Wednesday, April 06, 2005


In Which I See the Light...

Couldn't sleep this AM so got up around 5:30 ish and came into work, thinking that Yessir, today I'm really gonna put a dent in that pile of stories I have to edit (and pay for!).

My week is turning out to be less like an engulfing wave and a bit more like this:

On the edge...

I don't look at all like that, by the way. (Well, actually, since it IS me, I guess I must look a little like that.) This was during a particularly bleak period of my life where I had this Samsonesque thing about cutting any of my hair, apparently.

I'm going through a rough patch at work, to be honest. Not me personally, but there's just lots going on and some of it is an enormous time suck. Long-time readers know I pretty much never complain about my current job (which must be disappointing, but if you think I'm going to apologize for actually loving my job and respecting the editors I work for, you have the proverbial Other Think coming), but since it's occurring at a time when I was hoping to be at home more to hang out with the folks, I'm feeling particularly frustrated and undermotivated. Crises spring up and you feel that somehow the rest of the world must stop so you can put out the fire properly. But it never works that way. There you are in the middle of the conflagration, yelling to someone you can't see to pay out more slack on the hose, but at the same time you're having to take a phone call about making changes to galleys, or haggling with a writer to make the revisions TODAY please. And meanwhile, in the back of your mind, you know that there's no way this will all be resolved in a manner that will allow you to be home in time for the dinner your mom has made (and those opportunities for a mom-made dinner are less and less frequent as the pages of the calendar go blowing off into the wind).

Right. Time for a collective and emotionally freighted sigh.

At the Magazine Mansion, work continues apace on The Project, now also known as The Brownie's Secret Room (with ancillary walk-in attic). Many thanks to all who posted or emailed advice as regards lobbying efforts for my secret door. Please be assured that I employed every tool at my disposal--the most frequently used of which being Spin Control and Abject Groveling (not at the same time)--and it would seem for now to be a dead issue.

Which is actually kind of okay, all of a sudden.

Last night, when I got home from work, I discovered that, in addition to framing up the outside wall and a corner that will become a cedar closet, Dad had also completed all wiring in the room. As a surprise for me, Dad installed one of those pressure-sensitive switches that fits in the door frame, so that when you open the door, the lights inside magically turn themselves on.

I spent about an hour doing this:


Of course, my first reaction (which I kept to myself) was: If only I could have a secret door to go with this secret light switch. I couldn't help myself. I had this fleeting vision of pulling out That One Book on the bookshelf, and hearing the muffled click of the catch as the bookshelf swung open to reveal The Hidden Room. And how cool to also have the lights turn on at the same time. Oh! And the same switch could cause a storage shelf inside to swivel and reveal the computer banks, and a screen could drop out of the ceiling, showing a Map of the City, with blinking lights pinpointing the locations of all my crime-fighting operatives. And one wall of the cedar closet would drop down like a ramp and out would roll my Chair, the nerve center of my secret headquarters and--

--and then it dawned on me that, in order to install this little pressure switch, my dad must have taken apart a significant portion of the door frame--the door frame he spent all of Saturday installing--in order to cut the hole necessary to run the wire to power the switch. And then he would have had to re-hang the door and re-shim and level it so it would close correctly. It must have taken hours.

And he did it for me.

So yeah, I'm satisfied with my secret light switch.

That doesn't mean I still won't post That Picture of Her Lovely Self, though...


From Somewhere on the Masthead

I almost see a Tommy Chong'ish' resemblance in that PIC, man.

Kind of like shoveling shit uphill when you'd rather be home eating pie?!

Dad rocks. He's given everyone a lil sumptin to make them happy. Secretly, I bet he loved the door idea, but he knows who has the last word on these things......
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Goodluck with the craziness at work. I know how that goes on a much smaller scale, but I feel the pain.

It's nice to have something glorious to come home to whether it be HLS or even the secret light switch/passage(hopefully someday).

I come home to a cell phone in which I make a call to a beautiful girl in Tennessee...oh, and of course my Xbox.
MM, you try to remain anonymous, but you're like a serial killer who secretly wants to be caught. What with the surfing photo, and pictures of your neighborhood, and now this, you're growing more and more daring in your self-exposure.

Also, I would like you to come to my house and install those secret light switches all over. I'm talking cabinet doors, dishwasher, toilet seat, shower door, fireplace screen, book covers -- anything that has the capability of opening and shutting.
Okay, I've been somewhat behind in my reading due to an impromptu trip to Chicago, but I think I'm almost caught up. Re: the Secret Door. My family used to have a house in Connecticut. There was an attic above the hallway, which to access you had to pull down a trap door and unfold a ladder. When you went up the ladder, you entered a space that looked very similar to your daughter’s future bean bag room. But the coolest thing about it was that at the very end of the space was a tiny door. The tiny door opened out onto a platform in my bedroom! It was the coolest thing. My brother and I were always up there trying to turn it into a fort, but my parents weren’t too keen on the idea of us on a platform that had no protective railing and was a good 10 feet, at least, from the floor. And, it wasn’t exactly a secret door, but it also wasn’t immediately obvious.

Anyway, I’m sorry that you didn’t get the Secret Door Your Way, but it will for sure lead to some happy times and good memories for the Brownie.

Very cool secret light sensor, too. Our secret attic space had a regular old pull cord light bulb.

I’m sorry about the troubles at your work. I hope it smoothes itself out shortly.

Oh, last comment: you should crop the bottom part of that photo. Then it would really look like you’re hanging off the edge of a cliff.

Sincerely (which, I recently learned comes from Latin, meaning “sealed with out wax” – I mean, they haven’t invented e-wax yet, so of course this would be sincerely),

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