Saturday, June 30, 2007

the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

I've come to decide that many things in life are good, some are bad and few are downright ugly. There are, however, several other things that would fall into what I call a "vanilla" category. You know, not great, certainly not horrible, but "acceptable". During my many years of working outside the home I often supervised and/or "managed" people. (Odd term, don't you think? How do you actually "manage" another person? Supervise, perhaps, oversee projects, perhaps. But "manage" people? I think not. But that's another blog. 'Waaaay down the line. Nothing that I see that needs to be addressed more than I've already addressed it at this time.) Although I do not see myself as any kind of perfectionist I have also come to dislike the term, "That will do" (or "that'll do") at the end of a chore. For example, if someone reporting to me would supposedly finish a task and comment, "That will do..." I knew it wasn't their best work. It was something they put together thinking it simply would appease me or whomever requested the project. And, when I reviewed the work, generally discovered that it was barely good enough for the vanilla category. I'll give you an example of one of my own "that'll do" projects. The first time Iever made a birdhouse from a gourd is a great choice. Oh, yes, I had seen the instructional shows on TV, read the instructions on the internet, etc. Seemed simple enough. Until the gourd that I had so carefully nourished and grown and plucked and dried (hey, look, mine took less time to dry than everyone says!) was ready to become a birdhouse. I washed it. (Such pretty colors when wet!) Bleached it a little. Was it REALLY necessary to sand it? Nah. Why wouldn't paint stick to it without sanding or priming? Let's skip this unnecessary step. I drilled the hole, probably a bit too large, and painted it with a funny face of a lady apparently yelling for or about something. The big hole made for a perfect mouth. How very cute. Now to hang it. I didn't have anything hanging in the pear tree nearest to my large garden. Plus, my neighbor lady who thinks I have the greatest creative talents ever can clearly see it from her yard and she will surely ooh and ahh over it. Well, that was about three years ago. My neighbor thought it was just the cutest thing ever. Then the rains came. Then the searing southern heat. Then cold blasts of winter. By spring the cute lady's face looked like she had contracted a severe case of leprosy. The paint was not only peeling, it was totally flaking off in chunks. I'll leave it alone; it might not be as cute, but it will still make a great birdhouse. Wanna see what it looks like now?

Go ahead and laugh, I can take it. All the paint is obviously off, another hole has rotted or worked its way though the gourd and the little holes in the bottom that I so carefully drilled for drainage have pretty much joined force and become one larger opening.

My gourd birdhouse was transformed from a "that'll do", or vanilla project, into not only "the ugly" but also "the bad". And I do mean bad in a bad way. Lesson learned: Just because you think you've finished a project doesn't mean you've completed it.

Now, let me show you something that only has to fit into the "Good" category.

Made from 70 year-old barnwood, it's a 6' birdhouse with ten decks, almost 70 units that can easily be opened for cleaning.

No, I can't even BEGIN to claim anything to do with the construction of this! A talented gentleman known as "John from Cranbrook" posted this on one of HGTV's message boards. Now, is this thing awesome or what?


Le-Chat said...

The 'will-do' certainly doesn't apply to your writing. Lovely story, I had actually seen that birdhouse on HGTV, and was surprised when at the end I realised how the whole build up of your story turned out to lead to showing that fine piece of art.

Sher said...

Thank you so much for your comments and for reading my blog! I hope to hear from you again!