525,600 Minutes

How do you measure a year? Is the opening day/week/month the tone setter? If so, Andrew and I are very likely fucked.

It’s only day 3 and already we need a roofer, an arborist, a plumber, a sports medicine specialist, a masseuse, a fireplace person (do they have a trade name? if not, I propose chimcheree), and a cat-analyst.

Two minutes into the New Year and Andrew and I were on our First Run 5K in downtown Portland when he started feeling like he was going to cramp. He pushed through and we found a steady pace. On the last 50 yards, however, we basically had slowed to a walking speed while looking like we were still running. I was having visions of Andrew pulling a Sian Welch & Wendy Ingraham – impressive on an Iron Man finish, but maybe a little melodramatic for a 3 miler. He pulled through and we high fived, concerned that a lip lock in 25 degree weather might make getting back to the car inconvenient to say the least.

To be fair, both the arborist and roofer issues stem from the wind storm prior to the new year. We’ve attempted to get the roofer out here by calling and making an appointment for them to come out – one would think this would suffice in getting a roofer to come out – they were slated for December 26th. But, Legit Roofing never showed and didn’t call. Then they called the next week and said the reason they hadn’t shown was no one was working that day because of the holidays. This was a lie as I work ou right next door to them and had seen them in their offices on the day “no one was working” with the open sign lit up. But whatever, we needed roofers, they stated they would come by that same day but again never showed and never called.

This just goes to prove my theory that you need to beware of choosing a company with a suspicious name. For example, if they have to say they are legit in their name, it is likely they are not legit – and in fact are the opposite of legit. Same goes for selecting a restaurant – if the sign says authentic Mexican food avoid that at all costs, it’s not only not going to be authentically Mexican it probably won’t be food.

The problem we are having with getting an arborist out here is that they don’t know we want them. We (read: Andrew) have not called to make an appointment yet. And so, we have pieces of tree debris in our yard and the bottom half of a wind shorn tree still standing back there begging to become firewood.

Speaking of firewood… a friend of mine came over last night to knit. I started up a fire in our fireplace and about 20 minutes later the entire house (especially the bottom floor) was filled with smoke. unsure what to do I opened the flue for the bottom chimney (the fire was in the second floor fireplace) and that really helped – if by helped I mean added far more smoke into the house.

I was certain that we’d need a chimcheree to come and shake our hand and step in time, but it turns out after we (read: Andrew) did some Googling that it’s just that our house is too well sealed. The two flues go up through the same chimney. Because the fire needs to pull air to burn it pulls it from wherever there is less of a seal – that’s the second flue. But that flue air the house is pulling in is right next to the smokey air coming from the flue that has a fire burning in it. All we need to do is crack a window open when having a fire so that the fire can breathe. This seems a bit counter to having a fire, but Andrew says it’s fine and I have now had a physics lesson – so it can’t be that bad.

Because the cats seemed to be getting along a little better and Widget and Pixel even started playing together a bit, I moved Pixel’s cat litter downstairs near the other boxes. While down there I noticed a puddle of water in front of the washing machine. I got a little excited and called Andrew down for inspection.

I have been wanting a new washer and dryer ever since we replaced our stove, dishwasher and microwave last year. There was nothing wrong with what we have, but new appliances are kind of sexy. But now there seemed to be something wrong with the washing machine. I was giddy with the thought of a front loader when, after further inspection, Andrew broke the news to me that there is actually something blocking our piping system and the downstairs shower has four inches of water in it too. No new washer for us. But I have made certain that the landlord (read: Andrew) is aware that a plumber needs to be brought in.

Meanwhile the kitten was too dumb to remember where we’d put his litter box and peed on the bathmat which we couldn’t launder because of the plumbing issue. So the litter box moved back upstairs.

So, in the end, I’m not sure, is it better to get all the bad stuff out of the way at the top of the New Year, or is this a sign of more bad things to come? One thing’s for certain, whatever does come about, you’ll hear it here first.



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