Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fully Fung Shuied

My home at 1303 Sunset Avenue in Arcata Ca has come a long way from the day I first unpacked. Truthfully, I almost didn’t move in at all because of the typical college-house lack of maintenance and upkeep. In fact it was a close toss up between the Sunset House and another place on South G Street inhabited by two female tea drinking, vinyl collecting, vintage wearing, non-profit directing, masters degree studying aficionados. The place was incredibly cool and had Dia de los Muertos memorabilia and other vintage collectables tastefully on display throughout the common areas. The deal breaker was the unusually small, closet free, room with tiny north-facing window. The Sunset ghetto palace by comparison was leaps ahead in square footage and potential.

After graduating college and road tripping back up from Mexico with my Dad through the desert night at 90mph, windows fully down, and blasting a 25 year old blues mix tape with the treble turned down, I sensed a bit of accomplishment and style ahead of us in the brights of the bug filled highway. I thought to myself that if my Dad, who never finished high school can do this, live like a surfed out Hunter S. Thompson, what am I capable of, if on top of my own merit I catch all my dad's connections by proxy?

I returned to 1303 Sunset with my best friend Chris Peaslee, know by my free balling Daddio as Chrisben (short for where’s Chris been?). He was in need of a change of pace so I figured a six-week dose of Arcata would do him good. I felt bad for Chris because when we first arrived the place was completely destroyed. There was a sink full of dirty dishes, boxes and furniture scattered about from Katie’s move out, trash everywhere, mold on the walls, the whole nine yards. It was bad. In exchange for room and shared board Chris agreed to help me clean up the place and rearrange everything to maximum functionality. This is what I call “Fung Shuiing the place.”

I am aware that this isn’t the proper use of the word (I think it has something to do with the balance between earth and water) but, for my own usage I have redefined the term "fung shui" as, working with what you got to create something you want to use. Prior to our hard work, I was afraid to walk through the house in my socks and had questionable feelings about lying down on the couch. Now, I feel right at home. I even feel proud to invite my friends and family over to hang out.

Once we got the house and back patio dialed in, Chris and I moved onto the lower end of the property where the garden and green house are located. We pulled out the previous seasons crop, which had all gone to seed, weeded and turned the earth then planted. Working in the garden has been an experience I have thoroughly taken pride in. It blows my mind that every available south-facing plot of suburban yard hasn’t yet been converted into vegetable gardens. I mean, if people living in southern California only knew the value of water (and food for that manner) all they would need to do is simply utilize the land they are already irrigating and the gardeners they are already paying. Nevertheless, Chris, David and I planted more than enough to provide our house of four with a cornucopia of bounty throughout Arcata’s year-round growing season.

My roommate David and I like to say that we are “Kings living among gods.” With all these new found luxuries: kitchen table, counter space, garden, etc. Our quality of life has significantly improved. Although, almost everything Chris and I thoughtfully arranged to be used to its full potential was already inhabiting our house, now that its all put together like an up scale hodgepodge lodge its as if we are living like royalty in comparison to our previously growdy and unutilized ways.

What really took our place to a whole new level is when I was gardening one day and noticed a hot tub on our neighbors back deck. This house has been vacant for the past few months and has recently been shown off by real state agents. As I was pulling weeds in our garden a light bulb lit up over my head and next thing I know I am recruiting Chris to go on a top-secret mission to check if there is water in it. I should add that I was fully committed at this point to fill it up myself and make it happen. I first knocked on the front door by my self to make sure the ghost was clear then told Chris that if he didn’t come along for the reconnaissance mission he was chicken. It was dusk and the stars were visible. We crossed through our garden then climbed the neighbor’s staircase leading to their veranda. I lifted the tub’s cover to immediately be hit with a cloud of steam. We completely flipped our lids and jumped in. The water was a whopping 104 degrees and tranquil.

On a different night when David joined Chris and I for a soak, David and I both agreed that this confirms that we are living like Kings. Sure we are sleeping in a decrepit house with the most passive homeowners in existence and trespass to watch shooting stars from our very own private spa, but living with less and utilizing what we have has caused us to sincerely appreciate our newfound postmodern palace.

1 comment:

  1. I really want to come back and hang at the refurbished fung-ed out pad. I love your posts Brother, and that you referred to Pops as a free ballin daddio. Missin you.