Painting preview.

This was supposed to be more than a preview of my weekend painting work. But last night, as I stepped back with a sigh and decided that the walls really do need a second coat but were suitable for photographing for blog, my camera beeped its special “you have no more battery juice” beep and died.  I tried – I really did!

After having scrubbed and spackled and sanded to my satisfaction, my friend Alisha and I spent Saturday afternoon applying blue paint to my bedroom walls.

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I say “blue,” but the proper name for the blue/green/grey tint I chose is, apparently, “Concrete.”  Um, okay – the paint in no way reminds me of concrete. Must be fun to be the person that picks paint names.

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As usual, it took a lot longer than I can planned.  Lish is a pro with a roller, but all the edges – floor molding, windows, doors, ceiling molding – took me a long time.

The good news is that the paint – which is MUCH lighter than it looks in this photo – is a really lovely color on the wall. I’ve always been too broke and too impatient to go through the “recommended” process of buying small cans of a couple of colors, painting some big blotches, and making up your mind after a few days.  Nope, what I buy is what you get. This creates a certain amount of suspense as the paint actually starts going up.

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Fortunately, “concrete” turned out to be a real winner – it makes the off-white trim look creamy and the mottled carpet look kinda classy. Lish said it was “Martha Stewart, but in a good way,” which I took to be a nice compliment. This is not a good week for painting because I have to work late a couple of nights, but I’m going to try to finish the 2nd coat of blue and touch up the white trim. And then one room will be completely done! (She said, trying not to think of other rooms + move-in date.)

On a non-painting note, I want to give a little movie review. Josh and I went to see Pan’s Labyrinth last night and I can’t stop thinking about it. We’d been hoping and hoping that the film would come to little ol’ Pullman, and it finally did. The verdict: I think that I really liked it. The story is self-consciously a fairy tale, and I haven’t read/seen/thought about fairy tales for a long time. Watching Pan’s Labyrinth made me think about The Princess and Curdie, Arthur Rackham, Hans Christian Anderson, and my well-loved copy of The Blue Fairy Book. It made me sad that I don’t read those stories any more and simultaneously wonder whether or not I should.

Pan’s Labyrinth is really visually interesting: all the wood is old, all the whites are muted, and the faces are always the center of attention. I think that people usually like to envision their fairy stories all fresh and clean and full of pink gossamer butterfly wings…Guillermo del Toro likes his full of dirt and blood and insects.  When I was studying Russian, I remember memorizing a short version of Little Red Riding Hood in which the wolf actually eats Grandma and the woodcutter chops him open to get her out. This is that kind of story – there’s no magic aura surrounding little girls that keeps them from getting eaten. The blending of the Spanish Civil War plot with the fairy tale plot makes for a world that wasn’t safe in either direction, and it’s pretty unsettling. It’s hard to dismiss the fantasy as escapist when it’s just as horrific as what’s going on outside, which is something that I think sets this movie apart. I mean, the White Queen could have killed the four children in Narnia and the German bombs in London, but Lewis doesn’t make you think about how grotesque either death would be. del Toro does.

This probably isn’t a great “review” because I’m still working through my thoughts. So, suffice it to say that Pan’s Labyrinth produces lots of thoughts – it’s not one that you can brush off by thinking, “What a nice little story about fauns and fairies and stuff.” If you’ve seen it, will you tell me what you thought? I also think it’s a good movie to compare with Lady in the Water, which the husband really liked. He’s got good reasons for what he thinks, but I think Pan’s Labyrinth comes out on top.

Special note: As you might have guessed, this movie is much more Brothers Grimm than Walt Disney. I had to look away quite a few times and try not to think about what was happening.  If you’re squeamish or easily frightened or about to spend the night in a creaky apartment all by yourself, you might want to wait for the video. I also cried quite a bit at the end, although I might have been the only one in the theater who did.

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