Wednesday, February 25, 2009

And on and on.

We got some more art framed and hung around the house which continues to make a difference in making things more warm and homey. Despite this though our living room still feels very strange. We have an odd selection of furniture with peculiar location requirements- a corner for the DJ rig, a lot of wall space for the CD library etc. I really like the couch jettying out into the middle of the room but it does render one wall very strangely bereft of utility, and hard to appoint. We'll see what happens.

We had a great housewarming party. It was wonderful to have our place filled with our friends... it made me feel very lucky to see so many great people I care about all togther, and to have them sharing our space. Also the place is big enough that having more than 4 people in my place at one time did not immediately make me crazy and want to run and hide, which is normally how I react to parties, and why I only ever had one in the 5 years I lived on Republican.

The Bultman parents are expected in town in a few days, and things will be ramping up again with gardening plans, yard trimming, and some doors-n-locks action hopefully getting taken care of.

Further updates as events warrant!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A little bit of sawdust.

I made another cd shelf last night so we can expand our wall of media. Moved CDs out of the one shelf from Ikea into the new stand, then re-adjusted the Ikea one for dvds.

Today I got it into place and screwed all 7 of the racks together with metal stripping at the top. I may still anchor them to the wall, but now that they go around a corner, its pretty impossible for them to fall over.

I also just finished repairing the cedar shingles that were missing from the side of the house near our door. I'm not sure if they were ever correctly installed, or what, but the missing pieces could not fit together as they were. I trimmed one down by about an 1/8 inch, then cut a 3/16th channel into the edge so that it meshed with the existing tongue and groove method by which they interlock. A quick pound with the heel of my hand and they popped into place. Success!

I might even get new numbers for the house, but Aimee's not home, so maybe I'll wait. That seems like more of a team choice.

--edit: I went ahead and got some simple brushed aluminum house numbers and installed them today. It's nice to actually be able to see our house number now. Not that I forget where I live or anything.

Friday, February 6, 2009

All's quiet for now

It has been a few weeks since we've updated, but that does not mean nothing is going on at Chez' Halberd. We've actually been living our lives, which is a plesant change.

We have about 1/2 of the yard cleaned up from its 18months of abandonment, which is satisfying. We have yet to tackle the sides and back, but they shouldn't be quite as leaf-ridden as the front and front-sides. We have made some tentative forays into the junk and trash pile that the previous owners left in the back yard. I thnk most of it we'll be able to send out with our trash pick up, with a little sorting of the barrel contents. The only thing that may present a problem in that regard is this gem which I hauled out of the weeds the other day:

I have fantasies of cleaning this up and putting the collective brain power of TeamZK toward using it as a base for a pedal powered something, but I'm not sure what yet. If it doesn't come to me soon, its going to the dump.

Inside, we finally have the DJ gear unpacked and installed, and are slowly appointing the living room with things around the stereo and couch.

Our biggest project of late has been hanging art. We have quite a bit, and quite a bit of space on which to place it. The main reason we haven't rushed into it is that Juno and I both have a fair number of pieces that we are quite fond of and have decided to frame a good deal of our pieces that we previously would have just put up with pins and nails. Aimee finally found a good frame for her mermaid I gave her for our anniversary and has it up in the art room along with some other ladies- all watching happily over her desk. I have a few pieces near my art desk, but still have quite a bit of open space. The rabbittat has recieved some good window dressing, and one of the latest pieces that I built a housing for at U-Frame-It last night.

I have been taking little chunks out of the sure-to-be-lengthy process of getting the gaming room up and fully outfitted. A glass cabinet has appeared there, and most recently I've installed some clustered LED lighting inside the cabinet.

The big news for this week though is that our nome de plume is finally justified, as we have finally hung the halberd. . . and thus our home is official. To celebrate, we're having a party next weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Various and sundries of settling in

I have gone on several more runs in the neighborhood since my last post. Highland Park continues to the east of us, up one last ridgeline before the steep dropoff into the Duwamish river valley. The houses and yards to the east are, in general, in somewhat better shape than in our immediate area. They are also newer - more the midcentury ramblers on square, tidy lawns. At the southeast edge of Highland Park is Westcrest Park - it includes lawn, playground, and a series of trails in the woods. Nice! However, the best place to hang out in our general area is Lincoln Park, to the west of us by the Fauntleroy Ferry. I went for a looong walk with my friend in that park and it is just gorgeous! I had gone there once or twice before but never really explored it thoroughly. There are so many interesting trees in that park, including Ponderosa Pine and Madrones, which I love. It's a little over 2 miles from our house, so not "in the neighborhood" per se but close enough that I will most likely spend quite a bit of time there as the weather continues to improve.

Local shops: JoJo Espresso on the corner of 16th and Holden is quite good. On a scale of 1-10 of espresso quality, Starbucks is a 5, Lighthouse and Vivace are 10, and JoJo is 7. Next door is the SeaMart, also known as Scary Mart. Nathan went in there and confirmed that it is, indeed, scary. Fortunately, the 7-11 kitty corner from Scary Mart is not scary. N and I have even ventured into White Center *dun dun duuuuuunnnnn* for pho a couple of times. It's really not as scary as I once thought, though I would not go alone there at night. We went to Pho 88, which was pretty tasty and had very friendly staff. We went to another pho place whose name I'm forgetting. The food was good but the server was a super surly teenager. I don't want my dinner with a side of surly! The Safeway on Roxbury is larger and better than the QFC in Westwood Village, so may start doing quite a bit of shopping there. I have also discovered the Grocery Outlet, aka Gross Out, in Burien. Bargains Only! Gross Out is great for soup, cereal, hair and body products, snacky things, and canned goods. The produce and wine are super scary and the bread is hit or miss. It is THE first stop for any shopper on a budget. I'll pay incredibly cheap prices for the non-scary stuff and get the fruits, veggies and meat at Safeway.

Oh, my shopping adventures are SO exciting, aren't they? Next I will regale you with comparisons of laundry detergent and stories of darning socks. oy. moving on.

In case there was any doubt that there is gang activity in the area.... the other day I saw a guy walking across Delridge down near the community center, wearing all black with a big, long red "flag" hanging out of his back pocket. So, OK, I guess there are Bloods here.... probably others as well. I have this jolly cranberry colored handkerchief that I occasionally wear over my hair.... well, maybe now I will refrain from doing that in my neighborhood..... can't risk having someone see it and think I'm "fronting" or think I'm part of a rival gang. Perhaps I'm overly paranoid but really, better paranoid than dead. Can you imagine anyone mistaking me for a gang member? I suppose if anyone were to ask me what gang I was in I could just tell them that I am a Jet. I can even sing the Jets song from West Side Story!

We met our next door neighbor a couple of weeks ago - the one who lives in the yellow McMansion monstrosity. His name is Paul and he has a friendly yet disgusting pit bull who left a viscous, frightening trail of drool down my leg. He said he bought his house from the builder, and got a good deal since it was "underwater", or "upside-down", or however you want to describe "worth less than the money owed on it". He said that he enjoys the neighborhood quite a bit. Seemed like a nice guy. We are 99% sure he is gay, based on his demeanor and also on the fact that N saw him in his house super early in the AM, having coffee with another guy, presumably his partner. And no, I reiterate, we are not stalkers!!

We got a gorgeous desk from a guy on Craigslist. It is a Cost Plus desk, dark wood with small Asian style finials. Finally, I have a place for some more of my candleholders. We got the pictures up in the hallway - have a black and white, vaguely Gothic theme going on in there - and no Mom, don't cringe, it looks good! :D I put up my awesome Ski Vermont picture in the dining room, Nathan's cool Turkish and Italian plates are up over one of the doorways in the kitchen, and Amy's bright, awesome painting is up in our bathroom. The Ice Mirror and Akira are up in the bunny room. My Mom gave me a bunch of her Industrial Revolution era bobbins, which I LOVE. They are currently on the butcher block table in the dining room. I am not sure if this will be their permanent home but I think they look good there. We've been taking the decorating pretty slowly, which is kind of frustrating but also for good reason. Our old place was absolutely COVERED in stuff. Almost every surface was covered with art, tchotchkes, dust, whatever. I loved all of our things but hated how cluttered the place felt. It was dirty, in part, because it is a pain in the a** to clean around all that stuff. We want this place to be clean - and we are WAY more tidy here than we were at the old place, my desk excluded of course ;) For some reason I have been reluctant to put anything up in haste because heaven forbid, if I change my mind it will leave a hole in the wall and that would be no good!!