May 31, 2010

heard in the dance studio

Posted by Mary |

Dude, did you just break your fucking ankle?
--Sharon Kihara,
the epitome of compassion

The madness of May is finally over. OK, technically this is the last day, but I'm calling it over. My busy, busy month concluded with two days of dance workshops with the amazing Sharon Kihara. And the end result of those workshops was NOT a broken ankle. It's merely a sprained ankle and dislocated knee. Owie.

After getting our butts thoroughly kicked with 9 hours of conditioning, training and technique, my troupe had a private choreography workshop scheduled with Sharon. And approximately 30 minutes into this 3-hour workshop, I found myself sitting on the floor, cradling my leg, screaming "It's my knee!" as people ran around trying to find ice and figure out what to do.

I felt kind of like this, minus the ferret on a waterslide.

But of course, instead of ending the workshop, I laid on the floor with my knee elevated on yoga mats someone found in another studio and watched the rest of the workshop. Afterward, Liz drove me to the emergency medical clinic. By the time we got done there, all the pharmacies in town were closed. Most of them are still closed today because of the holiday. I managed to get my Vicodin filled, but the only open pharmacy doesn't have knee immobilizers. So my dislocated knee is flopping around until Tuesday, apparently.

How does this affect my life? Well, I'm glad I haven't ripped out the bathtub yet, as it looks like I'll be sitting on the floor of it to shower for the foreseeable future. And I probably won't be able to go to Anchorage to see MNB next weekend. Definitely not going to the gym tomorrow. I plan on going in to work for a 9 a.m. meeting, then searching for a damn knee immobilizer and getting a temporary handicapped parking permit.

May 21, 2010

decisions made

Posted by Mary |

After careful consideration (which means about a week of turmoil), I chose the new furniture for my living room. on Thursday night, MNB, his truck and I went to the furniture store. As we were walking up the steps, I looked through the window where the couch used to be and remarked, "Oh, they must have rearranged." When we got inside, it became evident that not only did they rearrange, but that in the intervening 7 days since we'd been there, the couch I wanted had disappeared.

I'd had a sinking feeling all day that the sale from the previous week would be over, and the price would be jacked back up. I figured I could talk my way back into the lower price. But how can you talk your way into a non-existent couch? I flagged down a saleswoman we had chatted with last week, and she got on her little walkie-talkie to figure out if there were any more of the couch left. And the couch? Well, it turns out that while I was at home pondering, it had been discounted and moved next door into the clearance section. We hurried over, and there it was! On clearance!

Alas, only the couch was there. The loveseat, chair and ottoman were nowhere in site. Undaunted, I asked yet another salesperson if they had any loveseats left. After conferring with her walkie-talkie, she told me they had the matching loveseat in Anchorage and they could ship it up for free. Furthermore, the price for the couch and loveseat was now the same price as just the couch would have been last week. Score! Even better - they have one more of that couch in the warehouse, so I can get the brand-new one as opposed to the floor model.

So on Saturday, I will be getting up early to bring my old couch and recliner to the UAF Really, Really Free Market. I will then scrounge the market for any power tools I can get my grubby hands on. Then MNB and I will go pick up the new couch. And then I should worry about doing construction or cleaning, but I will instead go for a hike and a soak in the hotsprings. This is my only free weekend this month and is also the last weekend MNB is here before he heads back to Anchorage for the summer. So screw it, I'm relaxing!

And since I haven't mentioned it recently, remember that tiny little hole we cut in the wall to find the broken pipe? Well, the plumber finally came to fix it on Monday. (Hooray for home warranties, which covered the repairs. I only had to pay the $75 service call fee.) In order for him to fix the pipes, we had to make the hole slightly bigger. Maybe more than slightly. And since I'm going to start ripping the walls down in about a month to renovate the bathroom, it made no sense to patch them up again. All of this is my long-winded way of saying we have bathroom walls that are covered in black plastic. Staple-gunned in place, of course. It gives the place a very rustic charm. I can't wait to start ripping down more walls.

May 13, 2010

heard at home (and a poll)

Posted by Mary |

Inbred bacon is just as tasty.
--Me, explaining why
we only need two pigs
after the apocalypse

I need to buy new living room furniture. No, it's not what you think. Well, not if you're thinking, "Oooh, someone bought a house and got an $8K tax credit and wants to spend her money." However, if you were thinking, "Oooh, someone is finally getting rid of her 5-year old couch that she got for free when someone moving out of state left it behind because it was falling apart even then," you were pretty much spot on. The couch attempts to swallow you whole when you sit on it. Cushions, blankets and small children have disappeared in its proximity. And the arms are starting to separate from the rest of it. Plus, $8K tax credit, suckas!

So here's my debate. With small floorspace, I have fewer options when it comes to furniture. Thus I've found three possible options. I present to you, without further ado, floorplans.

My current living room situation. The yellow is representative of the wall color. And all that stuff to the bottom left is not a solid wall but open space to the dining area and built-ins. The only thing that must stay is the wood tv stand along the bottom edge.

Option #1

Option #2
Option #3 (The thing between the couch and loveseat is a possible matching ottoman)

As you can see, there really are limited possibilities when it comes to furniture arranging. All three choices also come with a chair or ottoman, but I don't really think they'll fit. And yes, Virginia, the boxes do represent the color of the furniture. But remember that my walls are paintable.

May 4, 2010

when it rains, it pours

Posted by Mary |

Actually, when I use the bathroom sink, it pours, too!

On Sunday night, I got sidetracked and started cleaning the bathroom. Then I noticed the bathroom sink was draining slowly again, so I decided to clear the drain with a little Drano. And that's when we heard the melodic sound of water splashing onto the dirt in the crawlspace underneath the bathroom. A quick glance downstairs confirmed that the bathroom sink drain was pouring water. No other pipes have been affected.

On Monday, MNB and I got changed into work clothes and ventured into the crawlspace. It was pretty obvious that the pipe we needed to fix was not down there, but rather inside the bathroom wall.

Step 1: Turn off the water to the sink and move it.
Step 1: Turn off the water to the sink.
Step 1: No, really, turn off the %$*#ing water to the sink.

The old valves were stuck in the open position. Nothing would make them turn. So, Step 1: Crawl under the house to reach the water main and turn off the water to the entire house. I made MNB do that.

The right tools make all the difference.

A quick trip to Lowe's for a pipe wrench, plus new power tools (!) later, and we were back in business. The valves came off, and we started getting inside the wall.

He is laughing at my hidden "tile."

Like an onion, my house has many layers. In the bathroom, it was wood paneling, with green tile underneath. Actually, it was fake tile. Also, enjoy the first picture of MNB to enter the blogosphere.

New tool! New tool! Yay!!!

With a bit of prying, sawing and smashing, we were able to see the pipes. The problem seems to be that the big old iron drain pipe is, for lack of a better word, broken. Not cracked. Not a little hole. Broken clean through. Since the drain enters the pipe below the break, it may have been broken for a while. I think that the pipe can handle a small stream of water, but larger amounts can't drain quickly and thus back up to where the break is and spill out.

See? Broken!

Do you know what the plumbing books say about iron pipes? Call a professional. Fortunately, the sellers bought a 1-year warranty on the house for me, and according to the paperwork, plumbing is covered. Even better for the plumbers, I'm not going to ask them to patch up the hole in the wall. I plan on ripping out the wall entirely when I renovate the bathroom this summer.