The painting continued today, and seems to be progressing at a faster pace. The paint fumes are really strong -- i haven't felt this loopy since that Grateful Dead concert back in 1973.
**UPDATE; 13 July, 9:00 PM **: Thanks to one of the workers on the crew, i now have the official word on what's been happening on the worksite this week. The thing that i've been referring to as "gray paint" or "the primer coat" is not that at all. In fact, what they are doing is sandblasting, which results in a smooth, dark gray finish that looks to the untrained eye like a coat of dark gray paint. This explains why it's been so infernally loud out there (Alas, it also explains the pervasive layer of grit that covers everything in sight). I must confess that i've been completely baffled as to how painting could be so loud and so dirty. The second thing i've learned is that the "orange paint" is in fact not paint either: it's waterproofing. Again, this would explain why it smells so much stronger than paint.
I've been doing a lot of complaining this week, both here and in the real world, and in truth, the past several days have been a miserable experience. But one thing that i can never complain about is the crew on this job. They've always been pleasant, respectful, and helpful. The fact that one of the guys took time out from his weekend to write and explain all this to me is a good example. I'd thank him by name, but since i'm not sure if he'd prefer that i didn't, i won't. So thanks, friend, i really appreciate it!