Tuesday, May 30, 2006

In the Mighty Month of May

(click on cartoon to see a more readable version)
Wow, only two posts this month! The cartoon tells my story ... don't do it! Hell cannot be this bad ... I've nearly gone mad this month--not one word of my Sr. Paper has been typed as I've suddenly become an architect, a finish carpenter, a project manager, and a raving bitch! I have never had more disagreements and aggravation in my life, not even during my first marriage, which at the time seemed unbeatably hellish! :-)

From mismeasurements by my contractor and the "cabinet designer" at Lowe's (and one by my husband) causing a new window and creative cabinet-swapping to be necessary, to a mutitude of mistakes made by American Woodmark (wrong cabinets and glass again and again), to dropped and broken island granite, to tilt-out tray drawers that everyone refuses to install, to appliance mishaps and scary repairmen who reminded me of the Soup Nazi from Seinfeld--I have been through the mill people!

Twice I actually found myself balled up in stress-related tears. I've had to beg to get things that were incorrectly ordered and shipped replaced, I've had to deal with "templates" that did not match sinks, faucets or other facets of the remodel which caused grave delays and cranky contractors, or contractors who left on vacation, or felt their teenage sons were adequate labor, etc. etc. I've put on a heretofore unknown little-girl-soft voice in an attempt to get people to take pity on me, and do what they should have done, and were paid to do!

In the end, we finally sit with a lovely, albeit as-yet-incomplete kitchen. Our granite island slab is a broken mess with globs of epoxy holding it in one piece (the contractor swears he's returning any day now with the replacement slab). I'll post photos just in case anyone is considering taking a project like this on. Let me close by saying that I don't understand why contractors don't make money ... we paid out twice what my husband makes a month, yet both of our contractors complained to us (enumerable times) that they "didn't make any money off this job." Why? I ask. We paid for all the materials, they arrived no earlier than 10AM every morning and tended to work a solid 5 hours ... so why no profit? I'm thinking I should look into getting a contractor's license!

Anyone out there have any remodeling stories they'd care to share?

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Sun Goes Down on Kaavya

Aaron took this gorgeous photograph earlier this spring. I used to think California had sunsetting superiority, but I find that in the spring, Portland, OR has more vibrant color than a Rousseau (Henri) painting. Our camera is average at best, yet it did justice to this moment.

Further revelations about Kaavya Viswanathan sadden me. I have been forced to admit that it seems she deliberately plagiarized, there are just too many coincidences from too many texts. I cannot fathom why someone with so much to look forward to would resort to such blatant plagiarism. Perhaps she felt that splicing from so many sources would cleverly mask her deception ... I don't know. I do know that she is young, and maybe the pressure to produce a manuscript fuzzied her integrity. I feel for her, though. Incidently, if you do access the link above, get a look at some of the comments--this incident has engendered some pretty intense responses.