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Hold on to what is good even if it is a handful of earth.
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Hold on to what you must do even if it is a long way from here.
Hold on to life even when it is easier letting go.
Hold on to my hand even when I have gone away from you.
- Pueblo Blessing

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Wednesday, Dec. 29, 2004 - 2:31 a.m.

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A Break in the Dusty Mid-Reno


Here i am on a little break. It was a curried-chicken-and rice:last-day-of -leftovers break (no more asparagus so I did some frozen swisschard mmmm) and a scanning in of several things break.

A break from rearranging and dusting and washing and moving and carrying and then Wrestling With the Big Board.

The Big Board yes. The big board was originally the top of a massage table made by my friend Antique Boy (he's my oldest friend in Montreal... we're going for brunch tomorrow yay yay yay!). You see me and Antique Boy were in fine arts together at university, and then he got into antique refinishing. He was good at it, like he was good at copying old masters in oil paint. Fixing the legs and the veneer, creating new finials and plaster dohickies.

His boyfriend of the time opened an antique store and they also did refinishing and with the advent of boyfriend's French cousin(as in from the country, not Quebec French), they started making high end furniture as well. $20,000 dining tables that seat 24 people, out of fancy schmancy wood. But now boyfriend is dead of AIDS and cousin is a bit manicodepressive and wont to only work when he needs $. And I guess the antique business is just down at the moment too.

It is too bad cuz Antique Boy works hard like you would not believe. Always has. Took me under his wing when I was a new Quebecer and knew no one here. Kept me from dying of malnutrition, lent me a gym pass so I got buff, lent me his studio to do my schoolwork, hired me to glue and wax and buff furniture. And when we graduated in 1985 and I realized that an art degree was not paying the bills, I got him to lend me the $40 to enroll in massage class. And he thought it was a cool idea so he came with me.

And made a massage table out of 3/4 inch plywood and twobyfours, folded legs made out of plywood v's on their side, and foam and vinyl stapled on the top. That is what I bought from him years later in 1990 or so to do massage on when I started my illustration business. I arranged it so it was the right height for me, and made the top velcro on instead of stapled. so I could remove the foam and use it for a cutting table when I sewed. It also doubled as a guest bed for me when I lent my mom my real bed (ok, the futon on plywood) when she visited.

Then I got a real massage table, and took the foam, vinyl off and used it as a kitchen table, with the microwave at the end. Finally, when I moved here, I took off the legs and put it across two file cabinets to use it to color my illustrations on.

Now it has always been too high, since it has twobyfours stuck under it widthwise, into which are chiselled grooves for the folding plywood legs to sit into. But today I decided to chop them off. Youch.

Now I know that Antique Boy is really into doing things solidly. He is into furniture from the 16th Century, and the 18th Century, and new furniture to pass on to you great great grandchildren. But cripey, he made this out of scraps lying around the studio.

But he made it WELL. There were no fewer than 45 one and 1/2 inch screws holding those twobyfours on. AND three 2 inch finishing nails each. That went THROUGH the twobyfours and THROUGH the plywood and then were hammered over flat. DANG!! You know, once you chisel out the bent part with a screwdriver the plywood gets a WEE bit mangled!
And once you bend the point up and then hammer it sort of straight, and then use a nail punch to push it out enough to pull the head (finishing nails remember), they are all wargly and take ONE HELL of a pull I tell ya, to birth them babies. Sort of like pulling out tapeworms I would guess. Dang.

And THEN I went to pry off the totally glued down twobyfours (the hilarious thing is that these laid on top of the plywood legs, the heavy 6' by 30 " board lays on top of them, and then a heavy massage person lays on top of that...

they would've stayed in place with scotch tape just through gravity and weight eh). And realized that the twobyfours were not just used to hold the legs in place, but also to keep the table top together. Turns out it was made out of a 24" wide piece with a 6" piece glued to its side. Yikes.

So I sawed through each twobyfour, leaving a piece of it at the back as a brace for the seam. And pulled off the piece I didn't need. Dang. Lepages Carpenters Glue is STRONG!!! I had to use a chisel to get under them, then a huge wrecking bar to pull them off. Sometimes parts of the plywood came with, and sometimes the twobyfour broke and left half stuck on the plywood, which I then had to chisel off.

I don't know what is more insane. Using glue AND nails AND screws on this plywood table, or me insisting on removing them to give this bloody sheet of plywood a longer life. As if it hasn't lived and lived and lived before. I couldve just bought a new piece. Hah. I succeeded and now it will be my new adjusted-height painting table. Yowee! Photos to come soon.

For now, here is a photo of the changes in the front room... you can see the puter to the far right. The desk is to its right. To its left you can see the file cabinet on which the Big Board will now lie directly, and the drawers which will be underneath the left side of the Big Board. I will take the cds off the wall, and put cork bulletin boards. You can see the nice huge pile of books in the middle of the floor. There were bookshelves in the space where the painting table is going to go.

And here is the mid-reno polaroid of the back room, with the ready to fall on their faces Billy bookshelves. Yikes! And the huge huge pile of books and other shit on the floor in front of them. The black file cabinet will go in the space between the bookshelves where there is an outlet... I will use the top to make my tea and coffee (they usually were on the floor hehe)

That is my job now. Levelling the bookshelves, the file cabinets, the drawers. Then I can put in some books before I go to bed. I really really wanted to screw the board on the wall that will hold up the Big Board for the table, and put up cd holders and the cork boards.

But somehow it got to be um, after midnight, and now one minute to 3am. Already I fear that despite attacking the Big Board in the basement, the hammering, sawing, and wrecking barring may have reverberated throughout the building. Dang.

Other news... Doggy's ear is totally puffed up again, like a comforter someone has overstuffed, so that the stitches are just holding together this waterbed mass, and are oozing. Dang dang dang. Back to the vet tomorrow evening (I couldn't get a car for the early afternoon). Her eye is responding well to the polysporin drops so doesn't look infected anymore. But I am afeared she will have to go back in surgery. Shit shit shit. Poor poor puppy. You gotta admire her though, she shakes her head but doesnt scratch at her ear. I'd so be picking at it.

Also I just found out Motorcycle Boy is having a party for New Years at his place, with the same excellent babypunkdyke dj he had for the vernissage a few weeks ago... she calls the music from the 80's the "classics" hehe. Very dancable. SO I am going to ask Disappearing Boy. I don't know if he'll come though. But he usually likes dancing. Maybe it will be fun. Who knows. In any case I think I'll go. No cover charge, fun artsy people, good music, and walkable from home. hehe. yay!

Well, I'm off to level things now. And then get to bed on time to get up for brunch... I'll show Antique Boy how I have attacked his ancient massage table. GRIN!

Merry tweenholidays folks!
In fine spirits,

5:43 am Youpee! I found the floor! I found the floor! I hate to say that I may NOT have enough shelf space in the new shelves for all the books littering the place. But if not I will start sorting. Lots of trash like notebooks from German class in 1988. I suppose I could live without. OOOO!! I found the floor I found the floor! And the bookshelves look like bookshelves. A busy day in the hayhem... Brunch with Antique Boy, put up my Big Board table and bulletin boards, take doggy to the vet, deal with the boxes of books in the livingroom. But it is so EXCITING!

nite y'all!

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previous meanderings - future past

Goodbye Michael. May your next life be kinder to you. - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Taking Care of Your Cows - Thursday, Jun. 25, 2009
Saint Joseph robs the cradle and eats spaghetti - Sunday, Jun. 14, 2009
sticky notes and broken irises - Friday, Jun. 12, 2009
The FOODCOMMANDER - Monday, Jun. 08, 2009


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