Broken Brakes and other Bullshit

So, it has been two weeks since I have moved out on my own into a house with the kids.  A lot can happen in two weeks.  Basically I have become a plumber, someone is trying to kill me and if I did not have Google I would not survive in this cruel, cruel world.

A few days after we moved Carsten went to take a shower and the shower head broke off and fell on her head.  After determining that this was not a job for superglue, I took a trip to the nearest home improvement store, Menard’s.  I had no idea how awesome this place was.  It is like Wal-Mart and Home Depot had a baby and it is Menard’s.  You can buy everything here!!

Anyway, I returned home with my new shower head and started googling: how to change a shower head, what to do if you can’t get the shower head removed and why is my newly installed shower head leaking?   An hour later I had pwned that installation and I only cried ONCE.

The next day the kitchen sprayer got stuck on spray the shit out of everyone.  The faucet would not work, only the sprayer.   For some reason I would forget this 30 seconds after I walked away and turn the faucet on again and soak myself.  So, back to Menard’s I went.  I was pretty sure I could just detach the sprayer and simply screw on a new one without even having to look under the sink.  WRONG.  So, back to google…. how to shut off your water, where is water shut off, what does water shut off look like, how to change kitchen sprayer, kitchen sprayer leaking everywhere what do I do now….. an hour into the process, with Cody as my plumber’s apprentice, I was ready to dig a well and give up on running water.  Carsten was freaking out about not being able to flush the toilet and she DIDN’T EVEN NEED TO PEE.  We had tried to install it AT LEAST five times, this was our process:

Read directions out loud seven times.

Run downstairs to turn off water.

Install sprayer.

Run downstairs to turn on the water.

Run back up to turn on sink.

Sink sprays water EVERYWHERE.


Run back down to turn off water.

Use 76 towels to clean up water.


Then, thank the baby Jesus in the manger, Marie showed up.  Marie and I repeated this process a few more times, before using a lifeline and phoning our friend Chazo.  Turns out it is REALLY important to not drop a washer onto your rug and and thread tape is your friend IF you use it correctly.  I only cried twice during this process!  Just as we were finishing successful installation and high five’ing, Carsten decided to go into the garage and pull the red cord on the garage door “just to see what happened”, because WHY NOT?  So, then I learned what to do when your garage door is manually lowered by a 14 year old not strong enough to hold it.

Meanwhile, my HVAC had started leaking all over the place.  Google: what is this big air conditioner thing called, why is my HVAC leaking, what to do if my HVAC is leaking, how to stop my HVAC from leaking.

It was soaking through a towel about every two hours.  At this point I had washed more towels in a week than I have in the past six months.  I troubleshooted as much as I possibly could before calling in to the Home Warranty place.  A squirrelly looking guy showed up a few hours later and was in my basement for approximately two minutes before we had this conversation:

Squirrelly Guy – do you have a wire hanger?

Me – I think so.  <runs upstairs to find one>

Hands SG a hanger.

SG – are you attached to this hanger?

Me – uhhhhhh, no?

SG – Good, because I am going to ruin it.

We walk downstairs, he turns the hanger into a long wire wand, shoves it up into the HVAC, and Tada!  He pulls out a MAPLE LEAF.  $100 and a wire hanger for a motherfuckin maple leaf removal.


We had a few days of peace before someone tried to murder me.  I drove Carsten to school one morning and noticed that all of a sudden it was like my brakes just took a vacation.  I’m no mechanic, but I was pretty sure it wasn’t normal to have to push the brakes to the floor and still not stop.  I wasn’t too worried until my brake light came on and started flashing.  I did what any normal person would do, I googled:  brakes not working, brakes feel like they are floating, have to floor my brakes to stop, how to locate brake fluid receptacle, how to check brake fluid levels, how do you know what brake fluid to buy, closest NAPA locations.  

I drove to NAPA, bought some brake fluid and filled it.  The light went off!  Success!  The brakes were still wonky though, so I googled some more and then decided to make an appointment for next week at the VW dealership.  I went out to drive my car a few hours later and the brake light started screaming again, and then I realized there was a puddle about the size of Lake Erie on my garage floor.  But it had rained!  So, I hoped it was water…. but last time I checked water wasn’t oily.  SHIT.  So, I called my Dad who told me to have it towed to the dealership immediately.  Because I am stupid stubborn I decided I could just drive it the 4 1/2 miles instead, which I did.  About 15 seconds into the drive I realized it probably wasn’t safe to be deciding which ditch I would bail into if I couldn’t stop at the next intersection.  But, I’m not a quitter, so I kept on going.  I made it there without dying, obvi, and the next morning the dealership called.

VW guy – Did you run over something?  Or get in an accident?  Something with a lot of impact?

Me – No.

VW guy – Are you sure?

Me – Pretty sure I would remember that.

VW Guy – Well, your brake line is practically severed, your emergency brake is pulled out and broken and there is a large plastic piece broken on the underside of your car.

Me – uhhhhh.  I am guessing this isn’t covered under my warranty?

VW Guy – errrrrrr…. NO.

So, they send a shuttle to pick me up.  While I am waiting, I go over the past few weeks.   No one has drove my car and I have not ran over any curbs (recently), so because I watch too much Dateline I am now convinced that someone is trying to murder me.  Could it be my new neighbors?  I would probably be a little peeved if my new neighbor’s cat had decided my roof was the best lookout point in the neighborhood (what the hell Chuck?)…. but does it justify MURDER?  Probably not.  Then there is the other neighbor, with the offspring that walks around the yard dressed like Walter White when it is 85 degrees outside.  Did I witness some sort of drug operation I wasn’t supposed to see?  GAH!  I am helped along in my paranoia by my friends Pam and Mandi, who are group messaging me things like, “you should call the police!” and my friend Marie who believes a spirit is attached to the house and we just need to successfully smudge the house to rid it of evil.  

I have interesting friends.

I get to the dealership and they walk me to my car and show me the damage, and what do you know, it really does look like I have ran something over recently…. if that something was roughly the size of a team of oxen and the consistency of HARDENED STEEL.  What in the actual fuck??

We may never know.  After talking with several rational men, it’s probably a more likely scenario that I ran something over a while back and then did something recently to make it worse, like bottoming out the car.  I am less convinced it was a murder plot now, but I am leaning more towards some kind of Ambien fueled sleep driving wherein I thought I was filming the 13th sequel to The Fast and Furious.

Whew.  It has been a long two weeks.  But, you know what?  I figured some shit out and I fixed some shit and the shit I didn’t fix, I figured out how to GET it fixed.



4 thoughts on “Broken Brakes and other Bullshit

  1. I don’t even know what to say?!?! When it rains, it pours. Nothing is ever an easy fix! (Unless you finally hire someone to come look at it and it’s a maple leaf!) The joys of home ownership! As for the car😖 Glad you made it out alive and there was no contract hit out on you!
    As always, I love reading your blogs! Two in one day, I feel spoiled!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I too watch too much Dateline. Right now 20/20 is on so now I’m back to thoughts of murder plots. Really though, you’ve had one thing after another…your new life is exciting!! You’ve handled all this so nicely. I’m proud of you!

    Liked by 1 person

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