Later today, contractors are coming over to my house to give me estimates for some remodeling we're doing. It'll start with new windows (probably in May) and alterations to our existing bathroom (maybe sooner). I had Andersen over yesterday for a quote on the windows and got totally sucked into their marketing. They do a good job of getting you interested in the quality of their product and thinking that it is worth the money to have the product of that quality. My dad has used their windows in new construction, I believe. (His retirement hobby seems to be building a new house every three years or so.) This is my first experience with their replacement window product. They look good though and, barring anything catastrophic, we'll probably go with them.
The bath remodel will basically replace the tub with a roll-in shower meaning a replacement of the floor and some minor structural changes to the room. This will make the bathroom more useable for both of us and vastly improve Ericka's quality of life while we get going on the major remodeling/addition later this summer. That project will be the biggest thing I've undertaken to date. Not that I'll be doing much, if any, of the work. Sure, I can probably frame a wall just fine and probably even run the electrical lines and do a half-assed sheetrocking job. There's this job I have to go to every day, though, see, and dedicating a year's worth of weekends to getting the job done just won't cut it when the job impacts the main access to our house.
So a portion of errands today deal with getting financing for those renovations. A home equity line of credit is in the workings and I'm also making applications to various neighborhood and state programs (most of which offer low-interest loans and/or matching funds). So there's some faxing, dropping off applications and such that need to happen this afternoon, but all that means progress towards making my house nicer which is very cool..
And then the weekend begins in earnest. I'm divided on the issue of what to do tonight, I have so much planned for tomorrow. In the afternoon, Ericka and I go off to see "Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf" at the Guthrie theater. Starring Patrick Stewart and Mercedes Ruehl, I've heard good reviews from people that have attended. I watched the film version on AMC the other night, with Elizabeth Taylor in the starring roll. A powerful play, I'm very much looking forward to the Guthrie's production.
Then it's home again, eat again, watch some TV.... Um. I mean, make some dinner and get Ericka settled while I head over to First Avenue for their 18th annual St. Patrick's day celebration. I'm not Irish or Catholic but this event has been a favorite for years. Boiled in Lead, a local band of excellent musicians headline and my current most-watched local band, The Tim Malloys, open up. (It helps that Adam Stemple, guitarist wondermensch, is in both bands.) There will also be the traditional Minnesota Pipes and Drums to bring some Scottish/Irish confusion to the festivities and a smaller opening act that I've heard good word on. Overall, a great time.
After all that, there's still some party to go! The annual Pool Party by the Minnesota Science Fiction Society should be in full swing. Musician friends are planning to head home after the First Avenue gig and then out to the party. They should be set up and playing until the wee hours in short order. This is my favorite type of gathering: lots of interesting people, excellent music, free-flowing conversations. The local convention this group puts on, Minicon, is like this, only over about four days. It reminds me of the best parts of large family gatherings from my childhood set to music.
All that on Saturday! I think I'll need Sunday to recoup.