This is the result of four or five hours’ work pulling up a layer of linoleum, a layer of luuan, another layer of linoleum, and finally a layer of tarpaper on top of perfectly good Georgia pine.
Here’s the kitchen floor after two layers of crud came up. Note the lovely tarpaper and gunk on the otherwise untouched and remarkably intact hardwood.
Well, the weekend went off pretty much as planned, and I am dragging ass today (as expected.)
Friday night was exactly what I needed. We met up with the gang at the bar in Birches (strangely enough, the same bar we shared farewell drinks at six years ago when they left town) and caught up over a delicious dinner in a mostly deserted restaurant. The entire Yuppie population of Canton must have left for the beach or something, because parking spots and empty barstools were easy to find. After dinner, we headed over to Lulu’s to meet up with another bunch of friends, and despite all the best intentions, stayed to shut the place down. Frankly, we could have stayed for another two or three hours, as we’re friends with the owners, but when the magic number hit 3 we wisely bid goodnight and crawled back to the County for some sleep.
I can’t describe how good it felt to sit and talk with old friends again. In the last couple of years, I’ve noticed that my personal social barometer rises and falls like a pogo stick: I get intensely antisocial for periods of time, and then binge on groups of people. I don;t know why this is, other than the simple fact that I’m busy and lazy and have nobody else to blame but myself. I have to keep up with my own 2005 resolution to stay in contact with everybody as much as possible.
Saturday we decided to attack the floor in the kitchen, and so we began demolition in earnest. The first layer of linoleum came up pretty easily. The Luuan underneath (very thin, very jagged plywood) came up pretty easily too, even though it was installed with a million ring shank flooring nails. The third layer, another coating of linoleum, is a different story. At some point, some idiot decided that using tarpaper as an underlayment for linoleum was a great idea. About half of the tarpaper is so brittle with age that it’s relatively easy to remove. The other half is next to impossible to budge. I tried two different kinds of citrus-based gel stripper with disappointing results, and the heat gun just made this smell worse. It’s looking like the kitchen floor will not be included in the upcoming refinishing job, unless the contractors have some kind of magical suggestion that I can pull off in a week.
Update: There is no magic bullet. Unless I can clean it up by Monday, we’re waiting on the kitchen until we get back from Ireland.
Otherwise, the weekend was full of success. Our vegetables are growing and blooming rapidly—We have tomato plants that are almost four feet high. Jen’s perennial bed is growing out of control. Our cherry tree is loaded with almost-ripe fruit. The rose bush under our dining room window is covered in blooms this weekend. Our gladiolus bulbs are six inches high. The peonies in the front yard are blooming and fragrant. Everything seems to be ready for summer.
And I want to go back to sleep.
This evening we’ve got some old friends from the Left Coast jetting into town to attend the wedding of a fellow MICA graduate. Having Matt and Soph in town is always an occasion for late nights, excessive drinking, and monumental hangovers, as well as an excellent time. It’s a shame that, given our current lifestyle and schedule, it takes a visit from out of town to show us how much fun our humble city can be sometimes. We have reservations at Birches in Canton (aaaah, the old neighbahood) at 7:30, which should give us enough time to get home, get fabulous (when you have peeps from San Francisco in town, you have to represent, so I’ll be putting in my gold teefs) and get into Canton to hunt for a parking spot, which will probably be as easy as delivering a baby while water-skiing.
We also have a standing invitation to join our friends Rob and Karean for a party on the river in Annapolis on Sunday, which will have to be considered carefully, given our full schedule. I have plans to rip the floor out of the kitchen that morning, so any festivities will be predicated on our success in there, but I could really deal with an afternoon away from the house with my baby.
I had the misfortune of test-driving a wireless Bluetooth mouse this morning, and the experience left me huddled under the desk, twitching. Ok, maybe not that bad. Ever shared a cellphone conversation with somebody on the West Coast where each of you is continually talking over the other person? The lag time is just enough that the ordinary human pause-before-speaking is offset so that you’re both starting a sentence at the same time?
That would be a wireless mouse. I’m enough of a tactile being that any lagtime between my hand and the tool I’m working on is absolutely infuriating; Wacom tablets, some new-fangled laser mouses, and old graphics-intensive operating systems (OSX 10.1.X comes to mind) all tend to drive me crazy. Coming from a drawing/illustration/contracting background, I like precise control over the mouse. Anything slower or sloppier just doesn’t cut it.
This mouse was slow and imprecise—adjustments of a pixel or two were next to impossible, which is unacceptable for my profession. I’ll stick with my Pro Mouse, thank you very much.