Wednesday, October 21, 2009

He Made His Home in That Fish's Abdomen

I feel like I need to get the various parts of my life together and tell them to take a number. Hey, you there, contractor problems! Back in line! When I'm done with family issues, work deadlines, and my next set of solos at church, I'll get to you. Nobody likes a line jumper.

Actually, the contractor problems haven't been all that bad, or at least I think they're nearly resolved, though I've been thinking that for about two weeks now. Maybe I'll talk about them in detail another time. Or not.

Now that my latest work deadline has passed, I feel a sense of urgency about getting moved into the house. On Saturday, I set off in search of boxes, but both of the local box stores had been closed. I had assumed the box business to be countercyclical: if you're downsizing, you need boxes, right? But maybe not. Maybe when the recession gets bad enough, people start storing their goods in garbage bags. I suppose that if you're downsizing and want to embrace thrift, you stop a garbage truck, pull out the garbage bags, empty them, wash them (optional), load your stuff into the bags, toss your bags into the back of the garbage truck, divert the truck with carefully positioned IEDs, then retrieve your (slightly compacted: it works best with clothing, and maybe pets) stuff at your new location. I should probably feel like a chump for going old school and hiring movers, but even after years of watching Law and Order and NCIS, I still don't know how to manufacture explosives. My bad.

Anyway, I returned home without boxes, so I looked online, where I found some at very reasonable prices, even after considering the somewhat steep shipping prices. There were also minimum order quantities, so I did have to buy twenty-five of the small packing boxes, but I have lots of books. Besides, a guy can never have too many boxes. In their original, flat condition, they make excellent hostess gifts. Especially with a nice bow. The boxes arrived yesterday, and I started packing my cookbooks, but my packing tape ran out as I was sealing the first box. Nom de plume!

This past Sunday, our church was ordaining one of our former intern ministers. Ordination services are kind of a big deal, so the choir was singing at it in the afternoon. The former intern minister was giving the sermon at the regular morning service, even though he was -- as of then -- still not reverend, and I was the soloist. I had been asked to sing ten days earlier (I usually get a month or more of lead time), when I was still navigating the sturm und drang of the extended tax season, but there are certain offers I almost never turn down. The sermon was about the importance of names, and I had managed to find two marginally appropriate but largely unappealing pieces that fit with the topic. I also got to sing "It Ain't Necessarily So," which is very appealing and always appropriate. The minister put it just after a reading from the Bible and just before the sermon.

I find "It Ain't Necessarily So" difficult to perform, mostly because the intervals I expect are not the ones Mr. Gershwin wrote, and that sort of conflict (correctly) always gets decided in favor of the composer. But I've been wanting to sing it in church (sadly, in my church, it offends no one) for years, and it went pretty well. The postlude, not so much. The music director had pounced upon my rather unenthusiastic suggestion of Jim Croce's "I Got a Name" for one of the pieces, and I could not get our pianist (who was splendid on the Gershwin) to play it at a reasonable tempo. Not that it would have been that much better at a quicker tempo, but if it had been twice as fast, it would only have lasted twice as long, which would have been a mercy, at least to me. The congregation enjoyed it, but from the very first phrase, I had that I'm-singing-on-the-Titanic-and-I'll-be-singing-until-this-damned-ship-goes-under feeling that, well, I don't remember having quite that feeling before, and let's hope I don't have it again. Ugh.

The ordination service was very moving, and the choir sang a particularly rousing arrangement of "Now Let Us Sing." It ran late, and I had to leave the building without congratulating the newly upgraded former intern minister, but perhaps I'll track down his email address. Or send him a nice box.

Home decoration plans have been somewhat on hold, but now that the upstairs bathroom shower installation is substantially completed and the downstairs floors have been refinished, I can move forward. I should be doing some priming and painting this weekend in the bathroom (goodbye, yellow!) and perhaps one or two other rooms. Also more packing of boxes.

Now that I have these beautiful hardwood floors, the first order of business, naturally, is to cover them up so that they stay beautiful, if largely unseen. I really like the idea of floorcloths. They're easy and fun to make (I've done it before), but they feel somewhat insubstantial all by themselves, so I've made a large order from this site. I've ordered 72 of the 24"x24" 10mm thick mats (in blue). The ones that go in the living/dining room will be covered (eventually) by a floorcloth. I suspect that YFU will leave the ones in her room uncovered, but we'll see.

While I was at it, I decided that what the upstairs bedroom really needed was a layer of the 40"x40" inch-thick mats, also in blue. It's the sort of thing that one typically finds in a martial arts studio, but I figure that if I ever take up Judo, I'll be ready. Alternatively, if something ever happens to get thrown out of bed (as, one hears, happens frequently in Judo), there'll be a soft landing. Plus: soundproofing! And insulation! And protected floors! I only ordered one 100-square feet pack of the thick mats, but given the way the roof slopes and where the furniture will be and the fact that I can leave the area under the bed uncovered, I can cover almost all of the usable floor space in my room with that one pack. It looks like I won't be able to get the pipe bed until next year, but at least I'll be well cushioned.


  1. "nom de plume"????
    Please tell me you're jocking with the floorclothes!!

  2. For future reference, liquor stores frequently have piles of cartons stacked and available--and they're often thrilled to have them taken away. I used dozens when I moved my library and myself up to New Hampshire. As they're frequently a bit smaller than regular shipping and packing cartons, they're ideal for heavy stuff like books and vinyl records, as well as many other things. And free is the best price of all.