Saturday, November 22, 2008

home improvement is my bitch

i probably shouldn't say that until after the last nail is driven and so forth, but oh well. i'm feeling cheeky.
the trappings of home improvement
while i dropped off the face of the internets, i was hard at work on my "RL" habitat. it was time. in the nearly 10 years since i bought my slice of condo living, i was always to tired/depressed/overwhelmed/insert-pathetic-whatever-here to really attend to it or make it my own. i mean, although i had rearranged the furniture a couple times, things were pretty much the same (and, in some cases, in the same spot) as when i moved in. had painted (badly) the two bedrooms before moving in, had all the windows replaced a couple years ago, did some insulating, replaced the front door which had a crack you could see through, and disposed of the ugly-ass frankenshrubs which were dying slowly in my "garden" space. basically, all stuff one couldn't ignore. also, i had a rather lovely paycheck in those days, so i could afford to bring in professionals when necessary.

a year or so ago i paid a huge quantity of money to have the master bath renovated. i'll probably be paying it off until i die, but it was totally worth it to (a) have someone else manage the project and the subcontractors, (b) have the work done by people i knew i could trust, and (c) have a lovely bathroom.

but, as anyone who has been through the renovation mill knows, such projects totally disrupt any semblance of order you might have had (and i didn't have that much to start) -- all the stuff from the room you are renovating has to go somewhere else until the renovation is done, and you have to have some place to store the materials, fixtures, tools, and what-have-you for each stage of the project. needless to say, my already careless surroundings descended into chaos from which i've only recently rescued it.

freeing myself from my exhausting, grindingly depressing job was step one in my personal environment reclamation process. while this also meant freeing myself from the rather lovely income, *nothing* was worth the ongoing torture. the strange journey of personal reclamation continues it's winding, surprising path. so, six months or so down the road, i have recovered enough to actually care about my surroundings and be inspired to do something with them. (i know, crazy!)

people, i have power tools. and a work bench! seriously. in my previous couch potato life, i watched hundreds of hours of hgtv and "trading spaces". now, armed with my stanley book of home improvement, my very own tools, and a fire in the belly, i am actually doing this shit myself. i have been scraping, sanding, painting, filling, sawing, finishing, and restoring. i have replaced electrical outlets, and installed lights and a ceiling fan. i replaced my wind tunnel mail slot with a swell new one which lets the mail in but keeps the cold out.

i am totally blowing my own mind. don't get me wrong -- there are times when i think i'll snap if i have to sand one more lumpy wall or miter one more freakin molding piece. but overall, i am rockin the home improvement. pictorial evidence to follow...