Posts from July, 2007

The quick brown fox jumped over the good, but lazy Parker family.

Photos: The Home Stretch

Monday, 30 July 2007

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Life is finally returning to normal in the Sparkler household, after a pretty crazy couple of weeks. Here are some highlights (or skip to the bottom for pictures of the new place):

  • Emily has regained control of her faculties — After spending three hours on move-in day hiding in her litter box, Emily decided that day two would be best spent trapped under the bathroom vanity. It took a saw and a couple of crowbars to spring her. The good news is that after two weeks in Mt. Pleasant, she is starting to mellow down to her usual high strung, psychotic self.
  • Our home air conditioner has stopped flooding water all over our hardwood floors — Somewhere around day six, water started spewing from our air conditioning. We had the previous owner’s AC guy come out who said that it was leaking because the condensation drain was plugged up from the floor below all the way to the floor above. They professionally installed a bucket under the drain pipe (which we replaced the next day with a funnel and fifteen feet of hose leading to the bathtub) while we waited for the condo board to send out a plumber. Somewhere around day twelve, the plumber came and liberated us from our MacGuyver existance.
  • The car has stopped breaking — A green, glowing “emissions” light come on about day four, followed by a bright, blinking red “engine overheating” light on day six (which nicely coincided with the car’s air conditioning failing), followed by another green, glowing “emissions” light on day eleven. So, during four trips to the dealership in the last ten days, we have replaced the catalytic converter, the oxygen sensor, a radiator fan fuse, and retightened an engine exhaust hose. The dealership assures us that everything is fine … for now.

Fortunately, somewhere in all that we managed to unpack and finish setting up all the rooms. We still have about a car load of stuff in Arlington, and about 6 boxes of miscelaneous crapola that we have to give away, put away, pitch or recycle … but we are finally in the home stretch (pardon the pun).

For those of you in town on Thursday before the wedding, we are going to host a little open house that afternoon so our beloved friends and family can see the new place. Until then, some more pictures below:

Second Bedroom

Master Bedroom


in mt. pleasant, dc:

0y, 0m, 10d

Home: Emily’s First Day

Sunday, 22 July 2007

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Well, we are in. We settled Thursday … the sellers were very sweet and gave us cookies. They even dusted, God bless them.

Friday was vendor day (locksmith, Comcast) and we took over all the breakable stuff that we didn’t trust to the movers. Actually, we rented a Flexcar minivan — a Honda Odyssey — so we only had to make one trip instead of ten. Flexcar allows you to rent them for about $7 an hour, and they are parked all around town. This one was just 5 blocks from our door.

Saturday was last-minute packing day (and travel-to-the-box-stores day) and then the movers came at 10 am Sunday morning. By 6 pm, Emily decided to join us at the new place, which bring us from DNA right up to this moment.

We’ll post more about the move (including pictures) as we get a little more settled. G’night!

in mt. pleasant, dc:

0y, 0m, 2d

Photos: Berry-picking at Butler’s Orchard

Saturday, 14 July 2007

Picked, Berry Picking, Butler's Orchard, Germantown, Maryland
Picked, originally uploaded by [ecpark].
In a break from the wedding planning madness, The Lady Sparkler and I went out to Germantown, Maryland with friends of ours (Michael and Anne McCauley) for an afternoon of berry-picking at Butler’s Orchard.

Home: 7 days, and counting … (July Edition)

Friday, 13 July 2007

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Made you look. No, the wedding is still 86 days away (not that anyone is counting). We speak, instead, of the move.

In fact, in seven days I expect to be painting our very own master bedroom a lovely shade of Chianti after earlier in the day giving our sellers the largest check I have ever seen in my life.

To bring you up to speed … Since we last mentioned Mt. Pleasant nary sixteen days ago, we have:

  • Gotten the results of our home inspection back — Everything looks pretty great. The combination furnace/AC unit needed to be serviced and there were a couple of power outlets that needed work. The home inspector also mentioned something about our electrical circuit box potentially bursting into flames without warning, but not sure exactly what he meant. All in all, we were pretty happy.
  • Negotiated some extra dough from the sellers for the (potentially) flaming electrical box — Turns out that having a Federal Pacific “Stab-Lock” electrical box that could burst into flames at a moment’s notice is considered a “bug” as opposed to a “feature.” After a little negotiating, we managed to get some money from the sellers to get it replaced.
  • Tested Evan’s bicycle commute — I have been biking to and from work for about 6 weeks now, and hope to keep it up after the move. It should be easy. Our new place is right off the Rock Creek Trail (which meets my current commute) and forms a nice little seven mile commute each way. This past weekend, I tried the full trip from to Mt. Pleasant and back, and it was a LOVELY ride with some truly beautiful sections through Georgetown, Rock Creek and the National Zoo.
  • Determined Evan probably should not use a two decade old bike for commuting long distances — The following day, while commuting to work, I nearly wrapped myself around a tree because my 18 year old brakes and gears no-workey-so-goody, especially when wet. If I make it another 6 weeks of commuting via bicycle — ie. haven’t killed myself and haven’t given up trying — I am going to seriously ponder getting a bike made sometime *after* the first Bush administration.
  • Reviewed the condo’s bylaws and budget documents — Apparently, The Lady Sparkler and I share 5.2% of the voting power in our condo association. I am already wondering how best to abuse our new-found power. Perhaps we will start by repealing the bylaw that states that 80% of our *gorgeous* hardwood floors are supposed to be covered by area rugs.
  • Started shopping for rugs — Well, yes, but not because of the condo rule. We did some research and discovered that the current owners have never had more than 30% of their floor covered since the late 90s, and that most people aren’t meeting either the letter or the spirit of that rule. Not to mention: our unit is directly above the lobby, so there aren’t a whole lot of people to complain.
  • Gotten our appraisal back — Perhaps the most bizarre realization of the last two weeks was finding out that the bank felt comfortable verifying the value of our purchase without ever stepping foot inside the building. Not to mention, they *miraculously* appraised it at $1,000 more than we are buying it for (so we have already made a profit!)
  • Gone to Home Depot for paint colors — The only thing we are painting before we move in is the master bedroom, as it is currently a lovely shade of mango. To be fair, the color really is quite lovely, but our drapes are burgundy and our spread is olive and maroon, so keeping the mango isn’t really an option. The rest of the colors — seafoam living room, mango second bedroom, cobalt-ish halway, beige bathroom — match enough to buy us some time.
  • Found movers, electricians specializing in flaming electrical boxes, locksmiths, water/sewage authorities, a gas service and an electrical utility — Not much to add on this one.
  • Petted Emily-the-Cat — For two whole weeks, we said “wow, Emily is really taking all all this commotion well.” Then two days ago, she finally figured out something was up … and that 200 packing boxes might be something other than construction materials for the fort of her dreams.
  • Packed 60% of our belongings — Basically, everything is done except the kitchen. It took 16 copier boxes (and then some) to pack our bookcases alone, and that is after giving away four boxes of books. It is going to take years for us to get everything out again once we make it to the other side of the Potomac.

So, there you go.

Neither of us can wait ’til the end of October, when we can look back at this and start thinking that “shooting the moon” by moving and getting married on top of each other wasn’t the silliest idea we have ever had 😉

moving in:


Wedding: How well do you know the Bride?

Wednesday, 11 July 2007

Our bridesmaids put together a little quiz to see how well everyone knows her, and I have posted it on an online quiz site called “Quibblo.”

If you want to see how you how you stack up in knowledge of the inner-workings of The Lady Sparkler’s brain, just go here:

wedding in: