Those Pictures

Here’s some pictures I think I promised?

Me and GG dressed up for his birthday dinner… even though the place ended up not being especially fancy… but it was still fun to look a little nice:



New bedroom curtains… from WalMart… which I hemmed because they were so long:



Kitties!!! First, Ivan getting comfy with a TiVo (which Jess gave me because it sort of doesn’t work, but we haven’t had a chance to hook it up yet). Second, Katrina hanging out at the base of a fan.



Okay, enjoy! Tonight is Gramom’s birthday dinner at Shady Maple. So I never really had lunch today, but it doesn’t matter because I’ll have to get my money’s worth tonight..!

Knice

I know, I know, I haven’t written lately. I will write a better entry (with photos!) tonight. I got a Knifty Knitter set on Tuesday and have been spending every night making hats! (Well, last night I made a scarf, but I don’t know if I’ll be doing that again in the near future.) Also, I’m getting a cold and I feel yucky. And GG was supposed to come home this morning but instead he came home last night and I woke up at 4 AM and he was there and that was nice.

Heyyyy…

Haven’t written in a few days, I guess the internet must be wondering what happened to me.

After work on Friday, I was going to drive Jess home so she could walk to a train station to go pick up her car that was having some work done. Well, it turned into me, Jess, and GG going out to lunch, then getting ice cream, then coming back to my house to look up the train schedule, then driving her to the Conshohocken train station (because it’s one stop closer for her than the Norristown station, although more confusing for me to get to), then taking Ivan to the vet, then coming home so Jess could pick up her stuff she left at our place. (I guess I need to learn the stops on the R6 now? It goes to Wilmington! Not that I want to go to Wilmington, but wow, Delaware!)

Ivan is probably healthy, by the way. They did some more check-up/blood tests on him, and his levels are at the high end of normal, but still normal. Also, when he finishes the prescription wet food we have, he’s going to be able to eat regular Iams with his sister! (But they’ll still both eat the prescription dry food.)

GG turned thirty on Saturday!! We went to this Japanese buffet that his brother recommended. We got there right when they opened for dinner, and it was already pretty packed! If I ate seafood, I would’ve been in heaven. I’m sure GG was in heaven. There was tons of sushi and sashimi to choose from, salads (mostly featuring things like octopus pieces and shrimp and whatnot), teriyaki meats, crab legs, a hibachi bar… It was a pretty nice place. Just not worth it for me, personally, because I picked at some tofu sushi and edamame and that was about it. Oh but they also had a dessert bar! With lots of different little cakes, and our favorite, Red Bean ice cream!

Saturday was also our one-year anniversary of having Ivan and Katrina. Mew mew meow!! And, GG registered his website for his business! If I had more PHP skills, I would install WordPress and set it up so he could use that as a CMS. But… I don’t think that’s happening. So I will be his webmaster. Yay! (I probably won’t ever link to it from here, though, because it has his real name and is linked up to our address and all that… so just ask if you’re interested in seeing it… but give me a while so I can put something up there.)

Sunday we were thinking about going to the zoo, but then it was supposed to rain, so instead we just did some errands (got a new soap dispenser for the kitchen!) and hung around the house.

Last night we went to WalMart and we said we wouldn’t buy anything… but then they had these curtains that I’ve been looking for (every time we went, they had them in the wrong size, or the sample was out but the curtains weren’t actually in stock, or something), so I had to get those… and one thing led to another, bla bla bla, another big time WalMart shopping trip! When we got home, I had to hem the curtains because we’ve got those radiators in front of the windows, so I don’t like the curtains hanging down long like they’re supposed to. Oh also, we got this cat brush that combs the under coat (where shedding comes from), and I was very excited to try it on Katrina because lately you can’t even touch her without getting a handful of hair. I’ve brushed her every day for the past three days, and each time you get enough hair to make another cat! This new brush did not disappoint – it definitely pulled out more of the undercoat (you can tell because the fur is softer), and Katrina loooved being brushed – she was chirping and rolling around – but the fur just keeps coming. What else can I do?

GG is leaving today for Chincoteague again. His dad has to come back home for the week to prep for his new job, so they need an extra set of hands down at the ice cream parlour. He’ll be home on Friday, though. And that’s my grandmother’s birthday and we’re all going out to Shady Maple! (Boy, lots of birthday buffets, huh?)

Coming soon: pictures of the new curtains, me and GG dressed up for his birthday dinner (even though we could’ve gone in jeans and t-shirts, it was by no means a fancy place), and more kitty photos!

[Edit – 2:13 PM] Well, Jess and Rob are on vacation this week, and I just got an e-mail from her – they got engaged! [/Edit]

Discipline

Last night GG and I went to my mom’s boyfriend’s apartment for business advice. Her boyfriend is an extremely successful businessman, he’s started and sold numerous businesses over the years, and is still going strong. So he has lots of experience. It ended up that my mom, GG, and I sat along one side of their kitchen island, and her boyfriend stood behind the other side with his notepad of things to discuss, and it was sort of like a lecture or a class, but it was really good information. Exactly what GG needed to hear. I hope he’ll take this seriously if he really wants to start up a business, especially coming from someone with so much authority. His main point was discipline – especially for someone as easily distracted as GG, it’s going to be really hard to stay on track and stay focused while working at home, so he has to discipline himself to keep records, file things, do what he says he’ll do for clients, etc. I don’t want to have to be his boss or his secretary, keeping him organized or being on top of him all the time about getting stuff done.

Then we all had pizza. Oh also GG drank a whole bunch of wine while we were there, and I ended up driving his car home (I’d never driven the Vibe before). I thought it handled really poorly, until he noticed the parking brake was still on! I never use my parking brake, so I hadn’t even thought to check it! Once we got rid of that, the Vibe was great. I’d drive it again. Much easier to maneuver than the Aztek!

Now it’s time for my weekly Project Runway rant: WHYYYYY do they keep Vincent around, week after week?? If any episode so far this season has proven that contestants are kept on the show for drama/personality, and not for talent, it was this one. Okay, Alison’s dress may not have been flattering, but Vincent’s looked like a preschooler glued some paper scraps to a bag… Oh, because that’s what it actually was! Except made by a grown man who should have known better! In Tim Gunn’s own blog, he writes about Vincent’s dress, “In the end, Vincent is Vincent and there’s no stopping him nor advising him. His look was god-awful in my opinion. And his model could barely walk the runway in his preposterous creation. But I guess Vincent has the last laugh; he’s still in. WHY?” Exactly.

Finished Cabinets

We actually got everything finished on Tuesday, but I didn’t get photos up until tonight… so here they are!




Yeah, there’s some wires left to deal with from the lights.


And just in case you were wondering what the opposite side of the room looks like this whole time… it looks like a mess:



More on Cabinets and Construction

Remember that nice picture I posted of the new lights under the cabinets? Well, I sort of cheated, because they were just held up with tape. Here’s what happened: we were expecting that the lights attached to the cabinets with screws, which would have been fine. Then the girl at Ikea said she thought they attach with some sort of adhesive. Also fine. Well, we got home and opened up the package, and there was no adhesive, nor were there screws. But the lights have little holes in them, and the instructions show them being attached with screws. So it took us a while, but we finally found a box of little screws we’d bought. Then we discovered that, while the shelves inside the cabinets are made of wood boards, the bottom shelf of each cabinet is a thin piece of masonite! We couldn’t screw stuff into that, so we had to come up with a Plan B, which was self-adhesive velcro dots. Yeah, that worked for about five minutes. So last night we got some thin pieces of wood at Home Depot, and wood glued them to the underside of the cabinets. Then I got out the drill and drilled holes in them where the screws would need to go. Then I discovered that the screws we have are too thick to fit through the holes in the lights! So, tonight will be round three, as I head back to Home Depot for smaller screws. Hopefully tonight I can get the lights attached properly!

Also planned for tonight is hanging the last few doors on the upper cabinets. (I left a few off last night because some cabinets had clamps in them for the wood I was glueing to the bottom, and I also skipped the cabinets above the refridgerator because I didn’t want to be climbing around on the counters while I was home alone.) It makes a huge difference in the room!

I found this blog, documenting a couple’s experience building a home, yesterday while searching for photos of homes under construction (as reference material for some illustrations I’ll be doing for work). I actually went back to the beginning and read the entire thing, in chronological order. I already knew how it was going to turn out… In the beginning, they were happy and excited, thrilled with the service they were getting. By the end, they’re pretty disillusioned with everything, there’s all sorts of problems in their home that hadn’t been addressed, even after a year… It was an interesting read, and well-written. And it more firmly cements my opinion that, not only would I not want to go through the hassle of having a new home built, I also don’t really want a home that’s new construction, or built within the past 20 or even 30 years. Because they are seriously made of plywood and cardboard! And with work crews who just don’t care, because they’re trying to hurry and move along to the next project, you can see what kind of sloppy work results. Also, this proves that you have to be vigilant and keep on top of things if you have someone doing work for you.

[Edit – 9:48 AM] OMG, I just realized GG’s birthday is this Saturday and I don’t even know what to do with him! The big gift I was going to give him (some sort of business coaching) is apparently not going to work out (because he’s “uncoachable”). I got a couple small things, but that was going to be the big, major present. Also, his band has a show that night so I don’t know if we can go out to dinner or what..! Aaah!! [/Edit]

Yay Kitchen!

We have been disgustingly busy with the kitchen this weekend! But we just about finished everything and it’s totally awesome looking, so yay!




Before – nasty

Thursday: While GG was at band practice, I removed all the doors and drawers from the lower cabinets, washed them with TSP, and sanded down the doors. (I also got eaten alive by bugs while sanding outside. Like, really bad.)

Friday: GG removed the doors from the upper cabinets and washed them with TSP, while I sanded the bases of the upper and lower cabinets. Then we sanded the upper doors, and stained the lower doors and lower bases. Then we went to this coffee shop in Ardmore where GG was performing in a comedy thing. He did really well, and … it was his first paying gig! (He made $17!)

Saturday: His band’s show was cancelled for the night, because their singer is waiting for his wife to have a baby, so GG and I had all day to work. We stained the upper base cabinets, and put two coats of polyurethane on the lower cabinets. Then we stained the doors of the upper cabinets.

Sunday: We put two coats of polyurethane on the upper cabinets. I hung the lower doors again, and they look so good! The Red Oak color next to the green countertop actually makes the green look nice.





We went to Ikea for dinner and to pick up some lights to mount under the cabinets to light the counter. We got two sets, but they’re really aggrivating to hang! So we’ve only done one set so far, but they look great!



Tomorrow I’ll hang the upper cabinet doors, and that will be the end of phase one of our kitchen project! The next phase will be doing the floor, but we’ll have to find another weekend that GG will be pretty free to do that. Then I get a new stove, and I’ll start cooking again ;o) We’re both so excited already!

Busy Night

Busy night last night! While GG was at band practice, I took all the doors off our bottom kitchen cabinets and washed them down with TSP. Then I took them outside and sanded them with the palm sander. And I filled in holes with wood filler, and sanded that. And I got eaten by bugs, as I stood at dusk by a porch light in shorts. Then I washed the drawer fronts with TSP, and the bases of the cabinets. Then I got cleaned up, sat down at the computer, and fixed Dear Diesel. Then I pretended to watch SSBS, but really I fell asleep.

Today is a half day at work, so when I get home GG and I are going to take care of the upper cabinets – removing doors, washing, sanding. Maybe we’ll get to start staining today! Tonight he was invited to do stand-up with some other comedians, so we’ll have to clean up eventually and head out…

Any men want to come over and move appliances?

I had lunch today with Sonja, who I haven’t seen for a few months. I broke the news that I got married! She was shocked! That was cool. She’s house-hunting, so we shared some stories of weird homes we’ve seen. It was nice, even though we stayed in the cafeteria a little longer than we’d intended … Oops.

So here’s the new plan for re-doing the kitchen. I wrote it all up like this so GG could see how much work this is going to be – hopefully he’s up for it. (Also, for more experienced home fixer-uppers, am I missing any steps?)

  1. Stain cabinets
    • Remove cabinet doors (mark which doors go with which cabinets)
    • Sand doors and cabinet bases
    • Stain doors and cabinet bases
    • Re-attach doors
  2. Tile floor (vinyl self-stick tile, maybe something like this?)
    • Buy tile (including extra for mistakes/mis-measurement)
    • Move everything out of kitchen, including stove and refridgerator (get some help from my uncle or GG’s dad or some other man?)
    • Remove old linoleum, and maybe the next layer?
    • Clean whatever floor is under that (maybe with TSP?)
    • Lay new tile
    • Put everything back
  3. New stove
    • Go to Best Buy and order it
    • Use Craigslist or Freecycle to see if someone is interested in buying/taking the old stove, otherwise Best Buy hauls away for free anyway
    • Be at the house two weeks later when they deliver it
  4. Fun stuff!
    • New table and chairs
    • New trash can?

GG bought Million Dollar Baby last night for $5, but of course I fell asleep right before her big Las Vegas fight, so as far as I know, it was a happy movie, because she was doing well up until then. Nobody spoil it for me.*

Hey TJ, blog about this!

* Yes, I already know she dies in the end. That was sarcasm. Even though I really did fall asleep.

Chincoteague 2006 (and Kitchen Update)

Yes, time for the much-anticipated vacation recap!

Well really… there’s not much to say about our vacation. We left Monday morning for GG’s parents’ ice cream parlour, where we go for our vacation every summer. I actually didn’t really take many pictures in Chincoteague, though I did get a few of some of our favorite sights on the way down.




The AmericInn – for your patriotic vacation needs.



Girdletree, Maryland – we always call it “Gatorface,” though.



Some creepy old store in Stockton, MD. (Girdletree has one too, but I couldn’t get a photo in time as we drove through town.)



Okay, this one is from Chincoteague – it’s a random giant Viking statue, just out in a field.

GG’s mom had taken in a little stray cat they named Charles, because he looks like he’s wearing a little jacket. (Not quite a tuxedo cat, though, he’s more brown.) He hadn’t been tested for stuff yet, so they were keeping him out on the porch, away from their other cat, Penny. I went out to see him a lot, though. He is so sweet, he’ll let you carry him and snuggle him, when you sit down he hops right up on your lap, and if you put your face near him, he’ll nuzzle you with his head. He’s probably about nine years old but he’s very tiny from living on the streets for so long. GG’s mom fed him three times a day, and he would wolf down his plate of food.



Well, she found out after taking him to the vet Friday morning that he has Feline AIDS. They won’t be able to keep him, obviously, since they already have Penny, so I guess they’ll find somewhere else to take him. It’s very sad.

Wednesday, which also happened to be the hottest day of our vacation, at 110 degrees, we went up to Ocean City, MD for the day to do the boardwalk and some outlet shopping. We went to the Ripley’s Believe it or Not museum there, which was mostly an excuse to get into some air conditioning. There was hardly anyone out on the boardwalk in that heat. If you’re familiar with Thrasher’s french fries, you know that the line usually stretches way down the boardwalk. When we were there, there were about two people in line. I said we should get some fries just out of principle! We didn’t, though – way too hot for that. At the outlets, I got some sweaters, and GG took home a bunch of underwear from the Jockey store.

Mostly, our vacation was focused on staying cool, keeping from being bored (I read a giant stack of magazines), deciding where to eat, and me scratching my mosquito bites.

We came back late Thursday night, instead of leaving Friday morning, because I had a dentist appointment on Friday and this way we didn’t have to rush to make sure we’d be home in time. At midnight on a Thursday, there’s very little traffic, so we made it home in about three hours. (And I stayed awake almost the whole way home! Just towards the end I was nodding off. If I’d had coffee like GG, I bet I could’ve done it.)

The dentist was good, apparently I’ve improved (though I didn’t know there was anything wrong the last time, so that was news to me). I might have the beginnings of a cavity, so I need to go back soon so they can take care of that. I’ve never had a cavity ever, so this is a little worrisome.

Friday night we met Ed and went to see Strangers With Candy, which was so so good! Ed had never seen the TV show, but you really didn’t need to know the show to get the movie – it was actually a prequel to the show.

Saturday I was so excited because we were going to Ikea to talk to the kitchen planning people about new cabinets and whatnot. (Remember a couple weeks ago when I wrote about that?) Well, long story short… New cabinets, even from Ikea, are going to end up costing way more than we expected. And that’s even before we start talking about a new range, redoing the floor, etc. So, new game plan: we buy a new range, redo the floor, and add some stuff to the current cabinets to make them more useful. We’re hopefully going to Lowe’s today to check stuff out. Now all we need is some guys to help move the range and refridgerator while we do the floor.