A series of unfortunate events

In the past week we’ve had a few things happen that were less than ideal. Not life threatening, just annoying. First the kitchen sink clogged. Greg bought some drain cleaner (several bottles over a period of three days) and we had to track down a pipe snake at the Italian equivalent of Home Depot. This was not as easy as you’d think it would be because nothing over here is as easy as you’d think. We tried the drain cleaner, over and over again, but the clog went from slow moving to completely stopped. Greg attempted to plunge it quite a few times but with no luck. Then he opened the trap under the sink and found gobs of crystalized white stuff (I really should stop hiding my crack in the pipes) gumming up the works. He cleaned it out thinking that was the source of the problem. Ha! As if it would be that easy (see above). With the trap removed he worked on feeding the snake into the pipe to attempt to dislodge whatever was stuck. The snake would only go so far before it hit something. What that something is we had and still have no idea. After trying to move past that point we decided to go to bed and figure it out later.

Yesterday the cleaning lady came and instead of leaving her a note about the clog Greg left the plunger in the sink. We have no idea what occurred but when we returned home the apartment was clean and the clog seems to be gone. We may have the greatest cleaning lady ever or the snake and drain cleaner combo finally worked. I guess we’ll never know.

Another annoying thing is that Greg’s car has been having a bit of an issue with 5th gear. It started with a rattle in the shifter and now when he gets into 5th between 2900 and 3100 (though it can go higher) RPMs the whole engine begins to shutter. It’s quite a dramatic shaking that feels like a flat tire but there is no way it is since it doesn’t happen at any other time. When he lets off the gas the RPMs drop and the shaking goes away but as soon as he pushes it back up it returns. Some things he came across indicate that if you have the wrong oil in the car it could cause problems. He recently put in one that was thinner but after changing it again this past weekend the problem remains. Anyone know what could be causing the problem?

And finally after not hearing anything for over a month about a job application I had submitted I went over to HR to ask about it. The nice woman working there said I should have received notice either way and that they would have called to schedule an appointment. So it sounds like when I was in OBX and MD they probably tried to call my Italian phone but since it was off and I didn’t have voicemail set up that I may have missed out on an interview. That’s kind of a bummer but I currently have eight other applications in to the same place so the odds are a little better that I’ll hear something soon. Of course I’m heading back to MD for a week next Wednesday so if they happen to call then I may be in a pickle. The current plan is for me to leave my phone here and have Greg check the voicemail periodically that way if they call I can call them back from MD to set up an interview. Gotta love when things get complicated. Wouldn’t be fun otherwise. 🙂


I’ve been reminded *ahem* of two other things that have happened in the last week. One has happened before but Greg fixed it – the washing machine had the belt fall off. The first time the washer was filled with water when it happened so there was some drama trying to get the thing drained before Greg could open it up to look at it. Now that we know what sound it makes when it happens it’s easier to fix. The second thing has been ongoing, at least as far as my computer is concerned, but it finally cramped Greg’s style because the Roku stopped working. Without the Roku we have no Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, etc. so while my plight was noted by him the lack of tv had a greater impact. The good news is that after many long nights and a new router the Roku is back up and running. I am now able to continue watching The West Wing which is awesome. In the time it was down we started watching The Wire on DVD and we are seriously hooked. It is probably one of the best shows I’ve ever watched.

Anyway, that’s the rest of it.

Update 2:

We had a good run but unfortunately the drain is clogged again. Not calling the landlord just yet, Greg’s determined to fix it himself. Fingers crossed.


5 thoughts on “A series of unfortunate events

  1. -Anyone know what could be causing the problem?
    Does it only happen in fifth gear or in other gears if you go as fast as you go in fifth gear? I’m considering putting my money on a damaged engine mount. What make/model/year?

      • It only happens in fifth gear and the RPMs don’t change. The car drives as if nothing is wrong but the engine shudders. It’s a 1998 Subaru Impreza and I’ll have to ask Greg about the clutch.

      • Also, any difference on hot days/cold days? Any difference from when you first start driving until after it has warmed up? Did it get worse gradually over time or was it not there one day and the next day it was on full shudder mode? Also, how old are the spark plugs? If the car is not moving, in neutral, is there any shuddering if you rev up the RPM’s to the shudder zone? Does the shudder go away if you go fast enough?

      • It seems to have come on very suddenly and he hasn’t tried the neutral revving as far as I know. When he goes faster it sometimes goes away and sometimes doesn’t. It shows up at highway speed but not necessarily lower speed. He’s leaning towards spark plugs while my dad is thinking it could be the clutch (it’s never been replaced). My guess is he’ll try the spark plugs and go from there.

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