And then the next day, it looked like this:

My friends, and friends' friends, are generally pretty considerate of other people's homes. They would've gladly helped clean up after the meal. But with the kitchen sink completely broken, there was really nothing anyone could do that night. So, the morning after Thanksgiving, we had to wake up to this:

And this:

Exactly how I wanted to spend my vacation.
(I don’t care to get too far into it, but the scene can’t be completely understood without mentioning that we also awoke to a blocked toilet. Let’s just say the list of that things I was thankful for that day included a sturdy pair of thick-soled boots and the fact that, contrary to my worst fears, fixing the toilet did NOT actually require sticking my hand in it.)

Perhaps this was my penance for celebrating a holiday with such nationalistic, genocidal roots?

In any case, the sink clearly needed to be fixed before anything else could be done. And there was no hope of getting the landlord to do anything about it that day. So we had to do it ourselves. Which, after a massive team mobilization, got done successfully.
Overall score:

  • Sink - 2 (breaking in the thick of food preparations; thwarting any attempts to clean as the evening progressed)
  • Us – 2. (managing to cook the meal anyhow; fixing the damned thing in the end)

That seemed like a good point to call it a draw and move on.


Over the past few months, I feel like I’ve been reexamining a lot of the negative effects of the years I spent traveling, squatting and generally living in marginal ways. But it’s important for me to remember the benefits too. Living a completely improvised existence for so many years left me with an incredibly eclectic skill set – everything from writing grants to wiring a house with power stolen from streetlights. And I truly am glad that somewhere along the way, I learned my way around Teflon tape and PVC piping.

Getting in touch with my inner plumber