Festivus Interruptus

Although most people I know enjoy a much-needed break from party-going after the holidays, rededicating themselves to gym after months of swilling eggnog at office parties and debaucherous New Year’s shenanigans, at our house the festivities usually continue in full force in January. This is primarily because three of the four residents of our home were born in the first month of the year. I almost always use the Cocktail Host’s birthday (tomorrow!), as well as my own less than week later, ¬†as an excuse to organize various parties, but it looks like it’s going to be quiet at Liberty Lounge this January, because our house–or at least our deck and our yard–are in quite a state.

Here’s a picture of our deck:

Oh dear!

I’d like to tell you that the slope is a trick of photography, but nope, that’s pretty much the angle at which it’s hanging off the side of our house. The nails all over the ground? That’s from where the contractors ripped out the flower boxes that hung from the deck yesterday. Flower boxes which they tell us will never be replaced for “liability reasons.” This gives us the sadz.

Then there’s the backyard. Despite the fact it’s a chilly winter in San Francisco, we’ve done a good job of putting the yard to use for our parties lately. We have a fire pit that keeps everyone warm when we stoke it up, and the Cocktail Host and his friends often spend hours down there bashing around a ping-pong ball. Now? Well …

… this is what remains of what was once our backyard deck. And apparently the landlord has no intention of replacing it, leaving that cruddy little patch of earth instead, which no doubt will soon be infested with weeds. Any thoughts on clever (and cheap!) ideas to return our yard to its former entertaining glory? We’re renters, and it would be crazy to invest a ton of money when the building could be sold at any time, but when the contractors are gone (in about a month, we hope), we want to go back to outdoor entertaining in style.