Home improvement can be very Game of Thrones around this time.  Lots of things are threatening the sanctity of the realm. Brute force is always necessary. It gets dirty. Winter is coming.

        But I did not know there were so many lessons to be learned in this. Here is a list of a few that came out of trying to install a kitchen faucet, re-install window shades and sponge-paint my bedroom:


1)      More than one kind of wrench is necessary if your goal is to unscrew a rusted nut from a screw so short on surround space, manipulating the tool handle is impossible.

2)      Youtube provides instructions on how to remove your current faucet, because there are none in the box with the new one you just bought.

3)      The manual with the new one has parts and diagrams you will scarcely understand without a magnifying glass.

4)      The 3-D glasses that you brought home from “Godzilla” and did not recycle can work in lieu of the suggested goggles you forgot to buy, at least to minimize the amount of potential damage to your eyes.

5)      Buckets are necessary when efforts to turn off the water valve are not enough to stop the flow completely, no matter what that Youtube tutorial suggests (see #2).

6)      The sponge is a living thing even when it comes out of the plastic packaging; how could it behave differently from day to day with my paint otherwise?

7)      The Autobiography of Mark Twain, though functionally thick enough for height, is not quite wide enough in surface area to provide a good booster for the step-stool when you have 9-ft walls. Releve  (for you Toss in the Ether readers) is the position of the foot that high heels put women in, only with no heel.  This is how I edged the top of the wall…

7.5)      This is still better than the bakers rack on wheels as far as ladder replacements go.

8)    Installing window shade brackets without anchors means that one day you will yank the cord and pull down the entire fixture, leaving a mess of traumatized drywall in the bay frame. 

9)      There are paint spirits who guarantee that unless you are blessed by them, whatever brilliant sponge pattern you did the first day is inimitable from then on.

10)   Sponge technique improved tremendously when besieged by the goal of trying to apply the second layer during commercial breaks from “Scandal” and “How to Get Away With Murder.”

11)   Massive do-it-yourself projects like this, precipitated by what I call “artist budgetry” needs (not to be confused with starving artist syndrome), are often exacerbated by a learning curve and desperate OCD.

12)   I have been to the Home Depot in Brooklyn and/or Bed Bath & Beyond so many times that my best friend is calling me a lesbian.  Is that a thing? I try to be up on my gay/lesbian stereotypes, although I get my gay card revoked on a pretty regular basis, so...