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Another Portland Blog

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

 

It's the most blunder-ful time of the year

So maybe you're not having the best Valentine's Day. Maybe your significant other gave you a box of chocolate instead of that Shane Company pendant you've had your eyes on. Or maybe they took you out to Red Lobster when you really wanted to hit the Cheesecake Factory. Or maybe they greeted you at the door in an old bathrobe instead of the Pick of the Month from the Victoria's Secret catalog. Or maybe you'll be spending the evening alone in front of "War of the Roses."

Well, cry me a river, bucko. I'll see your "bottomless pit of loneliness" and raise you a growing laundry list o' malaise. While you may be hunkering down to sit out the holiday with a carton of Ben and Jerry's, I'm in the market for a bunker I can spend the rest of February hiding in.




For me, Valentine's Day is always the worst 24 hours of the year but not for all the usual reasons. It's always a dark nexus when everything goes wrong. It's around the time my car breaks down or gets stolen, I get the flu, the power goes out, I get slammed with a thousand deadlines or some combination of all of the above. But this year takes the cake. Or, in this case, the box of inedible candy hearts. If you think you've got it bad, have a look at what I'm contending with:


  • The "cottage" I'm renting is infested with carpenter ants. They're everywhere- on my towels, my couch, my box of Coco Puffs, etc. Ever find an ant on your shoulder as you're trying to read a copy of Rolling Stone? I have. The place is starting to look like Joe's Apartment but with pushy mutes instead of wisecracking roaches. These humorless buggers wouldn't know a punchline from a punchbowl.


  • The furnace broke down again last night and the temperature will be dropping into the low 30s every night this week. There's a chance of snow on Friday. I made do with a space heater and didn't get any sleep. The temperature in my living room this morning was 55 degrees. If that doesn't sound so bad, try it sometime.

  • The number of problems with the cottage increases on a nearly daily basis. In addition to the ants and the unreliable furnace, the basement floods every time it rains. Several long cracks in the bedroom walls and ceiling suggest that its foundation may also slowly be crumbling. Some night in the near future I'll probably come home and discover that the place has finally collapsed and/or spontaneously combusted.


  • The Nissan is still parked in my bushes.


  • I'll be spending the day and most of the evening at work dealing with irritable old people, cranky lonely-hearts and middle-aged coworkers gushing over who's hubby got them the biggest flower display or the most adorable Vermont Teddy Bear.


  • Instead of encountering any of these scenarios, I'll be coming home to a freezing house and 3,000 ants that have no doubt relocated to the living room because the draft in the basement cuts right through their exoskeletons.


  • But things could worse. At least that Frontline/Oregonian expose on the meth epidemic airs tonight. Really, who schedules something like this for Valentine's Day night? Programming geniuses, that's who.

    There, now don't you feel better? If not, here's a link to a gallery of vintage "Return of the Jedi" valentines cards like the one above.

    UPDATE: My landlord just called me at work. An exterminator will be out tomorrow morning and he's about to put in a call to a furnace repairman. It's a Valentine's Day miracle!

    UPDATE 2:



    Context? Over here.


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