Thursday, May 17, 2007

Flaming dishwashers!

I feel a rant coming on. Not being able to run my newish dishwasher seems like the last straw... It's new enough that the four prime directives for getting the most out of my GE Profile are still as perfect-looking and as clear as the day it was installed. Rule four tells me to use Jet Dry in the rinse dispenser.

Now it seems, if I had disregarded instructions, and not used a rinse agent, I might have had spotty, cloudy glassware, but I would not have an appliance that might keep me up at night.

What a week it has been! Moreover, my horoscope promised me three lucky days (Monday, Tuesday, and today, Thursday).

Monday: Before dawn, I made sure that the last of the outgoing mail had gone, so I didn't have to pay an extra 3c per standard envelope. Owing to a last minute commitment for a phone conference with my editor, I postponed the irrigation man from first thing in the morning to noon. I did not adjust the plan to have the air-conditioning serviced between ten and noon (a precautionary tune-up). I also did other "summer" things, such as change the glass panel in my storm door for an insect screen. As soon as I had done that, an almighty thunderstorm rolled in, and stormed through the netting onto my kitchen floor.

I could have shut the door, but the a/c man was making ominous noises in the basement, the day was hot, and I needed a cooling draught. I was also trying to tidy up the living room, and reorganize my cubby hole under the stairs to accommodate all my promotional materials and romance reading matter. The irrigation man came and went, leaving the lid to the lake pump in the reeds instead of where it should be. Late in the day, an unpredictable man came to check that my roof drains were flowing freely (which they weren't) and when I heard him using a machine on my roof, I felt obliged to go up there, too, to make sure he wasn't blowing gunk at high pressure down the drains. (If he was, I didn't catch him at it.)

As usual, the once-a-week vegetable man drove up just as I left to collect my child from school. I left his order and his check, and he left my produce and my change in a box by my front door.

Meanwhile, on the internet, I learned that my book Insufficient Mating Material had won a coveted award (I coveted it!). I received some last minute additions and corrections for the newsletter and of course I wanted to announce my newest news. I meant to join an online chat in the evening, but fell asleep early.

On Tuesday... I noticed that one of my irrigation heads was making low-lying mist instead of a proud rotating jet. I called to mention the omission. I had a follow-up chat with my editor, the roofing man came by to look at a skylight that leaks continually in driving rain. I'd hoped to go by the Secretary of State office to renew my driving license in person, which I did --but not until the end of the day. It took about an hour, but I think they have a machine that actually takes flattering photographs!

The occasionally handy gardening man (who'd looked at my roof drains) came back to chop branches off the tree that was dropping clumping pollen onto my roof, and also to do some weeding, and squirt hornet killer into suspicious holes. The irrigation man came back, replaced the lid, and fixed the head. Also, the tree man came to make my ashes taste nasty to emerald ash borers (we're in a bad way with this in Michigan).

I got the newsletter out, and accommodated the sprinkle of unsubscribe messages that came back to me.

Wednesday. Dustbin day. That meant that the trash had to be set out before seven am, though the waste management engineers may not come until late afternoon. They come in shifts: one lot for the recycling, another for the really offensive stuff.

My child said that she could not eat her toast and honey or her tomato ketchup and toast for breakfast (as requested by her and doubtfully produced by me) because she had toothache. I should have had four hours to do some research for a noon meeting, but had to take her to the dentist in that window... after I'd changed a non-refundable airline booking so my husband could leave town before the afternoon storms blew up and shut down the airport.

It turns out, the storms weren't anywhere near as bad as the forecasters thought they'd be. The tooth problem turned out to be early growth of adult molars, but knowing there was no decay set my child's mind at rest, and she felt better. That left me half an hour to dig files out of my basement and scoop the dust off the dining room table.

Had the dreaded meeting. Got through a lot, but not everything before it was time for the school pick-up run. Rushed home, with child, to execute a very necessary trade before the market closed, then went out again to buy very necessary tomato ketchup and yoghurt (only Kroger was out of the favorite La Creme). Then, we checked the internet to see what kind of weather my husband had flown through, and what length of delays he'd endured. Called him at his hotel to verify.

Today, I got up early to wash my hair. My husband called from out of state just as my child and I were about to leave for school (this is the day I teach chess in the morning). He told me that there is a recall on my dishwasher. Alas, it is true! Luckily, I hadn't locked and loaded the GE Profile this morning. I worried about my faulty appliance all the time I should have been teaching good moves for Knights and pawns.

Now, I guess I have to wash dishes by hand until I decide whether to have a free repairman in to rewire the thing, or to take a rebate and buy a newer model (which will cost more than the rebate, of course).

Best wishes,


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