Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Still-Life Without Hummingbird

September 1st... the Summer Of Blarg is almost over. This week has marked the beginning of the school year kicking into high gear, with all the host of meetings, photo-copying, and high-wire balance-act attempts at Classroom Decoration that are to be expected. As a testament to the work that I've done this summer and how it has facilitated my personal growth, I put my hand in a giant spider's nest at the back of a bookshelf that was full of -- get this -- crunchy globs of spider eggs, and not only was there no screaming, there wasn't even an "eww," just a judicious nose wrinkle and a decisive wiping of hand on pants. New definition of "teacher clothes" = Can Wipe Spider Eggs On. Along with the new school schedule comes a new definition of "clean" in my kitchen: if you can't see old food caked on it, it's good enough. The tomatoes are starting to take over all the surface areas -- they are piled into nooks and crannies -- they fill the bread box, hide on top of the fridge, and teeter at the edge of the kitchen island (aka, computer desk, but hey, I have re-nomen-ed its clature and that goes a long way. Barthes says.).

In any case, here is a virtual tour of some of the almost finished projects around the house. Oo and Ahh as appropriate. Thank you very much. But first -- here's a recap of some of the all-time best "before" pictures when things were look pretty far from ever finished:

Remember that? That was July, back in the 99 degree days, full of toxicity, sweat and tears. Now, this is the new floor -- minus carpet, linoleum, and paint, plus stain, seal, and 4 coats of finish.

I call this one, "Still Life With Ladder" -- it is an evening picture of the bedroom in the last stages of completion: finishing the last coat of yellow paint in the upper reaches of the closet. I hate painting closets -- they're stuffy and you don't even really look inside them all that often. You could paint, "screw you, closet!" in yellow on the upper corner of the wall, and nobody would ever notice. In fact, maybe I even did that - you can't tell, can you?

We decided on going with a rich, dark stain in the bedroom to offset the pale yellow and green of the walls. It is a coat of Rosewood covered with all the Cherry and Golden Oak we had left in the bucket. It really popped out the grain of the pine, and there are some gorgeous knots and textures that are very striking. I'm a huge fan. Next to the Vermont Cream trim, it has a clean, classy look. The floor is so very, very smooth, the wood grain glows, even in artificial light, and it doesn't seem heavy or too dark. It's like Jason said -- the floor is the frame for the picture of the room, and having a little contrast is really nice. Dang, that man is good at his job. I helped, a little.

Now, I'll have to get him to do his other job and get some good photos that do this floor justice. My little ol' cell phone camera isn't really capturing the magic.

This is actually the new laundry room -- freshly painted in full-on crazy. I love it. My "It's Not Pink" is recently adjusted to be "Really, NOT Pink" -- and even Jason shrugs in a more agreeing than not sort of way. Shannon confirms it: "it's totally not pink." Still, the poor wall is doomed to a life of being always defined by what it is not -- there's a lit theory reference in there, too, but dude, I can't remember who that was. Saussure? Derrida? I'm kind of pleased that I've reached a degree of sufficiently washed up as a recovering ex-grad student that I can't remember. My real-world therapy and diet of Buffy and nachos must be working.

And look at the color of that green/blue wall -- I love it! For a former mushroom colony, it sure cleans up real nice. Now I just have to get the time and vehicular power to make an arrangement with the generous Johnny W, who is donating a laundry-machine to the cause. It must be a public service because after a summer of this much hard work, I have GOT to be pretty stinky by now. Sheesh.

Oh, and last thing. The pipe wasn't my fault. Home Depot sold me another bum part. It was missing a tiny cap to prevent previously described peeing phenomenon. I've rectified the situation. I have water. It's totally done. It's the least I could ask. Let's not talk about it any more.


  1. Impressive! Will you make me some tea in this kitchen next time I'm in town?

  2. Harmony,
    The house looks terrific. ALL your hard work shows and you should be damn proud! Have a great year at school and I'll look forward to any posting you do.

  3. I want to go to there!! I need me some spider egg wiping pants (thought Dickens would take care of the spiders, I think, before they got to major egg laying stage). Are you getting a kitty?