So effing cold.
“It’s always darkest before it gets darker.”
-J.Harrison, The Summer He Didn’t Die
To unwind I like to watch old movies on Netflix in our bedroom. Just to unplug with a time that was completely unplugged other than the ubiquitous corded telephone. It usually takes a couple of viewings to finish a show. Last night I started Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Fifteen minutes into the show and the dialogue had made me nervous and slightly irritable. I made a picture to distract myself.
Later on Facebook, a friend RX’d me Henry Mancini. Seems to be working. I look forward to continuing the movie tonight.
That’s not entirely true – I do read often. Just not books, lately. Every possible bit of internet activity requires some reading, of course. I mean, life. I’m not a big fan of YouTube so you can’t fault me there. Regardless, three books I have read (and currently reading) this past year. All three are gold.
1) American Psycho – America’s favorite affluent and affable psychopath. Patrick Bateman is just trying to fit in. Delusional? Maybe. Either way you’re gonna cringe, squirm and laugh your way through this. BTW – don’t feel bad for laughing, you’re still free to laugh at fictional murder.
2) The Mayflies – Penned by my college friend Sara Veglahn. Beautifully written and haunting. Each page was a treat. Really though, the descriptions of the river- just so familiar.
3) The Summer He Didn’t Die – Currently reading. A gift from my best childhood friend. My favorite line out of the book so far, “It’s always darkest before it gets darker.”
Downtown Winona, Mn 2013
After a near 48 hour ordeal of plumbing and general handyman stuff I’m about to take a blowtorch to my laptop’s keyboard because hey, it damn near fixes everything else. All weekend I have spent troubleshooting shitty little problems regarding plumbing and 1/8 inches of measuring and now my keyboard is like oh you want to write about this plumbing business in a meaningful way? Ha-ha (Simpson’s Nelson laugh). Well screw you keyboard I have
easily overcome the most maddening and tiniest infractions of plumbing that would cause a leak at say… the supply line or the feed to the dishwasher. Whatever keyboard. I’m the coliseum and I drink your milkshake!
So, it all started Christmas Eve at my folk’s house with my sister’s sky lanterns that she bought on Groupon. They’re super awesome. You light up the paraffin or waxed infused cardboard and let these mini paper balloons float off into the night sky with all your wishes and dreams fiercely flickering in the winter night (make me a master plumber!). Conditions were inclement on Christmas Eve and lighting up the sky lantern was difficult. My wife says I’m a fixer so I went to the garage and found my dad’s blow torch. Normally I steer clear of anything labeled as a “torch” but tonight I was feeling it. It’s the eve of Christ’s birthday if you’re not gonna use a blow torch now it isn’t ever gonna happen. I started it up, and lit up the sky lantern’s fuel supply in 2 seconds , and from that point on I was addicted to the blow torch and it’s undeniable power. But with power comes great responsibility. I think I just stole that from somewhere? Spider-man? Whoop whoop.
Next, a chain reaction sort of occurred. I bought a blow torch. On the box it said I could use it to remove tile. Hey! We had tile to remove in the kitchen! What are the odds of such a practical use? A year ago Christi started removing the back splash in our kitchen. The tile job that came with the house was uninspired. I mean, there was an attempt. Half-assed no doubt but an attempt nonetheless. No problem tho. I’ve got a blowtorch and where Christi left off I picked up again and within a day the back splash was removed with the help of my old trusty blow torch. Later Christi would tell me that the blow torch wasn’t needed but was it? That stuff came off toots sweet. Either way, what had sat for a year was gone under 24 hours.
Next stop was the water softener in our basement that never worked. When we first moved in my father-in-law installed a garage sale bought water softener that refused to cooperate the day it was put into use (no good deed goes unpunished). I’d daydream of cutting the tarnished copper water lines that fed into it and sweating in a sort of u turn that would save the supply lines for the day I would buy a working water softener. I could visualize the blue glow of the torch illuminating my face as I sweated in the necessary copper fittings. Well, that day came on a Sunday afternoon. I cut everything out (CARPE DIEM PLUMBERS MAKE MORE ON THE WEEKEND I DON’T CARE ABOUT ANYTHING) and tried my hand at sweating in my u-turn. Haha. Not so great. I turned the main water supply on and that shit literally exploded off my modified supply lines. Very Titanic. Water coming from everywhere. Fortunately I could turn the main water supply line off. Not so lucky for Jack Dawson. I spent the rest of the evening trying my best to solder that shit back on but it wasn’t happening just like I wasn’t gonna draw Kate Winslet as one of Jack’s French girls when this was all over with. We packed our overnight bag and made our way to my parents’ house. It was a defeat and I chastened myself for it on the drive out but once we arrived, my dad and mom’s presence took hold and it all sort of fell away. Christi mentioned that this might be a perfect opportunity to buy a new water softener and perhaps a new sink? Maybe a new counter top too? Finish off that back splash? The chain reaction was complete. My mind started to tick away the steps needed to make it all happen. A truck for the counter top and all of the tools (BLOW TORCH). I was pretty sure I could round it all up by the next weekend.