Exercise In Futility

This is day three of my four day vacation.

Randy and I decided to take four straight days to work on the house. Our goal is to be ready-to-list by mid summer. When I say that is “our” goal, that is actually “my” goal. I don’t think Randy is aware of any timeline.

Randy wasn’t down with the whole “let’s work over our mini vacation” plan until I told him we could also drink.

The house interior desperately needs to be painted. I have no idea what happened to these walls. I assume that grimy elves have food fights in our house while we sleep. So, instead of spending money we don’t have on painters, I decided I would do it myself.What could go wrong? I have the patience of a toddler on crack and the fine motor skills of Gumby. I got this.

My list of things to do included getting a huge jump on all of the painting. What I have managed to get finished is our bathroom. The smallest room in the house. I’m not quite finished. I have to fix all the spots that I fucked up. So you know, I need to mostly repaint the baseboards.

I have since learned to do the walls before the baseboards. 

At least, I did a good job on the ceiling. Other than the spots where I got paint from the walls.

I know that it’s best to use neutral colors when you want to sell your house. So obviously, I picked a TARDIS blue for the bathroom.

I probably would have gotten more done if we had left the “booze” part out of our vacation plans. But really,house paiting that was the only way I could convince Randy that a working vacation would be a good time.

Thursday night, before we released our inner Bob Villas, we went out for dinner. We decided that we would leave the home improvements behind and relax.

We managed to make it to the restaurant without getting annoyed with each other. It seems like an easy task since the restaurant is about a six minute drive, but we are really good at getting annoyed with each other. We only need two to three minutes. Especially, if driving is involved.

We didn’t spend the first ten minutes quietly fuming while assuring each other that we are definitely not mad and were able to dive right into a meaningful conversation.

Me: We are really suited for each other.

Randy: How so?

Me: Well, we like so many of the same things, you know? And where we part ways are ways of both strength and weakness. Our strengths and weaknesses are like interlocking pieces. Where I am weak, you are strong. If it weren’t for your strength and your unwavering belief in me, I’d never be able to do what I do.

Randy: What do you give me in this puzzle piece thing?

Me: I got you to stop saying “We’re not going there. It will be stupid”.

Randy is a sweetheart, a compassionate and giving human. I am proud of him and smug that I get to spend my life with him.

Randy is also a curmudgeon. I don’t know how long he’s been a curmudgeon, way before he met me, though. I think he might have been hatched as a curmudgeon.

Randy’s natural inclination is to say “no” or to reject new things. He also assumes that most things just won’t work out.

For instance, the time I wanted to cook a goose.

Randy: Where the fuck are you going to get a goose?

Me: At this weird place you’ve probably never heard of. It’s called a grocery store.

Randy: They aren’t going to have a goose at the grocery store. What are you thinking? You think they have geese at the grocery store? Nobody actually eats geese.

Me: What the fuck are you on about? Of course they will.

We went to the store and walked back to meat department.

Randy: This is an exercise in futility.

Me: Aaaand here is a frozen goose. I hear they also have peanut butter here. And ice cream. Crazy.

I ended up not buying the goose because they’re really fucking expensive. 

Since then, the only time I ever use the phrase “exercise in futility” is just before I’m about tell Randy that he’s doing that curmudgeonly thing again.

In his defense, he didn’t say once that the “paint the house even though we both suck at it” plan was a bad plan. He told me I did really good work.

I don’t know if I’d go that far, but so far, the plan doesn’t seem futile.

I mean, it’s not like I’m trying to cook a goose or anything.


While we were busy, Dude sneaked off and took pictures of himself. He also sent out a birthday wish to a fan.




Add your comments below. Profanity is encouraged, but not required. ;)
  1. Maria P says:

    I spent spring break painting my bedroom, walls and ceiling, so you are not crazy. Yup one single room. Sooooo hard but so pleased. Just a few spots to touch up…Still. Best of luck

  2. Donna says:

    The only way I’m able to paint my walls is by putting murals on ’em. Maybe if I thought of the walls as canvas and myself as Malevich (or Barnett Newman even) I’d have more luck.

    Curmudgeon, that was my Amazing Bob — a wonderfully silly one.

  3. BarbaraM says:

    Congrats on reaching your Gofundme goal. Hope that helps them for awhile. How’s the baby doing?
    P.S. Keep Dude away from the camera – it’s a good thing he doesn’t have thumbs.

  4. Shari W says:

    we just finished a redo of all the bedrooms with new carpet and paint. evenjoy though my curmudgeon won’the let me touch a paintbrush (how will I ever get good at it??) by some miracle we are still married. Home renovation is a relationship killer for sure!! Hang in there.

  5. Lisa K says:

    Once again, you have made me the happy renter of a singlewide on a sandpile ….

    LOVED how the GoFundMe turned out! I’ve never been a part of one of these, so it was thrilling to watch the numbers and ‘shares.’ <3
    Needless to say, she is beautiful and loved <3

    When painting, my job is ALWAYS the baseboards and trim cuz I'm a whiz with painter's tape 😀

    And, just to make you feel better… I took a 4 day Grandbaby vacation and ended up with the flu on the first day 🙁

    Curious… when you sell, where are you moving to?

    • Michelle says:

      We aren’t moving far. I live north of Cincinnati and the rest of my family lives in northern KY just on the other side of the river from Cincinnati. We’re going to look around there. So 40 minutes south.

  6. Doug in Oakland says:

    As a child, I was press-ganged into service painting two of my father’s houses (one we lived in, one rental) and the experience came in really handy later on. I worked at a body shop prepping cars for my brother to paint for a couple of years, and I helped my retired friend JT remodel one of his houses, and the paint came out spectacular (100 year old thick Redwood paneling which you could see the grain in after I was through sanding it).
    My mom once decorated our bathroom in hot pink (it was the seventies) and my father didn’t even blink, which may have had something to do with the fleas-we-couldn’t-get-out-ot-the-front-room-carpet incident that repeatedly left my mother in tears in her bathrobe in the living room with fleas on her legs, but I can’t be sure about that one.
    I have been following the progress of your Gofundme page, and congratulations on meeting your goal. May it be just the thing little McKinlee needs to pull this whole live-in-the-world thing out and take to thriving here.
    As for the goose, I can only imagine that farm raised, store bought geese are better to eat and easier to cook than their wild, shot out of the sky with a shotgun cousins. My father was an avid goose hunter, which meant that he and my mother had to learn how to cook them when they got them home. All dark meat, kinda oily, kinda tough, I wasn’t a fan. I was the asshole little kid whining “Can we have a turkey for Thanksgiving instead?”
    As for the booze and painting thing, it can be done. My brother was a very skilled professional painter, and he was loaded on just about everything the whole time…

  7. Randy is wise. I don’t even think about a regular week that doesn’t include alcohol let alone a vacation. You guys seem like an awesome couple! Glad you found each other.
    I refuse to use the term working vacation. It goes against everything I was raised to beleive. We watch those renovation shows. By we I mean he watches it from beginning to end while I look at the before and after. And not the before if it gives me the icks. He would love to spend time improving things in the house. I would love to stay in a hotel until it’s done.
    Hey! I think I just planned our next vacation

  8. Haralee says:

    Good luck with the home improvements. I want to paint every room in our house but I really suck. I am sitting in my office looking at the terrible job I did on my office so I won’t go any further. So many people paint walls and feel relaxation from it. I wish you that feeling!

  9. Arionis says:

    So I guess I am also a fellow curmudgeon (^5 Randy!) I get set in my ways and my wife, who happens to be named Michele, has to often twist my arm to get me to try new things. Take last night for instance. We went out to our favorite Sushi restaurant (only have been eating sushi for about a year because I mule headedly refused to try it before then) and found the place was temporarily closed due to a fire. Right next to the place was a new diner that had just opened up and Michele wanted to try it. I, of course, said it would suck and let’s go to one of our other familiar places. So after driving around for half an hour and not agreeing on where to go, we ended up right back at the diner. It didn’t suck. Go figure.

    I’m sure you already know this, but sex and booze are great motivators to combat our curmudgeondry. 🙂

  10. I’m super-jealous that you guys talk in restaurants.

    Wait! That’s not what I came here to say… hang on, let me scroll up…

    OH YEAH! Husband wants me to paint the main floor powder room TARDIS blue too! It’s the tiniest bathroom you’ve ever seen (I can’t actually photograph it, but imagine being able to wash your hands while sitting on the toilet, because you can. It’s not as much of a time-saver as you’d think.) Naturally, I wanted to paint it a lighter color to make it seem bigger (that old trick that never works) and then decided to just glitter the crap out of it (they make glitter paint now, and glitter tile, so… yeah) but he’s all about the TARDIS blue and maybe replacing the door. “Then, when people use it, they can all remark on how it’s smaller on the inside!”

    Seriously, you guys talk in restaurants? What’s that like?

  11. Don’t tell my wife I said this but I’m also married to a curmudgeon. And it doesn’t help that things usually go like this:
    1. I suggest trying a new thing.
    2. She isn’t interested.
    3. I get really insistent about trying the new thing. I may even sulk and get huffy.
    4. She agrees to try the new thing.
    5. The new thing turns out to be disastrous and we only realize it’s horribly expensive when it’s too late to back out.
    6. I am filled with deep self-loathing and a lot of swear words shouted into the void of the universe asking why trying something new inevitably leads to a massive fuck-up and I do not suggest anything new for at least a couple of years.
    7. Repeat.

    So I admire and respect the curmudgeons of the world and why the hell is it we can’t be like them?

    • Michelle says:

      Hahahha…see? My experience is mostly the opposite. We try something new and he ends up really liking it..sometimes it is begrudgingly, but still.

  12. mydangblog says:

    Sounds like a match made in heaven! I, too, tend to plan home renos for Ken and me during vacation time. The drinking helps ME, anyway.