Archive for May, 2010

Pedicures & Power Tools

Last week, after several Lemon Drop martinis and giant beers, we talked Janiece’s Smart Man into giving us a pedicure. He liked the numbers: four hot chicks and two smart men, one of whom would simply be an amused spectator, so agreed to try.

He had some conditions, though. First, he had us buy more beer. Second, he got to pick his methods. And third, he wanted us wearing t-shirts. Just in case wet t-shirts accidentally became involved.

We settled in back at the Big Yellow House, and he selected his tools for the job:

  • Pressure washer

  • Belt sander
  • File and rasp
  • Dremel cutting blade
  • Masking tape and compressor sprayer
  • Turtle wax and dremel buffer
  • Vaseline intensive care
  • Styptic powder

OK, a little unconventional, but we could live with that.

First, he put down a couple of plastic sheet drop cloths in the family room while he had us select our nail polish color. I say color, because he only wanted to load the sprayer once. Cleaning the nozzle can be a pain, so we all had to go with the same color.

The pressure washer didn’t work out so well. It was hard to aim, a little painful, and it broke one of Janiece’s side table lamps. Note to self: not intended for indoor use. Boogie went downstairs to hide at this point, but the rest of us simply had another beer.

The Smart Man could have been a bit more gentle with the belt sander and rasp, but we did have styptic powder on hand. And I guess the drop cloths were a good idea, after all.

After another round of beer, we decided that we’d give each other footrubs, round robin style, and let the Smart Man watch. He liked that. I think. He was kind of buzy futzing with the paint sprayer.

Unfortunately, the sprayer lacked fine control for polish application. The Smart Man’s stereo receiver and home theatre system will never be the same, it’s now covered with a fine coat of grape-colored purple lacquer. Still, he did a nice job of masking our toes (where the tape gripped and we weren’t bleeding) and the paint job looked fabulous.


One final drink, and we tackled the cleanup job. I think we’ll need to replace the paint sprayer, and I hope Janiece can get the spots of blood off her ceiling. (Anne should be just fine, we applied direct pressure.)

Next time, I think we’ll go to the nail salon. We like the massage chairs.

Note: None of this actually happened. At least I think it didn’t. But I do have a fresh pedicure.

Posted on Monday, May 24th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: friends, humor | 7 Comments »

Springtime in Denver

This last week I was in Denver on business. The wide open skies and fabulous sunshine were awesome, as were my excellent hosts, Hot Chick JanieceTM, her Smart Man, and their giant, sweet schnauzer Boogie. They took excellent care of me – thank you for everything!

Boogie, Janiece and the perennially cheerful (and anonymous) Smart Man.

I took some time off for fun on Thursday and Friday, and much fun was had by everyone. The Incomparable AnneTM and the Organized StaceyTM joined us for massages, shopping and pedicures, and Stacey’s husband JR jumped on board for dinner at local Asian restaurant Junz.

Stacey & Janiece
Stacey and Janiece. This was taken at dinner, after a Lemon Drop or two.

Anne, Jeri & JR
Anne, Jeri & JR (Stacey’s husband). Terry and JR were highly entertained by our company. ;)

Jeri, Anne & Janiece
Jeri, Anne and Janiece at PF Changs, where we ate lunch in honor of our friend John.

Posted on Saturday, May 22nd, 2010 by Jeri
Under: friends, ucf | 4 Comments »

Hunting the Elusive Condo

For the past month, I have been sporadically looking at condominiums and cottages in the Seattle area.


Why? I need to get away from the stress of owning a big home and yard that I can’t take care of by myself, with my work and travel schedule. And I really need to be closer to my office than the current exhausting 1.5 hr one way commute, now that my kids are done with school. And finally, it really is time for those kids to fly the nest, perhaps with a little help, but definitely find their wings.

My wish list isn’t really huge, but it’s not simple either. Close-to-downtown Seattle real estate in good neighborhoods can be ridiculously expensive.

  • 2-3 bdrm, 2 bath condo/townhouse/cottage w/ full groundskeeping

  • Sunny, well lit, open, prefer architecturally interesting to apartment-bland
  • Usable kitchen for cooking/entertaining
  • Hardwood or other non-carpet material floors
  • Fireplace
  • Deck or patio
  • Covered parking or garage
  • Laundry room on same floor as bedrooms
  • Reasonably quiet location – not end of runway or on major highway
  • Within 30 min of downtown

A townhouse is a plus, as is a soaking or jetted tub, a garage, and a view of a slice of green, mountains, or sound. High HOA fees are a minus, as are huge hive-like facilities with long hallways – not very dog-friendly.

I’ve found two I’ve loved but haven’t worked out:

The Bainbridge Condo is lovely. Totally lovely. It’s my gold standard. But, in the recession, not a single unit has sold and they’re all being rented out. This puts any single buyer at significant legal risk both from a underlying land perspective (owned by the developer) and from a HOA/assessment perspective.

Ballard Condo

The Ballard condo/cottage is a tiny, light, bright jewel. I also loved it. Apparently, though, contravening all customs re: condo ownership, there will be no community maintenance of grounds or building exteriors. Groundskeeping and the relative lack of headache is precisely why I’m looking at condos, so that is strike 2.

Bainbridge Condo

I’ve also found many I’ve really disliked, some for rather comical reasons.

The Capitol Hill condo had fabulous photography – and was, indeed, light and bright. It also had amateurishly installed Ikea cabinetry and closets, horrible kludged together bathrooms, and in a supreme triumph of idiocy, no *refrigerator* in the kitchen. Check the photo. There is no space for a fridge. Apparently the previous owner installed 18′ of cabinets and made do w/ under-counter wine chiller units in lieu of a fridge.

Capitol Hill Condo

The Lake Union condo was in a style I really like – sort of the Dwell design/style, dark bamboo floors, re-engineered stone countertops, window seat, lots of light. Still, it was four stories. Count them. And the first bathroom was on the third floor. The shared kitchen/living room was about 12′x14′, and had about five cabinets; apparently residents have to choose between storing dishes or food.

Lake Union Condo

Then there was the Fremont condo, which was also new and modern, but the copious back windows all overlooked a really seedy 7-11 and its filthy parking lot, and beyond that a head shop.

The inexpensive Normandy park townhouse condos were new and pretty and spacious, and conveniently positioned at the end of one of the SeaTac runways. How thoughtful for my travel schedule! And sleep schedule.

Anyway, I think I’ll take a break for a while, and only look when I see something stellar, avoiding any further emotional investment.

Note: I have a real estate agent. One on each side of the Sound, actually. I am perfectly happy with them, thank you.

Note 2: I am being heavily comment spammed lately. While I do review my comment moderation queue, if your comment disappears into the spam queue, I probably won’t see it to retrieve it, sorry – email me!

Posted on Wednesday, May 19th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: home, seattle | 5 Comments »

Senior Prom

Senior prom was last weekend and I had the privilege of having my house be the pre-prom gathering area. I love how grown up they look in their finery. :)

Zach and Ashley adoring each other.

Yes, those are katana, as the boys prepare to do battle. Or something.

The girls have fun showing off their shoes.

This last picture gave me a scary flash forward to some future place and time – when I’ll see a similar image in a wedding.

Posted on Tuesday, May 11th, 2010 by Jeri
Under: entertainment, Poulsbo | 5 Comments »