Tag Archives: house painting

Pulling Everything Together


So there I was. With a week to impress a very disappointed landlord. I had almost no resources and I reached out to my group of friends who had experienced the HoG on the same level I had. Immediately, I had responses. An overflow of them, actually. Paint, tools, cleaning parties, I had everything I needed. Diablo spent the last of his budget on some paint that would cover stains (particularly sharpie) and I got to work. We cleared out the living room and started cleaning up the beer cans.

My dear friend Liza came over with her camera and photographed a few things before we totally started fixing it up. Liza is a photographer, videographer, model, poet, and a whole bunch of other things, too. She is one of the most lovely human beings that I know and I’m sure there will be a blog post dedicated to her at some point.

Four hours of cleaning and scrubbing later, all of the furniture was either in the kitchen or on the lawn and I had begun painting over the words and images that had helped define all of us over the course of two months.It was arduous – and heartbreaking. It was the first real symbol of us having to move on from the house. Of course, part of me had been waiting for this for weeks, and the other part of me was scared and never wanted it to end.

We managed to get enough paint to re-vamp the entire house, and I started, well, re-vamping. I planned a cleaning party and had a decent turn-out. With the help of twenty people, we got the first coat of actual white paint on the living room walls. We got the lawn mowed and the beehives on the roof taken care of and the old mattress and couches burned.

The next day, Docken (the other room mate) and our mutual friend Khiara did some hardcore cleaning. I turned the trash room into a porch. The lawn was fixed, the trash room was gone, and I had painted some nice color on the living room, effectively finishing that project. In a week, we took down the entire downstairs and outside.

Weeds trimmed, flowerbeds weeded, trash hauled away, and a fresh coat of paint on all of the walls except for the bathroom, which would get taken care of later. The gutters were spotless, and so I guess we weren’t quite ‘gutter punks’ anymore, unless you count the person who actually climbed around on the roof like a drunken monkey getting all of the punk out of the gutter.

We even scouted the neighborhood and discovered a beautiful sofa, recliner, and desk that were in almost perfect condition to move into the freshly painted house. We carried these items a few blocks and successfully moved them in that night. The living room looked like something out of a country living magazine – as long as you disregarded the still-tarnished floor.

The landlord arrived the next Tuesday. Despite the fact that there was still large amounts of work to do on the house, we got the reaction we were looking for. Her eyes lit up the second she stepped out of her car. Of course, it wasn’t perfect. It will take a couple of years for the lawn to totally regrow and the integrity of the roof after supporting so many bodies will never be quite the same.

She entered the living room and almost gasped. Her joy at the changes showed clearly on her face as she toured the lower half of the house. No more trash room. No more stink of beer and adolescence. A well thought-out color scheme. Semi-gloss paint instead of matte in the kitchen for easier cleaning and less gruesome grease stains. Turning the corner to head upstairs, I had to stop her. I informed her that a week is a very small amount of time to get anything done, and the only fixing that had been done on the upstairs was a quick cleanup job. The walls leading up the stairs had a fresh coat of light green paint and we were busy getting the right parts to re-install the banisters (definitely a story to tell later).

It was coming along, but there’s only so much you can do. She nodded and expressed her approval of what had been done, giving us more time to keep fixing the house. The end of July was coming up, though, and I had received news from my girlfriend that she and her faithful troupe of road dogs were heading north from Iowa. Soon, it would be time for me to leave.

Funny how, in theory, packing a bag and walking out a door is easier than fixing an entire house.

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The Angry Landlord and the Quick Save


I think it’s time to talk about the owner of the house I was living in at the time, because this is a very important part of the story, and an inspiring one. Diablo’s cousin, who owned the house, had let him rent it for 300 a month with the agreement that he would fix a couple of little things to make the entire house sellable.

Now, I love my dear Diablo, but he is irresponsible to an extreme, and he managed to pull me into that irresponsibility. When I arrived at the house for the first party, it was in kind of bad shape. The carpet in the living room had been ripped out, revealing ugly, damaged floorboards. The living room walls were covered in various colors of paint and small amounts of graffiti. The carpets upstairs had been slightly tarnished. There was a room specifically for trash that smelled like, well, the inside of a dumpster.

By the time mid-July rolled around, we had only damaged the house more. The shower had been broken, the living room walls were covered in sharpie – hundreds of phone numbers, drawings, and tags that gave the HoG its appeal. For us, it was beautiful. An entire room filled with stunning imagery and contact information from some of the most creative, wonderful people we had ever met. A wall dedicated to a dramatic day-by-day, play-by-play of the house. The tags had started to spread into the kitchen. The trash room was overflowing. The upstairs carpets were done for. The walls that hadn’t been tarnished by sharpie had been marked by dirty, oily hands and blood.

Blood – the entry way to the stairs leading to the bedrooms had been tagged with someone’s blood at a party that got a little too out of hand. ‘Fuck life’ was smeared across the previously untouched wall in an angsty scrawl. Outside, there were couches, chairs, and a mattress soiling the lawn. The vines had overgrown, the grass had been torn up by the feet of hundreds of little punks, and the flowerbeds were in a state of weedy disrepair.

Screens had been busted out of windows, the electricity had gone out in one upstairs room, muddy boot-steps led out a window and onto the roof.

Beer cans and cigarette butts lay strewn as far as the eye could see, piled creatively in flower pots and stacked in pyramids wherever there was free space. Broken bottles lay scattered on the overgrown back walk, the roof was covered in an assortment of used condoms, random snacks, blankets, and other waste products. A doggie chew-toy hung over the stoop from a gutter, and the front door no longer possessed a door handle.

We had become the true epitome of punk house. Warm, flat beer, people who smelled bad, and blood-smeared walls. Our stink defined the neighborhood, put a new spin on ‘you smell good’ and invited trouble we could not have imagined when we first started. We saw it all as a creative mess, a natural disaster, the perfect aesthetic. The landlord saw it a little differently. Phrases that come to mind immediately are ‘terrible’, ‘oh my god what happened to my house’ and ‘oh no no no no no no no NO’.

This incredible woman who had been so kind to let Diablo stay in that house was in the business of flipping properties and using the money to build schools. By trashing the house, we were, effectively, stealing opportunities for education from young minds. I had no idea, and neither did she. We had lived by the subconscious vibe of ‘what we don’t know won’t hurt us’, but upon her arrival, we changed our tune to ‘what have we done, we’ve made fools of everyone’.

We had only gotten the opportunity to screw things up so royally because she had been gone for a couple of months and wasn’t regularly checking up on the house. She had no idea anything had happened and she was under the impression that only Diablo lived there. She was in for a surprise. At the time she returned, Diablo had adopted not one but two room mates that were not paying rent and effectively draining the pockets of society.

She would not come to know this. Her arrival at the house was a dramatic one. As I washed dishes and Diablo played Super Smash, we heard a knock on the door. Dun dun dun, our doom was fast approaching. Diablo stood and went to check who it was, immediately freezing up and freaking out.

“Do not tell her you live here. Say you’re visiting.” He hurriedly whispered as a sense of dread fell over the entire house and at least three nearby neighborhoods.

A quick salute, a calming breath, and the sound of a door opening later, we were in big trouble. Tears filled her eyes as she got a first-hand look at what atrocities teenagers given responsibility were capable of. She toured the house and then took a moment to compose herself before expressing her anger, disappointment, and worry to Diablo. She was tempted to kick him out on the spot, black-list him to the rest of his family, even have his car sold to pay for damages.

He was incapable of defending himself or calming her down. it was time for someone to step in.

“Hey, I know you have no idea who I am, but I’m a close friend of Diablo’s, and I came over to help him out cleaning up. I have to take some responsibility for the mess in the first place, but trust me when I say that I have been over here a lot helping to reign the dear boy in. I have come to see this house as a safe place, and many others have, too, so I am willing to put in work to make you happy and allow him to keep the house.”

Her face relaxed slightly. I went on to tell her that my father had trained me to be a house painter, that there were many people who cared about the house, and that we would invest time and effort into making it sellable once again. The guarded look on her face and her hesitation to trust a stranger were overcome by a realization of how deep of a hole she would be in if she didn’t accept a little bit of help.

She decided to give HoG a chance. She decided to give me a chance. She knew Diablo would be going out of town that weekend and she asked if I could house-sit for a few days, which would give me more time to help clean up. I accepted, and we were off on the biggest cleaning mission I had ever agreed to – and the cleaning of my childhood room was no joke.

I had a week to prove to her that I could make the house a good place again. Just one week to make a drastic change that would determine the fate of the House of God.

I was ready.

The House Painter


I am in the process of painting a house. Yes, me. It is, in fact, my job for right now seeing as how I have gotten zero (count them) callbacks from fast food restaurants and Walmart to interview. It probably has something to do with the fact that my cover letters are incredibly unprofessional and my resume has like, one job on it. No biggie.

So my dad hired me to help clean and paint a house and I have been working for the past two days on this particular task. The pay is good and the hours are good but the work is hard and pretty disgusting. It’s this house that these two chainsmokers and their kids used to live in so we have to scrub down the walls to get all of the nicotine stains off before we paint.

Working two days, we have managed to clean about half of the house, but we still have all of the bedrooms, who’s walls are covered in pop stains, cat hair, nicotine stains, and Asgard knows what else. It’s a pretty fucking gross job but I can’t complain. We have until July first and I’m hoping to make enough money to actually start seriously looking for a place to live.

I’m ready to move out. So ready. I want to grab a cute room mate and just take off into the land of adulthood really hard, but I know that if I go without planning and shit, I’ll just fall on my ass. So this month is the month of making money. I’m working two jobs and gutting my room in my free hours. It’s a good deal. A lot of work, but nice.

And this weekend is our annual Frog Party. I was super excited for it because of a few certain people that were going to be here, but apparently they can’t make it so now I’m simply pretty excited. Hey, it’s still a good party.

All in all, life is going alright, I suppose. There was a massive thunderstorm last night and it was beautiful. I’ve been a bit happier in general. However, this rash/sickness thing is still persisting and I’m on my second round of steroids to try to fix the problem.

As a final note, I got my one hundred dollars in gift money from winning the poetry slam and I bought a swimsuit, a new taper kit to gauge my ears again, some batman plugs, some wall chargers for my Ipod, a camera charger, and some Jubes. I’m pretty excited for everything to get here.

I honestly can’t wait to start gauging my ears again. I’ve missed having plugs in them for so long!!!

Anyway, it’s time to go and get some things done, I suppose. I have to work in a hour and a half and I think we’re pulling a four to six hour shift today. Good gods, I’ll be ripped by the time this job is finished.

Love ya!

House Painting, being an Olympic Swimmer, and Dr. Horrible


So, I hate it when my friends are feeling down or when something bad happens to them. That’s why I’m beginning this blog post with a shout out to the incredibly lovely Lexi, who is strong, brave, compassionate, amazing, beautiful, and, ultimately, under-appreciated.

She had a really rough patch today, as those of you who read her blog know. I’m happy that she is trying to bounce back from it, but I also want to let her know that I love and support her, and that she can talk to me if she ever needs to. I love you, Lexi.

On to orders of business about my day. I woke up early to go to work (I know, crazy, right?) with my father who offered me a day-long job. It was a painting job, so we were doing the entire upstairs of a rental house (in a very colorful state), painting it white with brown trim.

The creativity died in me a little today, along with my energy and cleanliness, but all of my debts are now paid off with a little extra money to spare. Yes, yes, I am proud of me.

I also got to go to lunch with dad, where I was told by a very old lady that I looked exactly like an Olympic swimmer. God, that made me feel good. I wish I was an Olympic swimmer!

I watched Dr. Horrible’s Sing-along Blog today. It always makes me happysadconfusedhappyfeelterriblehappysademotionalhappysad.

So, pretty much…that was my day. I am now watching the Olympics, filled with all those dirty, dirty semi-gods who have dirty, dirty sexual encounters in the Olympians Village.

Oh, you know what I’m talking about. You know.

Love ya!