Monday, May 09, 2005

Hattie's Hat

We decided to put a purplish paint trim in our bathroom. The old trim is a dull beige and after living in a rental house that was the epicenter of beigeness (I swear the lightbulbs emitted beige wavelengthes of light...) we have sworn to expunge beige from our midst. That was two years ago. We finally took down the masking tape from the half finished first coat a few months ago. One day we will finish the job.

Our household is a living graveyard of never-started, half-finished, or just-one-more-thing projects. Dominating our living room is an armoire that came with the house in lieu of the seller's knocking $2000 off the asking price. We only asked for $2000 off because we were under the impression that you do those kinda things. Note the "you", because we never do those kinda things. Because when you do those kinda things, you get stuck with an armoire. Okay, maybe *you* don't, but *we* do. I don't wish anyone to be stuck with an armoire. It has the same dimensions as the monolith in 2001-A Space Odyssey, which could explain some of its staying power. But however I wish supernatural or alien causes to be the case, the continued existence of the armoire in our lives is due to the fact that we can never get anything done that involves any complications.

We are simple people, really. We go to work, we fix our meals, we play with our cats, we read, we watch videos, she gardens, I run. What we don't do is take pictures of our furniture, write up some kind of ad and post things on ebay or craigs list. We don't call up the paper and post ads. That kind of stuff is boring and means that other people called strangers will call you up and want to interact with you. Which is the crux of the matter. Being an introvert is never having to say.....well, anything really. One day, I have a premonition that an unlucky acquaintance of ours will answer the door and instead of greeting a person, there will be a very nice, walnut veneered, two-door, mother-of-pearl handled, chippendale-footed armoire with mirror and extending coat racks ready to be adopted into our acquaintance's family.

Last year we got a new roof. It took us a year to actually call and coordinate with roofers before the job got done. Well, except that it isn't done. Unbeknownst to us, the roofers needed to put flashing under the siding of our house where the porch roofs meet the house. (Why is it "roofs" instead of "rooves"? More than one hoof becomes hooves. Hmmmm.) That means we needed to get somebody to lift up the siding or replace it where it had rotted. Simple? We thought so. We had a guy who we took a home repair class from who we trusted and worked with wood. Our house is 100 years old and had the original cedar siding - we wanted someone who can appreciated all that.

To make a long story short, he seemed to think that my wife and I were going to do the work of taking down all the siding above the porch roof while he came afterwards to put in the new wood or put the old siding back. I don't know why we ever thought this was a good plan. After telling us to rent a scaffold ($125 a week) and then becoming unavailable for two weeks before he could show us what to do and then becoming baffled when the siding was not what he thought it was and after I had already broke a very large soffit board, and then telling us that he couldn't put in the new boards for six weeks (!!!!), we gave up. Someone who could think a house could just stand without siding (this old house had no under-siding - just the frame) for almost two months is not someone we wanted to work with.

So that is where we are more than a year after the roof was put in. We slowly found some names of people who might work and actually called some. Our original contractor thought he would have to custom work the siding because of the original wood's age, which made us think we had to look for woodworking people instead of siders. But then I went online to research siding and found a local lumberyard that may have the kind of siding we need.

In our household, we commonly need sugar to make the medicine go down. Whilst we don't have the services of Mary Poppins, (oh, but that we did have Mary Poppins...sigh...) we do have a wide variety of brunch places to go to in Ballard. In order to get my wife and I to the lumberyard, the carrot was that we would first have brunch to make the ordeal a lot easier. For it is well known in scientific circles that a belly full of fried potatoes and porcine products will make dealing with anybody easier. We had seen some good writeups for Hattie's Hat and decided to go there.

Ballard on Saturday morning at 8:30 is a ghost town. We were the only ones on Ballard Avenue as we walked to Hattie's Hat. But Hattie's Hat opens at 9am so we had some time to kill. Luckily there was a train pulling cars back and forth at the sand and gravel place on Shilshole Ave. The train has its own dedicated track as it goes back and forth trading cars underneath a large silo. Amazingly, it kept our attention for a good amount of time, an indicator that I hadn't had enough coffee yet. The engineer certainly had a good time tooting the horn - we think he was compensating for the deficiencies of his fine little railroad.

So at 9am we made it back and went into the bar. Bars at 9am are like churches, full of silence, light and sacred anticipation, but with better booze and officiants. We saw Tom Waits talking to Charles Bukowski at the bar. Okay, not really. And what is it with "transgressive" literature that makes heroes out of people like Bukowski because he was an alcoholic who lived in dives? I've never understood it because it is so easy to just take a little 90 degree stance to normality and wait for people to be impressed. Actually, Hattie's Hat is not really the kind of place where Bukowski would be drinking at 9am, but it is old and doesn't have yuppie adornments.

The dining area is in a smallish room at the back of the place, past the restrooms and kitchen where you can see a bucketful of potatoes on the grill ready to become hashbrowns. We were the first ones there - apparently even before the hostess, so we sat ourselves. Eventually the hostess did come and gave us menus. Since I'm writing this about a month afterwards, I can't say what was on the menu beyond the normal eggs, bacon, omelettes and whatnot. I can say that my wife got biscuits and gravy. This is because my wife only gets biscuits and gravy if available. And if it isn't available then we usually don't go to the restaurant for breakfast. She pronounced the biscuits and gravy about the best she's had in Seattle.

I do remember the jam. I had raspberry jam on my sourdough toast and it was really tasty - unlike the Smuckers jello crap you usually get.

We finished the meal and went to the lumberyard. They had our siding in fir but not in cedar. While we don't know what wood our siding is, it was mighty relieving to know that we won't have to custom mill our wood by hand. I believe it was because of the Hattie Hat breakfast.

3 Hard Hats
2 Ironic Wool Caps
1 Cellphone
0 Blue Wigs


At 5/27/2005 12:38 AM, Blogger Scott said...

>> We decided to put a purplish paint trim in our bathroom. <<

Oh boy. Settle in, folks, this is going to be a long one.

>> Last year we got a new roof... <<

If the Rain Man had a blog, I bet this is what it would be like.

>>To make a long story short... <<

It's clearly too late for that.

>> While we don't know what wood our siding is, it was mighty relieving to know that we won't have to custom mill our wood by hand. <<

Wait a minute. Was there supposed to be a restaurant review in here? Did I blink and miss it?

At 5/27/2005 12:56 PM, Blogger Jim said...

Tee-hee. I never said these would be restaurant reviews, call it gone-zo journalism where the writer bores the readers so much they are quickly gone.

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