Tuesday, Dec. 15, 2009
Dear Diary:

It's not enough that the universe saddles me with the albatross of trying to drag holiday festivity out of a crab apple tree that just wants to be left alone. No, it's not enough.

At some point late Sunday night the pipe connecting the drain from our bathroom sink to the rest of the plumbing rusted through. Each time we used the sink, it slowly but surely leaked water down inside its pedestal, through the platform the pedestal sits on, and then wicked all through our subfloor.

By the time the problem became evident, the laminate flooring that covered our bathroom was totally hosed, a rippling, bubbled mess.

Merry Christmas to me. Not.

The sink itself is close to a hundred years old, a gazillion pound enamelled cast iron heavyweight we bought years ago in Ottawa from an antique dealer who'd got it from an old barbershop. Which is to say that the plumbing bits needed for it are, uh, unique.

The sink doesn't have an overflow, so it needs a very specific bit of plumbing for the drain. We tried at several hardware stores and of course couldn't get it. So we drove 45 minutes to a special plumbing wholesaler. Clerk One told us it was probably time to get a new sink, but, hey, we could try the designer plumbing store next door and see if they had specialized fittings since the designer place sold quirky sinks.

So off we went to the sort of place where something on sale starts at $600. They had kitchen sinks that were $2,500. Without the taps. Throw another $750 on the bill for the fancy European taps.

They took one look at the spousal unit and I and knew that we were not their target demographic. To say that the service they gave us was glacial is to understate the case.

Half an hour later, the one piece they deigned to find for a sink without an overflow turned out to be way, way too long to work on our sink and couldn't be adapted. Crap. So we went back to the wholesaler to see if maybe they could special order something for us. This time we were served by Clerk Two.

He took one look at the rusted part we'd shown Clerk One, went to the back and produced a metal/plastic fitting that exactly matched the antique metal bit that had come from our sink. I shot Clerk One a look that should have made his head explode like a melon hit by a cannon ball. Sadly, his head did not explode. You can well imagine my bitterness. I curse my failing powers.

The happy news here is that the bit we needed was only $8, which is a far cry from the $72 piece they showed us at the designer store. Our bathroom floor may look like something out of a funhouse, but the sink we can fix.

Since we were basically in an industrial part of the town, we moseyed over to a big box hardware store so that the spousal unit could spend some quality time caressing tools. He has his needs.

I wandered off to their Christmas d�cor section and found to my delight that they'd marked everything down 30 to 50 per cent. And what did they have? Ginormous Christmas ornaments. For $10 I scored a big bag of oversized blue and gold Christmas balls, which I promptly brought to the spousal unit to admire.

"Aren't my big balls beautiful?" I crowed.

"Isn't that *my* line?" was the retort. Alas, his mind was in the gutter. I attribute this to a testosterone overload brought on by the close proximity to too many power tools. Had I rolled my eyes any harder, I would have been able to power one of those tools.

I got my big beautiful balls home and hung and, uh, well, it's better but clearly the tree still doesn't say LET'S GET THIS PARTY STARTED, which is kind of what I was going for.

A little bit better eh.

(It was snowing when I took this picture, which really mutes what little glitter I managed to achieve.)

Anyhow, now I have a sense of what will be needed to reach the apogee of holiday disco glory I know my crab apple tree can achieve.

2010 will be the year of The Disco Christmas Crab Apple. I mean it. Really.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 143 miles.

Going Nowhere Collaboration

Goal for 2009: 500 miles

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Want to delve into my sordid past?
She's mellllllllllllllting - Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2012 - Back off, Buble - Monday, Dec. 19, 2011 - Dispersed - Monday, Nov. 28, 2011 - Nothing comes for free - Monday, Nov. 21, 2011 - None of her business - Friday, Nov. 04, 2011 -

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