Saturday, March 24, 2012

Remodeling, aka "Fuck Me"

I'd apologize for the profanity, but it's just me.  Sorry. 

I want a simple thing in my home.  They're called "hardwood floors." 

I have shitty ass eczema.  Seasonal allergies.  A cat who doesn't shed much, thank god, but he sheds.  He sheds enough that when I participate in cleaning routines I find what I call "baby Darbys" all over my house.  (That means that there's enough cat hair to form a few kitten sized models of my cat, for those who are dense.)  It's not pretty.  It's not nice. 

"Carpets," someone told me recently.  "It's like a blanket that you never wash." 

And a dirty ass blanket it is.  The brilliant people who sold the condo to me decided to replace the probably awesome but probably dirty seventies carpets in my unit with ugly ass, cheapest of the cheap apartment shit gross gross yuck puke white carpets.  (I just typed "crapets" instead of carpets at first, Freudian slip or what?!)

So, as it has been for a while, it's time to put new floors in the business.

Wood.  Dark wood, but not black.  Sexy.  Sensual.  Goes with the walls, the furniture, and fits into Pinterest in a way that you would never know it was a "photo uploaded by user."  Some baseboards, probably white and tallish.  Hypo-allergenic.  Not bamboo because you know they soak that shit in formeldahyde, and we all know that would be EXCELLENT for my sensitive skin. 

Anyway.  Cost.  I have a mere 700 square feet, right?  Easy.  A grand, right?  I'm not even doing the kitchen or bathroom.  A piece of financial cake.  Dark, rich, wooden financial cake. 

So I check with the neighbors and the building manager.  "Hey, how much does it cost around here to get new wood floors in?"  I get filled in that it's actually about three grand.

Okay, cool.  I pick out my flooring.  I get recommended to a guy who can probably do it cheapish. 

Installation quote from guy who is awesome and cheapish:  Approximately two grand if I want him to take the carpets out too.  Still a lower cost than what the local companies charge me. 

So.  Materials next, right?  I go to a place who shows me all their shit.  Their shit is color coded by price.  The lowest is listed at $10 per square foot and under. 

"Hey, salesguy," I say.  "I got seven hundred square feet.  If your lowest is $10 a square foot, how much money is that?"

He tells me $7000.  I knew that, but I wanted him to know how regoddamneddiculous of a price that is for someone who only has 700 square feet.  I'm not made of money.  I can save it, but I'm not made of it.  If I were made of money, I would probably have more than 700 square feet to live in. 

He says he can get me a better price.  Never calls me back. 

But, I'm smart, I won't settle for that shit.  I get on the phone and call three places.  I get the lowest quote for the exact kind of highish quality manufactured wood that I want. 

And I still have three or so months before it's time. 

Next steps:  More time to shop around.  More time to find a good vendor that will do what they say.  And, yes, more time to save $5,000+, more than five times what I originally thought. 

Good thing that I want this shit BAD.  And it will add to the value of my house in two ways:  monetary value and value of living.  Plus I can put on socks and skate around.  Free cardio. 

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Eczema Journey, The Roid Years, Part 1.

I've been wanting to document my eczema journey forever, and for real.  It has been one of the most painful, agonizing, traumatic and stressful things that I have ever gone through.  I know it's not over yet, but I've reached a period of calm that I never thought would happen. 

If this grosses you out, navigate away from this page now.  You may not want to hear the grim details of this condition.  But if you have been struggling with eczema, you know that it can help with the healing to hear other people's stories.  It truly is a journey.  Red, itchy skin, who would've thought? 

I have a a recurring memory from high school.  My best friend, Maegan, and I are at my house, sitting on the floor.  I am rubbing the top of my left foot against the carpet vigorously, the fibers creating both friction, relief, and pain, all at the same time. 

Years later, I in the shower with a lover.  He has an eczema patch in the shape of a heart on his back, and another circular one below his belly button.

"Sometimes," he says, "When I scratch it, it feels so good that I feel like I might cum."

Now, back to high school on the floor of my bedroom at my childhood home.  "Cumming" isn't on my mind,  But extreme relief is as the itch goes away slowly as I scratch my foot on the carpet.   Relief from itch, followed directly by extreme pain through broken skin.  I was an innocent(ish) high school-er, so the sex reference never would've crossed run through my head at the time.  Now that I'm older, I can make the comparison of sex with eczema.  As long as the sex involves bondage.  A height of emotion, action, relief, and broken skin and blood. 

At the first irritation and itch on my left toe, I didn't think much.  I showed my mom, who gave me some Triamcinolone cream.  Good.  Gone.  Away with you, eczema! 

That's everyone's first experience, isn't it?  In fact, when googling how to spell "triamcinolone", I came across the following on Yahoo Answers: 

I'm using Triamcinolone cream for my eczema. How long will it take to make it go away?

I'm using it 2x per day. How long do you think it will be before the rash is gone?
It appeared last Winter and now I have it again. I used Triamcinolone then, and it made it go away, I just forgot how long it takes to make the rash disappear. I just wanna be decent by Valentine's Day.

Best Answer - Chosen by Voters

This is the story I hear over and over again. People hope that prescribed medications will cure eczema. They don't - they only remove symptoms for a short period of time and on the expense of burdening your body with chemicals. Eczema will return. I suggest you start educating yourself about natural methods to cure eczema and how to eliminate the root cause - weak immune system. A great article to start with can be found here:…

I hope this helps.
It went away!  I'm set!  I didn't think much of it, really.  
I don't remember a whole lot more from those early 'roid (steroid) years.  I remember itching my toes on the carpet a lot,  of course.  I remember the little white prescription pot my mom had with the cream in it, which was sort of grainy.  I remember before that, when I went to camp at 11 years old and had the tube version of some eczema stuff explode in the pocket of my jean shorts so that I couldn't utilize them in an outfit for the whole ten days of camp.    
It was on and off, just a little bit, for years.  When I was eighteen, I started rubbing my foot on the carpet of my new apartment to get rid of the itch.  Four out of the five toes on my left foot were covered in scabs.  The scabs broke every night as I itched and re-itched.  It was September and I had just started my new job in the city.  Health insurance was three months away, pending a probationary period.  
Time passed, as did three months.  I went to the doctor.  I got some cream.  My eczema went away, for the most part.  I was in awe of my newly smooth toes.  
Five years later it started acting up again.  Same old.  I got a boyfriend who had eczema much, much worse than me.  It was aggravated by cats.  We broke up after three months, due to a number of things.  I had been working to keep my cat off of my bed for the whole time, as to not irritate his skin.  The second we broke up I flopped on my bed crying, inviting my cat back to his spot on my comforter.  I always thought that if he were healthier, it would've gone away.  Quit smoking.  Quit hitting the bong all the time.  Take supplements!  It's not that hard, is it?  You are not healthy, that's why your skin is wronging you so intensely!  Doesn't all that damn emu oil that I bought you cure your shit?  
Two years later, I encountered skin problems that were beyond anything I could've ever imagined.  My "roid rage" reached its peak.