Move (Almost) Complete

So in true Failed Grown Up fashion, I’m still moving. I have a good 95% of my things here at the new apartment, but there’s still a car load or two at Castle DumpsterFire. There’s not much there, just the things that I really can’t unpack here (or that I forgot to grab). I have my baking things (which I can’t unpack until I get another bookcase to put them on), a few onesies, my memory box, winter coats, and bags of resuable bags mostly.

The move itself has pretty much wiped me out completely. On the 2nd, I had the movers out to move the heavier stuff, mainly furniture and books. It costs a small fortune to even get that much done, so I figured I could just move the rest of my stuff by car. I mean, my move into Castle DumpsterFire was done mostly on foot with everything in backpacks and reusable shopping bags. So using a car would be so much simpler, right?

Except I somehow forgot that when I moved in that summer, despite being covered in hives for most of the move, I had all the time in the world to get things done. I had just finished my first degree, didn’t have a job yet, didn’t have any sort of schedule to work around, nothing but free time. This time, I had to work around my booze job, prepare for my new day job (that starts this Monday!), work around The Ex’s schedule so we wouldn’t run into each other often at The Castle, and still try to find time to unpack, clean, aclimatize the Newly Super Affectionate Boaswer Kitten to his new environment, and try to cook with an oven that doesn’t really work.

I spent the entire first week running between the apartment and the house with car loads of stuff before heading into work for the night. For someone who really doesn’t have much in her life, I have a fucking tonne of stuff! I moved, I shopped for things for around the house, I grocery shopped, and I even started unpacking in the first week. I spent the first few nights at the Castle so that I could pack after work and Boswer could have more time with his fur brother. But Friday afternoon before work, I took three car loads over to the apartment, with that last load being Boweser.

You would think that I’d be all done after that, but my anxiety was super high by that point. I had The Ex to deal with, even though he kept trying to “make things easier” for me. Seeing the things that needed to be unpacked at the apartment was just overwhelming me. That first night I put most of my clothes away, just because they were on the bed and I needed somewhere to sleep. But the thought of unpacking 11 boxes of books and settign up an entire (extremely tiny) kitchen made me physically ill. I had no clue where to even start.

Luckily, I have a completely wonderful friend who not only came over and unpacked all my books for me, but spent the night so we could just drink, watch movies, and eat fried chicken. That giant ball of twisted anxiety that had been growing in the pit of my stomach just vanished completely not long after he got here, and I’ve been powering through ever since.

Like I said, there’s still a few things I have to pick up at the old place. And I still need to clean there too. And not everything is set up here either. I’m using an acrylic table and a rolling ottoman as a desk and chair for now, and am waiting for my brother to bring me an old bookcase to house most of my kitchenwares (and my alcohol and bar supplies). There are still a few boxes that I need to sort through, but it’s mostly crafting supplies I don’t need right away. Part of my kitchen is still in shopping bags, and there are broken down boxes in a pile here, but Bowser seems to like them. And the bathroom is still being sorted through, because I am a human trash panda who collects beauty crap like a raccoon collects half-eaten pizza crusts from the garbage.

But things are starting to look like home here. I have a lot of free space to move around in, a sofa bed for guests, windows with actual screens for Bowser to look out, and the most beautiful big red clawfoot bathtub I have ever seen. For the first time in what seems like forever, I was able to write an entire first draft of a short story and really get into a few shows online. My diet may mainly consist of lunch meats, cheese, and carrots for the time being, but that’s fine with me. With the new job starting Monday, this is a huge period of adjustment for me.

So, my internet is turned back on, I have a makeshift desk to work at, and Bowser Kitten is curled up on the couch snoring. I have no roommates to deal with, barely hear my neighbours, have no one’s schedule to work around but mine (except for the last few things at the Castle), and I can walk around with no pants on any time I want to.

I’d say life is looking pretty damn good right now.

Moving Day is Coming Fast

So, a quick update into the moving process right now.

  1. I hate moving. I hate having to sort through things, get rid of things, pack things, haul everything to a new place all at once. I think that’s why my last move and this one have been slow moves. While I hired movers to take my furniture and books (cuz there’s no way in hell I’m lugging a dozen boxes of books to a second-floor walk-up), everything else can be packed and moved bit by bit. On moving day I’ll take a carload or two (or maybe three, if I’m that ambitious) over to the new place. Then it’s just a matter of taking a few boxes and bags of stuff over at a time. Technically, I have the entire month of March to do this, but not really because of reasons.
  2. Reasons. Most likely starting a new day job mid-March, which will be a full-time contract for about three months. Still keeping my booze jobs, and still technically have my book job (even though I haven’t had a shift there since December, and will most likely have to turn down the only offered shift there lately because of the move). So I’ll be back down to Friday nights, all day Saturday, all day Sunday, and one random weeknight at the booze job. But this time, I will have the luxury of knowing that I have guaranteed hours to look forward to during the week, so maybe I can take a weekend off a month or something.
  3. The Ever Curious Bowser Kitten seems anxious for our big adventure. I don’t know how to explain to a cat that we’re leaving the only home he knows, his only kitty friend in the world, starting a new life in a rough neighbourhood, and all right before his 5th birthday.
  4. Speaking of anxiety, my anxiety has been super high lately. I have burst out in tears while trying to hire movers, while answering phone calls, while trying to wake up in the morning. I know I need to go get help, but there just doesn’t seem like enough hours in the day. Every time I decide I’m going to get certain things done, The X does something like disappear for a few days or stay home from work. While this shouldn’t impact me, there are some things I need an extra body to help move to get ready for the movers. I also have all of my bookcases in his room (and his dresser in mine still, which I’m hoping to move tomorrow). So if he’s home sleeping all day, how the hell do I pack my things in there without waking him up and pissing him off?
  5. Yes, I still feel guilty about leaving here. But I also feel this weird sense of “fuck you” to certain people I’m stuck dealing with right now. I want to leave this place as clean and well-kept as possible for my landlord. He’s a good man, has a good family, and has always treated me extremely fairly. But at the same time, fuck you stupid roommate who lets his friends take over our kitchen for hours at a time making weed brownies, and only offers me one when it’s way too late for that due to early morning the next day. And fuck you, whoever stole my weed and my gummies and the few things I had that helped me fall asleep without panic (and which I can’t afford to replace right now so Hello Crazy Vivid Anxiety Dreams!). It’s like I’m sad to leave here, but not sad to go. It’s like watching a beautiful person with a fantastic ass but a horrible personality walk away from you: hate to see them leave, but love watching them go.
  6. My fantastic co-workers have been fantastic. I finally have someone to send my numerology and tarot readings to (why do they keep telling me to look pretty on Thursdays to attract love? Didn’t The Cure clearly state that it’s Friday’s I’m in love?). They let me vent whenever I need to, as I do for them too. We look at so many butts at work together, and so many fine-looking pants. I finally have people who are not freaked out by my vivid recollection of my dreams (even when they involve regular customers leading a triceratops through the streets). My very temporary seasonal co-worker has become some sort of calming force of alien zodiac energy (I swear, that boy’s soul is made of platypi and narwhals creating magic together in space). I will soon be the owner of a sloth-on-a-stripper-pole shower curtain thanks to them. And they made sure that the local patrol unit for our area not only knows whereabouts I’m moving to but why I’m moving there.

So less than a week before this whole shebang gets moving. I have so many things I’ve wanted to write lately, but haven’t had either the creative focus or the time to do so. Instead, I marathoned Locke & Key (very excellent), started The Witcher (very cool so far), have been keeping Final Space on in the background (why is a cartoon making me cry?), and finished reading one of the two books I took out to read before bed (American Gods is much better now that I’m older and know what the fuck I’m reading. William Gibson, my cyberpunk king, I will get back to you soon about Agency).

So right now I’m a giant ball of nervous energy. I go for a security clearance for the new hopeful job first thing in the morning. Then it’s a full day of book packing, followed by an entire evening of work. Thursday is my break from all of this, with my now-usual afternoon with the alien zodiac energy (that’s my weekly self-care until the new job makes us change our plans). Friday is work, packing, work, packing, and then back to work Saturday and Sunday mornings with packing and planning all evening.

And then Monday is moving day.

Major Announcement

So I have been living here at Castle DumpsterFire for close to seven years now. In that time I’ve had almost two dozen different roommates, shown the house to maybe a hundred different prospective roommates, and had to deal with roommate drama upon roommate drama. I am actually in the process of going through old stories from my Roommates From Hell tag, and compiling a list of other stories I just haven’t gotten around to telling yet, in order to compile a book of all the crazy stories I’ve had in the last dozen or so years of living with roommates.

Ironically, while working on said book, my only roommate will be the currently pissed off Bowser Kitten.

I’ve just put down the deposit recently and am going through the motions to get my very first apartment all to myself (and Bowser). In early March I’ll be having movers grab some furniture from my parents’ place and then coming here to pack up my heavier things and bringing them all to my new apartment closer to my work. I’ve found myself an adorable little one-bedroom apartment with a huge bathroom that even comes with a red clawfoot bathtub!

This also means that very soon I’ll be packing up and/or sorting through and donating all the randomness I’ve accumulated in almost seven years here. I’ll also have to start adjusting to living alone. While I am very much looking forward to walking around in my underpants whenever I want (I’ll keep a kangaroo onesie near the door in case of take-out deliveries and unexpected visitors), adjusting to the isolation will be strange.

You see, constantly being surrounded by people forced me to adapt what I call Voluntary Hermitude. At work all day, I’m surrounded by customers and co-workers. Then at home, I’m surrounded by random roommates who always seemingly want to strike up a conversation with me for some reason. With so much socialness constantly being thrust upon me, I tend to retreat to my bedroom and close the door, retreating to the world of blank notebooks, random cyberpunk fiction, and The Sims. If I was feeling social, there was always someone around to talk to. The socialness was almost too much a lot of the time, but I never had a feeling of true isolation when in hermit mode.

Living alone will be entirely different. I will be able to practice my Voluntary Hermitude at a much higher level, perhaps even reaching levels deserving of titles like Grand Monk of Solitude or Majestic Sloth of Aloneness. There will be no one there to unknowingly disturb my solitude and interrupt my thoughts. I will be totally, completely, utterly alone with just Bowser and the internet as my companions. On those days where I’m feeling a bit social, there will be no one there to just randomly strike up a conversation with. Long bouts of alone time tend to make my brain over-analyze things to a disgusting degree at times.

Well he never messages me first, so that’s proof that he’s not interested in me at all. He probably doesn’t even want to be friends with me, he just takes pity on the strange little chick who looks like a cross between Pennywise the Dancing Clown and Bellatrix Lestrange on a good day. I mean, that’s probably what I look like, right, with this hair? I should change something about me, like totally drastically. Let’s start with a facial, and then maybe we’ll shave my head tonight. I wonder if McDonald’s is still open, I could really go for like 14 McDoubles. And then I’m going to focus on losing weight, and I’ll do like 37 push ups today. I wonder if anyone will message me while I’m doing that. If no one is messaging me first, does that mean no one wants to talk to me? Do they all pity me? Do they just talk to me because they think I’m crazy and don’t want to wind up on my bad side for whatever reason? Does Bowser even like me?

That’s how my brain gets when I’m alone too much. It’s exactly like when I’m around people too much (I over analyze everything going on and being said around me to a disgusting degree), but without the distraction of people trying to make me be social. So what am I going to do with all this solitude? Do I force myself to go out more and be social? To I make more online friends again and hope that online interactions are enough to get me through things? Do I focus more on the quality social time I have that I actually just fucking love, like shifts with my favourite coworkers or Thursdays at the market now? Do I risk over stimulating those friendships in an effort to not lose what’s left of my mind while alone? Do I just sit back and hope that the nine raccoons living in this people suit decide to get social with each other and call it a day?

I’ve never had that level of solitude before. It’s exciting, finally about to have a place that is just my own. But it’s also terrifying, knowing that there will be no one there with me, like ever.

So I’ll try to keep updating throughout the packing and moving. And this blog with also most likely serve as both a creative outlet and a means of socialization.

Spiralling Further

I have a lot of stuff going on with me right now, as you know if you’ve spent more than 37 seconds on my blog. Aside from the daily nonsense I have to deal with around here, things just seem to be multiplying. After years of dealing with my brain, I’ve become pretty used to working my way through things and forcing myself to get things done. But right now, I think I’ve hit a patch that I’m not entirely sure how to deal with. It’s just so many things piling up and up and up and my brain has basically said, “fuck this shit, I’m out”, because you know my brain would both be dramatic and quote a Vine at times like this.

It just seems like after years of trying to get to a certain point in my life, after years of chasing certain goals, some things are starting to fall into place. The stuff that isn’t, I’m not really bothered by. And the things that aren’t working out, I can deal with like I always did. But the few things I’ve wanted most since I moved into this house (getting a place of my own, finding friends I can just be myself around, building a life that is completely my own, finding my voice and getting myself out there somehow) all seem to be raining down on me at the same time and my brain is having a hard time handling it.

I have quite a few people in my corner when it comes to me getting the things I’ve been working towards. But everything they say is so positive. I know they’re trying to be supportive and they’re trying to help, byt my brain can’t handle everyone being so positive about everything all at once. My brain is looking for the failure, looking for what’s going to go wrong. My brain is shutting down, not letting me function sometimes. Without some sort of concrete goal for the day, my brain just goes numb and expects my body to follow.

My insides are vibrating right now, and I constantly feel like I’m going to throw up. Not that there’s much to throw up since I’m barely able to get food into me. There are very few places where my insides let me eat the last week or two, and even that has been iffy lately. I managed a few bites of old pizza today, but have basically been existing the last few days off water, juice, coffee, and Pepsi Max. Yesterday I managed some chips and dip, but trying to eat pizza was too much for me. Have you ever cried over bite-sized pieces of pizza because somehow their size overwhelms you?

And I know that makes no sense. I get some really good news, and my body reacts like I just found out everyone I love has died all at once. Without a goal or purpose earlier in the day, I can’t drag myself out of bed before noon at the very earliest. I’ve had a few days where it’s 2pm and I’m just crawling out of bed. Of course, some of those days have been right after my body reacted like that and I’ve spent part of the night emptying my body of every bit of sustenance it could hold.

So I try to make plans that will force me to have something to look forward to, but it turns out there’s really not much my current brain wants to look forward to. I became friends with the seasonal guy from my booze job, and somehow he’s good for my brain. We talk online, we hang out once a week, he is genuine and strange (and genuinely strange at that), and I just honestly enjoy sitting around with him while he works on his art and we talk about random shit like the effects of reincarnation on the zodiac’s influence or multiple models of mythology. But so many people in my life see him being my friend as something I should be disappointed about because obviously if we can spend more than 10 minutes together then we’re like soulmates or something, and obviously the fact that we talk to each other means that we’re both secretly madly in love with each other. No offense to him or anything, because he is a ridiculously awesome guy and he is pretty damn beautiful, but I’m not looking to take our friendship to any level other than “hanging out with artwork and shit while we talk about random shit” that we have now.

But having what I have isn’t good enough, and my brain picks up on that and runs with it. Now I need to find a guy who’s interested in more than just friendship with me, I need to find a place to live that The X can never visit, I need to work all the hours but have days off but always be there but take care of myself at the same time, and manage to do it all right fucking now. And I can’t do everything, and I can’t do it all right fucking now. My brain won’t even let me think of all that without shutting down.

Yesterday I went to go put down my deposit on a new place. This is something I’ve been working on for months, looking at places all over the city. And I finally applied for a place and had them accept me. I should be over the moon about this, but instead as I pulled up to the management office to bring them my cheque for the deposit, I threw open the car door and puked all over the street. I sat in that office looking at some of the paperwork with my hands shaking too hard to hold anything. Afterwards I went to the dollar store for a few things, and almost burst into tears in the holiday aisle because they had more poop pillows (which I want a bunch of for my livingroom). It all seemed serendipitous and like a warning at the same time, and my brain started spinning to the point I thought I would black out.

Instead of being happy about things, my brain is just shutting down. I got home yesterday, plopped myself on the couch, and watched most of a season of Travellers when I knew I had about 30 things that need to get done. I haven’t even made my bed today (which is partly Bowser’s fault), I have old folded laundry in a basket behind my desk chair, and just piles of stuff everywhere. My brain is pulling it’s old tricks on me, making me see signs and warning that might not be there, telling me things that aren’t true.

I can’t concentrate. I haven’t read a full book in weeks. Took a load of stuff back to the library the other day, and am going to risk picking up a single book today. I’ve been trying to edit old work, but my brain can’t concentrate on what’s right and what’s wrong at the same time. I can’t cook, can’t mindlessly wander to clear my head (because it does the opposite). I can’t even find the mental whereabouts to get together a load to take to GoodWill, and my do-goodery always cleared my mind in the past.

I haven’t even given Strength the socks and sweatshirt I have for him in the trunk of my car, and it’s damn cold out there right now.

So if I come off as strange, or needy, or loopier than usual, or just not right, don’t worry. I’ve been through all of this before, just not all at once like this. Somehow I always manage to come out the other side a little bit stronger, and a little bit more damaged. And for most of my years, I got through it all alone too. Right now I have my weirdos, my parking lot people, my writing group, my artsy folk, and the ever snuggly Bowser Kitten here to help me through it. I just hope it’s enough.

Failure isn’t Fatal

“Success isn’t permanent, and failure isn’t fatal” — Mike Ditka

I’ve had a few conversations lately that seemed to deal with, or entirely revolve around, the idea of failure. In the last few years, I’ve been of the opinion that failure is a good thing. It’s a basic part of life that we all go through, and we all need to learn to deal with it. I mean, I call myself The Failed Grown Up and am proud of that title. I didn’t realize that people could take that in an entirely different way, though.

I was talking to a ridiculously beautiful man a while back, and the topic of us both acting like kids came up somehow (because obviously that’s how I flirt if there’s no cheeseburgers available). I mentioned that I fail at being a grown-up, because to me that’s no big deal. Well you would’ve thought I said I was giving up on life to join the circus, the way her reacted! Up until that point, I didn’t really realize just how strange that sounds to some people.

I mentioned this to a few people, and they all told me basically the same thing. When I say I fail at being a grown-up, it sounds to them like I’m saying that I am completely unable to do adult things. To them, it sounds like doing adult things is something I’ve completely given up on and have no interest in trying. It gives the impression that becoming a fully-functioning thing is something that I don’t see in the card for myself, ever. And I guess I can see where they’re coming from, but that’s not how I see failure.

You see, I don’t see failure as a bad thing. I know so many people spend a good portion of their lives trying to avoid it, but to me it is an inevitable greatness of our very existence. If you’re failing at something, at least that means you’re still trying. You can’t fail if you’re not actually trying to do something, unless the thing you’re failing at is doing nothing. Then by default, by doing something you’re failing.

What was I saying?

Let’s say you’re like to skateboard. You’ve been skating for ten years, and you’ve gotten to be pretty good at it.You have a long list of tricks you can pull off and are quite proud of. But could you always do them? How many times did you try to do something, only to have the board fly up and hit you in the crack of your ass? You weren’t born with the innate ability to ride a skateboard, and probably fell on your ass the first time you tried to even stand on one. Basically, you failed over and over again. You have probably had more scabs, bruises, and broken bones than you would like to admit over those ten years. But every time you failed, you got back up and tried again. Maybe you failed ten times, or a hundred times, at learning a certain move. You still got up every single time and tried again. Every single one of those fails meant that you hadn’t given up yet.

Now let’s say you’re in an accident. You’re goofing around, do something stupid, and break your leg. Now you’re off your board for weeks or even month. What do you think is going to happen when you finally get back to it? Chances are you’ll be pretty damn out of practice. You’ll be sore and tire out faster than before. Tricks you pulled off with a general level of ease before your accident would now be challenging. You might even fail that things that you thought you had mastered just months before. Through no fault of your own (unless you count your own stupidity as your own fault), you had to stop trying. You missed weeks and months of practice and fails, and are now set back god knows how much because of it.

And that’s why I like failure. Sure, not everything is as simple as my example, but failure and success do go hand in hand. If you keep trying and failing, eventually you’ll succeed. If you succeed and stop trying to maintain or better your situation, eventually you’ll get rusty and fail. Success isn’t permenant; it needs constant work and upkeep. But at the same time, failure isn’t fatal; it’s a sign that you’re not afraid to go out of your comfort zone and try something to get to a different position or standing.

I got too comfortable living where I’ve been living the last 6 1/2 years. It was supposed to be temporary, a year or two at most. But over time I made it my own in little ways, and took charge here. But instead of working to better myself here, I got lazy. I got stuck in a routine that left me empty inside and with nowhere real to call a home. So now, I’m scrambling to find somewhere new to start over in, because this place has turned into an utter failure of a living situation. But that’s what happens: I succeeded in finding a home, didn’t maintain my sense of home in it, and now fail to have anything anywhere close to resembling a home.

And in the time I’ve been looking to fix this, I’ve had some utter failures in my apartment search. So far there has been the bedroom that was in an actual closet, the shower in a bedroom, the house with a guy shooting up on the front porch, and the 4th floor walk-up with the wonkyest stairwell I have ever walked (and fallen multiple times) in. But I keep trying, and eventually all of that failure will lead to success.

Just because you fail at something, doesn’t mean there’s no hope. I fail at different aspects of adult life each and every day. I still wake up every morning, make sure my underpants aren’t on backwards again, and try again every day. Failure is a natural part of life, and failure isn’t fatal.

Adventures in Apartment Hunting

So I’ve been looking to leave Castle DumpsterFire for quite some time now. Living with 4 men (three of whom are randoms, and the fourth being my ex-boyfriend) is weird and exhausting. I feel like I’m constantly cleaning, scrubbing, yelling, fighting, crying, and then more fighting. It’s strange and icky living with my ex, and not something I’m super proud of.

I think it’s about time this Failed Grown Up succeeds at living on her own.

So, I’ve been looking at apartments for quite some time but really ramped up the search the last few weeks. This week, I was actually able to find a few places that were A) available; B) in or near my budget, and C) not total rat infested cockroach motels. The woman I was talking to at the property management company said that just before school started in September, their reasonably priced (aka, the places I would like) apartments were snatched up because there’s a metric fuck-tonne more students downtown then there were just a year ago. So finding a few places to look at was a huge thing, and I saw three of them today.

And holy crap, am I ever learning so much right now.

  1. When an ad says “1 bedroom/Walk-in closet”, it doesn’t mean that it’s a 1 bedroom apartment with a walk-in closet, like you would logically assume. I means it’s either an apartment with one bedroom or it has a walk-in closet. The closet is actually the bedroom.
  2. If you have a budget in mind (which you totally, absolutely, definitely should before you start looking at places), don’t go looking at a place that you know will be over budget.
  3. You need a list of “must haves” for you apartment before you start searching, and add to that list as you find more things you hadn’t thought about. My list now includes “more than one window”, “windows that can actually open”, “bathroom to be contained to one room and not spread out over two or three rooms when the ad lists it as having one bathroom”.
  4. Know ahead of time what will be a total deal breaker for an apartment. Do you absolutely need central air conditioning? Do you need rooms you can stand in without cracking your head on the ceiling randomly? Does the ceiling need to be whole, or can it have random holes in it?
  5. Figure out the difference between what you consider “quirky” and what you consider “weird”. A bachelor apartment with a jacuzzi tub separating the kitchen from the living room was pretty quirky and cool. A basement apartment with a huge bathroom, but the shower is in the bedroom is just plain weird.
  6. Keep an ear out for weird sounds, like the sound of someone sneezing from two apartments away.
  7. If you know that all you want in life is to have a place with a bathtub big enough for you to take a proper bath in, maybe even with jets in it, do not go look at a place that is outside of your proce range that has a very large bathtub with jets in it.

I have a few more appointments so far next week. I just need to get the hell out of here, and fucking fast. I was already amping up the search a few weeks ago, but right now there’s so many more places on the market here that I can afford to look at. Just need to keep myself motivated and find the good in the failure.

Aaaaaand the students are back……

I know, I know, I went all quiet again. Things got more than a little strange and unusual around Castle DumpsterFire the last few weeks. Add that to my usual brand of strange and unusual awkwardness, and it makes for an interesting time.

Landlord decided to start showing the empty rooms here, which in theory sounds great. What complicates things is that he’s the one feilding all the calls and requests for the rooms from 4 whole timezones away, all the while trying to coordinated showings of the house with me and my schedule that can change on a dime. I actually had a day last week where I got called at 4:45pm asking if I could make it to the downtown branch for 5pm (I made it for 5:15pm). I have no real schedule, so trying to schedule around an non-existent schedule is damn near impossible. I wound up giving a few tours of the house in my pj’s with soaking wet hair because I was getting ready for work while I did them.

You know how this house seems to get dirty even if no one is here to dirty it, so when I wasn’t working or showing the house, I was cleaning. Like, hardcore. I was scrubbing the floors by hand with a scrub brush, cleaning grout with a toothbrush, sweeping the ceilings, things like that. So that just leads to more of my multitaskin relaxin, trying to do ALL the things at once so I get maximum relaxation benefits, while not actually relaxing at all.

Of course, in the middle of all this, I make appointments to go look at some apartments and decide to start teaching myself French too. Why not?

So now that everything is going back to normal around here, that means a whole new batch of bizarre to deal with.

-I went out and saw just what kind of apartment I can afford on my own right now, and it’s so discouraging. So now I’m looking for more work (because somehow two jobs isn’t enough), and asking around to see if anyone knows someone who wants to split on a 2-bedroom apartment. I’m done with the “living with total strangers” thing, but think I could manage living with someone I kinda know before they randomly show up on my doorstep.

-our newest addition to Castle DumpsterFire moved in last night. He seems like a nice enough kid, even if he does have to have his girlfriend cook his meals for him. I had to sit here and listen to her explain how to cook noodles today.

-I was turned down for a few full-time positions, which got to me more than I thought it would.

-I have been letting everything go. I’m not reading as much, or writing much of anything. I haven’t done any of my writing prompts in weeks. I don’t even make my bed every day anymore. I’m not taking time for me lately, and it’s really showing.

-the X and I were getting along great, for the most part. We did have one huge drunken fight the night before the New Kid moved in. It was just neither of us had to work the next day, we both drank more than we should, we’re both stressed from our personal lives, and we took it out on each other.

With everything going on, I just am burning out yet again. Monday was the holiday, and I spent most of the day in bed with the Every Cuddly Bowser Kitten. We laid there until a little after 3pm before I dragged my ass out of bed to show and find food. One quick trip to the Multifoods later, and I have a fridge full of celery and collards, and I wound up with 2 days worth of lemon chicken.

So I’ll be around. No clue what direction this blog is taking right now, to be perfectly honest. I have roughly 20 books checked out right now I’m trying to get through, an apartment search to work on, sorting through 6 years worth of crap I’ve accumulated while living in this house, and a severely neglected Bowser Kitten to worry about. But I’ll keep coming back here, somehow. I always do.

Rapid Decent into Chaos

Buckle up Sunshine, because you’re in for one doozy of an update!

So as you know my living situation has been strange lately. AAB and I broke up, so I can’t really call him the Amazingly Awesome Boyfriend anymore. Let’s just call him The Ex for now. We were fighting a lot towards the end, but have decided to keep living together at Casa Del Failure for the time being. Our motley crew also consists of out weird roommate A, and another ex-boyfriend of mine called J who only lives with us odd weekends. There’s another bedroom in the house, but it’s been empty for a long time now.

So last weekend, X and I were in the kitchen listening to some tunes while we made dinner. Somehow we got to arguing about the Smashing Pumpkins and french fries, which segued into an argument about how he didn’t get the lawn cut because I distracted him, and then went back to Smashing Pumpkins. We weren’t screaming at each other, or slamming doors, or anything super loud really. Still, A felt the need to come into the kitchen and start talking at us.

That’s right, talking at us. Not to us.

It was totally out of character of him, but he stood there rambling on about how we were screaming and it was keeping him awake because it was 11 at night and he couldn’t deal with it anymore.

Sunshine, it wasn’t even 8:45 yet.

So X and I are trying to end our disagreement while A is standing there rambling on about how generally awful we both are. X turned and told him to just shut up and go to his room if he didn’t need to use the kitchen. When he didn’t move, X and I went and sat in my bedroom to talk things out.

An hour or so later, we could hear A in his bedroom yelling at us.

“Am I allowed out of my room yet? Have you decided which common areas I can use? Are you going to try and fight me?”

Now X had felt bad for snapping at A and was going to apologize to him, but this was just too much. A came out of his room, started yelling and screaming at X, to which X yelled and screamed back. So there I am at 10pm on a Sunday, standing between two grown men trying to tell each one to calm their asses down so I can try and settle things between them in a civil manner. A would insult X, and then X would get mad at him for it, and there I am in my nightgown trying to keep them separated.

And then A crossed a line with me. His insults for X started getting personal, and they started to include me. When I sent X out of the room to calm down, A told me that I’m never going to find another boyfriend because X and I are the only two people in the world crazy enough to stand each other. He said that one of these days he was going to just pack up and move and not tell us, and wait until we panic.

He knows that all three of us have anxiety. It’s something we’re all talked about together. For him to insult us both, use our anxiety against us, and threaten to screw us over by moving out suddenly, that was just too much for me and I told him so. I told him that if he actually considered screwing us over in any way, then I had just lost any and all respect for him that I had ever had.

And that’s when he called our landlord on the other side of the country. Right in front of us, too. When X told him that making a call like that at that time of night (it was after midnight by this point) was just crazy, A told the landlord that we were standing there insulting his mental health issues. When he hung up, he kept texting the landlord in front of us.

I finally said things had gone too far, that we should all just go to bed get some sleep to calm our asses down, and that X and I both had to work in the morning.

“Because you guys are so important, with your jobs and your money, and I’m just nothing here. You have to get up in the morning and pretend to be so important, like you matter, and…….”

I didn’t hear the rest of whatever the hell A was saying, because I was exhausted and upset and just burst into tears. X followed me to my room and sat with me for a few minutes before go back to his room to go to bed.

Honestly, I thought that would be the end of it. Both X and I had to be up at 6:30am on Monday and neither of us got even 4 hours of sleep that night. I had to put in 7 hours at my book job and then run to my booze job for another 5 hours, but decided to soldier through it. I was going to get a salad for lunch, drink some tea, and try to have a nice day.

Then I got the message from the landlord. He asked me to let him call me Tuesday so we could have a chat. He said that A was moving out, and that he wanted to talk to me because he was concerned about me. I start panicking right away and texted X to fill him in. That night while I was at work, X and A had a very brief talk. A swore up and down that he wasn’t moving any time soon, and that we’d get at least two months notice from him before he went anywhere.

Tuesday after work I talked to the landlord. He told me that A was moving out, like right this second. Also, he wanted to know if I needed him to kick X out since we had broken up. I had to reassure him over and over that we were perfectly fine still living together, and he still insisted I take a few days to think about it.

Sunshine, if you think I was shocked by all of this, you should have seen X’s face when I told him. While him and A weren’t exactly best buds, they did get along pretty good. They had long talks when X got home from work, would have a drink together in the kitchen sometimes, and they confided in each other regarding mental health. When A went through a very scary and traumatic experience, X was right there to reassure him that he had his back, and would protect him.

We’ve both been super crazed and busy since then. Our landlord wants the house in showing condition, looking sanitized and less lived in. I’ve been there 6 years, and now I’m having to hide my presence in my own home to try and draw new people in. We had made a lot of concessions for A, given him a lot of extra space. He’s supposed to have one cupboard in the kitchen, and he used 6. He’s supposed to share a fridge with whomever new comes in, and he had his fridge crammed so full it barely closed. We’re supposed to keep our areas clean, and the quick peek I got into his room showed that he hasn’t seen his floor in years.

X and I have to reorganize the entire house now. A is moving out tiny bit by tiny bit, and we’re stuck cleaning up after him. How the hell does someone get the outside of their fridge so filthy? I’m doing a few 12-13 hour days a week this week, working 6 days a week this week. Next week I work 7 days (for a 10 day streak in total) with multiple split shifts and a bridal shower to prepare for.

I am at my wit’s end right now. X is a huge help in all of this. He has the yard looking beautiful, is cleaning up the deck, and is even doing a few projects around the house like re-caulking the bathtub and shower. He’s making sure I eat and don’t exist solely on junk food which, with a McDonald’s between my two jobs, I am very tempted to do.

It’s still super stressful though. My only day off this week was yesterday. Instead of taking a nap (which I desperately need), eating my veggies, and reading a book, I spent 6 hours scrubbing the walls, bleaching the bathroom, beating door mats, doing laundry, and washing the floor by hand with a sponge and a bucket of water. My “relaxing” was running errands on top of all of that, and buying fried chicken and a slurpee from 7-11.

So if my posts get a little….. strange…. in the next little while, that’s just my total and complete breakdown. My anxiety is super high during all of this, and I can feel something bubbling to a head with me, maybe even a full-blown panic episode. I’m hoping it’s a fun one!

What’s Holding You Back?

So I’ve been reading through my old posts on here the last week or so, just seeing how much has changed in my life. Looking back, I have been making the same non-resolution for years every January. Each and every year, I swear that THIS is the year I get out of the House of Random Strangers and get my very own grown-up apartment. And at the end of every year, I have still been sitting at my desk in the House of Random Strangers, wondering where it all went wrong.

Having my own apartment has been a huge dream of mine for a very long time. When I first moved out of my parents house for good, more than a decade ago, the goal was to get a cute little apartment somewhere and make it my own. Instead while I was in school, I shared houses and apartments with other people, never getting the chance to even decorate. I have lived with the majority of my belongings crammed into one little bedroom, sleeping on a twin bed (and sharing the bed with AAB for the last few years), basically a hermit in an ever-growing collection of crap. I don’t have the room to sort through my things, so they seem to keep accumulating.

Recently, while helping a few people look for places of their own, I had to look at a few apartments online. I started having dreams about living in my own cute little apartment, just me and the Still Adjusting to a New Space Bowser Kitten. It had wide window ledges big enough for some herbs or small potted plants, and a radiator heater. The floors were old hardwood, and the paint on the walls was a little faded. But it was mine, with all of my books and ugly furniture arranged exactly as I wanted them.

I wake up from dreams like that and start to wonder why I don’t have my own place, and started to actually listen to the reasons that pop up in my head. I have too much stuff that I’ve been cramming away into drawers and shelves for the 5 years I’ve lived in this house. This is the only real home Bowser has ever known. I don’t have a set amount of hours I’m given at either of my jobs, so I can’t really create a real budget to know what I can afford. If I move now, I have to figure out if having AAB move with me is a good idea.

Basically, I’m afraid. I know there are a lot of decisions I have to make in my life that I’ve been putting off, and the act of moving into my own place means I have to address pretty much all of them. I have to face all of the issues in my relationship with AAB, face my fear of financial instability, and face the fact that I can easily go through my crap and downsize but just choose not to.

Fear is what is holding me back, and that thought makes me laugh. I’m not a fearful person. My coworkers are always telling me that with some of the stupid things I do, I’m going to get “murder stabbed” on my break at work some day.

Case in point: there is a beautiful alley way full of professionally done graffiti art appropriately called “Graffiti Alley”. When I get a lunch break at work, my favourite thing to do is to wander down there and look at my favourite pieces. Sometimes I get sidetracked on my way there and wander down other alleys (never dark ones at night alone, though). Sometimes I’ll stop to talk to random homeless people and addicts in the street. Sometimes I will walk through Graffiti Alley with my favourite homeless addict while he shows me where he used to make his shelter down there.

Ok, I pretty much do ALL the things you’re not supposed to do if you really don’t want to get murder stabbed. The thing is, I’ve gotten to know enough people in the area that I know I can take certain risks (like walking through those alleys) with certain people and be safe. If I’m walking alone at night, I always stick to well-lit streets and make sure I’m very aware of my surroundings.

So I’m not afraid of walking through alley ways, hanging around a meth addict (with certain rules and restrictions on him on my part), wandering around downtown, or just grabbing a coffee with a random homeless person. But I am scared shitless of facing all the things I’ve been putting off and finally getting my own place.

I’ve been letting this one fear hold me back on so many things. I haven’t done a proper purge of my things in years, because I know that once I purge it’s easier to pack my things and move. I haven’t made any firm decisions on my relationship with AAB, because once a decision is made I can move (with or without him). I know that I have to face all of these things if I’m ever going to move into my own place.

So what’s holding you back from reaching your goals, Sunshine? Is there something you secretly fear that makes you put things off?

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).