Sunday, January 30, 2011

Are We In Yet?

Yes. We're living in the basement as of this weekend. I was gonna blog about putting the finishing touches on our living quarters, packing up our apartment... wait, I will post one photo, titled "No Help At All":

I'll also spare you the commentary of Moving Day, though there were more than enough one-liners and retorts bandied about (as two top wits, my younger brother and father-in-law, lent a hand, or four; eternal thanks, as well, to our moms and our bohemian sprite, Sav). So, no more blathering about that...Wait, I will post one photo, titled "Untitled":

And one more, titled "Wait, Let Me Get My Booklight":

Anyway, we're in now and we're ready to record our basementing adventure. Stay tuned!

And here's one more, because it's not much of an adventure without her. It's titled "She Came In Through the Basement Window":

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Let’s see, how does Mike do this? Oh, right… a musical reference:

Ain’t got no home
Ain’t got no shoes
Ain’t got no money
Ain’t got no class

Candles, decor from World Market, little wooden boxes, three different piggy banks (two of which are Mickey Mouse, one is an actual pig), gadgets, CDs I’ll never listen to again, books we’ll never get to, ugly throw pillows, elephant statues, kitchen appliances (one for every job you can think of), miniature bowls, pint glasses, and all kinds of furniture.

Why do we need all this shit?!

We probably don’t need any of it, and we’re about to find out for certain.

When we first considered renting the basement from Adam and Josh, it was simple. Live in their house for a year – get out of debt - save money - buy our own house. It’s simple. We’ll put everything we don’t need into storage for one year, and take the necessities with us.

So, what are the necessities? That was harder to determine than we expected. We LOVE our couch, it’s our favorite thing. But it’s not a necessity. My parents are going to use our couch for the year. Can we get a moment of silence for our amazing couch?


What else? We pictured ourselves in our new living space:

Bathroom: Easy.
Kitchenette: Challenging, but possible.
Living room: Adam and Josh have it covered.
Bedroom: BIG challenge. Everything we think we’ll want access to in the next year needs to fit into our bedroom somehow.
Our kitties: No question! They, like us, will adjust to the new living situation.

We’re in the process of boxing everything up.  It’s scarier than we thought it would be. But why do we have this anxiety to be separated from all this STUFF? This stuff doesn’t make our house a home. We do. We’re still going to have our own space, privacy, our bed, our kitties, each other. God, that’s cheesy.

Even though I’m anxious, I’m excited to put everything in storage. Will we even want most of it back in a year? Or will it be a great relief to reunite with it? I’m hoping for something in between. 

I got life, mother
I got laughs, sister
I got freedom, brother
I got good times, man

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Basement Metaphors 1.0: The Underworld

Let's get dark right away. The basement is underground (mostly -- it's a daylight basement with a big window onto the world; I will address this further in a post on our parallels with "Laverne & Shirley"). But mostly, it's a subterranean domicile.

The word "underground" conjures THE DEAD, as in "dead & buried" in the ground (well, it doesn't literally conjure the dead, just thoughts of them). And then, of course, deeper lies the UNDERWORLD! Hades, Sheol, Yomi, Xibalba, Hell. HELL! That's the worst! Not all "underworlds" of the our cultures hold negative connotations (see "Annwn" in the pre-Christian era). But Hell? Forget it -- it's awful!

If you believe in that sort of thing. But why does "underground" get such a bad rap? Is it just a fear of darkness? Why is Hell down? Why not, oh, just a bit to the left? Lenny Bruce puts it best:

"And I'm confused about the direction of Heaven. It's not up there, because the earth revolves, and sometimes you can go to Hell at 8:30, and Heaven at 12:06." (From his autobiography "How to Talk Dirty & Influence People.)

Seeing as how our soon-to-be new residence in the basement does offer a street-level view, we're sort of in between "Heaven & Hell" -- in Limbo. Between Here and There. Really between There and There. Which would be Here.

So forget all that metaphorical nonsense (at least until my next "Metaphors" post) -- wherever we go, HERE we are!

Monday, January 10, 2011

We Got Those Subterranean Homesick Blues (or "Adam's in the Basement Mixing up the Semi-Gloss")

In 1965, Dylan had the "Subterranean Homesick Blues."

In 1980, The Jam sang "We're going underground..."

In 1983, Tom Waits informed me, "There's a world going on underground."

Dostoevsky wrote his notes down there.

Dylan and The Band recorded their tapes down there.

And I practically grew up down there. In the basement.

I love the basement. I'm from the basement. Now Erin & I are moving into the basement.

Not any dreary, unfinished basement, mind you. It's Adam & Josh's renovated basement! We might be moving down, but in many ways, we're moving up. Freshly painted, new bathroom, cable TV. Not bad at all.

So what's to write about, huh? Big deal, you're in a nice basement. Ah, but the underground is rife with metaphor! And literary allusions! Plus, there'll be the constant struggle of living without our usual amenities -- our books and LPs stored away! Fewer kitchen appliances and gadgets! Less room to roam! Our cats living with dogs!

Did I mention the dogs? Howl! Ha, there's a literary reference right there! (I'll try not to write in a vein too similar to "In the Sellwood Kitchen", with my now legendary, off-topic blathering.)

So onward and upward! Or downward! Either way, forward!