Originally posted at http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?threadid=830487&perpage=40&pagenumber=1
Hosting these pictures costs me a lot of bandwidth! I'd happily take any help. :)
My mother is insane. Like, one of those ladies you see on the local news
insane. Since it's inevitably going to come up I'll get out of the way
that I am too, but at least I take a full dose of my medication. I've
been meaning to make this thread for about the last year, but the longer
I waited the more interesting the situation became. Also, I'm incredibly
lazy. Case in point, these pictures are about three weeks old. Anyway,
lets take a tour of our house.
Here's the house from the outside. Looks a bit overgrown, but fairly normal. Come inside, won't you?
Okay, about here's where things start to look a little off.
Behind the door is one of many piles of boxes. At the bottom of that pile is a chair that used to be for sitting down to put on shoes, now it's just structual support. Note that you can't actually open the door all the way anymore, it hits that box with the Target bag on it about 2/3s of the way.
A look into the living room. There's no way to get over to any of that stuff on the far wall, so when that light bulb burns out we're screwed. That wood on top of that birdcage is so my mom doesn't have to spend money on sticks for the birds. And yes that first cage is empty. But we'll visit the birds later.
Have a seat on the couch- Oh, there seems to be a few things on it, sorry. That Christmas stuff in the forground is from at least last year.
A look out into the living room. My mom likes to buy old glass crap, and also other old crap that's not made of glass, off of eBay. In fact most of the stuff you can see is from eBay. That chair in front of the desk and most of the drawers can't be pulled out, as they are blocked by boxes.
The couch, a.k.a. one of only three places to sit down outside of my room. The footstool is always on the couch, since there's no room for it elsewhere. All those books on the ground are old boring coffee table books from eBay. You've probably noticed the wall of boxes in the background. This was built specifically to prevent people from being able to tell if the kitchen light was on, enabling my mom to hide out from anyone who might stop by. No, I don't know what's in any of the boxes.
The twenty-year old TV and the ten-year old VCR. The picture tube on the TV is dying, and the image is dark, blurry, and tinted. That pile of US Mail boxes with the "fragile" box on top can be pivoted to the left to allow a wider viewing arc. You can see some of my 3rd-grade artwork on display there above the TV.
The birds. My mom has five parakeets, and is looking for a sixth. Only the first two cages have birds in them. The third was bought about a year ago and was never set up. Notice that even the inside of the bird cages are crowded.
A view behind the wall of boxes, at what used to be the coffee table. You usually can't see back here, I had to hold the camera at arm's length around the edge. As you can see, she saves empty birdseed containers.
The other side of the living room. My mom was big into glass paperweights for a while, though usually bottles and dishes are here thing. You see the disruption in the layer of dust on the chair there? That's where she fell a while ago when trying to climb over stuff to open the window just off the left of the picture. There's also at least two broken bottles back there somewhere that have fallen but there's noway to get back there to clean them up. I'm assured all this stuff in quite valuable, by the way.
A full view of that wall. You can see the dangerous window here. Those plants on top of the bookshelf died because there was to way to water them. They've been sitting there decomposing for a few years now.
Under the tables is full too. In the front are a bunch of old Popular Sciences she bought off eBay a while ago. The rest of the floor space is filled with more dishes.
The other bookshelves. More books, more bottles, and assorted small toys. Most of these books are outdated old college textbooks from the 70's.
The hallway to my mom's bedroom and the bathroom. The two opposing doors are closets that you can't get to without spending half an hour moving all those boxes. Behind that chair and flag is the water heater. Hopefully we'll never need to get to it.
And here's my mom's bedroom. You were probably expecting a bed or something. It's there, somewhere underneath all those boxes. My mom decided storing this stuff is more important that having a place to sleep. So where does my mom sleep? Remember that 2/3rds of a couch back in the living room? Yep, every night. No I don't know what's in any of these boxes either. Most of them are from eBay and have never been opened, just put straight on the pile.
The view from the other door of the bathroom.
A view from the back of the room, down that little path visible two pictures up.
My mom's shirt pile. There's no accessable drawers in the room, so this is where she keeps her clothes. Now that I think about it, I don't know where she keeps the rest of her clothes, since that's just shirts. I'm guessing they're in a box somewhere.
The bathroom. It's only remarkable in that it's the widest open space outside of my room. It's the only place you could actually stick your arms out and spin around. You know, if you wanted to.
Back out of the hallway, a shot back towards the front door. That's an old mink hat sticking on the left there, not a random wild animal.
Into the kitchen. Underneath the center pile is the dining room table, and underneath the dining room table is more boxes. A bunch of the food in here is several years old, and from a dollar store, but my mom still won't throw it away.
The magnet collection. At least this is kind of normal, in things to collect. I probably should have taken a picture of the inside of the refridgerator, but you can imagine it. It looks just like the rest of the house, but with food.
The other side of the pile. That one box is full of cereal, all of it expired except the Frankenberry. In fact, everything in that front box is expired too. I don't eat any of this expired stuff by the way, it's all hers.
The sliding glass door is right to the left there, about two-thirds blocked by boxes. The boxes are placed specifically to allow just enough room to let the curtains open and close. That chair in front of the computer is the second of three places to sit.
My mom's computer. From here she buys all this shit. The tower's the current computer, there's just nowhere else to put the desktop. That TV's a little black and white one that cost $20 on clearance at Target. It broke after about a month, and only the sound works. It's still there though. Those buttplug looking things on the monitor are old glass insulators they used to use on telegraph and telephone lines. I'm assured they also are quite valuable.
Under the table is just enough room for her feet. I guess she has to move that boxlid every time she sits down, I don't know.
The calendar wall. You might have noticed a bunch of calendars all around the house. Early this year they put a calendar store in the factory outlets by our house, selling out all the old current calendars. My mom bought several hundred of them, because they were cheap. Some went up, a few were given out as gifts, a bunch are still around in boxes somewhere. No, she won't throw them away when the year's over. Also notice they're all on different months.
A sink with a bunch of crap on it. There's cups full of hotel pens, old postcards, a bowl full of old fortune cookie papers, and I don't know what else. I see some corn holders in there. That yellow bucket on the end has candy from two Easters ago.
Down there's my mom's "desk". Most of those boxes on the right are filled with old newspapers and magazines. Fortunatly we don't get any newspapers or magazines anymore, so that collection's stagnant.
The third place to sit. That's all old mail on the left. She also stole my SA mug and filled it with pens. Not like I drink anything from mugs anyway I guess. On somewhat of a tangent, we live in Folsom, CA, home of the famous Folsom Prison. One of the perks of living in a prison city is we don't have to seperate out recycleables from our garbage. We just throw everything away, and they drive it up to the Prison and make the prisoners dig through it. As a result of this, my mom will never throw anything away with her name on it, since she's convinced one of the prisoners will steal her identity. I try to explain to her that not only are the odds of someone choosing her identity to steal are slim on their own, if someone is going to try to steal an identity they're probably not going to pick someone in the lower middle class. Still, she insists on cutting up everything, down to the address tags on every piece of mail we get. So most of those pieces of paper there are old pieces of junk mail she won't throw away. She originally used to go through and cut it up every couple of weeks, but now I think we have a few years built up.
The dishwasher. That jack-o-lantern bucket's a recent addition, but I don't expect it to be going anywhere anytime soon. Note the phone has a cord, and the answering machine uses tapes.
This is the washer/dryer nook. Whenever she does wash she has to spend about an hour disassembling this pile and moving it to the middle of the hallway. She won't let me do my own wash, because she's convinced I'm going to break this stuff in the process of setting it five feet to the left.
Photographic proof of a washer/dryer. I don't know what that thing on the right is. I think it's a roll-up blanket or something.
Turning around from the hallway is the bubblewrap pile. This is all taken from incoming eBay packages. She keeps it for packing in the event she ever actually gets rid of anything. She never does. That Scooby-Doo's again from at least last Christmas. That's a Lego Darth Vader fighting a Lego Obi-wan Kenobi on the back of Lego dinosaurs in the middle there. That part's pretty cool. That plastic thing above the gay plush lizard is an old candy tray mom's keeping because she thinks it looks pretty.
Okay, before we head into my room let me explain a few things. I moved back down here from Seattle a few years ago to go to college. It was decided I would get the master bedroom, since it had cable and phone lines. My mom, who only has the one TV and never talked on the phone in her room anyway, moved into the other bedroom. You saw what happened there. Right before I moved down she assured me the bedroom was cleared out. So imagine my surpise when I get down here only to find there were still three dressers in the room, still full of her clothes. Not only that, but there was no room in the garage to put any of my boxes, so everything I owned had to go into this one room. She said she'd clear out some room in the garage, but as you can guess that didn't happen...
So here's my room. That pile of boxes right in front of the door is some of her stuff that has been creeping in. That bubble wrap above it is covering the "displayed" part of my Transformer collection, since anything that's not covered gets coated with a thick layer of dust in a few weeks. The bed was hers, but would have been too much trouble to move. That thing I agreed to have left in the room.
More of my room. Most of my boxes are all full of old schoolwork, childhood toys, and electronics that in a normal house would be in the garage, but not here. I get to live with them every day. Also I have a large fuzzy mushroom with a pillow on top.
This is something you might have seen in some other parts of the house but it's most visible here. In addition to closing the curtains, my mom covers the small windows with cardboard to "keep the heat in/out", depending on season. I'm not sure how that's supposed to create any measureable affect on the total temperature, but she got mad whenever I took them down so now I just live with them.
The other side of my room, leading to the bathroom.
The closets are still full of her old clothes, since I don't need closet space. The thing is they're both just as full as this all the way down their length, and I'm pretty sure she doesn't fit in most of these clothes anymore. A lot of these clothes are from the 70's and 80's.
My bathroom. The exercise bike showed up while I was gone one summer, then the vacuum a little later. The bike is useful as a clothes rack. Time for a bathroom story. One time I ran out of toothpaste or floss or something, so I opened the medicine cabinet looking for more. Instead, I found the bathroom cabinet full of my old prescription bottles. I then realized I'd never thrown a prescription bottle away, I'd get new ones, and the old ones had just disappeared. I'd never thought about it. I confronted my mom, and she told me she was keeping hers too, and was saving them to cut the labels off so the prisoners wouldn't know what medications we were on. I told her that was crazy, and that I was going to throw mine away. A few days later I went to do that, only to find they were all gone. Mom took them all, and hid them in a box somewhere so I couldn't throw them away. They were out of my way, so I didn't pursue it any further. I make sure to throw my old bottles away now though.
The master bathroom's shower. Since the door when opened would drip onto carpet, my mom decided not to use this shower. So she did the only natural thing and filled it with boxes. We use the shower/bath in the other bathroom.
On the way back out of my bedroom, just a quick look at a small fraction of the crappy books gotten from eBay.
Okay, into the backyard. A house down the street was having a moving sale, and gave my mom that table for free because they didn't want to move it. It's solid oak, and two people can barely lift it. She put it there to keep it out of the rain, which is also why there's a piece of cardboard on top. It didn't work, and now it's spliting. You can see some more saved birdseed jars on it there.
The backyard. My mom didn't have it landscaped to save money, and now it grows wild. Normally it's all brown, but there was rain a few days ago. That clump in the middle is the compost pile, and the stuff off to the right is the remains of her garden. Those are old fence boards proping up tomato baskets, if you're wondering. She also used old fence boards to surround the strawberry patch, for some reason.
This is some of the neighbor's groundcover she's letting grow into the yard. I don't know why. In the summer it's full of bees.
There's pallets along the back of the house, because in winter that part turns into a mud pit.
The garage. This thing has looked pretty much the same for the last couple of years, since there's no room for anything to be added to it.
More of the garage stuff. That used to be a path to the back, but now it's too narrow to fit through.
Chairs in the rafters.
Behind our garage is part of a streetlamp post stolen from a demolition site. It was going to be a support for the gate across our driveway, but proved to be unsuitable. Now we don't know how to get rid of it. That bush back there is some kind of giant weed, by the way. There's a couple of them in the yard.
So that's my mom's house. As for why I'm still living here, I'm a full time student who's too lazy to move. I'm getting pretty close to moving in with my grandma though, since these boxes keep creeping further and further into my room. And since it was on the same card as all of those house pictures, here's a picture of a sculpture at my campus that looks like a butt.
I will now open the floor to questions.