State of the Friends and Hammers

I don’t even want to see how long it’s been since I updated this, it’s potentially depressing.  Instead, here is a look at where we are now:

First and foremost, the base of operation has changed from the Woodchuck compound in Niagara County to a tiny room in the heart of Buffalo.  While N. holds down the fort in the wintry northlands, K. and I have relocated to a temporary digs in a cooperative house for a few reasons, chief among them the dislike of a half hour commute and the proximity to our newest project:

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 11.20.12 AM

OH BOY.  What is this?  It’s a house that K. and I bought from the City of Buffalo at a bargain basement price, mostly because it is severely beat up.  It’s within walking distance of our favorite park, a library branch, downtown, the best bar district, and Canada – really.  It is pretty big and unlike the last building we fixed, it is made of wood not brick.  It’s got that “wet abandoned house” smell right now but that won’t last.  On optimistic days we plan on living in at least part of it by fall, but… there’s lots of work to be done before that.

In the meantime, maintaining a closet-sized room as a home base in a house of ~14 people has been fun.  There’s always someone doing something cool in the communal kitchen, and you can’t beat living in a historic mansion even if you can only lay claim to a space that used to be a powder room.

Screen Shot 2013-01-11 at 11.27.54 AMFor instance, last night I arrived home to find people busy fabricating bottle glasses with the aid of a special tool.  Apparently this hobby was big in the 1970s too, but what is my life if not painstakingly relearning the lessons of the 70s, at least in terms of crafts?  I won’t rest until I can cover my new porch in macrame!!  (Yes I’m on Pinterest, hush.)  Anyway, my glass is made from a Tanqueray bottle and you can kind of see that there is a pineapple on it.

2012-12-29 11.04.40My small contribution to the welfare of this robust and densely populated human ecosystem is a “poop shelf.”  The key to a good one of these is to only add books you don’t really care about because they’ll be absorbing shower steam and might fall out of a window or into… a sinister place.  (This is a good way to put all of your duplicate books to good use.  You don’t have duplicate copies of your favorite books?  You don’t have as much of a problem as I do.)  You know the shelf is successful when it begins mysteriously adding to itself, like in this case when A Scanner Darkly appeared out of nowhere.  There’s no gesture that successfully mixes the welcoming with the intellectual with the completely crass like a poop shelf.  Like it’s kind of uncomfortable to be even blogging about this, but I am just so proud of myself at the same time.  Let’s move on.


Also also, this is my new ride.  GoBike is a great place to learn how to fix a bike that you acquired in a basement.  To be clear, I bought my bike as a fixer upper in the basement of a bike shop; K. got his from a friend’s basement for I think $15.  So: get bikes in basements, fix them at a cool place that can hook you up with pink handle grips that have the potential for streamer insertion.  We went to some friends’ wedding this summer and got to see their epic garage full of bikes including an adult Big Wheel (!!!) and now are filled with envy.  I will not rest until I have trouble storing all of my ridiculous bicycles.  K. is dreading having this problem but to be fair he is the one who covets an adult Big Wheel the most in our household.  What is the use of fixing up a huge house if not to immediately cram it full of potentially useful but bulky hoarded objects?  I kid… mostly.  Anyway, this bike now has a back fender and mountain rack on it, transforming it into the quintessential winter beater.

Suddenly, this post has drawn to a close.  What did we learn today?  That living in a former powder room has convinced me that I could never rock a Tiny House; it’s a good thing we now own an Overwhelmingly Large Project House.  Remind me I said that when the going gets rough.

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2 Responses to State of the Friends and Hammers

  1. Mike Webster says:

    Good to have you back!

  2. mutti says:

    “I will not rest until I have trouble storing all of my [ridiculous] bicycles.” – dare I say, “Like father, like daughter?”

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