Apple Pie Electrocution

This looks like a dessert – possibly apple pie.

It’s not. It is the housing for one of two kitchen lights. Both of them were hideous. And, as it turns out, were also a hazard, more so than I am doing minor electrical work. I’m very careful. I haven’t shocked myself electrically in a while. The last time reminded me that I am mortal.

I have an older apartment. When I moved in, I discovered that the disposal didn’t work. Tracing the wiring, I discovered it was the switch. Luckily, I decided to fight the stripped wiring and replace the receptacle, as the ground wire wasn’t connected to anything. Water and electricity combined cause a whole lot of stories to be written, usually under the “Obituary” heading. (Which explains why my combination Coffee Pot/Toaster For The Bathroom idea was rejected.)

I bought modern low-profile lights, when left at a certain setting, remind me of Close Encounters Of The Third Kind -except without the mashed potatoes. When I took off the original light, the housing was burned and the connectors turned to ash when I pulled at them. Needless to say, this is NOT what one hopes to find inside wiring boxes.

Because I’m making permanent improvements to my apartment, I unfortunately had to choose “Practical & Stylish.” I wanted “Fabulous & Ridiculous.” I hate that I can’t paint the walls like I’m on an acid trip. My neighbor keeps admonishing me to dial it down, take a step back, and to NOT do anything crazy. It’s like she knows me well or something. A good example of this is that I watched a paintball episode of “Community” and thought, “Man, now that would be a great way to paint a room!”

I bought an array of switches and plugs when I moved here. I’ve replaced a few. It’s a hard fight, given that the builders didn’t leave much extra wiring sheath to work with. For anything I want to keep from being fried, I installed surgery protectors on top. These older buildings tend to experience more power surges than __________. (I left that blank because the joke I wrote there, while amusing, was NSFW.)

I’ve only used my dishwasher three times. All three times were to scald the heat and air vent covers after I scraped them. I’m not saying they are antiques, but the serial number for the first one was just “1.” I experimented with paint until I got it right. (Which means I did it REALLY wrong three times before I stopped being a dumbass.) I painted them whitish, too, even though I have 13 different colors here I would have rather used.

I don’t mind fixing things here. It’s just a place. I can sit at the front window on mornings like this, my hair full of dust and fiber from doing electrical work, and watch the expanse of sky above the trees, the crows warring over imaginary territories, and my weird neighbor with the forest on the balcony. I miss my cat Guino and still sometimes turn to look for him at the foot of the bed or next to me. I do hear traffic a lot. But right now, I hear the wind bending the trees and the birds telling each other secrets.

I suppose I need to get up and paint something else.

I think the whole world needs to be painted.

PS I listened to the voices of reason and bought renter’s insurance immediately. After seeing the wiring, I’m more confident than ever how smart that decision was. It will also come in handy next year when I use the bedrooms to start my Build-Fireworks-At-Home kits.
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