Monday, July 06, 2009

Seven Years' Bad Luck, or Seven Thousand Dollars.

A mirror fell off a wall in my house and shattered into a hundred thousand pieces. I came home from a nice weekend out riding motorcycles with friends and found a wreckage of shattered glass all up and down the stairs. I was so grateful my dogs weren't home! It wasn't a lone mirror, however. That mirror was but one panel on a wall that was covered floor to (very high) ceiling in mirrors. Muddy Hole In The Yard They were all about the size of a full-height mirror that you would find in a dressing room, or hanging on your closet door. They had been custom cut to fit and hung very neatly, probably about the time I was born. Maybe about the time my baby sister was born, but certainly before parachute pants and jelly shoes. So this particular mirror had probably seen all of the fashion changes it could stand, and before someone dragged the indignity of Ugg boots before it, the poor thing just jumped off the wall, smashed its flat face against the banister, and dissolved into slivers. Next thing I knew, there were plumbers in my yard and a whole new earthscape of mud in two different places out front. There is, I assure you, a logical progression here. Things are not as surreal as they seem. So follow the white rabbit, down the drainpipe and into my very expensive mirror repair...

The only safe and sane response here was to climb a ladder and poke and tug on the neighboring mirrors, to see if they could be encouraged to follow suit. It turns out that they were frighteningly willing to do so, and mostly were dangling, like a kid's loose tooth that hangs on by just one root before finally letting go in the middle of Thanksgiving Dinner. Loose teeth often come out with a gushing of blood and a weird popping sound, and since we wanted to avoid that in the mirrored wall department, we had Paul the Carpenter come take all the mirrors off our wall. Whereupon, Paul notified me that we had (*DUN DUN DUNNNNNN*) water damage on the wall. (See, I told you it wasn't as surreal as banana guacamole.)

We had good reason to suspect that the water damage was coming from the bathtub in our master bath on the second floor. So we called out a plumber who had to cut a hole in the ceiling of the first floor bathroom to get a look at the underside of the tub and diagnose the suspected leak. He found the leak coming from the overflow drain, but couldn't get to it through the hole he had already cut. So he had to cut a hole in the wall behind the bathtub to fix the backwards gasket that was causing the leak. Who knew gaskets could be installed backwards? I thought they were about as complicated as rubber washers! Anyway, I've been walking around muttering "backwards gasket!" to nobody in particular lately, because it sounds like the sort of thing a very perturbed and very crazy person would say. I want it to just roll off my tongue should I ever need to express myself in the most insane way possible.

Now, if you're keeping track, there are now TWO holes cut in my walls. One is through a ceiling covered with that popcorn texture that was so popular just before parachute pants and jelly shoes. The other is through a wall that was papered contemporaneously with lace gloves and the moonwalk. (RIP, MJ.) And if you've ever done this sort of thing, you know that you can't simply patch big rectangular holes in your drywall when there is wallpaper involved. It's one of the classic blunders, right after "Never go in against a Sicilian when DEATH is on the line! Hahahahahahahahahaha *plop*"

I previously mentioned that I was having the wallpaper scraped and paint applied in my bathrooms, and this whole mirror-cascade was what started the project. The main impetus for the wall recovering was that the paper in both bathrooms was hideous to the point of being nauseating. But since the sink in that bathroom looked basically like this Seashell Sink and we all know how I feel about nautical bathroom themes, we decided to follow up with a general renovation of the whole tootin' thing.

There was a minor saga involved in the selection of the replacement sink and cabinet, involving no fewer than four trips to Ikea and three to Home Depot. There were purchases, returns, backorders, and backwards gaskets, but we finally secured a sink/cabinet combination that we like and it only cost about four times what we'd budgeted. This brings us to the plumbing installation, but since the downstairs bathroom was carpeted (another indignity that I'm sure contributed to the mirror's tragic end) in a badly stained seafoam green, we decided to have wood floor laid to replace it. Paul the Carpenter to the rescue! This was the only cheap part of the project, really, since we already had all the flooring materials left over from our living/dining room renovation a few years back.

This is already too long, so I'm going to continue it in another installment tomorrow. Stay tuned, gentle readers!


Anonymous said...

I'm not sure which planet you reside on where a day has not yet passed from the time you made this post, but here on Earth, your fans breathlessly await your next installment.

Unless you meant "tomorrow" metaphorically?

Thalassa said...

Haha. I just sat down at the computer to finish up the post. I had started it, but never got it finished. Stay tuned. Unless something catastrophic happens in the next hour or so, I should get it posted.

Word Geek said...

That sink looks horrified!