Sunday, March 5, 2017

Stress? In a cat?

Quite a weekend! On Friday evening I attended the Detroit Symphony Orchestra’s Classical Roots concert, an annual event to celebrate African-American composers of classical music. One piece, by Terence Blanchard, commemorated the 50th anniversary of the Detroit riots in 1967. This is one of several such events around the city over the next few months. Another piece, this one by David Schiff, featured jazz violinist Regina Carter. The piece honors four women who sang jazz, which Carter represents in her playing. Another piece was by Jeffrey Mumford in memory of Elliott Carter. I enjoyed the Blanchard piece, but I’m not that into jazz and I knew a piece having to do with Elliott Carter was not going to be enjoyable. Even so the performances were very well done.

Yesterday evening I enjoyed the LGBT Comedyfest, put on by the same team that does Motor City Pride and sponsored by Equality Michigan. I needed the good long laugh! The four comedians were excellent, though a great deal of the humor is not suitable for outside that time and space. Even so, here are a few of the jokes (as well as I remember them):

Jeff Jones of Orlando: “When we have a temperature with a one it is always followed by two digits. These aren’t skinny jeans – I’m wearing three pairs to keep warm. I can’t sit down.”

Gloria Bigelow, a black lesbian from Los Angeles: She asked us if she looked like a lesbian. She didn’t think she did. “I have Low Lesbian Esteem. I have to work extra hard to be discriminated against.”

Jennie McNulty originally from Detroit and currently from West Hollywood: “A bottle of Faygo! [A Detroit brand of carbonated beverage.] I can put my vodka in it.” She told us a story of how she adopted two cats from Mexico. One wasn’t doing well, so she took it to the Vet, who thought the problem was stress. “Stress? In a cat that sleeps 18 hours a day? Then I remembered we got them in Mexico and Trump is president.”

The fourth performer was Roxanna Ward from Laguna Beach. Alas, it isn’t possible to extract a couple lines from her show.

As for the rest of the weekend…

When one lives alone it is possible to do dishes once a week. Lately I’ve been doing them on Saturday mornings while listening to Wait, Wait, Don’t Tell Me on NPR. But as I started the process I found the kitchen sink did not drain. At all. Yeah, I knew it had been sluggish. But that is different from motionless.

I got out my tub and tools and opened the pipes under the sink. It wasn’t a little clog. All the pipes under the sink were completely full of gunk. I’m sure the primary ingredient was soap. I scooped out the gunk and flushed out the pipes. I reassembled. Or tried. A couple of the screw-on fasteners wouldn’t tighten.

I was quite ready to turn the whole thing over to a plumber, but knew I wouldn’t get one until Monday unless I wanted to pay emergency rates. After ignoring it for a while and letting the frustrations go I realized there were probably only two pieces that needed replacing.

In mid afternoon I was off to Home Depot for new fasteners and seals. Those went on fairly smoothly, but then another joint, part of what I think is called the P-trap, wouldn’t tighten. Enough frustration for one day.

Early afternoon today I went back to Home Depot to buy a new P-trap. All the parts came in a plastic bag, complete with (fairly complete) instructions, for under $4. When assembling all those pieces I saw the pipe going into the wall was too high, making the whole P-trap a bit misaligned. That I couldn’t fix. I tested it. Still clogged.

I got out my plumber’s snake and worked it into the pipe, at least 9 feet. Messy. I didn’t pull out a clog, but hoped I pushed the gunk through. I reassembled. It worked! I did the dishes and watched the water zip down the drain.

The cultural events and the clogged drain mean I haven’t yet seen all of the TV show When We Rise. I still have 45 minutes of the Wednesday episode and all of the Friday episode to watch. Perhaps I can watch at least some of that yet this evening.

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