26 December 2010

Home Improvement

Late November / Early December 2010
The time came to get to work. Much like updating my blog, painting my apartment was a task I wanted to do, but couldn't bring myself to start. And then it just happened. I bought paint. I bought brushes. I bought a ladder. And if I'd had a friend, that friend would have taken a picture of me carrying that ladder home from the hardware store. I was (for some reason) dainty about it, carrying it in the crook of my arm, like a very long and heavy purse. I'm ridiculous. And I digress.

This is about painting, which I actually did. Naturally I made the process infinitely more difficult that it had to be. My apartment had white walls with a recessed ceiling and white trim. If you recall the green draft protector I bought (and here's a picture even if you don't), you can see why. There are all kinds of shades of green and brown involved. While someone with less ambition might have picked one color, I picked two. I decided to paint the walls green and make the trim brown. It was going to be so pretty, in a grown up way. I didn't start to regret my decision until after the tape was up and the paint was on the walls. By then it was too late.

It's not that anything was wrong with the plan, it's just that the green would have looked good with white trim. I had originally gone against it because I was planning for white furniture, and I didn't want the room to look too sterile. I don't know if that makes sense, but that's how my brain works. The only pictures I have are the ones I sent to Kate and my mom, charting my progress. Not pictured was the absolute mess that was my living space. I still had things to give away. I had books and no bookshelf. I had things I had found on Craigslist. Everything was disheveled because my life was disheveled. I was sleeping in a clearing on my bed, much like a hoarder. I had to step around things and on top of stuff just to navigate my estimated 600 square feet. Again, if I'd had a friend, that friend would have taken a picture of me trying to move that ladder from place to place. It was unnecessarily difficult. But I think that made the reward that much sweeter.

Bit by bit, what started as an idea for a distraction became a lovely reality. I dare say I did well. The better it looked, the more I wanted to do. So the more I did. After painting the living room, and the trim therein, painting my bedroom was a joke. It felt like it took no time at all. Once again the color choice was superb and I giggled with pride in myself. Once again, the more I saw what it would become, the more I wanted to finish it. And painting was just the tip of the iceberg.

Bedroom draft protector.

Bedroom trim.

More living room.

And a little more.

I also made a trip to Ikea. I did my research. I knew what I wanted. I knew what I was willing to spend. Yes, I thought to furnish using just Craigslist, but it's I am one person. I can't lift or transport a bookcase. I'm not even going to tell you how I got my new desk. It was not what the kids would call "a good look." I would have loved to have gotten used stuff for less money. But I had trouble finding what I had already decided I wanted. It was frustrating and it was December and I was ready to be done. So I went to Ikea. I bought more than I planned, but eventually made up for it with returns.

I also had good cause to go to the container store, where I got a close up look at the damage San Francisco has done to my car. Do you see those door dings? I am not going to say I did not inflict one for every one received, but I can't think of anywhere else where this is acceptable. It's just what's to be expected here. I even have touch up paint. I just can't think of why I would use it.

So in the span of one week, I painted and I shopped. I created a ridiculously cluttered living situation, just for the fun of having t0 clean it later. But just as I was about to put it all together and realize my vision, I had urgent business in Sacramento.

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