On Easter Sunday, our tenant had a wee sewer back up; water was coming up through his terlet and the bathtub. Poodle and I went down and cleaned up all the excess water (our latex gloves sure came in handy) and... stuff.
The next day, I called a couple of Housekeeping services, and they all said the same thing: not prepared for sewage cleanup.
So, I contacted our insurance and they immediately sent over a restoration crew that proceeded to cut out all the drywall, tile, particleboard and sub-flooring until they found "dry."
At the end of it, almost a full third of the basement apartment was unliveable. The process also uncovered some foundational surprises that forced Poodle and I to make the decision to completely rip everything out to the bones and start over.
We're glad we did.
Clay pipes that need to be changed to PVC; old, disconnected wiring STILL running through the rafters; uneven concrete, sand in some places; improperly installed drains, some with hoses n' shit just emptying into HOLES IN THE GROUND.
We've been at a standstill for a couple of weeks while we meet with contractors and tradespeople. We're down to the final 3 (we had 6), and we're so eager to begin, we're itching with anticipation.
Tonight, we discovered that water (and sewage n'shit) has been bubbling up in some of those deficient drains. It smells like the urinal bank at the Air Canada Center if the flushing system was broken. There's terlet paper and shit down there and we've had it!
Back in 2006, a little (scripted?) reality show hit the airwaves following the lives of affluent, bourgeois housewives in Orange County. I wasn't sold. Seven seasons later, I wouldn't be able to name a single one of them, even if they stood up out of my soup.
Then came the New York franchise in 2008. I wasn't sold. A couple of them I might recognize if I saw them lunching at Pastis or The Gramercy, but I'm sure I would just barely care.
Later that year, the Atlanta crew would get in on the deal. I wasn't sold, but I did window shop. NeNe Leakes was my favourite; Kim Zolciak held a close second, but only because I was fascinated with her in the same way a tornado, tsunami or a controlled demolition snags my attention.
In 2009, that bastion of good taste, etiquette and intelligence -- New Jersey, fell into the fold. I wasn't sold. In fact, anytime I tuned in to watch it, it was always the episode when that squat-foreheaded Teresa Guidice flipped the table at dinner. Yawn.
In 2010 and 2011, Beverly Hills and Miami, respectively, followed in those Louboutin footsteps. Next, and next.
This year, the Real Housewives of Vancouver debuted. I am ticketed, bought, sold, donated and re-purchased! It only took 6+ years, but the franchise finally won me over, but I'm not exactly sure why. Is it because they're Canadian? Is it that I recognize the sights and restaurants and clubs they feature? Or is it that the housewives are just .... different?
The American cities feature women who are dripping money but they're always screeching at each other. I've yet to see one of these Real Housewives of America (now that's rich!) display any sense of self-respect, etiquette, restraint or, dare I say the word, class.
Strangely, after my marathon 9 episode afternoon, I've noticed that NONE of these women posses any of these traits, save for Reiko MacKenzie or Mary Something-Or-Other, who I consider the Mistresses of Neutrality and Passive-Aggressive Behaviour, respectively.
Ronnie Negus is a devoted mom and determined housewife. She's a total cougar who enjoys her wine, she's got a mess of kids (including a very delicious son!), and multiple waterfront properties --that she's tearing down to build one massive 15,000 square foot monster house. Her best friend and "sister" is Mary, who she should probably view as a "frenemy."
Christina Kiesel, a self-professed attention whore, is the double-divorcee who loves riding horses, men and mechanical bulls. She's just turned 30 years old (and I believe that like I believe that Lady Gaga is 25), yet she's already botox-ing and breaking down the door of FagHag Manor (more on him later). Plus, she's got this very interesting/confusing Katherine Zeta-Jones accent that I just can't place.
Reiko Mackenzie is Switzerland. I've never seen anyone so neutral. Other than me, of course. Unlike me, she is a powerhouse of physical fitness, tall, gorgeous and turned out. She. Will. Let. You. Have. It. She has an arsenal of exotic cars (4) that run a combined cost of a cool $1.4 million. And she's the only RH that looks hot in couture, made-up and coiffed, or in Lululemon plain-faced with a ponytail. Also unlike me, she doesn't step in when her friends are being attacked and bullied. For a tough Green Belt, you need to grow a pair!
Mary Zilba is the perceived doormat. Riddle me this: Is there one in every season? She's actually very sweet, kind and reminds me A LOT of myself, except not quite so doormat-y. She's had a few singles in the top 40, and I'm sorry that I haven't a clue who she is/was. Still, she's got a best friend in Ronnie who loves to break up and make up with her, and when it comes to targets, Mary is the bulls eye to...
Jody Claman. Ooooh, Jody! I suppose every drama needs a villainess! She's a total caricature of all soap opera villains, prime-time or otherwise, AND...she's got a mini-me in Mia, her daughter and business partner. Mia reminds me of Lady Gaga (must be the blond hair and big nose), except she's got some serious plaque issues. Back to Jody: she is just DREADFUL! You're either with her or against her. You either owe her an apology or you're finding people that should apologize to her. She rants about morals and values to Mary, yet she's got three kids from three different fathers. She wears tiaras to other people's birthdays (Christina), swears that she's not bossy but opinionated (even though she tells everyone to behave and get therapy), and STIRS THE SHIT CAULDRON. And the thing that really, I mean REALLY, gets to me, is that when she confronts someone (my tally is three different Housewives), she leaves her sunglasses on. COWARD! "Oh, I just had my eyes done..." Fuck you, you nasty, old, cow-bully!
More to come....
In the meantime, catch up on the profiles of The Merry Wives of Vancouver HERE!
Oh, and Christina's best friend? He's Kevin Chase and in actuality has known all the Vancouver Housewives for years. Anyway, I wouldn't mind him so much if he didn't have a face like he was the receiver of an eternal Dirty Sanchez.
Plus he's kind of annoying. We'd probably get on like a house on fire.
When I was seven, I saw Star Wars, Rocky, and Close Encounters of the Third Kind. I played non-stop with my Star Wars action figures, sliding Luke's light saber from under his arm and battled Darth Vader.
I cut my own hair and wounded my forehead.
I was in the third grade. I had a crush on my teacher, Mrs. Dunning. She was so motherly and kind...it wasn't so much a "crush" as it was me wishing she was my own mom; mainly because she wasn't deaf.
I had an unexplainable crush on Jack Tripper from Three's Company. I wanted to be a California Highway policeman just like Ponch and Jon from CHiPs.
My parents were still together; I was a delicate child, often suffering from earaches and tonsilitis. Mostly, I was happy; oblivous even.
Again, I ask you to ponder...what were you like?
Yesterday, the Detroit Free Pressreported on the latest bullying incident ending in suicide. The unamed child was seven years old.
He hung himself in his bedrooom with a belt from the top bunk of his bunk bed, later discovered by his 14 year-old sister.
He had been bullied and tormented for so many non-essential things...he was the only male child in a family of eight females and his parents had recently split. He endured bullying at school and in his own neighbourhood.
Sexuality doesn't even play a role here...nevertheless, he was beaten down enough that the only way out was to hang himself with his belt.
Police are investigating.
People...bullying is an epidemic.
When I was seven, I don't think I could even fathom, idealize or plan my own death. But this sad, young boy did.
From the Detroit Free Press:
The issue of bullying and its consequences has been a hot topic across the country for the last few years, spawning discussion, books, documentaries and even cartoons on the issue. Wednesday's incident has some questioning how a child so young could commit such an act.
Experts say children that young may not understand the finality of death, but they need to be taken seriously when signs of depression arise.
"Any time a child makes a threat or engages in talking about suicide, it should always be taken seriously," said Polly Gipson, a child psychologist at the University of Michigan and at U-M's Center for the Child and the Family.
"We shouldn't think that because a child is a child, there's no way (he or she) can act on those behaviors."
In 2010, a medical examiner ruled the death of a 6-year-old girl in Oregon a suicide, according to news reports, which say the girl hung herself after her mother sent her to her room. Of the 36,951 suicides recorded in the U.S. in 2009 by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 265 involved children ages 5-14.
What are we going to do?
I, for one, can no longer bear another story of a young person, gay or straight, that feels that suicide is the only solution to their torment.
For the last many months, I've been wondering, "what am I going to do with the rest of my life?"