I may have mentioned before that I would be moving. Well, that plan finally came to fruition this week and if nothing else, I’ve learned that I’m getting too old for this crap. Next time I move, it will be after having won the MegaMillions lottery and a team of movers will swoosh in to sort, pack, and move my stuff as I observe from the sidelines. Oh, who am I kidding? If I win the MegaMillions lottery, the only thing I’ll be packing is a suitcase as I plan my getaway across the ocean.
Moving On Up …
I apologize for being off the radar for so long. I’ll let you in on a not-so-secret secret. Moving sucks. Especially when you’re doing it on your own. In the words of the immortal Roger Murtaugh: “I’m too old for this shit.”
We’re getting back to our regularly scheduled programming this week. I swear.
Someone is making damn sure she’s not left behind in our big move this weekend.
Moving and Grooving … Not So Much
When I heard that moving and changing jobs were two of the items in the Most Stressful Life Events, I decided hey…I’ll do both at once.
To those of you who pull up roots and move across the country, kudos to you. That seems like a lot of fun (said no one, ever). Your accomplishment almost makes me feel badly for complaining about my semi-local move.
Now, I decided in all of my wisdom to take the new job first, and commute back and forth while arranging my physical move. Why not? How can it possibly be bad to slide into my new position, over an hour away, while trying to arrange moving companies, downsize my belongings, and pack for the move?
First, let me say that I am moving from an area with high tourism this time of year. Second, let me say, I hate tourists. Thank you, young family in the mini-van, for playing something on your car DVD player that I could watch while stuck in the bumper to bumper traffic during my commute. Thank you, as well, Mr. Older Gentleman in the baseball cap for keeping me safe by refusing to drive at the speed limit. And a special thanks to all those who somehow manage to crash their cars so perfectly that all travel lanes are blocked in all directions, at rush hour.
And did I mention that I live over a bridge? Not in the troll variety, but definitely in a pain-in-the-ass variety. As in a bridge that is the only way in and the only way out of my little piece of hell. Picture this, if you will, 10 to 12 toll lanes spread across an expansive highway, chock-full of vehicles as far as the eye can see, who, once through the toll lanes, ALL must merge down into two – count them, people, two! — tiny bridge lanes. It goes about as well as you would think. Fun and games, people, fun and games.
And let’s not forget the truckers … all of whom seem to travel at the same time (I mean, really!?) and all of whom, instead of coordinating their driving so that they all make their way through one end of the toll entrance or the other (I don’t care which, just pick one!) would rather spread out into numerous lanes across the vast sea of traffic and then, using their sheer size and apparent disregard for simple etiquette, squish whole lanes of vehicles into an untraversable funnel that keeps everyone involved from moving forward. What did I say above? Fun and games. I honestly think that if people truly knew how to take turns AND if trucks could please, for the love of God, just follow each other through the toll lanes, that traffic could be eradicated on the Bridge I hate so much. As it is, it’s like trying to pour mud through a pinhole.
When I finally complete my hour long, now turned three hours long, trip to the House of Forgotten Boxes, I need to organize, scrutinize and itemize my belongings before stuffing them all in bags with sticky notes that say, “Dining room,” “Bedroom,” and “Who cares? I should have tossed this out years ago.” I believe my belongings multiply in direct proportion to how many hours I have spent driving. Seriously, it’s true.
It’s amazing the things you convince yourself to keep when you are moving. What should be a purge instead becomes a stroll down memory lane. “Awww, the receipt from that one store I went to that one time somewhere I don’t quite remember, three years ago. Better keep that, I may need to return whatever the hell this was.” “Look, it’s my Halloween costume from sixteen years ago. I can use this again someday.” “It’s my favorite Crocs! Ummm…okay, never mind, I can throw these away.”
My new job is great, and the people are fantastic. I feel a little lost when they discuss local adventures; I feel that I almost understand, but then they throw some twist in there that makes me do a Google Search later. “Let’s get crabs at Dave’s after work, his lawn mower opened that chicken egg last Christmas.” I nod and smile. I may even try to act like I know. “Ah, yes, Dave certainly did pick that oyster out of the chimney.” Blank stares follow, and they all talk about me over the water cooler at lunch.
I haven’t learned the shortcuts of my commute yet, either, and when people ask how I get to work they offer all sorts of useless advice. “Oh, you should have turned at that snowball stand on the west corner of the dirt road.” One day I’ll get it, but for now, I am lost in every way. And that’s just the commute.
At work, in my new building, I am convinced that people randomly switch floor stickers in the elevator. I find myself wandering around the rooftop looking for the printer, or down in the basement with the janitor, who, as it turns out, is a lovely person despite his overall serial killer-like vibe. He gave me a wonderful recipe for salmon fritters.
At home, I am surrounded by boxes that clog once familiar doorways, causing me to get lost in my own house, which is saying something considering the size of this house (have you seen my house? It’s small … as in tiny, like Jerry’s mouse-hole tiny). I haven’t seen the kitchen in a week, but my daughter tells me it is still there.
I have been on the phone for about three weeks trying to schedule my new cable in my new house, and I have been assured a cable worker will be at my new home sometime between now and December 23, 2022. Somehow, my mail has been getting lost. At least, that’s what I’ve been telling the bill collectors, but I’m not sure how much longer they will keep buying it.
As stressful as all this is, I know it will be worth it in the end to be settled in my new home and job. But for now, I believe I may have crossed through the third gate of Hell.
And obviously, I can’t find my way back.
Oh Mr. Sun, Mr. Golden Sun
Here is a poem I adapted for you all today from a beloved children’s song:
Oh Mr. Sun, Sun
Mr. Golden Sun
For the love of everything that is holy, please stop shining down on me quite so brightly!
I need to move to a land of breezy weather that never gets over 75 degrees, but soon! This heat that melts your face off is strictly for the birds.
I’ve been ready to throw in the towel on living here in the US for some time and often dream of moving to greener pastures (literally) abroad. I say literally because it’s the scenery that motivates me into wanting to relocate — having never been abroad in my life. Of course there are other aspects, as equally important to one’s morning view, that call me away from my homeland for parts unknown. I could make a list — I’m great at lists, by the way — but that’s not the point of this entry. The point IS, is that I came across a news article that made me say aloud, this, this is why I need to move to where I’m better understood, where I can be with like-minded people, and enjoy the camaraderie of similar souls.
And then, to my dismay, after perusing their website, I found that they’re not “real” in the sense of being a brick and mortar establishment…but rather they’re a lively, comedic internet-only business. Needless to say, I’m crushed. I had my bags packed and was searching for the best deals on a ticket to Cardiff.
Oh, I’ll buy their merchandise, no doubt — it’s too great not to. But I do wish I was buying it in person instead of online. I suppose my pipe dream will just have to go back on the shelf for a while longer.
Horror House for Sale
I think I found a legit haunted house. No, no, really. A legit haunted house. Or at least a home worthy of a gory horror movie, if not of the ghostly variety.
Lately, I’ve been thinking about relocating so I’ve been doing some light research on Zillow, realtor.com, and other real estate sites when I stumbled across one of the most bizarre postings I’ve ever read. Now, I’ve noticed the home seems to be making the rounds on social media lately (obviously I’m not the only person trolling real estate ads) but just in case you haven’t seen it, I thought I would share. Oh, and just for the record, while the “for sale” ad has been removed from Zillow and realtor.com (probably because it’s causing quite the stir), I did snag some screenshots which I will happily share.
Everything started out well and good with the listing. Just what you’d expect. The opening picture of the house was lovely. The information about the number of bathrooms and bedrooms seemed normal. The square footage was right in the sweet spot that most people look for. I thought to myself, “This house looks great” and continued to read up about it. It didn’t take long for things to take a very dark, very creepy turn for the worse.
The first cause for concern? There was a tenant still living in the house. That’s not weird in and of itself, but as the listing explained, this tenant cannot be disturbed and while he or she is on a lease, they pay no rent and cannot be evicted for non-payment. So, basically it’s just an entity floating around the property that you can’t get rid of or take any action to remove. Kinda sounds like a ghost to me.
Second cause for concern: While there is an upstairs unit to the house, as the post laid out in very clear, no uncertain terms, this unit cannot and will NOT be shown to any potential buyers under any circumstances whatsoever. It is strictly off limits. I kid you not, this is what it said. It sort of reminded me of Beetlejuice, when the new family moved in and there was no way to get into the mysterious attic. I picture in this house an impenetrable door with who knows what hiding behind it.
Third cause for concern: I was scrolling through the pictures and one in particular caught my eye. One of the doors is covered in some sort of red spatter. I’m not a CSI detective so I can’t confirm or deny what it may be, but one thing I know is that red liquid splashed along a broken door doesn’t bode well for the property’s history.
Fourth cause for concern: Putting on my sleuthing cap, I dug a little bit deeper and pasted together a curious timeline for this house. It was being rented out as late as February 28th of this year. The tenant sought was a professional couple or single. No mention of an off-limits section upstairs or a mysterious tenant — though an artist appears to be in residence.
Now, just a touch over two months later, the pictures of the house that are online show a dwelling in total disrepair. Walls are gutted. There are holes in the ceiling (I don’t even want to know). Floor tiles have been uprooted. Random junk and garbage are stacked both in and outside the house. Old, rusted appliances lean against the walls. Unexplained leaks coming from upstairs — which, isn’t that where the unseen tenant resides? I’m not going to guess as to what’s smeared on the walls. What the hell happened to this place in those two months? Or did it always look like that, even as it was being advertised as a rental property? If that’s the case, that’s pretty damn frightening, I must say.
Now, normally I’d be all for living in a haunted house. I have no issue with ghosts. However, given these four points, I believe I am well justified in saying that we have the beginnings of a real-life horror story here — and not the fun variety either.
Honestly, isn’t this how horror movies start? A nice couple buy a fixer-upper. All seems well the first couple days into their renovation. Then, one night, a weird noise comes from the supposedly vacant upstairs unit. Later, doors that should be locked are left wide open. Next, strange signs that someone or something has been moving around when they’re asleep. All this leading up to the climactic moment when the unseen housemate bursts through the wall with a pickax trying to kill the unfortunate couple. Given how those stories normally go, the pickax wielding roommate is usually pretty darn successful in quenching their blood lust with their handy dandy farming implements.
So, yeah, I think I’ll pass on putting in a bid.
No one has ever accused me of being a hoarder. Let’s just get that out of the way right off the bat. I’m not going to be the subject of a docudrama airing on A&E that chronicles my struggles with throwing out a three-foot thick (and growing!) bundle of used chopped sticks or mountain of “recycled” dryer sheets I need a step-ladder to reach the top of. Definitely I am no hoarder. I can navigate through all the rooms in my house with ease instead of shimmying through a narrow path I’ve cut out through stacks of old TV Guides and flattened cereal boxes.
Am I a pack rat? A stronger case could be made for this classification, I’m sorry to say. I came to this shameful realization just recently when I had to box up everything I own and move into a new place. I guess the time has flown by since the last time I had to do this because it was pretty close to being utter hell. The entire process of moving is fraught with stress. Having too much stuff but too few boxes was a source of constant concern during the whole thing. It got so bad I was reduced to scrounging for empty boxes from grocery stores. Now half my stuff smells like Aisle 5 of the local Acme.
Once I did have enough boxes the next obstacle was transporting them. Sounds simple. You load the box, you carry it to the car, you drive to the new place, you carry it inside, you unload it. Easy peasy, right? It would be except that it slipped my mind that boxes have these pesky things called “weight limits.” I loaded many of them up well past their limit without knowing it. The heavy boxes filled with books inevitably ended up falling apart half way between the truck to the house leaving all my precious novels scattered on the pavement and me in need of yet another box to re-pack them into. Okay, well, several boxes.
On top of my admitted clutter problem (I promise to seek help for it one day) and my inability to consider the tensile strength of cardboard, I also have a looming procrastination condition that leaves me constantly at war with myself. I had these aspirations floating around in my head that when I’d be moving I’d be neat and orderly and well-coordinated. All the boxes would be clearly labeled and stacked together in neat piles just like how the Brady Bunch would do it. It’s a pity to confess that what actually happened ended up looking more like a moving job performed by The Clampetts on their way to Beverly Hills. All my earthly treasures were thrust together without rhyme or reason, tied down with a coarse rope, and rattling around during the whole ride as I hoped whatever I heard just break wasn’t something too important.
But in the end, the job got done. Now I’m not saying it was the prettiest or the most efficient or, hell, even the most sane, but all my stuff made it from Point A to Point B. That’s all that matters.
Now onward to the unpacking!