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Mojo Plumbing

Did you miss me? I missed most of you, although some of you have been pissing me off lately (I won’t name names, you know who you are). The good news is that I’m back from my trip home; the bad news is that I’m leaving again within 3 hours, this time for a road trip to Canon Beach.

The weekend passed in a whirlwind of activity, most of it centered around my little brother, his issues with authority, and his graduation on Sunday at the Tacoma Dome. This last was made much more bearable by the addition of my older sister Jenn, with whom I heckled much of the student speakers’ remarks. The first girl was so nervous you could see big beads of sweat flying off her face like in a comics page, and stumbled through her speech like a hobo down a dark alleyway at 4 am. Despite her botched delivery, she managed to touch upon every cliché ever used at a graduation ceremony since 1955: “we’ll make a bridge to the future,” “we’ve learned so much about not just school, but how to live,” “be nicer to one person, and you’ll make the world a better place,” etc. It was as if she’d watched a dozen or so movies with high school graduation scenes the night before, furiously scribbling notes and popping caffeine pills. The faculty speaker, Greg Becker, is the guy I shared an office with back in 1999 while I was Jay Wiley’s laboratory technician and he was a student teacher. He’s just as funny now as he was then, and told a story about sliding down an emergency-evacuation ramp from a 727 that, in my humble opinion, had very little to do with high school or graduation, but which entertained nonetheless.

After all the diplomas had been handed out, all the beach balls tossed awkwardly into the air, all the hip flasks hastily drained, I wandered down to the floor to see who there was to see. As it turns out, quite a few of my friends from high school have siblings three years younger than them as well, and I had about seven not-quite-tearful reunions with people I hadn’t seen since my own graduation. Sadly, I missed out on photo time with my grandma, who is literally on death’s door. My sister berated me for this: “I’m glad you chose friends you haven’t bothered to keep in touch with over your own dying grandmother.” Touché.

Also, the Tacoma Dome needs to be torn down. As we walked to our seats on the top of the first grandstand, the metal under our feet buckled and popped like an amusement park ride gone horribly awry. I suggested to Jenn that the stadium had been the senior gift of the class of 1988, and it honestly seemed plausible (“over 400 students gave up their entire Saturday afternoon to build this wonderful structure, which we hope will last for at least a couple years to come. Gig Harbor football rules!”).

I returned to my apartment with a beautiful 4×6 oil painting of a sandy beach in tow, only to find that the kitchen had flooded in my absence. At first I thought Nathan and Ashley – who are now making idle chit-chat with and intimidating, respectively, their host families in Guadalajara – had gotten a little overconfident with their culinary efforts and just trashed the place. Actually, a blocked pipe caused water from upstairs to drain out of my sink, rather than to the sewer, and spilled water and unhealthy-looking black sludge everywhere. Fortunately the landlord was able to get a plumber here right away, who snaked the blockage out and restored order to my cooking area. His company is called Mojo Plumbing, and they come highly recommended from yours truly, both for their excellent service and their righteous moniker.

Marta is picking me up around 11, and we’re driving to Portland tonight to stay with Jenn. After that it’s straight on to Canon Beach, or another beach found suitable to our exacting tastes. With that, I’m out till very late Wednesday.

Posted in Musings.


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