>There's nothing like starting a new year than by breaking things. By things, I specifically mean bathrooms. And by bathrooms, I mean home and hotel facilities, one on each coast.

Yesterday morning, Husband and I awoke to urgent voicemail messages from my cousin, who is staying at our apartment while we gallivant about California. It seems that the pipes in our bathroom are leaking. The super and a maintenance dude came over to poke about, and after ripping up the linen closet (and patching it back up), concluded that the walls and floors of the bathroom need to be torn open to fix the problem. Work is to commence on Friday, Jan. 2 and hopefully will conclude on Monday, Jan. 5, which is my first day of work and I was already a nervous wreck about it before I learned that I won't have a functional bathroom that day.

I rang in the new year today by nearly breaking the toilet in the hotel. The result of my spontaneous self-cleansing strongly resembled an eel. Steph warned me yesterday morning that the toilet was not as powerful as it should be. ("It took me three flushes and a lot of hoping. I almost started looking around for a wire hanger, but then figured that this place was too fancy. A wooden hanger would work," she explained, "but wire hangers can be bent so that you can get as far away from the shit as possible, whereas a wooden hanger, it is what it is.") I thought about my honeymoon trip to London in August 2001 and how I had broken the toilet with a shit brick, and then feared that my eel turd would be even worse. Fortunately, it went down in two flushes and nothing resurfaced. Whew!

Happy new year and shit...