Well, it's officially the second week of 2010, and lacking shiny domed cities or flying cars to write about, I offer a few pictures of what (other than filing for unemployment / starting on my Quest For A New Job) I've been up to lately:
Exhibit A: Awaiting the Flushularity...
Who'd have thought in 2010 we'd still be pooping, (yes, I'm joking) let alone sealing our toilet-sewage-pipe junctions with wax "ass gaskets"? Where are my cleanup nanobots, dangit? :P
In any case, the commode here was leaking recently around the base so Matt and I spent a fascinating Monday evening getting very closely acquainted with the underside of the porcelain throne.
Here I am scraping off the old wax ring in preparation for applying the new one and replacing the toilet in its rightful place. This was totally disgusting and I am very very glad the new wax ring supposedly has a 10 year lifespan, as I don't relish doing this again this century, let alone this decade. As much as I appreciate the technological wonder that is the sewage system, man, when that stuff gets flushed I never want to see it again.
Oh, and I also found this pictorial tutorial on replacing the wax toilet ring (on a cool do-it-yourselfer site called "Hammerzone) to be really useful and clearly written.
And despite the grossness of the task, I should note that it's good to know at least I can perform light plumbing repairs if the need arises...eventually I want to replace the bathroom's vinyl floor with ceramic tile, and one thing I was dreading was removing the toilet, so it's a bit of a relief to find out it's not actually all that complicated or time-consuming.
Exhibit B: Cat #4 Has Arrived
As of last Sunday, ours is now a four-cat household. My parents (who just moved out of state) brought Nikki (an eight-year-old Chocolate Point Siamese kitty) over and she has since been settling in (she is shown below patrolling the kitchen).
Nikki spent the first few days in her own room so she could get used to the sounds and smells of the house without being accosted by the resident kittens Coraline, Brodie and Shadow (who are now five months old and utterly full of energy)! She was very scared and (quite understandably) peeved at first, but settled down a lot the second day and by the third day was jumping into my lap and purring. :D
She has now met the kittens and (much to my shock) even spent a short while napping on the couch right next to Shadow the other night! Brodie mostly stares at her and wants to play, but she isn't ready for that yet and usually hisses at him.
And she and Coraline are probably going to take a while to negotiate whatever cattish things they need to, as they're both rather strong personalities (Cora is tiny but wants to be Boss Cat, and is currently a bit miffed that she can't show Nikki what-for, as Nikki is about twice her size). But overall I am really relieved that so far we've had nothing beyond totally expected hissing, growling, and swatting; no actual fighting has taken place, yay!)
Exhibit C: An Exercise in Refurbishing
When my parents brought Nikki over they also brought her very old and very broken-down cat tree. These things can be really expensive new and given my current state of employment (or lack thereof) I figured it was worth a try refurbishing it. Plus I figured this way there would be less waste, as I'd be re-using the basic structure of the thing. Below is the finished result, set up in the living room:
In order to get it to this state, I had to take the whole thing apart, strip off all the old carpet (which had been disintegrating due to weather exposure as my parents had had it outside for a while), re-upholster it, and then put the tower back together in what I hoped would be a more stable configuration. So far it seems to be holding up well, and it actually looks pretty good in the living room, almost like some sort of weird art project.
I applied a variety of materials to the surfaces -- some carpet (my dad gave me some leftovers from when he and my stepmom re-carpeted their house), some sisal twine, some burlap, some old dish-towels, a bit of canvas, and some gaffer's tape holding various edges and seams together.
So, yeah, overall the first bit of 2010 has been very, shall we say, grounded in the physical.