Instilling Confidence

One way to prove to people you are reliable is to tell them:

“It’s okay. I’m German, so I have it all under control.”

I feel much better now…

I hate car trouble

Probably the biggest pain in my ass I can think of is car trouble.  I hate car trouble.  And yet, I drive a shitty car, so car trouble tends to like me. Go figure…

To give you an idea of how shitty my car is every New Years, my wife and I have a tradition of seeing a clairvoyant.  Go ahead…laugh, but the woman’s LE-GIT.  To the point where your draw drops and your skin tingles because there’s no possible way she could know the things she does off a credit report.

But I digress…

I only bring this up, because my car is so shitty that my clairvoyant actually told me I drive a shitty car and that it’s draining me of my money. Her advice, buy a new one.  Thanks, but my father-in-law and wife tell me this everyday.  I actually tried to throw the clairvoyant off by saying my car’s really in not that bad of shape, but her response, “just wait.” Whatever. Crazy lady. What does she know?!

So about a month ago I just dropped $1,100 on a new clutch…

A new clutch that I just had replaced 3 years ago.  Now, I know I’m a rough driver (as corroborated by the wife), but my last clutch lasted 90,000 miles.  My “new” one, only 25,000. Kind of says one of two things: that either the clutch was a default, or my mechanic was. I think both.

I say all this because I’m driving yesterday and when I lower my window the damn thing literally falls off the track and the motor starts grinding.  Just what I need while enjoying my freedom from corporate opression.

See exhibit A.

I make the decision not to take it in and spend $500 on getting a car fixed that’s probably worth just as much as a round trip metro ticket to downtown LA, and fix it myself.

So I google, “How the F— do I fix a power window on a 2004 Hyundai Santa Fe.”

I didn’t find any clear cut instructions, but I did figure out how to remove the door panel.

Once I got this off, it was just a matter of poking around.

See that cheap piece of plastic that looks like a domino tile my thumb’s on?  That needs to go in the metal track just left of it.  Basically, it’s like a sliding door that slid off it’s track.

Got the cheap plastic domino tile in place.  Hopefully, the torque from raising the window should slid it back in place…

The wife loves documenting the moments when her dude actually does a bit of handy work. 

Whoops!  The wife was helping me and I sliced my hand on the damn metal frame. It doesn’t look that bad from there, and it certainly didn’t feel that bad, but when I pulled my hand out of the frame blood was literally flowing down the window to the point where the wife thought I’d cut my finger off.

(side note: she likes hands. She also likes her husband to have all 10 digits.)

But whatever!  It works, and I’m happy.  

Now, the one problem is that there’s a second cheap piece of plastic that stops the first cheap piece of plastic (i.e. the domino tile) from sliding off the railing, so as long as I don’t roll my window all the way down I’m good as gold…

Saved myself 500 bones and the wife was was proud of her Mr. Fix It.  

It was a good day...

…So I got all “HGTV” on it

First day as a free man and what do I do?

I get all HGTV on a table that’s been sitting in our living room since we moved to LA.  My plan: to buy a mirror, antique it (WTF?!), attach that antiqued mirror as the new table top, and paint the table to give a bit more life to our chill pad.

What’s more amazing, when I told my the wife that I was doing it (i.e. put my FOOT DOWN!) she said, “Fine. Do whatever you want. I don’t care.”

I swear, I’ve never heard her say those words before IN MY LIFE. 

Here, I had my whole argument laid about why changing the color of the table would better our lives, bring us more immediate happiness, and help feed starving children in Africa, but I didn’t even have to dig into my bag of tricks. 

“Fine. Do whatever you want. I don’t care.”  God, I love that woman…

So first thing I did was google how the f— I’m supposed to antique a mirror (this sh@t just don’t come natural to any dude!).  

Thank you HGTV.COM.  Here’s the exact link if you’re interested to follow my journey (and I don’t use that word lightly).

P.S. Both the table (no longer sold in stores) and the mirror (all I did was detach it from the frame) were from IKEA. Hollah!!  

The table in the wild…

The table without any clothes on

The mirror before I got to work on it

I used Rust-Oleum’s Universal Spray paint for this project mainly because it eliminated an extra step of having to prime (cutting corners!) with the black table. The Universal series is basically paint and primer in one.

Originally, I wanted to do a pop of color with the table and make it a kind of trendy light blue (needless to say, that’s a made-up name), but when I got to Lowe’s I opted for the Copper instead because I thought it’d be less dated down the line. I also liked the texture, but who knows how things turn out until you start shootin’.

Also, in case you’re wondering I used my wife’s Christmas wrapping paper to lay the table on. Thanks, boo!

I didn’t think it was supposed to look THAT gold!

Strip!

Use a plastic paint scrapper. Don’t do a mental one, or you’ll scrap the mirror (one thing I actually DIDN’T learn the hard way on this project!)

Clean-Strip Premium Stripper to remove the back of the mirror. Aerosol can works best.

Also, notice how I’m now rockin’ the hot purple rubber gloves as opposed to the clear latex ones?  Why do you think that is?  I’ll give you once guess…and it had to do with me (once again) learning the hard way.

Paint stripper eats through latex!  Makes for an interesting (i.e. burning!) sensation when touching the skin, so please take my word for it on this one :)

A little Klean-Strip Muriatic Acid to remove mirror once you’re removed the mirror backing. I did like the instructions said. Pour into a spray bottle and spray onto the mirror itself.

Just a quick note, but from here on down this project becomes a little bit more artistic because you have to consider your antique design.  

Something I definitely underestimated before taking this project on…

The muriatic acid stripping the mirror itself making pieces of it into a window.

This took me a solid 30 minutes before mirror flakes started coming off.  What helps is taking a paper towel and blotting the areas that you sprayed to see if it’s ready to come off.

BTW…make sure you’re on a flat surface.  I was on a slight decline, so I ended up with a few streaks that look like someone took a wee on my mirror instead of nice antiqued blotches…**sigh**…FML.

A few coats of gold spray paint

Can’t tell you how many coats to use.  Gotta judge it on the fly!

Also, once the paint is dry you can glue it to your table.  I used epoxy as it’s supposed to hold 1,500 lbs per square inch.  Overkill?  Naaaaahhhh……

The final product!

Was it worth it?  The wife told me it looked a bit ’70′s, but she still gave me a few kisses for the effort.

Here’s a close-up…

Should have stripped more around the edges….lesson for next time…

Good luck!!

FREEDOM!!

Why does it always feel so good to quit a job?

(Why did I just write that so casually that it sounds like I can’t hold a job?)

Whatever… I quite my job today!!  That’s right…I threw in the towel at a well-known brand and start-up (i.e. seldomly watched) cable network, and my back feels so much lighter without the monkey on it.

So here’s my post for the day…

You know those emails people send out when they’re leaving a company? Usually, they say something polite about how the best thing working at the company was “the people,” and then make the eternal vow to stay in touch while hesitantly attaching their contact info thru gritted teeth?

Below is my version of that.

Before you read it, I’ll say this:  At 30, it’s getting harder to put on a face for people.  That’s a good thing, right? I hear it’s supposed to be.  

Granted, I don’t know if my below email results from years (2 years and 10 months to be exact) of corporate oppression, or if I actually am turning a corner in this roller coaster ride called “life.” One thing I do know for sure…and as usual…I thought my joke was pretty damn funny. But then again, I’m the funniest person I know (next to my wife, of course!).

Although, it would probably make more sense if you knew where I worked, but you should be able to figure it out from the below…ENJOY!!

SUBJECT:  It’s not “good-bye…”

BODY:  …it’s ” ’till I see you again! HAHAHAHAHAH!!!”

{Contact info inserted here}

(Thank you Face of the Last Season of Oprah!)

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