April 23, 2009

Some Cheerful Pictures (to distract the despairing)



Yes. That would be me.

funny pictures of cats with captions
see More Lolcats

Apparently what is wrong with our plumbing has to do with our toilets being old and tired of their jobs. I am sure burn-out and loss of flushing-enthusiasm is a common thing in the booming “being a toilet” industry. It does not seem like a pleasant job. They want to RETIRE, these toilets, and go down to Florida and golf while wearing black dress socks with plaid shorts. Perhaps there will be bingo, and maybe seafood buffet night. Perhaps there will be fruity drinks served in hollow pineapples. Oh! Toilets! Take me with you!

I think this is karma. This is the wheel of fate. YEARS ago, when we were little more than teenagers, Scott and I were driving around and around in aimless circles after watching the dollar movie at Cinema Tavern. We passed a house with a loose toilet hanging out in the yard, and I got a wild hair and hollered for him to stop, and we flat out stole that toilet. Spirited it away in the dead of night to be our very own.

For the record? In spite of the NAME Cinema TAVERN, we had consumed nothing more intoxicating than full sugar cokes and stale nachos with radioactive cheez-related orange sauce-like jelly. That’s right – we were completely SOBER. So the burgling of the toilet cannot be fathomed or explicked.

(SPELL CHECK is telling me that EXPLICKED is not a word.
I am telling Spell check to suck it.
I LIKE Explicked, and I find that Explicated is cumbersome. It SHOULD be a word. If something is INEXPLICABLE then it stands to reason that that something cannot be….yes. Explicked.

Dear Spell Check,
We shall hear no more from you on the subject. Thank you for playing.

ANYWAY, the toilet went to live in a fenced off corner of the yard behind my parent’s house where they kept the garbage cans. Eventually I used it as a safe house to shelter a cat-wounded crow named Mr. Crow. He was in the yard unable to fly and assailed by yellow tom named Butterball. I chased Butterball away, herded Mr. Crow into the fenced triangle at the back of the yard. There he lived for several weeks, and I fed him on corn and he hid in the toilet when more cats came. So.

As a balm to my bleak horror at the way things continue to break and crumble all around me, I offer you some cute pictures look at. First, the SUNFLOWER CAKE! I made it for the going away party for my pastor who left, and apparently took my working-toilet-karma with him in a baggie:


You have to ignore the fact that PETALS HAVE EYES. If you concentrate on the EYES you stop seeing a sunflower and instead see a “Peeps who belong to a cult that worships Ghirardelli dark chips” cake. Which is fine, too, I think. Either way, it was delicious, because under the icing is a rich yellow cake made almost entirely of butter.

Also, I found this sleeping bag to be cheerful, but that is probably because I am mentally ill. *nodnodnod* Remember in Star Wars 5 when Han and Luke were stuck on the frozen planet of HOTH and Luke had to slit the belly of his Tauntaun riding beast and sleep inside the warm carcass to survive the night?

NO? REALLY? Oh surely you must! Or were you very busy and having a life? Well, not me. I spent Junior Prom in a basement rolling 20 sided dice to see if my vorpal blade would get the monster plus plus bonus as I attacked a lich lord in the stinking sewers beneath the Golden City of Arzhekargath, and I REMEMBER.

Anyway, some insane person has made a TAUNTAUN Sleeping Bag:


Now your kid (or even you! Hey, I’m not judging!) can pretend to be Luke and sleep cozy inside a simulated riding beast carcass. Please note that the INSIDE lining is INTESTINES. People are amazing, aren’t they? WHO THINKS OF THIS? I love people.

I hate toilets.

Posted by joshilyn at April 23, 2009 8:36 AM

Oh Joss, I am sorry about your toilet troubles. It's highly possible that there is no worse kind. But the sleeping bag! I love it! And I do remember that scene where the steaming innards gursh out and it STINKS! I'm going to send my big brother this link, because he will think it's awesome and want one for himself. Too bad his sons won't appreciate it too much, though. They're all caught up in the modern Clone Wars versions of Star Wars. sniff.

Posted by: SupermansMommy at April 23, 2009 9:26 AM

Hi. I just found you yesterday and here I am back already :) Mostly cuz you crack me up.

I felt the need to share that "expliqued" is a word in Franglais, a language spoken fluently by our family. "expliquer" means "to explain" in French, and when conjugated as an English word, you get "expliqued." So tell that to spell check. I have noticed spell check is very traditional and hide-bound, and cannot be convinced that English is a live language, organically growing and changing.

Posted by: edj at April 23, 2009 9:43 AM

I had a working-when-hooked-up toilet sitting on my front porch all last week while the bathroom floor was being redone. Maybe keeping a tarp over it wasn't a bad idea after all. We just did that to keep from being burned alive by the neighbors but now that I know how close we came to losing the old guy I'm relieved!

Posted by: Heather at April 23, 2009 10:13 AM

Ha! The zipper pull is a LIGHTSABER! My 9 yr old would love the oddness of this!

Posted by: Laura L at April 23, 2009 10:29 AM

Ha! That sleeping bag is awesome (Even though I didn't know the reference, because I...ahem...haven't seen the movie.) But my geek heart is made happy by it. As well as many other things on thinkgeek ;)
Sorry 'bout your toilets. But hey! Now you have a chance to go low-flow and save money in the long run? :D

Posted by: Heather at April 23, 2009 10:33 AM

Whatever about the toilets or the sleeping bag, I want the recipe to the dang cake! Chocolate and Peeps! Please, please, please share the recipe.

Posted by: Jess H. at April 23, 2009 10:41 AM

Whatever about the toilets or the sleeping bag, I want the recipe to the dang cake! Chocolate and Peeps! Please, please, please share the recipe.

Posted by: Jess H. at April 23, 2009 10:41 AM

That is my very favorite lolcat.
I want that cake.
I think that sleeping bag is brilliant!
I am sorry about your toilets. And your pastor.
I think that covers it.
No, wait...I miss you!
THAT covers it.

Posted by: Amy-Go at April 23, 2009 10:42 AM

Sorry to hear about your toilet problems Joss. Love the sleeping bag. TESB is my favorite of all of the Star Wars movies.

Posted by: Tammy at April 23, 2009 10:56 AM

Maybe this will finally give you some incentive to include our North Coast shores on your next book tour:


Forget Windsor, though. Wrong end of the country from here in Buffalo, where you should really come to smuggle in your illegal toilets. We're closer, friendlier and offer not only nearby Hoome Depoots on the other side for your toileting pleasure, but Toronto's just an hour away.

Just get here before June 1st unless you have a passport. Given your troubles with drivers licenses, I wouldn't recommend you flash one of those at the border.

Posted by: Ray at April 23, 2009 11:02 AM

Too bad Older Son is 24. He would have adored that sleeping bag.

Posted by: kmkat at April 23, 2009 11:18 AM

Hey! My comment disappeared! Grrrr.

It was delightful, too, as I explicked how we are TOO having the same year since my toilet died, the hot water heater exploded, etc. And I want sunflower cake. THE END.

Posted by: Aimee at April 23, 2009 11:30 AM

Ha! My brother showed me that sleeping bag a while back and we had a good laugh. He likes to randomly buy me things from thinkgeek. I'm the proud owner of the Yoda backpack that looks like Yoda is hanging on. Too bad neither of us would fit in this creative piece of sleep technology.

Posted by: Emily at April 23, 2009 11:32 AM

Hee! I am tickled that SupermansMommy remembers that it STINKS to cut open a Tauntaun. When I was in the theater, I didn't smell a thing (although the visual and aural were plenty yicky enough!) BUT I remember Han Solo saying, "And I thought they smelled bad...on the OUTside!"

Joss, I am so sorry that your plumbing has rebelled. Or perhaps become demented. Dementia would explick everything.


Posted by: Jennifer at April 23, 2009 1:24 PM

Jennifer ---

I just snorted PIPING HOT COFFEE out my nose at this line:

Dementia would explick everything.



Posted by: Joshilyn at April 23, 2009 1:42 PM

1st - LOVE the sleeping bag. It rocks and I am a huge geek.
2nd - I feel your toilet pain. We replaced both our toilets a couple of years ago and STILL HAVE PROBLEMS. Toilets suck. Or rather I wish they did a better job sucking.

Posted by: heidi at April 23, 2009 2:36 PM

I'm sorry about the toilets along with everything else that is making you sad. LOVE the word "explick."

Posted by: Alison at April 23, 2009 2:41 PM

I'm afraid I'm gonna be haunted now, by the sentence "The petals have eyes!" Gah.

But that sleeping bag cracked me up. Thinkgeek is one of my favorite places for gifts! (But their printed catalog is stupid - it doesn't actually tell you any important details about stuff -- like sizes, how many come in a package, etc. Of course, their website doesn't often tell you that either, but you can at least fire off an email and ask immediately.)

And I'm afraid to ask or speculate on how one might get back some good toilet karma... Good luck with that.

Posted by: Lulu at April 23, 2009 2:49 PM

I HATE toilet issues. My now husband and I had a similar 'found toilet' experience (yes, during college and yes, we were also sober).

Except after we found ours (new but slightly borketty) behind a plumbing store (yes, we actually were looking for a toilet), we painted it a VERY BRIGHT ORANGE, place it in his living room, filled it with dirt, and took ourselves off to the nursery to buy plants for it.

Quite the conversation piece, it was.

Posted by: Pendy at April 23, 2009 3:36 PM

I knew I should have proofed...please read *placed* instead of *place*!

Posted by: Pendy at April 23, 2009 3:38 PM

THE ZIPPER SHOULD BE RED! I would REPLACE that zipper with a red one. If we're going to be gross, let's be GROSS.

Posted by: Kate Setzer Kamphausen at April 23, 2009 4:21 PM

I adore the cake! I love the sweet touch of the little bowl of flowers beside the cake even more! Wonder if there are still any peeps for sale this far past easter......
The sleeping bag is adorable and disturbing at the same time!
As for the toilets....I suppose it could be worse. They could of told you that you had to revert to the start of last century and build an outhouse!

Posted by: Shay at April 23, 2009 6:51 PM

Intestines are usually steamy warm in the movies... so I guess it means you'll be sleeping warm? Cute cake, my friend tried it but she had to use sugar free peeps. It was still cute (I didn't tell her I had a case of yellow peeps open and stale-ing). I know I am mean and selfish.

Posted by: Cele at April 23, 2009 11:58 PM

Get power flush toilets. Sam's growing up, we've raised a teenage boy, and get a power flush. Trust me.

The petals have eyes and the sleeping bag has intestines. This might very well be one of your most brilliant posts ever!

Posted by: Fran at April 24, 2009 12:44 AM

Ah, I'm so sorry about your pastor. Good pastors are so hard to lose, been there done that a few times. I do indeed remember the Taun-Taun part of the movie, and that sleeping bag is just geek heaven. I hate plumbing in general, for three days last week my kitchen sink's intestines were all over my kitchen.

Posted by: Shel Franz at April 24, 2009 1:35 AM

I do like the bag's intestine detail!

I was Googling the peeps cake, but could only find ones that used cake from a box. I want the BUTTER and ghirardelli-worship one!

I would go with the powerflush as well, at least from what I hear from my contractor dad. So, will you be going with chamberpots until they're replaced? (eek!)

Posted by: Brigitte at April 24, 2009 5:36 AM

I got this cake off that same internet thing, too. The truth is, the DECORATION is just chips, icing and peeps -- you can make ANY KIND OF LAYER CAKE YOU WANT to go inside. I think yellow is better, because it looks better sliced when the cake matches the peeps, so I made a butter cake.

But you could have chocolate cake in there if you liked, or a BEER cake. (Whatever that is.) If it bakes into layers, you can make a sunflower on top. Use your favorite layer cake recipe!


Posted by: Joshilyn at April 24, 2009 5:45 AM

I love peeps. I love lolcats. I love that sleeping bag.

I am sorry about your toilet problem. That is not a nice problem to have at all.

However, it resulted the coinage of the word "explick," which is a delightful word!

Posted by: Lindsey at April 24, 2009 9:14 PM

Consider calling your local Habitat for Humanity Re-Store? They may have some toilets for you, on the cheap.


Posted by: Jason at April 24, 2009 10:16 PM

You never fail to make me smile. Thank you for the many pick-me-ups along the way!

Posted by: lynn at April 25, 2009 5:42 PM

"Dementia would explick everything" ... why do I have the feeling that's what's on the paper taped to my back?

and I Must Have That Cake. Absolute genius, Peeps and Fine Chocolate.

Posted by: Patti at April 25, 2009 8:42 PM

I wish you had come to my street to steal toilets. I used to have a neighbour who decided to plant a flower bed. He used a scrolly iron bed, which he filled with geraniums. That would have been fine, but then he got it into his head to add an en suite bath to the flower bedroom. So he installed a sink and a toilet, both full of flowers. It certainly spruced up the neighbourhood. ;>)

Posted by: Sandra Leigh at April 26, 2009 12:56 AM

Well, I count April 23rd a success, since "Dementia would explick everything" made Joss laugh. I am deeply sorry, however, about the nasal lavage with hot coffee.

And, in a fit of well-wishes (for both of us), this past weekend I went to B&N and placed a Pre-Paid Order for TGWSS in Hard Cover. May the huge royalties boost the DTRF (Demented Toilet Rehabilitation Fund)!

I never in my wildest imagination thought that my reading a good book would in any way contribute to Toilet Rehabilitation. (Perhaps someday I will open Jennifer's Therapeutic Home for Wayward Toilets! Then it could never be said that I never contributed anything to my fellow...okaynevermind.)


Posted by: Jennifer at April 27, 2009 3:43 PM

Oh, and, apropos of nothing, I would JOIN the Peeps if they started a "Cult That Worships Ghirardelli dark chips."

Posted by: Jennifer at April 28, 2009 12:48 PM