“I’ve always felt very temporary about myself.”

I’m not putting up the Christmas tree this year. It’s in storage at my parents’ house, and my roommate’s cat is apparently a climber anyway, and… it just doesn’t feel like the place we live is “home” enough to really undertake seasonal decorating.

It’s been a rough six months at the Satellite of Love. We went from two healthy full-time paychecks to two part-time paychecks, and from jobs that were stressful but tolerable to jobs that are just stressful. We’re both in relationship limbo to varying degrees. The cats still hate each other and can’t be allowed to interact lest blood be shed. We’ve never hung any art on the walls in the living room, and one corner of the living room has turned into de facto open storage.

My bedroom feels like home, at least. Warm, dark lighting, textures in linen and fur, colors in fawn and rose and sky, burnished brass and dark walnut. Although my financial situation and the nature of renting in a high-rise didn’t allow me to go quite as far as I’d like making the place special, it’s enough to seem like a real place where I really live. Wherever I wind up next, the current contents of my bedroom constitute the belongings I want to live amongst.

But it feels like a holding pattern. And that makes sense: this was meant to be a time for me to recover myself and my life. I guess I’m a little impatient with that process. And the line from Grosse Point Blank, as the lonely assassin eyes a stable suburban existence with equal parts longing and dread, keeps coming to mind: “I’ve always felt very temporary about myself.” Of course, being now substantially older than Martin was in the film (which is a terrifying thought), I have learned the hard way what a temporary thing stability really is. Like many things in life I’ll never have, though, it will never stop feeling like it’s only just beyond my grasp.

“Everybody’s coming back into town to take stock of their lives. You know what I say? Leave your livestock alone.”

 

So clearly I should ditch all this stuff and become a minimalist

There’s a weird pattern that’s emerged in my life over the last year. I don’t know if it’s actually a pattern so much as a coincidence, but here goes: within a week of getting all my art finally hung up on the wall, some catastrophe at least raises the specter of having to move months earlier than originally planned.

Back in January, having moved into our apartment seven months before, my boyfriend and I finally finished hanging the art on the walls. It was less than a week later that he came home and said he wasn’t sure this relationship was what he wanted in his life.

A few weeks ago, I decided to stop faffing about and finally get some stuff up on my bedroom walls. A few days later, my roommate got unexpectedly laid off. Now we have to consider that we might have to break our lease if we can’t pay the rent. We’re obviously hoping it doesn’t come to that, but it’s a bit of a deterrent to further nesting on my part.

Head. Desk.

So yeah. Maybe I’ll just have a big yard sale, get rid of all my Edison bulbs and gold paint, and just keep a mattress and one IKEA nightstand. That would probably be better.

Great day in the morning, victory is mine

Recently I got word that my request to move to part time at my day job was approved. From now on, I’ll work 3.5 days a week there, and have 3.5 days a week to… be productive in other ways that I need to more concretely plan now. It feels like a huge weight has been lifted — the job felt really oppressive, which made it really hard to get things done. I think this will make me a lot more efficient at work, so it’s really a win for everybody. And will certainly allow me to get a lot more done here in my little virtual nest, which thrills me. More to come!

Gather ye rosebuds while ye may

whiterosesredI bought myself flowers yesterday. Roses, no less. This is a thing I’ve always had a weird hangup about: I would only buy flowers for myself if I was in a relationship. If I wasn’t, it felt weird and sad and somehow like giving up. What can I say, the neurosis is strong with this one.

Anyway, I was at Trader Joe’s and I saw these white roses with red edges and thought, those are white roses painted red. I must have those. I must festoon my living space with those at all times. So I bought them. Now I have to figure out what form that should take. I think about the rose closet at Kingsland Ward and get all giddy, but that would require a fresh flower budget I can’t really afford. So maybe something a little more restrained but still wild.

Still she haunts me, phantom-wise…

I went back to Kingsland Ward. That place is the most astonishing and miraculous reality I’ve ever visited. Before the show on Friday night, I couldn’t stop my hands shaking. The excitement was almost too much to bear. And as the night wore on, I found myself wishing that time would stop and I could just stay in that place, with those people, forever. Holding hands with Alice. Unable to look away from her hazel eyes in the mirror. The Hatter, fingers and curls aflutter. The antiseptic yet somehow unclean medical rooms. The Red Queen, terrible and dark, eyes burning into me. The White Queen, beautiful and decadent, cloying and sweet, with her flowers and her ruffles and strong arms around Alice. I wish I were still there — it’s like being in love with someone who lives far away, this experience. So rare, so treasured, so fleeting. A little of myself left there always.a_560x375

GUYS. GUYS. GUYS.

I’m in Brooklyn for the night. Hitting traffic (as I did, of course, because why not?), it takes about five hours to get here, and I’ll be turning around and going home tomorrow afternoon.

Why would I do this insane thing? There are three reasons. One is my lovely and special and marvelous friends Je and Ja, who let me invade their apartment in Crown Heights on no notice, and whom I absolutely adore.

Actually, there are four reasons. One is just that I love this place a lot. I spent a month living in Kensington, Brooklyn and adored it. Maybe one day I’ll make it back for good. But that’s really just a reason to come here anytime, not reason to come here for just a night.

HOWEVER. The two big reasons are the reasons I am downright giddy with excitement at present, as I sit in an adorable coffee shop (Lula Bean on Grand Street) and buy things to justify occupying a table and some internet all afternoon.

In about an hour, I will go to Then She Fell again. I cannot tell you how happy this makes me. Oh wait, yes, I totally can. But that will be in a post I am still writing, so I’ll come back to it.

The other reason is that I am going to a taxidermy class at The Observatory tomorrow. YOU GUYS. I am going to taxidermy a mouse. An actual mouse. I am, like, actively atwitter about this. So much so that I had to write about it before it happened. So after it happens, hopefully I will be equally excited and want to write about it again.

CATS, man.

Bed and screenSo I’m dealing with cats: specifically my cat, Lady Door, and my roommate’s cat, Nola. Door (Her Pampered Ladyship) has been acclimating to the new place for about a month, but Nola just arrived last weekend. Door has been restricted to my room, bathroom, and closet while Nola gets accustomed her new surroundings.

Fortunately, the bedroom and bathroom are pretty well set up for Door. I’m keeping her food in the bathroom, to put it as far from Nola’s as possible. And her litter box is in my room, behind this privacy screen. It’s an approach I actually highly recommend for cat owners: I’d always had a spare bathroom to keep her litter box in before, but this is working out much better. The fumes don’t get trapped in there, and I’m more motivated to keep it clean, so everybody’s happy.

But now we have to go to the next step, where I wedge the door to my room shut with something heavy and let them paw at each other through the crack. Hopefully this will work. I’ve never successfully introduced two cats before. (I stayed with my parents for a few months when I moved back east, and their cat spent pretty much the entire time on top of the china cupboard. Door’s a fighter, but not much of a jumper.)

Working feline accommodations into a nice design is always a challenge, especially if you can’t afford to spend a million dollars on a Swarovski-encrusted kitty litter palace or Craftsman-style kitty litter bungalow. (Or if you have the kind of prissyfaced prima donna cat who won’t subject her fragile nasal passages to the assault of an enclosed litter box. Not that I know anything about that.) It’s hard to get around the inherent unattractiveness of a box of poo. I had all kinds of thoughts about some kind of tent-like structure, but then you get into that prissy diva kitty thing again. The screen is a start, at least.

Lamplust

Lamplust

So I can’t keep a tidy bedside table. I just can’t. There are many things in my life I keep tidy, some would say neurotically so. This ain’t one. I post this picture knowing you can view and mock my shortcomings. The reason I post it anyway, though, is that I have a crush on my lamp. It came from IKEA and I don’t even care, I love it just the way it is. I put in a 25-watt Edison bulb and it’s just magical. As soon as I turned it on, I realized, firstly, that few things in a room are more important than the lighting, and second, that this is how they give Sleep No More that omnipresent dark warm glow. So that made me giddy.

Also, the framed butterflies were a find at the Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market. They are currently my favorite. I am not generally a big butterfly person, but preserved and framed under glass I can totally get behind.

A potentially-crippling Craigslist habit is born

A potentially-crippling Craigslist habit is born

I found this chair on Craigslist for $75, with a second similar-but-not-identical chair thrown in for $50. Can I tell you how much I love this chair? It’s my reading chair, and my note-making chair, and my thinking chair. I put the other one in the living room, where my cat has entirely claimed it as her own.

(For the record, here’s the vaguely similar chair I was going to buy until I thought to look at Craigslist. The chair I wound up with is superior in every regard, and I will love it forever.

I HAZ A DISAPPOINT.

Okay, so, I’m doing a complete makeover on my bedroom, right, because it’s a new house and a new life and all that jazz. And so far, outside of a truly epic number of trips to IKEA (which seems weird when you look at my room, because it is… not IKEA-y), it’s gone pretty well so far. I mean, I’ve spent a small fortune, for me, but a small fortune for me is like a couple hundred dollars. So it’s been mostly all good. I discovered that hanging curtains, for example, is WAAAAY easier without my ex’s help. As is putting together anything from IKEA, for that matter. 

 
But today, a major setback. I adore the idea of a canopy over a bed that isn’t a four-poster — you can just look at my Pinterest, it’s like, all bed canopies all the time. And now that I’m totally doing just what I want to do, I was psyched to put mount some curtain rods on the ceiling and go to town. So I marked the spots to mount the brackets, got out my drill, and …. drilled uselessly and totally ineffectively against the concrete slab that is my ceiling. 
 
It shouldn’t be a huge shock to me that the ceiling is just spackle on top of a concrete slab — I live in a high-rise, so structural integrity is kind of a big deal. But I’ve never lived in anything besides an old house or a garden apartment before, so it was a rude awakening for me. 
 
So, now I have to either re-conceptualize and abandon my beloved canopy bed, or come up with some ingenious way to hang things from the ceiling without actually putting anything in the ceiling. Wish me luck.