I'm on Vacation! 25 June 2001

The other night I had a dream that I checked my voicemail, and there were two messages: one from someone calling from a conference room to see where I was, and other, left later, from a somewhat exasperated Karen C. saying that since I missed the Monday meeting, I'd better have all my stuff ready for the Tuesday team meeting. I started to get stressed out when I heard this second message, and then I had a HOLD EVERYTHING moment. In the dream, I said aloud, "wait a second, I'm on sabbatical. I don't need to go to any meetings."

I said to Al later that I think that was the moment I started to relax and realize that I was on vacation. Today, I could really feel it. While Al was at physical therapy and meetings, I decided to run errands on my bicycle. I rode to Palo Alto to pick up some photos I had matted at University Art Center, then went over to the Caltrain station to try to trade my commuter coupons for a 10-trip ticket. (Unfortunately, the ticket office closed 4 minutes before I arrived.) I returned to the house to drop the photos off.

It was a beautiful, energizing, and relaxing ride between Al's house and downtown Palo Alto, one that made me want to cycle more. I refilled my water bottle, checked my bike map, and headed to the AAA office on Miramonte (Thompson to Rengstorff to Middlefield to Shorline, across El Camino) to pick up a California TourBook. As I rode down Middlefield, I felt like I was on summer vacation from school—like it was the most natural thing in the world to be riding my bike around in the middle of a weekday. In all, I biked a little over 18 miles. I can't wait to do it again!

Moving Day 26 June 2001

I don't really feel like describing all the events of the day, so I'll just say that we rented a disgusting truck from U-Haul, loaded all my possessions on it, and drove up to Truckee. It was an exhausting day, so we're leaving the unloading til tomorrow.

I can't quite get used to the fact that my house is going to have all my stuff in it from now on. It's great to be here, though. I love everything about this place. The very smell of it makes me happy. And when the sun pours in the windows... you kinda can't help but sigh and feel yourself relax.

Unloading 27 June 2001

We got up this morning with the idea that we'd unload the car and then go to Starbucks, but by the time we got dressed we were both pretty hungry, so we drove down there first thing and cleaned them out of baked goods. (Well, not quite, but it felt like we did.)

When we got back to the house we began the process of unloading the truck. The stairs were tough on my back, which was throbbing after Moving Day. After two trips I stuffed an icepack in the waistband of my pants and took four Advil. The icepack really helped—it numbed the nerves enough that I could get up and down the stairs pretty easily.

We got the truck unloaded in less than 1/2 the time it took us to load it (which was what I'd estimated, based on prior experience with moving). Now, unforunately, it all has to be unpacked—not something I'll have time to do before my parents arrive on Friday. I'm kind of bummed that they'll see the place in such disarray, when it's looked neat for so long.

I did at least manage to get the beds moved around the way I wanted them. Al prefers the mattress from my apartment, so we moved that upstairs, and I took the foofy new queen-sized mattress I'd bought for the house downstairs to the other master bedroom. The double bed that was in the downstairs master I moved to the smaller downstairs bedroom, and the hard-as-rocks futon that had been in there Al helped me carry up to the entrance hall for disposal tomorrow. I then made all three beds, set up lamps in the downstairs rooms, moved all my files from the boxes back into the file cabinet, and called it a night.

Writing about it all now, I realize that I actually did get quite a bit done, especially when you consider that I did four or five loads of laundry as well. It's just that there's so much more left to do...

Early to Rise, Yadda, Yadda, Yadda 28 June 2001

This morning I got up early (7am), immediately took four Advil for my aching back, checked Mapquest to see where we were to return the U-Haul truck, and started assembling the couch.

The frame of my futon couch had been cracked in the move from Connecticut to California, and despite repeated attempts at gluing and clamping, the crack had gotten more severe. I had the idea yesterday that several zip-ties might help hold it together, so I picked some up at Mountain Hardware. I put four or five around as much of the cracked beam as I could get to (some slats were in the way) and then tried to fit the pieces together. It was a tighter fit with the crack semi-repaired, since the edges no longer match exactly, but I managed to get the couch upright after a few bumps and scrapes. (I still haven't sat on it yet to test the strength of the zip-ties, now that I think of it.)

Next I put my Rubbermaid stackable drawers in the tall closet next to the upstairs master, where they'd be accessible to me but out of sight to everyone else. I'd managed to clear a whole drawer in the Great Sock Cleanout of last month, so I put all my snowboarding paraphenalia in there. I was feeling neater already.

By the time Al woke up, I felt like I'd accomplished a lot, and the house at least looked slightly neater than yesterday. We packed up our stuff, carried the old futon out to the U-Haul, and headed for the dump. It was well worth the $3.50 dumping charge to be rid of it. After taking the truck back, we headed for the Bay Area.

I was pretty tired on account of all the running around with the beds last night and getting up early to deal with the couch this morning, so Al drove and let me sleep. I like how productive getting up early makes me feel (and I love experiencing the early-morning sunlight), but I can't make it through to nighttime without a nap. I bet I'll be rising even earlier while my parents are here, since they usually get up between 5 and 6am. Of course, with the time difference they'll probably be getting up at 3.....

Hello, Mom and Dad! 29 June 2001

Man, I'm really making a habit out of getting up early... I wonder if it will stick. This morning I woke up at 6:45 on my own (and then again at 7 with the help of my watch alarm) so I could get my car washed and gassed up on the way to pick up my parents at the airport.

I accomplished those things with time to spare, so I read a book while waiting at Gate 80. The plane landed without incident, and mom and dad made it OK (mom hasn't flown in almost 20 years because of an inner ear problem, so the fact that she arrived safely is news). We went straight from the airport to Ton Kiang for dim sum, disappointed the waitress by only eating $37 worth of dumplings among the three of us (really, it was delicious—we just got full fast), and then headed over to Gordon/Clifford Realty to drop off the keys to my SF apartment. Bye, apartment!

From there we drove straight to Truckee. Well, it was a straight shot, but not without incident. For some reason, the traffic was attrocious most of the way, despite the fact that we left the city at noon. We decided that it was probably people turning the 4th of July into a long weekend. I understand Lake Tahoe is an even more popular destination in the summer than in the winter.

We finally made it to the house shortly after 5pm (after stopping along the way at Wal-Mart to buy paint and other house supplies). I gave mom & dad a tour of the house, and they quickly assessed the amount of work to be done. I knew there was a lot, but because I've been here since January, I've kinda gotten used to the quirks (something Kevin L. warned me about: "remodel early," he said, "or you'll get used to things the way they are, and you'll never do anything").

After the house tour, we went out to buy groceries at the Safeway, pick up my mail at the post office, and do a quick circuit of Historic Downtown Truckee. That was about enough for mom, so when we got back we unloaded the groceries, and then she went to bed. Dad stayed up a little longer to watch HGTV with me, and then he conked out, too. Here it is 11pm, and believe it or not, I'm ready for bed myself. 'Night.

SuperProductive 30 June 2001

SuperProductive: sounds like a Soul Coughing song, but it's really a description of the day we just had. I woke up at 6:55am on my own (it *is* sticking! That is, at least until I play hockey at 10:20pm again...), listened for a minute, and realized that my parents were up, too. I got out of bed at 7:15, threw on some clothes (hard to do, considering that I'd given away all the clothes I no longer wanted and that therefore would have been suitable to paint in), and went down to the kitchen. Work was already underway.

Dad was checking out the noisy fan in the downstairs master bath and assessing a leak under the bathroom sink. Mom was fueling up for the day by eating Raisin Bran and bananas. She & I discussed our plans for painting the upstairs master bedroom (mine), and then got to work taping the moldings and outlets. We painted the wall at the head of the bed Midnight Iris and the other three walls Follies.

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It took us a looooong time to finish, but it was worth it. The colors are exactly what I'd had in mind, and I think it looks very contemporary. Now I just need to do something about the carpet...

While mom & I were painting, dad was busy fixing just about everything in the house that needed fixing. He replaced the faulty latch on the sliding glass door that leads to the deck; he fixed the PVC pipe leading from the garbage disposal (it was supposed to be a smooth piece instead of a flex line), removed a leaky piece of pipe, and replaced the drain on the left basin of the sink; he unstuck all the doors that wouldn't close all the way; he replaced the drain and stopper assembly in the downstairs bathroom sink; he anchored the dishwasher so it wouldn't tip forward when you open it; he replaced the washers and hoses on the faucets that go to the washing machine; and he rehung the door to the downstairs shower and added a new piece of waterproff stripping to the bottom of it. He also took down the wobbly loft railing and removed all the spindles in preparation for replacement with longer ones (the building code says that railings have to be at least 36" high, and the ones here were 28").

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I'm sure dad did a few other things that I'm forgetting or that I haven't noticed yet. Oh, he installed my new electronic thermostat last night, and before going to bed (at 9:15pm), he fixed the toilet upstairs (it took several tries to get it to flush). He was worried when he started this morning that he wouldn't be able to finish everything in only a week, but at this rate, he'll have everything done by noon tomorrow.

In addition to all the painting and other activities, dad & I also managed a trip to the ACE Hardware store down the street, and another to Home Depot, Lowe's, and Wal-Mart in Reno today. Home Depot didn't have what we were looking for (new spindles for the loft railing), to dad's surprise, but Lowe's did. At Wal-Mart I got a quart of semi-gloss Follies to use on the bathroom trim, and a gallon of India Ink for the bathroom walls. Yes, that's right: I'm painting the bathroom black. It was mom's suggestion, and I figured why not? Now that I've taken her suggestion seriously, though, she keeps saying, "that bathroom's going to be AWFULLY dark!" Well, we'll see how it goes.

The Black Hole 1 July 2001

No time for a huge installment today. Painted upstairs bathroom mostly black; changed my mind about one wall that I did the same light lavendar (Follies), so will go over it with black later. Was hoping to put up before and after photos today, but I want to get a new light fixture and pictures hung in there first.

Dad spent most of the day working on the railing in the loft. The spaces between the spindles are too wide for code, but since I don't have children who could fall through, I'm not worried about it. At least the height is right. Haven't decided yet whether to stain the new spindles; I like the lighter wood look for now.

  Week 3 ->