Saturday, March 8, 2014

I love my house.

Sooooo, for those of you who haven't read all my repetitive ramblings, let me bring you up to speed.

I live in my grandmother's house.  I rent it from my mother, and the house was built in the 50s, I think.  It's a little rectangular California ranch style house, and it's full of Old Stuff.  Japanese antiques, vintage tools, appliances that are possibly older than me….

As Old Things tend to do, my house has Various Issues.

Termites, lopsided doors, creative garage storage, ugly wallpaper, more termites….

Today's special Issue is…… PLUMBING.

My bathroom sink had a drip.  The slow drip was becoming a slightly faster drip, so this morning (before breakfast) I decided that I should go online and figure out how to fix such a thing.  The Internet suggested that this might not be difficult, so I emptied my under sink cabinet, cleared my counter, and started taking apart the faucet.

"Turn off the water to the faucet."  Okay.  I stick my arm into the tiny-ass cabinet to twist the valves.  Nope.  Those are frozen for some reason.  I get a little WD-40 in there.  The hot valve closes, the cold valve remains stubbornly stuck.  Screw it, I'll turn off the water in the whole house.

Where the hell is the water main?  There are five different pipes going into this building, and they all have valve knobs.  Son of a bitch.  I start experimenting.  I have no clue what I may have turned off.  I eventually find the water main on the front patio.  I return to the bathroom.

"Remove handle, and remove packing nut."  Okay.  I pop the tops off the knobs, unscrew them, and peer underneath.  Did I mention that we have really hard water here?  Everything is covered in a pale greenish crust.  Fantastic.  Where is this packing nut of which they speak?  Is it this nut-shaped thing?  Maybe this other nut-shaped thing?  Shit, I think I need a different diagram.  This one doesn't have the same parts.

"Remove screw that holds washer.  Replace old washer with an exact replacement."  Where the hell is this washer?  I can't get the packing out.  The whole thing refuses to move.  The entire faucet assembly is now moving around, as it's no longer technically attached to the basin.  Maybe it never was.  What the hell?

"Fasten new washer to the stem."  I can't find the old washer!  Why won't this damn thing come apart?

Mind you, I haven't eaten anything in about 16 hours.

Screw it, I need to eat before I do anything else, and I need to wash my hands before I do that.  So I have to reassemble the faucet so I can turn on the water to the house.  I reassemble various bits, and go crank the water back on.

The drip has accelerated.  Wonderful.  I wash, and shut off the water to the house.  I drive towards Home Depot, figuring I will find food on the way.  I drive past Home Depot, in a low-blood-sugar haze, far past the point of being able to make food decisions.

I find myself at a Greek place, ordering a gyro and feeling unhappy about it.  I pour caffeinated beverages down my gullet, in the hopes that I can wake up.  I eat food.

I stride into Home Depot, confident and full.  I buy polyurethane and a valve box cover for my main sewer clean out, which is currently covered by a bucket because this house is jury-rigged in every possible way.  I peer at faucets, and decide it's probably better to just replace the damn thing.  I do not buy the faucet, because I have yet to figure out how to detach the old one, and old houses often do not fit new fixtures, because HEAVEN FORBID ANYTHING BE EASY.

I come home with my valve box cover, and prepare to bury it.  Is it possible that I do not own a trowel?  Yes, yes it IS possible.  How the hell do I not own a trowel?  Crap.  I decide instead to work on my floor, because sometimes you need to abandon one can of worms for a more familiar can of worms.

Tomorrow, the landlord gets involved.


  1. My cottage is from 1870. I feel you pain.


  2. If it was easy you wouldn't quite learn anything... I think...
    At least, that is what I repeat to myself right before my fist meets the object in question.

    1. "In Russia, we do not have problems, we have adventures." ~ Sochi Bus Driver

  3. Oh when shit like this happen I call my man and demands him to fix it, very lazy of me.

    1. I am eternally grateful for my brother.

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