Monday, August 23, 2010

tyranny of the stove

It's been over three months since we had a working stove, and my decision to replace our broken piece o'crap with a high quality, double oven range has given us a lot of trouble. Today should be a busy, hectic day: we just got back from a week in the mountains at Camp Mather, and I want to go to Burning Man in just a few days. I should be driving to Home Depot and Bev Mo; I should be doing no end of errands related to Iris uber Alles's birthday tomorrow as well as Burning Man. Maybe I could even take my ankle to see a doctor (recovering from a very severe sprain which had me on crutches, I twisted my ankle again at Camp Mather when my bicycle skidded in some deep gravel, and then the day we came home, my ankle broke out in a burning rash. There is now a bright red rash speckled right over the visibly swollen outer part of my left ankle, so harmonically hurting on the inside and outside simultaneously). Instead I'm home while an electrician rewires our kitchen (to the tune of a thousand dollars --- one! thousand! dollars! just to be able to plug in a new gas range!).

This morning we also had the kitchen inspected; the place which sold us our European range won't run the risk of sending it to us without making sure we can get it into the kitchen. This hurdle was one which was hard to get over. Previously I spent an entire day at home waiting for this inspector, while Iris uber Alles bitched at me nonstop that she wanted to go to the aquarium, wanted to go to the aquarium, wanted to go to the aquarium. At the last minute the inspector called to inform us that he needed another four hour block of time, which conflicted with me picking up Lola at circus camp and taking her to some wretched other obligation, and so I refused to wait those extra four hours, leaving our kitchen woefully uninspected. A bitter Iris has subsequently complained for months since that dark day of infamy that "I had to spend a whole day at home when I was supposed to go to the aquarium", despite the fact that I took her to that same damn aquarium and out to lunch the very next day. Then there was the false alarm day where I thought the electrician was coming to give us a quote, and then the actual day where the electrician came and gave a quote. After that there was the day when I thought the electrician was coming to do the work, so I couldn't make plans, but I did leave the house in the afternoon after coming to the conclusion that any electrician who didn't call, email, or drop by before noon was most likely not rewiring my kitchen that day.

We had trouble rescheduling the inspection, and there was some fear that we wouldn't be able to get it done before the planned delivery of the range, which would mean extra delays. Aside from that, the Sober Husband was nervous about this inspection. Evidently our cabinets are about an inch lower than recommended over the range, and he was concerned that we'd be compelled by the appliance dictators to rip them out. Yesterday we tore out the little cabinet and countertop which will be used by the new, larger range, and the poor old Sober Husband looked nervously up at the overhead cabinets, no doubt imagining ripping those out with his prybar. In fear that our failure to get the rewiring done before the inspection would doom us, the Sober Husband made a sign bearing cryptic electric wiring instructions which he posted on the wall where the little cabinet used to be, to, as he explained, give the impression that we knew what we were doing and that when it was delivered, the range could get plugged in. In the event, the inspector didn't even measure the space between the cabinets and the range. He didn't ask about the wiring other than to look at me penetratingly (and given that he was cross-eyed, keeping eye contact was challenging) and, unblinkingly, inquire if my electrician would be done on time. "I'm sure," I said somewhat doubtfully. "They said it was an easy, fun job." (Is it good or bad if your contractor tells you your project " is a fun job"?)

The main issue the inspector had was measuring our doorways. I gather that a common San Francisco problem is that people buy stoves which they cannot wedge into their homes. Our doorways passed muster, though, and he didn't give a damn about those potentially troubling cabinets. "I'll see you on the thirtieth!" he said as a parting shot.

"Wait! I thought it was coming on the twenty-fourth!" I called after him. It's pencilled in on our calendar that I'm meant to spend the twenty-fourth at home waiting for the new range, which was supposed to be the worst case scenario delivery date for this damn range being shipped all the way from Bordeaux, but this fellow felt he would bring it by on the thirtieth, a day I planned to spend at Burning Man, not hanging around the house for yet another day of stove business. Sigh.


Missy said...

The first draft of "Waiting for Godot" was actually "Waiting for the G.D. Contractor" but everyone found it too depressingly close to reality.

Silliyak said...

Tyranny of possessions, suffering comes from attachment, all kind of the same thing.