I look out my back windows and
see cardinals, juncos, chickadees, finches, blue jays and robins. Friday
morning, when I went out in search of something to cover over the nasty sticky liner
crap in the kitchen drawers and shelves, I was actually brought to a halt
because I heard birdsong.
Imma have to find
squirrel-proof bird feeders. I tossed out some Fine Tunes for the song birds I
saw loitering about, but squirrel radar picked up on it while the birds were
still trying to ascertain whether it was some sort of Evil Avian Trap. I am not
the Sciuridae smorgasbord.
Also: I have no idea what this
is, but it’s scattered around the back yard:
Well, there’s more floor to be
seen than there was a couple of days ago:
I figured out a kludge to
restart the stuck garbage disposal (no hex wrench, but a slot screwdriver
worked fine), and I believe I have enough food organized that I don’t have to
shop for groceries until next weekend.
One of the things I love most
about this place is that the back of the house faces south—even on cloudy days,
the living-dining area is bright enough that I don’t have to turn on lights.
Which is good because you
would not believe what the previous owners have for a dining room light:
Not only is it butt-ugly, and
a hazard to ambulation because it hangs down to about five feet off the floor,
but it throws absolutely no discernable light anywhere because it was fitted
with a single “eco smart” bulb that has a cold, dim output of about 3 watts.
I looked at it yesterday:
there was only the one bulb, although there are fittings for two. I put in the
single, dim “eco smart” bulb that had been in the one, functionally useless
overhead light in the kitchen. The light is still cold and uninviting, but it’s
now marginally less dim. Still marked for replacement.
What’s interesting about the
kitchen situation is that the overhead light is clearly wired for two lamps,
but whoever installed this didn’t even put in the receptacle for a second bulb.
I have to hire an electrician to even get the second dose of wattage. I swapped
out the “eco smart” bulb for a 100 watt one, but that’s still inadequate for
doing much of anything in a kitchen.
As you know, last
week I moved house. Since last Wednesday I’ve unpacked most of my kitchen (and
put away about 80% of it), have nearly all my books put away, and can see floor
in a few of the rooms in the new place. The new water heater is in place, and
the USPS letter carrier is delivering stuff (mostly come-ons from mortgage
insurance scammers who obviously troll public records) to the mailbox that’s
sitting on the ground because I don’t have concrete bits for a drill.
Or a drill.
But a couple of things that
aren’t necessarily Great Progress have inspired my gratitude today.
My first glass of champagne in
the new place:
My coffee machine was packed
in its original carton, so I could have latte my first morning in.
I found enough bits and bobs
to lay out the tablecloth, placemats and napkins that my BFF gave me years ago,
and I sat down to dinner at my candlelit dining table. I cannot tell you how
wonderful it feels to be able to do that again, after living in a cavern for
the past year.
Okay, after my
rant the other day, I ended up giving the four guys who effected my move
$20 each. They were competent, and of an ethnic group that puts them at risk
for illegal visits by ICE, so I just forked over more than I’ve ever tipped
I’m not happy that the end
price was about 12% higher than the quote, and I’m still looking for my down
jacket that one of them packed in some carton not with any of my other clothes,
but I guess I should be glad that his crew chief asked me what I wanted done
with my handbag before it, too, ended up in a carton.
I’m in my new place, where I
was greeted by chickadees and juncos—have to get a bird feeder tout suite,
because I am not throwing stuff out to be gobbled up by squirrels—and I have a
new water heater, connectivity and TV. I reckon I’ll eventually figure out the
Since I’m moving house
this week, I went out yesterday to the nearest bank to get smallish bills for
tips. The nearest bank in this instance was Bank of America, an institution I’ve
despised since the 70s, and they didn’t disappoint even now.
Because having legal
currency of the United States isn’t enough for them to exchange for other
denominations of legal currency; you have to have an account with them for them
to move their arse.
So, no tenners for the
But on my walk back to
the office I considered that, since this moving company is charging me 25% of
my total costs of moving from the West Coast to the East last year to haul my
kit from one NoVa county to the next, I should perhaps expect them to be paying
their staff so well that tips are not welcome.
As an aside, I got a
quote from this same company for the cross-country move, which came in at about
$5K more than the next highest one. And the estimator this time, in surveying
my effects to come up with his 25%-of-a-3000-mile-relo quote, glanced at my
pictures on the wall, got the vapors and said, “You’ll want to move those yourself.”
Evidently charging more
than two large for a 20-mile move doesn’t include packing and transporting anything
that might break.
I was attempting to clear out
my hard drive—a task which I find exceedingly difficult because it’s kind of
like your junk room: you just heave stuff in there willy-nilly until you’ve got
a right mess, with the added layer of complexity that usually you only heave
one thing into your junk room, but there is pretty much an infinite number of
times you can save a file to your hard drive, if it’s living in different
folders—and came across this photo I shot a few years ago.
The tagger decorated the wall
outside my condo complex, and I wondered what statement s/he was trying to
About fuel consumption?
About some conflation of the
And was the number 1 appended
to distinguish it in a limited series of tags? Like lithographs by Andy Warhol?
Sadly, the condo association
washed it out shortly after it appeared, so I’ll never know.
I’ll also probably never know
how many copies of this I’ve saved to my hard drive.
Well, since we are in the
Digital Age, technically I’m glad that the video is on my hard drive, a jump
drive and in the cloud.
I’m a girl who likes redundant
I can’t believe how long it
took to get this 90-second piece put together: more than two hours shooting
take after take (including another session this past Friday because, after
viewing what we shot the previous Sunday, I was so appalled that I suited up
and drove out to west nowhere Fairfax County to do it all over again), and then
almost two hours with the editor to lay in the background and a cool fade to black
at the end.
So today I’m grateful for two
things: I’ve got friends who went to the bat for me, setting up, shooting and
editing. And I’m looking at the damned thing in my rear view mirror.