Monday, January 31, 2005

We made some progress on the basement project this weekend. I mud and taped the small storage room and Paul finished framing out the bathroom. We didn't do as much as we could've because of the trash situation - in that, we've got so much building trash it's practically flowing out the windows. I think my brother's gonna bring over this dump trailer tonight though, which will hopefully bring an end to this buildup in the basement. In addition to attempting to work in the basement this weekend, we found out some interesting news that actually confirmed a hunch we had about the previous owners. We talked to our neighbor, Nate Dave, and he told us that the old owner, Dave S, worked on the whole house with his wife (at the time). He said they ripped out floors, resanded, fixed a whole lotta crap, and then got to the basement and said "oh hell, I don't know what to do with this." he just left it. We thought the exact same thing right before we bought the house. It was cool to find out you were right.

We also found out that Nate Dave has had the same problems with plumbing that we had. I wish we would've talked to him sooner because he gave us a name of a plumber down the street that was dirt cheap compared to what we paid Mr. Rooter. Sucky.

I was up late last night, miserable. My back hurt, my nose was all stuffy, and I just flat out couldn't sleep. I think my body was mad at me because I didn't have a full weekend off. I had to go to work on Saturday morning....8-12. Not that I planned it for those particular times but my guys were starting at 8 and I needed to be there to solve our carpenter situation before my roofers got to that section. I ended up feeling like "mommy" scolding her two bickering kids. The roofers were offended that they had to do shit for the carpenter and the carpenter was taking offense to the roofers saying they caused holes in the roof - wah wah wah. So I had to deal with whiney foreman who took extra long breaks and speedy but pissy carpenters for four hours on my day off. So I tried my best to solve the wood problem and prayed that the carpenters would be done before noon - hours before my guys would even get to that section. Fucking moron trade--that's why people don't fucking like you--that's why people insult me for being a roofer--cause you guys are fucking dicks to these people. "oh we're not doin shit for them, we do our own thing" yea well get off my roof pal. That's right! it's my fuckin roof and you'll move their shit if I tell you to or get the fuck off my roof. AH. this is the frustration that I had to deal with on Saturday morning of all days.

Friday, January 28, 2005

Ok now I thought it was weird and creepy when I had a dream that I was an FBI agent hired to break in and snoop around Michael Jackson's house but then I had another dream about Michael Jackson that makes the first one pale in comparison. I had a dream last night that I was going bowling with MJ and he's was all like "sure I can bowl but there's gonna be like 70 million people there to see me" and so I told him to put on a hoody to cover his face so that no one would recognize him. Then I talked to a couple of friend's of mine who were also going bowling and told them to hurry up so that we could make it to the bowlerama. Who dreams about a 'bowlerama'? Anyway, so we're at MJ's house, gettin ready to go, and he's taking forever to get ready so finally we're like "ok MJ see you there" and then we're at the bowlerama and we're just talking about how funny it would be if we knew Michael Jackson and he wanted to go bowling with us. CREEPY! I think my brain is suffering from 'sleeping-too-much' syndrome and that's why I'm having these weird dreams.

After I worked out yesterday, I got home at 6:15ish and immediately went upstairs because my back was bothering me. I crawled into bed and I swear, a half hour later, I passed out. I went to bed at 7pm last night and didn't wake up until 6am this morning. I can't believe it! I'm going right back to how I was in college; I'm gonna start needing 10 hours of sleep at night at the minimum. ..... ugh, now I'm tired again. Crap.

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Oh my good fudge. My superintendent isn't here and I'm getting more work done...this is awesome. Well, crap, I didn't mean that in a bad way...I meant, I feel free to control whatever I want to control...not that that's bad....errr...

I got so frustrated with myself earlier this week so I decided to grab this book out of my brother's office and read about roofing. I actually took notes - 5 pages in fact. I was so sick of this whole "no training" thing, that finally I stopped, looked through a couple of books, grabbed one good one, and taught myself about the chemical, physical, and resistance differences between every single roof system out there. I even read about the history of different systems. For example, did you know that a PVC roof (made from rubber and plastic; color is white) was developed in the 60s in Germany and ventured over to the US in the mid 70s? Yea, this is the kinda shit I'm GOING to learn. I'm gonna make myself learn-ed. Ha ha I said learn-ed. tee hee tee hee

Ok now I have to go kick some ass.
January is such a depressing month. The only holiday in January is MLK day and that's not exactly a "fun" holiday - at least not compared to the shallow, happy kinda feel of Ground Hog Day. You get Christmas bills in January and heating bills reach staggering heights (at least if you live in the north). It takes even longer to get to work after the snow falls, you have to shovel snow in the bitter cold, you have to wear double the clothes, you fight something called 'winter weight', and it's the very beginning of a very long year....keep in mind too that all the while you're celebrating the life of a man who, in his adult years, contended with racism, hatred, and bigotry, paving the way for young non-white americans (notice 'non-white' because although it's not stated regularly, I think he's was defending not only black people but other races as well) to live in this country without being afraid of old sheriff billy bob and 600 of his relatives and incest kids.

Take February for example. You've got a few pay checks in the new year under your proverbial belt, you've probably started to pay off some Christmas bills, the semester is on is going to be half way over on the 28th, and Valentine's day is in town. Ok, so if you don't have a special someone on Valentine's day I can see why it would be depressing but stores sell candy on this day. I loved that about Valentine's day - the CANDY! I loooooove candy!!! I also never really based my life around having a significant other - I never really had anything to prove when it came to that subject. I mean, besides Paul, I'd never had a relationship that lasted more than 2 months - I didn't give a shit about whether or not I had someone - I just cared about the CANNNNNNNDDDYYY. Mmmmmm, I could really go for a gummy heart right about now. Anyway...back on the subject....Feb wasn't ever really all that depressing, at least to me.

March, St. Patty's
April, April Fool's Day and Easter (kinda depressing with the whole death and stuff)
May, Memorial Day (yea this could be depressing)
June, .... summer time!
July, Independence day (ok slightly depressing)
August, sizzling hot summer days
September, LABOR DAY - yes!
October, Halloween!
November, THanksgiving!
December, Christmas!

Ok, so there may be some other depressing months but I still think Jan is the worst.

Wednesday, January 26, 2005

My parents are flying out to Florida in about 10 minutes. They're going to see my grandfather because they're concerned about his health. I try not to think about it.

I tapped my snooze button this morning and accidently pushed the hour button so my alarm clock read an hour later than it actually was. I TOTALLY thought I was going to be late this morning and then I realized the cruel joke I played on myself. Now I'm just tired from all of the excitement.

I've decided to change my outlook a little. From now on, I'm going to try and post one good thing about each day. Yes, one good thing. Today's good thing: My hair is lookin good! wahoo!

Tuesday, January 25, 2005

I was flipping through blogs this morning, trying to give my coffee time to kick in, and I swear there are a TON of people into animation/cartoon/Yugio/Sailor Moon type thing. I think I missed the bus on that one.

Oh this is bad. I decided not to have a cap, mocha, or diet dr. pepper this morning and I can barely hold my eyes open. I grabbed a cup of coffee but I hadn't planned on caffine this morning. I'm so addicted! Oh this is bad.

Ok I'm gonna say this and I'm only going to mention it once. I'm jealous of the people who work in or for big companies. I'm freakin jealous. I hear about their jobs, whether it's selling shoes or organizing stock and I'm so envious it's sick. Ugh it's honestly a sickness.

Monday, January 24, 2005

The basement is going well. Now I think we need to focus on cleaning up the mess that we've continued to make since we started. It's turning out pretty cool and I'm really excited about it. I can't wait til it's finished and everyone can come and see it. You know, the coolest thing about this whole basement renovation thing is all the contacts you make or find out you already had in the process. For example, we're buying our flooring from a guy my brother knows, a co-worker of Paul will likely help us install ceramic tile in our bathroom, and we have a carpet guy to replace the hallway carpet going upstairs. Of course, I might also know a few roofers if we ever had a problem and a plow guy (my bro) for the winter season. It's so cool - it's like people come strolling out of the blue with their trade tools in hand.

I'm a little tired this morning and I don't really feel all that terrific either. I hope no one calls for me today and I can finish all my work in peace. That would be nice. Yes, now I just have to estimate my ass off for the next few weeks.

Friday, January 21, 2005

Last night went well. Although hiring a plumber is not cheap by any means, he turned out to be very nice and extremely effective. He ended up snaking about 50' of the main sewage line which fixed our draining problems not only in the basement but everywhere else in the house as well. We did find out some interesting info about the mains in our city too. I guess Pontiac and Detroit are the only cities who have the old 'house trap' mains. This means that in new construction, the main is run from the city line then straight down into the foundation but in our house, the main is run from the city line, curved up and down (this is called a 'trap') then hooks up to the line in our house. We also found out that in the old construction, cast iron pipe fittings are not very strong. So if you have deep rooted trees, the roots will find the best source of water, seep around and through the fittings, and then eventually grow and break the line. It's sucks but it was cool to know a little bit of history about plumbing.

Anyway, it's not that bad I guess. I mean, we'll have to get the line snaked every year and maybe probed to see exactly what tree it is but it's not a big deal. As long as we maintain it, I guess we're ok for now. It seriously could've been worse - thank God it wasn't.

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Well, we've run into a little problem in the basement laundry room. I guess I can be thankful that all of the running water, gas, and exhaust pipes are properly functioning but I'd be lying if I said it wasn't killing me that the drain pipes are not in working condition. We've tried so many experiments to try and fix the stupid thing but it the pipes still won't drain correctly. Initially we thought that the pipe didn't have a decent venting system the way we reconfigured it so we switched some things around and attempted to run the same lines as was part of the original design. As it turns out that also didn't work and we had a back up in the floor drain. So we stared at the pipes for a little while, trying to come up with a better idea short of tapping into the cast iron pipe for an attempt at massively increasing the air into our drainage system, and we came up with zero nada 'you lose good day sir'. So last night at about 9ish I broke down and grabbed the phone book.

I know Paul, being the smart handy type, couldn't call a plumber so I opted to do it. I knew he was frustrated and upset about the fact that we'd planned this out and pretty much used every piece of book knowledge and common sense to make this work and it still failed -- so I called Mr. Rooter's. We'll see if they're any good when they come over this afternoon. He/She is probably gonna look at me like "uh, this....well this certainly looks like a homeowner did this." Ugh - I'm trying to stay optimistic but I'm afraid of what the plumber is going to tell me....or rather I'm afraid of the estimate he's going to give me. I just hope it'll all be fixed and ok by the end of this week.

Oh and before I go, I have a new "most disgusting thing I've ever seen"......raw sewage. SICK.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

How uncool is that? I finally write a funny email and it's lost on Dr. G. I'm pissed. Ok not really. Maybe just a little.
Email 1:

Dear Students,

Because of the wonders of auto-formatting by MSword and my own mistakes you will see that the number sequence is incorrect on the question sheet. Don't let the equencing bother you -- the questions I want answered are all there!!

Barry G, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology

Email 2:

Professor G-

Now I know I was your favorite student of all time and I know you miss my wonderful personality but seriously Barry....may I call you Barry? ....I graduated last April. Yes I know it's hard to let go of a prized pupil like myself but I can't be a student forever. We both knew at some point I had to move on and I won't lie to you Barry, it was a tearful departure, but it was time for me to go. So I ask that we stop prolonging any sad feelings, stop with the emails, and begin to heal. I wish you best of luck with all of your future endeavors sir and good health!


Jackie __-__ '04

PS. Just Kidding. :)

Email 3:

Was a mistake -- sorry!

Barry G, Ph.D.
Department of Sociology

Tuesday, January 18, 2005

I'm so afraid of being a money piggy it's sick. I've learned that in order to be HUGE in business, you have to be a money piggy and I'm not a money piggy. In fact, I'm probably more like a money santa. Well not that extreme.....I'm just not interested in fucking people over for a little bit of extra cash. I'm not the type of person to be like "please please please fix my frozen water pipes!" and then when the plumber has fixed my frozen problem, I don't say "well, I'm not paying you THAT much, I'll only pay you half of what you wanted". That's what a money piggy would say. I'm more like "yea, I knew what the price would be before I hired you and I'm the one who fucked up so here's your cash and a little blueberry muffin for your troubles." If the guy is nice than he might be willing to give you a deal in the future should you have any more problems. Just like when I was in Kalamazoo, I had this woman who did a reallly nice job cutting my hair and I really liked her. I started going there because they were offering a 'first cut' deal for $10 and I liked it so much I kept going after that. Well, I tipped her like 20 and then I started getting hair cuts for like $17. She did a really nice job, I mean a whole hour was dedicated to my hair, it was cool. So I continued to tip her a whole lot because a nice hair cut for 17 bucks (30 with tip) is a damn good deal considering Super Cuts is like 12 plus tip and they do a shitty job. Anyway, so the thought crossed my mind that maybe she charged everyone 17 bucks - then I refered someone else there and my referral told me it was like 25 for her. I had some mixed feelings about that but it's a good example of good business I think.
My brother just walked into my office and showed me the battle scars he's got all over his neck from this weekend's snowmobiling trip. I guess they decided to drive all the way up to Paradise and for all those who don't know where Paradise is, it's at the tip top of the upper peninsula. It was 25 below zero up there and they decided to go take their sleds out. Yea. He's got cold burns all over his neck from frost bite - they look like hickis or large shaving accidents. He's like "oh we had a good ole time!" I was horrified but very impressed.

You know one time, he tells me "hey jack, tell paul he needs to get a sled for this winter". I was like "I don't want a sled". He looks at me and says "yea Paul needs one". I guess snowmobiling is a non-girl sport to my brother. Now normally I'd get all offended and then I'd want a snowmobile just because he said that but this time, I really don't care. I'm so not interested in coming home with a bunch of hickis on my neck. :)

Monday, January 17, 2005

Paul and I made some great progress on the house this weekend; it's really starting to come together. I finally bought two file cabinets for the office, organized the office, and while Paul was finishing the laundry hook ups - I painted the upstairs hallway. Now with the exception of the basement, the whole house is painted. And, HORRAY, the washing machine, dryer, and wash tub are together and functioning! I think we might be picking up some dry wall this week or this coming weekend too - which will be really cool. So all that's left for the laundry/storage/bathroom room is laminate & ceramic flooring, drywall, a vanity, and a little paint. After that, then it's on to the main part of the basement. We'll likely rip down the barn wood paneling, put up insulation and drywall, replace the small staircase, install laminate wood flooring, put a coat of paint on the walls, and save for new furniture. It's gonna be wicked cool. I'm so excited. I know, I know, it sounds like a lot but it really isn't that bad - we really get a kick out building too. It's really kinda fun but kinda expensive too. Oh well. It'll look good.

Before I go, I have to mention that like this blog, building and decorating and stuff - it's extremely theraputic. I'm serious it really is. I can't describe to you how good it feels to finish a big project - it's so cool.

Friday, January 14, 2005

Last night, I was on my way home and I suddenly got the urge to go buy something for my house. So instead taking a nap like my original plan, I went to the store and bought curtains for two rooms in my house. Then I went home, put up the curtains, and passed out on the couch. When I came to, a work plan popped into my head for this weekend. I am so sick of our stuff all over the house, unorganized. Prime example = the office upstairs. So, this weekend, I'm taking organizational control of my house. Everything is going to be put away, cleaned, framed, washed, painted, dusted, folded...whatever. It's all going to be done this weekend. With, of course, the exception of the basement. That will be a project that will be completed in full by March. It is going to be a freakin AWESOME basement. I should post the progress pictures. Anyhoo - so that's my weekend. Sounds sweet eh?

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Ok so here's the suckiest thing about this year. Well, here's an analogy of the suckiest thing all year.

Say you started taking this class and the prof asked you to write several essays about why capitalism was good for the world. Now you had to write these essays every week throughout the 15 week course and they were graded as if you knew everything about capitalism. During the class, you learn a few new things and you realize half way through the course that almost all of your essays that you turned in for the first few weeks, are not at all articulate and are missing important supportive information. You get some of those essays back and your prof has covered them in red ink. You wish you could go back and give yourself valid, imperative info but you can't go back in time - unless of course you have a Delorean and some plutonium. So now, you're stuck with these worthless essays and a shitty grade. The worst part of all: you know that if you wrote those essays now, you'd have a pretty decent grade.

THAT is kinda like what I've been struggling with for the last few months at work.

Ok, that's the last time I'm complaining about work on this website.

December 31st, 1998
February 2004
January 12, 2005

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Work's kind boring today. That's all I pretty much have to report.

Tuesday, January 11, 2005

You know, the Tim Horton's blueberry muffin I ate this morning was supposed to help wake me up for the day and it's not working. I'm still tired. I should write a letter to Tim Horton.

Lindsay and Scott are leaving this Friday. I think it's pretty cool that they can just pick up one day and move to Chicago. I wish I could do that. I wish Paul and I could just be like "that's it were moving to...[enter city here]...and we're leaving tomorrow." We could go to Seattle, Denver, Topeka, Phoenix, Charlotte, Boston, or even Nashville. Or maybe Boise, Great Falls, Minneapolis, Atlanta, Baton Rouge, Tallahassee, Montpelier, or Augusta. Actually Great Falls seems pretty cool. I would love to live in Montana. I don't think I could leave Detroit though. I have family here and I have biking, roofing, and a house. My house would take like 2 years to sell and by then, it would no longer be "ok I'm leaving to Great Falls tomorrow." It'd be more like "if I ever sell my house, then I'll go." which isn't as cool.

Monday, January 10, 2005

Yesterday afternoon I actually wished that I was working instead of having the day off. That was the first time I ever felt that way since I started here nearly 8 months ago. I probably shouldn't be writing this but I feel I have to - this has gone on far too long. I felt betrayed this weekend and apparently I share that feeling with almost everyone who's ever worked here. I hate to be so dramatic, but there is bad blood flowing in this office and I feel it's important that it be exposed rather than avoided.

Let's get one thing straight, I'm not here to take advantage of my father and I don't feel that I've been treated differently because I'm the boss's daughter. If anything my dad's been harder on my brother and I BECAUSE we're blood. So when another person in my company opens their fat mouth and tells my father to lay my brother and I off to save his own ass - some part of me has got to give. I'm so sick of these stupid, childish games. We're teammates not enemies you fool. What did you think - I wasn't going to find out that you said that??

I have no response to such behavior. I can't bring myself to play that stupid little game. If I lose my job, my father will let me know and I'll find something else. But I can almost guarantee it won't be me. You burn your own bridges - you keep diggin deeper and deeper - ask my father to choose between his kids and you - be my guest. In fact, I won't do anything to stop you - that's my promise to you.

I'm so workin my ass off this week. FINALLY I got the motivation to kick some ass!

Friday, January 07, 2005

Funniest Thing:

*A guy called yesterday and said he was working for a firm that was representing a GC we've recently done business with. (Short back story- they don't want to pay us because they don't like us) Anyhoo, so he says that we're missing some insurance coverage on a job and we could be responsible for an accident after completing the job. So then he says he'll stop by the office and run through some stuff and make sure that we have everything. My mom's like "dude, let me call you back". She calls our insurance company and the insurance company basically tells her "don't let him in". So my mom calls the guy back and says "no thank you, we'll take care of it". Later on, I ask my mom what happened and she goes "those sneaky little fuckin bastards. They tried to send someone to take a look at our books......I'm amazed. What a jerk, I told him that we will no longer be bidding for his client."

*I was talking to a PM who works for a General Contractor (GC) that I know. He tells me that he can't justify paying my guys a wage that is higher than the carpenter he's using because "well you know, the skill level between a carpenter and a roofer are, you know, you know what I mean". Hey pal, I didn't know you were on a power trip today....just give the dick back to your mom and I'll forget you ever said that.

*This woman calls a while back and says she'd like to speak to an estimator. I greet her and ask her if I can help. She won't tell me any info other than that she has a leak and she'd like a quote to fix it. I ask her if there is a roof hatch or if I have to bring a ladder and she tells me that "well it's really hard getting up there". So I say "oh so there is a hatch". She responds "yes but it's really hard to get up there, I mean I can't even get up there...I think it's really a job for a man. I mean, I don't want to, well, I'm in the construction business and I'm not trying to be sexist or anything, I just really think it's a job for a man". Damn it! Mam, I almost got through a whole week without talking to a Anal Bead until your phone call.

*I got a job reroofing a rather large building. The job had three systems installed on top of each other that allllll failed so they hired me to put on a new one. We could tell that this place finally realized, after wasting thousands of dollars on cheap roofs, that they if they were going to keep the inside of the building dry, they needed to fix the roof and they needed to do it right. So anyway, as soon as we start working, leaks start comin in every room in the building. They're like "whoa whoa whoa, water's comin in like a faucet in here? What the hell are you guys doing up there?? I thought you were supposed to fix the roof!!" My dad and I get into his car after seeing/hearing all of this. He looks at me and goes "what's wrong with you?" I couldn't hold it in anymore - I burst - "You get what you pay for cheapos. I mean what the hell do they expect us to do, get 50 guys out here and replace it all in one day? Or or maybe wave a magic fuckin wand and the whole roof will be replaced. There are leaks because you went cheap and put crap on you're roof!" My dad looks at me and goes "See not everyone who went to U of M is smart." Oh dad, you're such a spartan.

Thursday, January 06, 2005

I need a new title for my job. Somehow "Project Manager/Estimator" does not accurately describe my position with this company. Let's just list some of my responsibilities, shall we? Let's see here:

-Estimate the job
-Order the material
-Write the workorder
-Write the change order
-liaison between company and customer
-create jobfile information
-specify special items in work
-set up pre-job conference
-holds job site meetings and manages conflictual issues
-assists with field management

These are all of the things listed on the wall outside my office. I know them because I remember making the poster about 3-4 years ago. Now before I start, I'd just like to mention that this is not a cool job. This is a stressful, high energy, multitasking, in-charge-of-everything-under-the-sun-except-pink-slips job. If GM had PM's that handled this much responsibility, GM either wouldn't be in business right now or their PM's would be the richest and most stressed out people alive. It's that much work. Ok, good to get that off my chest.

Now let's work on a name. I suggest "Boxing Dummy" or "Complaint Department Manager" or "Insult Consult" or "Administrative Job Manager" or even "Guesstimator". My personal favorite is the "Insult Consult". Good grief, I have not gone through one single week without being insulted because A) I'm a woman OR B) I'm a roofer. I swear, next time someone says something like that, I'm gonna punch 'em in the neck. Bastards. Anyway, I gotta get back to work.
I didn't watch the Orange Bowl but I heard on the radio that there was a pretty interesting half time show. Last night, Paul and I found a video clip on the net just to see it for ourselves. You know, I can't really feel bad for Ashlee Simpson because she wasn't exactly forthcoming back when the whole SNL thing went down. I mean, if she would've just said "yea, sometimes I run vocal tracks because I want to make sure you guys get a good show" - I would've felt really bad for her and her sucky suck suck performance at the Orange Bowl. Maybe 80,000 some people wouldn't have booed her off stage if she was honest about her difficulty singing live. If she had been open about it in the beginning, she'd still have an ass ton of fans - I mean she's got a good recording voice, she's a little spitfire-ish, and all in all she's a good lookin/singin pop star. She's not on 89X or 97.1 so I don't listen to her that much but I've caught a few songs every now and then and she seems to be alright for pop. Just be honest and tell people you suck at live shows and your fans will understand.

ANYHOO- I had a terrible time trying to get into work this morning. The 4"-7" of snow turned into freezing rain at about 6:00 this morning and Woodward hadn't been plowed for a few miles, so it was like driving in a convoy going 20 mph in 5" of wet, freezing snow. I stopped at the gas station about half way to the office and the pump was so sluggish it took 10 minutes just to get 8 gallons of gas. It took so long, I left before I filled up completely and got back in the stupid convoy of cars. I wish today was like the last major snow day last month; no one was on the road but me and a bunch of other 4 wheel drive was cool.

Monday, January 03, 2005

btw - happy new year everyone! and congrats to Laura and Yerty!

I got home last Thursday terribly angry at how one of my projects is going. In fact, I was so enraged, I could not physically bring myself to drive to work on Friday. So I stayed at home and tried as best as I could to forget about Thursday and just work on my basement. Well, it worked until today.

I got here and all of the frustrations and painful, pathetic worries came right on back. I have to learn to stop taking things in so much. I have to learn to let go and back off. I have seriously have to learn to say "fuck it" every once and a while and trust that things are going to work themselves out. Most importantly, I have to stop being so f-in hard on myself.