Monthly Archives: April 2011

Choices.

So I’m walking the boys and I’m grumbling and all the sudden Cutter bristles and sits down.

I tug at his leash but he just glares at me.

What the fuck is the matter with you now, he asks.

I stare at him and then look away. Whatta you mean? I ask.

You’re being pissy, Cutter says.

Yeah, Tug says, straining at the end of his leash to smell some poop.

I stand and I look skyward and I say, I don’t know. I’m just tired. Work and working on the house and working on oceandoggy.com and other stuff is just wearing me down. I feel like I don’t have any time for the things I wanna do.

And Cutter says, hoo, boy, that’s some kinda good shit right there. I’d laugh if I had lips.

He fidgets for a minute and then sits up straighter, glaring at me. So, let’s check it, he says- you live the life you want to live and do pretty much what you want to do and you’re pissed because of the choices you made feel like you don’t have the time to do the things you want to do, even though they’re what you chose to do? I’m confused, he says.

It’s baffling, Tug barks, coming up and sitting next to Cutter.

Yeah, well, ya know, when you put it in THAT context, I say, you’re right, I sound like a big whiny pussy.

And what other context would I put it in?, Cutter hisses. (I hate it when he schools me)

Content, Tug says, licking himself.

Put it in perspective, Cutter says, standing up, YOU have ALL the choices. You get to choose what you want to do and when you want to do it. Your life is a dog’s dream of happiness and heaven.

Lifting a leg and peeing, Cutter says, think about it- we don’t even get to choose when we get to go to the bathroom. Think dude, he says, taking off after a feral cat and snapping my arm.

Yeah, dude, Tug says, slamming past me and surging to the end of his leash after his brother.

Compromise.

Ya know, unless you have a rich daddy paying for it, or lots and lots of unlimited laundered money, building a house is an endless stream of compromises.

And since our laundered money is severely restricted to the size of our savings account and because we don’t have a rich daddy we’re finding the endless compromises to be endlessly challenging. Our shifting dreams rarely play nice with our concrete realities.

Take the windows for example.

The house, as originally drawn, had eleven windows, most of which were biggish gliders on the south side of the house overlooking the Sound. I got a couple of quotes on the window package way back when for our budget, and then forgot all about it. It was done, right?

Um, not so fast there, Mr. DumbShitVirginHouseBuilder.

Come to find out, adding that upstairs room shifted things I didn’t realize were being shifted. I had originally planned to build a little 1200 sq. ft. house on stilts. It had everything Miss Carol and me needed or wanted. Great views and two bedrooms and two bathrooms.

Then I found out that there’s a 1600 sq. ft. minimum imposed by the silly homeowners association, so I added 400 sq. feet downstairs and just figured I’d do something with it at some point in time.

That’s when Phabulous Phil looked at my crudely drawn plans and suggested moving the downstairs to the upstairs.

Cost about the same, he said.

Just raising the roof in the middle of the house, he said.

Be a killer view, he said.

Hmmm. At least Phabulous Phil was right about the killer view. But. Unfortunately, by going up those additional 14 feet we moved into an entirely different realm window-wise.

Because we live in a coastal area prone to hurricanes our windows have to be rated tougher and stronger than non-coastal areas for insurance and code reasons. (Don’t even get me started on CODE. If I never hear that fucking word again, it’ll be waaaaay too soon) This hurricane-proofness is defined by the design and performance of the window construction, or the DP rating.

*doink*doink*doink* Anyone still awake out there? Hellloooooo.

Anyway. Because the DP rating is a function of building height, adding that upstairs room means we have to install windows rated at DP50 instead of DP35. A DP50 rated window will withstand winds in excess of 130 mph. Which means a coupla things.

One, it means if we EVER have a storm strong enough to generate 130 mph winds, the windows will be the only things left standing, hanging there in mid-air like the Chesire Cat’s smile in Alice in Wonderland.

And two, it means our window package went from $2500 to $8000. Fuck.

So. Yet another compromise.

We’re gonna have to downsize some of the windows and probably install two side-by-side double hung windows instead of the biggish gliders.

I wish I had a rich daddy.

Or maybe some more laundered money.

Mr. King.

C’mon buddy.

On any other day I fucking love Stephen King. I’d read his laundry list, or his callout menu. Anything.

But this book? I don’t know. Maybe not so much.

Full Dark No Stars is four short stories with an afterword that maybe tries to apologize for them?

Let’s count them out.

The first is a kinda Edgar Allen Poe rip-off of the telltale heart. And I don’t know why it ends the way it does. If it was me, I’d a been cool with it.

The second is an inexplicably wild vigilante thingy that would NEVER happen. We all love relentless revenge and  you’d like it to happen, you want it to happen, but really?

The third is pretty cool- classic Stephen King.

The fourth story is something that you probably need to be married for decades and centuries to appreciate- but it’s probably the best of the stories.

And honestly? I’m a nobody and my review amounts to something way less than nothing.

But hey.