Friday, July 23, 2010


Now Playing -
40 Dogs (Romeo & Juliet)
by Bob Schneider

Life -

Man. Work sucks. Which is funny, because I don't particularly hate my job, but every day the last couple of weeks has left me feeling burnt to a crisp. Dealing with upset customers, training a new manager, losing an old manager, picking up the slack from my current main manager, employees leaving, quitting, angry because of my boss, transferring, getting sent to the bin for pschiatric observation.... I'm amazed I have any non-PITA employees left!

I get home, and all I want to do is curl up in a ball with a good book and turn the world off for a few hours. So that's what I've been doing. 

But yesterday, Lindsay and I finally had a day off together, and we have today as well, so we had some fun. Which meant work... So maybe I should say we made an investmnet in the fun of the future. We decided to screen in our back porch!

The back porch was one of my favorite things about this place when we first took it. I love the idea of relaxing in the privacy of this land, trees towering overhead, the frogs and loons audible in the distance. Then I learned of the roughly six billion insects that got brain damage on my porch light every night. Dizzied and dumb, they'd then flit crookedly at my face. So the porch became an area to grill a wiener briefly or walk through on the way to the car. This does not thrill me, so I started working on my wife, on the idea of screening in the entire thing. She's always thought her family should have screened in their back porch, an idea that she probably devised so that she could sit on the swing with her cat and read VC Andrews books without molestation of any kind but the plotlines of the books. (Those are some pretty messed up families in those books.) 

So she came around to the idea, and yesterday, we gathered up what we needed. A pile of assorted boards, some sealant, a screen door, lots of little numbers with x's between them, and I spent a good chunk of yesterday transforming our porch from an extremely hillbilly-chic porch into a slightly more closed in Hillbilly-Chic porch.

It turns out, regardless of how closely you measure, when you are using cheap boards, a cheap handsaw and assembling something on a structure where there are no right angles and boards older than my wife, making something look nice is impossible. (Which was in no way intended as a dig at my wife, who is both young and beautiful.)
Our Porch. Not Pictured - Car Up On Blocks & Case Of PBR.

But making something look quirky and fun is totally in the cards, so in a few weeks of gradual sealing, painting, screening and decorating, we plan to finish up the porch as our little beach retreat. A little piece of the West Coast out here on the East. (I am aware that there is a beach out here, but regardless of what people say, it ain't the same at all.) 

Yesterday we got as far as most of the framing and started a bit of the painting and sealing. It still looks wonky and jagged, and there are a few places where I had to make up ways to make it fit, and the fact that entire porch moves different ways depending on how you stand didn't help, but I think it looks pretty decent. And it should look much better once it's finished, painted and screens are up!
Our Porch, Now With More Railings!

Afterward, I took a nap, Orbie and I hung out on the porch for a little bit, then we hit up Wal-Mart for a few foodstuffs and Home Depot for a few last supplies. The thing I'm most excited about with the project is how much easier it was to saw, drill and hammer things than it was when I first did a few things when we moved in here. Since my accident, my arms are finally regaining their strength (Though strangely - My biceps are almost back, but my triceps are still struggling.) It was actually a joy to saw things and lug boards without my arms screaming in pain as I tried to do things that should have been simple. 

 Reviews Of Unusual Size
5 Things About...


by Jack Clark
2010, 221 pages, Paperback

1 - Another Hard Case Crime novel! I've been feeling down in the dumps lately, so the idea of curling up with a physical book again sounded great, and this tome, about a Chicago cabbie hunting for a killer was the perfect balm.

2 - Loved the descriptions of the town in this. Absolutely loved them. Clark really drove home what it was like to work the streets. The way the neighborhoods were changing and becoming dangerous. What lengths a man would go to in order to stay safe in a dangerous profession.

3 - I did just realize that I have no idea when this was supposed to take place, though. I assumed the seventies, but with the exception of the absence of cell phones, it could almost have been yesterday.

4 - Written with black humor and a little bit of desperate sex and violence. Just like any good book should have.



Writing - 
 Cranked out another 2000 words today before writing this. The rest of the week? Not so much.

The Last Sentence - 

He's doing a little dance too, and I'll be damned if I don't want to join in.
From - "Graves" (WIP)


The Grows said...

I think the porch is coming along quite nicely. I Can't wait to see the finished project.

Steve at Random said...

Loved the title to this works on so many levels. Plus I need a good refill of Kris. Sorry that I'm so dependent on this blog, but it's a great way of keeping in touch. You really pour your heart and soul into this.