Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Plaster, Irony, and Other Truly Valuable Building Materials

A couple weeks ago, as my entry in the Houseblogs.net/True Value Hardware DIY Drama contest, I posted on the Sturm und Drang that is the ceiling plaster over my third floor stairway. Or rather, that isn't the ceiling plaster over my third floor stairway, since so much of it ended up on the stairway. Therein I confessed my fault, my fault, my most grievous fault of Procrastination in fixing said plaster--leavened with a lot of excuses as to why I fell into it.

A day or two after I made that post I thought, Hey, wait a minute. There was another reason why I didn't repair that plaster before it fell down; why, last March when I had my ladder and my Big Wally's PlasterMagic repair kit on hand, I didn't get right to it. It wasn't that I didn't want to, or was suffering from a compulsion to get all the wood trim stripped first. It was because, well, the Big Wally's website was (and is) running a contest for the best videos of PlasterMagic repairs. The prize was $250, and I was determined to enter.

But I can't repair plaster and run a video camera at the same time. Whom could I get for a cinematographer to document my Atlantean effort? There was a neighbor kid with a camera and ambitions in the filmmaking direction, but she never seemed to be around when wanted. And what if she were standing within range of the damage as I worked and something should, well, happen? Didn't want the kid to get hurt. Maybe I should think of somebody else . . .

Stalemate. I kept on desiring that $250 prize and not coming up with anyone I could ask to make the video; I kept on stripping woodwork and not repairing the plaster . . . until June, when I finally tackled the ceiling and it tackled me back.

When Houseblogs.net and True Value combined to open the field for entries in the DIY Drama Contest, I thought about entering. I mean, mah dramah, let mii sho u itt. And thought some more. And a little more. (Do we discern a pattern?) Then shortly before the deadline, I pinned myself down and got the post written and submitted.

Then, having read the other submissions (and there were some impressive ones), I promptly forgot all about it, since there was no way I was going to win any of the $300 gift card prizes.

So imagine my astonishment when I got an email last week from Aaron at Houseblogs.net saying I'd won the drawing for one of the prizes!* Unbelievable, but true: Today the gift cards arrived from the contest coordinators!

So, thank you, Houseblogs.net, and thank you, True Value. I will add the latter to my Useful Links list and I encourage one and all to click on it.

But the situation is so ironic magnets fly to it. For the sake of a $250 prize I put off repairing my plaster until it fell down, which led to a post that got me a $300 prize to help me put it back up.

Yeah, I still do have to put it back up. I wonder, can I get a nice bucket of pre-slaked lime putty at my local True Value? Or maybe they can order it? It's not the easiest thing to come by . . .

Never mind. There are lots of other things this house needs that they can fix me up with very well. Without the procrastination!
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*Actually, it was a bit more complicated than that. The actual notices got hung up in my spam filter and it was through his comment on my Plaster Disaster post that he actually got the word to me.

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