Saturday, May 21, 2005

Construction ahead

Today was a big day in our house: We met with a contractor about our ghetto-chic bathroom this afternoon. He's one of three we have scheduled meetings with over the next week, via a handy contractor referral service we heard about from a friend. Today's contractor is the one who did work for our friend J., and we liked him a lot. Yes, we spent 45 minutes crammed in the bathroom listening to tales of real estate won and lost, but he had great ideas on what to do in our little corner of hell and there was nothing about him that skeeved me out. And, really, what more could you want in a contractor?

I don't have any photos of its current state, but rest assured: It's bad. Sky-blue fixtures, two kinds of (non-matching) vinyl tile, a tub surround that sticks out an inch past the wall... you name it. (And unlike Meg and her guy, we don't have the chutzpah, or the skillz, to do it ourselves.) Our plan is to pretty much gut it and start over, and this guy had some really good thoughts on what to do so. A lot in our house is jury-rigged -- jerry-rigged? I'm never sure what the correct cliche is... I suspect it's "jerry" as a slam toward the Irish -- and this guy figured out a way to fix, for example, the way our window frame nudges into the bathtub surround. He'll give us an estimate over the next week sometime.

In the meantime, I ought to start looking into a home equity line of credit, the career requirements for high-end call girls or some other way to acquire the necessary funds.

Food news: Tonight, we are attempting our first-ever paella. I spent a fun 90 minutes this morning buying provisions at our local wine shop/bakery, the international grocer who specializes in spices, and the very nice fish market. Oh, and I went to Wild Oats for a $4 red pepper and some thighs of organic chickens who'd apparently listened to opera and read Freud before they ended up wrapped in plastic and resting in a yellow styrofoam container. Some friends are coming over with more wine, appetizers and dessert, and we're all going to get sloshed as we try to make paella. Which, as I understand it, isn't really that difficult anyway.

Full report to come tomorrow.