The Devil Queen

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

My Photo
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!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006


We have some home improvement news for a change; we now have a gravel driveway. Well, sort of I think.

With the time change several weeks back it is hard to see much when I get home from work. Hell, getting to the front door from the car is like Aeneas' journey through the Underworld. The driveway should be completed soon though. Imagine, no more parking in ankle deep mud! The timing is particularly fortuitous since it is supposed to rain (and maybe snow) this week.

If I'm ever at the Devil Queen during the day, I'll get a picture or two.

Why gravel? It's cheaper than bricks and better for the environment (and cheaper) than concrete. Did mention it's cheap?

Also, our illustrious bulldozer man is leveling all of our Indian burial mounds and hobbit holes in an attempt to make our lot look more like a yard. Again, I'll try to take some pictures.

Just Say No to Home Improvement Monkeys (or 161 days of Hell)

As you may already know, working with zombies is a difficult proposition. Their motivation and time-sense are pretty limited, so you're always having the cajole, threaten, and manipulate them into doing their work in a timely fashion. I have half the mind to let them return to the grave from whence they came because sometimes I think it would just be easier to do it myself. Then they come through for me when I least expect it, and I am surprised.

Anyhow, at this point, I feel that the whole zombie work option has been played out. I need the ones I have too much to let them go, but I don't think have the energy to successfully manage more of them. I mean, the last thing I need is my neighbors getting eaten alive. But, I could certainly use some more help around the house.

As always, good intentions led me down a very dark path. I know. You're thinking, "Dude, you raised zombies from the grave! You're already on a dark path." Sadly enough, you are correct. First blood sacrifices, then zombies. It's a slippery slope once you start.

Ostensibly, the whole idea behind Home Improvement Monkeys is that you summon them from the netherworld, bind them with dark magic, and use them to build or repair your home in the fashion of King Solomon. The problem with Home Improvement Monkeys is that they, as all evil creatures, are born with an innate knowledge of fine-print. It comes to them like the sucking reflex comes to a newborn baby. They are masters of nuance and detail.

So, imagine my surprise when I summoned up a horde of monkeys. Everything looked good at first: strange lights and sounds, the smell of sulfur and burning hair, and lots of flying monkeys. They swarmed the Devil Queen, their tools in hand. Soon, they filled house. They perched everywhere and silently stared at me. I told them what I wanted done, and told them to get on with it (politely I might add). They just looked at me. Somewhere, I think one of them sniggered.

I started getting worried at this point. Non-responsive minions is always a bad sign.

Then, one of them shoved me from behind. I gave it a dirty look. It stared back and pointed down the hall at the bathroom. Another one handed me a paint brush while two more dragged a five gallon bucket of primer down the hall and parked it at the bathroom door. Again, a shove from behind.

I was rudely herded down the hall by one particularly brutish monkey and pushed into the bathroom.

"I brought you here to paint, not me. You paint it!"

Then I heard a "pop-pop-pop." Three twelve-penny framing nails buried themselves into the door jamb. The big, evil-mojo monkey who had herded me down the hall snatched the brush from my hand and threw it at me. It bounced off my chest.

It was very quiet. So many monkeys had crowded into the hall that it looked like three foot thick shag carpet. I looked at the beady eyes and the tools: hammers, screw drives, nail guns, saws, and what not.

"Screw driver please. Flat head." I didn't want to appear weak, and I hoped this sounded nonchalant. A screw driver was handed to me. I pried open the primer. A stir stick was thrown at my feet. I mixed the primer and then began to prime the bathroom. The monkeys seemed satisfied after a few minutes. The crowd thinned and the TV was turned on in the living room.

Around 10 PM the evil-mojo monkey appeared in the doorway and drew his finger across his neck. I decided this did not mean that I would now be executed; instead, I guessed it was quitting time.

I cleaned up and went to the kitchen. This was harder than it sounds. The monkeys had found the rum in the interim. I read over monkey summoning section of my grimoire (gotta love eBay).

"This seal will allow the summoner conjure forth a host of winged monkeys who will enable the summoner to complete any task or tasks so designated by him."

See what I mean about the fine-print? It doesn't say that the monkeys will actually perform the said task (as I assumed), only that they will "enable the summoner to complete" the task. See? The Devil is in the details.And, the fear of begin mutilated by a vast, flying host of monkeys certainly has completed me to finish a lot more than I probably would have done on my own.

Since my "to-do" list was pretty extensive, I'm guessing the monkeys will be with me for a while. The smell is oppressive to say the least, and they get awfully cranky when the rum and whisky rations start running low. Yet another example of how cutting corners really doesn't save you money in the long run.

Anyhow, the count down has begun. Including today, I have 161 days to "finish" the Devil Queen. Driven by a horde of "motivational" monkeys and desperation, it ought to be a nasty, white knuckled ride.

The 2006 Dumbass Award

Well, Thanksgiving came and went, and the 2006 Dumbass award was given. This year (as per my prediction) the award went to Casey, a fifteen year old cousin of my wife. She is now the youngest person to have won the award.

To be honest though, the award winning story was a little anti-climatic this year. In addition for not being able to give Jack directions to her house because she wasn't home, she also won for getting lost in her own backyard. I missed some of the details, so I'm not sure how big their backyard is. I'm guessing a few acres. Sure that sounds big, but the Devil Queen is on over three acres, and I have no idea as to how you could get lost on that little land even if it was heavily wooded. What was even better is that she had her cell phone and called her grandfather for help. He told her that he knew where she was and he'd come and find her. He asked to her to stay right where she was until he got there. She didn't. Apparently they had her whole immediate family and the neighbors out looking for her before she turned up. Nice.

I was shocked that I didn't even get nominated. I mean, I was sure I'd win for this. I guess no one remembered it, and, since I'm as vain as I am wicked, I wasn't going to tell on myself.

Monday, November 27, 2006

Size Matters

Actually, in this case, length matters. And, in spite of what anyone else might say, an inch can make all of the difference in the world.

Our bathroom sink did not get installed for Thanksgiving (I understand everyone enjoyed it any how; I didn't leave the kitchen much so I'll have to take their word on that).

Everything was perfect until we were ready to connect the feed lines to the sink. As I have already alluded to, they were too short by around an inch. I'd already bought 30" feeds (longest available at Lowe's) so getting longer ones was not an option.

Instead, we got these for $19.02. I mean, why do something the right way the first time around when you can do it wrong and spend an extra $20 for the hell of it?

I thought about trying to install it all around 8 PM last night, but my heart just wasn't in it. Maybe tonight? Tomorrow? Hell, six months without a proper bathroom sink, what is a few more days?

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Mouse, The Will to Power

"Physiologists should think before putting down the instinct of self-preservation as the cardinal instinct of an organic being. A living thing seeks above all to discharge its strength — life itself is will to power; self-preservation is only one of the indirect and most frequent results."

—trans. Walter Kaufmann, of Neitzsche's Beyond Good and Evil

[emphasis add by me]

For a better part of the weekend, my wife and I believed that the Devil Queen was inhabited by the hardiest, most resilient representative of Mus musculus, known to us as Mouse. Note the capital "M." Until our illusions were shattered, we believed that this single mouse, The Mouse, was the most powerful specimen of his species.

Mouse was a small, wiry creature who exhibited preternatural speed (foiling our repeated attempts to photograph him for science). He was a ghostly flicker seen from the corner of the eye. His utter contempt for us, two lumbering bipeds, was unmistakable. At any time of day or night, he'd saunter across the well-lit kitchen or living room floor. And, in spite of ourselves, we admired him for his brazen disregard for us and all the dangers of the world. He was fearless, he was the master of his world.

Our admiration, however, was not enough to temper our need for a clean, orderly house. My wife set a poison trap for him Saturday. As the noon hour approached, my wife and I were sitting in the kitchen breakfast nook finishing off a pot of coffee. Hearing something behind me, I looked over my shoulder. There, next to the refrigerator was Mouse. He calmly regarded me from his perch upon the trap full of poison. He then scooped up a fist full of aqua-green poison pellets and devoured them.

"Son of a bitch, it's Mouse."

"Where?" my wife asked.

"Over there eating the poison."

"Oh no. He was supposed to do it at night so I didn't have to watch him die. Now, I have guilt."

"Do you want me to catch him and let him loose outside?"

She nods "yes."

I try to catch Mouse, but he is too smart and too fast for me. He escapes.

Later, close to dinner time, we are back in the kitchen. Mouse has returned. We were baffled. How much poison does one mouse need to eat? What is the fatal dose? How long does it take for it to work?

Again, we were astonished.

I try to catch Mouse so we can release him elsewhere, out of doors. I am ashamed to say that Mouse did not survive this encounter. I didn't compensate enough for his supernatural speed. The bucket and the laws of physics conspired together in what I hope was a quick and relatively painless death.

Now we both felt guilty.

* * *


"Damn it, there is another mouse! How many do we have?!"

"Where?" my wife asks.

"It just dove under the refrigerator; it was huge."

It was only then that we realized that we were the victims an elaborate deception perpetrated by a motley gang of rodents; after rats, mice are considered the most "successful" species of mammal on earth. I don't think humans even made the top ten list, so what can we expect?

In any case, to perpetuate the myth of the Uber-mouse, the mice would only expose themselves individually. Therefore, our brazen poison eater was Mouse 1. We can only assume that he perished from the poison. Where? We don't know, but I suspect we'll be able to smell him sometime around Thanksgiving dinner, bon appetite!

Therefore, Mouse 2 perished by bucket. If it hadn't been for Mouse 3's enormous girth, we may have been forced to conclude that Mouse was not only an Uber-mouse, but he was also his specie's answer to Lazarus. Fortunately, we were spared this embarrassment.

Somehow, this whole episode makes me think of Zorro, the Gay Blade. If that doesn't make any sense to anyone but me, that is okay. Sometimes my free-associations are a little too free.

So, what do we do now? We went to my in-law's and picked up our cat. We've given him free reign at the Devil Queen. That ought to give the mice something to think about.

Courting Disaster, Because I'm Too Lazy (Stupid?) to Have it Any Other Way

As has became our habit, we are installing yet another plumbing fixture just hours before a horde of folks descends upon the Devil Queen. Tomorrow we are having 20+ people over for Thanksgiving. Fortunately, my wife's family takes a potluck approach to the holiday, so I'm not actually expected to cook enough food for everyone.

Therefore, my mission tonight is plumbing a sink in the hall bathroom. This should be incredibly straight forward and, in theory, easy which is why I'm extremely nervous. Nothing is ever easy. I have the sink (pedestal), the two feed lines, the drain, the faucet, etc. And, I've tried all the connections (the feeds fit the faucet, etc) except one; that is my weak link. I swear that the drain pipe sticking out of the floor is 1 1/2 inch. I've measured it with the tape measure, I've held the 1 1/2 to 1 1/4 adaptor up next to the pipe, but I haven't actually dry fitted the adaptor on the pipe. Why?

The short answer is I'm lazy. Other excuses? The drain is connected directly to one of the two main sewer lines; to keep the Devil Queen from smelling like week-old farts and us from dying of sewer gas inhalation, we have the drain thoroughly plugged. To test the fitting, I'd have to strip it all off. And, I'm 99.5% sure that it is an 1 1/2 inch pipe.

So, that is what I'll be doing tonight.

For my encore performance, I'll be wiring the over-sink lighting too.

And, instead of shopping like a crazy person, I plan to spend most of the long holiday at home painting. Or prepping. Or prepping and painting. I've got 3-4 gallons of primer and two cases of caulk, so I think I'll make it through the weekend.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Milk Paint Revisited

If I am not mistaken, my previous posts on milk paint probably discouraged an entire generation from using it. I hope this post may make you reconsider.

My first two attempts at mixing milk paint (milk paint powder + water) left a lot to be desired. The first batch was probably mixed correctly, but, since I jumped the gun on mixing it up, it sat too long before it was used. The result was something akin to a bucket full of snot, not pretty or fun to use.

My second attempt was even worse. Hoping not to make another bucket of snot, I used warm water and added a little extra. It was usable but too thin. It took about eight (more?) coats for full coverage.

Fortunately, I didn't actual have to use either misbegotten batches of paint. My mother-in-law and wife did. See, I've always told you that I'm not nice, but you never really believed me. Now you have conclusive proof that I am evil. However, in my defense, they did ask me to mix it for them.

The stars were right last Sunday so I decided it was time to paint the vent hood. Here is the correct process, step by step:

First, here is a before picture of our lovely vent hood. All the nail holes, seams, etc have been filed with wood putty and sanded smooth.

And, here is our milk paint. Fortunately, we stored it correctly so the powder is still nice and dry.
The basic formula for mixing milk paint is 1 part powder to 1 part water. Yes, I am moronic enough that I screwed this up twice.

Here is the random amount of powder (1 1/4 cup or so) I scooped up in a plastic cup. I used a Sharpie to mark the powder's depth on the inside of the cup.

I poured the powder into a plastic bucket and added an equal amount of lukewarm water.

I stirred the powder and water until they were thoroughly mixed. The powder has a tendency to clump, so keep at it until the mixture is nice and smooth.

Since all the prep work had already been completed, I gave the hood a once over with a tack cloth and it was ready to paint. Milk paint is meant to be applied to unprimed wood so no primer is necessary.
This is the vent hood after nearly one full coat of milk paint. If I'm lucky, it will only take two full coats (if unlucky, three) for get full coverage. Including set-up, mixing the paint, and prep (tack clothing), the it only took a little over a hour to get this far. Compare this to the neighboring cabinets which received the 8+ thin coats from batch #2 over a six hour period. The milk paint darkens as it drys if you are wondering why the vent hood looks more white than buttermilk.

So, if I scared you away the first or second time, please reconsider. Using milk paint is easy if you are not stupid like me. Really.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Working Wood the Old Way

This was in the Arkansas Times last week, and I thought that it might be of interest to some of you. If you have a passion for old fashioned woodwork, you have to check this out.

“Don’t I Tell You This Every Six Months?”

Gary, I had to laugh at myself when I read that. I hadn’t thought about it before, but you are absolutely correct. And, I don’t think I’ve ever addressed the particulars of our situation, but I feel that I owe you an explanation of sorts. I mean, ever six months you give us advice, and six months latter I’m whining about it again. It hardly gives you the impression that I’m actually paying attention. Besides, I’m afraid that you’ll start thinking of me as that “special needs” houseblogger forever stuck in remedial math if I don’t.

So, the short explanation is we don’t have the 20% equity in the Devil Queen.

The longer explanation is that the peculiarities of buying a house for $1.00 and moving it when you are 25 and don’t have money makes for a very complicated transaction. To date we’ve had three loans on the Devil Queen. The first loan covered moving the house and piecing it back together. Once the Devil Queen was in one piece with a roof, we took out a second loan. This loan paid off the first loan, paid off the land the Queen was situated on, and gave us a nice (but utterly inadequate) amount to rebuild the house. Once this money ran out, we took out a supplemental (third) loan which is technically separate from the second one.

Now, it is actually a little more involved than that, but that covers all the major parts. Before we started this project, the bank had an “as-if [finished]” appraisal done on the Devil Queen. Personally, we think the appraiser’s “as-if” value was low-balled. However, even if we only meet the “as-if” value it will pay off our sundry loans and get us a real mortgage.

To achieve this minimum value, we absolutely must paint the outside of the Devil Queen (and our insurance premium will go down by 75%, another story). While you’re correct about appraisers not caring about the interior finishes (wood, paint) if all the major systems work, it will still give you a lower value than a completed house.

This brings us to yet another problem which is appraisers (at least in our part of the world) hate old homes. As a reformed real estate appraiser, I can attest from experience that old houses take more work than new houses because they are atypical.

Since the majority of the appraised value of a home is based on the "comparison approach" (i.e. finding similar homes who have sold in the last 6 months, making adjustments for minor differences, and developing a range of value), find at least three homes to your atypical freak-house is a challenge.

For example, the first appraisal I ever worked on was a two-story 1900's Carpenter Victorian farmhouse with 74 acres and a saw-mill. As you might have guessed, there are houses exactly like this everywhere. Typically, you end up using at least five or six (or more) comparables, extending the range of search in distance & time, and writing lots of addendums. It was not pretty.

We’re worried that even if the house is completed inside and out that the appraiser will arrive at a low value because they won't do what I would consider a good, thorough job on the appraisal. This gets us into another convoluted discussion which I'll pass over. The short version of the problem is this:

Is a house that was built in 1890 and moved to a new site with lots of major improvements (new foundation, new septic, new plumbing, new wiring, new AC/heat, new roof, new paint, new bathrooms & kitchen, new floors, refinished floors, new porches, with two additions, and 25% of the original siding replaced) more comparable to a house of average plus constructing that has an effective age of 5 years +/- or another old house of similar age?

What is the difference between the two houses in the hypothetical above? About a fifty percent difference in value from what I've seen. This could make a huge difference when it comes time to get the Queen a mortgage.

Anyhow, I hope this explains things. I figure that we can pull it off (in some fashion; we still have a few tricks up our sleeve), but I just don't like anything we're having to do to achieve it, boohoo. Yeah, I know, no one ever said life was easy. So, time for the stiff upper lip & muddling through or what the hell ever.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Long, Cold Winter

The posts have been in short supply lately. The last couple of weeks I’ve been so angry about the house that I didn’t have anything to say about it. And, to be honest, saying that much has been a real effort for me. Telling your grandparents that you’re a transvestite street walker with a disease and an addiction would probably be easier (since all my grandparents are dead, probably doubly so for me).

So, you might be wondering, what the hell is he mad about? It is a tangled web, but I’ll try to reduce it to its simplest form.

1) The bank wants to close our construction loan and give us a mortgage so they can sell it to the secondary market. We more or less promised them the house would be “finished” within six months.
2) We don’t have the time or skill to finish everything off on our own, so we’ll have to hire about 75% of it out.
3) We’ve pretty well spent every penny we have and maxed our credit out to make it this far. They only way we can afford to pay our monthly bills and pay folks to work on the Queen is by my wife working a full time job.
4) My wife recently quit her old job with the Russellville Courier/Post-Dispatch for reasons I won’t go into. No need to burn bridges, right? Let’s just say that even though it wasn’t the most convenient time for this, it was the right thing to do.
5) The only job she could find that pays the same or more in her field is two and a half hours away in Northwest Arkansas.

The situation this leaves us in is roughly this: my wife and I won’t see each other five days out of the week, my son will be spending a lot of time with his grandparents, and I will be spending a lot of time alone with the Devil Queen.

Or, to look at it another way, I’m pimping my wife out to a media conglomerate 150 miles away so I can afford to stay with my “mistress” and pay for her upkeep. You know, I use to joke about this the Devil Queen being “the other woman,” but, now that she is, I no longer see the humor in it. Who the fuck trades their wife for a house?

My anger really coalesced around an epiphany I had two weeks ago: our major life decisions are no longer being dictated by what we want for ourselves or our son; they are being dictated the Devil Queen. Granted, I was involved in making every decision that brought us here, but that doesn’t make me feel any better about it. In fact, it makes it worse.

So, starting in December, I will be coming home from work to a dark, empty house four or five nights a week. And, I will have the dubious pleasure of struggling like a drowning man as I try to finish the Devil Queen by the spring of 2007. You have no idea how thrilled I am about this.

Enthusiasm and hard work are not enough. I’ve always thought that our story was a cautionary tale, but even I never anticipated just how bad it would be. We’ve paid for this house with a lot more than money. Maybe, several years from now, I’ll change my mind about it, but I don’t think that it has been worth it.

I’ve been so disgusted with the Devil Queen that I considered just giving up on the whole blog, but I decided against it. More than a few people regularly read this blog and many of you have been for nearly two years. If you’ve followed our story that long, I feel like you deserve to know it ends no matter how bad it is.

Friday, November 10, 2006

Pre-Thanksgiving Prognosticating: 2006 Dumbass Awards

Thanksgiving is two weeks away which means it’s time to start thinking about the 2006 Dumbass Awards.

For those of you who are new(er) readers, every Thanksgiving my in-laws vote on which family member has the dubious honor of being elected Dumbass for the year. Basically, it’s a great excuse to tell some hilarious stories about one another. The winner get a plaque with must be prominently displayed in their house until the next Thanksgiving.

The current Award holder is my mother-in-law (click here for her award winning story), and her father was the 2004 winner (click here for his story).

Unless there are some good stories I haven’t heard, I think I will be a serious contender for the award. Don’t worry, if I win, I’ll post my story (turnabout is fair play). So far, one of my wife’s fifteen year old cousins, Casey, is my main competition.

My in-laws were driving down to visit Debbie, Casey’s mom, and they called for directions to their house. No one answered the home phone, so they called Casey’s cell phone. The conversation went something like this:

Casey (groggy): “Hello?”
Jack: “Hello, this is Jack. How are you?”
Casey: “I’m okay.”
Jack: “Did I wake you up?”
Casey: “Yeah.”
Jack: “Sorry. We need directions to your house.”
Casey: “I’m at a friend’s house. I spent the night.”
Jack: “Okay.” (pause) “So how do we get to your house?”
Casey: “I’m not there. I can’t give you directions.”
Jack: “What?” (the line goes dead as Casey hangs up).

Jack: “She hung up.”
Fidge: “Did you get the directions?”
Jack: “No. She said she wasn’t home and couldn’t tell me how to get there. Does she know where she lives? How does she get home from school?”
Fidge: “Well, she is a blonde.”

And, she is her mother’s daughter. Her mom, Debbie, was nominated one year for leaving Paducah, KY, for Pine Bluff, AR. She got lost but didn’t realize it until she was outside of Chicago, IL.

I don’t know if the playing field is a level as it used to be. Some of the older members of the family have gotten kind of puckered about the Award (they got tired of being nominated every year), so there has been a growing conspiracy of silence among them (black mail, threats, etc). We may institute a Dumbass Life Time Achievement Award to goad them just a little.

With the information currently available, I’d say the odds are 2 to 1 that I’ll win. Anyhow, stay tuned. I should have the results posted sometime during the last week of November.


So, you want hands? Here they are.

I wish I could have gotten them in the same frame, side by side. But, since my wife wasn’t home, this was the best that I could do.

Now, if you find yourself thinking “Dude, um, those look just like two hands; what’s the big deal?,” it won’t hurt my feelings at all. I personally don’t think that my hands are terribly remarkable; however, other people keep telling me otherwise.

Here are two more pieces of trivia about my hands since they’ve become quite the topic of conversation.

1) According to my mother, my hands look nearly identical to my late, great-uncle Parkers’ hands. And, my son seems to have inherited my hands too.
2) My paternal grandfather and his Aunt Jenny (my great-great aunt) were both polydactyl. And, in both cases, the offending digits were removed. Apparently, this was a family secret of sorts. When I was born, my Dad was kind of shaken up by it. He was really nervous about telling his father; his Dad was rather prickly, and he wasn’t sure how he would take it. He was even more shocked when he called him. From what I’ve heard, the conversation went something like this:

Dad: “You have a healthy grandson, but there is something I need to tell you."
Grandpa: “What? Does he have six fingers on his hands?”
Dad (flabbergasted): “Uh. Yes, he does. How did you know?!”
Grandpa (laughing): “I had them too. So did Aunt Jenny. It runs in the family.”
Dad (relieved and shocked): “Oh.”

And, I’m game if anyone one out there wants to hire me as a hand model. The only caveat is you have to pay me enough to hire Kenny to completely finish the house for me. I mean, my modeling career would be over if damaged them working on the Devil Queen.

Gary - This One Is For You

That’s right; I’m calling down the thunder.

Here are some pictures of the woodwork in the Devil Queen’s foyer.

From what I can tell, the door trim and wainscoting are shellacked; rubbing it with alcohol and steel wool strips through the finish [the spot above is where I conducted my little experiement].

As I’ve mentioned before, a lot of the wood isn’t in the greatest shape. We will probably end up painting all of it. Blasphemy, I know.

Now, if I’ve read your excellent series of shellac posts (thank you by the way) correctly, I don’t necessarily have to strip all of the shellac off in order to paint over it. I should be able to scrape off the bits that are flaking off, rub the remainder down with alcohol to smooth the surface, sand, and paint over it. Or, am I wrong?

Please let me know. I sick of looking at this. It must go. Soon.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Tower

“Well I dont know what I’ve been told
You never slow down, you never grow old
I’m tired of screwing up, I’m tired of goin down
I’m tire of myself, I’m tired of this town”
- Tom Petty

Well, here I am again. I can’t tell if that is a good thing or not.

I’ve spent a ridiculous amount of time trying to come up with a cogent post about everything going on lately. I think I’m still digesting my wormwood, so it’ll have to wait for now.

In the mean time, I’ll put on my ghoulish "happy face," practice my best Pontius Pilate impersonation, and get on with it.

Monday, November 06, 2006


Sorry for the dearth of posts. We've been busy at home, nothing much is happening at the Queen, and I've been in a bad mood besides. More to come this week, I hope.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


So, how was our Halloween Party?

Not bad, though the turn out was a little lighter than we’d hoped for. When we planned it, we didn’t realize there was a Razorback football game that night. Oops. I guess you can tell that we’re probably not people who would be described as “rabid sports fans.”

Even so, it was still fun. I was feeling a bit under the weather Sunday morning if that is any indication as to how it went.

And, since a couple of you requested it, here is a picture of my costume “concept” and my actual costume.

In a perfect world, I would have been able to afford the 1920’s top hat and a purple ascot I found on eBay. Still, it didn’t turn out too bad though the makeup could have used some work.

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