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Wednesday, December 31, 2008  

Change of Plans

We were originally going to go to Iowa for Christmas this weekend. Trash's mom has typically had us down to exchange gifts the weekend after Christmas, but we just got a call. Someone in her house has come down with something not life-threatening, but highly contagious to many of the relevant demographics. Pretty much the only member of the family who can still qualify for a visit this weekend is me. And I don't think Trash and M. Edium would appreciate my being gone for three days so I can open their gifts. Especially since there might only be room in the car on the return trip for mine.

So instead we're all staying home. This also has some advantages. For one, we haven't even begun to think about packing. For another, it loosens up our schedule quite a bit for what remains of our vacation. And lastly, I think it will allow me to fix the ceiling in the main floor bathroom that kind of makes it look like we're squatters.

I don't know why this is happening, but in the past few months, the ceiling has first cracked, then bubbled, then bubbled and cracked, and at this point a section of plaster or drywall is working on opening down on the south end of the shower like a trap door. I can't explain it. I run the fan when I shower, M. Edium generally doesn't splash higher than shoulder level when he's in the tub, and I don't think my lengthier visits to the bathroom have become significantly more corrosive in recent months.

So now I'm in a situation where we need to either replaster or re-sheetrock the entire ceiling. I won't be sure which until I get started. So in that way, it's a little bit like a gift exchange. I'll still be opening things up and finding surprises, but those surprises might include things like dry rot, black mold, and spiders. Which I guess is what I get for trying to open my gifts after New Year's.

What's going to be even more problematic is explaining to M. Edium what's going on. For the last week, every time we're in a store and his eye lands on something that "Santa forgot to bring me," we've been putting him off by reminding him that Christmas at Grandma's is still coming up, and who knows what he might get there? Now the question is, who knows when he might get it?

Maybe we'll just tell him that Santa forgot to put gas in the car.

posted by M. Giant 4:05 PM 4 comments


Sorry about your thwarted vacation plans. Hopefully everyone gets better soon. Another look on the bright side: perhaps by the time the quarantine is lifted, the weather will settle the hell down and there won't be a 99% chance of a snowstorm during your trip.

As for the bathroom, do you know where all that hot, humid air from the exhaust fan goes? Does it actually make it outside through a vent?

My parents had a similar problem with their bathroom when they moved into their house. When my dad investigated, he found that instead of going outside, the air that got sucked up into the fan went...nowhere. So all that warm, wet bathroom air was just hanging out in the area immediately above the bathroom ceiling.

In addition to channeling the air outside, I think they ended up having to replace some insulation and a part of the wall. So good luck, and keep us posted (Whatever it is, you'll be able to write about it much more entertainingly -- is that a real word? -- than I did).

(This edition of "Boring Family Plumbing Anecdotes" brought to you by an ignorant-though-well-intentioned reader who hopes it falls into the "boring and helpful" category instead of the "boring and useless" file).

By Anonymous Anonymous, at January 1, 2009 at 8:14 AM  

Sorry we weren't able to connect when we were back home. On the other hand, I start Monday at my next clerkship, and that's back home. So, yay.

As to bathroom renovation, our place here in Chicago has a feature I found charming when we toured the place and pretty handy even now: it's tiled and sealed up to and including the ceiling over the tub. It looks cool, it's more reflective than just regular surface, and it's waterproof.

I'll send some photos. It's not as dorky as it might sound.

By Blogger Febrifuge, at January 1, 2009 at 1:56 PM  

@KKB - I'll be checking that out.

@Feb - That tile sounds cool, except I suck at tile maintenance, which is why we no longer have any. I'm willing QoS to stay in theaters until you're back!

By Blogger M. Giant, at January 1, 2009 at 9:35 PM  

To add to the "boring and helpful/useless" category, you might want to check your showerhead. I once had one with a tiny crack in it that was shooting a stream of water right onto the ceiling, causing it to bubble and crack.

By Blogger rockygrace, at January 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM  

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