Two very interesting, yet activity-divergent, events took place last weekend. One of them brought money in. The other took it right back out. I will now elaborate.
THING ONE: PAID WEDDING CRASHING
Several months ago, a friend propositioned me. Not for that (sheesh!), but for this: in a surprising fashion, play a song for my friend’s wedding. Just one song, but it’s a surprise. And there is payment in your future should you accept. The proposition was more detailed and eloquent and bereft of sentence fragments, but you (the reader of this post) get the gist, right?
I’m always a little reticent in doing side work like this. Freelance is something I do so rarely that each time an opportunity comes up to make some cash on the side via my latent yet AWESOME powers, I always instinctively freeze a bit. Am I sure I want to take the time to work on it? How much do I charge? What if I end up getting cold feet halfway through? What about…time travel?
Anyway, despite having several months to waffle or balk or bail or whatnot, I said yes, enlisted a friend to help who had performed similar services with me in recent years, and didn’t waffle or balk or bail or even think about performing some dreaded and ill-defined whatnottance. Instead, several practices later, there we both were, setting up our gear in as inconspicuous a manner possible on a moderately-sized balcony at a local brewing company’s restaurant.
The waiting, Tom Petty, is indeed the hardest part, as your mind plays tricks on you and your pulse races. We paced a little, idly chatted, and furtively glanced at the balcony from a lower vantage point, exchanging that occasionally with a similarly furtive glance toward a gated area nearby that would presumably produce a bride in the near future. Indeed, it did. After a cue we had previously agreed upon was met, we both went up a back way to grab our respective stringed instruments, and made our way to where we had our amplification set up, helpfully occluded by a throng of well-wishing guests. I gave the universal sign to cause the ones in the back from avoiding any further commotion, we both plugged in, and then…we waited some more. Finally, the coordinator gave us the really real real cue and the song went into motion. Despite a cold permeating the voice of the lead singer, it went off without a hitch. People seemed pleasantly surprised, and the couple displayed amiable smiles and tears of joy. The anxiety finally died down and our mission was accomplished.
Post-mission, we even got to hang out for a bit. Three tasty beers, a gentle smorgasbord of appetizers later (including some seriously triumphant shrimps-on-a-stick), and some friend chattery, I felt as much a part of the wedding as someone who knew almost no one there could possibly feel. The hospitality was exemplary. Oh, and cash money. Cash…money.
THING TWO: STRUCTURAL COLOR APPLICATION
I’m not a fan of painting. The manual labor and sweating and general feeling that OMG PAINT IS GETTING EVERYWHERE BUT THE THING WE’RE PAINTING kind of overwhelms me at times. I’m a fan of color, and of walls, and of colored walls. I’m not a fan of painting.
Regardless, our primarily white interior house walls are significantly less white now. The test squares placed squarely beside our TV in the living room have served as a constant reminder of what could be, but is presently only sorta kinda, but not really. Choosing one color to plaster all over our vaulted second-floor ceiling that reaches all the way around is onerous. It’s a potential mistake that can’t be anything but big and pricey. Thus, the samples have persisted for a while with no real decision being made. However, choosing colors for interior rooms is a sight lot easier and the painting of said rooms can be done without scaffolding.
Previously, we had done the powder room a smoky purple-gray color. It was hot and stuffy and annoying for two people in a cramped space trying to cover up non-flat walls with decidedly flat-edged paint brushes. Even though that memory was still etched in our brains, we went ahead and continued discussing reliving the experience elsewhere. The kitchen and the downstairs bedroom were on the chopping block and colors had been selected.
First, my wife applied a green hue that upon first inspection seemed darker than it was once dried. Saturday was spent hemming and hawing a bit over whether this was a deal-breaker in the long run. Many hours of effort had been expended and many hours of further effort were meant to be avoided. A phone call to the parents and much discussion later and it was agreed: mint chip ice cream wasn’t quite right. A return to the hardware store where a random “oops” color was found later, the right green was found! And it turned out to be the appropriate level of glossy through some stroke of luck.
Second, as a divergent path, I started painting the downstairs bedroom a bluish-gray color that we’d also found as a gallon of “oops” paint. Cheap paint and decent color both work well in my world. Pushing all the furniture toward the center of the room and removing things that were hanging from the walls do not work as well in my world. Alas, these things occured, as well as drop cloth spreading, outlet taping, and missed spots of wall that I’m trying not to worry about. My wife joined soon after I commenced and took care of the edging while I rolled. In a few hours, it was pretty much done.
Third, and finally, we returned to the kitchen to finish the new, better coat of green. I marveled at how my wife had gotten up on a ladder and leaned over our cabinets to get at portions of the wall above and behind them. The position necessary to reach them was both uncomfortable and really uncomfortable. After a brief conversation about where to end the kitchen’s color scheme, we continued the green into the hallway, stopping at the powder room and master bedroom doors.
Now finished with both rooms, I am happy. Both colors suit the rooms nicely. The kitchen looks pretty bold, despite the color technically being less bright than pure white. Overall, we did a good job that will probably need touching up, but I can see us both just kind of sloughing it off now that all the paint and tools are put away.
THIS IS WHERE THE POST ENDS
I’m not sure how anyone does manual labor all day, every day, for a job. We were both tired after painting all day. Joints ached and mouths moaned. Much props to anyone who can reliably pull this kind of thing off on any consistent basis.