Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Making Room for the Clothes part 1

My new place has one closet.  One not-so-very-big but oh-so-very-tall closet.  The ceilings in the apartment are only about 7feet, but for some reason, the bar in this closet is still higher than most, almost near the top of the closet.  “This is awesome!”  I thought to myself, “so much potential.”

First, the tall bar means I can hang up my long dresses and my catsuit without them dragging on the floor.   That’s excellent.  It also means there’s room for a double-decker bar.  So, I built one.

I went to that fabulous hardware store and picked up a metal clothes pole, two eye bolts, two S hooks and two pieces of 6-ft lengths of chain.

I wanted the double-decker pole to only be half the closet so that I still had a place to hang my long dresses.  I measured that space in the closet and cut the metal pole to size with my hacksaw.  I’m not very good at cutting straight with a hacksaw, especially when I’m using my legs as a clamp to hold what I’m cutting.   The edge is a bit crooked, but not too bad.  I used the wire brush attachment on my Dremel to remove burs and smooth out the cut edge of the pole.

Then I drilled my holes.  Well, I tried to drill my holes.  I had a 1/16” drill bit the hardware store gave me for free that was strong enough to go through metal.  But my eye bolts were 1/4” and the only bits I had big enough for that were masonry and dry wall bits.  Neither would go through metal.  I had to put the project aside for a week while I gallivanted all over the country and come back to it when I had the proper bit.  I picked up the proper bit in Milwaukee.

Once I had the holes drilled, I put the eye bolts in and screwed on the nuts.  I put holes in both sides of the bar so that the eye bolts go all the way through, making the bar studier when it’s on the chains.  I put one end of each piece of chain on empty hangers and hung the hangers on the closet’s existing pole.  I put an S hook on the other ends and the other side of the S hooks on the eye bolts.  And there I had it, a second level in my closet!

closet bar

I have it arranged now so that my long dresses are in the single-decker area, my suits are on the top level of the double-decker area and my blouses are on the hanging bar.  It’s working great so far.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Fleetwood Mac

Mommy and Daddy and I were supposed to go together, in February, in Milwaukee.  But I left.  So I went alone, in January, in DC.  The chance to see Fleetwood Mac, the entire group, live, was something I couldn’t let moving get in the way of.  So I got myself a single ticket, took the bus to the Verizon center, and took my seat between people who could have been my parents instead of my parents.

I don’t know why, but I didn’t expect the band members to look 60.  They do of course, because they are.  I think their clothes haven’t changed, though.  Stevie Nicks wore a black flowey outfit with high-heeled boots.  It’s good to know Mommy isn’t the only senior citizen who can still rock 4” heels.

My ticket said “obstructed view” but I’m not sure what was supposed to be obstructing it, other than the woman with the extremely large head a few rows ahead.  The seats were on the side near the front, waaaay up top.  They were pretty neat because I could see the stage well and see backstage, and see the backside of the screen where everyone appeared in mirror image.

The band opened with “The Chain,” which I found personally appropriate since that’s the song that got me into Fleetwood Mac when Bone Thugs N Harmony sampled it in their “Wind Blow.”  The show was sort of divided into 3 parts, 4 if you count the encore.  The opening and closing pieces were upbeat, high energy, full group songs.  The middle was slower, more melancholy, and  served as an intermission for pretty much everyone but Lindsey Buckingham.  He was joined for a part of it by Stevie.

“Landslide” was just Stevie and Lindsey.  “Landslide” made me cry.  I think it always will.  Music is like a time machine, transporting our hearts and the depths of our emotions to another place, another time, another us.  That song takes me back to a very dark and painful time.  But I still love it, it’s such a beautiful song and a visit from tears now and then is good.  Once everyone came back on stage, they started rockin’ again.

I was surprised when the set didn’t end with “Don’t Stop.”  But, since I could see backstage, I could see the band was coming back on and figured they’d do it during the encore.  And a few songs into the encore, there it was.  An older couple down a couple rows from me got up to dance.  So did some very drunk young ladies at the end of the row.  I thought it’d be the end of the show.  But I was wrong.  Christine McVie took center stage for “Songbird” and then everyone got loud and rambunctious and Mick Fleetwood went a little nuts with some whooping and hollering.

The show involved a lot of talking, something between nearly every song.  -  Much different than the Metallica-style I’m used to where every song bleeds into the next.  Lindsey was trying to talk about all the heartaches the band went through and how the personal meaning of a particular song had changed through the different stages of his life, but the crowd wouldn’t let him.  People kept cheering and yelling “We love you!”  He lost his train of thought; he eventually gave up and just played the song.  I felt bad for him; he was trying to share his soul and the crawd wasn’t listening.

At one point, Stevie was talking about her history, how she joined the band, and her inspiration for “Gypsy,” and she said go after your dreams, no matter what others tell you, conquer fears, chase the dreams, etc.  It felt so perfect, making me not feel alone in this giant brand new city, making it feel right to be here, chasing my dreams, going after that thing that made so many people say, “you want to do what?!” and some very special others say “ok!”

The show was awesome, Mommy, Daddy, and my auntie who got my ticket are going to love it!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

New Home

Somehow, I manage to keep moving into smaller and smaller places.  El Cerrito smaller than Nashville, Cudahy smaller than El Cerrito, and DC smaller than all. But it is going to be so cute!

It’s a one-bedroom spot euphemistically called an “English Garden apartment.”  It’s the basement.  It has it’s own entrance out back to the “garden.”  There’s a main room and the other room that’s called a bedroom, and a bathroom, and a hallway, and a nook, and the house’s laundry room and furnace room, and some under-the-stairs storage.

I’ve adjusted things a bit.  The nook is now my bed nook.  It has a window and a very large alcove above a storage area that houses the water meter.  It’s holding the things that would normally be on my nightstand: alarm clock, phone chargers, reading books, journals, etc.   The “bedroom” is now my dressing/sitting/office room.  The main room is combination kitchen and living room, also makes julienne fries, it will not break, it…. sorry.  Too much Aladdin.

It is mostly below ground in front and in back, so the windows are small and there’s an air conditioner in one.  But I’ve found that opening the curtains and the back door lets in a fair amount of light.  The below-ground bit also means there’s stairs to go up when you go out.  They’re under a cement porch.  Duck!  There’s a good chunk of cement missing from all the people who have hit their heads.

It’s going to be a lot of work to get the place set up.  I’m hoping by March.  But I’m already in love with what it’s going to be.  moving fridgeThe first thing I did was move the refrigerator out of the main room.  It was taking up almost a quarter of the room.   There’s a very large area at the bottom of the stairs.  I measured the opening between the stairs and the wall, at the molding, and it was just big enough to get the fridge through with some finessing.

fridge's new home Fridge’s new home.  (Above, moving fridge through the gap.)

Then I painted.  It was amazing what a fresh coat of gloss white on the painted woodwork did to the place!  It suddenly seemed bigger and brighter and no longer dingy.  The walls in the place were peach, pretty much the same peach as our old Africa Room in Cudahy.  I painted the bed nook the blue that my bedroom in Cudahy was.  In the dressing/sitting/office room, I painted one accent wall the green that Munchkinhead and I had put in the hallway in Cudahy.  In the main room, the back wall of the room is actually the hallway wall; that side is open except for a pillar.  I painted that wall a dark brownish red that I got at the fabulous newly opened hardware store I found in town.  I was their first paint mix!  It’s going to go very well with my African decor.  I gave the rest of the main room walls a fresh coat of peach.  I also touched up the ceilings.

accent wall

Main room accent wall