Thursday, June 21, 2012

Thinking of Jellyfish

The floors are done, and I only have the threshold to finish. I'm using one of the oak boards that I pulled up from the original kitchen floor, which looked about as pitiful as you can imagine, at least on the surface. After I shaved off about 1/8 inch from the top, it looked as bright and cheerful as a new sapling.

To celebrate, Cheryl and I are in California, visiting with our cool little niece and her parents (also cool), and hanging out in Monterey and Carmel with Cheryl's parents, who have come to play golf at Pebble Beach only to be turned away because the place is so crowded.

Willow is at home, pleased that we are away because she gets to spend time with Lauren, our dog-sitter.

I took a video of jellyfish in the Monterey Bay Aquarium, and then I uploaded it to YouTube. But then I forgot my password and couldn't find the video. Searching on the words "Jellyfish" and "Monterey" I found about a thousand other videos of jellyfish at the aquarium, and this one is almost exactly like mine.

The implications of this are pretty clear. I rarely have an original thought or moment, no matter how I pretend otherwise. Countless other Fred's have Cheryl's in Carmel, with Willows back home. In fact, I'm guessing that several other people are typing these same words at this instant. The internet can be so cruel.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Painter at Heart

My favorite paint brush is made from natural hair, but I have no idea about the origin. The very best brushes (those used by artists) are made from the Siberian weasel (or sable). Mine is probably made from horse hair or goat hair or maybe even squirrel or possum hair. I never buy the most expensive thing in the store.

Yesterday Willow wanted to watch as I put another coat of paint on the baseboards upstairs. Project managers do this sometimes, I'm guessing, because they get bored with their "managing." They get nostalgic about those days before they traded in their craft and became a boss, those days when they were younger.

I knew that in Willow's case her younger self was a painter, and so I wasn't surprised when she wanted to come and watch me paint.

But as with any type of nostalgia--like with a middle-aged accountant who played football in high school or an old programmer who was once a musician--the old memories can sometimes seep into the present moment so that we believe we are young again and doing the things again that we once did well.

So while I wasn't looking, Willow took up her old natural-hair brush and began helping me with the baseboards. Yes, she still has a great brush, but I see now why see went into management.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

The Plum People

I've spent the past couple evenings putting down the shoe molding around the crazy angles in the hallway. Not one of them was at 90 degrees, though my photo isn't very helpful in making the case.

These baseboards didn't have shoe molding when when moved in. For some reason, Cheryl has a thing about shoe molding (or quarter-round)--she's been griping about the hallway for years.

With each step of work I get a better picture of the previous owners. The people who painted the bathroom green, for example, were very neat and tidy people. They put putty in the V-grooves of the bathroom door to make them more uniform, and now, after spending 2 days stripping the door and cleaning out the grooves, I realize what a completely worthless exercise I've been on. I should never have removed the putty because now I need to putty the grooves again, and I won't do as good a job as the Green people.

No, I should have stopped stripping at the plum layer. The Plum people made a real mess of things; now that I know their personalities, I can see their handiwork elsewhere in the house, and I intend to yank it all out.

Then last week, during a fierce downpour, water started pouring into the master bedroom from inside the wall. I'm not prepared to discuss it yet.