Sunday, November 16 2014
Early this afternoon, I snuck off in the Subaru without the dogs (it was a cold day, and they were sleeping either in front of the fire or in the womblike embrace of the teevee room couch). I went first to Herzog's to make an extra set of keys for the Wall Street house and, while I was in the area, I bought a somewhat overpriced USB 3.0 hub at the Radio Shack because I wanted to see if I could get my USB 3.0 NAS drive working at USB 3.0 speeds. The guy who waited on me at the Radio Shack looked like a Brooklyn hipster, complete with chunky eyeglasses, though he had the unctuous hard sale technique that has long made Radio Shack an unpleasant place to shop. No, I didn't want to buy an extended replacement plan for a $30 USB hub.
I arrived a little early to an appointment with the new tenants of the Wall Street house and so decided to wrestle that radiator I'd removed into the back of my Subaru (I hadn't brought the dogs so I'd have the room to haul it). I almost had that radiator wrestled completely into the car by the time the tenants saw me and came out and helped me get it the rest of the way in.
I grabbed two copies of the 20-page document an online legal site had generated and went into the house so we could all sign it. They'd already set the place up as a makeshift bachelor pad, complete with a stained carpet, a lazy boy chair, an impressive number of tropical plants, and a huge flatscreen teevee in the non-functional fireplace. They only had one good chair and were trying to find more on Craigslist, but for now they were augmenting it with a tiny chair of the sort one would take backpacking. A classic Fleetwood Mac album played from the stereo at a reasonable volume.
The lads had actually read over the documents and noted a place where the boilerplate suggested it was the landlord's job to supply heat, though on closer reading it seemed to suggest more that the landlord had a duty to do so if the tenant could not afford it and was in peril of freezing to death. I made a note there to say that tenant pays for all utilities, and then we signed. Also while I was there, I put weather stripping under the backdoor, something I hadn't gotten around to in the month and a half I'd been working on it. The lads had encountered a few issues with the house, though none were major. The door to the upstairs bedroom had difficulty closing and the water in the bathtub were disconcertingly brown. I said I'd come back and fix the first issue and said that perhaps the second would clear over time once more water was flowing through the system. I know how to landlord! Evidently the lads are not big drinkers, because when I apologized about the state of the refrigerator, they said there was still a "Torpedo" in there (they pronounced it as an English speaker would) and that I should take it with me. But no, I left it for them (or one of their friends).
Back at the house, I continued watching passages of Snakes on a Plane and not doing much in the way of actual work until it came time to do something to a web server in Los Angeles.
When Gretchen came home, we cracked open a bottle of Pinot Noir to celebrate the signing of the lease agreement. Then we watched an episode of Shark Tank that included an unexpectedly-successful pitch of a vegan nut cheese business. Later, I busted into my marijuana stash and we sat in the living room just hanging out, listening to music, and talking, something we almost never do. I was playing the new Beck album Morning Phase, which has a number of songs that sound like good Elton John songs (particularly "Country Down"), one ("Unforgiven") that sounds like Band of Horse, and one ("Turn Away") that sounds like a good David Gilmour song. Gretchen liked that album, but she didn't much like the King Tuff I played for her. To me, it sounds a little like a more psychedelic variant of T-Rex, so I thought she'd like it. But something about the singer's high-pitch voice (which just sounded good to me) ruined it for her.
This is something I wrote tonight while under the influence of marijuana:
When asked to picture the early 1970s, I picture them as a sidewalk, with each year as a square surrounded by heat-expansion cracks. Short-mown lawn lies on either side, and not far away on the nearby horizon is the frame of a raised ranch house. Yes, that was my time, and that is how I picture them. My life in that part of the 1970s was hopscotch, Go Fish & War, and making what I could with Radio Flyers and plastic hose (I don't know where I got that last one, but it profoundly affected my view of that whole chunk of my life).
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