oh, her old apartments, they’re like places of worship to colour and good living..

REQUIRED LISTENING: Thingy, a free EP from Daddy_Scrabble, released by Edinburgh-based netlabel Black Lantern Music.

Stayed up two nights in a row, not for any other reason except that I have, and maybe a little that I find it more and more difficult to sleep without Tony.

Earlier, across the street at the auto body shop, someone was using an overhead announcement system to have a speaker phone conversation in arabic. Without context, it sounded like a rehearsal run recording of a middle-east political rally speech, the sort blared from speakers mounted on the roof of a car, blues brothers style, solid, unexpected, surreal.

I liked it. Over here, at my apartment, I’ve been moving furniture while listening to electronic klezmer jazz, shifting everything out of my room, stripping the walls, preparing it for painting. Most of the furniture’s been moved, and all that’s left is my computer and the bed, the latter of which I am simply going to pull into the center of the room and abandon under a sheet. Initially my plan was to ready the bedroom, leave town, then paint it when I got back, after all the pesky cat hair had settled, but Nicole, bless her, stepped in today with some last minute corrections. Sure, ready the room, but don’t pick up a paint brush, she said. Instead, she’ll paint it for my birthday while I’m out of town! Leaving me only with the hard task duties of being glad, grateful, and moving everything back in.

I was pleasantly surprised when she suggested it though truthfully I felt immediately stupid that I didn’t see it coming. After all, it’s a sweet gesture. Sweet, thoughtful, and entirely within character, considering the trail of super improved apartments she’s littered behind her or the recent threats to professionally power-wash Wayne’s deck, the better to complement the flower gardens she’s been inflicting plant by tiny plant on his jungle-neglected yard. Nicole is many nice things, smart, attractive, witty, and fun, but when it comes to home improvement, she is also a dedicated angel with a fiery sword. Or, as in this case, a sopping wet paintbrush, out to murder some beige.

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