Monday, September 22, 2014

Let's try this again

My blogging (& pretty much everything else extra) has gone to complete nothing in the past two months.  Posts here have been of the queued up in advance variety or not at all.  Everything around me has ben exploding, in mostly good ways & no really bad ways, just exploding. The abundant rain has meant abundant roses...weeds & weeding & grass & mowing....  We had one planned big chore this year-a new roof.  & it is marvelous.  We had a handful of unplanned as well.  This is how the worst of them began:

That's a lie, actually.  It began-began with an outside pipe attached to an outside spigot that had corroded so badly that it (the spigot) needed to be replaced.  The hose was uncoupled & then we learned the hard way that nothing was supporting the plumbing pipes except the attachment to the hose on the outside & the toilet on the inside. 

Thus began two solid weeks of inconvenience as the whole apparatus had to be stabilized before it could be hooked back up.  This mean tearing up the wall in the bathroom, putting in a hole to access the plumbing doing the work & then backing back out, fixing the damage to wall, insulation & vapor barrier as we went.

As we were making there anyway, I asked if the replacement wall board could be recessed a bit s we could avoid the condensation on the back of the toilet would not get trapped against the wall as it always had before, resulting in a very scuzzy stain underneath the wallpaper & a not very attractive rippling of the wallpaper itself.  Seriously, this house was built by ass-holes.  Readers of this blog might remember the fun we had in the other bathroom when we discovered that toilet had been installed over a pipe that was jagged & broken, parts of the cracks originating well below the surface of the floor.  This time, we had a pretty shabby plumbing job & a toilet set about 2 inches to close to the wall.  & nothing we can do about the second unless we tear up the floor.  Say what you will about permits & such, this house would have benefitted from a couple once-overs from someone who gave a sh*t, even if it was just because it was his job.

The good news is the repair is in place, we are a two toilet house again (YAY).  Since I was stuck there anyhow, I started tearing off the wall paper & hope to have it all gone....soon.  & then I am going to paint.  The existing woodwork will all be that same color as the kitchen/dining/front-room Behr's  camembert.  As for the rest, I am still deciding.

For those who have been in close proximity to me & my cursing, this happened the week AFTER my husband decided to clean the to-the-outside dryer vent & then dropped it through the hole in the house, behind the washer&dryer, necessitating the removal of both to get back there & recover the vent as well as clean up the years' worth of dryer vent fuzz that spilled underneath the appliances.   This was, however the same bathroom as that momentous event. 

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Blubber & Clover

Every year around this time, I fold a book I might otherwise not read (or reread) into the pile in honor of Banned Books Week.  This year, I read (listened to) Blubber.  & yes, I know I has probably never been banned although it is often challenged.  What caught my eye was WHY it is so often suggested to be inappropriate for school libraries.

The book is, to be brief, about bullying.  & brace yourself:  the bullies are never really punished.  Even better (or worse) when the bullied have a chance to bully back, do bet!  & the problem with this is it sends the wrong message.  Apparently.  Because that is of course in the eye of the beholder.  Since the narrator is first person, anyone reading (listening!) has ringside seats in her experiences, injustices, etc.  there are very few adult-originated repercussions, but there is plenty of lesson to go around, if that is what you think every book on every school library shelf should be about.  SIDEBAR// this circuitous reasoning kind of made me laugh:  I have a problem with this book, therefore it should not be available to anyone.  That's right, I am bullying you out of access to a book about bullying because the bullies are inadequate punished.  Now everyone try & think of a way to punish THIS bully.

So I read Blubber.  Listened to, I listened to Blubber.  It was not familiar so I doubt I had encountered it before.  Which brings me to the other book I read during banned books month: Clover.  I had never read Clover either (it was published in 1991 & not that I didn't read children's books in my 20s, I was not exactly the demographic) although I had heard of the movie-mostly because of the cast.

Here is the thing about Clover:  it is a gentle, quiet book about a death immediately following a wedding.  A black man marries a white woman that his daughter, Clover, is none to sure about & then he dies in a car accident.  Everything that was changing, changes again.  I am not going to tell you anything else, read it don't read it, whichever you like. 

But here is the funny thing:  I looked & looked & looked & could find no where that Clover was ever challenged.  Maybe we are getting better after all.