When you don't have a 'real' job, you get some tremendous opportunities to apprentice at eclectic occupations, usually using your hands. This week I performed a melange of activities for various people while learning things and interacting with prominent people. On Tuesday I painted in the morning, pulled weeds vehemently in the afternoon, and babysat in the evening, all before playing in my weekly basketball league.
What I learned through painting was that I am the world's worst painter. I don't mean I'm bad at artwork; I am referring to using a roller to slather liquid color on flat wall, that maybe a three year old elephant could do with reasonable success. I can hardly do it, and after I do it it looks more like a zebra jigsaw puzzle than a colored wall. There were spots of paint on the trim, the door, and on the wood floor caused by droplets on the underside of my drip canvas that smeared when I pulled the cloth, and went unnoticed until the completion of the room. On day two my paintbrush was not dry from the previous afternoon, so with every stroke watery paint dripped down my unsuspecting arm and into my shirt, finally collecting in my navel, like a little paint can. My painting safari was bookended nicely; it began when I opened the wrong paint can and painted a long corner using the trim paint, before I stepped back and thought to myself "Strange color for a room;" and it ended when I fell over against the wet wall, instantly turning my PJs into paint clothes and simultaneously gelling and dying my hair, after going two days without any paint on me (except my bellybutton). If you'd like me to paint your house, I would be happy to do it, but don't expect any more quality work than if an amoeba did it with its flagella stuck to its side.
Weeding went a little less stressful for me. I was hired to weed for none other than Mitt Romney, and he came out to have a little swim while I was enjoying his lushious garden and trying to decide if a particular growth was a weed, or his grandson dressed as a weed. When in doubt, pull it out- right? We chatted about, well, weeds. What else do you discuss with your former governor when you are in his garden with a giant fir tree in your hand that you mistook for a venomous vine? I put in seven hours of deracinating over two days, and made a pretty significant impact on the flowerbox over that lengthy time period. I got to know my mp3 player very well, and performed the calculation $12 * 7 hours in every possible decomposition that can be conceived in an arboretum.
That evening I babysat, although there was no squatting on infants by me. I cooked buttered pasta, cleaned up a buttered pasta and milk mixture off the ground, changed two diapers, and put three kids to bed. I was tempted to paint the kids' room, but all I could find was lead paint and everyone knows that stuff is u-g-l-y. There was no apprentice at this particular job, but I did learn that kids should be mostly potty trained at 6 years, and that two year olds like buttery, milky mixtures. All of my Summer jobs have been remarkable chances at growth, and I have been making the absolute most of them. With life, you just need to enjoy what you got, because you won't got it for long.