Sunday, March 30, 2008

drain drama

Ok. Spring Break!!! Whooohooo!!

On Sunday, the drain in the basement starting backing up just a little when I put carrot and potato peels down the disposal. I figured that I shouldn't put carrot and potato peels down the drain and moved on with my life.

By Wednesday, it wasn't just carrot and potato peels backing up (ick.). So I called the plumber. He called me back Thursday (by which point I'm making up excuses not to be home to use the water), and scheduled an appointment for Friday morning.

He and his snake guy came out and snaked the drains. A couple times. Apparently, I've got roots (which makes me think: if the roots can get in, doesn't that mean that the stuff in the pipes can get out???). But the drains are clear and we started to clean up. One of the last things the plumber says to me is that I've got a loose cap on one of the access drains and I need to go pick up "an unthreaded two inch drain cap." He says the female threads on the drain pipe are corroded enough that they would catch the male threads on the cap I've got and that's why it needs to be an unthreaded cap.

So I went to Lowe's. I bought an unthreaded two inch drain cap... and a three inch one because the two inch looked too small. I came home and tried them, eager to be done with the project so I could move on with my life without concern about my plumbing (and could use my washer and dryer, behind which lives the drain in question). The two inch cap was too small. The three inch guessed it: it was too big. ARGGGGG. I tried to McGyver the three inch cap by sanding it down a little, but that didn't work. So I went back to Lowe's.

The guy at Lowe's explained that many of the older houses in my neighborhood actually have 2.5 inch drain access pipes (it is important to add at this point that probably half the people in metro Detroit have exactly the same house as I do--post-WWII bungalows--and we all need the same stuff!!) but that Lowe's doesn't carry anything for 2.5 inch pipes. What I needed to do was go to this plumbing supply store in Berkley...and they closed in 20 minutes.

So I booked it over to the plumbing supply store. I walked in at 5:02, and the owner was distinctly not pleased to see me. He helped me quickly and sold me a lead cap which he said was soft enough that it would work with even the most corroded pipes. As I walked out the door, I noticed that it had a big number 3 on the top, which to me meant that it was for a three inch pipe. Still, I didn't argue. I couldn't. They locked the door behind me.

I took the lead cap home, and I was right. It was too big. At that point, I decided that the loose cap hadn't killed me in the three years I've lived here, so it wasn't likely to kill me overnight, and I went about my Friday night business.

On Saturday morning, I went back. A different guy helped me, and he sold me a PVC cap for a 2.5 inch pipe. It's threaded, but he says that the only other alternative is to get someone to come out and rethread the drain pipe, and that sounds expensive. I managed to get the PVC cap to stay on fairly well. It's not as secure as the other caps, but it's also not leaking sewer gas into my basement. And I am well and truly done with my plumbing experience. Ick. I knew there was a reason I only do electric myself.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


Oh, Facebook, my new obsession...

I find people I haven't talked to in years...

My wonderful alumni students find me...

Facebook rocks. :)

Oh, and happy birthday, Becca!

Thursday, March 13, 2008

primary politics

Ok, this is a rant.

I am annoyed by the whole Michigan primary thing. The idiots we elected decided that they'd "force the parties to campaign to us" and moved up the primaries, even though they were told that there would be consequences. I voted in the primary like a good little citizen, even though the national party decided that the people would be punished for the actions of our politicians. And now the Democratic party recognizes that they need Michigan's votes and they want a do-over. At a cost of $10-12 million. Fortunately, not to be paid by the state of Michigan (because we could so afford that, right?).

Here are my issues:

A: I ALREADY VOTED. I did my job.

B: Does this mean we wouldn't matter if the race wasn't so close? Fuck you too!

C: These private donors who are kind enough to finance a do-over election? They don't have anything viable to donate to, like AIDS research or the homeless? Really, funding a petty pissing match is the most important thing you can think of to do with your money?

If Republicans didn't make me want to move to Australia, I might have to vote elsewhere this year, my dear Dems.

Saturday, March 8, 2008


Last night, after attending Courtney's viewing, a few of his classmates met to play basketball at the rec center. Mike Thomas, an alumni of the varsity basketball team who was playing college ball, was playing with his friends when he collapsed. He never woke up.

So, this is two wonderful and honorable young men from the same class taken from us in a week. Their classmates look stunned and cling like drowning swimmers when we hug them; we're not much better.

How do we comfort them when we are bereft ourselves??

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

In memory of...

Courtney Pugh

Sweet kid, great grin. The kind of kid who's still a little boy even though he's getting older. He had sickle cell anemia, and he had recovered from a stroke at the age of 7. The stroke last night took him. He was 19.

We'll all miss you, sweetheart.

Monday, March 3, 2008


I got a chance to hang out with the cute guy from last week's Table for Eight dinner. He's pretty cool, and we have a lot in common. We had dinner on Saturday, and then we went to see "Vantage Point" (GREAT movie, btw). I sent him an email to thank him, and he actually responded (yeah, I know that it makes me a nerd to be so psyched that he actually responded, but so many guys just disappear!)!!

I like this one...