1902 Victorian

Bringing our old house out of the disco era and back into the Victorian.

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Thursday, March 30, 2006

Taking Up Space

Since I was out of town last week, and Darwin's been busy with the lawnmower project and we've had auctions and children's birthday parties to attend, basically I have nothing to say about the house.

So I'm taking a page from the book of my middle school self. Back then, my family lived in the middle of 108 acres, and to kill time in the summer, my sister and I rode on a golf cart all over the land, asking each other hypothetical questions and eating those popsicles that are frozen in a clear plastic tube. (Flav-o-Ice?)

I offer you a virtual Flav-O-Ice ... no, sorry, I'm keeping the red one for myself. Would you care for a blue? ... and a few hypothetical (and not so hypothetical) questions:

1. If you could live in another city for a month, where would it be?

My answer:
Venice, Italy. I've been fascinated with Venice ever since I read Palladian Days, and I became even more fascinated when I read The City of Falling Angels. We plan to go there for a vacation one day ... when that day will be I don't know. It's hard to figure out what to do with two cats for a week while we're away. They would not enjoy a kennel.

2. What is the most senseless act of violence you ever committed?

My answer:
I pummeled my sister when she turned off the VCR before the Bryan Adams video for "Everything I Do" could play at the end of Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. Talk about senseless.

3. What do you wish you could change about your house but can't afford to do any time soon?

My answer:
Remove the aluminum siding on the back half of the house. Removing wouldn't be costly, but we just don't know what's under there. Besides, we already have too many irons in the fire. You know me - I'd just go out on a whim and start ripping stuff off if the calming force of Darwin wasn't here.

4. If you could only change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My answer:
I'll go shallow with this one ... I hate my hands! Weird, right? Who hates their hands? I have these strange tapered fingers that are fat at the bottom and teeny at the top. Ugh. The only ok thing about them is they're just like my mother's and grandmother's. Sorry, Mom. I just insulted your hands.

5. Where is the first place you remember living? (past lives do not count)

My answer:
In the little house where we lived from the time I was 1 to 6. My dad built it mostly himself (guess it's in the genes, huh?), and it was beside a pond, down the road from my grandparents' house. My room had a canopy bed with a lacy white bedspread.

6. What's your favorite constellation?

My answer:
I can never find any constellations, but I like the name Orion. Eutaw has the best night sky view, by the way. Maybe it's because we're out in the country. The sky always seems so bright and packed with stars. When I get home in the winter and it's already dark, sometimes I just stand there and stare up in amazement before I go in the house.

7. What's the most disastrous date you've ever been on?

My answers:
Hmmm, there have been so many. Probably the one where I didn't really like the guy but was afraid to say no, and then spent the whole night trying to keep him from touching me. Oh wait, that describes three-fourths of my dates. Thank goodness for Darwin.

8. What celebrity do you most resemble?

My answer:
The only celebrity I've ever been told I look like is Melissa Joan Hart. You know, the star of Sabrina the Teenage Witch and a teen movie named for a Britney Spears song?

I aim high, folks.

9. If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

I'd probably hire someone to come finish the bathroom and tile the kitchen countertops. Then I would instantly regret it because surely he would cut a hole in the wrong spot in the wood floor or something gut-wrenching like that.

As for purchases, I would probably go on a handbag and shoe-shopping spree. And clothes. And antiques! Oh the antiques I would buy! Maybe I would need to buy a van to transport all my antiques. Heck, I could just hire someone to deliver it!

Okay, I'm getting carried away. Thinking about endless money always gets me excited.

Now I'm excited to hear your answers! And hey, quit hogging the Flav-O-Ice!



John said...

Ah, Venice. The romance of raw sewage cooking in the hot Italian sun, and don't forget the pigeons. By all means, go to Venice (everyone should go once), but don't go in the summer.
The stench is . . . stomach turning.

1) Just a month? That is hard. It's a three way tie between Christmas Island, Hawaii, and Florence (much nicer than Venice in my opinion).

2) Tripped my sister because I was 8 and it just seemed like fun. She was running, and when I tripped her she hit hard. Real hard. The whole house shook and she cried. I immedately regretted it.

3)Redo the freaking septic/sewer system (6 ft high iron fence is a close second).

4)I'd love to be more of a "people person," charming & smooth talking.

5)A remuddled bungalow in Springfield, IL.


7)My senior prom. Torrential rain, a flooded car engine, and dropping someone off at the ER before we ever got to the pre-prom dinner.

8)Harry Potter or Where is Waldo. I can't believe I just admitted that.

9)My freedom. Say good-bye to the crappy job, college loans, credit card debt, and mortgages. I'd probably die of joy after that.


12:31 PM  
Patricia W said...

Hi Kristen,

Thanks for the questions :)

1) I'd go to Paris. I've never been there and would love to see the cathedrals and museums.

2) In a fit I slammed a door and there was a person coming in that I didn't see. They weren't hurt but I realized that they could have been badly hurt and felt absolutely horrible about it.

3) Put in an in-ground swimming pool. Although, I'll never have it done, it's a luxury I'd love.

4) I'd like to be taller. Say, by about 5 or 6 inches. I'm short, very short.

5) In an old farmhouse on Maple Road in Ann Arbor. It was beautiful and get this, it still had a privy out back! There was a corn crib and woods all around us. I was only 1 and 2 years old but still have vivid memories. Lots of good feelings when I think about it.

6) I don't know. The only ones I can identify are Orion and the Big Dipper. I know there's cassiopea, ursa's major and minor, the zodiac but I can never identify them. The northern lights are cool, do they count?

7) I was guilt-tripped into going on a blind date with a coworker (who didn't want to go on a first date with the guy alone so she set up a double date). It was awful, the guy was a hick and all I remember is he had a tattoo of a spotted dairy cow on his arm.

8) Someone thought I looked like Melissa Gilbert but I don't see the resemblance. I think he might have needed glasses.

9) I'd first get this house fixed the way I want it. No expense spared. I'd then decorate it with beautiful things.

3:44 PM  
Greg said...

This could be tough, but I’m waiting for the Liquid Sunshine to stop falling outside so I can finish nailing up the door trim, so what the hell, here it goes.

1. To really make this an intersting question it should be “any city for a month, and in what year”. Since it would be a month right now I’ll just say NYC in some part of Manhattan with cool old architecture and a Bohemian atmosphere – if that still exists any where in Manhattan.

2. I’ve never really been a violent person but the thing that impacted me the most was when I was a kid was when I was about 10. I watched my dog attack and cat and didn’t stop him at first. I still feel guilty about that.

3. I would get rid of the composite shingles, put on a slate roof, rebuild the chimneys so they are really tall and ornate, and put cast iron cresting at the top of all the eves.

4. I used to think if I could only gain 20 more pounds I would be happy. I put on 20 pounds and, well, it didn’t have the impact I expected. I think it’s more that it’s not as important as it used to be.

5. A small house my family rented when I was first born. There was a lumber yard that went up in flames near by and we walked to see it. I remember my Dad had to carry me so I must have been a toddler.

6. The only ones I can pick out are Orion and The Big Dipper and I’m not even sure if those are constellations.

7. I asked a woman out and decided I would cook dinner. She showed up really drunk and continued to get drunker buy the minute. She barely ate the food and passed out before dessert. It felt like I was disposing of a body trying to get her home. I’m sure that has the potential to be a great first date for some guys but I found it very disappointing.

8. Recently someone said I looked like Liam Niesen (Probably spelled wrong and it may have even been another actor). I’m not sure if I do or not.

9. There is a Big 1922 Hotel in town that is kind of the heart of the city. They did a big Christmas display every year and a big New Years Eve Bash. It is by far the biggest old building in town. It has been closed for about 2 years now and a developer was going to do a major renovation and re-open it. Yesterday there was an article in the paper that the plans have been put on hold indefinitely.

I would buy the Hotel and do a first class restoration of it.

5:49 PM  
Trissa said...

1. Hmmm... so many to choose from. I'd say Neuchatel, Switzerland. It's a tiny town on a lake that sits just below the Alps. It's beautiful and has the feel of a timeless European city. I visited for one weekend and it would be great to spend a month in the summer.

2. I am not a violent person and dislike confrontation. I guess I'd have to go back to middle school and it would be a tantrum ending with slamming the door.

3. Put in a retaining wall in the back yard and have the roof replaced.

4. Get better at completing tasks. I do well with ideas and starting, but once I know I can do it, I tend to lose enthusiasm.

5. In the house I grew up in until I was ten. It was built at the turn of the century and had beautiful details (built ins, plate rails, leaded glass and stained glass windows, nice woodwork, radiators, and an awesome clawfoot tub).

6. The big dipper because I can always find that one.

7. When I went on a date and he told me he had researched medeival catapults and then built one to spec. When I asked what he shot from it he said they were going to shoot a live pig and then roast it, but figured out that it wouldn't be very good to roast after they shot it from the catapult. I literally looked to see if there was a back exit when I went to the bathroom.

8. The photographer that was on the show 30 Something. I don't remember her name.

9. I'd buy Nick a Sawstop saw to ensure that he never cut his fingers off.

9:52 PM  
Kristin said...

Ooh, great answers everybody! I'm so jealous of all of you who got to grow up in old houses. I was in new constructions all my life until I got married, and we've lived in three homes of various levels of "vintageness."

11:00 AM  
Becky said...

1) I'd pick Washington, D.C. I lived there for three months right after I graduated from high school and loved it. It was my "plan" to move back there after I finished college and live. But I fell in love, blah, blah, blah.

2) My little sister is blind and so when I was younger and we would fight (we didn't really physically fight all that often) I could swoop in a wollup her good and then dart out of her way before she could get a good punch in. I don't know that it was senseless violence because she could be pretty annonying, but it seems like the kind of thing you'd go to hell for.

3) It's not really a change to the house, but I wish we could afford to build the garage sooner.

4) If we're going shallow... Right now I would just be happy to have a waist again instead of a lop-sided mass where my stomach should be. Normally if I wasn't preganat I'd be wishing for a smaller butt.

5) I grew up in the same house my dad did. It was just and old farm house built sometime in the mid 1800's. But my parents loved antiques so it was filled with all of these great treasures.

6) Casiopeia- the M shaped one that supposed to represent a queen. I always loved that name, hummmmmmmm. Would people make fun of the baby if it was named that?

7) I went on a double date with my good friend from high school after I went to college (she stayed in our home town). She was into cowboys and set me up with this guy who only talked about rodeo. It definatly qualifies as one of the most boring seven hours of my life.

8) Most people off the bat say Angelina Joile, but the only thing we have in common is huge lips. So I don't think that counts.

9) That limestone building we looked at here in town and I'd do a really cool remodel of the apartments and then live of their income.

11:01 AM  
mindy said...

Fun idea! I was away and missed all the posting excitement, it seems. Time to catch up...

1. If you could live in another city for a month, where would it be?

Hmmm - maybe Nairobi, so that I could easily go on safari trips. I have a real thing for animals.

2. What is the most senseless act of violence you ever committed?

When I was about sixteen, I was walking on a swampy path with two friends and a huge snapping turtle came onto the path. It was hissing and snapping, so one of my friends hit it in the head with a stick. I was shocked - and the turtle was very hurt. Stupidly, I made my friend "put it out of it's misery", not realizing how hard it would be to put down a giant snapping turtle. I never touched the turtle, but watching my friend kill it remains one of my most haunting and regrettable memories.

3. What do you wish you could change about your house but can't afford to do any time soon?

It's location! I'd move it closer to where I work. But on a more realistic note, I'd like it to paint it a tasteful color.

4. If you could only change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

I would love to have longer legs - then I'd be taller AND leggy :)

5. Where is the first place you remember living? (past lives do not count)

In a little white cape cod style house, where I had Winnie the Pooh wallpaper and green shag carpet.

6. What's your favorite constellation?

I don't know any constellations; but I do love looking at the night sky, especially now that we've moved out of the city and can actually see stars.

7. What's the most disastrous date you've ever been on?

Oh lord...... the answers to this just aren't internet-appropriate! I've had some doozies.

8. What celebrity do you most resemble?

Judy Garland in the Wizard of Oz. Honest to god, with my hair like that and fake eyelashes on, I'm a dead ringer!

9. If you won the lottery, what would you buy first?

I'd buy financial independence by paying off my student loan and our mortgage; then I'd buy a 3-bay garage for Teague.

8:47 AM  

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