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Thursday, July 26, 2012

The Heat is On

I'm not blocked.  You should know that.  I'm not really writing anything, but I'm not blocked.  I COULD write loads of stuff, I just haven't really had the time or inclination.  Writing, or at least the need to write, sort of builds up in me sometimes, especially when I haven't done it for a while and then I feel like I need to write, and the process of putting it down on "paper" sort of empties it back out to some extent.  I just feel sort of "better". . . like I accomplished something, even when what I write down on "paper" is crap.


So lots going on. . . 


1.
There's a story burning in the background begging to be told, but I'm just not there yet.  That story is the answer to the question. . . "why do you keep saying lots going on?" and "how come you haven't been reading or commenting blogs as much?"  So there's that. . . sorry it's a bit cryptic, I'm just really sure how to approach that story.


2.
A side effect of the greater untold story is that a lesser untold story has been sitting in "draft" for the past two weeks, and every time I consider typing it all out and making it all "clever-seeming" or "writerly" or whatever, I get bored with the idea and put it off.  So. . . in a nutshell, it's like a yo mama joke.  Yo mama so busy. . . 


So lately we've been busy.  And we're a little scattered.  Little bits and pieces of our day, schedules and commitments fall through the cracks and are forgotten.  A couple weeks ago I was getting ready for work.  I told Leslie I was going upstairs to say good bye to Emma.  The ritual works like this:  On days when Emma doesn't have to get up early, I go upstairs to her room, kiss her on the forehead and say something to the effect of,  "Emma, don't wake up.  I'm going to work, but you can sleep in today, okay?"  I wait for a nod of understanding before continuing, "I love you, and I'll see you when I get home.  Give me a kiss."  And then she blindly arches her neck a bit and purses her lips and I give her a kiss and tell her sweet dreams and go back downstairs.  So that's what I did.


Once downstairs I loaded my car, laptop, coffee, lunch, and said goodbye to Leslie.  I gave her a kiss, told her I loved her, then drove to work.  About a half hour later I was sitting at my desk and logging into the network.


About fifteen minutes after THAT I got a call from Leslie, who was laughing.  "What's going on?" I asked.


"I've been waiting for you to come down from Emma's room this entire time."


"What?"


"I thought you were still upstairs saying goodbye to Emma."


This should tell you 1)  how memorable our morning kisses are and 2)  that we have a lot going on.


3.
The oven stopped working.  I made hash browns for Emma over the weekend.  I pulled them from the oven after about 20 minutes and let them cool.  Emma came downstairs and ate them.  I noticed I hadn't turned off the oven yet.  


The hashbrowns cook at about 450.  That's pretty hot all oven-wise.  It is not surprising that I'd failed to turn off the oven.  I OFTEN fail to turn off the oven.  Usually I'll be sitting at the table with the kids and I'll hear the click of the thermostat and realize the oven is still cycling on and off to maintain temperature and I'll be like, "SHIT!" and turn it off.

So. . . SHIT! I went over to turn off the oven. But it was already off. That was unclear. The dial was on "OFF" but the oven was still on. In fact, nothing I could do would turn it off, except to turn the broiler on, which turned the other burner off, but started the broiler. . . no help there.

I flipped the breaker. I turned dials. . . toggled switches. . . reset breakers. . . the oven still came on full blast.

There wasn't even the cycling click of the thermostat. . . just full on HOT.
After a lot of soul searching and trouble shooting we decided that our 20 year old oven was not worth the approximately $300 cost I estimated to repair it. But we needed an oven. So I headed out to buy one.

It was fancy. A gas stove top with convection gas oven. . . magnificent. Now, at last, I'll cook like Lily's idol, Bobby Flay. It was to deliver two days hence.

I came home and informed the family. There was much rejoicing. Oven or no oven, baby's gotta eat. We had thawed hamburgers and I started the grill warming. 15 minutes later I realized the grill was out of gas.

No grill, no oven. Best day ever.


I got the gas refilled, brought it home, threaded it on and cooked dinner. One problem solved, at least.

The next day my dad started running the gas line for the oven while I was at work. The new oven would replace an electric oven, so we didn't have a gas connection. Dad had done it on his own, so he bought the pipe and ran it complete with valves and safety checks.

That night Emma asked for popcorn. The stove top worked fine, so I figured I could just get everything ready, pop the popcorn, then go back to the basement and flip the breaker off when it was done, and it wasn't really any big deal.

I reset the breaker. The oven didn't turn on. Yeah. . . it was back to normal. I turned it on. I turned on the broiler. . . I turned on a temperature setting. . . check, check, check. . . all systems normal. WTF.

Ultimately, even though I couldn't get the thing to malfunction again, I didn't feel safe leaving the breaker on overnight, and that alone justified buying the new oven. . . but STILL. COME ON, universe.

Oh. . . and then the oven came. . . and had a dent in it.

Whatever. . . it's all settled. We made alfredo tonight. . . gas cooked alfredo sauce is SOOO much better than the electric cooked kind.

Anyway. . . I'm not blocked.

38 comments:

  1. Jim! You're alive!

    I didn't lose my comment this time!

    Sorry about the stove. That blows. We went through a similar recent experience when our dryer crapped out, only we repaired it because it was only $50 for a motor. Still, it was a pain in the ass.. but hubs installed the motor like a champ.

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    1. LE GASP, the captcha is gone! YAYAYAYAYAY

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    2. ALIVE!!!! I did the dryer fixing thing a few times. . . good stuff! Yeah, Captcha's been off for a while now. . . like months.

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    3. I don't always comment. But when I do, I notice changes months after they occur.

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  2. Hey there buddy! You are missed in case that wasn't understood.

    As for the oven, boy I hope you get that puppy working soon.

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    1. Oh the new one works great! Thanks, Kristi!

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  3. FWIW, I hope the greater untold story is more along the lines of "and that's the day we finally won the lottery" rather than "and so that's how we discovered a guy living in our crawlspace".

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    1. all will be revealed. . . possibly.

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  4. This is a very detailed post, and yet I'm still not sure what I know. Or don't know. Way to tease the big story though.

    I'm with you. Writer's block? Never. The life we lead is way too absurd not to write about it. It's time block. And maybe in your case - oven block.

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    1. or cinder block. No. Not cinder block. The other ones you said.

      Too detailed? Should I gloss over stuff more?

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  5. As long as you're ok, and things are ok, that's all that matters. "Busy" is ok. "Having a private nervous breakdown" isn't. That's what I worry about when people don't post. Shut up, I have a lot of worry about people. Also, way too much free time lately.

    Your old oven is most liked haunted by a poltergeist. When I was a kid I accidentally read an adult book about a poltergeist and it gave me nightmares for like a year. It was bad news.

    Also, excellent use of "hence."

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    1. Thank you.

      Have you noticed that whenever I comment on blog posts, or reply to comments I do it in the reverse order of the topic's appearance in the comment or post? So, the thank you was for the "hence" compliment. Then I 'll move up the comment backwards. Do you do that? Does everyone? Is it just a me thing? It seems "normal" to me so it's probably fucked up.

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  6. I don't know that I do it in any sort of order. I try to go from top to bottom, but sometimes shiny things catch my eye and then I'm all over the place. But you know that about me. I'm very seldom linear.

    I ALSO have a question. Why is your blog set to West Coast time? Do you live on the West Coast, Jim? No, you do not. This comment is posting at 7am, and I'm pretty sure it's 10am in both of our time zones.

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    1. I don't know. . . my stats are set up that way too. . . so it'll say you have X number of views today. . . but resets at like 8:00. . . which, frankly, IS NOT west coast time.

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  7. I was just thinking "where in the world is Jim?". Now I know....hope that the busy-ness slows down a bit. Sometimes it's nice to have a week or two to relax.

    I am jealous of the new oven/stove. It's so shiny! I second the fact that cooking with gas is wayyy better than electric.

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    1. SO shiny. We cooked on it last night and I spent 15 minutes cleaning it up so it was smudge free again. THAT will wear off soon.

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  8. I want that oven... I'm jealous.

    I know the feeling of being blocked... ochem has sucked all my brain power this term and there's not a lot left for writing.

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    1. you cannot have it! It's OURS!!

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  9. (Lots of thoughts, with quirky, hilarious dialogue going on in my head, but that never seems quite as funny once it's down on the page...) AND there's no "like" button, forcing me to log in and leave a comment, because the only other alternative was to read and leave, which just didn't seem friendly. Here's to another twitter outage, which forced me to go to FB where upon I saw Brenda's comment about a conspiracy added to your comment about pimping yourself out on twitter and I thought - Oh god, these are my people! Glad to have found you and whatever that story is or whatever that you may or may not be writing, good luck and look forward to seeing it, or not.

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    1. "or not". . . HEY! COMMIT!!! I'm sorry. . . that was wrong of me. or not. Yeah, the twitter outage coupled with the downrightnow outage, and the EMP story, plus stoves and grills. . . it's like the damn universe is conspiring against me. ME. And some others. Thanks for commenting and not just reading and leaving.

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  10. what Jim is trying to say is ... he's competing in the Olympics. Sarcastic shotput. He'll be busy. Somewhere outside London. Or s/t.

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    1. don't put words in my mouth! Don't you think there are enough in there already??

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  11. Murphy's Law of ovens. Alfredo? Yum. Now I'm hungry and curious about the bigger story. Can you at least give us a hint?

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    1. okay. . . one hint. It's not awesome.

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  12. I want the oven too. I wish mine would fake break like yours so I could justify getting a new one, but the damn thing is invincible. Sigh.

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  13. I've only ever lived with one gas stove - in my first-ever apartment. I really need to get back to that.

    Glad you're not blocked.

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    1. I like how quickly it heats up. Other than that I'm not sure what difference it makes. Maybe a little easier to adjust temperatures. . .

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  14. It's summer - aren't we all not really blocked but just living life and trying to enjoy things, like morning kisses and gas-cooked alfredo?

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  15. The elusive mystery of your absence is far more interesting than me just not being able to get computer time around here! That is a crazy oven story!

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    1. yeah. . . elusive mysteries are way more intriguing than gas stoves, it's true.

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  16. I know bacon splatters like a mother but STILL. I am disappointed that bacon has not been cooked. I thought more of you Jim, I really did.

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    1. Bacon has been cooked now. Many times. . .

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  17. I don't think there is ANYTHING more suck- worthy than appliance breakdowns... Except maybe car breakdowns (because they're way more expensive). Sounds like you handled it all with flair - and now that you have the gourmet oven, maybe you can work on that whole 30-35 year old woman profile and post some recipes!

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    1. I know! I'm so excited to start posting recipes!!

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  18. I love cryptic posts. Leaves so much to the imagination. I'm still a huge fan...so I'll wait patiently until your not-blocked status is lifted.

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    1. WOohoo!I suspect I'll be writing about it soon.

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