Saturday, June 4, 2011

1950's Ford Thunderbird

Unbelievably pristine. I'm only sorry the photos don't do it justice.

One of my readers, Carolina Linthead, informed me there's a great song about this car. I looked it up on YouTube and Indeed it is a great song. The YouTube of the song is below the jump.

Exclusively at Ann T. Hathaway, You can watch Paint Dry

And if this doesn't mean you dear readers are hanging in, I don't know what does.
But it reflects progress on the Daily Spackle. I am almost done painting the ceiling in my small flat--which I ALSO spackled!!! And the painting shows I did a good job--again, not perfect though.

The last sanding. It's not perfect, but it's close enough.

I just happened to have some primer, I forget why.
No doubt something about unfulfilled intentions.

Can you believe I lived with this? No More.

Primed and ready to paint.

When I finish that, I will start caulking in the kitchen. Then I will put real paint on the kitchen walls after that.
And since you have been so kind as to watch my paint dry, I will put something interesting up next time.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

From the Inside Out: The Daily Spackle

Every year in April or May I get the spring cleaning bug. This year I washed windows, as nearly always. I made a curtain and I am doing some house-painting and major scrubbing. I am also looking around at what I have and how I have not taken care of it. I mean, I wash dishes. But I haven't invested in my assets. I haven't had a plan.

I am not a big believer in buying the newest new thing, but I do think there's a point where the old stuff can get in the way. Perhaps this last few months has been about this, from the dentist to the baseboards.  I also think I will never be the best of the householders, but I have always done a hell of a lot better than this.

Anyway, I don't remember when, but the refrigerator I always hated when I bought this flat finally conked out. It was too big: I had to edge past it every time I used the kitchen. I bought a new smaller one, which was perfect: 24 x 24" instead of 30 x 36". I did choose that properly. It is however taller than the old one. Therefore, I had to take a cabinet out.

I did it myself, no sweat. I had to: the delivery guys were coming.

You never saw such a mess as was hidden behind that cabinet. The plaster is fifty years old and broken, and studs were inset into the wall to hold the cabinet. They are exposed. Around them a 1/2" wide, irregular gully ran along the top and bottom of both of those impromptu studs. Just ick.

Home Improvement v. Solitary Confinement
My stronger, less cowardly self would have been onto that like white on rice. I would have been revved because I had the chance to consolidate the gains from the space-making refrigerator. Not this time. It just looked like another crisis. Maybe an ugly wall became a way to punish myself for getting something nice. Now how stupid is that.

Two years (or however long) later, I started spackling the plaster but couldn't sustain the effort. The spackle sat in the kitchen along with the putty knife for months--at least eight of them--because it was on the floor when my sister came to visit in September. Lately, I have returned to the daily spackle. I am almost done--a couple more layers. Then I will paint this offending patch of plaster with primer. I have some other major caulking to do. Then I will paint the whole kitchen.

So, I know I am not the only reluctant handyman on this earth. But I have to wonder, with the sheer number of items like this, WTF have I been thinking?  I figure I am coming out of depression after all. That means it hurts to see how I have let things slide and damaged my life further by letting things go. Just down and down. After down and down, there has to be up and up. Living through the down and down was hard work. Coming through the up and up is a different kind of work.

As I fix things, my outlook improves. Last year I was just trying to get out of the house. This year, I had the dental work which meant I had to do that part all over again.  I put off the dental because I knew it would precipitate a crisis, but I didn't avoid a crisis anyway. I do think I was stronger for it this year than I would have been last year.

I also think this decline relates to unresolved grief. I had no plan. All I knew was that I couldn't let go because I hadn't resolved my husband's death. Nothing worked, nothing advanced, and then it started to fall apart.

Therapy works. So does a putty knife. Right now these things are inseparable. Right now I am working on having a place that reflects me and my taste but also my self-respect. A place where people can come in and see what I have to offer. With agoraphobia, I couldn't go outside. The flip side of my agoraphobia was also that no one could come in. Soon that will not be true. I will not have to be ashamed for letting things go. I will live again in an atmosphere of achievement.

It may look like hell, but this is MUCH improved.  I've put two coats on since,
and I think two more are needed. Whatever it takes.

Not pictured: the 3-M sanding sponge I bought last week.
That sponge is making all the difference in the finishing
aspect of this wall!!!
I also rode my bicycle yesterday. But I had to hurry home and do some upkeep, so we were not out long. I have a list of forty things I want to get done. Forty steps toward getting my life back.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

January Roll Call

Every month, the Ann T. Hathaway blog honors law enforcement officers who have died in the line of duty. January has been a particularly full month for those who protect us daily.
Please take a moment to consider the fallen, their families and friends, and their colleagues.

--Suzanne Hopper--John Norsworthy--Ralph Painter--
--William Torbit Jr.--Ryan Russell--Rogerio Morales--Kevin Marceau--
--Christopher Matlosz--Larry Nehasil--Tom Hayes--
--Roger Castillo--Amanda Haworth--Chuck Nesbitt Jr.--
--Tom Baitinger--Jeffrey Yaslowitz--David Moore--
--Casimiro Pomales--Jayme Biendl--

I learned about these officers from the Officer Down Memorial Page and Behind the Blue Line/Policing in Vancouver blog.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

We May Have A Rock

Tuesday we had a Board Meeting. I wrote three reports for it and analyzed all the financial data for the year, except for the Utility Bills, which I didn't quite finish. Mycroft went through every "Zombie To-Do List" that has been sent to us (or not) over the past two years and compiled a Master List of Items That Have Never Been Attended To. This was probably 500 repetitive pages, but he got it down to three.

Then we had Yet another meeting of the Condo Board Thursday. It was for Yet another round of Manager interviews. The first three were our top contenders on the list, and oh, were we disappointed! This time, we were all a little depressed, going for the "second choices."

On the first Round:
1. "Strict Machine" Diva who would have been great, except we can't afford her and she doesn't want to come here.
2. Young, bright, enthusiastic young man who would be eaten alive in two weeks. Nothing wrong with him. Everything wrong with us. He deserves to live.
3. Experienced, dynamic man who is not over the shock of losing his last job and talks more than the rest of the Board combined (how is this possible?)

Last night:
1. Cannonball who was all enthusiasm but never answered a damn question, although he talked a lot. He brought extra items for us to read, even, but none of them were anything we asked for. This would have been okay if he had actually brought what we DID ask for.
He needs some time with the Strict Machine above. (Zam, boom!) Not our guy. He was also young and would have been eaten alive, but less trainable than the other guy.

2. The Rock of Gibraltar. Very calm, answered our questions almost before we asked them. Stayed on point, said exactly what he meant, and stayed on schedule. Worked his way up in this field from a maintenance man, and then into a head position at a 14-story mixed-use condominium high-rise.

I kept imagining the surf of B.S. we have around here knocking him on the chest, only to be beaten back again while he still stood. This is a man with tight control. No hysteria from Zombie Assistant or any Board Member is going to keep him from using a method and imposing order.

3. Mr. Suavity:  Well, he was our favorite going in. And upon impact, he's suave, charming--and arrogant. He was so sure he knew it all. Actually, I'm pretty sure he did. But he's a careless talker. "I'm not going to do it by myself," he said, which is true--it was just the way he said it. (Halfway through the interview, I was just writing quotes that made me mad.) He talked about "disguising his weaknesses" "stealing knowledge" and about preparing the Board for a meeting, he said, "I can read you my report. Or you can read it in advance." This is also true. And then, when asked about how he handles different personalities, he said: "I may not like you. You may not like me. You move, you change; new Board Members come in; they're happy." What???!!! He wants to get rid of us already?

On a scale of 1 to 5, I gave him a big fat Zero. Two people gave him "5", and the remaining two gave him "2" Everyone wanted to know why I would do the Zero. I blurted out, "He's a drunk."
And I think he was drunk--a charming, belligerent, cynical, witty drunk. However, you can give me a diplomatic FAIL on that one.  The entire room got Really Silent.

As for The Rock, he received all "5"s and one "6" on a scale of 1 to 5. We are now plotting how to get him in. Everybody, cross your fingers! I am fairly ready to end my sixty-hour work-week without pay. It looks like it might be less than two months away.