Home Improvement Month - Randy's July Projects

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  • After last month's audio project binge, I looked around my apartment and tried to figure out where I was going to put all of my awesome new things. It was not apparently clear. There was stuff everywhere and space nowhere. It dawned upon me that I just spent a month putting in a lot of time ad effort into building musical devices, but all the while I was living in utter squalor. It was then, upon coming to the realization, that I resolved two things:

    1) I was going to run with this idea of giving myself themed project months.
    2) More importantly, July's theme was going to be (had to be) home improvement.

    This first thing that I learned this month is that home improvement is not particularly an easy task with a bum shoulder and in a rental apartment in which I couldn't make any drastic "improvements." In fact, many things I envisioned being added or getting fixed simply never happened. For instance, I intended to replace some plumbing fixtures, but at the last minute, the voice of reason stepped in an said, "In case something goes wrong, plumbing repairs are probably better handled by the landlord."

    The other major impediment I encountered was roommates. Sometimes an improvement for one, is not an improvement in the eyes of another. In addition, I started a number of larger projects intended to somehow "tie the room together" only to learn that my roommate who owned all of the furniture in said room was moving out "in a few months." At this point, I was about ready to quit my campaign for home improvement, but I collected myself and gave it a little more thought.

    There were certain things that needed improvement, independent of other people's opinions or furniture. For one, I could hang planters because the apartment has been utterly devoid of life since getting rid of the cat in March (and then the fleas in April). I could also add lamps to the living room as the only light fixture in that room for the past three months was a strand of blue Christmas lights. And then there was the extra bedroom which I am renting to use as an art studio that has not changed since I dumped all of my supplies in the day before my surgery. That room needed cleaning, organizing and lighting.

    I, therefore, diverted most of my efforts to little things like cleaning the apartment and fixing odds and ends. At the end of the day, I decided that it was a small battle I could win. Massive home improvement on the other hand, it turns out, is not a one-month sort of undertaking. It is a long-term endeavor that is constantly evolving as life circumstances change. So, I'm going to keep fixing the little things that are within my grasp, keep pestering the landlord to fix the things that are within his and anxiously wait for my roommate's furniture to move out to have another home-themed month.