Monday, January 26, 2009

Hard to believe

Ten years ago today, P and I had a brand-new baby.

Now we* have a tall, beautiful ten-year-old daughter who is more than halfway to being grown up.

Happy birthday, G!




*He may not be here, but she's still ours and always will be.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Querent

If you could ask me a question, what would it be?

Anything goes.

I'll probably answer.

Monday, January 19, 2009

BLAAAAAH!

Not long ago, G was watching a DVD that had a preview for an Arthur special called Arthur's Missing Pal. There's a moment in the preview (at 0:15, if you must know) where Arthur flings open the door of his house and dramatically shouts a single word to the neighborhood at large, and because I wasn't paying very close attention, I thought what he had screamed was "BLAAAAAAAAH!"

I said to G, "Why is he screaming 'BLAAAAAAAAH'?" and she said, through tears of laughter, "He's not screaming 'BLAAAAAAAAH,' he's screaming his dog's name, Pal. You know, 'PAAAAAAAAL!'"

We both laughed until we were nearly sick, and ever since then, we've been turning to each other at random moments -- in the grocery store, in the car, when I'm tucking her into bed at night -- and saying "BLAAAAAAAAH!" I'm sure this doesn't sound even slightly funny to anyone who wasn't there, but I've had to stop twice to stifle giggles while typing out the story.

It's the little things.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

If I can't swim after forty days

When last we spoke, my dishwasher had broken, followed straight away by a mysterious backup in the kitchen sink. Badness.

So for the next couple of days after that, the sink kept filling up with hot, greasy water and food debris at random times, prompting me to call the management office twice and ask for someone to come out and look at it. It had drained and was empty on Thursday morning, but when G and I got home from her school fundraiser on Thursday night, it had not only backed up again, but spilled over and flooded the kitchen.

At that point I threw every towel we own down on the floor and called the maintenance emergency number. About half an hour later, the repair guy arrived, somewhat grudgingly (WTF? Is a flood not an emergency? It was last time I checked.) He discovered that either the upstairs or next-door neighbor's garbage disposal was clogged, and their rinse water and ground-up food was coming up in our sink. Ugh! He then disappeared for about 10 minutes and in his absence, the sink made a horrible sucking, gurgling sound and drained for good, leaving behind a mess that looked exactly like stomach contents -- remnants of shredded chicken and rice and some gooey yellow stuff and a sort of red grease. Double ugh!

I spent the next hour and a half scrubbing this glurge out of the sink and off the counter top, throwing away water-damaged items, sopping up standing water on the floor and in the cupboard under the sink, and mopping the tile, gagging all the time because it was just so gross. My own ground-up leftovers would have been bad enough, but this felt like a stranger had strolled in, puked in the kitchen, and left me to clean up the mess.

Anyway, I finally got everything to an acceptable level of cleanliness, but that wasn't the end of my troubles. I'd noticed that the carpet around the edges of the kitchen felt damp, but it wasn't soaked, so I wasn't too worried. Well, apparently "damp" is just as bad as "soaked," because when G and I got home on Friday evening, I opened the front door and was nearly knocked over by the smell of mold that blasted out. I've spent the last two days airing and drying and cleaning, but it still reeks -- downstairs worse than upstairs, but you can smell it everywhere. In addition to the runoff from the tile, I'm fairly sure that water seeped through the dividing wall between the kitchen and the living room and wet the carpet behind the big armoire that holds our television. I can't move the armoire to find out (last time we moved, it took three or four men to shift it) but it feels pretty clammy back there.

The weird thing is that I've been plagued by water problems in the last two places I've lived. In the triplex where we lived with P, we had to get the pots and pans out to catch drips every time it rained, the bathroom ceiling collapsed on me because of a leak in the standpipe, and two days after G and I moved out, a pipe under the kitchen sink burst and flooded the living room with 40 gallons of boiling water. Since we've lived here, the tub in G's bathroom has developed a leak that poured down the outside wall of the building, the hall ceiling has flooded and sagged from air-conditioner overflow, and now this. I don't really believe in ghosts, but if I did, I'd be wondering whether some poor drowned person was trying to send me a message!

Monday, January 05, 2009

Not so gr8, rly

Friday:

Called the management to report that my dishwasher was refusing to drain and regurgitating hot water and suds onto the kitchen floor.

Saturday and Sunday:

Grumpily washed dishes by hand.

Today:

Came home to find a note from the repairman stating that the dishwasher "works fine" and I should "use the correct soap." (I'm thinking he saw the bottle of regular dish soap that I had been using to wash dishes IN THE SINK, because I COULDN'T USE THE EFFING DISHWASHER, and assumed that I had half-wittedly used that instead of dishwasher soap.) With this assurance, I loaded the dishwasher and ran it, and when it got to the rinse cycle, dirty water backed up into both sides of the sink and wouldn't drain. I suppose this is an improvement in that it isn't spilling onto the floor, but not such an improvement in that now I can't use the sink OR the dishwasher.

Color me unimpressed.

On the bright side, G has decided that she now will eat sandwiches made with processed cheese slices, bringing the total options for her packed lunches to three. (The other two are jelly sandwiches, which come home uneaten half the time, and cold plain pasta.) I can't begin to tell you how challenging it is to create a cold lunch for a picky vegetarian who insists on a "main course," but refuses to eat peanut butter, hummus, hard-boiled eggs, yogurt (except Gogurt), real cheese, or any of the other vegetarian staples. I hope she manages to expand her repertoire before she leaves for college, though I suppose at least she'll have a hot plate and a microwave at her disposal there.