Saturday, August 29, 2009

Ever have one of those days?

Almost three weeks ago now I was trying to leave on a trip. A pretty long trip, actually, some 2300 miles of travel with some sightseeing miles piled atop that. All on the motorcycle, which makes me happy, but with only one day between landing at the airport and taking off on the bike, which does not. Great as my boss is, great as my job is, sometimes the schedule just gets jammed up like that.

So, you know I recently had some bathroom remodeling done at my house and it didn't exactly go smoothly. Thus, it should come as no surprise that the plumbing had one more nasty trick up its sleeve. We had a new countertop installed in our master bathroom. We had new drop-in sinks added to that countertop. That meant we had new faucets added, as well. Because the old ones were losing their cool factor around 1985, so you can imagine that they were well into negative cool and on their way to retro cool here in 2009. Most of the time, this is a non-event. You don't have to write about replacing faucets because you simply open the cabinet, turn off the water supply to the sink, swap out the fixture, turn the water back on, and voilà ! There is water.

Of course, this is not how my house works. The counter-installing guys removed and hauled away the old sinks and counter surface, as requested. However, they neglected to mention that the reason my newly-tiled bathroom floor was not filling up with water is because they had turned off the water to my entire house. Now, luckily for me, there was a shiny new house-water-turner-offer valve, because this would have been a big problem prior to my aforementioned plumbing fiasco. It turns out that the little knobs in the cabinet under the sink that are supposed to turn off so you can change the fixture and otherwise maintain your plumbing DO NOT WORK. To be fair, they might work at your house. They worked in my old house in Manchaca (thank you, Papa Dell!) but they do NOT work in my current house.

In fact, rather than "turning off" the water under the new sinks in the new countertop, they function to just make it really mad. So, like a garden hose with a toddler's thumb stuck in the end of it, these knobs spray water everywhere. All over the bottom of the new sink, the inside of the cabinet, the underside of the new countertop, the newly-tiled floor, the bowl I had optimistically placed under the valve to collect any water drips, and my eyeglasses.

At this point, you might note, if you're really paying attention, that I'm on my 1-day furlough between landing at DFW airport and taking off on the bike for a long trip. So, you know, some laundry would be great, but a shower would be essential. Meaning that Rose had to go to Home Depot and find parts and fix the sink. You see what I did there? I separated that into THREE tasks. First: go to Home Depot. Second: find parts. Third: fix sink. When step 2 doesn't work, step 1 and 2 must both be repeated before step 3 can commence. And so steps 1 and 2 were repeated... THREE TIMES. I do not fault Rose for this. I have been told by every person who has touched the plumbing in my house that it is non-standard.

After the first attempt at finding parts using her "meh, this looks right" strategy, Rose chose to use my strategy of "read everything and choose accordingly" on her second run at Home Depot. This was unsuccessful due to catastrophic failure of the labeling system at Home Depot. You'd think that if the Library of Congress can correctly catalog 142 million items, Home Depot could correctly label a handful of plumbing supplies. On her third attempt, she used my father's "buy one of everything and if nothing fits you'll have enough spare parts to rig it" strategy. Unfortunately for me, Rose has used this (repeatedly) as evidence that Reading Doesn't Work in the complex world of home repair and wrench slinging.

After three trips and more frustration than it should really be possible to experience on a Friday afternoon, however, Rose emerged victorious and we had a shower and some laundry going. We had a couple of beers to reset the frustration meter back to zero, and THEN we started packing!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunny Sacramento

Open letter to my pants:

O, jeans, you know how much I love you. You're my comfy, faded, hemworn best friends. You keep my legs warm in cold movie theaters, you protect me from the freezer cases at the grocery store, whose frosty fingers seek to molest my shins. With you, I never have to shave! Who are we kidding? I wouldn't shave anyway, but you protect the sensitive eyes of the easily offended from the sight of my leg hair. You fit me whether I'm retaining water or not, whether I've eaten dessert or not, whether I've swum that extra lap or not.

Therefore, it is with heavy heart that I put you on notice. And, pants, sit up and pay attention here, because you ARE on notice of probation.

I am wounded. I have a pulled muscle in my thigh. It hurts a heckuvalot. In order to protect and heal that injury, I have to keep an elastic bandage wrapped about my upper leg.

Your persistent, jealous stalking of the aforementioned elastic bandage is making it uncomfortable. In fact, it has gone to pieces -- totally unraveled -- three times today, to say nothing of yesterday! It's losing its grip! Due to the added social pressure of walking and clinging at the same time, it has taken to falling apart in extremely public places like airports and hotel lobbies.

This is simply unacceptable. I do NOT want to look like the girl who couldn't get the tile comet off her shoe before leaving the ladies' room. I further do not want to look like an escaped zombie who managed to steal some awesomely comfy pants off an improbably tall woman, but forgot to tuck in my bandages before shambling off to the airport.

So, please, dear blue jeans, for the love of all that is fashionable, will you leave the Ace bandage alone and let it do its job? I swear I will call you my Ace jeans for the rest of your existence and love you more than all other pants if you will only do me this one, teeny, tiny little favor.


Friday, August 07, 2009

things i like...

1) A good stylist who gives me a good haircut, consistently. My stylist just moved from one salon to another, and I didn't spend 0.1 seconds trying to figure out whether to be loyal to the salon or the stylist. Curly hair ain't easy, y'all!

2) Ice. It soothes aching muscles, it brings coffee down to a comfy summer drinking temperature, it makes my dogs scrabble across my kitchen floor chasing its frictionless fleeting form. No end to the hilarity OR usefulness of ice.

3) Growing and nurturing things. Fish. Plants. Dogs. Marriages. Well, just the one marriage, but you get the idea. I can't bake, but I can make stuff grow!

4) Swimming. I like the way it feels when I'm suspended in the water. I like the way water slides over my skin. I don't know if I'll still be so in love with swimming this winter when the weather is cold, but for now, I lurve it.

5) Air Conditioning. The south didn't get civilized until this handy invention became commonplace. I wouldn't live in the cold, cold north unless I was paid to, and even then it would have to be sums of money in direct proportion to the volume of snow I have to move in the course of my daily life. But without air conditioning? I would not so much enjoy all the easy access I have to sunshine, beaches, quality mexican food, and year-round motorcycle weather.

count those blessings, y'all!