Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Lessons from DIY and manual labor.

I've learned a LOT about DIY stuff in the past month. For example, I now know what "DIY" stands for, although I have yet to learn how to pronounce it. (I like "DIE.") I think it seems mostly about owning a bunch of tools, and knowing what other tools exist out there in the world.

I wish that music was like that. I wish that every time I had a new session or gig, I could reasonably say, "Hmmmmm... yes.... well, I'm going to need a 42-key pink accordion with a MIDI out for this gig. Better go out and buy one." That seems to be how DIY works. When you need to "route" something (which does not involve using the GPS feature on your iPhone, by the way), you run to the store and buy a router. Apparently, buying a bunch of tools is still cheaper than paying someone else to do it for you. Then you can route all kinds of things. My piano might need some routing.

My new favorite tool is the caulk gun. You might say that I am the Queen of Caulk (but please don't say it out loud). FWT was doubtful when he gave me the menial task of caulking a baseboard last week, but by the time he turned his head, I'd not only caulked the entire bathroom, but was contemplating every tiny crack in the house. It seems a lot like cake decorating to me, but FWT says I shouldn't be piping roses in the doorways. I say, "Boooooooooring."

Anyway, ever since we got home (our emergency project was elsewhere), all I see is places that need caulking. Most of the baseboards could use a fresh bead (check out my lingo!), obviously, but also a few windows and doors. The caulk gun, however, has been hidden from me, and I suppose I should be focusing on all the work I got behind on during this DIY project, anyway.

Other things I learned:

They have Iron-On WOOD!! Seriously. Strips of real wood rolled up like tape that you just stick on the side of shelving and iron it on, then stain or paint or whatever. And it looks all smooth and stuff. I'm not sure if it's easier than sanding or not, but it sure looks nice.

I don't like manual labor. At all. My fingers are how I make a living, and things like blood blisters and crunchy, numbing pain from hours of painting are just not cool.

Audiobooks are the only thing that keeps my attention long enough to get an entire room painted.

A week of hard labor means a week of grabbing meals on-the-go. I'm dining in the rest of the week. (Except for Chuy's.)

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