i was scheduled to do two things today: final work day at the community garden at 11:30am, followed by some porch work at my sister's place around 1pm where i was going to finally prime everything. i decided to skip the work day so i could paint first then go over to my parents' place to mow the lawn (better to do it today than tomorrow as i heard it'd be rainy again). but before all that could happen, i was hoping to make a quick trip to the somerville home depot to pick up some more peat moss and exterior wood screws. i made myself a mug of moka pot coffee to give me some energy (this was essentially my breakfast and lunch) before i left the house at 11am.
what was supposed to be a quick trip took more than 1-1/2 hours. i tried going up central street but ran into a road block. i didn't know what it was, at first i thought it was road construction (perhaps related to the green line extension), or possibly a street fair, or maybe some kind of parade since i saw some people dressed up as colonial british red coats down one of the streets. the detour led me out to union square. i was thinking about postponing my home depot trip, but at the last second decided to go up walnut street. i came out by somerville public library, where it looked like all of highland avenue was blocked off. i got onto mcgrath highway, then took a right by stop & shop to get onto route 38, a forgotten shortcut to home depot.
the somerville home depot carried 3 cu.ft. bags of premier peat moss for $10.98 a bundle, which is about 30¢/cu.ft. cheaper than from hillside garden supply. i ended up getting 2 bags, one for me, one for my sister. i also picked up a bag of black cow composted manure. as for the wood screws, i had a hard time deciding between exterior screws and deck screws. deck screws were slightly more expensive with fancy threading and required a special screw bit (which comes included). i ended up going with a box of 3" generic exterior wood screws which only required a simple philips screw bit.
returning home, i didn't know which way was the best. i still wasn't sure what the highland avenue detour was all about. how far did it extend? i decided to risk it and go back via my usual way up temple then school street. unfortunately there was a road block on school street, so i ended up taking a detour onto medford street. i then spent a long time in bumper to bumper traffic through residential streets trying to find a way out. i went up lowell, then central, each time turned back. i ended up just following the google map directions, which took me to ball square then towards teele square. even that was no match to road blocks that would suddenly pop up. i ended up going as far as teele square before i could finally turn towards mass ave and to the cafe.
by then it was already 12:30pm. my original plan of getting an early start on painting pretty much went out the window. an additional challenge was since we turned back the clocks, sunset would be at 4:30pm, so i only had 4 hours of sunlight to work with.
i used the bathroom quickly before i started working. i was able to go online and figure out what was happening in somerville. apparently it was their postponed memorial day parade from back in may when it got rained out. the route starts from somerville city hall and ends at teele square, going down highland avenue. it essentially bisected somerville, and there was no way to cross it, you just had to go around.
painting comes naturally to me and i went on autopilot. i put down the tarp, set up the ladder, applied some more blue tape, and gathered up the primer paint and brush. it was also thankfully warm even though i was on the northern side of the house where it was in perpetual shadows. just a simple sweatshirt was enough to keep me comfortable. i put in my bluetooth earbuds, turned on the playlist on my android phone, and went to work.
so here was my strategy: start high, work my way down. paint the hard stuff first, like the hard-to-reach inner arches or the outside faces where i had to climb on both ladder and railing to get access to. just painting one side took so long i was beginning to fear that i wouldn't finish priming today. i took off my watch and my hands were too dirty to fish for the phone in my pocket so i didn't know what time it was, just eyeballed it from the position of the lowering sun in the sky. after i finished the right side, i started painting around the doorway, then moved on to the left side. only then, finally, did i paint the front. by that point it was already getting dusky but i only had a little to paint and was able to finish priming everything.
i left by 4:45pm, patches of white paint in my hair, the soles of my shoes dotted with dried primer. i drove to armando's pizza and got myself a large anchovy and onion pizza for $17.25. i've been dreaming about their pizza for weeks now, and finally, after 4 straight hours of painting, this was my well-earned reward. i didn't call it in so ended up waiting 35 minutes for my pizza. i finally returned home by 5:30pm.
i only had 4 slices of pizza (half), even though i was hungry enough to easily eat the whole thing. armando's pizza are gooey (new york style?) and you need to fold it in half to pick it up. i chose anchovy because it's not one of the available options for domino's pizza, where i usually get my pizza. anchovy naturally has a fishy flavor which i don't like, but that's offset by a delicious salty savoriness.
the highlight of the evening was the packers-patriots sunday night football game. new england got the early lead with a touchdown, green bay responded with just a field goal. patriots finished the quarter with a field goal of their own, bringing the score to 10-3. in the second quarter, the packers scored a touchdown to tie the game, but the patriots ended the half with another touchdown, bring the score to 17-10. in the 3rd quarter green bay scored a touchdown to tie the game, but new england finished the quarter with a touchdown to regain the lead, 24-17. in the 4th, brady threw a bomb to josh gordon for a touchdown, which also seemed to have sapped the will of the packers. patriots win, 31-17. i feel bad for green bay, i really like aaron rodgers. i hope they do better and make it into the playoffs.