Monday, September 8, 2014

I Am a Motherfucking Sorcerer!

Gender is a bogus concept created by society, so before I run off at the mouth, please understand that I am using very stereotypical, generic terms. My view and understanding of gender and sexuality is much more complex and nuanced than male/female, okay? Just, go with me on this, okay?


So: "manliness." Fixing things with your hands. Using tools. Saws. Power drills. Getting grease up to your elbows and coming in smelling of sweat and motor oil goat ass, I dunno.

I'm not your traditional understanding of "manly."

Cars, electrical work, plumbing, none of those things interested me.

God knows my father and my grandfather tried. Every time they worked on a car, they'd have me come over and watch them work. But to me, it didn't mean anything. It was just tubes and hoses and wires. It looked like the plastic, greasy guts of a great mechanical beast, all pumping, heating, spinning chaos, with no rhyme or reason.

I don't work on my own car much for the same reason I don't perform surgery on people: there's too much I don't understand and I don't want to deal with cleaning up all the resulting blood.

To be honest, I never expected to have to do stuff like fixing my own car and such. Not really. I mean, I knew my grandfather couldn't be at my every beck and call, but at the same time, it never really sunk in that someday I'd want to replace the shitty tape deck in my car to a cd player or something. Or replace the air filter. Or whatever.

Plus, it was SO BORING! Oh my god, staring into the hood of a car was and is total snoozeville to me. I don't know why, but when I see that my brain just goes, "Lol, yeah right, LOOK OVER THERE--SOMEONE COSPLAYING LOKI FUCKING A HORSE!!"

The effect that my total obliviousness toward most things stereotypically manly is usually anger and frustration at a seemingly simple job being not as simple as I thought, and eventual sorrow and shame that I am not adequately manly enough to do [x job my father could have done].

Above you will find a picture of a light. It's not just any light, however. I put that in.

We used to have a big, 2-tubed fluorescent light there. One day, as I was working on the stuff for an upcoming D&D campaign, I noticed was sagging strangely. The screw holding one end in place came out, and I could not drill a screw in and hang it. It was too long, and no matter how many attempts I made, I just COULD...NOT...GET...those fucking screws and holes to line up.

At first we looked for a couple of brackets to maybe just drill to the ceiling and cradle the light, holding it in place. But no such brackets could be found. Such brackets may not exist in all of bracketdom, if you believe the asshole at Lowe's that stared at me like I was a Martian with three noses. And suddenly, our salvation: laziness! We could just take that light fixture down and replace it with a new one! A smaller, more manageable one!

So we bought one. At 7:00, I started trying to correctly hook the wires up and fasten the fixture to the ceiling. I cut the wires too short. I couldn't get the wires to stay cinched together. The bulb that came with the fixture was broken--IN ITS PACKAGING BUT WITH NO DAMAGE TO ANY OF THE PACKAGING, HOW THE FUCK DOES THAT EVEN HAPPEN??? And then, no matter what I did, I couldn't get the lights to come on.

I tried screwing the bulb in tighter.

I tried two or three times to rewire the fixture because the wires kept slipping out of the fastener, spinney-cap-thingy.

I tried just wiring one of the wires and grounding the other.

Nothing worked.

I watched a YouTube video and screamed in frustration when what the asshole did in that video was the exact same thing I did.

Finally, I realized my fatal mistake: I assumed that because my light fixture had a white and a black wire, I should match them like-color to like-color to the white and black dark brown wires in the ceiling. My years of training in kindergarten putting like things with like things and assuming they belonged together trained me. How am I supposed to eat my fruit salad by fruit now, when my world has been so completely rocked? IT CAN'T BE DONE I SAY!

So, I switched the wires and, lo and behold, the light worked.

I feel like a motherfucking sorcerer

Admittedly, all I did was tape two wires together.


Ahem, now if you'll excuse me, I've got a lot of feelings pumping. I'm going to go wrestle a grizzly bear because I installed a light fixture and that means I can do anything.