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As many of you know, Stephen is not only a good friend and my housemate, he is my landlord and the owner of this house. He will eventually sell the house, and one of the things he often thinks about is how to improve the resale value. To this end, he has been wanting to remodel parts of the house for quite some time.

The big project is going to be the kitchen remodelling for both the upstairs and downstairs apartments. For the past several months, he has been meeting with designers, et al., going over ideas and plans, etc. He has asked for my opinion in several areas -- what kinds of cabinets, countertops, and flooring; where to put appliances, including the dishwasher he's finally getting; floor design; etc. Some ideas he went with -- although some, like knocking down a wall to make the kitchen more open, took more convincing than others -- and others he grounded. He's invested a lot of time, careful thought, and money into this, and I think the end results will be spectacular. I'm really looking forward to seeing the new kitchen when it's done.

I'll have to wait a little bit, though. The hallways, stairwells, porches, and basement are filled with huge boxes containing appliances and cabinets, but the kitchen work won't take place until later in the month. There are other projects to finish first.

Stephen decided to have his hardwood floors done. I'm not exactly sure what this entails, but apparently it involves sanding and then lathering with some noxious substance. Anyhow, in order for the work to be done, the rooms with hardwood floors had to be cleared out.

Stephen and I spent a few hours last night emptying the living room and dining room. There are several tables and chairs now on the front porch. There's extra furniture in each of our bedrooms. There is now a clavinova in the kitchen. And the study...well, it's indescribable, but I'll try. Blocking the entrance to the porch is the entertainment center, with a big-ass t.v. that weighs a gazillion pounds. My back will be thanking me for days for moving that one. The couch is standing on its end, leaning against a wall. The dining room table is on its side against the bookcase. The plush chair and accompanying ottoman is between the legs of the table. It all makes for a very cozy space, but that is not all.

I didn't buy a Tivo so that it would be out of commission for several days. We found adaptors so that we could string the coaxial cable from the hole in the wall, across the living room, and into the studio without interfering with the work in there. I brought my little t.v. out of my room. We hooked everything up and made sure it was working properly.

But today the Tivo didn't work properly. I didn't find out until about halfway through tonight's all-new episode of The West Wing that the receiver wasn't getting a signal from the dish. Since everything was working fine last night, I suspect that one of the workers today moved one of the cables in such a way as to interfere with the signal. However, we can't go into the living room to check on the cables, so we don't know if the connection is broken or if the cables are simply no good anymore. As much as I want to fix this problem right away, I know I can't risk damaging the work Stephen has paid for. So, I will wait until morning when the workers return and ask if it is safe for me to walk on the floor to check out the connections.

The floors in both apartments should be done by the time I get back from Jacksonville on Monday. Then it will be time for the next project: work needs to be done on the downstairs bathroom, which is old-fashioned and has exposed pipes. And then the kitchen work can commence.

The Tivo isn't the only piece of technology giving me headaches lately. I had quite the laptop adventure last night. I didn't have a chance to use my laptop all day yesterday until I got home. After I'd been on it half an hour or so, I was alerted that my battery was extremely low. I reached into my bag for the AC adaptor, only to find that it wasn't there. I realized that the last time I had charged my laptop was while I was using it at work the day before. I needed to be connected to my e-mail and wanted to be able to do some work on the computer, so I was pretty pissed about my oversight. However, I soon realized that I had purchased a power adaptor that connects into the cigarette lighter in my truck. After a thorough search, I located it. I grabbed it and my laptop and went to the car.

This was the first time I had ever used this adaptor. It lasted approximately 5 minutes. Apparently the connector into the back of my laptop does not fit properly. I was, thus, without a computer all of last night.

And that's how my hell month has begun. For the next week we will have to cope with a house's worth of furniture crammed into half a house. Then we'll have to deal with not being able to store perishable food for a few weeks during the kitchen remodelling, which means we'll be getting a lot of takeout. On top of that, we'll no doubt have to deal with more technology problems, bullshit at work, and lots of travel. I am already looking forward to this month ending!

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