Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Dream House

Today is my first day back in LA after a week at my parent's house in Ohio during an intense heatwave. So far this year it's been cool in LA, I haven't had to turn on the A/C once. (I have a window unit in the living room and one in the bedroom.) Right now though I am really wishing I had central air. I am missing that about my parents house. Also their new front load washer and dryer. I don't normally do my own laundry (thanks Jim) but I did a very small load this morning out of necessity. I haven't put the clothes away yet, (because there is nowhere to put them!!) but I did fold them and hang them on the back of a kitchen chair right across from the dryer. The best thing about my parents new dryer is that the clothes come out cool to the touch. I know everyone else loves warm clothes right out of the dryer but I think it's gross. I hate touching hot clothes.

So I am planning my dream house. There would be no stairs. Right now my apartment is on a hill so there's a big flight of stairs just to get to the street. Also, I live on the top half of a duplex, so as soon as you walk in the front door, more stairs. A house with no stairs would be perfect.

My dream house is also right here in this neighborhood, which is lovely, but part of it's charm is it's in the hills, so a lot of houses have this stair problem. Another problem is this neighborhood is an hour's commute away from Jim's new job. So if we moved we'd want to move west, where it's flatter and more crowded and more expensive. Still, for a commute of a half hour, or 20 minutes, I think I might be willing to give up living in this wonderful neighborhood to live in a crummy one. As long as it's relatively safe and quiet. I do spend most days inside anyway, never leaving the apartment.  If it meant having him home at 6:15 or 6:30 instead of 7:15 or 7:30, it'd be worth it to me, since I'm pretty much home alone all day while the rest of the world is at work.

So my dream house would obviously have central air, so I wouldn't find myself in the situation I'm in now, sitting in front of a window with a warm breeze, rubbing ice cubes on myself to stay cool. Yes there's the window unit in the other room, which works fine as long as you combine it with the fan, but it's blocked by tons of boxes right now and I can't move them myself. It's been in the back of my mind for weeks, "Make sure you ask Jim to move these boxes into the bedroom, because even though it's been fine so far with just the cross breeze from the windows, one day you'll wake up, it'll be as hot as an oven, and you'll need the A/C" 

Even though the window unit keeps me from dying of heat stroke on hot LA days, central air is still really the best, particularly for a sick person like myself who can't even regulate their own body temperature properly, I might as well be cold blooded. It was so nice never having to worry about the weather at my parent's house. And I think having the indoor temperature in the 70s instead of the 80s is just easier on the body, less draining.

I know I am rambling a lot about temperature. But I have to add, even though this is California and it rarely gets below 40 or 30, the dream house has to have central heat. During the day it's not cold, but it does get cold at night and in the mornings. At night it's not such a big deal, there's blankets and sweaters, but the main problem is not having any heat in the morning in the bathroom. It's so cold I have to make the water scalding hot before I can even take a shower, which dries out my skin, and the vicious cycle continues...

Musn't' forget, ideal house would have massive closets. Our closets right now are so tiny. I'd like to get rid of my dresser and just hang everything up except socks, bras, and underwear.

Ideal house would also have no downstairs neighbors or shared walls. And it would have to have a yard. Front or back, I'm not picky, though back would be ideal. Somewhere to sit outside in the mornings and afternoons and watch the birds and the squirrels and feel the sun. I'm usually not well enough to drive to a park, ok, I'm rarely well enough to drive to a park, so a yard is my only real shot from not being cut off from nature completely. Five years ago I wouldn't have thought this was so important, but since I've been home all day, alone all day, day after day, I've really come to appreciate the change of scenery I can get in the back yard.

The dream house would also be an old style Spanish Craftsman house built in the 20s or 30s, but renovated with new plumbing and insulation. I'd like the kitchen cabinets and the bathroom tile not to be ugly but I'll take what I can get. Beautiful tile would be nice though. And of course I'd get one of those new washer dryer sets my parents have. And I also need a more comfortable couch! And a more comfortable desk and desk chair for writing blogs. Right now I'm sitting at a desk chair I found in the garage of my last apartment. Someone was throwing it away, but I thought it was perfectly fine. And it was then, but now I need something a lot better. My back gets so sore so easily. My desk is from IKEA, it's ok I guess. A little wobbly, though I put it together the best I could, back when I could still do stuff like that.

I love the built in shelves a lot of the houses around here have. We have a built in book shelf here which is nice, but it's not pretty or anything, my landlord built it in the 90s as part of the stairs that go to the skylight which opens to the roof I never go on because there's no parapet. And it's hard to climb up there. Also, my landlord thinks he locked me out. Actually he just closed a padlock around a chain that doesn't connect to anything.

Last night I felt like going to a bookstore. We went to Barnes and Noble. Jim was going to buy a book, but they didn't have it in stock, so we left with no books. I saw a book I was interested in (Zoobiquity: What Animals Can Teach Us About Health and the Science of Healing!) But I didn't buy it because I knew I'd be happier reading it on my Kindle. As I put it back on the table I had this eerie vision of my future self, showing some guests into my future home. We enter a room with beautiful wooden bookshelves, but instead of books they're decorated with vases and framed photos and such things. "Where are all your books?" the man asks, clearly assuming we have none. He is an academic type, books are important to him, but he probably doesn't own a kindle, or a television. "On my iPad!" I reply, smugly. Funny, because I don't even have an iPad. But I guess "On my Kindle!" just didn't have the same ring of arrogance.

Though come to think of it, I would want to get an iPad if I switched to DirecTV, like my parents just did. Now they can use their iPad as a remote control, which is just awesome. Remote controls are terrible, so old fashioned. Half time time you push the buttons and the buttons don't work. We need touch screen remote controls. (You can control everything from your iPad but the volume, but I'm sure there's away around this, like having your TV speakers as part of your AirTunes connection...)

While I'm at it, since this is my dream house, it should have a saltwater pool (chlorine free!) and hot tub. Fruit trees: figs, oranges, lemons, pears, grapes, grapefruits, persimmons. And a gardener. A guest room with a bed for guests. Also, a grand piano, and a car elevator.

Next post(s): other things that have been on my mind: "careers" "children" and how much better I slept and woke up when I was on the MAF yogurt