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Perfect Ice Cubes. AGAIN.


Spent yesterday alternately working and searching for wooden boxes.

I have a new client: He works for one of those online cash-for-gold places. He wanted a long article about why you should never go to a pawnshop when you need to pay your bookie but always send Great Aunt Myrtle’s wedding jewelry to your pals at LetUsLowballYou.com.

I had great fun writing that article! Maybe a little too much fun. I described the mildewy interior of the neighborhood pawnshop in exhaustive detail: the rats scurrying in the walls; the bleary, hostile, pig-eyes of the pawnbroker himself (of course, the pawnbroker looks like Rod Steiger! I’ve never set foot in a pawnshop myself! How would I know what a pawnbroker looks like?) I think I may have used the phrase, “A-Train to Depressionville.”

The client may want a rewrite.


On the wooden box front, the news is not hopeful. The Art Installation I made for Max is very sweet, but it is too big. The ideal size for a shadow box/diorama/retablo/whatever you want to call it is cigar box-size. But that size is not commercially available.

So why not use cigar boxes?

Well, because they have wooden lids.

And my mind is wedded to a box with a glass lid.

Well, then, why not take the lid off a cigar box that you can buy for $5 at the neighborhood smoke shop (inhabited entirely by pasty wraiths in misbuttoned, checkered shirts, there to score cartons of cheap Indian cigarettes or to buy fifty bucks worth of Lotto tickets) and put a glass window into it?

Well, because that turns out to be a very complicated operation that would either require me to pay $150 per box (according to the two woodmakers I visited yesterday, both of whom estimated it would involve approximately three hours worth of work) or to study woodworking for a year, acquire shop equipment, and do the job myself.

I think I’m just gonna have to work with the wooden lids.

Maybe pry the lids off, do some sort of hippie beaded curtain thing.


All day long, I was in a mood although not the mood I get into when it’s grey and dreary outside.

No, this mood was the psychic state I like to describe as the Perfect Ice Cubes Mood. When every little thing makes me want to burst into tears because it's just so fucking poignant.

Like I literally had to pull my car over to the side of the road because I started crying so hard when Dolly Parton started singing Coat of Many Colors in the middle of an NPR story about her nonprofit, Imagination Library.

And when I somehow coaxed the wife of the second woodmaker I visited – she was manning the store counter – to tell me the Story of Her Life, which involved a three-year stint in Pacific Grove during which she was a struggling, lonely, desperate single mother, I started sniveling again.

And the Perfect Ice Cubes Mood persists.

God knows how I’m going to get through Tax Bwana-ing today.

Those Tax Bwana clients have very sad stories.

This entry was originally posted at http://mallorys-camera.dreamwidth.org/696953.html. You may leave comments on either Dreamwidth or LiveJournal if you like.


( 27 comments — Leave a comment )
Mar. 1st, 2018 02:50 pm (UTC)
Oh but that song gets me every time and within the context of the interview it was even more pulling at the heart strings worthy.
Mar. 1st, 2018 03:04 pm (UTC)
I know!
Mar. 1st, 2018 03:18 pm (UTC)
I can definitely relate to Perfect Ice Cubes Mood. But isn't Dolly, wonderful? I loved watching that piece on the NPR link on FB. I saw her in concert a few years ago, and she's so perfect. It's the best concert I've ever been to...her voice is magic and her personality, well. Tears.
Mar. 1st, 2018 03:37 pm (UTC)
I do like Dolly on general principles, but I must say that heretofore, I have never particularly cared for her voice which reminds me of what Liza Minelli might sound like had Dorothy married a Munchikin.

But, yes. That NPR piece...
Mar. 1st, 2018 03:22 pm (UTC)
Hahaha. I forget about them half the year, but yeah man, perfect ice cubes *wipes tear* there’s just so much to be thankful for.
Mar. 1st, 2018 03:39 pm (UTC)
there’s just so much to be thankful for.

And it's all just right there! Waiting for you in your freezer! :-)
Mar. 1st, 2018 05:09 pm (UTC)
I keep saying it (wish I had something more insightful to say) but I love love love reading your posts. I think I love YOU.
Mar. 2nd, 2018 04:24 pm (UTC)
Awwww. Thank you! I love reading your postings, too! :-)
Mar. 1st, 2018 05:46 pm (UTC)
You can cut a window into a cigar box lid with a box cutter ( preferably the snap-off blade kind so you always have a sharp blade), a straight edge and a little patience. You don't need a shop.
Mar. 2nd, 2018 04:25 pm (UTC)
Yeah, that would work if I wanted to use cardboard cigar boxes.

But I want to use wooden cigar boxes. Their lids are pretty thick: inch and a half to two inches.
Mar. 2nd, 2018 05:27 pm (UTC)
I have no idea what kind of cigar boxes you're thinking about that have lids 1.5 to 2 inches thick. I have one in front of me - Don Rafael 25 cigars. The box is 6 1/8 x 4 1/2 x 4 3/8 high/deep. The top has a groove 1/16 thick for the sliding lid, into which you could slide a 1/16 inch piece of glass or plexiglass. No work required. It may be deeper than you'd like, but deep also offers lots of new possibilities.

Don Rafael Cigar Box

There are other similar sliding lid boxes as well.
Mar. 2nd, 2018 06:15 pm (UTC)
Oh, yeah. That would be perfect!

I'll see if I can get my hands on some of those.

Mar. 14th, 2018 09:06 am (UTC)
Ditto. I see wooden Cuban Cohiba cigar boxes with glass down here.
Mar. 14th, 2018 11:45 am (UTC)
Damn! I wish I could get my hands on some of those. I'd pay you to ship them except the shipping costs would be prohibitive, and they'd break in transit.
Mar. 16th, 2018 03:25 am (UTC)
Damn! I wish I could get my hands on some of those. I'd pay you to ship them except the shipping costs would be prohibitive, and they'd break in transit.

Yeah. Shipping to/from here is really expensive and unreliable. FedEx and DHL seem OK, but they are expensive. Shipping is a really good game to be in, I think.
Mar. 16th, 2018 12:42 pm (UTC)
Distribution is how the Big Fortunes get made. :-)
Mar. 17th, 2018 05:08 am (UTC)
So it seems!
Mar. 2nd, 2018 02:09 am (UTC)
I can help
A cigar box will do fine, and I can help you replace the lid with a glass panel. Probably $5 at the glass shop, cut to size. A bit of glue and I can make a way for the lid to slide on if you don't want it permanently affixed.
Mar. 2nd, 2018 04:26 pm (UTC)
Re: I can help
We should talk! :-)
Mar. 2nd, 2018 12:15 pm (UTC)
Instead of glass, you can consider using clear plastic (acrylic?) available in hobby centers or home centers.

Easy to work with, inexpensive, perhaps less breakable, and available in various thicknesses.
Mar. 2nd, 2018 04:23 pm (UTC)
That's an excellent recommendation.

Thanks! :-)
Mar. 4th, 2018 05:30 am (UTC)
It might be cheaper to come to nodak and ask the cute guy pretty please...

Mar. 14th, 2018 09:01 am (UTC)
I remember pretty well Rod Steiger in Sidney Lumet's The Pawnbroker! Urgh!

Weird thing in Mexico. They have state-run pawn shops! And, get this, they're called El Monte de Piedad! Fucking Mountain of Piety! WTF? Pawn shops here suck. You have to buy insurance to even do anything about the broken piece of crap you bought, so that they will give you credit for something else that is likely to also be crap.

I loved pawn shops in the States! I got so many cool things there!
Mar. 14th, 2018 11:46 am (UTC)
I've never set foot in a pawn shop. :-)
Mar. 16th, 2018 03:32 am (UTC)
I've never set foot in a pawn shop. :-)

That surprises me! Back in the day, at least, you could find a lot of cool stuff for a good price. E-Bay and the internet in general has changed that. Now, people can look things up and figure out their value.

Thrift shops used to be great! I bought most of my clothes there! I could get these great tailored shirts and suits from the 60s-70s, and even couture stuff. I once got a beautiful hand made Persian rug for next to nothing. Then clever people figured this out. They picked over all the good stuff and sold them at high prices in "Vintage Clothing" stores.
Mar. 16th, 2018 12:41 pm (UTC)
That surprises me!

Yeah. There are a lot of things I've never done.

Like I've never set foot by myself inside a bar. Not even a hotel bar. :-)
Mar. 17th, 2018 05:08 am (UTC)
Also surprising! There are bars that I have loved. I used to love the Irish pubs in Boston. The Irish are such good story-tellers, conversationalists. After they banned smoking in bars, that died for me. When I moved to Mexico, the cantinas were similarly interesting places to gather stories. But they banned smoking here too. Though, it's way more lenient here. They'll give you a table by a door, and you can play dominoes, smoke, drink, and talk.
( 27 comments — Leave a comment )