it seems i update more about my toilet than i do about anything else, but here's the udpate: barry came on saturday to reinstall the toilet. everything went smoothly and all we had to do was wait a few hours to let the caulking dry before using it. but things couldn't be that easy, right?
it wasn't long before i remembered one of the reasons why i called the plumber in the first place -- that dang phantom flushing. it started up again ... with a vengeance. i didn't notice it too much at first, but at 6:30 this morning it was going off every minute for about 5~10 seconds. over and over and over and over again. JR got up cursing and just turned the water off. after we were a bit more conscious he started tinkering with the flap and chains inside the tank (as per "ask this old house" on pbs) but nothing worked. so we headed out to home depot this morning and got a new flapper. of course, in the end, it was just a screw that needed to be tightened. at least, i hope that's all it is. so i'm keeping my fingers crossed -- i haven't heard the phantom flushing in about 2 hours now.