Thursday, June 24, 2010

Reluctant Handyman

One of the things I really miss about my former life in California is needing only one small bit of knowledge to handle the myriad repair jobs required by home and car ownership. That is, the phone number of the nearest good repair technician. In this life, coming as it does with a lower income, the repair technician ends up being me. Last night it was recharging the refrigerant on Karen's Subaru, and discovering that I can't do the same thing on my Subaru because one of the hose connections is broken an would leak if recharged. This is the kind of thing I don't even want to know, but there you have it.

Along with how to hang sheetrock, or install a shower head, or build and install the casings and trim on windows and doors, or alleviate condensation dripping from the cold pipes in the basement, or (good grief!) building a deck, all things which are on my list of projects this summer.

Fortunately my list also includes some writing, maybe some music recording, some filmmaking, and of course a little bit of acting. It's good to know that my list of activities is not exclusively filled with jobs I'm not competent to do.

We're also planning to just spend some time having fun. Imagine that.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Almost Officially Summer

Wolfeboro Parks and Recreation had their Summer Kickoff party at Brewster Beach yesterday, and the boys and I were there. Karen, unfortunately, had to work. The boys had a good time playing the the water, and Daniel participated in the sand castle and pudding-eating contests. They both did the sack race and the three-legged race, though in the latter they made the mistake of running together, usually a mistake for brothers.

I spent a lot of time in my folding chair sitting in the shade, not being quite ready for our sudden summer weather and the bright sunshine, but enjoying watching the boys have fun (not to mention the many bikini-clad ladies on the beach).

There were hot dogs and hamburgers and chips available for lunch, and I was happy to find that they had cold Dr. Pepper for me, since I had not had the foresight to get any cold enough to bring along.

Today is, of course, Father's Day, and the way things have worked out, of course, Karen has to work, because that's the way of retail. Sigh.

But we are going to celebrate tomorrow with dinner at one of our favorite local haunts. The boys have promised to give me a gift today by keeping things simple and calm. And I believe every word of it. Right.

I think we are taking another beach trip today (it is summer vacation after all) with friends, but I will try to keep it short as I have several things to do at home and rehearsal tonight. And I promised myself an hour and a half to actually sit down and watch one of my favorite movies: Preston Sturges' Sullivan's Travels. I like to watch it whenever I need to be reminded of the importance of laughter.

But if I want to indulge myself thus, I need to get moving on some house projects that I won't have time for during the week, and so I sign off until next time.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


While I was sitting at work, Karen and the boys met up with some friends at the park and the boys had a big water fight. Water balloons, water guns, soggy sponge things to throw at each other. I stayed far away and very dry, but I at least got to see pictures. I understand there's some video. too, so maybe that will show up soon on YouTube.

Rehearsal last night worked out very well, thanks to the boys. They sat quietly and watched a movie ("The Strongest Man In the World," starring Kurt Russell) and were generally nice and quiet while I was on the stage fighting with lines and blocking.

Fortunately, I seem to be winning that fight, along with my fellow cast members who are turning this production of "Unnecessary Farce" into something we'll be truly proud of.

For tonight, however, I need to try to get some sleep. Still one more day before the weekend, which Karen, unfortunately, will spend at Lowes. But the boys and I will find some fun stuff to do on what promises to be a very summery weekend.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Busy Nights

Sunday night was the Village Players' annual talent show. I performed three songs, and then after the potluck dinner stayed on to rehearse. Karen missed the show because of work, but got to join us for dinner and take the kids home before rehearsal.

Last night we spent some time working on the basement bathroom, with me hunting down screws in the sheet rock that weren't quite in all the way, and Karen starting the taping. The bathroom is something of a challenge because the framing wasn't done quite right and we had to make some compromises. Karen is going to texture the walls to hide some of the imperfections created by the incompetent drywall hanger (that would be me).

Tonight Karen took the boys swimming while I fixed up a cold dinner of tuna sandwiches and fruit salad. We're not getting much else done tonight because we're tired and Karen has to work late tomorrow. The boys have to accompany me to the theater for the first part of my rehearsal, until Tom can bring them home.

So, to put it another way, we're on the dead run this week. But it's all to good cause, unlike many nights when we've just been playing catch-up and neither accomplishing anything nor having any fun. So far this week there's been a little time for both.

Now to find some time for sleep.

Friday, June 04, 2010

When Summer Really Begins

Okay, I know, the official start of summer is still a couple of weeks away. But when you live with two grade-school students, summer starts when summer vacation starts. And this year that day is today.

It all has to do with construction at the high school, and since the entire district has to be on the same schedule, that means that the younger kids had to give up some days off in order to get off earlier. The vacation is also longer, running 12 weeks this year. There goes the daycare budget! Ah well, we knew it was coming.

William will be going to a different school this fall. The boys have been at the same school since Danny started kindergarten, and I wonder if Danny will miss seeing his brother at recess. The two fight like, well, brothers, but they often seek each other out as playmates, too.

We have a lot of fun things planned for the summer, as well as a lot of work on the house that the boys will be helping us with. Although the vacation will be nearly two weeks longer than usual, I think it will pass quickly. I just wish I was going to spend more of it with the boys; Karen has some time off coming, but not me.

And a lot of my time will be spent doing things I don't actually know how to do. I think the next job I feel totally incompetent to do will be casing and trimming the windows.

Oh joy. More carpentry.