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    Long-distance cohabitation (cont.)

    Susanna Cornett has nearly settled into her new digs in Alabama. She doesn’t miss New Jersey. (Duh.) I’m glad (and sorry I didn’t tell her that this here site is up and running). I basically finished the apartment today–the spare room is still the trash room for a few more days, but they don’t pick up recyclables like corrugated cardboard and fiber packing sheets until Friday. I love the place, even if the most important part is missing.

    Despite the basketweave-embossed beige wall vinyl that makes me feel as if I were living inside a giant Triscuit, I’ve been able to integrate the rest of my stuff with what Atsushi’s left over to make it look as if we both live here but I use it more. Most couple’s houses look that way, anyway. It was tougher than I thought, though: for a few hours today, it was starting to get that creepy death-shrine look. You know, as if there were a chair and a side of the bed and a shaving brush at the sink that were waiting for someone who’s not coming back. But we’re okay now.

    I do wish, while I understand that bland beiges and greys are probably the best bet for builders who are kitting out apartments to be acceptable to a variety of buyers, that someone in their design departments would bear in mind that not all neutrals go together. Our bathroom has a cool-toned grey floor and warm-toned beige bathtub, a combination that can only be pulled off if done with a lot more cheeky wit and confidence than was the case here. I’m going to try to brazen it out with a collection of glass bottles in odd shapes and a spectrum of intense colors, but I’m not sure it’s going to work. I have extra throw pillows and throws, of course–one acquires such a lot of them by ten years into adulthood–but you can’t use those in the bathtub.

    My, my, my. So much for my not, as a friend remarked to me recently, turning out to be yet another “gay blogger.” Just wait till I put all three of you who might read this to sleep with my agonies over houseplant selection. The magenta-and-yellow orchid I bought the day my stuff arrived is getting lonely.

    5 Responses to “Long-distance cohabitation (cont.)”

    1. Auntie Mame says:

      I nearly swallowed my tongue with the Triscuit remark.

    2. Sean says:

      We aim to entertain, Miss Dennis. One thing I didn’t mention that really completes the effect is that the ceiling is covered in the same wallpaper. Another is the aversion to hanging decorations on walls here, which I would imagine has to do with our being an earthquake zone. I know Atsushi wouldn’t complain if I put a nail or two in the walls, but I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t like it, either, so I’m trying to find a different way to add some visual interest above eye level.

    3. Auntie Mame says:

      Spray paint?
      Having lived in earthquake central most of my life, I understand the fear–it’s a genuine one.
      You can put stuff on the walls, using a conventional hook and wire, but you also need to fasten them with velcro (at all four corners). This is to prevent them from flying across the room, and beheading (decapitating?) you, duing a quake.

    4. Auntie Mame says:

      I remember watching some science or history type thing that talked about the difference between Japanese style and California earthquakes, but I can’t remember what the differences were, just that they exist.
      It was something about the wavy nature of Japanese earthquakes (I think) and the more sudden jolts and jarring nature of California ones.
      Perhaps that is why things are flimsy? Supposedly, things were built that way for a reason–so they could just shake lose/apart and fall to the floor. In California, things can become projectiles (water heaters, refrigerators, microwave ovens, etc.) and are what kill people.
      FYI, Wendy desperately wants to visit Japan. She’s still infatuated with those animae dolls (that cost a bloody fortune). She’s been sculpting them herself, until she saves enough money to buy one. She’s hoping the company I work for will decide they need training in Japan and she’ll tag along. Just know that in 2 years you may have a house guest. :)
      I think you should put Pink Flamingoes around the room, to break up the beige palatte.

    5. Sean says:

      Spray paint? Don’t tempt me. I’ve decided to tell myself that I’m keeping the focal points close to floor level to create an atmosphere of easy, approachable intimacy.
      The earthquake thing is interesting (to me, at least), because you would expect it to mean that more things are nailed down or built in here. But Japan is the world HQ for flimsy modular/portable/sold-separately pieces of furniture that are just *made* to be flung around like clothes in the dryer when the big one hits. I have slats under my big bookcase to tip it back toward the wall, but I can’t bolt it to one of the joists the way I did at my old place. On the other hand, I’m not sleeping directly under it here, either.