Sunday, April 20, 2008


I began my day early as my new alter-ego. I started by giving life, well, sustenance to the birds in the 'hood. I'm a geek, I love them, binoculars and bird book in hand. I am riveted by them.

Then I switched to destroy mode and kill-kill-killed things. Well, really, I only killed one thing many times over: poison ivy. Yes, 'tis the season. I am a geek in this regard, as well. As I was telling Alicia this morning, it is as though I have developed a symbiotic relationship with my arch nemesis (me being the super-hero). Yesterday, I was COMPELLED to do yard work. I'd been thinking about it all week, but I suddenly jumped up from my transcribing and started chopping things down and ripping them out. It is as though I am now intuitively linked in some way to my daunting enemy...The poison ivy had JUST THAT DAY leafed out. It was eerie, truly. My hands and knees were literally shaking as I went into the netherworld on THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GARAGE. This was a frightening jungle -- totally uncharted territory filled solid with vines and lots of scary things. Then there is the jungle edge of the yard that has not only poison ivy, but what I believe they call around here: mile-a-minute. That says it all. Blink, and it's a yard further AND the leaf buds are sticky....INSIDIOUS!

By the time I was done, it was quite windy and I was terrified that I had doomed myself. I am so allergic that I have gotten bad cases of poison ivy from the wind several times. I scrubbed myself down and applied Super Ivy Dry from my face down....OW, it stings.

No bumps or swollen eyes this the clear. So, of course, I had to temp fate again this afternoon and continue. Funny, how yard work -- you know, getting your hands in the dirt and all that just isn't quite the same wearing elbow-length industrial rubber gloves. Sigh.

Life and death all in one day.

In true bachelor style, I have eaten the same dinner three days in a row (while pining for my love to return). I ate an entire box of Annie's mac & cheese for lunch... Alicia comes home tomorrow.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

No house work

Sorry, y'all. All this transcribing makes for a dull blog -- nothing to take photos of and no info to share. I am on a deadline that falls on the eve of our Dolly Parton in Boston weekend, thanks to dear Lakey!

I admit, that spring also has had something to do with my blog-writing flakiness. We're experiencing a warm spell, which means that -- despite daily sunscreen use -- my forehead is a little pink. (I feel your disapproval, Amy). I've taken to transcribing out on the porch in the sun... Oh, how I have forgotten the bliss of a real spring. No wonder it is such a season of anticipation and yearning, with the way it tickles and teases one's craving for sun, warmth, life. The season's are so drawn out here, it is delicious. Our single daffodil promises to bloom today (it is comparably late). The magnolia trees are so shockingly old and tall here -- just gorgeous. They always tended to be more underdeveloped in Seattle. More blooms explode daily everywhere and sadly, the grass threatens a need for cutting soon! Sigh.

It's a very busy modeling month, especially this week and next, when I have several days of doing two gigs in one day.

Well, just wanted to send out a good morning.  I wish you a satisfying and productive 13 hours and 7 minutes of daylight. We are headed for 75, 78 and 79 degrees today, Friday and Saturday!

p.s. 43-years young feels great!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Friday, April 11, 2008

Zero comments.

I'm just sayin'....

Add one more...

No sooner had I tallied up the plagues of pestilence, than I discovered yet another. Nebbie had her first tick yesterday. If you are unaware, I will tell you that this area is a bit hellish for such things. Lyme disease occurrences are very high, and fleas and mosquitoes thrive here like crazy as well (a little hellish).

I'd hoped that ticks would only be a concern on hikes (which we haven't had any time for, thus far), but the dogs do spend a lot of time in our yard. We actually did see a deer in our yard at the end of February... We have a surprising amount of wildlife in our yard, considering that we live in a city (albeit a small one): deer, groundhogs, skunks... Skunks really thrive around here, too. We've been quite fortunate so far on that one. I'm the only one who's come close to running in to one... Sorry, no close-up photos of skunks.

More brick work yesterday. I wanted Alicia to take action photos (ha, ha), but she thinks that you're all bored of bricks by now. Gee, you can imagine how I feel...

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Why don't I listen to my dog??! The birds ARE IN THE WALL of our bedroom. Nebbie was trying to tell me... It turns out that there's a brick missing under our bedroom window, and I saw them flying in to the hole this morning. Wah.

In sync with baby bird season, spring has really sprung, now. Things are abloom, abud (?), aleaf (?) and the grass is green. It's supposed to be 70 degrees tomorrow! I am so busy that I can't see straight. Oh, yes, I did get the job as the author/journalist's assistant/research assistant. Between that, modeling and working on the house, yikes!

Alicia is trying hard not to get sick. We went to the city on the train yesterday and had a lovely time (working on the way).

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Alicia's Drudgery

After fearfully and carefully removing what precarious bricks remained intact under the south basement window, I was set to rebed the bricks.
 Scary gaping holes 

Although she had much more pressing and infinitely more enjoyable things to do, Alicia insisted on assisting me with the brick laying.

I can't even guess how many bricks we laid, since it was two wythes worth. I mixed about 15 batches of mortar, though....phew-- a good workout.

Alicia really, really hates laying bricks. She had a bad attitude, but I loved having her there. I don't mind it, but enjoy tuckpointing more. It goes MUCH faster with two people. I only have a little more to do on this wall!

 Gorgeous and almost done!

I am starting on a trial basis as an interview transcriptionist and potentially a research assistant for a journalist/author tomorrow. I am hoping it works out! April will be a busy month for modeling, too, so that is going well.

What weekend??

Friday, April 4, 2008

Happy Friday!

Hello! One last yummy hardware photo: it's a crowd pleaser!
Now, on to the helical ties, finally. I know you've been dying to know all about them...
I drill a hole in the brick with my new beloved tool, a rotary hammer.
The hole goes all the way into the next wythe of brick. It goes fast and is painless.
Then I switch to the bit that installs the helical tie. Pow, pow, pow, it's in, again -- painless -- except for the two out of 60 or so that wouldn't go in all the way.

So basically, it just ties the layers of bricks together and makes things more structurally sound in the big picture.

But today, I was rebedding bricks. Wow, twenty-two bricks in an entire work day -- that's hauling ass all day. Oh, and I had to knock out all of the rotten ones first. Several double batches of mortar. I really want an electric mortar mixer, but alas, not now. (I really want another tattoo, also, but that's not going to happen either, sigh).

More bricks tomorrow, although I am dying to play my guitar!

Thursday, April 3, 2008

A Very Long Day

Jodi is modeling for a class at the moment - 6-10 tonight. I thought I would keep her promise and blog something. Let's see...we started the day by driving to the edge of town and loading the car with free wood from a dead, downed tree. The days are getting warm, but the nights are still hitting the 20s and that makes for a cold house. We're trying not to use the heating system until we get the insulation in the attic, which won't happen until summer. After a $1500 heating bill we decided that building fires was a fun and useful project.  
With the rest of her day Jodi drilled and hammered special rods into the bricks to help support the structure of our walls. This is a project that starts in the basement and will continue up all four of the floors. Hundreds of these guys. She also re-bed bricks, went to the gym and now she has a modeling job. Whew! For anyone that knows Jodi well, this is just a typical day.

I'm in the studio where I've been since early this morning, working hard to sculpt and cast a good handful of figures for the Romeo Project. As soon as I get enough I will photograph them and start asking for grants. I priced the cost of having an art caster do the casting for me since the sculpting takes so long and there are so many figures to deal with. Uh-hem. Let's just say that I can do it for a lot less than $100,000 and that's if I only do one cast of 100 figures. So I'm making molds. I'm also trying to make something new for an art fair that happens in May and I'm trying to get everything together for a video I'll be producing in Seattle in a couple of weeks. It's hard to sit down and sculpt with so much to do, but in the end I have to tell myself that this IS my job. I'll leave you with a photo of Elizabeth. She will be one of Juliet's love interests in this installation. Yes, this will be Queen Elizabeth. I'm a huge fan of historical fiction and since Romeo & Juliet was written in the Elizabethan Era and since Elizabeth is famous for never marrying, I thought I would add my own twist to the story. She (Elizabeth) will be dressed to the hilt from head to toe, but she's still a little naked after today's sculpting.
If you don't know anything about the Romeo Project, click on the underlined words above to go to the description.  


...and this is me in my f'ing 40s wearing stupid readers to sculpt, read, work on my computer and actually see my own face in a mirror. Thought my oldest sister would enjoy this!!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Just keeping my promise

The day was spent almost from the beginning. I had to put off drilling until tomorrow, as it was time to go to work.

That's it.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Not a hugely productive day, again. But it was actually WARM and lovely, and frankly, that's all that counts. It hit 68 degrees -- our warmest day yet AND a rainbow! (barely double).

It was our first beer-thirty of the year on the front porch.

I knocked out some bricks and relaid them (like yesterday). The offending washing machine went away today, and we have $80 to spend on groceries!

Modeling tomorrow, after drilling helical ties (no, I'm not going to tell you about them today). I always laugh when I take off my dirty work clothes to take a bath before going to model... 

 It is a pretty funny contrast. They would all be so surprised if they knew what I was doing before I went there! Sadly, the bruises will show tomorrow.

Tomorrow, one last photo of yummy hardware!