September 12, 2006

Tony, We Have a Problem

I woke up pretty gradually on Sunday. It was a rainy gloomy day and I did not have to be anywhere or do anything. My only goal was to head to the gym sometime before it closed. Knowing I had plenty of time to get this done, I didn’t roll out of bed until about 11 a.m. It was glorious.

I love weekends where I have nothing planned. I do not claim to be either an early bird or a night owl, but if I had to choose one, I’ve got a little more owl in me. I base this on the fact that if I had the chance, I would wake up gradually every morning, sip my coffee, make a hearty breakfast and slowly get ready to face the day. Since my mornings are more a whirlwind of hairdryers, bagels and cream cheese and coffee to go, I relish when I can partake of the occasional lazy Sunday.

When I rolled out of bed, I went into my kitchen and starting making breakfast. I had coffee brewing, a bagel toasting and while I waited decided to tend to some of the dishes collecting in my sink. I was in the midst of rinsing dishes when the lights in my kitchen went out. I peeked around the corner and noticed the light in my living room was out too. Upon opening my refrigerator door, I noticed that light was not on. Not a good sign. But the lights I turned on by my desk were working fine. I deduced I must have blown a fuse. However, I had no idea were any sort of fuse box might be located in the building. I called my super Tony and left a voicemail asking for his assistance.

When I reached him (7 hours later) he explained the fuse boxes were located in the main building by the laundry room. (Lesson number one.) He then asked what I had on when the fuse blew. I took a quick mental inventory - toaster, coffeemaker and overhead light. That’s when Tony explained to me the combo of toaster/coffeemaker, toaster/microwave, and microwave/coffeemaker would most likely always blow my fuse. (Lesson number two.) This is what I get for living in a vintage building. The deep red brick enclosing my building is really pretty but apparently the wiring behind it is crap. Thank goodness I do not own a microwave right now. I was thinking of getting one, but I guess I will most likely never be able to use it, unless I want to turn blowing my fuse into a hobby.

I had to do laundry anyway, so on my way down to put in a few loads I took a gander at the meters. Let it be said that the laundry room in my building is very scary. Going with the vintage theme, it is tucked away on the lower level of the main building. It actually took me a couple of weeks to figure out where it is. I ventured into the main building one day, thinking it must be in there. As looked around and saw nothing but a dark, winding corridor I did not care to venture down. Unfortunately, I was headed in the right direction as Tony later explained to me. The hallway that leads there is something straight out of a 50s horror flick. It’s musty, windy and enclosed by exposed brick on all sides. Whenever I round the corner, I picture some glamorous woman in a 50s garb running down it, scraping against the brick as she runs, clasping her head and screaming while trying to flee from a man in black wielding a sharp, large knife. There are paintings and pictures on the walls which I assume were hung in an effort to brighten the space, but in reality they make it that much creepier. Copies of Time magazine circa ’48 with photos of dead celebrities hardly qualify as art and they do little to calm my nerves. The hallway also has an eerie feeling given by the exposed fuse boxes. That unfortunately was my mission.

Tony informed me mine fuse box would be located in this hallway and clearly marked. Some of the fuse boxes were clearly marked. None of those were for my part of the building though. Those boxes were for the main building. What were nestled between them and in dark corners were metal boxes that looked to have been installed circa the dawn of time with no wiring improvements made to them since then. Spilling forth from the boxes were tangled messes of wire, some marked, some not. Those that were marked gave little comfort. Adding to the eerie feeling, they were marked with hang tags that can only be described as akin to ones that hang from cadavers big toes. I began sifting through the tags one by one and still saw none labeled with my buildings address. Then I took a step back and realized even if I had found them, I was not sticking my hand in the middle of a mess of live wires to flick the fuse to what I hoped would be my apartment.

I went back outside and called Tony to explain my situation. He told me he couldn’t tell me where my fuse box was. He then asked if I wouldn’t mind waiting until he swung by the building tomorrow. Tony I can only assume does not work past 8 p.m. on Sundays. (Lesson number three.) He asked if I had extension cords I could plug my fridge into in the meantime. I do but all three are being used in my four outlets so I can have more than two things plugged into my apartment at any given time. Seeing that Tony was not going to make the trek on my account (and me not feeling like pushing him to do so.) I decided to do just that. I went upstairs and found I was able by using three extension cords to plug my fridge into one of my three working outlets. (Lesson number four.)

Deciding I had enough excitement for one day, I decided to hit the hay. And as I settled into bed the main thought running through my head was how contradictory my Monday morning would be to Sunday morning. Without the use of my toaster, coffeemaker my morning was certain to be the unpleasant frenzy I try to avoid. Thanks, Tony.


Anonymous said...

I love your new apartment more and more everytime you tell me a story about it! I can't wait to come visit and share in some of these fabulous situations with you!

Lexi said...

I feel your pain Amy! In our house you can only run one kitchen appliance at once too! We have slowly learned that you must be patient and make the bagel first, only to be follow by coffee once the bagel is done toasting (or vice versa)-never never attempt both at once. Some friends of ours stayed overnight at our house without us, and had a rude breakfast time awakening when they tried to multi-task. lucky for us, our fuse box is located in our not so scary basement, about 12 feet away.