The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Friday, June 02, 2006

Obsessions, Impatience, and the Night of Caulk

I think that I’m finally catching up on my sleep. The half pot of coffee I drank this morning actually perked me up for the first time in days. God, I love legal stimulants. There should be more of them.

Since our tools were stolen a few months ago, we’ve had to resort to some low-tech techniques to get things finished. Patching the master bedroom floor is a prime example of this. I’ve become quietly obsessed with hand tools since then. I will freely admit that part of this obsession is fueled by nostalgia. My grandfather was a professional carpenter and my father (and to a lesser extent I) had inherited a number of old hand tools. I remember my father showing me how some of these were used when I was a kid, and I’ve had fondness for them ever since. Something about the smell of oiled metal, the look and feel of the wood handles, and the well worn surfaces and edges appeals to me on a sensual level. Is that tool porn?

Now, a quarter century later I’ve discovered just how useful old hand tools are. I haven’t turned into some crazed Luddite. I will admit without guilt that many modern power tools are superior to the hand-driven ones they’ve replaced. However, there are a few old tools I’d like to add to my tool box like an old hand cranked drill. A Japanese hand saw would be nice too. Unfortunately, I’ve just spent the last of my eBay money on a second faucet for the master bathroom, so I’m shit out of luck for now. Really, that is okay since I really need to caulk and paint the master bedroom ceiling this weekend.

I’d hoped to start painting the master bathroom this weekend, but the infernal humidity has ruined that plan. I know most people consider weather a neutral small-talk topic of choice, but weather has become an emotionally charged subject for me.

Earlier today a co-worker and I had the following conversation.

CW: “The weather is supposed to be beautiful this weekend.”

Me: “I don’t know. It’ll be a little too hot for my tastes.”

CW: “Well, at least it will be sunny.”

Me: “That’s just makes the humidity we’re having even worse.”

CW: (looking baffled) “You’d rather have rain?”

Me: “No. Overcast, dry, and seventy would be about perfect.”

CW: (still looking baffled)

Me: “Sorry, I have a bit of a skewed perspective.”

CW: (runs away)

I guess I still haven’t lost my freakish charm. Sometimes it’s hard to remember that everyone isn’t waiting on drywall mud to finish drying. The infernal sauna of a Southern summer just irritates me. Why can’t the forces of nature bend to my will and serve me always?

Anyhow, Saturday will probably be spent visiting family (my little sister before she goes back to Boston & my wife’s cousin’s debutant ball of sorts). Sunday we’ll work like the little slave animals we’ve made ourselves. As for to night, I’ll probably strip down to my loincloth and become the scaffold-monkey Lord of Caulk. Don’t judge me. Everyone has their own hobbies, don’t they?


Blogger Jocelyn said...

Boy, this really gave me a laugh- thanks. We had that exact weather here in Chicago- and boy we were pleased with it since we had some major heave-ho to do this weekend- see my latest post if you like...

8:44 PM  
Blogger John said...

Wow. That is an amazing amount of trim. I'm glad the posts gave you a laugh. You look like you really needed one in the picture.

6:04 AM  
Blogger Kristin said...

"Why can’t the forces of nature bend to my will and serve me always?"

I often wonder the same thing. :)

9:13 AM  
Anonymous kingstreetfarm said...

HAHHAHA! Oh my God, I'm sorry to laugh at your misfortune, but the mental image was just TOO funny!

The things we do for these old dumps...err, mansions. Yeah, that's it. Mansions.

9:17 AM  

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