i don't have the patience nor the pain tolerance to scrub my skin until the paint comes off. so it looks like i'm going to be covered in paint for the foreseeable future until the latex acrylic flakes off naturally. i have paint all over my hands (naturally), all over my arms, my legs, on the bottom of my feet, in my hair, and even on my chest. and of course on my clothes as well.
is it only wednesday? time is moving so slowly.
yesterday i was at the house at 10:30am and didn't leave until 1am, just preparing the walls for painting. if there was ever a day where i demonstrated all my home renovation skills, it was yesterday, some serious multitasking, some serious work juggling. i had so many things going on that there were times when i stood in the middle of my house, my mind a complete blank, not remembering what i was supposed to do next. i was sanding, stripping, caulking, patching, vacuuming, washing, cleaning. some of things i had to wait for them to dry, so i'd move on to something else. the new thing in my repertoire was the caulking, my first time. i never realized it, but a tube of caulk only goes so much, like 4 windows or maybe 3 doors. that's why in the middle of the day i decided to take a quick road trip break and drive to the watertown target and home depot. at target i got a toilet brush and a bottle of toilet bowl cleanser, along with a few packets of batteries for the corded phone and the clock. at home depot i got another tube of caulk and a packet of flat head machine screws for the backrest of my motorcycle (it came loose a few weeks ago). i went to the cafe briefly for lunch-dinner, and then went back to the house, where i stayed until 1am. i had the television on, watching the local election coverage. i didn't like the fact that shannon o'brien won and robert reich lost, but come november, i'll vote for her just because i don't want mitt romney to be governor. when i returned to belmont 14 hours laters, i started working on my director project for another 2 hours before going to bed.
that was yesterday, tuesday.
3 hours of sleep later, i woke up at 7am to go to home depot yet again to buy some roller tubes. this early in the morning there's hardly anyone at home depot, just contractors. i personally like to think that i kept them guessing, they trying to figure out what exactly was i doing there so early in the morning. like a crazy person, last night close to 4am i called home depot hoping i'd get the automated answering machine telling me what their store hours were. imagine my surprise when a real person picked up the phone, "home depot night security, can i help you?" this person said. "oh, hi, this is kind of a strange hour to be calling, but i just wanted to know when you guys were open tomorrow morning." "7am," he said.
i was up so early because i had to be at the house starting at 8am, to wait for the appliance repairman. originally i had big plans to prime a few of the rooms and have them ready for color when the painting party arrived. but 3 hours of sleep does something to you, and so early in the morning in the empty house, i opted to go to bed instead, getting down on my familiar mattress chair and falling asleep.
i had a dream. the exact details i can't mention, but it involves someone i know, a chinese restaurant in the basement, my cure concert t-shirt falling in a squat toilet hole, and a cgi dinosaur for a pet.
the telephone woke me up. the repairman called, saying he'd be there in 15 minutes. 9:30am. so i waited, and they arrived, one seasoned repairman and another repairman-in-training. to make a long story short, OH MY GOD THEY ARE EXPENSIVE. the most expensive figure in my mind as to what it'd cost me to get the range and the refrigerator fixed, double that number and you'll have the actual amount. not only is the labor expensive (something like $100/hour at least), but the parts are obscenely overpriced as well. i'm just going to have to bite the bullet on this one. who else can i go to? it's not everyday i have appliances fixed, only once in a blue moon. but this once in a blue moon time is seriously depleting my cash reserve! on top of that, they repaired the wrong thing, so i think i got charged for that job, before they discovered what i was talking about wasn't what they fixed, so they went ahead and fixed that (for a discounted $50 more, a broken sparkle plug module). i think they're going to throw me some free range knobs to make up for the mistake though, when they come back to fix the fridge (once the ordered part arrives). that's great, but that still doesn't ease the pain of the high priced repair bill. only rich people can get appliances fixed it seems. if you're poor and you can't afford these guys (how the hell can i afford them? ameritrade check money, it was nice knowing you), then you learn to light your gas range with a match and learn to put a pan underneath the refrigerator to catch the dripping water leak.
my appliance repair depression was soon broken by the arrival of amanda and carrie at my doorsteps (bling! bling! goes the doorbell) just as soon as the repair guys were done with their work. after a quick catch up tour of the place, they started painting as i went out to go buy the color paints from city paint in north cambridge. they talked me into going with salsa for the kitchen instead of a lighter red (they wanted an even darker red, i say no way). i was probably the biggest paint buyer today. everyone else was just buying a can or two to cover a room or maybe do some small exterior work, but i went in there with a list of 6 colors for a total of 11 cans, not including the two cans of benjamin moore white ceiling paint. it took about 30 minutes for the guy behind the counter to process my order. it was interesting, he'd mixed up the color, but what came out looked like a can of white paint with a spot of color in the middle. okay, is this like yogurt? is the color on the bottom? how much mixing do i have to do before i can use the paint? turns out they have a mixing machine that takes the cans of paint and mixing them for me by shaking them back and forth rapidly. thank good! he had one of his guys help me carry all the cans to the car, and once loaded, i drove home.
steve's back! my upstairs neighbor, who came downstairs to say hello, only the second time i've ever seen him before. he's like a rare beast that i see occasionally and there's always much fanfare over such an auspicious sighting. it's kind of comforting to know that he's back, and that the house won't be unoccupied, like it was during the whole summer. i've sort of been spoiled, because all the times i've been at home, he wasn't there, so the house was very quiet. now that he's returned, i can hear him walking around upstairs. now originally i thought i'd hate the fact that i could hear my upstairs neighbor, but i find it comforting as well, doesn't make my house feel that empty even though i live by myself. but thank god he doesn't wear heels! i'll get use to it, the joys of condo living! and it's only heavy footsteps, i can't hear voices unless he has his windows opened and people are shouting.
julie arrived just as we were discussing what we'd have for lunch. while amanda and carrie came pretty much in normal street clothes, julie had on a ratty risd t-shirt (funny, i was wearing my tufts t-shirt, so much for alma mater pride) with previous paint stains and a bandanna so the paint wouldn't get into her hair. we decided on anna's taqueria and julie and i drove to the porter square mall to pick up the order. when we came back, i saw this guy walking down the street who looked really familiar but i just couldn't quite place him. "you're from the paint store, right?" he said to me. it was one of the guys buying paint from city paint! i remember he bought some cordova brown, which the counter guy said was a very popular color. cordova brown? who'd ever want to paint their walls that color? but turns out it's actually exterior paint. he owns one of the building on my street, and he was doing some outside repair work that needed repainting. what a small world!
we ate on the kitchen table, the first time the table getting some serious usage. i love seeing furniture in action, showcasing their functionality. it's hard to explain, but it sort of feels good when you see that something you bought is being used for the purpose it was intended for, like everthing fitting into place, like that thing should naturally be there. after lunch, everyone went back to work.
it's weird, but while they were there, i did very little actual painting. i was the guy making sure they had the right equipment, or running out to get supplies or lunch, or setting up the ibook with the speakers so i can blare sweet motivational 80's music throughout the house.
amanda and carrie left at around 3pm, and julie left an hour later, just as i was coming back from a watertown home depot run to get a can of primer (they only had one can left, otherwise i would've gotten 3 cans). although we didn't do any color painting today, we did prime all the walls except for the kitchen and the bathroom. tomorrow, there will definitely be colors!
i stayed around until 8pm, finishing up the rest of the master bedroom that julie didn't get a chance to do because we ran out of primer. i did all the walls in the bedroom except for the edges, which i'll do early tomorrow morning so it'll have time to dry and i can start with the colors later on.