Daily Archives: 1/6/2003

The boiler was broke!

We had a semi-exciting weekend.

Well, it wasn’t so exciting, but it was cold. It was exciting in a way that required the reaction that only a cold-blooded creature like a lizard, or a snake, would be able to react. Our hot water heater boiler broke! We were sans heat or hot water! For 2 whole days! Luckily, I was born in the year of the snake, so I was able to deal with the problem.

The only part I was nervous about, besides being generally discomforted in freezing temperatures, was my landlord. We don’t always get along. We actually get along less often than we DO get along. Examples:

  • Our very large, very heavy, windows wouldn’t open when we moved in. He had them fixed, but let us know that it was the last time he’d do that.
  • Our ceiling was discolored and damaged from a severe water leak in the building roof. He was put out. Inconvenienced. This was awful. The super fixed the damage, but the leak was still there in the roof.
  • The kitchen sink leaks. It leaks so badly that water pools under the elbow under the sink, and drips into the place under the cabinets that we can’t get to. We get roaches. He sends someone to clean it up.
  • The roof continues to leak! The ceiling crumbles and falls on my bed at night! We knock down most of the plaster so large chunks won’t kill us unawares. But at least most of his ire was directed at the building management company, and not us.
  • Our hot water heater exploded! Boom! John and Michelle were able to turn off the water, but not before the water burned Johns feet, destroyed the floor in Jen’s room, the hallway, and parts of Michelle’s and my rooms, and soiled and ruined many items in Michelle’s closet. Our Landlord thought we could have prevented this – despite the numerous other water heaters which had burst in the building recently and the age of the heater. See, on of his other tenents had noticed the hot water heater was breaking, and was able to tell him before it destroyed the floor. But he did replace the water heater, discussing (at) with me at great length the expense he was going to. The inconvenience to him (Mr. Has-a-shower). He’s a grouch basket. But eventually, the floor is cleaned up (we ripped up the wooden tiles ourselves, to be sure that all of the wet and loose floor was replaced), the concrete dust settles, and the new heater is in. We bathe joyfully. Jen moves back home after spending nearly a week with her Aunt.
  • Our washing machine AND dishwasher break, at the same time. Oh, this is the final straw! We are malicious, spiteful girls. We fight. He hangs up on me. I call back and say I don’t appreciate being hung up on. He says he didn’t, we were disconnected. He doesn’t want to fix the washer. I point out it’s in the lease. He has his wife call me back, and she yells at me for threatening her sweet, innocent, good husband. Then, he sends me a lease with portions forbidding subletting and the ‘as is’ status of the apartment highlighted, and a note requesting me to contact his wife or the management company with any other problems. I send it back, with portions regarding “appliances” highlighted, as well as portions requiring me to notify HIM of any problems with the apartment in a timely fashion. I also prepare a letter detailing the ‘as is’ status of the apartment when I moved in, and I get to use the phrase “fecal matter.” Hee. We are both stubborn, but I am right, and he has both appliances fixed. I emphasize to him the lifespan of modern machinery is not what it used to be, and it sort of blows over. But the facts remain: Michelle and I are hateful, sloppy “girls” who break things on purpose.
  • There was a terrible knocking sound coming from the hot water heater. I let him know, reluctantly, but he quickly and quietly fixes the problem. We learn later that he interprets the plumber’s comments as “a piece was broken (on purpose by us) and replaced” instead of “there was a broken piece replaced.”

So when the water heater boiler broke, and I couldn’t get in touch with him, I was very nervous. I had to go over his head to contact a repairperson in the hopes that they could fix it this weekend. They couldn’t. But luckily, the assumption I had made that he was out of town because of the holidays was correct, and also luckily, poor Michelle picked up the phone every time he called on Sunday. He doesn’t yell at Michelle, ever, either because I’m so polite and genteel he thinks that he can bully me, or because she’s so sweet sounding on the phone he doesn’t even try to bully her.

Well, all that said, the guys were supposed to come and fix the water heater today so I can bathe in style tomorrow, instead of boiling 2 large pots of water, dumping them in the bathtub, kneeling in the 2 inches of water, and kind of splashing around like I did last night. That kind of bath really needs someone to scrub your back for you!

Today when I got to work the roads were all blocked off – Third Avenue was roped off for several blocks uptown, and 42nd street was roped off on either side of Third. There were police and bomb squads. There was, apparently, a suspicious package in the street. I had to go into work through the loading dock. When stuff like that happens and I just go merrily in to work? I think that maybe I’m crazy. Work is not that important, but also, maybe the world is crazy, and these packages aren’t so suspicious. It’s hard to find a middle road that makes you satisfied both in the good qualities of human beings and also safe.

Tonight, Lord of the Rings and the Flaming Vagina!