Weekend At Bernie’s (Or My Place, Whatever Works…)

Okay, this is when I start getting really sick and tired of the snow.

It’s post-Christmas, post-New Years, and Josh and I aren’t doing anything for Valentines (It’s a Saturday this year, he’s in jail on weekends, it’s kind of hard to celebrate these holidays long distance unless you ship gifts, we’d rather save the money, and it’s a retarded Hallmark holiday anyways.) Any excitement that may have come with the first snow of the season is now long gone, replaced with “OH FOR THE LOVE OF GOD AND ALL THAT IS HOLY, WHY?!?!? WHY MORE SNOW?!?!?”

There was a massive power out in Toronto last Thursday/Friday covering most of the west end of the city. I’m smack ass in the middle of this ginormous area, and yet not only did I retain power, I  had wireless internet. Some poor schmuck in my vicinity is apparently not too concerned with how secure his connection is. Sweetbombs, I totally rule.

Or not.

Saturday rolls around, and my apartment is as cold as all the witches teat, mother in law, puritan housewife, and any other frigid jokes you can think of combined. So I plug in my electric heater. It roars along nicely until I also get hungry and zap a bit of leftovers in the microwave. The only thing I zap is my breakers. Out go the lights. Out goes the heat. And outside, it is a blizzard. I call the guy who lives across the hall from me, he’s normally the dude to handle this type of everyday snafu. But he doesn’t answer, and I’ve been seeing his mail pile up. He’s not there, and won’t be any time soon.

Oh crap, I’ve got to call my landlords. I hate having to call my landlords. I’m sure they’re very nice, but I can never understand their heavy accents. This makes communication very difficult, and for a neurotic second-guessing ball of nerves such as myself, when I can’t communicate with someone it freaks me out. You can only say “I’m sorry, I didn’t catch that” so many times before you have to start guessing and worrying about saying something totally stupid. We’ve all seen a hilarious episode of Seinfeld, I’m sure. And I’m sure it’s hilarious if you’re a nasally comedian.

I also really don’t like having people in my space. It’s a small space, and I haven’t done too much to liven it up, but there are as many touches of me as I can work into such a tiny, temporary place. The dresser I dragged up the stairs, the trunk rescued from the curb, the plants I coddle, and of course, the rabbits. It’s my itty bitty world, and when people I don’t know or like are in it, it’s an unwelcome intrusion. And not just for those few minutes. If someone bumps your arm it doesn’t hurt, but it bugs you right? Visitors can bump my day; it will irritate me to the point of all day pissiness to have an unwelcome body in my home.

I also have a ridiculous fear of getting kicked out of my apartment. It’s mostly unfounded, but not completely so. You see –

1) It’s so cheap it’s retarded, and I’m convinced that the landlords will one day realize that they may not be able to raise my rent 80%, but they could sure jack it up for a new tenant.

2) I had a few checks bounce once upon a time. Like four. That was a rough year.

3) There were a few loud/messy roomies what seems like eons ago. Same rough year, only one of them paid rent.

4) I stole a garbage can from the not-foyer, which is what I’d like the call the two foot space between the front door and the winding magenta stairs. I was poor, lazy, the roomie was messy, I needed a bigger garbage can and some fucker was keeping not-rinsed wine bottles in there. Sure, someone left bottles outside my door for a week, but I still have that garbage can!

5) I’ve had way more pets than is necessary and/or healthy, and while I’ve done much improvement, there are still telltale signs. Like chewed walls.

6) Oh, and I sort of half reno’d and then half reno’d back what I’m sure was intended to be a bedroom and is instead…well, I’ve got a dust pile in there that I was planning on sweeping up sometime this week.

Anyway this was mostly years ago, but I still feel particularly unliked, like they’d be happy to get rid of me if they had half an excuse. I’ve read the books and there are plenty of loopholes to get rid of a tenant if you really want, especially in smaller buildings. I’m pretty sure that the chewed up walls could be the final straw for anyone wanting someone out of their highly coveted property.

So the landlord is on his way down from way north of the city, and I’m sure he’s going to knock on my door to see if everything is okay and notice the –

1) Chewed up patches on the walls.

2) Missing floor tiles (sure they come up pretty easily, but so do hangnails and pantyhose runs – I pick at both.)

3) The horrible state of the windows due to the old and cracking sealant that I really should have had him replace but would rather ignore.

4) The scent of what one could guess as a handful of bunnies, really only two bunnies just very close to the door (and on the day before litter cleaning day.)

5) A ridiculous amount of wiring very obviously responsible for his 45 minute trip into the city (I’m sorry, I live on the internet!)

6) The seriously, seriously gross bathroom walls. I take super hot showers, there is no fan, and the bathroom door has to be closed when it’s dark (otherwise a small, vaguely Asian ambisexual child will come get me because I’ve seen way too many movies and my brain forgets to forget.) Sure, I could alter any of these factors if I really cared about the state of the walls. But I don’t, I only care about someone else seeing them.

Right, except the landlord is on the way. Like now. Shit, shit, shit. Panic, panic, panic. I’m gonna get evicted if for no other reason than I’m a ridiculous neurotic moron pacing around her cold, dark apartment worrying about pissing off someone who should have fixed the damn windows and ventilated the damn bathroom before I moved in. I will be so glad when I have Josh around to –

1) Stop me from being so ridiculous.

2) Keep the house in good condition in the first place .

3) Provide ample sexy times.

4) An assortment of other fun past times

So what seems like hours of standing and spinning later, the lights pop back on and there is an inevitable knock at the door. I do the foot-half-out door-blocking shuffle and thank my stolen garbge can full of candy wrappers that my hips have gotten a little wider as of late. There’s the initial “oh thank you” and “oh, yes, so funny this situation, sorry I made you drive 45 minutes in a blizzard but it’s kind of not my fault.” I’m pretty sure he told me not to run my coffeemaker and my toaster at the same time. (I don’t have a coffeemaker.) Some chitchat about how the tenant who is away should have his mail taken care of, and then “okay, yeah, I’ll call if it goes out again, yeah, safe drive now, okay, yeah bye, yep I can still see you on the next landing down, okay byyyyye!”

I don’t think he noticed the walls or floor. But as soon as he left I painted over every chewed patch in the place and a good chunk of the bathroom as well. Yeah, just pulled that can of paint right out of the closet with the brush right next to it, just where I’ve left it every weekend for months. And then on Sunday I mopped the melted paint off the bathroom floor (right, the humidity in there, hence the state of the walls in the first place) repainted, and set up my rotating fan to dry it. Then I made a trip to Canadian Tire where they didn’t have peel n’ stick floor tiles, and a trip to Honest Ed’s where they didn’t have them either. But they did have caulking guns and caulk, and yes my hands are sore.

*pause for laughter*

Sooooo. Yeah. That’s how I spent my Sunday. Next Sunday will be spent recaulking the windows after I dry them properly. *ahem* And these things will henceforth be Josh’s job. Oh, and floors. I really need floors.

So, am I totally nuts for spending a day fixing shit instead of calling my landlord and having him unintentionally ruin my day? Or for spending not really a lot of money occupying myself while the man is away and making my place at least a little bit nicer? Maybe. But even if all I did was take something that’s totally falling apart and make it pretty enough to stand while it continues to fall apart until after I move out and someone else has to deal with what’s growing under the paint, well at least I don’t have to deal with it.

Oh great, it’s snowing AGAIN. Stupid snow. I’d say at least I’m moving to North Carolina, but guess what? It’s due to snow there too. Bah post-holiday humbug!

Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go finish peeling caulk off my windows.

Stupid caulk.

*pause for laughter*