Archive for the 'this old house' Category

Be Gone Albatross

by @ Thursday, August 4th, 2011. Filed under growing up, this old house

My house is no longer my problem.   The last 2 months of waiting on baited breath that the deal doesn’t fall through were hell.  It got worse as closing day got closer. Cutting that $4k check to the title company hurt (I lost my underpants on this sale).  Papers were signed on Monday, and after several panic attacks I got the news that afternoon that it was a done deal.

So what now?  If we are tossing out long term albatrosses, I suppose the next thing to go is my day job.  Ten years of government employment is decreasing my net worth.


Keeping afloat

by @ Saturday, June 4th, 2011. Filed under movies, rants, this old house

Before I begin my rant.  I need to tell you all to go out and see Submarine.  It’s a film, not a movie.  Another great performance by Noah Taylor and a surprisingly good soundtrack.    I was a bit shocked when I found out that Alex Turner (front man for the Arctic Monkeys) was the man behind these songs.  But, I think that is the point of indie films.  Showcasing new/underused talent.  The last time I saw a film with a soundtrack so shockingly perfect was “Dan in Real Life.”

…and now for the rant portion.  Hopefully my rant is not as bad as this stuff is… (more…)


Houses, homes, and such

by @ Tuesday, October 19th, 2010. Filed under confessional, identity, Music, observations on life, random musings, this old house

Key to M's House

As some of you know, I spent about six months living in a store display.  My house was on the market and it had to look “lived in” but not cluttered or have any personal items.  In other words I was living in a house, not a home.

Living in a house void of personal items was stressful.  I keep a clean house but I am a bit like Monk.  I am OCD about my things.  I don’t like sharing and I don’t like knowing that random strangers have been in the house possibly touching my things.

After six months and two realtors (I will spare you the details of that experience),   I was homeless, both literally and figuratively.  Did I sell my house? Nope.  It has however become a home once again.  It has a family now (more details I will spare you of since I am not ready to write about that experience).

So where was I living?  For the last two months I have been living in “my” room at M’s house. Drunk housing became my home and the majority of my belongings were in storage.  I wasn’t sure how that was going to play out.  But I was truly grateful that I had a place to call home.

It has been years since I had a roommate.  Sure, M and I live together for a week or so during SXSW, but that is different.  That is vacation (…and we are a lot like the Odd Couple.  She’s Oscar and I am Felix).  This was full-time job/commuting Jen. Jen who deals with stupid people all day and spends much of her weeknights hermitting in her workspace.  Now it was Jen, sans workspace, living with 3 roommates.  I did get a few sanity breaks here and there.  There was house-sitting for Yenta and some cat-sitting with streaming Netflix.

After a long search and a pause to round up enough money to pay rent and a deposit, I found a new place.  It’s not quite home yet.  I am still rounding up my belongings around town and there is some decorating to be done.

After a two month stint in cohabitation, I realize that it’s not the life for me.  I like knowing that the crumbs on the counter were left by me and I am the one who left one square of toilet paper on the roll.  I think adjoining houses is as close as we will get.

M this one is for you.

Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros “Home” from Edward Sharpe on Vimeo.


Thank you Lumberjack/Ninja

by @ Tuesday, June 16th, 2009. Filed under this old house

I was recently blessed with a random act of kindness.

Do you recall when the tree tried to eat my house. Well the other tree in the front yard has it out for my mail carrier. First I received a note from said postal worker stating that I needed to trim the tree so they could safely deliver my mail (the over hang was low enough that the branches scraped the roof of my car, point taken). I trimmed the tree and moved on with life.

Saturday I pulled out of the driveway to see UP! in 3D. The tree decided that it would take out the mailbox. Not cool.  I managed to move the mailbox into the garage and I was able to drag the giant tree limb onto the lawn.  Sunday I woke up early, to avoid the 100 degree weather, and moved the tree limb into the yard.  I had to saw it into a few pieces to make it light enough to drag around.  Eventually I would have to cut it into smaller pieces so it could be picked up on large brush pick up day.  Sunday evening I was able to restore my mailbox to its functional upright position.

Monday, the Lumberjack/Ninja visited my yard and addressed the pile o’ brush.  The pile was reduced to half it size and was neatly stacked at the curb.  Today when I came home it was all lined up on the curb ready for pick up.

Just when I had declared that the world was full of ungrateful people  and I was feeling underappreciated, this happens.  Thanks again.  You ROCK!


Seriously, when does it stop!

by @ Sunday, November 30th, 2008. Filed under rants, this old house

So last week a tree decided to attack my house.  Early this morning leaving downtown, I was the victim of a hit and run.  I suppose I should be thankful for the fact that neither event caused major damage.  But seriously, when does it all end?  I would like to take a break from filing insurance claims.

I am more pissed off about the hit and run though.  It’s not like the tree planned on attacking my house. My guess is that the dude driving the black SUV was drunk or high and had no plans to stop and file a police report.  I got close enough to get the license plate #.  I called the police, not sure if they will catch the guy but atleast I called it in.



by @ Tuesday, July 3rd, 2007. Filed under random musings, this old house

This weekend has once again confirmed my lack of coordination. I tell you, I am like a baby giraffe or a muppet. Or maybe a muppet version of a baby giraffe.

Friday I was silkscreening some stuff with handmade screens and I was sitting at my drafting table on the rolling chair. I leaned to reach for a tissue to wipe up the paint and managed to fall out of the chair. I felt like the little old lady in the Lifealeart commercial.

Saturday I managed to injure myself once again. The flourescent light in the kitchen decided that it wanted to join it’s mate which had been taken down over a month ago. In removing the light box I managed to cut my finger and cut my foot on one of the clips that held the light in place. (will that force me to wear shoes in the house? Hell no!)

Sunday I decided to install my new mailbox. I managed to smash my thumb with the hammer (blood blister) and scrape my leg hauling off the old mailbox.

I hope the rule of 3s still applies. If it doesn’t, atleast my tetanus shot is still current.



by @ Monday, April 9th, 2007. Filed under diy projects, random musings, this old house

I’ll admit it. I have a Sunday routine. Any other day of the week I just wing it. But Sunday, there is a routine. Sometimes you just need to decide on a day to get things done.

As much as I enjoy sleeping in, back when I had roommates I would get up early on Sunday just to enjoy some quiet. I’d bake muffins or some other tasty breakfast treat, and enjoy my coffee, maybe read the paper. Then I would clean the house (I cleaned the house a lot when I had roomates).

When the roommates were gone, I started waking up later. I’d still bake stuff but just not every week. Sometimes I’d clean, most of the time I would not. When there were boys in the picture, I enjoyed loafing in bed and then grabbing a late breakfast.

Now that all is quiet, I listen to chillville on the radio, I get out of bed around 10. I change the sheets on my bed (cause it is the only way I remember to do it on a regular basis) and I do laundry. I clean up around the house and try and put things back in order after a week of leaving things wherever I dropped them when I came in from work.

Today, I woke up way earlier than usual. I woke up around 8 (probably because I passed out on the couch last night around 8ish woke up around 10ish and then fell back asleep). I made whole wheat biscuts and started the laundry. I spent a chunk of the morning on the internet doing research for a sewing class. Then I puttered around in my sewing room. I did the final fitting for the prom dress I am altering. I went outside for a bit to take care of my roses that had decided that they wanted to lie down. I made homemade veggie burgers (I have faith that the weather will improve and we will go back to the regularly scheduled grilling season). I returned to the internet to research composite lumber (for my fence) and dual-flush toilets (I need to replace the toilet in my bathroom and I am looking at the high efficiency ones). I made lunch for the next few days. I chatted with Megan on the phone and then I made quesadillas for dinner. Then it was guilty pleasure tv time. Every Sunday I watch Extreme Makeover Home Edition (and usually have a good cry during the heartwrenching moment when they move the bus). Then I fold laundry.


30 years of Jen

by @ Wednesday, January 31st, 2007. Filed under diy projects, growing up, this old house

I turned 30 on Friday. 30 doesn’t feel that much different than 29. Some people say that it is the new 21. If it really was the new 21 I would have had a margarita machine and a bouncy castle…

The festivities began on Thursday. My co-workers decorated my office with a ton of balloons. Then they cookied my car when I was in a meeting.

Those would be lemon-cream filled sandwich cookies plastered all over my car (no, they didn’t hurt the paint). This was how I started my long weekend (I had scheduled myself to be off through Tuesday)

After work I went to the container store (my car was still covered in cookies and only a few were lost in transit). I picked up shelves so I could finish my pantry project. The shelving project required a drill bit I didn’t have so I tabled installation until Friday.

I slept in on Friday morning (till about 10ish). I had a chocolate-chocolate chip cookie for breakfast (I was meeting my parents for lunch at noon so I didn’t eat a “real breakfast”). I removed most of the cookies from my car and then I headed off to meet my parents for lunch at Hyde Park Bar and Grill.

After lunch I headed out to FirstSamples. I needed to return a key and talk to Shauna about the future of Level IV. There is still one cookie stuck to the top of my car (this cookie was still on my car when I took it to be washed on Monday afternoon).

I went to Home Depot on the way home from the studio. I had to get the giant drill bit in order to install my new shelves. I bought a nifty new set of drill bits and headed home to my lemon-scented garage.

Shelf installation went pretty quick. I was done in 20 minutes or so. All of my food is one space now. I no longer use a giant rubbermaid tub for food storage. Elfa is expensive, but it rocks.

I went to Trudy’s for dinner (and my free Mexmart). I was shocked that my party of 10 was seated in 45 minutes and not the hour and 30 minutes we were quoted. After dinner I finished the night off at the Alamo Drafthouse (Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Animation Festival). The festival has seen better days but it is pretty hard to compete against YouTube.

Saturday was spent cleaning my house and loafing. I did some prep work for the dinner party I was hosting on Sunday. I went back to the container store (they are having a sale). I went to World Market (they have a great wine selection and the prices are pretty good). I went to the grocery store (which I hate) because I needed some key ingredients for dinner. Before retiring to the couch for the evening I made the chocolate mousse and biscotti. I ended up watching Life Aquatic with the commentary on (and falling asleep because I was worn out).

Sunday I was up early. I went to Costco (I drove by on Saturday and it was a zoo). I washed my hair and began the baking marathon (ok, not like my Christmas baking marathon). Portobella Brie cups for the appetizer. I made pasta with artichoke hearts, spinach and feta for the main course. Chocolate mousse with whipped cream (from scratch and spiked with Bailey’s) for dessert.

I had 7 of my closest friends around one table. This has NEVER happened before. I can rarely arrange time with just two of them. Most of them I have known since college. Some have been roommates. We ate and drank and talked from 7 until around 10 ish. Keely and Megan ended up staying until 2am (It was nice. The last time we did something like that was after I broke up with the first boy. This time all of us were resting firmly on the plateau without issues).

Monday I slept in until around 10:30. Mom came over to drop off some things. I went to the post office and ran a few errands. I got my car washed. They did a pretty crappy job. There is still some lemon frosting here and there. I spent a big chunk of my evening organizing my sewing room and pondering if I could skip another day of work. Maybe I could become a professional organizer. Maybe work at the container store?

So that would be my 30th birthday weekend.



by @ Thursday, October 5th, 2006. Filed under bad habits, this old house

I recently admited that I am a neat freak. My mom thinks I have OCD. I chalk it up to the need for order in my slightly-topsy-turvy-at-times life. I don’t really have a problem with other people being messy I can understand that not everyone uses cleaning as their comfort activity.

Messes/clutter to be avoided:


This old house…

by @ Wednesday, November 23rd, 2005. Filed under diy projects, this old house

Once again I had to strap on the tool belt and restore order to my house.

The time, roughly 5 am on Monday morning. I had just come back from the afterhours dance at Ruta Maya. I decided to run the dishwasher because my houseguests manange to use ALL the coffee mugs and most of the other glassware during their 4 day visit. I pull out the dishwasher soap from the cabinet under the sink and notice that it’s a little funky down there. I decided to investigate rather than ignore it. I pull out all of the cleaning supplies (how I ended up with more than one bottle of windex and a billion sponges is a blur) and I decide that this is going to take some time. I stop there and leave some plastic containers to catch the drip because I am too tired to find the source. It wasn’t as if the leak was a waterfall. Besides, 7 more hours of dripping wasn’t going to hurt.

After sleep and coffee I check out the damage. The intake hose for the faucet was the source of the leak. How to fix it? Well, I am no plumber so I decided to pull a McGuyver and duct tape it so I could deal with the funky rotten wood problem. I pulled out the bottom of the cabinet only to discover that there was a layer of what looked like the floor of a forest after it rains. Muddy and little bits of wood. Damp smell… The only thing missing was signs of life. It would have added a little bit of humor if I found some sort of mushroom or something growing down there.

There is nothing like taking out frustration with a hammer. I don’t have a crowbar so I used the hammer to pry out damaged wood. At some point I realized I should calm down a bit or I would end up destroying the perfectly good plumbing.

Frustration? Yes, I was a little pissy. What caused it? Lack of sleep and, as usual, boys. The general population and one in particular. Rubbing up against boys all weekend at the lindy exchange in combination with tequilla (mmm, mexican martinis). I was so asking for trouble. But I have standards so no exchange hook ups for me. I was also lucky that I was unable to drink and dial (I removed a phone number from my cell a few months ago just for that reason). To top it off, on Sunday morning I wake up in the middle of an orgasm. I had been dreaming about doing very bad things with a guy friend of mine (I thought I had purged that reoccuring dream, apparently not).

So where does that leave me now? Well, after gutting the kitchen cabinet I decided that I would call in for help. I should remove the dishwasher to see how far the leak spread. The leak is still being contained by the duct tape. I may or may not fix it myself.

and for ther record, boys are stupid

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A group of women who decided that it was important to live their lives any way they wanted vs living up to certain cookie cutter standards. Lucky for you they decided to share their adventure.


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