Friday, December 2, 2005

What? Where?

I don't know what's more depressing -- the fact that I am only capable of sounding like Vinny Barbarino right now, or the fact that a good chunk of you probably don't even know who that is.

See, here's the thing.  You know that whole bathroom thing?  The guest bathroom that I need to remove the wall from because of the mold?  (If you've forgotten, I'll have more pictures in a future update.)  Well, before I went to Taiwan, I called the contractor who had given me the best bid and told him I wanted him to remodel the place.  Said he should call back after Thanksgiving and we could meet and finalize a contract. 

So, he calls me on Monday and says he can meet me Tuesday night.

Seems a little rushed ... but why not, right?

So, he shows up at my place Tuesday night and we write up a contract.  We shake hands.  I give him a check.  He then says, "I'll start Thursday."

I blink several times as I'm trying to process this.  I haven't selected tiles or faucets or fixtures or fans, or cabinets or any of this.  When I remodelled my other bathroom (probably 8 years ago) this was a lengthy process.  Involving weekend trips to the tile store.  (Hell, I'd special ordered some tiles that it took the nice artist lady six weeks to prepare.)  Not to mention the half-dozen times I had to go to Home Depot or Home Expo or Great Indoors or whatever it was -- and I usually had to keep going back because how the heck am I supposed to know which of the ten thousand light fixtures they have is the one I want?  (I will always remember Ron, a fellow I was dating at the time, because he helped me pick out the shade of grout for my floor tiles.  Grout color.  Honest.)

And all this is going through my head while I'm blinking at Manny, who says he wants to start in about 36 hours.

So, Wednesday night, instead of putting together more Taiwan/Hong Kong entries -- (I haven't even looked at the photos Peg and Sabing emailed me.  And I probably should, as theirs are better than mine.  I mean, heck, Peg's digital camera actually has a zoom.) -- Where was I?  Oh yeah, Wednesday night.  Instead of doing photos or paying bills (the pile on my desk just keeps growing) or finishing unpacking or doing laundry... instead of all that, I'm on my hands and knees cleaning out the under-the-sink cabinet in the guest bathroom, so they can demolish it the next morning.

(By the way, I highly recommend cleaning out your under-the-sink cabinet every few years.  Seriously.  I found bath oil so old it had separated.  And cough medicine that expired in 1998.  Come to think of it, the cleaning process didn't take all that long, as it was mostly all about digging stuff out, being amazed that I still owned it, and carting it out to the trash chute.  Well, it would have been easy if the garbage bag I'd thrown everything in hadn't started coming apart at the seam.  The last garbage bag in my house.)

So, yesterday, Manny comes in bearing a faucet that meets the vague description of what I'm looking for, and 7 tile samples for me to choose from.  I pick one wall tile and one floor tile and go to work.

And then, I arrive home to inspect the hole where my bathroom used to be, and the demolition guy is still there and he wants to show me something he found behind my bathroom wall:

My neighbor's stove.

I am so not making this up.  Near as I can tell, once you get down to the insulation and the studs, there's really only a quarter-inch wide piece of ... wall that actually separates my unit from the neighbor's.  And someone had backed their stove up against it on the other side, cut a piece out of the wall separating us, and sent some gas-carrying line to the inside of my wall.  The demolition guy was suggesting that this was, perhaps, dangerous.  Pointed out that the black dirt I'd seen on the insulation (and had assumed was a huge mold problem) was in fact smoke.

So, I spend last night trying introducing myself to my next-door neighbor and asking her if she has any idea what is venting into my bathroom.  (Nice girl.  She's a renter, though, and just moved in a few months ago, so she has no clue what I'm talking about.  But said she'd contact the owner.)

Meantime, the contractor said he'd return today to finish the demolition.  "At what time?" I ask.  This is important to me, because I'd like to be awake and clothed when he arrives.  He says, "Between 8 and 9."  I ask if he can narrow that down a bit more ('cause I'd hate waking up a whole hour earlier for no reason) so he says, "Between 8:30 and 9:00."

Guess when he came.

Go on.

You said "8:00," right?

Try 7:15.  Turns out that while the demolition guy was coming at 8:30, they were sending out the electrician just after 7:00.  And they'd got their wires crossed.  (Get it?  Electrician?  Wires crossed?  Never mind.)  Of course, I was so not ready for him at 7:15, I was in the shower and didn't even hear him knocking out there.  Cat was going crazy -- I'd thought she was just angry that I was locking her in the bedroom again (to keep her safe from all the construction... and the open doors that go along with it) -- but, in retrospect, I think all that meowing was Cat for "Idiot, there's a stranger at the door."

Which, pretty much brings us up to now.  I'm about to head home and see what sort of progress has been made ... and/or what new and exciting surprise is waiting for me.


dklars said...

Bar-bar-bar-bar-barbarino!  I remember Vinnie well.  He's just as hot now as he was then!!  (Well, maybe hotter now!!)

thinkingoutloud said...

I remember Vinnie :)

Now that's a blast from the past!
ha ha

This entire entry is a riot. Cracked me up.
Ok -so I'm easily amused.
But still...


Good luck with the um renovation.
Better you than me;o)


swibirun said...

I am so glad that our major renovation projects for the year are just about done.  I should have thought about hiring someone else to do them:)