Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Happy Bastille Day!

Or actually, Bastille Soir. Anyway, happy happy.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Snow and Popcorn

I love popcorn at the movies…not so much at home. Especially not on my ceiling.

Our house was built in the ‘70s and we have replaced many of the unfortunate remnants of that decade. The avocado shag carpet was the first to go, and the bamboo hanging light fixture in the kitchen wasn’t far behind. Of course, not everything ‘70s is gone—I can’t see the harm of keeping the funky wallpaper that’s in the finished basement and replacing the spiral staircase would be a nightmare.

However, one of the less fortunate design choices was the popcorn (or acoustical spray-on) ceiling that covers most of the public spaces—only the bedrooms and bathrooms are exempt. While I didn’t love the ceiling, I was happy to ignore it for a long while. For about a decade apparently. There was always something “better” to do—new air conditioner and heater, new washer/dryer to replace the dead ones, then the fridge went…

So, the popcorn receded into my subconscious until one morning I went into the living room and saw a snowy like material on the coffee table…and looked up…and saw that the ceiling was molting. My period of denial was officially over, soooo…

We took a sample of the material to a lab to be tested for asbestos…it was negative, thank goodness. Now, Himself and a friend are removing it from the ceiling. A couple of weekends ago, they did the living room. This weekend, we decided to try to remove the rest…or at least as much of the rest as is possible.

There’s nothing high tech about the removal. You use a garden sprayer to wet it, then scrape if off. That’s it. It’s a simple but messy and labor intensive process that results in large wet heaps of cottage cheese consistency popcorn ending up on the floor. The bonus plan is the extra “dust” that meanders through the house for a couple of days afterward.

I’m doing my part by staying out of the way, holed up in the study, while the real work takes place down the hall in the dining room. Later I’ll provide beer and sandwiches. The dogs are none too happy at their confinement since we can’t let them run around in the plastic covered house.

I’ll make it up to them later. We’ll all hang out tonight and watch a mindless video…and maybe I’ll make some popcorn for the canids to catch while we watch.