Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Lipstick In A Caulking Gun

Yes, Dave chose this angle.

I've heard it said that painting an old house is like putting lipstick on a pig, but it's not true. Pigs don't need lipstick.

It was time to paint the house, so that's what we set out to do. Not a big deal. It's a bunch of work, but there's nobility in that. In fact, the more annoying the work, the more nobility it has. It's straightforward: muscles and ladders and time-in. We're both in our sixties so I guess we could get a pass, but hey--if it's time to paint the house, we paint the house. That's who we are.

Not our house. That's a job. The last time we thought it needed paint, it had metastasized into this giant thing (actual quote heard while under construction: "Is that going to be a Montgomery Wards?"), and it was daunting. Following a suggestion from a friend who said we could probably accomplish the same result with money, we hired mercenaries. People who could dangle from a dirigible to get the top bits of the tower. People who didn't have an active acquaintance with their own mortality. People who, hell, didn't lose consciousness every time they cranked their neck up to climb a ladder. Young people.

But this house, our rental house, is only a one-story. You just scrape off all the paint that wants to come off, you prime, you caulk, you paint. And if there's one useful thing I know how to do, it's prep and paint. In fact, that is the one useful thing I know how to do. I learned from the best. Actually, I learned from Dave, but he's my best. He taught me how to decant a portion of the paint into a bucket and do the whackety-whackety with the brush to offload the excess; he taught me how to dry off a newly washed brush by slapping it repeatedly against my butt. In fact, I think that was his own idea. I am mindful of the drips. I feather. I mitre the corners of the window-frames with my paintbrush strokes. I'm careful. None of which really comes in handy with the rental house.

Its south side is a complete mess, but the same could be said of a lot of us. With this place, you could be scraping merrily away when a chunk of petrified paint and caulk comes flying off, followed by a bluster of attic bats. After a while you don't even want to be doing that good a job. You're afraid the structural integrity of the place owes a lot to modern latex paint and cobwebs. You're afraid of cutting loose a strip of fossilized goo and seeing all the clapboards slide off. There are boards up in the attic area that are relying on rodent carcasses to remain wedged together. First thing we did was get rid of some wasp nests but we probably lost some valuable biological adhesive there, too.

I'm afraid we're bothering the tenants, of course. Scraping is nasty, loud work. It can set your teeth on edge. But on the other hand, who really "works" from home? As if. Pssh. Young people. It's not a job unless you punch a clock and your boss is an idiot. And the rest of the neighbors probably got used to the rumbling of the truck that came to cannon in the fresh caulk.

Even though it's a little house, it's a lot of work. But I can't see not painting it myself. I'm just not that person.

I will be in another week.

31 comments:

  1. Young people really miss out on a lot by working at home. First of all, how can you complain about your boss or manager, if you are him? And without the nerve-wracking, insane-making commute, what does one use as an excuse to "just have a cocktail to relax" that turns into several? And who do you talk to at the water cooler (or, in this case, the kitchen sink)? Your parakeet? He's been with you all day, and probably wishes you'd shut up already about the latest episode of Game of Thrones. As you can see, I don't think that they've really thought this out.

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    1. I can be described, now, as a person working from home, but a lot of it doesn't look a thing like work.

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    2. Saya sangat bersyukur atas rahmat yg diberikan kepada saya dibulan ini karna alhamdulillah melalui MBAH RAWAIRE saya sekaran sudah bisa sukses atas nomor yg diberikan kepada saya dan saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW dari singapur yg gajinya tidak pernah mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya dikampun dan alhamdulillah berkat bantuan MBAH RAWAIRE kini saya sudah bisa pulang kampun,saya bersama keluarga dikampun sudah punya usaha sendiri dan saya tidak pernah menyanka kalau saya bisah seperti ini,jika anda ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi MBAH RAWAIRE di nomor 085-316-106-111...karna alhamdulillah saya menan nomor togel dari MBAH dan kalau uang indonesia 750 juta,,ini bukan rekayasa dari saya dari IBU RISKA.untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka SITUS MBAH RAWAIRE












      Saya sangat bersyukur atas rahmat yg diberikan kepada saya dibulan ini karna alhamdulillah melalui MBAH RAWAIRE saya sekaran sudah bisa sukses atas nomor yg diberikan kepada saya dan saya yg dulunya cuma seorang TKW dari singapur yg gajinya tidak pernah mencukupi kebutuhan keluarga saya dikampun dan alhamdulillah berkat bantuan MBAH RAWAIRE kini saya sudah bisa pulang kampun,saya bersama keluarga dikampun sudah punya usaha sendiri dan saya tidak pernah menyanka kalau saya bisah seperti ini,jika anda ingin seperti saya silahkan hubungi MBAH RAWAIRE di nomor 085-316-106-111...karna alhamdulillah saya menan nomor togel dari MBAH dan kalau uang indonesia 750 juta,,ini bukan rekayasa dari saya dari IBU RISKA.untuk lebih lenkapnya silahkan buka SITUS MBAH RAWAIRE


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  2. My respect for Dave has increased tenfold. He knows the best angles ( a man after my own heart) and knows the best way to dry a brush. After all, the key to a good paint job is entertainment and preparation. In that order.

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    1. He sometimes calls me a "good little painter." That's because it keeps me painting.

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  3. Oh wow... we are on the second summer of 'crowd control' touchup... which is why always use the same color of paint. I am tackling the carport next week and then the kitchen and then the outside/one side at a time and then the bedroom.... I am looking for one of those hanging from dirigibles type folks to do all our ceilings and the high wire acts that are our 2nd floor. Have fun!!!!

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    1. Fun? Actually I'm starting in on the trim today and it IS kind of fun to see it coming together. I suspect it will become less fun the more days of it I do.

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  4. Thank you for the reason not to own rental property. I knew there was one.

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    1. Well, we only rent to FABULOUS tenants. So far.

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  5. Aaaargh.
    We need to paint. Soon. Ish.
    I so don't want to think about it.
    Drat you.

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  6. The good news is that, the more physical you are, the longer you'll be living the good life. Sounds like you'll be young for a while yet.

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    1. I don't have a lot of aches and pains. I do notice some weird stuff from time to time, but I still feel basically eight. (Until I have to get up after being on the floor with my legs folded under me.)

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  7. Dave knows a good camera angle when he sees one.

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    1. Yes, let's call that a "camera angle."

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  8. AT FIRST I thought the photo was labeled Yes, Dave chose this angel. LOL If he moved that angle just a wee bit, whoa!!!!
    Lesson here, do not climb ladders with loose legged shorts, and if you do---wear underwear.

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    1. I'm just about certain I had underpants on.

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    2. Probably, but hard to tell and so imaginations wander!

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  9. We have that newfangled siding what doesn't need painted. But the doors and window frames and porch rails and trim all do ... dang it.

    By the way, I have shorts just like those, same colour and everything. I thought I had the only pair in the world.

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    1. With the waffle weave? They're a little too capacious so I made them into painting shorts. I've been wearing the same things for two weeks now, and they can all just about stand up by themselves.

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    2. Waffle weave? Oh. Maybe not. (Poor eyesight)

      False alarm!

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  10. Ah, the smell of paint, the ripe language of the painter's assistant, the consternation of the cat whose tail is now bearing stripes...
    This morning i went off to Town and swanned around some art shows.When I cam home, 3 walls of the main bedroom were a new, fresh colour.
    Now I'm looking in the classifieds to see where else I can go...

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    1. Go to the opera. You can get your whole house done.

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  11. Working from home has opened whole new avenues for complaint about colleagues and bosses, I assure you. I still have an employer...and when I don't see 'em every day, it creates a space for genuine dislike. If I saw them all the time, I'd have to remember they're people, too.

    Beyond that: more photos aimed up your shorts, please.

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    1. I'm not at all sure if seeing them all the time means you have to remember they're people. You can see they're really icky people.

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  12. Nice legs. I'm looking at the third photo...
    I've never painted a house in my life. When we (hubby) were in the army they took care of maintenance on housing within barracks grounds, when we eventually built our own home, not physically, there were proper builders, it was brick, like most houses are here and didn't need painting. First hubby and oldest daughter did paint the interior though and did a great job. I paint furniture. Well, I used to.
    Anyway, my younger daughter now lives in a rental and no one is game to even wash down the outside walls, we all think the dirt is the only thing holding that house up.

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    1. Plus you'd be washing away a lot of good wildlife habitat. All sorts of critters are living in there.

      Where I grew up almost all the houses were brick. I left for New England and was entranced by Wooden Houses! In Many Colors! Whee! Now I'm kind of liking the brick again.

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  13. "A little putty and a little paint makes a gal look like what she ain't." True of a house, too.

    Hoping scrub-up time is past and you are relaxing and basking in the wonderful feeling of accomplishment.

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    1. WEElll...for one day, but I have a feeling this project is going to go on well into August.

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  14. I read your post title on a blogroll and had to investigate. Lipstick in a caulking gun would paint a mighty big spread on a face. Might be good for a big faced clown.
    Don't really enjoy painting but I have done enough years ago.
    Now after reading this I believe you enjoyed creating this post with its many good expressions such as "south side is a complete mess, but the same could be said of a lot of us"

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    1. If I didn't enjoy this, it wouldn't happen. Because I'm sure not being paid for it!

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