Friday, October 24 2014
Using a level that I'd brought, I satisfied myself that I was giving the new three-inch sewer pipe was sufficient and began gluing together pieces, though I stopped soon after gluing in a clean-out trap, as it was becoming obvious that I would need a fixed position (in other words, a hole through the floor where the toilet would be going) towards which to build. I didn't want to continue fixing pipe in some vague direction without a known and precise goal. So I turned to the bathroom wiring project, and before long had wired a switch box controlling a light box high on the wall. The wall material I was encountering, I should note, was a strangely-hard form of drywall that didn't seem to be wrapped in any sort of paper envelope (as all modern drywall is). I suspected that it was either a primitive or special version of it. The house itself dates to 1930, which was before the widespread use of drywall, though this closet was clearly a later alteration (as reflected in the fact that it was built around only part of a radiator). It's styled similarly to the rest of the house, but it was probably made in the fifties or sixties. One problem I'm going to have to deal with in the closet is that its walls are covered with a faux-woodgrain wallpaper. A quarter of my life ago, I found wallpaper to be a nearly-impossible material to remove, so I'll probably just scrape away the loose bits, spackle it over, and paint it some tastefully-jaunty color (later this evening I would jokingly refer to a fake Hitler mustache as set at a "jaunty angle").
This evening there was a smallish party held over at Susan and Dave's place outside Woodstock. Susan was turning fifty (as I will in four years), and Deborah had just taken delivery of a large sampler of Miyoko's vegan cheeses (similar to the one we'd tried at that family compound near Palenville a couple weeks ago). Gretchen had baked a "trashy cake" (the kind Susan likes), and it was actually the second such cake Gretchen had baked for this, Susan's birthday season. When we arrived, Olive overreacted to me in particular and made threatening growling noise, so Susan gave a hiss from a special can of compressed air, which caused her behavior to immediately change for the better, at which point she was rewarded. Susan bought three of those cans of compressed air and gave one to Deborah and the other to us, and supposedly they work miracles to stop bad behavior. I don't know if they sound really loud in a high frequency range humans cannot hear or if the hiss itself is enough. All I know is that when I make a similar hiss from my mouth, the dogs do not react the same way. Perhaps some day we can use the compressed air to force our respective packs of dogs to get along as they once did. (For now, though, we have to leave our dogs home when visiting Susan and David.)
A number of people who showed up tonight had never seen Susan and David's new house, so there were at least two tours of the place. David wanted to show me the new gas furnace, a small R2D2-sized unit connected by numerous soft silvery ducts. I was more interested in a pipe that someone had run through a small hole drilled into the face of the bluestone mass that occupies most of the basement. David said that the other end of that pipe emerges from the ground near Susan's studio over 50 feet away. It amazed us that someone would think the easiest way to route a water-bearing pipe would be through a hole drilled into the bedrock.
As for the cheese, everyone went apeshit about it, but most of them were too creamy for me. I preferred the two "cheddars." They are still more creamy than actual cheeses, but they're getting close to real mainstream cheese substitutes. I found that one of these fake cheese greatly improved a pasta salad Susan had made when I crumbled it into chunks and added it.
Somehow we didn't get home until half past midnight.
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