Sunday, January 25, 2009

letter #2

dec 28
dear Carmen
     i'm back in berkeley to pick up my new couch, a new cabinet, and other house organization items such as drawers, rugs, drapes, and new furniture. up north my house is in an uproar as i assemble furniture, move paintings around, and make other house changes, sometimes just for the sake of changing things. the house looks worse than ever, hardly room to walk in places, on its way to looking the best ever.
     i moved the computer table, office, etc, out of the middle of the living room and into a corner of my bedroom; to fit it in i moved the bed around discovering that i now had two clear views of stars, creek, and mountains. that was a minor revelation--in the previous configuration there was no view from the bed, or just a little at an angle--i am happy with the new arrangement.
     the utility room was a jumbled mess of rag bags, newspapers tilting over on a shelf, items to take out to the barn, shelves of books, rows of notebooks, shelf of bills and letters, a couple boxes of tools, office supplies, vacuum implements and broom, bags of all types and sizes, one-of-a-kind items like the unused strap for the lumbar support pillow, boxes of laundry soap, toilet paper, paper towels, napkins, solar ovens, unused microwave, traveling supplies such as hot plate and mini-cutting board, recycling bottles, drawings tacked on the wall from an old girlfriend's kid, and other various and sundry items.
     i set up a five shelf unit in the kitchen upon which i transferred ten shelves worth of stuff, then cleared out the utility room cleaning each book which i put on a new bookcase in my bedroom organized by # books i haven't read on the top shelf, # borrowed books on another, # and already read ones. i cleaned the utility room completely, wiping down the walls and ceiling and mopping the floor. my handyman H*** assembled the huge cheap Ikea cupboard and we dragged it in on a rug. i liked it so much i'm getting another today within which i'll put hanging shelves, a container to hold dirty shoes, and boxes of drawers to hold the sorted tools, misc, etc. my goal is to have everything behind closed doors, everything super-neat and organized--i want to enter this "anal"  phase that, of course, i've NEVER done before.
     meanwhile in the living room the entertainment center is being assembled; it needs to be planned out, wired in, and i need to research and buy sound and video components. i will replace my boom box on the shelf with a middle-of-the-line entertainment system with speakers all over the house and of course a big screen TV, although i have only been watching it an hour a day when doing my workouts.
     i have put a lot of thought into rearranging my art: i took the large huichol yarn painting (4' by 5') down and put it on the wall of my bedroom, then made a cascade of yarn painting on the wall above the new TV cabinet, four of them cascading from large (3' by 4') to medium (2' by 2') to small (1' by 1') to mini (6" by 6"). its an experiment but i tell you it does catch the eye. i'm thinking about framing them sometime too.
     the holidays have been great. (and you know how much i hate them!)
     # first the thanxgiving sausage party with a couple of guys sitting around eating great food and watching football, etc. (at one point i said, " ok, lets take our shirts off and hold hands in a circle." they didn't even blink- aren't i funny?)
     #then i got a Surprise Invite from my niece and her husband for xmas eve dinner out in the hills with his georgeous sisters from canada. i made CDs to give as gifts and so did they. the food was amazing: barbequed cow, Incredible Salad, great bread and cheese (from the junction), potatoes mashed and re-stuffed, and pies and too many bottles of wine. when i got home there was a message on the machine inviting me to a New Years Eve Music Party.
     on christmas day i baked a leg of lamb for the first time in my life and somehow, sans a thermometer, it came out perfect.
     so here i am at the French Hotel luxuriating in my big one day vacation in the Gourmet Ghetto across from Chey Panisse. last night i went to four restaurants: # first i got a polenta and three yam bran muffins from the Juice Bar Collective/ i ate a third of a muffin and put the rest in the ice chest, # then i went to the tapas place Cesar and had  a beer and an exquisite salad- i pocketed the extra foccacia and olives and stashed them in the ice box,# after, i grabbed a slice of pizza from the Cheese Board Collective, ate one bite, and put it in the deep freeze, # next at the Thai place Chay'am i ordered a delicious fish/veggie dinner with rice, ate half and stored the rest where the sun don't shine. i had plenty of room for the fabulous Gelato down the street--i ate it all.
     On to Ikea...

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