The Tale of My Chronic Hives

Hey there friendship, sorry for the long pause.

I’ve been moving this last month.  Since I am stubborn, and broke, and have no job, and my student loans are running out, I decided to do 90% of the move using backpacks and reusable shopping bags, walking my things over. I had a bit of help from my mommy, though. She drove my dresser and bookcase over…… and the giant pile of textbooks I’ve somehow accumulated in this whole “higher education” thing. As if the move wasn’t stressful enough, something quite odd happened…….

The boy who lived in the room I’m renting is a friend of mine. I’ve known him through his frat since he was just a little rush-ling. I knew he wasn’t overly concerned with cleaning, but had  no clue how far that went.  After he moved out, he left piles of his things behind, saying he’d be back for them “later”. He also left a disgusting mess. There were tortilla chips and sunflower seeds all over the floor, which hadn’t been vacuumed in more than a year. We (my boyfriend, my other new roommate, and I) vacuumed every inch of the room, repeatedly. Afterwards, I moved some furniture around and sat on the carpet to put a few books on the little bookcase near the bed. That’s when the hives started…… on the 9th of July.

This is July 30th. So far, I have had 5 appointments with my on-campus doctor. I have had blood work done 3 times, and have the paperwork for more. I have had an emergency dermatology appointment. I’ve been on prednisone (a powerful steroid that makes me hyper and puffy), Benadryl, extra-strength ibuprofen, and have a prescription for an EpiPen. My eyes have swollen shut more than once.  I had to go to a job interview with lips so swollen, I looked like the victim of a botched collagen job. In this heat and humidity (it’s been averaging 80F, but feels like 100F+ with humidity), I have to walk around in long pants and long sleeves. My body is entirely covered in hives. And believe me, I do mean ENTIRELY covered. TMI, there are hives in my butt crack.

We’ve scrubbed all the walls here twice. We took down the blinds and soaked them in the tub with dish soap. We rented a steam cleaner, which I ran over this carpet 4 times. I even steam cleaned the mattress in here.  The doctor’s aren’t entirely sure why I’m still hive-tastic. Their best guess right now is that this room was so disgustingly, horribly, stomach-churningly filthy that, when I had an allergic to reaction to something here, the filth made my reaction stronger than it should have been. And now, that reaction has just gone crazy.

So what does this have to do with roommate? EVERYTHING!

Once you’re out of your parents’ house and living with other people, your mommy and daddy aren’t going to be around to clean up after you. You are going to have to do things like vacuum, wash floors, scrub toilets, and even take out the trash. The boy who lived her before me is still friends with a lot of my friends, and with my boyfriend.  How do you think they’ll treat him after seeing what his filthiness did to me?

Just because you don’t want to clean, doesn’t mean you don’t have to.

Exam Time Ragers

Well hey there sunshine! Top of the mornin’ to ya!

It’s bright and early here, and I’m downing coffee like it’s water. It’s finals week here for the Intersession classes, such as the two I took this semester. My first exam is today at noon. That means long days and nights of studying, attempting to get a half-way decent amount of sleep…… and pounding on my roommate’s door at 3:30am to tell his random friends to pipe the fuck down*

Now, this roommate isn’t exactly known for being considerate (or for having read the terms of the lease). Why, just a few days ago I had to leave a note on the fridge listing all of my things from the kitchen that have gone missing and I want back. (After a frantic search on his behalf, I got less than half of it back. He then proceeded to use my kitchen utensils.) And last semester, after asking me more than half a dozen times when my last exam was, he brought home a dozen or so friends just after midnight, two days before my last exam. Last night was the absolute worst, though.

I had passed out a few hours before and did not hear Tweedle Dumbass and his entourage come in. If they had just kept the noise down, I probably wouldn’t have noticed at all. But he had to thrown on the techno music, with it’s loud thumping bass. **thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp** thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp** Then his friends, even though they couldn’t be more than a few feet from each other in that room, started yelling to each other.

“I hope no one tries to touch my boobs!”

“We should all just get naked!”

“Seriously, no one better try to touch my boobs!”

“Oh my god guys! I’m wearing one shoe!”

“Goddamn it! Why isn’t anyone trying to touch my boobs!”

**thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp**thuwmp**

A little before 3am, I woke up.  I pulled a pillow over my head and tried to block out the noise. Surely they won’t be here much longer, I naively thought. By 3am, the urge to pee was rising almost as fast as my urge to slap someone with a raw tuna. 3:15am, that tuna urge had changed from raw to a bag of cans. By 3:30am, I couldn’t take much more of the noise or the throbbing in my bladder (made worse with every **thwump** that shook the walls). I got up to use the bathroom (located right next to his bedroom)…… and the toilet was vibrating was the music.

That was the last straw. Have you ever been half asleep, fully pissed off, with a bladder ready to burst, and have to sit on a toilet that is vibrating to some random techno song set to infinite repeat? My ass is still tingling. After flushing, washing, and resisting the urge to puncture a can of shaving cream and throw it in his room like a foaming grenade, I pounded on his door.

Dumbass didn’t even have the decency to open it himself.  He had a friend come talk to me.

Now, I was half asleep still, with a tingling ass from the vibrating toilet, and didn’t have a shred of patience left in me for this guy. So I let loose with a string of…… something. Like I said, I was half asleep. I’m pretty sure the words “pipe the fuck down” were said, along with an expletive-peppered request to shut up and turn off the music.

In the end, they turned down the music, but kept up the voices. For at least another 45 minutes, they shouted to each other across a tiny room. Every now and then you could hear someone “shhhhushhh” the others, but that would only last a few seconds at best.

So, here I am: one hour before I have to leave for my exam. I’m running on almost no sleep, am in a panic about the exam itself, and am filled with injurous rage. Tweedle Dumbass appears to have fled with his friends in the night, avoiding my wrath.

He can’t stay away forever, though.

*yes, I watch a lot of Jenna Marbles videos on my study breaks.

Happy holidays everyone! I am spending a nice, relaxing Boxing Day with family….. getting up at the crack of dawn to go shopping with my brother. He’s in town from Sweden for a few weeks, so we are having  fun while he’s here!

I hope you’re all having a great holiday! No matter what you celebrate, enjoy it!

Have Some Consideration!

It’s just after midnight, and I am writing this in the school library. Actually, I am chugging Monster Zero and eating red pepper slices in an effort to stay awake on almost no sleep, and writing this to aid that effort.  You see, I currently live in a house with 5 other people. Each floor is basically its own apartment, with a shared laundry room in the basement, where I live. Of the six of us living there, we are evenly split between male and female occupants: two girls on the top floor, two boys on the main floor, and one of each in the basement. The walls are a little thin, so we three girls (who have lived there the longest) have always kept the noise down to a minimum.

The boys, however, are having a bit of trouble with this.

Apparently, in their own little world, consideration for others is a little ass-backwards.  I can put up with some of this just fine.  I don’t mind that my pots and pans are now being kept in a cardboard box in the kitchen, because they’re just not pretty enough to display elsewhere. The afternoon country music sing-alongs are almost becoming bearable. And the fact that one roommate has so much crap crammed into the laundry room that it’s almost impossible to manouver in there is barely a blip on my radar anymore.

What does get to me, then?

The boy I share the basement with has just discovered depressing quasi-goth radio rock from the early 2000’s. His favorite at the moment is Evenescence. I have been woken from a sound sleep in the early morning hours more than once by Amy Lee asking me to wake her up inside (Inside where, she never quite specified. But wherever it is, it must have soundproof walls, because she is freaking wailing in there). For the most part, he saves his musical teen angst for late mornings and afternoons.

Not last night.

In a house full of students, this boy decided that not only was 3am the absolute perfect time to blast his goth-like wailings, but it was also the ideal time to have a sing-a-long with his female friend. At least, I think they were singing.  They may have had two cats having angry sex in there, or a flute shoved insides a trumpet shoved inside a trombone. Either way, somehow they thought that Sunday night, with Monday morning’s sunrise just a few hours away, was a completely appropriate time to treat his 5 housemates to this.

Let me tell you now; it totally was NOT.

I do have Monday’s off at the moment while I search for more work and attend classes the rest of the week.  I had a rather lengthy to-do list, though, and had planned to get an early start on it.  If I could doze off a little after 1am, I could sleep in and STILL be up by 10am to shower, shit, and shave before I started my day.  Thanks to the roommates outdated musical stylings and out of key warblings, this did not happen.  Instead, I was kept up until just after 4:30am, at which point I somehow passed out from exhaustion and lack of iPod battery (Candy Crush Saga helps me sleep). I awoke at 8am to text the boyfriend before his morning class……. and then was awakened again just after noon by a text from him.  This broken sleep resulted more in a zombie-like state than a productive and happy blogger.

So now, here I sit in the University library. I have had my limit of Monster for the day, and am now sipping on some Diet Pepsi to stay awake.  The research I had planned for today is half done. My cleaning never got started. Hell, I didn’t even straighten my hair today. I would go home and get a bit of sleep before my 11am class tomorrow, but I’m waiting for pure exhaustion to set in. Then, maybe I’ll be able to sleep through whatever the roommate decides to sing along to tonight.

Shared Spaces are…… Well….. Shared

In a dorm room, where the two of you are living an arms-length apart, every inch of your space is considered “shared”.  There is no general privacy, no place where you can be alone, no place to just hide when you’re upset. From what I’ve seen, those who grew up fighting over the top bunk with a sibling have a far easier time adjusting to this type of lifestyle than the only child who never had to share space with anyone.

For some, issues of privacy arise even when they have a bedroom to call all their own. When sharing an apartment or house with others, most people opt to rent one entire bedroom for themselves.  This is the place where you can walk around naked, eating marshmallow fluff out of the jar, blasting old Slipknot songs on your headphones. That bedroom is your space, your personal sanctuary, your very own place to call your own.

The shared spaces in your home, however, are not.

Areas like the kitchen, bathroom, and living room are shared by everyone living there.  Before you head into these areas, for the love of god, put on some damn pants!  These are the places where you have to interact with your roommates and their friends. You may have no shame about throwing down your current flame on the couch and licking whipped cream off their body, but others may not be comfortable walking in on that.  Hell, others may not be comfortable sitting on the couch after you’ve done that.  And don’t think that others won’t know what you’ve done.

Beyond the usual “keep these areas clean” and “don’t leave your shit piled up everywhere” advice most people will give, I want you all to know that you’ll need to learn a little respect if you’re going to share spaces with others.  Don’t bring people over who are going to destroy these areas. Don’t bring dates over to fool around with in these areas.  Yes, you pay rent here and have every right to use them. But these areas have to be used by the other people you live with.  They might not appreciate waking up to find 3 of your friends passed out on the couches, puddles of puke on the floor, while you’re banging your boyfriend in the shower. Your roommates may feel awkward just coming into these spaces when you have friends over, let alone when they’re in various states of undress with you grinding on top of them in front of the tv.

It’s not just nakedidity and puke you need to be aware of.  Don’t redecorate in exclusively your style because you think it looks “better”, especially when you know your roommates won’t like it.  If you know one of your roommates is bothered by crumbs in the couch cushions, don’t eat on the damn couch.  Don’t blast your music, or your movies, or your video games, especially if you know it may annoy someone there.

Basically, have a little respect for the people you live with.  If the thought of their ballsack being rubbed on the kitchen table where you eat makes you want to puke, don’t go having sex there.  If you know that loud music bothers someone, don’t start blasting dubstep the second you walk in the door.  If you want to do something that you wouldn’t want to watch your roommate do, then do it behind closed doors.  Remember, you have your own damn room.  Make good use of it.

Bringing the Old into the New

Hey there everyone! Happy Holidays!
I’m working as many shifts at the liquor store as I can get over the holidays; my baby brother is home from his new job in Sweden for a few weeks; my mother has put up so many trees at my parents’ place that she ran out of rooms to put them in and put one in the laundry room; and I am trying to get in some yoga and crafting over the next few weeks while I have the house to myself (roommates are gone home for the holidays!!).

So, I thought I would share with you all some posts from an old Tumblr blog I ran called “How Do I Roommate?” I wrote it about roommate problems I was having around that time. I’m just going to copy and paste them all right from Tumblr, mistakes and all.

So, enjoy my former pain in my Roommates From Hell segment! And enjoy your holidays!

Get The Most Out of EVERYTHING You Can

Yes, once again I’ve been gone for quite some time. While I am working part-time at a liquor store, I’m still looking for work. There have been quite a few obstacles in my way, that it turns out I could have taken care of a lot of these obstacle while I was still a student. Which brings me to today’s post: Certification matters!

When I was a University student, the school offered a variety of workshops, seminars, free classes, volunteer opportunities, and all the things that you need to prove that you are an educated, responsible grown-up person who deserves a job. And, for the most part, we all ignored them. I did quite a bit of volunteering, but didn’t bother trying to get that put onto my Co-Curricular Transcript (a transcript of school-approved clubs and societies, and the different positions you could hold in each). In five years, I went to maybe a handful of workshops and seminars. For the most part, I figured that I didn’t need them, since I already knew what they were about.

There were Microsoft workshops offered at one point. For a very small (less than $30) fee, you could take a weekend workshop on a specific Microsoft Office program, and receive an official Certificate upon completion. Back then I thought, “Hell, I know Microsoft Word! I type essays, and wrote out a resume, and even create meeting minutes for one of my clubs! Why would I need  to waste a weekend learning about it?”

Turns out I needed it for that CERTIFICATE. After school, all those jobs I thought I could get easily wanted PROOF that I knew how to use that program. Instead of paying $30 back then to get that piece of paper, I am taking a $225 workshop. Yes, $225!

It turns out, all those things I had shunned in my University days actually mean something afterwards.  Sure, I joined clubs, but never strove to get a leadership role. I used Microsoft Office programs, but never got proof that I can use them. I worked on-campus positions, and volunteered with students and staff, without securing professional references. Basically, I wasted my time.

So take the time to get those little bits of experience (and paper) that will propel you higher than your peers. It’s not always good enough to type out papers and volunteer; you need proof! Get a certificate, a letter, some sort of documentation that proves your knowledge. And while you’re at it, make as many contacts as possible.

(I’ll cover making contacts and creating a portfolio at a later date. They are both VERY important things that never seem to get taught to students.)