Dreaded Jobs

my preferred tool, operational side up (you are looking at the pad which applies the paint)

Some days are better than others, and I enjoy some things more than others. For instance, the daily blog has started to seem a drag, especially when this is the only writing I get accomplished (not the blogʼs fault, really, on that count). I may be running out of ideas, but itʼs also not the fun I was having back there in the wintery months. On the other hand, sitting at the computer and typing away beats many other things — digging ditches (a job I actually held for about a week back in college, trenching by hand for cable TV cables in a newish neighborhood in Mt. Pleasant), baling hay (another teen-torture job I did several summers ending high school and starting college; of course hay baling is much more mechanized nowadays) or pulling tassels (the detasseling season around here is evidently ended as of late last week; I enjoyed running a detasseling cutting machine, however: solo work, far less physical — all good things to me), paying bills, listening to Glenn Beck spew infamy insanely…

Or painting. I have found that, although I am actually pretty good at it (after all these years I had better be), I really donʼt like to paint. I have painted sets (horrible work, especially on aged canvas flats) two to five times a year for about forty years. As of retirement, I would not miss painting another set. Ever. (And even though I performed in two plays during the last twelve months, not a construction task nor painting chore did I do — nor lighting, either. I did my duty striking sets with a whole heart, but I did evade the creation drudgeries.) However, theatrical painting is a choice: you choose to participate. Chores around the house are not selectable. I am involved, like it or not.

Janet has had it in mind for quite a while that we were going to redo our kitchen. I think I have mentioned it before on the blog (and you can just do the dirty work for yourselves and search it out manually for now), but with some preliminary operations and then a long delay because of heat and humidity, the time to pull out the brushes (painting pad in my case) arrived Saturday morning. She arose early, not long after 7:00, I think. I slept in until about 9:00. Stumbling bleary-eyed into the kitchen, I dimly perceived the telltale signs of blue painterʼs tape around some of the trim. I did get to take a shower and shave, but with no morning coffee (she had decided not to make any), I get to work trimming cupboards, countertops, appliances and heating devices with the blue masking tape.

the reverse (assuming the previous photo showed the obverse of the painting pad)

She stirred our month-old paint (pretty much the same color as what was on the walls already, but a shade more creamy, which she declared, “warmed everything up,” and I of course believe her), and got to work with small brushes on the detail work. I pulled out my now-antiquated painting pad (still with the original pad) and my trusty red plastic roller pan (but no rollers for me, ever, thank you very much; I can spatter paint where I donʼt want it well enough/too easily enough on my own, although significantly less so since I discovered the painting pad) and got to work on the large expanses of walls.

The eggshell paint seemed to go on streaky to me, but with a little more care and some redoing, I got the first wall to look pretty good. Then to work around the northern windows, trickier but still pretty smooth. Off across the kitchen to the entry area: also a pretty simple and painless chore, cramped within the three sides of the not-a-corridor at the top of our steps to the basement. Finally, as our homemade kitchen design left our refrigerator crunched uncomfortably against the stove (when we redid our kitchen, we got not just very poor but nonexistent advice from the cabinet store, so our kitchen design is my own; thatʼs why itʼs worth more than you know to pay my friend Kevin at Wileyʼs Interiors to actually create an intelligent design for your kitchen or bath), I got to crawl over the refrigerator to apply paint delicately to the visible wall between the appliance and the cabinet overhead and also into the slender space between the top of the stove and the microwave (the latter needing another coat, I was just apprised).

So itʼs (mostly) done. On Sunday we shall have removed the blue tape (we learned many jobs ago to let the paint really, truly dry before you remove your masking tape) and restored all the furniture and stuff to the kitchen and dining room. I will redo the over-stove space at my leisure. Janet is happy (the most important aspect of this situation), and Iʼll have at least a month or so before she lets me know of whatever room now needs our painterly attention (the last was this office about eighteen months ago, which I did on my own while she was at work).

I havenʼt changed my opinion, however, no matter how quickly or simply this job seemed to go. I donʼt like to paint. No wonder some people make a living — a good one — doing it for others.

©2010 John Randolph Burrow, Magickal Monkey Enterprises, Ltd, S.A.

3 thoughts on “Dreaded Jobs

  1. you have my sympathy, especially since i am planning to move into another apartment a few weeks from now and therefore will have to follow your example (or maybe Janets 🙂 , which is more probable)

    even though you might not enjoy writing the blog, I really enjoy reading it.

    • Thanks for reading, Chris! I appreciate your interest deeply. (And the blog isnʼt bad at all: I was simply resenting my self-imposed discipline of posting something daily.)

      Enjoy your move and the necessary home improvements!

  2. I agree painting is not my favorite chore. For me the last couple days have been spent making hay. If the weather holds off of rain, maybe I can get it bailed today.

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