Tuesday, March 8, 2011

What a Day!

Yesterday was a busy one, even for a Monday! It began bright and early with a text from the infamous A. She found me another washer and dryer sitting out waiting to be trashed. Somehow, she and S. wrangled both of them to my house in her little cross-over. I simply must get myself one of those! Well, after much shimmying and wrangling, we got the units switched out only to find out that the dryer had a 4-prong plug. The problem? The wall only takes 3! I had a vague idea that I should just be able to buy some kind of adapter and it wouldn't be a big deal, so I put it out of my mind and we headed to the gym. For those of you who are interested, you can find more info about my self-improvement project over at my Beauty Blog.

I don't know why it never occurred to me before now that the gym is a fantastic place to people watch. Even though the place we go isn't exactly a gym, more like a small workout room, it was positively bustling with activity. There was the sweetest woman there in a pressure suit and medical gloves with her head wrapped up. I'm assuming she's undergoing treatment for cancer and all I have to say is kudos! After watching A. ellipticize for 10 minutes or so--A. is an elliptical machine goddess--the woman decided to try it out. It was her first time! Let me just say, for the record, I can't go more than 5 minutes on that machine from hell. This woman got on there and, after struggling to figure out how it worked and getting some pointers from A., chugged along like the little train who could. Amazing! Even though I'd have been dying at that point, she still found the energy to cheer me on with my own routine. You can't help but love that kind of positivity.

So, there we were, sweating and panting and otherwise wishing that this torture was finally over, when a frigid breeze blew into the room. Okay, so it wasn't a breeze but a woman who might give Jack Frost a run for his money. Seriously, the woman was an ice queen. I'm not even going to go into the fact that she was roughly the size of one of my thighs or that her face was all pinched up like someone was waving a rag doused in rotten eggs and skunk juice under her nose (even though both of those things are true). Instead, I'll focus on the fact that she couldn't unbend long enough to even respond to the tentative hellos and smiles thrown her way when she entered the room.

Now, I'm no expert but it seems to me that the gym (or tiny work out room) is a place of camaraderie. Every single person is there to better themselves. Every single one of us is suffering and sweating and I think that creates a bond, even if that bond vanishes the moment you step outside the door. That being said, I understand if someone wishes to vanish into the background, believe me, I do. I definitely don't want people staring at me while my boobs (and belly, and thighs, and arms....) are impersonating the worlds largest mound of jello. Still, I would never outright snub someone like that. It's just rude.

Fast forward to later in the day. A., the wonder woman, has researched how to fix our little dryer problem and come up with two bits of information. The first? An adapter is 65 dollars. The second? We can just change out the cord for 15. I'm all over the second one, of course. So, I jet off to my hair appointment while she goes shopping for a new cord. We meet up later and get to work on the project. We--and by we, I mean A.--get the panel on the back open and figure out where the three little strands are supposed to go.

Enter new problem; How are we supposed to ground the damn thing? The 4-prong cord has a green cable used for grounding, but the new cord didn't come with any such thing. To compound the problem, it appears there's no grounding plate inside the dryer either. It's fast becoming apparent that another trip to the store is in order, but first I run to my trusty Google and search for solutions. Turns out that you can, in fact, make a grounding wire out of the green cable. So, we spend the next hour cutting, prying, hammering and otherwise destroying the 4-prong cord in order to create our little Franken-cord. A. connects everything back up and plugs it in, then hurries to get out of the way just in case our handiwork decides to explode or electrocute us. With a deep breath, I push the start button.

Success! The dryer fires right up! We let it run for a minute, then turn it off to make sure it got warm inside. Thus satisfied, A. goes to put the panel back on and mentions that it's touching our little Franken-cord. We decide to put the panel on anyway then turn it back on to make sure everything is still going to work. She gets it screwed on and moves out of the way and I press Start.

Nothing happens.

I check my settings again, make sure everything is where it's supposed to go. She makes sure that it's plugged in and I press start again. Still nothing. Getting a little panicked, I lean back to look at everything while she advances on the misbehaving dryer with screwdriver in hand. Just before she starts unscrewing the panel, I realize the problem. I've gone and left the door open.


Four loads of laundry later, I've still got a working dryer that's completely squeak free and I'm feelin' like super woman. My makeup didn't even get smudged.

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