Wednesday, May 16, 2007

This Old F*****g House

As the music cues up the big red pickup pulls up to the house and several cinderblocks on ropes are thrown out the passenger side window in vain efforts to stop the thing.

Hi, I'm the Caustic Bunny and on this episode of This Old F*****g House we're going to go over the summer projects due the knob and tube palace. For starters, we're going to turn this truck over to the gods of smelting as we're not dumping a master cylinder into something with a frame that has the consistency of salad croutons.

Lets start with the outside of the place though. Yes, there's some re-pointing to be done as wind, water, neglect and an original mortar mix that was no doubt sixty percent confectioner's sugar-based have all taken their toll. Of course, water damage is exascerbated by the perennially leaky gutters and downspouts. Looks like we'll be taking silicone seal and our abject fear of heights to see them this year. Oh and we've got four windows that need to be re-glazed, just in case you weren't having fun yet. Naturally, they're on the second floor, taking them in from the inside of the house will result in casements fit for no more than toothpick wood, so you're going to have to ascend that ladder and do it all from the outside. Oh, did I mention one window is right near where the electricity from the street feeds to the house? Don't reach out for a handhold without looking first.

Of course, the garage needs new trim and you want to put the toolshed extension on for things like hoes which now fall off their perches and belly flop across the hood of the car. And the garage door needs replacing. The wood there is absorbent enough to sop up a small rainstorm. The door then gains about 460 percent more weight and won't open. Not even for the door opener on the space shuttle.

Oh, and let's take down those screwed-on plexiglas sheets that protect the accent windows around the chimney? A quick cedar frame and proper glass belongs there. Do that in your spare time.

Ok, lets step inside, shall we? The kitchen cabinets are still the color of a fart but it doesn't look like we'll be re-doing them this year. The bathroom is in more dire need. There are abandoned public restrooms in Minsk that have more comfort appeal. Its got to be gutted. New floor, new tub and shower, new something other than shelving contact paper for wall coverage. Yes, I know, we were hoping the mildew would form some sort of free form art pattern but I think that that's a stretch.

Of course the floors all need refinishing. I think the last time they might have been sanded with some sort of hobbyist's tool more appropriate to making ships in a bottle. These are all what I would call "luxury" projects. Something to do after the war zone of the bathroom has been finished. Not that the bathroom is hard, but it has to be gutted and, as it is the only bathroom I have, I still haven't figured out where I might be able to, ahem, take care of things during the course of construction.

Still not sure what the hell to do with the basement. For starters, it needs cleaning out. Figure this way: I moved in almost two years ago. If I haven't unpacked it yet, chances are pretty good I don't really need it.

Well, that just about sums up the summer projects. If this were a real PBS show, I'd have help and a good corporate sponsor. As it stands, Tom is off with his wife fishing, Norm is down at the local bar and the rest of the crew are at the community pool hoping for a heat wave.

So for now its just me, The Caustic Bunny setting up for the season. I'll be back with progress reports on the old place as things get done or undone as the case may be. I do have to get after that power cable that runs out to the garage too. Seems its just buried au naturel and this weekend, planting arbor vitaes, marks the second time I've almost made love to it with the tip of a shovel.

Up comes the music, quickly drowned out by power tools and cursing. Roll credits.




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