Monday, October 20, 2014

Spackle Pot and Pizza




I am in the final stage of my kitchen remodel, the painting part. You might think painting is an easy job, you would be wrong. Painting the kitchen involves first, the removal of mounds, and mounds of Mark's kitchen gadgets, containers, and utensils. This is no easy task. As of this moment the dining room table and chairs are all covered with crap that I have removed from the kitchen. I then have to tape off all the areas I do not want paint on, Spackle the holes in the wall where Mark had hung everything from a cuckoo clock to a sack of pecans, and then sand down all the Spackle. There is a lot of Spackle because I have tried to cover the wall paper border in preparation for painting over that crap. My biggest problem is that I have to do this all alone. I have no help. No skinny, shopaholic, sidewalk foreman helping me. Just me... and the dogs. Luckily it's hard to see the paint on their mottled colored fur. It's not like when I was young, in my early twenties, and people would throw painting parties. I can remember a number of those. Some people supplied beer and pizza to entice friends to come and help, others supplied pot and pizza, while the truly brilliant would give each guest one amphetamine pill at the door and hand them a paint brush. You cannot entice people my age to come over and help you paint. No amount of promised wine, vodka, or drugs, which at our age would be Crestor, can get your old fart friends to come over and spend a day painting your kitchen. Not even if they live with you.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Border Skirmish



I don't know who invented wallpaper, but I hope that person is rotting in hell with the guy who invented Linoleum. When Mark suggested wallpaper years ago, I was skeptical. He assured me that it was a great idea and that he knew how to put wallpaper up. He didn't really, but he put it up on the walls anyway. I found out how horrible it is to remove wallpaper a few years later. Back when we were redoing our kitchen in 2001, wallpaper borders along the top of the wall were very much in style. So as a finishing touch, that is what Mark did. He put up a wallpaper border. Now, thirteen years later, it is my job to remove that thing. "Don't worry." Mark tells me, "I bought that new steam machine. It comes with an attachment for removing wallpaper." There are two problems with the steam machine. First of all, steam turns into water when it hits the wall. It then dribbles down onto everything that you do not want to get wet, including the dogs who think I have torn apart the kitchen for their amusement. Secondly, it doesn't work. I tried and tried, but that wallpaper border would not budge. So I got some of that Dif brand wallpaper remover. I did everything in the instructions that I was told to do. I poked holes in the paper, sprayed the Dif on the wall, and waited twenty minutes. It didn't work. After scraping and scraping, all I got was a mess on the wall. I gave up on the Dif and Googled "How to defeat wallpaper" to find out if there was another way. There is. I will paint over that wallpaper border. According to Google I should cover the paper with a coating of 'joint compound' (write your own joke here), sand it down, paint it with primer, and then paint the room. When I advised Mark of my plans I got this, "Sigh, You never do things right. It's going to look like shit."  That tells me that I'm doing the right thing.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Choke on it!



I finished the kitchen back-splash yesterday, but not without drama.
"What is that? You missed a spot." said the man who doesn't do one single bit of the work.
"It's fine." I answered.
"There's another spot you missed. It needs more grout."
"I'm going to caulk it later, you'll never see it. Now leave me alone."
Sigh, "You never do things right. It's going to look like shit." said the man who flirts with his own murder on a daily basis.
"GET THE FUCK OUT OF THE GODDAMNED KITCHEN. LEAVE THE DAMN HOUSE NOW!" replied the man with anger issues, which the other man knows about and for entertainment purposes screws with him constantly.
When I work on a home project I have found that it is best that I'm all alone. Sure I could cut my fingers off or electrocute myself and have nobody around to help me, but those are the chances I'll take for the peace and quiet. Mark constantly checks on what I'm doing and throws his two cents in as if I were a penny gumball machine. The biggest problem is that Mark watches HGTV as filler between his favorite Bravo television shows. HGTV fills his head with crazy ideas that he expects me to fulfill. His latest is that he wants the living room painted. I just painted the goddamned thing a couple of years ago.
"It isn't that hard to paint the room. Besides, on The Property Brothers they say you should never have 'specific' colors." said the man who picked that 'specific' color and filled the living room with enough clutter to choke a hoarder. Hmmm... choking, there's an idea.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Waking Dead



I was sitting in my big fluffy chair a couple of weeks back, watching The Strain on television, and from behind me I heard this.
"What is that? Oh my god, aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhh.....  "
It was Mark screaming and running out of the room. Mark cannot handle gory, scary, TV shows and he just happened to wander by while one of the vampire beasts was feeding on some poor schmuck. Between The Strain and The Walking Dead there must be a shortage of stage blood in Hollywood, they use a lot of it. I am not above feeling like Mark does about the gore. I just have to keep telling myself that it's only a television show. Monday evening I started watching the latest episode of The Walking Dead. It was pretty intense when they dragged some of the people into a blood stained room, but what I was looking at were some new characters in the show. I was thinking, 'Oh, there's a nice looking blond guy...' and then they hit him in the head with a bat. I had forgotten one of the cardinal rules of horror shows. If an unknown person is brought into a scene, they will not survive very long. That was about ten minutes into the episode. I turned it off. I had forgotten one of my cardinal rules about horror shows. I never watch them at night, only in the daytime. I need those extra hours to flush that crap out of my mind. Sure enough, I had some horrible dreams Monday night and I'm not talking about the usual bad dreams that revolve around Mark.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

I'm an Idiot



If you remember, last week I tore out my kitchen sink, counter, and base cabinets. Behind them was a leak of some kind and to save a little money, instead of a plumber, I hired my neighbor to find and fix the leak. I knew he was out of work and needed the money. While he was poking around the kitchen plumbing he asked me who was going to install the cabinets, counter, and sink. The answer is that I was. He continued to hint around that he might be able to do it, so in a fit of laziness I hired him for the job. It was a simple enough task and I asked him to make sure of only one thing, that the wall behind the sink was sealed shut. I didn't want any damn rats finding their way into the kitchen. He assured me that he was quite adept at such things and I had nothing to worry about. He'd be over Saturday morning at nine to do the job. Sure enough, at ten thirty in the morning on Saturday he showed up, with a helper. For the next ten hours he and his helper fiddled with things, banged on things, and argued. It sounded like Ralph and Alice Kramden in there. They were making me nervous so I stuck my head into the kitchen early on and reminded them that the wall needed to be buttoned up good. Later, when the arguing got particularly loud between neighbor and helper, I looked in on them again.
"It's got to come this way more."
"No, it needs to go back towards the wall."
"You're nuts."
"Alan, you realize you have an uneven wall here don't you?"
Ah, it was the oldest trick in the book. Make the home owner feel it's somehow their fault that things aren't working out. To make a long story a bit shorter, at the end of the day they managed to slap everything together. I had my new kitchen cabinet, new counter, and new sink. Unfortunately, the counter was one half inch higher on one end than it was on the other, the sink was installed without caulking around it, and under the counter, where I specifically had said I wanted the wall sealed, there were gaping holes for the rats to come and visit. So on Sunday, instead of watching football, I straightened out the counter, and caulked the sink. I still have to crawl under that sink to patch the holes in the wall. I'm such an idiot.

...Oh, and one more thing. At one point when they were going in and out of the kitchen, Bette disappeared.  It was when I was sitting in the living room eating a sandwich with Chandler drooling in front of me that I noticed she was missing. There should always be two dogs drooling. After searching the house and the back yard, I went to the front door. Bette was sitting outside waiting patiently for me to come and let her in. I am an idiot.