Thursday, September 27, 2007


Note: Boring personal stuff ahead. Fanboys and people looking for links can skip this entry.

So, here's what's been happening.

Yesterday, hubby-Eric and I took his car to his usual auto-shop. Neither of us are particularly good with engines, and we wanted the folks who are familiar with his car to mess with it. Unfortunately, the shop is in Ballard, and we live in Bothell. The shop is about 14 miles away through heavy traffic.

Now, as you may recall from my previous post, the car was dead in our garage. The second tow truck driver assured me that it would go fine once it was jumped, but remember that he also followed me home just to be sure. So Eric and I decided that I'd better follow him in the van, just in case the car needed another jump along the way. As one of the symptoms of the problem was that the car would die unexpectedly at stoplights, Eric was not happy about driving the car that far. I wasn't keen on trying to figure out how to get the van in position to give the car a jump if it died. In short, we were both a wee bit tense and panicky.

So yesterday morning, after a clever parking job with the van, Eric got in his car and I pushed it (yes, me alone) out of the garage into the driveway. We jumped the car using the van, then we were on the way. I followed Eric as closely as possible, through heavy morning traffic and construction zones that seem like they will never be finished. The car drove fine, never dying, but both of us were stressed for the entire drive. Once we got to the shop I couldn't find parking for some time... and eventually parked in a no parking zone that several other cars were parked in.

I was under the mistaken impression that it wouldn't take long to fix the car, while Eric seemed to think it would take a few hours. So, tense and cranky, I suggested we stay in Ballard while Eric wanted to go home. Eventually we found a Starbucks so I could get some hot cocoa and calm down. I don't much like the smell of coffee (which makes me some kind of mutant) but I endured it just to get some chocolate. Eric then talked sense into me, and we went home.

Our next problem was that Eric had to go to work at 4 pm, and the car wasn't ready... and wasn't ready... and wasn't ready... He called in to see if he could stay home, but they really needed him. So I started calling family members to try to get some help. Eventually, we arranged with the shop for me to come out this morning (in a couple of hours, actually) to get the car. But since Eric needed to go to work, I still needed a ride to Ballard. My mom is coming to the rescue (thank you MOM!).

Ok, so that's the car. Let's move over into Frankenhaus.

As you know, this house has some problems. The nervous system (electrical system) is pathetic and needs to be rewired. We desperately need a new stove (the current one flames when I try to broil something... and it's an electric stove). We've had a pest problem (which seems to have been dealt with, thank goodness). And the digestive system (the plumbing) is... well, it's acting up again. In short, the house is constipated. And I need to call a plumber today. I decided to wait a bit until I'd calmed down, but as we're having a party at the house on Saturday, I can't wait long.

So it never rains but it pours. We couldn't afford the new battery (thank you to the person who helped on that, by the way). The credit card is groaning, but it's the only way we can pay for this. And, worse, we really need to make a major renovation in the plumbing system to prevent this problem from occurring in the future, but we can't afford the $2000-5000 to do it.

If I had about $100,000 (HA!) I would totally renovate this house. It's got the best feeling of any house I've lived in, including the house I grew up in. It's a good house for all its faults. It deserves owners who can give it the attention it needs.

Update (about 11am): Got the car. Mostly not painful, except for the payment (about $200). The problem wasn't the battery itself, it was the cable leading to the battery. That got loose, to the point where it wouldn't hold onto the battery anymore. Every bump in the road caused it to jump away from the battery. This lead to the battery "working too hard" to try to connect and failing to recharge. The cable killed the battery. They replaced the cable, then the battery. If Eric experiences power losses, like before, they said to check that the clamps were firmly connected to the battery. The good news is that the battery was near the end of its life anyway, so we would have had to replace it soon regardless.

Now I'm just waiting for the plumbers to call back and tell me when they will most likely make it out here.

Update (about 12:15): About 45 minutes ago I decided to walk down to the library, as I figured the earliest the plumber would show up would be at noon, and it usually takes me about half an hour to go to the library and back. So I loaded up the books we needed to return and headed down. About halfway there, I got a call. The guy could be at my house in a half hour. Part of me wanted to turn around, the rest of me just said "I'll just hurry and it'll be fine." So I hurried. And as I walked up to the house, the Roto Rooter truck pulled into the driveway. He's now in the bathroom, pulling the toilet.

Did you know you can request a Roto Rooter appointment on-line? I was able to specify that I needed someone who not only knows how to pull a toilet, but is able to reinstall it properly (as we've had troubles with that in the past, waves and gushes and little smelly streams of troubles). I was assured when they called to let me know he was on the way that I was getting a guy with plenty of experience.

Update (about 1:20): And... he's done. $300 for the rooting, and a couple of small repairs to the toilet. The plumber they sent agrees with me that we ought to rip out the whole bathroom and start over. Unfortunately, I haven't got the money to do that. I certainly would if I did. I'd love to do right by this house.

So, today we're out $500 in various repairs. Ouch ouch ouch ouch ouch.

And yes, I'm sure that all this has contributed to my most recent bout of depression. Which I'm only now barely recovering from. Such is life. Now I need to go clean up after the plumber (he didn't leave much of a mess, but there's still stuff to be done) then reward myself by going to get the comics.