Thursday, January 16, 2014

Working from Home is Flooded with Perks and Hindered with Floods

This past week I came across a facebook post describing the pros and cons of working from home:

I can relate to this in so many ways.  On the plus side:

I can avoid the elements if need be.  The weatherman says it is freezing?  Snowing?  Raining?  Prepare for what? I just won't leave the house today.

I sleep in every day.  Although I set my alarm for 8:30am to make sure I get up "early" and to try to feel "normal" and relate-able to all the people with real jobs,  I must admit that I often, I mean always,  proceed to press snooze for about two hours... maybe longer...

When a friend of mine is in town for a meeting and asks do I want to meet up for brunch?  Hey, no problem let's do it!  No guilt.  No fake sicknesses.  No paycheck either, but hey,  I can work later.

The most important perk though, is there are no cubicles.  I can work in bed, on the couch, at the desk, in the library, in a coffee shop, on a bus, on a train, in a plane...

The down sides to working from home though are also very spot on...

My vocabulary and communication skills have significantly faltered.  I cannot remember the next word when I am right in the middle of a sentence.  I stutter.  I stop and pause, and then I say a word that starts the same way but means something totally different.  "That's just proboscis! ... I mean preposterous!!!!"   I feel like I used to be smart... but I am losing it.  Did I ever even have it?

I watch way too many youtube videos (which can also be moved up into the positive section).

I spend way too much time on facebook.  Although how I see it, facebook is now my co-worker and oftentimes my only social interaction for the day....or week... soooooo it's ok.  Right?   Facebook is after all, the inspiration for this post...

I shower way too little and wear my pajamas way too long (this, in my mind, can also be moved into the positive section, although Trevor would likely beg to differ).

Yes, I can meet up with that rare friend who on occasion comes to visit, but on a daily basis I see no one.  And the lack of talking to people has gotten to me a bit, but it also makes me much more excited to talk to anyone!  The mailman, "hey, what's up? How're you doing!?"  The grocery delivery guy, "what's the weather like out there?  Snowing you say?" (he probably wants to murder me, but I tip him extra when it is cold).  And today, the plumber.. "So why is this brown water coming from the ceiling?"

When it starts raining inside, there is no place to hide to avoid the elements.

After returning home from brunch with a college friend around 1pm today, I open my apartment door to find my husband also working from home today...

I take off my coat and head for the bathroom.  To my surprise the sink is covered in a light brown liquid....  My immediate instinct is to blame Trevor....  But why would he pee all over the sink?  

[I would like to interrupt this story to let it be known that, to my knowledge, Trevor has never been a sink-pee-er.  He has only ever been a toilet peer-er, or a camping tree-pee-er, but I thought maybe he would pee in the sink if he were desperate, or having a bad dream.  After all, we were just joking around only the night before about peeing in the sink or the tub when one of us was taking too long in the bathroom.  But that was just a joke. He wouldn't really do that...or would he!?]  

Then I notice the mirror has dried up trails of liquid that had been running down it.  He would not pee all the way up there... not up near the ceiling... not in individual streams like that.   I look back to the liquid on the sink, which is also covering our toothbrushes, and it is definitely brown, and definitely has dirt or some sort of particles in it.  This is not Trevor's pee.

[I know what you are thinking...  I should have been a detective...  No? That is not what you were thinking?? Oh, you thought I should think more highly of my husband?  You think I should not automatically assume that he must have peed all over the place the second something was wet in the bathroom?  Well, I can tell you, you are right.  I feel pretty bad that this was my first conclusion.]

"Trevor, have you used the bathroom yet?"

"Yea, why?"

"Well, what is this gross brown liquid all over the place?!"


A startled Trevor stumbles to the bathroom to investigate. We decide it is coming from the ceiling (obviously), but we are not sure why.  We clean it up and sit down in the living room to get to work.  Maybe if we forget about the liquid, it will not show up again.

Then we hear a sprinkling of water in the bathroom.  It starts trickling harder like someone has turned on the shower.  I run in to find water pouring down from the ceiling.  What the heck!?

We call the landlord.  It goes straight to voicemail.

Trevor runs up the stairs to see what is going on above us.  I put a garbage can under the leak and take this video.

Trevor returns with the following information:

  1. The trickling of water can be heard through the wall and it is much louder on the second floor, but no one is home.  
  2. The trickling of water is insanely loud on the third floor, but no one is home there either.  
  3. On the fourth floor, Trevor knocks on the door, and someone is home.  The adult-aged man in his pajamas lets Trevor know that his roommate is in the shower.  Trevor politely asks him to hurry it up and turn off the water because he is flooding the whole building.  To which the dude at the door complains "Maan really?  I can't shower?  I haven't showered in like 3 days!"  

Well what is one more day then?  (See? this work-from-home lifestyle is true for more than just me. Although considering these were three dirty, dead beat dudes and one looked incredibly hung over on the couch, I do not think they are making too much money working from home.  But who am I to judge?  Maybe they are rock stars!)

The dude eventually shuts off the shower and the deluge downstairs begins to whimper out.

The plumbers eventually come and interview the fourth floor bros.  Apparently their shower was clogged so they snaked it.  Ran the water.  It drained.  So they proceeded to shower.  What they did not realize was that their snake only pushed the clog down a bit...right passed the third floor apartment.  So when they showered, their shower drained, but the water only got so far as the third floor clog and what with no where to go the rusty brown water filled up the third floor bathtub, eventually spilled over through their floor, down the walls into the second floor apartment, and by law of gravity spilled down into ours.

Just another proven perk of working from home is being able to keep the bum boys upstairs from completely ruining our lovely, historically old,  vintage little living space we have.  Too bad those work-at-work people on the third floor were not home.  They would have been able to stop this chaos much earlier.  But no, they had to work-at-work and come home to a bath tub, and likely an apartment, soaking in rotten brown dirty water with no explanation.  Now that is something to put on the cons list for having to work-at-work.

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

A Party to Remember; A Potty to Forget

Happy New Years Everybody!!

I hope you have all come up with very happy and healthy new years resolutions that you have forgotten already, because come on, new years is over!  You lasted a week.  I am sure you did a great job, but now it is time to guiltlessly go back to your normal resolution-free routine.  What was my resolution?  You  might be wondering...?  Mine was to give up new years resolutions!  Because I am 30. I am semi "healthy."  And I know enough about myself and my habits that if I make any promises to go to the gym more, or drink less, or try a new hobby, that I am only going to add to the guilt and misery I will feel when I get mad at myself for not doing any of those things.  And then I will feel like a loser.  So my anti-resolution is to do whatever I want.  And feel like a winner.

Considering I woke up feeling like this on New Year's Day:

Dirty snow on the streets of Cambridge

My next "resolution" is to eat more Taco Bell.  Because only Taco Bell can restart your digestive tract when you are feeling like this.  And because everyone is a winner at Taco Bell.

Four days into the new year brought, you guessed it (or maybe you didn't), new weddings!  This time we celebrated the wedding of my oldest sister Bridget (who we affectionately refer to as Briggles or Angel Child) to her new hubby Jesse (otherwise known as DJ Jesse Jams).  We had a huge snow storm the Thursday before the wedding which delayed some guests, but otherwise had no impact on the wedding day except to cover the gross dirty snow with a fresh coating of the powdery white stuff sent from the heavens above for Angel Child's big day.

Trevor helping to shovel out so we can make it to the wedding

The weekend was off to a good start.  We checked ourselves into the Molly Pitcher Inn, a historic hotel located on the Navesink River in Red Bank, NJ, where all the guests were staying and where the reception was to be held
Note: for all future brides-to-be, having the guests stay at the place where the reception is held is a great move! You don't have to worry about forgetting anything, people can put their babies to bed, and people can change their shoes or clothes whenever they want.  Two enthusiastic thumbs up on this choice!

The ladies in my family check Briggles into the bridal suite and we start getting prepped for the rehearsal dinner.  The ironing board is out, the curling irons are going, suitcases are throwing dress after dress on to the bed (decisions, decisions), high heels are coming out of the woodwork, then someone uses the toilet, which is shortly followed by an "uuhhhhh, can someone call the front desk?!  The toilet is not flushing!"

We all tip toe around the fact that this fancy hotel provided my bride of a sister, who has gone above and beyond with all the stress of planning and financing this very beautiful wedding, with a malfunctioning toilet room.  The serviceman arrives with a plunger.  This does not do the job.  Another serviceman arrives with a toolbox.  Still no running water.  A third serviceman arrives with a walkie talkie.  They are in there for a while, getting quieter and quieter.  Meanwhile there are five anxious ladies in the room trying to get ready for a night out without the use of the only bathroom?  This in itself could be grounds for a lawsuit.  Eventually the men timidly emerge from the bathroom cave with their verdict:  the pipes froze.

I suppose this is not surprising considering that that day was the coldest day in the last 118 years and we are staying in a 100 year old hotel with 100 year old pipes.  The men leave to notify the front desk of the situation but not after we politefully remind them that this is the bride they are dealing with, and we would not want to upset the bride... not on her wedding day.  A short while later we get a call from the woman at the front desk who is apologizing for the circumstances and that this was not expected and it is beyond their control, and would we please accept their apology in the form of an upgrade to the penthouse suite...   Fair enough, apology accepted!!

We drag our things up to the penthouse suite and squeal like kids on Christmas when we realize it comes with a full kitchen, a dining room, two bedrooms, a huge living room with velvet couches, two balconies, and most importantly, three functioning bathrooms.  We spread out, finish getting ready, and head out to the rehearsal dinner.
The penthouse

The next morning we go through the schedule: hair dos, make up, professional pictures, a couple of drinks...

Then it's time to head to the church.

The ceremony went off without a hitch at St. James.

Then it is into the limo again for some more celebratory drinks.

Followed by more photo shoots at the Dublin House, the restaurant where Bridget and Jesse first met, and outdoor pictures in the park (brrrrr).

Then back to the Molly Pitcher Inn for the reception complete with the "official band of the Erickson family," Brian Kirk and the Jerks.

The toasts were great, the dancing phenomenal, the food delicious, the party amazing.

Then I get word from my Aunt, who was walking with my Grandma down by her hotel room, that the first floor of the hotel looks like the Titanic.  Water is flooding in and the hotel staff is in rubber foots with water a foot high, frantically trying to squeegee the rising freezing water back to where it came and away from the hotel rooms and reception area.  Apparently those pipes which has froze the day before, have now burst.  The hotel staff assures that no members of the Erickson Harr wedding will be affected.

And they did do a great job of keeping everything dry. No hotel rooms were flooded and the water did not come anywhere close to the party area.  The one major drawback?  No water.  Ok fine, I will drink beer instead.  I eventually have to go to the bathroom ....ahhh no water there either.  No flushing toilets.  No sinks to wash your hands.  With a party of 100+ guests who are eating and drinking nonstop, we cannot not use the bathroom, and so we continue to, again and again and again, without flushing.  At one point late into the night, after using a particularly gross toilet, I try to flush it.  And it works!!! I enthusiastically run out of the bathroom and sprint to the front desk to let them know that the toilets are working again.  Then I head into the ballroom to tell my sister.  She will be so relieved (in more ways than one).

My sister and her new husband are sitting at their sweetheart table and I am glad I can tell them both at once "The toilets are working again!"  My sister looks at me with concern, confusion, and maybe a little bit of fear in her eyes.  Then I realize, she did not know that the toilets were not working.  I feel very proud of all our friends and family, what with all the times we have gone to the bathroom on top of each other in the last few hours,  we had all managed to keep this from Bridget...  Then I had to go and ruin it.   I try to play it off like there was not some massive shutdown of the water system on her wedding day and scoot back out to the dance floor.

What with all the dancing and partying going on this past Saturday night, toilets or no toilets, there were no party poopers at this wedding!!

Congratulations to the Harrs!

The End