Today, I’m pleased to welcome Jim Proctor to my blog. He’s the author of a novella (“Made in the Stars”) and two novels (The Last Steward and Veronica Phoenix). Veronica Phoenix is his latest, and I loved it! You also should check out his Facebook page, especially if you’re an author looking to connect with one of the most helpful fellow authors on the planet. So, without further ado, a few words from Jim on painting a cinder block wall.

Would anyone care to guess how much fun painting a cinder block wall is? Anyone? What’s that? Did someone say “Zero”. That’s a good answer, and it would have been my answer until this morning. In the movie “Freaky Friday” the teenage girl (Lindsay Lohan) calls her mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) a Fun Sucker because “You suck the fun out of everything!” Personally, when I hear “fun sucker” and “Jamie Lee Curtis” in the same sentence, I get an entirely different idea of… never mind.

Painting a cinder block wall is negative fun. The activity is a fun sucker. It gets into your mind and begins sucking away the fun. But it doesn’t stop when it has sucked up all the fun you might have had while painting. No, it sucks away even your memories of fun. By the time you have been painting for an hour, you begin to wonder if there is any point in continuing to live. By this point, if you are lucky, the paint fumes are already killing you.

I am painting the cinder block wall of the basement of my parent’s house, trying to get the place ready to sell. After finishing the first coat, I dragged out the shop vac and began vacuuming all the cobwebs hanging from the overhead joists. Do you remember the scene in Lord of the Rings where Frodo walks into Shelob’s lair and the place is full of cobwebs. Frodo keeps getting caught in them. That is what the basement looked like. There were a lot of very unhappy spiders when I finished.

When I go back, the wall will get a second coat. Then I will move a few things and start on the next section of wall. Once I get a solid base of the UGL Drylock Supreme, I will break out my Wagner Power Painter and shoot a layer of Kilz primer over it, and then maybe a layer of white latex. Yes, lots of fun.

2 thoughts on “On the Nature of Fun by Guest Blogger Jim Proctor

  1. When I was in college, I decided to paint the apartment. The flat ceilings were the most difficult. Pushing the roller over my head meant that strokes were uneven, my arms would tire and my body was slowly coated by a mist of paint speckles, starting with my hair, eye lashes, shoulders… Painting was Hell. So was a computer programming class I was taking. I solved both problems by hanging out in the engineering lounge. They swarmed around me and my little programming assignments, and I rallied a team to paint my apartment. They were virile young men so I had to pay the price and put out, of course. Baked chicken, rice, beer and a cake – yeah, I’m easy.

    1. Ceilings are the worst! As you said, you end up covered in paint speckles, and it never turns out as even as you would like. Maybe that’s why Elvis put shag carpet on the ceiling of the Jungle Room.

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