Cheap or resourceful is sometimes just a matter of perspective

Juli Kearns Cinema, Everyday Stories 6 Comments

No, no. I’ve been tagged again on the Eight Random Facts About You Meme. This time by Lavonne at Born Famous. I’ve done it before but will give another shot at randomness, supposing my mine of randomness hasn’t been exhausted.

1.) I keep on my desk what used to be a nice Orchids of Hawaii, made in Japan, surfer girl “mug”. I always thought it was a vase but I found info on it online and it’s described as being a mug. I don’t care what they say online about it, I still think it is a pottery vase. At one point it was knocked over and broken and is now badly glued back together.

2.) I’ve never been to Hawaii. Though I hear it is beautiful, I don’t have a crying need to experience it in person.

3.) I keep on the bookshelf by my desk, “Scenes of the Plateau Lands and How They Came To be” by William Lee Stokes. It is illustrated with little drawings, rather than photos, and informs that a boulder is any rock over ten inches across. I rarely look at this book but I keep it beside my desk because I like plateau lands.

4.) I took a look at Country Joe’s website Sunday evening. He maintains a Florence Nightingale Tribute Website which children use as a resource. I never think of Florence Nightingale without feeling a golden cage there somewhere, because when I was a child I always thought of Hans Christian Anderson’s “The Nightingale” tale in association with her name.

5.) I prefer eating ice cream with a fork.

6.) I used to pick all the pecans out of a container of pecan ice cream. I used to pick all the strawberries out of a container of strawberry ice cream. I don’t do this any longer because pecan ice cream now has very few pecans in it and strawberry ice cream has very few strawberries.

7.) I was the best at the high jump in my 4th grade class and amazed the phys ed teacher with how high I could jump. Then I moved down South and they didn’t have high jump. They had softball. I was no good at softball at all.

8.) Marty last night watched Jacques Tati’s Mon Oncle with H.o.p. I love that film and would have been watching it too but I’m writing.

So they watched the delightful “Mon Oncle” which is 50 years old now and all about community and (by extension) sustainable living as versus…well…as versus what Tati conceived of as the ultra modern, emotionally disconnected, humorless, communityless future, which Jacques Tati conceived of as looking like Ikea, which was then absurd ultra modern and is now…well…Ikea.

And while they watched “Mon Oncle” I was writing a conversation about “Night of the Living Dead”.

I’m feeling more like “Night of the Living Dead” around here than “Mon Oncle” but we needn’t go into that.

Our bathroom is like a cross between the two. I’ve explained before how we live in a 100 year old apartment building and we chose to live here because we liked the landlord and it was within walking distance of shops etcetera (and it was affordable as in cheap). Our landlord is also a not so closet junkman. And the building has its eccentricities because of it.

Like our bathroom.

My initial response to these two medicine cabinets and the not-a-towel-rack beneath the right one (which is a piece of thin painted molding jammed into what looks like two old hanging flower pot holders, the ultimate junkman’s keep-it-and-use-it-somehow version of an improvised towel rack) says too much about me.

Initial response: “Whoa! Not one but two ancient medicine chests? Disorienting! They’re not pleasantly aesthetically arranged either.”

Secondary response (or way of excusing things): “This is an example of the landlord’s values, trying to extend the life of things. I will take this as a positive rather than a negative example, because the prospective landlord seems quite nice and has done a lot of volunteer work as an environmentalist.”

If we didn’t like this landlord, like we didn’t like our previous NASA engineer landlord, I’d have perhaps thought: “Cheap son-of-a-bitch.”

That’s an example of how kind of absurd we humans are, that Person A can do such-and-such and because of circumstance and character sundries you can think of their behavior as a positive, but Person B can do the exact same thing and because of circumstance and character sundries you’re inclined instead to condemn them for the very same actions.

I suppose any other normal person tenants would have torn these medicine chests out and put in a new big one from Ikea. But our money is needed elsewhere and I have this perverse idea that if we tore these things out we’d be messing with the integrity of the building.

I used to think I’d convert these two old medicine cabinets into art so you’d walk in our bathroom and you’d think “weird, two ancient medicine cabinets” then open them and find maybe little alien dollhouses, but life and a need for storage gets in the way.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, those are a packet of Dr. Spock ears sitting above the second medicine chest. For H.o.p.

Comments 6

  1. Susan Och

    Like those Mexican creches that have the Baby Jesus in the middle of the middle shelf and the brass band on the bottom shelf and the angels on the top shelf.

  2. Jennifer

    I love the medicine chests! I’d like to think they’re there as an experiment. Your landlord is just documenting reactions. They also look like they are meant to be his and hers… one more manly and one with the delicate mirror etchings!

    “That’s an example of how kind of absurd we humans are, that Person A can do such-and-such and because of circumstance and character sundries you can think of their behavior as a positive, but Person B can do the exact same thing and because of circumstance and character sundries you’re inclined instead to condemn them for the very same actions.”

    Interesting observation that’s very, very true.

  3. Idyllopus

    Yes, only with miniature jars packed with alien/human hybrid fetuses on the second shelf and a UFO on the top shelf. The bottom shelf would still be the band. Brian Eno would emanate from one and Bacharach’s “I Say A Little Prayer” from the other.

  4. Idyllopus

    Jennifer, I should ask for the story on the medicine chests. I’ll try to remember to do that. (When one looks at the right one, it’s easy to envision a man shaving in front of it.) I do think our landlord thinks of the whole building and its wild life as an experimental zoo.

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