April 3rd, 2006


Lessons Learned

Painting a room is a weekend project. If the room has a great many cupboards that require primer, it may be a weekend and a half project.

Painting two rooms is a two weekend project. At least.

Shopping for stuff for a new house and moving small stuff over and fixing the leaky faucet and installing new deadbolts and hanging blinds and putting in the new fume hood and all the little fiddly stuff required for habitation is a weekend project.

Having Friday off does not constitute an additional effective weekend unit (WU) It is not even a half WU, as one might expect. For some reason bearing no resemblance to the laws of time and space, it is at best a quarter WU.*

On the regrettable chance that you are working on the weekend of Daylight Savings Time adjustment in spring, the loss of one hour, which should logically constitute a forty-eighth of a WU, instead manages to eat at least a tenth of a WU. The hour lost to Daylight Savings time, therefore, is worth almost half a Friday. Go figure.

Attempting to paint two rooms, one of which had the aforementioned cupboards, as well as moving stuff over and getting the house ready for habitation, cannot be accomplished in 1.15 WUs. The labor that one might think one could share between projects in fact multiplies exponentially.

Attempting to cram this labor into 1.15 WUs anyway will result in suffering beyond the ken of mortal man, best expressed by the poet James, who layeth upon his back like one dead, and spake thus, saying "I'm gonna sleep like a pile of shit tonight...and I think somebody just stepped in me."

So there's primed cupboards, and a primed (hopefully) family room. The paint gods willing, (these are different paint gods than the usual, requiring the sweat of one's brow as sacrifice, instead of my usual deities, like Our Lady of Photoshop, who prefer mental anguish and small drawings of squid.) the family room will get done before we move the big stuff next weekend, as attempting to paint around the furniture is not to be considered.

My thighs, from hours crouching on counters taping off the ceiling and the cupboard edges, feel like somebody has carefully seperated out each major muscle group, wrapped it neatly in barbed wire, and snapped it back into place with a rubbery "SNOCK!--pbbm...pbbmmm...pbmmmmmm...." sound.

But I shall overcome! The paint has not yet been mixed that will defeat me!**

*Look for my Theory of Special Weekend Relativity coming soon to a science journal near you!

**Okay, okay, the LATEX based paint has not been mixed. With oils, all bets are off.

The Devil's Wife

As is usual, the day I pick to do some moving, it starts pouring rain. It's one of those downpours so intense that you can only drive at ten miles an hour, and when you finally get home, the fifteen feet from car to house leaves you drenched to the bone. About all you can do is resign yourself, get in the house, peel your soggy clothes off, and head straight into the shower. And then blog while you wait for the weather to clear.

However, for a brief period this morning, we experienced that Southern weather classic, where the sun is blazingly bright, behind a thin skin of cloud, and it's raining, so you can watch rain drops splatter the concrete in your own sharp-edged shadow. It's unsettling and weird, and the Southern colloquialism (albeit rather archaic now) for this weather is "The Devil's beating his wife."

James and I learned this awhile ago and have been using it with glee ever since, because it is So Damn Weird.

This morning, while bored and driving, I began pondering the theological ramifications. You never hear about the Devil's wife. Lilith, Adam's first wife, gets a lot of popular press, but one generally hears about Satan as a bachelor. Who's this battered spouse suffering untold indignities whenever it's sunny and raining?
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