Saturday, March 3, 2007

photo extravaganzaaaaaaaah!

addendum to scoring

Scoring Crack in Iraq

Just as I began to twitch with worry, my application for a fixed, super-low rate home equity loan was approved. I celebrated with a swig of cheap, Mexican beer and fell promptly asleep. All that’s left to do is sign on the dotted line. The bank didn’t even do an appraisal! I’m psyched. Now I can stop fretting and, finally, buy a new ‘fridge. The old one is freezing my veggies, and that’s where I draw the line. I love me some veggies, damnit.

I was hesitant to follow through with the loan application, because I’m frightened by the prospect of paying so much interest – almost as much money as I’m borrowing. But, the truth is, I won’t need twenty years to pay it off (and I made certain there’s no penalty for early payment). If I make a decent profit on this place, it won’t be an issue. I consulted my dad, a money mastermind, for advice, and he said that homeowner’s debt is “good” debt, and that I should go ahead. Getting approval from the man who wouldn’t let us order drinks with our dinners out (tap water for everyone, waiter!) because it was “too expensive” is very assuring.

Neighborhood activity has been stirring with the warmth of spring. In winter, the crackheads hibernate like grizzly bears. Or like vampires, hiding from the light. On warmer nights, they’re out in packs, pulling up to dealers’ houses, blaring horns and Spanish pop music, and, sometimes, dancing in their front yards.

My favorite crackhead, L., who is also the tiniest, most toothless woman I’ve ever known, gave me news that she’s leaving the ‘hood for “something better”: Iraq.

Something better? I kept my thoughts to myself, gave her a hug, and wished her well. She said she’d send postcards. This woman is, like, fifty-something years old – and a bipolar crackhead. She just got out of the psych ward after being picked up at home in an ambulance and locked up in a rubber room. And our country’s sending her to WAR?! WTF?! Wrong on so many levels. Later, I wondered, ‘How’s she going to score crack in Iraq?’ I wonder if she’s worried, too. (Scary: she was EXCITED; can’t wait to go.)

Here’s an old post that I started writing, but never published:

I woke this morning (late, after a debaucherous evening of sledging, beer, and some herbal remedies) to discover that the contractor had demolished that horrible wall between the kitchen and the laundry/back entry room. It looks SO much better – no longer like it’s home to hobbits who use 4-foot high doorways and have the shoulder span of Ooompa Loompas. Now, it’s big and open and modern (but with those old-school charms intact). Also, got my windows delivered for a deal price (they look sweet, but still have to install ‘em). More drywall up in the kitchen. Finally bought a shop-vac to suck up the dust. So much better!

I went to town wielding the contractor’s nail gun…and I’m starting to dig firearms! In this neighborhood, I figure it won’t hurt if people think I’m armed.

Photos (descriptions in no particular order):

Late-night construction, w/ beer in-hand. (Perfect combo: booze and power tools. When else do I get to drink on the job?)

A newspaper clipping (photo of bride) we found behind some old trim. In kitchen, discovered 1961 Beatles trading card…which we later discovered is absolutely worthless.

In kitchen/dining rooms: See the walls we knocked out? And the old exterior wood? Yeah, my house had a wood exterior, back in the day. Screw the stucco! (I hate stucco!)

A few photos of me w/ the sledgehammer…and the nail gun. I confess: power tools make me feel, well, powerful! (Idea: maybe I could make a calendar of these photos, “Powertool Princess 2008?” And make some bank to pay off the loan?! But, I am NOT wearing a bikini.)

Also, the saving grace: our shop vac!