super enormous suburban hardware store

i went to the largest home depot on the east coast this morning, new year’s eve, and there was nary a customer.  it’s easily twice as big as my local home depot, which some affectionately call ghetto home depot because it’s right off ponce, the center of sketchy atlanta.  but don’t get upset.  i live there; it’s my home and i think it’s a really colorful place to live.  the neighborhood of the vinings home depot, on the other hand, was everything a shining corporate america was cut out to be, with many lanes of shiny cars and prosperous people with credit cards and lots and lots of things to buy.

which is why i ended up there.  i just knew there had to be a way to connect two 45-degree angle pipe fittings, but couldn’t find it at all in the boxes upon boxes of pvc pipe fittings in my local store.  and by god i found them straight off, sort of.  the store is a million percent bigger than my local store, and i got lost right away, just looking at all the stuff i knew couldn’t possibly be at my store, wanting to buy it all and take it home, just in case.

like that shrink-wrap plastic window insulation system in a box.  that’s so cool.  i want to buy some for my kid and force her to conserve heat this winter instead of complain about drafts.

but that’s another post.  one which i’m not going to bother with, because she never listens anyway.

anyway, i got the parts i’d written down, five 1/4″ quick connect elbows and other things, and then i came across something to do with sprinkler systems.

a whole section of products that they don’t have downtown.  wow.  that’s because we don’t have lawns downtown, just concrete and brick and dirt yards filled with old cars and washing machines and chained up dogs.

just kidding.  some of the nicest yards you’ll see in the whole of atlanta are downtown, where the people with the most disposable income love to lavish care upon their gardens and houses.

to stretch the point, when i was done getting the connectors of my dreams from the sprinkler section, i ran across the dangerous intersection to an enormous publix, where i got the hershey’s special dark cocoa i just adore.  six boxes of it.  should hold me for a month or two, and then back to vinings to scarf up another shelf of the stuff.  because neither ghetto kroger nor ghetto publix, or little 5 kroger carry hershey’s special dark, despite my complaints.  why?  because they only have 6 feet of shelf space in the store.  total.

anyway, i spent several hours making the run to vinings.  and then i skeddadled home and walked the dogs and gave the baby back to his mom and got downstairs to the studio and started in.

my task in the studio today was to make pipes.  at first i was absolutely overwhelmed.  last night i left a bunch of strings of to-be assembled pipe fittings.  this morning i sat in the warm sun of the front yard with a rag soaked in citrus oil and cleaned all the plasticine off my pvc pipes.  orange oil is a wonderful solvent.  and non-toxic, too.

then after the baby went back to his mom, and actually, since then, i’ve been sitting on the floor, gluing one piece to another at precisely the right angle (sort of, mostly).  and boy is the glue toxic.  at least 5 cancer causing chemicals in the mix, and it overpowers the room every time i open the jar.  which i do every two to five minutes.  twice.  once for the cleaner, which is the same stuff without the resin, and once with the glue.  and then the glue offgasses for twenty minutes, so the room’s been full all day long.

but i’ve had the front door open, and the ceiling fan on, and i’ve been keeping exposure to a necessary minimum all day, and taking frequent breaks.  but boy it stinks.

and does it work.  it fucking melts the plastic and then freezes right on up.  it was very hard to get the pipes together in time, and in several cases i’ve got big gaps where i didn’t use enough force to get the pipes all the way together.  oh well.

so i’ve got a bunch of lengths of assembled pipe, curing overnight.  there was one section that proved problematic in two places, tho.  i had to break the connection after putting it together but before the glue had set all the way, and after that it just wouldn’t stay together.  so i’m letting it all air cure, apart, and tomorrow i guess i’ll sand it and try again.

but i got to the last few lengths of pipe and had to stop, because i’m exhausted, and the pipes don’t make sense.  plus it’s almost new years, and i want to get upstairs and into bed before the shooting starts.

happy new year.



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