Thursday, June 10, 2021

An Island Off the Living Room

Everything that used to be in the living room is now in the dining room.

Except the carpet.

That’s over at the city dump, along with the carpet pad and enough nail strips to stop an invading army because whoever put that carpet in did not intend for it to come out before the heat death of the universe.

This fits with my general theory that this house was built by dedicated amateurs who didn’t know how to cut corners and figured that if they overbuilt the place nothing bad would happen to them ever again. For all I know they were right about that.

The living room carpet was one of the last bastions of original carpeting left from when we moved into the house back in 1996. It was one of those sturdy berber carpets that are designed to last forever or until a Rubbermaid bin full of young chickens knocks over the heat lamp that was resting on the wire mesh cover and burns a fist-sized hole through it before we notice.

Whichever comes first.

So for any number of reasons, it had to go. I accepted this, even if household projects are not my thing. They are Kim’s thing, though, so on Saturday (with the graduation ceremony safely over) we moved the vast assortment of things in the living room – seriously, Lauren is at great pains to point out how our “American Clutter” décor clashes with her newly acquired Euro-minimalism sense of style, sometimes on a nightly basis – into the dining room, and then ripped out the carpet, padding, and nail strips.

It turns out that I am actually not bad at removing nail strips, even if every tendon in my legs let me know how old I actually am for several days afterward. I am this many ibuprofens old now. Happy birthday to me.

We took all the debris to the dump Monday, after which Kim sanded down the hardwood floor underneath and then she and Oliver coated it with stain and finish. It looks nice, really. Right now the quarter round is sitting in there waiting to be put on, and sometime this weekend we’ll have things back to rights. That’s the story, and we’re sticking to it.

The problem, of course, is that my office is in the front of the house, by the front door, and the only way to get from there to the rest of the house is through the living room – not really an option when the living room floor is coated in wet stain. For most of the week the only way to get from my office to the kitchen was by going outside and around to the back door. It was kind of like living in my own little island. I felt like Gilligan.

Or, I suppose, the Professor.

If you understand that joke, you are this many ibuprofens old too. Happy birthday to us. There will be cake.

But now the floor is walkable again so I’m not out here on an extended three-hour tour of my own office, and we’ve had good luck eating outside in the back all week. It’s been hot but dry.

The plan is to get everything put back together this weekend sometime, and we may actually do that. We’ll see. There are other plans afoot that may take time away from that, though – the garage needs to be cleaned out so it looks nice for Lauren’s upcoming graduation party, for one thing, and my summer class starts on Tuesday and that needs to get finalized as well. So we’ll do our best.

In the meantime, if you need me I will be building a radio out of three coconuts and a bamboo bicycle.


LucyInDisguise said...

We uninstalled the carpeting in the living & dining rooms and installed hardwood flooring a couple of years back. Seriously ‘entertaining’, if not exactly ‘fun’. (Safety Note: we have reached an age, you and I, where slipping & gravity are a bad combination. Shoes with double-sided tape on the soles and rubber-backed area rugs are a good idea when dealing with hardwood floors. Jus’ Sayin’)

Or, I suppose, The Professor.

Had you said ‘Roy Hinkley’, that would have been a much better puzzle and had everyone firing up their search engines. And yes, Professor, I am that many more aspirins* older than you.

[SIDEBAR] We outlived them all, except Tina Louise, who is the only member of the cast that is still alive. How old does that make you feel????[/SIDEBAR]


* I don’t do ibuprofen - I happen to like my liver just the way it is. Such as it is, that is.

David said...

It makes me feel OLD, that's how it makes me feel. I think it hit me hardest when Dawn Wells passed away.

Knowing the proper names of the characters in that show was one of my favorite bits of trivia once upon a time. I don't remember Gilligan's first name anymore (though I do remember whose shirt he was wearing). I still remember that the Skipper was Jonas Grumby, though. See above, re: OLD.

We're getting such a rug for the room - everything in the room is in warm colors, and it needs some brightening up - but for the moment it's still "new floor" slick. I'm really looking forward to the first time one of the cats tries to corner hard through that room.

LucyInDisguise said...

Willey. Although, Wiki says the name has been a subject of fierce debate for decades.

Bob Denver frequently said when interviewed that the character's full name was Gil Egan - bet everyone was mad at him and just ran the names together.

I all but gave up on the series after the Monkees episode. Few people remember that the Monkees was Gilligan's primary rival in the ratings war at one point.

Wait. How'd we end up here? Early-onset of dementia?


David said...

It can't be early onset dementia. We're not that young.

I am young enough that my first exposure to Gilligan's Island was its initial run through syndication in the late 60s/early 70s - I missed the prime time broadcasts. Likewise with the Monkees (another show I used to watch after getting home from school, once my grandmother's soap operas were done).

I don't remember the Monkees episode, though. Perhaps they left that one out when it went to syndication.

I do know that the two surviving Monkees (Mickey Dolenz and Mike Nesmith) are planning some kind of reunion show this year. I am not interested in going, but it does make me happy that they're still around to do this sort of thing.

LucyInDisguise said...

Okay. So, I spent some time this morning looking for a clip to point you to, and wouldn’t ya know, here it is!

So, apparently, it wasn’t the Monkees after all, but he Wellingtons (who also sang the first season version of the The Ballad of Gilligan’s Isle*, and also the Davey Crockett theme.) appearing as The Mosquitoes in the 2nd season episode ‘Don’t Bug the Mosquitoes’.

Memory is a delicate thing. And, in my case, is demonstrably the first thing to go. QED.

[Searches for more aspirin]


* The earworm version that everyone hears in their head was recorded by The Eligibles. The two versions are distinguished by whether or not the Professor & Mary Ann are mentioned.

David said...

Huh - cool. :)

I knew there were two version of the song (one with the Professor and Mary Ann and one without) but I never knew they were done by different people

Have you run into this classic take on the theme song?


"I told her I don't remember playing baseball, and she laughed and said, 'Well, you know what they say about growing old? Memory is the second thing to go.'

I asked 'What's the first?'

'Relevance," she said quickly. 'Relevance.'"

(Welcome to Night Vale)

LucyInDisguise said...

Not a bad version, however, this one is preferably done:

'Relevance," she said quickly. 'Relevance.'

Ouch. That left a mark ...


David said...

Puddles is fun. :)

I love the adverb "quickly" in that quote, as it implies that there are some other things that also go with age that she didn't want to bring up.

I'm not sure if I've ever been relevant, but I'm out here trying to have a good time nonetheless.