I was patient, I didn't yell at her, throw a tantrum or pin her head against the wall and box her ears like I wanted, so, I'm proud of myself. In the end, would it matter? We still get to wait another 2 to 3 weeks for the sample..... AARRRGGGHH! This blog will go on forever!

The infamous, unbelievable, god I hope it never leaks, tub was delivered, again today. It was delivered at noon and guess what - my contractor is not here. I guess it will be Monday now until its installed, the plumbing rehooked up, etc, etc, etc. Have you noticed I'm resigned to this fact? I even knew it was going to happen.

As an aside, away from remodeling - tomorrow is my LAST DAY OF SCHOOL!! Yeehaa!! I cannot even believe it. Yes, I will be a graduate with a BS in Information Technology Suma cum laude from the University of Phoenix. Ok, so I'm tooting my horn a little bit, but I figure I deserve it.

Friday, September 10, 2004

Bye bye tub........

And the tub and window come out...

3 Steps forward and 10 steps backwards!

As you can see by the above picture the window is gone and the tub is in the process of being removed. Its a long story. After arriving home from North Carolina, I placed a call to Americh They have a field support team and have a factory in North Hollywood - how fortunate for us. They came out on 9/6/04 to fix the leak in the tub. This wasn't really a crack like first suspected and reported by my contractor's plumber, it was more a thin spot on the "airbath" air chamber that circles around the tub in concentric rings. This thin spot was leaching water, much like a thin spot on a fiberglass boat would leach water. So, the fellow fixed it and we let it cure for a couple hours. Then my contractor and I water tested it. Low and behold there were two more leaks, same type, different spots on the airbath rings. Obviously, they didn't all the material to properly seep into different parts of the mold. Perhaps there were even air pockets, who the hell knows. I was so angry and frustrated I cannot even begin to tell you.

Today, the Americh guy was supposed to come back and repair the other two leaks, but my contractor and I both bumped it up to upper management at Americh. They agreed to take the back, inspect it and run a new tub for us. You can bet we'll water test that son of a bitch when it arrives. We are apparently being bumped to the front of the assembly line so that the new tub will be back here in 5 days. You know what that means in "building talk" right? 2 weeks.

I had to make a big stink but my contractor has agreed to remove the tub and reset it at no charge. He wanted to charge me! The nerve! There was a big red note on the bottom of the tub when it arrived -- it said "Contractor, water test the tub BEFORE installing it". DUH!

Tuesday, September 07, 2004

The new bay window - installed

Thursday, September 02, 2004

More remodel information

After flying home last night I was pleasantly surprised, then angry again when listening to the message the general contractor left. It appears that the hairline crack in the tub isn't really a hairline crack at all, its really just the fact that the plumber didn't secure the drain properly. Did you know the plumber found the hairline crack? Now, I ask you, if you are a plumber and are testing the tub, and it leaked, wouldn't your first check be the bloody drain you just put in? I have some real doubts about this plumber and his abilities. Well, since he fired Mike the drunk assistant I'm not sure who he is using, cause he sure isn't crawling under my house. The plumber looks like he's carrying full size triplets in his gut. Its HUGE! Well, enough for now, we're off to the beautiful state of Texas for a wedding. I'm sure I will be horribly bored.

Tuesday, August 31, 2004

You know you're not in California when.....

  • when there's a Bible Outlet store at the mall.
  • when there's a Black & Decker store next door to the Bible store.
  • when there's more rows of Bibles, Bible reference books, christian reference books in the local bookstore than computer books.
  • when the fire alarm goes off at the hotel and everyone in the lobby is watching the Republican Convention.

So, my day and evening was exciting. I had a tour of S & D Coffee's plant. That was pretty cool. There is a guy there that can taste a cup of coffee and tell you what country the bean is from, what season it was grown in and what the weather was in the season. Pretty damn cool. The people at S&D Coffee are so nice its just a darn pleasure working there. Did you know that in the little "cherry", the red thing on the coffee plant I thought was a bean, actually holds 2 little green beans? Anyways, it was fun.

Back to the remodel -- the window isn't in yet, the electrian is MIA, and the plumber came back to fix all the little things his screw up drunk apprentice who stole my beer screwed up. Welcome to the land of the free. Ya think Dawn is frustrated? oh, and guess what, our contractor just called, there is a hairline leak in the tub. The tub is completely secured into its position and NOW they test it. Wouldn't you test it before you pored 3 tubes of liquid nails or whatever the hell they put there to secure it? This is total bullshit.

Monday, August 30, 2004

Thoughts from Concorde, NC

What a miserable night. I'm in a Marriott SpringHill Suites across from Lowes Charlotte Nascar speedway on one side and the freeway on another. The freeway is brutal, noise all night long. I can't sleep, I'm miserable, this sucks. It was poring rain because of hurricane Gaston, but I wish it was still raining and really windy at this hour, because then I could probably not hear the road noise and sleep. I should have known better than to stay at Springhill suites because of my last experience with them in Seattle. OMG! There was some French circus in town, I guess wannabe Circque de soleil people, but they were up all night partying in the hallways, smoking, because they are French, and drinking, because they are Canadian and otherwise driving me crazy. This is NOT a hotel for business travelers.

I forgot to give credit where credit was due in the last post -- our custom vanity was made by woodworker Stephen Courtney - The man is brilliant and I respect his work. I would love it if I could just apprentice under him, imagine..... that would be so cool.

This weekend I spent cleaning off my favorite scrapbooking store's computer of viruses. They will remain nameless to protect them.....hehe. But seriously folks, NEVER, EVER let your virus software expire. When the little box comes up and says renew, its in your best interest. Trust me. They had a plethora of viruses but 2 of them were very, very clever. The virus they had was trojan mitglieder strain N and can be seen for all its glory @ this trojan horse is particularly interesting because it self preserves, it protects itself. If you load any antivirus software, after you are infected, it prevents that software from running after you load it. Very, very clever. Check out the link as it tells you all the programs that it prevents from running. It also uses your machine as an email relay. Also bad.

I watched some of the closing ceremonies of the olympics, very dull. I think its only meaningful for people that are there. It probably doesn't have the same impact on TV as it would in person. Bye for now,

Trying to sleep in North Carolina

Wednesday, August 25, 2004

Behold our custom made vanity. Nothing is ordered from Home Depot from us by God!!! Everything is custom here in this house! Our new bathroom is very small but has a BIG presence, aka the tub. I should name the tub something.... hmmmm I'll think about that. Well the pic above is our custom vanity, with no door pulls (they are NOT called knobs!) and no stain yet. That's another process you know, picking the bloody color stain! The vanity is made from Quarter sawn white oak. Can you imagine the price of that wood! I don't have to imagine it! btw, the door pulls take 4 weeks to come in because each order (a big order of 2) is custom cast. you know what that means right! Big bucks!

This is our first picture for the last few weeks. We have been at a stalemate waiting for the window to get in (because of course, its custom), the plumbing to be finished, our contractor to get back from vacation, etc. etc. etc. The picture is the tub, set in permanently, (Dawn secretly hopes nothing leaks and the bloody Airbath thing works!) and the new step that will be tiled in the $100 per sq foot tile Dena picked out!

First blog -- remodel update

Well, here's my first blog!
This page is dedicated to my scary thoughts on life, our remodel, my/our travels, things that piss me off and whatever else I feel like talking about. Welcome, read at your own risk.

This first post is about our remodel. Talk about a frustrating experience this process has been. We are adding a bathroom and fixing the leaks in another (shower). Sounds easy, right? No way! The original bathroom is 1924 tile imported from England and is wainscotted all over the entire room. So, we looked and looked and settled on a color match tile place called Mission Tile West. We went over to mission tile west today to haggle about the color match samples we received. We ordered these on 6/30 and today is 9/24 -- we'll never shower again. Can you smell us? Well I went in looking for a fight. The blue does NOT match the original blue by any stretch of the imagination. After much talking I managed to come up with a solution I think I can live with. This will only cost about $4,000.00. Hey, we'll just pick some more money off the tree.

Below I've posted a few pictures of the recent progress, or lack thereof: