Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Humphrey for Mayor!

I love finding this stuff.

This scrap was underneath some vinyl flooring that I have been scraping from the front porch.

Old newspaper is often found in attics and walls of old homes where someone once used it as insulation, but I'm not really sure what it was doing under the vinyl.

Anyway, this page is from 1945.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Monster Home Spotting

So I've been hearing about this "Monster Home" epidemic a lot lately, but had never seen one in the flesh (in the flashing?) until today.

It's gross.

What's even worse is that I remember when this particular house (located at 29th St. and Blaisdell Ave) was originally rehabbed. I remember feeling all warm and fuzzy that someone took this little place on a not-so-nice corner and made it into the quaint cottage that it was...

Now it looks like some UFO dropped an Apple Valley box on its ass:

Note the hideous third-floor window. Yeah, that matches, kids.

But at least now they have a view of the Greenway without having to go out to the yard.
(Wait, what yard? The house ATE the yard!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

An open letter to my handymen

Dear Handyman, aka laborer/wannabe-plumber/footing-digger/"carpenter"/counter-top guy:

Question one: What the hell is wrong with you??? Were you raised by wolves? How is it that you feed yourself without having ever learned a single thing about marketing, customer service, or business?

Why do you email me from your ex-girlfriend's account?

Why do you: call me at 7:30AM; mumble; tell me you know where my house is and then get totally lost; call me 17 times in 2 hours, and then arrive with only half the tools and supplies necessary for the job?

Why are you always AT LEAST an hour late, even when you've BEEN to my house before and know where it is?

Why don't you shower?

Why do you drop your heavy metal tools onto my newly sanded floors like some kind of clutzy neanderthal?

Why do you insult my house and the neighborhood within which it's located, and then go on to tell me how you're: still renting (at age 50-something) and hoping to find a house once you "clean your credit," or; facing forclosure on your five-bedroom Lakeville home, (where you live alone since your wife divorced you) or; living with your parents while you "jump-start" your business?



And why do you, my nameless, faceless, every-man-handy-man, feel the need to poke around my place, wide-eyed and tsk-tsking, in order to tell me that I "have a lot of work to do here?"

No shit, Sherlock, but it would get done faster if you'd do what you're supposed to rather than dicking around!

And stop whining. I'm paying you. Nobody's paying ME, and you don't here me complaining...

Well, not to you anyway, idiot(s).

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Oh Lord, forgive me for my lusty, unfaithful thoughts!

I want this house. I want it so badly I can taste it, like drywall dust in the back of my throat.

I know I have the little bungalow, and of course she's pretty and all... she has nice columns and stained glass... but... I'm dreaming of a sexy, yellow behemoth with missing radiators and gooey staircase-carpet and plexiglass-covered windows.

Is it really my fault? Am I to blame???

Look how cute she was as a baby drawing, plans and materials all for sale in a kit by Sears:

Argh, I AM WEAK!

Once upon a time, there was a pipe which caused me great stress...

Hidden for so long behind a faux-wall, I didn't even know it was there for a whole month!

Isn't it cute? Little pink-painted, cast-iron thing... too bad it was right where I wanted to put some cabinetry.

So what did I do? I called a craigslist handyman, of course!

Silly me!

Evidently he didn't understand when I told him that the pipe should be UNDERNEATH the top of the base cabinetry.

And this is what I got.

So then what?

(Poor little pipe.)

I called a real plumber. Nine hundred dollars later, I got this:

Look, how sweet! Snug as a bug, inside the wall where it belongs. Too bad I have to patch that gaping-ass hole now.

Oh, not to mention dealing with a couple of other casualties in the war on bad-pipery:

Just a little soldering-fire to break in the new cabinets...

And I love this one.

"Oops, is there another room on the other side of this wall?"

Friday, March 9, 2007

$425,000 House for Sale over North!

Yes, that's right folks, and it's only a few blocks away from my place!

This kind of renovation (click the top listing, I couldn't permalink for some reason) sort of makes me feel like a hack in comparison... but that's alright. Their success is my success, since our property values impact each other by virtue of proximity.

Monday, March 5, 2007

It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood...

So I contacted the two organizations which operate in vicinity of my new digs: Willard-Homewood and Upper Willard-Hay. Technically I think I'm in Upper Willard-Hay, but the groups seem to work together, and they share an email list-serv.

I have to say, the emails I've received so far are unlike those of any other neighborhood org. I've been involved in. (And it's been a few.) People are soliciting casseroles for a couple who just had a baby, offering the use of a roof-rake in the wake of our snowstorms, and sending mass-invitations to a rehab-completion-party.

How cool is that???

I just had to share the warm fuzzy...

Thursday, March 1, 2007

And now for the bad news:

The 2006 tax bill has been tabulated.

It's over $11,000.


But it gets worse: my attorney/tax-preparer/financial guru/mom informs me that if I sell this property in 2007 I will realize short-term capital gains which will do two nasty things: first; it will force me to pay estimated taxes (based on 2006 earnings) before the end of the year and, second; drive my tax rate up to somewhere perhaps close to FORTY PERCENT.

Anybody got an aspirin?