Stair Living

stair-diagram.jpgThe Stairmaster is beyond me. Climbing stairs endlessly is like Sisyphus and his hill and who needs more of that in their lives when there are taxes to be done every year not to mention having to cut your nails for the rest of your life?

I don’t understand the appeal of climbing endlessly and slowly. At least on a treadmill you’re moving quickly to get nowhere.

Well, if you’re doing it right anyway. Not like that lady who brings her magazine and sets the machine on, like, 1 mph with no slope. She has definitely spent at least $200 on her outfit though. And then there’s the trip to the grocery checkout for that fashion mag. And maybe she had to walk the gym bill from her car to the post box, so that counts for something. There’s a calorie burn in there somewhere. And she gets points for making me feel better about how hard I’m working, which is not nearly as hard as the girl next to me who must be bionic, really, because who goes that fast?

I’ve gotten off my point. My point is that I’ve stopped going to the gym.

Correction: I’ve stopped paying the gym for not going. I put my membership on hold. Why? Because now I live on a Stairmaster.

Yes, my least favorite gym machine has come into my everyday life. We live on the side of a hill at the top of a hill and the bottom of a hill. Well, really, the top and bottom of several hills. Welcome to Potrero Hill. The views are amazing, but holy God, the hills.

Our beloved former apartment was also in Potrero Hill but just on the edge, on the flat bit leading to other flat, reasonable neighborhoods. My calves will be happy to tell you how much we don’t live there anymore.

Our house is on the up side of the street: we’re perched on bed rock above the street rather than our lower across-the-street neighbors who are also on bedrock but whose front doors are at street level. One steep set of stairs up to our basement level then another set of stairs up to the front door. This is a wonderful set-up for carrying a baby, a stroller, groceries, mail and coffee.

(We have no garage for storing things like strollers: cutting one into the hill will cost, depending on who you ask $50K or $200K, which could be better spent on purchasing and staffing a litter for me and A. to get around. Stripey curtains please, if you’re thinking of springing for it.)

Our house is also the very last house on a half block of flat before a steep downhill slope. This means if I drop anything while unloading the car, it is going to roll away. Far away. Even things not generally considered roll-worthy will have a go at our hill. Why not? It might be their only chance at it. Look at the credit the wheel gets for advancing civilization. Why wouldn’t a square block or a flat book want to even up the score?

In the other direction, beyond the flat bit, we’re at the intersection of the bottom of two just-as-steep hills. There is literally nowhere to go but up.

But let’s get back to the stairs. In some previous owner’s wisdom – or significant budgetary constraints – when they added the living room and our giant upstairs bedroom above it onto the house, they thought it’d be brilliant to use the space under the new stairs for a small bathroom. Excellent. Good. Unfortunately, they failed to put a bathroom on the second floor for the now-sleeping-upstairs residents.

You see where I’m going with this. Any trip to the bathroom from the bedroom involves fourteen stairs down and another fourteen (well, the same fourteen really) back up. In the middle of the night. It’s like a mini workout at 2AM. A very, very unwelcome workout at 2AM.

So as far as stairs are concerned, I’m sorted. Really. Don’t get me stairs for Christmas. I don’t really like them and now I have tons. They’re like tube socks. Or Carters underwear. Stop with the stairs already. Someone get me a slide. Or a human-sized version of that suction tube thing from at the bank drive-through. See, now that would be useful. Why didn’t we look for a place with one of those?


Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany


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One Comment on “Stair Living”

  1. em
    July 27, 2011 at 11:57 am #

    Your home sounds perfectly suited for a fireman pole! What fun to slide down from the bedroom, right into the loo…additionally, the pole can double as a piece of workout equipment. I’ve read recently that the stripper pole workout is the new stairmaster.

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