Rub a dub dub... three men with an un-installed tub. Sept 3, 07

Well - after breakfast biscuits with the good people at Bob Evans we threw our houseguest into the final chapter of the Winston Weekend Warrior Whirlwind. Winston was very keen to be present for the Great Tub Install - probably because he had spent two days living with the Not-So-Great Shower Ick. So he hitched up his screw gun and we started finishing up the sub floor for the entire bathroom area. Rich can now measure wonky hundred-year-old skewy walls in a flash - and I got to further hone my burgeoning circ saw skills. After half an hour of battling with pesky screws that kept sticking, Winston stood up, and in his Lauren Bacall deadpan manner announced with sweat dripping off of his chin, "You know, I went to law school precisely to avoid doing things like this". It was all a very serious work atmosphere - including the point when he said, in absolute earnestness, "You know, I just need more instruction in how to screw these studs". In a couple hours we had the whole thing laid down... and it looks very nice indeed. Now all it needs to be finished is... oh... anything resembling a bathroom. And walls that aren't see-through.


The boys took no time in admiring their handiwork... and with Winston's departure-time ticking towards us... we triumphantly went downstairs to fetch the bathtub and hoisted it back like Amazon natives in some 30's B-movie carrying a precious object to the altar for worship. We then put it down and then the three of us stared at it in absolute silence for a few seconds with absolutely no idea how to proceed. You see, these tubby-things are shaped quite oddly - their front face-plate type thing is LONGER than the rest of the tub (the bit that you sit in). In it's present state it was sitting on a piece of cheap-ass looking styrofoam that was just stuck to it (that made it sit level to the front lip). But we were all convinced that it was just part of the packing to protect it from shipping damage - and we couldn't for the life of us figure out what the tub was supposed to sit on, or what to do next. So - we looked in our tiling book, we looked in our plumbing book, we looked in our big DIY home book, and we looked online. I even looked on You Tube for some kind of bathtub installation video. Nada. We couldn't figure out what it was supposed to sit on - and what were we supposed to do to support the base. Rich also discovered that we were supposed to install the DRAIN before the tub gets screwed in. Well - that's would be a piece of cake - if we HAD a drain kit. Yeesh. After twenty minutes of head scratching we had to abandon ship.


So - we decided that we could either go eat more food (probably involving biscuits and pie) or find an alternate project that we could complete before it was time to take Winston to the airport. So we looked down 'Rich's wipe-off board list of Depressing Reality" and figured we'd tackle the ceiling fan in the living room. Rich and Janice had picked two of them up in the Great Home Depot Liquidation - and the other one was already up in our bedroom. There already was a basic white fan in the living room - as you may have noticed in previous blog pictures... so...why, you may ask, were we bothering to change it. Because, every time my mother calls and I'm speaking to her in the apartment she asks me why our clocks are ticking so loud. It's not a ticking clock - it's the scary loud clicking noise the ceiling fan makes as it jiggles. It's kind of like the pit and the pendulum - decapitation is inevitable - you're just waiting for WHEN.

It took us about an hour - but the fan went up without hardly a hitch.



The most time was taken trying to figure out the exact way to install the nifty fan enhancer doo-hinkus Rich found at Lowe's. Since all of our lighting fixtures in the apartment are ceiling fans - and since there is NO actual light switch in our bedroom, Rich was really excited when he came across this wireless remote that installs into the fan base and then the remote fits into the wall like a switch plate. And... if all went well... it was supposed to control the light and the low/med/high settings for the fan. Cool, right? Well, at first we had a heck of time figuring out how to get the micro-chippy control wire receiver thing to fit INTO the fan. Then we tried reading the instructions. Good call... And it works!!!! Yahooooo.... now we won't need to turn off the bedroom light in the living room and then stumble back to the bedroom like Stevie Wonder at a country line dance.


And then, the moment was upon us. The party was over, and Winston had to abandon his new-found calling as Ty Pennington's toughest competition as America's Least Butch Contractor. We were sooo sorry to see him go.. but not as upset as certain other members of the household:


Winston pledged that he would return sooner rather than later - and, considering how easy and cheap the flight from NY was, he could easily fit n a visit when it wasn't even a three day weekend. So just note THAT all you non-drill-wielding-blog-readers who are sitting there right now saying "Why aren't my flip flopped feet standing in a moldy rusted leaking shower RIGHT THIS MINUTE?". Next time, though, we are confident we'll be able get Dan here with him... because really... What's Lucy without Ethel. Now, the two of them are probably arguing about which one is Lucy. I don't care, as long as I don't have to be Fred.

On the way to the airport, we did pass the cemetary that had caught our eye when we picked him up. Or rather, one gravestone caught our eye. This time I remembered the camera:


As if it hadn't been tough enough for them just being JEWISH in Indiana. Although, in Indiana, no one understands Yiddish... maybe that's why they moved here?

So Rich and I headed to Lowe's to explore the bathtub dilemma. Get this. The styrofoam is there on purpose. It's part of the install. The tub is supposed to sit on the styrofoam. You would think - since it just LOOKS like packing foam they'd have a big giant warning sign on it that said "ATTENTION - DUMB-ASS NON-PLUMBER WHO DOESN'T KNOW WHAT YOU'RE DOING.... DO NOT REMOVE THIS PIECE OF STUPID FOAM". But no. Thank god we didn't. Apparently you just screw the puppy to the wall still sitting on the foam and call it a day. A lot of people, so they said, use the spray foam (which I have previously used in great quantities on a production of the Crucible... don't ask) to fill in around the sides of the tub to give it extra support. I'm a fan of the foam... frankly because it's fun.. it's like silly-string but it means business... so we picked up a couple cans to add reinforcement and play it safe. And, yes, we picked up a drain kit. It was a big decision to make the choice between the 'push-down with your foot' plunger-y type drain, or the 'lift-up with your finger' type drain. I went with the finger one - cuz those plunger one's can be pretty stubborn sometimes. And I need to save my strength.

So - tomorrow - we're gong Plumb Crazy. Stay tuned.

Jo Jo.