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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

The "House" on Huson

I'd like to take a moment and reminisce fondly on a place I used to live... okay, not so fondly. I know I'm not the only one out there that lived in less than... accommodating conditions. And I'm not harping on those that have had it worse; or even have been homeless - which I thankfully have never been. My parents have told me stories about how they used to live "back in the day". Dad seemed to have it worse, with pizza boxes as furniture and a bedroom that was so small that you had to crawl over the bed to get to the dresser. Even my sister, who is 10 years older, lived in an old Victorian convert that everyone on the top floor had to share a bathroom; and it didn't even have a shower in it. So, this isn't really about complaining, but more like just remembering how it was for me at the old place on Huson St.

I find it hard to believe that this "house" didn't start out as a house and was converted to 5 apartments. I've had it told that back when this place was built - the 50's or 60's I think, that people wanted to build apartments that looked like houses, or some jacked up shit lol. But even if that was the case, I would think it would have been constructed better. If this place was actually built as apartments, then that architect needs to just... go away lol He was a idiot. I'll put this out in bullet point to make it faster.

1. Two water heaters, located in the basement, for all 5 apartments to share (it was always fun when I would get ready to take a shower, hear the water turn on downstairs, and stomp away because I would have to wait until they were done)

2. The stove was shoved against a wall where the broom closet door hit it and it wouldn't open more than 7-8 inches. The funny part was that the broom closet was as deep as the stove, and practically inaccessible thanks to that feat of architectural engineering.

3. No dishwasher. (Yeah, I know. QQ more lol)

4. The windows were 70-90 inches long, but only one small portion of it would open. They swung outwards, and you had to tie a string to the handle in order to close it, or use the metal arm. Oh, and on windy days, good luck keeping them open.The screens were specially made with holes in them and little minnie screen doors that slide open for the handles. Ha. I can't even find a damn picture of one on google they're so damned obscure lol. The window in the bedroom started at 5 feet off the floor; I could barely look out of it.

5. No vent fan in the bathroom. I mean, wtf? Who purposely builds a bathroom and doesn't put an air vent in there? I mean, it had a window at least. Maybe this was designed before air vents? o_O

6. On that note, the bathroom was on the slanted roof side, and so the shower curtain rod needed a chunk of wood bolted to the ceiling in order for it to be flush. It made the rod shorter than normal height, and mom sewed my cloth shower curtain about 3 inches shorter so it wouldn't pool all over the floor. Whenever I bought a vinyl shower curtain I'd just put my scissors to it.

7. We had a midget door from the bathroom that was our "storage space" - a piece of the attic. (the people on the first floor each had small units in the "basement") You couldn't even walk erect in there because of the slanted roof.

8. Was the house grounded? Dad never got a straight answer from the landlord about that. Most of our outlets were so old that they didn't have the grounding hole. (don't make fun cuz I don't know the technical term lol). When I bought an adapter to expand how many plugs we had, I had to saw off the grounding metal part in order to plug it in. In fact, I had to buy converters for the things like our computers. Seemed kind of unsafe. o_o

9. That gas heater was a pain in the ass. This isn't really a fault of the apartment... a heater like the one we had was just an idiotic idea to begin with.
A radiant heat, natural gas heater in the living room that had a vent into the bedroom. I think it was supposed to heat both places at once but I was never sure. I can't believe they still sell these. For one thing, even though they're natural gas, it still requires an electric spark to turn on, so you know, no heat when the power is out. Also, the pilot light is always lit, and you can always feel the heat coming out of it, even in summer, when we're already roasting on the top floor of an apartment that has magnifying glass windows that let in all the suns rays. We used to put a towel over it to try and block the heat. We'd thought about just snuffing out the light - but even dad wasn't sure if he could re-light it. We'd also thought about canceling service through the summers, but they charge to re-do the pilot light. And we paid like $10 a month to keep the damn gas flowing even though we never used the heater. So, whatever. We suffered lol.

10. And last but not least... drum roll please...
One time, the landlord called me and asked if I'd flushed a tampon down the toilet within the last couple of days. When I'd said no, she told me not to ever, because it plugged up the pipes and it backed up into the basement unit's bathtub. Apparently this happens on occasion. Lovely!

(PS - that reminds me, the toilet didn't have a stopper. I'd never in my life had to deal with an overflowing toilet because they would always stop. Not this one. I had to call Justin in, in a panic to ask him how to stop the water. By then, it was all over the bathroom floor. The downstairs neighbors called the landlord who called me, saying that water was leaking from their door jams. Yeah.... sorry bout that! lol)

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