Saturday, July 23, 2011


It's been interesting to see just how much of the sellers' presence remains in the Frankenstein House.  Even in doing really mundane things, I run up against who they were and the choices they made.  Today, it was pest control.  In the ostensibly straightforward act of trying to keep bugs out of my house, I came  face-to-spectral-face with the ladies who lived here for 2 years before I did.  

They were a married couple; both of them were named Mary.  In my conversations with myself, I refer to them as Mary Squared.  

In the process of buying the house, it became clear that:

  1. Mary Squared was dissolving their civil partnership.  This is why they were selling the house.    
  2. Mary Squared hated me.  To them, I was conniving, scheming, plotting.  Everything I did was to get my evil way, to manipulate, to get what I wanted and screw them on the terms of the sale.
Mary Squared's animosity towards me manifested itself in a variety of ways during the escrow transaction, and has continued to impact me in the house.  They left the basement full of their old castoff items, having told their real estate agent they thought I 'might want to use' those things.  Very useful items they left behind included an old desktop monitor, a small bowling ball, a small grill contraption, broken glass, bookshelves with no shelves, and chunks of carpet.  I had to ask their real estate agent to come take all their leftovers away before I moved in.  

Mary Squared also left the house pretty dirty-- this is an actual picture of the actual bag of actual rotting trash they left in the fridge:

my long-suffering real estate agent stood there, holding the bag,

Mary Squared also completely abandoned any pretense of yard maintenance.  When I first saw the house and made the offer, the backyard was charming!  By the time I moved in 2 months later, it looked like this:

Viet Nam

This jungle of overgrowth served as a breeding ground for unspeakable bugs.  Unspeakable!  Garden spiders, black widow spiders, an amazing amount of ants.  I didn't understand the connection between weeds and bugs until I called a pest control company and a representative came to take a look.  He said there was no point in spraying for bugs until the overgrowth had been cleared out.  

So, I called a landscaper.  His crew cleared out the backyard.  A few hundred dollars later, the backyard looked like this:

"I can run around without
getting things stuck in my face now."
I called the pest control guy back. Pest Control Guy blessedly sprayed the backyard, and also sprayed the inside of the garage.  However, before he could do that, he and I had to clear out the garage, because Mary Squared had left stuff in the garage too, and I hadn't gotten around to disposing of it.  

 As I was going through the garage leftovers to separate trash from recycling, I came across-- of all things-- two of their forgotten books.  One was:

oh, hipsters

Just-- hipsters.  Was Mary Squared a hipster?  Or was at least half of her a hipster? (Well, really, the square root)?  This book seems to be a series of graphic novel-style short stories inspired by Belle & Sebastian.  
Graphic novels.  Inspired by Belle & Sebastian. 
For me, Belle & Sebastian inspires zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.

(No?  You disagree?  Listen to Piazza, New York Catcher, or The Boy With the Arab Strap.  Are you still awake?  I hear those songs, and I ... zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.)

The other book was this:

I froze.  I got a little choked up.  Kind of emotional, I showed it to the Pest Control Guy, hoping for...I don't know, a sympathetic cluck, or a 'oh, wow, that's too bad,' or something!  Some fellow human recognition of what the book meant about Mary Squared's intentions for this house.  

But Pest Control Guy was not on that page with me.  I said:  Oh no, look what the sellers left!  He looked at the book, gave me the most blank look I've ever seen, and said: oh.  

He turned around and went back to sweeping.

Ironically, I think the Frankenstein House itself is probably the reason Mary Squared didn't have a family here.  There's so many goofy things to re-do or fix on this house that I think it just wore them out, and their relationship unraveled.  

There's a psychic (?) process to homeownership for me so far-- the process of making the house mine, not theirs.  Taking the home over from the previous occupants seems to be an ongoing process, or at least a more gradual process than I realized it would be.

And so, to exorcise the ghost of Belle & Sebastian, here's one song off the new soundtrack for the Frankenstein House.  I think the house really likes showtunes!  Whether you're in Ruritania, or a dance hall or in Albania...


  1. The yard looks great! Both books are interesting too and it sad, but imagine all of that with kid(s)? We are a couple of weeks from closing on our first house and the sellers almost scared us off from the getgo. Nasty divorce, old LEDs new kids, different mothers, ugh. I like your blog, by the way, and I hope you keep sharing!

  2. Best entry yet. Funny and poignant. Nice that you could have compassion and understanding for Mary squared despite how they seemed to feel about you. Are there any sensitive pest control guys out there?
    Great blog!

  3. Enjoying all of your posts--Ed Hardy shirts are weird--poor Mary squared--oh well.I feel so inferior to you right now. Here I am, on vacation, and I have not blogged in forever. Here you are, working a full time job, fix up your fancy new house and scary yard, and blogging almost every single day. You must have heavenly father on your side AND he must love blogs. SIGH

  4. BTW--love the pic of Karma on the roof. LOVE IT!!!