our own cramped studio apartment
Wednesday, May 16 2007
I spent much of the day working on a small set of shelves that will go directly behind the two main monitors on my main computer. Normally these shelves will be hidden from view by the monitors, but as you may recall, those monitors are themselves mounted on trays that slide sideways, revealing whatever is behind them. In addition to the new shelves, there will also be a low drawer that I can pull out between their two pedestals. It will be just low enough to fit in the rectangular void defined by the monitors, the top of the desk, and the monitor pedestals.
Gretchen brought Eleanor home from the Hurley veterinarian today. The dog had a green bandage covering most of her right hind leg, and she carried it completely off the ground as she hopped lethargically around the house. She didn't have anywhere near as much energy as usual, quickly plopping down and dozing off on whatever soft cushion happened to be nearby. It seemed she was still on some long-lasting sedative, although she might have also been in considerable pain. She's not much of a complainer, so it's hard to distinguish from her behavior between when she is heavily sedated or immobilized by pain. She did still wag her tail when greeted and was eager to lick any part of me I placed in front of her face.
A dog recovering from cruciate ligament repair is supposed to have her movement restricted for several months while the tissues regrow inside the surgically-stabilized knee. For Eleanor, this would mean no going up and down stairs and no walks in the forest. Sally would continue getting walks as before, but to accommodate Eleanor, we would mostly be moving down to the first floor of the house, abandoning our upstairs bedroom and teevee room because of Eleanor's inability to join us there. We moved a mattress down to the first floor office (a room mostly used by Gretchen for checking her email and surfing the web), and I rerouted the satellite cables so I could set up the teevee and other video equipment there. That office ended up looking like a cramped studio apartment, but it allowed us to continue life as before, only over a much smaller range of space. Like Eleanor, we would be having our movement limited as well.
Not that Eleanor showed much initial interest in leaving this cramped space, but following doctor's orders, we put up a pair of barricades limiting traffic to the living room and kitchen. But because the cats have to pass through the first floor office to get to the laundry room (where their litter boxes reside), I put in a couple pieces of wooden furniture for them to jump up on, allowing them to cross one of the barricades at will. (But when faced with the barricade, the idea of using the vertical dimension to cross it was not something that immediately occurred to any of them.)
I should mention, by the way, that I have continued using my laboratory as before despite the fact that it is on the second floor and Eleanor cannot join me here. The truth of the matter is that she rarely joined me here to begin with.
The movement of the teevee room and bedroom functionalities to the first floor office managed to illustrate an interesting point about our house and how the various spaces within it have ended up being divided between Gretchen and me. I'd never thought of this before, but it seems that spaces at the north end of the house on all floors are controlled by me (the laboratory, the shop area of the garage, and the boiler room in the basement). Gretchen, meanwhile, controls the middle parts of all the floors (the teevee room, the first floor office, her basement libary, and — for the most part — the kitchen). Finally, in the south part of the house is space that we share equally (the master bedroom, the living room, and, in the basement, the main guest room is there to be used by our guests).
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