its a celebration…

Shout out to Kia and Bryan. Congratulations on the wedding this evening in Baltimore.

I had a good time this evening, saw a couple vows exchanged, and met some very cool and interesting people that seem to like the energy that growahouse is trying to put out. Can’t ask for much more out of a rainy saturday.

The Growahouse family wishes you blessing on top of blessing as the two of you walk through this life together.

blame it on the rain…

Yesterday and today were both moist melodramas wrapped in misty confusion.

Lets see… Galiher & Hugley delivered my LVL beams to the site today. By the way, if your thinking about using them for your lumber, DON’T.
These guys have failed to meet the litmus test for good salesmanship and punctuality. These dingbats misdelivered my wood to my neighbor five houses down and then came back to pick it up and took it back to the lumber yard. Take a look down the block, Einstien. Does the half-built house with the port-o-potty out front make just a little more sense then this poor woman’s driveway? I don’t know… maybe I expect too much?

Accoplishment: I hauled the Pepco sample window over to the site.
Setback: I had to acknowledge to myself that it weighs a ton and I have no idea how the guys are going to hoist it up above the entry doors.

What is it with me and heavy things?

I bought my front doors from a place called The Brass Knob. It’s an architectural salvage place that re-sells pieces of buildings (with varied usage) at a marginal price. So… my front doors are actually from my high school. In addition to engendering a comforting bit of nostalgia, the doors are the embodiment of the what the modern urban philosopher refers to as “hardcore.”
I’m talking 8 feet tall…3 inch thick wood and steel. There like 300lbs.

I mean seriously folks… 300 lb steel doors.
I’m out of control.

simmering down…

I just got a call. My wood beams are coming in the morning and we might get started framing despite the looming threat of rain. Thats what I’m talking about. Be on top of your game. Thats the kind of phone call I want to get.

So I’m simmering down now. I’m thinking that the day needs a soundtrack. There has been too much texture, emotion, and inclimate weather for it to also be devoid of melody.

And I heard ‘em say, nothin ever promised tomorrow today.
Nothing’s ever promised tomorrow today.
But we’ll find a way.
And nothing lasts forever but be honest babe, it hurts but it may be the only way.

david banner in the mirror

I am not a violent man. Furthermore, I have not reached my boiling point. I do, however,offer this warning:

If you make me angry, I will make an example out of you.

Why… at 9 in the morning on a rainy Friday in the brisk autumn of 2005, do I have to elevate my heart rate and, dare I say, my temper? I understand weather. I understand buildings. I understand setbacks. I understand the rules of project management. What I don’t understand, is why in the H, E, Double Hockey Sticks, do I have to hold your hand and coax you into making me feel comfortable with your ability to get my freekin’ wood beams to the house on time???
come on, black people.
We have got to do better than that. Exceed my expectations. Show up early. Call me before i call you and tell me that the supplier is acting up, but these are the things that you are doing to keep the project going. Make me say… Damn!!, You’re great at what you do!!! I was fool to ever consider someone else for this project.
But instead… I got wet in the rain helping some guy drop off the joists in front of the house, cus you weren’t there to meet your delivery man. Luckily I stopped at Home Depot at 7am this morning and bought that extra tarp, cus if it were up to you… My wet TJI joists would be sitting in a puddle, moist and forsaken… awaiting their untimely removal by the same neighbors that broke into my car.

palm greasing

I slipped a crisp five-er to my garbage man yesterday.

I felt good about it.

I got to the house late and the truck was already down the street. A novice would have shrugged his shoulders and opted to endure the lawn bags sitting against the side of the house for another calendar week… but I’m no novice. I flagged them down and made a series of gestures as they cruised passed the house. Easily dismissed as idle gibberish hand waving by most passerbys; this was a complex interwoven cultural textile of hand signals passed down through generations of smooth cats that share my bloodline.

no words. just a head nod.

Five minutes later the truck eased gingerly down my street halting to a stop alongside a makeshift mailbox (a mailbox that sadly lacks a flag). In an instant, the remnants of a Saturday afternoon spent clipping a massive shrub back to its infancy were thrown into this hulking truck and… then it happened.
…yet another simoltaneous head-nod-hand-gesture.
This time from the garbage man back to me. Its was subtle, silent even. Again, undetectable to most… but to the trained eye…ahhh… yes… to me… it whispered can you help a brotha out?

As they drove on, passing countless empty refuse containers,perhaps empty lives,or empty dreams; I stood proud… pointing to my silent comrade. Shouting without words… merely an outstretched index finger that said clearly and honestly…I got you covered.

of mortar and men

Day Fifteen

I stopped by the house to see the progress and much to my delight, the masons had shown up and were breezing through the laying of the concrete block. In a less than a day, they had added two courses of block to the existing building and cut in the new doorway off of the driveway. (Safety addition to enable entry to the house that was not through the courtyard)

The site was teaming with excitement and energy.

I felt like I needed to be there all day … you know, be one of the guys… eating food off the hood of a truck…. drinking gaterade and… oh… that reminds me… I need to order a Sani-John first thing in the morning.

That is an important lesson.

The guys that are doing work for me have to go to the bathroom behind the house… like passerby vagrants… that’s not cool. That is not the type of show that growahouse is all about. Sorry I let you guys down today. I will do better tomorrow.

Lesson learned.

When you’re a cheetah out on the serengeti, you can’t let the excitement of the kill distract you from eating your wildebeast.

In other words… protect your investment.

efforts towards consistency

I find myself in an all too familiar situation. I am midthought, midweek, and midafternoon. Where did the day go? Tomorrow I will ask myself where did the week go? Friday, I undoubtedly will try to salvage the 5-day sequence by powering up on something tangibly inspiring… something not unlike cleaning my workspace. Something like diving into a graphic frenzy of images and interlacing of visual textures that will temporarily tickle my fancy, but will neither sustain my interest, nor generate any revenue. This process will ultimately leave me feeling unchallanged and will subsequently lead my to the abrupt shaving of my head, and vibrant displays of couture. (not quite sure why my clothes get more colorful… but it is what it is)

SO… I offer for your dissection and discussion… the following reasons why I feel like taking L. Robinson’s advice and moving to Fiji:

  • I have been running every day this week for at least 2mi and I feel like the Muscle & Skeletal Local 438 has mobilized its workers and are threatening a WALK OUT.
  • The rainy week has slowed the process of getting the concrete blocks laid out at the house. I think it is the first time that I have felt a bit powerless about proceeding forward. A feeling that I am now deciding… is an unacceptable one… nevertheless… I still have a stack of Concrete Blocks and no mason to start … uh…masoning?
  • I have a project deadline for Monday that will undoubtedly have me in the office over the weekend.
  • My new shoes from sketchers( not my preferred brand, but these shoes are really hot) are a little tight around the velcro strap. It something that will be fine once I wear them a few more times, but in the interim… I got tight velcro.
  • Did I mention that I’m driving my Uncle’s car around cus my new neighbors decided to welcome me to the area by trying to break into my car? When I went down to the Peace Protest, I parked at the house site and rode my bike downtown. Some passerby jambed a screwdriver in my lock and tried to make something happen. Thanks, guys!! I’m on the steps of the White House talking about peace in the middle east and you’re in my passenger seat listening to my Best of R&B Soul Collection. Thanks again!!
  • So take your pick. Personally, I’m going to go with number 1 on the list because after you finish reading this, my body will still feel like a bag of crushed cashews and like a dummy… I’m gonna run again tonight.

    Day Eleven

    I learned how to pour concrete yesterday. Interestingly enough… that was the least impressive of the lessons learned out on the site. I sat with a 70-year-old man named Eugene and listened as he blended stories of men falling off of construction sites from the mid 1950′s to the the late 1990′s with respectfully raunchy tales of women of days past. I translated English to Spanish and back to English and everywhere inbetween. I walked the site with purpose, yet found it difficult to mask my excitement. It was a day of missed conduit opportunities, friendly neighbors, sunshine, mosquitos, and eager antiocipation of a dreaded concrete truck driver from St. Thomas named Gus.

    We build foundations and reinforce our lives with every choice we make. It is the resolve of person setting the formwork for the theoretical liquid rock that creeps into crevices and spills into unsuspected casms that will determine the possibilities.

    Pouring Concrete. check.

    earth, water, sunshine, and a 220 bit drill set