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Dizzying Intellect » 2000» February

tanya vila

So, lest their be any misunderstanding, I am the man. I’ve now fixed both toilets (the most recent involved removing it bodily from the floor and wall, and replacing the wax seal underneath it!), the screen door, and all major faucets. I replaced the showerhead before work yesterday — after waking from the aftermath of a dinner party at a friend’s house which lasted well into the night (and was most excellent). Tomorrow I’m doing the garage door opener. What did I do with my time before I bought this house? This is so awesome. I just pick up a plumber’s wrench, and I feel empowered. I’m so psyched that I’m good at this. I’m right-brained, left-brained, and mechanically inclined.

still freakin’ cold

Ok, I was just joking about the snow… well, the snow was ok… but you can keep the freezing rain…

of maggots and petrified possums

The same someone who called me “salty” remarked that I might need a strong stomach to repair my mint-green toilet — he had no idea of what was to come… The chimneysweeps came today. They told me that I could use my downstairs fireplace, no problem. But the upstairs one, which was causing trouble anyway (we couldn’t get the damper open), was an issue. It’s really pretty, nice stonework in front, and gorgeous herringbone brickwork inside, but the previous owner put in a big, black, rusty, dirty, ugly insert. I’m sure it wasn’t rusty or dirty when they put it in… The very top of chimney needs repair, and we figured some bricks and mortar had fallen in, causing the damper to jam shut. There was hairy stuff in the fireplace, like old dirty insulation, and it obviously hadn’t been used in decades. Anyway, the chimney folks (true pros, btw — very cool), after a thorough inspection, said we could just take the insert out, replace the original damper, and we’d be set. So we did. Ick. The body count stands and two mummified possums and a raccoon. That didn’t gross me out, oddly enough, but the maggots… Yuk.

fireplace redux. not.

Sorry I haven written in a while — I haven’t had a spare second. (some people I know only update their journals once a month — hint hint — and who you callin’ salty?) I closed on my beautiful little house last Friday. Technically, it’s really not little. I just love it! Last weekend, I tore the upstairs toilet out, replaced every moving part, and a few parts that weren’t supposed to move, put it all back together with nice new pieces, and it WORKS! That’s the kicker. It actually works (which it didn’t do before) and it doesn’t leak, either. Most of the time was spent trying to get the old rusted-on parts to let go. Yuk. I still feel like I should get a tetanus shot. I fixed the sink too, but that’s easy, and all it really needed was new washers… and a lot of WD40. I’ve always been mechanically inclined, but nobody would ever let me do anything. Now it’s my place, so nobody can stop me. I think I’m going to put in the garage door opener today. There’s something wrong with one of the fireplaces, too, but unfortunately, I can’t do anything about that. I think a brick from the chimney might have fallen in on the flue. A professional’s coming out to look at it next week, tho. I can use the downstairs fireplace until it’s fixed, anyway… It hasn’t snowed here in ages, by the way. We got about an inch on Thurday, but while all of you were getting buried on the east coast, we had nada. Nothing. Zilch. It hasn’t snowed in weeks. It’s really irritating. I mean, there’s still a foot of snow on the ground, but now it’s dirty and gross, and it’s got footprints in it. We need new cover, so send it up.