Thursday, September 30, 2010

Lez Demolish! Again.

LL says:

You know, its amazing to me how fun it is to demolish stuff! Have you ever wanted to take a sledge hammer to a windshield, bust a whole box of burnt out fluorescent bulbs or stick your foot through drywall? I have. Actually, I have done 2 of those three things. I had the pleasure of hearing 6 fluorescent bulbs break in a cardboard box at one of my MANY warehouse jobs. And I also had the displeasure of my dad yelling at me because I was trying to recreate a scene from Karate Kid in my hallway and because of faulty depth perception (and lack of martial art skills), stuck my foot through the wall. I think that was the first time that I heard the phrase "Money doesn't grow on tree's you know!!" Thanks for the education dad!

So I can safely say that I'm looking forward to demolishing this weekend! Yep. Last time we demolished a room it was December of last year. The first day of Lez Renovate! It was crazy, but satisfying. Ripping lino, prying kitchen cabinets and sledging tiles. Fun. And now we get to do it again! But not on such a huge level. Ha. That was punny. Here is the demo video from last year, for those of you who haven't seen it:

Anyways. We need to take apart the walls in the jam space. Which is put together with old curtains, some foam and mismatched pieces of plywood. What else could be behind those walls? Who knows. Exciting. But maybe also, gross. We'll see. Maybe I can do another karate kick or two!

Monday, September 27, 2010

Lez get sharp here. And call that guy?

Cool J
For a  lez renovator, I sure do seem to talk about men a lot on this blog. This morning is the first Sunday in approximately 17 years that found me on my couch in my housecoat saying, "Dang, I wish I had gotten that friendly guy's number."

In this case, I mean the friendly wood worker at my office - programmer by day, cedar-hot-tub-builder and all-around (self identified) handyman by night. Here's the thing I've mentioned before: LL and I are self taught renovators. We are working with tools mostly given by or scavenged from our dads, and were it not for the web, we would be improvising without even the most basic of guidance. Even for skilled googlers like us, some things are evasive and we need to call for help!

Two examples:
In season 1, we made a boo-boo and didn't arrange the bathroom sink, its supporting board, and the pipes in such a way that we could screw BOTH of the sink's supporting bolts into the board. One was just hanging out in the drywall. What are you going to google? "Sink. Drywall. Help"? "Sink. One bolt ok?' "Heavy. Drywall. Mount". Geezuz. That was solved, thanks to a quick brainstorm with an electrician who happened through.

This weekend, I'm installing the wooden door into the shed, so we can live in the shed securely if any sort of natural disaster or high interest rates drive us out of our house. Or so we can securely store the scavenged tools. The hinges are recessed, so I know i'll need a chisel to carve out some space in the cedar Craigslist door. Fine. But... how do you know if a chisel is sharp enough? Google.

If I buy one from CTire, will it be "sharp enough to shave my arm"? According to the experts turned up on the web, that's how you know. As an aside, good thing I'm a feminist  & have plenty of body hair to work with.

The Web claims I need a grinder to sharpen my one chisel. Since fine woodworking is definitely not in my genes or jeans, I am skeptical. 

If only I had gotten that guy's would be like one of those calls one makes in one's 20's
To self before calling:  Did he mean it when he said he'd be happy to hear from me? Is it too early to call? What if his wife answers?

Since I don't have the number anyway, I'll just have to take my chances a few cheap chisels, rely heavily on wood filler, and brave the laughter on Monday.

As another aside, a sweet Lez Renovate fan on estimated that trimming our door to fit should "Be a few minutes' job". I wish!

Will post to let you know & show a few pics of Lez Renovate Fine WoodWorking on that shed door, but remember, good things take time. And 'good enough' also seems to take a lot of time. Never mind 'jimmy it and see if it stays'.... it all takes time. Lots of renovating, need more Lez!
 cool j out

Friday, September 24, 2010

Lez Build a Jam Space - Season 2 Premiere

And we're off! The premiere to Season 2 is now live. Check out Episode 1 - Lez Build a Jam Space.

I'm looking forward to this season. I love music, We are going to have guest stars, new music and lots of laughs (hopefully). Let us know what you think of the new project!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Live from Lez Renovate - it's Saturday night

8:35 pm Saturday night:
My finger is throbbing mildly from a fierce pinch under our dryer. Whooee! Kick-off Lez Renovate season 2!  LL is closing up the drywall in our kitchen, the last remaining evidence of February's installation of plumbing and electrics for our washer & dryer.

LL: Hey can you grab me some drywall screws from the tool 'storage'?

Sure no problem. First I have to find a flashlight and a camping lantern because the tool storage is the focus of Season 2. It has no light, is a jumble of all the tools, scraps, and supplies jammed in there and essentially abandoned when we concluded Season 1. 

Aha! I grab the box of drywall screws. It's open, upside down & empties into a bin. !@##%%.
Ok. I dig around & find the actual screws.

Cool J: do you think you'll need more than 6 screws?  (Ummm. I guess yes)

8:50 Saturday night:  I put my primary skills to work for Lez Renovate. I google like mad to find the store hours for all the  big box homo reno shops in the vicinity. Guess who came through for us this time? Canadian Tire. Much to my surprise and delight CT is open til 9 on Saturdays. Amazingly they also stock drywall screws, not only a surprising array of small appliances, badminton nets, and mechanic services both relied on and mistrusted by thousands of Canadians with automotive emergencies.

So I zoom down there & in the screw aisle, another customer starts chatting with me. A guy squinting at the wall'o'screws (as I am). He, too is amazed "Hey, look at all the screws! I needed brass screws and here they are! Canadian Tire! Saturday night".

I wonder what it is about my demeanor that makes men in box stores enjoy sharing with me our pursuit of renovation supplies? I've had a guy ask me about the hammer drill he was thinking of buying. Another tell me about the faucet he bought & ask me if it was the same quality as the brand I was choosing. And of course last night's screw session.

I've gamely wandered around the aisles with them, comparison shopping and talking pros/cons of the different box stores, while LL leans on the cart & waits for me to finish chatting & get on with the renovating.

LL's at home & it won't take long to finish with her 6 screws, so at 8:55 Saturday night I grabbed the box of drywall screws & booted out of CT just before closing time. Didn't spend enough to get any Canadian Tire Money, Canada's second currency. This was a bit of an outrage, but overall I was pleased. Because even though I can't shop at a small local hardware store at 9 pm on a Saturday night, this renovating project sometimes brings these lovely moments of camaraderie with all kinds of folks, that remind me of Saturday morning trips to the small town lumberyard with my dad.

Just like my dad, I like to chat with the other customers. Just like my dad  I like to swear profusely when I get home and find I bought not quite the right thing.  But then, I get back & chat about that mistake with the next comrade in the screw or garden hose aisle & blame the big box store for selling me the wrong thing.

9:10 Saturday night. I make a mental note to ask my mom how she thinks my dad would have wanted us to deal with his estate he spent so many years carefully building: how shall we split his stash of Canadian tire money?

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The World Wide of Handywoman/mans

LL says:

One year ago, we were in the process of finding a new house. We had been looking at every house in East Vancouver under our guidelines (mainly monetary) that we could. As you may or may not now, the housing market in Vancouver is well, redonkulous. And finding something in our price range made it even harder. Every listing that we were looking at had "fixer-upper" or "handy man's dream" in the description. Well, I can't say that fixing an 80 year old house is a dream, but becoming a handyman is. I tell ya, knowing the difference between a jig saw and a circular saw has been quite helpful.

I didn't start off as a handy woman. No no. Although my dad gave me a couple tips growing up. We even built a fake electric guitar for my airband version of Prince's - I Will Die 4 U in grade 6. I even borrowed my mom's kimono and put a scarf diagonally across my face. Yes, I was Prince.

Anyway, It was an awesome guitar. Complete with fake toggle switches and frets. Dad did most of the work, but I watched in awe. Mainly because I couldn't wait to have my own electric guitar. Actually, I think it was that Christmas when I found a red electric guitar under the tree with a mini amp. Huh. Dad, you're great.

I digress, handy woman. Yes. Where was I? So I had basic knowledge on how to fix things. Nothing like the major overhaul we performed this year. And how did we do it? Well, first we asked our dads to give us tools. Done. Because when you ask dads to give you tools, every tool comes with instructions. Handy. Then we looked to the internet. The World Wide Web. So many instructional videos on anything you want to know - for free! Sometimes the information is hard to find, and sometimes you have to work it out for yourself but for the most part - it's free school.

So I feel like we need to give back. Give you little tips that will help you with daily life. You may not be building a 2 bedroom apartment or a loft bedroom but, you may have to fix a hole in your drywall, or know how to properly prepare a room to paint or know the difference between a jig saw and a circular saw.

What do you think would be helpful to learn? We want our videos to be educational AND frickin' funny. Could you be a burgeoning handy man/woman?

Friday, September 10, 2010

Lez Renovate - Special Edition 3 - Lez Make Vegan Cupcakes

Yes. It has been awhile since we updated you with all things lez and renovate. Well, the wait is over. We now have a new video on!

Yayyyyyy! Vegan cupcakes rock. And the winner of the vegan cupcake contest is announced in the video. To find out if you have won, you have to watch the video. Easy enough.

Happy Friday!

LL and Cool J