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I'm ridiculously proud of myself for finally fixing the cold water tap in the bathroom, which had leaked so copiously that it was unusable, and had to be shut off at the valve underneath the sink. Generally speaking, "plumbing" is one of the many vast fields of human inquiry which I have not explored, and have little interest in exploring. And, while we mentioned the problem to our landlord, it was pretty far down on his priority list, given that he had a giant hole in his bathroom floor where his tub used to be, and a basement apartment that periodically floods, etc. Our misery at having only hot water in the bathroom sink was understandably considered minor. But, hell, I got this book -- How to Do Just About Anything -- and I flipped through it to the bit on faucets, and, yep, there it was, an exploded diagram of the whole mechanism with an explanation of how it works and how it most often breaks. (I had no idea it was such a simple mechanism. I mean, I figured it must be complicated, but it's not.) So I disassembled the whole thing and, lo, the rubber washer was nowhere in evidence. A little flashlight-shining revealed the crumbled remains of the washer, which I fished out with some effort. A trip to the hardware store and 49 cents later (I got a new screw, too, or it would've only been 15 cents), and the problem was repaired. We have cold water again. Like magic! Only actually rather less like magic than it used to be, since now I understand how it works.

This doesn't herald some new interest in home repair or other DIY enthusiasm, but it's nice to know I can manage incredibly simple household tasks if I have a book to instruct me. And a few months of privation to make me sufficiently annoyed to undertake the task.


It was a pleasant, quiet weekend. We did our usual walk on Saturday, acquiring many delicious things at the Farmer's Market (including some sweet corn that Heather cooked up that night, yum). We had a nice breakfast and a lovely stroll, and spent the evening together having a wonderful time. Sunday morning I spent mostly playing Grand Theft Auto, which I took a break from some months ago, and am now enjoying again, especially since I gleefully cheat and have constant access to tanks and jetpacks. We babysat our nephew in the evening, which mostly involved watching The Incredibles, so that wasn't too arduous.

I even managed to get a little writing done over the weekend, finishing off a couple of reviews. Tonight I go back to the new Marla novel. Things are ticking along quite nicely.


July ends with a short story rejection from the good people at Aeon. Not sure where to send this story next. It's an actual science fiction story, albeit soft, unlike my usual fantasy, so I have different options than usual for marketing. Shame to end my story-selling streak, but I'm still doing well for the summer.

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