i could've gone back to belmont and gone back to bed if it weren't for the fact that i made an appointment to meet up with some adt home security people in cambridge at noon. i went back to belmont regardless, had some breakfast, and did some cursory job searching online. i mailed off my broken nikon camera at ups, waited a long time in line with mostly senior citizens. when it finally got to my turn, the clerk slapped both my hands jokingly and told me that for prepaid packages (which was what i had), i didn't have to wait in line, i could just dump it off on the side. later i went to the watertown home depot to look for lead painting masks. they didn't have any (all sold out), so i made a quick stop at the ace's true value hardware store in belmont, but they didn't have it either.
back in cambridge i met the security people. there was no place to sit in the house, so the two men team did their sell standing up in the kitchen, sweating profusely despite the box fan blowing on high. the older man lead the sale, going through a canned presentation aided by a standalone laminated flipbook full of outdated diagrams explaining how adt offers the ultimate 24/7 protection and how i need a home security system. i almost grabbed that thing and threw it on the ground, "don't feed me the song and dance, just tell me how much it's going to cost, captain!" but i polite, patient, mature. here's what they were offering me: free installation and equipment for 2 door sensors and one motion detector under a 3 year contract for $30/month. $30/month isn't too much for 24/7 monitoring of my home, that's $1/day. thing was, they gave me the hard sell. i had no intention of signing anything today, but they made it sound like i had to do it today otherwise i wouldn't get this special deal, and i know it's bullshit, and it turned me right off. the older guy would be like, "okay, i'm going to cut you a deal, if you sign today," and his younger assistant would be, "he's being so generous, that thing alone costs $200." the hard sell doesn't work on me. i told them i'd think about it, i want to shop around ("you won't find a better deal anywhere else," the older man informed me), that i'd let them know by the middle of august.
after adt, it was the somerville home depot, the much more well stock of the two home depots i now visit on a regular basis, and of course they had the lead paint masks ($15/piece). i also had a chance to finger the color samples and decided that the walls will be eggshell while all the trim and windows and bathroom walls will be semi-gloss.
i returned to the house to do some solo paint stripping the old fashion way with a heat gun and a lot of wrist dexterity wielding the metal scraping tool. it got so hot that i went topless, nothing on but my shorts and my lead paint mask. in my mind i could hear porno music.
by 4pm the sky suddenly turned dark and it started to rain heavily. my father showed up at the house, followed by zuka and his crew. tonight's project: jacking up the basement ceiling. my father and i watched as they worked their magic. we figured they'd just buy a house jack and crank it until the dining room floor was level, but instead they did some sort of fancy reinforced beaming action, much harder. it was like watching a movie, full of intense drama, suspense (zuka, don't hit your head on the nails!), horror (like when the main beam they worked on suddenly cracked), and the occasional funny moment (adialo broke the jack! wah wah wah). my father left to pick up suhan from the airport while i stuck around to watch them work, this being their last day and all. when they finished (which included a courtesy clean up of the place), i paid zuka for this week's labor and parts (he cut me a deal, i think it's because i told him today that i got laid off) and waved them good bye as they left. it was kind of sad actually, but they're going to be back in a week or so to do some patching, i'll see them again. the best damn contractors ever!