So, here’s my bedroom. Recently changed back to blue. The bedspread looks more like black, but it’s a navy reversible comforter. I bought it at the mall before Target moved its ass into there.
I’m embarrassed to say that I purchased the ugly tablecloth at Target, though. It requires ironing. Now honestly, if you are going to spend money at Target, you’d think they’d have el-cheap-O’s that are wrinkle-free and smell kinda plasticky. This one looked nice at the store in the wrapper and looks ugly now. It looked a little nicer once it got washed and had that slightly worn, not-straight-off-the-rack look. But I still think the one I got for one-quarter the price at a nice thrift shop in Central Square (I can’t recall the name, not the Goodwill, the one across from the current co-op location practically) in Cambridge, Massachusetts. They sell tons of tablecloths, as does the Goodwill, the latter at random times when you are lucky, and it depends on which Goodwill. I know they have Goodwill stores all over the country. In other countries, I know Goodwill Industries runs their stores differently and maybe they are expensive. Here, they aren’t too bad.
The crocheted items are done by yours truly. All of them. The round thingy, which is approximately the size and shape of a toilet paper roll, situated on the table, is indeed a toilet paper roll cover. You can find these elsewhere in my blog. I have an article I did on them and when I’m done writing this article, I’ll come back (if I remember) and re-do this article to provide a link for you, so you can click on it and go see how I made it, and I’ll do you a favor and have that article open in a separate browser window, how’s that?
Anyway, more about the photo: I have two similar lamps currently in my bedroom, a pink one and a blue one. Neither has a shade for it. But I have those funky bulbs. Our housing authority provided bulbs, and like a dummy, I went and returned them, because they emit mercury. I think what happens is they emit a teensy teensy bit, not very much. My thinking is that it really couldn’t possibly be a dangerous amount, but I could be wrong. I went to the store and bought what I thought were non-mercury bulbs. They were very expensive, but the whole reason I made the switch to these expensive type were that they are much more long-lasting and I am saving money by buying them, with or without being the one to have to pay the electric bill (I’m not, the Housing Authority picks it up).
Oh, what a dummy I am! I think all bulbs have mercury in them, am I wrong? I have broken one of them and found out that these are not like the old kind. These don’t get all splintery and scary. They do us the favor of only breaking off a teeny bit. Yeah, these are ugly as sin, and look like white techno turds, but they are a lot easier to sweep up and cart off to the graveyar, saying the usual swear words I suppose, after you kill them off.
Anyway, that wasn’t my question. I’ll get to the question. I want to say more about the photo. You can see my space heater, that funky old one on my desk. Yes, still. I am freezing still. Here in New England we do not have summer yet this year in June. Don’t worry, come July or August it will hit us and I am not going to hear the end of Boston on the MBTA complaining about the heat and how it will never end, this for about two weeks, then it will end. Then, I’ll be running the space heater again, most likely.
That isn’t the desk I usually sit at when I write these blog entries. I have another one in the living room that’s my “throne.” The “throne” is one I bought from Staples and put together myself from 46 (yes, a number wicked big, big enough to earn numeral status by far) pieces. It’s taken me I think 10 years, probably more, cuz I think I’ve owned the “throne” longer, to figure out that the “throne” is what is causing all the giant patch of strange-looking dead skin to form on my elbows and around that area…hmm. Maybe I need to put rubber pads on the sharp wood desk edge to protect my elbows. I had thought (and so did my doc) that the dead skin was from my ED.
Guess what, doc. I sat here at this desk and did my BFA and finished it summa cum laude at Emerson College. I was widowed at and bawled this desk. I did my whole six years of MFA work at this desk. I did finished three National Novel Writing Months at this desk. I have written over 1,600 blog entries at this desk since 2005 (original blog was for Microsoft Hotmail whatever, forget what it was, and I doubt is still there, everything is copied out of there into here…some photos are still missing…I’m lazy, sorry). Of course I have written e-mails from this desk. And all kinds of little pieces just for fun. I think I have fucked up at everything at this desk. I have lost friends at this desk. I have Skyped at this desk and eaten dinner at this desk and had coffee at this desk and just plain sat here and I’ve made You-Tubes from here and I’ve thought up the most brilliant ideas just sitting here while my elbows have been, um, taking a killing I guess. Oops.
So I won’t talk about that anymore, and I’ll get back to the photo. By the way, if you click (or double-click, forget which, maybe it depends on who or what you are) on the photo, it will open in a separate browser window, so you can switch back and forth while we are speaking. So you won’t have to do the work of scrolling way, way up on account of my getting so darned far off topic. See that brown ugly thingy on my desk? That’s the teensy coil pot I talk about in my chapter, “Hunger” in my book, This Hunger Is Secret: My Journeys Through Mental Illness and Wellness. Now those of you who have been reading my blog for any bit of time know that this is a memoir and also know that this memoir was my master’s thesis. In the book, I mention this coil pot very briefly and I’m not giving away a huge plot secret by telling you that the coil pot is a metaphor…and it never did work out as a coffee cup…because it is leaky and therefore nonfunctional. Coil pots tend to do that, or at least all my coil pots leaked.
It’s not my favorite scene in the book and not one that I look back on in real life with any fondness, I guess, due to the discomfort I felt over the cup. I don’t know what led Joe to liking it so much, or pretty much convincing me to keep it and not toss it out. I was quite tempted to deceive him and quietly bury it in the trash anyway, but I didn’t have the heart to lie to him. He said he didn’t want me to throw out something I’d created.
But that wasn’t in the book. I’m just cluing you in on that tidbit now. Bulls-eye.
The scene is one with the art person and I guess I’m in some group, at some hospital, and I’m sick and frustrated. I can’t remember the line he tells me but I stuck that in the middle of the chapter. This all took place at the same place and time as the chapter “Walking the Line” did, by the way. It was actually a crappy program at a very fancy hospital. Looking back, the irony kills me, but there is irony all over our American “insurance” system, and always will be I suppose. I’ll bet you folks in other countries REALLY see it that way, and maybe you folks can better see our system than we can see our system (if you look into it) for the total nonsense that it is, not that I would know how it feels to live in another country. Then again, I know in other places there is no access to certain advantages we have. There are certain things you just can’t even hold of in other places and there are certain liberties you don’t get in other places.
Maybe it’s what you see out that window, eh?
My life, your life. Hey, we’re all here in the same room right now, just talking, right?
What about that forest and that tree that fell? Or am I not supposed to think about that beyond maybe a few years past high school? Or have they dropped that age a few notches down since the advent of “electronics”?
Anyway, back to the photo. Are you ready for the question? First of all, it took me a devil of a time to find the right cord for my steam iron. It’s a travel iron I bought years ago, back when Joe was alive (1958-2003). Yeah, I miss him like crazy but for godsakes don’t let me get off on yet another tangent. I found the cord after trying the wrong one and waiting like a half hour, wondering why I was getting this puny little heat from the little iron and no steam. Then I went into my box that used to be a box that boots came in (I no longer have the boots) where I now store old electrical cords, and found the right cord. Bravo.
The question is as follows: You folks who are in high school are going to be jumping up and down ready with the answer, and the rest of you who aren’t into physics or chemistry have forgotten. For godsakes, if you are a doctor, or even a shrink, you had better know the answer. I’ll bet a pharmacist knows even after ten drinks, and I’ll bet a pharmacist can make the grow corn in his/her bathroom and make the gin for ten drinks in a test tube, but let’s not get into the details of what pharmacists have in their homes. Whatever they have, it doesn’t look like my bedroom in the photo, it’s fancier cuz they make more money, right? And there’s no coil pot with a “1/2” on it, if there’s a coil pot, I’m sure it brimmeth over. So here’s the question:
Why do I have to add salt to my steam iron to get it to work? If I don’t put a teensy bit of salt in it (per instructions written on the iron and salt measure provided) it does not steam properly and isn’t at all effective as an iron. It’s a gray plastic iron I got for cheap. You just put a quarter cup of water in it. It’s not meant to do a whole load of laundry. Just a shirt or two while you are traveling. I bought it figuring I’m not big on ironing and rarely iron anything at all. Some folks are obsessive about it. It doesn’t get very hot and to really do a good job, I have to use a mini spray bottle, the kind you get for cheap at CVS in the travel aisle for 99 cents, filled with plain water, and spray the item just a little. The iron doesn’t get hot enough to singe my hair, but will boil the water like mad. But what frustrates the heck out of me is that I can”t recall why salt water boils at a lower temp than plain water. I guess this iron doesn’t get hot enough to boil plain water. Maybe that’s some kind of safety feature, or you high school folks can answer this, or those of you that had better know or have reason to remember this type of interesting fact.
I had no reason to remember. I was a musician. I guess while I was still a very under undergrad and had one semester left to graduate, I still quite well knew why salt water boiled at a lower temp. I sure was very much math-minded back then. I was so darned brainy. I guess all us composers were that brainy type. You had to be, or you ended up that way, sitting alone in those little piano rooms with composition paper and a pencil for so long, often well into the night.
Do they still have those little rooms at music schools? (Question #2.) And are student composers still considered geeky (a word we didn’t have back then, at any of my schools)? (Question #3.) Do student compositions still never get heard and get tucked away forever? (Question #4.) I have all these music pieces in pencil and paper (actually I had beautiful music penmanship) and they are sitting in a box, mostly never played and never heard, even by me, except in my little crazy head. Even at Bennington College between 1978 and 1981, where they told me that yes, student pieces, even if we were experimenting with stuff, got played, yes, played, but this in fact didn’t pan out the way they told me most of the time. Practicalities and red tape, you know, would get in the way. I guess they didn’t call it “red tape” back then, but that’s what it was. That and my eating disorder, which wasn’t what I called it cuz I didn’t know there was such thing and had never even heard of them. I simply didn’t know it was named that. But all this was only a work in progress.
So now it’s late here on the East Coast of the US. It’s not late on the West Coast, where some readers are I guess, and it’s much later in other places, where some readers have I guess already gone to bed and many places it’s already creeping into Friday. You’ll get up and read this much later I’ll bet. Maybe you work over there in your other country, and you’ll read it after you get home. Or maybe, just maybe, it’s like 2014, or 2015, and you are reading this article years after it’s been posted. Hey, decades from now-land, why do some irons require salt?
In that case, I already know. Or I’m wrinkle-free. Nyah nyah.