Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Fun Just Never Stops, or, If It Weren't For Bad Luck, I'd Have No Luck At All

On Sunday evening, our basement drain backed up. Luckily our boxes had been elevated on plywood just enough to avoid damage. But it was a mess. Yesterday we rented a big plumbers' snake from Home Depot to try and clear the drain. It didn't work. We finally counted up our money and called a plumber in to see if a professional could solve our problems.

Bob the plumber came over at 5am, and for $80 he used his extra big plumber snake machine with the big blades on the end, and got nowhere, though he tried for about 2 hours. In fact it's worse now, the water won't drain at all, so we now have NO water use unless we want to flood the basement. NO dishes can be washed, NO flushing the toilet, NO washing hands -- NOTHING. I have no idea what we're going to do.

It turns out we have a break in our sewer line, or possibly a collapsed section. Fixing the line... requires excavation and replacement of some or all of the waste pipe. This is a 5 to 6 THOUSAND dollar job. Might as well be $5 or $6 million. What the fuck are we going to do? Maybe the city won't find out if we put in an outhouse, but it would be nice to wash up now and then.

We checked with homeowner's insurance and, no, there is no coverage for a broken waste pipe. Interestingly, there is some limited coverage for damage to the house from a broken waste pipe, but we had no damage. The break is right up near the house, too, so we can't get the city to cover it. Things look very grim.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Family Whining

The topic of art and artists came up, and the amazing things that they do. My husband, Tom, spoke of how incredible it was when he was a younger man, starting out at Marvel and being able to actually watch his favorite artists working with pencils and ink on paper, drawing the line, laying out the panels... It was a wonderful thing to see, a fan's dream! There is nothing more fascinating and inspiring than watching an artist make something out of essentially nothing, pull things together, and have a piece of art where before there was just a blank spot or jumble of components.

My dad was an accomplished artist. He was a painter and teacher, and very good at what he did. His paintings, even the relatively early, tobacco-covered ones that I recovered from my mom's filthy dark hole of a house, are full of rich colors and images. Tom asked me what it was like to see him working, and I realized that I had NEVER seen him work, ever, ever. I never watched him set up a palette, mix colors, lay out a composition, put a brush to board or canvas. NEVER. I was not welcome to do so. For whatever reason, I'd never even given that a thought before. It was just my life, I guess. Realizing this was like a broken cinder block smacking me in the face. I think I once watched him doodle out a sketch in No. 2 pencil on the back of an envelope somewhere. That's it. I never got the chance to see my dad actually being an artist. I only saw things in progress not being worked on, or finished paintings occasionally. Maybe he didn't like being watched, maybe it was just me, maybe it was something I'm not considering. But wow, I dearly wish I could have watched him make those paintings...

Ehh... The fact that my family sucked is really no surprise. It just hit me weird today, I guess.