Monday, November 16, 2009

Gonna Wake Up Sore

Happy Monday, hurricaners and hurricanettes! Yes, I know it's still Sunday night as I'm posting this, but I know that most of my readers prefer to slack off here on Monday morning at the office. So to you folks here on the company dime, welcome! Stickin' it to The Man feels pretty good, doesn't it?

Before I go any further, I gotta get something off my chest. I think that some of you folks out there in the ether really need to take a big ol' chill pill. Everyone seems to have overreacted a little bit, but some folks went head-first off the deep end. That was not my intention.

My little post about the lost Mojo was nothing serious--I thought about making another post about my weekend poker sessions, but there was nothing really interesting to tell--I didn't win big, and I certainly didn't lose big, either--I just treaded water all weekend and I think I came out down about $30, that's including about twenty bucks that went to the cocktail waitress over the course of two nights and also includes the redbird I tossed to my gal Sammi as I was leaving the M late on Saturday night. I just had a dull weekend at the tables--every win was followed by a loss, and I never really got over the hump the entire time. I wanted to write a clever entry, but the theory was much better than the practice, so I just posted the picture instead when the idea never got past the 'idea' stage.

However, judging from some of the comments and emails I've gotten, I've really sparked some controversy with the small-minded yet highly-imaginative set. Apparently, some folks seem to think that Karma gave me an ass-kicking that I so richly deserve. Those comments won't ever see the light of day, but they sure were fun to read.

So, besides my unproductive hours in the poker room this weekend, what else did I do? Well, as some of you may remember, I've had a few shipping boxes stacked up against the bar in my dining room for the last month, and my inherent laziness has kept me from doing anything about it. It's kind of pathetic that I insisted that I really needed a new headboard and dining room table, and then once I got 'em, I just let 'em sit for so long, not doing anything about it.

But no longer--my procrastination days are behind me and I was some kind of productive dude this weekend, although I started out as a slug on the couch. Since I was having no luck with college football bets, I've gone three weeks now without wagering on any of the games--and I'm enjoying them a lot more. And let's face it, what's not to love about seeing Notre Dame getting beat. Again.

Anyhow, I had the two TVs going, but I suppose I was feeling guilty for being such a sloth. So I busted out the tool kit, took out the utility knife, and started opening all the boxes. I was tired of looking at them, and maybe a little tired of being asked about it. So I dove in.

And these are the before pictures of my headboard:

Oh yeah, it was quite a mess in the beginning, and I have to admit--I was surprised at how long it took to put together. Even having the proper tools on hand and kind of having a feel for how stuff like this goes together (because of all the experience of furniture assembly I've gotten these past few months), it still took almost two hours to get it done. But most projects like this go more smoothly with four hands or at least a garage with a proper workbench. I was by myself and all I had was my dining room floor. So it took a little longer.

However, once it was finished, it turned out really nice.

It matches the bookcase pretty well, but the nightstand, not so much. Oh well. I was never going to be featured in any interior design magazine, anyways. But since I had the mattress and box spring up, I put in a new frame (this one with feet) and changed over to flannel sheets. Needed 'em too--it's been downright chilly here in Vegas these past couple of nights, and you all know that it's against my code to use the heater out here in the desert.

Also, if you look closely, you'll see that I had the box spring sitting up on the edge of the frame when I took the picture--that's why the bed looks crooked. I wouldn't have noticed otherwise. (Well, maybe I would have when I felt a little tilted and rolled out on the floor later on that night).

My plan was to get both the headboard and the dining room table done in one day, but that didn't happen for me on Saturday. By the time I finished futzing around with the bed, it was 5:00 pm, time for the Pitt-Notre Dame game, so I called it quits. And once the game ended, I took a shower, got dressed, and headed over to the M for the rest of the night.

When I got home, I slept like a rock for a good solid eight hours. Those flannel sheets and my fuzzy blanket worked wonders, and I was just a little too comfy--I didn't get up and hit the coffee maker until almost eleven o'clock in the morning. Clearly, I'd squared myself with my feelings of guilt for being a sloth the day before.

But my assembly skillz weren't limited to the bedroom and dining room. Oh no. Since it was still a chilly day outside, I decided that the best thing to have with my weekly dose of NFL was some chili and cornbread. Behold:

It wasn't quite done when I snapped that picture, but it was close. And yeah, I cheated on the chili. I didn't want to wait all day for a scratch-made crockpot batch, so I just opened up a can of Hormel instead, doctoring it up to my tastes. Normally, I only use it to top hot dogs, but we've already established that I'm lazy.

The cornbread, if not scratch-made, at least took a little more effort. I used a couple of boxes of old-skool Jiffy corn muffin mix, added the egg and milk per the directions, but also added a can of diced green chilies and a handful of cheddar-jack cheese. It turned out pretty damn good, but I think I'll skip the green chilies next time. I'll lose my commission as a Southern Gentleman if word ever gets out that I blasphemed the cornbread in such a manner.

As the day wore on, that shipping crate with the dining room table kept mocking me from the corner. I knew I had to do it, so late in the afternoon, I finally gave in and unpacked the thing.

The table itself went together in about ten minutes. The frame was already attached--all I had to do was mount the legs--eight bolts and sixteen washers. Of course, the bolts were pretty close together on each leg, so getting the upper one attached was kind of a knuckle-buster. Yeah, I drew blood. Again.

Thankfully this was my last household project, because I've already earned two purple hearts for wounds received in furniture assembly. One more and they take away my tools and make me a cook. And instead of a screwdriver and a hammer, I'm back to putting stuff together with a butter knife and the heel of a penny loafer.

The table might've gone together in a hurry, but the chairs were a cast-iron bitch. Ok, maybe a Malaysian rubberwood bitch, but still a royal pain in the ass. It's not that they were that complicated, it's just that the instruction manual was written by somebody who had no clue and probably knew they were about to get fired anyways. Seriously, Linda Lou and Suburban Hausfrau--y'all need to slap the shiat out of have a few words with some of your technical writing colleagues. The instructions were completely vague and left *much* up to interpretation, and the pictures were of no help whatsoever. It was a complete joke. And not a very funny one, either.

I think the first chair took me about an hour and fifteen minutes to put together, and after that I took a break, if only to make sure that the neighbors didn't think I was involved in a very one-sided domestic disturbance. The second chair was a bit smoother, but I goofed up and put the wrong-sized screw in two of the holes, and had to go back and take all eight of them out to find which ones were missing. Oh, and I also mounted the backrest backwards, so it was convex instead of concave. That was fun.

I finally figured it out on the third chair, and was cruising right along, thinking I'd found my rhythm. But no. One of the allen-bolts decided to strip, so I had to deal with that for about ten minutes.

By the way, whoever invented the allen-wrench, there's a special corner of hell for you. Each of these four chairs had ten bolts and screws that needed to be allen-wrenched, and at least two of them on each chair didn't want to go in without a whole lot of motivation on my part. And I swear, if I got a dollar for every time the damn allen-wrench fell out on the floor, I could afford to take the whole family on the cruise. Seriously--I did like a thousand crunches just from picking up that f*cking wrench off the floor every fifteen seconds. Not like my fat ass couldn't use the exercise, but damn, I should have a six-pack good enough to be an extra on Baywatch by now.

Eventually, it all came together. And it actually looks pretty nice, too. If you look closely, the chairs are not 100% finished--I still have to put the wooden plugs over the screw holes, but I'm gonna wait a few days and make sure everything is still tight before I seal 'em up.

It needs a centerpiece or a candle or something, but I'm just glad that it's over. Out of all the projects I've done this summer (TV stand, bookcases, coffee table, booze cabinet, headboard, dining room table) the out-and-out champion pain in the ass were those chairs. Good lord, what a job that was. Thank god I didn't get the bigger table that came with six chairs. I'd still be out there in the dining room swearing to the heavens and cursing the satan's spawn who designed them.

But it's all over now. My household is complete, except for a few wall decorations and maybe a kitchen gadget or two. But my big empty spacious apartment is now a comfy and cozy home that I can be proud of.

I think it's time to throw a dinner party!


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