?

Log in

The · rage · of · 1000 · suns, · the · light · of · a · million · stars


More Domestic Bliss in Brooklyn, or Fun with Fuses

Recent Entries · Archive · Friends · Profile

* * *
We have the top floor of a two-family house, which was built sometime in the early 1940s. With the exception of the original (and very excellent) stove and the slightly newer refrigerator, all of our appliances are from this decade, which is something of a problem; the circuit breakers (I think that’s what you call them) have a hard time with all our shiny new things. Especially when they’re used at the same time.

I should note that in my previous Brooklyn apartment, the hair dryer and the coffee maker could not be used at the same time, and it was a much older house (from the 1880s) with much newer wiring, but that is irrelevant to today’s adventure, except that I think hinky wiring is part of the Brooklyn experience.

So, there I was, still not showered at noon. This is because the Russians had yet to return my clothing to me, which as noted elsewhere was more a matter of laundry and less an issue of espionage. It wasn’t that I had nothing to put on so much as that I was waiting for the nice man to deliver the neatly folded wash, and had just found out that it wasn’t going to come until 3 this afternoon. Which would be about now. Seeing a crack in the window of opportunity, I leapt merrily into the shower, and as I was toweling off, decided that I would use my time efficiently and put a little smackerel of lunch in the microwave while I dried my hair.

You see where this is going? I didn’t until the lights (and hair dryer) went out.

In our former lives, Bob was an electrician and I was a punk rocker. These lives were roughly parallel, and left him with certain practical skills and me with the ability to correctly answer certain Jeopardy questions, not terribly useful in this situation. Knowing Bob was having a bad day with a work crisis, I sent text, feeling it would be less obtrusive if he were in a meeting. My text read:

Blew a fuse. What to do?

In retrospect, Bob might have thought that I had gotten mad at something and flung more of his things behind the bookcase, but for reasons that remain a mystery, he always seems to believe in, or at least hope for, the best from me. He called and told me, which involved going to the basement.

The very short version is that the door to the basement, adjacent to the downstairs neighbor’s front door, was locked for the first time that Bob could remember. The neighbors weren’t home, and neither was the landlord, who lives in the house next door. With ever-increasing anxiety, I sent Bob text, and he called back, incredulous. “It’s never been locked, in the nine years I’ve lived here,” he told me. But he also told me how to get in through the back.

I’m sure that like most people born in an age with electricity and talking pictures, you’ve seen Friday the 13th, or maybe you’ve seen Halloween, but you know the type. There is a noise in the basement. The cute but not terribly bright girl (played by me in today’s performance) goes to investigate. The light switch doesn’t work, so she fumbles around in the dark until she finds a door, which has two big bolts. The cute-but-dim girl, being dim, decides to go through the door, which requires considerable effort, since the bolts are, as mentioned, enormous, and difficult to move. Of course, you know and I know that there are no chocolate bars, stacks of cash, or good-looking men on the other side of the door, only monsters, but your small and red-haired heroine does not know this and opens the door.

You have seen this movie, right?

After fumbling around in another small, dark room, which seems to contain only a foul-smelling armchair, our heroine finds another door and goes through it. That’s when the monster gets her. Screaming and blood ensue.

All of that happened, except the part about the monster and blood and screaming, and I’m sure that the only thing that saved me was that I wasn't having sex when I was meant to be babysitting. Instead of a scary monster with a hockey mask, I found the fuse box, did what I thought Bob instructed, and I guess it was close enough for rock and roll, because when I got upstairs, lights were on and the hair dryer was doing its best to parch a patch of bathroom wall.

All’s well that end’s well. We have electricity. The laundry has arrived. I can see to put it away. And I have enough light to clean up a bit before going out to dinner.

Stay tuned for the next exciting adventure of Domestic Bliss in Brooklyn, which will involve many yards of burlap or canvas, and some picture hooks.
* * *
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 08:41 pm (UTC), butterflysneeze commented:
You can outsource your laundry?

Woah, cool.
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 08:42 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
Yes, but it only goes two blocks away, not actually to Russia.
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 08:44 pm (UTC), butterflysneeze replied:
That's really immaterial -- I don't have any Russians like that here. And I want some.
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 08:48 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
You just need to move to a different neighborhood.
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 09:53 pm (UTC), lisajulie commented:
fuses and old buildings
Back in the day, I lived in a building which had been re-worked (and re-muddled) in the fuse arena. When I ended up with neighbors who would snatch _my_ fuse to replace the fuse they had blown (even though there were replacement fuses next to the fuse block), I achieved an _attitude_. I grew to despise these people and cheered when they were evicted.
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 02:27 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
Re: fuses and old buildings
No issues like that. Just electrical wiring older than the blow dryer or microwave.
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 10:02 pm (UTC), magicwoman commented:
Sounds like quite the adventure!!

We just had the plumber in to fix the kitchen sink and bathtub. Not riveting, but needful.

Have a great weekend!
Susan
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 02:26 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
Plumbing is usually worse than electrical, which is usually worse than structural modifications, which is usually worse than home improvement projects. In the hierarchy of home repairs.
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 10:21 pm (UTC), steelbrassnwood commented:
The laundry is coming! The laundry is coming!

"It is necessary for you to remain in this house at most vigorously for short time only."
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
*Snarf*
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 12th, 2008 10:50 pm (UTC), lacachet commented:
You sound very happy! Will the girls trek out to see you, or is Brooklyn the "hinterlands" to them? :)
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 02:24 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
Well, Betsy will be twenty next month, and she's going to college in New Jersey, so while she will occasionally drive out here with her dogs (she now has two standard poodles) she won't come frequently. Vicky is still in high school, and while she's no stranger to Brooklyn, this is not a neighborhood that holds much for her and she spends most of her free time with friends, which is how it should be. I expect that when we move again (to another area of Brooklyn, within the year) that she'll live with us part time. It will, I think, depend on whether we live in an area that offers easy public transportation to her school.
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 12:05 am (UTC), genders commented:
I've been out of LJ for a while, so this move took me aback somewhat. I grew up near Marine Park--is that the home of Brooklyn College?
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 02:21 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
Nooooo, Brooklyn college is in the . . . Brooklyn College area. It depends on which side of the campus you're looking at, but it's further north, and along Bedford, which is a little further west.

And while for some time, Bob and I had been talking around the subject of living together, from the time we made the decision until the time I moved in was less than two weeks, so all you had to do was blink and you'd miss it!
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 12:28 am (UTC), intelligentrix commented:
My apartment in Brooklyn was much the same. Unfortunately, once the landlords came back home (we had been taking care of the place and checking the boiler, resetting the circuit breakers, etc. for about 6 months while they were gone), I could no longer get into the basement by myself and had to go knock on their door. I'll never forget the very cold morning I had to go down to ask them to flip the circuit breaker for me. The landlady shouted through the inside door that I had to go down to the outside basement door. When I got there, she opened it a crack, heard my request, informed me that she was very busy and then, when I asked her very politely to please do it now so I could finish getting ready for work and that no, an hour or two from now wasn't going to work for me, she told me to "wait right there" (outside, mind you, and in my stocking feet) while she went to flip the switch.

I endeavored to not blow the circuit again.

Congratulations on the move to Brooklyn, BTW, and to this new chapter in your Life with Bob. Huzzah!
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 02:14 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
In my previous Brooklyn apartment, I didn't have to go to the basement (the box was in the apartment) and this was really more excitement than I thought reasonable for an attempt to dry my hair.

And thanks!
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 06:15 am (UTC), catelynn commented:
So one thing we do. We use power strips. I have one in the kitchen and I have the appliances plugged in there( microwave, coffee maker). Now of course I can not run all the appliances at once. But this way I blow the power strip instead of the breaker.
[User Picture]
On December 13th, 2008 02:08 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
The microwave was plugged in to a strip, an innovation (and strip) that came with me to Marine Park.

In the future, I'll make sure that everything is off, including as many lights as possible, when I dry my hair!
* * *
[User Picture]
On December 15th, 2008 06:19 am (UTC), crepedelbebe commented:
I’m sure that the only thing that saved me was that I wasn't having sex when I was meant to be babysitting.

Harrrrr.
[User Picture]
On December 15th, 2008 01:19 pm (UTC), eleanor replied:
Go ahead. Laugh. But it was terrifying, I tell you!
* * *

Previous Entry · Opinion? · Share · Next Entry