Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bank Woes = Our Woes

This is NOT a good time to be a bank. We all know that. Consequently, it's also not a good time to be WORKING with a bank (is THAT what we are doing? Seems a little too egalitarian...) Working with a huge, impersonal institution like our bank has been trying. As someone who prefers to look a person in the eyes, size him or her up, and develop a *relationship* with them based on trust, I can't STAND having to deal with people 100s or 1000s of miles away whose voicemail messages say things like, "I hope you're having a marvelous day" or "100% satisfaction is my goal" &#&^#$&^Q# All I want, thank you, is to SPEAK with you face to face and not have to trade platitudes on voicemail while I am slowly going bankrupt and you are filing your nails or checking your email or redecorating your miserable little CUBICLE!!!! Ok, I feel better now. So, on to the updates:

Since the bank is holding our last payout ransom, I thought I would show you all out there what THEY SAY I need to be working on completing:

The appraiser who came out for the bank and made a laundry list of all the things that were still incomplete (must have been SOME list!) singled out the open "top" to the fireplace (scroll down to the post below titled "Living area almost complete" and you will just be able to make out the exposed top).

Since my wife and I basically split any weekend or holiday time we have (she in her office and I throughout the house), I had to try to bang out this job in the 3 hours I knew I had Saturday. No problem, I thought. As I have come to learn, what SEEMS like it should take "X" almost always ends up taking longer. One of the aspects of this job that slowed me down was having to make some scribe cuts where the top butted up against a major post (below).

I did an OK job, but it scribing a cut is in the category of "advanced carpentry skills" (or, doing it WELL is anyway...) and I am definitely not quite there yet. Anyhow, I like the way the top ended up. It is made out of left-over pieces of the barn planking that we used for the floor upstairs (in case you couldn't tell!) Instead of finishing it in the same way however, I was thinking of perhaps a stain with a white mixed into it, kind of like a transparent whitewash; not enough to hide the grain but just giving it a little something to lighten it. We'll see.

HORROR OF HORRORS: TRIM!!! This is a confession. I have betrayed the vision, sullied the purity of the design, been exposed a hypocrite, nay LIAR, and revealed that, in the end, practicality may trump my modernist ideology. I caved in and trimmed around two doors. Not one, but TWO DOORS! See, the blueboard hangers and plasterers (who had NO idea what the vision was all about and OBVIOUSLY didn't receive any guidance from the builders, grumble, grumble) made such a MESS of the pocket doors that I just couldn't find a way to easily fix the problem in a manner that was faithful to the modern mantra of "no trim". So, since the bank was breathing down my neck, I just trimmed them in the, gulp, *normal* way. Sigh. They DO look much better than before, though.

The bank also wants to see the floors finished. With the exception of one small area upstairs, I have completed all the flooring. This section of flooring (which I installed over Christmas vacation) has been under foot since then without its finish coat, which isn't great. Add it to the list.

This was NOT on the bank's laundry list, but the countertop we ordered months ago for the kitchen island finally came in. So with this removal of the old shelves we were using in its stead, another small detail fell into place and another item was checked off the list. Feels good.

Kitchen's a mess - sorry! We will be purchasing a few stools to slide under the lip that hangs over the dining room side of the island top. Good place to take breakfast or chat with the cook. I need to install a panel on the back side of the island (which is nothing more than a single base cabinet from IKEA).

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