August 2008


As moving time looms off on the horizon, I find myself contemplating Things That I Will Miss. I feel a bittersweet pang. I press my hand to my somewhat-sore-because-that-time-of-month-always-does-that-to-me bosom. I gaze longingly off into the middle distance.

And then again, at two in the morning when the guy next door is playing his music so loud that I can distinguish lyrics (no mean feat through the throbbing base) I find myself contemplating Things That I Won’t Miss At All.

It’s good to keep these things in perspective.

Things I Will Miss:

– The duck pond. Okay, it’s a pretty shitty duckpond, it’s mostly a mudflat at the moment, overgrown with algae, and the Canada geese roam the apartment complex like a band of hissing Huns, but nevertheless, the duck pond had its moments. I saw some surprising birds there over the course of a year, including some overwintering waterfowl I would never have expected.

– The kingfisher. This resident of the duck pond gets his own mention, because I have a great fondness for kingfishers, and every time I saw him, I felt a brief warm & fuzziness.

– Having the hot water heater next to the bathroom, so that I can get scalding hot water instantly.  Kevin has quite a nice garden tub, but it doesn’t get quite as hot, and it takes longer, as the water heater’s on the bottom floor.

Things I Really Won’t Miss:

– My bedroom closet. My closet was fairly large, but has been jammed together like a 3-D jigsaw puzzle, as I possess no other storage space worth noting. Well…there’s the cruel mockery of a closet. There was this one-foot wide closet that existed solely to mock you with the stuff you couldn’t stick in there. I believe it was supposed to be a linen closet. A single washcloth and a pillowcase do count as linens, I guess, and you certainly couldn’t put anything else in it.

– The Apartment Complex Of Horny Men. This was fun at first, my ego thanks them, but really, I’ll be just as happy going to get the mail without getting hit on Every Damn Time.

– Goddamn apartment white walls. Living with another person, who owns the house in question, will temper my paint choices, I admit–if I bought a house solo, the thing would be in bloody Technicolor. However, I am not quite so willing to inflict that on another party, so he’ll be spared the worst of my artistic excesses.

At least at first.

More Things I Will Miss:

– Being five minutes from the nearest Best Buy, Game Stop, art supply store, Staples, and sushi joint.

– The rather large shower. Now, I prefer a walk-in shower, and Kevin has one, but it’s a fairly utilitarian little shower, and while two people can share a shower, they cannot get busy in it. Someday when I am wealthy beyond the dreamsof avarice, I will build the Ultimate Walk-In Shower, or rather duplicate it, since I met it once already in California.

– Being able to hang obscene things on the fridge. Guess that dreadful thing with the bondage lawn gnome will have to live in the studio…

– The Bachelor Diet. Let’s face it, you eat better when there’s another person around, possibly because you ashamed to admit that you are willing to live on two deviled eggs, a handful of popcorn, and the dessicated remains of a cheese log. You are more likely to have actual MEALS. This is probably good for health, but every now and then I get the twinge to dine on pop-tarts and green tea mochi.

…actually, given some of the meals Kevin and I have scraped together–“I have Orangina and triscuits!” “I have a cheese log!” this may be a non-issue.

Things I Will Not Miss In The Slightest, Goddamnit:

– My deep dry shade deck, which grows nothing but mold and bird-bath algae.

– Sleeping alone. This is pretty much the trump card of all the others.

– The neighbor’s unsupervised children showing up and trying to get into my apartment via the sliding glass door. I mean, what the hell was up with THAT?

– The hideous, hideous ice cream truck that circles the complex Every Single Day, playing a selection of brassy music, interspersed with a loud, penetrating, oddly hostile recording that yells “HELLO?!” approximately once a minute.

Things I Will Miss Approximately 50% of the Time, At Least When There Are Children Present

– Wandering around in the nude, which is a bad habit of mine, but which arguably will be a less bad habit when the nearest neighbor is on the other side of a screen of trees.

– Sleeping in the nude

– Swearing like a sailor. (The filters cut in pretty automatically around children, I’ve found, but every now and then a heartfelt “fuck!” slips through the cracks.)

– Hanging art with excessive nudity. I don’t think I’ve actually GOT any art with excessive nudity, but it’s nice to have the option. (No, I plan to continue painting the giant wangs. This is why god invented studio doors that shut.)

Things I Am Really, Really Looking Forward To:

– Having a studio door that shuts. It’s not that I don’t love my cats, I am happy to paint with them in the room, I will be more than happy to paint with a beagle collapsed on my feet, as seems inevitable–but it’ll be nice to be able to shut the damn door and know that nobody is destroying my latest artwork or licking my plastic bags. (Ben loves the crystal-seal flap bags. He likes to lick them until they are disgusting and can only be handled at armslength.)

– Gardening. It’s a little late in the year, and there’s too much to do otherwise to break into full-scale gardening (and believe me, I AM TEMPTED, walking through the garden shops is giving me severe gardening blue balls) but next spring, I may lose my tiny little mind.

– Sex during off weeks that doesn’t involve the back seat of my car

– Sex at any time that doesn’t involve a small voice in the back of my brain going “if you get any louder, the next door neighbors are gonna call the cops.”

– Birds! Ever since I spotted a pileated woodpecker in his backyard, I have had bird lust. (This creates a feedback loop with gardening lust, interestingly enough, as the goal is now not just to SPOT the birds, but to ATTRACT them.) Being that Kevin is in a fairly rural area, I am hopeful for a variety not generally found in the city.

– He has toads. TOADS! All over the yard! Big toads! Big warty disgruntled amphibians! It’s so wonderful! Hmm, maybe I should just file that all under “General Wildlife”…

And of course, the big one, the important one, the one bigger than toads, studios, oreven (gasp!) pileated woodpeckers and gardening,

– Living with Kevin

More Than You Wanted To Know

Much as I miss Kevin, it may be best for all that I was sleeping alone last night, as the Huevos Rancheros I had yesterday have proved to have…let us say…remarkable continued presence. (They were GOOD, but heavy on the black beans.)

Note to self: Avoid enclosed spaces today.


Okay, I lied about that whole “weekend off” thing. In actuality, Kevin and I spent the weekend prepping his place for my move-in come September. Fortunately this weekend happened to correspond with a particular three day window that occurs the week before the Red Army invades, during which I become a PMS-fueled cleaning psychotic. This is very productive, since in this state, I am capable of incredible (not to say terrifying) focus and will spend six hours maniacally scrubbing every baseboard in the house, but tends to be a little alarming to those in the immediate vicinity.

So Kevin came home from church this morning to find me with Clorox in hand, about thirty seconds away from alphabetizing his cats, and said “Ah. Let me guess…you start a period in a week, right?”


He poked his head around the edge of the door. “What was that?”

“Next week, yes.”

My ex used to flee the house during this state, for which I honestly cannot blame him. Kevin, being made of sterner stuff, got out the steam cleaner and tackled the carpets.

It’s another sign of his commendability as a person that while we were out picking up bins with which to box up stuff and send to live in the attic, he insisted on picking up a birdfeeder pole and feeder for the front yard. This is a man who knows the way to my heart…

He has already resigned himself to systematic repainting of the house,* as it’s still standard builder-beige, except for the dining room, which is a truly astonishing shade of deep pink that his ex-wife apparently sprang on him one day while he was at work. It’s the sort of pink that you’d pretty much have to smuggle in, because almost anything with a Y-chromosome will cower away from it, screaming like a vampire exposed to sunlight. There are many fine pinks out there. I am fond of some of them. Still, I defy even the most secure-in-his-masculinity male on earth to tolerate this particular shade. It makes me feel like I am standing inside a uterus. (Not MY uterus. MY uterus would not have chintz curtains.**) Still, painting of everything but the studio will have to wait until after move in–painting is exhausting stuff, and one can only do it when one has forgotten exactly how grueling it was the LAST time you did it. Still.

Overall, it was a very productive weekend, and we’re up to the “start moving non-essential stuff over” stage. It astonishes me that I still HAVE non-essential stuff after last year, but apparently some grew while my back was turned. I have been pretty good about keeping down the levels of crap, granted my teeny living quarters, but it’s a truism that even the most spartan of living quarters (which mine is NOT) will mysteriously generate trash bag after trash bag of utter crap that somehow was hiding in the corners all this time and why didn’t you throw it out BEFORE you moved, anyway? As my Catholic grandmother used to say when you started asking too many theological questions “It’s a Mystery.”

*By which I mean “Oh god yes PLEASE.”

**Many atrocities are committed on both sides of the war between the sexes, but I am firm in my belief that chintz as a weapon of war needs to be outlawed by the Geneva Convention. The curtains have been replaced with plain white sheer, and consigned to the outermost hell where they belong. The room still needs to be de-pinked, but one thing at a time.

Off to hang the show. Hanging shows is not particularly fun, but there’s a kind of weird jigsaw puzzle satisfaction to it, mixed in with the raging insecurity and the neurosis over the tops not being level.

Then I get the weekend mostly off, and damnit, I deserve it.

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