Sunday, May 01, 2011


that’s not a typo. it’s been pretty shitty lately. i had a hell of a time renewing my homeowner’s insurance policy this year. the problem: my deck. an adjuster who came out for a completely unrelated issue about 9 months ago decided she didn’t like it and said my policy shouldn’t be renewed because of it.

of course i only found this out when the policy was up for renewal a few months ago. after much scrambling and sending photos and phone calls and pleading, my original insurer dropped me and i had to find coverage elsewhere, which i managed to do (barely). the problem: the new coverage sucks hairy donkey balls despite costing the same as gilded donkey balls. plus, it doesn’t even cover my deck.

admittedly, my deck does suck. it’s old and rickety and ugly. it’s endured years of damage by water, termites and dry rot. but thanks to gravity, it’s still upright and fairly secure (though i wouldn’t invite 20 people to stand on it at once). my intention was always to replace it... eventually. the issue with replacing it is that the deck is attached to the house by a ledger, which is attached to the house’s siding, which also needs to be replaced. see where i’m going with this?

in order to replace my deck, i have to replace my house’s siding, which means a total exterior remodel. and that means a hell of a lot of money. i know i could probably do it for cheap if i went with stucco over wood siding, and i know i could probably cut a bunch of corners to shave off additional costs, but i refuse to skimp on my home, so spare me the unsolicited advice.

after seeing what cheapness does to a house — courtesy of my home’s former owners who used masking tape to glue broken mirrors together — i have come to recognize that people, indeed, get what they pay for. this doesn’t mean i’ll be importing italian marble or crystal chandeliers for this remodel (which are tacky anyway), but it does mean that i’ll be going with the highly durable and weather-resistant redwood over a cheaper wood for the deck.

luckily, i already have design plans in place for the house, courtesy of my architect ex Mo, who completed them before he was my ex. the plans are perfect and will do much to restore my little 1920s bungalow to its craftsman glory. i’m actually quite excited to see them executed despite also being scared shitless about how a months-long full exterior remodel is going to impact my life. i imagine it will put all that LA-asshole-zen shit i’ve been spewing lately to the test. serenity now, bitches.

the bright side is that i love my very reasonable, responsible and ethical contractor, Platon Markarian — call him for all your remodeling needs (but only after he’s finished with my house at the end of the summer) cell: 818.279.3118. this is the same contractor who did all the interior work on my house before i moved in; he also just finished building my neighbor’s new deck. he gets the vision for the house and is not a corner-cutter, always producing high-quality work, so i trust him without reservation.

but before Platon can hammer one nail into my house, i first have to take down my old deck, which will be done via a deck demolition party, where i will give my friends baseball bats, crowbars and permission to go to town on the most expensive investment i’ve ever made. afterwards, i will hammer them with beer.

but before i can even do that, i need to find a bag of money, preferably one with an endless bottom. and because those seedlings for the money tree i ordered off that cracker jack box never sprouted, i have to rely on banks and credit unions to help me out. thus, i’m kicking off my Begging for Money tour across the southland, effective immediately, which will find me cozying up to various bank tellers while trying to slip my hand in the cash drawer. wish me luck.


darknessatnoon said...

Bougie problems.

Milla said...

the best kind to have! :-)

Anonymous said...

Your relationship ended almost a year ago, you are just now blogging about "the worst is behind me."

SMH. Just the worst? Move on - fully. You yourself say that you continue to hear the complaint 'that I’m bitchy and hard to get close to, that i act as though i need no one. “self-possessed” is a common refrain as is “control issues.”'

Good insight -- a 35 year old should understand that personality traits get more and more difficult to change as you get older. You proved a lot about your character in 2007 when posting your weak arguments on why it was a good time to take out a $440,000 mortgage loan for a poorly built, pre-war 2BR house in gang-entrenched Highland Park. It was not your earnest, yet completely wrong assessment of the housing market that was the problem. It was the lengths you went through to assign negative intent to everyone that tried to offer you evidence against your arguments. Borrowing the $$ from your parents and the taxpayers to pay for your misguided decision (despite a healthy does of advice) only reinforced that image of a controlling bitch.

While "gentrifying" HP and obsessing over dogs and yoga, your Highland Park neighbors "on low end trying to ball and get over." You don't know as much as you think you know. So stop looking at life through your one-sided and over-privileged perspective. Appreciate the value in the way others navigate through life - even if its different from the way you do! How? By making it a habit of doing something for someone outside of yourself (and your parents don't count. They bankroll you - so that's your job.) Everyone likes independent people. No one likes stubborn, selfish, know-it alls. Big difference.

Milla said...

few points of clarification: i bought my house in 2008, not 2007, for $410K, not $440K. i don't regret buying my house. not for one minute. i also do appreciate how others navigate through their lives. no clue where that judgment came from. but it is solid advice. i think you should take it, too. one thing you did get right: i'm stubborn as hell. no doubt.