Saturday, September 05, 2020


The upstairs bathroom wall has bubbling paint, and the roofers came over with their drone to take a look. They found a corner where water spills over and said they need to come back and put on a "gravel stop." I had to look that up. It's like a guardrail for water and diverts the rain into the gutter. (This is what I was trying to get a photo of when I steered my drone into the tree and lost it until it comes crashing down with the autumn leaves.)

My bedroom also has bubbling paint down on the ground floor. Is this related to the roofing or is it a coincidence? That's anyone's guess, but the roofers and their drone pointed out a lot of cracks in the stucco on the bay window and said "There's your problem."

They're happy to caulk everything with masonry caulk but it'll take a full day and cost $2,500.

I politely declined, but they'll still do the gravel stop. That's part of the roofing job.

For the caulking, I fretted a while and nearly went to Tsigonia for DIY masonry caulk. Tsigonia is the nearby hardware store where my new name is "my buddy." I guess I've gone there too many times. Michael Kraiger always made me laugh when he'd call Tsigonia "Tsongas," like Paul Tsongas, and I still call it that sometimes.

Then yesterday morning, I went to the Lafayette pool for my last lap swim before my Sunday flight back to Burbank aka jail-for-Marie. Los Angeles county reopened too soon and had to shut down again. I've been enjoying my masked freedom here in NJ/NY.

On my walk back from the pool, I saw a van for JP Construction, one of the masonry/brownstone companies that works around northern NJ. I went home to call them, but I got a fax machine. Remember when you used to have to call first, say "I'm sending a fax," then the recipient would switch out the phone cords for the fax, then they'd forget to switch it back? Who still does that? What the hell? Anyway, I was already in motion and it's hard to just stop once I'm in motion, so I called one of the other local masonry companies, FPV. There are three companies always working in nearby downtown JC. The other one is Jaime, but I didn't get that far.

FPV came by and looked and said he'd do the masonry caulking for a few hundred dollars next Saturday. He told me Jaime is his brother. JP is no relation. He also told me there's a company in Newark that can produce replicas of the metal work under the stucco (I live in one of the 1895 "tin row houses of Breadalbane Terrace" but my tin was stuccoed in sometime in the early 2000s by some renovation criminal). He can tackle restoration in a few years when I've paid off the roof and am ready to fork over $20-30k. "I'll look beautiful," he said. "But very very expensive." He also said to peel the paint off the bricks first before exposing the old metal beneath the stucco, because the chemicals will hurt the metal.

Then FPV asked me to stay to be here for the masonry caulking, and to go back to California afterwards.

And I'm driving myself crazy now because I need to just get on the damn plane and get this flight back to jail over with, but it's over 100 degrees in Burbank and anyway, they're on lockdown, and I could go to illegal pilates there if I want ("one customer at a time through the back door"), but illegal pilates (my new favorite band) seems a little crazy, and also the goddamn plane is full. I've already been upgraded to first class with its partitions and fewer people, but it's still a steel enclosed canister flying through the sky and goddamn it, I was totally ready to go and now what the hell...the flights after Monday are all empty, because holiday weekend. I'm tired of waiting. I want to just go back to Burbank and get this over with. But then, getting on a full plane to go to sit inside with the a/c on full blast for a week hardly seems worth doing.

I'm not actually asking for advice because obviously I delay AGAIN, but it's driving me nuts and I might just go anyway. I'm just expressing frustration. I understand I should pause and not click rashly on the United website.

And so here we are.

But hey, I think the orange cat is back.

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