In which we finish a project

The boy’s room is done! All we need to do now is get all of his shit out of my room and my office and put it back in his! And that’s his problem! Hooray!

The final project was to get the curtains up; I’m going to be honest: I was scared of this, as getting things that require drilling multiple holes and using drywall anchors straight, level, and even is not something that I’ve ever been very good at. I’m not gonna promise that this is contractor-quality measurement but neither of us can see anything wrong looking at it and frankly that’s all I care about.

The other corner, with a couple more of the trees. We bought him a new bed– I managed to destroy his old bed frame, don’t ask– but it won’t be here until September so for now the box springs and mattress are just on the floor.

CONTROVERSIAL DECISION: we decided to leave his door and the closet door alone. While neither of us liked the yellow in the room, with everything repainted I actually like how they look, and since they would have been a pain in the ass to paint anyway we decided to stick with the original color. I don’t love how it looks next to the white furniture but whatever.

We need to get him another lamp today, because the room is a bit darker than it used to be, but that’s the last touch.

EDIT: I have been informed there has been a decor change since I’ve started typing this.

Each of the six trees now contains a Porkachorp. I feel very bad for this one, who only wants the little birdie to be his friend:

As it works out, this is the one you’re looking straight at if you’re standing in the doorway of his room looking from the hallway, so I can look forward to this haunting me for the rest of the time I live in this house.

(Also, my wife and I have both noticed that our cameras are having a hell of a time with the green color; the best look at what it actually looks like is the brighter corner of green in the top picture. If the room is dark, the darker leaves go blue, which is *fascinating*.)

Unread Shelf: July 31, 2020

Not as out of control as it looks, mostly because almost everything’s in hardback for some reason.

Some updates

I wanted to post more pictures of the boy’s room today, but it’s not quite done yet– one patch of wall maybe a foot square needs a touch more paint on it, the tree decals need to all be put in place, and we need to hang his curtains– and for some reason I don’t want to put up any more in-progress pictures. So have a sleepy kitty.

PAINTING! All in all I’m happier with how the project turned out than I thought it was going to be; I spent most of the first day of painting muttering it’s not my room under my breath and looking forward to repainting the entire mess again in five years when he grows out of it, but now that it’s mostly finished I feel like we did a pretty good job. More soon.

VISION! I have this thing going where I either stop paying attention to my eyes or they get noticeably better once about noon rolls around. I’m still kind of frustrated with mid- and long-distance vision, and even close up can be kind of spotty for the first couple of hours after I get up. I had a long talk with a friend of mine who also had the surgery earlier in the week and she assured me that everything was within normal parameters; despite trying to not be impatient about the healing process I think I’m expecting too much too soon.

VAGUEBLOGGING! I hoped I was going to have good news this week. I do not have good news. Strictly speaking I don’t have bad news either, but this is one of those situations where no news and bad news are indistinguishable. I am not very happy with the world right now.

AUGUST! Nobody knows anything. The superintendent’s plan has been radically revised three times in three weeks, the county health department released their own plan, and dominos are falling across the state as more and more districts go to online-only for the first nine weeks, which is the only available responsible decision. Remember: I’m not dying for your child care, nor am I endangering my family, period; and there is no magic switch that flips in August that prevents whatever you’ve been doing with your kids since March from working any longer. We have a school board meeting on Monday and I fully expect to find out at that time that we are online only for the full first quarter, at which point we can reset the clock until we make another last-second decision in October.

THOUGHTS AND PRAYERS! I’ve been keeping a pretty close eye on noted dipshit Herman Cain over the last few weeks; turns out that being an idiot about masks earned him a final month of his life where he was isolated from his family and struggling to breathe before he died alone and ignominiously. I hope that hour or two where he was courageously owning the lib orthodoxy by not protecting himself from a highly communicable disease that didn’t know or care that he was a Republican was worth that pain for him. I suspect not. I also wonder how many other people that Tulsa rally killed who aren’t famous enough for us to know their names.

BOOKS! I recently finished Lisbeth Campbell’s excellent debut The Vanished Queen, which isn’t actually out for a couple of weeks. I read a very early draft of this and it was amazing to see how much had changed since I’d seen it. There is a review coming, but I’m waiting for a go-ahead from her to publish it. I’m currently reading Alexis Henderson’s The Year of the Witching, which I’m also quite enjoying but am having some trouble getting into because my eyes haven’t been cooperating when I pick it up. This one will probably get a review too at some point.

KAMALA? Word on the street is that Biden is going to announce his VP pick possibly as early as tomorrow and certainly by next week, and word also is that it’s going to be Kamala Harris, which would be just about the only thing about next week that could lift my mood. Please, goddammit, give me this one fucking thing. Well, this thing and that other thing that you haven’t given me yet, but at least one of them.

RIP, Richard Ira Siler, 1935-2020

One of the odder changes in my life since the coronavirus became a thing is that I’ve become the type of person who scans the obituaries every couple of days. It’s rather surprising how many people I’ve found that I know at least tangentially; the former owner of OtherJob, an occasional relative of a student, that sort of thing.

And today I came across Richard Ira Siler’s obituary, and … well, it raised an eye.

Luther Michael Siler, remember, is a pen name. Each of the three names is a family name; Luther is my paternal grandfather’s first name, Michael is my mother’s maiden name, and Siler is my maternal grandmother’s maiden name. As it works out, my great-grandfather’s name was Jesse Siler.

And damned if this gentleman doesn’t have a “J. Clifford Siler” as his father’s name and a “Jesse Jr.” among his brothers. I have seen Jesse Siler’s grave; he is buried next to his second wife (my great-grandmother divorced him, which must have been quite a thing back then) whose name is Minnie Jo Buck, according to her tombstone. Richard Siler’s mother’s name is Miriam Siler, according to the obituary; it doesn’t seem that much of a stretch that Miriam might have been called Minnie. My grandmother was born in 1917 and was the oldest child, so Jesse still having children in 1935 with his second (or possibly even third, as the family seems to have mostly lost track of him after the divorce) wife is entirely possible. Hell, my mom’s oldest sister and youngest brother are 17 years apart.

If I search the Internet for “Jesse C. Siler,” I find an ancestry.com link for “Jesse Clifford Siler,” too, so it seems entirely reasonable to believe that that’s the same guy, and further confirmation that “J” stands for “Jesse,” as if there’s any real chance that it wouldn’t given that there’s a Jesse Jr. in the family. I didn’t look any further, because I’m not signing up for ancestry.com at the moment, but I’m willing to take that as evidence enough, given what else we have in front of us.

So it looks like this guy was my (half?) first cousin once removed, or at least is reasonably likely to have been. I never met him and never knew he existed until about twenty minutes ago, but he seems to have been a lovely fellow. I hope his family is holding up as well as they can be under the circumstances, and may his memory be a blessing.

(The punch line: Great-grandpa Jesse’s first wife, my biological great-grandmother, was named Juanita. Her maiden name? Pence. My uncle assures me that he has dug into it and we are not related to That Pence, but it’s skeevy enough just that there’s a chance.)

(EDIT: The plot thickens. I just spent half an hour digging through a bunch of paperwork my dad gave me after mom passed away, and it looks like “my” Jesse Siler was Jesse Edward, not Jesse Clifford. J.E. Siler’s father was Harry, and it was his wife who was Minnie Jo. I don’t have any additional information about his family– no siblings or anything like that. I continue to think the guy is a cousin of some sort but the 1st-once-removed link now looks a bit less likely.)

(Also, George Washington Pence’s obituary, dated 1903, if I remember right, is a trip. I may try to get a good scan of it and post the whole thing.)

It’s really green

My wife is on vacation all this week, so we decided to cross off a project from our list and get the boy’s bedroom painted. It’s been this moderately awful straw-yellow color since we moved in, and it was time to fix it.

We decided to go ahead and let him decide what color to paint it, and immediately had to talk him out of a wild hand-painted jungle scheme that no one in the house has the remotest ability to pull off. We talked him down to green walls and a blue ceiling, with tree decals winging their way to the house via the internet. He did a fair amount of cleaning and decluttering and moving stuff out of his room yesterday and we started the painting today. I figure it’s at least a three-day job; we’re done for the day but tomorrow we’ll finish the painting and depending on when the decals arrive on Thursday hopefully we can get them up right away and be done.

At any rate, pictures:

What we started with this morning. There are also new curtains to be hung once the painting is done.

Preparatory taping completed.

I forget if this was after one coat or two of the blue on the ceiling, but I did that while my wife did trim and baseboards in the green.

We pressed him into service once we started actually putting paint on the walls. He was a bit sloppier than we wanted, but all in all he did a pretty decent job until he decided he was tired and retired to iPaddery in the other room.

And this is where we left it, considerably greener than I thought it was going to be, but whatever, it’s not my damn room. Tomorrow we’ll touch up the ceiling where we need it, pull the tape protecting the walls from blue, retape to protect the ceiling from green, get the edges and second coat as needed, and paint the door and the closet door. I will, of course, post additional pictures once it’s all done.