Thursday, July 31, 2014

990. 29 TVs and Nothing to Watch

His knock was loud and unexpected, like a stray firecracker on July 5th.  I spilled my coffee on my shirt in my clumsy attempt to get to the door.  There he stood, toolbox in hand.  I was glad he was here, but he was early. 

“My name is Omar, and I am here to install your DirectTV,” he said mechanically, like he’d probably said 5000 times before.  And then:  “Did you know you have coffee on your shirt?” 

This was actually the third technician that DirectTV had sent in two weeks, so I wasn’t in the mood to have my hygiene habits critiqued. 

“You know you are the third tech, right?” I tried not to growl. 

“No, worries, ma’am, we will get everything fixed good today.”

I was hoping his tech skills were better than his grammar (and my hygiene). 

After three hours (I know, right?  THREE HOURS????  How hard can it be?), he was finally finished. 

“I guess you probably have another call after this?” I asked unenthusiastically, trying to make pleasant conversation as he gathered up his random greasy tools that were spread all over my living room floor and had also migrated to the kitchen island. 

“Yes, two more calls.  But yours was pretty easy.  One time I had to install 29 TVs at one house.” 

I thought I heard him wrong.  Surely he must have said, “Five,” and I just couldn’t understand his accent. 

“How many?”

“Twenty-nine.”  Silence.  And then, as if for explanation:  “It was a big house.” 

“Did 29 people live there?”

“No.  Just two.” 

My mind of course raced to my own house:  where would we put 29 TVs even if we wanted them?  Let’s see:  living room, dining room, kitchen, three bedrooms, both bathrooms, study, laundry room, garage, basement, storage room… that only got me to 13.  Not even half way there.  We would have to double up in every room. 

“They never talked to each other,” Omar continued, like he knew the couple intimately, which he probably did if his track record of three hours per TV applied there:  3 x 29 = a month of living at their house installing TVs.  I wonder if they tipped him.  Or if they offered to let him stay in the guest room(s) overnight so he could get right back to work the next day(s). 

“I would never have 29 TVs,” I said haughtily.  “Who needs more than 28?” 

Omar nodded solemnly, not getting my joke.  I reminded myself to try the same joke on The Husband later to see if it was a language barrier issue or if it just wasn’t that funny. 

Tall and I had a long discussion about it later.  “Twenty-nine TVs…” he said longingly, as if he were saying, “Unlimited free Legos…”

“Where would you put them, Tall?” I demanded. 

“I would put nine clumped together on that wall,” he pointed to the largest wall in our living room.  “Then it would be exactly like the TV store, or Target.” 

This conversation was making me feel more and more judgmental.  “Let’s go to the library, Tall.  Get your shoes on.” 

He clutched at the remote, like a drowning man clutches to a life preserver.  “No.  You can’t make me.  At least let me record Phineas and Ferb.”  He clicked at the keys and the screen went black with an eerie message from the Universe:  No Signal. 

Looks like Omar would be returning once more.  I made a mental note to wear a clean shirt. 

Friday, July 25, 2014

989. Would Aliens Be Such a Bad Thing?

After that last post, I started thinking (which is never good in my case).  I sorta trashed aliens in my post title, as if it would be horrible to be rescued taken by aliens. 

Let think about this rationally for a minute, shall we? 

Benefits to being abducted by aliens: 
  • No more cooking dinner/ doing dishes (which I hate anyway)
  • Could probably catch cat nap on long journey to Mars or wherever
  • Would learn secrets of the universe
  • No more having to be fake nice to neighbor who can't remember your name (you can't remember his either, but that's beside the point)
  • No more feeling guilty about not putting all kids' photos in something resembling an album
  • Off the hook for swim team carpool

Non-benefits to being abducted by aliens:
  • Might miss new episode of Project Runway (do flying saucers get cable?)

So, I would respectfully like to re-title my last post.  Henceforth, we can refer to it as "MOV Was Not Abducted by Aliens (But Would Not Mind Too Much if That Were the Case)."


988. MOV Was Not Abducted by Aliens

Hello, I am back. 

I would not be surprised if you broke up with my blog while I was on, ahem, hiatus for the past 6 months.  (BTW, I have always liked that word:  hiatus.  Say it with me, hiatus.  Sounds very officialish and important, like its equally impressive literary brother, sabbatical.  Hmmm.) 

The reality is not as romantic and fantastical as hiatus implies.  I was not (in no particular order) abducted by aliens, transferred to Paris, or brainwashed by zealots.  No.  I just spent all that time not blogging and not being online in a semi-productive way:  we renovated our house. 

When I say it like that, I know you picture me rolling up my sleeves and going all DIY.  We actually hired an architect/ builder and they did everything.  I picked out tile.  And light fixtures.  And doorknobs (Did you know there are approximately 4,397,221 choices for doorknobs?).    

We moved out during the chaos (cue violins played by tiny tiny grasshoppers), and just moved back in.  Here is a partial list of things that went wrong:  our hot water was out, the old air conditioning system for the old part of the house went out (but then was fixed), the new air conditioning in the new part of the house went out (but then was fixed), the doorknobs were wrong and removed (square on one side, round on the other!), my carpenter put up shelves in my walk-in closet and accidentally punctured the AC pipe in the process (so the AC was repaired yet again), the exterior door to master bedroom does not lock (so has been boarded off temporarily), several light fixtures have not been installed, and our refrigerator is in the garage (new fridge ordered was discontinued), one of the toilets is improperly installed and has to be fixed... and that list is just since last Wednesday.  Don't get me started on the radiator leaking through the basement ceiling and causing problems there or the kitchen sink being installed to old pipes that were backed up with lint from a washing machine that had been removed five years ago

It is unbecoming to complain when one has everything, but it would be nice to have a toilet. 

So.  There you have it, my life in six paragraphs.  I am back, and I hope you will come back too.  I'll bring the funny and you bring the wine.  Or vodka (I'm not picky).