Thursday, September 1, 2011

tasks of the day

1. To the hardware store, in search of something to prop the trunk hood of B's car open so that it won't bop her on the head. (B: "I think my car is trying to kill me.") The lumberyards of yore have gone the way of all things; the hardware store has a small lumber section and no table saw. Found a wooden closet rod of about the needed length. That'll do.

2. Returned the DVD of HBO's John Adams to the library, mostly unwatched. As I wrote earlier, I can't explain just why I dislike it so. It's partly the queasy un-steady cam that weaves around even courtroom scenes maniacally. It's partly Adams' knack at stumbling onto battles and massacres right after they're over, and the appearance that Braintree is five minutes from Concord. But it's mostly the unshakeable impression that the characters are aware that they're Important Historical Figures and are terribly self-conscious about it.

3. Deposited paycheck from writing job (it's always nice to get one of these) in the bank's amazing check-OCR-reading ATM, and withdrew some cash.

4. Stopped at an AT&T store to put some money on my GoPhone cell phone. The way this works is, I put in $25 and it lasts for three months, used up at ten cents a calling minute. If there's leftover, it carries over so long as I remember to add another $25 before the deadline. I write these deadlines as appointments in my calendar.

5. Observed that the same tiny minimall has a Thai restaurant I hadn't noticed before. As it was lunchtime, I stopped in. Lunch is a steamtable, two entrees and rice for $7. Pretty good.

6. While eating, read much of Randy Byers' recently arrived trip report, Alternative Pants. (As he was in Britain, I think he means alternative trousers.) I admire the Trillinish purist dedication of his search for beer, even visiting Belgium just to drink beer there, though I have no taste for beer myself. Page 10 has a photo of the author looking remarkably like Lenin, had Lenin been on a Nottingham pub crawl.

7. And home in plenty of time to wait hopefully for the handyman to fix this broken bedroom door hinge and this bathroom cabinet one. (Photos courtesy of handyman's request to see what he'd be working on.) I say "hopefully" because I'd already gone through two independent handymen and a door installation company, all of which cheerfully made appointments and then never showed up. No explanation nor apology offered. Fourth time was the charm, courtesy of a serendipitous LJ post by Deb Notkin mentioning a kind of worker-generated temp service called TaskRabbit. Most of its activity occurs closer to the City than here (it also operates in other cities), and most of its tasks are less technical jobs like picking up things, waiting in lines, moving heavy items, or (a regular favorite) assembling Ikea furniture, but I phoned their office and they said yes, they work this far south and do have workers who perform skilled handywork. I signed up, got a reply. He came, he saw, he conquered the hinges, he was frank that these were, in a sense, patch-up jobs; I'm satisfied. Thanks for letting me know about this; the cutesy rabbit imagery isn't annoying because it works. Now I'm in possession of a code that, it says, will give $10 off a task for any new customer whom I refer to the site. Let me know if you want it.

8. Finished logistics planning for my upcoming road trip to Oregon. I can almost hardly believe I'm doing this, but the opportunity seemed too good to miss.

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