Monday, July 26, 2010

apartment life

What's on the desk?
Originally uploaded by daveterry
Just a bit of nonsense to lighten the day. I've been off my routine since moving to the new apartment so haven't been drawing much. This is an attempt to get back to it.

We don't live in the big house anymore. We went from 2600 square feet to about 480. Whoa! We love the simplicity. We are so happy we sold. Some people say: "Hey, you're lucky you sold your house." But I say: "No, the buyers were lucky they GOT my house." I'm such a brat.

But becoming an apartment dweller is challenging. Many of the challenges I didn't see at first. They seemed incidental and insignificant. But they aren’t.

Take for example the shower, ah, I mean, the lack of a shower.

In our house we had a walk-in shower. I didn’t realize what a great thing it was. I love showers. I hate tubs. I hate the thought of washing up in a pool of water that isn't moving down the drain.

When we remodeled the house we tore out the tub and built one large shower. It had a four inch high lip to keep the water in but apart from that there was no obstruction in the 6 x 4 four foot walk in area of blissful water happiness.

However in the apartment there is only a tub. The worst part is: there is no shower nozzle on the wall. Yep, that's right, no wall mounted showerhead. Just a small sprayer that sits in a holder molded into the tub. The sprayer is designed to lift out of its holder and spray your hair while you are seated. No thought whatsoever was given to actually standing in the tub.

When I attempt to use this tub as a shower, bad things happen. For example, I tried setting the nozzle on the tub floor while soaping up. Bad idea. It upended and sprayed the ceiling. Once the water reached the ceiling it sprayed the walls and came down in sheets, and like a river, it ran onto the floor.

I then tried to hold the sprayer face down with my toes while soaping up. This worked, as long as I kept pressure on the nozzle. It does limit my range of motion, especially toward the soap dish and shampoo which are at the far corners of the tub. Once I reached too far and the sprayer hit the ceiling and water flooded the floor again.

I really have to be coordinated to use this tub as a shower. I think I’m actually fighting nature. This was just not meant to be.

But there are further problems with this tub. It doesn’t drain. The plug is made of a heavy metal that has no locking mechanism that can keep it in the open position. This gives me two options: let the tub fill with water or hold it open with my other foot. I opt for number two and get cramps in my big toe.

So, standing on the slippery nozzle with the left foot and jamming my right big toe into the drain plug, I soap up my face. Now I can’t open my eyes and so blindly reach for the running sprayer without letting go of the drain.

Of course, the little nozzle on the short hose doesn’t reach to the crown of my head. I squat down a bit to get the spray of water above my navel, more toward the burning soap in my eyes.

To avoid the waterfall effect on the bathroom walls, I face the back wall of the shower and aim the water at my face and toward the clear plastic liner of the shower curtain. This lets the water run down the plastic and into the tub and drain past the opened plug. This all works provided I have not started getting spasms in my toe from jamming it into the opening. There must be a better way.

But I think I might be getting the hang of it. Today I was able to shower in less than four hours. My goal is to get done before Ruth calls out: "What's taking you so long?" She wouldn’t understand.

I simply can’t answer her in the heat of the battle. There is far too much going on here to concentrate and formulate some intelligent answer. I just ignore her. I have to focus on the plug, the spryer, and the soap in my eyes. And I haven't even reached for the shampoo yet!

If you go long enough without a bath, even the fleas will leave you alone. - Ernie Pyle