Wednesday, February 7, 2007

Sweet smell of summer (success)? And: God bless A-Mexica!

Since the weather's turned warm, I've been more focused on fixing up the house -- and, possibly, others. I think I'm afflicted with that Seasonal Affective Disorder...or, maybe I just don't get enough vitamin D. All I know is this: since it's been seventy degrees, I've been a million times more motivated, productive, and blonde-chick-chipper.

The contractor and I are talking about going into business, which I think, prospectively, has serious potential. There aren't many people who can live like this (in total construction squalor, financial uncertainty, and detachment), but, like him, I live for this kind of life. I love it more than any 9-5 day job, or any kind of stability I can imagine. It's not boring, I'm my own boss, and I'm doing stuff I like: cruising ReStore for cool, cheap salvage materials (bought a Pella 3-panel wooden, sliding French door today for $150 -- imagine! It probably cost well over $1K, retail. And it's fucking gorgeous -- and HUGE. Nearly 8ft wide, I think), making executive decisions, playing with numbers, figuring stuff out, and making ugly crap appealing; generally, creating. I revel in having so few material goods, so little in the way of roots, so little to bog me down. It's liberating. And, I hope, a sustainable, profitable lifestyle.

I realized today that all of this has been a long time coming: I have a consistent history of making something out of nothing, as far as salvaging and refurbishing goes. In Brooklyn, I was always bringing junk up from the basement garbage pile to refinish or reuse. And, for years, I've been scoping out real estate, namely in NYC and NM, and have wanted to prettify some ramshackle hovel; make it habitable -- and make a pretty penny, too. Now, I've got one hell of an ugly house -- and things are really starting to come together. I've hired a friend of the contractor's to help us out, which will make things move quickly. They're building the kitchen cabinets (I'm paying the friend in cheap beer!), and this wknd, will install the front door (gorgeous! retailed for almost $7K...I got it for a fraction of that, new, b/c it was a display). We're planning major demolition in the kitchen for Friday - Sunday: ripping out all of the walls (which are totally, permanently destroyed from paneling and painted wallpaper) and replacing them with insulation and fresh drywall. We may have time to paint, too, if the drywall mud dries and sets in time. I hope, too, that we can tackle the living room (and maybe the dining room) soon, as the walls are pretty much finished. It's the little stuff (electrical outlets, random holes, etc.) that slows us down. I'm psyched to start making things PRETTY. And to start working outside in this outrageous weather.

The contractor and I talked about maybe doing this from city to city...chasing the "hot" real estate zones, turning a shack into a chateau (w/ a "green" bent), and making bank -- continually. I'm down, if this place works out. And I have faith it will. I think this might be the perfect solution to my job-hopping, nomadic, self-steering nature: writing, traveling, and remodeling. If I make enough bank off of this place, I can hire some Mexicans to help, next time 'round. God bless aMexica!

Today: filled out a bunch of paperwork so that I can pick up the new windows and begin installing; in ReStore, spent a few hours searching for perfect door (found it!); placed order at HD for a bajillion bucks, for pick up on Friday; discovered that Pip's cataracts have gone full-throttle...poor old guy has gone blind in one eye, looks like. Made me think about getting old and not wasting my life investing in worthless, dead-end endeavors. (At a meeting this morning, one of my bosses, w/ whom I'm pretty close, told me that the last person in her position *literally* worked himself to *death.* He was 28 yrs old, and so frantic, harried, and busy w/ work, he didn't take care of himself. He got an infection, never went to the doc, kept working, and fucking DIED. Hello. Lesson learned. Busting your ass to no end for some fat,rich fuckhead in a leather chair, or some corrupt federal system ? No way.) Yesterday: replaced most of the light bulbs in the house w/ energy-saving, economical, compact fluorescent light bulbs. Tomorrow: will order eco-friendly bamboo countertop for kitchen. Psyched!

Interesting factoids: (state) (county)

1 comment:

5 Red Pandas said...

Dude. I'm so excited for you. Sounds fun.

Man, that "worked himself to death" story seriously puts things into perspective. Not gonna happen to me! I'm glad to say that since I've stopped teaching literacy test prep at my job things have gotten better. The kids hate me less, and I've made some buddies with the nerdy kids. I'm like the nerd body guard and they know I will always be a voice against the bullies who prey on them. I get rewarded with fist bumps, notes that say "you're nice!" and talk about books and cool movies.

This makes me glad I didn't get that corporate job. I make enough money for now and I get to write. The best solution for me in NYC, though what you're planning to do sounds really cool. I'll have to use you as a resource later on.

Keep Sledgin' Sister!