Monday, July 21, 2008

My own personal housing crisis

We're getting kicked out of our house.

It sucks.

I came home from the Green River on July 6, feeling relaxed and rejuvenated. That feeling was promptly given a punch in the throat when my roommates Will and Jer told me our landlord had called that week and said we had 30 days to be out of the house. Fortunately, I was out of cell phone range at the time, which kept the news from worrying me on the river, which left me more brain power to calculate how much blood I had lost with the 200 mosquito bites (I really did have a good time, mosquitoes aside).

Since then, we've been searching for a new place to live and it's been rough going. It's not that there aren't plenty of places available around town, it's just that our standards have been raised over the past two years living in this house. It's a perfect size, it's old and has character, but it's also been well maintained over the years. The tiles in the bathroom are checkered black and white. There are wood floors and a fireplace and ivy growing on it outside and it's next to a cool old creepy barn that people come from miles away to have wedding pictures taken next to (really).

Over the time we've been there, we've gotten it just how we like it. We managed to fit our three abnormally long thrift store couches, Saga, Hater and Mom, in a perfect configuration (with Mom raised up to the right stadium-seating level using cinder blocks). Decorations from cool parties we've thrown over the years adorn the walls, including a ghost and pumpkin from the 2006 Halloween Party, the paper weapons from Violent Times Day 2008, and the Light Brites and tournament bracket from March Sanity '08 (when I narrowly defeated Andy in a winner-take-all round of Intellective Plank to claim the tournament title).

Needless to say, we're a little annoyed at the landlord. When people ask why we're getting the boot, I'm not even sure how to respond. In the message he first left me, he said something about maybe renting to someone else and maybe renovating. It seems to me he should know exactly what he plans to do with the house before he decides to put three guys out. I don't think he's being completely honest with us about it, which is too bad, because I had always thought we had a good relationship with him. He never complained about us or tried to cheat us out of hundreds of dollars (like a previous landlord did).

In any case, I have spent several recent evenings slowly cruising up and down the streets on my 10-speed looking seeking For Rent signs, calling the numbers on the signs, swearing when voice mail answers, and leaving messages.

We went on a tour of three houses for rent yesterday. In each house, an impromptu game of Name That Smell began almost immediately after entering. The most frequent winners were cigarettes and animal pee, though many strange and new smells existed in those houses.

The smells alone were enough to drive me away, but there was also just the fact that they were in disrepair. I don't want to live in a house where parts fall off unexpectedly, or where the paint is sagging 10 inches from the ceiling because of water damage or where burglars can sneak in through the crack in the wall and steal my record collection.

It's not like we'll be homeless. If it comes down to it, we'll live somewhere less than perfect. Maybe even an apartment complex, though the asocial curmudgeon in me would prefer to receive a punch in the throat every day. There is plenty of student housing around the University, but the thought of sharing a wall with some 19-years-old who just needs to blast hip-hop music late at night to get her through the latest breakup with Taylor makes me shudder.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

More photoed graphs

Some photos from my recent rafting trip on the Green River:

Moonshiner's cabin. Unfortunately, the hooch was all gone.

Rocks rock.

That's called a bicep everyone.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

The devouring female

I've had a series of dreams over the years about cats. I'm always fighting the cats. I don't think I've ever had a dream with a cat in it who wasn't trying to chew me apart.

I once had a dream in which a cat attacked me and latched onto my knee with claws and teeth. I reached down and grabbed it by the neck and yanked it out, expecting it to hurt like crazy. Thanks to the magic of dreams, however, it didn't hurt at all. I then drop-kicked the cat about 50 feet.

Most recently, I had a dream in which a cat was attacking me so I grabbed it by the head with both hands and spun it around and around and threw it, but it ended up landing fairly near me, which made me sit up instantly in bed, and wake up, so it wouldn't attack my head.

Don't ask me why I have these dreams. I don't hate cats. I kind of like them, actually. I was never one of those kids who made himself feel tough in junior high by making up lies about all the horrible ways he tortured cats (I had other ways of making myself feel tough, like playing Oberon, king of the fairies, in Shakespeare's "A Midsummer Night's Dream" and being the best hacky sacker out of any of my friends).

Anyway, my point is, lay off, I'm not a cat-hater. I also don't hate guys who look like Chuck Norris, but that didn't stop me from having a dream in which I stabbed one through the head with a steak knife.

I decided that maybe the internet could help me interpret my dreams. So I found this site and looked up "cat." Here's what it says:

To see a cat in your dream, signifies much misfortune, treachery, and bad luck [oh crap]. However, for the cat lover, cats signifies an independent spirit, feminine sexuality, creativity, and power [well, I wouldn't consider myself a cat lover, so that can't be it. Especially that bit about feminine sexuality]. If the cat is aggressive, then it suggests that you are having problems with the feminine aspect of yourself [uhh ... okay? What does that mean? Should I start frequenting scrapbooking stores? Reading those vampire books?]. If you see a cat with no tail, then it signifies a lost of independence and lack of autonomy [whew! My foe-cats have tails, which means at least my independence and autonomy are in tact].

And here was the best part:
To dream that a cat is biting you, symbolizes the devouring female [I don't know what that means, but it can't be good.]

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Tee Vee

#206 on list of beliefs held by TV station executives:

There is no such thing as a show that can't be improved by a panel of three judges, including a spacey woman and a British person.