10:30 PM, Sunday, September 25th, 2011:
You would be wise to think that in my ultimate procrastination of the Sundance edit I built a deck...but it's not entirely true. They both kinda coincided. I knew my deadline was Thursday morning to get the blu-ray in the mail, and I had the wood delivered that morning when I would be done (credit card points = Lowe's gift cards bitches!)...
...however I wasn't finished with the edit and was actually happy to walk away from the edit and do something completely different. There's so many copyright issues to cover with the documentary, Sundance is a SUPER longshot and I haven't done my research on the hundreds of other film festivals so I can pinpoint ones where my film actually fits the theme. And truthfully? And this is where the emotional side comes in, I just don't want to do something else that I know will be rejected. Just once, I'd like to complete a project that will be appreciated, enjoyed, not passed on, not ignored, not rejected - so I built a deck. I killed myself to finish it in a couple days (working like 13 straight hours each day) and of course made a quick little video of the process...
BTW - that song is 2 versions of a Palaur song, "Everyday". Realized I had never posted it within The Journey, and it seemed cool for this. No hidden meaning... except I do indeed work at everything the way I worked at that deck. Hardcore, no breaks, kick ass until you fall over - every day. So nothing about this project seemed overkill to me. It seemed like video editing with a physical product instead of a visual product at the end. Some strange anecdotes about the build:
-2x4s get really wonky at 16 feet. And since I ordered delivery, I couldn't sit and pick out every piece, I was stuck with what I got. And several pieces (like that last one) were so warped I'm amazed I could even put it together.
-Which might have something to do with buying the cheapest wood. I believe it was "Fir". Super deal at $5 a piece. In 2004, an 8 foot 2 x 4 was $3.21, so double that for $1.89 more in 2011 is awesome. And the truth is, if you can power through the warped issues, and you re-inforce the frame good (every 16 inches, don't skimp) you're past the big issues with cheap wood especially in an area that never rains. Throw some stain on that mofo and suddenly, your wood looks all classy...
-I went against Murphy and got exactly how many pieces I needed (70) as opposed to the more cautios 10% overage because I had no way to transport the unused pieces back to Lowe's. 16 feet is really, really long. Incredibly though? It worked out. Only about 5 pieces were completely FUBAR'd and I was able to inevitably get them screwed in.
-So now all decks are supposed to be screwed together? 20 years ago nails were more common apparently? My stepdad built our deck with nails... which come to think of it had to be redone in several areas with wood screws because nails get loose over time. I actually bought the nails, googled a bit more and ended up taking them back for MUCH more expensive wood screws. Hopefully that is meaningfull in 20 years.
-Oh and in case you were wondering how big of a job this was? 57 boards, 26 screws a piece for a grand total of 1482 screws. I added in 10 more to certain areas simply as a nod to C-Bus 'cause my hometown rules. ;) That's a LOT of screws. I have zero feeling in my left palm from holding down that driver.
-Talya did one screw by herself to which she said "oh, fuck this." and I did the remaining 1,491. LOL. It's not the easiest thing to do, but it's a lot easier than nails in the long run. And far less screw-ups. Just unbelieveable soreness 'cause I did it non-stop for two days.
-All drill bits aren't created equal. I destroyed like 5 drill bits on the first half of the deck, and it was talking forever until Talya finally ran out and got some heavy duty ones. The dickhole at Lowe's said "Uhm, clearly it's user-error" (which Talya relayed on the phone) and I just said "get the hardest bits you can." She did, and 1 drill bit did the entire rest of the job twice as fast. Fuck you Lowe's dick. When screwing 3 inch screws completely through wood, you can't use the bits that come standard in your set. You need the heavy duty ones.
-Leveling the deck was the entirety of Thursday afternoon/evening when the wood was delivered because our backyard is slanted so bad. Digging, digging, digging. Finally got it right, and supported the ever lovin' hell out of that thing all along the way. Kinda easy to do when it's just on the ground, but that badboy ain't movin'.
-I got the idea for this last year when I hung out with Burgundie and Aaron and saw their deck. Same thing with a black steel pergola (which we also have) on top that has this nice japanese feeling. For us it's just a good use of space because the backyard is worthless for grass. No rain + dogs + broken sprinklers? Fahgeddabout it. Far more functional. Up next I'm taking out the entire cement garden up against the guesthouse (which we never wanted to begin with) and putting together the Pergola (have to wait because a piece of the steel was bent in shipping - bastards).
-First project like this I have done since the guesthouse build in 2004 and it was nice to not have the heaviness of "the divorce house" hanging over me. Back then, I was building the guesthouse to move into since Jess was leaving. Now of course, I'm happily looking forward to a wedding, this is a deck for us to enjoy... it was just overall a pleasant experience.
And, so, there you go. Happy homelife, homeowner stuff. It's amazing to me how many people out there hire out help for things like tiling a floor or making a deck, etc. When you do things yourself (granted, you do have to have some McGuyver type skill to attempt a lot of the crazy shit I do) you bond yourself with the home. I actually feel like I have a relationship with every inch of this place. I know I will probably not live here my entire life, but it will crush me to sell it completely. And I don't intend to. When I move on, this will most definitely be a rental (hell, even now I could rent it and make a profit). But that bond will always be there. There's 100 more issues to deal with, as there have been the entire part of the decade I've owned it, but they get addressed a little here, and a little there... and it absolutely makes this house a home. It's why I could never walk away from the mortgage no matter how upside down it is. I mean, don't people realize they're only upside down if they sell?
Anyway, it will be time now to re-address this edit for future festivals that I actually have a bit more of a shot to make it into. Not trying to be defeatist, but I understand there's a niche for this film, and it doesn't start at Sundance. There's a few it will get into. No doubt.
Must. Collpase. Now.