Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Having Company

I have a million things to do but not directly because of the move.  I have a million things to do because I want the house to look nice for company.  If it were just me, I'd probably get high and putter around the place - inside and outside in the neighborhood.  In my view, that's time well spent because of all the insight I gain from the process - although some of those insights/observations are distinctly silly and rarely bear repeating.

I should never have gotten high and gone to Macy's the other day, for example, because I wound up having to return a few key items that seemed absolutely necessary at the time but were, in fact, all together ridiculous.  The print on the silk Ralph Lauren peasant blouse was always questionable, but it was so comfortable and designed so perfectly for my figure that it might have been fabulous.  Sadly, Velvet rejected the blouse so quickly that no questions remained about the print.  I had a feeling when I bought it that I might wind up returning it, and once I had to make the return trip down to Macy's, I decided to take back another RL top that was too expensive for what is was, as well as two handbags that seemed like a good idea at the time but were not good values.  I kept the Jockey underwear, however, and the deliciously soft, damask stripe sheet set in a dusty plum which Macy's calls Rose.  The sheets are not nearly pink enough to be Rose.  They're dusty plum for sure and look divine against all that patina on the copper roof outside the window.

Normally, I don't give in to impulse purchases as a result of the mantra my mother repeated frequently during my formative years:  "Patricia, you have to discipline your random wants."  Random wants have no place in a sensible budget no matter how high you are.  Somebody needs to remind the Pentagon and Congress and the President of that.  I'm not sure what needs to happen regarding the Supreme Court since they are apparently handing over the country to Corporations.  I haven't been paying much attention because they make me nauseous, and from where I sit, it seems like the whole issue can be filed under the topic Peak Oil Has Passed because, as a society, we've passed the point of No Return.

It would be different, I suppose, if an unruly mob with torches and pitchforks stormed Washington DC like they stormed the Bastille back in the day - but given the bovine dullness and/or exhaustion and isolation of the general public, nobody's storming anything.  Worldwide Hippies Joe says that big demonstrations won't work these days like they did back in the sixties on account of Corporate Media has perfected their ability to prevent news of demonstrations like the ones in Wisconsin from ever getting on the air.  To be successful, any sort of resistance has to be organized more like a web so that actions happen simultaneously across the country and garner media attention in local markets.  Block access to the Walmart in 20 or 30 tertiary markets such as Des Moines, Lubbock, Sacramento, Kansas City so that consumers can't use their credit cards to buy plastic shit they don't need from China - and you'll be able to stop the country for an instant.  Next week, block the Home Depot.  I always figured that Osama bin Laden ought to send suicide bombers to Home Depots in tertiary markets.

I would never, ever recommend bombing anything because, as the Weather Underground showed us, people accidentally get killed.  God knows there are plenty of reasons why it looks like blowing blow up stuff is the best thing to do right now - and if it comes to that, the way the Weathermen alerted folks to pending explosions was a good system.  It's just that accidents happen.  Woody says that a few good marksmen could take out strategic communication towers which would slow down the propaganda mill.  Maybe then, we'd have true access to news, but the issue today is not The Revolution.

The issue today is Company.

I have already informed Velvet that we will be hanging the pictures when he gets home from work today.  He is such a cheerful, motivated, energetic summer camp counselor for the Parks & Recreation department's Junior Park Ranger program that it warms my motherly heart.  Since I am determined to see this project through completion, I have told him to include Cup Cake in this picture hanging fiesta.  He and Cup Cake are getting along marvelously, if the Astroglide warming lubricant and dainty little handcuffs, splashed with black marabou that were carelessly tossed into the corner behind his Xbox are any indication.

You would think that somebody would put those things in the nightstand drawer instead of leaving them casually tossed into the bedroom corner - but not Velvet.  I figure a little light bondage never hurt anybody, but the little runt accused me of snooping.  I informed him that  I was in no way snooping since (1) I legitimately wanted to discuss storage needs in his new environment when I (2) knocked on his door before entering, and (3) he was sitting right there when I noticed the marabou handcuffs and lube in plain sight there by the dang TV.  He didn't even try to argue.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Arriving Safely

Velvet is heading off to work in a little while.  He admits that although he is a young man yearning to be out on his own, he likes it when his mother makes him a very berry smoothie and toast with a schmear of salmon cream cheese for breakfast.  He likes asking me to make his lunch for him as he walks off down the hall to the den to watch the new TV.   He didn't mention the yearning to be on his own part all by himself.  I brought it up as he was leaving the kitchen and said, "Thanks, Mommy.  I love you."

He's been eating his breakfast in front of the TV ever since he was a little kid.  He may be watching the cartoons now, for all I know.  The den is so far from the main room where I've stationed my computer that I can't tell what's on the TV.  In the old place, the living room, dining area, kitchen and office/entry space was all in the same 500 foot square.  Or at least I think it was five or six hundred square feet.  Now that we've been here over a week, I don't miss the old place one single bit with the exception of a few conveniences.  I love the view from my bedroom window so much that I may never hang curtains.  Since I'm looking out over the roof of a small college over to the tree tops in a grave yard that slopes uphill, I reckon that nobody can see in my room anyway - even when the light is on in the night.  The headstones peek out from between the trees which, naturally, reminds me of a song:

The only trouble was waiting and waiting for the company who had provided my land line, internet and cable TV to transfer my phone number to the new company since the original company doesn't provide services in my new neighborhood.  I've had this phone number for nearly twenty years, and I wasn't giving it up now just for a few days of internet and cable TV. You can't get decent produce in this neighborhood either, but the big Fairway is a short bus ride away, and they have everything in the world you could possibly want.  Plus, Fresh Direct will deliver straight to my kitchen which is one of the bonuses of urban living.  I haven't noticed Fresh Direct coming to my new building, but I'm pretty sure that folks in my demographic who live in this building settled in long before Fresh Direct was invented and have developed their own solutions.  It appears as if I'm the only white woman in my demographic in the building.

There are plenty of brown women in my demographic who have lived here for years. The white people I have seen all seem to be under 35 and fairly beautiful.   There are so many different kinds of people in this neighborhood that I feel like I'm back in New York City again after having been trapped in a strip mall with Whole Foods at one end, Home Goods at the other and Sephora in between.  I've even seen cute little Latina lesbian couples, one all frilly and the other wearing a hipster butch uniform of tight jeans and dress shirt, neck tie and canvas sneakers walking past an old rasta with his dreads tucked up into a huge black, red and green crocheted hat.  It's summer, and everybody is out in every way on the clean, wide sidewalks of Washington Heights.  It's energizing, inspiring and liberating - like New York City was meant to be.

One thing is certain:  The kids up here are much better behaved than those whiny, noisy, unruly entitled brats whose parents have taken over my old neighborhood.  As unpleasant as the people who took over my neighborhood are, however, I can only be grateful for their money - which has facilitated my current life style and, if all goes according to plan, will continue to facilitate it after I buy a new place and sell it to one of them in ten years for a bundle of fucking cash.  God bless them.

I'm happy to say that I've created an environment here that is balanced combination of Brand New and Comfortably Familiar.  Even though the apartment itself is dramatically different, the allergy medicine and melatonin are in the same basket in the kitchen.  The umbrellas are in the same basket on the hall tree bench, and when you lift the lid on the bench, the same winter hats and scarves are still stuffed inside.  When I wake up in the night, the same moon shines through the window onto my brand new bed with brand new sheets.

There is a brand new man who is also a combination of exciting novelty and safe familiarity.  He found me on Match dot com and took me out to dinner last Friday night, which was perfect timing for a date since Velvet was on a road trip with my dad, driving the Subaru back to Texas. As it happens, this man is also originally from Texas.  He's lived up here forever and easily navigates among the Type A characters who populate the business of corporate media - although he's retired now from MSNBC - but a few generations ago, his family settled in the same area of No Fucking Where, East Texas as my family on my dad's side.

We met at a dark, exotic bar in the East Village, then walked to a restaurant a few blocks away.  When I stepped from the curb to cross the street, he gently touched my lower back.  He had driven into the city, and I had been wondering all day whether or not I'd let him drive me home. That protective, masculine and very gentlemanly gesture convinced me in an instant, and any lingering hesitation disappeared over dinner.  His conversation is a mixture of thoughtful social and political analysis, with counter cultural perspective and Bohemian insight.  It was a lovely night.

He's been busy ever since, working on this documentary about the application of psychedelics in psychiatry.  It's only been a week, of course, and he's called in the meantime.  The other night we wound up talking nearly two hours.  I'm thinking that gender must influence the Space-Time continuum.  Something like Dog Years seems to come into play so that to a man, a week seems like the blink of an eye especially when he's focused on a project.  To a woman, it seems like forever.  At least it seems like Forever to me, but then I've always been impatient.  I'm sure Whoopi Goldberg, as Guinan the Space Mammy, would have something very wise to say about that.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

My Sorting Hat

I've got my sorting hat on
It's a pretend hat, but the attitude is the same.  Into which pile should I place this object?

I just chucked a cut glass candy dish off the terrace.  It could have been an ashtray; I used it for loose change.  The Narcissist gave it to me when he came back from a business trip.  Some "leave behind" from a conference.  If I'm remembering correctly it had been filled with chocolate coins wrapped in gold foil.
It was inferior chocolate, but it was free.  He pretended it was a present.
Maybe it was.

In any case it's gone now.  I tossed it into a shrubbery garden six floors below.  Last night I burned a tiny piece of fabric I cut from the mattress and released the ashes into the wind.

Velvet tells people I'm a witch, but I really don't think so.  Burning stuff and tossing ashes to the wind is just a ritual, and lots of people do rituals.  Generations ago, the Celts did rituals all the time.  Then the Romans invaded and drove our ancestors into the woods.

At the moment, I'm feeling a bit annoyed at Velvet because I was trying to get some serious sorting done - things from the office area into their appropriate boxes.  Important papers and such.  He was watching a Clint Eastwood movie with Cup Cake, all stretched out and smooching on the sofa.  I had to tell him I couldn't focus on my work with him smooching right there on the sofa, and they went in his room and shut the door. Maybe they cleaned his closet.  Maybe they didn't.  The worst part is that he's 20 years old and has a beautiful girl friend who is, in real life, going to Swedish Massage school.  I can't believe that's his real life.

Menopausal Stoners Temporary Headquarters in the 'Hood

I've made a diagram of the new apartment on graph paper. The furniture is made from scraps of paper from a lavender gift bag that I got yesterday from one of the kids. There used to be a jar of chocolate chip cookies in the bag from Sarah Beth's Kitchen. There are a few cookies left, and the jar itself is great for cotton balls or something - so that was a great little present for the teacher.

I'm not quite sure how to arrange the furniture yet.  I had planned on using the front room as the living room, but I think that the way the furniture would need to be arranged would fuck up my plan to have the sunbeam falling across the sofa for perfect winter afternoon naps.   If the sofa is on the east wall, the sunbeam will hit the sofa in exactly the same way that the sunbeam here in the marital residence hit the sofa before somebody built a dang 15 story building in the path of the sunset.

Now that I made little purple squares to represent all the furniture, it looks like Buzz Kill's Barcalounger is going to be in the sunbeam if it's going to be situated so you can kick back and watch TV.  This chair is significant because it's written into the divorce that I have to keep Buzz Kill's Barcalounger in good condition until such time as he had a place for it or we sold the apartment - which ever came first.  The minute we close on this apartment, I could put the chair in the dumpster and be within my legal rights, but everyone agrees that this is one comfortable chair.  Everyone except my mother.  She hates that chair.

I don't know, it may be a better idea to make the front room my room. Then the sunbeam would fall across my own beautiful new bed.  It's a little public because it is off the main living area which will be my library/dining room/office. There's a solid wood door, however, so it's really no bid deal.

Here's the reverse view - looking from the room that may or may not be my bedroom toward the hall.

The front door is just through the arch.  It's a nice sized room, like 14 x 15, and Dad will put a ceiling fan in there to pull in the AC from the front room.  I think my table will go into that sunbeam there.  It's a white 45" round table and matching chairs from Crate & Barrel.  It won't be centered under the fan since I've got to fit my office stuff in there, too, but I don't care.  Much.  I still have to get a new desk, though, since right now, my office is built into a gigantic hall closet.  I've loved this little cubby, but from a Feng Shui stand point, the boxes   on the shelves over my head are oppressing my creativity.  The whole point of the new Library space is to create a room of my own where I can write that book I've been threatening to write all these years.  I'll probably do The Menopausal Stoners Guide to Parenting first, then tackle the memoir.  I find the idea of writing that memoir alarming on many levels - but now that I'll have all my money from Buzz Kill, I don't have to worry about him giving me a hard time about my writing anymore.

About a year ago he said something about me saying shit about him on the internet - and I promptly said I hadn't said a damn thing about him on the internet.  PENolan may have said something about Buzz Kill, but that is also well within my legal rights. Besides, I'm pretty sure rambling on a blog doesn't count as Publishing anyway.  In my mind, if you're not getting paid, you haven't been published.  Not really.

If I make the front room into my bedroom, then I'd make the back room into a den.  There's all kinds of room in there, so the Barcalounger would easily fit.  Velvet thought he might like that room for himself since it has a "smoking porch."  It's really the fire escape, but since there's a door leading out to a large landing, friends can  sit on the stairs to the roof when they feel like smoking cigarettes.  I imagine that if anybody's smoking weed in there, they'd just open the door.  That pipe by the fire escape door is the radiator.

Then Velvet would go in the middle bedroom which has the smallest closet.

I was going to use this one for myself since it has the most flexibility for furniture arranging - but the good thing about me being in the front and Velvet being in the middle is that there would be no privacy issues when Cupcake sleeps over.  And we all know that Cupcake will be sleeping over.  Now that I think about it, if we set up the apartment that way, it would sort of be like the front is my space and the back is his space, with the kitchen and the bathroom in the middle.

I'd still rent his room out to traveling actors and production assistants when he's away at Tree Hugger, and the den could be an additional guest room.  And it will be just that next week when my dad is here.

The kitchen is minimal.  The appliances are nice enough, but there are limited cabinets and virtually no counter space.

The good news is that the opposite wall is totally empty.  I suppose the landlord believes it's an eat-in kitchen.  I'll be putting the dresser we pulled out of the trash some years ago in there.  Once my mom cleaned that dresser up, it was perfect for storing my table linens and silver, and now it can provide additional counter space since the dish drainer will have to go on the counter by the sink.  I'll put two tall sets of shelves in there, too, for open storage.  Soon, I'll get one of those little rolling carts with butcher block top to go in the space between the stove and the window so there will be a place for one of my vintage oscillating fans.  The way I cook, there totally has to be a fan in the kitchen.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Cheney's Toy

James McMurtry strikes again.

Found this at Worldwide Hippies, of course.