Friday, November 04, 2005

aiieeeeeee!

that's the more printable version of what i screamed when i came flying off a ladder this week. (actually, surprisingly, that's not far off- i resisted the urge to use my favorite word, as there were little ears elsewhere in the house.)

which reminds me, that's something else for my upcoming "100 things" post, which i'm still
working on- and by working, i mean that i have about seven little scraps of paper with random facts about myself scribbled on them. i know the present location of about two of those pieces of paper, though i suspect a third is a lot.....cleaner, as i'm pretty sure i forgot to check the pockets of my last intact pair of jeans before i tossed them into the laundry earlier this week.

also scribbled on those little scraps of paper are various songs i've heard this week on the xm 80s channel. (i'm still quite loyal to regular radio, but since my employers don't own any of those sorts of old-fashioned gadgets, channel eight it is.) in fact, when was the last time you heard "the curly shuffle" by jump 'n the saddle? how about donny osmond's "soldier of love"? (i am mildly insulted that "soldier of love" is considered a golden oldie.....i mean, it was released in 1989, for goodness sake.)

oh. my. god. were that song a child, it would be driving right now.

anyway, where was i? songs...scraps of paper.....ah yes- home improvement week and my boundless klutziness.

so anyway, lately most of my time at the workplace has been spent taking care of various "home improvement" tasks. i have spackled. i have sanded. i have primed. i have sanded. i have respackled after sanding too far. i have resanded. i have reprimed. i have pried off drawer handles, towel bars, and toilet paper holders. i am now a wallpaper-stripping fool. however, my reason for living lately has been the repainting of a remodeled bathroom. (i love painting, so i'm all over this particular task.)

with painting, however, come a few occupational hazards. i know, i know- most people can haul out a can of paint, couple of brushes, and slap the paint up on the walls without incident. most people are not klutzy, like me.

let's back up a little and spend a moment or two discussing the preparation of this room for the painting that i am thoroughly enjoying, shall we?

the toilet has been removed from its little area of the bathroom, which makes it far easier to strip wallpaper and paint the wall. the little screws that hold the throne in place had it in for me on day one of the de-wallpapering project. you see, when i was younger, we were not allowed to run around without shoes. as a result, i tend to be barefoot, unless i'm in the car, because, quite frankly, driving barefoot just isn't pleasant. so, naturally, i was stripping wallpaper barefoot......and stepped on one of those damned screws. thankfully, i escaped without a puncture wound or tetanus, and (so far) my foot has not turned green and fallen off at the ankle.
nowadays, they have little tools to poke holes in the wallpaper, so the stuff you spray on to break down the glue can penetrate the paper and whatnot.

when you leave one of those pokey things on the floor and then step on it, it is able to penetrate your foot, as well. (don't ask me how i know- let's just say i tend to learn things the hard way. however, the wounds have healed quite nicely- thanks for asking.)

after the wallpaper has had adequate time to soak up the magical anti-glue spray, you can either pull the paper down by hand, or jab at it with a putty knife. as the paper drops to the floor, it is important to remember what hazards lie underneath. (that would be toilet screw: 2, duff: a big fat zero....and a band-aid, if you can spare one, please.)

after the wallpaper has been stripped, you need to wander around with a wet sponge, dabbing at the bits of paper that stayed behind on the wall, as well as the glue that was immune to the magical anti-glue spray. (speaking of the spray, i should mention that spraying it above your head is not a good idea. i'm not exactly sure what's in it, but the fan was blowing, i was spraying, and suddenly.....let's just say i would not exactly like to drink a tall glass of magical anti-glue spray with my dinner this evening. perhaps i could have some ice water instead? thanks.)

so anyway, i'm dabbing, and picking at the stubborn paper with my fingernails, which now have globs of wallpaper glue underneath them and dammit- there goes another fingernail. (broken fingernails don't normally bother me, but i'm going for effect here, so let's just run with it, okay?)
post-picking and scraping, there's that time-honored pre-painting tradition: spackling. i consider myself a fairly skilled spackler. personally, i prefer rubbing the spackle into cracks and holes with my fingers, but i suppose some of that has to do with my fondness for making messes, which is why teaching two year olds had its appeal. when rubbing spackle, one must not stop for any reason to rub/scratch their nose (and heaven forbid you should pick it. i shudder to think what would happen then.....), as spackle is very hard to remove from one's face, especially when one is trying to make oneself presentable for a meeting with a new avon customer taking place in "oh-crap-iwas-supposed-to-be-there-five-minutes-ago!" o'clock. (exfoliating scrub works well, which is why i now carry a little tube of it with me at all times.......as if i has room in my bag for it, but that's okay, because i don't really need to carry my entire lip balm collection with me at all times, especially when it's still 80 degrees during the day down here. (i like snow, too, but i must admit, i like wearing shorts in november.) but i digress....yeah, again.....)

so, i got most of the spackle off, and splattered enough paint on myself the past couple of days to cover up the rest...which is good, because the bottoms of my feet were somewhat protected when the globe over the light bulb wound up about eight feet closer to the ground than its intended location- and in about 100 more pieces, too. (no need to worry- i cleaned it all up- by hand, foot, and vacuum- except for the piece i found this afternoon, as i danced around the bathroom, brush in hand, to the sweet, soulful sounds of lisa lisa and cult jam...but i'm digressing again.)

which brings me to the ladder....which, by the way, was fully responsible for the relocation of the light fixture- i was merely an innocent bystander, who stood there watching, horrified, as the hunk of frosted glass fell to the ground and shattered, all in slow motion. there i was the other night, barefoot, covered in primer, balancing on the top of the ladder (well, not the top, since they put all those warnings on ladders nowadays about how standing on the top of the ladder will lead to certain death, followed by a trip on the midnight express to the fiery place, all because you didn't do as you were told and confine your activities to the lower 2/3 of the ladder......) with one foot on the windowsill, right arm fully extended to put a dab of paint in this one corner i can almost reach and let me strectch just a little more, i can almost reach it....which i did, but then i tried to turn around on the ladder, half of which was in the bathtub, which made it slightly less than stable, and suddenly i'm making contact with said tub with a bit more force than usual and trying to keep the ladder from squishing me- and denting the wall, which, of course, will require more spackling, but that's okay, because i probably have some on my nose anyway.

somehow, i doubt bob vila covered these sorts of things on "this old house".

9 comments:

Jo said...

Oh dear.....

Carla said...

GOOD LORD, GIRL!

How the hell have kept from being killed by all these accidents!

duff said...

thanksfully, i have managed to escape major injury thus far. (i'm hoping my luck holds out a bit longer.)

long time, no see- how have you ladies been?

Carla said...

Oh, ya know, the usual...

I've been meaning to tell you - you need to change your link to my site. I abandoned Blogger. The old site is still there, but I jumped to WordPress.

http://sappychick.wordpress.com

.: raven :. said...

i LOVE XM radio ...

Channel 41 ~ The BoneYard is my favorite .. followed by the 80s of course ...

but where else could you hear

XYZ ~ What Keeps Me Loving You ....

*swoon*

duff said...

carla: the change has been made- sorry i didn't get that taken care of sooner.

raven: i cannot believe you just swooned on my blog.

but it's okay...as long as there's nothing to clean up afterwards.

.: raven :. said...

lmao .... now THAT was funny

just thinking said...

good lord !

This does not encourage me to get up on the ladder to clean my gutters...

Which I have been delaying for several weeks.

Hmmmmmmmm.....

duff said...

raven: thanks- i try.

just thinking: i'd offer to clean them for you when i'm back in missouri around thanksgiving, but only if your gutters aren't too far off above the ground, just in case.