Old Stuff Stinks

 You might think an old building is cool, but old stuff is crappy and smells bad. For reals.

 I mean, I'm so cute! Can you stand that I would be the least bit uncomfortable for even one nanosecond? 


 Three words: Hid. E. Ous. 

I think it's really artistic the way my cute shoes contrast with the ugly linoleum. I learned about "contrast" in the cliff's notes from my class.

I totally joined the Y so I woudn't have to bathe here.



My life may look awesome, but it's not. It's totally hard. I spent the last several months living in a Melnikov time warp in Moscow. And I'm not happy about it.

Some crusty old dude who smells like pipes and stew calls it "one of the most important house designs of 1920's modernism," but I call it lame. In fact, I totally think the Russian government should take a wrecking ball to the whole oatmeal-box-looking thing.

I'm not usually an icono… iconoclash… um... I'm not usually a wreckingballist. Having to live in this dumb house totally forced me to give up all respect for anything that doesn't have on-site garaged parking. People who work at places like the World Monuments Fund think quite highly of the Constructivist masterpiece my grandfather built. But I'm going on record to tell you why it should be replaced with a nice little condo with a wet-bar and a jacuzzi.

This so-called "house" was built in 1929. It was a bold statement during the Soviet regime, and resulted in its architect, Konstantin Melnikov, being dencounced by Stalin. As a result, he was never permitted to build again. His son was so devoted to the preservation of this home that he lived on tea and rotting vegetables. My father was a brilliant man, but he wasn't much of a housekeeper. I mean, he didn't even bother to put away my grandfather's reading glasses. He just totally left them out on a desk. What's that about?

One could argue that being a one-of-a-kind architectural masterpiece exempts this building from criticism from spoiled little monsters like myself. But one is way wrong, because here I am, writing this, and you can't do a  thing about it, sucker.

Did you know that this "masterpiece" has funky rhomboid-shaped windows? This means they cast annoyingly shifting patterns of light all day. Very weird.

Then there's the bathroom. According to the Better Homes and Gardens web site, you can turn your drab bathroom into a sparkling new space with a few creative decorating ideas. Well, the bathroom at my grandpa's house is less than sparkling. In fact, the whole darn floor collapsed. A four-foot chunk of plaster fell from the ceiling. The frame of one of those dumb windows is also on the verge of collapsing. Renovating, redecorating, remodeling: was my dad retarded?

What happens when a classic old structure isn't maintained? Water, water everywhere. The last Moscow winter really scared me. Because when it's snowing outside, it's snowing in my house. My lifestyle in this house is more like being in a prison camp on the steppe, exactly like Alexandr Solzhenytsin, as my mother accurately pointed out.

Of course, people like David Sarkisyan, the director of the Schusev State Museum of Architecture, say I'm incredibly short-sighted, solipsistic, and clearly lacking the ability to realize that my complaints are about the maintenance of an architectural classic, not about the architecture itself. This fact amuses me. Why do people care so much about dumb buildings, anyway? It's so geeky, and not in that cute-geek kind of way. 

 I'm with the mayor of Moscow, who calls people like Sarkisyan “idiots for whom the preservation of old bricks is an aim in itself.” Wise man, that mayor.

So if I hate this place so much, you ask, why do I choose to live in this one-of-a-kind crapfest? Because I am a serious writer. I took two creative-writing classes at the Moscow branch of DeVry University, not just the one that was required for graduation. I also won a poetry contest on a web site about cats. And everybody knows that serious writers can't possibly make any money. I mean, besides Steven King, but he's a total freak. Anyway, I'm going to make a lot of money, but not by writing stuff. Writing stuff is too serious to make money at. I'm going to get my stuff optioned for a movie, like Snakes on a Plane.

And then I'll sell this house. Tear it down. Watch them build a McMansion in its place. One-of-a-kind classic, my ass: if it hasn't been maintained to my standards, I don't give a hoot if it falls in on its foundations. It's a Brave New World, baby.