Sunday, December 30, 2012

Seasons, Cycles and a Consciousness Shift

Christmas vacation is going well here at Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters in Harlem. I'm so glad to be able to say "Menopausal Stoners World Headquarters" again that I seem to be saying it more than is absolutely necessary - but it really is good to be back in a permanent HQ.  The Restoration project this week revolved around unloading boxes - finding important things like the coffee pot and the cork screw, then figuring out where to put all this stuff.  I've also been noticing little things for the final punch list such as someone seems to have used Ceiling White to touch up all the woodwork instead of semi-gloss.  The big news on the Restoration front is the bath tub.  It's been refinished.

I resisted refinishing the bath tub because I was convinced it would look like somebody painted it with White Out.  Then the woman from the tub refinishing company came to check it out and said there was fungus growing in all those ancient cracks in the glaze which convinced me to go ahead and get it done because me and fungus don't bathe together - but I remained skeptical.   On Christmas Eve morning, the technician arrived and covered the whole bathroom with protective paper.  After he cleaned, he filled in the chips and divots in the surface, and then he sanded that.  He set up a major ventilation fan, then he got serious.

The process didn't take very long, which was good since that porcelain spray smelled to high heaven.  After a few days, it still kind of smells like Diaperene in there, but that smell is fading along with the smell of paint and polyurethane from the floor.  The bath tub itself is surprisingly gorgeous.  I like it so well, I may have them come back and do the kitchen sink once we've finished up everything from the original Scope of Work list.

Another angle - just to show off my fancy plumbing:

Notice how he wrapped the faucet so that no drips would damage the surface while it dried.   I let it dry for 48 hours because we're not fucking up anything in the new place through negligence - through foolishness, maybe, but not through negligence.

Foolishness may be the reason why the Christmas tree has had to lean against the window for support.  Velvet and I chose a tree that had a big, gaping bare spot on one side since the tree was going in front of the living room window.  As convenient as that bare spot is for positioning, I think it has thrown the whole tree off balance because the tree kept falling over.  At first, Velvet and I thought the tree was falling over because neither he nor I had ever been responsible for putting the tree in the stand. Buzz Kill wouldn't let anyone else near that job, so neither Velvet nor I had ever done more than assess the straightness of the tree trunk until this very Christmas.

It's not so bad, though.

Velvet made the angel for the top of the tree when he was two and a half.  I helped a little, but he did the face all by himself.  It's begun to look a bit like something out of Nightmare Before Christmas, and we love it like that.

The Starship Enterprise survived another move and is exploring the Christmas tree system:

The best news by far, however, is that I have successfully avoided joining Cupcake's parents for a New Year's Eve dance at their Hungarian church.  While I'm sure it's a lovely event, I am strongly opposed philosophically to becoming friendly with Cupcake's mother.  She will surely pull me into their family's general arguments, which is reason enough to avoid her in and of itself.  Worse, though, she seems 100% likely to meddle in the kids' relationship so that Velvet will graduate from college and get married to Cupcake on the same day.

Granted it will be years before Velvet graduates, and I'm delighted that both Cupcake's parents believe it's important for the kids to finish school - it's just that they may not even want to get married.  I love Cupcake and am especially happy that she's taken over administrative tasks for Velvet so that he's registered on time and his class schedule is easy for him to manage in terms of both workload distribution and commute.  They really do make a good team, and there are couples who get together when they are kids and stay together until they die within months of each other in their 90s.  Could be that Velvet and Cupcake are as Good As it Gets.  However, too many kids get married too early because parents are pushy with their own expectations.  I believe Cupcake's mother is one of those parents.

I, on the other hand, seem to be the kind of parent whose example convinced her child that marriage is a bad idea unless somebody wants to procreate.  I still think it's better to be married if you choose to have kids because of all the legalities involved around property and health care.  It's much easier to get child support from an ex-husband than a Baby Daddy (or Momma), and little kids require a relentless amount of care so that it takes at least two adults to deal with the situation.  Buzz Kill and I did okay in that department.

Parenting adult kids is different than parenting little kids.  For the most part, once a kid is older, s/he is no longer relentless - at least if they are functioning in society (whatever that means in your own family).  The kids aren't under foot the whole time, so you can relax and do your own stuff.   Gigi is on her way over, and she's very much like an adult daughter in that sometimes I hear from her a lot, and other times I don't hear from her for a week or two.  She's a blessing in my life, for sure, so I'm glad we've become family by choice.  Diane is family by choice, too.  She's just enough older than me, and her kids are just enough older than Velvet, that I was able to get a glimpse of how parenting might be for me in the near future.  Diane is already in the Grandma Zone since her grown daughter is married and lives in Connecticut with her two year old.

While I was living with Diane, I realized that Diane has been present during all the major transitions in my life.  Before I went into the looney bin, Diane talked me out of the store room at work where I was hiding in tears, struggling to contain my feelings since I was so angry I couldn't face anyone.  She had a front row seat to my divorce, and she nurtured and supported me through this transition to the next phase of my life.  She cooked dinner and everything.  Going back to my favorite place - the intersection of Real Life and Fairy Tale, Diane is like the ferryman who takes the hero from one side to the other on his/her journey.  I think in mythology the character is Charon who takes people across the River Styx into the Underworld.  I'm pretty sure every hero's journey has a ferryman, at least if you believe Joseph Campbell and Bill Moyers.

I'm on the other side now, for sure, and the entire New Age is upon us.  Even though it looks a lot like the Old Age out there - with war, crime, mass murder, political bullshit, GMOs and climate change - it looks to me like more and more people are starting to notice this is bullshit.  I still think that things will get worse before people start demanding change like they did in the 60's; and there are reasons to believe that workers revolt every 50 years or so as if it is part of the cycles of life.  Multi-national corporations that practice mutant capitalism may have influenced the cycle to the point where we have to have a global meltdown.  Destruction often makes way for new growth, though, just like fires clear out the underbrush in a healthy forest.  Kali shows us how destruction and creation are inextricably tied together - so I'm not worried.

Now that I think about it, destruction and creation has just occurred in my very own bathroom.  We're still waiting on the medicine chest, so there's no mirror in there for me to see a reflection of myself.  The funny thing is, though, that when I lift up my head after brushing my teeth over the sink, the image in my head is so strong, it's almost like there is a mirror.  Could be I'm projecting - but it could be that my internal self is finally so strong that I don't need to look in a mirror to decide if I like who I see.  More evidence of the consciousness shift.

from Blueberry at Texas Oasis 


Gail said...

HEY TEXAS great pictures of your gorgeous tub and plumbing fixtures too :-) Your world is good - I feel it and see it. Love Velvet's hand-made angel. Lovely tree. We r busy unpacking, well mostly Skipp although I did my fair share while rolling on my rollator :-) I will be taking pictures to "show off" as well heehee :-)
Love to you my friend

Gwendolyn H. Barry said...

Rhar~! P.e. Nolan. Nice round up. That tub is gorgeous. I'm glad glad glad for you in simply doing the unpacking now. I can relate. I think your family wisdom is worth copying down!

intelliwench said...

Lovely tub - reminds me of the one at my grandma's place, had to be at least 6 feet long. And I like the angel, too. I can't throw away any of intellikid's homemade ornaments, except the one made of dough and glitter that looked like it was going to turn into a science experiment instead of an elementary school art project.

I like the last bit about liking who you see in your projected "reflection." It's not easy to see or acknowledge change on the inside, but we need to remember to do so!

Happy New Year -- Live Long and Prosper!

ellen abbott said...

the tub looks fabulous. the picture in my head of me is the one I mostly relied on for most my life. the bathroom in the very old Height's house was small and had no mirror (I guess the previous owner took it with her) so I hung a small antique silver stained mirror in there and kept the lighting low. and let me tell you, I looked fabulous in that mirror. Now here in the country house, bigger bathroom, very bright lights and a huge clear mirror. quite a shock to compare what I saw in my head and what the mirror revealed. I spend a lot of time not looking in that mirror preferring the image in my head.

PENolan said...

ellen, my brother has lived in the Heights, so I know those houses. Very similar.
Mirrors are often alarming - especially when you catch a glimpse of yourself in a department store or somewhere and think you're someone else.

Live long and Prosper indeed, Intelli

Gwen -good luck with your move. It's better on the other side for sure.

Same to you, Gail. Lots of of shifting physical locations at the same time as the galactic alignment.

Susan Partlan said...

Wow! The tub looks fantastic! I had no idea the refinishing would look that great.

You're a good Mom. Happy New Year!


Vancouver Voyeur said...

Happy New Year! I love the tub! We've been known to put a nail in the ceiling with string on it and tie it to the Christmas tree to keep it from falling over. :-)

Jennifer said...

Happy New Year P.e. The tub looks gorgeous. You've got me thinking about looking into the mirror in a different way. Maybe we all should, it's a brand new year. Wishing you a smashing one.

Cali said...

Tub turned out beautifully! So jealous! (Yes, still!)

We used to tie the tree up by wrapping dental floss around the trunk and tying the floss to the latches on the windows on either side of the tree. One latch would probably have worked, though. Now they make a tree stand that has the part the trunk fits into on a ball socket so if the tree isn't straight you can swivel it around until it is. What will they think of next? I'm not sure if it's the best tree invention ever, or if it takes some of the thrill of Christmas away by robbing you of fearing that the tree may fall over at any moment all season long. I think it's the former.

The Kid and the wannabe Suicide Girl have pretty much the same arrangement with the Kid's schooling. She schedules him, helps him with financial aid and rides him like a rented mule until he gets his homework done, which is probably why we are still capable of speaking to each other without anyone dying.

As for the parents of the girlfriend, I've always believed in as little contact as possible. I never like (or respect) them, and they feel similarly toward me, and I'm fine with that. I may not have been a perfect parent, but at least I never raped my child or let meth freaks ruin his life. I also took the incredibly frustrating task of actually teaching him to control his temper and his reactions to things, something the WBSG doesn't even know is possible.

Happy settling in!

PENolan said...

Whew! Always good to avoid Meth Heads.
And that dental floss is a good idea.

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