Growing Up / life / snowmygod

The ice dam cometh

There are a few things that are true about growing up in my parents’ house: We all like pizza.  The only show we agree upon and watch in relative harmony is Law and Order (Though the debate over Ben Stone vs. Jack McCoy remains unresolved.  There is a strong, strong Jack McCoy lobby.).  My brother cannot be given directions involving street names; landmarks only.  My mom’s love of MacGyver is fertile territory for teasing.

I’ve seen a lot of MacGyver.

You know what?  Before I go on, and because it’s a snow day, let me give you all a bit of a treat.

Here’s what I learned from that intro: The majority of MacGyver’s stunt choreography involved Richard Dean Anderson just jumping at or on things.  Also, here’s a question I’ve always had: So, MacGyver has a thing about guns.  He’s totally not down with shooting people.  It somehow violates some vague moral code he lives by.  But blowing shit up isn’t a problem.  How, exactly, does that work?

Anyway, now that I’ve gone completely off track, I should probably get to the reason behind all this MacGyver talk.  Because we’re in the throes of an ice storm here in the Lehigh Valley (like everywhere else, it seems, we’re having a bit of weather), I decided I would sleep in this morning rather than going to the gym in the dark and arriving home in time to watch the sun rise*.  But because I am way too lazy to re-set my alarm, for about 2 hours (from 5:30 to 7:30), I hit the snooze bar every nine minutes, according to my sleeping-in-on-weekdays custom.

And every time the alarm went off, I thought to myself, “That dripping water sound is annoying.  I’ll get out of bed when it makes me have to pee.  Gee, I hope that’s not dripping on the inside.  Oh well, more sleep.”

Around 7:30, I was alert enough to consider the how loud the water drips were.  They were way too loud.  That meant there was trouble brewing in my bedroom, and it had likely been going on for a while.  So, while the weather was making the world look like this outside my bedroom**:

Inside, it forced this situation*^:If you’d like to see the rising tide, here’s a better view:This is clearly a problem.

Before I go further, though, I should probably pause for a moment and mention that while I knew it was a bit nuts, I had still dressed for the gym***.  So, for the duration of the story (and well, honestly, right now) I’m dressed like this:Yes, I am wearing shorts.  And you don’t get to see the rest of me because my case of bedhead doesn’t belong on the internet.

Anyway, I decided that before the wet carpet situation got out of hand, I should do something proactive and damage-reducing.  My mom suggested that I put down an old shower curtain, something that she keeps on hand as painting and vomiting drop cloths.  Because while I haven’t lived with my parents since 2004 or puked in their home since the mid-’90s, my infamous inability to aim caused some long-term trauma.  On the upside, I’m a very neat and accurate painter.

But I trash my old shower curtains, so I had to improvise.  Let me walk you through Phase #1, Martha Stewart-style.  First, I gathered my materials in my living room crafting space:Through careful, close taping, I came up with this:It’s a good thing.

But before I could put this down on the carpet, I thought it best to attempt to, if not dry it fully, at least reduce the moisture in the effected area.  Like most people confronted with standing water in the house, I’m just a tiny bit worried about mildew, smelliness, and attracting the attention of my downstairs neighbors.  So, to fight the dampness, I had to bring in the big guns:And, heeding my mom’s advice not to stand in a pool of water while using my hair dryer (again, really, Mom!?), here’s Phase 2 in pictures:Imagine them alternating****.  I didn’t do a half-bad job.  And so, voila:It’s not pretty, but it’ll do.  For the rest of the day, I’ll be here:Feel free to ignore the fact that I’m on Facebook.  I’ll do some real work, too.  Soon.  Very soon.  I just have a Scrabble game going.  All right? Stop judging me.

This weekend, I have exciting plans to caulk that door frame^.  But in the meantime, I could use some fun.  So, if you have any ideas, or are on my outstanding beer list, I’m totally game.  While my washer/dryer situation remains unresolved, I have enough pairs of clean underpants left to go out in public. 


* I happened to cancel class this morning because I planned on showing a movie to my students tonight.  So, the weather reinforcing the whole sleeping-in plan was a bonus.

** Oh, so pretty.  Too bad we’re going to look down.

*^ Here’s my theory about what happened: I have two decks: one off of my bedroom and one off my living room.  The smaller deck, the one outside my bedroom, is covered in ice.  I’m assuming the same thing is going on with my upstairs neighbor’s deck.  Meaning we have a bit of an ice dam situation.  Combined with the fact that it’s raining and the temperature is rising above freezing, the water had to go somewhere, like into my bedroom.

*** Before the university closed, we only had a delay.  And while I didn’t have class, I still had to work at 1.  And I had that movie thing to do.  And, unless given completely compelling reasons not to go ahead with my plans — like the closure of one’s never-say-die university — I have a tendency to forge ahead with Plan A.

**** While I clearly thought this was an event worth documenting, I drew the line at video.  Partially because that would have killed my camera’s battery and partially because it would have been more difficult to shoot around the piles of jeans and boots on my bedroom floor that are clearly absent from the photos.

^ And since I know you’re dying to know, I do have my own caulk gun.  And my own staple gun.  I know you think I’m awesome.


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