I am a giant. Pull a weed, beat the dirt out of it,and give the weed a fling. I'm a savage giant. Weeds must die. I carve out small pieces of time to landscape during the day – keeping the shovel by the back door to save the walk to the shed. Offline is a new luxury. Most days, I've got my face in a camera, mind in a computer, and come days end head on a pillow before my child is asleep. Making the best of time, no action without a purpose - happiness. I have an unquiet mind, to slow it to silence, I let it daydream in the right garden. I'm planting ferns and moving rocks to keep the ferns company. This work soothes me. I love rocks and feel I'm doing them a favor when I move them. A rock in the same place for 100,000 years, it's bound to be grateful for a new view . It's good to move rocks far, so they don't have to live next to their ex-spouses another 100,000 years – that's the feeling I get. But, there was a rock who ran. As I carried a stack of rocks to the fern wall, a little rock rolled off the top. I hear it skittering down the hillside screaming, “ Mommy - Mommy Mommy, Mommy! I love my job as a giant.
Remarks by George Furman
Woeful, grieved, frustrated, hopeful, exhausted... I can't find the word, can't identify the emotion I feel. I'm stuck here with the kitchen sink. The sink will be deck ridden for a week, no way around it. Redoing the kitchen counter, I came up short one-stinking-gallon of epoxy. I've got to wait for delivery. (No, I'm not paying for expedited – fool.) I'm remodeling the kitchen myself with raw stubbornness and I'm doing it on the cheap. The new white epoxy counters look fantastic - I do say so – but they need the dread legendary third coat to achieve excellence. I'm motivated toward excellence. I've been living the pizza and hot dogs life for too many weeks – blurred. I have had enough of the living in chaos experience and was hoping I'd be done. Seen the finish line moved too many times. I was sure to be done yesterday – wrong. When I realized a third coat was dictated by the situation, it was the feeling of “OH man, five minutes before spring break and the teacher just slapped homework down..” That experience has a word, a specific emotional word like irritated, exasperated, exhausted . I know the word, it's the TREATMENT! Bring the treatment, this kitchen is going to be excellent. I'm committed... and the sink makes a good foot stool while noshing on za & wings.
I'm playing the long game – or trying to. It's faster to fix things myself without stopping to teach my kid what to do, but that's not the long game. I force myself to slow down and take 10 minutes out to expose Morgan to new things. This week it's soldering lessons. The first lesson is for exposure, the second lesson for understanding and the third to master the skill. ( I use “master the skill” loosely.) My expectation is, by teaching her to solder now – or any skill – she won't need me in the future. I'm investing 10 minutes here and there in the belief that is will save me hours and days 10 years from now. The phone won't ring with a call for “Dad come fix my kitchen sink” . She'll know how to do the job. I also hope her boyfriend 10 years from now won't know how to do the job – that's worth points. My daughter is learning to be an independent woman. Independence, what a great idea.
I'm not good at fixing things. I wish we didn't live in a world where stuff is designed to break – we don't – so I'm at it with the Universal all-in-one toilet repair kit. I read the directions, one step at a time – calm and methodical. At step 4 I hit a problem. I miss placed a bolt – 3 holes, 2 bolts, and five washers – not right. I've been neat and tidy laying out tools and supplies in an obsessive way. A long search, no bolt. “Improvise Furman”, says my ego. I scavenge the old bolt out of the trash – a weeks trash does not stir me after I've had my head in the toilet. I find the old bolt, install it and reading on, the subtext to Step 4, “The kit contains 2 extra rubber washers for toilets that have 3 bolts. If you need a third bolt, reuse one of your existing bolt sets along with the new rubber washers supplied.” That corporate bastard! He skimped on bolts, burned my patience. How much money did he save, 5 cents? Five cents multiplied by a million toilet kits – he bought a beach house. At step seven, the toilet instructions start to brag about the high-performance flapper. I'm still mad about looking for the bolt and the bastards beach house, now images of him with a $1,000 escort in a 1920's flapper dress have burned me further. I refocus and finish the task. I flush the toilet and water exploded from the bottom. I needed a tank to bowl gasket, NOT SUPPLIED in the Universal all-in-one toilet repair kit. It made me express my limited French vocabulary and I've now quit for the night. Won't get around to fixing the toilet till next Sunday. Piss in a bucket! I hope the bastards wife catches him getting his Great Gatsby stirred by his high-performance flapper.
I don't like sanding drywall - put that drywall on the ceiling and I'm in Poseidon's dungeon of wet misery. I have to come up for air more frequently than I used to 20 years ago. I'm running out of breaks to invent.I did the music change shuffle too many times. Tried Chill, didn't even make it to the ladder. Touched Beethoven's 9th for an ouch I put my finger on the stove hot second. I'm done with the 9th, Free Bird, and the Piano Man for life. I think. I played some Bowie and that got me to work scouring hard plaster. Bowie couldn't keep me in the head space long enough. Started surfing music again. A few rounds of the up & down the ladder dance and I accepted the need to shuffle and cope. I got hungry. I'm remodeling the kitchen, so it's aa 35 second radioactive hot dog and swigging root beer out of the 2 liter – side crushed in. This is construction. The hot dog had a whole wheat bun because my Ex will haunt me to the brimstone. Two thirds of the kitchen sanded and I felt the need to write about my drywall experience as the root beer gets down to the foamy swill. I'm self aware now and acknowledge the need to get back to Poseidon's suck. But wait – though I know the need to urgently get back to work - I'd like to talk about the new improvements in drywall sanding sponges...
I'm at the finish line for remodeling my house - as far as big projects go. I seriously miscalculated in my plans. I expected a new counter top would cost me $150. I did my homework but did it casually. The failure was to not calculate charges for special cuts and the sad fact that the counter top is hard to match - 16 years old. The quote was $510 for one counter top. Denied. Did some Winnie-the-pooh thinking and bought $160 of epoxy and set to making my own counter tops. I'd rather do it myself. I'm not into perfection. I'm into character – which is code for, I make a lot of mistakes but turn them to my favor. Art, that's what controlled mistakes are. I love epoxy. It is just like paint, except its permanent and a blow torch has to be used to pop bubbles as the epoxy cures. How fun is that? Fire! I've got the seal coat ( prime ) on the counter now. Bubbles have been bursting faster than recent college graduates discovering what entry level salaries really are. At 8 PM, it is flood-coat time. When the bell chimes, there is going to be more serious torch action. Die bubbles, die!