DO draw up a floor plan for the new space before determining any furniture choices. Your favourite sofa may look like it fits in your new home — make sure it does! As well as assessing your furniture for room arrangements, measure large, wide pieces like sofas to see if they’ll fit through the front door, and keep in mind any stairs or elevators to be negotiated.
Guess who hadda buy a new F-ing couch…?
You got that right.
And the new one didn’t want to go down the stairs, either. Fluffy-the-Car-Shark was in charge of that particular escapade while I was at work, thank God, or I would’ve just sat in the parking lot and cried.
Fluffy is not a crier. Fluffy is a Take Charge Kinda Guy. He stood between the building and the moving van with his arms crossed and wouldn’t let the delivery guys leave until they got the new and smaller hide-a-bed in the door, down the stairs and set up.
Then he made them clean the drywall dust off the sides of it, where they had scraaaaaaaaaped it down the stairwell. I now have a beddish kind of thing to sleep in, and although smaller, it’s a lot more comfortable than the concrete couch/bed that I bought at the J.O.B. And it goes nicely with the chair and ottoman that matched the original.
None of the above are completely paid for, but Fluffy got the New Couch People to store the Old New Couch until it can be sold. He also talked them into delivering the New New Couch at no charge and with no money down. I will have to pay somebody eventually, I suppose…
I still haven’t got the dregs out of the old apartment, or cleaned it. I’ll have to do that on Monday (I snagged an extra day because of the Some Kind of Canuckian Holiday Weekend that happens at the end of every August), because tomorrow after work, I will be accompanying Fluffy and four teenaged girls to a foreign country to witness the sacred insanity that the Fly-Girl has committed herself to.
And to drink.
We will be returning some time on Sunday evening, and with luck, maybe I’ll be able to get the last of the crap to the charity drop-off and clean the old place then. That way I could go hiking or beaching with The Oogily Bay Girls on Monday.
Or hell, maybe I’ll just hand them the car keys and sit in the sauna all day…
Tattered and worn is how Ky and I both feel about now. Our move of residence is imminent. As in, Today.
I hate moving. I wanted to space it all out over a period of a couple of weeks, and the plan was working for awhile, even. The J.O.B., though, has me worn out. When I’m there, I’m thinking of all the packing still left to do, and when I’m here, I’m too overwhelmed and “procrastinatey” to get much done.
I don’t have to be completely gone from this building until the 31st, but The Fly-Girl’s wedding reception is on the 30th, which requires an overnight… and nope- can’t book the following day off for the last little pickings involved in moving house, so I’m hoping I can get it done ahead of the celebrations. And that I’m not hungover at work the day after the dog bites me.
I hate moving. I said that already, didn’t I? Well, I hate it even more now, than two paragraphs ago.
We’ve been chauffering little stuff in boxes over since the 15th, with much of it going the opposite direction to the charity drop. I’m forced to abandon items that I would have clung to fiercely a year ago, and I’m surprisingly at peace doing so. There is no room for more than is absolutely necessary, and no storage space. At. All. The place we’re moving into is even smaller than the one we’re leaving. I wouldn’t have thought that to be possible, but…
I took the place sight unseen (or is that site unseen? Whatever.), because every apartment I did look at was filthy. And expensive. And filthy. I considered buying a small house. Even looked at a couple. They were filthy, too.
And then Ruby suggested I check into an apartment above a store, right around the corner from her. She figured that even if they didn’t have anything available, they might know who owned the really well-kept up, retrofitted house next to them. Turns out “they” own both buildings, and a basement apartment would be available in the retro just in time for me.
It was small, they said. Very small. Newly renovated, though, with new fixtures, and floors, and appliances, and cupboards, and a sauna. Convincing Ky to take an unseen apartment (with a sauna) was actually a simple procedure: “Want a sauna?” “Duh! YES!!!”
I stood outside the building, not being able to see the place, yet, because of the squatter that refused to leave it, and pictured a full basement. I convinced myself that if it wasn’t bigger than the place we were leaving, it at least had to be close to the same size.
I paid a deposit. And the landlord hit me with another zinger.
We have no walls.
Hmmmm…. Okay, so it will be a Basement Loft with Sauna, then, won’t it? I signed a contract, and wrote out a bunch of post-dated checks. Accepted a key, and signed for that.
On the 15th, we went to see it.
It’s about this big.
Well, the new landlord tried to warn me, didn’t he? I’m taking it anyway, though. I can’t imagine looking at any more filthy, little expensive places…
There are all those pluses, too… I could spit and hit Ruby’s door… security parking for Prissy, behind a chain-link fence, complete with barbed-wire ruffles at the top… cheap rent, all inclusive… decent landlord…. the new everything he put in the place… Oh and did I mention
And I’ll be glad to get out of this place, finally. It’s not the same without Ruby at the helm, and about the only things I’ll miss are the considerable whack-jobs populating the block.. like Captain Underpants, who moved in across the street last winter, and introduced himself to the neighbourhood by walking around barefoot in the snow, wearing nothing but his green boxers, beer in hand, yelling “Howdy!” to everybody he saw. Every day.
Now that the snow is gone, he yells from his kitchen window. I don’t think Captain Underpants likes heat. At least I know I won’t find him in my sauna some day.
Aunt Blanche was my mother’s older sister. She was the first born – and she wasn’t very old before my grandmother realized she was a little, well, different. I suppose the proper, “politically correct” term to describe Blanche would be mentally challenged. She never went to school, never held a job, and never married.
I have a photo of Ky, when she was about 4, that looks just like Blanche. Ky hates that picture, which is why I’m going to dig it up someday and post it, ‘cuz I think it’s cute that she looks like a modern-day version of my Aunt Blanche, and I’m the Mom, and she can’t stop me.
Somebody found Where the Walls are Soft by Googling “knickety knackety lyrics”, which piqued my curiosity, as I’d thought Ruby had made up that song… so I Googled it myself, and found the following, described as “most annoying song now and forever”.
It was also the song sung by the school-children in the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Birds; something else I didn’t know, which really bugs me, because I love that movie. I should have recognized the song when Ruby sang it.
Alfred Hitchcock used the original lyrics of the song…
Anyway, here are those lyrics, just in case the next Googler really, really needs them:
I married my wife
In the month of June
Now, now, now
I brought her home
By the light of the moon
Now, now, now
She combs her hair
But once a year
Now, now, now
With every stroke
She shed a tear
Now, now, now
She swept up her floor
But once a year
Now, now, now
She said that brooms
Were much too dear
Now, now, now
She churns her butter
In her dad’s old boot
Now, now, now
And for a dash
She’d use her foot
Now, now, now
The butter it came out
All grizzle-y gray
Now, now, now
The cheese it took legs
And ran away
Now, now, now
She let the critter
Now, now, now
I asked my wife
To wash the floor
Now, now, now
She gave me my hat
And she showed me the door
Now, now, now
I called Ruby, accusingly, and she sang most of it to me, but without the “ristle-tee, rostle-tee”, after telling me that she never said she’d made it up. She’d just changed the words of a song her uncle used to sing.
Of course, my Dad found out. He always found out everything I was up to, and he always gave me a chance to own up to it, relating the dirty deed to me in a manner designed to make me believe he really didn’t know who had done it. You know, in case I wanted to get it off my chest. Which I never did. Even though *I* knew that he knew…. nope. Wouldn’t admit to it. Never.
Like that time when I was five, and the kids up the street and I set fire to the empty field behind my house. Somehow we managed to stomp it out before it got away from us, and we all went home for supper, absolutely certain we were in the clear.
And then, my Dad read the “Police Report” out of the newspaper (yeah, the one that had been printed before we found the matches, but I was five and that was beyond my scope) out loud….
“…The POLICE are VERY worried about the three children, 2 boys and a little girl, who were playing with matches in the long grass, today. They are VERY worried that these three children don’t know any better and could have been BURNED TO DEATH, because they don’t seem to understand that fires can very quickly get OUT OF CONTROL and BURN CHILDREN TO DEATH before their parents can get to them. ESPECIALLY if their parents believe their children SHOULD KNOW BETTER. The POLICE hope these three children, 2 boys and a little girl, have LEARNED THEIR LESSON, and NEVER DO SUCH A STUPID THING AGAIN…”
And he turned to me and gave me that chance to own up: “Do you know who those three children are…?”
“Well what do you think of what those three children did …?”
Me: “I think they’re very lucky they didn’t get caught and go to jail.”
Right up into my teens, I would stubbornly stick to the “Wasn’t Me” defense, even when handed unequivocal evidence that it was so me.
Like that time when I was 16, and was accused of stealing a magnum of Champagne out of the wine-cellar, drinking it, and hiding the empty bottle under my bed, I said, “Wasn’t me.” Even though the evidence was found under my bed… with the date of the crime etched on the label… along with the signatures of myself and the friends I passed it back and forth with.
But about that tree….
When I was growing up, we spent almost the entire summer on the boat. We traveled all over the Great Lakes on one boat or another – at first, sleeping on the boat, which was cool, but then my parents built their camp on Cockburn Island (That’s pronounced “Co-Burn”, remember. Suzi, stop laughing.).
By the way, a “camp” is what Northern Ontarians call “The Cottage” – for those of you who might picture tents, or a lumber camp. The “camp” is now owned by my sister Tootie and her family, and it’s a bona-fide second home. It ain’t “camping” by any stretch of the imagination.
It was a slow build, though. The first year, we lived in the woodshed (huge by woodshed standards) while the main house was being built. We had an outhouse, kerosene lamps, and a woodstove. The refrigerator was a propane unit, and my Dad built a pump system for the water that pulled it from a cream can under the sink with the push of a button. He didn’t think my mom should have to lift a pail to the sink. He was a nice guy, my Dad.
Everybody on Cockburn drove old beat-up trucks and cars. When you bought a vehicle for “The Camp”, you either had it ferried over on a barge in the summer, or drove it across the ice in the winter. These old things could live forever over there, it seemed. Didn’t need a safety, either, although that was still illegal, but since nobody was gonna check…
And it was on Cockburn Island that everybody learned to drive. The unspoken rule seemed to state that once you hit the age of fourteen, you could drive on Cockburn. Everybody did it. That was my argument to my parents, anyway, when they wouldn’t let me drive over there. Their return argument was… well… inarguable: “Well, YOU’RE not gonna.”
But I was determined to be like everybody else and drive, dammit.
So, I went to the camp across the road and lamented to the Neighbour-Lady all my woes. Neighbour-Lady was a nice gal. She always had her long blonde hair wrapped around her head with pins in the mornings after she washed it, because she didn’t like the natural curl it had. She always wore green eyeshadow. And she always had a beer open.
Neighbour-Lady had cancer, but wouldn’t take treatment. Much of the time, she was “tight”, as my mom would say – not “falling down drunk”, but she generally had a buzz on. I guess it was one way to deal with cancer.
Anyway, I was over there complaining to Neighbour-Lady, and smoking her cigarettes. She wouldn’t give me a beer, but she gave me cigarettes all the time. And that day, she solved my “can’t drive” problem for me, by loaning me a car.
Now, to this day, everybody in my family thinks I stole that car. I did not. Neighbour-Lady loaned me that car. Never mind that the car did not belong to her. Or that I didn’t have a license. Or parental permission to drive. She handed me the keys and said, “Take it. Don’t smash it up.”
I was half-way up the road while she was still popping open her next beer.
Ahh…. the freedom! I drove up the long side road and turned right on the “main” road that would take me down to the Government Dock. There was a guy on the Island that summer, that I had a crush on. On the Mainland, this guy ran in a different circle, and wouldn’t give me the time of day, but on Cockburn he would talk to me. Probably because there weren’t many teenagers on the Island at a time. And I was there. So…
I decided to go to the dock, because he would likely be swimming there. I had to sort of “happen to run into him”, of course, so he wouldn’t know I had that crush, you see, or I would have gone to his camp to find out where he was.
As I came up the road, it was fairly obvious that the dock was deserted, so I decided to make a left, and go to the other side of the Island to the sand beach. Maybe he’d be there. And I could drive there, because I had a car. I was cool.
I was so cool that I could light a cigarette while negotiating a left turn, having never driven a car before, and not end up in the ditch.
It worked out okay, though, because the ditch was adjacent to a government building where large logging machines and road-maintenance equipment was stored. I found a guy with a grader that yanked me out of the ditch, and promised not to tell anybody. Oddly, I don’t think he did, either, because no one has ever brought the ditch portion of this story up to me.
So, on the road again, I re-lit my smoke without incident, and drove to the beach. And, oh joy! My crush was there! With his entire family and then some.
We swam for a bit. Talked for a bit. And then I tried to convince him to let me drive him back home. Because I had a car. I was cool.
But he would not get in that car. I think his reasons included the phrase, “death wish”, and the fact that he didn’t have one.
I’m not sure how I finally convinced him, but he did reluctantly agree to a lift. Apparently, it was just so he could wax derisive of my driving skills, though, because he wouldn’t stop wincing, advising, and clinging to the dashboard.
I finally got tired of the exaggerated terror he was exuding and decided I’d show him what scared was, and floored it. Of course, I chose to do such a thing while going up a steep hill, forgetting about the curve in the road on the other side of it.
For the record, I missed the tree the car was trying to hit. But I over-corrected, and hit a tree on the other side of the road, dead on. Very hard. Poor tree.
And poor car! The front end was smushed in. The driver’s door wouldn’t open. I still have a faded scar on one elbow – the only injury sustained in the accident – unless you count the car. Or the tree. And I’m sure my crush didn’t speak to me for years after that. He probably felt bad, because it was his fault I hit that tree. I mean, if he hadn’t been putting down my driving in the first place…
And what are the chances that the first vehicle to drive up that lonely road to happen upon us would be my father’s truck…?
Pretty good, as it turns out. He didn’t speak to me for a while, either.
When I turned 16, though, the first thing Dad did, was register me in Driver’s Ed. I passed, and got my license. And not once would my father loan me his car – not even when I was grown and on my own, and had a perfect driving record.
Except for the tree incident.
Which happened on Cockburn.
And what happens on Cockburn is supposed to stay on Cockburn, dammit!
But still my Dad always said no. Followed by, “Remember that tree you hit on Cockburn…?”
It’s the only time I couldn’t get the nerve up to try “Wasn’t me.”
So, the Mini-Van Saga is finally over…. and it turned out to be a trilogy, at that. I was originally going to be leasing The Fly-Mobile, so-named because it was The Fly-Girl’s ride, and she wanted to get rid of it.
I liked that mini-van. Turns out, the Fly-Girl did, too, and decided to keep it after all, even though she had to pay a bzillion dollars to get it registered in the U.S. after she got married and jumped The Ditch (Traitor!).
I got over it, though, when Fluffy (so-named by Kyla, because he’s, well, fluffy – 🙂 ), the Fly-Girl’s partner-in-car-sharking, found me another mini-van just like the Fly-Mobile, except fully powered and, um… purple. Which prompted Ky to name it The Grape-Mobile. And that prompted me to like it. I like pretty much anything provided it has a cool, freaky, and/or plain ol’ weird moniker.
And then the Grape-Mobile kakked on the operating table during the certification. And I do mean kakked. It barfed out every kind of fluid running through its veins, through all orifices, including new and bewildering orifices that no vehicle should have. So Fluffy shot it. Ky was pissed.
But, Fluffy turns out to be a Genie of sorts, and magicked us up a pristine (albeit older) one-ownered as-yet-un-named mini-van of the Chevy Lumina APV variety, that positively beamed throughout its certification, and Ky loves him again. The two cases of soda, three bags of potato chips, and two large jars of pickles he soothed her with may have had a part in the forgiveness, mind you.
The Pristine Un-Named was delivered to me Friday evening, whereupon, I immediately drove it the three blocks to Ruby’s house to show off. And I drove it the six-ish blocks to the J.O.B. yesterday, and then had to return to the mall from half-way home, having forgot it in the parking lot when my shift was over. Having wheels will take some getting used to…
Anyway… it was decided last evening, now that we have transportation, that we should pick up Ky’s doggish-type companion from her father’s place and get us to a too-far-to-walk-a-dog hiking trail with the camera. I put on a pair of sneakers for the first time in what feels like forever, and off we went.
During said Walk-About, I took the above photo, and noticed when I uploaded it, that there seemed to be a face peering out at me. This face looks eerily like my daughter, until it’s zoomed-in on, whereupon it just turns creepy.
Methinks, Shrinky may have sent a faerie over from the UK. She’s always catching them with her camera. I hope she doesn’t do it again, though, because it gives me the heebie-jeebies.
This afternoon, we will be traveling to Teeny-Tiny Town to visit my Mom, and bring some flowers to the cemetery for my Dad. We will be listening closely for the sound of him rolling over in his grave at the thought of me owning a vehicle. His response to my news, months ago, that I was planning this lease was: “God help the trees on the side of the road.”