nobody can see in our holler tree

Tomorrow morning, I leave for Portland, where I'll spend an all-too-brief week working on Leverage. 

For those of you who don't know, I'm a recurring character on Leverage. I play a computer hacker called Cha0s, who is a nemesis to the Leverage team, but especially to Hardison. I first played this character last season in The Two Live Crew Job, which was written by my friend Amy Berg (who also brought me to Eureka this season), and from the first day on set, I hoped they'd bring me back. I'm so excited to go to work tomorrow, I feel like a little kid on Christmas Eve.

I'll be Twittering and Twitpiccing from the set as much as I can without revealing spoilers or losing my focus as an actor. I'm in this episode a lot, which is awesome, but also means I won't get to spend much time doing the PDX things I love (though a trip to Ground Kontrol is obviously in order, likewise a trip to Powell's to get Charlie Stross' latest Laundry book.) Maybe this will be the trip to Portland where I finally go to Voodoo Donuts!

Yesterday, Anne and I pulled up this hideous old carpet that we've wanted to tear up for years. Beneath it, we uncovered a beautiful parquet floor, made from 3/8" mahogany wood. It took us about 3 hours to get the carpet up, pull out all the old staples, and then clean up what we figured must have been at least twenty years of accumulated dust and sand and FSM-knows-what.

I'm incredibly sore today from all the lifting and stuff, but the end result was entirely worth the effort:

Parquet flooring

We've wanted to do this for years, and waited so long because thought that we'd have to sand it, stain it, seal it, and spend thousands of dollars we don't have on it. A friend of ours who does floors for a living looked at it recently, and told us that it was such good quality wood, we could probably just take up the carpet and clean the floor with some Murphy's soap. It turns out that he was right, and the entire thing just cost us a few dollars and our time.

After we finished, we stood there, in our semi-renovated living room, and looked at it together. Our house felt different; it felt lighter, cleaner, more ours, than it had that morning.

"I love it that we spent the afternoon doing this," I said, "because we got to do something together that wasn't that difficult, didn't cost us anything, and made our house feel more like our home."

"I just wish we hadn't waited so long to do it," she said.

Our dogs wandered in from the family room, and cautiously sniffed around the room, frequently looking up at us for what I assume was some sort of pack leader reassurance.

"Now you guys don't have to compete for space in the entry way, because you have a whole room with a cool floor to sleep on when it's hot," Anne said.

Riley wagged her tail, and Seamus stretched out, lowered his head to the floor, and then lowered his entire body down. He thumped his tail against the floor. It was a moment of serenity, at the end of a decidedly non-serene week.

"I'm excited to go work on Leverage, because I love being an actor, and it's always fun to be in Portland … but I'm really going to miss my family and my house while I'm gone."

64 thoughts on “nobody can see in our holler tree”

  1. So excited to see you on Leverage again! My friends and I love that show.
    My parents had a very similar experience with a floor. Twenty years ago, they bought a house with shag carpet through most of it. Ugly dark brown shag, no less. When they pulled it up, they were shocked to find a solid oak floor in pristine condition. In every single room except the dining room. We can’t even begin to fathom why it was ever covered up.
    Mahogany parquet, though! That sounds gorgeous.

  2. Wil, if you have time while in PDX I highly recommend Guapo Comics and Coffee, also Guardian Games. Even if you’re too busy this trip you should add them to your list for next time. Congrats on the lovely floor!

  3. Wow! The floor looks beautiful Wil. That just goes to show that when you buy an older home, you never know what kind of treasures you may find. My mother once told me that when she was little her family moved into a huge house on a farm and that there were a few old furniture pieces left behind. One of them was a wash stand, the old fashioned kind, with a big oval mirror and a wooden rack attached to hang hand towels. It was a very unique piece of furniture and no one really knew where to put it, so it ended up in the den for many years. Then one day when my mother was cleaning she tripped on something and went tumbling into the wash stand and broke one of the little handles off of a drawer that no one could open. With the old knob knocked off my mom and grandfather managed to pry the drawer open and found old letters. I mean OLD letters. In one of them, a woman was writing to her sister to tell her about how snobby the new neighbors were because they bought a car. That letter was dated 1909. Most of the letters however, were dated back to WWI. They were letters written from a son to his mother telling her not to worry and that he would stay safe and come home soon. My mother’s family poured over the letters and they were in awe at what they read. Soon after they turned the letters over to a local historical society since they didn’t recongnize the names on the letters and they had no way of contacting the previous owners. Pretty cool huh?
    And on the television gig for Leverage….very cool! I love that show, and I was just telling my husband that we should see you on there again very soon. I’m glad I was right.

  4. I never understood people that cover up beautiful hardwood floors with carpeting. A rug, sure, but wall to wall carpeting? Ugh. That was one of the main things we wanted upon buying a house.
    Can’t wait to see the new Leverage episode. I’m a recent convert to the show, catching up on last season, so I’m looking forward to seeing you on it.

  5. Make sure you get a rug, it really ties the room together! Joking aside, it really does. I have a lot of hardwood floors in my house, and it felt empty before I put some rugs in the center of it.

  6. Yay, more Leverage!!! I’m just loving the new season, and I know you’ll be fantastic in it (again). It makes me all warm and fuzzy to see you enjoying this resurgence in your acting career. And the fact that you’re getting to guest on some of my favorite shows is a bonus. :)
    That is some fantastic flooring. You guys are really lucky.
    My friends and I are in a two-family house and several of the previous owners did some disastrous things with the flooring. The couple upstairs spent most of last summer pulling up layer after layer (looks like they just put down a new one about once a decade) of horrible carpeting in their guest room, then pulling up the unsalvageable wood underneath and completely replacing it.
    This summer, we’re hoping to refinish the floor in our living room. At some point, someone decided to paint — not stain, paint — the hardwood flooring a dark reddish brown, but they were clearly inexperienced with the DIY. It looks like they just slopped the paint on the floor and spread it around with a mop or a rag or something. It’s really quite awful. Solvents and sanders will be our friends.

  7. Really? Even if the questions have nothing to do with Leverage? That’s bunk, lol. Well…I’ll see what I can do there, but if it doesn’t work out, maybe we can do an email interview later? Check out that link and you’ll see what I mean – they’re just personal questions about you, as a fellow tv viewer. It’s just fun to find stuff out like how the creator for your fav police drama has “Venture Bros.” (rocks!) on his list of shows that he absolutely can’t miss, lol.

  8. Do you know what kind of paint it was? Next time (If there’s another section of brickwork painted over) go hot Home Depot, Lowes, or your local paint store first. There are far less painful ways to remove the paint from brick that are both cheap and non-toxic. Unless you’re looking at some of the thicker lead-based paints. But I’m not really an expert on this (Just a wad of experience helping fix up family member’s houses) so that may have been your only choice.

  9. Wow! Your floor looks awesome. I’m so glad I pulled the carpet up in my circa 1936 house. My floors had to be refinished though. I have lots of pets and the carpet was basically an allergen trap. My sinuses have enjoyed the carpet-free house since. Since you have pets, hopefully you will benefit too.
    Carpeting over hardwoods was a fad, especially in the 70s. Polyurethane wasn’t around then so the floors had to be waxed frequently (i.e. – lots of work) and carpet was easier to maintain. Now that polyurethane is available, the floors are basically maintenance-free, just sweep and mop. If you decide to seal your floors, you will probably need to sand them to remove the old wax so that the polyurethane will stick (but your friend will know more about this than me).

  10. I hate painted brick too. One of the worst cases I’ve seen is unfortunately not hidden inside the house:
    Down the road from me there is a two story red brick house on a corner. Three years ago it sold and the new owners painted the front (just the front) of the house RED! I guess the red brick wasn’t red enough, they went with a brighter red. Since the house is on the corner it is highly visible. You can see both the front and the unpainted side at the same time. It looks awful.

  11. The floor is absolutely gorgeous! My guy and I recently took the plunge and redid a floor in our house. It wasn’t free, and it was a lot of hard work… but, like you said, it made it feel more like OURS. That’s a great feeling!

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