Monday, February 28, 2011

Master Class

This weekend I met a guy who fixes up houses professionally and who knows his stuff and actually seems to enjoy it, so I took advantage of his good nature and showed him the bathroom and asked every question I could think of (to the annoyance of his girlfriend and my wife, who just wanted me to shut up so that we could all leave for lunch)--probably a thousand questions or so, and today I've thought of another thousand that I wish I had asked and that I intend to ask in the future.

Otherwise, on Saturday I finished cutting and installing most of the furring strips for the shower; these strips of board, in various thicknesses, fit onto the studs so that the finished tile wall ends up inside the tub. Pretty important stuff.

I also installed the shower place-holder pipe, which I'll replace with the shiny, curvy pipe and the shower head once everything is done. Since I'm overly cautious about every single thing I do, the project is progressing at a painfully slow pace.

I remember back to my days in college, back when I spent hours and hours in the practice rooms working on piano and violin. A well-known violinist came to school to give a master class. She stood on the stage before 20 or 30 of us and played something really incredible and beautiful on her violin. Then she said, simply, "Playing the violin is easy. Playing music is hard."

Something in the pit of my stomach knew what she meant: "Until playing the violin is easy, you will never actually play real music because you will be too distracted struggling with your stubby fingers and little brains. So just give up, and quit wasting your time."

Fortunately I've learned to accept my limitations. And I try to keep an open mind and learn new things. Yes, home renovation is easy. Creating a new bathroom, one you can be proud of, is hard. But it is possible.

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