My house has betrayed me

at least there’s no asbestos…

… I mean, I think there’s no asbestos, they told me there was no asbestos, but what the hell is with all the cobwebs and why does all this shit keep falling on my head?

For the last three days, I have been slaving away trying to make my basement less of a Fear Factor event and more of a usable space so that my brand new shiny washer and dryer might have a home to call their own. Now, in order to understand the horrificness of my daunting task, there are a couple of things you need to know. Like the fact that the house is 110 years old, has a cinderblock foundation which, in the room in question, is pepto bismal pink and starting to shed because, well, it’s 110 years old, crammed full of miscellaneous crap (mostly belonging to The Husband because he is a non-un-packer and an un-puter-awayer; he’s a throw-it-in-the-cornerer), and hasn’t really been used for anything but storage and objectified disdain  for the last 5 years. And then there are the cobwebs. Cobwebs so thick and impressive they rival the creepiest halloween decorated heeby-jeeby houses. They cover the open beams and ductwork, cling to the walls, mix with the piles of dust and pinkness on the floor that used to be the walls, mingle with miscellaneous wires and pipes… you get the general idea. Feel free to twitch at anytime here, or throw up, or, you know, go take a shower to wash off the icky feelings I’ve just created for you (you’re welcome).

And so I have been shopvacing, swiffering, brooming, twitching and feeling nauseous, sweeping, and vacuuming from exposed beams to crumbling floor tiles. But you know, now that it’s all habitable and stuff, all I can think is “What if the deliverymen decide that they can’t fit the damn things down the stairs?” It’s a tight fit, I mean a REALLY REALLY tight fit, but if they take them out of the box, and they’re, you know, capable, I don’t see why a 27-inch appliance can’t fit through a 28-inch doorway. And yet… I fear my dream of bright shiny washing and drying in a room where I can also fold and iron may be thwarted by my house, which does, as we have established time and time again, hate me.

it’s not apathy, it’s entropy

… according to the universe, Martha Stewart is a crappy housekeeper

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I had an epiphany the other day while I was trying not to see the pile of dishes out of the corner of my eye. For whatever reason, the law of entropy popped into my head. You know, that bit of science that says the universe is constantly trying to attain a state of chaos and that order is actually against the natural order of things? Well, I started to wonder why I couldn’t just apply that to my state of domesticity. I mean, if the universe truly IS striving for a state of chaos, and therefore chaos would be the universe’s natural and perfect state, then really, one could naturally conclude, nay, LOGICALLY conclude that the lack of order in my household is merely a representation of the perfect entropic state of the universe. Furthermore, following this logic, one could also LOGICALLY conclude that I am, therefore, a better housekeeper than Martha Stewart.

Wow. I even impressed myself a little on that one. Maybe MM was right — I should have gone into Public Relations.

you know that glaze packet that comes with the ham that everybody cooks for easter dinner?

… that is some sticky shit.

And why is it that I can never remember that it’s potatoes first and THEN ham? If I start the scalloped potatoes in the oven first, cook for 45 minutes, then cook the pre-cooked (how stupid is that, I mean really folks) ham for its first session, then BOTH the ham AND the potatoes go in for the last 30, and ta-da, hot stuff done at the same time before 7:30 pm and kids don’t nod off at the table and get ham sauce in their hair. Easy, right? Then why, dear lord, oh why is it that I have only been able to pull off this seemingly simple task of kitchen wizardry only once in 6 years of family holiday cooking? And I make this freakin’ meal roughly TWICE EVERY FLIPPIN’ YEAR!!! Next year, screw the ham, it’s turkey for Easter or jello and water, and that’s final.

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During the marathon cooking session of 4 ½ hours (which would have been 2 ½ had I not been the idiot who put the ham in before the potatoes), I made a startling discovery: The Easter Bunny has moved into our backyard along with his entire extended family. We have been invaded. Our once beautiful, albeit tiny, bit of lawn flanking our tiny, albeit… nope, just tiny, house has become a complete wreck of miniature hills and valleys littered with rabbit poo and dead grass, leaf mould and more rabbit poo. It is ankle breaking and heart wrenching to walk on the grass that used to make me so proud. Proud of all the hard work that The Husband and I had put into our little yard, all the money we have forked out to the fine people at ChemLawn to make our lawn the best looking on the block, and apparently the most rabbit friendly, for I have seen no other neighbors walking their lawns swearing above their breath and vowing revenge upon the rabbit population. But I could be wrong.

Add the rabbit infestation to all of the other little things that have started to creep up wrong with our little house over the last few months, and I’m starting to feel betrayed. I’m not sure by whom yet, but betrayed nonetheless. Granted, the house is 110 years old and the entire town was built on swampland (“Hey Bob – this looks like a great place to settle, nice and close to water!” And people wonder why non-Dakota people think Dakota people are stupid. Yeah.), but it’s kind of like all the “fixes” that were done on the house in order to sell it are now wearing off, because they were not done well. Oh, fine. They did a shit job on most everything, and there are some downright weird things that make no sense whatsoever. Shit workmanship? The windows have daylight gaps between the frames and the interior walls, they have never sealed properly on the outside, which has created a moisture issue on the inside during the winter, which has led to a mold problem on the cheap wooden frames because they were never properly water sealed. And I have a sneaking suspicion that there has always been a bit of a mold issue in this house, since there are little patches cropping up from cracks that are breaking through walls that were patched. Hoodwinked, I say. Less than full disclosure. 6 years after the fact, I feel like I got suckered into an eventual money pit, and in order to sell the damn thing we’re going to have to start throwing money at it like it’s an AIG.

On the other hand, I am grateful that I still have a roof over my head, even if there are some cracks starting to show.

oh — and p.s. condron.us (because there’s just no good way to work that into the story, you know?)