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The awesome mirror that I briefly mentioned in one of my recent entries has been located, strangely enough.

The Engineer and I have been on mission to clear out all of my junk a large portion of my junk from my father's basement so that we may bring in his paintings and canvases which are currently residing in a storage space. When he moved out of his apartment and into mine, the art had no home here, so he decided to rent a space to keep them in. This money is far better served in other areas, so I offered up my space in my father's basement.

The majority of my stuff hasn't been touched since it was put down there, unless I was rummaging for books I wanted to bring home, and is therefore extraneous. Over the past several years, I have gotten rather mercenary about possessions in that if I haven't touched it or needed to touch it in over a year, then I most likely have no further need of it. Some things will always be kept out of sentiment: old journals, certain toys, things of that nature. But, I really do not need or desire to keep the rest of it.

Not only are those boxes a giant and looming reminder of my failings as a wife (the boxes, after all, would not reside in the basement had I not left my husband in 2001), but also of everything else I have started with good intentions and went on to fuck up. I don't need them, I don't want them, and the very thought of them gives me anxiety.

We had been putting off getting this job done all summer for one reason or another. Most of the time, we were both just too busy or frazzled to make any effort in planning. But I had recently promised a co-worker of mine all the Hello Kitty swag her young daughter could ever hope to own and I was starting to feel bad whenever I told her I hadn't made it to my father's yet. I also wanted to go through my books and bring home the reminder of what I wanted in my shelves in the apartment and sell the rest. Money's been extremely tight lately, so even if I only get ten dollars for them, it's ten dollars I do not currently have.

So, we girded our loins or whatever one girds before descending into a pit of despair, and drove to my father's house this past weekend to begin the preliminary excavations. My primary goal was retrieving the Hello Kitty swag and any books I could find that I wanted to keep. Any other books would be set aside for another weekend because I don't have any time soon to bring them to a used bookstore and they would be in the way in the apartment.

And even though I am still unable to locate the Best Box of Books Ever (tm), the one I'm convinced grew legs and walked out of there, I was able to find the Second Best Box (tm) and brought them home. So, I am once again in possession of M. Gira's The Consumer and my much loved copy of The Thief of Always, by Clive Barker. I also brought home my antique books because the damp was not being kind to them. The one from 1894 is in shameful condition, with the cover held on by threads, but it was largely woeful when it first came to me. My collected fairy tales printed in the 20s is still doing ok, though.

The Engineer found the mirror in the middle of my bitching to my father from the bottom of the steps, snarking up into the patch of day light he stood in from the kitchen doorway about kleptomaniacs and disrespect. He had walked over to the other side of the basement, glanced up at the top of a shelf, pointed, and said: "Is that it?"

Lo and behold, it was. Someone had put it way up there, above my head, and as everyone around me knows: if something is put above my head, it winks out of existence. Egg on my face, I would reckon. I don't rightly care; I'm just glad to have my mirror back.

As I've mentioned before, it was a wedding gift from a very dear friend who knows my tastes well enough to totally nail buying me this present. It's about three or four feet long, a wall mirror, and is in a silver painted, wooden, hourglass-shaped frame. It is completely me and I adored it from the moment it was handed to me. It fits in well with my bordello leopard print couch and the sweet ass red tile and wrought iron coffee table I bought from the dirt mall (for twenty dollars!) years and years ago.

And now it's mine again. It took me forever to clean it, my father's basement is dank after two hot water heaters implosions and just the sheer basementy-ness leaves everything covered in grossness if left down there too long. But, it's spotless once again and one can now see themselves clearly in the glass, instead of through a sepia-toned thick as linen haze.

I need to find a good place to hang it in the apartment. Wall space is at a premium here, considering our bookshelves and my framed prints and the Engineer's giant hung canvases. I wanted another mirror on the front of the hall closet's door, but the last one leapt to its death and shattered across the carpet. The idea of that happening again does fill me with joy and song.

When I get the rest of the apartment clean to my usual standards, I'll take a picture of it. I've been meaning to photograph the apartment to show everyone how the Engineer and I merged our lives together when he moved in, but I haven't had time for a true deep cleaning. Given that school starts in six days (SIX DAYS?!), I dread the idea that I won't get this time any time soon.
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I got it into my head this afternoon to clean out the hallway closet. Who knows why? It's not as if, or so the Engineer said when he came home this evening and I forced him to go see, we go in there all that often. It's for storage; it's a closet.

But, the idea that he couldn't get to his comic books always chafed my ass, mostly because I knew that his not being able to easily reach his long boxes spells the comics being left on the kitchen table, which always equals a rather irritated me.

It's a fuckoff big closet, too, for those of you playing along at home who have never been to my apartment. And for those of you who haven't known me all that long, it's also my former bedroom. Which should do wonders in telling you that this is no ordinary closet.

It's about 12 feet by three feet, if I remember correctly. Or 9 by 3, I forget which. And I used to have the majority of my worldly possessions in there, along with my bed and a oscillating fan. I was so psyched when my mother and I originally looked at this apartment because, after having been kickbanned from the UK and torching my former life, I had been sleeping on her couch for many months. We couldn't afford a three bedroom between the three of us and I technically wasn't supposed to be permanently staying.

Almost ten years later and here I still am. And the closet is once again a closet. It's full of everything that the Engineer and I couldn't make fit into the rest of the apartment when we combined our habitats, all the belongings we refused to part with. His bass is in there, and its amp, neither of which have been touched in over a year. My turntable and all my mother's vinyl, which I haven't played in God knows how long. You get the picture.

Speaking of... )
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The apartment I currently live in, I've been here since May of 2001. It is, officially and no doubt about it, the longest I have ever lived anywhere. Prior to this, during my adult life, I pretty much moved once every year, year and a half. Growing up, we never stayed anywhere longer than four or five years (and that was a stretch that only happened when I was in high school).

Though it's faults are many and mighty, it's not a terrible place to live. I mean, I don't have crackheads pissing on my door and I'm not afraid to park my car at night. The building has gone done in quality, structure-wise and tenant-wise, over the years. If one were to allow me to start rambling about everything I hate about this place, one would be occupied with my natter for a good three hours.

It's not a hovel or anything. Things could be much worse.

Regardless, I still want out. I've wanted out for a long goddamn time, but there was always some reason why I couldn't move out at the moment. Last week, the Engineer and I received a letter from the landlord notifying us that they were raising the rent again (and thereby changing the effective date of our lease, it was supposed to end in May). We can agree to stay on for another year at that rate, or we can go on a month-to-month at a slightly higher rate.

The Engineer wants to stay another year. It would take us that long to get our shit together to move out anyway, so going on a month-to-month would be a pointless waste of money. I really, really, really want out of this place, but I can recognize the logic in that.

All of that being said, come next February, I don't care what happens- I am out of here. Don't get in my fucking way.

We had a brief conversation about what we'd like to do. He's been pushing for a house for years, but I've always balked at the idea. This was, of course, before I broke down and let him move in with me after eight-some years of being together. At this point, we've been living together for almost a year (ALMOST A YEAR?!), so I'm becoming more accustomed to having him up in my grill all the time (I won't budge on the marriage issue still, however- some things never change). So, I wouldn't be opposed to getting a house together. But, the market is really against us right now and the idea of getting up a down payment is nigh on laughable.

Renting a house could work, providing we found one that wasn't ridiculously expensive and was owned by someone not a complete dickbite. Houses usually mean yards. And yards mean yard work. That's not cool, not my gig. But yards also mean room to grow things. And if I could plant a wee victory garden, I could be convinced that spending time in the big blue room isn't all that bad, as long as it also involves things like big black floppy-brimmed ladies' hats and copious sunblock and mint juleps.

I'm not even opposed to moving into another apartment. Providing that it's not on the ground level, like this one. One of the most annoying things ever about this place is the fact I need to keep the blinds or curtains drawn constantly so people can't see inside. Being in the back of the building, facing the parking lot, I don't have the benefit of bushes, like the apartments out front. I just get the front end of cars lined up against every window except the master bedroom. It sucks.

Also, any place without the woman two apartments down from me would be absolute heaven, regardless of any other conditions. That bitch is effing crazy.
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A while back, back when Middle Brother was still living with me and the Engineer lived in an apartment upstairs, one of the burners on the stove went tits up.

It started out slow. Sometimes it would just be unreliable and you would have to mess with it a bit to get it to work properly. I had a great pair of metal tongs I used to use to lift the coil up and kind of wiggle it into a different position, upon which- electric heat with which you may cook all manner of delicious cuisines!

It's sucky enough that one of our stove burners died, but what made matters worse is that it was my favorite burner. Any one who is really into cooking will always have certain favored implements, for a variety of reasons. I have a go-to, all-purpose chef's knife. Slightly smaller than normal chef's knives, so it fits in my hand better, but wicked sharp as the devil. I have the wooden spoon of perfect length. My copper bottom saucepot that is older than most of you reading this and doesn't have a real handle anymore, but it's the absolute best for making a roux.

On our stove, there are two big burners and two little ones. One big and little in the front of the stove, one little and one big in the back. Due to my height and the weird idiosyncratic habit I have of only being able to cook barefoot, my favorite burner was the front right one, a big one. I very rarely use small cooking ware, so it always had a big burner. And being already pretty short, then adding having no shoes on, I need something I can reach and tend to constantly without straining and possibly getting burned.

Of course, this is the burner most used and the first one to die on our stove. I never called it in to maintenance because we had a lot going on and I didn't have the time or energy to devote to a hardcore campaign of Come fix my shit, asshole. Then the holidays were coming and I didn't want to chance my stove being wonky (or being absent) during any part of them. And besides, I told myself frequently, I've got three more burners and they all seem to work fine!

The past couple of weeks, I've been noticing the back left burner (other big one and the one I shifted my affections to when my favorite shit itself) was getting a little tempermental about things. Sometimes it wouldn't heat evenly, sometimes it would just stop being hot. Really annoying stuff. Then, last weekend, I was boiling a pot of potatoes to make mashed potatoes and when I went to check on it, I saw that it was dead cold.

I jiggled the burner (I no longer have the metal tongs, my brother took those, so now I have to use two wooden spoons), I thumped the stovetop. Nothing. So, I turned the room blue with profanity and moved the pot to another burner so I could at least finish making dinner. Called maintenance that night and got told that because it wasn't an emergence, the maintenance man wouldn't get the message until Monday morning. Fantastic, yeah yeah. I know the drill, lady.

It's Friday. That was Sunday. Neither hide nor hair of ye olde maintenance man. We've had a lot of delivery stuff this week (one of which is the sushi place that actually delivers and is actually really, really good!) and I've been grouchy about the entire situation. I need to call them again tomorrow, just to start my tired harassment campaign of fix my goddamn shit, asshole. It's tiring and tiresome.

I've been in this apartment since 2001, through multiple owners and various other tenants. The first owner was really great, the second one a bit lackluster, but the third is one is just terrible. The building is kind of falling apart, our rent keeps going up in the name of renovation- but no real effort seems to have been put into anything. They've started letting questionable tenants in now (including the woman who lives catty-corner from us, who is extremely loud and completely cray cray).

It's a shame because it's a fantastic neighborhood and dead center for traveling to all the places I need to travel to in my daily, umm, travels. The lease is up in May and I kept saying that I wanted us to look for another place, but with the way our money currently is (my hours got cut at work and it's put a bad ding in my finances), it's not really possible. I keep telling myself I can hold out another year. I've been here almost ten, after all, what's another year? I can do this.

But, if they don't fix my fucking stove or give me a new one, BUT QUICK, I am going to seriously cut a motherfucking bitch. You don't take away a fatgirl foodie's stove, not when she looks at cooking as a way of not killing people relaxing. That shit is not right.

I would gloat over the fact that the oven is still perfectly functioning and therefore, I am able to make all the damn bread I please, but I am not going to spit in the eye of the Fates. I have also contemplated sabatoging the stove and claiming it is COMPLETELY BROKEN COME FIX MY SHIT IT IS AN EMERGENCY I HAVE NO STOVE, but the Engineer says that is a bad idea.

Is it that bad of an idea?

[Poll #1509159]
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Nothing quite like stumbling to the front door in the morning, already a bit late for work, and discovering that you are locked inside your fucking apartment.

The deadbolt on the front door has gone tits up, apparently. It now will not unlock from the inside. Stuck in the locked position, I mean. Nice, huh?

A hastily woken Engineer and a carefully applied screwdriver (not in that order) got me out the door to work and it's sheer, blind luck that this happened on the Engineer's day off so he could stay home all day. Not so good for the rest of the weekend, as despite numerous phone calls to the rental office to come fix this shit now, the deadbolt remains broken and untouched by maintenance man hands. At least one of us must be in the apartment at all times, or we won't be able to get back in (can't jimmy it from the outside because that's precisely what deadbolts are meant for).

I've got class in the morning and I swear by all that is holy that if this isn't fixed by the time I get home (or is in the process of), I am going to blow up the goddamn moon.
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Dear Unseen Guy:

YOU SUCK AT PLAYING GUITAR.

Seriously, man. Just give it up. I could play better than you and I can't play guitar.

Sincerely,

the creepy girl who lives on the ground floor

P.S.
You do realize that every time you play, the lady who lives above me turns up her television to deafening volumes and stomps around in some hamfisted effort to annoy you. This is, to be quite blunt, fucking hilarious.
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After almost ten years, I reckon you still can't take the bookstore out of the girl.

Yesterday, the Engineer and I merged DVD collections (which was weird enough for me on its own) and I entasked myself into getting them all onto one shelf. I took all of his DVDs and separated them into letter piles by title, then alphabetized each pile, then merged them (alphabetically) in with my shelves. Despite the extreme number of movies the two of us own, it only took me about half an hour.

So, either this was just another manifestation of my goofy OCD, or I have been more affected my past employment with Tower Books than I thought.

I also found out just how many shitty shitty SHITTY movies the Engineer owns. I told him I was uncomfortable putting them in with my DVDs because I didn't want people to think I owned stuff like The DaVinci Code and Eraser.

hee.

Also, my brother is completely moved out of the apartment for almost three weeks now. It is the most awesome thing that has ever awesomely graced the awesome face of this awesome planet. Seriously.

Nothing against my brother by any means, or my soon-to-be-moving-in-Engineer, I love them both dearly. HOWEVER! The feeling of living completely by myself is so...I just don't even know. It's the first time I've ever experienced just having an entire place to myself. And after growing up the youngest of three, being forced to have bedrooms in places like closets due to being poor/limited space, going through a succession of roommates for years as an adult, and constantly having to deal with all manner of people intruding on my space constantly: it is the best feeling ever.

I'm an extremely solitary person by nature, I always have been. I love being around people, but only on my terms. I always need just some time completely alone so I can depressurize from all of the sensory input and stimulation.

I leave socks on the floor! Cups on the computer desk! Read comic books in the middle of the living room floor in my underwear!

We've been moving the Engineer's stuff in slowly, as we have until the end of April for him to be completely out of his apartment. He says it's weird, his belongings disappearing bit by bit. I told him to just think of it him being robbed very, very slowly. He didn't find any solace in that statement.

My brother's bedroom is now the computer room, and we'll be putting all of our snakes in here as well. Right now, it's just my computer and the Engineer's new desk. Tinker is very concerned at this state of affairs. The cats were never allowed in this room before; my brother always kept the door shut and shouted at them when they tried to come in. So, now my computer is in here- I'm in here a lot. And Tinker keeps rushing in, all wide-eyed and frantic, meowing his fool head off. ahmigad, you need to get OUT! Middle Brother's going to see you in here and he's going to be PISSED! He doesn't understand.

Conversation lately has centered mostly around the playing of apartment Tetris, the impending graduation date for the Engineer's master's degree, and how burned out I'm getting from school.
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I have the nigh-on overwhelming urge to blare The Rake's Song as loud as my speakers will allow.

And because I live alone (for the briefest of times), I totally could.

My upstairs neighbor may not be entirely pleased with that particular state of affairs, so I shall be kind to her because she has never stomped loudly overhead or choose to vacumn her living room at stupid o'clock in the morning. Also, she has nice plants in her window I am envious of.

I totally could, though.
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It is midnight oh five and I am sitting at the compute desk using the ottoman from my overstuffed living room chair. My brother took the computer chair. I could take one of the ones from the kitchen table, but the Engineer moved this over here earlier this evening and I am far too lazy to do anything about it.

Had to tilt the monitor down to see it properly and my wrists are at a borked angle for typing, but- oh well.

Where did my brother take the computer chair, you ask?

The answer: to his new place.

He moved out this afternoon, into a house he and his best friend are renting.

Nothing crazy has happened between us, mind you. He just didn't want to live here anymore and I did. I'd be hard pressed to get rid of the only brother I speak to. That would drop my blood family down to just me and my father; not a happy occasion at all.

Because I can not indefinitely sustain living here by myself for much longer than a month or so, the Engineer will be moving in at the end of April. That in itself is a momentous occasion as we have been together almost eight years and I have always shook my head at the notion of shacking up. I am, by nature, extremely solitary and very territorial. I'd always said we would finally move in together if it could be a really big house and I could have a separate wing, just me and my crazy.

That being said, since I didn't want to move in with my brother and his friend (for a variety of reasons, none of which are a reflection on them themselves), the Engineer is leaving his apartment for this one.

It is, as the kids say these days: a very big deal for me. And him.

We're both nervous. We both don't know what to expect. And we both don't like having our hands forced into making this decision, but it's unavoidable. Even moreso beyond the being nervous and the hey hey hey, we also both don't particularly like the idea of me being homeless. So then- here we find ourselves. We have quite a bit to do and get used to, but it will be interesting at the very least. It should go smoothly, providing I don't lose my nut every time he puts something on the coffee table that doesn't actually live there (a particularly fun aspect of my OCD).

I, at least, get a blessed handful of weeks of rattling around this apartment completely by myself with the cats and the snakes, which is something I've always wanted to experience.

There's more to talk of, beyond all of this, but my keyboard's batteries are slowly giving up the ghost and I am finding myself having to backspace and correct every four keystrokes. That, and I have to get up at stupid o'clock for a mandatory meeting at work tomorrow. Hoo and ray.
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I don't always think things through in quite the manner I should.

Case in point, Saturday night. I was sitting in my living room with the Engineer and Mister Kyle, talking trash and half-watching the disc of animated shorts I referenced in an earlier post. The Engineer was doodling away on the computer and I had stood up to get something to drink when I saw out of the corner of my eye something small and brown and insect-y on the carpet.

Living in an apartment, whenever one spots something small and brown and insect-y, the first thing they usually think is ohfuckit'saroachgoddamnit. Upon closer inspection, I discovered it was not actually a roach, but a cricket. A wee, excitable cricket further testing would prove as it jumped straight into my face when I tried to pick it up.

My normal bug-catching procedure in the apartment, with the exception of flies and roaches, which are executed on sight, is to get a cup and a piece of stiffish paper. Place the cup over the offending bug, slide the paper underneath, and then carry the whole rigaramole outside. This was no different. I got the cup and paper, then went to put the cup over the cricket. But, at the last moment, it jumped.

So, I turned to where it landed and tried again. And the little fucker leapt out of the way again. Now, at this point, I'm already more than slightly inebriated and this wee bastard is flinging himself all over my living room and I'm chasing around unsteadily with a red plastic cup in my hand. Mister Kyle is almost pissing his pants laughing and the Engineer is still on the computer, hunting ghosts or playing chess or whatever he does on there when I'm not looking.

After a riotous five minutes of this, I finally pin the tail on the goddamn donkey and get the cup over the cricket. Slide the paper underneath the cup, listening to the frantic pinging as it threw itself against the walls of its prison and kind of half in awe at its cricket-y determination to move through matter.

Straightening up, I realized that with my next step in this process, I had an issue. Normally, I bring the bug-in-cup outside and set it free. But, this is December and cold. Unseasonably so. And I just can not, in good conscience, take this little guy outside to reenact the Jack Torrence in the hedge maze scene from The Shining. It just wouldn't be right. I also can't very well keep the damn thing as a pet, either. For starters, I don't have cricket-keeping capability and seconding, I'm fairly certain everyone in my life would have me committed for wanting to keep a pet cricket out of soft-heartedness. Tara finally went over the edge! they'd say. She couldn't kill that cricket she found, so she made a pet of it. Pretty soon, she'll be dressing hams in bonnets and knitting socks for the roast chicken. Time for the padded room, I'd reckon.

Of course, they wouldn't actually use the word reckon because the majority of the people I associate with make fun of me for using it and say I'm a hayseed hick. But, I digress.

So, what does one do when they've caught a cricket, are too soft to kill it or let it go outside into the cold, dark night?

Well, after much thought and wembling, I took my new cricket friend out to the hallway of the apartment building and set him free there. It's fairly warm, warmer than outside at any rate. And there's numerous places to hide (like the empty apartment down the hall). I'm trying not to think of it wriggling its way into the crazy lady's apartment in unit 2; she'd freak out and scream at her young son for three hours about how it was his fault, then bug bomb the entire place.
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Washing dishes in the bathroom sink is far more difficult than I ever could have imagined.

See, Sunday afternoon my kitchen sink decided to up and shit the bed. The Engineer had just finished washing dishes from my having made pancakes earlier for lunch. I was sitting in the living room, smoking a cigarette and rubbing the belly of my marmalade cat.

"Where's all this water coming from on the floor?" He said.

"Water? Is it bad?"

"Yeah."

I went out into the kitchen and discovered that yes, there is indeed a great quantity of water coming out from under my cabinets and slinking across the floor, much in the manner of the 50s version of the Blob. Only clear. And not, ummm, flesh-eating.

Opening the cabinets showed us that everything underneath had been sprayed with water. Further investigation proved that the connector which attaches the U-bend pipe to the actual drain seems to have fucked off. That's where the water was coming from.

Fuck, says I. I called the apartment building's answering service and put in a plaintive call for our maintenance man to respond, post haste. He calls back several hours later to tell me he will be out Monday afternoon.

Ok. So, Monday morning I load the cats into my bedroom with their food, water, and a litter box. It's not that we're not allowed to have pets, mind you. It's that a few years ago, our former maintenance man had been installing a new air conditioning unit in the living room and left the window wide open for God knows how long. One of our cats, Misty (the one with the hyperthyroid who died last year), got out and was returned a couple hours later. Because of this, I'm paranoid of the combination of maintenance on our apartment and the cats. The cats are quite unhappy about this turn of events, but I turn the air on for them and go to work with dreams of a fully functional kitchen sink dancing in my head.

All day long, I'm snarly about the sink (and about an audit at work which is going to begin on Tuesday morning, but I can't discuss that) and hoping that when I get home, everything will all be well.

Arrival home is uneventful. And by uneventful, I actually mean that one of the cats has successfully pulled a throw rug under my bedroom door and blocked the opening of said door. And the sink hasn't been fixed. It doesn't even look like anyone has been in the apartment, other than my brother. And the only evidence of his existence was junk mail sitting on the kitchen table which was not there this morning.

I called the office again, left another message for the maintenance man. That was at eight-thirty. Now it's eleven-thirty and he hasn't called. I somehow suspect I am going to be woken up at stupid o'clock in the morning either by him calling or him ringing the door bell. Neither of which are going to do wonders for my already oh-so-cheery morning demeanour.

So now I'm sitting at the computer, smoking cigarettes and drinking the last of my diet grapefruit soda when I should be cutting my bangs and getting ready for bed.

Irritation abounds.

Dr. P

Dec. 1st, 2007 03:18 am
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The vet visit went well, I would reckon.

This is the regular vet's office I go to, but I've never dealt with their reptile vet before. He's new. He used to work there, as a tech, then went away to college and came back a shiny new DVM.

And he's fairly awesome. I only wish that he had been available when Charlie was sick, maybe she'd still be alive and I wouldn't be so grumpy about the subject.

At any rate, Dr. Pickles is doing ok, other than the not-eating-for-four-months thing. He tried to get a fecal sample, but there was none to be had. He checked his mouth for any weirdness, found none. Probed him (he's definitely a he and apparently, quite an impressive he at that). Gave him a small shot of appetite stimulant and told us to try feeding him in a week. He believes that this may just be a seasonal thing, especially because it's not like the little guy is emaciated or withering away or anything.

Dr. Pickles, of course, was heartily unimpressed with this state of affairs and tried to act the badass the entire time. Not very scary when you're only a wee snake who's all talk, which I kept telling him. He struck at the Engineer at one point, making him jump about four feet to the left and causing me to laugh my ass off.

If he starts to lose weight, we may have to start trying to change his prey. This will possibly involve scenting a mouse with a live frog (western hognose's natural prey), the prospect of which does not thrill the Engineer. hee.

They had kittens at the vet office. For adoption. Three of them the tiny buggers. I had a mad episode of OMG KITTEN FEVER when I saw them. They also had an adult black cat with a white stripe down its nose, which gave me a case of OMG BADGER CAT FEVER.

Also, both kitten and snake unrelated, I think the other tenants in my apartment building are attempting to drive me insane.
When I left for work this morning, I caught something waist-high and bipedal-shaped out of the corner of my eye. I had only been awake for twenty minutes when I was leaving the apartment, so my brain wasn't fully functioning and my first thought was what the fuck is that?! When I managed to finally focus on it, I saw that down the hall there was a three foot high snowman figure thing dressed in little kid clothes, standing outside one of the other apartments.

What the hell? I thought. That thing is going to make me crazy by the end of next week because I'm going to constantly think that it's some attack killer midget lying in wait for me at the other end of the hall.

Then, when I was coming home from work, I saw that one of the other tenants, this one closer to my apartment, has also stationed one of these creepy fucks outside their door. So, now there's TWO of them. One on each side of the hall, like sentries. Bastard things. I hate stuff like that because my slightly already unhinged brain always processes them as waiting to come alive and get me. Dolls also fall into this category.

A few years ago, I was spending the night at my friend's mother's house. Said mother was a collector of dolls. And by collector, I actually mean: spent all her freaking money on a billion creepy dolls that were arranged all over the goddamn house. One of the dolls even had a doll-sized shopping cart. I spent the night in the guest room, lying on my side with my back to the wall and staring at the closed door. Waiting.

Did I mention I was stoned out of my mind? No? Well. I was. I don't know how I ever fell asleep that night, but I managed to.

I kept having visions of the moment I closed my eyes, the dolls were going to be in the doorway. Evil.

My friend and her husband spent the entire night giggling their asses off at the idea of taking one of the dolls and setting it up at the foot of my bed after I fell asleep. Thankfully, they were too high to act on this notion because if I woke up and saw that, I would have voided my bowels, screamed like a little girl, and then shredded the curtains in an attempt to get away. Ha-fucking-ha.

...

When I leave for work tomorrow morning, if those fuckers have moved any closer to my door, I'm sitting them on fire. I'm half-tempted to look out my door right now.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Now that I finally got a digital camera that isn't completely suck-tastic, so now everyone can be inflicted by enjoy photos of my apartment! Hooray!
Unfortunately, my apartment is very small, so it is a bit difficult to take photos of a whole room. Therefore, I can only post wee shots of everything.

onward and upward )
One day, I will get photos of everything else. Especially my Ouija board-decorated bathroom! :D
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Except in the case of The Secret Life of Lobsters, have I ever found a book title that suited me more than Enslaved By Ducks.

Finished it in less than a day, with the ever-familiar feeling of 'crap, I read that entirely too quickly, now what do I do?' To stave off the nigh constant reader's remorse, I also bought Dominatrix: A Memoir and Death's Door: Modern Dying and the Ways We Grieve (the second book looks to be absolutely fucking awesome).

I had to spend the day at home today because the apartment's toliet decided to give up the ghost this weekend when I was down in Frederick, Maryland for the firing of some stealing-ass employees. I don't care for the maintenance man to be in my apartment without my supervision after he came in last year to replace my air conditioning unit and accidentially let one of the cats out (and didn't notice). Thankfully, someone else noticed the cat (it was Misty, he of the hyperthyroid) and brought him back in. So, I spent the day alternating between reading and finishing up the paint job on the bookshelf the Engineer built for me.

A mid-afternoon nap, which is strangely out of character for me, brought me odd dreams that have left me unsettled for the rest of the day and night. I dreamt it was discovered that my mother hadn't died and that she was going to be coming back home. In the dream, I was enormously upset by this turn of events because it meant I would have to vacate the back bedroom and would thusly have no where to sleep, since the closet I used to sleep in is now occupied by carpet cleaning machines and the four litter boxes.

This isn't the first time I've had this dream, though it is the first time I dreamt of her coming home. The first dream I had like this, I found out that she hadn't died and was joyous over this. However, shortly after finding out and before I could see her again, she died in a hospital. Overwhelmed by grief is putting it lightly, I would think.

It reminds me of something I read a while back, I don't remember the author, about dreaming that a loved one had died, slightly waking up and being hugely upset over the death in the dream, then thinking "My goodness! Thank God that was just a dream!", then waking up fully and having the realization that the loved one had been dead quite some time come crashing down. I think it might have been something Neil Gaiman wrote about, but I can't quite recall.

I frequently forget that my mother had died, usually when I'm just running on auto-pilot at work or when I'm driving. I'll be mindlessly going about my business, then have a sudden flash of anxiety over how I should be going to the nursing home (this usually happens when I'm driving home from work or when I'm just fucking about on the weekend). Then my brain pokes me with a sharp stick, reminding me that I'm not expected at the nursing home and that the reason I'm not expected there is because my mother is dead.

How could I forget something like that? It's astonishing.

I reckon that all of this is in the forefront of my mind right now because Mother's Day is coming up and I'm dreading it. Maybe I'll drive down to the ocean, the beach where I scattered some of her ashes, on that day and just spend some time there. It's over an hour away and it'll eat up my gas, but maybe it's something I should do.
thejunipertree: (Default)
There are two apartments above mine, one of them is a single bedroom and the other is one of those studio/efficancy deals. My apartment is a two bedroom place and thusly, takes up more room.

Over the past couple of months, I have begun to fear the little old woman who lives in the studio apartment which is directly above my bedroom. There is nothing quite like lying in bed in the middle of the night and hearing a creaking old voice start shouting, "GET OFF OF ME! GET OFF OF ME!" and the constant bzzzz bzzzzz of her adjustable bed.

The first time it happened, I was sitting at my vanity applying eyeliner and I almost shot right out of my skin. I stared up at the ceiling with something akin to abject horror and wondered what the fuck was going on up there.

She lives alone and, to my knowledge, with no pets. The first thing I thought is that maybe she had a cat and the cat kept jumping on her. Having the five furry beasts I do, I'm well used to this sort of thing. And when my mother was alive, "Get the fuck off me!" in the middle night was something that usually came out of her bedroom, followed up by a disgruntled feline galloping down the hall into the living room after being ousted from the bed.

But with this woman, I never hear any accompanying thumps of a cat jumping off the bed and onto the floor. And the shouting can go on for so long, that I'm beginning to wonder if she's actually experiencing some sort of hallucination.

In the six years or thereabouts I've lived here, I've only spied this woman once and that was during a false fire alarm. She had stood in her doorway, barefooted and in a drooping housecoat, dragging a wheeled oxygen tank behind her. Other than that, nothing.

It's scary, the idea of phantom midnight assailants. Am I going to be like that when I grow old? The idea terrifies me. Old age in general scares me. Every morning when I look in the mirror and see a new patch of silver hair, fear runs through me. More and more the silver hair is taking over the other hair and it leaves me wondering, who is going to take care of me when I'm no longer able to take care of myself?
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There are curtains in my living room, for the first time in over five years. For the first time, period, in this apartment.

It completely changes the look of the room and makes me quite happy. Middle brother even commented on how great they look, which made me doubly happy because he's never commented on anything I've done to change the apartment since I originally started on this thrice-damned project.

The wonderfully decorated tree completely clashes with the rest of the room (it has green, blue and purple lights and baubles), but that doesn't bother me nearly as much as I thought it would. Who knows how I'll feel next year? But, for now, it's ok.

I also have extra dark chocolate (60%) Lindt chocolate truffles in a little bowl on my good red table my coffee table and that also makes me quite happy. It makes me feel incredibly grown-up and gives me the temptation to start shouting, "Look! I have candies! In a bowl! On my table! I am grown-up!" Which, of course, I will not do.
thejunipertree: (Default)
Saturday burned bright with me ditching work for the day and deciding that now was the time to do more moving things around the apartment/throwing stuff out.

This was one of the bigger jobs I've been needing to do, with a hell of a lot of junk having to be hauled all over the apartment, cleaned off, sorted through, and placed in its new home (whether that be somewhere else in the apartment or in the trash). Two of the things that needed to be emptied were the china cabinet that has been in my family for as long as I can remember and the natural wood hutch/cabinet thing. Both of these sat in the living room, where I did not want them to be. They're big and take up far too much room.

The china cabinet. )

The kitchen hutch. )

A short digression into animal hoarding and responsibility. )

More on that goddamn kitchen hutch. )

Apartment blather. )

Mom. )

My brothers. )

At any rate, I've exhausted myself typing all this out and I'm in dire need of my bed.
thejunipertree: (Default)
There has been a bit of talk in my head about purchasing a Christmas tree (a real tree, not any of that fake plastic shit and none of that goddamn spray-on snow, either), but funds are a bit tight and I'd like to reserve as much money as I can for buying presents for myself the people that I care about.

I miss Christmas trees, though. They were always my favourite part of the holiday. That and giving things to people in fantastically wrapped packages. Evergreens, no matter what the variety, just smell great and they make me happy. A tree in the house! And you cover it with shiny things! How much cooler can you get? The actual holiday can take a long walk off a short pier, but I do so love the decorations.

When I was a child, my father would decorate the entire house in blue. Blue lights on the tree and all over the house's exterior. Blue and silver ornaments. Blue garland. Blue candles. Blue wrapping paper. Everything. And I was always so proud that our house was much prettier and enormously different than everyone else's. He stopped doing that some years ago, despite my loud protests. And last year, he didn't even put the lights up all over the outside of the house and the trees surrounding his property. It made a small, black lump of despair rise up inside my chest, but I'm becoming used to that feeling when it's a situation involving my family.

I miss the apartment being covered in decorations for this time of year. This will be the second annual not-decorating-of-the-apartment. It doesn't get any easier. All the decorations and baubles are still in their battered boxes in my father's basement and I don't think I'll be dragging them out any time soon. It's still too painful.

But, trees are something I can get behind with no troubles. It just doesn't seem like this time of the year without getting one. Maybe I can find a wee one, something small and nicely apartment sized, to place on top of the extra coffee table that I still haven't gotten rid of. I could swathe the bottom of it in a ton of fabric from my sewing box and pick out my favourite ornaments from the boxes in the cellar. I could even buy some purple or blue garland and string that around the living room, with my purple bat lights. If I can remember where I put them. Or I could buy cheap blue lights at Target. Ghetto Christmas.

It wouldn't cost that much money to buy a few strings of lights and some tinselly garland. Just a little nudge toward the season?

Maybe.
thejunipertree: (Default)
This has probably been one of the crappest days weeks I've had in a long, long time.

work blather )

All I wanted to do today is come home and get some ferret nose kisses, but as I was leaving work, the realization of Edgar's death finally fell around me. I knew it had happened, after all, I found his body. But, I hadn't really had any time to actually process it.

Ferret and rat blather )

Depression is seeping in from every angle. The one year anniversary of my mother's death just passed, which feels very weird to me. I'm still not used to it and I suspect I never will be. My car is currently sick beyond belief, though hopefully that will be straightened out soon. The holidays are creeping up, which is never a good time for me. And money is unbelievably tight, which it always is.

Money blather )

Hoarding blather )

If you've read this entire entry, I'll be mighty surprised. For those of you who decided to skip to the end, you didn't really miss anything. Just a lot of me working some stuff out in my head that needed to come out.

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January 2011

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