Get me my hangin’ rope…

So this new place. It’s great! It’s spacious, big windows, full of light, the appliances all work great… and then, there’s the bathroom.

Specifically, the bathtub.

More specifically, the shower head.

It’s this long, limp tube with a spray head attached, you see. And it just… dangles. From the faucet. With no hardware on the wall so we can slot it in and… well, take a shower. You know, the kind where water comes from above you. So you pretty much have to wash yourself one-handed while holding the spray head, or else prop it carefully against a tiny ledge in the wall at about chest level, then stoop and crouch under it, hoping it doesn’t fall down and smack you and spray water everywhere before you can catch it. We talked about installing a holder, but never got around to finding one at the various stores we went to. Of course, we also don’t have any nails or screws to put in the walls, so that might have been an issue, too.

Finally, in the middle of shampooing my hair today, I had enough. Forget the hardware. Forget fancy tools. How would the settlers of old have handled this conundrum? “Baby,” I shouted from the bathroom, “get me some rope.” I don’t care how many centuries of civilization have told us that there are specific gadgets meant for every purpose in life — there’s almost nothing that can’t be figured out with rope, duct tape and safety pins (or some combinations of those three) if you’re desperate enough. Long weeks on location running a full department out of dusty tarp tents have taught me this. Interior decorating and Martha Stewart be damned, sometimes you’ve just got to make it work.

So hearkening back to my (very brief) Texas roots, I tied some sturdy knots, made a couple of nooses for the head, and hung the damn thing.


Then I had my first genuine shower in two weeks, and it was good.

Top Ten: Frugality is the new black.

Being the children of Asian immigrant parents, my brothers and I often poked fun at the extreme limits of frugality that our family went to growing up. However, I’ll readily admit that it was partly due to absorbing this trait that I was able to live comfortably (if not extravagantly) through a childhood spent in the last recession, nearly a decade of university apartment life, and now this latest economic downturn. There’s limits to what you want to try to make with gum and duct tape, of course, but there are other simple things that we do around the house …

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