Tuesday, September 22, 2009

The End of Some Things, the Start of Others

Location: Minneapolis, MN, USA
This is just a funny little picture I took up in St. Cloud. It represents a metric ass-load of meaning: basically, whatever you want to read into it. It represents:
  • the oppressive flat-plains winters we endured
  • the anti-intellectual, binge-drinking environment
  • how far one feels one can get in a fly-over state
  • how there are things more fearsome than death
  • the cessation of one's prior way of life
...and so on, and so on, &c. Yes yes, very good, all those things are valid. And it continues to take on new meaning: for instance, I've stopped the old way of blogging and am plunging into this new Blogger in Draft mode with all its new enhancements. I thought there would be some trouble with incorporating photos in posts, as there had been before, but either they resolved the issue or I just became less-stupider and figured out how it works.

But this is a photo embedded in the old style. It is the last one I shall do this way.

It's late in the evening on a Tuesday night. I'm having a Bavarian Hefeweizen in honor of the approaching Oktoberfest--I thought I'd like to host an Oktoberfest party of my own, but we're trying to start saving money and a party is the opposite of that--and listening to a musical compilation, Maroc by Night. I'm enjoying it very much.

This afternoon I went to the pet store and bought a new bag of litter, hauled this 40 lb. bag home on my shoulder. I dumped the old litter out of the catbox, scraped the remnants away, decided to wash it and carried it downstairs.

That's when I discovered the basement was flooding.

I have no technical prowess whatsoever. It took me way too long to realize it was one of the two water heaters that was pouring water onto the floor--way too long to identify it as a water heater. Once that was done I had to guess where the water pipe on it was and shut it off. Fortunately, the instructions for shutting off the gas were very clear and accessible. That done, I quickly located a dry/wet vacuum (our landlord is on vacation in Mexico City this week), moved the waterlogged property out of the way, and cleaned up the flooded mess. I'm a little impressed with myself, at the efficacy of my work.

Then I went to my writers group meeting, which was just me and Heller. Rebecca (different one) said she'd be late and Kristin didn't say anything at all, and Sara never shows up. Well, Heller and I respect each other's writing and we found stuff to talk about. We talked about what prevents us from submitting for publication to certain places (or at all, in my case). We also called it an early night.


Shanna (Crabbit) said...

Oh, the amounts of emergency repairs I've had to do on my house... All of them an absolute nightmare because the previous owners of this house had botched practically everything. I cringed in horror when my mom wanted to buy replacement windows and put them in ourselves (fortunately it never happened).

That sign is a good representation of this house.

Christian said...

That's one strong reason why I've held off on buying a house: sure, you own your own property and you're not paying rent anymore, but now you're in charge of repairs to structure and property, and you can't easily flee the country if you have to.

On the other hand, I would like my own backyard where I can build my own brick grill and herb garden. Life's a series of trade-offs.

Shanna (Crabbit) said...

Ahh, yes, but there's also the satisfaction that comes with doing the repairs, seeing a job well done, and knowing that you've just increased the value of this really expensive thing you own.

I can't really weigh the pros and cons of owning versus renting though, because I've never rented before.

Also, for as many things as I hate about my house, there are just as many that I like or am amused by. I'm oddly fond of the giant, ancient octopus furnace. That thing screams "Built In 1903." It's ugly, the pipes are insulated with asbestos (my mom drove it into mine and my brother's skulls when we were kids that we were not to bang those pipes whatsoever), it has a water pan, and it takes up 1/5 of the basement. Getting that thing taken out would cost a small fortune.

Cinamingrl said...

My cat Nala won't even use her litter box any more. Ever since she's discovered the outside landscape, she's using the neighbor's patio, and they haven't figured it out yet. She's forgotten her kitten days, when she had to use a litter box. I think she thinks that she's a "BIG kitty" now, and goes outside. I see her digging holes out back and then not burying it, just runs off. I haven't had to buy litter in months. But the other day I saw the baby rabbit peering into the litter box.
There's my rant about litter boxes.