Monday, October 19, 2009

Cool cool Cats

I am still writing up my LA trip (from early July) and my epic Mediterranean vacation. I have decided to inject something from the present time in order to let you know how I am currently doing.

So it has been 40 degrees in Chicago…in October…like October 1. We had 18 consecutive days of below normal temperatures. One day, the high was 22 degrees below normal. I am already wearing a wool coat which is unfortunate because I bought the most adorable red trench coat in September. Add to the matter that my heat broke. At first, I noticed that my place was cold, maybe a little too cold for having a furnace and four walls. The temperature was a balmy 55 degrees in my apartment one day. If it wasn’t for the running water, I would be considered practically homeless. I tried all the diagnostic procedures and narrowed down my problem to either a faulty igniter (wasn’t lighting the gas) or a plain old fucked up furnace. Now the funny part is that my furnace is on the roof! I had to pull out a ladder and climb through the roof hatch which is located precariously close to the porch balcony edge (one wrong move and down I go three stories).

I was prepared to ascend Saturday mid-day when I received a call from my across the hall neighbor. She asked “are you having problem with your heat (yes) because ours went out too and we opened up your unit by accident”. The mechanic was currently on the roof, so I took off to join them. He pointed out my gas cock valve (he he he) was faulty and would only work when you banged on it with a burly looking wrench (yeah he literally was like, here let me tap it and see if it opens, BANG BANG BANG BANG, there it goes). Once I reached my temperature set point, the furnace would cycle off and I would have to climb on the roof and bang on the valve again when it got too cold in the apartment. Since I had an old unit (I mean OOOOOLLLLDDD, It was at its life expectancy when I bought the place five years ago, so essentially I have the equivalent of Kirk Douglas in my furnace…hold on buddy hold on), the replacement parts are not available and I might as well get a brand new unit.

Things could be worse though. My neighbor’s unit was billowing black smoke out the side. Apparently they had a faulty fan or something and the unit was actually on fire. The exterior of the unit was all charred black like this has been a common occurrence for a while. The mechanic pulled the disconnect switch and pocketed it because it was not safe to turn that unit back on.

Now for the kicker, my mom was in town visiting. I am such a wonderful child that I made my mom reside in an unheated Chicago apartment. We wore electric blankets around like ponchos with a 25’ extension cord trailing us through the apartment. It was like we were hooked up to life support machines…I’m heading over to the living room…need to switch to a different outlet.

By sheer luck, we passed through the theatre district and noticed CATS (the musical) was playing for four days only. It seemed like a good enough reason to get out of the cold. Later I realized no one in their right mind would go see CATS. It was terrible. How the hell did it win the Tony and become the second longest run on Broadway (18 years…wtf)? Was it up against “Joe and his amazing bird whistles”? Was everyone on drugs…I mean it was the 80’s. Anyway, my mom fell asleep and I almost walked out. People around us quit after the first act or blatantly walked out during the second act. The moral of the story is that suffering in the cold is still a better option than watching CATS.


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