Wednesday, March 31, 2004


MARCH 31, 2004

They told us they would be here about 10…maybe even 9:30. So we really weren’t too surprised when the finally arrived at 10:45. Even though Art had been pacing all morning like an expectant father, I figured it would get here when it got here, why worry? This is a big change for me, but I think it’s a change for the better.

I was hoping they would bring in the small bookcase first so that I could busy myself with filling the shelves while the other, larger entertainment center was being assembled in the living room. Of course, that didn’t happen. And, when they brought the first piece of the entertainment center up the stairs, things started to look…doubtful. The unit was built as three pieces, with the shorter piece in the center for the TV, and the two taller end pieces being joined by shelves. And it looked like the tall pieces weren’t going to fit in the door! The unit was too tall and the hall was too narrow to allow for much turning or maneuvering. Hmmmm…..

Then they started to look for alternatives, and decided that maybe they could move their truck, stand on the top of it, and lift the piece through the living room window/door. Art volunteered Gioberto and the guys across the street to help, and they started to put the plan into motion. Gioberto brought over two wide, long planks of wood to use as a bridge. I tried not to look, but of course had to so that I could take pictures.

Then, for whatever reason, the two delivery guys decided to try one more way, this time at a slightly different angel, and guess what? It worked! Now Gioberto had to remove this “bridge” and go back to his “real” job. The rest would be easy. But not necessarily quick. It took them about three hours to assemble the three pieces into one unit, add the supports for the center shelves, the brackets for the drop-down doors, and the hardware.

We had a few questions/problems….first, where did the “extra” shelf go? And why wasn’t there a smaller shelf for above the TV…the one that was supposed to hold the VCR and DVD player? It was right there in the picture, but the shelf we had clearly did not work there, and after measuring, we discovered that NOTHING would fit below the larger shelf that was already installed. We finally ended up putting that “extra” shelf in between two existing shelves because the VCR and DVD player would fit there, and we would still have shelf space above. But still, it wasn’t the way it was supposed to be. And where were the shelves for inside the lower cabinets? The ones we had talked about with Francesco, for the printer and paper storage? They too were in the pictures, but the delivery men didn’t have them, and didn’t know anything about them. The delivery men promised to come back with the missing shelves at a later time. Great…does this mean I’ll have to wait to hook up my printer?

We offered the deliverymen lunch, but they told us they didn’t have time…they had another appointment and didn’t want to be late. Wonder if they had an appointment before us, or if they just got a late start? After everything was assembled, they brought up the small bookshelf for the hall, and left. Now the fun would begin.

Art had been splicing and running the wiring for the speakers for two days. We had decided to run additional speakers into the kitchen, just because it would be so easy. Famous last words. When we were out yesterday, he bought more wire, but then discovered that it wasn’t enough. This was one of those tongue-biting times…I would rather have three feet too much than be one foot short, OR, I would have measured first. Art just bought some wire and was quite surprised when he discovered that he was WAY short. Lots of muttering.

Today, he decided to go ahead and place the bass unit behind the chair. He had been playing with the idea of just leaving it behind the door, which would mean that the door would always be slightly afar. (NO, that’s NOT a joke!) I hadn’t liked that idea at all, and suggested that if he didn’t want to run the wires around the doorway and along the baseboard, we could just put the bass unit inside the cabinet and would just have to open the cabinet door when we used the stereo. Apparently, he didn’t like this idea any more than I had liked his. Personally, I didn’t see what the big deal was…after all, he was going to run the wires for the rear speakers around the door frame and along the baseboard, so why not one more? And that’s what we ended up with. Well, what we will end up with once we finally get enough wire.

Art made ANOTHER trip for wire today, and once again grossly underestimated his needs. No, that’s wrong, because he really didn’t estimate at all. And when he told me who much the wire cost, I had a really hard time biting my tongue…at the price he told me, I would have bought a whole roll and never had to worry about speaker wire for the rest of my life. Lots more muttering. And I knew what was coming next…..

Since we have to go back to Marsciano anyway, let’s go to Ternana’s for dinner. Okay, so what happened to the new decision to not eat carbs at dinner? Oh yeah, this is an exception. Except we just started that rule today. Didn’t take long for that exception! Okay, we go back to the electronics place, and can you believe it, they only have a few feet left! There’s another store around the corner, so we try there, and Art says he’s going to get 10 meters. “Are you SURE that’s enough?” I ask. Okay, we get 20 meters…at a total cost of less than five euro!

So now, we’re home, after a quick pizza at Ternana’s, and Art is still laying down the wire. He’s going to need a hot soak and a massage after all the bending and twisting he’s done today. Oh, and I forgot to mention the fun time we had when we got ready to re-connect all the audio-video equipment. I had suggested that Art write down all the connections, since we had such a difficult time getting everything exactly right. But of course, he didn’t. He would remember. But I was the one behind the cabinet, connecting the wires, and nothing seemed to fit where he said it should. Eventually, we pushed the cabinet out a little further, and I let him be the one to re-connect everything.

I can’t start to put stuff away in the entertainment center, because we still have to push it back against the wall when everything is connected. So I’m blogging. I did hook up the computer in its designated spot, but not the printer. Since we left the area behind the computer uncovered, it won’t be hard to reach around to make the connections. Maybe tomorrow I can start printing out all the things I’ve been saving for months! Flight info and travel notes. Itineraries and restaurant addresses. The manual for the VCR, and also for the telephone. Maybe even a photo or two, just to see the quality of my “photo quality” printer.

And I know that all the stuff isn’t going to fit in the designated space, so I’ll have to figure out what will go here, and what will go elsewhere. Then I’ll have to figure out where the “elsewhere” stuff will go! I have picture albums, and books, computer manuals, paper for the printer, family photos, and still more knick-knacks…didn’t I get rid of all that stuff?!? And what about the “office” stuff? The receipts and warranties and bank statements? And I still haven’t figured out where the phone will go…Art suggested in the area with the computer, which would mean either the door would have to stay open all the time, or else we would have to open the door every time the phone rang. I’m not crazy about that idea, so we’re considering other options. Maybe a small shelf mounted on the wall beside the entertainment center. But of course we have to wait until the entertainment center is pushed back to it’s proper place to decide for sure.

And I still have to hang the rest of the family pictures in the hall. And Art’s matchbook holder…although the matchbooks are still in the states. And the small curio shelf we bought in Bevagna last weekend. And here I thought we were almost finished!