bend in the road

Three days ago, my employer decided they no longer had need of my services, and walked me out of the building.

To say this was a shock is pretty much the understatement of the century. Six and a half years down the drain, and not because of anything I did, or didn’t do, as far as I can tell: just silly office politics and misunderstandings.

Anyway. I’m not moaning about it. I’m pretty sure there’s a better opportunity out there for me, and I intend to find it and grab it. (If you think you might know of someone who’s hiring awesome people, let me know & I’ll send you my details.)

Hilariously, this came literally right in the middle of some big improvements we’re doing to the house — improvements I now kind of regret, but there’s no going back. On the plus side, our back yard is now a place of beauty and calm, and our dreadful sliding patio door will be replaced by a lovely french door on Tuesday. I wish I could cancel the door, but it’s custom, and paid for, and non-returnable, alas. Trust me when I tell you I will be using the hell out of that door, to get the full value from it.

(Pictures of the back yard, before and after, start here, and I did a timelapse video of the work being done.)

So I’m at a bend in the road. I’m not sure where it leads to, and the not-knowing is pretty scary, I’ll admit, but I’m also excited by the possibilities. I’m ready for more awesome in my life.

(Administrative note: the Facebook crosspost/comment ability may bork this post. Please ignore any weirdness; it’s temporary. Thanks!)

snowball effect

Now that we’ve got our hands on the new CD (which will now release at the end of March, for real, we swear), I realize that I really want to display all our CDs on the wall. I’ve found some nice frames, and all that remains is to buy half a dozen or so and put them up.

But wait! I want to hang them on the wall outside the studio, and that wall is currently a hideous beige, as is the rest of the upstairs hall, and I really want to paint it all. We bought an airless sprayer so we could finish painting the 18-foot-high walls in the library and entry, and whatever else struck our fancy, but we haven’t actually used it yet.

I did buy the paint, however.

I guess what I really need to do is carve out some time and just fucking do it, but every damn weekend since about November has been filled with something, and the foreseeable future is no different.

And we also need to get some more photos taken, which means dread creation and installation, outfit selection, makeup, the whole nine yards. And we really need some proper videos, not just crappy live performance ones, which means all of the above, plus hours sitting in front of my computer futzing with video.

Just like possessions expanding to fit the available space, projects expand to fit the available time, plus more. ARGH.

nesting

It started with the office remodel (nearly complete, just organizing now) and continues with painting, screen repair, tidying, organizing and cleaning.

Gods, this sort of thing makes me happy.

We lived in apartments and the rented House of Awful for so long, hardly daring to put a hole in the wall for a picture, to say nothing of painting or beautifying. The spaces were white and boring and generic and stultifying. But now? Now the only thing holding us back is money.

We’re doing a lot of stuff on the cheap, and we’re putting off even more stuff (I shall gut the master bath someday and put in a huge steam shower, oh yes), but doing even little stuff for the house makes me unbelievably happy.

Next weekend, I’ll be de-beige-ifying the upstairs hall with my shiny new airless paint sprayer (which will then de-lime-green-ify the rest of the library, and, once we rent scaffolding, finish charcoal-grey-ifying the rest of the library & dining room), and I’m sure we’ll spend a few weekends tidying the garage, studio & master bedroom.

And really? I couldn’t be happier to do it. Man, I love having a house of our own.

math is hard, and dimensional lumber sucks

So we’re in the final stages of the office remodel, and I’m going to lose my mind, swear to gods.

See, our desktops will rest on 3 file cabinets: one lateral in the corner, and two vertical ones on each end. Which sounds awesome, except that the vertical ones are an inch and a half shorter than the lateral one, raising them up that last inch and a half is what will kill me, because no dimensional lumber comes in inch and a half widths, or is easily cut-able to that dimension. Oh, no. 2x4s are 1 3/4 x 3 1/2. 2x2s are really 1 3/4. And don’t say “you can rip a 2×4 in half down the middle!” because you lose 1/4″ to the sawblade.

Who thought this was a good idea, really? And why the hell aren’t we on the metric system, because in no sane universe should I have to calculate in 16ths of an inch.

I guess we could go with shims and glue and screws, but that just seems like ridiculous amount of work for something that you’d think would be easier.

If you need me, I’ll be gibbering in the corner.

braindump

So I haven’t posted here in … holy crap, five months … but what the hell, sure. I’ll try to pull of NaBloPoMo again. Are you doing it, too? You can totally be my friend.

In the last five months, I have :

  • Started making homemade ice cream, to glorious and hilarious effect;
  • Worked on, finished and turned in art for the new Reliquary CD, which should be coming out sometime in the next … oh, I don’t know, call it a year;
  • Recorded a Christmas song for an awesome compilation our German label is putting out, Black Snow Vol. 2. We’re in excellent company; the track listing is crazy good and I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy.
  • Gone camping, which was excellent fun and I’m totally doing it again, if for no other reason than the dogs loved it like whoa;
  • Tweeted a lot;
  • Worked a lot, and probably complained about it too much on Twitter; and
  • Worked on the house / took Freya to dog training / watched some tv / watched Loki play video games / cooked food / read books / listened to music — not in that order.

We’re also thisclose to finishing an on-the-cheap remodel of our office; maybe having a shiny, pretty, tidy new space in which to write will motivate me to actually sit down and do it. Fingers crossed!

I got better

You’ll be thrilled to know that we appear to have sorted out the money issues that were plaguing us last month — or we will do as soon as our Big Plan comes to fruition. It’s not an especially good Plan, but it’s a Plan and it’ll keep us afloat for a bit, along with some good old fiscal responsibility.

In even better news, I finally broke out the can of dark red paint I’d bought a year ago (the same dark red as the living room in the old House of Awful), mixed it with some of the charcoal gray left over from painting the library, and painted the living room. It came out more purple than I’d wanted, still needs another coat and was unbelievably exhausting, but 2 of the walls are no longer beige, and that’s the important thing.

I’m also excited out of all proportion to be planning to roll out some more insulation in the attic. How spastic is that? But Lowe’s has R30 for $10 a roll and we can definitely use the extra insulation up there. And you can’t argue with a 30% tax credit. Yay!

So, to sum up: yay for reasonable solvency, and yay for making our house more awesome.

rough weekend

I almost want to go back to work just so things will be less crazed, I tell you.

So Friday, I came home to shower & change before heading off to the Low Men show. I got showered and I was starting to look for my cache of earplugs when it sounded like an earthquake is happening in the kitchen — either that, or Agnes had knocked my big stainless steel bowls off the top cabinets. Except … the crashing keept on happening. I trotted downstairs to find …

cat-food box [click to embiggen]So we built this box to put the cats’ food and water in, to stop Fenris eating their food and slobbering in their water, and also to give them a safe place to eat, where he couldn’t bug them. We used nice, heavy birch plywood, supported by 2x2s and capped with quarter-round moulding to soften the top edges, with mesh for the sides so they could keep an eye on things while they eat, and cut out a nice archway for an entrance. (Our jigsaw skillz were not equal to a spiffy gothic arch or that box’d look a lot cooler.) (Eventually it’ll be painted or stained and it’ll look even better. Also, I need to sweep the floor.)

Anyway, I came downstairs to find … Fenris’ head stuck in the cats’ food box … bucking like a horse … stainless-steel bowls banging against the mesh … and he’d dragged the whole lot into the living room. There was cat food and water everywhere but I couldn’t stop laughing, poor dog.

I got him untangled, wet-vac’d the water, scooped up the food, righted the box and finished getting ready for the show.

Doug Motherfuckin' Preston [click to embiggen]And the show was pretty awesome. The space was better for sound than you’d expect for a room with that much brick, and despite the strange decorations, was a fairly cool place to see a show. I did my usual band-girlfriend/photographer thing, although looking at the results, I again find myself wanting a better camera, something of the nice & chunky DSLR variety. (Although I’m addicted to my S5 IS‘s flip-out LCD and I’m boycotting DSLRs until someone realizes what a kickass thing that is and adds it to a camera with interchangeable lenses. Ahem.)

After many drinks and a band I didn’t especially want to hear, Loki & I bolted for the Waffle House, where he tried to soak up all the alcohol with an omelette and a waffle (naturally) and I filled in the cracks left by a too-long-ago lunch with a cheese and egg biscuit (a little falling-apart-ish but tasty nonetheless. A++, would nom again).

When we got home, though, it was muggy and warm in the house, and a check of the thermostat told the sorry tale: it was 86 degrees upstairs, and only a couple degrees cooler downstairs. Loki and I both got only a few hours’ sweaty sleep, and I called our home-warranty place at 9:30 Saturday morning, begging them to send someone to sort out our air conditioning.

An hour later, the a/c company called & said they’d have someone out between noon and two. I thanked them and went back to sitting on the library couch, reading and drinking diet Dr Pepper and trying not to move too much. Around one, I took Fenris to the vet to get a bordatella vaccine blown up his nose (which he promptly sneezed back all over the vet tech, heh), and came home to find … that there was still no a/c guy there fixing our shit.

So let me condense the next 7 hours of hell for you: every couple of hours, someone would call saying the guy had been held up, and would be there in the next couple of hours. What this really means is we were tethered to the fucking house — the roasting, muggy, awful house — watching the thermostat climb to 96° with 55% humidity (downstairs. upstairs it was closer to 100) and not being able to leave because of the expected imminent arrival of Mr A/C Guy.

Around 8:00 we sent Fenris for a sleepover at his daycamp place, just in case the a/c wasn’t actually going to get fixed that night, because the only hotel I could find that allowed dogs had a 25lb. weight limit, and as we discovered earlier at the vet, Fenris is now weighing in at a svelte 67.8 pounds.

Finally, at 9, the A/C guy called to say he was on his way. Rejoice! There was also a monsoon blowing in, and I was just praying he’d get there before the skies opened up. (He did.) Anyway, about fifteen minutes later, he’d swapped out the broken thingamajig (what? I was delirious at that point) and there was cold air pouring out the vents, ohmahgaaaah.

So we thanked A/C Guy (with a check) and decided to order a pizza, so as not to fill the house with heat from cooking while it was still over 90. An hour later, I got a call from the pizza place — one of our drivers has broken down, your pizza will be late, and here’s some free future pizza and some soda please don’t kill me. (I didn’t have the energy to kill anyone, lucky him.)

Anyway. Once it dropped below 90 upstairs I went to bed. I even got a few hours’ sleep, yay!

And today is Fenris’ graduation from Beginner Dog Training (they take their final exam, walk around the store to great acclaim, then get ice cream), preceded by his first day of Intermediate Dog Training (because that was the only time available), and then Shadowrun. And my friends will just have to deal with our messy house, because I will only have the energy to clear off the gaming table, and to hell with everything else.

Right. Can I go back to work now?