Shelves and boats

I need more damn space. I spent a good chunk of today shuffling around things, walking around with a tape measure, and trying to find some way to squeeze in a new big bookcase, or possibly a few smaller ones. There’s no hope in getting a larger one, unless I can sell my bike, throw out one of my chairs, or otherwise displace some big piece of furniture. I did find two or three places that I could fit a smaller set of shelves, like one of those deals that’s a foot wide. I had one of those I bought back in Bloomington that was all black enamel, very modern looking. It became the home for all of my favorite books, all of the Bukowski and Kerouac and Burroughs and other things I cherished most in my collection. Unfortunately, it got left behind in Seattle, and now I can’t find a place that sells the same model anymore, or I’d order three or four of them and cram them in every odd corner where there’s a fractional amount of floor space.

I did buy some shelves online at Target, though. I bought two bookcases that are 16″ wide and have five shelves, with the lower ones being almost square and the top ones being half that size. I then spent an hour cleaning out behind a dresser and the bed in my room, vaccumming out dust and picking up change and forever lost CD cases and stray socks and whatever else migrated back there. An even bigger project will involve moving over my three big bookcases in the room, pushing them nine inches to the left. Yeah, that sounds stupid, but I want to put one of the new shelves next to the old ones. I wouldn’t mind getting one of these that’s about twice as wide, to fit in the area between my door and closet door. I like the idea of having a room that almost completely surrounds me with books. I also like the thought of getting all of the piles of books on my bedroom floor into some shelves. And maybe someday having a filing system for everything would help.

As far as reading, I started on Tania Aebi’s book Maiden Voyage. When she was a teenager, her dad made her a deal that instead of paying for her college tuition, he would buy a boat and let her use it to take an around-the-world sailing cruise, solo. She would write articles on the go and sell them to a sailing magazine for money, and spend two years seeing the world, learning to solve problems, and getting more education than she’d find in a dull classroom. With almost no sailing experience, a pile of textbooks, and a 26-foot sailboat, she headed out of New York City on her grand journey.

The book’s one of those things that makes me wish I could do the same thing. The idea of spending that much time alone, seeing the ocean, and experiencing the voyage the way people did hundreds of years before – that just sounds incredible. I have spent a lot of time driving in a car, looking through the glass as the country rolls past me, but spending the time in the open air of a boat, with little technology other than ropes and cloth and a sextant sounds like it would be a completely different experience, like the difference between riding Amtrak and pedaling your ten-speed across the country. Of course, she ran into just about every imaginable problem when she got out of port, from engine trouble to contaminated water tanks to endless leaks to a dud sextant that threw off her navigation. But still, it’s an interesting read sofar.

It was fifty degrees out today. I went for a walk for a bit, mostly to see if the cheap store on 30th had any sort of plastic magazine holders, the kind where you put a bunch in a vertical sort of thing and then put it all on a shelf. I figure if I bought about a dozen of those, I could get all of the damn magazines off my floor. I think I now subscribe to about a dozen things, and I never seem to read half of them. Anyway, they had no plastic things like I wanted, although they had a pre-built ship model that looked like the one in Napoleon Dynamite. It was like thirty bucks, and I have too much other junk around, so I didn’t buy one.

I want to buy a real sailboat, though. I also want to buy a bunch of space-saving technology. And some sound-absorbing curtains or panels or something so I don’t have to hear my neighbors yelling.

OK, I should go write, but I probably won’t.