Wil Wheaton on CSI last night-- a small but fun role. Had I not known in advance it was him, I wouldn't have recognized him.
Trying to identify the mood I'm in. Packing stuff up last night triggered a kind of fatalistic end-of-days feeling, at least about being in Iowa. Seven weeks left and counting. I still need to pack more stuff; I really didn't get everything this trip that I'm not using often, but I have a good chunk of it.
It's just weird. I'm in a sort of half existence: work is in a really flaky place where I have code finished but I have to be here to handle changes as necessary for minor fixes and test support. At home, I'm in a kind of disrupted place because I'm packing stuff up and having to go into all the closets and cupboards and pull stuff out. At home I have to clean and organize a bunch of stuff to make room for my moving back and prep work area for all of the remodeling stuff.
It's the transitional time when I feel uprooted.
I suppose it's better that I have time to plan and try and make things go smoothly. Part of me wishes it would just end, like quickly pulling the tape off of your captive's wrists. But I suppose it will end soon enough, and the time of reshaping can begin anew.
I'm kind of looking forward to making the house mine again. I know there's a lot of work to be done, but it's honest work that's directly tied to making the house better, and me better as a result.
The porch will be one of the first things. I did a cost analysis of poured concrete vs. block: poured concrete will run about $1200 for materials, the block about $250. Not a whole lot of thought required for that one. I still need to repair the footings first, and do some handling of the sidewalls on the house, but I can handle doing the labor for that kind of money savings. It is more labor intensive; we're talking a couple of hundred blocks of concrete being moved, placed, plumbed, and mortared, then parged and waterproofed. And there will likely have to be drainage work done to help avoid the moisture problems that plagued the original porch.
Then there's the sidewalk. Along the house, the sidewalk has heaved over time, and is no longer level-- it slopes toward the house, which forces rainwater against the foundation. Not at all what we want. Of course, to fix this little problem I have to pull up the existing sidewalk (oh how I hate those words), dig along the foundation enough to expose it about a foot below grade, waterproof it, set up a drainage system, fill compact and level, then put a new walkway down.
Then there's the internal repairs. Fixing cracked walls, damaged plaster, damaged woodwork, stuff like that. Repainting. A bathroom remodel. Replacing broken windows. Replacing the rotted basement window. Replacing the kitchen window, probably with a bay window. Building a deck for the back door. Replacing the back door. Refinishing the floors. Painting. Venitian plaster.
And the outside: there's a big-ass pile of antique brick that needs to be separated from the hardened mortar and recycled. Some of it will go into fixing the existing brick facing on the house. Some of it may go into use as pavers for a patio. I'd like to replace the craptacular aluminum siding with something more appealing, and insulate the freaking walls.
Oy. It's a lot of work. But I suppose that's part of the charm of owning a house.