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17 October 2012 @ 09:28 pm
Thanks to a couple Home Depot gift cards I'll soon have all the shelving in the library finished. One side is already complete, aside from a couple finishing trim pieces. It's a shame it will be fairly uninhabitable during the winter period. I really need to insulate.

Pumpkin carving this Saturday with friends. This year I'm thinking of doing a Balrog, having been inspired by Roger William's Zoo's Smaug pumpkin.
15 September 2012 @ 09:11 pm
Playing around with some different ideas for the wedding table decor. The ribbon tying here is spectacularly half-assed, but the final product would be much more polished. I was originally intending to only have the three wider pieces of glass, but I didn't like the central piece being both the tallest and the widest, while at the same time the only straight-edged container. I think the thinner one creates more of a balance between all the pieces.

Wedding decor

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07 September 2012 @ 09:32 pm
We've got twenty days left to transform the house into a state of perfection, though maintaining it as such will be a neat trick. The list of surfaces needing a fresh coat of paint doubles on a daily basis. The grass and flowering plants refuse to step in line and reach an acceptable level of homeostasis. And the animals in our care, both temporarily and permanently, are perfecting the art of ejecting materials from their bodies at an ever increasing rate, and in the most inconvenient and perplexing of locations. Some furball Jackson Pollocked the underside of the slow cooker.

All of the last minute details of the wedding still need to be finalized, and I'm pretty sure I need to get invites out to one or two more cousins. My version of the background story of "How we met" should be in the rabbi's hands by next week, and I've yet to even collaborate that little concocted tale with Lindsay. I'm torn between a beautiful and emotionally wrenching tale of star-crossed lovers, born on opposite sides of the homeland, yet fated to meet, or something full of cheap humor. Funny would usually win out, but since the rabbi will be doing all the reading I feel like he'd just be stealing my laughs. At this rate I have a feeling my vows will be written on the back of a bank envelope from the glove box as I drive to the ceremony. The park will little note, nor long remember...

The benefits of this pressure are twofold. First, and most obviously, we're getting a lot done in the home improvement department. I've sanded and stained the deck, repainted and re-canopied the gazebo, and painted the garden shed a pleasing redwood color instead of that horrid faded pink. I've also completely dismantled our beast of a picnic table to replace the legs and repaint the whole thing. The yard has never looked better, and our ceilings will be getting repainted next week. I also completely painted the basement, installed a suspended ceiling, and built a cat sized staircase leading down from that bizarre trap door located in the pet room. There is nothing the cats enjoy more than running around atop the suspended ceiling and knocking panels to the floor. Lindsay will be obsessively organizing anything not nailed, caulked, or otherwise secured down, and for five straight days this house will be as animal hair free as humanly possible. (Cat fur in meals is now considered a garnish.)

Oh, and library. Library library library.

The second benefit is my renewed interest in creative arts as a means to procrastinate in the face of my looming chore list. I've started drawing again, though I did break my three year hiatus several months ago to make Lindsay's wonderfully inexpensive birthday present.

I'm now paying more attention to the few bonsai trees remaining in my care. I'm trying to cultivate moss on their soils with a mixture of plain yogurt blended with moss harvested from the clinic's parking lot. They're currently outside while the smell dissipates, and I'm excited to report I've got mold! Supposedly this is a good start. And lastly, I'm sort of writing again. Maybe.
16 July 2011 @ 12:39 am
Not dead, just busy livin'.

01 May 2011 @ 10:29 pm
I'm not sure if it's the whole home ownership thing, but the landscaping bug has bitten me hard enough to leave welts. I've got a couple of large projects on the table right now, and I'm going all out before my notoriously fickle interest wanes.

Accomplishments to date:

- Half the back yard has been completely turned over, fertilized, seeded, and now a lush and verdant carpet of grass has made its heavily anticipated appearance. A makeshift barrier of plywood runs down the center of the yard, preventing our little furry hellions from tearing up the weaker new growth. In another couple of weeks I'll switch which side they have access to, and begin reseeding the opposite side.

- The snow-crushed gazebo has been repaired, and the large (quarter ton?) picnic table has been power-washed and moved under the gazebo atop the power-washed patio flooring.

- The old garden has grown to twice its size, the soil turned over about 18" deep, composted, fertilized, fenced in, and planted. I found a use for all the oddly cut bricks piled up in the backyard, turning them into a flooring for the arch entryway into the garden. The arch was made from recycled gazebo parts (previously hurricane fodder). I've got some morning glory vines planted all around the two pillars of the arch, which should be quite lovely by midsummer.

- Half of the extensive mulch beds have been redone with red mulch, which is a real treat to use. Having primarily lived in a blue and red houses, I've never had the chance to tastefully use it.

- Nearly 2500 gallons of oak leaves have been removed from the front and back yard in the last month. Roughly a third of what we had in total when moving in. I'm absolutely dreading autumn.

In the planning:

- Rebuilding the fire pit into something actually pleasant to look at. Something like this, but a little less jagged.

- I've cleared a section of the yard situated behind the garage and enclosed by the tall fencing. It's an area roughly 18 by 35 feet, and I'm thinking of turning it into an enclosed zen garden. I'll build a trellised arbor over the whole of it, and construct a low bridge over either a shallow pond of water or gravel. Going to build a torii gate for the entrance once I settle on a design. Something like this, only more natural, with stone and lots of moss and hanging plants.

15 April 2011 @ 09:07 pm
Found a box of optometrist's stuff at the Phoenix consignment shop for $20. Absolutely no hesitation here.




11 March 2011 @ 12:45 am
Today was a productive day in the Spannelson household, my friends. We got some serious business done.

Now that the snow has gone and fucked right off I've able to start cleaning up the yard. Three months of in-home pet sitting combined with multiple snow falls had left our backyard a venerable field of landmines. I've got some serious grass seeding to do now that all this fertilizer has been broken up.

I made introductions with our western neighbor, having fortunately just removed my ear buds when he addressed me from the other side of the fence. (I would have seemed like quite the rude little shit otherwise I guess.) He seems like a pretty cool guy, so we seem to be all set in regards to our most adjacent neighbors. The woman directly across the street is generous with the use of her snow-blower, and the neighbor to the east is an old woman who never seems to leave the house. The area directly behind our house is a wooded lot; an extension of the apartment complex further down the street. As a result the area will likely never be cleared and developed, and it grows in quickly thickly in the spring. No rats, no floods, no annoyingly baying beagle mixes, and no relatives of the landlord throwing parties every weekend that run until 4 in the morning.

Finally got around to securing our wireless network after hearing a horror story of some Floridian man getting arrested for downloading child pornography, and the culprit turning out to be someone piggybacking his wireless from some distance away. Setting the password has been problematical in the past as I could never get Lindsay's Mac or the Netflix Roku to work when the security was set. Turns out my mistake was in assuming that the "password" these two devices were looking for was not the password I'd set for the account, but the security key. That's not too misleading or anything. Kind of like how the PIN prompt for my online credit union account is actually alphanumerical.

Lastly, Lindsay and I made a brief venture into City Park in Warwick. Completely tucked away off a side street of Buttonwoods it's a heavily wooded park with trails and bike paths, several baseball fields, a skating rink, dog parks, and several beaches. It's a kayaking paradise. Scully about busted a blood vessel trying to drag me down the bike path. She really has issues with Mulder being in the lead. So of course Lindsay tries to drive her ape-shit by running ahead with him when Scully stops for bathroom breaks.

Oh. I also broke down and purchased a Nikon D40 off of ebay at Lindsay's insistence, and it came with a 55-200mm lens to boot. I suspect I just purchased her an extra lens or two. She's such a size queen.

27 February 2011 @ 07:36 pm
Since we've started going to the gym it's getting harder to hold Lindsay down during our little "sessions." The proximity of our new neighbors is something of a concern too since she starts screaming only two minutes in. Not even the whining of our pet sitting dogs was enough to drown it out tonight. Some uniformed authority figures will likely show up in a few minutes, and I'm not sure how good a job I did cleaning up the blood.

Christ, the girl bleeds like a stuck pig. It's all for the best you know. Not like she listens to my reassurances when I've got my hands clamped about her face to keep her from thrashing about too much.

I find myself disturbed by the level of enjoyment I get out of this. Much more fun then when it's a solo adventure. I mean, doing it to yourself is really more of a maintenance issue. One more task to be done at the end of the day. At least I'm a man about it. I stopped crying after the first few times, and now I only squeeze my eyes tightly shut and take care of business.

Lindsay is lucky she has someone to show her how it's done. My stepfather did it to me, and now I do it to her. Some day she'll be experienced enough to do it to herself.

I'm available for anyone else who gets canker sores and needs them burned out of their mouth with a tablet of vitamin C. It hurts like a mofo, bleeds like no one's business, but five minutes later that bad boy is completely numb and disappears in a day or two. Neat trick.
18 February 2011 @ 06:37 pm
I think my physical trainer is trying to kill me. I now suspect an affair exists between him and Lindsay.
11 February 2011 @ 11:42 am
It's like college all over again. "Enrolled" in a local gym yesterday, and I've already blown off the first class. Time to flex the ol' procrastination muscles into overdrive.

Lindsay and I signed up for the $10 a month membership ($11 really, for the added benefit of working out at the gym in East Providence; the one not 100 feet away from our backyard), and the place is actually pretty cool looking. I'm not sure about the treadmill/elliptical arrangement. They're aligned in two long rows, with the treadmills situated three feet behind the ellipticals. This means I'll either be incredibly distracted while running, or incredibly paranoid about the guy running behind me while ... ellipticalling? Flailing in a machine controlled fashion?

Men. It's like we're all just pieces of meat to them.