Tuesday, December 11, 2012

The Tortoise and The Bungalow

Once upon a time there was a tortoise, who was ever so slow, but whose perseverance was known throughout the land, for he beat the quick but lazy Hare in a race for the ages.  What you might not know is that the Tortoise is well on his way to beating another foe, Bungalow.  You see, boys and girls, the Bungalow is a strange creature, who looks small from the front and big from behind.  His cute and unassuming face is offset by his grand and nearly see-through behind, as well as his cavernous insides.  But what really sets him apart from the rest is his ability to drag on and on and on; while the Hare's surprise loss kept readers rapt 'til the end, the Bungalow's sporadic fits and starts seem more to disappoint and underwhelm than to interest and delight the audience.  Ahh, the Bungalow is a creature who may prove, in time, to defy time itself and regress back into the very local timber and stone from which he was built.

Oh, wait.  I was told in a recent review at work that less frequent use of sarcasm might serve me well in my career.  Let me unsarcasmafy that last paragraph and state what I mean in clear, simple terms: "BUNGALOW SLOW AS MOLASSES IN ALASKA WAFFLE HOUSE."

"But no," you say, "your last post was about the drywall being completed, and this post contains pictures of even more drywalling, with news of even further work!"  "Ah," I counter, "but it also contains sad tales of woe-- or rather-- sad tales of whoa."

Drywall continued to go up after my post last week.  In fact, Abby went by the house today and found most of the second-floor drywall to be complete.  But it was supposed to take several days at most.  The first floor remains incomplete, with the initial work in the kids' bedrooms and the family room not joined by the rest of the floor.  This is because, understandably and ununderstandably, the front porch has to be ordered: understandably, because the front porch is what overlays that area of the house that was excavated, so it forms the roof of those several rooms and, without it, the drywall could get wet from precipitation; ununderstandably, because last week I specifically asked the contractors why they hadn't laid the porch yet, and they told me it was because they would wait until the end so as to avoid heavy foot traffic on the new flooring.  Yet, in the same email they told me the drywall was beginning.  So if they knew they wouldn't be able to complete the drywall until the porch was laid, why the heck wasn't the porch laid at least concurrently?  I believe it's a mystery.

Two nights ago I had to pee at about 2:45am.  After I accomplished the major feat of getting out of bed, trudging across the basement to the bathroom, and going back to bed, I managed to make myself stay awake for the next 75 minutes having an argument in my head with the contractors about the major issue of them having drywalled the first-floor bathroom without first having moved the door like we wanted.  Seriously, I was awake until 4am having an argument in my head with someone about a door.  Do I feel vindicated now that I know the bathroom is part of the area that has not yet been completed?  I don't know; ask me when it's all over.  In 2058.

Thing is, Abby asked the contractors at the house today why the door hadn't been moved, and got pretty much a blank stare of an answer.  She got the same answer when she asked why the toiled hadn't been moved.  She's pretty angry, and for those of you who know Abby, that takes a lot.  I'm pretty angry, and for those of you who know me, well, um, it's become par for the course lately.  Tonight as we headed across the neighborhood to a neighbor's Hanukkah party, I opined that this is the point where normal people would fire their contractors.  Abby didn't disagree.  (Only we're both wrong, because normal people would have done that a long time ago, methinks.)

And yet again, progress comes from next door, where Lee the Windmill Contractor (I picture him dressed as Don Quixote, since we've never met) emailed me several days ago about an issue they've encountered with the water company.  Seems as if the water company is requiring some sort of fancy-schmancy $200+ water hookup for the Windmill because of the way the line is set up.  Lee said the water company told him we would need that too, but I hadn't heard anything of the sort.  So I forwarded the email to our contractors and asked them to hook up with Lee to see what was going on.  Crickets.  So a day later, I get another email from Lee, saying he had talked to the property-management company and they had agreed to pay for the hookups, since it was only $200 apiece.  I forwarded that to the contractors as well, again asking they advise me and/or Lee on what to do.  I did receive a response of "let me talk to the plumber," but only, I think, because I used ALLCAPS when writing my email.  Now this would only normally be mildly annoying to me, despite the fact that our neighbor and their contractor, who is helping us, is potentially being put off by the lack of communication, were it not for another set of emails from my contractor only one day earlier. Yes, this set of emails involved the contractor asking us for the money for the extra insulation we asked for in the walls and floors.  I have no problem paying this bit the contractor claims to have not known about, even though we had mentioned it over and over and over again throughout the whole process.  But the problem is that the four or five emails we had on this subject all happened within about a half an hour.  No problem replying to my emails at all when it involves a check, huh?

But enough of the sarcasm.  Now, back to the serious business of returning to the normalcy that is living in my basement with my wife and two kids.  Luckily, the drywall down here was finished about four years ago by a contractor who was neither Tortoise nor Hare, but rather a dependable worker who showed up, did his job, got paid, and let us go on with our lives.
Inside Lola's room, with her bed area at left and closet center-right
Family Room, looking left as you go down the stairs,
with the doorway into Lola's room at right

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