I’m going to laugh about this one day

July 27, 2010 § Leave a comment

A few days ago, I came home from a long night out. I walked into my dark bedroom and flicked the switch. Darkness. Damn! The light bulb blew. I had often pondered bulb replacement while lazing about in bed, since it was a flush mount fixture. I figured it was like a globe pendant, where you unscrew the globe, change the bulb, screw the globe back in, and BOOM. Let there be light.

I should preface the following hijinks by saying that I’m an electrical engineer, and part of my job description is lighting design. I love lighting (see: the light bulb in my header). I have pressed my nose up against windows where I’ve seen beautiful fixtures (like the Mercury fixture by Artemide, or as I’d like to call it, the object of my affection since October 2008). This is what I do for a living, however, I’m not an electrician. There is a difference – engineers design, electricians install, and for that they have my eternal respect. I have a general idea of how they do some of the things they do but I’m not sure if I’d want to put myself in such dangerous territory on a daily basis.

So. This year began with me being restless (bla bla, definitely a post for another time) and coming up with various decorating projects because I desperately needed the change of scenery. Since I despise moving and this city discriminates against anyone who is not a millionaire (houses in my neighbourhood average 650,000CDN and condos start at 350,000CDN, both out of range for a single-incomer like moi), I had to use my current apartment as my canvas. One of the projects was very simple: buy huge lanterns, use as a candlescape (so I should mention that I hate that word, but had to use it as I really can’t think of any other way to say it without sounding like I’m defining the word). I found them back in February, but hadn’t really looked for candles until today, when I stumbled upon exactly what I was looking for at IKEA (I ended up getting a frame for my engineering license, and light bulbs for the bedroom as well). So good times, I finally completed one project that I had set out to do. This is the outcome:

Heady from the success and adrenaline of finally getting shit done, I decided to tackle the bedroom light. I brought a dining chair with me, as the ceilings are pretty high for my 5’3″ self. I was on the phone with my friend K but didn’t figure it would take too long, so I didn’t hang up. I got up on the chair, put the phone down for a second and started to unscrew the glass. And then, the whole thing came loose in my hand. Where was the bulb? Stuck inside. The WHOLE fixture came off the ceiling. I tried every possible way to jack the glass away from the base, to no avail (I swear that thing is crazy glued together!). There I was, stuck on a chair, afraid to let go of the fixture because I thought it would crash onto the floor in a mess of glass shards, sparks flying everywhere. (This is why I can’t be an electrician – too afraid) There was a moment of illogical panic, when I wondered how long I could last on this chair, holding the dangling fixture above my head. The blood was draining from my arms, and apparently my head, because seriously? It’s not like I’m some contestant on Survivor here. I shook myself out of it, reached for the phone and hung up with K while holding onto the fixture. I called my parents (500km away), who assured me it would be fine to leave it dangling for a second while I fetched rubber gloves and a screwdriver. I came back with the stuff, tried in every way possible to fix the problem, and here is the result:

No dice. I’m calling the property management company tomorrow.

As I was standing on the chair, afraid to let go of the fixture for the havoc I thought it would cause, it occurred to me that a. I look ridiculous, and b. this would not have been a problem if I had a roommate or a boyfriend present. Yeah yeah, relationships won’t solve your problems, we have to be self-sufficient BLA BLA, and you know what, I am damn self-sufficient but let’s just admit that these thoughts occur at moments of jar-lid-opening, heavy-object-lifting, dress-unzipping, and light-bulb-changing, shall we? Let’s just hope that thing stays where it is tonight.

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