The rains came down

Things have been a bit dull lately, so I’m tempted to be glad anytime Something Happens, whether it is actually interesting or not. Yesterday was a different story, though.

I managed to make it out of bed in time for a shower before work, but for whatever reason I felt compelled to dry my hair thoroughly after it had been washed – which ate up a significant portion of my 40 minutes to get ready. Near the end I realized how late it was and rushed through the rest of my preparations. We did make it to work on time (early even, since I set our clocks ahead a few minutes), and somehow survived the day.

When we got home and were walking back to the stairs to our apartment, our downstairs neighbor came quickly out of her apartment and let us know that her bathroom ceiling had been leaking all day, creating huge puddles of water and possibly making the apartment unliveable. The Romgi, at this point, recalled that as we were signing the contract back in March, the owner mentioned that the woman below us was a high-maintenance sort who was constantly finding small imperfections and declaring the apartment to be a safety hazard. Thus as I anxiously went upstairs to see why I was ruining the neighbor’s life, the Romgi reserved judgment on the situation until he had more information.

Well…our bathroom floor was covered in water, and the sink – which has been leaky since before we moved in – was dripping slightly more than usual. In my hurry to leave I hadn’t tightened the knob as much as I needed to, so the dripping, I admit, was probably my fault. The second problem was that in my hurry I also left the hair dryer sitting on the top shelf to the right of the sink, and the cord (unplugged) was hanging down across the leaky faucet. Of course, the result was that the water dripped onto the cord and then down onto our floor, and from there, directly into our neighbor’s bathroom.

She had been calling the owners all day, and they sent over a plumber around 3:30. By then the Romgi had cleaned up most of the mess in the bathroom and I had shoved our laundry into a good hiding spot. The plumber spent about an hour and a half making sure that there was no life-threatening leak from anything in our bathroom; he also told us that despite what the neighbor said, the building was definitely not any more structurally unsound than usual, and she would just need a new coat of paint on her bathroom ceiling. (Regardless, she had already given the owners 30 days’ notice, she said, and now she was thinking of vacating completely.) So the plumber tightened the knobs on our sink, put caulking around the toilet, and did everything he could to make his trip worth the effort.

By the time he left I had calmed down a lot. Fatalistic as I am, when I first saw what had happened I was afraid that we’d be charged for the repairs or even kicked out of the apartment. (The realtor was incredibly reluctant to let us have the contract in the first place.) But, nothing of the sort seems to be happening, and I think I’m fine for a few days of Nothing Happening.

Crispin: The Cross of Lead

by Avi

For the first half of this book, I was in complete agreement with the decision to award Avi with the Newbery. Unfortunately, even though the story was still good for the other half, the hints and clues became so obvious that only a second grader could have missed the big “secret” of the book. What’s more, I didn’t feel like Crispin’s transformation was very believable. The timeframe I understood really didn’t allow for such a change, especially when the book was told in first-person and Crispin himself brushed over the details of how his character was developing.

That being said, I do think Avi picked an interesting setting for his novel, and did quite well presenting the way life would have been in that setting. If I were a second grader, I’d probably love the book. As it is…I like it. And that’s good enough.

Waiting: True Confessions of a Waitress

by Debra Ginsberg

While Waiting was not a boring book, the summary I read online beforehand – the reason I picked the book up in the first place – made it sound a lot more interesting than it really was. Ginsberg is a talented writer and her perspective is unique, but I can’t say afterwards that I particularly feel like it was an enjoyable read. Still, it was good for passing the hours away at work.

I honestly would recommend reading Nickel and Dimed first, even though only a third of the book is devoted to the author’s waitressing experience.