On Making Moves and “Weekend Projects”

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I’m Old As Dirt

You know that Will Ferrel quote from Old School, the one where he talks about his “big Saturday” visiting Home Depot for wall paper and flooring, and possibly making it to Bed Bath & Beyond if they have enough time?  I feel like I’ve somewhat hit the point in my life, where that behavior might start creeping into my weekend routines.  Now, I’m confident they won’t overtake them, but last weekend, I did make 8 separate Home Depot trips and spent an hour at Lowes discussing the best way to refinish furniture with two very eager sales reps.   I even spent an hour at Michael’s (the craft store that up until last weekend was the nameless place my mother used to drag me to) picking out picture frames.

The scary part is that I didn’t hate it.

The reason I’d been acting so domesticated (and why it’s been so long since my last post)  is I’ve spent what feels like the last month, but really has only been the last three weeks. moving.   My roommate and I made the leap from North Shippen St in Lancaster, to North Duke St, a whopping 2 whole blocks.

The move felt like it lasted months because despite being in the new digs for something like two weeks, I’m sleeping on a mattress on the ground, I don’t have a dresser (I have the contents though, and they’re all over my floor), and there’s just stacks of stuff everywhere.  The reason?  I decided that while I was already in transit it was time to whittle down, spruce up, and overhaul my living space and possessions.

Before I knew it I had a to do list on the fridge.  It read:

  • Refinish desk
  • Refinish hutch
  • Refinish dresser
  • Paint Room
  • Frame artwork
  • Downsize shit

The older I get, the more I have did-you-really-just-act-like-your-father moments.  I guess it’s inevitable and somewhat predictable, but it’s scary.  I’ve recently referred to someone as a “horses’s  ass”, I’ve gone for ice cream by myself, and now this: I have a list of weekend projects.

The finished product of my last few weekends, minus the fact that my bed should be to the right of the desk.

On Weekend Projects

I’ve always associated the “weekend project” with dads (more specifically, my father).  A weekend project, in my eyes, could be something as simple as raking the leaves or cutting down a dead tree; something quick and painless that could be done in one sitting (or something that begins quick and painless: my father recently chopped a tree that fell the wrong way and ended up blocking the state road we live on for a hot second).  It could also be more ongoing: building a fire pit, repainting lawn furniture, or installing a bar in your basement.  It’s anything you work on during your free time, that doesn’t necessarily need to be done by you (there’s always professionals).

The reason I haven’t been writing lately; this is where my computer normally sits.

I shouldn’t act so surprised that I’m replacing Saturday morning hangovers with Saturday morning painting sessions. It’s been creeping up on my for the better part of a year.   I recently helped one of my good friends move into a brand new house, that he purchased.  Sure, we drank afterwards (and maybe a bit during), but we worked.  I ended up helping the same friend partially install his back patio the night before we went to the shore.  Last summer, my dad started teaching me some of his handyman skills.  We made a bookshelf and several sets of bean bag boards (this summer I was too busy kayaking, and rafting, and going to Ireland to have time).

In hindsight, these having these weekend projects isn’t as lame as I was initially thinking.   It’s not something I want to start revolving my life around, but it does give one a sense of accomplishment that I like; a sense of accomplishment in saving money doing something yourself, a sense of accomplishment that you have the ability to do that something yourself, and in many instances a tangible product; a result of the hard work.

Especially for guys, weekend projects are more often then not a social experience.  I’m all for anytime I could have fun and be productive.  I got to help my friend move into my first house and spent quality time with my dad.  No complaints about that.

How I Spent a Saturday Morning.

My Weekend Projects

Now, I’ll bore you with my recent productive weekends (save this last three day weekend, which was about as unproductive as you can get, unless gaining weight and destroying livers counts as being productive).

My new room was sort of a dull grey color so I decided to create an accent wall in bright green.  My mom assures me it’s trendy (she reads a lot of Better Homes and Gardens), and it ended up looking better than I thought it would, which leads me to “framing artwork.”  I had a number of posters I wanted to hang up and I keep getting told that I should frame everything since I’m not in college anymore.  Thankfully the dollar store exists, because I was completely unaware how expensive picture frames are.  I am though, aware of how expensive posters are (it’s really insane).  My solution (this one isn’t new, I’ve been doing it for years), instead of purchasing posters, steal them.  Hear me out.  My room (and apartment) is largely decorated in bar posters. They’re interesting to look at, they’re fun, and they’ll throw them out anyhow.  It’s not legitimate artwork.

Looking above my desk as I type this is An Erin Express schedule from 2011 that I took from Bonners in Philadelphia, A Dropkick Murphy’s Shamrock & Roll Festival poster (ok, this one I got legitimately.  We were pregaming the concert at Irish Pub and I asked the bartender if I could take it), a B-Street Band ad for Friday Feb 26 of an indiscriminate year that I took from the men’s room of a bar outside Philly we saw Secret Service at, and a Miller High LIfe special I took from the Purple Shamrock this past Halloween.    Not only do they look cool, but I look at them and remember the time/place they’re associated with.

On a related note, when looking at options for decorating our new apartment, I found this awesome website called Prinstagram, that turns Instagram pictures into posters.  I haven’t received mine yet, but created one poster with 50 different Ireland images on it.

Framing a Bulmer’s poster I snatched in Ireland.

My biggest project was re-doing my furniture.  All of it was old, and pretty crappy.  I’d actually jacked most of it from my college residence when we left.  I have a desk, dresser, and hutch.  What I learned from my friends at Lowes, was how to sand them down, prime, and then paint them.  I also replaced all the knobs/handles.  It costs a little bit of money, but is much cheaper than buying new furniture, and they look really good.

My finished hutch.

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