Journal Entry

It was, for the most part, a disappointing weekend, but it had its spots of sunshine.

Friday was my Regular Day Off, but I went in to the office for a few hours in the morning to make up for my late morning last Tuesday. Afterward, I had lunch with D– at On the Border, and then headed home.

I’d wanted to go to the gym early and then spend the rest of the afternoon programming — or maybe reading, I’m on to Watership Down, now, and it’s gripping — but Friday morning a guy from the gas company came out to investigate our ridiculously high gas bill (a free service the gas company provides), and he decided it was caused by the water leak in the bathtub.

I was pretty concerned by that, as the water leak had barely even started during that billing period, and so it suggested the leak was causing something like $40 a day in extra cost, so instead of spending my afternoon as planned, I spent it plumbing.

I took one of the old, rotten valve stems up to Lowe’s to see if I could find a replacement, but I didn’t have a lot of hope (it being a non-standard type). They had a little book there for reference, though, and I was able to find an exact match to the one I had. Just, y’know, they didn’t have it in stock.

I waited my turn and asked the salesman if they had any in stock (in the desperate hopes that I’d just missed it), but he said no. He went to the computer and looked up the manufacturer’s number and made a call, and told me it would take 10 days to have one shipped.

While he’s explaining this, a funny little old man standing behind me keeps grabbing at my sleeve and saying, “Excuse me. Sorry, excuse me.” And it’s clear from his manner that he has some advice to offer, but I was kind of hoping to let the salesman finish his explanation, then turn to this new guy. The salesman didn’t even pause in his spiel.

So, I finally turn to the guy, and he says, “You know Watonga cheese?” I just stared at him, completely blank. I had no idea what he was talking about. He asked again, “You know Watonga cheese?”

I just shrugged. “I’ve never heard of it.”

“Well,” he said, “There’s this place called Watonga cheese on 39th Expressway, and right in the shadow of it is a little shop called The Faucet that has every faucet part you could imagine. You know, in case you need to get it today.”

I did, and I followed his brief directions (with some help from T– and Google Maps, via phone), and found The Faucet and as soon as I walked in the door the guy there took my ruined valve stem, stepped behind a shelf, and came back with a new one, quick as that.

I got home, and (after weeks of messing around with it), now knew enough that it was a simple process to swap out the old with the new. I replace both valve stems, turned the water back on at the main, and came in to test it.

The good news is, there was no hot water stream (as there had been for three expensive weeks). I did, however, still have the same cold water drip that had started this whole process. I didn’t cry or curse (somehow). I just called a plumber and scheduled a visit for this morning.

By that time, it was nearly five in the afternoon, and we had plans to do dinner with D– (and I didn’t feel particularly motivated anyway), so I never got to the gym. I didn’t get any programming done, either, but I think I finished a short chapter in my book before we went out.

We had Bennigan’s for dinner, and then went downtown to the Festival of the Arts. T– says we spent two hours there. I wasn’t really keeping track. It was a mess of people and a lot of uninteresting art being peddled by depressed-looking artists, but there were certainly spots of genius in there. The only piece we considered buying, though, looked like something you could pick up at Target. It would have been cute in AB’s room.

A little after 10:00, my dad and Josh showed up, and Josh stayed the night. I was exhausted, but we stayed up for an hour or so talking, and then I finally had to crash. I wish we’d had longer.

Saturday morning, T– went to the gym and I slept in. When I finally got up, I did some work around the house (little things, like taking out the garbage and putting away clean dishes), and then dad showed up again (he stayed the night with my sister), and T– showed off the work she’s doing in the back yard, and before I knew it the morning was over and I was making us late getting to lunch.

We went to Ted’s again, up in Edmond. It’s my sister’s favorite Mexican place, and my dad’s pretty partial to it, too. Lunch was good, and afterward we found ourselves on the north end of Edmond with an hour to go before my niece’s birthday party. We didn’t feel like spending the whole time driving home and back, so we went to a little playground in my sister’s neighborhood, and T– and AB played on the swings. I took a nap in the car.

Then we had the birthday party, which is already well-documented elsewhere. My aunt Darla and grandma came in from Dallas, and it was awesome to see them. After the party, they stopped by our house on their way home, and we got a little bit of time in a quieter environment to chat with them. It was fun.

After they left, D– came over and bought us pizza, then when AB went to bed D– and K– and I went out to Henry Hudson’s for some drinks. After everything else in the day, it was pleasantly relaxing.

Sunday morning after church we went to Carl’s Junior for lunch, and ate for free thanks to K–‘s participation at a water station along the Memorial Marathon that morning. All volunteers got coupons for a free combo meal, and he picked up enough for all of us. It was a nice treat.

Then I went to the gym (for the first time in five days), and spent the whole hour running — first on the elliptical, then on the treadmill. I’m going to try to do more jogging on the treadmill. It’s a good way to follow the exercise plan I’m using, and keep track of my goals and progress.

Afterward, T– and I went grocery shopping, and then we cooked hot dogs and brats for K– and N– and D–. D– had picked up Mario Kart for the Wii, and we spent the whole rest of the evening on that. It was much fun.

Then, this morning, our plumber came out and I just got a call from T– with the update. Turns out the valve stem seat is (and always was) wrong. It was a kitchen sink seat, rather than a bathtub one. He replaced it in no time, and we paid him $90 to fix a really simple problem that I never in my life would have figured out.

Anyway, the problem is fixed, now, and the leak is gone. Thank God for that. Looking back on it, it was a pretty fun weekend, but I spent most of Friday and Saturday in a bad mood over plumbing problems. That’s a shame.

I should have plenty of time to program over lunch today, though, and after the gym tonight, I figure I’ll get a lot of reading done. Nothing much to pout over. I’m hoping for a good week.

One Reply to “Journal Entry”

  1. Are you really reading Watership Down? I have always loved that book (which really is surprisingly “gripping” as you put it) and yet have never met someone else who’s read it. Let me know how you like it.
    -your big sis

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