Monday, November 14, 2011

Monday Musings (I am just full of musing this Monday!)

Murphy's Lawisms: 

1.  If you are going to get a good gash on a finger, it will be your right index finger.  Because you are right-handed and use it constantly.

2.  The driver's side wiper blade bites the dust first.  The passenger side will last for a millenia.

3.  Just when one thinks the insane red bird has moved along - one comes out to find a layer of bird poop on one's car, right where the MANGO! red bird has been re-attacking his imaginary rival in your rear view mirrors.

4.  To be safe, never pick up your phone to answer it.  You will be sure to launch into a coughing fit.  And the person on the other end of the line will insist, by asking you twenty times in a row, that you answer yes or no as to whether you are okay. I mean....really.

5.  If you think you're the biggest, punkiest kid in your grade school class, be careful not to abuse the power.  Everyone you push around will have a growth spurt after you have stopped growing and out-weigh you by 50 lbs.  Payback is a BIODIESEL!

It's a given that, living alone, I would succumb to talking to myself.  Or my dogs.  Or my cat.  Or my car.  Once, when I was in my 20s (this should give you an idea of how long I have been, "musing") I went four days without speaking.  It wasn't easy.  But, when I finally said something on the fifth day, my voice sounded strange - sort of loud and recorded.  It was an interesting experiment, but I prefer to talk non-stop to my dogs.  Sometimes in Caninese - blah, blah, blah, blah, FOOD, blah, blah, blah, blah, SQUIRREL.  There are many of us who do this, if you are totally honest with yourself.  I believe that Felinese is totally different:  hmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm.  That's because they do not listen to us at all.  They don't care what we say, how we say it, or what we mean.  We are there to proffer food and clean litter pans.  Don't get any uppity ideas with cats.

Spending most of my prior adult life as an apartment dweller, I was always desperate for livestock.  So, whenever possible, I would house the most exotic thing I could find (that was non-six-legged, non-slithery, and non-furry in a creepy way) in my living room.  Besides a delightful array of cats, I had fish, hermit crabs, turtles, Chinese button quail, and a skunk.  This was usually without the knowledge of my landlord, which was not often a problem since, being an art student, my apartments were not the type that were often visited by the landlord.  I would rate the early ones as just a half-step up from a tenement.  I did love that skunk, though, even if he carried with him the slight aura of eau d'peuuw.  But he was not fond of strangers and would bite me if he got alarmed.  Which was often -- and painful.  I finally had to take him back out of a sense of self-preservation.

Segue into my last semi-tenement apartment in Cleveland Heights.  I was in my third year of art school (and unknowingly my last, as the school suddenly went bankrupt and closed), living in a one-bedroom apartment that would have given a NYC studio flat a run for it's money, size-wise.  It came furnished.  There was a chair upholstered in avocado green plastic, with a matching sofa.  This sofa was the most unusual piece of furniture -- when you sat in it and leaned against the back, you were left looking up towards the ceiling.  And it was designed that way!  I also had a linoleum covered table, two chairs, and a platform bed without the platform. I think I paid $150/month rent. There were a lot of classmates in that building and, since none of us had two nickels to rub together, we would pool our money for meals and I would go out and buy the food and cook it.  Invariably, we ate spaghetti and red sauce.  And drank from gallon jugs of Gallo wine.  We never got schnockered because we could only afford one bottle a week and there were a lot of us.  As I cooked the pasta for these almost-daily meals, I would throw a noodle against the wall to see if it would stick.  If it stuck, it was al dente.  Long story not short enough, after about a year and a half, the landlord decided to go upscale and we were all thrown out.  Our parting gift was to frame the spaghetti painting on the wall and all sign it.  It's probably worth millions now.


  1. And as we look back on those apartments and our "poverty", weren't those some of the FUNNEST times ever. Nothing more than some really good friends and some of the worst booze on earth. Ah, good times. And now GOOD memories!

  2. PS Is Funnest a word? If not, sorry. But you know what I mean.......

  3. We used to consume hundreds (thousands? millions?) of bottles of Boone's (Boone's County? I can't even remember the real name now.) wine because it cost just 99 cents a bottle. A couple of years ago, I picked up a bottle on a whim (I think it's $3.99 now) for old time's sake. It was SO BAD (shudder, shudder, shudder!) we couldn't even drink it! The question is was it that bad then . . . or has it changed? Or maybe the question is have WE changed!

  4. Memories...I forced myself to learn to drink Keystone beer in college. We had nickel beer nights at the bars. Nickles I could handle. But when it went to dime beer night we thought it was horrible! How dare they!?

    I see nothing wrong with talking animals. My dogs wish you a good morning!

  5. Sue - If funnest is not a word, it should be! I found that my taste in wine has bumped up a few (hundred) notches since then. Alas, my budget has not!

    Mama Pea - OMG! Boones Farm (?) wine! I hadn't thought of that for eons -- you are a braver woman than I -- I wouldn't dare drink it now. WE have changed (and for the better).

    APG - How amazing that a nickel can make that much difference. At least we qualify as cheap dates! Bowowowowow to your doggies, too!

  6. What a small world - I used to live in Cleveland Heights, shortly after I finished grad school. My apartment was slightly larger than yours but we also ate a lot of spaghetti and drank Gallo Burgundy from the giant glass jug :)

    My first ever apartment had a wood-look plastic accordion curtain that you could pull across the kitchen to hide it away from the living room!

  7. Ha, my friend had a pet skunk in his apartment too. His name was Cool Hand Luke. (isn't it amazing what we remember). He hated people and lived under the refrigerator. And while he was said to be -de-skunked- I highly doubt it. He was an odorous fellow.

  8. Jenyfer - Small world indeed! I think the idea of a curtain or pocket door that separates your kitchen from the rest of the house is a great idea - plastic accordian and all!

    Jane - Love the name! Pooh (I was less original) loved to curl up in the non-working gas fireplace nook with her blanket. Even if you de-skunk them, they retain that certain "something" in the oil on their coats.

  9. Whenever I smell skunk, I am always immediately taken back to my time in Cleveland Heights - there were a lot of skunks around there!

    The only problem with the plastic curtain is as I recall, the front door would also be behind the curtain if it were pulled shut across the kitchen!

  10. Great musings Susan! Ah, the days of cheap wine and good friends! I didn't know anyone REALLY threw a noodle against the wall to see if it was done!?! How funny that you all signed the masterpiece! :)

  11. Jenyfer - Another thing they can be known for! Actually, I loved Cleveland Hts for the museum and orchestra. Yes, and who designs these things? Makes you wonder.

    Candy - Yes, ma'am. I'm here to tell you that it works! I doubt the landlord appreciated our talent, however. He was a real sleazy guy.

  12. Ah, college apartments! My first, I slept in the unheated enclosed back porch which was sponge painted kelly green over white. The dog's water would freeze. The landlady lived next door and we weren't allowed to have a dog, so Yanamamo would jump into a Samsonite bag for the trek to the bus or around the corner where I could safely walk him. We, too, drank cheap wine, mostly sangria and Mateus.
    Another apartment leaked like a sieve, all the way down to the second floor- we were on the third- if we neglected to put out pots. That was also the building in which we had to coordinate our roach bombing or they just moved from apartment to apartment. We always threatened to send some to our landlady UPS. She lived in a high-end section of Loudonville. My downstairs neighbors wired a speaker into my bedroom over which they would transmit classical music when Sunday brunch was ready.
    Five us lived there and split the $150 per month rent. Utilities and phone were always in my name because I could beat the money out of everyone else.
    Good times were had by all!

  13. When I was in college, some guy friends of mine did the noodle on the wall 'artwork' as well. It looked pretty cool until you really thought about what it was. I was always amazed that their cat didn't try to eat it.

  14. I love these! and APG, Keystone? Blech! LOL... I don't know that I ever "succumbed" to talking to myself, I've always done it - now I'm just sad that I don't have a little baby in a stroller anymore everywhere I go because it made all that one sided conversation "normal"!

  15. Ahhhhh, I can totally relate to the spaghetti wall. I wonder what the landlord thought when he/she saw your masterpiece??? Nice post. So many memories!