Thursday, March 26, 2009

Kitchen Fun

A while back, maybe last week? No, it was earlier than that, probably the week before. Anyway, a while back Tom noticed that something was leaking in our kitchen. There was stuff between the stove and the cabinet to its left. He was sure Natalie or I had spilled something while cooking, but we both swore we hadn't.

(It was quite a lot of stuff, whatever it was, it would be hard to spill that much and not remember it.)

Well, after some investigating, he figured out that the stuff was Stuff. Bad Stuff. Water and wet dust bunnies...and also mold. Further investigation revealed that the water was coming from somewhere near the wall and that it had apparently been coming out for quite a little while. It turns out the water line to the ice maker had a small leak. The sides of the cabinet are particle board and absorbent and yellow and porous are they. Et voila...moldy ruined cabinet.

Tom removed the cabinet, replaced the water line, and dried up the wall and floor. He also built a frame of two-by-fours to attach the countertop to, and placed a small table under it to hold the most crucially needed things from the cabinet. The kitchen is once again functional, although a bit odd-looking. We need to do something about the latter.

Option 1: Replace just the cabinet. There is a building salvage store in our town that sells a similar, but not identical, cabinet in the correct size. It might be close enough in appearance to get by. There are also online cabinet companies we could order a similar cabinet from.

Option 2: Replace the cabinet with something unusual and frugal and funky. My mother is the primary champion for this approach. She's thinking in terms of open shelves covered with cute gingham curtains.

Option 3: Replace a bunch of cabinets. The online cabinet companies sell much better cabinets than we have now, for quite reasonable prices. (The prices are good because you have to put them together and install them; this is well within Tom's ability.) We could change a few details of the layout, add a few inches of counter space and increase the utility of the kitchen. We could do all the bottom cabinets at once and do the uppers later (the designs are close enough or different enough, depending on which style we choose, that it would work), or we could plunge in and do the whole shebang at one time. This option also involves replacing the 12-year-old countertop which was cheap and flimsy in its prime and could stand to be replaced.

Obviously Option 3 gives us the most overall excitement and change in our kitchen. It's also the most time-consuming, life-disrupting, and expensive. That last there is what keeps bugging me. We can afford to do this, we would be improving the overall value of the kitchen, and we would not be going into debt or spending money that is allotted for anything else.

BUT...we would be Spending Money. On something other than big whacking bags of Survival Rice and cases of Cans O. Beans. Spending Money during the Financial Crisis...Spending Money during what might be TEOTWAWKI!! Peak Oil! Goats! Chickens!! Victory Gardens!! Cabinets??? Formica???

Astute readers will grasp the turmoil this has produced in my mind. Do we spend money on Frivolity and Cabinets? Or do we hide it under the mattress...oh wait, it won't be worth anything. Do we exchange it for gold...oh wait, it wouldn't get us much. Do we buy goats? (And EAT them???)

And that doesn't even begin to address all the other dilemmas ripe for the picking...oak vs. white vs. maple? Dark countertop vs. light? Formica vs. Corian vs. Silestone? Green vs. tan vs. cream wall paint?

Moral of this rant: Beware of icemakers. They will steal your contentment.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

American Idol Prediction Update

Well, I blew it with my first prediction, didn't I? Kai Kalama didn't even make it to the Final 13, let alone win the whole thing.

But we still have Anoop Desai and Jorge Nunez, both of whom fit my criteria for Statistically Likely To Win Based On Suspect Or Non-Existent Statistics. Unfortunately, both of them did a pretty bad job with Michael Jackson's songs last night. Although, for me, that's a point in their favor, it might not go over so well with those who actually decide about these things.

Speaking of which, Simon and Ryan gave us a teaser last night about a Big Change coming to the judging process. Oooohh....what can it be? Will they be adding yet another judge? Will one of the judges be leaving? Will they be allowing only one vote per phone line?

My theory: they are going to start doing the Sudden Death Singoff routine that they used in Hollywood. The two contestants with the lowest number of votes will each have to sing for the judges on results nights and then the judges will pick which one goes home.

Some more predictions from me...might as well be hung for a sheep as for a lamb, eh?

•Going home tonight: Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen. Simon was right, Kris lost the little girl votes by mentioning his wife so much. His wife didn't help matters by glaring at Simon instead of looking sweetly and romantically at Kris. Allison's voice is better than some (Megan Joy!) but she doesn't fit into a good voter-friendly niche. She's the screaming rocker, but she's not old enough to have a cool car or bike. There's no tattood husband in the audience, no cute baby at home with Abuelita, she doesn't play an instrument, she doesn't smart off to Simon, there's no hook there.

•Bombing spectacularly on Country Week: Anoop Desai, Matt Giraud, Jorge Nunez, Jasmine Murray, and Lil Rounds

•Final Four: Lil Rounds, Adam Lambert, Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai

•Final Two: Danny Gokey, Anoop Desai

•Winner: Anoop Desai

Luckily for me these are "predictions" and not "prophecies" and I'm not an Old Testament prophet facing the threat of stoning if my prophecy fails to come true! If Anoop gets the boot tonight, I can write another post explaining why (the Bobby Jindal factor??) and adjusting my predictions. Eventually I'll get to the point where I have a 50% chance of being right!

Oh, one final note: These are predictions based on who I think Everybody Else wants to win. I don't know yet who I want to win, and I did not participate in the voting last night. I do know that I don't want ANY of them to sing any more Michael Jackson songs...bleccchhhhh....

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reasons I Can't Blog Right Now

1. Three day migraine headache with aftershocks.

2. Reading glasses that bug me.

3. Nice big screen on my fast new iMac that necessitates wearing the reading glasses that bug me.

4. Trying to wrap my head around the reason that bigger screen = smaller type.

5. People talking to me. All. The. Time.

6. Cell phone spam.

7. The stock market and the economy in general.

8. Mortgage loan application process.

9. Cat who has to go OUT and come back IN. All. The. Time.

10. Aging parents trying to live in the Internet Age.

11. American Idol stealing my evenings with weird people singing badly.

12. People who need food to eat and clean clothes to wear.

13. Books that call me to read them and then don't hold my attention enough to keep me from noticing that nothing in the living room is arranged on neat right angles.

14. Wasting all my good material on Twitter.

15. Someone who calls to ask me to send him the Costco list that I sent already via email because he forgot to print it out.

16. Trying to text with 46 year old fingers.