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Act II – The Project that Ate My Summer and My Blog

August 27, 2013

Act II (Read Act I here.)

Scene 1:

It’s the end of August. The man is measuring the same 2X4 over and over again. The woman is lying on the chaise lounge gazing at the half-built studio. It’s hot and humid.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHer:  Huhhhh.

Him:  What huh?

Her: Does the studio look tall?

Him: No.

Her: Weird. It’s bigger than I thought it would be. Can we go this big without a permit? You checked the building code, right?

Him: I used the info you gave me.

Her: But that was for Washington, not Oregon.

Him: Why would you give me the Washington building code? (Gesturing going on.)

Her: Because it’s all I could find. I figured it would be sorta similar. Why didn’t you check? Why would you rely on me?

Him: You’re the professional Googler. You know everything.

Her: You’re the builder.

Him: It’ll be fine. Just don’t tell anyone.

Her: Who would I tell?

Him: I’m going to Home Depot for nails.

Scene 2:

It’s the next day. The man is measuring the same 2X4 over and over again. The woman is lying on the chaise lounge gazing at the half-built studio. It’s hot and humid.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHer:  I can’t believe how many Youtube videos there are on building studios. Did you know it was possible to build a studio in one day? Amazing. I’ll send you some.

Him: Why would I watch them?

Her: So you don’t have to re-invent the wheel.

Him: I like figuring out things on my own.

Her: It will take us forever if we have to figure out every damn thing ourselves. That’s ridiculous.

Him: Then you watch them.

Her: I did but I don’t know what they’re talking about. What’s a soffit? What’s a sill? What’s a gable? What’s an outrigger? Did you figure out the pitch of the roof? All the men in the videos are really into pitch. Also, did you know there’s a geometry formula to estimate the length of the rafters?

Him: I hate math. I’ll just wing it.

Her: That’s so typical.

Him:

Her: We need an overhang for the door so I don’t get wet when it rains.

Him: No overhang, just get in and out fast. I’m going to Home Depot for nails.

Her:

Scene 3:

It’s the next day. The man is measuring the same 2X4 over and over again. The woman is standing in the studio looking out the window. She looks concerned. It’s hot and humid.

SAMSUNG CAMERA PICTURESHer:  Uh oh.

Him: You’re not allowed to say uh oh.

Her:  The neighbors can see in this window. How did that happen? I need privacy. The studio needs to move forward five feet. Is that possible?

Him: Just put up some sheers.

Her: I’m not that kind of woman. Can we build a taller fence?

Him: I just built that fence last year. Anyway, a 15-foot fence would be weird. She can only see us if she’s upstairs in that one room. What is that room?

Her: It’s her doll memorial room. It’s got hundreds of creepy dolls in beds, in cribs, in strollers… My mom would say, “She’s one of those people.” She’s probably already got a telescope in the window. This is disturbing.

Him: Plant a tree. I’m going to Home Depot

Her: I know…for nails.

To be continued.

From → Other

19 Comments
  1. John McNeese permalink

    These vignettes are treasures. Remember this, it’s not your love that will save your marriage, it’s the marriage that will save your love. Keep on building!!!

  2. Love this!! We had a fence built at out first house. It was according to code, but a neighbor still complained. When the code enforcement guy came out, my wife asked if the fence could stay up. He said, “Probably.” It stayed.

  3. I cannot wait to get inside of this. You will accept visitors, right? Keep the script going. I don’t want to wait for it to come out on DVD.

  4. Clever and funny–I like the no response parts, the resonance of silence. It is a gorgeous setting–surely excellent works will be set free there…

    • Thanks, Cynthia. There’s quite a bit of silence going on these days regarding the studio. The project he thought would take a month is heading into month four. Hopefully I’ll be setting some work free by the end of September.

  5. You have no idea (then again , maybe you do) re: what I lived through during a house expansion/renovation. I won’t tell you about the night of seriously leaking water, but soon enough I will tell about the deck outside my office, with an overhang that makes possible sitting outdoors (kind of) in the rain. All of which is to say, no construction ever goes as quickly or smoothly as planned. Is there a metaphor here for writers? ;-)

  6. How about all three toilets breaking within 24 hours of moving into this house? Let’s collaborate on our horror stories. We’ll put Stephen King to shame.

  7. Ok, this has me chuckling and wondering if your husband is my husband or vice versa? I do hope you’re filming this. Can’t wait for the next installment!

  8. Whoop! This is getting better and better. The silences are priceless, and the images of your neighbor’s doll collection. Oh, and your line, “Who would I tell?” Hilarious!

    Curious. Did writing in third person reveal any new insights?

    Can’t wait till part 3. :-)

    • Good question. I think writing in the third person allows me to unselfconsciously reveal my flaws. Well really, his flaws. :-) I’m so glad it makes you laugh. After the studio is done, if it is ever done, I may continue writing these Acts. Kind of a Scenes From a Marriage exercise. It helps me see the humor in our lives, which is a good thing.

  9. So good. Very funny. Reminds me how much I used to love that show ‘Home Improvement’. Next the neighbours face (well half of it) will be showing over the fence giving you advice.

    • Thanks so much, Claire. At least this interminable project is good for a laugh. Have to keep laughing or it will drive me crazy.

  10. Behind every great carpenter there is a blogger. Great teamwork, Diane. You are certainly doing your part in developing the foundation that goes into most domestic DIY ventures — the smart ass commentary. Poor Bob. Indeed, the pen (ahem, laptop) is mightier than the hammer.

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