Tag Archives: debt

Succumbing to the Repo Man

I had goals of fiscal responsibility. Finance the renovation completely out of pocket. And when that failed, pay off the credit card while it’s still interest free. And when that failed, transfer the balance. It seemed like my scheme to give the banks $0 of interest payments was gonna work. And then I had to take my car to pasture. Camden Iron and Metal gave me 8 cents a pound for it, or $269.

Pontiac at Scrap yard.jpg

This time around I wanted a small car that would fit down my street and it had to be a hatchback. I got a shiny red one in honor of the old car.


And so, another credit card. And all this was still fine. Yes, I took a vow of poverty, but I was making it work. That is until I saw what I owed the IRS.

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Anyways, they’ve taken the car back. And to cover depreciation, they came for my personal property. Thank God the couch doesn’t fit through the door. I at least have some place to sit.


Well, I’m sure eating crow now. That’s what I get for thinking I could be debt free AND enjoy the trappings of a middle class lifestyle. From now on I’d better just let it show that I’m house poor. At least my parents are letting me borrow their Lexus.


I can’t keep tops and bottoms straight

I may have gotten your attention with that title, but what we’re actually talking about today is the dark side of handing my finish work over to someone else and leaving, even someone I trust.

You might remember how much I liked the idiosyncratically mismatched woodwork that came with┬ámy house when I bought it. I liked it so much that I decided to keep it mismatched, even when I replaced it all. While the Irishman was working on jambs, he decided to start on the trim work. We hadn’t really talked about it. And I was working in my parents’ garden without my phone. By the time I was done, he had downstairs trim up all over the second floor.

I told him what happened, and let him take it down and fix it. And I said, “Now you understand that the tops and sides are the same trim with mitered corners, right?” And he said yes.

But I came in, and he had the upstairs trim installed on the sides cut square! I flipped, called him, and told him I couldn’t afford more of what he used. And he said, “I thought you were talking about the mitered returns under the window sills. I’m sorry, I can’t keep tops and bottoms straight.”

And so came the best that’s what (s)he said of all time.

By the way, this is what he meant by the mitered returns under the window sills. They’re very well done.


So first he said he’d buy some more of the trim. Then he found out what I spent on it, and instead he said he’d dowel it together. “Because they call us joiners for a reason.” I’m pretty satisfied with this job. If somehow it shows, it’s part of the story now.


Then, finally, he got the back bedroom window just the way I wanted it. Remember, there are two ways to do a double window. You can run the trim around the whole thing and put a flat trim on the muntin inside it, or you can run the casing around both windows. The latter way is harder, but I wanted it that way. Why, because I can inside mount my blinds. And he did it beautifully.


Third time’s a charm.

Now, there’s another dark side to all this. He took a pretty good chunk of… all the money I have. He likes me a lot, but not enough to do this kind of work for free. So I was kind of terrified. But I found a way to make it work. A credit card. I got an introductory 0% interest rate. That means every Home Depot purchase, every gallon of gas, and every drink I buy at a bar for the next 2 months is deferred until 2016. But hey, I’m used to living modestly. I can keep it up a bit longer, right?