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PINK blackout curtains!

I am a night owl, I sleep during the day. So you'd think I would have gotten blackout curtains years ago when I first moved in here, since I know about them, and did then, too. But I didn't. I didn't even look for them. Which is a shame, because they're a hell of a lot cheaper than I thought they were, about the same price in some places as regular curtains. And best of all, I found PINK blackout curtains at Home Depot! I haven't gotten them yet, but I plan on doing so.

What I'm gonna do is put the blackout curtains in my room, and switch my current curtains (which are very nice but not as good as they could be) into the living room if I can, since I don't really need blackout curtains in the living room. At least not yet. In the summertime, that will probably change, because among other things, blackout curtains (at least some kinds) are apparently insulating as well.

What got me thinking of curtains after all this time? Well, I just finally got around to putting plastic over the windows to keep the cold air out. It was quite an ordeal. I started at around 8 or 9 PM and didn't finish until around 3 AM. Well, there was some moving of heavy bookshelves involved (because one window had a bookshelf in front of half of it, because the window is so fucking long), and I had to take down the blankets my roomie pinned over the windows with thumbtacks to keep as much of the cold air out as possible (as well as sunlight; she's a night owl too). And washing the surfaces, letting them dry, dealing with the mold in the windows (as much of it as I could get) and then the double-sided tape has to sit 15 minutes before you can take the other side off and start applying the plastic. Also, the windows were designed by a moron who got his engineering degree from a crackerjack box. Among its "features" are plaster walls along the edges with only a thin strip of wood around the edge of the windows, lots of nooks and crannies for mold to grow in, a shitty window lock made mostly of plastic, and dumbest of all is that all of these windows have little vents you can open and close, which we only noticed when we were doing my bedroom's windows back in November. I don't even know how to draw windows properly and I could design a better window!

Oh yeah, and then I kept messing up and had to keep tearing out the tape and reapplying it. And the second window was bigger than the first window, even though they look the same size when eyeballing them. But I know the one where the bookshelf was is longer than the other, because the plastic from the same roll as plastic that stretched easily across the other one and had several inches on all sides to spare had to be wrestled and fought with for 30 minutes to get it on. There was only just enough room to do it, in the end, and even that involved having to redo some of the tape to move the sides closer together. But in the end, I triumphed!

The most fun part, of course, was using the hair dryer to shrink the plastic. That caused some more delays, as I had to stop occasionally to let the dryer cool off before continuing. It's not a perfect job, there are still lines, even big ones, but the thing is taut and I can't feel any leaks.

Oh and another delay was that the roomie had done half of one window (IE, there are two window panes side by side, and she did the right-hand side one), but I eventually figured out there was no way to do the other half without tearing out her work and doing the whole window at once on my own. So that's what I did.

And because I want to double-layer it, and because there's no other way to do so, I am going to have to go out and get some of the kind of insulation kit that uses the strips of cardboard you have to staple into the wall, because the tape doesn't stick to our walls because our walls are bumpy, painted plaster.1

Anyway, so that was my day.

1 = Honestly, I don't know how this place passed city code inspections; the ceilings are too short, the walls are paper thin and have little to no insulation so that sounds from outside sound as loud as if you had the windows open2, the windows look like they were designed by a very confused octopus, the light sockets in the kitchen are overpowered or something and keep shorting out every light bulb we use within just a couple months of putting them in - even the kinds that are supposed to last for years, there's no heater in the bathroom and so it's like an icebox in there in the winter, the water heater is old and horrible, the kitchen sink was clearly designed by the same octopus that designed the windows, the counter by the bathroom sink accrues a mysterious reddish-brown goo of unknown make and origin, the ceiling is so thin it's a wonder nobody's fallen though the floor into our apartment, one cupboard can't be opened all the way because the doorbell chime box is in the way (they could have put it a foot higher and it would have been out of the way), the heater in the living room doesn't work during the day, another cupboard can't be used because it has the oven vent running through it, there's not enough storage space in here for one person let alone two, the window blinds are shit, and some of the door latches need some convincing to latch. Oh yeah, and now they have a security camera that points directly at our door, so they can record what the inside of our apartment looks like whenever we open the door. And let us not forget the fact that we're expected to keep everything at least 3 feet from the heaters at all times, in a space so small that the only way to actually obey that rule is to not have any possessions at all unless we were to keep everything we own in the bathroom or the kitchen. Ah, home sweet hovel.

2 = And most Wednesdays they've got people doing the building's yard work where they do everything with power tools because apparently they've never heard of mechanical push mowers or even rakes. And yes, they always use power tools; they even use the leaf blower to try to blow away grass clippings because they've never heard of bagged mowers. Yes, even when the grass is so wet that it takes them an hour to leaf-blow away a single clod of wet grass clippings. I suspect they're paid by the hour and are deliberately doing things the slow way to get more money. Which I wouldn't object to if they would just use mechanical push mowers and rakes. But then, a mechanical push mower would be a hell of a lot more work.

This was cross-posted from http://fayanora.dreamwidth.org/1328919.html
You can comment either here or there.



( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 15th, 2017 02:14 pm (UTC)
I'm a fruitbat myself, so I have blackout curtains in the bedroom. I have purple blackout curtains - I bought them in Target, and they're intended for a child's room. Alas, they don't really block out all the sunlight. I bought fabric last summer, including seriously light-blocking lining material, to sew better blackout curtains for my bedroom... but then I got busy sewing chemo hats for several friends of mine who all got cancer at the same time. But I hope I can get the curtains made before this summer!
Jan. 15th, 2017 08:06 pm (UTC)
For what it's worth, Home Depot has purple blackout curtains too.

Though if the color is the one in the picture, they are more of a lavender.
Jan. 16th, 2017 11:15 am (UTC)
The ones from Target are a nice deep purple, darker than this font, and somewhat more blue. But they're not completely opaque!

I added seriously opaque plastic blackout panels (fastened to the window frame with Velcro), which helps a little. But there's light coming in along the top of one of the window frames. (I'll probably wind up trying to fill inside the frame with pressurized self-hardening foam insulation.) And the air conditioner housing is cream-colored plastic, so when I lift up the curtain in order to use the A/C, more light comes in that way, and shines directly into my face when I'm lying in bed. I'm not sure how to fix that - it's a second-floor window, so gaining access to the outer part of the A/C (to put opaque paint or something on it) would be very difficult.

But the fabric I have for making curtains will also help a lot... if I even get a chance to sew it.

Jan. 15th, 2017 08:19 pm (UTC)
You should try reporting the bit about the kitchen lights.

BTW, something I only learned recently. When a bulb burns out you can put in a maintenance request too get it replaced. That way it's free.

And since there are only a couple single bulb fixtures in the apartment, it's not *that* much of a problem.

Besides, if you do it that way, you've got automatic documentation for the bulbs burning out! Heck, they might even notice on their own!

I'd never noticed the vents on the windows. Thanks for mentioning them. I think they're for avoiding problems if you replace the screens with storm windows (which REACH never bought)

They replaced all the windows (frame and all) a few years before you moved to Portland.

I agree about the doorbell placement. Though I'd have put it 6 or 8 inches to the left (closer to the corner).

The landscapers? *Nobody* in that business uses push mowers. Having done yardwork for folks back when I was a teen, I completely understand why.

Not raking up the grass clippings is a different story. The larger power mowers usually don't *have* a catcher. Mostly because they'd have to stop and empty it too often on larger lawns.

Frankly, unless you've let the grass grow too tall before cutting it, you should just leave the clippings there.

( 4 comments — Leave a comment )


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