i arrived at the cafe a bit after 9am for the second and last day of painting. i rode the fuji bike in anticipation of possible showers. the fuji is also small enough that if i needed a ride back to cambridge, i could throw it in the car.
yesterday we managed to paint one coat on the walls before calling it quits around 7:30p. i was hoping today we'd get to painting much sooner. there was still the end wall which will be painted a darker shade than the other walls, and might require two or more coat since the current color is so dark. there was also the question of the window trims, which would also require two coats. the first coat we did on the walls was good enough that we didn't need a second coat, but i still went around looking for areas we missed and patched them up using a brush and the bit of paint still left in the gallon can.
my sister - who was supposed to be helping us - didn't show up until noontime. which really bothered me, because she left early yesterday afternoon, leaving everyone else to work. what makes it even worse is all this renovation work is on her behalf. had i known, i would've never volunteered my free service, because initially i thought it was for my parents. my sister is also a terrible painter. well, that's not entirely true, she's an adequate painter. what makes her terrible is she thinks she's the best, and gets mad dog angry if you criticize her, and throws her 2 decade old interior design degree in your face if you dare challenge her "expertise."
i'm a bit of a painting nazi, because i demand near perfection when it comes to painting, and i yell at everyone if i see they're doing something wrong. but my sister absolutely can not take any form of criticism, which resulted in her throwing a tantrum when i yelled at her for painting the wall when she was painting the wooden trim. she was going much to fast, insisted on using a roller (which splashed bits of paint on the already finished walls), and used too little paint with the excuse that this was only a primer coat (it wasn't) which would require 2 more additional coats on top of that (we simply didn't have time to do that many coats). she went crazy, my father yelled at her to get the hell out, but in the end cooler heads prevailed. for my part i didn't say anything after that, although i'm sure if i added fuel to the flame i could've gotten her kicked out.
i actually like the meditative quality of painting, i can zone out and do my thing. as today was the last day (cafe reopening tomorrow morning), i also had that nostalgic feeling of working under an impending deadline, that sense of dread but also purpose as i lowered my head and kept on working without complaint or stopping, like a painting robot or zombie. in fact, i think during the entire day i only went to the bathroom once, when i fact i have a very weak bladder and usually at home i'm going to the bathroom every hour if not more. i didn't even want to eat when it came to lunch and dinner time, i just wanted to work and get everything finished.
just like yesterday, our work day was interrupted by guests. around noontime binbin stop by with her son and her in-laws. they'd been here from xi'an for months but this was the first time they were visiting. they brought some chinese goodies including a package of mutton paomo, one of my favorites. they were here for about half an hour before leaving.
for lunch (2pm) my mother cooked up some thai basil chicken with rice. i almost didn't want to eat because there was still a lot of work and i didn't want to stop. dinner came around 8:30pm, when my mother prepared some korean ramen by 2nd aunt had brought over. i could taste right away it was fish flavor, which wasn't my favorite.
i finally returned home a bit before 9:30pm. it began drizzling again, but not so bad that i couldn't ride. besides, with the disco light wheels on the fuji bike, there was no danger of any cars not seeing me. i took a shower as soon as i got back. cristina came home from her maine weekend soon afterwards. she told me all about her adventures, trying out maple syrup, lobster rolls, american hot dog and burgers, clam chowder, and all sorts of lake activities. the nights around the campfire eating s'mores were dark enough to see the milky way, which she'd never seen before.