Tom Ramcigam (magicmarmot) wrote,
Tom Ramcigam

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This is to be the first exposure of Artemis to the inside of the Big Broken Box™, and I am a bit trepidatious.

I suppose I don't really need to be. It most certainly is what it is, and I am really no less cluttered than your average paranoid schizophrenic who lives with livestock. I'm not going to have the place in Ikea-showroom condition no matter how you slice it, but I'm also not really an Ikea-showroom kind of person. The most prominent furniture that I have in the bedroom is Rubbermaid plastic shelving that I got from Menards, stacked up to the ceiling. It's not exactly Frank Lloyd Wright, but it does have a certain towering charm.

Kitchen and bathroom are essential though. The kitchen should be fairly easy, as it's primarily moving the stuff off of the counters that's intended for the basement and doing a load of dish laundry and wiping up the blood of my last victim before it soaks into the floor. Bathroom of the Elder Gods... well, that's a whole 'nother kettle o' fish. Thar be monsters.

Actually, there is just a lot of stuff in the bathroom that doesn't necessarily need to be there, or at least doesn't need to be out in the open (Note to self: with bathroom remodel, add storage). Then there is the attack of the shop-vac that will need to happen to get beneath and betwixt the radiator sections and into the holes in the wall where the tentacles come out where the previous owners did some "remodeling" themselves. And the catbox annex.

Then there's the moppping and scrubbing. I got a special mop just for this purpose: it has a scrubby brush attached which works really well for things like mounds of undiscovered pet hair and a small flamethrower for unruly tentacles.

It's not grotesque, just tedious. And really, grotesque implies a sort of nontraditional beauty, like 15th-century gargoyles adorning gothic architecture. The Bathroom of the Elder Gods has more of an old-world charm, if the old world were assembled from stuff that you found at the county dump after you ran out of money from purchasing the plumbing fixtures from the 1956 Sears-Roebuck catalog then updating the lighting system and towel racks from a circa-1977 mobile home, and you find morning-after-a-bad-acid-trip-nausea charming.

And then there is the vinyl floor.

I originally purchased the house from the Veteran's Administration. It had been reposessed from the previous owner, who was apparently something of a legend for the copious amounts of alcohol and other substances he consumed, pissing off the deck of the garage, throwing beer bottles at passerby, and the like. I only heard these stories anecdotally, and from a source that is not entirely verifiable, but there is evidence to back up at least some of the claims.

After the VA reposessed the house, they did some work to it: putting down vinyl flooring in the kitchen and bathroom, new cabinets and countertops in the kitchen, and paint.

Normally when you lay down vinyl flooring, you use a flooring adhesive applied with a paint roller into a fairly even layer, then roll the flooring out with a heavy metal roller to get out all the lumps and bumps. Applied well, it can last a long time.

Then you have the type of installation where you don't really bother with the adhesive, except maybe a little bit in doorways and seams, which will look good for a while, until the first time somebody slides something heavy along the floor, like maybe a refrigerator when they're moving in.

Or maybe in the bathroom, where when you leave the edges of the vinyl flooring exposed to a place where it might get water (bathroom, duh!) into it and start to curl up the edges because the backing of the flooring is freaking PAPER, but underneath it is something even worse-- broken hard-asphalt tile, which was laid badly over not-quite-completely-removed hexagonal ceramic tile that probably looked absolutely beautiful in its day.

And the plumbing, gah. I had to replace the plumbing in the house because the old original plumbing was so caked up that the water flow was almost nonexistent in a few places. I was able to do almost all of it, with the exception of the plumbing in the vertical bathroom wall, and every time that I flush the toilet I am reminded that it needs to be done because it takes probably five minutes for the tank to fill, and while that's happening there is almost no cold water available at the sink, never mind the shower. Add to that the fact that the upstairs bathroom has no hot water at the bathtub faucet, and it's a consistent pain in the ass.

Then there's the paint-over-wallpaper thing. Latex paint over oil-based paint over wallpaper. Meaning it peels, but only a little bit at a time. The plaster is damaged from the remodeling that they were doing, and instead of fixing the plaster, they put up wood wainscoating to hide the holes and cracks. Mostly. A couple of 'em they spackled and painted without even sanding it smooth.

Of course, I don't need to remodel the bathroom before friday. It's just that there is only so much I can do to make it presentable before I completely gut it. I can get it out of gas-station bathroom mode.

Dining room is a loss. Not so much from the standpoint of damage (though there is some), but because there is a lot of stuff in it that I don't have a place for yet, and I won't have a place for it by the weekend. And I am so NOT going to just "put it somewhere for now". I lived with that for a long time, and I'm still dealing with the mess.
Tags: Big Broken Box™

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