We made considerable progress on the house last Sunday and this weekend, which I'm very pleased about. I'm even more pleased that we were able, today, to use the power sanders to remove the paint from the built-in bookshelves in the living room; I was getting incredibly sick of chemical strippers and scraping at paint goo for hours on end. (Should you have to do this yourself, I highly recommend the mini-Darth Vader mask. Yes, it's thirty bucks, but you really don't want to be breathing those fumes.) We've been saying we're almost ready to paint for weeks, but I think this time it might be true . . .
We also found nifty tile for the bathroom, which was a relief.
(As an aside, we also discovered this week that watching Trading Spaces is considerably more entertaining, in a horrifying kind of way, once you've done some home improvement stuff yourself. Last night, we channel-surfed past two episodes. In the first, one team painted a brick fireplace white, prompting yells of "How dare you! Do you know how hard it is to get paint off of brick!" In the second, the designer screwed vinyl albums, in rows, so that they absolutely covered an entire long wall—"Boy, it's going to take a lot of spackle to undo that . . . ")
(As another aside, we also discovered that we have really nice neighbors. One, a colleague of Chad's, lent us his snowblower; and one, a complete stranger, came over and gave us a snow rake when he heard that we were poking a shovel out an upstairs window to clean off the garage roof. I was pleasantly amazed.)
Work was pretty quiet this week. Did a bunch of research, in one instance to help out someone else, and in the other for a case we're expecting to come in, sometime. I spent the rest of the week working on a summary judgment motion in an Eighth Amendment deliberate indifference to medical needs case. (In English, that means: a prisoner claims he didn't get proper medical care, and that violated his constitutional rights. I was pulling together documents and paper testimony, as well as writing legal arguments, to try to convince a judge that the case could be decided on those papers, without a trial, thus saving everyone time and effort.) I did get a favorable decision in on a parole case, which is always nice; I'm personally not that excited about it, because my paralegal did approximately 95% of the work on it—excellent work, mind you, but it's not the same.
The other big accomplishment of the week was finally reading and writing about Jo Walton's latest novel, The Prize in the Game. Non-spoiler comments are up at the booklog, along with a link to spoilers. Short version: I liked it very much, so go buy it.