I’m Sorry About The Elevator

I took a week off in February. It was wonderful. I recommend a week off of work every once in a while. It’s good even if you don’t do much or get much done, of which I did neither.

The primary mission did get done, however: Order a new bed. The bed I’ve been sleeping in I bought in November 2016, and it was a good bed for about a year or so. It was a Serta that bore the name of a hotel I’ve stayed at a few times called the Bellagio. I paid $987 for it and the bed frame. After a while, I started waking up with my back hurting horribly. I felt what had happened, the bed material had broken, and the bed could no longer offer me proper support. So for at least two years now I’ve been sleeping on the broken bed for as long as I could stand and then marching to the recliner for the rest of my rest.

I finally took the plunge and purchased a Yellowstone brand mattress. It cost a bit more then my previous purchase, but if the salesman’s words are true, it’s one of the better mattresses you can get, with high-quality materials and excellent craftsmanship. I had looked at the same bed six months ago and had quite favorable opinions on it then, but I still needed to research models and to consider financing this little project. I had already arrived at what it would cost me to buy my other favorite choice, the Purple mattress, which I have had the opportunity to test in-store a few times. I would have required a Purple 3 hybrid, which are not cheap. So I set that as my initial budget and went from there.

The bottom line, however, is that I don’t feel good about making such a large purchase like that without looking a person in the eye. I want to be able to find a person to ask any questions I might have. You can’t really do that with a bed-in-the-box. So I ended up with the Yellowstone with an adjustable base. I took delivery of it yesterday, and so far, I am mighty pleased with it.

Except for this: I didn’t think to question the fellas who delivered it when they loaded up our elevator with the adjustable base, the mattress, and their own burly bodies to traverse to the third floor. Shortly after they left, and after my Dad left–he had been here to watch the Jayhawks eke out a victory in men’s basketball over the Baylor Bears–I left my apartment to go to the grocery. And the elevator’s exterior doors seem not to be closing.

I’m assuming the thing got overloaded and went into some sort of safety mode. I’ve seen it do this before, so it ain’t the first time with this elevator.

Have I mentioned that I hate elevators?

Anyway, I can tell you I’ve already taken two unintended naps in the new bed and had a much better night’s sleep last night than I have in a while. My Mother and I joke that I’ve just taken on a car payment–which is nearly true–but I can think of many less responsible things to do with money. A kid’s gotta sleep.

Today, I am cleaning and digging finally into the CD compilation of Brasilian music that I got last week.

In other news, I think you should take a moment to hear from a kid named C.J. I hope the world C.J. envisions becomes a real thing someday. It sounds pretty terrific to me.

Moving Day Approacheth

In 2012, I moved into a small studio apartment on East Avenue in Rochester, N.Y.

Rent was $495 a month and it was worth every penny. There was a family of rodents living there before I moved in. There was a window that could also double as a guillotine. There was the noise of the garbage trucks just under my window.

Then, they renovated, and I managed to live with that, though not often gracefully. But the facilities were much nicer once they were through. I had to move down the hall. And my rent went up. Considerably.

The pull to living here was supposed to be the proximity to downtown. It’ll be really cool, I thought. I’m live right on top of two pubs and across from a gastrobpub. And I will have the best proximity evar to the annual Jazz Festival: It will be right in front of my house! How cool will it be?

Not very cool, it turns out.

Not very cool, when you come home from work at 8 p.m. Friday and can’t find a place to park in the garage you pay for due to interest in said Jazz Festival, and so you have to drive out of town to crash for the night. Not very cool, as you discover that your enthusiasm for the Jazz Festival is just waning, and you realize you’re paying to live in a shoebox for a convenience that just ain’t that convenient.

The author in his new kitchen.

The author in his new kitchen.

That is changing. Soon.

In a week, I will move into my new digs, a one bedroom apartment with a terrace and a bunch more room than my studio downtown.

This here is me, yesterday, in my new kitchen. Which, you know, actually has counter space. Luxurious. Place has a terrace where one could sit outside and enjoy fresh air, has a dining area, has a bedroom. It’s like living in a civilized manner, in other words.

Rent is the same.

One week from Independence Day, kids. Can’t wait.

Speaking of working in the kitchen, here is a recipe for you:

How to make a quesadilla at home to use up that brie cheese and those two tortillas you have left over. By Aaron.

1. Heat up a skilet. Mush the brie onto one of the tortillas.
2. Shred some cheddar onto it as well.
3. Add some salsa.
4. Put the other tortilla on there. Smoosh it down a little.
5. Put it onto the skillet. Wait a few minutes.
6. Attempt to flip the quesadilla. Have half of the tortilla fold down so that the filling starts to fall out and onto the hot skillet.
7. Attempt to fix the problem by refolding the tortilla, making the same problem occur from the other side.
8. Curse loudly.
9. Dump the whole mess onto a cutting board and lean over the counter, eating with a fork and feeling like an utter failure.
10. Enjoy!

The Cheese Table and Other Adventures

This was a banner day.

The mobile phone I previously used, an LG Marquee, was originally purchased as a point-of-entry phone to a new mobile service. I did not want to buy a higher-end phone at the time until I had faith in the carrier, Ting, a Sprint MVNO that has rates a human being can actually understand. The coverage is generally good, although it can get touchy when I’m out at Gonfalon. But that is the case with many carriers; some sort of hole or triangle seems to have converged on that spot that zaps mobile phone signals.

Anyway, the Marquee has gotten mighty sluggish of late, and I decided it was time to upgrade. Today I took delivery of an iPhone 5 (one new development with Ting for the last year or so was its ability to carry certain models of iPhone). I had forgotten what a difference it can make to have a good phone. I’m sure I’ll be bugging people with panoramic photographs soon enough (can’t wait to shoot one out at the farm).

Dad also helped me deliver two key pieces of furniture today; my office chair and this short table that Hic found for five bucks and that my Dad stabilized mightily with extra nuts and bolts. I have needed a piece in my studio apartment to give me just a little bit more counter space. This is that piece. It’s perfect.

cheese table

I will most often use the thing for preparing the cheese and Triscuits snack that so often fortifies me. So it’s a “cheese table” to me. What it means though is extra counter space, an extra drawer, another shelf, and all that at a size that isn’t too obnoxious.

We ended the day with blackened catfish, sweet corn from a farmer’s stand that may be the best corn I’ve ever eaten, and broccolies right from the back yard. A bannner day, indeed. Did I mention how beautiful the weather was today?

Window 2.0

This time I heard the folded up notice as it was slipped under my apartment door as I was trying to catch one more little nap before it was time to make ready for the job. I managed to roll over and catch a bit more sleep before rolling out of futon for shower.

I reviewed the note. Building management will have contractors in my apartment tomorrow to “complete work on a window in your bathroom.”

I hated to have to tell them that there is not a window in my bathroom.

But I did anyway. I gave the office a ring and told the guy the contractors could spare themselves the trip because, I promise. There is no window in my bathroom to work on.

He had to put me on hold to check. Then he came back.

“No, no,” he said. “They’re going to INSTALL a window in your bathroom. There’s apparently a frame for it, and they’re going to put one in.”

So, there’s that. At some point tomorrow, there will be guys in my apartment taking a sledge to the wall.

Meet The Residents

It’s the small victories when you’re trying to make a teeny tiny living space work. This week, it was the plate rack.

The kitchen cabinets, they are small. I had been getting by on just stacking whatever the heck dishes I could in the one near the sink. This included dishes of the eat-now-at-home type and dishes of the store/take-food-to-work type. The problem being that often when I just wanted to plop down and eat a burrito or my normal nosh of Triscuits and sharp cheddar cheese, I had trouble locating a plate. Don’t even get me started on trying to find a clean glass.

So I ventured to Bed Bath and Whatevah yesterday and found a little rack that fits nicely in the corner of the cabinet. And, by executive fiat, I declared that the cabinet in question would only be for the eat-now-at-home type of dish.

I don’t know where the store/take-food-to-work type of dishes are going to go. They’ll just stay in that box for now.

Next, I found a dish cart, the kind restaurants use, that, with a little help from a friend, I’ll take delivery of Friday. This will solve another problem I’ve found with living in a tiny little space: Where do you put the dirty dishes?

They end up in the sink, on the stove, on the itty bitty counters, everywhere.

This makes actually washing them a bit of a challenge. Thus, the two professional-grade bus pans and the professional-grade dish cart. Hoping to install a molhagger dish drying rack on top of the cart just for added convenience. No more drying dishes over the bathtub!

It’s a glamorous life.

“The original pressing of the album sold poorly, reportedly selling only forty copies in its first year, with most being returned to the publisher unopened.”

That’s my kind of record.

Seriously. This is a friggin’ classic. Though it might cause seizures in some humans.

Happy Independence Day

I’m so glad that Elantra in the garage that I keep mistaking for my own car wasn’t my own car. That owner is going to get a nasty surprise today, in the form of a post-it note that says “the license plate of the car that hit you is…”

Ugh. That and the weird way the couple of to-go boxes were piled near the back tire. Somebody had quite a party there, just hanging out in the garage.

I’m going to have to start parking on 3 instead of 2.

Meanwhile, Happy Independence Day! Texas Gov. Rick Perry believes that Americans have “freedom of religion, not freedom from religion.”

I distinctly remember the first time someone used the ol’ “freedom of religion not freedom from religion” line on me. 1993, maybe? It sounds just as terrifying now as it did then, especially when it’s coming from state executive types who have actually been considered for the White House.

There’s Been a Burnley

I didn’t mean to start yelling at people this morning. It just happened. I’ve been trying to be downright spoony about the fact that half of my apartment hasn’t had power since Saturday evening.

But there is massive renovation going on in my building. So I got out of bed early (10 a.m. is damned early for me) to inquire about the progress of restoring my power, and I came down to the eerily dark and ripped up lobby to find that the front office was closed, or rather, it had moved, and the location to where it had moved had a big ladder blocking it with a fella on top of the ladder changing light blubs. The girl was on the phone, rifling through papers, her eyes down, and there were two glass doors between me and the titular person in charge.

This would be my third inquiry since Monday morning, so yes, “what the f is this” were the words that found life from my mouth.

“It’s from me,” said the fella on top of the ladder. “What’s going on?”

“I haven’t had power in my apartment for since Saturday, that’s what!”

My voice’s tone convinced me that I probably should have had breakfast before engaging in this encounter. But I was more pissed about perceiving that I was being ignored than I was about the power.

The girl fought her way to the previous office entrance and placated me well. She said she’d the fellas right up. I decided to get out of their hair, so I threw on some clothes and went across the street for some coffee and a muffin. I discovered that I make better coffee and better pastry than this joint, but it was pleasant to have found a table to sit outside, to take in the beautiful day, and to enjoy reading the local paper.

I was about wrapping up breakfast when a little robin landed on my table. He looked at me then hopped over to my muffin. He grabbed a crumb of it and headed off. The young ladies at the next table who were writing on staff paper noticed and laughed. “I’ve been burgled!” I exclaimed.

They still don’t know what’s wrong with my power, and, in fact, they may have to rewire the whole damned thing.

But I did learn one thing this morning: The birds are certainly brave this year.

UPDATE: Yay! They fixed it!

In case you were curious: There’s Been a Burnley. (According to sketch transcripts online, the inspector in this sketch is named “Muffin.”)

And now, for something completely different.

If you’ve ever watched Star Trek: TNG, you’ve seen this just like half your life you looked at the Federal Express logo and never saw the arrow. Well, friends, get ready. Because once you see this, the next time you watch TNG, THIS is ALL you will see.

I present: Riker Sits Down.

I was even inspired to write a haiku:

Riker mounts his chair
Like he is straddling mountains.
Engage, Number One.

Make it so.

Finally, here’s an interesting perspective I came across: Josiah Bartlet Was A Mediocre President. Read the article, but don’t miss the comments.

A New Adventure

I don’t know if blogging is just plain dead due to the advent of the social networkings and all, or if I’m just too damned old for it, or if my blog just plain sucks and I don’t feel like anyone is reading or that I even want anyone to read anymore. But I don’t want this thing to die anyway. I’ve been writing here for too long whatever the reason for my recent ennui regarding this and other blogging and generally Web projects.

Regardless. I’m sitting in my new adventure now, a studio apartment in downtown Rochester that I’ve had the task of civilizing ever since I signed the lease. I am marveling, I mean just marveling about the first challenge match of The Voice, where the Scottish kid and the redneck are about to sing “Carry On Wayward Son” again. Again, because I have rewound it on the TiVo because I am incredulous that these two were not coached to bring any harmony whatsoever to the song. None. Nope, it’s getting the old Bananarama treatment from these fellows, despite the ample opportunities to bring attention to the notion on national television that, once upon a time, singers used to do this thing call “harmony.” One of the masters of this practice was a band called “Kansas.” To sing this song with two vocalists and not to bring any harmony to the party has left my jaw on the ground. What a weird choice.

For a long time, I didn’t bother to move in. It was messy. Clutter on the floor in front of the main closet so I couldn’t get to it. I was on track to buy a house for a while but was wisely advised against it; wisdom that carries further today than I could have imagined. I have been overwhelmed by some time with the task of setting up a studio apartment. A house. Good gravity. But I finally put in the time this past weekend, and the place is feeling cozy. More time this morning to unload more things. Set up my turntable. Grand Diversion Station #63 is coming together, with TV I get sans cable bill thanks to a lovely HD antenna in the window. Crystal clear reception. I cleaned deeply on Saturday, though there is more to do.

I don’t understand the previous tenants. There are problems in this little studio that had gone on for a while. Today the maintenance man had to replace the disposal and the trap in the kitchen completely due to the leak. I’ve had the faucet in the shower replaced because when I first moved in there was no cold water. The tops of the kitchen cabinets have not been cleaned in eons. The one above the stove is gonna require the scrubbing bubble guys.

But when I’m through, this is going to be a much different place than the one I moved into. It’s gonna be cozy. And clean. And moving from a big rural farm with your family into a little place in the city on your own is a big transition, from how you cook to how you do the dishes to how you keep your schedule. And so far, it’s been bumpy sometimes. But I’m growing into it. Digging it quite a lot, actually.

It’s still echo-ey in here. But I am fortunate to have gotten to make this transition using the method with which I work best, methodically, thoughtfully, incrementally. Having supportive family nearby is helpful. I get to go visit and nom nom nom on their food from time to time, and then to throw a load of my things into my car, and then to arrange it as it is needed, as I have slowly planned.

So far, the new adventure is often that mundane. Most adventures are, to be clear. A lot of waiting and watching and doing the grunt work. But I’m having some fun.

Maybe I’ll blog here once in a while now. Even though I’m pretty sure blogging, at least as an individual expression, is pretty much dead due to the Twitter Facebook Pinterest Industrial Complex.