Painting the basement -- 02 /11/01

Painting the basement? Yeah, that was my big accomplishment this weekend, the kids and I did a little painting downstairs.

Friday night... well, in my last entry I mentioned picking up four pizzas for five teenagers. I had been puzzled when I stopped to pick up the pizza on my way home because I had expected to be getting three large (or maybe two large and one medium)... but I figured that more kids had come over... but this turns out to have been a bit of Scouts are prepared. Sean and a buddy of his (who actually happens to be named Sean) were going to a Boy Scout event this weekend and the extra pizza was intended to be their lunch. (Each scout was responsible for bringing his own lunch, so they just wrapped the pizza slices in aluminum foil -- instant pepperoni pizza lunch!)

The Scouting event was their "Klondike Day" -- a day of outdoor winter activities -- actually, some of the more hardy (foolhardy?) kids camped out for the weekend, but most, like Sean and Sean, elected to just come for the Saturday events. Friday night Sean said they had to be there around six a.m. Groan. Okay, set my alarm for 5:30 a.m. and by 5:45 I'd managed to stumble downstairs and start a pot of coffee. The boys had stayed up all night long playing computer games. (This is something that makes sense when you are fifteen.) Of course it was then that they began to get ready... (Dad, I can't find my gloves. Dad, do you have a hat I can borrow? Etc.) So it was closer to 6:30 a.m. by the time I unloaded them at the campsite.

It was cold and wet and windy -- forty degrees (F) but with light rain and winds in the twenty to thirty mile an hour range (and gusts up to fifty or sixty)... My Sean was wearing hiking boots (my boots) and baggy jeans shorts and a short-sleeved scout uniform shirt over a t-shirt. He had gloves and a watchcap and a sweatshirt in his backpack (along with bottled water and the pizza). The other Sean was wearing jeans and a long-sleeved sweatshirt. I had been planning on going for an early morning run -- it had to be early because I had an 8:45 appointment to donate blood -- but the wind and the rain did not make that a very attractive choice.

So I went grocery shopping.

Well, I needed detergent for the dishwasher -- we'd run out the night before -- usually I try to keep a good supply of stuff like that but I'd lost track. And it seemed to me that as long as I needed to stop for that and maybe get a gallon of milk, I might as well do some real shopping and leave the rest of my day free of that chore. So $155 later I left the supermarket to discover that the rain had ended and the cloud cover was beginning to break up. Bring the groceries home, grab some breakfast, dash down to the blood bank, etc. and by then it was a beautiful sunny day, temperatures in the upper forties, still extremely windy, but sunny and mild. In fact, I got inspired enough around noon to do some car washing... in fact, I washed all four cars (Nancy's car, my car, Jennifer's car, and Leah's car) although by the time I reached the last car my arm was ready to fall off. Oh yeah, they do instruct you to take it easy after donating blood. This must have been what they meant 'cause my arm was really sore for a couple hours afterward.

I picked up the boys around six p.m. They were muddy and wet and exhausted after a day spent doing things like having sled races (where the sleds are propelled across the semi-frozen mud by teams of boys) and other such strenuous outdoor activites. Nancy had rented Me, Myself and Irene but when we started to play it after dinner neither Sean made it through the coming attractions at the beginning of the tape... both of them were sound asleep. After the movie was over we made a brief attempt to wake them enough to send them upstairs but decided it was futile and just let them sleep in the living room.

Me, Myself and Irene (Jim Carey plays a Rhode Island State Trooper who suffers from multiple personality disorder) was not nearly as funny as Something About Mary. There were a number of funny bits during the film, but it did not hold together as a movie the way Something About Mary did. It seemed as if they had filmed a four hour movie and then edited it down to about half that, gluing the pieces together with a rather lame voice-over narration. Some individually funny scenes -- Carey does an incredible bit where his two personalities are fighting and one of them grabs the other and throws him into a car (you have to see it to understand it) -- and it was interesting to see so much of Rhode Island on screen (some of it was filmed in Narragansett, the town next to where I live, and there were also scenes filmed in Newport, near where I work). One scene was supposedly set at the "South County" Amtrak station but I do not know where they filmed that. There is no station by that name -- in real life it would be Kingston station -- but South County is what everyone calls our county. This being Rhode Island, of course, that isn't its real name -- it is Washington County -- but everyone calls it "South County" (even highway signs call it that). Well, I keep telling you this is a strange little state.

Oh yeah, painting the basement....

Well, about a year and a half ago, I started painting our basement (with help from Jennifer and a bit of assistance from Sean) but summer turned into fall and the bicycles migrated from the garage down to the basement, as did the table and chairs from the back deck, etc. and the basement remainded about two-thirds painted. For sometime now we've been discussing turning part of the basement into a home gym... I had an old weight bench and barbell and weights but the bench was really too small. I recently got Sean the "real" weight bench (and weights, etc.) that he has wanted. What I want to do is set up an area with TV and VCR for fitness videos. Nancy and I have some workout videos from The Firm -- one of them is the only workout video I like doing -- and she also has the full set of Billy Banks Tae Bo videos. The whole family also seems to agree on the need for a treadmill. I've been flip-flopping back and forth on it.... I recognize that buying a cheap one is a waste of money because it will soon break down, but I cringe at the prices on the good quality equipment. When I was up in Cambridge, MA a month ago I happened to walk past a Gym Source store and went in to look at what they had. I mentioned to a salesman there that I lived outside his delivery area and he told me that they had a store in Warwick, RI. (I had searched for treadmills on the internet and had not hit their store, but it turns out that they do have a website... so much for trusting searches to find just what you want.) Jennifer and I stopped in at their RI store a week ago and found a treadmill we like... for about twice what I would like to pay, but... I think I will stop in this coming week and buy it... so that makes finishing the basement paint job takes a much higher priority.

So this afternoon Sean and Jennifer and her boyfriend and I moved stuff around and painted the remaining wall area... it still needs a second coat and then we will have to paint the floor on that end as well... and then reorganize all the stuff there... yeah, you know, stuff, all the boxes of stuff that accumulates over the years... china and pictures and toys and games and books and Christmas decorations and on and on... plus Jennifer's band equipment (over the past five years she and her friends have formed and reformed a number of rock bands in our basement)... plus, this being winter, all of the aforementioned bicycles and chairs, etc.
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