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DC Living, Fin I!

Dear Readers,

If my “apartment” in D.C. was hell, then equivalently, my place in Seattle is heaven. It even has white carpeting. Well, the carpeting is a little beige in areas, and there’s an interesting mystery stain that is blue in the living room, but like most condos, the carpeting started off white. I’m not sure why condos think people want white carpeting, especially in an overcast city like Issaquah, but there you have it: I live in a condo, as opposed two rooms in a house that is falling apart around the ears and where when you tell Landlord that the ceiling is leaking water, she hands you a bucket, says the recession’s a b*+ch, and tells you that the buckarooney upstairs has finished bathing his dogs, so the leaking should stop soon.

On that note, let me tell you more about my last few weeks in Hell.

The reason I stopped writing was not just because I had a lot of work on my plate. Yes, I was working hard at my internship. Yes, I was finishing up a 38 page paper for school. Yes, I was networking during lunches, working a few longer hours to make up the difference to work, and running past plateaus in the gym. But honestly, I was so angry and flabbergasted by one of Landlord’s actions toward me that I just couldn’t write about it. I couldn’t get past the absurdity and place myself in the mindset that it would be funny in the future, you know, once it was a past the event. Now that I am living past it, I still don’t find it funny because the only humor in it is the absurdity.
In my lease, Landlord promised to pay for cable. I haven’t had anything more than Netflix in years, and I was new to Hulu, so the idea of live television was heady. Unfortunately, when I moved in, I found a stripped cable cord. Landlord specifically said that the prior tenant had plugged the cable into his flat screen TV in such a way that it didn’t need a connector, so I would have to figure it out in order to use it with the TV she provided. I have no idea how old this TV was, but after hooking up my Wii, it took my mother an me five minutes to adjust the color and tone from very yellow, like old, old Nintendo games, to the fuzzy, almost regularly colored screen that resulted. However, neither my mother nor I knew what type of connector to purchase for the cable. Since I live off my computer anyway, and because it wasn’t like I was going to invite anyone over for a movie night in Hell (I invited one boy over to hang out, never saw him again – teaches me to invite a realtor to Hell), I just watched some Netflix and Hulu on my Mac when I wanted the company. The screen is better on my laptop anyway; no jaundiced tinge or fuzz.
When my father arrived in D.C. for his visit, and as the manly-handyman that my father is, he ran (okay, he didn’t run, but he could have! My dad may not be svelte, but he runs pretty fast and far for a man with a pudge) to the hardware store, dashedly grabbed the correct connector, took his on-the-go tools from the car, and like any little girl’s hero, he had my cable cord connected to my ancient TV. And of course, the cable didn’t work. I also found out later that the TV didn’t work either, as the sound only raised to a breathy-whisper, which makes Wii games less than thrilling. The cable cord mess outside did look like a literal rat’s nest, so I surmise that the cable proceeding into my part of the house might not have been legitimate in the first place. This was nearly confirmed when I brought the lack of actual cable to Landlord’s attention.
This is the absurdity, and it follows the same logic that Landlord used when she said she scrubbed the apartment before I moved in, so it must have been the last tenant who left it so dirty. WHAT?! You’ve already hear that story though. This time, when I said, “Landlord, I put the connector cap on the cable cord finally, and the cable does not work at all,” she investigated by bringing a filthy smaller television (it seriously had matches and a candle melted into a hole in the top), into my home and leaving it there. I cannot attest to how she tested the cable any further than this truth. She left the TV there, asked me through email if I had done anything to the cord, I replied no, then she accused me of fibbing, that yes, I had pushed the cord out of the house into the side yard, and so I must have broken the cable because it was working prior to my entrance into the place. Let’s back up at this point. When I moved in, the cable cord, which is typically plugged into a cable outlet in a wall, was stripped on the end, as in, you could not use it without a modification. The last tenant stripped the end of the cord. Let me say this again, the cord was stripped. When I moved in, there was cable cord all over the place and across two doorways, so I pushed it into the wall, thinking, well, it must be connected from elsewhere in the house, like most cable extensions. Nope. That hole just went to the outside world, it was a literal hole in the wall and the cable cord came through it. Also, Landlord told me when I moved in that I would need to deal with the stripped cable so that it could relate to the TV she provided. Yet, when my father, who knows what he is doing, placed a connector cap onto the stripped cable cord, and plugged it into the TV and it did not work, she told me that I had broken the cable. Because she is crazy, and because she exploded and told me I was a liar for suggesting that she told me to put a connector on the stripped cable cord (she really did say, in an email, that she had never told me such a thing!) and got mad at me for never telling her that the cable did not work (how could I know it didn’t work when I could not connect it to the TV), AND told me the cable was working fine for the last tenant (the tenant who stripped the cord when he left), I gave in and told her to forget it. I didn’t need TV anyway. Landlord then said she would see if Mr. Buckaroo with the girlfriend and two pitbulls upstairs could take a look at it because his day job was in lighting. She said she would ask him “tomorrow.” This is another case of her definition of “tomorrow” meaning some day in the distant future as yet to be determined. At least she didn’t leave my door unlocked this time. She just left an unsavory taste in my mouth (I really don’t like being told I’m a liar), and a really nasty looking TV in my living room. I eventually deposited the second TV on her porch, where it probably remains, next to another TV already sitting there, to this day.

It was so absurd, this whole series of events and accusations. It became more absurd with the continued raining of Buckaroo’s bathwater–ew,ew,ew–into my “Kitchenette,” and how she reacted to the ant infestation. It began raining, hard, from the aerator apparatus in the ceiling of that “kitchenette” room. I took a video where you can hear the quick patter of water falling from electric appliance in ceiling into a plastic bucket, so kindly supplied by Landlord, who every time I told her it was raining inside, would rush upstairs, then some minutes later come back to tell me that Buckaroo had finished bathing his dogs, or what not. Great, essence of pit bull a mere half foot from where I store my vegetables, or worse, essence of someone I don’t know all over the place. At the same time the drip, drip, drip continued, ants crawled across the ceiling. Oh great. Water AND food-ruining-ant missiles. I had already put cinnamon all over my bathroom and the rim of my bathtub, but I pointed out to Landlord that I could not put cinnamon on the ceiling, so everyone in the house complex needed to start watching out for ants and storing their food properly. Landlord offered to bomb my apartment, but you know, my animals. I told her from experience that bombing would do nothing for the ants. She pointed out that the ants weren’t everywhere anyway, as she pointed to my carpet in the living room, and she left me with my bucket, water, rain, and ants.
I want to note that she could see the cinnamon I had put down. This is an important point. After I moved out of Hell, I had to write to Landlord one more time asking her to place a Netflix DVD back into the mail because it was not forwarded to my new address. She wrote a vile message in return. Now, she could have written to me first and asked nicely about things, but she waited to be prompted and was just as horrid and wild in this last email as she was in all the others where she accused me of being a liar and being a terrible human being. In this final one she told me I had left the apartment filthy, which surprised her considering my whining at the beginning of the summer. Have no fear, dear reader, I checked my lease. It said I had to leave the premises in the same condition as I found them. I definitely left the premises in far better condition, even if I couldn’t vacuum (and you may recall she never did deliver a vacuum into my temporary possession, although she promised to do so), and even if I didn’t scrub the stained tub. But she wrote that she had to scrub for a long time to remove the cinnamon stains. If the porcelain of the tub were not so broken and dirty already, it would be a non-porous surface, and it is unlikely that the cinnamon could have stained it badly. As it was, I maintain that the cinnamon was the only thing keeping my portion of the house from being overrun by little brown food thieves. I attempted to live without cinnamon barriers in my bathroom, and I would wake up to tracks of ants up my walls and over my floors, so I would replace the cinnamon, and I would only have to live with a few insects here and there.

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