Hey look at me! I’m online, I’m online! Wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

Okay, sorry. But I have just had such a hard friggin time with the internet lately, and it feels so so so good to be back. Did you miss me? I really appreciate everyone’s kind comments from last week. And I loved all of the jokes. They really did help. But now I have quite a tale to tell you, so pull up a chair and get ready to listen. This may take a bit.

So when we last left our heroine, she had just dropped her husband off at the airport, and didn’t expect to see him again for two months. She had moved into her rented room, and was combing the area, looking for free wifi access.

(Hint to other people in similar situations: try the public library. Worked like a champ.)

So I guess to begin the story properly, I’ve got to go back a bit. About a month to be exact. When I first learned of the internship, I immediately asked the Intern Coordinator guy at my new job if he could help me find a place. He sent me the email of a married couple on staff who had a extra, furnished room. Great. I emailed the wife lady. We talked. A lot. Great. I told her I wanted the place, and that’s when she stopped emailing me. Completely. No explanation, nothing. Just no reply. I then spent a little time panicking, got over it, and tried to find a new place. I did, through a roommate website. Great. The new place was a furnished room in a townhouse that had high-speed internet and its own bathroom. The owner of the house was a 30 year old woman with a 9 year old daughter. Oh, and a chiuaua. Not so great (about the dog–I don’t particularly like yapyap dogs), but it was only for two months so what the hell. So I went there Sunday morning after I dropped off the blub. (But after I went back to the hotel and cried a little bit. Then I took a shower. Then I went over there.)

So I get to the townhouse and she’s not there. So I call her and wait. And wait. Thirty minutes later (she said it would be 5) she shows up and lets me in. The house is pretty messy. But she says her daughter just had a sleepover that weekend, so I don’t think much of it. I move my stuff in and try to get settled a little bit.

Okay, so here is where I start to notice a few funny things. Like I didn’t have my own bathroom after all. I guess when this woman checked the ‘bathroom’ box on the website, she meant that the house had a bathroom. Um, I bloody well hope that the house has a bathroom! But I guess that’s not how she interpreted that, so whatever. I can deal with it. But when she said the only high-speed internet was in her bedroom, I got a little bit annoyed. So she handed me a phone cord, said I could use the jack in the kitchen, and left.

Okay, fine. I went to the kitchen. There is no dishwasher. (And I didn’t even think to ask–doesn’t everybody have a dishwasher these days? Hell I live in the sticks on a gravel road in a wood-heated house and even *I* have a bloody dishwasher!) The dishes were piled so high in the sink that you couldn’t even see the fricking thing. And then there’s the thing in the middle of the floor. You see, they keep the dog in the kitchen when they’re not home. And apparently, the dog just pees on a pad. That they leave there. Soaked in urine. All the time. Yeah, it was disgusting. And it stank! I spent about 30 minutes trying to get connected through my modem and gave up. I just couldn’t stand the smell anymore.

I decided to try to unpack instead. The room that I was staying in used to be the daughter’s, and there was still a lot of her stuff in there. And trash on the floor. I mean little trash–like bits of candy wrappers and stuff like that. Not very nice. But I decided I would ask to use the vacuum later (but it turned out she didn’t even own one) and carried on. At some point I left to go buy some sheets, since the ones left on the bed were dirty. Yeah, really. I was supposed to be sleeping on those. No way. Anyway, I went. I bought sheets. I put them on the bed. I went to sleep, accompanied by the sound of cars zooming by on the freeway outside my window. (Which I had been assured that I would not be able to hear from the house. Well maybe if you never open the damn windows! And it was hot in there, so it was listen to cars or sweat to death. I chose the former.)

So, the next morning I get up and take a shower. And the bathroom is filthy. And the tub backs up while I’m in there–dirty gross water from the dirty gross tub. I get dressed and go to leave, and find a pile of dog shit on the stairs leading to the garage. Ew. I step over it, but then need help with something (I forget what) and the little girl comes downstairs to help me. And she doesn’t give the shitpile a second glance. In fact, she steps over it like it’s not even there. Just oh, another pile. No big deal. It occurs to me then that the dog doesn’t wear a collar. And I haven’t seen a leash. Or seen anyone take him out. To quote Han Solo, I was getting a bad feeling about this.

(Aside: they kept calling the dog ‘she’ when it very clearly had a little doggy wee-wee. I don’t know if they were in denial or they just couldn’t tell that thing was a wee-wee. And no, I never said anything.)

Went to work. I only worked the morning on Monday, since I was supposed to be getting settled and set up with my badge and computer and stuff. I went home around 1ish to find…another pile of dog crap. On the front rug this time. At least the stuff from that morning had disappeared, but here magically was another. The Incredible Crapping Dog was running loose around the house, but it looks like they hadn’t tried to contain him that day. I went to the kitchen to put some groceries away, and there was the big pee-soaked pad again. Plus dog food all over the floor. Plus a bag of trash sitting open there. So I went upstairs.

And cleaned. I had gotten some of my own cleaning supplies, as I had looked earlier for some in the house and couldn’t find any. (Really. No cleaning supplies.) It was here that I found the petrified pile in the corner of my room. Seriously, this shit was stuck to the carpet. Like it had been there for ages. Aaaand, that’s when I went out and found a wifi spot. So I could get to my email. And I told the whole thing to my friend Sunni, who wrote back in very large capital letters, “GET THE HELL OUT OF THERE.”

…are you guys still with me here? Sorry this is so long. But I’m only about half done.

Okay, remember the first girl? Who didn’t email me back about the room? Well, she finally got back to me the very day that I told the dog crap woman I’d rent from her. Yeah. So Monday night I emailed her again, asking if the room was still available. She said it was, and I could come and look at it the next day. Yay. I went back to the Den O’ Dogshit and went to bed.

(And by the way? The pile on the front carpet–still there.)

The next morning, I got up and left early without taking a shower. (Didn’t really want to stand in someone else’s filth again.) And I didn’t make myself breakfast either, since preparing food in the piss stench kitchen turned my stomach. So I left, noting on the way out that the pile on the front carpet was still there. (18 hours and counting.)

Went to work. Went to see the other room immediately after work.

And this is what I thought.

The place was clean. The room was small, but nice. There were a lot of people living there (married couple, plus two roommates, one of whom is out of the country until the end of the month), but it seems well-managed. They had WiFi. They had a dog, but it’s so well trained and good. And one of the roommates had two cats, but I like cats. And they’re sweet and friendly and the litter box is not stinky and get cleaned out a lot (it’s one of those self-cleany ones). So I did ask many many questions. (Like, “Hey does your dog shit on the floor?” You know, ones I hadn’t thought to ask before.) But my last question was, “When can I move in?” And the answer was “Tomorrow, if you like.” So I said, “I’LL TAKE IT!”

But now an unpleasant thing lay before me: I had to tell dogshit woman that I was leaving.

Honestly, I like this woman. She’s very nice, and the kid is great–sweet and smart. And I know they’re kind of hurting for money, which is why they rented the room out in the first place. So I felt really bad saying, “Hey! Your house is disgusting! I’m outta here!” Plus I was kind of afraid she’d want to keep the deposit check I gave her. I had sent her $300 a few weeks ago, to hold the room for me. And I’d asked her to hold onto it until I got there. And she still had it, but I hadn’t given her a rent check yet. So I was thinking that by backing out early, she’d at least insist on keeping the deposit. I mean, wouldn’t you? I would. So I was stressing a little. Trying to think of what I’d say to her.

After sitting in a grocery store parking lot for a little bit, I finally stopped being a ninny and went back to the townhouse. And guess what! She wasn’t there. Her car was, though. So I guess they had just walked down to the pool or something. Great, I thought. I’m sweaty and gross, so I’ll take a really quick shower while trying not to vomit at the nasty bathtub. So I sprint upstairs (noticing that the pile on the front rug is still there, we’re at plus 24 hours now), grab my towel, and dash into the bathroom.

And find another pile of dog shit in the middle of the bathroom floor.

Remember me being steeled for barf control? Yeah. That really came in handy.

I turned and went back to my room. I sat calmly on the bed, hugging my towel to my chest. And I stayed there for five full minutes, not doing anything.

Then I got up, threw the rest of my stuff in my suitcase, crammed it all in my car, and prepared to flee.

Really, I had Just. Had. Enough. That last pile of shit put me over the poop edge. My crap cup runneth over. It was Nas. Ty. Gross. Disgusting. Ick to the millionth power. Dogshit woman came in the door just as I was jamming the last of my stuff in the car. So I told her what was going on. That I was moving out. Now. That I couldn’t live in such conditions. That it was unsanitary.

And you know what? She just shrugged.

Really! Like it was just one of those things! Some people just aren’t cat people. Some people don’t like sports. And some people don’t like it when you let your dog use the floor for a bathroom. Go figure, ya know?

She gave my back my deposit check. And I paid her a week’s worth of rent ($160). Yes, I had only been there three days. I offered her that, thinking she’d argue with me and want to keep the deposit check. But she didn’t argue at all. She just said okay. I’m a little peeved at myself for immediately offering her that much now, but oh well. And then she wished me luck. And the little girl said ‘bye!’ all brightly like this was completely normal. Well, whatever. The important thing is that I’m gone.

I went to a hotel. Did I mention that this occurred around 9 pm? I was supposed to be in Irvine at 8 the next morning anyway, so I headed in that direction. I stopped in one likely looking spot near the airport. They were full. Then I tried the place where Nels and I stayed the night before he left. They were full. With panic creeping into my voice, I asked the guy behind the desk if he knew of any vacancies in the area. Yes, he said kindly, right next door. (Bless that guy.) So there I went, and got a room. And it was so nice and clean! And their soap smelled great! And the beds were nice and clean and fluffy! I giddily watched Friends reruns for an hour and a half before finally falling asleep. And then the next morning, I took the best shower ever. Seriously. It was a $150 shower, but it was worth every dang cent. No kidding.

That day I went to UC Irvine with all of my stuff in my car, and interviewed four scientists about their kickass cool research. And had lunch with a Nobel laureate. Then I drove back to Orange, and moved in here. And let me tell you, I’m as happy as a clam in shit. Or is that a pig in shit? Or maybe a girl in no dog shit. Whatever, I’m happy.

So there’s my tale. Hope it didn’t bore you. For those looking for knitting content, I’ve recently finished a February baby sweater (EZ) and am about halfway through a Clapotis. But I’ve been locked out of my Flickr account, so I can’t show you pictures yet. Hopefully that’ll get resolved soon. Plus I have to show you my new place! There are orange trees in the backyard! And roses and geraniums! Plus there are these Shaker style hooks all the along the wall in my room, so I’ve decorated with yarn! Really, I may have to try this at home when I get back.

Anyway, good things to come. Stay tuned for happier blog posts (I hope).