Monday, September 28, 2009

First Things First

To answer a few questions people have asked--Yes, I *did* get the booze cabinet finished on Friday. But it was an all-day job, even with two of us working on it. For those of you who have asked where to buy one because you want one also, let me give you some advice: Block out an entire afternoon, make sure you have at least one other person helping you, and you'll need a fully stocked tool kit, not just a Phillips screwdriver and the Allen wrench they supply. Otherwise, it's a breeze!

But first, a little back story. Here's a view of the dining room before the new booze cabinet arrived:

You can click on the photo for full-sized goodness, but you'll see that the area is just a catch-all for anything that I hadn't taken the time to get properly stored. I took this picture sometime early last week, and you'll notice my new night stand and reading lamp there on the left. Additionally, you can see storage totes, the vacuum cleaner, and Linda's furniture dolly. And the table in the back is just stacked with random junk--books, mail, candles, empty boxes, etc. No, I'm not very proud of the way it looked, but I'd been working my ass off for two weeks straight and didn't have much time to attend to it. So that's where I started.

But once the cabinet was purchased and on it's way, I did what I could to clean up the area. Here's how we looked on Thursday afternoon:

The first, less heavy, box is in back, with it's contents leaning and sitting on the table. The second, much heavier, box arrived a day later, and that's as far as I scooted it before taking the utility knife to it.

I should've taken a picture or two once I got everything unpacked, because it was a mess to behold. But once I got going, I forgot all about documenting the process for the sake of posterity.

After I posted on Friday morning, I gave myself a head start around 11:30 or so, trying to show a little progress before AC showed up. He actually didn't get over to the apartment until 1:00 o'clock, just an hour late, but he had a good excuse--he was out entertaining the ladies until sometime after six that morning. I was invited along, but I declined, knowing that if I'd gone, I would've stayed out all night and procrastinated this cabinet project into October.

Anyhow, I brewed a pot of coffee, turned on some SportsCenter to provide the background noise, and set out with my handy-dandy tool kit. The assembly instructions, although smartly illustrated, left a whole lot to the imagination. My interpretation was only off once, when I mounted a cap-piece on backwards, but otherwise, things went together fairly smoothly at first.

Like I mentioned, AC showed up at 1:00 o'clock, and with him there, we really picked up the pace. Oh, there were a few snags here and there--a rubber mallet would've been nice to have to help encourage some of the pieces to fit a little more smoothly, since a BFH would've marred the finish. And a critical screw fell out of the wineglass rack sometime during initial assembly, and I had to reattach the parts with a spare screw and superglue.

The biggest bitch of the assembly process came towards the end. Actually, make that the two biggest bitches. I was putting together the glass doors, and AC was trying to attach the heavy lid piece. No matter what he did, he couldn't get the damn screw holes to square up, and no matter what I did, I couldn't get the glass to fit correctly in one of the doors. We both fought our battles to a draw individually before we got smart and realized that we outnumbered the liquor cabinet.

What made the whole thing even worse, is that the glass wasn't beveled on the edges at all--it was razor sharp, and when I slid the first piece into the first door, I just kind of let it go, and when gravity took over, it sliced my finger so f*cking deep that it bled for over two hours.

Seriously, if I had health insurance, I would've been in the emergency room getting stitches. I didn't realize how bad it was at first--a cut that clean and deep feels like a paper cut and just stings like a mother, but doesn't seem so serious. But after the bar towel I was using started to look like it was part of a crime scene, we went old-skool on the first aid. A little dab of super glue, a paper towel, and some scotch tape and I was good to go. Even then it still took forever to stop bleeding.

That's about six layers of paper towel and several turns of tape that's holding my finger together. Luckily it wasn't my middle finger, or else I would've had a hard time driving! Anyhow, about the time we got my injuries tended to, we decided that it was time to take a break and get some pizza and wings to go with our beer.

The only really good pizza that delivers to my apartment complex is Pie Town--the Chicago-style joint up on Sunset and Green Valley Parkway. Not only do they have excellent deep-dish Windy City-style pie, but their wings are the best I've had in all of Vegas. The house special recipe of medium wings with teriyaki and BBQ are damn tasty! We were looking forward to some of that. But as many times as we called, we couldn't get anyone to answer the phone. It pissed us off, so after about a half hour or so, I hit the junk drawer and brought out a stack of other delivery menus that have been hung on the front door since I moved in. We opted for Napoli, instead. It's a decent place--I'd eaten there a few times back in the day, as it's right next door to Chilly Palmer's, the bar I used to hang out at back when I was a pit critter. Their pizza is decent, but their wings aren't even close. Still, it's not too bad.

On a sad note, we have since learned that Pie Town has gone out of business. That really sucks, because it was the only decent deep-dish pizza out here on the east side. That means that now, if you're in Vegas and want good Chicago-style, you'll have to haul your ass over to Amore on the west side. Luckily Grimaldi's is still King of the Pizza Universe, and is relatively close, even though they don't deliver.

Once we sat down to eat, we decided to watch last week's coverage of the Main Event of the World Series of Poker that I'd recorded on Tuesday night. And who's mug turns up on TV? None other than my buddy AC--he dealt that hand that knocked out Greg Mueller:

Yup, that's him there on the left. Neither one of us had seen the coverage, but he had said that the ESPN cameras were at his table recording the hand when it went down. So we took a few pics of the screen shot, and I think he's using it as the wallpaper on his phone now. Pretty cool, though.

Anyhow, once we had our fill of pizza and wings, we got back to the task at hand. After much swearing and consternation, we finally got the top piece attached to the main body of the wine rack, but it was a cast-iron bitch. While AC was tightening down all of the attachment screws, I went to work on the second glass door. I ended up having to carve out a good chunk of wood that was blocking the path of the glass in it's grooves, but once I figured out where it was catching, it was easy enough (for the longest time, I was getting pissed because I thought the door wasn't put together on the square, but I was wrong). I was much more careful installing the glass the second time around, and I managed to keep the rest of my blood on the inside where it belonged.

I'm a karate-man. I bleed on the inside!

Of course, while we were doing our various projects, there was much smack-talk to be heard. AC had screwed up the adjustable shelves and had to take the pliers to get the pegs back out on one side. I was like Dude--how dumb do you have to be to not be able to count to three? (the number of holes down from the top).

His reply-- Shut up. I'm not the one who's bleedin'.

Heh. So in spite of the injuries and frustration, we still had a few laughs and finally got the damn thing put together--we moved it into place at 4:30 in the afternoon, then picked up all the packing materials and hauled the boxes and trash out to the dumpster. It took all afternoon, but we got it done. AC then headed back over to his place, and I got on the computer to check Doc Al's flight status on

I was picking him up at the airport, and his flight was supposed to land an hour later--giving me plenty of time to shower, get dressed, and wash the truck before heading to the airport. Well, that was the plan at least. But Flightview showed that his plane was early and due to land in about 13 minutes.

Holy shiat!

So I jumped in the shower, shaved, and just about the time I toweled off, I got a text message from Doc. I'm on the ground, but not at the gate yet.

I called him back and said I'd be a little late, as I was wearing nothing but my goatee at the moment. I got dressed as quickly as I could and headed over to the airport. I'll get to that story later this week. In the meantime, the booze cabinet, and my apartment, sat empty all weekend. I finally got it stocked and functional this evening while watching the football game.

Here it is:

By the way, I'm down to just 39 bottles on hand. Time to get over to Lee's and do some shopping.


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