So how’s it going at the apartment?! I get asked this question a lot from friends and family. They usually walk away from the conversation by dragging me to the closest wine shop, where they uncork a nice Chianti and just start pouring it down my throat. NUMB YOURSELF WOMAN!! YOU HAVE 3 MONTHS TO GO!
The picture above is the average morning scene from my back porch. That’s George. We’re friends now. He’s cool. Unfortunately, I’ve found my back doors don’t have a mute button, and the massive equipment that ripped down our (once pleasant and shady) tree line is not quiet. The wood chipper? Also…not on the quiet side. I’m not one to calculate decibels, but I will say it’s purposeless to turn on the Today Show. That’s actually a good thing, because as you know, I cannot both watch the Today Show and make bacon at the same time. Unless I want to lose all power in the first 45 seconds of sizzlin’.
I was thinking…”I have GOT to make this better!” So the girls and I planted a ton of flowers on the back porch, put up a huge shade umbrella, and even stained the fence. It was black and green, and had that “abandoned building”-esque appearance. I figured a slap of stain might be prettier when gazing out of my windows. We enjoyed it one full night before I heard through the grapevine my fence is also coming down. I might stage a sit-in, which feels a bit over-the-top for a fence barely standing, that I don’t even own. Still…one must have principles.
The morning we decided to turn the porch into a piazza. Clearly, this is our before picture. At least I hope it’s clear!
Last week I started calling the apartment, “The Shit Box”. I’d had it. Every attempt at making this place a cozy and quaint memory of “the summer we walked to ice cream” has turned into a nightmare. Literally. The spiders and bugs evicted from our tree line had to go somewhere. Apparently our little abode seemed the most welcoming, because if you thought those hornets were wild, you should have seen my expression the morning I “evicted” 5 DIFFERENT species of spiders (none were Bob, whom has oddly disappeared, making me fear a larger Bob has eaten him). The Maintenance Guy showed up on my porch about 10 minutes later, with the spider guy in tow…no call from me. He’s now reading my mind. I have a telepathic maintenance man named Brian, so I’ve got that going for me.
They fix everything here so quickly, I’m wondering if the Maintenance Department was once a team of CIA Cleaners. Out of deference for their (possible) service to our country, I started feeling guilty about my Shit Box nickname. After a few nights of restless sleep, dreaming spiders were biting my feet (that might have actually happened, but my feet are covered in fence stain, so it’s hard to tell), I thought our apartment might be better named, “The Bug Box”. More kid-sy. More cute-sy. It’s all in the attitude, right? I said “Bug Box” out loud as I walked to the pantry to grab some salt today and then I had an immediate, “WHAT IS THAT FEELING UNDERNEATH MY FEET?!!!” sensation. One could have assumed a wet feeling might be cat puke. It’s been that kind of a summer. But it was just water. Whew. Just Water. Wait….HOLD THE PHONES…there is WATER EVERYWHERE. On second thought, “SARA!! DO NOT HOLD THE PHONES! GRAB THE PHONE! GIVE ME THE PHONE!!!” Water was suddenly leaking up through every floorboard and around baseboards…and SQUISH. I’m no flooring expert, but I’m pretty sure they should never squish.
Brian came over so fast in his golf cart I’m now nearly certain he has a past in law enforcement (or law evading? It’s just too hard to say…mad skills, this dude). Everything was pulled out of everywhere while he investigated in and around under. And finally, in a fit of desperation, the entire vanity in the half-bath was pulled out of the wall. The girls and I had to leave for ice skating lessons, and he promised to leave a note as to what was happening, and what I’d need to do when I got home. I found a small scribble of paper on my table 2 hours later that read, “condensation, wet caulk”. The floor is not entirely dry, but the vanity looks as if no one even touched it. AMAZING. I’m not sure what to do with instructions reading “condensation”, but if this floor peels up in the night, I’m going to time Brian on his repair. I have theories to confirm, you’all.
This is our Piazza After Picture. You can see my distress about taking it down. KIDDING! This is a picture I took on the veranda at Ruth Lilly’s Estate, Twin Oaks.
“I want to go to there.” -Liz Lemen
I spoke too soon on the “just water” blessing. I ran upstairs to grab a sweater and change into a clean tshirt I recalled tossing near my closet last night. Why am I re-wearing clothes I threw on the floor? Because screw it you guys. SCREW IT. I threw on a tshirt, and in one swift motion (and whiff), I realized a cat had pooped on both my tshirt and sweater. I was WEARING CAT POOP and staring at piles of cat poop on my sweater, lying innocently on the floor. Is Sydney protesting my inability to hang up my clothes? Is Sydney protesting living in a Bug Box?
No time to think about this now…ice skating lessons…first floor covered in water…wood chipper screaming in my ears. FOCUS LORI! I changed clothes and ran for the door (with a crying child who was wearing a coat, a winter hat, and gloves on a 97 degree day…Kelly/Ice-Skating/Not Yet A Match Made In Heaven), but not before Special Agent Brian caught me for one, last, horrible conversation: “Lori, this flyer fell out of your door. Next week we’re upgrading the cable lines in your apartment. We need access to every room and we need to put some holes in the wall. We’ll repair them! It will take up to 5 days, and here is a blue print of every wall we need to you take furniture off of. Clean everything out of your washer and dryer closet too. And you’ll need to do something with your pets.”
OOOOOOHHHHHH………MYYYYYYYYYYYY…….GODDDDDDD. OHMAGAWD. OHSWEETJESUS. YOU.HAVE.GOT.TO.BE.JOKING. Tell them to wear earplugs! Tell those cable guys to bring bug spray! Tell them they’ll now need creek-stompin’ boots just to safely get across my floors! Sunscreen is advisable now that the shade is gone! Dress for summer because the AC only cools the first floor! DO NOT, I repeat, DO NOT try to check the TV and computer while the microwave and/or stove are running. If you see my spider Bob, ask him where the HELL HAS HE BEEN? And if you’re bothered by that odd smell emanating from the furnace closet, YOUR GUESS IS AS GOOD AS MINE!
I’m starting to think this apartment does not need an International Spy Repairman. It needs a Priest and an exorcism. It does NOT need a Cable Guy unless he is in need of 2 pissed off cats, in which case, we may have a match made in heaven. And if anyone wants to know why I decorated a back porch I don’t own, which is sitting directly on a construction site…I WAS TRYING TO BE THINK POSITIVELY!!!
How are things going at the apartment, you ask? Well, let me answer a question, with a question, if I may be so bold. Do you have any Chianti?