Reinvention 2: Emptying the Space

Reinvention means emptying as well as filling.

Always it was thus.

New notions require throwing out the old.  And in America, the old turns out to be “stuff.”

After sending the tall lights off in style, we took down the hanging rods, stored the thread and cabinets, and disassembled the design wall (custom-built to outlast the 100-year-old house — think toe-nailed wood holding the homosote panels in place).

Then I disassembled the shelves that held the stereo equipment.

(The cable hanging down was part of the disassemblage process.)

Note the big CDs (i.e. long play stereo records) at the bottom right in the photo above, as well as the bits of audio tapes above them. These are but a small token of the whole stash, scattered about the room on shelves and in drawers. Yes, the stereo equipment, state of the art when we bought it in, um 1982 or so, had a turn table, a tape player, a CD player, and a tuner, tuned to NPR and KPBS, our classical station, as well as the am station that brings in Duck football. All the necessary conveniences.

Deciding to get rid of the records and the turntable was a source of some emotional distress — and some relief:

The photo above shows a few of the LPs to be discarded. They are mostly opera recordings, and represent a period in my life where I flung myself into learning about operas by buying quantities of long-play records. It was the heyday of Beverly Sills and Pavarotti, and I gloried in riding around Kansas in my Datsun truck, opera screaming from the open windows. It was my version of rebellion.

I haven’t played an LP (except for the Christmas klezmer record) in years, and in fact, the turntable is a bit slow — probably needs some maintenance. We are hoping Sam can sell both turntable and the records. He’ll get to keep the proceeds, and we’ll get to feel like we’ve paid it forward!

Of course, what happens when you start to dismantle a well-occupied space is chaos:

Ultimately, however, order will reign. The strange 80’s shelves that held the units have been liberated and are now facing my computer, ready for tschotskes:

The walls have been puttyed for painting. The room is empty enough to receive its new couch.

We have entered the middle class.

Only the TV sits on a stand which Jer declared to be “early graduate student” (apologies to grad students reading this), but thanks to the internet and instant gratification, the TV will have its very own stand by Tuesday or Wednesday.

The room has been reinvented. Now all I have to do is paint enough canvases to discover a new version of myself. –June

And return the recliner. And tuck away a few other odd pieces of leftover detritus. And get rid of the butt-biting rattan chair and its footstool. It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings — but at least the sound will be from an MP3 player.

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6 Responses to Reinvention 2: Emptying the Space

  1. june says:

    Terry, you’ll have to come by and help me out with those high-flown conversations. Maybe the couch will be the catalyst.

    As for the yard sale — I haven’t entirely given up on the textile stuff yet — just stashed it further away. It’s the coward’s approach to cutting out things from your life — nibble here, nibble there. But I do have some things that have to go — great design walls (need recovered, alas). A stove-top fabric steamer, like new, with two hot plates to act as the stove. And that honking big roll of wool batting, still hanging in the storage room. We won’t go into thread, for which I have a weakness….

    Lia, your eye for puns would definitely make you a fit for this house. I am the audience for my punny husband; every punster needs an audience. So I will groan for you, too:-)

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  2. june says:

    Janet, the word is “nude” not “naked.” Important art-speak distinction! (–snort–)

    Tani, I used MP3 metaphorically, although I do have wonderful computer speakers that are not, unlike the old system, the size of small refrigerators. However, the old speakers are still more than adequate, so they have been embedded in the new space. If I were a more profligate person, I might donate them to the Sallys.

    As for paint color — we’ll continue the off-white — one colored room is all my heart can stand. The couch will resonate with the office (AKA formal dining room) however, both being shades of red. Note I say “resonate” not match…. Art selection remains a mystery, even to the artist. I’m thinking Dramatic, but then, I always do. And often chicken out or fail.

    And yes, the view out the big windows, across the porch with its classical pillars, through the bushes and foliage, and out to the street where I can spy on passers-by and note how badly people park their cars is just right. I see all this from behind my computer in the aforesaid office, with its brickish-red walls.

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  3. Lia says:

    hey, are those “notions” in the photo under your comment about new notions?

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  4. terrygrant says:

    Are you planning a big yard sale?? Or is there the slightest chance you’ll be needing that textile equipment again some day? I imagine your new living room will function as a very high level salon–Oh the conversations and philosophizing that new sofa will facilitate.

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  5. Tani says:

    I love this room. I love the windows and your views of your nice tree-line street.

    I am sure that you will create a space that is wonderful! Your new sofa will be proud to call this room home, I suspect.

    MP3’s . . . is this new for you? . . . if so, you’ll love the clarity! We just purchased a few new bookshelf speakers–Pioneer brand I think. It’s amazing how inexpensive good stereo equipment has become. It’s also amazing that we no longer need behemoth-sized speakers to produce good sound. We’re in the process of wiring our television and stereo throughout our downstairs . . . with the idea that two music-saturated teachers of music might actually turn off the television and listen to more music at home. We’ll see . . . I hear about 6 hours of music each day plus most of my day is spent speaking to 10 year old children. I tend to crave adult conversation by the end of my work day. Television and movies often fulfill this need . . .

    Anyway, enjoy your new digs! I look forward to seeing your paint color selection for the walls and your art selection! Please post more photos!

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  6. janetl says:

    Oh my goodness — naked walls!

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