Monday, May 9, 2011

The Incident

New apartment, new decorations, new ideas....New troubles. After I moved into my new 2 bedroom apartment and got all settled in, there was still one big project left to conquer. The second bedroom. It was so empty, so clean, so perfect. Ideas for what to do with the extra room ranged from poker room, to giant fort castle, but in the end I settled for a perfectly organized gear room. I now know why men crave "man rooms" and "man caves"--cause they're awesome. And I needed one.

My vision:
So picture this, a completely organized gear room. I would mount my skis on the wall, along side my bikes, and then have shelving and racks to organize my backpacking gear/climbing gear/hiking gear, and it would be so all of my adventure toys were at my fingertips, and almost displayed in an artsy fashion. I could throw a smaller futon or couch in the room, and best part----collage the ceiling with pages/pictures from adventure magazines, and expeditions almost as a bold statement, reminding myself to never stop exploring. In my head, this looked perfect.

Problem Number One: Confidence
The next day, I went to REI and Storables and got everything I was going to need for this new project of mine. When I got home, I mounted up my ski rack with no problems. Easy sailin', looked great. The confidence was rockin. Something you need to know, which most likely will come as no surprise, but I have always taken pride in the fact that I live by a 'I don't need a man type of mentality', and as I jumped head first into the new project of mounting the bike racks to my wall, I eventually quickly realized that I had taken off more than I could chew.

Take One: The beginning
Yes, unfortunately there are multiple "takes" for this project. After putting up the ski mounts, I was feeling super tool savvy and busted out my stud finder and was measuring out all my 16" gaps in between studs, and marking where they hit, lining my bikes up with it and getting ready for the drilling stage.

[Side note. I have never drilled alone. But I figured that I was smart enough to figure it out. Which I was--go me. BUT, it didn't take long for me to screw this process up. Other side note here: I was home doing this all on my lunch hour, which was at 4 pm because I was covering Kyrstens call center shift. Time was with out a question a prominent component of this project.]

And so the drilling began. Hit a stud. I was doin' it! And then the screws started to strip. Nooo, no no no no. So I slowed it down, and jumped to the other screw. Made it about an 1/2" in and it too began to strip. Not caring, I took a hammer to it and tried it that way. Eh. Kinda worked. But here is the one of the 8,432 dilemmas of this project--there are two screws that go into the studs, and then two screws that are hanging out in the land of drywall nothing-ness.

Upon this discovery, I decided to pull out the mount and half drilled in screws from the wall, and start the process over in a less rushed manner, using the provided screw condoms (I don't know their actual name, but its the little cap things that you back your screws into.)

Take Two: Breathe
Still 30 minutes to go before my lunch break was up, I tried again. Stripped all the screws, hammers are out, f-bombs are flying out of my mouth, and no luck. It has gotten to the point where the mount has fallen out the of the wall completely. The screw condoms sucked and only bent in half, one went completely through the wall....whoops.... Now with 8 holes the size of dimes in my wall, I decided to scream and quit for the day and go back to work.

Take Three: The Mafia Came to My House
Meanwhile, I am at work and my co-worker Scott starts listening to my sob story about how I suck, and he gave me tips on using "molly bolts", or drywall hangers or what ever, completely restoring this dangerous mentality that I could do it. So I come home from work around 9:15 and I sit on the couch and all I can think about is how in the other bedroom there are drill bits, tools, bikes,covering every inch of my floor and holes and pen marks covering my walls. I can't take it. It looks like the mafia came, and shot someone 8 times and then left a mess of tools to taunt me.
"You live in Monmouth now, Melissa. Nothing is open"
"Ah yes, but I can drive to Salem"
"Why waste the gas money, and instead wait for Bi-Mart to open tomorrow"
"Because I want the problem to be fixed now"
"You're a freak."
"I know."
And this folks, was my mental conversation I had with myself before I jumped in the car and drove to the North Salem Fred Meyers. And by "drove" I mean rocketed down hwy 99, going like 85, The Mars Volta blaring, windows down, and fully preparing to get a ticket--which I didn't--awesome. Meanwhile, I looked down only to see that I had no gas. Not wanting to give my business to Shell, I drove into Independence to go to the Chevron. They were closed. CLOSED. It was an awful awful omen. In a starvation panic, I drove across the street to Mac Dons and ate basically everything that was not WW approved. Drove BACK into Monmouth and filled up at the 76, still boycotting the Shell, and then carried on my way down 99. I finally made it alive to Fred Meyers, where no one assisted me, so I was left guessing on every purchase. Surprisingly, I am a good guesser and got everything I needed. I left the store with the peace of mind that I could putty up the holes, before going to sleep. Which is exactly what I did along side the company of my new neighbor Lisa.

The next morning
Take Four: I Quit
With holes patched, I started with a clean slate. But I learned the hard way that morning that Molly Bolts are a bitch to use, even though they are "no drill", yea right, I had to hammer those suckers in. Didn't realize that you couldn't use them on the studs, which makes perfect sense now. The whole thing was just a hot, discouraging mess. I went to the office that morning (I started drilling before work, yes, I do get project obsessed) just flat out admitting defeat. I had it all planned out that I would take the bike mounts home and just return them while I was in Tualatin for Mothers Day. I was completely accepting this loss, until  co-worker Scott offered to just come over after work on Monday and do it for me. Feeling awful, I bribed him with cookies for life, and took his offer.

Monday Night
Take Five: Success!
Mother of god, Scott did it!!! Yea, I take full blame for the failure. I was doing almost everything wrong. He helped my by showing me where I had gone astray. He had more knowledge and WAY better power tools (time for a new drill dad...). I learned how to scale out drill bits with your eye versus a scale, taught me a million reasons why his drill was way better and way cooler, he told me that I blew out the drywall when I tried to use the drywall hangers, and then showed me how to fix it. Scott and I worked together for about an hour, and we were done!
I am so thrilled! Now I can't wait to start putting my gear racks together and getting the rest of the room done!! Pics of the final project will come later.

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