The Devil Queen

How my wife and I sold our souls to the Queen Anne Victorian we tried to save.

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Location: Crow Mountain, Arkansas, United States

Synopsis: This is a cautionary tale. A seriously disturbed couple find the charming, old ruin of a Queen Anne Victorian in Russellville, Arkansas, and buy it for $1.00. They tore the roof off, cut it in half, and had it moved to some land they owned sixteen miles away because they didn't know any better. Since then, they have hired and fired contractors, had all of their tools stolen, re-wired, re-plumbed, insulated, and essentially rebuilt the entire house. Their only problem is that after four years it still isn't finished. Now they are tired, broke, and wonder what in the hell it is they've done to themselves. And, it's haunted.
(Last updated on April 3, 2008)

Press: Russellville Courier Article - December 2003, HGTV website article, AP story - October 2006, and Victorian Homes Magazine - February 2008 (link coming soon).
Art: From time to time, I receive requests for my art. If you would like to look at more of my art, go to The Failed Artist. If you would like to buy my art, email me. I am more than happy to answer any questions you might have. Thanks!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Home Improvement Whack Job

Since we've been working on the Devil Queen, people have long stopped questioning our sanity. As far as I can tell, we've definitively proven that we are insane. Moreover, together my wife and I are crazier than we could ever hope to be alone. And, since my wife has gone to work in the far north of our state and far from the war-zone that is our home, she has reverted to a calmer, happier version of herself. But not I. No, left to my own devices, I followed the black spiral down into the labyrinth.

Since I felt so wretched yesterday, I thought that I'd feed my burgeoning hypochondria and look up some of the symptoms of sleep deprivation. According to the Wikipedia, the effects of sleep deprivation are:

Aching muscles (Hmm, I think that all the house work accounts for that, no?)
ADHD symptoms (?)
Blurred vision (Nope)
Clinical Depression (Not really)
Color Blindness (No, that seems odd)
Daytime Naps (I'm working on Masters Degree in Narcolepsy)
Decreased Mental Activity (Yes)
Decreased Concentration (Yes)
Decreased ability for the immune system to fight off sickness (?)
Dizziness (?)
Fainting (No)
General Confusion (Yes, but I think this is a normal state for me)
Hallucinations (Not that I'm aware of, but, if I were hallucinating, would I know?)
Hand Tremors (? - Sometimes, but I think that was low blood sugar)
Headache (Always)
Hernia (No)
Hypertension (?)
Impatience (Absolutely!)
Irritability (YES!)
Memory Lapse (Yes, see general confusion)
Nystagmus - rapid involuntary rhythmic eye movement - (Not lately)
Nausea (Yes, but I thought that was from poor diet and stress)
Psychosis (I had to look this one up, see below. I think there is strong case for it)
Pale Skin Tone (No more than usual)
Slow reaction time (?)
Slurred Speech (Not that I recall)
Weight loss (No)
Yawning (No, not really)

I had to look up psychosis. Once I stopped to think about it, psychosis is a lot like schizophrenia. Everyone uses the term, but, technically, they don't actually use it in the proper sense. Again, according to Wikipedia:

"Psychosis is a generic psychiatric term for a mental state often described as involving a "loss of contact with reality". Stedman's Medical Dictionary defines psychosis as "a severe mental disorder, with or without organic damage, characterized by derangement of personality and loss of contact with reality and causing deterioration of normal social functioning[1]
People experiencing a psychotic episode may report hallucinations or delusional beliefs (e.g., grandiose or paranoid delusions), and may exhibit personality changes and disorganized thinking. This is often accompanied by lack of insight into the unusual or bizarre nature of their behaviour, as well as difficulty with social interaction and impairment in carrying out the activities of daily living.

A wide variety of nervous system stressors, both organic and functional, can cause a psychotic reaction. This has led to the belief that psychosis is the 'fever' of mental illness—a serious but nonspecific indicator.[2][3]

However, most people have unusual and reality-distorting experiences at some point in their lives, without being impaired or even distressed by these experiences. For example, many people have experienced hallucinations, and some have even found inspiration or religious revelation in them.[4] As a result, it has been argued that psychosis is not fundamentally separate from normal consciousness, but rather, is on a continuum with normal consciousness.[5] In this view, people who are clinically found to be psychotic, may simply be having particularly intense or distressing experiences (see schizotypy). There are superficial forms of psychosis, for example the kind of "intentional psychosis" that Hamlet suffered in the Shakespeare play."

I don't know. Based on some of the feedback I've been getting (from my wife in particular), I'm on my way there if I haven't yet arrived. I've never been a big fan of reality, and it seems kind of sad that they characterize a loss of connect with it as a bad thing. Oh well. In any case, I so like going to new places and experiencing new things. And it's nice knowing where you are in life.
I wasn't really using mine, so the destruction of my psyche isn't too much of a concern for me. It does seem to irritate other people though. What bothers me is the huge toll this project has taken on my body. Never an obsessive narcissist with a fetish for weight lifting, I would nonetheless like to keep my body in good running order. One of my great fears is my body will give out before it's my time to die. I don't want to be one of those stitched-together, tube-riddled people. I've seen a lot of that firsthand, and I do not want to replicate that experience.

I didn't notice how bad it had gotten until I looked at some old pictures the other night.

See, first here I am a year ago. Even a couple of years into this, I still have that young-and-full-of-energy look.

Then, just a few months ago, here I am free-basting old paint. Be honest, if you saw this person walking toward you in a major metropolitan area, you'd cross the street and hope he didn't follow. If he did, you'd mace him. I mean, that isn't someone I'd leave my children with.

And, just last weekend, here I am. If you're wonder about that startled look on my face, that is because my wife surprised me while I was getting out of the shower. Sometimes, she doesn't play fair. The nasty brown towel is very embarassing.

Not pretty. I probably ought to write a will and get my affairs in order, assuming that I have anything left to pass on besides my ashes after this.

Speaking of which, I found this quite amusing. If you haven't discovered some of them for yourself, here are some fascinating ways that your home may end you. It's better than starving I guess.

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Blogger Georgetown House said...

Hmmm... comparing the similarity of your symptoms to mine (including your "just out of the shower" look), I think that you should consider the fact that you might be menopausal. Hey, that's what I blame all those things on, anyway!

7:17 PM  
Blogger Poppy said...

yeah, I'm with Leslie...definitely looks menopausal to me ;)

9:47 PM  
Anonymous Patricia in Jackson said...

You really look parched in the last pic, try to increase your water intake, this will help the dementia too! :D

That list of how your home may end you is great!

5:08 AM  
Anonymous mindy said...

Cracking me up... you're starting to look a little like Don Imus in that last one. Better take it easy!

5:57 AM  
Blogger Maryam in Marrakesh said...

I have just one word of advice for you: drugs. No, not that you are on them but rather that you should be taking them. Preferably of the long-lasting 8 hour variety.

PS So happy to actually see you, even if it is in your altered state. I like getting a visual of my blogger friends.:-)

10:12 AM  
Blogger EGE said...

Glad you liked my killer-house list, and thanks for linking to it. I knew there couldn't be that many people interested in my "welcome Patriots rookie" post I wrote on Sunday! You're a hoot. Now that I've found you I'll keep reading.

Thanks again!

3:38 PM  
Blogger John said...

I'll glad to hear from everyone.

Georgetown & Poppy, if I wasn't such a dick, that might work. Heavy metal poisoning may be more plausable.

Maryam, I'm game if it doesn't involve needles.

EGE, thank you, my pleasure.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Home Repair said...

Very good article, you make some interesting points.

Home Repair And Maintenance website

7:08 PM  

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