Tag Archives: living space

wish list ’09

Around this time last year, I wrote a wish list of things I would like, if only I had people buying me holiday presents. I figured I might as well see what I want this year.

Sheets. I would like sheets. Soft sheets, that properly fit the bed I sleep in. I am tired of rough, too-big sheets.

A light table! My art often requires me to trace things repeatedly. Without a light table, I am forced to tape things to windows on sunny days, pushing through discomfort and shaking the ink back toward the tip of my pen. If I just had a light table, these steps would be SO much easier.

A sequined skirt. I would love one in silver, but I’d totally take one in black. Along with this, I really, really want someplace to wear it to on new years.

Beyond that (and trust me, even this short list has been a stretch) I don’t want things.

I want my mom to move the damn green table out of this place, so I can de-cramp my studio.

I want all of her stuff out of here, actually, but that’s like wishing for the taj mahal.

I want to get into grad school.

I want a job.

I want to be able to get coffee with the scientist. I want it to be casual and pleasant.

Unfortunately, I don’t think those are things any Santa could really deliver on. A team of movers, an admissions board, and cupid, maybe. But not Santa.


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House Dreaming

I am lusting after this house:

Look at it.

Isn’t it cute? The dining room, the kitchen, the bathroom, the backyard, oh, the backyard! How I lust after this house and it’s backyard. It’s in the central valley of CA, about 4 hours away from LA. Now then- why on earth would I lust after a house far away from the big city, in a small town known for its conservative attitudes and lack of cultural variety?

Because I could ride my bike around there without feeling like I was in danger. Because there is a theater company I could involve myself in for doses of creativity. Because there are places I could work, friends to help me find work, friends to socialize with. Because it would be more quiet. Because it would be (much as I love her) farther from my mom, whose things still fill this place, whose things are impossible to move or condense any further, who checks in when I’m away and moves things, leaves weird things in the fridge, sleeps on my clean sheets, gets dishes dirtier by washing them than if she just hadn’t bothered, takes away things I use and leaves things I don’t. After a year of living in her crowded apartment, of leaving cardboard boxes full of packing hope to be emptied with time and neglect, of waiting around helplessly while nothing happens, I just want to leave. I want to leave this entire city just to get away from this living situation.

So, a pretty house in a cheaper area that can offer me a few nice things, with wide, empty rooms, unblemished by any one else’s packrat habits- it seems like a dream. That’s all this lovely house (and every other house and apartment I looked at in this smaller town) is right now, dreaming- I’m applying to grad school here in LA, won’t find out about it until mid-March- but the dreaming gives me a wistful sort of hope that all these damn cardboard boxes I’ve still got around, meant for her stuff, may someday still be used, even if only for repacking my own things in to.

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Apartment status check

You know what’s ridiculous/frustrating?

I’ve been here for just over three months now. 16 of the boxes I moved in with are still packed, as well as several bags of assorted shapes and sizes. Sixteen. An entire loom is disassembled and stacked up around the dining room table, because there’s no other place to put it. My studio shelving is providing a wood plank finish to the walls, because there’s no place to put them if I set them up. There are still 15 extraneous bookshelves, plus 6 or so extra random other shelving units. 3 extra tables. A large stack of unused curtain rods. As much as I have expanded the walking paths through the rooms, the fact remains that there are walking paths, not open floor. I can’t unpack the boxes, assemble the shelving, or exchange the furniture that is here for the furniture that I want, because there is still just so. much. here.


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Rambly Round-up

I warn you: this WILL be rambly and disconnected.

I’m passing time while the plumber repairs the kitchen sink. Yesterday he repaired the bathroom sink. It turns out it’s the kitchen which has been leaking for more years than we’ve had this place (haha?) so the place smells of rotted wood. It’s a really good thing this is happening in sunny CA, because if this were happening in chilly PA where I couldn’t open all the windows to air things out without being too cold right now, I’d be really sad.

I would like to be working on art-stuff like a good, productive person, but I have come upon a stumbling block. See, I use photo editing tools in quite a few steps of my work. This is a problem, because I currently have no photo editing software. I can’t afford it, and while everyone and their momma has told me I can download it for free, well, that’s never worked for me. I’ve tried, it has failed. I thought I had finally found a combination of a couple free sites that (their powers combined!) would solve my issues, but the most important of the two has disappeared. So. No work for me. Still. Ugh.

So instead, I’ve begun writing down an official 2009 resolutions/to do list. More on that later, possibly/probably.

I’ve been having such dissettling dreams of late. The other night that girl who stalked me came ’round again, and wanted to kill me again, except that this time it was worse, because she had gained the power of logic, making her even more terrifying. (Yes, she is a real person. A real and crazy person.) Last night the man I loved and I happened to be overnight guests in some cool-ass dorm suite. I thought we might end up casually sharing the same couch-bed, but it didn’t happen, and the next day his ex showed up acting like his current, and I had to pretend I felt nothing special for him and oh, it was awful to see them together and pretend I was ok with it.

I have let some bill go unpaid. I don’t know what it is, which is a shame, because now it appears that I have someone from Reservoir Dogs calling me up at obscene hours of the morning. Or rather, some recorded lackey of a Mr. White is calling me about an important business matter, and I’m just entirely perplexed. I haven’t yet found out what this is about, because I’m not really good with phone calls when I’m sleeping.

I’ve started using a well-advertised acne control kit, because I’ve been breaking out like a 15 year old, and it’s driving me nuts. I suspect it has a lot to do with emotional stress, but having all these spots isn’t reducing that stress any. Since all the girls in the testimonials look to be about 15, I figure it should work. If I update a lot about my zits, forgive smack me.

Ramble ramble ramble. Better entry promised for later. The End.

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Good thing I like small spaces

So I’m still here chipping away at this apartment, trying to make it my own in the face of so much of my mom’s still-present stuff.

The closet is my treasure. It used to be so tightly stuffed you would need to see it to believe it. (You might just have needed some archeology skills to navigate it.) Now, oh, now it is beautiful. It is my faux-walk-in. Not a real walk-in closet, no, but a fairly big one- long enough that I could put all of my hanging clothes on one side, and deep enough that I could put a dresser on the other and have enough room to be able to step into it and use it as,  if not a changing room, well, a changing booth. It fits my clothes, my drawers, my shoes, and my laundry hamper, and I’ve even got a stool in there for when I can use the upper shelves. It is positively dreamy, and I’m tempted to hang out there, just to embrace that feeling of mine, all mine.

The rest of the place is coming along at varied paces- the bathroom is almost there, I just need to finish clearing out a few more of her things. Same with the hall closet (I have a hall closet! All hail storage space!). In the living room I’ve carved out a small workspace, even if it is a sub-par one, and the kitchen- hoo boy, the kitchen. It has got a loooooong way to go before I can really cook in there. It is not currently a kitchen for anyone who cooks- it is a foyer that stores food and a microwave. It requires me to take a lot of deep breaths.


Tomorrow, while I sincerely doubt I will say so outloud, I will give thanks for this closet, and the little bit of pleasant sanity and encouragement it gives me.

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Sighing is quieter than screaming.

One of the biggest problems I’ve got right now is facing someone with a collecting problem.

For example: say there is a sale on wine at the grocery store. “Oooh!” she’ll cry, and buy up six bottles. Nevermind the baker’s dozen already in the cupboard, or the two in the fridge, or the nine bottles of booze also present. Funny- you might think this person’s problem would be the over-consumption of all this, but no- it’s that most of it will never be used. It’ll just sit around, collecting dust. Good deal on shampoo? Purchase it, no matter the many similar items already in the shower, or the massive amount under the sink. New cleaning product with catchy gimmick? Get it, despite the presence of at least six other gimmicky items for the same cleaning specialty, all unopened. Opportunity to buy a new cheap suit, be it an upcoming meeting, a sale, or simply a bored desire? Heck, why not make it six, who cares that the closet is so stuffed and layered that there is physically no way to get to the things in the back without creating a mountain of unworn clothes on the bed first, most still bearing price tags? Spot a piece of only mildly broken furniture in a sidewalk sale? The other 15 bookshelves and 17 chairs- I’m sorry, I just realized how many chairs are in here and need to take a minute.

Even the tivo is like this. Like a show? Record the series, and ignore when you’ve amassed close to 60 unwatched episodes! Who cares that it’s begun deleting other, newer things? You’ve got all those episodes there, waiting for you!

And realize the extent of this- cleaning products and toiletries clearly from the 80’s. Every pair of shoes amassed in the last four decades. Every piece of construction paper crap ever touched by or assigned to her children, or at least we hope her children, by now who can remember.

And I can’t throw anything away, because she notices. It makes me feel so weak, because there is nothing I can do but freak out, screaming and throwing a useless fit, or deal with it with a mute sigh, which honestly is quieter, disturbing the neighbors less and causing far less inter-family stress. But oh, do I ever feel weak and – not even so much frustrated, when I look at even a whole cabinet full, but hopeless. It all makes me feel so ultimately tired.

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What the breezes bring

Late this afternoon, just after the sun began to lower beneath the hills, I went up to the roof of this building to get some fresh air and see the view. The sky in the distance was tinted with a still thick haze of unpleasant rosy oranges, greys and browns, smoke colors disfiguring the view of the mountains in the distance. Cool breezes were blowing, raising light goosebumps on my arms and occasionally bringing with them a whiff of the recent fires. It’s funny how, after spending so much time disliking the cold back on the east coast, I now can barely tear myself away from the cool breezes skimming the rooftops. They don’t reach down into the courtyard, through these balcony doors.

But tear myself away I did, because the breezes were so refreshing that they brought me back to myself. They made me want to work, to make art again. It’s been only a few weeks since I last got anything done, art-wise, but when it suddenly feels like it’s been a long time, it suddenly feels like it’s been a very long time, indeed. The desire makes everything else seem clearer, more in focus.

My studio is still entirely packed up, boxed in the partly emptied dining area. The place I would like to put it is plagued by an overstock of my mom’s things- though in fairness, it is one of the clearest areas in the place. But! But! These cool breezes, with their whiffs of smoke and goosebump inducing temperatures, with the focus and desire and clarity they bring, also bring a renewed determination to make this all work, to carve out a space for myself and begin enforcing my presence here, rather than just idly, passively waiting for it to happen.

That’s right, I must remind myself- the whole point of this move, back when I decided to do it over the summer, was to put an end to my ways of passively accepting life, and begin grabbing it, making it what I want. What better way to start than with my living space?

So here goes, again.

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