A Deck of a Mess

Home ownership is the most frustrating thing at times. Our only goal today was to pressure wash our deck and clear it of old paint the weather had already begun to peel up. The plan was simple: Get to Home Depot right when the tool rental counter opened, pressure wash the deck, and return the washer with plenty of time to spare within our 4-hour rental window.

I don’t like housework that involves anything on the outside of the house. When it comes to the inside of the house and decor, it’ll always be on and poppin’, clean and sparklin’. Both our moods shifted when we realized this was going to take longer than we’d planned.

The plan never goes like it should, though. S and I of all people should know this with all the adventure we’ve had with our condo already. The tip we needed, for the spray nozzle,  to make the most progress removing the paint was broken. Not wanting to waste too much time, we immediately packed the washer up and returned to the store.

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We didn’t know the tip was the issue before the customer service rep tested our machine and the replacement in the store. Deep down we were thankful, because on the car ride over, we both thought “If something is wrong with our water pressure and this house, we will rage.” We ended returning home with our original rental and a new tip.

Sadly, the new tip made no difference in the rate at which the paint was coming off the deck. We imagined the paint would just fly off as the water made contact, but this was far from the case. S and I spent a good amount of time switching roles on the project. Scraping and spraying, we longed for larger pieces of paint to come up, but found we were barely making any progress. Our good friend, Google, ended up informing us that the machine we’d rented from Home Depot was only half the power required to execute a project like ours.

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This made sense. Why in the hell were we spending ten or more minutes spraying one spot, only to see a speck of paint chip off at a time? This couldn’t be right. We confirmed gas pressure washers were stronger, but were also instructed not to go that route because there’d be a high risk of damaging our deck. S called his dad and we’ll be borrowing his pressure washer next weekend. It’s the right amount of power, and our deck isn’t huge, so we should be able to get the work done in a decent amount of time.

Sigh… maybe we can hire some eye-candy to do this for us. Probably not, but a dude can wish, can’t he?

Return to The Leaky Cauldron

Well… S and I are back in The Leaky Cauldron. Yep, winter and plumbing has snatched our flooring away for the second Christmas in a row.Last Thursday I came home to find puddles forming as I walked across the dark bamboo flooring that was our living room floor. I was instantly furious and overwhelmed. These floors were just installed in February of this year.



Thank goodness for insurance, but seriously? S and I process stress very differently. I tend to get so angry and full of rage that tears begin to fall freely as frustrated thoughts cross my mind. S shuts down and tends to be on the calmer side when things like this happen. My mind immediately painted everything red as I looked down to see the water soaking my sock. I’d JUST got home from work and this was the last thing I wanted to deal with.


I realize how lucky S and I are to have a roof over our heads – how lucky we are to even have a home to worry about in these situations – but we’re allowed to be angry. We’re allowed to be frustrated. This whole mess is just #tooSOON.


The day after I was more out of my feelings and could think straight about round two of no floors, a destroyed living room, and living mostly out of our bedroom. We’ve been in contact with our housing association, the emergency plumbers the evening of the leak discovery, and more plumbers sent over from our housing association. At least we still have full access to our kitchen this time…


(Our living room, currently.)

In the end, we shouldn’t be responsible for any of the damage. We have four units in our row of condos and it’s been confirmed that three of the four units were having strange plumbing issues. The reason for the leak was due to the main sewer lines in housing complex clogging up. Our water heater floor draining system didn’t have anywhere to drain so it created its own relief. Our neighbors had water coming up in their showers and toilets, so clearly this can’t be a resident responsibility.


One of the gentleman who came by to check on our water heater and drain the main lines explained how there was feet upon feet of paper that was backed up inside the main sewer lines. Great. We’ll probably need to spend a few nights in the hotel so they can kill any rogue bacteria that the water brought into our home – this is coming from our restoration contractor.


We’re hoping the turn around is fairly quick this time, since we aren’t having the entire downstairs remodeled again. Thankfully it’s just the floor and the dining room and kitchen areas are safe. Things definitely could have been worse.


So sorry for my absence! Life just never stops, does it. Oh! This happened the night after S finished his master’s program in accounting – the first free night he’s had in a very long time. We’re looking forward to some chill, hopefully, in the near future.

A Leak, Five Stitches, and A Pending Remodel.

Life can be a soggy mess sometimes, and when it comes to the past week, we’ve managed to just keep swimming. Now, don’t be alarmed. S and I are fine, but the Universe decided to test us as homeowners, and deal us the annoying task of dealing with an internal leak between our kitchen and living room. You may be thinking “that leak has nothing to do with why you didn’t post a new entry last week, Jamal,” and that’s fair.

I wasn’t able to post a new entry last week due to an emergency room visit, and five stitches being placed in my middle finger – on my writing hand, of course, because the joke is on me. I’m barely typing with my right hand at work, and I’m finally feeling like I can power-peck through some form of writing this week, so expect a number of short posts while I get back on my weekly writing schedule.

I’m looking forward to getting full use of my hand back, now that my general discontent and handicapped state is fading. In the meantime, we’ll be hanging out in our floorless condo, waiting on contractors, and planning a full floor remodel. There will be plenty of inspiration for future Gays in the Life entries, I’m sure.

Thank you for your patience,


P.S. Did I mention this all happened during our relationship anniversary week? Friday, October 23rd, marked four years of S and I being together. Despite everything that has happened recently, I’m still feeling like the happiest dude, and love everything about who we are as husbands.