Tuesday, March 3, 2009


And Wil asks how the house is coming. It's been one of those too busy to actually post things -- between trying to get the house ready to move in, co-producing an Awards show, and, y'know, my actual job, I've been pretty insane.

Like, for example, I had two contractors bid the work in my house (consisting of a bathroom remodel, a plumbing upgrade, an electrical upgrade, and various other things ranging from "stick a peephole in the door" to "custom build a pantry in the kitchen"). Actually, it was two contractors plus a plumber. Contractor A bid the work at $40,000, attributing $11,000 to the plumbing. A plumber bid the plumbing work at about $5,900, which suggested that Contractor A was padding his bid just a teensy bit. (Oddly enough, the plumber also tried to get me to do work that wasn't necessary.) Then Contractor B bid the entire job at $30,000. Guess who I hired.

On Friday, the contractor gave me a list of everything I had to buy for the bathroom remodel (tile for shower, tile for shower floor, tile for bathroom floor, vanity, medicine cabinet, sink fixture, shower valve, toilet, over-toilet-cabinet ...). I decided to take Saturday off from all the pre-Awards show stuff and spend it, instead, buying a bathroom. Sunday, I'll do all the Awards stuff.

How to describe what happened next...

1. Wake up on Saturday. Eat breakfast.
2. Drive to local tile store. Worthless.
3. Drive 30 miles (get lost) to tile store recommended by contractor. Closed.
4. Drive 20 miles to vanity store recommended by contractor. Has no vanity small enough for my bathroom.
5. Drive 40 miles (type "Victoria Place" rather than "Victory Place" into GPS and get exceptionally lost) back to local Lowe's. Lowe's has small enough vanities, but they're kinda ugly.
6. Go (it's in the same shopping center, hard to get lost) to local Great Indoors. Find small vanity that isn't ugly! (Cherry wood with a patterned marble top.) Find shower fixture! Do not buy any of it, though, because Great Indoors is having a sale on Sunday. Dude cannot give me Sunday's prices on Saturday, but sets the stuff aside for me. They have towel bars, but I think I can do better price-wise at Home Depot.
7. Notice that I'm hungry, what with not having eaten since breakfast. And it's now around 7:00.
8. On the way out of Great Indoors, notice the washer/dryer I've been coveting is on sale. Inquire of Great Indoors Appliance guy if he can do me a deal without me having to come back on Sunday. He can. Great Indoors has price matching, so he searches every freakin' appliance store on internet until he finds the best price on the washer at one store and the best price on the dryer at another. It takes an hour and a half, but we end up about $400 less than we started. He gets his manager to approve it, and I'm outta there.
9. With a massive no-food headache.
10. Eat food. Go home. Go sleep.
11. Wake up on Sunday. Meet friend for breakfast.
12. Go to Great Indoors. Pick up the vanity, shower fixture, and sink faucet.
13. Go to Lowe's again. Note that they have a toilet I'd like, but it's too damn heavy for me to carry. And I'm annoyed that they charge $80 to deliver a $200 toilet.
14. Drive back to the house and somehow manage to get the vanity out of the car and into the house. At one point, I'm balancing the entire weight of the vanity with my right arm. My arm says, "This is not bright."
15. Drive to Home Depot. They also want $80 to deliver the $200 toilet. And I'm not impressed by their towel bars. But they have some shelving that might work for over-the-toilet storage. And I bought the peephole for the door, too.
16. Realize that I need a photo of the vanity so that I can compare its marble surface with tiles when I eventually get to the tile guy. But there's no way I'm freeing the vanity from its packaging materials.
17. Drive back to Great Indoors. Surreptitiously snap pictures of the vanity. Buy the towel bars. While walking (slightly dazed) through Great Indoors, I pass some granite tiles on sale. They're pretty. And they look ... kinda like the marble on the vanity. I pick up one of the tiles and walk it over to the vanity. They're very close. Close enough that it would probably look the same if I put this granite on the floor. Pile five boxes of (my, they're) heavy granite tiles into my basket.
18. Drive back to the house. Unload tiles, one box at a time. Carefully.
19. Decide that I've pretty much done all I could do. It's about 5:30 now. The day isn't totally shot. I'll just put gas in my car, stop off at the grocery store for some food, and get home in time to put in a few good hours on the Awards show.
20. Drive to the gas station; misjudge the turn toward the gas pump and hit the curb with my rear tire.
21. Open door to assess the damage and hear the hiss of lots of air escaping my tire.
22. Go into little shop and ask shopguy for assistance. He provides none.
23. Drunk guy in shop volunteers to change tire.
24. He successfully changes tire. I give him $10, which is likely spent on more booze. (NOTE TO READERS: If a drunk guy can change a tire, so can you.)
25. Finish evening uneventfully.

Somewhere after this, I actually got out to tile guy (a very long lunch on Monday) and loaded so much tile into the car, it felt like I was leaning backward. (Indeed, I got the best mileage I'd ever obtained driving with all that weight back there.) And when I saw the contractor this morning (and he helped unload the car), he was duly impressed ... and told me I needed to immediately buy two more things.

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