this morning i woke up cold. i checked the temperature and it was 60 degrees, different from what i set the thermostat to (68 degrees). i went down to the basement and just as i feared, the pilot light was out in the furnace. i tried relighting it, but it didn't work. i called my father to see if he could come by and take a look, and also to help me paint. he arrived and checked out the furnace, but there was nothing he could do so he told me to call nstar and get somebody to come by and fix it.
then we started painting. we took out all the baffles and lightbulbs from the recessed lights, so we could just prime over the ceiling without having to go around the lights. our first task was to prime, my father had the roller for the big sections of the walls and ceiling, i had the paintbrush for the edges. we got the kitchen primed in 2 hours. we ran out of primer by the time we got to the ceiling, so we opted to use the full gallon of white ceiling paint as both the primer and the eventual final coat. my sister dropped by briefly to deliver some more supplies, and they left while we let the paint dry (4 hours of drying before repainting).
the nstar repairman showed up, fixed my furnace in no time. turns out the problem was twofolds, first a thermocouple that wasn't the correct thickness, and second the pilot light was too small. he replaced the thermocouple and adjusted the pilot light for a bigger flame. "you didn't hear it from me," he told me, "but your furnace is actually still under a service agreement, the previous owner paid for it." he ended up doing the whole repair job for free.
right after he left, eliza jones showed up. we were going to go run along the charles river, but got sidetracked looking at my personal library and later my high school yearbook. eventually we did go out, but only for a short period, she had to leave for a roommate interview. we ran to the charles river cutting through harvard square. the weather was brisk, but once i started running, it was actually very comfortable, very nice running weather. i wasn't tired at all, and felt like i could run for many more miles. for breakfast today all i had was a pair of poptarts and a banana. but apparently that's good enough for running fuel. we ran a few hundred yards along the charles then turned right back around, our time limit running out. before she left, she showed me her photo from her high school yearbook which just happened to be in her car.
after eliza left, i called my father to let him know the second round of painting was ready. he came by with my mother. while she watched tv in the living room, my father and i quickly 2nd coated the ceiling in under an hour. the ceiling paint requires just an hour to dry before repainting, so we all went to zoe's for dinner. the place was crowded, which was surprising, the few times i've been there (all during lunchtime), it's been empty. the clientele is mostly mainland chinese, they have this haughty intellectually superior demeanor that i find unimpressive. you can take the chinese out of china, but you can't take the china out of the chinese. food on the otherhand was excellent, albeit surprisingly expensive for a little middle of nowhere chinese restaurant, but apparently the dishes are quite authentic, and from all the customers there, a hit with the people.
after dinner, we returned to the house, were the ceiling was already dry. after some touch up work (we missed a few spots), it was time for salsa. both my parents had been waiting a long time to see what the final kitchen color would be. in the excitement, my mother pitched in her broad stroke painting skills as well. she worked on the ground level edges, my father did the walls, and i was in charge of the ceiling edges. originally i tried the edger tool but that didn't work very well, paint still bleeded to the other side. instead, i opted to hand paint the edge, carefully tracing the ceiling perimeter of the room, the whole time balancing on the top tier of the step ladder. it was hard work, demanding a lot of concentration with very slow progress.
when it was finally done, i just turned off my mind in the living room while my parents left for belmont. red paint all over my hands and arms (like blood), i wearily watched tv. it was half past 11. i've been awake and working since 9am this morning. and the irony is despite all my effort and the efforts of my parents in helping me paint, i'm going to have to redo some of that work when i repaint the kitchen walls a different color. who knows, maybe it'll look better in the morning with natural sunlight, but i doubt it. my grandmother's coming to take a peek before she leaves for the west coast, i hope she doesn't faint. maybe she can help me choose a new color. i kind of like pink, the original color. anything but salsa! i mean, playskool orange!