Dec. 3rd, 2020

claudia omg
This journal is totes locked until further notice due to super secret projects in the works!

Yes, I'm still hanging around LJ communities. Yes, you can still catch me at my new digs at This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things or, if you really like, on Facebook. No, you can't read things in this space anymore. No, I do not play Farmville.
spider!
Barnes and Noble shouldn't have sales if they don't want people to end up terrified of their own homes. I realize this is a bold statement, but store policy should really back me up on this. I mean, SOMEONE has to be to blame for my reading House of Leaves immediately after buying a new house. At any other time in my life this merely would have been a psychologically disturbing book that likely would have caused me to have a midlife crisis - well, extended the midlife crisis I've been having since I was about nine - but at THIS point in time, just as we've committed a not inconsiderable sum and at least five years to a house that probably ate its former inhabitants...this is a very real concern in my world, okay? If a door leading to hell were to suddenly appear in my new home, there's a decent chance we wouldn't even notice it for a couple of years. Christ, maybe that's why the thing looks the way it does; the house has cleverly camouflaged itself in eye-searing insanity so that you won't even notice until it's too late. "Aha!" the house is clearly thinking. "I shall distract them with this closet! THEY DON'T STAND A CHAAAAANCE HAHAHAHA"

So when we had our home inspection this morning, I carefully, carefully documented the features of the house - even the parts I'd rather pretend I don't see in hopes that, over the years, I'll develop selective blindness to them - so that we have visual proof when the house suddenly births a pantry or something.

LOOK WHAT I DID TO THE MAILBOX WHEN IT REBELLED. YOU'RE NEXT.Collapse )

The Meringue Room Will Make a Fine Stable

jack jack
You guys, I think I might be a narcissist. I say this because, as I've recently become aware, I pretty much assume that everyone on earth is me, just six billion mes, all walking around wearing questionable hairdos and getting knocked down by the dog and watching Full House reruns in perpetuity. In my world, everyone knows exactly what I know, and accordingly, no one knows what I don't know. Which, if you think about it, explains my problems with anxiety, when you realize that when the cat pulls down the miniblinds, I'm living in a bleak, sucking wasteland of emptiness in which NO ONE IN EXISTENCE CAN FIX THEM.

So after my last entry, in which I revealed that Milo and I were going to be moving to Wisconsin and acquiring a pony, I left you all on the edge of your seats - "...AND? DID YOU BRAID ITS TAIL? DID YOU NAME IT PRINCESS BUTTERSCOTCH LIKE YOU ALWAYS WANTED? INQUIRING MINDS NEED TO KNOOOOOOW" - and went on my merry way, assuming everyone knew what was going on. That was probably a stupid assumption considering that I didn't even know what was going on for a while there, but what ended up happening was...not much. Milo went ahead to Madison to begin his new job and find an apartment on basically an hour's notice, while I stayed behind in Champaign for two months, finishing up at work, twiddling my thumbs, and eating nothing but cereal for absolute DAYS at a time. I mean, the most exciting, life-altering thing that happened in eight whole weeks is that I almost got scurvy.

BUT! I am now finally in Madison, which means we could finally, FINALLY go house shopping. Milo, bless him, had done all of the work in terms of financial loan something hurrrp durrr blah interest rates plfffppbbbbt tax breaks fner fner. At least that's what was going on my head when he told me about it. He also did some preliminary scouting and narrowing down of actual houses, knowing as he did that I was likely as not to have some sort of meltdown if I had to look at more than five homes. "These three are the most promising," he announced, handing me the listings upon my arrival. "Also this other one that...look, you just have to see it, okay? You'll think it's hilarious."

"Why?"

"I just can't describe it."

"Well, how many bedrooms does it have?"

He scratched the back of his head thoughtfully. "I'm not sure. It doesn't...have rooms. Per se."

"What?"

"Like, okay, there are rooms, but like you don't know what they're for? You're standing there going, is this a bedroom? The kitchen? A boiler room? Am I in the backyard?"

"I think I need to see this house."

"Right, that's what I thought."

We go see the three most promising houses and each take up our specific negotiating positions - Milo, asking all sorts of informed questions about the age of the roof; me, asking if the neighborhood association has any specific restrictions on backyard water balloon cannons. He is enthusiastic; I can't decide how I feel about anything, specifically, until they get back to me about those zoning regulations. Until we pull up to our last stop of the day, the Unexplainable House, and I clap eyes on...My Home. I suddenly have feelings. Very, very strong feelings.

"IT HAS A WHITE PICKET FENCE."

"It's an ironic white picket fence, trust me."

It is indeed an ironic white picket fence, because whoever designed, decorated, and lived in this home either had a wicked sense of humor or grew up too close to a power plant. The front door opens directly into what is either a living room or a kitchen - the floor, for no particular reason, is linoleum, while the walls are retinal-blasting fuchsia. We could rent out this room as a low-cost alternative to Lasik surgery.

"OH...MYGOD," I Shatner as I walk in.

"I know, right," Milo says knowingly. "Isn't this the most god awf-"

"I LOVE IT."

"...ul - wait, what?"

"LOOK AT THIS ROOM."

"But...but...what IS this room?" he asks, suddenly anxious. "What would we use it for?"

"Eye surgery. Who cares? I NEED TO SEE MORE."

Directly off of the eye surgery room is a pleasantly yellow room that might be a bedroom, except that it has five walls. I know; I counted them several times. "Look at this! It's so..." I'm choked up with emotion now, no mistake.

"But where would you put a bed?"

"Against a wall. Look, it could go here...or here...or there or there or there! More walls! More options!"

He casts his eyes pleadingly to the realtor at this point, who up until now has been struck dumb with horror. "It's..." She clears her throat. "Well, this house isn't for everybody."

The next room - let's be devils and call it a bedroom too - is robin's egg blue and features, as is becoming standard, another five walls, possibly jutting into another dimension. Also a largish closet with - why not? - no door.

The bathroom is also yellow and disappointingly normal, but the part where three different kinds of linoleum from the living room, bathroom, and kitchen join up in the hallway more than makes up for it, as does the purple zigzag painted down the wall, which I stood and gazed at in happiness for so long that the realtor started looking at her watch.

The zigzag leads the way to the kitchen, which is mossy green and enormous in such an inconvenient way that there is nowhere to put a table. Milo points this out with some trepidation, but cannot counter when I challenge him to name a time in the past year that we haven't eaten either standing at the counter while ineffectually kicking away the dog, or at Olive Garden.

The stairs are in the kitchen as well, but I bypass them for now, because the piece-de-resistance is lying beyond the kitchen: a meringue orange, vaulted ceiling...garage? Dining room? I floated across the room in a haze of excitement, Milo and the realtor mere shadows behind me. The wood floor is simply gorgeous - tasteful, understated, and an excellent contrast to the one wall that is done in vinyl siding. Look to the left and an elegant fleur-de-lis border invites you to discuss politics and sip tea in our parlor; to the right and you could hose off the wall with a sand blaster. Find me another house with that kind of versatility; I dare you.

Milo and the realtor are speaking to each other in hushed tones now, shooting me sideways glances. I head for the basement, which through another quirk in the time-space continuum leads to the garage, but I pay it no mind, too overwhelmed by the fact that the downstairs...area, shall we call it (it can't truly be called a room, nor is it quite the correct shape to be a hallway) has a closet in it. No, not a door on the wall leading to the kind of closet where you stuff away your partner's old beanbag chair that looks like a Muppet who passed away after a lengthy battle with mange in the hopes that sometime in the next year the basement will flood and - oh, no, darling, we'll have to throw this out now, and I'm just as broken up about it as you are - no, this area has a closet jutting out into the middle of it. Imagine you were walking a straight line across your basement, minding your own business, and smashed headlong into the side of a closet. This is not a closet where things go to die, it is where they go to regain strength and emerge hellbent on revenge, possibly after feasting on the flesh of small mammals.

I look at Milo now, silent but for the shine of emotion brimming in my eyes. He lets out a breath conjured up somewhere in the vicinity of his knees and looks at the realtor. "We'll make an offer tomorrow."

Ten days later, I'm home playing Donkey Kong when Milo calls from work, sounding for all the world like a man condemned. "Well," he chokes out.

"Baby, what's the matter?"

"They accepted our offer. It's ours on May 17."

I let out a squeal that sets the shih-tzu three doors down howling. "One thing, though," he interrupts, sounding stern. "I've compromised with you on this, I want one thing in return."

"What's that?"

"My beanbag chair is going right in the front room; I don't care if you think it looks like Grover's corpse."

"Deal."

All I have to do now is find out the neighborhood's stance on setting things on fire in the driveway.