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- Wednesday, September 28, 2011:
Memory Day: Homes
To commemorate my recent mortgage refinance, which will let me pay off the house 8 years sooner for fifty bucks a month less (9 meals at Popeyes), here is a retrospective of all the places that are qualified to erect "BU Slept Here" plaques once I have fulfilled my childhood dreams of becoming a robber baron and then making over my image through philanthropy.
1980 - 1996 My childhood home was nestled in the drooping bosom of Seminary Valley in Alexandria, on a dead end "street to nowhere" which was originally intended to be a major north-south artery, but has since settled on being "that wide street that uses up the asphalt budget because the former mayor lives on it". Since leaving home, I've lear...
- Monday, October 15, 2007:
Basement Nostalgia Day
This panoramic picture was taken just days after I'd closed on the house in February 2004. I spent an entire day listening to Tower of Power and scrubbing grime off of the walls. It was very apparent from the markings on the walls that the basement had recently been subdivided into tiny apartments, no doubt to house a burgeoning immigrant population. My first "lazy Sunday" project in the house was to convert a set of basement shelves into a bar. I started by tearing the backs off of shelves, to let some light into the dark corners for my housewarming party in June 2004. Next, I completely tore out the shelves so I could carve hollow grooves into the sides to house the electrical wiring for two ...
- Thursday, May 10, 2007:
Double Day: Contest Results & House Status
Congratulations to my Mom, who won the Caption Contest in a landslide of votes to earn a $10 gift certificate to Amazon.com. My Mom has been entering contests professionally since birth, and is often the honorable mention in the Washington Post Style Invitationals. She plans on using her gift certificate to buy something nice for her son. Thanks go out to Rob, sick Mike, and Anna for their entries as well! Since the suspense about the outcome of this contest was lacking like emotion in any of Keanu Reeve's performances, I will end today's post with pictures of what the main floor of my house currently looks like. If you are not now, or never have been, a yuppy with a house and grand home improvement plans ("Minding Yo...
- Tuesday, March 20, 2007:
Media Catch-Up Day
I haven't uploaded new pictures since the beginning of 2007. This is a horrible state of affairs and not just for all of my illiterate visitors (a recent pictograph survey found that 28% of daily visitors are illiterate and only come for the pictures of hot chicks). I have several gems in my collection that deserve uploading, like the time Kelley drank 12 Pabst Blue Ribbons and passed out on the toilet during the Super Bowl . To rectify the situation, and hopefully provide some positive connotations to a word that would otherwise sound too much like "rectum", I have gone through three months of photo backlog for today's news update. Enjoy the pictures and turn in your Name That Tune entries by noon today !&...
- Wednesday, February 07, 2007:
Live* from the Living Room
The creative nerve center of this site's daily updates has relocated to a less expensive office space down the hall to facilitate the painting and recarpeting of the old space. From here, I can write updates while listening to my MP3s in 5.1 surround sound, and need only turn my head slightly to the right to watch old home movies or find out who America's Next Top Bass Fisherman will be. This also puts me at a good vantage point of the entire house, and near the front door in case of a sudden grease fire from all the bacon, or a botched kidnapping from one of the many software engineer love triangles I am currently involved in. And let me tell you, software engineer love triangles may not be as dramatic as NASA astron...
- Monday, February 05, 2007:
Home Repair Day
Last week I tore up the vinyl tile in my foyér (additional accent added because it's exceptionally French). Expecting to find the floor underneath, I instead found another layer of vinyl flooring, in an ugly yellow 70s earth tone. Apparently the previous owners were fashion savvy (they wanted nothing to do with yellow floors) and archaeology savvy (layering tiles instead of simply removing the old tiles would ensure that valuable information about our living habits in the late twentieth century would be available to alien archaeologists in the future when Old Rag Mountain turns out to be a long dormant volcano that covers northern Virginia in a four foot Saran Wrap layer of ash and liquid hot magma). ...
- Wednesday, August 09, 2006:
The Ballad of the Master Bedroom0
This is the tale of the master bedroom, the largest of spaces with plenty of headroom. 1 I first moved in in the spring of 04, the curtains infected, and AIDS on the floor. Through multiple scrubbings and hands raw and red, the carpet stayed stained so I hid it with my bed. Fast forward a year to July, near the end. I shared my house with Anna, Kathy, four cats (and Ben). With money from work, there was no need to scrimp, so I bought me some furniture, suitably pimp. Black walnut trim was both suave and naughty, and perfect for helping me uri a hottie. Another year passed and the fo...
- Thursday, June 08, 2006:
Master of the House
It's been awhile since I've posted about improvements made to my home, but you can rest assured that work continues at a slow and stately pace, and that the house isn't decaying from the inside out to collapse upon itself in years to come. Most recently, I've been taking care of the exterior -- washing windows, mowing the lawn, weeding beds, and doing work on the roof with my dad. The bed on the west side of the house finally has shrubs and mulch in it -- previously it would just fill up with water during every rain shower, making it useful only for breeding mosquitoes and leveling up your fishing skills. Next Friday, my dad and I are going to add an orifice to the house -- a second window in the master bedroom overlo...
- Wednesday, May 31, 2006:
List Day: Ten Things About the Custom Home I Will Build When I'm a Millionaire
It will be built at the edge of a nature preserve in a suburban area, so the streets are still plowed when it snows but I have no neighbours except for deer and cougars. There will be a Costco, a Best Buy, and a grocery store chain within a twenty minute radius. It will have a secret passage opened with a wall sconce or a false bookshelf, and the passage will lead to a secret room whose windows you can see from the outside. This will be the study. It will have two floors and a finished basement, and will have two staircases at opposite ends of the house, so kids can play Cops and Robbers style games without any dead ends. Those are the coolest types of houses to play in. I...
- Thursday, July 21, 2005:
Here's a picture of the progress on my walkaround sidewalk. The first slab was laid last October, and the remaining three sections (another fifty bags worth of concrete) will be completed over the next couple weeks, weather permitting.
People who know me know that I don't like making long-term goals. I don't know where I'll be one year from today, what I'll be doing, or who else will be there, and I don't have much interest in guessing. Long term plans never come to fruition as you'd expect them to, meaning you're either met with a pleasant surprise or you find yourself settling for less than you wanted. Having said that, a few short-term goals never hurt anyone. Now that 2005 has peaked its hump, here a...
- Thursday, April 28, 2005:
Major work on the new guest room is complete, just in time for Florida-Kathy to move in for the summer. All I have left is to move some more furniture in and take care of things like curtains and bedspreads.
Safe places to hide when you're a car thief
101 things to do with condoms
Friends find treasure in back yard
document.write(makePoll("Do you like my new room?", new Array("Yes - 3 (75.0%)", "No - 0 (0.0%)", "LISTEN. DO YOU LIKE MY COMPOSITION? - 1 (25.0%)")))
- Tuesday, July 20, 2004:
I just did the wiring for the light fixtures on my eventual bar. Here's the progression of progress since I first moved in. It's very much a "whenever-I'm-bored" project, but I should be finished pretty soon. All I have left is to cover the ugliness with paneling and paint everything, then add the trim and molding along the edges. It should be a pleasant addition to the pool table room once it's complete.
Developers play air guitar to Megadeth
- Thursday, June 10, 2004:
The pool table came a day early so I took part of yesterday off and worked from home for the rest of the day. The two installers were from Georgia (the state) and spend half the year on the road installing pool tables. They were pretty efficient and got the table leveled and constructed in
about an hour. Luckily, there's enough space in the room to walk allthe way around the table and not hit the wall with your cue. I ended up not getting the ball return, as there was a mixup on the order and the return would have been an extra $300 which wasn't charged. I also had a mixup on the accessories kit, so they're mailing me a higher quality one (meaning I get to keep the one I have and also keep the new one as well)....
- Wednesday, March 03, 2004:
One last entry in the Living Room contest, post-deadline, submitted by Kathy Biddick. It's actually pretty close to what I had in mind already. I may switch the couch and its end table, or put the TV diagonally in the corner where the stereo is. My sister got accepted to vet school at Virginia Tech and is now in the Class of 2008. Congratulations! I guess buying that house out in the middle of nowhere was a good gamble. I have nothing important to talk about today, so I will leave you with this nugget of a thread from a forum: hypothetical poll type question - Napoleic suppose you're walking home minding your own business and you hear som...
- Tuesday, March 02, 2004:
This was the only entry in my "Design My Living Room" contest, submitted by Mike Catania: It obviously loses because the snake pit is far too close to the venus flytrap for there not to be a daily rumble. My house is slowly coming to order -- I've spent the weekends and a few hours each weekday cleaning, fixing, and helping with things like water heater installation. It looks like I'll be moved out of the apartment and into the house by the end of March, so I'll be moving up to Sterling at the same time as my office moves to Reston. Yesterday's notable search terms: dustin oscar sword genitalia, halp halp mnr mnr hrt hrt, quotes about pepole who surprise us, chris fra...
- Friday, February 20, 2004:
It's time to play a game of "Design Brian's Living Room"! Print out the picture at this link and arrange the furniture in an aesthetically pleasing manner. If you have Photoshop, I've even made your job easier: you can download this image (682KB PSD) and drag or rotate the Layers around the floor plan instead of using archaic scissors. If you have an especially worthwhile design, take a picture or send me the PSD file and maybe I'll use it. In the image, all the furniture is oriented towards the bottom of the image to begin, except for the end tables which point right. The couch and the chair need a little space in front to recline. The windows are 34" off the ground, so the stereo, TV, and taller bookshelf sh...
- Tuesday, February 03, 2004:
The sellers have agreed to all the repairs listed in the sales addendum, so it looks like I'm on my way to becoming a happy homeowner. Next stop: Pottery Barn™. Yesterday's notable search terms: mussolini last words but ... but... colonel.., how to do drum major auditions, blackbeard the pirate burial place, "thesis the movie" Valid excuse for robbing banks Woman finds way to plug new movie, "Thirteen Going On Thirty" Husband killed 'for bringing girlfriend home'
- Friday, January 30, 2004:
The home inspection is taken care of, which checks one more task off the list. There were two major problems in the house, but luckily both were already covered in the original contract. My realtor's submitted an addendum with the specific requests for repair/replacement and the sellers now have two days to reply.
Tomorrow, I'm taking some friends up to see the touring production of Miss Saigon in Wilmington, Delaware. If I had been smarter I would have noticed the Richmond show last October, but at least Delaware isn't too far away. I'll be back late tomorrow night, but there will be no updates until Sunday.
Yesterday's notable search terms:
the bible is the most often shoplifted ...
- Thursday, January 29, 2004:
Today I have my home inspection at 1:30. It's the part where the realtor and I shadow a home inspector as he or she goes over every inch of the house for things that could cause future problems. Once I actually own the house, I'll try to get a few panoramic shots of the interior, using the photo-stitching options of my camera. I hate it when the padding at the top-back of the shoe gets scrunched down. Speaking of shoes, the sixth season of Friends was released on DVD a couple days ago. Yesterday's notable search terms: oysters that climb trees, beethoven - champion of absolute music, looking for the matches Happy Birthday Michael Jackson! (not that one) &n...
- Thursday, January 22, 2004:
After my first house tour on Tuesday afternoon, I unexpectedly liked one of the homes I'd visited for comparison's sake. I looked at four that day -- two in Sterling, one in Herndon, and one in Chantilly. The Chantilly house had a driveway that was sinking into the ground and an interior that wasn't much better off. The Herndon house was "okay" and filled with original artifacts from the roaring 70s. It had ample space, but the floor plan was cut up in an oddball way. In Sterling, the first house had a huge deck, a landscaped yard, a sun room, a screened in patio, AND a workshop on the premises, but the house itself was much smaller. The interior was obviously custom fitted by the handyman who'd lived there before so...