Wednesday, January 19, 2011

We Started Singing It, Not Knowing What It Was

On the list of things that absolutely, positively, MUST be addressed before Segundo arrives: electrician to install fan boxes, painter to patch walls in Segundo's room and paint. I mean, they each have more work to do beyond that (we needed a few fans installed, some wiring replaced, the entire interior of the house needs to be painted, save our bedroom and the bathrooms), but those things really have to happen before the baby comes. Need a ceiling fan for SIDS prevention, can't put a baby in a room with giant holes in the walls.

In spite of dire news about the economy, and its impact on tradespeople, this has proven to be less than simple. The painter told me, back in December, that he hoped to be ready for us in mid-January. Then he got swallowed by a whale or kidnapped by Somali pirates or something, because he vanished and isn't returning calls. Fantastic, since it's now nearing the END of January, and I'm sure anyone ELSE I call will tell me they need a few weeks notice themselves. Okay. We got a similar answer from the electrician, who called last week and pushed his start date back to January. Then, he surprised us monday night by saying he could squeeze us in on tuesday. Hurrah!

All told, we needed the electrician to replace the wiring for the fixture in the front hall, replace the living room fan (there was already a fan, so we hoped it would be straightforward)(foreshadowing!!), put a ceiling fan in the kitchen (replacing a huge, ugly fluorescent light fixture, expected that to be problematic), and hang a fan in the third bedroom (also expect this to be problematic, as I am 99% sure that when he was out replacing all the OTHER wiring two years ago, he said there was no fan box in that room.) But! We can hope for the best, right?

So the electrician and his assistant showed up yesterday and asked where I wanted them to start. STUPIDLY, instead of telling him to do Segundo's room first, I told him, ohhh, whatever you think! So, they got to work on the first floor. To make a long story short (too late!), he replaced the wiring in the front hall, which necessitated replacing the wiring for the porch light (same lines). Porch light couldn't be put back up, wires too frayed. New light for front hallway missing parts. Kitchen? Disaster. Like absolutely everything else in the house, the prior owners did a half-assed job of hanging the fluorescent fixture, and there was nothing on which to anchor a fan. He had to cut a big hole in the ceiling, put up a special brace, and the fan can't be hung til the painter comes out to patch the ceiling. I told both the electrician, and his assistant, numerous times, that I was sure there was no fan box in the third bedroom and surely we would have the same situation. (more foreshadowing!!) In the meantime, I took Grace out to my parents' house for her nap, since there was too much noise at the house for her to sleep. Stephen, who had slept one hour in the prior 24 (again, noise) ran to Lowe's for ANOTHER light fixture, and stayed home while they got to work on the living room fan.

Grace fell asleep in the car on the way to my parents' house and didn't nap. But then, you knew that, didn't you?

The fan in the living room took three and a half hours to replace, because the previous owners did a half-assed job. But then, you knew that, didn't you?

So, after I gave up on G ever napping, we drove which point she fell asleep in the car and I let her snooze for half an hour. I came in the house and Stephen said the electricians would be back after the painter came and patched the ceiling in the kitchen. But...but...what about Segundo's room? I told them no less than three times that there's no fan box in there either, and we'll probably have to have that ceiling patched, too!

And simultaneously, all the blood in both our bodies poured into the frustration overload centers of our brains and we died.

But, see, it all works out, because this morning? I went into the first floor bathroom? Where they didn't even DO ANY WORK, and found that the exhaust fan no longer works, and neither do any of the outlets. Stephen checked the fuse box and none of the circuits had popped. He reset them anyway, just to see if it helped. No dice. So hey, now they have to come back sooner anyway!

I know my frustration tolerance is lower than usual when I'm pregnant, but I'm also pretty sure the universe is fucking with me a little bit.



Laura said...


Dunno what else to say.

Except a few years from now - it'll be, um, a memory. ;)

Rae said...

That blows. Maybe you need different electricians? (not an easy feat I know)

Donna said...

Wow, and also I feel your pain and most importantly - Perfect Title for this post!!!

Crabby Apple Seed: said...

Nah, Rae. They know what they're doing, it's just old, poorly maintained-house stuff. also, they're only charging us four hours for a full day's work, because he thinks they should've been able to do it faster. He also came out today to fix the issue in the bathroom and didn't charge us (I mean, he SHOULDN'T have charged us, but it wasn't an issue;)

chelsea said...

Hi, just blog walking and found your blog! Keep posting.

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