1 Thing= 10 Things
So our main man Joe Trash scored himself a ton of bricks a few weeks back. And he decided that since we've made no real progress on our front yard in a while, maybe he'd suggest to us that we pave that shit over. He'd only charge us for the labor, so sure, we said, why the hell not? That's Thing 1.
Later that week, a ton of bricks arrived in our yard. And we waited. And some moss grew over our lovely dirt. Until finally, last Friday, while I'm working from home, getting bombarded with work crap while trying to keep an eye on Val (who, btw was really fabulous) I hear a ruckus outside and there it is, Joe's hired help tearing up our yard. He's got his boombox set up in the driveway, pointing right into Val's room. (Note to self, our windows? They are thin.) That's Thing 2.
So I go out and ask him to turn it down or move it. To his credit, he did but still, I could hear his tunes plus the neighborhood bonus: the kids from across the street who do nothing but loiter on the street ALL DAY LONG hanging around whoever is doing Something Interesting.
Now, I get this. Life can be boring when you're a kid. And I've done my best to ignore these kids but somehow, having them shouting at the guy breaking up dirt in my yard while the music was playing, while I was being bombarded about work and while I was trying to keep an eye on Val, well, it was a little much. Especially when Val wouldn't nap and I had to call into a meeting, signing off when she bonked her head and started crying.
But hey, the dirt got broken up and our yard was (allegedly) ready for Bricking. That's Thing 3.
Saturday, we had a seriously lazy day, watching The Game (WOOO HOOO, GO BUCKEYES!) and not leaving the house till 6 pm. At some point, Joe and his main helper come to the door and explain about Thing 4, which is a giant trench in our front yard, exposing a pipe.
Thing 4? It's that our main water pipe is rotting and should probably be replaced. It seemed prudent to do this before bricking over the whole thing. Joe, of course, had a guy who had somehow come out to look at it and give us an estimate. $350 and he could do it the next day. Sigh, fine.
Sunday morning rolls around, I get up early, do all my water-requiring tasks, then meet the guy. There's this long discussion about how to get the materials. The guy (whose name I don't catch because he doesn't offer it) doesn't seem to have a bank account (???) so how does he get the materials when he doesn't have a credit card or cash to buy them.
Personally, I don't feel that's my concern. It's my expectation that the person I'm hiring to do the work will bring whatever parts are necessary to do the work, then charge me for their time and for the materials. But this guy and some of Joe's other guys don't work that way so I'm trying to adjust.
So after far too much deliberation and a great moment where I raised my hand and shooed our little spectators away, it was decided that I'd pay him his full estimated amount, and he'd somehow rope his daughters into getting money to buy parts, then come back and do the work.
We go out for lunch, then come back 3 hours later (we did some other stuff too, we're not slow eaters) to find 0 progress and 0 plumber. That's Thing 5, the day of stress that I'd just written the man a check and he'd taken off.
But today, he did return after I went to work. Apparently while he was working, Andrea heard a strike, then a hiss. Oops, looks like our gas main was a little too close to the water main. Thing 6.
PG&E came out en masse and fixed the gas leak. But they're going to charge the plumber for the fix even though it was not to code (FYI 'code' is at least 2 feet apart). So he's going to fight it, but that makes Thing 7.
The good news is that he was able to do the repair (I think), clearing the way for the continued slow progress on the Great Bricking Over Of 2007.
I guess that's only 7 things. 8 could be the dillweed who parked in front of my driveway when I was trying to go to work this morning. Our street only has parking on one side, so people often try to squish more than one car in front of our house. FYI, it doesn't work. One will invariably block our neighbors driveway or ours. Fortunately Next Door Nanette was walking out at the same time and guided me out. And even more fortunately, my car is skinny so I made it, no problem.
But it's time for some evasive action, like painting the curb or the street or something. Because if you call the cops, they won't tow. They just say 'can you find out whose car it is and ask them to move it?'