Friday, August 14, 2009


I'm typically not the type to directly address reader queries in the public arena, but just last week Jouda Shawn - perhaps Good Rubbish's most celebrated of readers - posed a question so masterfully worded, so devastatingly forthright, that he really left me with no choice but to dedicate half a post to it. And I quote:

Enron, Are you gonna be like my first daddy and only visit once a month now?
For the record, that was actually only 1/10th of what he wrote in his question, but the rest of his rambling commentary was deemed by myself alongside an army of objective observers to be morally repugnant and wholly unfit for public consumption. 13 or so years ago we came to the same conclusion regarding Whoopi Goldberg's performance in the film "Eddie", so there's a track record of reliability established here. You can trust our judgment.

Anyway, the truth of the matter is that I'm going through a bit of a Rubbish-reluctant phase right now, and I'm not sure when (or, I suppose, if) it's going to end. When I first started this blog it was an absolute passion of mine, but over time I've grown quite weary of the whole process - not so much doing the projects themselves, I still enjoy that to the nth degree, but having to stop all the time to take all of these fucking pictures, and then putting together these ridiculously long winded posts... I mean, it's just started to suck the fun out of the whole process for me. As I was explaining to Mother McHanslaw the other evening, my relationship with the world of Rubbish has reached a point where I often feel as though I'm trapped in a classic loveless marriage with this blog, requiring me to roll over and "perform" once every month or so to keep up the illusion of a functional relationship. Afterward I feel far more relief than accomplishment, though surprisingly no guilt. So at least I've got that going for me.

So then why bother to perform? Clearly stepping back from an authorial chair at the head of an obscure blog is a lot less perilous than backing out of a longstanding marriage, so why not just shut the blog down and call it good?

Well, the second piece of truth here is that I am a fickle son of a bitch, and it's not a purely voluntary thing. My interests and - when I can find them - passions change all the damn time, and rarely with any warning whatsoever, so while I'm a bit burned out on Good Rubbish right now, I know full well that there's a good chance I might suddenly find myself wanting to do 2 posts a week again at some point 6 months from now. Or maybe even 6 days from now. 6 hours seems pretty unlikely. 6 minutes is completely out of the question. Regardless, the point here is that I'm not going to make some big production out of retiring the blog "for good" when I'm quite confident that I'll be directing more of my attention to this blog again somewhere down the road.

So to answer your original question Jouda Shawn, yes, I suppose I am going to be like your first father and only visit once a month, but unlike the situation with your father this should only prove to be a temporary arrangement. Also, I'm not going to make you cry every time you stumble across a rerun of Silver Spoons on Nick at Nite, so really the similarities between myself and your birth father really don't hold up under much scrutiny.

Alright, that's enough explanation from me, don't you think? Mmm. Yes. Quite.


Devoted followers of this blog will undoubtedly recall the devastating achievement of innovation that was my painfully practical toilet shelf, though even the most accomplished of Rubbish connoisseurs probably won't recall the fact that I took my "final" shots of this project before I applied any polyurethane to the contraption, as I was well aware that doing so would turn the gleaming white shelf surface into a dreadful yellow-ish/white-ish sort of hue. As I said at the time...

Truth be told this project wasn't completely finished at this point, as I'd yet to waterproof the thing with polyurethane (kind of an important step for something that sits within 6 inches of a sink that's used by a sloppy, sloppy man). I only took the pictures at this step because when you put polyurethane over a white paint it dries to look kind of yellow and gross, like someone peed on a tile floor and didn't bother to wipe it up (not that I'd know anything about that). So yeah, as much as I hate to break it to you this way, the shelf as it exists now does not look nearly as good as the shelf in the picture you're looking at.
Some of you may have not believed me about the whole "looking like someone peed on it" thing, but allow me to assure you, that's exactly what this thing came to look like. Actually, "someone" doesn't do the pee-factor justice. It came to look more like "some family" peed on it. "Some very large Armenian family" if you want to get really technical about it. Anyway, it was gross, that's all you really need to understand here.



(The odd white stripe will be explained in a moment...)

First things first: After ruining this lovely shelf with my polyurethane ways, I learned from an associate at my local hardware store that high gloss and semi-gloss paints (the white in this project was high gloss) don't need to be coated in polyurethane to be waterproofed, as they come premixed with a plasticizing agent (this is what provides them with their semi or high gloss shininess) which renders them quite capable of fending for themselves within an indoor environment as long as they're given 30 days of drying time to fully harden. Lesson learned.

The rest of things second, third, fourth, and so on: Instead of just painting over my layers of polyurethane with a few more coats of white paint, I decided to cover the shelf surface with a thin layer of wood, as I thought it'd look super dapper.

To accomplish this end, I picked up a couple 1/4" thick pieces of poplar from my local Home Despot, then cut them to fit the general shape of the shelf space. Due in large part to the inconsistent curve along the front edge this was not an exact science, but with a little persistence and an assload of sanding I was able to come out with a couple of planks that were quite passable.


Unfortunately, once I laid them in place I came to the horrifying realization that the pieces I'd cut would not cover the full span of the shelf surface.


Now, at this point I could have crafted a thin strip of wood to run between the two existing planks, but instead I decided to just round the inward-facing edges of the two planks I had, then use the open groove between them to hold some of the smaller vanity devices I like to keep at the ready (tweezers, nail clippers, etc). I also decided to paint the exposed shelf space between the two planks black, which required me to sand off the polyurethane in that area so that the paint would adhere properly. This, for the record, is half the reason why there was that weird strip of polyurethane-free white paint in the first couple of pictures of the shelf. For those of you that are interested, the other half of the reason has to do with my not remembering to take pictures of the thing until I had already started to do work on it.

After painting the groove area of the shelf black, and for the purpose of maximizing wood glue adhesion, I took one of the coarse sanding bits on my rotary tool and carved a grid of grooves into the paint and wood beneath where my poplar planks would be.


Has anyone here noticed that my old camera, which was ugly and cumbersome, took considerably better pictures than my new camera, which exudes considerably more sex appeal than most newly christened 18 year old gymnasts? I sure as hell have.

Anyway, after putting the poplar planks in place and letting the glue dry, it was just a matter of laying on some polyurethane (clearly I learned nothing here) before calling this project done. Err... redone.



And look, it still works! HOO-RAY!!!


Alright folks, I'm heading out to New York next week for reasons undisclosed, but I'll make you this promise: Barring a catastrophe, my next post will not show up 5 weeks from now. It shall arrive sooner. And with gusto. But that, as always, is a given.


Anonymous said...

I wuv you for coming back, Father McHanslaw.

Jouda Mann said...

Screw you! You're not my REAL DAD!