… on man cave oscars and a near explosion


I am the blue bubbles.

Mac and I were watching the red carpet procession at the Oscars last night (Ya, it says 11:34 a.m. above, but that was the time I took the photo.) This text stream was going on from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. while she was at school in Kentucky, and I was in the big, comfy chair in chic and trendy Dunstable.

We weren’t taking things lightly.

Mac needs a dress for her formal.

And one for graduation.

We needed ideas.

This was work, people.

Her father (the Nearly Perfect Husband) and Gabe (The Self-Proclaimed-Perfect-Boy) were sitting nearby, also watching the stars arriving on the red carpet.

They did not need a dress for formal.

They don’t even have a formal coming up.

Nor do they need to spec any fashion for graduation.

They were watching for the entertainment value alone.

I was texting with Mac and searching for plumbing solutions on-line (my pipes have been humming. Ya. Humming. In the key of F. Sharp. (Not really. ‘F Sharp’ is my de facto answer every time Number-One-Son-Sam asks me to name the note he is playing (or any note, actually. It’s sort of my musical note equivalent to The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy’s ’42’))).

So my pipes have been making an F Sharp noise on and off for a couple of days when anyone takes a shower.

Also, our water pressure has been crap.

For, like, a year.

Don’t ask.

So I was googling for plumbing diagnoses as I was texting with Mac about the red carpet. And I was sort of paying attention to the series of comments and sometimes-conversation going on between John and Gabe.

Hodge-podge of those comments:

John: “Oh! Oh! Kevin Spacey! Shush. Shhh. SHHHHHHHH.” (That was so John could look at him. Kevin Spacey wasn’t saying anything. He was just walking by.  We just had to shush so John could see him.)

Gabe: “Where’s Ellen?”

John: “Oh! There she is! There’s my girl.” Pause. “Lis, you are going to have to deal with the fact that Cate is my girl! Oh. She is just so classy.” (He was talking about Cate Blanchett. He forgets that he already put her on his List. The List is the three people who – if they come to town and fall madly in love with him – he can totally cheat with. The others on the list are Jessica Biel and Rachel McAdams. But since he keeps mixing up Rachel McAdams with Amy Adams (not kidding), he could end up sleeping with anyone and just say he got confused (and I would probably believe him.)

Gabe: “Where’s Ellen?”

John:  “Oh my God! There’s Jessica Biel!” Pause. “Hun, is she on my list?!” Pause. “Yes? Well now that she and Justin have broken up, it’s probably gonna happen.”

Gabe: “Justin Timberlake?”

John: “Ya.”

Gabe: “They’re still together.”

John: “No! I read about it. They broke up.”

Gabe: “No.”

John: “No?”

Gabe: “No.”

John: “…. still on my list.”

Gabe: “Is Ellen even on this show?

And on and on and on it went.

For one and a half hours.

And then Ellen came on (and Gabe was happy) and the real show started.

And it was only part way through the Oscars that we realized that none of us had even seen a single contender for Best Picture (a pretty funny moment, and we felt very uncultural).

But we had seen Frozen, which was nominated (and then won!) for Best Animated Feature, so we felt good about ourselves again (re-cultural’d).

So, anyway, I need to get going. I have a brand new hot water heater that needs visiting.

Oh. Why do I have a brand new hot water heater?


It is the result of my failed googling for plumbing solutions last night, which resulted in a “why the hell are my pipes singing to me in F Sharp?!” call to the plumber this morning.

This led to a conversation with the plumber – in my basement – after he drilled a hole the bottom of our now old water heater (he drilled through the tank to confirm it was almost totally blocked up with a decade of some sort of wet cement-sugar concoction that he called ‘sediment’.)

Had it not been full of ‘sediment’, I don’t know what he would have done because he had drilled through the tank by then.

Duct tape probably.

It fixes everything.


The plumber said that it was a good thing that we had one of those water heaters with an emergency pressure sensor thingie because he had actually worked on a situation where a water heater similarly blocked by sediment had actually exploded straight up through two floors and the roof of a house once.


These are the moments where I realize that my professionally undiagnosed, but most-likely spot-on-self-diagnosed, ADD pays off.

Because ADD is just fuel in the tank for one of my favorite superpowers.


Thank Gawd I was Googling plumbing solutions whilst doing all of the other things simultaneously (like oogling Jennifer Lawrence’s red Oscar dress, and frugal-ing my Nearly Perfect Husband’s List of potential cheat-ees (gotta choose wisely, baby, you only have three spots!)).

Because if I didn’t fail at Googling the plumbing solution, then the plumber wouldn’t have come out this morning.

And more cement-sugar sediment would have built up.

And the super-duper hot water tank safety system would have let loose.

And the hot water heater would have exploded up through two floors and through the roof of the Disposable Shack!

And it’s cold outside, so we would have been freezing and we’d totally have had to move out.

Maybe, like….. to Maine.

Wait a minute.

I’ve gotta go.

Maybe the plumber could re-install the old water heater before John and Gabe get home from soccer.

And I could just put a little duct tape on the drill hole. No one would ever be the wiser.

And what’s one small explosion if it means getting to Maine a few years earlier than planned…

Can you let yourself out?

Thanks for readin.

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