Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Painting

For the last 12 years, I've lived in a house that I lovingly characterize as "This Old House Meets The Twilight Zone". A house where the folks from HGTV fear to tread. A house where projects seemingly grow in scope as you watch.

Case in point, the den, also known as The Man Room. The Man Room was last painted 10 years ago, and having been through me and the first 9 years of my son, is desperately in need of a refresh. Luckily, right before the kid was born, I had done all the heavy renovation needed--this is a simple paint job. To make things even simplier, we're not even changing the colors.

Most people would call this a weekend job. Knowing my house, I allowed a 3 day weekend to complete the task.

I should have taken the week off.

The weekend weather forecast called for a really nice Friday, followed by rainy Saturday and Sunday. Perfect weather--it would force me to stay inside and paint. The Fates get a call from their agent.

Earlier in the week, we move the 4 bookshelves and several hundred books and records. I pat myself on the back for getting a headstart on the project. The Fates then determine that I must pay for my hubris.

Friday, we move furniture. Some goes out of the room, some to the center to be worked around--there just isn't anywhere to put it all. No problem, I have a minimum 3' clear in front of each wall. I Can Do This.

Of course, I have to break down the stereo, which I hadn't planned on. No problem, it gives me a chance to clean up. Of course, this adds an extra hour or so to the task. The Fates nudge and wink at each other.

Lunch arrives. We eat. The Fates nudge some more.

I've been promising my kids a day at the range, and since I've put them off 2 weekends in a row (I'm a bad daddy...), I decide we're going to go while the weather holds. We go to the range, and arrive home around dark.

I decide that I Can Do More, so I pull all of the electrical cover plates off, along with the window blinds. All is in readiness for Saturday. The Fates snicker, and get ready as well.

Saturday. My daughter and I begin the process of taping the woodwork and laying out the drop clothes. The Fates snicker louder. During the process, I notice the walls are in worse shape than I thought. Some spacking and sanding is in order, along with some strategic Kilz. We're losing time. By mid-afternoon, we're finally ready for the first coat of paint. I hope it's the only coat, since I'm covering pretty much the same color. I get a rolicking headache. the kind that makes you nauseous. The Fates chuckle, and hit me in the head with a small hammer. I take drugs, and decide to wait for them to work before painting.

8 PM Saturday night. The drugs have kicked in, and I'm gonna paint that room. When I finish, I clean up and go to inspect my work. It's pretty obvious that one coat won't do. However, I am gratified that all the paint went on the walls, not the woodwork, the carpet or me. The Fates laugh out loud.

Easter Sunday. I wake up with a big ol' thumpin' headache. Worse than Saturday's version. The Fates are sitting beside the bed, taking terms whacking me with that hammer. I take more drugs and wait for them to work. They don't. We pack up lunch and go to the Aging Parents to eat. The Headache and the Fates go as well, laughing amongst themselves.

We come home, and I try different drugs. Ah! We get relief. The Fates sulk. I, Master of Renovation, shall paint again! The second coat goes on. It covers. Success Is In My Grasp. The Fates sulk louder.

I do the trimming around the edges of the walls where the roller won't go. One coat, then two. I can still see the old paint. The Fates are high-fiving each other.

Then the Fates conive with the Gods of Home Appliances, and the refrigerator loses it's cool. We evacuate the food to the freezer and the dorm fridge and attempt repairs. We fail, and decide to call the Oracle of Appliance Repair in the morning.

It's late, and I must go to work Monday. The Fates whisper in my ears all night, nagging about the unfinished room. I threaten to lock them in the bathroom if they don't shut up and go to sleep.

Monday evening. I trim around the edges again. It covers. the Fates return to Full Sulk Mode. I tempt them, replacing the outlet covers and switch plates. I lay my trap for the Fates, to be sprung Tuesday night--we shall tape and trim the woodwork.

Now you know why I haven't been blogging. Stay tuned for the next episode.

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