shaken & stirred

welcome to my martini glass


We went to the funeral of my great-uncle yesterday. It was a traditional mountain funeral, I suppose, though I guess it's possible there are substantial differences elsewhere. The one thing that never fails to bug me about this style of funeral is that it always seems like very little is actually said about the deceased. Instead, the preachers take it as an opportunity to remind everyone that they'll die too and if they don't get right with God (thank you, Lucinda Williams), they'll go to hell. Of course, the person who's dead is always in heaven. I can think of a few differences, where the service seemed to have something more to do with remembering the person laid out by life, but not many and they all involved people who were relatively young.

The music was nice though. An "O, Brother" worthy gospel piano number and one of the three (THREE!) preachers brought his guitar and did a version of "Coming Home" before he said his piece.

Saw George.

Went to look at a slummy apartment, mostly to see in person the barking mad drunken Englishman who Christopher had talked to on the phone the night before. (We were interested in a different apartment, but it had already been rented.) The woman, whose relationship to said BMDE is unclear, shook her head at us as we walked up. "You're not college students, are you?" she said, with a grimace. The hallways managed to smell of mold, paint, and urine all at the same time. People were moving out of the apartment they took us into, which had shabby walls and shabby carpet, decent windows, and a noticeable lack of amenities. (We'd been assured the day before that this guy's rents were "well below the range you're talking about.") The highlight of looking at this particular apartment was that the Englishman was insulting the people who were moving out while we were looking at it. "IF people (people said as if he wasn't sure they really deserved the name) would get their shit out of here..." We said, uh, no thanks. He took us upstairs and berated us in cockney about how if "square footage is what you want, square footage, you'll get. This is square footage." And in fact, the upstairs apartment had a lot of square footage, if a one by one foot kitchen, a dingy bathroom, and no other amenities to speak of. We told him we'd be in touch, while he drank deeply from a cup his manservant had brought him and kept saying, "square footage" and "dog's fine, golden retriever's not a brute, as long as he don't attack other tennants." We left quickly.

This street is the same one our post office box is on, so we walked down to get the mail. And passed a neat apartment house we'd seen the day before when we were looking at the house across the street. Turns out they'd put the For Rent sign out that day. Pablo and Joel were still there waxing floors and such, so they let us in. We love the place (though the kitchen could be bigger); it's less than we pay now, and the same as the Square Footage Deluxe apartment. It's got character and they tell us they won't be painting, but they don't care if we do. (It needs paint.) It has spectacularly cool windows. We wrote the guy a check for the deposit and we're meeting his partner tonight to have a final discussion. Assuming our current landlady doesn't decide to trash us or George to him, this should work out. Keep your fingers crossed for us. It's within walking distance of parks, bookstores, library, the gym, coffeeshop, restaurants, the only bar we ever go to, the Kentucky Theatre (yay!), etc. And right next door to the post office, which means no more arguing about checking the mail.

And no barking mad drunken Englishmen, which is less of a pity than it sounds. Happy Friday, all. Enjoy it.


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