Nov 25 2008
(breadcrumbs are unavailable)
(breadcrumbs are unavailable)
Nov 25 2008
Ladies, forget about sea-salt scrubs and other expensive spa treatments for your skin. Have I got the cutting edge thing for you in skin care… Scotch-Brite pads!
Actually, that’s just my goofy way of introducing the story of how I came to find myself in the shower last Sunday night trying to take off the top couple of layers of my skin with a Scotch-Brite pad. Let me try to explain…
The stratagems to keep me from moving into my place in Portland seem to have reached a full-court press. I first clued in to this fact when Charlie’s friend Ben showed up on our doorstep to visit this weekend and the first words out of his mouth were that he had a friend in Portland who would like to buy my house. I tend to be a little slow on the touchy-feely, intuitive stuff but I get the feeling that means Ben has decided it’d be okay if I kept hanging out with his buddy for the time being.
It gets better, though. When I first came to crash at Charlie’s until the work on my house is complete, I set up a temporary office in his guest room. Every time someone has come to visit, I’ve ended up moving my little electronic shop to either the dining room table or the master bedroom bed.
By way of background, Charlie is enormously house-proud and quite particular about his house, as only a male who hasn’t owned his own place until his mid-thirties can be. He and I have very different preferences when it comes to interior colors. He favors strong colors in cool hues. For example, the his bedroom is a dark burgundy. I tend to steer towards lots of earthtones and warmer blues and greens.
So, needless to say, I was surprised when he came to me a few weeks back and offered to give me the now empty Room for Wayward Boys to use for my office space… and told me, with a minimal number of facial ticks, that I could paint and decorate it however I wished.
The Room for Wayward Boys, as I have affectionately dubbed it, is where a revolving progression of Charlie’s male friends have stayed for various intervals of time when they’ve found themselves in need of a place to live and no funds. It is one of two remaining rooms in the house that have received nothing in the way of TLC since Charlie moved in. It still had 1970′s popcorn on the ceilings and walls yellowed with years of bachelor men chain-smoking and doing god knows what else in the room.
Since I first came to crash this past May, the door to The Room has remained firmly shut at all times except when the random male of the moment was entering or leaving at some strange hour. There have been friends of Charlie’s who’ve stayed in it for weeks at a time who I’ve never actually seen but, rather, merely heard due to the creak of the door sometime after midnight.
Charlie has either tired of being thought of as the flophouse for his social circle or he’s grown serious about me thinking of his place as my home, because he offered me The Room as my own personal space in his house. And I’m allowed to have complete artistic control. Now granted, this may because he’s already used to having the door shut at all times to hide the disaster on the other side. I’m not sure he emotionally acknowledges that The Room is actually part of his house.
Whatever the truth may be, a weekend ago, we ended up spraying down the ceiling and scraping off the popcorn. I had been dreading the task but it ended up being quite a bit of fun. There was something quite satisfying about running a scraper across the ceiling and having the offensive popcorn drop off in large, gooey blobs. Moreover, we had the whole ceiling clean in under an hour.
As a result, I was totally unprepared for how miserable a task the painting was going to be.
Charlie asked if I could keep the ceilings a flat, hard white so that it matched the rest of the house, and, after plastering 17-some-odd paint samples on the wall, I selected a warm Caribbean blue for the remainder of the room. (Leslie, considering you’ve dubbed me “the Queen of all things beige”, I know you’re skeptical. I’ll post pictures when the project is done.)
Anyway, Charlie was attending an event this weekend and I was impatient to make some progress on painting. Charlie had brocaded the ceiling right after we removed the popcorn, so the first order of business was to put two coats of primer over the brocading and then to paint it.
I’ve never painted a room before on my own. The closest I’ve ever come is when my friend Ed moved into a rental house that was in need of some serious fixing up. A group of friends banded together to help him paint. After assessing my relative painting skills, the group unanimously decided to put me in charge of painting the inside of all the closets. Sniff.
Aware of my status as a relative painting virgin, Charlie verbally walked me through the basics before heading out for the day. He neglected to mention one key point, however–don’t roll directly over your head when painting a ceiling.
Now, in my defense, I was smart enough to borrow one of Charlie’s motorcycle bandannas and I braided my hair back so it wouldn’t drift tendrils into the paint tray. (My hair tends to have a mind of its own about that sort of thing.) I also wore pants and a T-shirt I didn’t mind sacrificing to the decorative cause. But I didn’t really grok the whole “don’t standard directly under the roller” concept until I seriously splattered myself more than once. And painting tends to be messy work no matter how cleverly you may approach it.
By the end of the day, I was freckled head-to-toe in little spots of blue and white paint. I had paint flecks in my eyelashes. I had paint between my toes. I’m trying to avoid graphic detail, here… just trust me when I say paint ended up everywhere. Don’t ask me how. It just did. And repeated scrubbings with soap and water just weren’t doing the trick to take the paint off. Which brings me to the Scotch-Brite pads…
Charlie returned home to find me in a steaming hot shower using a Scotch-Brite pad to scour my skin raw. To his credit, after he finished laughing his ass off, he joined me in the shower and helped me scrub the spots I couldn’t see or reach. Which, considering he’s my favorite hunky Brit, was not a bad way to end the day.
After hearing from Charlie more details of my painting debacle than I would have preferred, Ben, who has worked as a professional painter, informed me he was taking over the remaining coats of paint. So while I’m typing up my saga of the Scotch-Brite pad, he’s busy making my den-to-be a cheerful, even blue.
And, strangely enough, even though I keep skeptically peeking into The Room, Ben’s not covered head-to-toe in paint. Go fig.