You can know anything. It's all there. You just have to find it.

-Neil Gaiman


Monday, July 21, 2008

Things fall apart

The pendant light is up. It is enormous. The diameter is 34 inches, which I misread. I thought it said 24 inches. I opened the box and said, "Oh my god!" I had to trim the cord and raise it up; considering the diameter of the light is the same as the diameter of our dining table. I had a problem doing it myself; these things are never one person jobs. Matt's friend Adam helped me finish it. Thanks, Adam.

So now it is up; it looks ginormous, but still cool.

This morning the electrician, Tom, showed up.

We walk into the spare bedroom and he looks at the ceiling fan.

"Ah, this isn't a flush mount?"
"Um, No. Why?"
"Well, I don't know about installing it over the bed."
"Will it hang down too much?"
"Well, there's a down rod. Doesn't look like I can convert it."

I stare at the ceiling. I don't know what to do. I bought it 3 months ago and probably can't take it back. I sigh.
"What would you do?"

"Well, this is on the low side. I say never to have it hang less than 7'2".
"You know, if you have kids. They like to jump on the bed. That's my rule."
I wonder what kind of dumb kids jump on a bed while a ceiling fan is whirling above them. Then I remember that my brother would play this game with a pair of balled up socks or a soft ball. We'd lay on the floor and throw it up into the ceiling fan and see if it would hit and where it would get flung.
"Well," I say, "no one really uses this room."
Since the clock is ticking I have him install it. He has it done inside an hour.
"So the outlet box is strong enough for the fan?" I ask. This is what I was concerned about. I have this image of the fan coming loose from the ceiling while I'm sleeping. It is spinning and flies loose and of course, decapitates whoever is sleeping in the bed below. I'm morbid.
"Oh yeah," he says. "I did a chin-up on the outlet box."
"A chin-up?"
"Yeah, that sucker ain't coming down."

The one nice thing about an old house is they're rock solid.

Then I ask him about installing a garbage disposal. We go down to the basement and look at the circuit breaker. I learn it is 100 amp panel. He is saying things that I don't really understand. I am so dumb I can't even think of what question to ask. He says the job would probably be about $250 to install a line for the disposal and 1 for a dishwasher. He says it would probably take 2 hours. He says I have the old Bryant system. And stuff about VF cables; I don't know. I have no idea what he's talking about but for some reason I feel that he is truthful. Even though I don't know what he is talking about, I know that he knows what he is talking about. He is very specific and says specific things. He doesn't speak in platitudes. I think it is a reasonable price.

Now I just have to work on Matt.

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