July 07, 2012

90 Days

It's been 90 days...three months...a quarter of a year. It's been a lot longer since I last wrote something here.

On 7 April, 2012 (a Saturday) at high noon I stood at the end of a paver pathway that dad, Andy, Beth, Joe, and I spent three weekends building. There was a 10' x 30' tent on either side. At the end where I was standing...let's start from the beginning of this day.

Let's see how much detail I can recall.

I woke up around 0630. There was a lot that I needed to get done before noon. It's still a little bit of a blur. I went and made sure that the batteries on the camcorder and DTE drive were charged. Dad and Uncle Dave stopped by. Beth and I got dressed and went out next to the bougainvillea on the right (facing toward the north east). I had Beth stand on one of the concrete blocks that I would later use for the camcorder and tripod to stand on so that she was in the shot. Dad took a shot, and then handed my camera off to Uncle Dave. He took a couple of shots of us. Beth and I had to have one picked out for the frame for later in the day. We found one we liked and printed it. I cut it out while she went away with Amy, Shannon, and Aislynn to get ready. From there Dad, Uncle Dave, Andy, and I worked on putting up the two 10' x 30' tents, one on each side of the walkway. Chairs were then put under each of the tents in a somewhat tilted position. The two large bougainvilleas that Beth and I bought the day before were put in place around the 4' x 6' pad at the end of the walkway. Andy figured out that using a couple of wraps of electrical tape on the joints helped keep the frames together once the tents were hoisted into place. We then grabbed Teddy's 10' x 10' tent and put that at the end of the walkway. All of the tents got tied down using heavy duty anchors.

I moved the video camera on to the tripod and set that up on blocks. Dad and Uncle Dave stood in where Richard and I would be standing and I had Aislynn stand where Beth would be standing so that I could hopefully get at least Beth and I in the frame fairly neatly. After I was satisfied with where everything was positioned Andy, Dad, and Uncle Dave left to either go to the clubhouse or go back home and get cleaned up.

I ran an extension cord out of the window of the spare bedroom so that there would be a place for the sound equipment. I went to my office and quickly pulled the two songs from the music library and burned them to a CD for Ed when he arrived. The first one was Israel Kamakawiwo'ole's "Somewhere Over the Rainbow-What a Wonderful World" and Queen's "You're My Best Friend." Grandpa, Uncle Karl, and Concetta arrived and asked if there was anything that needed to be done. It was around 0900 at this point. I said that I was fine; if I thought of anything I would let them know.

Ed and Sara arrived and started setting up their table out just out of view of the rest of the guests. I pulled my tan 10' x 10' tent out of the garage and set that up so that Ed, Sara, and the sound equipment wouldn't bake in the sun. We did a sound check and I got audio run to the camera. Sara was going to get the body pack mic to Beth. She stopped and said "Rob, it's 1100 and you're still running around bare foot in blue jeans and no shirt. When are you going to get ready?" "Sara, I still have so much to do. I'll get it done; don't worry. In true Messersmith fashion, I'll be cutting it fine, but it'll be done and I'll be ready." She gave me the look like she used to at the theatre guild and continued down the hall to find Beth.

Kathy, dad, Andy, and Jeremy arrived. Jeremy had his sun glasses and lei. Beth's parents, Linda and Doug came in to the room. Doug asked "Did you play the tape for Beth this morning?" I said that I figured I would surprise her. It was a reference to one of his favorite movies "50 First Dates." Ed, dad, Andy, Jeremy, Uncle Karl, and Richard were all standing in the dining room. I said to Jeremy "Hey Jeremy, I see you got 'leied'." He said "What is leied?" I giggled and Uncle Karl said "Don't go down that road, Rob." Ed started laughing and walked outside with the CD. I offered Andy one of the leis that I had in the bedroom. He said he was okay. Richard asked how Beth wanted to be named. He said that he wasn't sure and actually didn't know her full name. Sara went down the hall and found Beth. At this point it was around 1130; it's time to get ready.

I grabbed my clothes from the bedroom and went to the bathroom to take a shower. Hot or cold water? It wasn't super warm outside, but I'd bake in my "go to court" suit. I didn't want to freeze. I went for cold anyway. I figured that I would bake in the suit, but at least I could put it off for a bit. As I was standing there in the cold shower I could hear Ed doing his final sound check. "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" was playing. I could see the shadows of the bushes outside of the window. I thought back to the first time I heard the song. I hadn't heard the song on "50 First Dates" like everyone else had. I heard it on the episode of ER when Mark Green died in Hawaii. I leaned up against the side of the shower with the water running down my side and thought about Hawaii. I thought about what was about to happen.

I snapped out of it when the song ended about half way through and remembered that time was running short. I finished my shower and dried off. I trimmed my beard down and got dressed. When I came back out in to the living room, Grandpa said "It's good to see the old suit again." I think we both were wishing at that moment that Grandma were here with us. Ed asked if I wanted a bow tie to go with my shirt since the shirt I had on was a tux shirt and I was wearing a regular neck tie. I asked if it was gray or silver. He said that it was black. I took a look in a mirror and said that I think what I had was okay. He said okay, but if I was going to change my mind I'd have to do it soon. I thanked him and said that I'd be fine.

I went out to the family room and unpacked my new boots. I pulled them on and laced them. It was 1145. I quickly ran out the front door and around the north end of the house. I had to hit record on the video camera. I could see that other people were arriving. I went back in the house and went to the kitchen. I downed a large glass of water and then went back out in the family room. I knelt down in front of the fan and closed my eyes. I heard Richard ask Andy where I was. He said "he's in front of the fan next to the TV." I got up and Richard asked if I was ready. I said "Hang on just a sec," and I took off down the hall. I grabbed the gift bag out of the closet and grabbed dumped the contents of the two boxes out in my hand. I went back out and found Andy and Jeremy. I asked each of them to pick a shoulder. Andy picked the hand with Beth's ring; Jeremy got my ring. I said to the both of them "If you lose these, you're so dead. Andy, make sure that Jeremy does not lose his." Jeremy put the ring in his shirt pocket and said "I'll keep it safe here." I turned to Richard and said that we were ready. We went out and stood in the front yard. I saw that Concetta and Karl were directing traffic. Dionna and her two kids rolled up and parked next to the mailbox. They came running up to me. Dionna said that they couldn't figure out how to get here so they asked Alan Sr. Jacob gave me a foam cross that he made. It had a magnet on it so that it could be put on the refrigerator. I thanked him for it and put it in my left jacket pocket. I asked if Teddy and Linda (Votapka) were still at the clubhouse. She said that they were and that they sent their apologies for not making it. I said that it was fine and that I knew that it would be a 50/50 shot if they made it. They went around with the rest of the guests.

The four of us, (Andy, Jeremy, Richard and I) said a prayer and then headed around to the back yard. Sara came out and gave the signal. Ed started "Somewhere Over the Rainbow." Aislynn came out of the house first, followed by Joe and Linda. I saw this older woman down at the end of the walkway behind everyone taking photographs. I had never seen her before. She looked to be in her mid to late 50s. It took a second and then I realized that must have been Mrs. Green, Lt. Dan Green's mom. She was the only one in the crowd that I did not recognize. Amy came out and then everyone stood.

Beth had been so concerned that something bad was going to happen. She decided three days before that she wanted this video taped. I told her that it would be a good idea she, Richard, and I had mics. She started to freak; she said that there wasn't a place to put it. I told her that Ed and Sara were professionals at this sort of thing. They were able to mic the girls in "Cabaret" and they were way less than what she was wearing. I had to put her on the phone with Ed two nights prior to get her to believe me when I said that. She kept telling me that she was cried when she went to her fittings because things "weren't quite right." She spent weeks watching dress porn ("Say Yes to the Dress") on Netflix. I kept telling her that she needed to calm down; everything was going to be fine.

These thoughts all ran through my head in a split second...like when they say your life passes before your eyes...like that scene in "Armageddon" when Bruce Willis presses the button on the bomb, he takes that breath and you see all those memories flash by as the asteroid explodes.

The next thing I saw Doug and Beth walk out arm-in-arm. I'm pretty sure that I visibly gasped when I saw her. It was the sound of that breath that Bruce Willis took. It was like when you jump into a freezing cold pool. You feel the water swallow you, and it's cold, and you can't take a breath. You hear sounds around you, but those sounds...the sound of Israel Kamakawiwo'ole singing fades away, and then you hear nothing as your world slows.

I seem to remember smiling as I turned back to look at Richard. I remember seeing Sherri Sproch's face looking at me briefly as I turned. The world was slowing like that last time Sonny saw Lilly on GH. Richard smiled, slowly blinked and tilted his head in my direction as if to tell me that this is really happening.

Honestly I don't remember much of what was said. I remember Beth, even though I'm sure that she was speaking in her normal voice it sounded clearer, more determined...more sure than I had ever heard it before. The memory of exchanging rings and closing things with a kiss will stay with me forever.

Walking down the walkway together as husband and wife seemed...I don't know how to describe it. I remember hearing "You're My Best Friend" playing as we walked. It was a great feeling saying hi to and thanking everyone as they filed out towards the south lot.

Sara suggested that I get everyone's attention and remind them of the reception at the clubhouse in about 30 minutes. I did so and then the photographs started. It kind of seemed like how I would imagine the people at the big red carpet events would feel; you don't know which camera to look towards.

On 7 April, 2012 at high noon I stood at the end of a paver pathway that dad, Andy, Beth, Joe, and I spent three weekends building. At around 1230, Beth and I stood at the other end of the walkway as husband and wife. I am writing this for her so that she knows what I experienced the first half of that day. I was actually going to write this on 7 June, but of course the busy life that we both share nixed that. Hopefully tomorrow I'll get around to writing about the reception.

Posted by Rob at 11:47 PM | Comments (1)

September 30, 2009

Finally starting to feel like home...

I've been on the road so much since I closed on the house that not only have I not really gotten a chance to post here, but I haven't gotten to spend much quality time at the house. The downside of being a homeowner is that it can tend to be expensive. There have been some unforeseen expenses in the past few days. I ran the rough numbers and it's looking like in the past few days I've spent more than I make in three paychecks. Hopefully the new month will be a little less expensive. The nice part is that pretty much all of my time will be spent within a couple of miles of home, and that I will be able to get home at a semi-decent hour (i.e. before 2300).

Posted by Rob at 10:11 PM

August 16, 2009

Two weeks as a homeowner...

To say I've been busy is an understatement. When isn't it in all honesty? I mowed the lawn for the second time last week. To mow the three lots with a push mower takes a little over two hours, and about a tank and a half of fuel. I can probably take about 30 minutes off of that if I don't mulch the grass while I'm mowing. I have phone and electricity to the house; I had those the night I bought the house. I still need to have some account issues cleared up with the telephone company. I'll see if it was actually handled properly when the next billing cycle starts.

I stayed in the house the first night. I watched a DVD on my work computer with a friend in what will be the family room (where the TV would be put later). The reason I used my work computer was so that on the chance that work called because something was not working they wouldn't have to wait for me to get my computer running. Sure enough, the PD called about some software issues. I made my first batch of popcorn in the new microwave that night. 2:40 made a bag of popcorn with less than ten old maids. :)

I haven't really been able to stay at the house since because the septic still needs to be repaired. While I can flush the toilet and do things like that, I don't want to push my luck. I've spoken with Bruce (the septic repairman) about getting things ready. I'm essentially waiting for the check from the bank to get to him so that I can have him start the work. Once that is done I can start moving in a few more things. When the windows on the play room and the Florida room are complete then I'll be able to move in for real.

Grandpa and I have been doing work on the house on the weekends. Last weekend we worked on the yard a bit. Basically we were taking out Brazilian pepper, and potato vine. I want to say we ended up going to the transfer station two or three times that weekend. Yesterday we worked on the A/C and getting into the garage. The garage has two bay doors on it. One of the doors isn't on the track anymore and both springs are detached. The other bay door is still on the track and had only one spring attached. We were able to get the door to free up enough to get it open. Once it was open we attached the other spring and started going through the garage some more (contents to be covered in greater detail later).

Oh yeah, last weekend dad, Grandpa and I went over to another house where I bought some furniture. We moved the second half of that furniture to the house. The weekend I closed, Beth and I went over and picked up the first half of the furniture. When all was said and done I picked up:

  • a microfiber couch
  • two large, flat tube TVs
  • two TV stands
  • a night stand
  • two large bar stools
  • two small bar stools
  • a dining room table with leaf
  • three crates full of kitchenware (skillets, pots, pans, Corning ware, Pyrex, Chicago Cutlery knives, etc.)
  • dual cordless phones
  • an iron and ironing board
  • one of those Swiffer Sweeper power vacs
  • tile grout
  • four bags of red mulch
  • some sheets
  • two pillows
  • a clip light
  • picnic table
  • four folding picnic chairs
  • two folding camping chairs
  • shovel
  • garden rake
  • Dirt Devil corner vac
  • a One Sweep broom (as seen on TV)
  • audio amplifier
  • dubbing tape deck
  • turn table
  • and some canned groceries

All of the above was acquired for the low low price of $300.00. John said that for $300.00 I could have pretty much anything that wasn't bolted down, something that would be expected to come with a house (i.e. microwave, fridge, etc.) with the exception of a box of things in a corner, and the two cypress tables. I didn't completely clean out the house. There were still two queen size beds there. I already have on queen size bed and a twin bed for the guest room. That weekend I also brought some furniture down from Grandpa's house (two couches, the queen size bed, a dresser, two recliners, and a coffee table).

Unfortunately that's as far as I can go until I get the windows in the two rooms repaired. Those are set to be staging areas for the rest of the house. I am planning on taking off of work for the days that I'll contractors in the house (for obvious reasons). While they are there I will be working on clearing around the garage so that they can work on that when the work on the house is complete. With a little bit of luck they'll finish the work on the garage about the time I finish with moving the stuff that will be in the house to the house. At that point I can move the stuff that would normally go in a garage into the newly rebuilt garage.

Posted by Rob at 12:33 PM | Comments (1)

August 01, 2009

Found the New York Times article

Here is the article in the New York Times that I spoke of earlier (http://www.nytimes.com/2008/09/25/garden/25raffle.html#). There is a picture of my house in it! :)

Posted by Rob at 12:06 AM

July 31, 2009

Temporary description change...

With a little bit of luck I'll get to update this more frequently. I haven't posted since Christmas of 2008. I have temporarily changed the description from:

Here are some thoughts and rants that have crossed my mind. Take these with a grain of salt, a shot of vodka, two aspirin, and three more shots of some hard liquor (drinker's choice this time).


…tracking the trials and tribulations of a first time home buyer in a volatile economy.

That's right; I closed on a house today. Four hours and 30 minutes ago I stole a three bedroom, one bath, 1957 concrete block (old school concrete block) house with a two car detached garage, and a lawn tool shed that sits on three lots (.85 acres in this area) from two banks. The house was in a short sale (pre-foreclosure). The now previous owner bought the house at almost the top of the market. If memory serves, his plan was to buy it, fix it, and flip it to pay off a condo down in Hobe Sound. The house still needs some work. I'm starting on that tomorrow. The house has been featured on CNN, the ABC news station for south Florida, and the New York Times, just to name a few.

I'll post more later. Supper is ready.

Posted by Rob at 09:30 PM

December 25, 2008

Christmas Text message...

"How do u know Santa's a man? Cuz he shows up late, eats ur cookie, empties his sac, cums only once, calls u a ho and leaves while ur sleeping!"

Merry Christmas all. :)

Posted by Rob at 02:15 PM

August 24, 2008

"Big" spots

So what has happened since the last time I posted?

I made probation at work. That meant another pay raise (not much of a difference, but money is money). My probation came just in time for the budget at work to be slashed. Don't panic...I didn't get fired. There was an impromptu staff meeting in my office (which never happens) that day. Frank walked in with a fist full of paper and said "We have our jobs." I found it kind of funny actually. A year before Nancy walked in upstairs with a fist full of paper and said "We have our jobs." :)

The Fourth of July parade came and went largely without incident. While working on the cannons on the float (different occasions), Alan and I both ended up standing in a ball of fire. He had safety glasses on when he got blasted. Not only did I not have safety glasses on, I had a beard and mustache. I smelled toast for several hours after the fact. I didn't burn them off, but they did get singed around the edges. I figured it made things look a little more authentic. They had some streaks of grey in them after that. That effect has since worn away. The float ended up being very close to the front of the line this year. We were in front of the SRHS band which was nice. We were back to the clubhouse by 1000. There was no stop time during the entire parade route.

The shit hit the fan at work in a pretty bad way the week around the 4th. I think it started right before the weekend and concluded the weekend after the 4th. I can't really discuss what happened. What I can say is that when the dust settled I think I broke even. I'd much rather break even than lose ground. :/

Carol Stocker (long-time family friend) died in the middle of July. I heard about it the Sunday after she died while I was at Teddy's house. A bunch of us were standing around the bar racking our brains as to who we needed to get in contact with about it. It took a lot of weeding in the list to find out who would've known her, who is still around here, who is still alive (ran in to a couple of those), etc. It was a bit of a mess to be quite honest.

The memorial was on the 16th. I came in to work early so that I got the full work day, but still had time to go to the memorial. I did okay through the memorial. There was a reception at the clubhouse. There was a slideshow in the house. I was doing okay until a photo of Carol and me came up on the screen. I was probably five or six years old. I had to walk away. I went outside for a little while longer and then I had to go back to work.

The end of July brought a lightning strike that screwed up some stuff at work. I ended up starting August pulling an 18 hours on/18 hours off work schedule. In that time I was able to get four major things accomplished:

  • Bring a new file server online.
  • Restore access to data.
  • Design and implement logon scripts across the enterprise.
  • Roll out centralized updating.

In the aftermath I came up with an idea that in the end saved several thousand dollars in software upgrade costs.

I was going to sit down and write this sometime around the middle of this month. As you can see I missed the target a bit. Other things got in the way. When I logged in to the system I got a thing from Erin. I'm going to go email her after I get off of here to see how she's doing. She commented on what I had said before when John died about how it sucks that funerals and memorials are the times when people who grew out of touch seem to come back together. That happened again at Carol's memorial and reception. That seems to be a recurring theme with that kind of event.

I'm going to post this now and take care of some other things. Until next time...

Posted by Rob at 06:05 PM