Friday, July 30, 2010

Lez Renovate Season One Finale!

Alright peeps, its the moment you have all been waiting for. The season finale to Lez Renovate! We had tons of fun preparing/filming the video as the wrap party included celebrating and not working in the basement. In this video we show you the finished renovation! Check it out on

And don't worry, plenty more seasons ahead. We are just going to do some planning and take a wee break before we start demoing again.

Cheers and HAPPY PRIDE!!

LL Cool J

Oh and stay tuned as we are going to have some Lez Renovate merchandise soon.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Homo on Homes

CoolJ here... I'm writing from a luxurious and pleasant (ie no renovating required) suburban pad in Northern Alberta. I don't know if you can actually call it suburban, as the town is 3 hours away from the nearest city. But they do have a WMart...

I'm on Auntie Time. Playing dawn til dusk (which in the North is about 5 am - 10:30 pm) with my much-beloved little nephew.  Between wagon rides, playing circular saw with his plastic tool bench,  and trips to the lake, Nephew has to occasionally nap. Which gives Anti lots of time to watch renovation channels on TV and muse. 

I watch Holmes on Homes, and Holmes Inspection and I am no longer riveted, as I was for years before we bought Georgia Cottage.  As a Lez Renovator who had to do so much work myself, argue with my lover about whether we should hire dudes or diy, and who had to sign huge cheques, I no longer believe we necessarily have to "make it right' - I see how much ripping, and smashing, and rebuilding he and his smartly-clad crew do in an hour-long episode. Having just lived through at least 400 hour-long episodes in Lez Renovate Basement Suite Edition over the last six months, I believe Mr. Holmes' standards are unattainable for the typical homo owner. Right enough is good enough for me.

Moreover, I'm a bit bored of the same old fairytales where hapless damsels get ensnared in some mess then fall asleep and wait for their prince to rescue them.

Of course I see the appeal of a prince in shining Carharts, with his faithful cavalry brandishing laser levels and nail guns.  But as much as we may want it, Lez Reno doesn't seem a likely Cinderella to be featured in those reno rescue shows. Prince Holmes, and his son/helper have both been named among the sexiest Canadian men. Darn straight (har har pun intended) - it is sexy to sweep in to the rescue of helpless maidens who bought some falling down place without investigating what they were getting into, and who have been duped by some other scoundrel.

Instead of these classic rescue missions by the buff tradesmen, where the damsel's skinny, bespectacled husband wrings his hands in the background, I have another idea for a great home reno show. How about teaching lady householders how to do simple repairs for ourselves, without patronizing us? Or how about pressuring the other Princely Contractors to make their work right in the first place?

I'd kiss the frog in Carharts too, if he came and fixed our slanty floor and insulated our upper story, and made our rockspace sound proof.  I wonder if LL (with her not so princessy look) would be expected to give The Prince a handshake, like the husbands always do in the TV show, while their wives slop all over crying about what a hero he is? Anyway. As I say, I'd slop all over him and any son of his who did $100K of free fix-its for Lez Reno.

Do you ever wonder how many guys actually watch the reno rescue shows? I remember now that my dad hated it.  I bet that whole channel is watched only by people like me...women who want a beautiful home. But know what a pain in the arse it is to actually make one.

If only someone would come and wave their magic laser level on georgia cottage.... More likely lezeno fairies than a prince but that is a-ok with me.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Bad blogger. Bad.

LL says:

Blurg. I just realized that it has been a week since we have updated the blog. Bad blogger. Bad. I'm sure you are all just sitting by your computers waiting for a notification that a new blog post has come up. Ooooooor, you are swimming in lakes, having bbq's, going to amusement parks, picking berries, sitting on patios......, I think a neighbour has just started to learn the tuba, great.

Anyways, as I was saying....... busy going to outdoor music festivals, camping, burning your ass as you suntan at the beach, eating freezies, going to night markets, riding your bike and listening to a neighbour play the tuba for the first time.

Well - good on ya! That's what summer is all about. Busy doing fun things. But ya know, I miss the basement. I miss the times we spent together, the arguments we had, the laughs we had. I hope its ok. I did spend some time with drywalling upstairs though. It fulfilled my reno need I guess. It was a project that I was ignoring for months. The electrician had to cut big holes in our plaster and lath bedroom walls to move the new breaker box upstairs. It was previously located in the kitchen downstairs, right over the sink. Dumb. So, we decided to move the massive 200amp breaker box into our bedroom. Now we need to find a huge painting/picture to cover it. Right now it's a break box headboard. Which is not very romantic. Unless you find electrics hot. Wait - they are hot....umm, yeah - you know what I mean.

Anyway - the drywall is fixed. Yay! And I'm starting to feel anxious on getting the jam space started. I was having dinner with my drummer friend last night and we both agreed that jamming sooner than later is important. I think we may even rent a space a couple times to fill that need. I just know that the jam space won't be done in August and I need to play live, loud music. 

Well - that's it for now. I need to get cracking on packing. Having a little camping trip to enjoy the beautiful BC scenery. Hope you are having a fantastic weekend as well!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Lez Renovate - Episode 5 - Lez Enjoy Summer!

Newest Afterellen webisode has been posted, check it out here:

I put together a little outtakes video for your viewing pleasure. The season finale is still being edited but it will be revealed very, very soon!

Enjoy your summer!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Sprinting to the finish of season 1

Hi all
CoolJ here. We recently have been wrapping up our last touches on GardenSuite 2.0. We were so delighted to shop last week at HomoDepot, and all we had in our basket was a couple of hair traps and a plug for the kitchen drain. Decor, basically. Our good pal at HD shook our hands and congratulated us on a job well done. We know him by name. And also get jaunty hellos from the guy who sold us 3 kinds of cement, the night shift guy who helped us with the doors & lumber...basically our Winter Family.

A few Deep Renovating Thoughts...
Is a reno project under budget if the unplanned loan you had to take out is not completely spent?
Is "shim" a verb or a noun? Or both?
How do you know when you are done? Apparently, the caulked baseboards are the clue. If baseboards are on, filled, painted, then you are actually done.
I had to explain to our tenants that we PERSONALLY installed their kitchen counters, their toilet, their ceiling, the pony wall etc etc. They got it "It's like your baby". Darn straight, it's like our little baby. Now that they are in there, we can't even sneak in for a look. I'm starting to miss that basement. I walk by and peek surreptiously into the windows..."Hi Basement" i say, like we did for so many days. "i miss you". I miss the drywall dust in our lungs, the bare bulbs, the mousepoops in the ceiling, the bandaids, the angry -hungry trips to hamburgers we used to say in the 90s ---NOT.

lezrenovate is living it up! summer! whoopee. we'll see you very very soon with the season finale, more reminiscing and then some great retrospective and gardening episodes.

see you soon

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Love thy neighbour

LL says:

Ok, so maybe I'm a hypocrite. Sometimes. Or, I'm just getting older and I want things to go my way. Or I expect the same kind of courteous behavior that one would want in a neighbour. Is that so wrong? Is that above the realm of respectfulness? Personally, I don't think so.

If you have been following our blog for awhile, you know that we have had noise problems with our neighbours in the past. Hence the video Happy Easter Neighbours. You can watch it here:

We have taken our revenge and also spoken up. But does revenge REALLY solve the problem? No. Does talking to the neighbour fix the problem, actually - no. Not in this case. On top of party neighbours next door, we have an aspiring bamboo flautist that lives across the street. Fine and dandy I say. He also dabbles in the clarinet. But, he likes to play right in his front door, which is open. The only thing that separates him from the street and the ears of the surrounding neighbourhood is the screen door that cleverly disguises him from prying eyes. At first I thought, "cool, another musician in the neighbourhood!" and "Hmm, he plays ALOT." and "I wonder if he knows any other tune?"and "wow, that's loud." Now it's, "OMG, can he learn another tune?" and "you have been playing the same song for 6 months now and can't play it through without making a mistake?" and "Everyday?! Everyday. Seriously? For hours. Everyday. Seriously?" and "OMG, I can hear you in my headphones, in my studio, with the door closed. What?! How am I supposed to record this acoustic guitar part now?"

I kinda lost it. I had enough, thought it was time to ask the aspiring flautist to close the door and continue practicing inside. So over I went. I was on a mission to do the neighbourhood a service. I arrive at the front steps of the house where one of the housemates was cleaning. The flautest was fully playing so I had to talk loud to get the housemates attention. "ummm, hi - I live across the street. Hi. So, I'm wondering if you can ask the musician inside to close the door while playing. It is REALLY loud." She looked annoyed as she listened to my request. Then she turned around, opened the screen door and began to translate what I had to said to her. Inside stood an elderly asian man who was clearly blind, mentally handicapped, wearing a fanny pack and ear plugs. He looked a little annoyed at what was being said to him and I found my tail curl between my legs. I looked at the housemate and said "Sorry, thank you."

As soon as I entered my house, I sat down and felt shitty. I told my friend Mel this story and she said "that is pretty much the worst case scenario in that situation." Indeed. It looked to me that the housemate was upset with me because I had taken away his one joy in life. To play the bamboo flute for everyone to hear. Crap. So - for about a week or so, the door was closed and I could barely hear him. But that week quickly passed and we are back to front row seats at the Orpheum. Now instead of just feeling annoyed, I feel guilty AND annoyed.

It's a bit of a transition for me. A noisy neighbourhood. Previous to this house, we lived in a rental that didn't have anyone living in the basement, no houses so close that we can hear someone breathing in the kitchen as they struggle to get that last pot clean or surrounded by young people partying all the time. Sure, we have parties - but they end early and we always informed our neighbours that we would be having one. And to join us if they wanted. It never got out of hand and I was totally respectful to everyone.

I guess we all have different standards and we all live according to our own beliefs. I believe that we should all be respectful, nice and courteous. Don't you? Have you had some neighbour annoyances? Get them off your chest, you'll feel better. I know I do.

Friday, July 2, 2010

Lez Renovate - Episode 5 - Lez Finish Already!

Newest Afterellen video has been posted!

And we are getting close to the season one finale! Stayed tuned. In the meantime, enjoy the weekend - hope its sunny and fun wherever  you are!

LL and Cool J