Monday, July 19, 2010

Week Four, Day One

Working out the balance between student/paraprofessional and part-time home contractor has proven tricky indeed. Today was a prime example: I woke up at the reasonable hour of seven thirty to prepare hash browns and coffee. This was after a night of clutching a spray bottle full of water aimed at my ever-pouncing kitten's face (I'm allowed to say this without it being deemed kitten torture--I'm vegan). Of course, housing projects wait for no potatoes, so in the interludes between cooking and eating, I did edging and rolling of "prairie willow" green paint in the bathroom. I was hurrying to get it painted so that I could install the vanity later in the evening. This proved to be a mistake, and leads to my listing some things that I learned today:

1. It takes considerably longer to spot-remove paint with noxious paint remover than it does to paint correctly the first time. Lesson: do not paint in a hurry.
2. That being said, wall patch is an excellent cure-all for most minor house problems. It is duct-tape's cute but unremarkable cousin. Lesson: if you must hurry, plaster will help to cover the areas where you ripped off bits of paint in frustration.
3. Big Lots has paint rollers for 75 cents each. Lesson: don't reuse the same roller countless times. Lumps of roller fuzz smashed under the paint cannot be passed off as a decorative finish. I have tried it. No one is convinced.

My fourth lesson of the day occurred on my now-daily visit to the hardware store. Having finally settled on a store that I found to be moderately acceptable, my hopes were high that the sales associates would be able to telepathically determine the pipes that I would need to do the set-up of the bathroom vanity. This was not the case. Of course, this did not deter me from purchasing a small array of pipes, none of which fit properly. I think my referring to the drain plug as a "trap" was incredibly upsetting to the sales person, who continually corrected me and demanded that I magically determine the width of the unmeasured pipe through some sort of information osmosis. The whole conversation was permeated with the vague sense that young, unknowledgeable women need not attempt plumbing work, or set foot into the hardware store for that matter. His incredulous "you are going to install this?" was impetus enough for me to decide that my hands only would install that sink.

By the time I got home and determined that a 1.25 to 1.5 converter was needed to complete the job, some of my vehement anger about gender roles had worn off. Sometimes even the most competent of women needs some assistance. Thus, I have come full circle today: I need not be the sole laborer in home-repair nor do I need to be the "perfect" graduate student. Tomorrow, sloth!

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