The De-Gothening – Kill Shot

It is done.

The de-Gothening is complete. There are no more rooms in my house left to makeover to the mundane. We’re planning a house-mourning party to bid the Gothdom farewell.

Warning – this post is very long and picture heavy.

The last three rooms are featured in this post, because we did one right after the other. Continue reading

The De-Gothening Part Sept


No, really, it is. At least, I hope it is. I’m pretty sure it is. We’ll see. Anyway, here’s the story so far:

Part Un
Part Deux
Part Trois
Part Quatre
Part Cinq
and Part Six (Same in English and French)

You can also click on the “adventures in remodeling” tag to see the collection of horrors on the same page. In case you’ve forgotten, here’s why I label these posts in French.

This week’s adventure is my office!

Remember once upon a time I told you that the office was previously wallpapered and its removal had revealed a terrifying shade of yellow? Yeah. Here you go:

The floor in here was carpeted when we first moved in, and the people who lived here before didn’t bother putting down dropcloths when they painted (as they were going to carpet), so it’s covered in old paint splatter.

My friend S. and I spent days removing the wallpaper earlier this spring, and despite our best efforts, there was still a lot of glue and other nastiness on the walls in here, so before I could paint, the walls needed another good scraping/scrubbing. That took an entire evening in itself to finish. Next up, the taping around the windowsills and so on (you can see that in the pic above). Removal of the outlet covers, and onto the first cover-up coat.

We were a little short on paint here for this. I had an entire gallon of Glidden Ultra-Hide white, which the ceiling, trim, and baseboards stay, but there was a little accident with the paint can and a great deal of paint ended up being taken from the dropcloth instead of the can. Fortunately we had just enough to cover the ceiling and trim for the first coat. I ended up going to Home Depot for more paint and tape the following morning. You can see the results and the fact that it’s now nightfall here:

After this, it was still technically early, and we had enough beige paint for at least two coats, which – this room being lighter than the others we’ve previously painted – we thought should be plenty for this room. So, we got to work on the first coat and called it for the evening.

The next day while I went to Home Depot to pick up more paint, He Who Enables My Crazy knocked out the second coat of Fucking Beige (hereafter abbreviated “FBOMGIC” – pronounced “effbombgick” for “Fucking Beige OMG I Can’t”). I forgot to take a picture of the first coat before I left, so here’s one of what it looked like after he finished the second coat:

We let his second coat dry for an hour or so, then I went back in, taped off the windows so I wouldn’t ruin his new paint around the trim, opened the new can of white I picked up and got to work on the second coat around the windows. I let that dry the rest of the day, then later that evening pulled all the tape off and that was that. The office was complete:

For those following along at home, the completion of the office brings the upstairs to 90% complete.
All that’s left is our bedroom and the Last Remaining Bastion of Gothdom in the hallway. I NEED THAT BASTION. It’s my only sanity in this Mundane Makeover.

I will say, though, that the beige in here – though not a color I would ever choose to live with – is vastly more endurable than the terrifying shade of yellow this room used to be. That yellow was so garish, the FBOMGIC is almost bearable.


What’s next? Well, it’s going to be a busy couple weeks. Lots going on. Shout-out here to Awesome Friend R. for her help in organizing the chaos in the garage. I’d have no idea what to do with that giant mess if it weren’t for her expertise in the realm of re-homing items, and I am grateful she made the time to come and sort things out with me.

As you can see from the schematic, the Cat Room/Library is nearly complete. There’s just a few totes to go through and some cleaning to do down there before we can prep it to be painted. We also repainted the stairwell FBOMGIC because reasons, and I’ll give you pics of that later. The utility room is done and now serves as something of a staging area for Things To Go To The Storage Unit. The workshop is coming along at a nice clip, too, so I can now see light at the end of the de-Gothening tunnel.

Oh, I promised you photos of the twenty-plus totes of books I’ve taken to the storage unit. I kept forgetting, but the last time we took a load over, I snapped one. Here you go:

Now, not all of those totes are full of books. (And there are some totes not pictured.) The majority of them are, and there are still a few downstairs to take over. We’re still working down there, and sorting out the “keep” books versus the “Powell’s tote” versus the “donation” ones, so I have no doubt that once we’re finished (soon, now), there will be more to go over. I’m guessing by the time we’re done, there will be at least thirty totes full of books over in the storage unit. DON’T JUDGE ME. WE LOVE OUR BOOKS. WE’VE GOTTEN RID OF SOME. (SOME!) We’re also going to keep some books here because reasons.

So that’s all I have for you right now on the de-Gothening front. I am so sick of boxes and totes and papers and everything that’s accumulated in this house the last *mumblemumble* years. I’m angry at myself for letting it get this bad. I’m trying hard not to slip into a malaise of mundane, but every room that joins the Mundane Makeover pierces my dark and evil soul. Fortunately my friends and family are keeping me sane with movies and Vaders and tea and chocolate (thank you, D.!) and pretty Goth things, like these awesome handmade tiaras made by my friend Valtinen. He’s taking commissions, too, so if you’ve got a wedding coming up or anything else (Halloween is around the corner, so if you need anything cool like this for your costume or just everyday wear, get your order in now!), drop him a line. His prices are excellent and the workmanship brilliant. Go. Give him money. Get something beautiful. If flowered tiaras aren’t your thing, he has other awesome stuff for sale. If you have an idea in mind for something Gothy you want and you don’t see it, mail him!

It’s almost over. I keep telling myself that – it’s almost over. I’m planning to list the house in a couple weeks, and we’ll see what happens then. I’m really proud of all we’ve done over the summer, and I’m actually really glad that the things we put in totes and boxes to “go through later” are being dealt with, but holy hell am I tired of it.

But every time I want to quit, the neighbor’s little yappy rat-dog starts barking, or the neighborhood hellions scream by on their skateboards and motorcycles, or I hear someone setting off illegal fireworks and scaring my animals, or sirens start blaring, or some idiot cruises down the street with their bass turned up so loud it rattles my windows and deregulates my heart rhythm, and I want to go get another paintbrush and start on something else. Because every room finished brings me one step closer to getting the fuck out of this place, and that’s what all this is about.

Soon, now.

De-Gothening Update (Also, Asshats)

No pics, but here’s a quick update on what’s been going on with the Mundane Makeover:

– Utility room is 98% done. It’s been decluttered and cleaned. The only thing left to do in there is clear a high shelf, and that just involves a stepladder and a hand-broom.

– Workshop is at 50%. Decluttering is in progress. Dump runs have been made. So much stuff has been sorted.

– I am so fucking sick of totes and papers I could scream. I thought the beige paint was the worst of this de-Gothening thing. I was wrong. It’s the papers. Apparently our method of dealing with junk mail and anything that needed shredding over the last *mumblemumble* years was to shove it all in a tote or box and put it downstairs where we would “go through it later.” Well, guess what? “Later” is “now,” and I have vowed that THIS WILL NEVER HAPPEN AGAIN. EVER. NEVER. I have put the shredder by the front door (under the entryway desk so the cats don’t play on it, in theory) and am shredding the junk mail AS IT COMES IN. Every time I get one box or tote finished and think that’s the last of it, we come across another one. Talk about demoralizing. That battle rages on. (There’s a tote full of papers waiting for me in the living room as I type. I am cheerfully ignoring it for the moment. It will die soon enough.)

– We decided to paint the stairwell Fucking Beige Navajo Sand. It just makes a nicer transition and covers up this one area that just WOULD NOT take the white paint, despite the sanding and everything we did to prep it. So that’s done.

– The outside trim around the windows is painted, as is the garage door. It needed a couple spots touched up, and we had the paint, and one thing led to another…it looks nicer, now.

– Many runs to the storage unit have been made. I have some pics to share with you later on that.

– The yard sale plans are in full swing. The pile of sale crap is vast. I have price stickers and new fine-point Sharpies to battle it later this week.

Now for the asshats.


Seriously? Why? I mean, I know there’s a great amount of fun for some people in wrecking things other people make (because they’re douchebags and it gives them some sort of jolly to watch people clean up their mess, and these people are THE REASON WE CAN’T HAVE NICE THINGS), but seriously? Dude. Go play in the freeway, or with a blender. The fuck is wrong with you?

And that’s all I have for now.

Mini De-Gothening – Touch-ups

So remember the whats-its in Part Trois?

This thing:

Remember how the kitchen trim (all of it – around the windows, doorway, everywhere) just wouldn’t cover that well and needed a third maybe even fourth coat?

Well, I have things waiting to go back on the whats-its and a valance to hang and a blind to install…but all that was waiting on the trim getting that touch-up coat. So, tonight I did that. I didn’t take any pics, because I’m lazy and didn’t remember to until just now writing this post, but rest assured it looks much nicer, and tomorrow when it dries (maybe Wednesday, as we have stuff to do tomorrow) I’ll install that blind and put the curtain rod and valance back up. That window has never had a blind – we’ve never bothered. It’s the kitchen window and looks out into the neighbor’s yard, and their house is several yards away, so privacy wasn’t ever an issue. Now, though, we’re trying to sell, and people like privacy. A blind can be opened or shut, lowered or retracted depending on the person’s preference, and that’s just helpful all around. Plus the neighbors (who bought the house next door last summer after a long time on the market after the previous owner died) put up a little horse-trough-thing filled with bamboo plants and stuck it right in front of our kitchen window, so I’m thinking they might have an issue with my window facing their house. I hope they like the blind I’m about to install, and it gives them some kind of peace that I’m not standing at my kitchen sink watching their huge-ass TV through their picture window. (Seriously, why would I do that? I’d have to actually give a shit what they’re doing/watching/eating first, and I’m one of those people who not only hates reality TV, I pretty much hate reality in general, so…yeah. It’s part of the reason I’m a writer, for fuck’s sake! Reality sucks ass!)

Also today we took another load of things to the storage unit, all of it from my office. This room is next in line to be painted, (or maybe the cat room/library – it will depend on which space gets cleared first, and at the moment they’re pretty much neck-and-neck) so the decluttering is in full swing.

Speaking of, I’d better get back to that. These totes ain’t gonna pack themselves, despite my wishes.

The De-Gothening Part Six

No, really. “Six” in French is spelled exactly the same as it is in English, only it’s pronounced “sees.” So this is part six.

Click their names to see parts Un, Deux, Trois, Quatre, and Cinq. You can also click on the “adventures in remodeling” tag to see the collection of horrors on the same page. Also why I label these posts in French.

Got all that? Onward to Part Six, then! Continue reading

The De-Gothening Part Quatre

I’m labeling these DeGothening parts in French because it makes the process sound way more sophisticated than it actually is. Also, American slang for “excuse my cursing” is “pardon my French,” and there’s a lot of profanity involved in this endeavor. So there you go. Onward!

This week it was time to deGothify the Dread Foyer. Why do I call it this, you ask? Because not only was it black and silver, it was also the first room you take in upon entering the James Household. Of course it should be the Dread Foyer; every lair should fill a person with dread upon entry, otherwise it’s not a lair! Cross the threshold at your own risk, abandon hope ye who enter and all that…you get it. Continue reading

The De-Gothening Part Trois

Part Un here. Part Deux here.

*sigh* It continues. I am…there are too many words for what I am. Most of them to do with horror and disgust. And profanity. Lots and lots of profanity.

However, in between all the disgust and horror and profanity, I have learned something. Well, a few things, actually, but the one I want to talk about here is kind of neat. Continue reading

The De-Gothening Part Deux

It continues. It’s a process. You can find Part Un here.

So, once again, my lovely friend S. came to let me cry on her shoulder because BEIGE OH MY GOD IT’S FUCKING BEIGE I CAN’T help me paint my living room. I should mention something here about my friend S. She LOVES to paint. I mean, LOVES IT. Give her a paintbrush and a can of paint and a blank wall and she will be happy for days. If it weren’t for her, I’d put this de-Gothening off forever. No, really…she’s the driving force behind this. Well, that and the fact that it’s nearly June and I want to get my house on the market and the realtor is waiting for my call and I hate my annoying barely-out-of-diapers neighbors who have kids of their own and party every fucking weekend and have little yappy dogs that get under the gate of my fenced yard and poop and drive my own non-yappy dog crazy and there’s so much to do…. So, yeah. S. is freakin’ awesome. She’s helped me out so much. I feel totally lazy compared to her, even though I’ve been busting my ass working on something almost every day (I make it a point to do something to get this house ready for sale every day possible). Usually in the garage that’s been stuffed full of crap the last *mumblemumble* years since we’ve been here, so it’s Not Visible Progress Unless You Go In There, but hey…it’s progress! S. also brings me gorgeous pastries from this amazing bakery in the city when she goes up there. Her yarn stash is beyond epic. I aspire to her greatness in many ways.

Friend T. has also been instrumental in this endeavor. Friend T. has The Truck of Awesome. It hauls many, many things to and fro. A good number of trips have been made to our local dump waste transfer station thanks solely to T. and his Truck of Awesome Which Hauls All The Things. There will be more Hauling Of The Things once I obtain an offsite storage unit for Things I Want But Don’t Need To Show Prospective Buyers. Like the *cough* twenty-plus twelve gallon totes of books ready to go in the library *cough*. While awesome to behold (I will take a pic before we haul them to the storage unit), prospective buyers will be coming to see the house, not our literary addiction.

But! You’re not here to read about my Friends of Coolness. You’re here to see the pics of the de-Gothening. *sigh* But…but I don’t…

Please don’t judge me for the normalcy you’re about to see. This isn’t about me (I WILL NEVER GET USED TO SAYING THAT OH MY GOD). This is about selling the house to people who want one, and making it look nice for that.

I’m stalling, aren’t I? All right. *takes deep breath* Pics below the cut. Click if you’re brave. Continue reading

The De-Gothening of Dina

Well, my house anyway. Not me, personally. I will never not be me. Long story…lemme sum up:

Last year sometime, He Who Enables My Crazy and I looked upon the neighborhood and the many changes it has gone through in the last *mumblemumble* years we’ve been here and decided it was time to move. Now, we are both aware that neighborhoods grow and change, and we’ve been here a significant amount of time. What was once a quiet street in an out-of-the-way part of a small town has become noisy and crowded and busy. Both of us are former military brats, and eighteen months was the longest either of us had ever spent anywhere while we were growing up, so the fact that we’ve been in this house for as long as we have is utterly amazing. For people who were accustomed to uprooting everything every other year and moving to not just a new house, but a new location entirely, settling down was a foreign concept. This is likely the reason we’ve stayed in our little house on our quiet street for so long, and the neighborhood just grew around us while we went about our lives.

The time has now come for that to change. We’ve been poking around online looking at houses here and there, but nothing really serious. We know we’re going to move. It’s just a question of when and where. First things first, though, and that means selling our current house. Toward the end of summer last year, I spoke with my realtor. I’ve known her for *mumblemumble* (Look, she SOLD ME THIS HOUSE, okay? I’m just as surprised as you that she’s still in the game, but I’m so glad she is, as she’s awesome.), and she gave us a list of things to do before we list our property. Many things on that list include undoing things I’ve spent the last *mumblemumble* doing to make this house mine. Every room is a different color, and that’s not going to fly with potential buyers (especially my black and silver foyer). So…yeah. In order to put this house on the market (I’m hoping to do so by June at least. It depends on how fast we get things in shape.), we’re going to have to de-Gothify it. (MY LITTLE BLACK EVIL HEART IS BREAKING, OKAY? I WEEP AT THIS TO-DO LIST!)

So, well…*sigh*. Please don’t judge me for the mundane you’re about to see. This is not about me. (YOU HAVE NO IDEA HOW HARD THAT IS TO SAY. It was even harder to accept.) Cut here for pic!spam. Continue reading