Friday, July 27, 2012

The somethin' somethin' somethin' must change

Welcome to The Exciting World of Grout Color.  This episode is entitled, "Sh*t, I just wasted hours of my life debating between "bone" and "linen." 

It's hard to articulate what days are currently like over here.  There are people.  Everywhere.  Two days ago there were eighteen men climbing all over the house.  That sounds hot and sexy but in reality it was confusing, loud, and dusty.

Our fence started going up that day plus we ripped out a bathroom plus we got new gutters.  There were swarms of men crossing the yard, many with ladders.  Sometimes the guys would get confused in the middle of the man soup, forget what job they were doing, and wander off to do another job.  That's how we discovered gutter guys suck at fences.

On top of all that, I hired piano movers to move the piano from our old house.  When the piano movers arrived at Banister Abbey with the piano, there was nowhere to park within a two-block radius on account of all the trucks belonging to men at our house.

The piano movers said, "Errr.. we have a piano?  Move a truck, dammit?  Please?"  Someone did, of course, because we do not employ assholes.

Here's a side effect of having workmen all over your yard -- spending time in a tire repair shop thanks to that nail dropped on your driveway.

Yesterday I was standing ankle-deep in plaster dust and discussing some issues with three workmen when a bright-eyed young man with a passion for liberal politics came up the path and stood on my front porch.  He was raising money for his organization to change the something something something something because we can't be havin' that anymore! 

I knew out of the corner of my ear I agreed with his cause but I was distracted because of the electric saw sounds and the men talking to me and the two children tugging on my skirt, one of whom was also sitting on my foot and yelling "HORSIE."  The only thing holding up my skirt was a weak piece of elastic and the children were testing it mightily.  I hung onto my clothing in the desperate hope I would not be de-skirted in front of the three workmen and the young man with a passion for liberal politics.

(Actually, the workmen and I have been through so much together by now, including sharing the only working toilet in the house, all day, for weeks now, it probably wouldn't phase them too much.)

The political man attempted to give me his schpeel but I kept interrupting him to yell at someone, usually a child but the workmen get uppity from time to time, too.  The young man gave up trying to talk to me and stood silently, waiting for me to make the next move.

I apologized for being inattentive to his pressing political matter.  He nodded, then said the only non-political thing he could think of;  he said, "I think she has a poo-poo" and pointed at Coco.  I turned to look; Coco was inexplicably no longer wearing any clothes, just a diaper.  Hey, when the hell did that happen?

Her diaper was droopy so I can understand the young man's confusion but there's no way it was a poo-poo because we all would have known it without doubt, believe me.  So I said, "No, it's actually not a poo-poo, her diaper's just full of pee and needs to be changed." It occurred to me this was a strange thing to say to a stranger on my front porch but that's just where we were led in the moment. 

Coco, upon overhearing my explanation, did what any dutiful daughter who needs her diaper changed would do -- she ripped it off, threw it on the floor, and ran past the political man out into the front yard.  I chased her naked self outside for a full five minutes while she ducked and weaved and screamed, "MOMMY CATCH ME!"

I tackled and dragged her indoors.  On my way past, I told the nice young man I would like to hear what he had to say but now was not the best time and could he come back later?  He agreed to return in a couple hours when things were sure to be more calm.  Except they weren't.  A couple hours later when he was once again on the front porch, both children were naked and attempting to sled down the front stairs.  I'm not even kidding.

I just made a donation to his cause and let him escape.  We were both relieved it was over.

I'm stuck in a very unhappy blog place.  There are insane things happening daily but I lack the time, the peace, and the energy to write them all down.  I hate this, hate it a lot.  Here are a few pictures and I'll have to call it good.

Seattle Mom and I went to the Capitol Hill Block Party over the weekend where we saw The Lumineers, Phantogram, and Neko Case.  During the Lumineers performance, a large white man with dreadlocks who reeked of The Happy Weed pushed through the crowd and stood two inches in front of Seattle Mom's face.  When she tried to move over, she was accidentally smacked in the face by White Dred's girlfriend who didn't know how to keep her hands to herself when she danced.

When the crowd is that packed in -- JUST DON'T DANCE, PEOPLE.  Stand with your arms crossed and bounce up and down a little like all us normal people.

That's Seattle Mom's face staring at White Dred's back.  Seconds before she'd been staring at the gorgeousness of The Lumineers.  Life is unkind.

Two of my friends broke into the house for sale next door (oh come on, the back window was standing wide open) with one of my emotionally unstable neighbors.  It's a long story.  This was the creepy loot they returned with --

There's also a giant vagina leading into my parlor --

Every time a workman leaves the parlor I throw confetti and yell, "WELCOME TO THE WORLD!"  They may be getting sick of it, hard to say.

On the neighbor front, Angel and Dorita stopped by yesterday.  We chatted out front in the heat until Dorita looked down at her bag of groceries and said, "Oh sh*t, girl, my lettuce is wilting" and took off at a full run down the street.  I hope her lettuce is okay.

Widower Peter is thrilled Contractor God is a fellow Englishman so lies in wait for him.  Contractor God has therefore started slinking around the house behind the bushes to avoid being seen.  When Widower Peter catches him, he chats to him for hours while I stand at the window and mouth, "I'M NOT PAYING YOU FOR THIS."

I met an incredibly normal family who lives two doors down.  They have small kids.  They brought us dessert and a "Welcome to the Neighborhood" card.  They smile all the time.  There is definitely something wrong with them, and I'll let you know as soon as I find out what it is.

I chose "Bone!"


  1. I started to comment about "bone" and "linen" and also "biscuit," since I've recently been confronted with these choices, but the comment was escalating way out of hand. I finally concluded that the differences are just about indistinguishable and don't really care. I only think that among the ever-increasing number of plumbing fixtures I'm ordering, the twin lav sinks for the master bathroom should be the same color as each other. Whatever it is. Thank you for a glimpse into my future.

    1. Ooooh, biscuit, Lee! Fancy. That wasn't one of my choices, thankfully, as I would have debated for several more hours.

      You have many, many more choices ahead of you. As do I. Good luck to us both.

      Thanks for stopping by, Lee.

  2. Whew...I was about to request a grocery list or something just to tie me over until you could get back to us.

    1. Another Lee! I know, I know, it's been awhile. Trying to figure out how to juggle it all when most days I don't even get a shower.

      Hopefully things will simmer down a bit. I've been working a lot on our rental house, too, and that's almost finished and happily rented, so that should free up a few more minutes here and there.

      Bye, Lee!

  3. The grout color may be 'bone' for now, but will surely devolve into 'poo-colored children's grime' in a matter of mere moments after the tile-layer is done.

    Next time join the kids in the naked sledding, •that'll• make the incredibly normal neighbors run for the hills.

    I'm betting they're some kind of super religious.

    1. Hi ADoC. Are you telling me all that debating was in vain? Damn. And if my wall grout turns to poo color, those children have some explaining to do.

      Will keep you posted on "The Normal Ones." Something's off, doesn't compute some average friendly people found their way onto my street.

      I hope they're Scientologists because I have some questions.
      Bye, ADoC...

    2. There's some kind of late night advertisement for some grout stuff that you can use to change the color DYI at any time in what looks like in an instant. I have no tile so don't remember its name, but I would think stage two grout color would be "mud." (But even things like "red" is an option.)

    3. In general, I do not trust late night advertisements. I'm going to cross my fingers and pray I chose correctly, that I'm going to be in love with "bone" forevermore.

      Heh heh.

  4. But then again, you might consider Oyster...

  5. Grout color is one thing...... is choosing wall color that makes me crazy! Stumbled across this cool tool that may be of help to you in the future....

    Sherwin Williams has a free downloadable tool.... "Chip It!," you download a tool to your browser's toolbar, which will allows you to take your favorite image and put it in the "Chip It!" site. Next, the site will automatically pull a paint palette inspired by that image, using Sherwin-William's huge library of paint colors. The resulting palette can be saved for quick access during your next paint project.

    Loving the blog, and am so glad I'm past my house renovation phase..... I think another one would kill me. Sending positive thoughts your way!

  6. Your remodeling travails reminds me of the Dorothy Parker quote when she encountered a chaotic scene - "What fresh hell is this?"

    Little did you know that when you undertook the house renovation, you would have to spend part of you life mulling over grout color choices. If our whole life flashes in front of us when we die, will this episode come up too. Kind of makes you wish for the old Soviet style economy of barren shelves and no choices. Along the same lines have you tried to get a bottle of plain Bayer Aspirin lately? It takes 10 minutes to find it amoung the 4 shelves of products.

    I really like it when you post dirty pictures such as the vaginal like plastic sheeting opening. Could you call me sometime and talk dirty to me too.

    And those smiling neighbors sound disgusting. I don't trust optimists. They're in denial of the real world. They have a clue to whats going on. Give them time. Eventually they'll get that worn, haggard and hopeless look.

    And MJ, it comes as no surprise you picked "Bone".

  7. Sounds like you are still expierencing a bit of rudeness occasionally, which is why the Huffpo article on how the French currently have a "stop the rudeness" promo brought a smile to my face. Seems 60% of them state rudeness is their #1 reason for stress in their life. Also there really is a drop in tourists and they fear this may be the reason. There are lots of encouraging signs on the Metro to say hello to fellow passengers. Think it will work? Kathy in Iowa

  8. I was also in the process of choosing grout color when you posted this. Thank you for assisting me in my challenge. That color stip is awesome and it helped me at my local DIY choose between fawn, lighter fawn, dark fawn, beige, light beige, beige and fawn and many etc. Who knew this would make all the difference? You're a freakin public servant you are! Thanks!

  9. Hi,

    I have a quick question about your blog, do you think you could e-mail me?