I just learned our toilet is the original thing

A few kind of interesting facts about the apartment building we live in, which was built around 1910. It was once a luxury apartment building. One column of apartments is quite small and these apartments were used by butlers and maids who served the tenants.

Some of the apartments have hidden safes.

We don’t have a safe. Our apartment does have the original tub and 1910 Pacific-style water closet. But they look 100 years old so whether this is a plus or not is dependent on how much you prize a show of authenticity.

I based several paragraphs in the current novel on what it’s like to upchuck in a 100 year old toilet that’s plugged into a 100 year old tile floor. (I always felt the toilet was probably that old.) Hopefully, when we get through with the pumice and turtle wax, the toilet aesthetic will be improved but I’d still rather it not be too greatly contemplated.

One of the closets still shows what I imagine was the original paint job on the ceiling moldings. Weirdly enough, it appears to be gold leaf.

Mid April Ghostlies

Aaron’s spooked. Late night before last I heard 4 distinct knocks seeming to come from the middle of the room and there was no source for them that I know of (and I know this apartment well). I mentioned it and late last night Aaron insisted he saw two shadows.

Aaron sometimes won’t sleep in his room because he insists he hears things. I used to assume it was upstairs or outside. A few years ago Marty and I were in his room (he was sleeping in our room) and we heard loud footsteps and the door jerked, someone trying to open it. We thought it was Aaron but when we opened the door nothing was there and he was sound asleep.

Why I Love This Old Apartment Building

Marty’s off to New York for a couple of days and, as H.o.p. was going to be missing him, Marty prepared yesterday a big pot of red beans that would simmer and simmer and simmer and be prime eating by the time Marty was doing the sound check for his gig. So while Marty was in New York, H.o.p. would be here eating his favorite red beans and rice.

It was a gorgeous day yesterday. The weather is unbelievably perfect. The several windows that aren’t sealed shut with time and paint we have been keeping open and the slightly cooler air mingles with the smell of the red beans and andouille making something like heaven on earth these first autumn days.

Early this evening I go in to prepare H.o.p. his bowl of red beans and andouille. It’s not quite thickened enough but it’ll do and smells beautiful. I glance out the kitchen window to my left where we have an exhaust fan lodged that’s capturing the smell of the beans and broadcasting them out the back alley, and there’s George waving his arms ecstatically. He has smelled the red beans and andouille and they are calling to him.

I give George a bowl of red beans and andouille which he’ll carry back up to his apartment where he’ll prepare his rice. We’re not having rice today as Marty’s not here and H.o.p. doesn’t like rice. He likes his red beans and andouille straight.

And that’s why I love this old apartment building. I like looking out and seeing someone waving their arms enthusiastically over the aroma of red beans and andouille and having quite enough to prepare an extra bowl.

Woke up, made coffee, stepped outside to watch the Peachtree Road Race

We woke up, made coffee, then stepped outside to watch the finish of the Peachtree Road Race.

10 or so cases of bottled water were sitting in the hall.

Peachtree Road Race Winner (from the rear, as I was clapping as he passed)

Above is the winner in the men’s division, Ethiopian Terefe Maregu. Yes, from the rear, but I was clapping as he came running by (we were one block from the finish).

I didn’t get a photo of any of the other winners because, again, I was wildly clapping.

But, hell, as far as I’m concerned, anyone who crossed the finish line was a winner.


Continue reading Woke up, made coffee, stepped outside to watch the Peachtree Road Race

The Rain Check

H.o.p. is posting some of his comics again over on his blog. On top of all the other drawings he does, and still making a lot of neat little sculptures, he’s churning out about 6 Angsley, Kitty and Catter cartoons a day this week.

On Monday, while the landlord was here with his helper fixing the kitchen cabinet (which was threatening to fall down), H.o.p. began drawing these cartoons of Angsley and Kitty in order to entertain them, and continued yesterday and today.

Below is one of my favorites.

H.o.p. art - Kitty and the Rain Check

This one is pretty good too.

H.o.p. art - NOT!

Friends don't let friends use Behr paint

This past weekend I painted the kitchen and Marty painted the bathroom.

Friends don’t let friends use Behr paint.

The thing is, the wide world web had ample opportunity to warn me, “DON’T USE THE BEHR PAINT! IT IS THIN! IT DRIPS! AND DRIPS SOME MORE! THEN DRIPS LOTS LOTS LOTS MORE WHEN YOU’RE NOT LOOKING!”

No one bothered.

Of course, we’d already purchased the paint for the kitchen and it’s not like we would have thrown it out and dashed down to the store for the Sherwin Williams. So, never mind.

I painted the kitchen

I also got the camera back, which has been in the shop for a while and was thoroughly dysfunctional for a while before that, the while that I was getting used to the idea of letting it out of my hands and sending it off to be repaired.

One of these days I’ll get a decent lens for it other than the kit lens.

Po'Boys and Paint

There we are driving down Boulevard on our way to get ice cream for H.o.p. and I see a pint-size purple restaurant with a couple of tables outside and customers headed inside and big letters proclaiming honest to god New Orleans PO’BOYS!

Marty had already proposed eating out, which I’d nixed, though we were all starved as it had been an afternoon filled with shopping on empty stomachs. I just did not feel like eating out. We were frazzled. Shopping for paint for the kitchen (I still love our landlord but he never painted it after ripping it up when replacing pipes last autumn) with a bored ten-year-old boy and trying to settle on colors with a bored ten-year-old hopping around wears on the nerves. Seriously, I’m choosing colors I’m going to have to live with how long, colors to go in about a 3 by 3 foot space, no one’s helping, Marty wants nothing to do with it and I’m suspecting whatever I choose is going to look like hell no matter what, it’s going to be Dirk Bogarde in “Death in Venice” lying on the beach with his vanity-of-vanities rejuvenating hair dye and make-up and rouge melting all down his face. You’d understand better perhaps if you knew how hot and greasy our kitchen gets which isn’t really a kitchen but a small (almost) 100 year old room which may have once been a boiler room and into which was squeezed a stove, refrigerator and sink. Having seen a bathroom in an apartment decorating blog painted a magical evening blue, I’d been talking blue the past few weeks. Marty said finally for me to stick with the blue idea and H.o.p. pulled out of the Behr paint section just the right blue when I couldn’t find it in the Glidden. I stood around for too long afterwards considering considering and considering some more then at the last minute I opted for a “sweet honey” to go on the lower half to give a dash of brightness as there’s no sunlight in that room. At the moment it sounded great.

H.o.p. was, truly, fit to be tied by the time we were done and we were all half starved. Thus the promise of ice cream for him and a stop by Grant Park for some running around time before fixing dinner at home.

It’s been a long time since I’ve had a Po’Boy. And now here was this little purple place, Just Loaf’n (that link’s an opportunity for you to view a commercial of theirs), promising real New Orleans crawfish boils and Po’Boys. How long has it been there? I don’t know, but Sunday was the first time my eye lit on it.

As soon as we found the ice cream shop was shut down we headed back to Just Loaf’n.

After ordering we sat at one of the three tables in the shop, drinking Community Coffee, and stared just stared at the kitchen with high hopes. After a while of sitting and staring, H.o.p. said he thought it was getting a bit long and I told him no this was not too long at all not at all at all for a Po’Boy, just as the sign on the wall cajoles to be prepared to patiently take your time and wait for a good New Orleans Po’Boy prepared with fresh ingredients.

The Po’Boy we had yesterday was saucy fairly falling apart under the weight of its own juiciness wonderful good (I don’t know why it is that the pickle in the Po’Boy always tastes extra special). It made me happy. How true blue it was I honestly don’t know, all I can say is Marty approved and it stood up well to the memories I have of Po’Boys past (admittedly long past), it wasn’t dressed up to be anything more than what it was and its weight and its dressings and its textures and all the mixings of flavors were such that it didn’t need to be dressed up to be anything more than what it was, which was really crumbly good.

I didn’t care for the dirty rice but slather it with hot sauce and it’ll serve okay. Though blander, the dirty rice actually wasn’t far removed from what I’ve had in NO. I just like Marty’s dirty rice better.

Their Old National Highway location promises muffalettas. 24 hours a day. The Boulevard location is only open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday and doesn’t have muffalettas.

“Only open 24 hours on Friday and Saturday.” Not that I expect restaurants to be open 24 hours. No, it’s just that 24 hours of opportunity means after some late sessions at the studio, when Marty’s saying “What can we eat” and I’m saying “I don’t know, what do you think” one of us can now say, “Po’boys!”

I love Central Grocery muffalettas. Every time we pass through NO I get a Central Grocery muffaletta.

I wonder what a Just Loaf’n muffaletta would be like? We’ll have to drive all the way down to the airport to get one and see.