Note: I just rediscovered the original version of this post, published in 2010. Since then, the Duchess & I have moved twice and now reside a few miles away in a townhouse in Chapel Hill, NC. Still, the resettlement in Durham was a big deal.
Aloft But Not Aloof In Durham
Indeed, Durham, the setting for the “Bull Durham,” the sexiest, funniest, and most entertaining of all baseball movies,1 is now [at time of original posting in 2010] also the base of operations of Heck Of A Guy, the sexiest, funniest, and most entertaining of all Leonard Cohen sites. Happily, this seismic shift in the corporate, musicological, cultural, and epistemological spheres seems to have been accomplished without catastrophic disruptions to regional or national societal functions.
Over the past week, coincidentally, my primary project has been the remake of another Kevin Costner flick, the 1990 epic, “Dances With Wolves.” My version has the working title, “Dances With Boxes.”
Be assured that the apartment photos on display in this post minimize the unpacking process; the just moved in master motif is nonetheless predominate, a phenomenon likely to persist for months.
The short version of my North Carolina sojourn thus far follows:
My furniture and other possessions arrived a day early (good generically; bad for the appointments I had set for that day). By the time the suspiciously friendly moving crew had unloaded half of my possessions from the truck, the fundamental problem was evident: While the apartment is, as can be seen in the photos, perfectly nice and, in fact, appears to be as hip and trendy as it gets in Durham,2 it is the smallest place in which I’ve resided since I spent four years of medical school quartered in a 10′ wide mobile home.
Gone are those cavalier days when I would casually refer to my “pots and pans.” With careful placement, I have found room – in the kitchen, which proves surprisingly convenient – for my “pot and pan.” On the bright side, these circumstances have motivated me to finally rid myself of the many superfluous items I own – like salt, pepper, and that second pair of shoes.
After a prolonged guerrilla action accompanied by the classic blood, sweat, and (especially) tears and culminating in repeated assaults on the well-fortified boxes resulting in many casualties, I seem to have reached an uneasy truce with the demons of inadequate space in the kitchen theater allowing me to stash in various nooks and crannies an adequate set of cooking utensils, flatware, and dishes as well as many of my canned goods, three bottles of tonic, a bottle each of vodka, gin, and whiskey, and most of a lime. A similar treaty was negotiated for the living room such that I now have working computers, internet access, and cable TV.
Acting on the advice of a friend, I have even taken a few tiny, mostly symbolic steps toward reducing excess in favor of a Lean & Mean lifestyle. I dumped, for example, a half dozen glasses that displayed permanent dishwasher etchings or hard water deposits, 300 coffee filters (all of which were cone shaped although every coffee maker I’ve owned in the past 12 years has required filters with a flat bottom; in any case, I gave the only coffee maker I owned to my son before I moved), two non-functional meat thermometers, 1 battery powered pepper grinder that no longer worked and always looked as though it belonged in the bedroom, 10 or so unlabeled containers of spices I could not identify, 20 or 30 packets of herbal tea, none of which were purchased after the turn of the century, a quart of maple syrup untouched since received as a gift nine years ago… It’s a start.
I also find I am personally responsible – if my calculations re the amount of wrapping paper the movers used to protect, in one case, six individual serving packets of Equal – for destroying at least a couple of forests.
And that’s what I’ve been doing lately.
The shots of downtown Durham were chosen because they evoke the sense of the place – and they could be taken without leaving my apartment.
- For further explication of the merits of Bull Durham see the section headed “2. Movies about baseball tend to be better than movies than other sports. This would be true even if Bull Durham were the only baseball movie” at The 3 Best Things About Baseball [↩]
- More about the apartment later; the bedroom is a loft and the apartment itself is located in a converted tobacco warehouse. I maintain that’s enough to qualify it as (relatively and locally) hip and trendy. [↩]