Sunday, June 20, 2010

Alaska's Really Messing With My Plumbing

As part of my new "Who Cares About The Planet" campaign, I took off the flow restricter on my shower this morning. Woohoo! Water pressure! But before you start leaving nasty comments about what a terrible person I am, consider the fact that all of the rust flakes (or whatever the hell that stuff is) that gets stuck in the aerator does a dandy job of restricting the flow all by itself.

Other than that, I can pretty much guarantee that no home improvement stuff will happen in my house for the next five weeks. You see, Jon is going on vacation to Alaska.

Jon is the guy who sits in the cubicle next to me. He's crazy smart -- as an example, he does kernel programming, and that's not for the faint of heart. He also grew up in Oakland in the Sixties, with parents who were communists. He's the only person I know who went to a Beatles concert -- he won free tickets at the local radio station, so his father dropped him off outside the stadium. He was all of twelve years old at the time.

Anyhow, the relevant thing here is that Jon has owned his house in Oakland for many years, so he's done most of the maintenance and repair work. I, on the other hand, have owned my house in Woodland for eight years, and I've broken a lot of things.

Here is my old approach to home repair: I would open up one of the home repair books, read the section on what I was going to do, then I would get halfway through and give up.

My new approach to home repair is the following: At some point between playing cards and talking about the Jonas Brothers, I explain my latest problem to Jon. He tells me that it's easy to fix and then tells me what to avoid. (There have been a couple of times when he told me something wasn't easy to fix, and I immediately gave up on the plan.) Then, (and this is the key part) he keeps asking me how it went, so I actually have to finish the project.

Anyhow, the point here is that Jon is going on vacation to Alaska for the next five weeks, so I won't be able to do anything.

Nothing better break any time soon...


JJ said...

That is much better than my workplace where we have all new homeowners with no money because we all just bought homes. (There is also the lone Italian who has owned her home for a long time but is a former fashion model with a strong case of learned helplessness.)

We all sit and talk about the things we want to do but can't afford to. We also live in New England, where we have a lot of flooding and storms recently. I am not the only one who has had to replace a roof!

Unfortunately, we are not jaded enough yet where we ignore problems. My friends and I have all gone tile shopping (because we all have bathrooms that need gutting), fixture shopping, etc. Now we need tens of thousands of dollars to hire a contractor to fix the bathrooms.

Theresa B (of Nebulopathy) said...

What you need to do is just buy all the stuff and then mess up the renovations yourself. That way the house really feels like it's yours.

And then when you have money, you can pay someone to redo everything...