Tuesday 18 June 2013

It's not the hard way as much as the completely stupid way

Most of the time I'm a fairy logical person who looks for the most reasonable solution to a problem. I'm a firm believer in simplicity, because life is already full of difficult shit you can't avoid, so given a choice between simple and easy vs complex and stupidly hard, I tend to go with the former.

The key phrase here is "most of the time" Because the rest of the time I choose the more difficult path for no other reason than stubbornness and some weird compulsion that I can't explain. Every time I get to the end of whatever ridiculousness my brain decided was a really good idea but in fact was probably the worst idea in the history of ever, I wonder what the fuck I was thinking and swear to myself I will never attempt to operate at that level of dumbassery again. The problem is all the dumbassery comes with a form of amnesia, that causes me to forget what a bad idea something was in the first place and I am doomed to make certain mistakes over and over again, possibly because I think this time will be different, even though it never ever is.

You would think I'd learn. You'd most certainly be wrong.

Example:  DIY redneck projects

While I'm in love with the whole idea of redneck solutions to everyday problems, and think rednecks are the unsung heros of ingenuity, my problem has less to do with the creativity part and more (ok, everything) to do with the actual engineering of DIY projects. I cannot build, renovate or jerry-rig anything without it being a huge production that takes far more time than it's worth and more often than not it becomes a shitshow rife with swearing, injuries and regret for ever thinking whatever I tried to do was a good idea in the first place. Also the end result is never is pleasing to the eye and has the distinct possibility of falling apart if you even look at it wrong.

I finally bought an air conditioner for my living room because my apartment gets hotter than satan's asshole in the summer. The building I live in has a strata council that frowns upon such things as using plywood to block the area above the air conditioner because it looks tacky (note: the strata council also does not approve of putting tinfoil window treatments as an attempt to block out the summer heat and light, giving your apartment a pleasant cave-like quality, plus the added bonus of your bedroom having a futuristic/disco-ball-like decor. Something about it looking like a marijuana growshow from the outside) My long term solution to this problem is to have a piece of plexiglass cut to fit in the space between the AC and the sliding glass door frame.

 However, I needed a short term solution because I haven't got the plexiglass yet and I don't want to wait to turn my living room into the Arctic Circle. So yesterday I spent 3 hours trying to construct a temporary barrier and it did not go well. First I was going to use the cardboard box the AC came in but discovered 1) I was out of duct tape 2) I can't find the stapler 3) eyeballing and measuring are not the same thing 4) a dull steak knife is not a good replacement for a boxcutter, and 5) the cardboard idea was a waste of time once I remembered cardboard is not waterproof, so unless I wrapped the whole thing in duct tape (which I didn't have) or tinfoil (and suffer the wrath of the strata council), I just spent an hour of my life I will never get back on something that was totally pointless.

Attempt #2 was better. Marginally. I went to the hardware store and bought a big sheet of foamcore (that stuff that is kind of like cardboard but made out of plastic), duct tape (white, to match the board) and a box cutter. The first issue was the piece of foamcore would not fit in my car, so I took it back in and they cut it in half, after which it still would not fit until I jammed it in the back and bent the shit out of it. Much swearing ensured on the car ride home. And after another 2 hours of cutting (without measuring), duct taping, more swearing and only one time of getting duct tape stuck in my hair plus 3 near accidental self-stabbings with the box cutter, my masterpiece was finished and working. Or so I thought until this morning when I came out and saw the stupid foam core was bowing inward and needed to be reinforced. Which I did with a hurley stick (gift from an Irish friend that's like a field hockey stick but way more badass) and a stack of hardcover books

It looks much better and way less ghetto from the outside because you can't see the hurley stick, books or the half a roll of duct tape I used. And in case any of the strata people see this, it's TEMPORARY, dammit
Right about now you are probably asking yourself "why the hell would she not have just ordered a piece of plexiglass instead of spending hours constructing whatever the fuck this thing is supposed to be??"

Trust me. I'm asking myself the same thing right now.


  1. "The problem is all the dumbassery comes with a form of amnesia, that causes me to forget what a bad idea something was in the first place and I am doomed to make certain mistakes over and over again, possibly because I think this time will be different, even though it never ever is."

    God, woman, you've just summed up my entire life. Though my dumbassery typically regards men. Bah.

    I have to applaud your efforts, though, as I'm waaaaaaaaay too lazy to even think of doing that much work, much less doing it. :-)
    Some Dark Romantic

  2. I think that amnesia thing might be the same thing that allows women to subject themselves to subsequent childbirth.

    1. I was thinking that exact thing when I read that part.

  3. When I had an air conditioner with gaps, I wet a bunch of paper towels and stuffed them in the holes. They expanded when they dried. Worked like a charm! How's THAT for ghetto?

  4. Hey, it works! That's gotta count for something. (:
    One of my problems when I start a project is not using the proper tools because either I don't have them and I'm too lazy to go to the store and buy them or 2) I'm too lazy to go looking for them because that usually entails going into our garage and the garage is soooo far away.

  5. This cracked me up!! I am so the same... doin' it the hard way... it's still a way to get things done, right? Plus, duct tape fixes most everything.

  6. I had to laugh because this sounds EXACTLY like something I would do.