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sorabji.com: Who are you?: i am here.

By Sean on Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 09:41 pm:

    and here is virginia.

By Dr Pepper on Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 09:52 pm:

    virgina who?

By Nate on Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 10:16 pm:

    speaking of virgina, i installed a new toilet today. the people who lived here before me were those strange, earth-conscious, hippie types who make everything in the house work like shit for the benefit of some world that is going to expel all humanity sooner or later anyway.

    the toilets, man, they all suck. low slung tanks with no umph. every shit draws circles around the bowl as it spirals down. two or three flushes the norm.

    so today i installed a cadet 3. it is still a 1.6 gpf low-flow toilet, but all the same, a powerhouse in the realm of unassisted, gravity flushing toilets.

    i just made my first deposit. a truly superior flush. clean, smooth, and quick. exactly how you want to see your feces depart.

    the seat is also great. $14.95, molded wood deal. often refered to as the "cheap-o seat." but it turned out to be wonderful. my ass fits perfectly. i read about 25 pages while passing my first collection of six-inch bricks, and in the end, no red ring. no red ring!


    i am so please. it is really satisfying to do some honest and productive labor that allows you to relax while doing some honest and productive labor.

By droopy on Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 10:34 pm:

    i had my toilet fixed last week with a little help from nate. at least i think it was nate: i remember some thread about a broken toilet being diagnosed as a bad gasket, and i think it was nate. the plumber in this thread said something about this problem happening with fat people who make the toilet rock when they sit on it. i'm not terribly fat (i was 170 last time i had a chance to weigh myself), but i really have to throw myself onto my toilet to get to it from my wheelchair. sometimes i can feel it tip. so i told the front office of my apartment complex to send over a guy to replace my toilet gasket - wherever it may be - and now it works like a charm.

    i wish i could marry nate.

By Nate on Saturday, February 2, 2008 - 11:19 pm:

    dolcini plumbing. that must have been two and a half years ago, at least.

    i sliced my finger open today on the sharp edge of the tile they trimmed to fit around the outflow flange thing. i waited until i was done installing the toilet to clean it out. i might be typing with seven fingers next time you hear from me.

By sarah on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 01:37 am:

    lately i have been bogged down by home ownership. actually, i hate it. i love our home, but i hate the responsibility of keeping up with it. i feel stuck thinking about that stuff, keeping up with the to do list.

    i don't want to fix the toilet in senor's bathroom. i want to pretend there's not a small puddle of water under the tank. i'd prefer a landlord handle, while i go out surfing. not that i can surf here in austin, but i guess i'm referring to the freedom of a former life.

    i also feel bogged down by stuff. there's too much stuff. i wish we had about half of everything we owned and less than half of the things we are storing.

    i want to move far away from texas.

    i'm angry that, while we bought a house well below our means, we're not able to live, as a middle class american family of three, on a single salary that's creeping up on six figures. why is that? why all the debt? why all the stuff. i feel trapped.

    funny, people always say how expensive it is (or must be) to live in hawaii. but in hawaii, i never had debt and always had a ton of money in the bank. money to travel, money to pay for a body building trainer. money to do just about anything i wanted to do. so rarely was the money spent on stuff (unless it was surfing related gear). it was spent on doing things.

    sometimes i wish i could take my family, my life as it is now, and turn back time. it's like, yo, i got what i came here for, now let's get the fuck out.

By Dr Pepper. on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 02:35 am:

    Lol!, cause i am over 200 lbs, I had to becareful when wiping my butt, one day i lean over to the left a bit while trying to wipe it off and a heard a sound of crack of a seat. I went geesh! and was going to tell my brother that I broke the toliet seat, later he asked" who broke the seat?" I told him , it was me. don't worry, I will take it from there, He said " your going to buy it?", I said "yes". "ok" he said and told me that , he wanted me to buy a new seat, no glass looking or soft seat, just plain hard wood seat, so I bought it. The next time i had to take a a poop, I will try to be careful about tipping over to the left, and had to pray that it won't crack the seat..

By platypus on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 03:52 am:

    Lately I have been bogged down by the realization that I will probably never be able to afford real estate here, in the town I grew up in. I'll keep spending too much on mediocre rentals with landlords that take weeks to fix things.

    I guess there's no grass on either side of the fence.

    I get the impression that debt is the American way.

By ... on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 12:52 pm:

    i recently corresponded with a couple of nice people in virginia. one of them is the photographer of a book i own, the other is the photographer's ex-wife who produced the book and organized its pictures for a gallery type showing. the photos are from laos in early 1970s, and it's a pretty amazing set. i found the book in my father's desk drawer after he died. i knew the book since childhood, and recognized every picture, but it had probably been 20 years since i last saw the thing. i look at it differently now. as a child i didn't look at these for their artistic merits, but as an adult i'm like wow, these are really good. they're so good it's weird considering the time and place they come from, and how my not-insignificant amount of research into the author seems to indicate that he did no further work in the photography world. the correspondence has me remembering laos, and foggy as my memories may be i called my mother to tell her of one deep dark secret i never told her. our family was among the herd of americans forced from laos during the great cia evacuation of 1975. the timing of the evacuation cut the school year short by a week or two. i couldn't believe my luck! i had an overdue library book, overdue my months, and i lived in fear of returning that book. the amount of money i would owe in library fines seemed incomprehensible, so huge an amount that i expected to be detained or put into detention. when word came that the school year was being cut short and we were ordered to leave the country i hatched a plan to take advantage of the chaos surrounding the evacuation. minutes before we left to catch the ferry over the mekong to thailand i ran out into the road in front of our house. (our address was salekaton b-13, i have no idea why i remember that.) it was dirt road in front of house. i ran out there with that library book and placed it in a puddle of water, knowing that in a few minutes a herd of water buffalo would stampede down the road and, i hoped, destroy or somehow obliterate all trace of the overdue library book. i felt the book was such hot property that i didn't want to leave the country with it in my possession. leaving it in the road gave me my alibi should the border guards questions me about any library dues or fines, and i had my story that i was ready to give at the appropriate time: the book was run over by a herd of water buffalo. indeed, minutes after i placed the book in the puddle a stampede of water buffalo roared by the house at their regular time of day. after the stampede passed we got in our car and drove to the mekong, my memory being that the car drove right over the puddle in which i had placed the library book. i felt i had covered my tracks as well as possible. i told my mother this story last week and had not heard her laugh so hard in a long time. the story doesn't quite end there, though. it ends when we got the chow pia hotel (no idea how to spell that) in bangkok. hundreds of people, mostly american military and their family, filled the lobby and halls of the hotel, and the first person i saw when i entered that hotel was the freakin' school librarian! i thought she was waiting for me, and that she would question me about this significantly overdue book. she was strict, as i recall, strict enough that i imagined she would not see even these insane circumstances as reason to stop prosecution of the overdue book. but no. it was strange. the last time i had seen her she pointedly lectured me about the return of that book which now sat in tatters in a puddle. but at this hotel we chatted, pleasantly, and she talked not about library books but about the world. i had never heard her talk about anything but library books and fines, and hearing her talk about the situation at hand was really the first time i understood that there were bigger things to worry about now.

By Dr Pepper on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 02:16 pm:

    platypus, we all had some problem with the landlord in the past. once we have a problem with the land lord and if they can't fix or response our call; we're done with them .we move out.

By droopy on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 06:30 pm:

    the vinyl flooring around my toilet is still torn up (from when esteban fixed the gasket). i'll have them fix it, eventually. until then, i doubt it'll injure me.

    wherever your heart leads you, sarah. if austin loses one sorabjite it may gain another one eventually: i've always hoped to "retire" there one day. or at least on our land in the hills around austin.

    debt is part of what drives the american economy.

    i remember seeing those "faces of laos" pictures that mark posted. i buy all my booze from a laotian who owns the liquor store near where i work - mr. frichithavong. i mentioned those pictures to him, but he didn't seem interested in them - in fact, just wanted to politely brush the subject off. maybe he just wants to forget laos, or maybe just be thought of as an american.

    do you live with your brother, dr. pepper?

By Dr Pepper on Sunday, February 3, 2008 - 11:58 pm:

    droopy, there's is alot of vietnamese, chinese, laotian, and many other foreign in Dallas area, as well as ft worth.
    No, I lives with my dogs...

By sarah on Monday, February 4, 2008 - 12:30 am:

    i want to live in laos now.

    or western samoa.

    or new zealand. an old friend from hawaii landed there with his wife, they just had their fist baby days ago.

    or uganda. at a mission or something, even though we're not religious.

    i don't know.

    when i was in kindergarten, i fully plaragized an entire work and turned it in as my own book, bound and illustrated.

    other kindergarteners ratted me out to the teacher (Miss George), but i denied it. i wonder if Miss George ever talked to my parents about this plagiarism during a parent/teacher conference, but no mention was ever made of it.

    i plagiarized it because the assignment was to write our own book but apparently i didn't have enough imagination to come up with my own story. i remember trying really hard to think up of something and couldn't, so instead i plagiarized what i think was my favorite book at the time.

    it was a book about a bunny.

By platypus on Monday, February 4, 2008 - 12:50 am:

    I have been thinking about moving to New Zealand myself, lately. Maybe we should start a Sorabji colony.

    And has anyone heard from Moonit? I'm beginning to worry.

By droopy on Monday, February 4, 2008 - 02:26 am:

    i remember talking to cat (of australia) about how much i'd like to live in thailand. i had seen some show - a cooking show - set in bangkok where people shopped in a kind of farmer's market on the river by rowing around in canoes (or whatever the thai equivalent is). it seemed like the ideal life for me.

By platypus on Monday, February 4, 2008 - 03:05 am:

    My Chinese mother once told me a story about traveling on a river and passing people running little restaurants from their boats, with all sorts of food. That sounded pretty neat to me, just sort of cruising along a river and eating as you go.

By Nate on Monday, February 4, 2008 - 03:00 pm:

    sarah, you need a bucket, a towel, a bowl, a small wrench or socket set, and a new wax gasket (under $5).

    1. turn off the water at the wall

    2. remove the wax gasket from the box and float it in a sink of warm water. you want to get the wax to about 70F but not a lot more than that (soft but not melted).

    3. flush the toilet until it has drained as much as you can get it to drain and then mop out the rest of the water in the bowl and tank with the towel.

    4. unscrew the water inflow hose from under your tank. use a bowl to catch the little bit of water that will probably come out.

    5. remove the two nuts at the base of the toilet.

    6. rock the toilet back and forth and then lift it straight up and off the bolts.

    7. remove the old gasket. stuff a rag in the outflow pipe. remove all the wax from the horn under the toilet and the outflow flange.

    8. press the new wax gasket onto the horn under the toilet. the rubber flange pointing down (towards the sewer).

    9. carefully put the toilet back into place on the bolts. you should feel the wax compress a bit as you press down on the toilet.

    10. rock the toilet a bit to seat it well in the wax.

    11. make sure the toilet tank is parallel to the wall behind it and then put the nuts back on. alternate tightening the nuts until you have them finger tight, and then tighten them a few more turns with the wrench.

    the toilet should be just-firmly in place (ie. not rocking). don't tighten past that point or you might crack the bowl.

    12. rehook up the water to the tank, turn on the water at the wall, and give it a few test flushes to make sure there are no leaks. i've never had one leak, but if it does, cuss a bit and then repeat the process with a new gasket.

    if the bathroom was remodeled with tile, the outflow flange might be extra low (below floor level) in that case you might need a larger gasket (no 10) or a no 3 gasket with an addition wax ring (the kind without the rubber flange). you'll be able to tell by looking at the gasket you remove. you might want to buy a no 3 gasket and an additional wax ring just to be safe.

    it shouldn't take you more than 1-1.5 hours, depending on where your hardware store is. it is easier than it sounds. there is no reason to call a plumber unless you don't have to pay for it.

    if water is getting into your subfloor you're going to get rot or fungus and that's going to take a lot more time and money to fix. so do it soon.

By sarah on Monday, February 4, 2008 - 10:33 pm:

    what if the leak doesn't seem to be coming from the base of the toilet?

    the little puddle is actually under the right side of the tank, about 2-3 inches behind the base of the toilet.

By Dr Pepper on Tuesday, February 5, 2008 - 09:02 pm:

    sarah, maybe your toliet tank are "sweating".

By Nate on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 12:09 am:

    unless it has been really humid in your house, i doubt it is sweating.

    i assume you have a 2 piece toilet? (bowl and tank)

    it could be the gasket between the tank and the bowl. that is easy to fix, as well. just dry out the toilet and remove the water inflow hose. then, find the two nuts on the outside of the toilet, under the tank. take those off and the tank will lift off the bowl. there is a rubber gasket between tank and bowl that you just replace and then reattach the tank.

    a more likely possibility is a leak around one of the bolts that hold the tank to the bowl. they should have rubber washers on the inside of the tank that can be replaced. same process as above, but then you take the nuts off, pull out the bolts and replace the washers.

    or maybe you hate the toilet all together and just want to buy a new one. you can get a good one for under $200 and install by seating the new toilet on a wax gasket and then attaching the new tank.

    i'd recommend against once piece toilets. i hate those fucking things.

    another possibility is there is a crack in the tank or the bowl. you'd want a new toilet then.

    dry everything really well. the floor, the bottom of the tank, all around where the toilet bowl meets the floor. if the leak isn't immediately, visibly obvious, tape plastic wrap under the tank so each bolt and where the tank joins the bowl is sealed under plastic. flush the toilet or wait awhile -- the water will either appear in the plastic or on the floor and you'll know where the leak is.

By droopy on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 12:45 am:

    i had a leak from the bolts that hold on my toilet tank, once. it was a couple of years ago. i started noticing that there were little puddles of water under my toilet tank. i'd clean them up but kept putting off doing anything about it. then one night about 3am something woke me up (anything can, i'm a light sleeper). i could hear water running. i switched on the lamp next to my bed and looked over to the bathroom door, which opens into my bedroom. i could see the carpet at the door's edge darkening with water. i got out of bed, went over to the bathroom and switch on the light. the whole thing was flooded with an inch or two of water. i rolled over to the toilet and managed to reach the water valve and switched it off. i used a bucket (to scoop up the water), a mop, and towels to clean up all the water.

    so you might check those bolts, sarah.

    i still want nate to marry me.

By platypus on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 01:07 am:

    It sounds like the bolts to me.

    My Chinese mother has a power assist toilet. I love taking a dump in that thing.

By droopy on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 01:12 am:

    i meant to ask you about that chinese mother thing. i never new that; i guess i missed hearing about it. though now i might sure exactly what to ask. how did she and your dad meet?

By heather on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 01:58 am:

    i want a chinese mother

    but then, i want a lot

By platypus on Wednesday, February 6, 2008 - 02:19 am:

    Having a Chinese mother is pretty much the sweetest thing ever. It's funny that she keeps coming up in this thread, actually. She's really from Taiwan, but "my Taiwanese mother" doesn't have the same ring as "my Chinese mother." I call her that because she's not my blood mother but she's more like my mother than my mother. But I call her my mother people get confused. And I can't call her my stepmother because in China there are negative connotations with stepmothers. And she and my dad aren't married, besides.

    Anyway, she and my dad met about seven years ago or so because she took one of his classes. He's an English professor, which I think I have mentioned elsewhere. So she took his class to improve her English, and she brought him all these weird Chinese treats, and they hit it off, I guess. This happens a lot with his students, actually they get crushes on him even though he's in his 60s. I think it's really funny.

    She's a pretty neat lady. When she was very little, her dad sold her to a farmer because their family had no money. So she worked for the farmer for awhile, and then the farmer tried to sell her to a brothel owner, so she ran away to Taipei and worked in restaurants for a few years before coming to the United States when she was 18.

    She started with basically nothing and now has a small scale real estate empire. She didn't bother to learn English until fairly recently, so people look at her and think she's some stupid little old Chinese lady, and then *bam* she throws you for a loop. I love her ferociously.

    And I also find it very funny when we go out as a group, as we do now and then, because I look like a poster child for the Aryan Nation and I think it weirds people out when I call her mother. I remember once my father and I went with her to look at a house she was buying, and the real estate agent was obviously really, really confused.

    One of the reasons I'm glad to be living back home again is that I can hang out with my dad and my Chinese mother. Besides, her dim sum is better than most of the dim sum in San Francisco anyway.

By droopy on Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 12:15 am:

    now i want a chinese (or taiwanese or asian) mother.

    or maybe i want to be a chinese woman. i read a book a while back called "a thousand years of good prayers" by a chinese woman - an immigrant to the united states. in a way, i kind of related to the women in the stories.

    maybe if i were a chinese woman, nate would marry me.

By Spider on Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 01:45 am:

    Gosh, Nate. I've never seen you so helpful, nor Droopy so tenacious.

By platypus on Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 12:59 pm:

    Well I suppose toilets are something to get fired up about, if you're going to get fired up about anything.

By Spider on Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 01:33 pm:

    I think I'm going to ship them.

    Droopy, quiet, solitary, serene, is roused to unusual passion after encountering Nate, spirited, mercurial, unfettered by convention. Nate, overwhelmed by Droopy's surprising declarations of ardor, withdraws with an uncharacteristic coyness. Thus the chase begins.

By Spider on Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 01:53 pm:

    Or maybe I spent too much time here yesterday.

By Nate on Thursday, February 7, 2008 - 04:47 pm:

    you can come live with me, droop. but marriage is out of the question.

    i love toilets. they are so integral to two of my favorite activities (shitting and reading). plus, toilet repairs are really easy. you can do everything north of the outflow flange yourself, with minimal tools. no toilet repair will cost more than the cost of a new toilet, which could be as low as $100 or less.

    plus, not paying attention to some easy fixes caused a lot of damage in my first house. i'm a little hyper about it.


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