Light at the End of the Tunnel
The remodeling continues.
I have a toilet. Yeah!! Of course nothing is going the way "Vitali" would have hoped. First the floor is lower so he had to cut the toilet drain down to the floor which was messy to say the least. Then a plastic part broke inside the flush mechanism, luckily the super had the part. Now he is installing the pedestal sink and he just found out the floor is not level so he will have to shim the base. I looked up the sink on the web and found the Toto pedestal sink is pictured with the same faucet I chose.
Vitali is Gregori's main man and he stoically goes about his business and solves each problem in a methodical way.
I bought towels today and will get a rug, shower curtain and new toilet seat tomorrow while I am near BB&B. Those of you with out a Bed Bath and Beyond it is a one stop urban supplier for all the things for the NYC apartment. We couldn't live without it.
By the time Vitali left the sink was in and working a third layer of plaster is on the walls which are now ready for paint and we set the placement for all the towel bars glass shelves and even a four foot stainless shelf which sits high in the wall opposite the mirror so the door will clear under it. Supplies not needed every day will live there. A trip to the Container Store will fill that shelf with matching boxes.
By the time I get home from work the bathroom will be usable. Next the kitchen. The good news is Gregori wanted me to order the appliances today to be delivered on Tuesday. I know he is ready for this job to be done which is good for me. The faster the better.

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Love & Marriage

Two friends of mine waited three hours and got married in San Francisco yesterday. They have been a couple for many years and have the protection of same sex couple benefits but yesterday they were allowed to do what most people in America take for granted, they are “married”. I don’t want to go on too much about same sex marriage per say. With the divorce rate at 50% or higher in America the straight world should embrace anyone who wants to build a long term loving relationship with another person.
What I really want to talk about is way our President has defined the argument. He and his Christian right government talk about the “tyranny of judiciary “.. He has decided that the judiciary branch of the government is the enemy. In other words the executive branch wants to rule without the benefit of the courts. This is a direct assault on the way we govern ourselves. The last time Bush used the word tyranny he bombed the crap out of Iraq. Take a look at the judges Bush has put forward. Charles Pickering, Priscilla Owen, Miguel Estrada these people are right wing ideologues looking to use their judgeships to put forward a Christian fundamentalist view. They openly oppose abortion, same sex marriage and will support the executive branches abuse of privacy. There is no difference between the Bush administrations stacking of the judiciary with religious zealots and the Imams controlling the Iranian government.
House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, Texas Republican, said.
"We are pushing a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. We're working on one, we're trying to bring everybody together," he said. "When you have a runaway judiciary, which we obviously have, that has no consideration for the Constitution of the United States, then we have available to us through that Constitution [a way] to fix the judiciary."
This no less than an attempt to circumvent the legal system which does not fit their view of morality.
I think we should all be thankful for Mayor Gavin Newsom's brave and historic dictum to allow same sex marriages.

Now I know most of you waiting with bated breath for the latest report on the remodeling. Well the toilet just got hooked up and I am hoping for a working sink by the end of the day. I’ll update the work latter this evening.

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Thank You and Good Bye Dr. Dean

Just a quick political note before I get back to the report on the remodeling. Last night I wrote the following to as many places on the Howard Dean web site; as I could find.

As a Vietnam veteran I will be voting for the man who not only fought in Vietnam but led the Vietnam Veterans Against the War.
Your campaign is over. You have done well now go home."

Today we wake up to hear he will announce the end of campaign. Do I think he listened to me? Of course not but each message is tallied. Whether you write your congress person or the White House, be sure to state your position right up front and keep the message short. Basically you will be sending a pro or con message and it will be counted as such if you keep it brief.

Howard Dean was good for the party and made the race interesting and has kept the Democratic Party in the headlines. It is now up to Kerry and Edwards to continue the dialogue and make the case against what I feel is the most dangerous administration since Eisenhower. Eisenhower allowed South America to be plundered by corporate thieves and threw out Iraq’s last chance for democracy by supporting coup that put the Shaw in place. Now the Bush administration has turned Afghanistan into a mire and lied to the American people to start a war that was planned long before 9/11.
Can Kerry win it? It will be a long hard road and the Christian Right will be fighting with all their efforts. But the fight has to at least define the position against a government of ideologues.

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Day 10 Tuesday 2.17.2004

Its 4:45 and Sasha just left. He’s in a little bit of trouble because it’s his wife’s birthday and he had hoped to get out early. But it turned out to be a long day in the bathroom. Today he had to fit all the floor tiles which are on a diagonal and cut the wall tiles around all the pipes. To finish it off he set the threshold before he left. The threshold is the best part, Gregory bought a black and green marble threshold that looks so classy next to the green tiles. He usually uses gray marble but he knew this was a great finishing touch.
Gregory took me to the paint store where I got the usual primer and decorators white but for two walls I am using Benjamin Moore #1583 a light celadon, it’s just enough to pick up the color of the floor.
It seems like there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Sasha will do the grout in the morning then the plasterer will do his second coat and then the painting after that all the appliances and towel bars etc. It could be a bathroom by the end of the week.


Day 9 continued

The toilet is now sitting in the tub and the floor tiles are being laid. They really look great. Sasha is at the point of fitting them around the toilet and the pipe for the tub cut off. Slow work but he is good and meticulous. With the toilet out I am off to stay in Manhattan with friends. Back in the AM to buy paint and see the progress.
Day 9 Monday 2/16/04

It’s the little things.

Sunday was a day off so I won’t count it as a day. It was a good time for me to look at the work and make a few notes. The fact is that no one will know the room as well as you. The crew certainly knows how to do their job but they have tunnel vision. Ultimately I am the designer on the job and the general contractor is not on the site through the entire process so I need to watch all the details without slowing the work down.
The kitchen and bathroom share a common wall. I saw that the electric outlet that the fridge and stove plug into was right in the hole where the medicine cabinet goes. There is a range hood going in over the stove and it needs electricity. Now is the time to run that power BEFORE the medicine cabinet is screwed into place. Alec showed up a little after Sasha and he understood immediately that now was time to run the power so when we start the kitchen that wall will not have to be opened up. It got done and power to the medicine cabinet is now run. There is still the issue of the bath not draining. When the demo was done the drain got plugged up. I won’t be happy till that is fixed. Anyway the cabinet is now in place and the door is being hung. Hopefully Sasha can get back to the tile work in another hour or so. It’s 10:30am.