(the misadventures of an expatriate corporate dropout)

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

go figure! Jean-Yves gives me another beautiful gift!!

I made a big screw-up on Monday, while left to my own devices with the atelier project.

Ya see its like this. JY has the world's biggest collection of tools, gadgets and machinery known to mankind. well okay, maybe only know to me. but still.

funny enough, even though he has now known me for 10 months, he obviously believes I have an automatic command of all said paraphernalia. so, in an effort to please him, I pretend I do.

for the last week, I have been working on the atelier windows. I've done the entire project nearly on my own (after some quick demos from monsieur) ... and ... well maybe I've gotten a little cocky.

week-end before last, I embarked upon sanding and painting the exterior forged metal frames. Involved in doing this project was this weird aluminum ladder that JY has. It is weird to me because it is not just one piece but two, and can be manipulated from being just a long ladder thingy to a pyramid or triangle shaped ladder thingy.

I used it as a long ladder, leaning braced against the outside wall near the roof. I worked merrily along my way and successfully reached the halfway mark of my project. Then, during the end of last week the ladder was put into usage on the inside. JY flipped and folded and made it a triangle ladder, insisting it was more secure for me to use this way. I sighed and grumbled to myself because I liked MY way. I thought MY way was better. harumph.

Fast forward to Monday and my goal of finishing the other half of the exterior windows. I was a bit on overdrive, feeling confident and seeing the light at the end of the tunnel of this project. Monday was hot and windy. (queue drums of doom). There I was, struggling with this triangular ladder thingy, dragging it along on the uneven surface outside, each time I mounted it would sway and shake and I felt very insecure 6+ feet in the air with a bowl of bordeaux colored paint in one hand and my brush in the other. The wind would blow sprays of paint down my arms and legs and I was convinced I was headed for a tumble.

Deciding I didn't care what he thought about the ladder, I was going to return it to MY superior way of doing things, where the ladder remained immobile propped against the side of the building. I descended the ladder, put my things aside and began trying to figure out how to flip it back into the shape I had used. Keep in mind, when fully extended this ladder is easily 18-20 feet long.

Well I got it back to one long piece, hooking the 2 pieces together and kept it at about 12+ feet long. I got it airborne and began gingerly trying to put it in place when along came a big gust of wind and ... boom...I lost control and 2 window panes broken. Cassé. shattered. It all happened so quickly, I was quite shocked by the turn of events. I cursed and cried and stomped my feet and decided to quit this whole stupid neverending project. leaving everything at the side of the road, I made for the house and had my hissy fit. I smoked a cigarette in an attempt to calm down a bit and then decided to take a look at the interwebnets to distract myself.

Bringing up CNN, I saw the breaking development banner alerting me to a downed passenger jet with 230+ individuals. That jerked me right back in to old reality ... nothing like a twist of tragic fate to remind one how inconsequential 99.9% of our indvidual life's irritations actually are.

I gave myself a good talking to, brushed myself off, picked myself up and got back in the race. Or at least went back out there and finished my painting job, tidied up and calmed down. I worried the rest of the day and evening about JY's reaction. He had warned me about taking care, and also about the correct use of the ladder. Not to mention that now a major project which was to be finished by Monday would require steps of rework...Re-remove the broken glass and mastic, Re-measure the panes, have the glass cut, re-install new panes, re-install the putty, wait for it to dry and repaint it all again. A good day's work at least.

le sigh.

To make matters worse, when he arrived Tuesday...he arrived bearing gifts! Check out the bicycle I am now in possession of! She's a hot and sexy little black number (who needs a little black dress with this beauty?) ... absolutely brand new, absolutely just my size, with smoothly shifting gears, a comfy seat and even a swish basket.

My heart sank. I babbled, you may want to put that back in the truck after I tell you my bad news. What bad news? with an alarmed expression. I hemmed and hawed and then blurted out "J'ai cassé deux fenetres hier!!!" .

Kim! C'est pas grave! J'ai pensée ils etaient quelques chose plus mauvais ...

He didn't bat an eyelash, shaking his head and rolling his eyes at my concern.

Work continued, we now have some very artistically done red walls, a grey poupon ceiling and other stuffs in the works.

For my part, I have a terrific new ride that I buzzed about on yesterday and today ... J'ADORE!!!

J'ai la chance! il etait mon hero!


Utah Savage said...

It all sounds divine to me. Even the broken panes. I can just see you traveling on your errands with a baguette and a bottle of vin in you basket.

Stacey said...

That's almost exactly like MY bike! whoo!

Randal Graves said...

And here I was going to hire you to make some renovations on my house.

Cynthia in the French Alps said...

Well, at least you didnt injure yourself - that's ultimately what counts. Love the bike (he deserves a reward!). We're still renovating our house but not at the same level you are. Although everytime Bernard climbed the ladder to put up the newly painted shutters, my stomach would end up in butterflies. But my Frenchman managed to do it all without any tragedies. Please post some 'after' photos of your renovations someday. Cynthia in the French Alps

Non Je Ne Regrette Rien said...

Utah-I'm definitely working on perfecting that look!

Stacey-Well apparently it is a VERY good bike. I'm a lucky girl.

rg-everyone has their price. including me.

Cynthia-gotta love the frenchmen. and use the flashes of France flickr.com box in my sidebar to view pics of my works in progress.

amy said...

Ah, you've got the bike of my dreams! Hope you're out riding today...

Kathleen said...

Look at that little snazzy number... you are so lucky to have this little bike to cruise around town in. He is thoughtful... but we already knew that! xo

La Framéricaine said...

I've always said, "I love a man with tools." And you've got one who comes bearing perfect gifts, too. Right on, baby!

I am in awe of your accomplishments, BTW. And thank you for hanging in for half a dozen dropped cellphone calls as I was being taken on the Mad Hatter Ride through the bucolic fields of l'Essone and the "route barrée" village streets. You really saved my bacon, otherwise I would currently be awaiting trial for the murder of my French SIL due to neurological damage from her herky jerky driving technique. It's a wonder they ever issued her a license!