how good friends make bad news funny

Today we had a plumber come out to assess why our toilet kept clogging. I was anticipating a $200 bill and that would be the end of it. Maybe the use of a glorified plunger?

Not even close. it turns out the reason our toilet was getting clogged is because the trees on our property have root systems running through the drainage line. Or something like that. The bottom line is we got an estimate that made me come close to dry heaving at work.

$8,665.80 + tax. They couldn’t even make it a nice round number, but had to throw in the extra 80 cents. Bastards.

I got this news on the eve of a lunch meeting and had to try to hold it together for an hour before I could completely freak out. I was 40% successful. Fortunately, Jim’s grandpa and my favorite realtor Zoee came to the rescue with some resources for cheaper options. They aren’t surefire fixes but hot damn it’s worth a try to save six months of mortgage payments.

I decided to share the news with our friend Jared, who’s had his fair share of home ownership woes, and this is how our conversation unfolded:

me: so we have fun new house drama
Jared: oh yeah?? Outside of dog bills me: our toilet kept clogging. so we called a plumber. i’m thinking it’d be maybe $200 bucks. NO. apparently tree roots have grown through our drainage line and the estime we got was $8,700.
Jared: WHAT!!
me: yeah no jokeBut…Jim’s grandpa and dad have plans for a do-it-yourself-er. we may need your help digging 🙂
Jared: I’m good at that. I require beer in trade for digging
me: we have beer and Joose. imagine hyper drunk digging
Jared: I am almost positive that if I drank joose and dug in the heat…..I would puke. Then I would have to dig out my puke. sounds like extra work
me: i think until the weather’s better we’re gonna use root killer and some crazy saw the grandpa has. i was fascinated to learn plumbers have the same kind of cameras surgeons have to look at underground pipes. digging puke ewwwwwww
Jared: So Jim called me and told me about a 350 vet bill. he mentioned nothing about a 9000 root problem
me: tee hee ain’t life grand
Jared: I’m sure homeowners would cover that though
me: nope, already asked
Jared: damn that sucks
me: they don’t cover root damage. and the city won’t help either. jerks
Jared: I’ll dig for sure Jared: I have lots of shovels since we broke like 3 or 4 when we dug my hole
me: thanks. the dogs will also help dig
Jared: If only you could aim them
me: we need groundhogs. those you can aim i bet
Jared: Might be worth the investment. maybe you can find others with groundhogs and tell them they are fat. you will work them out for a small fee. Two birds….one stone. use the personal groundhog training cash to pay for the new pipe
me: damn there’s a plan. i might even blog about it
Jared: as you should. So am I digging this weekend….or sometime in the future?
me: oh no, future i believe


Misery loves company. And running.

I have never liked running. Not at all. It’s always seemed to be a good idea, and I’m envious every time I drive past joggers on weekend mornings in their swanky athletic attire; they look like gazelles! When I try to run it likely resembles a far more awkward animal. A rhino comes to mind.

Oh sure I can run…Running laps. Running suicides. Running ladders. Running stadiums…I’ve been subjected to the torture of all of these on many occasions during years of PE classes and organized sports. I dreaded the day each semester of middle school when we had to run a timed mile. I tried EVERYTHING to get out of it, and even cheated on my lap count once, all while my hatred for this activity intensified.

Despite my lack of enthusiasm for running, I’ve been hugely involved in exercise since I was a teenager and have had phases in all kinds of things ranging from bikram yoga to spinning to weight training. I always envied the elite joggers from afar, but had given up hope of ever becoming one and rising to the top of the exercise hierarchy.

This all somehow changed a few months ago when it dawned on me that seven of my closest girlfriends were all training for half marathons this fall. Suddenly I felt left out, and I don’t like being left out. In fact, I think I dislike being left out of things more than I dislike running. Who can guess what happens next?

I jumped onto the running bandwagon without pausing to remind myself I would actually have to complete the race. I’d conquered the 5K race many times, and even a 4.2 miler, but 13.1 miles? People do this voluntarily? Oy.

With the help and motivation of my friends I developed a training plan for a half marathon this November. The first few weeks – those were rough. I was anything but graceful and full of aches and pains. I wondered if this was even worth the aggravation, and if it would ever become easier.

Sure enough, as the weeks went by, very slooowwwly, running became just slightly less of a hellish challenge. I remember thinking I’d never be able to run five miles without stopping, but it happened. Then six miles. Then seven last weekend. I’m halfway through my training program and am still in shock that I’ve gotten this far. I’m terrified that my long runs keep increasing, but I have gotten into the mindset that slow and steady wins the race.

I’m not hoping to finish in any specific time or stay at a certain speed. When race day comes my goal will still be exactly what it was in the beginning; to complete the race.

Neighborhood eats

We’ve continuing our quest to explore the neighborhood restaurants. Here’s a list of some favorites so far:

Phoenix City Grille: This place had good food, really good service and gave us a free dessert (hallelujah). However, we were the youngest clientele by a good 30 years. Odd eating while surrounded by seniors.

Sierra Bonita: Same owners as PCG, also fantastic food in huge portions. The atmosphere is very relaxed and it smells like wood – trust me. We went for lunch but I’m excited to go back for happy hour and to drink in the basement wine room!

Gallaghers: Pretty much your average sports bar, but their $1 shrimp tacos every Tuesday are what keeps bringing us back. That and the fact that they always have the Sox games on (or put them on when I ask nicely).

Rokerij: This is one of the most unique restaurants I’ve ever been to, with delicious entrees and an awesome vibe. The basement bar is a lot of fun and makes you feel like you’re in a foreign country, not Phoenix.

Richardson’s: Well, it burned down, but it’s now sharing a location with the Rokerij since it’s the same owner, who’s vowing to rebuild. Also great food, but kind of a frenzied and loud atmosphere. Definitely has local flair.

Aunt Chilada’s: Free food during happy hour, bocce ball, and a free sombrero on your birthday. The food is great but far from healthy, but this is a fun place for happy hour and large groups.


This past weekend marked my eleventh trip to Las Vegas. I’ve made the following observations to commemorate the occasion:

1. It is not humanly possible for more than two friends to travel together and not get separated every eight minutes.

2. What they say is true; it doesn’t matter where you stay, because in the end, it’s just a place to pass out.

3. It is completely PC to walk barefoot on the strip when you realize heels were a bad idea.

4. The Hoover Dam bridge will never be complete.

5. Alcoholic energy drinks are as dangerous as they sound.

6. Black 17 will not do you wrong.

7. The only quiet place in the entire city is hotel elevators.

8. Getting lost in a hotel is nothing to be ashamed of.

9. There is no better place in the world to people-watch.

10. Secondhand smoking is similar to licking an ashtray then gargling motor oil.

11. Good friends make long road trips completely bearable.

12. It’s ok to eat eggrolls, ice cream and a taco for breakfast if you’re at a buffet.

Bruno Broke His Leg

1. He looks like a pirate with a peg leg.

2. A dog with a cone around it’s neck should be considered a weapon.

3. $650 in vet bills, what?

4. He feels he deserves to sleep in the bed. Not just on the foot of it, right smack in the middle.

5. Covering a dog’s cast with a plastic bag so he can go outside to pee in the rain in a humbling experience.

6. We’ve gone through enough Benadryl (keeps him calm) to sedate an army.

7. I never imagined signing a dog’s cast but now I can check it off the life list.

8. Three-legged dogs are surprisingly graceful. And fast.

9. Dogs have no sympathy pains; Molly’s oblivious to Bruno’s misfortune.

10. Dogs are selfless. Bruno hasn’t complained once and offers us incessant kisses for taking care of him.