Sunday, December 6, 2009

Evil House Spirits

I somehow unleashed the evil house spirits over the last week or so.

Wednesday I came home from work and prepared to go and meet someone for dinner. When I went to open
the garage door, the opener would lift the door a few inches and stop. It didn't take too long to notice the broken spring on the rod above the door. I was able to get the garage door opener to work with a bit of a "manual assist." A garage door company was called the next day to come out and replace the springs...$240.00. Ka-ching.

Tonight, I went out to take a look at Christmas lights like I do each year (more about that later). When I got home, I was going to make some rice pudding with the leftover milk from Thanksgiving (I don't usually drink milk). All of a sudden, the kitchen floor (tile) started making loud popping/cracking noises, and a few minutes later I noticed a section of tile that had buckled. Think of two tiles together, being pressed from the sides until they pop-up and form a tent-like structure. This is what happened. The picture shown is after I removed the buckled tiles, but you can see the amount of the floor that was affected. I had a similar problem a couple of years ago when it got really cold outside, and the floor made the loud popping noises without the tiles buckling.

Of course, I looked-up what may cause such a thing to happen, and the best theory I could find (and it supported what I originally thought) is that the floor was installed incorrectly (duh) -- that they (the tile contractor when the house was built) put down the floor AFTER the molding was installed, and they never left a gap for expansion. When it gets really cold outside, something must move in some way that there is a lot of pressure transmitted to the edges of the floor, causing the tiles to shift. This time, it went to the next level.

I have no idea how to fix this, if it even can be "fixed." If the whole floor has to be replaced, I shutter to think of the mess and expense to come. This isn't something I can do myself (I guess I could, but I don't really think I have the expertise to do it right). Argh.

This house is a perfect example of the declining quality of workmanship that has taken place over the years. Instead of craftsmen who learned a trade and took great pride in a job well-done, you have a bunch of people who try real hard, but with little actual skill, mass-producing these suburban tract homes. I'm finding it harder and harder to accept this kind of mentality, and it is causing me a great deal of anxiety.

I was also quite disappointed with the Christmas light displays this year. Most of the homes in the areas that usually have lots of lights and are creative didn't have much at all, and the displays were pretty run-of-the-mill. It's hard to tell why this is the case: The poor economy? Apathy? Trying to conserve energy? A little of all three? I'm not sure. Regardless of the reason, it was less than satisfying.

I'm starting to understand why one would want to take illicit drugs...y'know, the kind that people use to "get high." Real life starts to get really depressing, and escaping into a drug-enhanced world takes the edge off a bit - gets rid of the pain. Now I'm not saying I'm going to start experimenting with drugs - this is merely an examination of the situations and looking at how others may solve them. How much anxiety and depression can someone endure before life on drugs becomes a better alternative? I've already broached the topic of suicide as an escape from the pain...why not drugs? I look at therapy and what it seeks to do: To help one accept the world for how it is, and to integrate one's self into that world. Ignorance is bliss. Why take a cynical view of the world if it doesn't solve anything and makes one unhappy? I get it. What I don't get is how someone can consider a screwed-up world like this as acceptable. I'm going through life doing stuff I hope will improve the world and make a difference, but somehow it feels like a little drop of water in a big sea.

Oh, I was going to say something about relationships ... but I'm afraid this isn't a good time. The rice pudding is done, and it seems like a good time to go to sleep. That, too, is an escape...

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