Monday, December 11, 2006

condo update and knee injury

we finally put the place on the market this past weekend. had an open house on sunday (which wasn't widely attended, but it only takes one person, right?). in case you're wondering, we didn't manage to fix the kitchen area. just too much of a hassle and nothing seemed to work. the backsplash from pottery barn was too long. (although we had checked the dimensions and it seemed fine... but then mysteriously when it arrived it was 36 inches instead of 30 inches long. no idea what happened b/c both jon and i independently checked the dimensions and both came away thinking it would fit our 32inch space. oh well.) so we'll return that. we decided to push ahead with the open house and fix it if we could or just move on. one woman is particularly interested, but she's looking at other places too. fingers crossed that she likes ours best, but we won't know unless and until she puts an offer in on it. think good condo-selling thoughts.

i injured the knee this weekend. last play of the flag football game. literally it was their ball, 4th and goal, 8 seconds. we were winning 12-6. i had just gotten knocked in the head on the prior play and was fired up. i decided to rush b/c no way would my girl score even if the QB threw her the ball and she miraculously came down with a catch. she just would never have had the speed to get into the end zone w/o our safety shutting her down. so i rushed. next thing i knew, i'm on the ground in incredible pain. not sure what happened other than my knee was killing me. i think my calf went one way and my quad went the other and my knee got pulled in two directions. it's not broken and i don't think there's been any substantial tear or anything. my guess is a sprain or some minor ligament damage. i'm going to give it 'til midweek and make an assessment then. if it's still not healing well, i'll make an appointment with an orthopedist. in the meantime, i'm in a brace and on crutches. it's not too bad, but it makes everything more of a chore, from getting dressed to sitting down, and takes me much longer to get anything done. at least it's not broken though.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

still not fixed....

the tiles apparently are a no go. as is the laminate idea. jon couldn't get two people to say the same thing, so we're abandoning both of those ideas. and we're going with a stainless steel backsplash thing from pottery barn. it's pretty nice. and jon swears it's easy to install/hang. if this doesn't work, seriously, we're going with contact paper.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

home depot stock is a goldmine

so, i just couldn't resist. now that i've opened the floodgates on the stupid condo, i can't help myself. jon's off to home depot for the second time today. first time, he came back with nothing. apparently someone told him that the tile idea wasn't going to work because of heat issues. they won't withstand the heat. he was told it or they would melt, he can't remember and the guy who told him this didn't seem knowledgeable enough for jon to ask too many follow-ups.

not sure what that means though as far as WHY "it won't work". does it mean the adhesive on the back of the vinyl won't withstand the heat and will eventually just wear away causing the tiles to drop? because, if that's the case, WE KNOW. we learned that in ... oh, i don't know... conservative guess... 27 minutes. we may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, but still. or does it mean that construction adhesive (rather than simply the vinyl adhesive on the back) won't work either? or does it mean that the tiles will melt? or was the guy just being contrary because he wears an orange apron? we need clarification, so jon's headed back.

he did get another idea from some nice home depot lady. we can hang this plastic laminate stuff that apparently is heat resistant? although to hang that, we need: 2 different rollers (one to put up the paste and one to roll over the laminate, as luck would have it, NONE of our painting rollers are the right size), the laminate (which is about 1000 ft x 1000 ft and they won't cut it for you), shears to cut the laminate (again, because they won't cut it), some sort of paste. sounds complicated & 1 million square feet of anything isn't cheap. alternatively, we could take our chances on the tile idea, banking on the fact that if any meltdown occurs - fingers crossed - it'll happen: 1) when we're no longer here, 2) after we've inked a deal, or 3) not while a prospective buyer is looking at the house and we fix it before anyone sees it.

jon was up in the air when he left on what he would choose - laminate or tiles. i'm taking bets on what jon comes back with. tiles or laminate. i'm voting tiles. there is the third option, which i'll refer to as the nuclear option - he comes back with nothing. he's already been advised on the consequences, however, of inaction and so the odds on this one are currently running 1000-1.

here goes nothing

apparently a few people still check this thing, so i figured since i have a free minute here at work and we had indicated we would do our best to keep it up, why not post again? so, here goes. not sure what to post about. that's the problem with blogs, as far as i see it. unless you comment on political events or have a specific focus, how do you know what to write? i fear my lack of inspiration is not limited to the blogosphere. unlike jon, i've never managed to do the nano writing month thing. i just never seem inspired to sit down and write. and i'm not particularly creative. hey, maybe that's why i'm so late in getting out our thank you cards, too. if you're reading this and you haven't gotten a thank you card yet for a wedding gift, you will get one. before the end of the year. i promise. and i also promise we love whatever you got us - the tardiness of the thank you bears no relation to the sincerity of the (forthcoming) sentiment.

i guess i could give a condo update. what a saga this has become. so, i think we're over the hump in terms of the tough things are finished. we (read: jon) sanded the walls. i don't know how many square feet of walls he sanded by hand but i do know that it took nearly an entire day to scrub everything down, sweep, mop and remove the layer of wall dust that had settled throughout the condo. let me tell you, if you're wondering whether this was fun, it wasn't. not at all. i'm not sure how many trips it took jon to home depot. if i were to ballpark it, i'd say 314. has anyone ever just made ONE trip to home depot per project? is that even possible? (as an aside, we didn't make it to bed bath and beyond, we just didn't have the time). and then of course we (read: me) washed, primed, and applied two coats of paint to the walls. a perfectly bland and apparently buyer friendly color (which i'm told is the "new white" - what does that mean anyway?) - plantation beige. and then we (read: me) painted the baseboards. according to our real estate agent, the white baseboards will make the plantation beige walls "pop". i'm pretty sure that's a good thing. although, i'm not convinced that anything - even something as exciting and awesome as a white baseboard - can make plantation beige (the new white!) "pop". but i'll take the expert's word for it. it looks nice, i will say that.

and then we had to clear out a bunch of our stuff so that the place looks lived in, but not too much so. we cleared out rugs, chairs, desks, books, bookcases, kitchen appliances.... all sorts of things. and we boxed it all up, chucked it in a uhaul, hauled it to either goodwill or jon's grandmother's house where we unloaded it into her basement, which she has kindly allowed us to use as a storage facility.

then came the painting of the spare room. goodbye to the canary yellow that jon loved so much. hello antique white. the yellow was much much nicer, but apparently a discerning buyer may be put off by it. i'm not sure i agree with that, but again, we blindly did whatever our real estate agent told us to do. given the market, i guess we figured we'd take everything she said as gospel, because what IF she's right. what if we had a buyer willing to take the place BUT FOR the canary yellow paint? seems highly unlikely, but you figure you do everything to make the place move as fast as possible. even if it means catering to that one in a million curmudgeon who had a bad experience with a canary years ago. jon did much of the painting in the spare room, i focused on the edges and the non-roller areas. he hates painting more than i do (i actually like it, the whole instant gratification thing... but that of course means that i like the first coat better than the second because the results are more immediately noticeable) so i figured i'd do the harder areas. again, the room looks perfectly pleasant. no character, but pleasant enough. i guess that's the goal.

and then we've done other random things... caulked the bathtub, affixed a fallen tile from around the fireplace, placed logs in the fireplace for effect, replaced a light fixture, had the sliding door fixed so that one doesn't have to have hulk-like strength to open it, fixed a few non-functional outlets,.... and generally cleaned the place up. it looks good.

are we finished, you may ask? is the condo up for sale, you may wonder. sadly, no on both counts.

our last hurdle is the unassuming wall to the left of the stove in the kitchen. it has a few cooking splash marks. not surprising given its proximity to the burners on which we boil and simmer sauces that occasionally splash up. during the walk-through of the condo, the real estate agent told us to cut our losses on the kitchen paint job and just clean the walls and leave the rest of the kitchen alone. whew. loved that advice. because the kitchen walls have the same lacquer-type finish on them as the living room/hallway walls did, primer wouldn't stick to them either and we'd have had to sand. the prospect of moving the appliances and sanding all the nooks and crannies of the kitchen just is unimaginable to me. good thing that the color of the kitchen walls is apparently less offensive than the former color in the living room/hallway. so we decided our real estate agent was the smartest, wisest woman ever and we just had to clean the walls and move on. no problem.

oh wait, problem. we've tried EVERYTHING to get this crap off. we tried regular soap, heavy duty strength soap, some white sponge magic wall eraser thing, which - according to its advertising - removes 99% of wall stains. if you're wondering exactly what kind of stains fall into the 1% - at the very least, we can attest to the fact that the magic wall eraser does not magically erase food stains on venetian plaster walls. the stains have soaked into the wall. awesome.

so, we informed the real estate agent of our dilemma, to which she replied that we needed to repaint the walls. the woman is crazy and doesn't know what she's talking about, we decide. without the slightest hesitation, we simultaneously said - no fricking way. we will not sand. we will not prime. we will not paint. i do not like green eggs and ham.

instead, we're doing our own thing. i don't care about that one in a million buyer anymore. i have my own sanity to worry about. now, we haven't run our idea by the real estate agent, but what does she know anyway? plantation beige. we're putting up a splash guard type thing and covering the offending marks. sounds easy enough. and we decide we'll use self-adhesive vinyl tile. again, so easy.

too easy, apparently. we hung up six tiles on sunday. we were so proud of ourselves. high fives all 'round. the pats on the back were short lived and the pride quickly evaporated when, in less than an hour, there were only 3 tiles on the wall and 3 on the ground, down the side of the stove. sweet. so now we have to glue those things up and put some sort of border around it so that it doesn't look like what it is, a cover up job. we have to make it look like we wanted to have vinyl tile on our walls. indeed, who doesn't want vinyl tile on their kitchen walls? it's the new white. or is it the new plantation beige? so, we're trying again tonight. adding more tile, adding some to the back of the stove area now, putting up a border, using construction adhesive to get the stuff to stay. forever. and we'll make trip number 389 to home depot tonight. fingers crossed that this works. i'm sure jon will post our efforts to flickr.

so there you go, that's my condo update.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

More wedding photos

I'm only authorized to post two test photos to Flickr until Barb comes home, but they're posted right here. Feel free to bookmark that link, because it will lead to all the rest that we post in the future, too. There are some great shots in there. Thanks to Ryan for the photos.

wedding photos!

we got them! and they're terrific! i'm sure we'll be posting to flickr very soon (tonight probably) but in the meantime, here are a few nice ones . . .

Friday, September 15, 2006


not much to report other than i'm still have some motivation issues here at work. i really am doing my best, but it's hard. i was gone for too long....

i think jon's picking up the wedding photos this weekend. fingers crossed. it would be nice to what i did for 6 hours.... it's all a blur to me so i'd like some photographic evidence that i was actually there. in the meantime, i have also posted a few honeymoon photos on flickr. the resolution of my photos isn't quite the same quality as jon's. my flickr account isn't as nice as his and i don't have as much space on mine so i've lowered the quality to put more photos up. and although it seems that most of my photos are of jon or jon & me, that's just the start of the pictures. jon had loaded so many of me, i was starting to think people would wonder whether he actually came along on the honeymoon. and most of the photos of the 2 of us were taken with my camera since it's far less intimidating than jon's.

and i'm not sure how we'll do any sort of summary of the trip... i do have a journal type thing that we kept while we were there so we'll do something with that soon enough. i'll keep thinking about it.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Ready to go back

So, we're home. It's been pretty hard to get back into the swing of things so far. But I suppose I've only been at work for two hours, so that's understandable.

I've started putting up photos from the honeymoon, but it's going to take a while to get to all 1143 of them. And that doesn't include the 4-500 that Barb took.

We're also working on a summary of all the things we did, which will be posted here eventually. Barb spent a lot of the time we had on various planes writing up what we did, and I'll add some comments, some photos, and whatnot, and then you can all read about our experience over there. It was pretty fantastic.

Anyway, back to work now. But stay tuned.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

still in melbourne...

and having a great time. the city has changed a lot since i was here last. there's so much more development everywhere. it's even nicer than i remember. jon and i have both said several times that we'd live here. and if that citizenship thing ever comes through, we might have to consider putting our money where our mouth is. we've walked around the CBD and down through chapel street, through the botanic gardens. saw bulldogs play essendon on friday night. the bulldogs beat 'em soundly- whihc mattered little to us since we're not fans of either team. match was fun to watch though. and we saw the little penguins last night waddling to their burrows on phillip island. earlier in the day we did a quick tour of st kilda beach, station pier and melbourne university (beautiful old buildings). caught the last 1/2 of anthony's footy game. and we're off for a family gathering today at the limerick castle. going to visit the vic market beforehand though. maybe pick up a cheesey souvenir or two. and tomorrow is the great ocean road. looking forward to both days. not the day after though- because we're getting on a plane for home. :(

that's it for now.