Wednesday, December 10, 2008

A Bad Week

Life is not good this week. This piece is a nice example of how I feel right now. OK, I know everyone else has their tough times and and calamities and tragedies and mine aren't big at all but right now I feel like I'm getting pecked to death by ducks.

Our city, in all its infinite wisdom, has provided us with a new recycle bin. We used to have two blue plastic boxes, one for newspapers and one for metal/glass, and they sat out at the curb every week along with our 30-gallon trash can. The city's plastic boxes are gone, replaced by a 90-gallon blue recycle bin. The sucker is huge and we had to spend about 4 hours reconfiguring our garage just to find a place to put it.

The good news is that everything gets thrown into the bin, all kinds of plastic, glass, metal and paper together, no sorting needed. The bad news is that our city is so stupid they set up single stream recycling and planned to build a plant for the processing of the recycled stuff but decided not to. So our city sends all our recycled stuff 214 miles BY TRUCK down the highway to a city that does have a recycling plant.

To add insult to injury, the last day we had the blue boxes out at the curb the recycle truck picked up the recycle and took the boxes -- we had planned to save them to store stuff in. Nope, just crunched up in the truck. What a waste.

The kitchen light fixture is acting like a disco strobe and replacing the bulbs won't do the trick, the whole thing needs replacing. Not getting fixed, see Number Six below. I'm trying to convince Susan that a dark kitchen means we have ambience but she says it just means take-out food and no dishwashing.

Susan's closet door fell off its track. It takes two people to get it reset properly, one to hold the door up straight, one to fiddle with the pin thing at the bottom. Not getting fixed, see Number Six below.

Susan's printer is acting up, making grinding noises and generally not printing. This makes Susan act up and do strange computer techie things like lifting up the printer about 3 inches and then dropping it. Doing that several times and cursing a lot usually fixes it but sometimes it spontaneously and loudly fixes itself when she isn't even sitting there. Then she curses a lot.

Susan's keyless car key (which is really a key so why is it keyless?) that has a lock-unlock button stopped working but fortunately for the atmosphere, which was already blue from her cursing at the printer, it stopped working when the car was unlocked. And fortunately, I told her, the last time we replaced that battery I bought you a spare. After pawing through numerous drawers she found the tiny little screwdriver that opens the case and she replaced the tiny little battery with the spare we had in the Battery Drawer. Still didn't work. More cursing as she pawed through the trash can to find the package the battery had been in. Who would have thought that little thing would have an expiration date of 2005? A lot more cursing.

This was not the time to remind her that cursing doesn't help. Or that bad luck comes in threes because she's already counted past that. Number Five was the plumber's bill which included 4 digits before the decimal point showed up. OK, let's think about the greening of our environment (since our city seems to not do any thinking): What should we waste and what should we try to conserve? Water, natural gas or electricity?

The original plumbing in our house was laid out wonky, with the kitchen being the last point on the circuit from the hot water heater. That meant everytime we wanted to do dishes we had to run water for nearly 4-5 minutes until we got hot water. So we added a circulating pump to the water heater which means hot water circulates through the pipes continually and you have instant hot water at every point. So now we don't waste water. But the circulating pump uses electricity. The best compromise we could think of was to have a circulating pump with a timer so it only kicks in between 5-7 every night.

Expensive? Yikes. And add in the labor costs so we could finally have hot water to the washing machine because no matter they say on those "Cold-Water Detergent" bottles, your clothes do not get that clean (and Susan got weary of claiming that her socks were supposed to be grey). Tankless water heater? Not possible in this house unless we rip out part of the roof area.

And number six? The final blow that has brought down the House of Madden? Three days ago I wrenched my back. Bad. Big time. I can barely walk straight. Treatments: Ice and heat and heat and ice, lots of Advil, gently stretching, minimal sitting, slow walking (shuffling?) and lying on my back on the floor and a massage yesterday and one today and accupuncture tomorrow.

Susan is being sort of patient with me and has insisted I take my prescribed Valium pills in the afternoon when my back seems to spasm up the worst. I said "sort of" patient because she's already told me to quit whining or she'll take the Valium herself. I'd sic the pecking ducks on her but she'd probably stomp on them.

Late note: What was I doing when I wrenched my back? Yoga. Like they say, Growing Old is Not for Sissies.


Sherry Goodloe said...

All I can say is . . .wow! Well, I could say more, but I wouldn't want to take the chance of Susan shooting me an e-mail off-line. LOL

Seriously, take care of yourself and take the valium . . .for your sake and Susan's! *smiles*

happy holidays???? xo Sherry

bindu said...

I hope you feel better! Sounds like you've had lots going on.

Robyn said...

Oh poor both of you! Hope you feel better soon, Don. I wonder if you can get Besenol where you are. That is often my life saver when I put my back out...... plus a good workout at the chiropractor.