Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Zen and the Art of Unpacking

A few things I have learned living alone:

-Quiet is not just a tranquil place in your mind. It's the whole house.
-Coffee does not make itself.
-Things are where you leave them.
-The clean underwear drawer is not self-replentishing.
-"Just hold that end for a minute" is a meaningless phrase.

Tackled glassware and the stereo last night. My kitchen was no doubt designed by a ballroom dancing afficionado who maxed out floor space to could tuck his one spoon and plate in a small matchbox in the corner.

I, unfortunately, am blessed with that and a cup, so I need more cupboard space.

Grab the hutch we used to keep linens and the nerf gun in and you have a perfectly usable place for glasses. The nerf gun was used to keep the cats off the dining room table and since I have neither, well, I'm disarming. (Charming as well.)

The stereo is another matter. It came out of the box with wires, plugs, clips and cords that made it look like the control room of the "Enterprise" after being sideswiped by Klingons on a bender with a stolen Gorn freighter.

"I canna promise you'll hear the Fountains of Wayne CD tonight Captain, it's all I can do to keep NPR tuned."

Add to this the tools needed to do the job are somewhere in box xd15623-d-4/abx-000001 packed, no doubt in a secure location that is more remote than Dick Cheney's hideout and you have an evening of humming to oneself and hoping for better days when music returns.

Did I mention the stereo cabinet did not accompany me? Not to worry. Years ago I built a Shaker style cabinet that wound up holding a lot of unsightly junk. Sketches and drawings of furniture plans, old newspaper clippings, comic books, instructions for telephone answering machines left in an apartment in north Jersey. In other words, C.R.A.P.

Said cabinet is now the proud keeper of a fine audio system. Trouble is, the damn thing needs to be wired up and there's no back access panel. So off we go to look for drills and saws and, finding them, we swallow hard, take a shot of something fortifying, and cut into that perfectly smooth pine plank we spent hours bookmatching years ago.

What the hell, I built it, I can cut into it. But even that is not easy. Like the first set of footprints in the fresh snow of the front lawn, you kind of wish you could turn around and sweep the snow back into the pristine thing you found it.

About an hour of cutting and shaping and fitting in the living room and you are done. And the back has some access holes that you can happily run wire through to your heart's content. Tomorrow, when "Audio IN +" and "Line OUT DVD/LD" means something.

And the living room is covered in sawdust. And the vacuum did not move with you.

Plan B: Convert living room to Pub or butcher shop.


Blogger Kathryn said...

other good stuff about living alone, or with a furry four-leged creature: the last beer is still in the fridge, same for the last glass of wine, no one does the crossword before you, you don't have to actualyl speak for teh first hour or so of awake time

bad stuff: the mess is still there when you get home, no one to blame the milkless situation on

2:37 PM  

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