Tuesday, December 14, 2010

This blows


{Just hanging out in my awesome, well-lit attic, ya'll. Photo.}
 As 2010 quickly draws to a close, something important is about to take place: the super-fantastic 2010 IRS Federal Home Energy Tax credit expires. At our house, this equates to a mad dash to install insulation in our attic. You see, our house has a major attic situation happening which typically means it's really cold upstairs in the winter and what? That's right. It's hot upstairs in the summer. It's delightful, really.

But the thing about installing insulation yourself is that it requires you to spend extended amounts of time in the very worst part of your house: the attic. Have you ever visited the attic? It's not fun in there. It's dark. It's cold. There are random nails sticking out of things, waiting to give you typhoid. And if you come to our attic, there is rat poison, mouse droppings and dead mice carcasses. Oh and by the way, there's no standing! Only crouching and kneeling, please and thank you. And, in case that wasn't bad enough you have to always remember one very important thing: the floor of the attic isn't just the floor, it's the ceiling of the room below. Ergo, you can only walk on these things that people call "joists" that look suspiciously similar to thin beams of wood.

So, as we departed on our fantastic insulation voyage, we bought all sorts of wonderful things: there were batts and rolls of fiberglass and foam board and reflective sheets of things and my most beloved variety, blown-in. Installing this stuff was especially infuriating because of the printed material used to make installing said product appear to be an exciting, non-mouse poop filled experience. Seriously, these people do not look like they have ever had the joy of stepping foot in an attic, nor do I believe they are enjoying themselves. So why, for the love of all things holy, must they create brochures with these people, embracing in front of insulation?

{I love you. Also, I love insulation. Photo}
 That's from the Not Going to Call Them By Name Company, popular insulation maker and distributor. I want to talk to these people, who are embracing, smirking and loving one another, and ask them if they know how deceptive their embrace truly is, considering that I have no desire to embrace anyone (and I mean anyone) in front of insulation. Or, near insulation. Or, in the attic. Actually, it would be more realistic if they were wringing each other's neck because the insulation was causing such turmoil in their relationship.

Why's that? Well, because I had the distinct pleasure of knowing what it's like to assist my husband in blowing insulation into our attic last night. Allow me to be the first to inform you that it only took a few seconds of this task for me to realize that if I am ever banished to fiery bowels of Hell, this will be my job for all eternity. Not that I think I'm going to Hell, I'm just anticipating this incredibly unpleasant task as my 'special project' until forever. My dear husband took his post in the bowels of our attic, while I had the pleasure of hanging out in the garage. With the garage door open. With below zero wind chills. Also, with the door to our home open for the large tube that carried insulation into the attic.

It's sooo easy, the package said with a stupid cartoon woman loading bushels of insulation into the hopper with an awful smirk on her face. "Look! That's you!" said my husband. "And that would be me!" he said about the idiot cartoon man in the cartoon attic, cheerily blowing dust particles everywhere. Just because you describe something excitedly does not make it exciting, mmkay? Especially when 20 bushels of "non-itch-super-recycled-good-for-the-planet-isn't-this-so-super-great" insulation that weigh at least 15 pounds each must be cut open violently, hoisted above my head and loaded into a hopper with rotating teeth inside. {More on that later.}

So, with my mask on my face and glasses on my eyes, I went to work. I cut open packages and didn't do the same to my hand! I loaded bushel after bushel, even though I couldn't feel my fingers! I blinked, even though the dust was coating my eyelashes! In the end, after I couldn't breathe or feel my hands, it was over. To which my dust-covered eyes revealed the truth: I did not enjoy the experience.

"Home improvement project! Together! Isn't it great?" he asked, arms spread for a dusty embrace.

I didn't respond.

To which he said, "You know, you did just as good of a job as my dad. Plus, you're better looking!"

True story.

He encouraged me to load the remaining particles and let the blower run for a few minutes. To which I decided it was a good idea to shove a broom handle into the machine to get out the remaining particles. Despite the warning stickers, naturally. The machine successfully turned the broom into a pretzel. I love pretzels. Oh, and Maple Nut Goodies. Which I received as payment for a job well done.

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