Monday, October 06, 2003

I spent last Friday night, most of Saturday and a good deal of Sunday digging up a poorly built flower bed, tearing off lattice, replacing said lattice with chicken & vermin wire, custom cut cedar lattice and the flower bed with about 200 lbs of gravel and patio pavers. All I can say is that I am glad that was a poorly built flower bed, if it were well made, I might still be there trying to rip it up. Now, I'm not saying I 'did the right thing' and crafted a porch screening of such quality that it shall never be removed. On the contrary, I am glad Dad (or worse Dave) wasn't around to comment on the proceedings. I cut corners...measured those corners, and then, cut them again. In fact, I have discovered that the beauty of cutting corners is that, really, you don't have to worry about it now...only later. Later, when the whole thing falls down because it was built on corners which had been cut, you can say "Well, that's what cutting corners gets you." I've realized that our society is built on cut corners (as is our electrical grid, apparently) and though Rome wasn't built on cut corners, I'm sure if it had occurred to a Roman engineer, he would have cut some corners pretty quick. You see, doing things right - with care - is really a very grey distinction. Oh sure, I could've have stopped once I discovered the rot in the porch and said - good golly, this whole porch has got to go. A stressful month and many thousands of dollars later, where would I be. Exhausted, impoverished and angry at the world. Yet, by ignoring the rotten beam, filling it in with a spacer, some glue and nails and just forgetting whatever I saw, I spent about a couple hundred bucks, was done in time for tea, and was filled with what realtors call "Pride of Ownership" (yes - P.O.O.) - Yes - after a weekend of digging, hoeing, sawing, cussing, nailing and screwing...I AM FULL OF P.O.O.! Thank God for Property!

You see, I am satisfied that to me, "cutting corners" would appear shameful to a journeyman carpenter, but to the previous owners, my version of 'cut corners' appears like an ancient Roman engineer. I can hear them now - "He used galvinized screws! Is he nuts? Those are 12 cents more - and I don't even know what 'galvinized' means? Why not use staples and string?" Oh and I can hear the artisan too. "Galvinized screws! You big Yuppy Girl's Blouse! Dowels and Shims, a drop of glue and dovetail joints only! - You lil' wuss!" And that is why I am full of P.O.O. - it is our house and if I want to to muck it up - I will. Then I will have a beer and survey my manse with my head held high. I almost spit out my Perrier when after I suggested that we remove the tub and just have a shower (it's a small bathroom) and Angela's mother said - "but you have to think about resale value - people like bathtubs". I was within a hair's breath of saying "To Hell with People! I live here - if I want a shower, I'll put one in" Besides, if you really want to improve the resale value, you hire a designer to make the place look like last month's Home and Garden, dab some vanilla extract on a lightbulb and Bob's your Uncle.

This weekend I want to just scream... Shout it from the mountaintops, I want the world to know that I couldn't give a tinker's cuss what anyone thinks! And as soon as I find out what a Tinker's Cuss is, I let them know that too.

All and all, work has been gettin' me down, and the only cure for that is liquor - liquor and yelling from mountain tops etc. and getting used to getting back to work is really bringing me down. Previously, I thought getting brought down, was something that only happened to Hippies in the presence of 'bad vibes' but now I see that it can happen to the best of us. Let's admit, we are "the Best of Us". I mean, we aren't out there, homeless, junkies, corrupt politicos, or other evil doers. That's not us. We really are the Best of Us. Being the Best of Us, means we deserve a little self-indulgent drinky time. So. Go to that movie, have a premium brand beer, eat a $20 steak cooked in a $10 pan, don't take your vitamins, and let others know who they are dealing with - We are "The Best of Us" and "It" has finally happened "Us".

Working Men in a funk - Unite - or do what you want. It's your funk after all, so you enjoy it!

sleepy at work,
Peter

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