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08 October 2008 @ 11:14 pm
10/8/08: Argh  
Word count: 121573 | Since last entry: -216

The bathroom remodel is driving me insane.

The cabinets were installed today, and we are not completely happy with them. The linen cabinet was over four inches too tall; we were able to have enough cut out of the middle that it fits under the ceiling, but some drawers are higher than we'd like. I think we'll live with that. The medicine chest is too shallow and has no shelves and no mirror; one of the drawers in the vanity opens on the wrong side; some of the drawer fronts don't fit properly. Those will have to be addressed. The cabinet installer, who is Ukranian like the tile guy, was heard to mutter something in Ukranian that included the English words "professionalism" and "idiots." Also, part of the wallboard had to be torn down to move a backing block that was misplaced (it was supposed to be fixed before the wallboard was put up) and there are some chips in the tub's enamel that I don't think were there before.

We should not have to hover over the workmen to make sure that everything is built and installed according to the approved plans, nor to ask them to not damage the items that have already been installed. Grr.

But the sink is in and looks gorgeous. The tile floor is very nice (though we now wish we'd laid out the design rotated 90° from what we did). And the toilet is back, at least for tonight... though there's no door on the bathroom. Still an improvement from the outhouse we've been using since Monday.

Also today we met with our financial guy. Our financial plan anticipated that there would be a couple of downturns during our retirement, but the size and timing of this one are unfortunate. However, unless things get much worse than he anticipates, I should not have to go back to work.

I put in an hour of work on the novel tonight but was not able to cut more than a couple hundred words. These climactic chapters are pretty tight (or else I'm just too much in love with them). There is one scene that I might be able to go back and cut if I really need to, maybe a thousand words' worth, but it does contain some useful information and character moments I don't want to lose. At this point I'm resigning myself to a final word count around 120,000.

I wish there was something we could do to relax that didn't involve calories.

ceciliatanceciliatan on October 9th, 2008 06:31 am (UTC)
Personally I like 120,000 as a length pace-wise--speaking as a reader, that is. But publishers don't, economically speaking.

Do you have a trusted friend who could beta read for you and suggest places to trim or condense? I'd offer to do it myself except... *eyes slush pile with unease*

Spkng of which, we're finally getting to Up For Grabs reading. (My co-editor was knocked out of circulation by severe migraines since midsummer, but came in once this week just to read.) We were quite charmed by your piece and I expect we'll get paperwork together to go out in the next month.
David D. Levinedavidlevine on October 9th, 2008 04:10 pm (UTC)
Thanks for the suggestion, but I've already gotten a lot of feedback on this one -- I think just about all of my trusted beta readers have seen it -- and now I just want it out of the house.

Glad you liked the Up For Grabs piece!
jackwilliambelljackwilliambell on October 9th, 2008 07:24 am (UTC)
You and Samuel Pepys
Problems with remodels are as old as houses, I think. And complaining about workmen prolly goes all the way back to Grog chipping out the fire pit wrong...
Renegade Vagabondkhaybee on October 9th, 2008 09:11 am (UTC)
I wish there was something we could do to relax that didn't involve calories.

There's always mint tea. It works for me.
joycemocha on October 9th, 2008 12:45 pm (UTC)
We should not have to hover over the workmen to make sure that everything is built and installed according to the approved plans, nor to ask them to not damage the items that have already been installed.

You shouldn't, but--if you ever find a contractor where you don't have to do that, let me know! (Actually, I suspect I do know of one, but he only works on the Mountain, and only does cabinetry unless he really, really knows you.)
crazysoph: white pajamascrazysoph on October 9th, 2008 02:22 pm (UTC)
I wish there was something we could do to relax that didn't involve calories.

But, I thought it all involved calories, burning and... -- oh! You meant the taking in part of calories, right? *blush*

Crazy(will stop short of evangelizing her favorite art... but only just) *wink*Soph
David D. Levinedavidlevine on October 9th, 2008 04:13 pm (UTC)
But how could calligraphy help? :-)
e_bournee_bourne on October 9th, 2008 02:29 pm (UTC)
"I wish there was something we could do to relax that didn't involve calories."

My dear friend, can I send a list? :-)

Wait, do you just simply want to lie there and have stress removing activities applied to you? Now I'm confused. . . I can still supply a list. . .

Ending a post with that tag line, really, the door is open!
David D. Levinedavidlevine on October 9th, 2008 04:11 pm (UTC)
Please do send the list. (I meant consuming calories, of course.) When I think of what we can do to escape the noise and dust and stress I just want to go for ice cream, but we're both trying to cut down.
e_bournee_bourne on October 10th, 2008 06:26 am (UTC)
Sure, in the helpful vein.

Suggestions in no particular order.

If ever there was a time to dip into the rainy day fund, this is it.Get out of the house. Spend a night at a local hotel or B&B. There is a B&B on Hawthorne near you we've been thinking of checking out, and another that looks very nice on Belmont. Or a pleasant hotel. A functional bathroom, nice bed, someone else takes care of things, you have a mini-vacation/night off from your troubles. I've done several remodels, I highly recommend it as a sanity-saver. You're close enough to run home and let the workers in and keep an eye on them.

Assuming it's still there, make a reservation at Common Grounds (I think it's on Belmont) and spend some time in the sauna/hot tub and maybe get a massage while you're there. Sure, it's a bit granola-y, but clean and they're pleasant people. We used to do this after a stressful day at work, then go home, have a glass of wine and fall dead asleep.

Go to a movie. Preferably one where contractors are blown up. :-) Seriously, I find action movies very relaxing when I'm annoyed. Perhaps you do too.

You have friends. Surely they'd like to help you. Perhaps someone, if you asked, and this is what friends are for, would have you over for a game night. Or take a board game to a coffee shop and play there for awhile.

Ditto with movies. Maybe a get together to watch movies elsewhere at a friend's. Out of the house is mandatory.

Tea shops are popping up like autumn mushrooms. Go check them out. A pot of tea is interesting, not expensive, flavorful and fat free. Plus, you get to feel cutting edge.

Go see a planetarium show. Yes, it sounds dorky, but they're fun and distracting and PDX has a great planetarium.

Run the car through a car wash and scream. Seriously, a friend taught me this. It really is very stress-relieving, and no one can hear you, plus, the car gets clean.

Go for a walk in a different neighborhood (but safe one).

Me, I go to bookstores. They always work for me. Libraries too. Anything with reading material calms...me...down.

I most highly recommend the first item, at least for one night. Give yourselves a Portland vacation. Remodels are stressful. It helps to get away, even if it's just by a few miles, for a night or two.