Ramblings from the Warrior's Den
Friday, February 14, 2003
I thought I'd post a copy of the e-mail I sent to my parents a couple of days ago to give them a status report on the house while they are on their cruise. Somehow, I don't think this is the kind of e-mail one would want to see to reassure them of the condition of their house while they're on a cruise ship in the middle of a tropical island paradise...

Well, we haven't burned down the house yet...

...And as long as the contractors we hired to fix yesterday's little mishap don't take too many coffee breaks (I knew that Starbucks across the street was trouble waiting to happen,) most of the damage should be taken care of by the time you got back. We had to put it on your credit card, I hope you don't mind too much. Just don't spend too much on spa treatments and you'll probably be fine.

It's been pretty quiet around here. Jacki has got the base coat in her room almost done now (she hasn't had much else to do since the Jetta exploded into a huge ball of flame for no apparent reason in the middle of westbound 520 during rush hour (you should have seen the traffic mess that one made, hopefully we managed to get some of the news helicopter shots on video). Fortunately, I think spontaneous incineration is covered under warranty, so that shouldn't be too big a deal. There's only about thirteen pounds of paperwork here to fill out for that one.

Things are just about as usual around here, if you can ignore the fact that the entire downstairs is crammed with about twice the amount of various furnishings that should be able to fit in a space the size of the girls' room, somehow violating the laws of physics. There is currently another one of my miscellaneous half-baked schemes residing in the garage, but that should be done and cleaned up by the time you get back.

Oh yeah, one of those guerilla home redecoration shows that have popped up all over cable TV showed up yesterday, and are currently in the process of redoing the living room in some sort of retro 60s style. I suppose the bead curtains and tie-dye upholstery don't look too bad, but I don't know if I care too much for the orange shag carpeting they put in. (Note: You're not supposed to know about any of this, so just ignore the fact that I said anything here.)

Anyway, I've got to get back to my neverending quest to figure out the mysterious secrets of System.Windows.Forms.Dialog.OpenFileDialog(), so I'll let you get back to your cruising.


P.S. Most of this stuff didn't really happen. I feel it would probably be unwise to be more specific than that, because I value my life too much.
Tuesday, February 11, 2003
At the present time, the four of us remaining at home are in a state which is probably known by various State and local government agencies as "dangerously unsupervised." As usual, our parents have ditched us in the cold, dark and drab place that is Seattle in the Winter, opting instead for a week in the Caribbean aboard one of those overly fancy cruise ships. This time, they also brought my youngest sister along with them. I've not yet decided whether I should be bitter and resentful, adding another entry to my ever-growing list of deep emotional scars, or whether I should just be grateful for the resulting peace and quiet of her absence.

The four of us remaining at home are coping relatively well so far. We've got enough microwaveable junk in the house to keep us alive for a week or so, and probably enough canned food to hold out for a month or so (albeit with the possible minor inconvenience of nothing but canned corn for three weeks of that.) I don't think that any of us have quite figured out the whole ''wild party" bit just yet, so thus far, the house has yet to be burned to the ground. All in all, that's probably a good thing, since the parents will eventually be back. In a recent survey, nine out of ten parents preferred to return from vacation with their houses not burned down by their childrens' wild parties while they were gone. I suspect that the remaining one probably got paid off by the Coalition For the Promotion of Arson or something like that. Although the house remains in a profoundly unburned state at the present time, portions of the house may not be immediately recognizeable by the time they return on Sunday. My other sister is using this week to repaint and redecorate her room. I am also using this time to work on a few projects of my own, including a couple that I'd have a hard time doing at any other time. Again, this isn't exactly bitter open rebellion material, but admittedly those of us at home this weeke are pretty lousy at open rebellion. Besides, I dont think any of us know how to change the locks on the front door anyway.

As can be expected in these circumstances, household cleanliness has a tendency to slip a bit without parental supervision. The entire downstairs is currently filled with the mind-boggling amount of furnishings that somehow fit into the room currently under renovation. Being a guy, I probably don't need a whole lot of armoires, wardrobes, nightstands or knick-knack shelves in my room, yet the removal of the basic furniture from that room has somehow managed to fill a significant portion of the master bedroom and the downstairs hallway (our house has the main living quarters on the upper floor, and the bedrooms on the lower floor) almost to capacity with stuff. And this bedroom happens to be the smallest one in the house too. I am beginning to question whether or not it will be possible to return everything to the room without the use of a jackhammer.

Still, when all is said and done, and my parents and sister wander in, work out from a week of sun, surf and spa treatments, chances are that things will be pretty much the way they left them. Exactly how it gets to that point is one of those eternal mysteries that nobody ever seems to figure out. All we know is that through some set of moderately freakish coincidences and pseudo-random events, the house will get cleaned, usually at the last possible minute before they get home, and in a blind panic. Somehow, we all end up getting dragged along for the ride.

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