Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Wherein Jazz realizes that crooked walls do indeed count

No biggie she said.

Crooked walls don't affect painting she said.

She now begs to differ. She was wrong. Again.

As she was when she estimated it'd take 3-4 days max to repaint.

Because when walls are crooked and the new kitchen cupboards arrive, the cupboard guys deal with it quite logically by installing the cupboards straight and using caulking to fill in the gaps.

When a kitchen is white and the caulking is white you don't really see the difference. So you tape and you paint and when you pull of the tape the paint comes too because, news flash! Paint doesn't stick to caulking. Not that type at any rate.

Who knew?

Wasn't that one of the lessons learned?

There will always be touch ups.

On the plus side, the learning curve was Everest steep, but we learned a helluva lot.

* Picture of the crooked house in Poland from Neatorama, who got it from WebUrbanist.

Monday, April 27, 2009

The Saga Continues

I have never been so exhausted in my life. I can't believe we've been working on this project for a week now, 10 hours a day, and it's still not done. I flop into bed and wake up feeling just as tired. Who knew wielding a paintbrush was an Olympic sport.

Though we're getting there, only the kitchen left to paint and that should be "quickish". This I say because, despite the cabinets, it's all straight lines. Famous last words, eh? But I have to keep hope alive or I'll jump off the balcony.

Cause people? Houses built in 1912 have tons of detailing work, hours upon hours of detailing work. They were built by evil maniacs who lived to make life difficult for future generations of poor schmoes.

Sure they have character, but trust me, character is highly overrated when you're painting Character actually sucks - a lot - when you're painting. It's a time-consuming pain in the ass is what it is.

Houses built in 1912 also don't have a straight wall anywhere, but that's not such a big deal when painting, thank god.

I've learned things though, during this marathon painting session:

  • I suck my top lip in and bite on it when concentrating. My teeth seem to be permanently imprinted into my inner lip. OUCH.
  • It's not a good idea to lean your head on a just painted wall to keep steady in order to do detailing.
  • Or your butt.
  • When you're doing detailing with an artist brush 'cause anything else is too big, it's just pain in the ass detailing. People who are anal about details should not live in houses built in 1912. No they should not. You're obsessive about details stay the fuck away from houses built almost a century ago.
  • It's an even worse idea to step into the paint tray. When it's full. That's just plain dumb. Or just plain Jazz.
  • As Lime (I think it was) noted in the previous comments, there's a meditative quality to painting. Good thing too, otherwise I'd be in the psychiatric wing by now.
  • I will always be the designated detailer.
  • It will never be perfect.
  • Those little colour cards? They lie. The colours are much more intense than what I was going for. I was going for sophisticated grown up, I got bright and colourful. I guess sophistication is just not in me - the dining room used to be salmon and orange. I guess, Mr. Jazz and I are wired for intense in the colour department. Since we're not really intense in other ways, I guess a bright dining room will do. It will have to do cause there is no way in hell I'm doing this again anytime soon.
  • There will always be touch ups.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Someone Just Shoot Me Please

What the hell was I thinking? Seriously, WHAT WAS I THINKING???

Over 1600 sq.ft. of surface to paint.

Two coats of primer, two coats of paint...

A corridor with seven (yeah, seven !!) doors in it.

A kitchen with all it's nasty little corners and cabinets to paint around.

A back room containing the furnace and water heater and all the attached piping... (which might need three coats of primer seeing the soot stains in there because of the furnace issues).

All I want to do is catch up on my blogs and then run to hide at the cottage. Ain't gonna happen.

What was I mainlining the day I decided it would be a good idea to actually do this myself rather than pay someone to do it for me?

I must be insane. It's the only possible explanation.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Mind Boggles


Here we are on vacation. Washing the apartment from top to bottom before we can start painting. At least once we're painting, it'll actually show.


On the good side, while emptying out rooms I've been throwing stuff away. It's positively mind boggling how much junk can accumulate over the years. How the hell does that happen? Why the hell do we keep stuff "in case"?

In case never ever happens ferchrissake!

And I can't help but wonder if those magazine people really exist. You know the ones in Real Simple and all those design mags and who live totally without clutter or junk? Are they real or are they cyborgs?

Are humans hardwired to accumulate clutter? If not damn my genes.

And if we are, it becomes obvious that evolution doesn't always get it right.

And on this philosophical insight, I must get back to my cleaning...

Friday, April 17, 2009


Or would that be Quintennial?
I posted here for the first time on October 15, 2005, 500 posts ago. It took me 3+ years, but I made it to 500. Who'd'a thunk it? I figured I'd never get past 100.

I was wondering how to celebrate this milestone. Once, long long ago - so long ago I can't be bothered to search it out, I believe I did a "100 things about myself" post. Do I dare 500?


Because a) It would be boring as hell to read, b) It would be even boringer to write, and c) I don't even know if there are 500 things to say about me. Besides, it seems a tad (OK, way more than a tad) narcissistic to make such a list and imagine people would actually want to read it.

So my little brain was racked and racked for a celebratory idea. Then... vwwwuup! (that's the sound of an idea arriving) I thought well, hell, why not do like several people I've seen who celebrate with a giveaway. More racking of grey matter ensued. Poor thing was being racked to death. What could I give away?

A jar of toenail clippings? That's all the rage in the art world you know, as you can see from the works of David Shringly and Carlos Capelan (well, he uses fingernail clippings, but still, same idea). However as an unknown artist, such a jar of my DNA wouldn't be worth much, more's the pity.

There's that mummified muffin (such alliteration!) I forgot in my desk, but then, if I'm really hard up for breakfast I could always "just add water" and it could save me from starvation.

So, the giveaway idea was given up.

Ah, wait.. unless I show extreme generosity and - insert drum roll - give whoever wants it the once in a lifetime chance to guest post on Haphazard Life!

Just what you've all been waiting for, eh? And me? I get to put my feet up and let someone else do the work for a change. This is an idea I can work with! Email me your posts and I will give you full credit, I swear!

What? No takers!?!? Even if I whine that I'll be spending my vacation painting? sigh...

Well then no celebration. Of course, the last time I celebrated, the ensuing hangover was celebratory, to say the least.

A 500th post about failing dismally at celebration. That's new and different ain't it?

How's that for haphazardness?

The name is well earned indeed.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

I was wrong

This doesn't mark my 500th post, but rather my 499th. I can't even freaking count - Friday, then, will be 500. Course I could've said this was 500, who the hell would've known. But I'm nothing if not honest about these things; I keep my dishonesty and lies for important things like saving my butt.

Moving on.

It's springtime and damned if I don't once again have a cold. So I'm doing the inhaler for the asthma, the nose drops for the sinus problems, not counting the freakish migrating sore throat that I have one day, not the next and which comes back the third day. WTF is that about?

And as of yesterday evening, the eye drops. Because now, adding insult to injury, I've developed conjunctivitis, aka pink eye - bunny eye. If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd swear it was the evil Easter bunny bringing chocolate and pink eye to the people. The timing is just too good.

But, fortunately for my - and everyone else's - mental health, I'm not a conspiracy theorist. Nonetheless I'm now leaking crud out of pretty much every orifice in my head.

It's spring, the sap is running.

Fun times.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things to look forward to

I saw crocuses (croci??) today ! I did, I did!!! As well as tulips budding. Zipping by while I was in the car. Could spring be well and truly here even though we're still at freezing temperatures in the morning? Can it actually be? Or was it just a hallucination brought on by the sun hitting that scrap of garbage just so? I can't quite picture it really.

My 500th post - which will be up next. Who thought I'd ever make it to 500. Certainly not me these past few months.

Two weeks of vacation starting next week!!! YAY.

Of course said vacation will mostly be spent painting the apartment, but I'm looking forward to that too because it's so way overdue. And because I've actually made my paint choice after a couple of years (yep, that's how long the "we've got to paint" thing has been going on) of diddling and freaking out over "what if it's the wrong colour!!" issues. A friend of mine recently said, you know, if it's the wrong colour you're just $40 from happiness with a new gallon of paint. She's right. I find myself paralyzed by the stupidest things sometimes.

Finally getting the apartment cleaned up after all this time - we had a furnace problem and it was spewing carbon monoxide (bad for us) and soot (bad for the walls) all over the place for a bit. Bleargh. On the other hand, washing the whole place down with TSP will be a bore, but waddaya gonna do.

Also looking forward to the easy before/after picture post that will result.

Spending some "week" time at the cottage. Hopefully in good weather so I can sit on the balcony drinking tea. Or wine. Wine is good too. Next Monday is the 7th anniversary of our buying the place. I can't believe it's been that long already.

Getting my hair cut. I've been lazy lazy about that (can't be bothered getting my ass anywhere but home in the winter) and it's way too long and just basically pretty much looks like a haystack. More bleargh.

Not looking forward to: That appalling task that is still on hold after all this time: the dreaded bra shopping expedition. Bleargh again.

Life, it seems, can't be all fun and games...

Thursday, April 09, 2009

The Easter Bunny Cometh

Remember Easter as a kid? I loved Easter. And despite my advanced age I do remember a few things from Easter as a child...

I was allowed to wear my new shoes and spring coat for Easter mass.

Is it me, or was the weather nicer then? Seems it was always beautiful and warm at Easter. Or I could possibly be losing my mind, it seems to wander off more and more regularly these days.

Mom and Dad would hide our Easter baskets somewhere in the house.

We didn't to an Easter egg hunt - I think maybe that wasn't a French thing to do. But oh, the thrill of hunting down the Easter basket full of goodies! We each got a basket AND a present. It was always so damn hard to find, although come to think of it, it was usually hidden behind the couch or curtains - pretty much the first place I'd think to look today.

For once in the year, I could eat as much candy as I wanted.

Of course I went overboard. One particular year I ate waaaay to much and was sick for two days. The very thought of milk chocolate disgusted me for years after. Poor mom, not only did she have to hold my miserable head and wash up after me, in subsequent years she had to find dark chocolate Easter bunnies. Not an easy thing, those many many years ago. The things mother will put up with!

Cute little chickies

I loved those petting farms they set up at Easter. And I always wanted a pet chick. Of course my evil mom always said no. I completely understand now. I can't help but wonder how those poor little things fared at the hands of all those children. How many survived past a few days? And if they did, did they make it to chickenhood? Did the disinterested kids ever end up eating Fluffy without knowing it?

And a few questions:

What are peeps?

Why a bunny and eggs?

Why not a chicken and eggs, it would be much more logical. Or a bunny and baby bunnies which would be much cuter.

And how did bunnies and chocolate and eggs come to be mixed with the crucifixion? Ok, I know christians co-opted the pagan "Hey Spring is here" party, like they did with pretty much all the other pagan feasts and bunnies are fertile and spring is too and yadda yadda yadda. Meh...

Edited to add: I just took off the pic that was here as the author red Xed it with the whole "you're evil" text. I can understand his not wanting me to put it up, but as I emailed him about it, he coulda just emailed me back saying I'd rather you just take it down, and I would have. Go figure.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

Marillion Weekend 2009


What I learned (or in some cases already knew) at the Montreal Marillion weekend.

  • Marillion fans are somewhat obsessive.
  • Despite what people I know seem to think, I am less obsessed than many.
  • The atmosphere in the balcony doesn't quite cut it, despite the fact that there is way less pain involved, requiring a move back to the floor.
  • Knees and backs protest much more at 6+ hours of standing when you're on the wrong side of 40 than when you're 20.
  • Nine hours of Marillion live over three days is beyond great.
  • Ninety percent of Marillion fans are male. Of the remaining 10%, probably half are there as the "girlfriend of".
  • The female 10% is thrilled at this ratio, because there is never a lineup at the loo.
  • Waiting in line has its good sides. I met some really great people.
  • They really should make an effort to sell good beer at concert venues.
  • Copious yelling and cheering wreaks havoc on the vocal cords.
  • I am not as young as I used to be. Adolescence may be a state of mind, but it sure as hell isn't a state of body.
  • In this I am not alone, there were lots of grey heads there. Average age was probably in the 40s. We are indeed obsessed.
  • The band's name wasn't even on the marquee (!!!), so the musical usually playing at the Olympia should pay them for all the extra tickets that will be sold. People were walking past, looking at the huge line and wondering, wow, is it that good? and probably rushing out to buy tickets.
  • There is no other band I would spend four hours waiting in the cold pouring rain for, thus I am not quite insane.
And for Jocelyn... it was bliss indeed.

Thursday, April 02, 2009

I love me a long weekend

Have I ever told y'all of my passion for Marillion? Well duh. Of course I have. Numerous times.

They are doing a Marillion weekend in Montreal. This is something they do in the Netherlands every couple of years, and for the first time ever, we're getting one here.

Friday, Saturday, Sunday. Three nights of Marillion.

Is the Jazzer thrilled? Indeed she is. As for Monday, no doubt it will be sorely needed to recuperate from the weekend. That's the problem with getting old, you need more recuperation time.

Some old stuff - Easter (From Season's End - They'll be playing the whole album this weekend, at it's its 20th anniversary)


A ghost of a mist was on the field
The grey and the green together
The noise of a distant farm machine
Out of the first light came

A tattered necklace of hedge end trees
On the southern side of the hill
Betrays where the border runs between
Where Mary Dunoon's boy fell

Easter here again, a time for the blind to see
Easter, surely now can all of your hearts be free

Out of the port of Liverpool
Bound for the North of Ireland
The wash of the spray and horsetail waves
The roll of the sea below

And Easter here again, a time for the blind to see
Easter, surely now can all of your hearts be free

What will you do?
Make a stone of your heart?
Will you set things right?
When you tear them apart?
Will you sleep at night?
With the plough and the stars alight?

What will you do?
With the wire and the gun?
That'll set things right
When it's said and done?
Will you sleep at night?
Is there so much love to hide?

Forgive, Forget
Sing "Never again."

Some newer stuff - You're Gone (from Marbles, their penultimate album)

You're Gone:

You're gone. As suddenly as you came to me
Like nightfall followed dawn without a day between
You're gone and suddenly I can't see
I'm in the shadow of you
I'm in the shadow of you
I can see you in my minds rose-tinted eye..
Somewhere you're drifting by
Your heels rolling sparks on the lucky street

While here am I, left behind
Stunned and blind
But I can see you from here
I can see you so clear

You are the light
You are the light
You have the day
I have the night
But we have the early hours together

You're gone, and heaven cries.
A thunderstorm breaks from the northern sky
Chasing you back to the daily grind

You're gone. And where am I?
A haunted life
The ghost of your laughter
The half-empty glass
The half-empty glass

And I wait
'til midnight tolls
Two souls almost touching in the dark
I'll be all right

You are the light
You are the light
You have the day
I have the night
But we have the early hours
We have the early hours
We have the early hours together