Friday, August 04, 2006

Home again Home again jiggity jig...

I arrived home yesterday, lightly bronzed all over (save for an unsightly red patch on my neck where I somehow managed to forget sunscreen) and newly recovered from an awful bout of "Montezuma's Revenge". I think I got it from a coconut of all things. More prep for Africa, eh?

E picked me up from the airport and we zipped home to see our little cat and new bathroom. I trusted Rudy to make it beautiful (he told me more than once that he spent 8 grand on the whole enterprise) but instead he made it that horrible modern contemporary thing. It is now thoroughly encased in beige marble, which in my humble opinion, is a bit grandiose in comparison with the character of this modest little vintage coach house. He installed a new bathtub (hooray!) but failed to install a door (boo!). How can you spend logically justify spending eight thousand dollars on a bathroom, but fail to install a door or at least provide a way of rigging up a curtain? He actually suggested that we line the floor with towels. Obviously, after an eight thousand dollar project it makes perfect sense to install a shower that spews water all over the floor! Sometimes, people have no sense of the logical progression of things.

He also took out the medicine cabinet. We still have a mirror, but now, no place to put any pills or toothpaste. The sink is a terrifying hyper-modern-bold-look-of-kholer atrocity that resembles a giant porcelain mixing bowl atop a vast mahogany dresser. Technically, I have storage there now, but it is like trying to organize silverware in a garbage dumpster. This contraption is also far too large for the tiny little space and it just looks bizarre. I am shocked shocked shocked. His house is so gorgeous...I remember being blown away when we signed the lease. I expected something truly delightful and what I have now is the height of idiotic design with no relationship whatsoever to the way in which we actually live in the space. I suppose I mistook the budget for taste, which I have learned time and again do not necessarily add up. The only positive spin I can put on all of this is that it certainly makes me more eager to move out. No way would I want to spend another month in that wacky excuse for a bathroom. Ugh.

The other disaster was my little cat. Somehow during a week of workers tromping in and out he had injured his back paws. We had a friend check in on him a few times, but I'm sure he was so nervous and skittish that it was hard to tell how he was doing. We tried to clean and bandage his feet and of course in the middle of the night he managed to kick them off. He was feverish and hyperventilating and totally confused. It was awful. I think Eric and I both totally underestimated the scope of this remodeling. There is plaster everywhere, all of our furniture was rearranged and there was just a pile of things strewn on the bed. Garbage bags everywhere. We both thought, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, Bathroom remodel." I cleared out and packed everything away neatly in a box and thought no more of it. And then I came home to chaos and not even the possibility of a shower curtain. The vet said Otis probably stepped in some of the chemical solutions for the tile and it burned the skin right off the pads of his feet. They cleaned him and bandaged him and gave us some antibiotics and he seems to be doing much better (although he is trying to shake off these funny little booties).

Aside from the food poisoning, bathroom atrocities and cat agony, I am thrilled to be home. Eric and I spent the day taking care of errands and making lists of things to do for the wedding, the move and Africa (turns out there is quite a lot we have to get to still) There is so much good news on that front. It seems as though it is quite possible that we are going to get funding for this project that would help cover our travel expenses and possibly the cost of equipment and living accommodations. Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the scope this has taken on. I definitely want to turn out a great product and our relative inexperience is pretty daunting. But then, this opportunity has been presented to us and I feel like we just have to jump in and do it. No way could we say no to this. We've been watching lots of documentaries...tonight it was "Born into Brothels" about a group of kids in the red light district of Calcutta and a photographer who tries to help them change their world by teaching them the art of photography by giving them each a camera. It was gripping stuff, but as I watch I don't feel as though what they are doing is technically impossible for us to replicate. The great thing about documentary is that it can be gritty and the picture doesn't have to be perfect...What you have to do is find a powerful narrative and frame it well. I've noticed that music is absolutely crucially important to the success or failure of this type of film. We will need to find vibrant local music and secure the rights to use in the film. We will need to find a good narrative beyond just "These are people suffering in Africa. This is the concept of microfinance and social entrepreneurship. You can help!" Instead, we have to make this feel real to the audience through the experience of another human being. That will be a fascinating process. I can't wait to start talking to people and collecting ideas and stories. Perhaps we've stumble onto our life's work here. I feel anxious and curious and just thrilled at the possibility of this great great adventure. How lucky I how lucky.

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