>A friend asked how I felt about the renovation now that it's been complete for over a month. Because I am a cynical bitch who only looks at the downside of things, I told her it made me feel poorer after all the money we spent. Then I paused and realized how much I like some of the changes.

The new linen closet is amazing. The old one was narrow and deep, which made it impossible to find anything. The new one is in a strange location (the entry foyer), as that was the only place to put it, but it is amazing. It is wide and just the right depth. Everything is sorted semi-neatly. Every time I use it, I am happy.

The faucet in the new bathroom sink is perfect. It is just the right height and arc for me to use it as a drinking fountain. It makes me smile.

Best of all, the washer and dryer have made what was once a hugely stressful chore into something easy and almost even fun. I no longer have to schlep all my stuff down to the basement. The wait for the elevator (my stupid building has no stairs that go into the basement, a fire hazard if there ever was one) is eliminated. My battle to find an unused washer and a dryer that actually works has been won. What is not to love?

Oh, right - the smell of sewage. For the last week, something has gone terribly awry with the plumbing. I hear a surge of water in the pipes, then the smell emanates through the white doors that shutter the washer-dryer closet. Sometimes it is so strong it permeates the bedroom down the hall. Other times, it is just faintly noticeable as you pass the closet on the way into the bathroom. It smells like a cross between shit and rancid Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup.

I've looked everywhere for a leak, but I don't see anything wet. I can't see behind the machines, but he smell dissipates within 30 minutes at most, so I know there isn't standing sewage water. It flush-smell-dissipation process repeats a few times a day. Oh, and did I mention that my super is on vacation? Even if he wasn't, I'm almost afraid to have him look into it, as tearing up walls at this point is my second worst nightmare. (The worst nightmare: there is a sewage leak and the washer-dryer must be permanently dismantled.)