Procrastination (But I Digress)

Thursday, August 31, 2006

A Guy Walks into a Bar

Classic set up for a joke. My next speech is supposed to be funny--a string of jokes to amuse and delight. I have a really good "guy walks into a bar" joke, but I've already told it. So Megan, your job, should you choose to accept it, is to find me "guy walks into a bar" jokes. Anyone is welcome to help. Sick and tasteless jokes, need not apply.

I have this pile of papers in my office that I haven't looked at all summer. I certainly don't want my office to look like Norm's office(for those of you who have never seen Norm's office, lucky, it is mountains and mountains and mountains of papers dating back decades, everywhere--the desk, two credensa's, a filing cabinet, two chairs, a side table and the floor), so I'm making a Labor Day resolution to take care of this pile today. I can't go home until that pile is gone. Of course if I get right on it, I still have to wait until at least 5 p.m. to go home, so I might as well wait until 5 p.m. to start. And I don't have any plans and there's nothing on tv, so there's no rule that I have to start at 5 p.m.. Wow, I can procrastinate, procrastinating. Now that's talent.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Be Careful What You Wish For

I joined Toastmasters to learn new things. Last night was the speech contest and I really sort of basically assumed that I would win. I didn't even come in second. Well I wanted to learn new things and now I have to learn to lose. I hope I kept my congratulatory smile on during the meeting at least. (The other two speeches were really, really good, so this shouldn't be such a tough lesson, but I am pretty egotistical, I mean that is my picture in the dictionary with the world revolving around me.)

I've been overwhelmingly busy at work, so I've been wishing for more boring stuff. Yipee, NOT, I've got my wish. I have so much boring stuff on my desk and it all really, really needs to get done. Oh well.

Be careful what you wish for. I wanted Melody to move out and make a great life for herself. Now she's leaving the firm, so I'm not going to get to see her everyday--that's not fair. Marisa came over last weekend to visit, so maybe Melody will start coming over to visit. We'll have to have a barbeque. Too bad there aren't any holidays coming up, wait, Labor day is right around the corner. I only have to come to work two days of the weekend, and paint the trim in the little room, and finish putting together my bookcase, and organize my class material, and finish the ABWA audit, and get the houses for tour of homes, and prepare a humorous speech for next Tuesday for a club that doesn't appreciate me nearly enough. Yeah, I should wish we have a holiday barbeque--that would be great.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

It's a Job

I finished my term as President of ABWA in June. The day of the meeting to install the new president, I suddenly remembered that I needed to thank all my chairs and board members. This is an important job of the outgoing president and one that I am particularly bad at. (Ending a sentence with a preposition--I was just discussing that with a process server down at the court yesterday while I waited almost an hour for a copy to be made. They thought the copies cost $10, for twenty pages--outrageous, right--not even close--$275 plus the $10. Any hoo, we decided (the process server and I) that usage cures all. If we want to end sentences with prepositions, then we are just going to have to do it--like the Nike comercial--just do it.)

Where was I, oh yes, spending a ridiculous amount of money to buy last minute gifts for my chairs and other board members to say thank you. And of course at the last minute there is absolutely nothing personal about the gift--it's just going to collect dust at the bottom of some bag.

So this morning I happened to wake up a half hour early. Before I would actually let myself get out of bed early (I mean really, what is the point if you can actually sleep an extra half hour), I had to come up with a productive way to spend that additional half hour. I could make a list I thought. Sure, I just made lists (that's right plural--sue me) yesterday, but it was very satisfying and I can always use more lists. So I got up, did my routine and when it came time that there was extra time, luckily I remembered my "make a list" plan. What list should I make, the possibilities are endless. Next month is the end of my term as President of Kiwanis. I don't want to be in the same boat as I was with ABWA, so I need a list of thank you gifts for the chairs and board members of Kiwanis that won't cost any money and that don't take too much time to make (I love toying with the idea that I'm going to cross-stitch or make a gift--I'm just too adorable sometimes--insane, but adorable).

A list of thank you gifts--did I mention I'm really bad at this. Well I have to give Dave Fortune something--I mean really, he did my job for me. He was always in the background calling all the shots, setting the programs, calling out the color of the day--hey, just like the Wizard of Oz. Oooh, I like this analogy. I'm always wishing that I could spend more time at home, but I'm just too busy out battling the evil of apathy and indifference (wicked witchs of the east and west). You get the idea--my list is really very cool. Now if I could just think of something I could buy or hey, I could even make something. I have plenty of time.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Powering Through

"Complications" the scariest word in the English language. When Marisa told me that there were complications in Adam's surgery, I was a tad beside myself and I haven't been back since. After leaving the hospital on Friday, I decided that painting was what I needed to set me right. I prepped and painted the third wall. On Saturday, I just couldn't get off the dime. I ran errands, went to work, slowly started prepping the last wall, worked the booth for ABWA, putsed (sound it out, I have no idea how to spell it) around, visited Adam, more prep, but no painting. On Sunday, more prepping in the morning, visited Mary, visited Adam and then it was time to power through painting. Four hours later (yes, four with a capital F, that is a four letter word by the way and it starts with an F), I finally finished the fourth wall. My arm was killing me. I felt like that kid in Karate Kid, paint the fence. Last night I took off the tape. The molding looks fine with pink splaters all over it. I don't think I need to paint the molding.
When I forget the pain from my arm, I'll get started on Caitlyn's guest room. Four more walls to go. No end in sight.

Adam's still in pain and he's not out of bed yet, but he's on the mend. Logically, it's a matter of days til he's ready to come home, but it seems like a long haul. Four more walls.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Paint, part deux

I have a book. I did not have to go to Home Depot clueless--I have a book. It's called home maintenance for dummies. That's me. It goes step by step how to buy paint, what other supplies you need, how to prep before you paint and how to actually paint. It's very informative.

First (after you buy the paint and supplies, which I've already winged), you have to clean the walls. How many people clean their walls and say to themselves, hey, now I don't need to paint. It looks like hard work to clean the walls. It might very well be hard work to clean the walls. I kind of fudged that part. I have new swiffer wet mop thingies that you put on the swiffer sweeper, so I used that on the walls. They didn't look any cleaner, but it was so easy.

Then the book said that I had to put plastic over the windows and tape everything. It is impossible to tape popcorn ceilings, so that's the first thing that gets vetoed. I'm painting the trim anyway, so that's then next veto. That leaves the windows and the air conditioner (actually I forgot about the air conditioner until my paint brush was poised over it with a dolop of paint threatening to drip.) I dutifully cut out a perfectly sized plastic sheet for the window and set about taping it into place. Luckily I am a girl scout and I was prepared with a stool. After one side down, I'm starting to get pretty even with the tape, but now somehow the plastic is too big on one end and too small on the other. Very strange. That's ok, I have lots of tape. Besides, I am very neat--there's no way I'm getting paint on anything but the walls.

Next the book says to stir the paint for three minutes. Three minutes is a really long time when paint is trying to slosh over the sides and your arm hurts after one minute. I sort of fudged on the three minutes, but in my defense they had to know I was going to do that so they probably said three minutes to get me to do the two.

I bought these cute little inserts for the paint tray so that you can just throw them away without having to clean the pan--just like tin foil for cooking. I picked up two at the Home Depot, but she charged me for three. They are .50 cents, but I still went back to complain. The cashier very kindly (well actually she was rather rude) showed me that I had actually picked up three--they were stuck together. Yippee, because now I need more. Anyway, I put the insert in and carefully pour the paint into the pan. Not too much, just up to the bottom of the incline. I have a brand new brush.

The book says to start at the top of the back wall and work my way down and out. I'm ready. Dip the brush in the paint, drag it along the dotted incline to take out the excess paint that will try to drip and hurry up to get it on the wall. SPLAT. A big dolop of paint flies off the brush onto the paper that I have thankfully put down on the floor. So much for I'm super neat and I'd never drop any paint. I paint a three inch spot on the wall and my brush is out of paint. That stinks. So now I'm torn. Put more paint on the brush and risk more drips or less paint on the brush and paint for three years. I decide to try more paint, but experiment with turning the brush back and forth to avoid drips. Finally, I have the length of my stool done at the top and it's time to get out the roller. I load that thing up to the max with paint and I get it to the wall quickly before it even thinks about dripping. The book says paint liberally. Wow, rollers are so fast and easy. This job is going to take no time at all.

That was three days ago. Two walls down, six to go.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Paint Department, a very scary place

I am painting Adam's old room--it must be done--right now it is half alien green and half bare drywall (but no mold-yea!). So since I have to paint anyway, I decided to paint my sitting room. I picked out a lovely light pink that Adrienne was nice enough to find a sample of for me. Then I did nothing for weeks. Since I had picked out the color in my head, actually going to the store and buying the paint seemed redundant. Of course, you can't paint, unless you actually get the paint. Boy the lottery is the same way, I hate that.

I asked Adam several times if he wanted to go to Home Depot with me and he declined every time. Coward. So last night, I had no meetings and no more excuses. I pulled into the parking lot and went up the middle to find a place to park. There was a big fence at the end of the isle and they were having an outdoor sale. Yea! I love sales. What a bunch of junk. But junk I thought I might need. I picked up a roller skeleton for $3.97--such a deal. I looked at rugs (garbage) and lights (nothing was just right) and door knobs--I don't even need a door knob. The guy at the counter came over to help me several times--I must have had that "I have no idea what I'm doing" look about me. Luckily he took the roller skeleton out of my cart and told me that he didn't have any nine inch rollers, so he was sure I didn't want it. Thank you sales guy.

Now it was time to actually go into the Home Depot store. I spent a lot of time looking at lights before I remembered I was supposed to be there to buy paint. I went to the paint department and realized that I didn't have my paint sample that Adrienne had given me. I made a quick call home to get measurements and poured over the paint color choices. There are millions of pinks. I got a number and waited for the sales person. I was going to ask her how to chose a color of pink. Unfortunately she asked me what type of surface I was painting, and I blankly said, I don't know. Everything was down hill from there. She refused to ask me any more questions and she refused to answer any questions that didn't have to do with price or availability. To say that she was no help would be generous, because not only would she not really help me, but she made me extremely nervous about how little I knew as well.

I'm a college graduate I kept telling myself and I buckled down and picked out a pink. We did some math and came up with how many gallons I needed. They had a very cool display of all the things you need for painting and I got started with the accouterments while she mixed the paint. [I looked that word up--it means to equip an army--that's me. A one women painting army equiper. One p or two, that is the question. But I digress.]

Next I informed my unhelpful sales lady that the room was alien green with a dark grey trim and ventured the question, do I need a primer? Her response was "Which primer do you want?" I took that as a "yes" and ventured a question with a question, "which do you suggest?" She showed me an complete isle of primers and gave me some prices. I asked if the cheapest was fine, but I might just use a little more and she answered, the cheapest is fine, but you might use a little more. I wonder if she went to college and she was just playing with me.

Next I said how about the trim--don't I need semi gloss paint for the trim? She pulled out the price sheet and showed me how much the semi gloss was. I took that as a yes. Then I got super technical and asked which color white should I use, because I've heard there's really many shades of white. She pointed to the million colors on the wall and told me to pick one. But I want you to tell me, I persisted. She said look at the white suggested with the color you picked. Wow, it is all organized--it is amazing. Of course, I didn't like that white and I picked a totally different white. I'm sure I'll pay for that someday, but I was so caught up in the moment. She mixed my poped corn white and I ventured down the isle to find paint brushes--I'm sure I'm going to need paint brushes. I thought about asking the sales lady which ones I should buy, but her look of utter frustration and dismissal of me as useless, dissauded me. (Come on, that has to be a word, but it's not in my dictionary to check the spelling.)

Luckily, home depot was ready and willing to sell me just anything my heart desired. They had prepackaged six packs of paint brushes of all sizes and the pan with two rollers, a drop cloth and more paint brushes. I bought extra drop cloths by looking at the pictures--you can never have enough drop cloths and soon I was all done and ready to go. Might as well look at the rugs while I'm here and I have a parking space. The rugs were very dismal. Then I had to look at tile. There's some tile around the house that Jose said he could fix for me. I did some math and looked and looked and looked. I think I need to go to tile store. Maybe someone there will actually answer a question.

Anyway, I finally paid and left as the sun was setting. I walked out, but there was a big fence in the way down the isle I parked in. I had to walk the entire length of the parking lot and go around, because the isles have curbs completely surrounding them. What poor planning by a store devoted to contractors. Good exercise for me though.