Nitrile gloves for cleaning the apartment

I used to have a couple pair of big yellow rubber gloves that I used for cleaning up—one pair for doing the dishes and another for when I would use harsh chemicals to wash the bathroom or kitchen counters. I get dry skin easily, you see. The problem with big yellow rubber gloves is that water gets in them and over time they start to mould on the inside. This is the reason that I started buying disposable nitrile gloves for these sorts of tasks.

Nitrile gloves fall into that weird category of things that doctors and nurses carry around, that you wouldn’t expect normal people to have, but that anyone can just buy without a licence or a prescription or anything.

Here are some other things that fall into that category:

  • Lab coats
  • Stethoscopes
  • Blood pressure cuffs
  • Clipboards
  • Alcohol swabs
  • Reflex hammers
  • Scrubs

This is creepy to me in the “impersonate a medical professional” sort of way.

Anyway, last week I was thinking about this while I was in the middle of cleaning up the kitchen. I received an email and went to check it without taking the gloves off. This is why Alain found me sitting in the living room typing at my computer, wearing blue nitrile gloves and humming the theme to Dexter all while smiling like an idiot.

My houseplant is messed up

Messed up
Messed up

The previous tenants of my apartment left this houseplant behind for me. It didn’t always look like this. In fact, when I first inherited it, I wasn’t sure whether it was a real plant or a false one.

Fortunately, it is a very hardy plant, whatever it is, and it started putting out new leaves and bending toward the light. I kept it on the opposite side of the room from the window at first.

After a few months of that, I noticed that it was growing so I started rotating it, but by this point it was definitely leaning to one side. Alas, it never recovered and just kept bending and bending. Eventually I leaned it against the wall, next to the window. This did not help things, as it just kept sending out leaves toward the sun. Then one day I decided to go for a strategy of “tough love.” I rotated the plant 180 degrees away from the window. It more or less bent over so the top of the plant was touching the ground, to support the weight of the stalk.

Now the top of the stalk has sort of done a U-turn, and it’s sending leaves up toward the sun, as well as a brand-new little shoot out from the soil.

My houseplant is messed up.


Graffiti on the buildings along the driveway to our indoor parking garage
Graffiti on the buildings along the driveway to our indoor parking garage

One of the great things about our place is that we have indoor parking, so our car isn’t broken-into (as much). Here is a look at the graffiti on the way in.

Pickles took these photos, and I rather like them. :)

There’s a white truck at the end of the driveway in the second photo, and periodically, when Pickles takes the van out for a drive, he has pulled up in front of the doorway. So she has to go out and find the driver and yell at him to move. And in the time this has happened, the garage door closes, locking her out of the building, with the van running inside.

It’s not a perfect system, but it’s better than getting broken-into. Something that we haven’t totally avoided either.

The entrance to our indoor parking garage
The entrance to our indoor parking garage

… after!

The back half of the library in our new apartment
The "sitting area" of the library in our new apartment

On Wednesday morning, the maintenance man for our apartment building came by and finished the cutting for us in the living room and the bedroom. This means that the apartment is now entirely painted! And I must say, after two weeks of living in a place with all your belongings in cardboard boxes, piled in the centre of every room, I feel good about being able to move things against the walls.

I have a television against the wall. I have photographs in frames on the walls. I have books on shelves against the wall. I have my couch against the wall. Oh, how I love things that can go against the wall!

The front half of the library in our new apartment
The front half of the library in our new apartment

Especially the bookshelves. The shelves weren’t too big and bulky, and didn’t take up too much space, but the books that go on them were very numerous indeed. We recycled so many cardboard boxes after we put the books back on the shelf! And thanks to the Dewey Decimal System, it was nice and quick to get all my books on the shelf in order of subject matter.

Here you can see a couple photos of the library in our new apartment. The paint is still drying in the other rooms, so we haven’t been able to set things up or take photographs, but I’m very happy to have one “real people” room (besides the kitchen).

… during …

Here's Pickles, painting a wall green
Here's Pickles, painting a wall green

Pickles says that the new paint, in her mind, changes this place from a random apartment into our home. I’m just glad that I don’t have to put up any more primer. :) Pickles has a lot more patience for this sort of thing than I do. But painting a white primer onto an already-white wall is a little demotivating. In all seriousness, though, the new paint does look good. I even picked out the shade of yellow that we’re using.

The colours that we’ve chosen are “Cabbage Patch” and “Luminary Yellow.” And I still can’t express how happy I am that our building’s maintenance man will be doing the cutting for us.

The apartment is still in disarray, as we can’t really unpack anything, which is a bit of a frustration, but I believe that all the painting will be done after this weekend, so I should be able to survive until then.

By the way, it’s really hot here in Montréal. There’s lots of windows in the apartment, which brings the temperature down nicely, but it can still get stinkin’ hot during the day. That might also be contributing to why I get cranky while painting the walls with primer.

You can even make a paint can look artistic
You can even make a paint can look artistic

A nice thing about the apartment is that there’s a lot more light here than in our old place. Our old apartment had two big balconies, sure, but not much by way of windows. And the windows there weren’t very nice to look at, either. Here, it’s a lot nicer. Just check out this picture! It’s a picture of a paint-can and it still looks nice!

Before …

The rollers that we used to paint our apartment
The rollers that we used to paint our apartment

One of the terms of our lease that we negotiated was that the maintenance man from our building would help us to paint our apartment. This guy is great. He’s very helpful and friendly, and he’s good at what he does, too.

So on Monday afternoon, he stopped by and showed me and Pickles how to start to paint our new apartment. What a great deal! Especially considering that neither Pickles nor I know how to paint. At all. Seriously. One of those skills that I never learned how to do when growing up.

The study, before painting
The study, before painting

When he came to give us our instructions, he told us that he wants us to do the “rolling,” and then he’ll do all the “cutting” on Friday. What that means, for the non-initiate (like me), is that we will be priming and applying paint to all the big surfaces of the apartment, and then he will come along and fix up all the edges and the small details that we can’t get with paint-rollers.

Our apartment is starting to look like a real-people home!