Thoughts I’ve Had While Packing Today

Sorry for the bad grammar and spelling, but I’m writing in the kitchen today on my phone while going through boxes for the move.

-why do I have so many bags of chocolate chips? How many different kinds of chocolate chips does one person need?

-how long does it take for Skor bits to solidify into one giant chunk? Cuz my bag of Skor bits is exactly that old.

-when the hell did I buy molasses? Apparently prior to its expiration date in 2018.

-should I just bake ALL the things today so I have less to pack?

-6 cans! 6 freaking cans of pumpkin, but only one box of spice cake mix?

-why do I have so much yeast?I’ve never baked bread in my life!

-seriously, I should make some cupcakes right now.

So I got basically 3 days worth of planned packing done this morning. All the furniture I’m bringing with me is ready to go. All my books are packed, and it only took 10 boxes (plus whatever ones are under my bed, in my car, in my backpack, on my desk, or on my night stand). Once I can get some stuff cleared out of my room, it will take maybe a day or two to get everything packed and moved in there. Maybe another day for the kitchen. Stretch that out so I can grocery shop, work, pretend I have a life, and cuddle Bowser while he sulks.

The move in total should take less than a week, which is pretty damn good considering how little the movers are actually taking out of here.

Respect Isn’t Just a Two Way Street

Growing up I was always told that respect is a two-way street. If you want to get respect, then you had to first give respect. Basically, if you live your life respectful of someone, then by some mysterious magic they will totally respect you too.

Ya, that’s bullshit.

You see, respect isn’t just a two way street. There’s a bunch of different ways you can repsect someone, and showing respect in one area doesn’t cancel out disresepct in another. And one person’s idea of respect may not match with another’s. Spending your time focusing on showing respect in your specific way, and then pulling all of that “respect” when it’s not reciprocated in the way you expected it, well it’s just exhausting and leads to nothing but yelling and me channeling HBK and Bianca Del Rio at the same time in my damn kitchen on a Saturday night.

Fair warning, this is another Roommates from Hell story, and it’s fresher than a horse turd at the rodeo.

For those of you who are late to the party, Castle DumpsterFire has five human occupants: yours truly, X (my 32 -year-old ex-boyfriend), The Kid (a 19 year old student who is barely ever home), the Cowboy (a 32 year old barber), and and G (a 26 yer old business student/gamer). G and the Cowboy share the basement, while I am upstairs with X and The Kid. Of course, I have the never forgettable Bowser Kitten. The X is the fur dad to little floppy thud butt Sketch, and the Cowboy brought a little fuzzy orange ball of fluff named Max with him.

Everyone is in charge of keeping their own rooms clean, anyone who shares a common area (like a living room or bathroom) has to share cleaning, and we’re all supposed to keep spaces like the kitchen and the dining room clean together. That’s how things area ideally supposed to go so of course they don’t. As it is, and always has been here, everyone washes their own dishes but leaves the rest of that cleaning to me.

So, since Cowboy and G share the basement, they also share the bathroom down there. I’ve seen it when bringing down laundry and chasing cats, and it’s pretty clean. I have shared a bathroom in this house with close to a dozen different roommates, and I’ve seen it get pretty damn nasty. That bathroom is pretty damn clean though: no stray pubes, no mold, no clumps of hair on the floor, no skid marks in the toilet (or shower). It’s quite beautiful, actually.

The thing is, G doesn’t think it’s beautiful enough. He cleaned up the bathroom one day, and told the Cowboy that he would have to clean it out the following week. And as far as I know, the Cowboy did keep that bathroom clean. He wipes out the sink, cleans the toilet, wipes out the shower. He made things look what he considers clean, and actually what I would consider clean too.

The thing is, that “clean” isn’t up on G’s level. He thinks that the Cowboy should pouring bleach on everything, spending hours scrubbing every surface, scouring every square inch of that space whether it needs it or not. Yes, the toilet needs to be cleaned. But you don’t need to pour half a bottle of bleach in there for it to be clean. The Cowboy does what needs to be done, and that’s all anyone else here has ever asked of him.

G doesn’t like that though, and tried to confront the Cowboy about it. Basically, Cowboy told him that if he wants it cleaned a very specific way, then he could clean it himself that way. And that’s where this whole “respect” thing comes in to play.

Saturday night, while I was trying to relax and eat some discount pizza with my vodka soda in my bedroom, G started lecturing the X about the way things are supposed to be done around here. G, who moved in a little over a month ago, was lecturing the X on how to run this house. He seemed to think that we all need to gang up on the Cowboy and force him to clean the way G wants it done. No matter how many times X explained to him that they need to talk out their cleaning differences, that we’re not going to gang up on anyone in this house, and that everyone has their own level of “clean”, G just wasn’t having it.

Now I was able to ignore quite a bit of this, until G started in on how much he does in this house. He tried to claim that he is the authority on cleaning here because he has standards. Only he can get anything properly clean around here because only he has any idea what it takes to keep this place clean. Knowing he hasn’t cleaned a damn thing outside of his bedroom and bathroom, I decided to throw my dishes in the sink and head to bed before my head exploded listening to him

And that’s when he tried to get into the conversation, trying to make me take his side in all of this.

And that. Sunshine, is when I just McFucking lost it.

I flat out said that he did not want me in on this conversation if he just wanted people who would take his side on things, and stillhe bugged me and bugged me and bugged me until I snapped. Seriously, the whole thing ended with me snapping my damn fingers in the boy’s face and twirling my ass out of the room like a damn drag queen making Carson Kressey shook.

Basically, my argument went like this: how fucking DARE YOU come at me, expecting me to feel bad for you because someone isn’t cleaning to your level. What the hell makes you think that your level is the be-all end-all of levels? You wanna bitch about a common area not being clean enough for you, sugar when the hell have you done anything more than wipe your crumbs onto the floor in this damn kitchen? Do you really expect to come at me and have me sympathize with you when you’re actually standing in three days worth of crumbs right now? You wanna bitch about that bathroom not being clean enough for your level, darlin get on my fucking level, bust out the damn bucket, and get on your knees to clean this floor! Because until I see that, I have no fucking sympathy for you here.

The entire time I was talking, he was trying to interrupt me, trying to talk over me, trying to tell me that he is so right on everything and I have no clue what I’m talking about. He may have gotten right up in my face, may have tried to yell at me, I may have taken a defensive pose and gotten ready to side kick if neccessary.

So what can we take away from this giant clusterfuck? Well, this all started because G thought the Cowboy was showing a total lack of respect for not spending an hour a day scrubbing out that bathroom. The Cowboy thought G was showing a lack of respect for yelling at him to clean the bathroom when it was alreadyd perfectly clean. I feel that G was/is showing me a total lack of respect for not cleaning up other common areas and leaving all of that work to me, while also expecting me to show sympathy because he has to clean a bathroom every other week. And G thinks I was showing a complete lack of respect for not letting him interrupt me, for not taking his side automatically, and for having the gaul to have an opinion contrary to his.

See, there is no two-way street going on with this respect thing. It’s more like one of those interstate highways that looks like a giant clover with all of the on and off ramps. But throw in some one way signs, about a dozen extra turns, and a flaming van on the shoulder of the road.

Remember, respect can be earned and given in many different ways. One person’s idea of respect may not be another’s. As long as there is no harm being done, try having a calm talk with the person first. Otherwise, you run the risk of annoying the every living crap out of all of your roommates.

Roommates From Hell: Oh No, Not Again

I really should’ve played baseball as a child, because I’m really getting good at dodging all these curveballs life keeps throwing at me Sunshine.

My new job a the library is a supply position. I sometimes get a shift or two scheduled ahead of time, but for the most part, I’m on-call. This means I’m up around 6am to get AAB off to work, cuddle the still quite sleepy Bowser Kitten, make sure baby Sketchpad and his floppy butt haven’t destroyed the living room, and then get ready for work. Have to be awake, ready, and caffeinated by 8:30am in case I get a call to be at work for 9am. Most days, I don’t get called. But I’m one of the only people who is willing to drop everything for a 9am last-minute shift, so I get called any time that comes up.

To do this, I had to cut back my hours at the store. As you know, I used to work 6-7 days a week there, mostly closing. Now, I’m Monday and Friday nights, and all day Saturday and Sunday. If I don’t get called into the library and the store is short staffed, I’ll go in and work a shift. But for the most part, that doesn’t happen.

My shifts aren’t usually full shifts, either. Sometimes, I’ll get called in for 2 hours to cover lunches or a program. Sometimes it’s a 4 or 5-hour shift. For some reason, the only time I seem to get a full shift is on Fridays, meaning I work 9-5 at the library and then RUN to the store to start my 5:15 shift.

With all this uncertainty, I am home and wide awake a lot more than I was before. In the beginning, I thought this would be great. I would be able to clean, to read, to catch up on my Netflix shows, maybe even do some cooking. Instead, I find myself holed up in the bedroom most days, hiding from the Creepy Roommate.

You see, he still hasn’t mastered that whole “cooking without getting food poisoning” thing, or the “sharing the kitchen with other human beings” stuff. AAB and I are, by no means, clean freaks. We do our dishes, clean up our messes, and keep the floors and counters clean. We each get one cupboard, plus there’s a “bulk” cupboard everyone in the house can share for bulk items, overflow, and things like crockpots.

That’s a little too complicated for Creepy Roommate to understand.

He has his cupboard, and the one next to it, and the one next to our cupboard, plus the cupboards above the stove. The bulk cupboard is full of his bags of rice, slow cookers, and rice cookers. His cupboards are full of…. well, not exactly food. There’s used paper plates and plastic utensils, empty beer and pop cans, empty frozen pizza boxes, and open packages of food.

He has everything in such disarray, he can’t just open up the cupboard doors. In order to open the doors, he has to first slowly start to pull one door open with one hand. Then he has to take the other hand, and put it in the crack of the door, ready to catch anything that may fall out on him.

That’s the position I saw him in last week when I peeked out the bedroom door. All I wanted to do was grab something to eat while I cleaned out all the crap from the foot of the bed. I had the bedroom floor covered in forgotten bags of reusable bags, cat clothes, and the contents of my locker from a store I haven’t worked at since April. I wasn’t in the mood to be social, or to be held hostage by one of his “my life is in shambles, let me ramble on to your for 3 hours without letting you get a word in edgewise” rants.

I turned my music down a bit and hunkered down at my desk, sorting through the oddities I had pulled from the bedside. The not-very-helpful Bowser Kitten switched between climbing into bags I was sorting and cleaning the floppy-bummed Sketchpad McCaffrey, who had gotten into the coconut oil again (and was apparently quite delicious). With the door half closed due to my mess, I could only catch glimpses of the Creepy Roommate at the counter, trying to get into his cupboard.

He would pull one door open slightly, trying to stop things from falling off the bottom shelf. While doing that, something would fall from the top shelf.

“Oh no, not again”

Frantically, he’d grab the fallen box and try to cram it onto the already overflowing bottom shelf, while a can falls off the middle shelf.

“Oh no, not again”

Every time something fell out of the cupboard, he’d say “oh no, not again” and try to cram it back in. While shoving that onto the already overflowing shelves, something else would fall and I’d hear “oh no, not again”. Over and over and over……..

After 10 minutes, I turned it into a game for myself: try to guess what fell by the sound it made. Was that an empty pop can, or an empty Guinness? Box of falafal mix, or couscous? After 20 minutes, my stomach was really starting to growl. Thirty minutes in, and I was more than slightly annoyed.

Still, as hungry as I was, I wasn’t stepping foot in the kitchen. That Creepy Roommate can talk your ear off about how miserable his life is. If you stubbed your toe, he dropped a cinder block on his once. If your hours get cut at work, he’s suddenly down to one hour a day. And he’ll talk for hours about how much more miserable his life is than anyone else’s.

So, I stayed hidden away in my room, listening to his chorus of “oh no, not again” over and over again. Still digging through bags of randomness pulled from the foot of the bed, I search for forgotten snacks or bits of food stashed away for later.

Unfortunately, I was in the middle of purging the bedroom of crap. All I had was what I could find in a bag of things that were in my locker at my old store close a year ago: 4 packs of bubble gum, and a stale old Skor bar. Out of options (besides actually going into the kitchen and helping Creepy Roommate and then being held hostage by his incessant whining, that is), I ate the Skor bar for breakfast.

Finally, after more than 35 minutes, it seemed like the Creepy Roommate managed to get a handle on things in the kitchen. I peeked out and saw him pulling his hand out of the cupboard, letting out a sigh of relief as nothing flew out at him. Closing the cupboard door, he turned to walk back to his room (or to spend his usual hour taking a crap in the bathroom)……..

……and the cupboard door opened, spilling boxes and old, used plastic cutlery all over the counter.

“Oh no, not again”

And this, boys and girls, is why you need to purge things from time to time.

My Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad (Mon)Day

I read a theory a little while ago, and have been driving myself mad trying to find it again. I just want to give credit where credit is due for its sheer brilliance. I’ve been reading comic strips since I was 4, and have a very small collection of Garfield books in the office, and somehow this never dawned on me.  You see, Garfield hates Mondays. It’s a huge running joke in the comics. He just can’t stand the thought of having a Monday each and every week and makes a big deal about how something goes wrong each and every Monday.  Everyone always laughed along with him, like “Oh you silly cat, I hate Mondays too!”

But people hate Mondays because that’s (traditionally, not in retail) the start of the work week. After spending the weekend running errands, grabbing drinks, relaxing, maybe cleaning up the house, everyone has to trudge back to the office bright and early Monday morning for yet another exciting work week of sitting at a desk and wishing they were anywhere but there.  People hate Mondays. Garfield isn’t people though: Garfield the Cat is a damn cat. He doesn’t have a job. He sits around the house drop-kicking Odie, eating lasagna, and sleeping with his teddy bear. He has absolutely no reason to hate Mondays because the start of the work week has absolutely no bearing on his schedule. If anything, he should love Mondays because that would be the day Jon goes back to work for the week and Garfield can nap without interruption.

Unless that’s the reason Garfield hates Mondays. Jon goes back to work, meaning he’s not there with Garfield for a good 8-10 hours a day. After spending an entire weekend being at home with his pets, Jon has to head back to the grind and leave his pets behind for a few hours every day. Garfield doesn’t hate Mondays because it’s the start of his week, he hates Mondays because it’s the start of Jon’s week. Monday is the day Jon has to leave after spending the weekend together. Garfield’s hatred of Mondays is actually his own little way of saying that he loves Jon, and doesn’t want him to leave.

I can’t believe I never saw it that way before.

Well, I had a Monday this week that would make anyone hate the day! My Monday events started thanks to Sunday’s actions, which were a result of what happened in my last post the end of last week, which I’m sure all leads back to Kevin Bacon somehow. The Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend and I had a big talk about his drinking and the person he becomes when he’s drunk, and he decided to make some pretty major changes in his lifestyle. To show that he was serious about this, he decided to do something that he had been promising me he would do for weeks now. When I came home from work on Sunday night, AAB was one his knees in the kitchen, scrubbing out the oven. He had some bright pink rubber gloves on and was spraying super thick layers of oven cleaner while he scrubbed.

Now, our oven hadn’t been cleaned in years. Yes, I know that’s nasty. But even my clean-freak ex-roommate didn’t clean the damn thing. Everything else in the damn kitchen is scrubbed and sanitized at least once a week. It’s just that damn oven that I never seemed to get around to. Damn.

I sat on the floor with the cautiously curious Bowser Kitten, sipping wine and updating AAB on the current work drama while he scrubbed away. I’d get up and grab him paper towels and scrubbing cloths as needed, but generally just let him do his thing. He must have been scrubbing that thing for a good hour and wound up with a plastic bag full of paper towels soaked in oven cleaner. After washing up and taking out the trash, he started dinner. He had been wanting to try two different recipes for pork ribs all week and was going to do both at the same time. After he threw everything in the freshly cleaned oven, I curled up with my wine and kitten on the couch to start season 9 of RuPaul’s Drag Race.

After dinner, I stayed up a bit later than AAB and started to feel really weird. I tried to get some sleep, but the room started spinning. After lying down for an hour or so, I found myself running for the bathroom. I spent the majority of the night either waiting for the room to stop spinning, or bent over the toilet losing my dinner. Just when my stomach finally started to calm down so I could get a little sleep, AAB’s alarm started going off.

After he finally left for work, I tried to just lay down and nap for a bit. I got up a few times and threw up what little was left in my system, and got a good 2 hours of sleep in. A bit before noon I started feeling restless from not doing anything and decided to put away the dishes from the night before. Except when I went to grab the first dish, it slipped out of my hand. It seems AAB did the dishes after a few drinks, and they were all covered in grease. So, had to rewash all the dishes plus do what was left of the dishes from the night before.

By now, I was feeling a little bit better. I decided to try and make the moo shu chicken recipes I had up on my computer for a good week. I threw my chicken in the marinade, threw it back in the fridge, and decided to check the oven for any dishes AAB may have left in there. He has a bad habit of throwing pans in there to get them out of the way. There were no pans in there, but I did figure out why I felt so sick.

It seems that when AAB finished up the oven while I was in the other room, he didn’t actually rinse any of the cleaner out of the oven. He soaked up a whole tonne of it with paper towels, but the entire inside of the oven was coated with a thick layer of toxic cleaner. You know, the same oven AAB used to cook us dinner in the night before?  He cooked our ribs and potatoes in chemicals. Basically, I ate oven cleaner for dinner and spent the night throwing up.

Of course, now I had to clean the oven out. I pulled out the racks, grabbed my sponges, and got to work scrubbing the inside. Somehow, while I was nowhere near the light bulb but still inside the oven, the bulb just decided to burst. It was so loud and sudden, I jumped. While inside the oven.  Slammed my head into the top off the oven pretty hard, while slamming my left elbow into the outer edge hard enough to bring tears to my eyes.

After a quick concussion check and a shower, grabbed the mail. My day was starting to look up because there was a package from the website I ordered my new glasses from. I ripped open the package and tried on my new glasses, only to find out I can’t see a damn thing with them on. After checking the purchase order in the box, came to find out that they somehow inverted my prescription. My eyes are two completely different strengths (-7.25 and -5.75), and they put the left lens in the right side of the frame and vice versa. It took me close to an hour and a half between their live web chat and a phone call to get everything straightened out. Put those glasses back in the mail, and have new ones on order as we speak.

Finally got around to making that Moo Shu Chicken. It looks absolutely amazing. No clue how it tastes though because my stomach was too upset to even try it. So after cooking a bug lunch (with leftovers) that smelled amazing, I had to put it all in Tupperware and put it in the fridge while I munched on crackers and a bit of cheese instead. It was the safest thing I could think of to put in my rumbling tummy.

Finally, settle in at my desk to finish getting ready for work and do a little reading when my phone starts ringing. It’s my coworkers wondering where the hell I am. I’ve been starting at 5:15pm for days now and was on autopilot to get there for that time. Too bad my shift started at 4:15pm, and AAB wasn’t home with the van yet to drive me there ASAP. Grabbed my gear, strapped on my steel toes, and walked to work at full speed, somehow managing not to fall down in any potholes this time. Only wound up starting half an hour late, which wasn’t bad. My coworkers were great about it though. They weren’t upset that I was late. I’m never late. I usually show up a good 30 minutes early for my shifts just in case it’s super busy and they need me to start early. When I wasn’t there by 4:15 they were legitimately worried. They thought I had fallen on my way in again and was laying in the middle of the sidewalk while people just walked around me.

The rest of the night went pretty smoothly until my uterus decided to remind me of its existence. Because cramps seemed like the absolute perfect end to the day.

It’s Tuesday now. AAB made a nice ham for dinner last night, and I found out later in the night what it feels like to throw up ham so violently that it comes out your nose. Made the same discovery with my coffee this morning, too.  It’s 1pm now, and I’m still in my pj’s. I slept on the couch last night (to be closer to the bathroom), and have barely started my to-do list for the day. I made my “bed”, wrote this, did some dishes, and turned down a shift at work because I already work 6 days a week and need a day off, especially when I’m puking out my nose. Going to get a little cleaning done in the living room, take a nice hot bath, and get some laundry done later when the energy rates go down. Dinner is in the crockpot, and I might make some more cereal bars later.

Well, I don’t want to get too ambitious. I mean, there’s always the chance that this could turn into a very Monday-esque Tuesday.

One Of My Biggest Pet Peeves

As I keep telling you, there are five people and the always amazing and precious Bowser Kitten living in this house. Once a week the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend changes the kitty litter, takes out the garbage, and does the recycling. Everyone here does all their own laundry, and for the most part, we do our own dishes. Sometimes we’ll leave something in the sink to soak and someone else will wash it, but we all do that for each other. Even Bowser Kitten does his part, chasing and destroying flies.

So why the hell can’t anyone figure out how to clean the common areas? I mean, it’s like none of them have ever seen a broom before in their lives.

Not How You Use A Broom

In all the years of having roommates, the lack of cleaning in common areas has been one of my biggest pet peeves. I mean, common areas are places in your house/apartment/oversize cardboard box that a bunch (or all) of us use. Everyone in the house eats at some point, so we all use the kitchen. And just like the children’s book taught us years ago, everybody poops. Everybody. Unless you each have your very own individual bathrooms, you share a bathroom with someone else. This ain’t rocket surgery here people. There’s more than one person who uses that room, so logically there should be more than one person cleaning that room.

I swept our kitchen three times today. THREE!!! When I got up to make coffee this morning, there were crumbs and dirt everywhere. When I went to take a shower, someone had tracked dirt and grass all through the house. And when I was reheating my leftover Chinese food later in the afternoon, there was rice and dirt everywhere. Now I know none of that stuff got there on its own. Someone had to track in that dirt and grass, and someone had to spill that rice. And whatever someone did that, did NOT clean it up afterward.

For some reason, grown-ass adults in this house who manage to keep their personal bedrooms immaculately clean can’t be bothered to sweep up their spilled food. They can’t find the time to wipe down counters after they use them. They have no problem spilling pasta sauce all over the stove and leaving it there to bake on.

Since I’ve lived here the longest, I tend to take on the ickier sometimes-jobs. I’m the one who pulls the grates off the range hood to clean up the grease from the fan over the stove. I’m the one who scrubs out the oven. I’m the one who sweeps the cobwebs from the corners, who washed the handprints off the walls, who dusts the cupboard tops and baseboards. I can plan for all of this. But having to drop everything to once again sweep up someone else’s mess in the kitchen and re-mop the floors is just draining me.

And it doesn’t stop at the kitchen, either. As amazingly awesome as the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend is, our bathroom is the root of many fights between us. Even after he “cleans” it, I can run my finger along the side of the tub or on the shower wall and just feel the grime on there. But at least he’s trying. We share that bathroom with another person who has cleaned ONCE. Yes, once. And that was just his sink. In the months he has shared that bathroom with us, he cleaned his sink out once. When it comes to 99% of the cleaning in that bathroom that three people use, I am the one who scrubs the toilet and bathtub. I am the only one who washes the bathmats or the floor. And I am the only one to ever clean the mirrors or wipe filthy handprints off the door and walls.

As I’ve said before, I’m far from perfect. I once had the horrible habit of leaving mostly drank 40oz bottles of malt liquor on the sun porch of a house I shared. At my old apartment, I had to sleep in the living room for quite some time and let my piles of books and study material take over a portion of the room. I learned from all of this though. And I pass on what I learned so you don’t have to make all of my mistakes. I mean if you can’t be a good example, you may as well be a terrible warning, right?

One of the main reasons I hate living with roommates so much is because of the lack of cleaning anyone ever does. I am the only one who sweeps anywhere but the bedrooms. I’m the only one who mops, who vacuums, who dusts, and who scrubs anywhere in this house that is not inside a rented bedroom. No matter how many people live here, I am the one who does 99% of the cleaning here. And it drives me up the wall.

Are you living with other people, Sunshine? It doesn’t matter if they’re family, friends, or perfect strangers. If you’re not living a perfectly solitary existence locked behind the door to your own private abode, then you need to get up off your ass right now and do a bit of cleaning. Make sure you didn’t leave any sort of mess behind. Take a quick walk-through your place and think, “Do these floors need cleaning? When was the last time the countertops were washed? Do I know how to use a toilet brush?”. Clean something you normally wouldn’t, but that you normally use. I don’t care if it’s mopping the floor in the whole place or just cleaning cobwebs out of the corners: if you’re not living completely alone (save for any animal friends), then you need to be cleaning a little bit more.

And if you are living that hermit-life….. I envy you.

The Failed GrownUp’s Guide to Not Being a Complete And Total Ass Waffle of a Roommate

Well, here in my little University town, it is officially move in day for the residence students. That means that not only is campus flooded with new students and their folks, but the 7-11 I go to every freakin Sunday for my junk food meal of chicken wings and a corn dog is going to be beyond packed and utterly destroyed. That also means that Casa del Failure is packed again.

Once again it’s me, your favourite failure, with my precious Bowser Kitten and the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend taking care of the place. I do most of the general cleaning int he common areas and small repairs; AAB does all the yard work, the really dirty work, and scrubs out rooms when people move out; and Bowser Kitten is in charge of pest control. We have our quirky and quite strange roommate A, who failed to learn how a slow cooker works in his 46 years on this planet (at least I think he’s from this planet), on the main floor with us. In the basement is our young student C, who Bowser absolutely adores right now, taking up the most recently vacated room. And our newest addition is a recent masters graduate we’ll call J, whose girlfriend was my next-door neighbour and babysitting charge more than 15 years ago in a whole other city.

Yes, once again I am living in a house full of dudes. This is a two ovary household still.

So far, things don’t seem too bad. The only real problem we had was with the people moving OUT of rooms. Over the years that I’ve been here, our basement has become quite the collection of randomness that people seem to think I either want or have a burning desire to get rid of for them. Seriously, our little storage area in the basement (which is really just a wide open area when you first come down the stairs with no organizational structure at all) is beyond filed, with things spilling out into the basement common area (where we keep the really really comfy couch).


Yes, that is a random tire, a whole bunch of styrofoam, an old broken fan, and a box of old used beer pitchers.  Seriously, what the hell do people think I’m going to do with this crap? It’s not like they left it behind and said, “I don’t have access to a truck to haul this off to the dump. Can I leave it here so you can take it the next time you go?”. They just left it behind in a big pile down there. And that’s not all that’s been left behind over the years, either.


That right there is most of a Christmas tree, a treadmill, a box of Christmas lights (which I am actually keeping and putting up in the living room because the lighting sucks in there), and a box of Christmas ornaments. A few of those ornaments were made for the guy who left them here by his freakin son!  So now not only do I have to find a way to get all of this crap to the dump, I have to haul a fucking treadmill up the ridiculously awkward basement stairs!

It gets worse too, Sunshine. When AAB moved in here, the landlord cut a deal with him and paid him to clean out the rooms and bathroom in the basement. Why? Because the last tenant who lived down there (who left the tires, a box of wires and chords, and a few old alarm clocks) was a huge pig. It looked like he had tried to sweep before leaving, but just left piles of dirt and debris all over the bedroom floor. There were old McDonald’s bags from months before, random school papers everywhere, and the bathroom hadn’t been cleaned once in the year he was living down there. AAB spent days down there hauling up garbage, scrubbing layers of mold off the bathroom shower, and basically sanitizing the entire basement.

Sad thing is, this isn’t the first or last time this has happened.  The most recent dude to leave here left behind the tree, Christmas things, random end tables everywhere (who the hell has so many tables for no reason? I mean besides me now), and just garbage everywhere. And of course, no one can forget the guy who lived in my room before me who didn’t vacuum for more than a year. Even after vacuuming the carpet multiple times, I wound up having an allergic reaction to something that had been ground in there and was covered in hives for 94 days.

Yes, 94 fucking days of hives. In the middle of summer, when sweat made the hives worse.

Living in a house you don’t own doesn’t give you free reign to trash the place or disrespect the owners (or your roommates). There are so many simple, little things that you can do to avoid pissing off everyone and someday ending up on some random person’s blog as their Roommate From Hell. So, here for your reading pleasure, I give you…….

The Failed GrownUp’s Guide to Not Being a Complete And Total Ass Waffle of a Roommate

#1: Clean Up Your Fucking Messes

This doesn’t just mean “scrape the berries off the ceiling after you try to make a smoothie in a blender with no lid and cause a giant purple delicious explosion in the kitchen”. Did you use the kitchen counter? Then grab a rag, or a clean sponge, or one of those disinfectant wipes, and wipe the fucking thing down. Use dishes? Fucking wash them!

It’s not rocket surgery here, but it’s the one thing I hear the most complaints about from people I know who are living with roommates. There’s nothing worse than coming home at the end of a long day, wanting nothing more than to throw a bunch of shit into a pot on the stove and make random deliciousness, and finding out that every fucking pot in the damn house is dirty and sitting in the sink. What makes it even worse is when you realize you haven’t touched the pots in days, they were clean right after you used them, and it’s the same fucking roommate using up everything all the time and just leaving it for you to clean.

This isn’t just in the kitchen, either. I could’ve avoided 94 fucking days of hives if someone had just picked up a vacuum every now and then and ran it across the carpet. It’s not a huge room, it only takes a few minutes. Hell, I got a shitty little handheld vacuum with a hose attachment to spot vacuum when I need it in here!

Just generally, clean up after yourself. You know all the shit your parents always bitched at you for, like picking up your socks and not leaving wet towels on the floor? I mean that shit. Pick up things you drop on the floor. If you take stuff into a common area, unless there’s a specific place you can put it, take it with you when you leave. I’m fucking horrible for this, always have been. I’ll take a pile of books, papers, and pens and just leave it somewhere when I leave the room. It’s something I consciously try to avoid doing, though, because I don’t want to be an asshole.

#2: Unless You’re Actually Trying to Wake the Dead, Pipe the Fuck Down

The student life is fucking weird, and you keep the most bizarre hours sometimes. I can remember staying up for like 36 hours sorting through research once, taking a nap at like 10 am and then waking up at 2 pm to start writing for the next 5 hours. Between the classes, the class work, working a job or two, volunteering, clubs and societies, parties, and some semblance of a social life, you find yourself doing strange things like going to 7-11 at 3:30 am for coffee and a RockStar, and then going back again at 3:30 pm for the same thing. There is no one set schedule that all, or even most, students live on. That’s why it’s so damn important to pipe the fuck down.

If you have roommates, unless you’re sitting in the same room together right this very second, you don’t know if they’re sleeping. Or, at the very least, trying to sleep. I once had a roommate who had this big old tv in her room, which was right next to mine. She didn’t care if I worked late the night before, or was up all night writing papers. By 10 am her TV was on and cranked as loud as it would go. I could go downstairs to the living room, turn on the tv down there, and STILL hear her TV. I couldn’t sleep during the day in my own room, let alone take a quick nap unless I had hit the point of total exhaustion where I could sleep through anything.

I admit that I’ve been the loud and annoying roommate at times. Sometimes, if I know everyone is awake, I love to blast some tunes in the shower and sing along. And just so you know, the Bowser Kitten has a better singing voice than I do, and he’s a fucking cat. Still, I now try to do that only when I know everyone is awake and most (if not all) of them are out of the house.

You generally don’t know when someone is sleeping, or napping, or trying to concentrate. I’m not saying you have to tiptoe around the house as quiet as a fucking mime. Let’s be honest here, mime’s are fucking creepy and I would never tell you to act like one! Just be a little considerate. Keep your shows and music at a somewhat reasonable volume.

Why am I sounding more and more like my mother while I write this?

#3: Not Everyone Is Your New Bestie

I’m a pretty solitary person usually. I practice voluntary hermit-ism. If it wasn’t for AAB, I would only leave my room to go to work and take a shit. I’m not totally anti-social or anything. I mean, if I run into a roommate while we’re both in the kitchen or something, I’ll chit chat. I’ve had roommates before who I was friends with, and we would sit around at night and watch tv together. I’m not living here to make friends, though.

All those TV shows where random people live in close proximity to each other and instantly become inseparable best friends for life are a lie. A bold-faced, spit in your eye, slap you across the face, help you move into a new apartment while they fuck your girlfriend in the closet at your old place, LIE!  Living under the same roof does not instantly make you best friends.

My one roommate “A” is constantly trying to strike up a conversation with me. If I’m chilling in the kitchen, I’ll chit chat for a bit while I cook. That’s fine with me. But just a few minutes ago I was cleaning the basement out. I was picking up mattresses and throwing them into a pile, moving the junk people have left behind, and “A” came downstairs. So there I am, hoisting a mattress up over my head while trying to walk around piles of junk, and he just starts rambling on to me about something-or-other. Next thing I know, he’s trying to push mattresses around back into the spaces I was pulling them out of! While I’m pulling stuff out of a tight spot, he’s pushing against and just rambling on about random bullshit.

I know, he’s lonely. He’s always trying to talk to anyone within earshot around here. I’ve taken to hiding when I hear his door open sometimes. It’s just annoying. Like, I just wanted to throw some old mattresses around and check all the Christmas lights that were down there in total peace. It’s my procrastination from writing. I clear my mind, blow off some steam, and lift heavy things over my head for a bit. I didn’t need him undoing my work while rambling my fucking ear off.

Don’t think that everyone in your house will want to sit around and let you talk their ear off. I have had roommates that I grew to be good friends with, some that I actively hate, but most of them were just sorta here. We didn’t chat, or hang out, or go out anywhere together. Sure, we talked when we were in the same room. I can tell you a few things I learned about each of them, and we had some laughs. Hell, I had a roommate I never spoke to outside of our kitchen who I bonded with over a few very large bottles of red wine while we tried to learn about wine tasting in an effort to sound smart at networking events (we failed massively and wound up very hungover instead). He’s moved out since then, and we don’t keep in touch. It’s not a big deal, we’re just not friends.

When you’re renting with random people or people you don’t know very well, don’t try and force the friendship. You might wind up friends with some of them, you might not. It’s no big deal, you don’t have to be everyone’s friend.

And NEVER, under any circumstances, try to force a new roommate into a “fun-filled” night in with you and all your favourite things. A friend had a new roommate try this, and said roommate pitched a fit when my lactose-intolerant vegetarian friend wouldn’t sit around eating burgers and drinking milkshakes for hours during one of the busiest weeks before exams.

#4: Is That Yours? Then Why The Fuck Are You Using It?

Years ago I had to walk home in the pouring rain, and the only thing that kept me going was the thought of grabbing my biggest pot and making ALL the pasta for me and a friend. Like, we were walking in the freezing cold, rain soaking through our clothes, umbrella ripped to shreds from the wind, and all we could talk about was smothering pasta in butter and sopping up the butter with fresh hot bread. Pretty sure the rain was washing away massive amounts of drool. We finally get to my place, change out of our wet clothes, head to the kitchen to start cooking……. and all my pots are gone. I had four fucking pots, and they were ALL gone! A few minutes of snooping and we found all four of them, full of my roommate’s food, used up in the fridge.

This wasn’t the first time, or the last time, this particular roommate took my cookware. I’d come home from class and my stuff would just be gone. When I announced I was moving out, he actually had the nerve to try and hide some of my stuff from me! In the end, I did lose a few things in the move because of him. He grabbed stupid random shit (a toaster, a fan, frying pan, three plates and a bowl from a 4-person place setting) and locked it in his room for the week while he was out of town.  I couldn’t get them before I left.

If you’re my roommate and you ask me if you can borrow something, 99% of the time I’ll let you. I can’t help it, I’m Canadian to a fault and way too fucking nice to say ‘no’ to someone in need. All you have to do is ask. And I know a shit tonne of people who are the same way.

If you’re the one who needs to borrow something, don’t just reach for it unless you know you can use it. Don’t assume that just because your roommate doesn’t hoard their things in their bedroom, they’re fair game for everyone to use.  This kinda brings us to my last point for the day……

#5: Treat Everyone’s Shit As If It Was Your Shit

An old roommate had a bunch of roommates over the years in his house. Most of them were pretty chill, easy enough to live with. One turned out to be a disrespectful piece of shit who cost my friend and his landlord money over the time of this guy’s lease. Carpets had to be replaced because he never vacuumed them or cleaned up spills. He would burn cookware and just throw it back into the cupboard. He’d borrow a jacket or a sweater and just leave it somewhere random. He peeled paint off the walls, left food to rot on the counters, and even put holes in one of the walls. Nice enough guy, just a fucking nightmare to live with.

You’re paying money to live in someone else’s house. Don’t treat it like you’re Motley Cru and it’s a hotel room in 1986. It’s someone’s fucking property, their home. How would you feel if this was your place and someone treated it that way? Nevermind the anger from being disrespected, you’d probably be fucking pissed off about the money you’ve got to shell out for repairs!

If you borrow something from someone, treat it like it’s your own. Take care of it, wash it, give it back in one piece, and if something does happen to it then you damn well better replace it. Don’t treat your place and your roommate’s stuff like this is your personal playground.


All in all, if you want to not follow any of these tips, just remember one thing: someday you might need a reference. Most of the apartments in this area require AT LEAST one former landlord as a reference and more and more are asking for references from former roommates. So if you’re a giant dickwad to your roommates, lose and destroy their things, destroy the room you’re renting, and are just a horrible fucking human in general when it comes to renting, what are the chances anyone would want to give you a good reference?

Well Sunshine, the sun aint’ shining anymore today. I’m going to grab my sandwich and a glass of whiskey, throw on the comfy pants, and throw on a horror movie or three. Hope any of you moving for the start of the school year made it through the move safely, and without losing your shit (literally and figuratively).

The Failed Grown Up Guide to Not Being a Colossal Douche


I’ve been showing our house to prospective renters the last few days, Sunshine, and I feel there’s something I need to address. I know that finding a new place to live is hard, that renting a room in a house full of strangers is intimidating, that the people you move in with will have a very real and lasting impact on not only your stay in that place but your life in general.

Believe me, I get all of that.

Since I first decided to go back to school, I’ve moved all over this end of town. I’ve lived with good friends, acquaintances, ex-boyfriends, an ex-boyfriend AND a current boyfriend at the same time, and total strangers. It’s never exactly easy looking for a new place, moving in with new people, or learning to deal with the people you’re now living with.

That being said, no one needs to be a complete douche canoe when they’re looking at places. Just showing this place to prospective renters, I have seen more douchebaggery than most people will see in a dozen life times. There has been enough douche in this house to build a douche canoe, with matching douche paddles, to be floated down a douche stream to the Douche Rapids, over the majestic Grande Douche Falls,   where the douche rocks will obliterate it into a million douchey pieces.

That’s a metric shit-tonne of douche.

So here, for your very own reading pleasure, I give to you……

The Failed Grown Up Guide to Not Being a Colossal Douche

Step #1: Show the Fuck Up

I had three people scheduled to come here today to see rooms. Two showed up.

I had one person scheduled for yesterday. No one showed up.

I have lost count of the number of times we have had someone scheduled to come here to look at a room, and they just don’t bother showing up. And it’s not like we give them no options in contacting us. The landlord gives them his phone number, I Facebook message with them, we all email back and forth, I’ve even given my phone number to a few of them to text in case they’re running late (which I stopped doing after the random 3 am attempted sexts from dudes who saw the place).

Now, I have a job. The other people in this house who help me show it have jobs and/or school. We have busy fucking schedules.  None of us are just sitting around the house, waiting for people to saunter up at their leisure to peruse the joint.

Today, I woke up at 4am to go over the list of things I needed to do today. I was up by 6am when the boyfriend left for work. I showered, drew in my eyebrows, and then cleaned until 9:30am when I left for work.  I worked until 3pm. Had to pick up cat food and dish soap, so I skipped my break in order to run to the grocery store in our plaza. Power walked home with a backpack full of groceries to be here by 3:25. Put away groceries, changed, did a quick sweep of the floors and ran a dust cloth over the tables, and was sitting on the couch waiting for my 3:45 appointment.

They never showed up.

I busted my ass cleaning all morning, then busted my ass at work without a real break, just to bust my ass to get home and get right to the cleaning, all because some douche nozzle said he was showing up here at a certain time and he never fucking showed.

The people showing you a possible place to rent bust their asses off to make sure they are there to show it to you. It doesn’t matter if it’s some tiny bedroom in a shared apartment or a penthouse fucking suite: someone is taking time out of their day to show you that potential new home. Be there, be on time, and if you’re going to be late for the love of all things sacred PLEASE let them know!

Step #2: When you DO show up, show some basic fucking courtesies. 

I have had people show up here in the middle of a driving rain storm, soaked right to the damn bone. I offered towels to dry themselves off with and to throw their socks and shoes on the heating vent to dry off a bit while we toured the house. One guy refused the towel, refused to take off his shoes, and insisted that his three friends do the same. Instead, they thought it was perfectly acceptable to track mud and water through the house.

Of course, after they left I had to report back to the landlord. I’ve studied sociopaths and psychopaths for years, so he sees me as a pretty good judge of character. The first thing I mentioned was their total and utter disrespect for the place while viewing it. If you can’t be bothered to show some basic fucking respect while you’re just viewing the place as a potential tenant, then what are the chances of you respecting the place while you live here?

That dude emailed the landlord and said he’d like to take the place. The landlord said “thanks, but no thanks”.

The place you’re looking at isn’t the only thing being judged. Whoever is showing you that place is checking to see if you’re a fit for them, too. No landlord wants to rent out their spaces to people who are going to just fucking destroy them.  If someone can’t bother to take off their muddy fucking shoes, then what are the chances they’ll sweep or vacuum or mop EVER?

The house manager here for years used to rent rooms to a bunch of his friends and frat brothers. A lot of them were pretty cool and easy to get along with. The one dude who lived here when I moved in became a really great friend to me and used to call himself Uncle Sandwich to my kitten (he’d feed him meat from his designer sandwiches from the Italian grocer’s down the road). Most of the time, renting to people he knew worked out. One frat brother caused some serious issues when he moved out though.

You see, my bedroom is one of two that is carpeted. Fratty McFraterton lived in this room before me. Mr. Manager never bothered to ask him about the places he lived before, or talk to anyone he lived with outside the actual frat house. If he had, he would’ve known that this guy wasn’t exactly someone who cleaned up after himself. As it turned out, he didn’t vacuum his room once in the more than a year he lived here.

When I moved in, I vacuumed and sat down on the floor to organize my books a bit. And that’s when the hives started popping up. Because that damn carpet hadn’t been vacuumed in at least 13 months, dust and food had been ground into it and had to be cleaned out. Like, Mr. Manager had to go out and rent a carpet cleaner and we had to steam the entire fucking room. But the damage had already been done.  That summer and early fall, I spent 94 days covered in hives. 94 fucking days! I saw doctors and specialists, had my eyes swell shut, had to carry an EpiPen and even had hives on my butthole.

The Landlord caught wind of this. The fact that he let someone rent a room here (a damn nice room, for a damn good price, with AC and everything), and that person showed so much disrespect was just mind boggling. The carpet has been cleaned half a dozen times since I moved in, and it will never be the same colour it once was.  He doesn’t want more people coming in and destroying his house like that again.

So the first impression you make, the respect you show me or anyone showing you a prospective place, has a huge role in whether or not anyone wants you to live there.

Step 3: You’re a grown up. Fucking act like one!

It’s perfectly understandable that sometimes you can’t go visit a place on your own. Some people take a friend with them for safety reasons. Others come from out of town and have someone showing them around, or someone who volunteered to drive them. Some people need a health aid, or a translator, or have a parent or two with them to show them that they’re not moving into a crack den. And some people have just never moved out on their own before, and have someone along to make sure they ask all the right questions.  That’s all cool.

But it’s you who is looking to rent the place. You’re the one who would live there, you’re the one who needs info, and you’re the one being judged here.  Having your mommy come along to talk for you is just going to give us something to laugh about later.

Had a young man come here the other day to look at a room, with his mother in tow. Well, actually it was more like she was looking at the room while he tagged along. She made a big show of telling me how her Special Little Man was 25 and moving out on his own for the very first time. I swear, she talked about him the same I was I talk about my baby kitten, who is an Extra Special Very Good Boy sometimes. He was going to go to university and get a BA in Psychology, which would make him a Very Important Special Little Man who would have people just throwing jobs at him. He didn’t have time for silly things like cleaning and cooking, so we’d need to do that. He was going to have a degree, did I have any idea what kind of doors that would open for him?

I so wanted to say, “Yeah, it’ll open the fucking door to the liquor store where I work. I’ve got the same damn degree sweetheart, with a second honors degree on top of that. And I still manage to scrub my toilet and wipe the counters down after I use them.” But I put on my best Customer Service Face, smiled and just said,”Oh ya, ok” while I nodded my head over and over.

The Special Little Man barely spoke. He seemed like a nice enough guy, the total opposite of his mother. A little spoiled, but totally eager to get out from under his mother’s thumb and into the real world. If his mother wasn’t there, I never would’ve known he can barely cook, and had never done laundry, and wasn’t allowed to even use a broom at home because he had better things to focus on. I probably would’ve recommended him to the landlord, told him he seemed like a nice respectable guy.

As it is, that boy won’t be renting a room here. Especially after his mother announced she’d be here every other weekend “at the very least” to make sure we were “taking care of him”.

Step 4: Read the fucking ad!

Single Bed for Rent.jpg

Our ads are pretty basic. It shows a few old pictures of the house, tells you the price of the rooms, you share common areas and a bathroom, and it’s a mature home; no loud parties, no selling anything illegal from the house, all utilities included except cable and the internet. It flat out says that you are renting a ROOM and that you will be SHARING a bathroom, living room, dining room, and kitchen with everyone else.  I come right out the second people walk through the door here, and I show them which areas are common areas.  That’s how people have always shown me apartments and homes in the past too.

The ad pretty much tells you what you’re paying for. You get a room all to yourself, with a lock and key and everything. You share a kitchen and living room with everyone. You share a bathroom with one or two other people. The landlord tells you that when you email him saying you want to see the house. I tell you that when you walk in the house to see the rooms.

But this is a small sample of the things I’ve still heard from prospective renters in the last year or so:

  • what do you mean I have to share a bathroom with someone?
  • can’t you just not rent out the room next to me, so I get the whole basement to myself?
  • I thought this room came with a private bathroom.
  • what do you mean I have to share a kitchen?
  • you mean it’s just a bedroom?
  • I thought I was going to be seeing a full apartment.

I think you get the picture.

The fucking ad has PICTURE of the HOUSE in it. It talks about the BEDROOMS for rent. It mentions all of the COMMON AREAS that you would be SHARING with other people if you lived here. It ain’t fucking rocket surgery to realize that this is a room available in a house.

And the last two steps combined bring me to our next step.

Step 5: It is what it is. You’re not getting any more out of it.

You pay for a room here. You cook for yourself, you clean for yourself, you take care of yourself, you even shop for yourself. You are a grown-ass person, who will do grown-ass things, and take care of their damn selves. We do not have maid service or a chef. I’m not here to take care of you. You are paying for a room, and that’s it.

Last week we had a fellow look at the rooms downstairs, and start asking about the maid service schedule. He asked about grocery services. He wanted to know who would be doing the cooking. When he was told that he had to do all of that himself like a Big Boy, he had the fucking gall to try and lowball the landlord for rent to make-up for what was “missing”. He wanted a $400 room for less than $200!

Remember the woman with the 25-year-old Special Little Man who was going to be so fucking important someday? She was fucking appalled that her Special Little Man would have to do things for himself. He was far too important to do things like feed himself, or wash a fucking dish. She seriously expected everyone in the house to chip in and hire a maid to come in and scrub the floors, do the laundry, wash the dishes, and scrub out the bathrooms three or four times a week. If we weren’t willing to do that, then she wanted a discount on the rent.

People come up with all sorts of crazy-ass demands when they come look at the place. I’ve had people try to demand we get a brand new BBQ because ours is old and used. I’ve had people demand no one keep things in the kitchen but them. People have wanted to have the entire basement or main floor to themselves, without paying to rent the other rooms there. They’ve wanted other people to cook for them, to clean for them, to do their grocery shopping, to be their private guide to the city. Hell, I even had one girl who lived here try to turn me into her personal stylist, even though I have ZERO sense of fucking style!

Unless an ad says something like, “Private maid cleaning/cook available for a price/ room and board, meals included”, don’t expect any of this shit. Your parents, or your last roommate, or your last partner may have done these things for you. But was anyone doing any of this for them? Nope, and it’s not getting done for you here either!

A Few Final Thoughts

If you go looking for a place to live, and you act like a total and complete douche, no one is going to want you to live there.

If you come here and start bragging about how smart you are, how your degree is going to mean people will be throwing jobs at you, no one here is going to be impressed.

If your mommy comes in here to tell me that you’re far too important and special to do anything for yourself, or you come in here demanding someone else do your cleaning for you, no one here is going to jump up and cater to your every fucking need and whim.

If your mother comes in here and refers to you by little names that sound like something I would call my kitten, the Most Precious And Perfect Fuzzy Little Baby Man,  I will do my best not to burst out laughing in your face. But that’s as far I’ll go for that.

Basically, if you come in here doing any of the douchey bullshit I’ve just warned you about, I am going to tell everyone about it. I’ll tell my boyfriend, our roommates, my coworkers, maybe even some of my favourite regular customers. And we’re not going to sit back and revel in your awesomeness. No, we’re going to laugh our fucking asses off, make fun of you, and try to figure out who in their right mind would actually want you as their roommate.

So don’t forget, Sunshine: don’t be a douche. Don’t let your friends be douches. Don’t try to out-douche other douches. Just be a fucking awesome person, like are right now.


Roommates From Hell: You Don’t Even Live Here!

I think I’ve mentioned before that our bedroom is just off the kitchen in this house. That means that if you’re standing in the kitchen and talking loudly to be heard over the running water in the sink, I can hear what you’re saying too. If you are yelling over the sound of running water, then yes I can hear you only a few feet away in my bedroom. This is not a hard concept to understand.

Or is it?

So Guy Upstairs has his girlfriend over, pretty much constantly. She seems like a nice enough girl the odd time I see her. They mostly stay in his room, hiding out and watching movies and Netflix. He’s pretty great, for a random roommate, and I’ve never really had a problem with her.

Now, our kitchen is a bit of a clustered disaster at the moment. We’ve had people moving out, and new people moving in, and the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend and I have a lot of stuff. I try to keep a rather large area of counter clean for cooking, but have the  bad habit of not putting away our Tupperware. It will pile up for a few weeks, and then I’ll do a massive overhaul of the Tupperware shelf and put it all away. The stuff piled up on the counter is clean, and out of the way. It’s just sort of…… piled.

Now, Guy Upstairs doesn’t have a hell  of a lot of stuff in the common areas. He has food in the fridge, and in his cupboard, and a bit of cookware. That’s pretty much it. He makes his dinners, feeds her when she’s here, and keeps his things in his cupboard and in a pile on the counter (right by  Mount Tupperware). We have never had a problem with each other, not even when it comes to cleaning and sharing the kitchen. He is nice and kind and respectful, and we both understand that this kitchen will never be something out of a Martha Stewart Living article. There’s far too many people, all with their own stuff, who come and go here for that to ever happen.

Guy’s Girlfriend seriously needs to realize that though!

Now I won’t complain about her being here all the time. AAB was here constantly before he moved in. And for the most part, as I said, we don’t see much of her. This is not her house, though. She rents a room in a house a few blocks from here: she just doesn’t like her roommates. They’re loud and dirty, and have no respect for anyone else living there. I totally get that. I’ve been in similar situations before. And my heart really went out to her when she was complaining about her roommates loudly partying when they knew she had to be up early the next morning.

Still, she doesn’t live here.

That didn’t stop her today from standing at the sink beside Guy Upstairs while he did his dishes. Over the sound of the running hot water, she was LOUDLY complaining about Mount Tupperware and how NO ONE in this house ever does any cleaning. She made it sound like they were surrounded by filth, like this house should be condemned for the state it’s in.

And while she was loudly complaining, she knew I was sitting in my bedroom, eating a sandwich while I watched an old Ramsay’s Kitchen Nightmares episode while I took a break from my day.

Now I have been cooking, cleaning, and dealing with the student loans folks all day. It’s my day off from work, and I’ve been going since 9am (forced myself to stay in bed late today and relax). I threw some stew in the crockpot, cleaned up my mess in the kitchen, did all our dishes, swept and mopped, took down all the Christmas decorations,  cleaned out the front hallway (the floors get nasty pretty fast this time of year in there), cleaned out our fridge, sorted through a pile of things I wanted to donate. This was on top of dealing with student loan people for almost 3 hours. Oh, and I finally tackled Mount Tupperware, too. I’ve done a hell of a lot around here today, even if it isn’t noticeable right away.

The nerve of that precious little turd to complain! If she was running around cleaning up after people here, that would be one thing. But I’ve never seen her do more than rinse out her tea mug before though! I mean, I’ve had to scrub skid marks out of the toilet before that are NOT mine or AAB’s! I have cleaned up her poop, dammit! She doesn’t clean up after herself, lets Guy Upstairs basically wait on her hand and foot, doesn’t help him clean up after them. Hell, when I even just tried to say hello to her today, she just turned her back on me and pretended she didn’t hear me! She is becoming intolerable in those rare moments that I have to interact with her (or hear her complaining outside our room).

It’s days like this that push us forward though, Sunshine. While I was talking to AAB about this, and talking about the other Incredibly Grown-Up Things I did this week to try and get us out of here (more on that later), he realized that we DO need to leave this place. This house has served me well for almost 4 whole years now. Since high school, this is the longest I’ve ever lived in one house. But it’s just not practical for us to live with all of these roommates, especially when their precious little turd girlfriends do things like this that set me off.

So Sunshine, what should I do while we get all our ducks in a row? Should I talk to Guy Upstairs about his girlfriend’s attitude? Should I ignore this? Should I talk to her?

A Little Bit o’the Purge

Well a belated Happy New Year to you all out there, Sunshine!

I had a busy few weeks leading up to this. Volunteered for the 6am shift at work for the holidays. That meant 3 weeks of getting up at 4am, then walking to work in the snow at 5:30am. But I was done by 2:30pm every day, so it was worth it for me. If I could get a Monday to Friday job like that, I would take it in a heartbeat. It meant a lot more time with my Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend, and being able to cook dinners again. For the first time ever, I cooked a whole chicken! Did a lot of baking, decorating, had a slight existential crisis, multiple panic attacks, and drank a lot of Starbucks (thank you gift cards!).

But now I’m back to my normal life for now. Working closing shifts again, hours are getting cut drastically. I’ve picked up a few shifts from co-workers this week already, so I’m getting around 25 hours this week (compared to the 40 I was getting before the holidays). Next week I’m down to 8 hours, and the following week I have ZERO hours on the schedule. This means I’ll have to go back to waking up early, getting myself all ready in case there’s a chance I could get called in and pick up some hours, and keeping myself busy around the house. I’ve done a few very grown-up things so far, and have a few more on the list (appointments with my bank, my doctor, and finding a new eye doctor). But the big thing right now that AAB and I are focusing on is a good clean and purge of our stuff.

Last night, AAB started cleaning out his dresser. Because of his job, he has a tonne of clothes that wind up too ripped and stained to donate. So he turned what he could into rags, threw away a whole bunch, and then gathered up ALL the laundry (somehow there’s 4 baskets sitting here. How the hell did that happen?).

I started with my jewellery. My baby Bowser kitten went through a phase a few months ago where he kept jumping up on my dresser and knocking over my earing boxes and necklace stand. After a few weeks of half-assed organizing his post-leap messes, I just gave up. I dumped most of the stuff into a giant bowl, and kept tossing random things on top of it: socks, scarves, empty plastic bags, lotion bottles.

So last night, I spent a good hour and a half untangling necklaces, pairing up earrings, grouping bangles, and hiding away the few things I got from grandma. While going through all of this, thoughts kept popping into my head as I handled certain pieces: do I really need this? Will I ever wear this? Is this something I really want? So I started seriously thinking as I untangled and matched up pieces.

And you know what? It turns out I didn’t need half of this stuff. I had a necklace tucked away in a small baggie that had a few broken links. I swore for more than two years that I would fix it and wear it again someday. Two years! And you know what? There was never a time where I said to myself, “Gee, I wish I had that old tarnished faux-gold and faux-pearl necklace on right now. It would totally complete this look.” It was a great necklace, and I wore it once to a fraternity formal to jazz up an old LBD. I hadn’t worn it since, and didn’t really have anything else to wear it with. It wasn’t expensive (just one more piece from my lovely Ardene collection). It held no sentimental value. It wasn’t some rare irreplaceable piece. Every season there was something similar at Ardene that I could get for a very reasonable price if I was ever desperate for a piece like this. But right now, it was just this tangled mass of chains with a string of faux-pearls slowing falling apart. It was taking up space, and that’s all it was doing. So, I tossed it.

So for the next few weeks, especially on days when I do not have a shift and I don’t get called in, this is what I’ll be doing to stay busy. On top of my usual job hunting and cleaning around the house, I’ll be purging and organizing our stuff all over the house. Today, I went through a basket of lotions and hair products. While I did jump between curling and straightening my hair when it was longer, and needed some heavy duty moisturizers and split end menders for the ends at that time, I haven’t touched any of that stuff in months. I chopped my hair in a pixie, and just use a little putty and texturing spray in now. So why keep all of these almost empty bottles of hair products sitting around the house taking up space? Especially when recycling goes out tonight? Later today before I leave for work, I’ll be gathering up some odd random holiday stuff (Halloween costume ears, swords, Christmas sweaters and socks, etc.) and storing that stuff away.

So Sunshine, do the objects you surround yourself with bring you joy? Are they things that you can say definitely add value to your life? Or do you have piles of “maybe someday I’ll use it” crap all around you? Maybe this year could be your year to finally go through some of this stuff and say, “If I don’t need you, I’m not keeping you.” And this goes for anything you have that is just a drain on your time and space: books, beauty products, friends, volunteering opportunities, partners, socks……….. Take your time, go at your own pace, and get rid of the junk that’s just taking up precious space in your life.

Roommates from Hell: Updates from This Semester

Well it’s the end of the semester, which means the students are all on the move. It’s been a wild semester, with the five of us sharing the house. Just to re-cap some of the strangest drama and experiences from the last few months:

  • I walked into the kitchen multiple times to find AC sitting on the floor with a giant knife that looked more like a small machette, chopping ridiculously large amounts of cabbage.
  • UG used a frying pan! We finally got him to stop just reheating leftovers in the fridge, and he started making his own food to go with the giant pots of rice he was always burning on the stove. Unfortunately, he never cleaned the damn frying pan, instead letting it sit there with leftover fat and oil in it for days at a time. I watched him try to clean it the other day: he put it under running (cold) water, pushed old food bits out with his fingers, and then put it back on the stove.
  • I randonly came home a few times to find my livingroom packed full of people, all guests of DG. I never really minded that he always had people coming over, but our neighbour (who is like the badass granny everyone needs in their life) got pretty damn pissed. His friends were throwing all their food wrappers and garbage on her lawn. She damn near charged into the house once to scream at all the roommates.
  • We finally got a second fridge!
  • The second fridge broke. No one bothered to clear out their rotting food from it. Jeff had to put on his Army-issued gas mask in order to clean it out without puking. After that, I went from getting half a shelf in the fridge (plus sharing the top shelf for large items, the door for all the condiments, and the vegetable crisper) to getting one third of a shelf if I was lucky, and barely enough room on the top shelf to put a carton of milk and bottle of wine.
  • Jeff and I got through out break-up ok. He’s dating a really sweet young girl who goes to the university here. She’s messaged me on Facebook a bunch of times, and we talk whenever she’s over (we actually have a lot of common interests). And I found the most amazingly wonderful man I could ever hope to meet, who I am ridiculously crazy about in a way I’ve never felt about anyone else before.
  • No one besides me mopped. Ever.
  • No one but me vacuumed the common areas. Ever.
  • No one but me cleaned the bathrooms. Ever.
  • No one but me cleaned the laundry room. Ever.
  • My new amazing boyfriend helped me clean up our kitchen quite a bit, since no one else ever helped. He was the only person to do any real deep cleaning around here besides me. And he doesn’t even live here.

So it’s been an interesting semester here. AC finished her in-class work last week, and went home to be with her husband and son while she finished her final papers. She’s set to come back here in the fall though, and left her treadmill behind to claim her space.

UG just left this house for the last time a few minutes ago. He came to my room to say goodbye (and to see the cat, of course). He had a friend helping him move (a friend who would not stop singing loudly all afternoon while I tried to work), and somehow wound up with multiple bags of garbage needing to be taken out. I think that, of all the randoms we’ve had come through this house in the years I’ve been here, he’s been my favourite. He was mostly respectful, kept to himself, and never bothered me. True, he never did clean anything, and he left boogers on the shower walls. But he was a hell of a lot better than some of the trash I’ve seen come through here.

DG is leaving here by the end of this month. He’s already packed up his BBQ and moved it to a friend’s place.He has so much stuff, though, it’s been spilling out into the common areas since the day he moved in. I have no clue how he’s going to pack it all and move it out of here!

And then there’s Jeff. He’s agreed to become the house manager for a friend who had to move away for work, but didn’t want to sell his income property. So, at the end of this month, he’s moving out too. We made a run to the liquor store to pick up some boxes (I work there, so I know where all the best ones are hidden for moving), and he’s going to start packing up his stuff. Soon. He swears it. Problem is, between all his clothes, his books, his army gear, and the random stuff he’s collected over the years living here…….. well, he has a lot of freakin stuff!  It’s going to take some supreme organizational skills to pull this off…….. thankfully, he still has me here.

Yeppers Sunshine, it looks like I’m not going anywhere just yet. They’ve cut my hours quite a bit at work the last few months, so I’ve eaten through most of my savings just to keep a roof over my head (and those savings were meant for 1st and last on a new roof over my head). I’m trying to find a second job, and have had no luck there. So once again, everyone is moving on with their lives but me. While everyone moves forward, I’m stuck in limbo for god knows how long.  And it’s really starting to get to me.

I think the worst part of all this is, Jeff has been managing this house for years. The cable and internet are in his name, he’s always handled the lawn maintenance (I’m allergic to freshly cut grass and break out in hives), and he’s been in charge of getting new stuff when things break (like right now, we have to get new recycling bins). There are 8 days left in this month, and I have no clue what is happening with any of that.  I don’t know if I have to get internet for the entire house, or if I’m responsible for going out and buying things like recycling bins and garbage cans for the house. Luckily, my amazingly awesome boyfriend has offered to come over and cut the lawn for me. But the rest is just…… in limbo.

I hope none of you are in a state of limbo right now, Sunshine. If you are, drop me a line or leave a comment. We can be miserable together.