Monday, April 16, 2007

We have since sterilized the kitchen thoroughly

Around here I might be known for mentioning a teaser about something I might write on soon.

And then not writing about it.

Not something I’m proud of. But I’m going to claim creative license on this one and just say that sometimes I’m just not in the mood to write about certain things.

Or, I don’t remember. Which could probably qualify as more of a creative amnesia than creative licensing.

In the case where I’m just not in the mood – let me just say I am sparring you. When it comes to writing, if I have to force anything it’s not only painful for me but the reader as well.

That’s assuming I have any readers.

And at the rate I’ve blogged around here – it’s probably safe to say I may have only one left.

Hi Mom.

What I’m getting at in a round about way (me? taking forever to make a point?) is that sometimes I’ve been known to hint at posting a story soon.

And then not.

And then asked to get right on it by what readers I DO have left.

And I still don’t.

Except today? I think I’m going to actually come through on a story tease I made in my previous blog about our hole digging escapades!

Not to be confused with Icecapades.

Yes! That’s right! I mentioned something about poo on the wall – and now? Why yes! I’m going to FOLLOW THROUGH and actually elaborate in a blog today.

Why you ask?


Generally not a moody girl – but when it comes to my writing I most definitely can be.

Which is probably an indication that if I ever wanted to pursue writing as a career (ha!), then becoming an alcoholic may be the best thing for me.

Ok, poo on the wall.

I’m going to try and err on the side of brevity here as I’ve already managed to blather on about god knows what for god knows how long.

Totally unlike me I know.

We had been in our new house for a week or two. Upon moving we had made a few large appliance purchases – one of which was a washing machine.

I, being the very excited ex-apartment dweller, wasted NO time in purchasing laundry equipment as soon as the ink dried on our loan papers. In fact, I was SO excited about NOT having to do laundry in a public laundry room EVER AGAIN, that I had stood protest against our ever growing pile of laundry in the corner of our bedroom.

And I waited patiently for Trevor to find some time to hook up the new washer in our kitchen.

Finally the day came, and our washer was plugged in, hooked up, leveled, and ready to make me one VERY happywife.

About two loads in and the drain started backing up.

Thus begins what would become one of many UNINTENDED projects we would have going on around the house.

Bright and early Saturday we rented a professional snake – something that vaguely resembles a garden hose on a reel. Only the hose is made of metal with pincers on the end, and the reel is powered to whip the hose around in a frenzy similar to a snake prone to seizures.

We set it up in the kitchen, and Trevor began to thread it down the drain pipe until the entire 75 feet of hose had disappeared into the bowels of our sewer system.

He began retracting it and realized quickly that the reel is designed more to encourage a seizure from the hose than actually pull it out and wind it back up again. So with Trevor at the drain opening pulling the hose out of the sewer, and I at the reel feeding the hose back into the apparatus, we slowly retracted the hose out of the sewer line.

I have to admit that by this point we were mostly preoccupied with the anticipation of what we would find at the end of the hose, griped in the metal pincer.

Let me just make it clear – when I say “anticipation”, I don’t mean in an excited sort of way. More like “anticipation” in an *oh god what the hell has been clogging our drain and just how much is it going to make me want to vomit?* sort of way.

About half way into the hose retracting the kitchen took on the smell of a public restroom.

At which point we noticed our gloves were turning brown.

From poo.

Two weeks into home ownership and we were already playing with poo in the kitchen.

(A note to every sicko that typed in “playing with poo” in your internet search tool and got this blog: Sorry to disappoint – and no, there are no pictures.)

We persevered, Trevor continued wrenching the hose from the pipe, I continued shoving it into the reel. Until finally! The end of the hose appeared! And in the pincers?


Absolutely nothing.

Not to sound perverse, but I was really hoping for SOMETHING. Anything that would prove to us that all our efforts had not been wasted.

I looked at Trevor for guidance – a comment that might give me faith that even though the pincers came back empty, there was still hope that whatever the impeding object had been, it was dislodged and traveling down the rest of the sewer pipe.

He looked back at me, and then looked at the wall.

"There’s poo on the wall.”

I turned and looked at the hose reel and there, next to it, was a spray that traveled across the floor and up the wall like a brown rooster tail.


“Gross. Guess we'll be cleaning the kitchen.”

“Yea, that’s not all.”


“There’s poo on your leg too.”

So that trail of brown spray that went across the floor and up the wall?

Yea, it traveled across the floor on the other side of the hose reel, and up my leg too.

(2nd note to Sicko’s: I was wearing pants, and no – I don’t have pics of this either.)

Thursday, April 12, 2007

It's not a hole to China...

"So, the police just called me at work."

"Do you need me to come bail you out?"

"I'll give you one guess why they called."

"Our favorite neighbor doesn't like the trench we just dug in our side yard?"

"Gee. How did you know."

"What did they want exactly?"

"They wanted to know how long the hole is going to be there."

"Tell them it will be there as long as it takes to trick her to fall in."

We bought an old house. A 94 year house to be exact. And it has old pipes to go with all the other things old about the place. This would include the sewer pipes. Given that things were done a bit differently back when the house was built, there is quite a bit of updating that needs to be done on the pipes in order to make the plumbing a little more acceptable shall we say.

I will have to blog about the "poo on the wall story" soon, as I think it will highlight what I'm talking about here quite nicely.

But for purposes of finishing THIS particular story I will summarize:
- sewer pipe got clogged
- we snaked the pipe ourselves
- we got poo on the walls
...and my leg

I think that makes my point.

Moving right along.

In order to update our sewer pipe so it stops backing up, meets code, and appreciates the value of the property, we had to embark on a project known as "replacing the sewer lateral".

Which pretty much means we dig up the whole sewer pipe as it runs from the house to the city sewer line at the street and lay down a new one made out of new! modern! fancy! materials.

On the first day of the project we hired a team to come and remove the concrete path that happens to run over the pipe, and excavate the dirt underneath to expose the area so we could break out the old pipe and lay down the new one.

And because we are not stupid we hung a copy of the permit and a note on the door for the police officer we knew would show up to investigate because a "concerned citizen" was most likely going to call in and complain.

Hence why Trevor was called at work by a cop.

"Did he give you any shit?"

"No, we are completely within our rights. He just wanted to know when we thought we would be done so he could let her know. That and she's freaking out about the dirt on her driveway."

Did I mention that part?


The sewer line happens to run right on our property line next to her, and the space there is VERY narrow.

Which means all the dirt that got excavated? Yea. It's lying on her property next to her precious driveway. Not ON her driveway - she still has plenty of room to back out - just NEXT to her driveway.

Which gives me great pleasure.

We came to find out a few days later from another neighbor that the Crazy old Lady is concerned about the hole that some "weird people" dug in her yard. She was worried that they would never come and fill it back in.

You know...those crazy bands of freaky hole-diggers that roam the Bay Area looking for driveways to trench.

Well, at least she didn't think aliens were involved.