it's not as dire as it sounds. that was written after we showed up at the house and saw that all the chattels that had been housed in the rotting carcass of the garage was now littering the front lawn and the shared driveway. we're talking rotting, smelly wood, all kinds of old fridges, a giant sewing machine that literally must weigh a metric tonne. we had stipulated that the sellers had to empty out the garage or else we would try to hold back some of the money to offset our costs if we had to pay someone to move the junk ourselves. we were worried that they had obeyed the letter of the law but not the spirit and had emptied out the garage, but were hoping that the city would drag away a tonne of stuff on garbage day.
this was also after we met the people with whom we share the said driveway. they rent the house. it looks like a s**tshow over there. screaming, hacking butts, a dirty, messy, half-feral child. AND they've currently been paying the previous owners $100 a month to park in the shared driveway. the dude has a doublewide (two sets of tires!) giant monster truck. when we were there for the last purchaser's visit the wife came out and was all like, "yous the ones buying the house?" "yes" "well, my husband has been paying $100 a month to use the space because he can't park it in the street, see." i told her that we had a car too and we hadn't made up our mind but we'll have to figure out a sharing arrangement. then she started trying to push me to make a decision. heck no. i've dealt with enough neighbour parking nightmares...i'd rather work out a sharing arrangement...3 months on, 3 months off - or every other month, or something. we're going to need that space and quite frankly, we paid good money for that space.
before we moved in some of the neighbours were like, "well, you don't want to piss the guy off because he's a snow plower so he plows the street for everyone in the winter." i'm like, then YOU give up your spot to him! why should i have to?
so there was that.
the dotytron, bless his heart, spent 4 hours yesterday bleaching the eff out of the kitchen and going to town with borax for the cockroaches and mouse traps. i think once we're in there not living in filth it'll be a lot better. lil' ugmo just needs some love. once you have people who are clean living in a place the place cleans up. no food left out, maintaining a clean house...they all go a long way. and let's face it...we probably have the odd mouse right now in our current apartment. it's an old toronto home. what are you going to do?
anyway, i'm sure i'll feel better once the minor renos are done and we've cleaned and painted and our stuff is in there. and when i can start dreaming about my new bathroom and new kitchen and finished basement. the fact of the matter is, we don't have the money to buy something that's all done up already, so in the words of my niece's daycare, "you get what you get and you don't get upset." sage words. words that can only be made more reassuring with the addition of rubber gloves and industrial strength, bleach-based cleaning supplies.
last night for dinner i made us a corn, bacon, and scallion sauté. corn, bacon, and scallions were meant for each other and summer. nothing better. sweet, salty, textured...so easy and quick. i cut bacon into small dice, render it in the pan until it's crisp. remove that with a slotted spoon and add the kernals from as many ears of corn as i feel like denuding that night. sauté the corn in the bacon fat until almost cooked through and then add the sliced scallions. season generously with black pepper and a pinch of salt. i reserved some of the bacon fat and dredged tilapia filets in flour and then browned them in the pan. i also blanched some green beans and served them in a mustard-dill vinaigrette.
tonight we had dinner with H & J and sweet baby D. they're going to england! it'll be nice...they deserve a vacation. we came up with some new products. in light of the whole michael bryant/cyclist killed incident, i remarked that i wanted a lightsuit for biking at night. an LED one. the dotytron decided that he wanted one where the lights would make it look like there was a tiny man riding a bicycle...so the rest of the suit would be dark except for a tiny LED man floating above a GIANT (in proportion to the LED man) bicycle. pretty good, eh?
the thing with facebook photos is that you don't really get a sense of how a day unfolded...you get the snapshot commentary but not the whole thing...there's no room to be sharing the more intimate anecdotes.
when i think back to the day of the performance and the whole weekend in general, all the details recede into the general hazy glow that enveloped the time we were together in geneseo. if i had to isolate a particular moment that encapsulates what made the weekend so fun, i invariably go back to late saturday afternoon. after a week of chill and rain the sun shone on saturday with a vengeance - during the performance and after we were all veiled in a thin sheen of sweat. after the picture-taking, clothes-changing, bbq-eating, cake-cutting, family-talking and after the older generation had packed up and went back to their respective hotels to nap, change, or shop the malls, all that was left at my sisters place were the under 40 set.
my sister supervised little ze and miss ramona as they donned swimsuits and cavorted in the sprinkler. the rest of us drew names out of a hat to pair up for a game of bocce. the winners of each match would pick someone from the losing team to run through the sprinkler. at a certain point, that devolved so that one of the members of the losing team had to stick their face in the galvanized bucket of ice and ice water holding the beers. i'll always remember the image of dr. rei kneeling in front of the bucket with her face poised to dunk it in - even as we all tried to interject that we were just kidding (bwong: "uh, rei! rei!")! she stuck her nose in, in the end.
i'll also always remember trying to come up with team names. dr. rei turns to the dotytron (her partner) and says, "what should our team name be?" and they hemmed and hawed for about 30 seconds before s-dawg busts in, "UM...TEAM BORING, JUST SHUT UP AND PLAY" and thus they became team boring. hanbo (my partner) was super concerned about our team name suggestion (we ended up being "the kings" due to his unbeknown to me bocce prowess and my firmly cemented bocce champion status) and after that, became even more concerned that we should have nicknames. we settled on "money mercy" and "the sheik" (i'll leave it to you to figure out who was who).
then we all assembled by the swing set. bwong sitting on the too-low swing with his legs akimbo, hanbo leaning on the slide, the rest of us sprawled in various degrees of recline on beach towels draped on the lawn. i'll remember always the lazy, laughter-peppered, sun-drunk conversation and half-hearted games we play-talked our way through. i'll remember dozily napping in the sun, watching the clouds drift across the sliver of sky visible between the shadow of my forearm draped across my eyes. there was something idyllic and perfect in that moment. surrounded by my family and my very best friends, lying in the grass on a perfect summer day, doing what we do best - bind ourselves to each other through jokes, laughter, and talking - always the talking. playing that stupid picnic game s-dawg likes to play...it was effortless and natural and so very easy. and we'll always have that. that and countless more moments of love and companionship. that perfect understanding that can only be had between kin and friends so close that water's viscosity becomes indistinguishable from blood.
for that i am immeasurably lucky. that's the stuff right there. the marrow.