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The stress of last week is starting to catch up with me. This constant moving is really beginning to suuuuuuck. Sailor Man and I are griping at each other because we’re tired. Puppy Dog has fully 75% less house to guard and is totally unsure of what to do with herself. And there’s boxes effen everywhere. But we are securely in the crappy rental house we will call home for the next year and a half.

We close on the house this afternoon so I spent most of yesterday clearing out/throwing out the final knick-knack crap and cleaning. I swear I must have swept up a garbage bag full of dust and dog hair. I have no idea where it came from. I make a point of cleaning like a maven once a week, so I’m flabbergasted to say the least. Maybe I’m just being hypercritical. I hate for anyone to think poorly of me when turning over a house. I always try to leave a house I sell in better shape than houses I move into (which I always, always, always have to clean top to bottom. WTF people?).

I’m slightly wincing over the fact that I forgot to sweep out the fireplace, but I’m content to let it go. If that’s the worst thing I leave behind these people should consider themselves lucky. I have been on the receiving end of some unusual items over the years including: molding paint cans, old tools, years old food in the fridge, mildewed shower curtains, clothes in closets, a stuffed cat, yes, a reall stuffed cat, an old woman’s lingerie collection from 1950, and a bizzare journal of a woman’s menstrual cycle over the course of her entire married life written by her husband-eeewwwww…… 

My present to the new owners of the house is hiding in the bottom drawer of the hall closet. I never placed anything in it during our ownership, so I don’t know why I even opened it, but I did, and what I found was horrifying: the entire collection of fugly wallpaper we spent six months of our lives stripping from the walls of the house. And there it sat, like a bad memory coming back to haunt me, all wrapped up in nice cellophane rolls waiting patiently to be used. I really scared the beejeeber out of Sailor Man when I screamed at the sight of it.

And I wouldn’t touch it even to throw it out.

I instead left a note to the new owners congratulating them on their find and reminding them that if they ever lament our choice in paint color for the walls, they should consider what could have been there instead.  

I do hope they are happy in their new home. 

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Salome and I have been in a great battle of Physics for nearly 11 years now. She prefers the Laws of Thermodynamics while I am more of a Laws of Motion kind of girl myself. Salome generally operates on a First Law model that is a zero sum game. No one wins unless someone loses. Normally that would be me losing something to Salome through sheer amounts of slobber or dog hair. However, I counteract this with Isaac Newton’s First Law of Motion: An object in motion will remain at constant velocity unless a net force acts upon it. Let me give you some context:

The pooch has clearly decided she’s not moving with us to the next house. She has spent the last week pulling items out of boxes I have just packed and when I place the items back in, she then tears the box apart. And she has consumed mass amounts of styrofoam popcorn. I have no idea what the hell that was about. She got into a bag two days ago and her doggie business has taken on an exceptional colorful quality for the last 48 hour as a result.

As an extra bonus, said styrofoam goodies has given her indigestion which means slobber is christening the ceiling, the walls and everything else that stands still. Between cleaning and packing, I don’t know if I will ever get the hell out of this house as this mad-dog scientist’s evil plan of recreating the beginnings of the universe via a whirling mass of entropy in my downstairs nearly prevents me from exiting the front door.

She doesn’t know it yet, but I’m on to her. Counter measures are under way. Hence, the net force of which I speak. Puppy dog thinks she’s being sly by employing the Second Law of Thermodynamics which states that systems will undergo conversion to a less organized form unless external force is applied. Since Puppy Dog has clearly forgotten the second part of this equation, I feel it my duty to reintroduce it to her. This translates into some sort of system of confinement for the Slobbermonster.

I could confine her to a room, but I remember only too well the Great Garage Escape of 1998 when she tore through a garage wall when she inadvertently locked herself inside, so that’s out. And there’s her crate, but she can get out of that quicker than Houdini no matter how many bungee cords or padlocks I slap on that baby. So I guess that leaves confinement of the mind, yes folks, drugs.  As soon as I finish this entry, the vet will be called and drugs will be procurred.

Hey, she’s stressed. I get it. Moving is tough. Change sucks. But dammit, it’s gotta get done. Puppy dog will be induced into a happy pharmaceutical state of bliss whether she likes it or not. They may not necessarily be helping her, but they sure as hell will be helping me.

I hope one day to call a truce to our war. A form of Zeroth where we exist in a state of thermal equilibrium, but I’m not holding my breath. 

So, tune in next week, as our evil geniuses continue their epic battle for control of the cosmos, once the kitchen has been properly unpacked, the cable has been turned on, and mail service and been re-established.

As good as I try to be at simple and sparse living, I am completely amazed at how much stuff there is to throw out or donate every time we move. Every single effin time.

I’m spending the weekend packing and purging and you simply wouldn’t believe what I am coming across in this house. I mean, damn, why do I have feather boas in the attic? What the hell are those ninja stars doing in the utility closet? Where did that ouija board come from? And since when do I own a Barbie doll? I haven’t owned a Barbie doll since I nine and used them for cannibalistic ritual dances with my brother’s GI Joe dolls. That’d be about the same age my mother finally stopped buying them for me and let me start playing soccer. Those have gotta be left over from the previous owners.

Where did all this crap come from and how has it been hiding from me all this time??

Agggghhhh! As they say in comics. I usually throw out one garbage bag every two weeks. I am currently at three and counting.

And don’t get me started on the dust. This is going to take a lot of Led Zeppelin to get through this mess.

The Alfred Hitchcock movie “Rear Window” was on for the umpteenth time on AMC the other night, which is completely fine by me. In fact, if I had my drothers, there’s be a whole channel on cable completely devoted to that move and that movie alone. A separate channel for the “The Philadelphia Story” would also exist, of course.

Next up on the Rear Window Channel, “RearWindow”!

It’s hard to pin down just what I love about this movie. The chemistry between Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly (is that just a continuous surprise or what?), the witty and clever dialogue, the utter creepiness of Raymond Burr, the claustraphobic feeling of the world outside the window, I mean, how did they do that?

Anyway, it got me to thinking about a common remark people made about my house when it was still on the market. I have no window shades or curtains on any of the downstairs windows. This is mostly due to the fact that I like natural sunlight and the house being monstrously big and narrow, it tends to be a black hole with such accoutrements. People, often in a low whisper, ask worriedly about what happens at night when it dark outside and people can see into the house.

Well, not to give too much away, but I normally turn vampiric at that point, so anyone who dares lurk under my windowsill is just easy pickings and a tasty hor’dourves at the start of the evening.

Seriously, who cares if someone can see in? What are they going to see? A grown woman with no children who watches the Carton Network. A woman who likes two fingers of whiskey in the evening. A woman who likes to rock out to the Rollins Band or Iggy Pop while cleaning the house. A woman who has a big, damn dog who will not hesitate to destroy your world if you don’t mind your distance.

Until such time that I am murdering my spouse and dimembering him in my kitchen or, conversely, having sex with my spouse on the living room floor, I have no need for shades, curtains, privacy, or shame. Yes, shame. I’m a somehwat normal person, doing basically normal things and why most people feel they have to hide these everyday acts from each other, cut each other off from society, and burrow into their houses at night, I feel, numbs our humanity towards each other.

I’m not likely to change. This is not by any means an invitation to come on over with a video camera or anything (remember the dog) but I just wonder what it is about people who are afraid to let others see them as they really are in their natural habitat.

So Sailor Man and I managed to sell our house with minimal screwing by the buyers. I know it’s their market, but really some of the ridiculous shit we’ve been asked to give is just mind blowing. You want us to pick up both Seller and Buyers cost? Sure! Why not? You want us to let you out of the contract for little more than you don’t like the color of the paint in the bathroom? Okey, Dokey! You want us to pay for the moving van? But of course! You want me to bend over and grab my knees while you…?

Nope, none of that. The Buyers are a very nice, young couple. Not unlike ourselves, except for the nice part. They saw pictures of the house before we bought it (equal miles of both fugly wallpaper and pink shag carpeting) and I think they felt sorry for us so they made an honest offer. It also helped that their realtor had a soul.

I must say, I am not impressed with the quality of realtors here in Erie. I have never seen such a level of unprofessionalism and I’ve owned 8 houses in four different states. My house has been thoroughly molested and I think I’ll leave it to the new owners to see that it gets the therapy it needs.

Meanwhile, I have to find a new place to live. I’m a freakin pro at moving, I tell ya. That’s because about every two years Sailor Man and I, for some unknown reason, decide we must pack up all our crap and move to a new domicile. At least this time it will be in the same city-a rarity for us.

Out come the boxes.

Even while the house is up for sale, I’m still doing piddly projects here and there which has led to some pretty cool discoveries as of late:

1. We have a staircase with a split landing. One side of the stairs leads into the living room, while the other leads into a Butler’s Pantry. What I discovered while poking around in one of a hundred different cabinets, is that if I open the cabinet by the stairs and pull out a bolt, the staircase unlocks and pulls away. After some research, I found out that this would have been a secret compartment for a safe. How cool is that?

2. In the upper corners of the closets in the house are old fashioned glass fire extinguishers.  If you are not familiar, they look like liquid filled light bulbs in brackets. The idea being that you could either grab the bulb and throw it as the base of a fire, or, if the fire climbs up to the bulb, the heat breaks the wick of the glass and the flame retardant liquid pours out. I hadn’t seen these since I was little girl playing in my grandmother’s house.

extinguisher.jpg

What a bummer that they don’t make houses like they used to.