Saturday, July 28, 2012

Blast from the Past

What is it about cleaning house that brings up these little gusts of wind from the past showing us how far we've come in 15 years?  Cue up Eminem's "Cleaning out my closet" song!

Since I've been light on posting and this story has never seen the light of day, I thought I'd share with you all something I wrote about a dishwasher adventure in my tender early years of my first marriage (a.k.a, before I knew any better).

Names have been changed to protect the not-so-innocent.

The year was 1997.  I was barely 21 years old and had recently moved to Hawaii.  I'd been married for just over a year and still had the traditional 50's housewife upbringing hammered into my skull, guiding my life choices at this point.  As I re-read this 15 years later, I'm more disturbed at my lack of knowledge and expertise of home appliances than anything else!  LOL  What a difference 15 years makes.

Enjoy this blast from the past as I continue cleaning out my many closets.
We live in a townhouse almost as old as we are.  Built in the late 70s, everything but the floor and the refrigerator in the kitchen were still the originals!  I didn’t mind when we first moved in, because the dishwasher still worked.  I figured if it worked, I wouldn’t worry about it.  Besides, they promised us the whole kitchen would be remodeled right after Christmas.  (Christmas soon came and went, with no new dishwasher in sight).  Then in February or so, I noticed my beautiful new white dishes (hey, we’re newlyweds, it’s all new!)  were getting RUST stains on them!  ACCCCKK!  I’d dreamed of these dishes since I was EIGHT!  And they’re getting RUSTED!  So we asked if they could please get us a new dishwasher, as the old one was ruining our dishes.  “Well, we’ll have to come see what it’s doing.”  A month later they finally come out to look, decide they think water is really the problem, (yeah, that’s why the racks have rusted through the vinyl….it’s all in the water) but say they’ll replace it anyway.  More time goes by, and no dishwasher.  I resign myself to having brown and white dishes.  Meanwhile, one day at my job, with circumstances being incredibly in my favor, I gather up the nerve to ask my boss for a raise.  When I got it I was just flying high.  I could conquer the world!  So that same night I call up our landlords and ask when we’ll be seeing that new dishwasher.  Next Wednesday, they say.  (I told you I could conquer the world that day!)  So, with that all in mind, here is how we finally got a new dishwasher installed in our kitchen:

The Dishwasher, Part II

A couple of days before the appointed “D” day (d being for dishwasher of course), I discovered Sears was having a sale on dishwashers.  I decided to “remind” our landlords about their promise, guising it under the pretense of saving them money.  It just so happened they were forwarding their calls to their cell phone that day and they were at the mall right by us!  Right by the Sears store!  (Am I good or WHAT???)  So they say they’ll check it out.  A few minutes later they call back, asking for measurements.  (COOL!)  A couple of days later, it musta been the 3rd of July, ‘cause I had the day off (the 4th was on a Saturday this year) Landlord Wife (LW) calls to say they’re buying the dishwasher can they bring it over this afternoon to install it?  Can they install it???? Heck, I woulda paved the driveway for them to roll it up on!!

So a little while later Landlord Husband (LH) comes over with the dishwasher in the back of the truck.  He comes in, I squirrel the cat out of the way, and he proceeds to look at the old dishwasher, seeing what it will take to remove it.  He takes the bottom off, hems and haws, pulls on this and that, fishes out tools left and right, and finally says it has been built into the cabinets, and the tile was tiled around it.  This does not sound good.  I have a sink and countertop full of dishes I want to wash---don’t tell me it’s built in! 

But, dislike it though I may, stuck it certainly is, and he’s not sure how he’s going to get it out.  He asks if we have a power saw.  No.  Then he decides to just bend up the leg things at the bottom and pull it out.  It comes about an 1/8 out, and it’s stuck.  Back it goes.  He takes the door off.  Takes the top rack off.  Does this and that for about an hour and a half, and finally, piece by piece, the old dishwasher is removed.  Then he discovers there’s still water pressure going to the supply line.  He checks under the sink to turn the knob tighter, and says the handle is crumbling in his hand!!!  (And they wanted us to BUY this place?) 

Meanwhile, I’ve run to get a towel to soak up the stray water.  So he says we’ll have to shut off the water via the hot water tank.  (Ok, where’s that thing?)  It’s built into the back of our cabinets.  (So that’s why we have the ugly looking joint back there!)  A couple of twists of the screwdriver, and off comes the back of the cabinet.  “Oh no!”  I hear him say.  “You’ve got a nest of fire ants!”  (Fire ants?!?!?!?!  That last run-in I had with fire ants I couldn’t sleep for three days from the itching!!!  Oh no isn’t the half of it!)  So I grab the Raid.  They don’t care!  I empty the whole bottle on them, changing the carpet from brown to pure white Raid foam, and they’re still running!  They must be triathlon fire ants!  I go for the dustbuster!  One by one, I suck up the fire ants, keeping them out of the carpet.  I FINALLY get them under control while LH finishes installing the new dishwasher.  Then I hear “Oh no” again.  (What is it this time?)  Turns out the supply line won’t connect to the hose!  Off to Eagle Hardware!  He comes back, discovers that the lady gave him the wrong part size!  But he has an adapter thing and does something with it.  Then he can’t get the water to quit leaking under the sink!  (“Do you have a large bowl or something?”)  He showed up at 2 pm and left at 9 pm, ready to tear his hair out, and me with no working dishwasher!  (Good thing I wasn’t paying him by the hour!  Good thing I wasn’t paying him at all!)  So, he decides to leave.  His wife is ready to kill him, and he’s ready to kill the dishwasher, so they call a truce until Sunday.  He patches up everything so the cat can’t get into it, then leaves with a promise of returning Sunday.

Luckily, the hot water didn’t work in the sink.  No hot water, no dishwasher, I can’t do the dishes!  We have to eat out!!  (It’s every wife’s dream.) 

Sunday the 5th he comes back, and everything gets assembled properly, and he’s on his way, with us left to level the legs.  (LH couldn’t deal with it.)

We now have clean dishes (whenever I get around to loading the thing) and I don’t have to wash them by hand anymore.  It’s a beautiful black dishwasher, that somehow ties together the ugly yellow stove and the almond refrigerator!!!!! 

Ahhhhh… beautiful kitchen.

Monday, July 9, 2012

What has been seen cannot be unseen

If you watched yesterday's video all the way to the end, you may have seen this video as one of the suggested ones to watch next.  I saw the dog laying there in what looked to be abject agony, so I clicked on it to see what was going on.

After starting the video, I could not look away.  Then once it was done, I could not get the images out of my mind. 

This is so sad.  I weep not only for the animals shown here, but also for the humans.  Performing this type of work has to take a toll on their humanity.

The light of life is precious.  Those who extinguish it can never escape the after-effects. 

Please.  Don't take the creation of life recklessly - have your pets spayed or neutered and adopt from your local shelter instead of breeders.

I didn't create this video.  But I'll never forget its contents.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

I Sing the Body Electric

 Ray Bradbury, God rest his soul, is an inspiration.  His book "Zen in the Art of Writing" describes his creative process as, each morning he wakes up and steps on a landmine.  "That landmine is me.  I spend the rest of the day putting myself back together."

My house (apartment), ever indicative of the status of my life, has stepped on a landmine.  But I'm finally putting myself back together.

In preparation for our next big adventure, we are selling and gifting possessions like never before.  The closet that had become so full you didn't dare enter it without the light on is now starting to echo when I walk into it.  The dining room is piled high with things waiting to be photographed for our virtual yard sale.  (Yes, I could do classes on virtual yard sales, too.  No arrows required.)

My office is in shambles, with documents waiting to be sorted, waiting to be scanned, and the trepidatious growing stack of documents waiting to be shredded that daily thank their lucky stars for my procrastination.  (I tell them it won't hurt.  They don't believe me.  And neither should you.)

When all's said and done, the apartment will most likely look like a nicely furnished apartment or hotel room.  (Sans the maid service.  Damn.)

Don't even get me started on what's changed in the food department.

For now, I leave you in the hands of Weird Al and your wonderful imaginations: