Monday, July 17, 2006

The urge to make things go kablewie!*

(you may or may not be able to tell from the above title I read way too much of mad and cracked magazines as a kid)

So, Saturday night we decide to blow our little popsicle stand in the 'shwa and go visit Jodi and Andrew in swanky-town (aka Burlington). There, being the lovely people they are, they have a lovely new house with lovely new fence, lovely patio furniture, and landscaping. It was Jodi's birthday, and a little get-together was planned. It's so nice catching up with friends, having a few laughs and relaxing in the gorgeous weather we've been having. We reminisced so much about our undergrad days together in rez that Dave said "wow I really wished I'd lived in residence" the next day.

When you see their house all you hear is the chorus of angels going "aaahhhhhhhh!" and everything is all sparkly and clean and new. Then you see our house and hear a combination of frogs ribbeting, swampy noises and the porch monkeys down the road belching and swearing.

So, not surprisingly on the way home, the little green monster snuck up on me, and since then I've been barely able to speak a sentence that somehow didn't involve us getting a patio.

I am hell-bent that we need to blow out our dining room window (which I like to imagine would make a Kablewie! noise) and replace it with doors (otherwise we'd have more animals than we currently have and likely be breaking some kind of by-law, to say nothing of moral codes) and build a deck. Where we can drink booze! And grill things! And have friends over! And tie people to posts for using too many exclamation points in blog posts!

I've had this thought before, and I think it's a completely do-able idea, given that the window is pretty big, I think it'd be about the right size for just such a project.

All of a sudden, reality hits though. It's not like we have nothing else to do in our house that should take priority. Or, I dunno, about 8 weddings including our own to plan/attend.

We have MOST of the wallpaper stripped from our front and upstairs hallways (save the tall bits which require a ladder which is something we do not own, and the ceiling), but some serious plaster work needs to be done after that's done, then sanded, then primed and painted.

Our kitchen? We think it's original to this 1942 house. Apparently they didn't care to do things like actually store goods in kitchens back then. I am dying to get a new kitchen (and even have a line on a place for granite countertops for cheap!) and know it'd be a good investment when we officially grow out of this house.

The basement? Lately it seems that it's barely a step above a dirt floor. It's been a bit weepy and in dire need of some measures to make it un-leaky. I've already done some patching with quick mixing concrete (which, if you're wondering I will remind you mixes to a solid REALLY fast, so don't turn your back on it for even a second, or you'll have sore arms for a week from trying to stir solid concrete, and a hoarse voice from swearing at the damn container of solid concrete), but it's in dire need of more attention, and, after that, some painting over it to add another moisture barrier.

The living room/dining room? Still BEIGE! We're not beige people (gah I hope we aren't!), but we're living in a very beige house. We're actually hoping to have the woman/genius who re-did my parents' house come over and give us some colour ideas, but so far? Still beige! Also on our big to-do list. There are parts of the ceiling that need work as well.

The original hardwood floors? Look in some spots like a hungry beaver inhabited the house for a while. Neighbour down the street gave us a SWEET price on re-doing them and I know he'd do a fantastic job. Sadly we'd actually have to leave this place for 3 days and find a spot to put the crap that's currently occupying the living room/dining room/front hall in the meantime while they were being re-done.

The bathroom? Yeah there's still vinyl wallpaper in there. It really would be a one-weekend job to strip, paint and prime it along with the ceiling, but we seem short on weekends of late so that has yet to be tackled.

But right now? I'm still obsessed about having a deck and place from which we can enjoy our under-used but full-of-potential back yard. Think of the margarita parties! We could have sangria! Think of the vines I could try to coax to grow along the top of the deck to create shade! Think of the extra living space we'd have a few months a year!

I spent last night obsessing over the home hardware catalogue/web site. I got my tape measure out, looking at how big our deck should be (I've decided! 16x10 so it'll almost be the exterior width of the house! (and yeah, our house isn't actually much more than 16 feet wide. Yes, that is probably smaller than your garage). I am also in love with the idea of having a roof that's just posts across the top like this trellis, only spaced further apart. Then, we get clematis, and other viney plants to scrawl across the top of it giving us interspersed shade (something I'm big on as a pastey person with a family history of skin cancer). And, think of all the cute little patio light sets there are out there! The possibilities are endless, and my mind is racing with every one of them at once. Ooh how it would be nice to sit out on hot summer evenings and relaxing.

Dinner last night (which I thought was especially yummy) could be repeated regularly. We had grilled zucchini strips (about 1/8th inch thick) with olive oil and salt, grilled corn on the cob, and I had a grilled portobello mushroom while Dave had locally raised organic beef. With that we had warmed bread with balsamic vinegar and olive oil for dipping. Leftovers for lunch today were SO good.

So, I think the new goal is to get the other work done on the house between now and early next spring, when some true kablewie work can happen to replace the window in the dining room with a patio door (or maybe french doors!) and a deck can be built.

Hmm anyone in the GTA feel like a good old fashioned deck building party next spring? They're almost as cool as barn raisings, only without the manure smell!

*Dave maintains this is properly spelled "kablooey." I say he's wrong. Jury says? My blog! I win! :P


elaine said...

I think you're right. The proper spelling of kablewie is kablewie. First of all, it does appear this way in mad and cracked magazines.
Secondly, when you look at the most emphasized syllable it's "blew" as in things went kablewie and stuff blew away (ie the window and wall in your dining room).

Now that aside, I'm all for a deck building party. I think it'd look great, but, only after you've finished everything else on your list! :P

Anonymous said...

Hi Heather. I'm a co-worker of Jodi's and was reading your blog. Good luck with the list of things to do before August 2008. You can do it. Thought you should know, the term 'porch monkey' is racist to the extreme. I don't get the impression from your blog that you are a racist, so I thought you might want to know.

TB said...

I love this post, but I have to ask: How in god's name can you be renovating a 60+ year old house and NOT own a ladder? That's insane!

Heather said...

Elaine: Thanks for the backup on the kablewie. As for the deck building party I guess I can put you on the "heavy lifting" crew! Mwah ha ha ha! Just kidding.

Anonymous: I really had no idea the roots of the word. I frankly don't even remember where I heard it from... the people down the street just drink (and, while I know it's not excuseable or even relevant but they're a couple of broke-ass white dudes) and swear on the front porch all day, everyday and that's the meaning I attached to it, nothing more.

There are few things I'd hate to be considered more than racist (in fact, I can't think of any)

Any suggestions anyone has for me to call the dudes who mow their lawn at 1am and drink all day on the front porch I'm open to suggestions. I'll stop calling them porch monkeys after learning the background to the word.

Heather said...

TB: We registered for one for the wedding, butmost of the work so far has been reachable with a step ladder.

Sara said...

I'd go with skid.

So multifaceted.

DebbieDoesLife said...

I think you can spell it either way. But you are the Goddess of Your Blog so you still win!!

Sounds like you will have plenty to keep you busy - that and getting married and being in everyone elses wedding for the next year.

Oh please!! Porch Monkey, Porch Monkey, Porch Monkey!!! How can that be racist??? What about Patio Elephant??? Driveway Dog??? Ain't I a racist pig???

roro said...

You and your grilling are making me jealous. I would totally leave the other work undone and build a deck. Because I am all about the instant (almost) gratification.

As for the "porch monkey" issue, I find that the gender and race neutral term "fucko" suits my needs in this area quite well. The plural is "fuckoes".

Heather said...

Sara: Skid is good, but somehow not sure it fully encapsulates them. Skiddey McDrinksalots?

Debbiedoeslife: yeah I guess I'm the goddess of my blog, since I'm realy not a goddess anywhere else! As far as porch monkey is concerned, it apparently stems from racial epiphets, which I try to avoid, so I'm totally cool with coming up with a better name for our weenie neighbours... hmm Weenie McDrinksalot?

roro: MEE TOO! I am all about the instant gratification. Most of the wallpaper came off here in a couple of days, but then I ran outta steam, so it's been sitting unfinished for a while. Before you leave the big smoke we'd be happy to have you and the S.O. over for grilled things. How are you at swinging a hammer? Oh, and fucko is a great, and I'm sure it'll get lots of use out of both the singular and the plural.

ElaineMI said...

When we had neighbors that were unsuitable, we just called them The Trolls.

Dave said...

Here we go, in an absolutely scientific method, I googled each variation on the term henceforth referred to as 'kablooey' in this comment:

Kablewie: 1,140 hits
Kablooey: 87,700 hits
Kablooie: 74,200 hits

One of the rare instances where I think the majority wins... :)

Anonymous said...

I can see why debbiedoeslife doesn't think that 'porch monkey' is racist, she is after all, living in Texas.

Click here for a definition

Heather said...

elaineMI: Troll works, though for some reason they don't seem troll-like to me... Dave's thinking porch hounds, but I don't really wanna propagate any terms... and really, verandah just doesn't have the same ring.

Dave: oh sweetie, we've got a parliamentary system here, with the queen as head of state. Yeah I'd be the queen in this tiny (and insignificant) principality. Go monarchy!

anonymous: Wikipedia has a definition
I found helpful as well, it's clearly listed as an ethnic slur. I'd also have to say implying that because someone lives in Texas that they aren't able to identify racism isn't fair either.

Dave said...

Hon, hate to break it to you, but the Queen is merely a figure head! :)

Sara said...

What about Porch Rats?

Although, I am fond of Patio Elephant.

Anonymous said...

Verandah Mongrels?

Heather said...

Dave: still the head of state.

Sara: i think your off-blog suggestion of stoop rats sounds good. they're both rat-like and stoop-ey. I'm sure we'll find a use for patio elephant as well (they do have friends who visit)

Anonymous II (I think/assume): Mongrel is an excellent word... but I really think porch rat is the closest approximation I've heard for replacing porch monkey.

ElaineMI said...

Verandah Vermin?