Tuesday, July 31, 2007

In the bedroom.

Easily the most important room in the house, the bedroom was the first room we set up on our very long, very tiring moving day. This is the fantastic Cal King bed we got off Craigslist for $350. There is a large possibility that it could be one-of-a-kind, as we purchased it from a furniture craftsman with an obvious pituitary gland disorder. (He was a giant, close to 7 feet tall, and his larynx seemed too large for his throat, causing his speech to be strained in an unusual way.) He told us he had set it up to show some hotel clients and needed to sell the model. So I assume that we may be the only people in the world with this bed. It has a padded headboard, as well as padded sides, which seems slightly unnecessary. It is full of awesomeness.

The bedspread we got at Bed, Bath & Beyond. Those who know me know I prefer everything to be red, but in the interest of design and compromise, I have decided to limit redness only to the one room in the house that is truly mine: my kitchen. We had wanted to do something very Indian/Peacocky with this room, but The Perfect Peacock Sheets by Natori are $600 just for the comforter, we decided to Moulin Rouge the place, by which I mean made it match our set of Moulin Rouge promotional posters. So this was the bedspread we agreed on, and it should be noted that the copywriters at the Bed, Bath & Beyond website seem to think that the stripe with the burnt velvet is in a leopard print pattern. It even looks leopardy in the picture. But do not be fooled! The burnouts in the velvet are actually flowers, which makes a lot more sense, considering that the embroidered panels on the bedspread also feature flowers.

And here are the aforementioned promotional posters around which this room is based:

Another thing I love about this place is that my closet is mirrored--never again will I not have the joy of full-length mirrors! Of course, for some strange reason, our hallway closet is also mirrored, which just seems unnecessary to me. There's no point in giving a hallway the illusion of width. Also, the hallway mirrors are a bitch to clean. But I have no complaints about the ones in the bedroom, even if they make our TV seem minuscule.

Finally, my dresser, which is a new product in the Ikea universe. It's actually so nice that it doesn't look like it came from Ikea. (The black-stained wood helps.) It was $270, and sturdier than any Ikea dresser I've had before. Thus far, the drawers have not sagged under the weight of my many clothings.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Mary, what kind of homosexual are you?

That color right there is mauve.

I actually wouldn't call that mauve exactly. The best name I have for it is perhaps "dusty rose" or pinky-grey, the latter of which seems to be the most truly accurate. It was not our color choice, but rather the choice of previous tenants, whichever one decided that the carpet du jour should be uncleanable, unnice feeling burbur.

So that's the true wall color. Let it be known it took me 3 or 4 shots before I realized that I needed to photograph it without flash because the wall is actually not a matte surface. Here are the rest of the bathroom features, with flash, so they're extra-shiny.

Ze sink:

Above ze toilet:

The art piece here is a limited edition purchased for me by my friend Anders several years ago as a birthday gift. It's called "Violet" by John John Jesse. Yes, she is a vampire dressed like a slutty Vietnamese soldier. Bare breasts are totally appropriate for bathroom art.

Ze toilet cove:

That remarkably small and slightly pointy toilet bowl is what we face every day. It's not the smallest toilet I've ever seen, but it does seem to be slightly irregular in size.

Anyway, the bathroom is not spectacular. I wish I had a good picture of the shoddy tile work, wherein the linoleum tiles don't quite match up and you can see the totally awkward harvest gold color that is under them. Regardless, the bathroom does its job. And is 8 million times nicer than any other bathroom I've ever had in an apartment.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Welcome to our evil lair.

I decided I would start sharing photographs of the house by starting with the least put together room so that your expectations have nowhere to go but up.

Welcome to our study/office/kitten restroom/evil lair/library/editing room/Marcus' closet.

We've got about five bookcases in here and all of them are full-ish. The anal retentive part in me spent about two days attempting to organize the books in some comprehensible fashion. Marcus has a shelf and a half of film books, nearly two full shelves dedicated to theatre books, and then the rest is about 4 shelves of text/reference books, an entire shelf dedicated to my thesis work (with Francesca Lia Block books stuffed in because they fit perfectly there) and the rest is all general fiction, divided either visually by size or somewhat categorically. (Black writers and poetry share a shelf, Dave Eggers and Chuck Palahniuk share a shelf with gay authors . . . It makes sense to me, and that's really all that matters.)

(That's merely a fraction of the bookage in this room.)

This is Marcus' command center of doom aka "editing suite." I tried not to photograph it too closely because, well, its the only area of the house that I've allowed him to control . . . which means its messy. (This is also the reason I did not photograph the part of the room that consists of his closet and the kitten's litter box.)

My current prized possession: antique roll-top desk circa 1930.

I actually just acquired this yesterday off Craigslist for about $60. That's an astoundingly good price for a roll-top desk, and if you actually looked at this thing, you'd know why. It is scratched to hell. It's previous owners obviously didn't love it quite as much as I will, but I do give them props for ruining the value of this desk by cutting out a hole under the roll-top hutch to run computer cables through. I mean, that's super clever and all, and I really appreciate it, but I'd never be able to resell this thing after I refurbish it for any decent value.

Luckily, I'm not planning on selling it. Ever. The desk actually has a wall-mounted shelf that goes above the roll-top, which I intend to refurbish before I screw it into the wall. (NB: None of the knobs on the desk are the original white ceramic ones. I've already replaced them with more attractive knobs.) I'm armed with wood filler, dark walnut stain and a satin-finish varnish. This desk and I will have a lifetime of fun together.

More to come, including the very odd shade of pinky-gray on our bathroom walls, my dining room chair project, the complete lack of wall-art in our living room and our impressive media collection.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

A massive life drop.

While I'm sure its obvious to most of you, I haven't been posting in awhile. There are reasons for this, I assure you. Chief among them is the fact that I moved away from the Santa Barbara area and back to the Bay Area, and for the first week and a half of this new residence, I could not actually use my laptop at all. It seems that as I was selling off all my Santa Barbara furniture, Calliope no longer had things to climb and decided instead to nibble on the charger cord that brings my laptop the sweet gift of life. I did not actually notice this until the night before I moved in to my new apartment because squatting at my parents' house meant stealing their internet via their computer, since they don't have WiFi.

And then there was the mess that is this apartment.

Let me go back for a moment and try to briefly state the chain of events that lead to me moving back to the Bay Area: I was already considering looking for other work because living in Santa Barbara on the scant salary the Biz Times paid me was going to be far too difficult, especially considering the whole "I'm getting married soon" thing. So my grandmother offers me her house. I am reluctant at first because what the fuck do I need with a house, but I eventually cave to the notion of free rent. So I decide to move back here at the end of June. All is well, until I realize that my grandmother is offering me the house under the completely incorrect and not very well thought out assumption that I'd be going to "gradjiate" school in the fall (where? Berkeley?), and when I attempt to explain the process of graduate school applications and how I'm not necessarily planning on being in the state of California for the rest of my life, she decides she's not ready to give up her house because she thought that I would just settle down there and stay until I die.

What the fuck?

So in mid-May, when all this goes down, I have already quit my job, been replaced at said job, do not have a job in the Bay Area and now no longer have a home at which it wouldn't matter if I didn't have rent money. Fuck you, grandma.

My parents offered to rent Marcus and I one of their apartments at the reduced Mom & Dad rate, which is nice of them. And we are told we can move in July 2, which, due to the idiocy of the previous tenants and their complete inability to move their shit from the premises becomes July 6. Now, the obvious problem with this is that we had already made appointments for cable, electric, etc. to be hooked up, which requires the moving in of expensive televisions and things. The previous tenants acquiesce to this need and let us move giant televisions in on July 3, when we are scheduled to have cable installed. After we have hauled said giant light boxes up the stairs to our top-unit duplex, we get a call from the cable provider saying that they can't install internet because their entire internet system is down and, in addition, they are out of DVR boxes. So, we basically just hauled all that shit upstairs for nothing.

And then our house nearly caught on fire.

Shortly after all this, a giant wildfire breaks out in the hill above our house. Fortunately, the wind was blowing the flames steadily toward the more expensive houses, so our lives did not get progressively worse. We actually sat on the patio with our neighbor's little dog and watched all the firefighting action. That was probably the most exciting part of my whole first week back.

But we did finally get to move in on Friday the 6th and we made pretty quick work of setting the place up, at least in terms of the bedroom, living room and kitchen. We found an amazing Cal King bed with padded headboard on Craigslist for $350, a couch and a chair and a half for $625, tons of bookcases removed from my grandmother's possession and a lot of decently priced Ikea items.

But other than the slow settling in process, finding work has not been going so well, and the lack of having a job makes me restless and sad. I could fill that time with blogging, but I don't much feel like it. So the house update is my massive life drop for today. I'll post pictures eventually.