Monday, April 30, 2007

Just a quickie before I collapse into bed...

As of 12:34 pm this day, I am officially an aunt. My sister-in-law gave birth to an adorable little boy today (not to be confused with my sister, who is also pregnant but not due until August). We went and saw him at the hospital today, and held his adorable little five-hours-old, still wrinkly from the womb, too worn out from being born to do anything other than sleep body. And I took a bunch of pictures, but I don't have time to upload any tonight. Soon, I promise. Right now, I need to sleep, because I did far too many fantastic and exciting things this weekend and got far too little sleep. And yes, I am a little bit giddy right now, but it's not my fault, the smell of baby makes me drunk.

Thursday, April 26, 2007


Wednesdays have become my favorite day of the week. What used to be just an evening of watching Lost soon became an evening of watching Lost with friends, which soon became an evening of watching Lost with more friends, which eventually evolved into dinner and games and a crowd of about 8 people. Take that, stupid ABC moving Lost to 10 pm, we're making social lemonade!

Only three more episodes until the season finale, though. So sad. But, when all the twitching and withdrawal symptoms subside, we'll still have Wednesday nights. Maybe we'll finally start that RPG campaign we've been planning for over a year...

Speaking of staying up too late on a work night, I really should be getting to bed. I have a busy weekend ahead of me, and I should start it with some semblance of restedness. Tomorrow night, we're going to see Jon Stewart, and I just found out that some friends from Rhode Island will be coming into town this weekend for a spontaneous visit. Should be fun!

Monday, April 23, 2007


I miss blogging.

And apparently, some people in the blog world even miss me. Thanks to everyone who emailed me or im'ed me or phoned me to check in and see how I'm doing. It meant a lot to me.

I'd like to start blogging again now, if that's alright with you all.

Some adjectives to summarize my life for the past five weeks: busy, harried, adjusting, covered in paint.

When Jeremy and I were engaged, my dad gave me some words of wisdom for marriage. One of those words was "renovate" and it was used in close proximity to the word "don't". More divorces are caused by paint and wallpaper than finances, children, and infidelity combined. (Note: May not be a real statistic.)

Somehow, though, we made it through this past month of painting and renovating, and no one is dead (and I'm pretty sure none of the injuries are permanent). All it took in the end was Erin deciding that we could host a surprise party for her mom with about 45 people, only a few weeks after moving into a house that was, in every way, the epitome of a "fixer-upper". And actually, Erin was right, we pulled it off (mostly due to her not sleeping for about 36 hours prior to the party). And it was a great party. But the best part is: the house is finally together.

It's not done. If I have learned nothing else from watching other people in the act of home ownership, I have learned that there is no such thing as "done" when you own a house. But it's done enough that I finally dare to post pictures.

And, without further ado, here are some pictures.

This is the Chrysalis from the front. Consider it a "before" picture of the lawn (which is badly eroded and needs to be terraced), and of the sidewalk (that needs to be torn up and replaced because it is being destroyed by the roots of the big, beautiful tree that needs to be cut down).


This is Apollo. He is the guardian eagle of the house. He hung in that same spot on the wall for as long as anyone remembers, quite possibly since the house was built in 1950. We were told that if we took him down, the house would burn to the ground. We decided to brave fate, however, in order to paint behind him. We were greatly amused by the color difference between the wall behind Apollo and the walls around Apollo. THIS IS WHAT SMOKING WILL DO TO YOUR TEETH, TOO!

apollo before

This is what the bathroom looked like when we moved in. Yes, those are trash bags stuffed in cracks in the tile.

bathroom before

This is that same section of tile after Jer's dad came and spent an afternoon with him. The rest of the tub still needs some work, but the trash bags are gone!

bathroom after

This is the living room before we started to paint.

living room before

This is Rachel in the kitchen before we started to paint. The kitchen had been fairly recently painted, so we decided to leave it that color for now. We took a paint chip of the teal with us to the hardware store when we bought the purple so that we could make sure they would match. We also bought a little bucket of the same teal in order to do some accents in the living room. And yes, that is a computer on the kitchen counter. It was the only music we had for the first week or so here, so we kept it central.

rachel kitchen before

This is Erin and Brian in the living room getting ready to paint. Notice that they are still smiling. That's because this was taken on Painting Day 1, not on Painting Day 19. Fortunately for all of us, my camera batteries died and I couldn't find my charger for the next few weeks.

erin brian before

Brian's name is on the deed, so we let Brian put the first stroke of paint on the wall. Please note how utterly horrible the color of the primer is. I think the name was "Murdered by Easter Eggs Purple".

brian first paint

Erin painted the walls nicely for a while...

erin painting

Then Erin posted important public service announcements on the walls.
(Aside: See that big rectangle on the wall that is a different color than the rest of the wall? There used to be a mirror there, and the last time the wall was painted, they just painted around it. Around Painting Day 12, this idea started to sound really, really smart.)

jon licks monkey butts

There is an unexplained cubby hole in the living room. We were told that the family that used to own this house before the person we bought it from raised seven kids in the house. We figure the baby must have slept here, because we have no idea where else seven kids would go in this house. Regardless, random cubbies must be painted, and I painted it from the inside.

jule ann in the cubby

And finally, some after pictures...
The dining room. (Yes, it's a little cluttered, I know, but for two days after having a huge birthday party, I think we can be forgiven for having a few "50" napkins still kicking around.)

dining room

Erin relaxing on the couch.

erin after

Jeremy relaxing on the other couch. (That's Erin's dog Peanut in the foreground.)

jer couch

Another angle on the living room. We're still not sure what to do with the cubby, so it has a stereo in it for now. We also left the cubby Grandma's Attic Purple for the time being, lest we forget.
(Aside: The banister may change colors again after all. We liked the teal on the door frame, but it's a little much on the banister. We're hoping some purple stenciling will tone down the PeeWee's Playhouse contrast effect a little bit.)

living room after

The guest room is the only room upstairs that is presentable enough to photograph at the moment. There are two other bedrooms, which are both much bigger, but also much more lived in. This room has been dubbed "Stuart's Room", even though Stuart doesn't actually live with us. And his name isn't actually Stuart.

stuart's room

This is our porch. It was our salvation during the birthday party, because it has many windows and a ceiling fan, and stayed about 15-20 degrees cooler than the rest of the house all evening. We're currently looking for cheap/free wooden seating to furnish it with.


This is our backyard, which is across a little alley from our house. Consider this a "before" picture with an indefinitely distant "after". The retaining walls are falling down, but that's a pretty big project to tackle for amateurs. We'll see how we do on the front yard, first. For now, our makeshift gazebo is about all the beautification our backyard is going to get. And maybe a fire table at some point.


This is my car Bitsy, parked in front of our house.


And, since I'm posting so many pictures, what's one more? This is a picture Steve took of me at the wedding of a coworker and fellow Canadian, Bronwyn, last weekend. It's the first picture of myself I've really liked in a long time, so I decided to share it with you all.

jule ann at bronwyn's wedding

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Further Adventures in Not Blogging

Another brief update on borrowed Internet access...

Still no Internet at the new house. Still not quite done painting, but the purple looks great wherever the second coat is done, and the new house is starting to feel like home. And, as is the tradition with communal houses, we have named the house. So, you can all come visit me sometime at the Chrysalis.

And I did end up buying a car. She's a 1998 Mazda 626 with leather interior and her name is Bitsy. It's the first car that I have ever had in my own name, and it's kindof an exciting feeling. (Even if it did take me five and a half hours to get my Pennsylvania driver's license in order to be able to buy a car, but that's another post for another day when I have more time to rant. While I'm at it, I can talk about how excited I am to be finally registered to vote, as well as registered with a particular party so I can vote in the primaries.)

So much to say, but I guess I'll have to hold it in for now. Hopefully we'll have Internet at the Chrysalis soon, and I can start wasting my evenings on blogging again. I haven't been to my Bloglines account in ages, and I am sure there are 500 posts sitting there for me to read. Sigh.

I miss you all. Drop me an email if something really exciting has happened in your life that is currently buried under 499 other blog entries. Use my address, juleannwakeman at. Hope you all had a wonderful Easter.

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

By Way of Explanation for My Recent Absence from the Blogging World

Do you know what would go really well with an impulsive major life decision like changing careers on two weeks' notice? ANOTHER impulsive major life decision like moving to a new house across the city and painting it purple! More on that later. With pictures. I promise.

Until then, some words of wisdom: Painting takes more time than you think it will, especially when people are easily distracted by enticing conversations.

Hey, while I'm at it, maybe I'll buy a car this weekend...