Friday, April 20, 2007

Walking Iris

joyful occasion
return of prodigal sun

surprised buds bursting

This houseplant flowers only in the spring, perhaps about eight flowers per year. Each blossom begins in the evening as a swollen green bud, appears as a large white "cone" in the early morning, opens by 10 AM, and has shriveled and died by evening.

This plant makes me think of the story about the sexuality seminar: The facilitator begins by asking the group how many have sex at least once a week. Several hands are raised somewhat proudly. Next he asks, “How many of you have sex at least once a month?” and a few shy hands are raised. He then asks, “Is there anyone here who only has sex say, only once a year?” and one guy excitedly jumps up, waving his hand and shouting, “Me! Me!” Everyone in the room is a bit shocked at this guy's enthusiasm, and the facilitator cautiously inquires, “You seem rather happy about your sex life. This is a bit surprising.” The once-a-year guy excitedly answers, “Tonight’s the night!!!”

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I know I shouldn't do this... the toilet is still in the hall...*...but I can't resist showing off the new floor.
Tomorrow I'll get the "Sta-put" putty that I just realized I need, and (if the stars are in proper allignment), the throne will be returned to its proper place... (please pray, offer up sacrifices, do hocus-pocus or whatever else might assist).
This wizard is pooped!
* For anyone who's wondering how it got there, see my previous post

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

A Good Flush Beats a Full House

The shut-off valve works like it's supposed to, and bailing and sponging out the leftover water in the tank and bowl is easy enough. So far, so good. Time to remove the toilet.

Okay, come on... goddamit, come on... (grunt, grunt)... Oh, son of a fucking bitch... How the hell can one bolt come loose but not both? Dammit, come on... stupid little...(grunt, grunt)...son of a...(grunt, grunt).

This isn't working. Poop and eggs... And this damned bathroom is so small that it feels like I'm twins.

Radio discussing mass murder at least keeps my own little hades in perspective, although at times I can't even hear it over my grunting and cussing... Come on God, this isn't funny... (grunt, grunt)... Okay, there must be some other way. My hands hurt and I'm getting tired. Stupid friggin' toilet. Here's the real pisser: this should have been the easy part.

I take a break and check my blog and email. Two more good poems from Shaman and a message from the Judge saying the Québécois have hi-jacked my blog and all he can get is a log-in in French. And then the solution comes to me: the hack-saw... And the Judge comes back with the message that it's gremlins at his end and it ain't the Québécois after all. So the final score at the end of the break is: Two poems from Shaman, and two problems solved. Thank heavens for the computer, I think, laughing sardonically.

A few minutes and some elbow grease later the damned toilet is sitting in the upstairs hallway, and I'm off to get some carpentry tools. With any luck, I'll have a nice maple floor down here by mid-afternoon.

I return and notice how rusty the metal floor flange is. (That's the thing that holds the drain pipe in place and anchors the toilet to the floor). The screw heads are rotted to the point of looking like old nails, and I can't turn them with a screwdriver. Shit on a fucking shingle.

To shorten this tale a bit, after a lot more cussing and grunting, I completely demolish the damned thing (except for the plastic part that seems to be glued to the pipe). What in hell will I ask for at the local plumbing supply?? Half of a floor flange? I take a photo of the situation.

Even though it's lunch-time and I wash my hands, I can't bear to touch anything that is headed for my mouth. I try to remember if I've ever seen a plumber bite his nails...

There's been a problem with my plan since the beginning, and I know it, and I've been trying to ignore it, but I can't: there is no blessed way I'm going to be able to lengthen that drain pipe the extra 3/4 inch that the thickness of the new floor will demand. The right way to do this job is to tear out the particle board floor under the old vinyl, and then lay the maple directly on the plywood sub-floor. The problem is that the particle board runs under the walls and the built-in sink... I'm staring at Saws-all Hell, a fact quite well proven an hour later.

Hours after the first grunt and curse, the bathroom is down to plywood sub-floor, the wrecking tools have been put away, and things are looking mighty fine. Tomorrow I will take my photos of the problem to town and see if a solution can be purchased - or if I'll have to do some major plumbing work.

There's no royal flush in the cards tonight, but at least I don't have a full house, and luckily we do have another indoor bathroom. Life is good.

Monday, April 16, 2007

Lunch Bunch

I've been feeling haikuish lately. Maybe it's my keen sense of the unrest this awkward season change is generating. Maybe it's just that I'm lazy.

The goldfinches are morphing from winter brown to summer yellow. Each day you can see the progress, but clay-colored feathers still predominate. Daffodils spear their way up through the leaf cover at the edge of the woods, but, like the goldfinches, keep us in suspense. I fried eggs yesterday morning just to enjoy something warm and sun-colored.

Here are my feathered friends at the Niger Café (click on the photo for a better look), and below them, two poems.

black thistle diners
winter coats patched with yellow

birds of a feather


taupe duds now blasé
runway girls strut in yellow

finches not so sure


The Wizard's view on April 16, 2007...