The period between the recent autumnal equinox and today has been oddly full of unexpected and sometimes unwelcome happenings.
The garbage disposal failed. The ice maker failed. A toilet began to leak. A faucet connection began to leak. Was some demon at work in my plumbing? None of these were related, but how peculiar? Is there some warranty heaven where everything breaks down at the same time? In the case of the ice maker, we noted that the fridge was purchased three years ago. "Did you buy the extended warranty?" No, but if we had, it probably would have been the same price as the cost of the repair. (An astonishing $400.) It's quite possible that I broke the ice maker assembly through carelessness, but it was poorly constructed.
None of these failures was very important, and all have been easily corrected. (Toilet fix: $150. The Wizard probably could have done that one himself, but time is money. And he DID do the garbage disposal and faucet replacement, noting, with some intermittent cursing, that there is a reason plumbers charge what they do. He's more of a wiring guy; plumbing is yucky.) But, I wonder, was there bad feng shui in our plumbing system? Was there some blockage in the meridians of my condo? We needed acu-plumbing treatment.
Once all these annoyances were dealt with, I discovered my car was broken into and, for the fifth time, the radio was ripped out by the roots. Where do all these stolen radios go? Is there a weird underground economy where people whose radios are stolen go to buy stolen radios? Various suggestions were entertained: the swap meet; they are sent overseas (but why ship the JVC unit back to Japan?); they are score keeping for gang members; they are incentives for car-alarm companies.
It wasn't even that great a radio. And I didn't even use it for listening to broadcasts, only for playing Teaching Company CDs, so I can learn something during my commute. (After the last theft, I enjoyed a two-year silence-in-the-car practice, but I am done with that lesson: I can easily tolerate the silence until my next order from Crutchfield arrives. I should just have a default account there. When the radio is stolen, an automatic re-order could be sent.)
It is with some irony I note that the thieves also took three of the four volumes of "The Renaissance, the Reformation and the Rise of Nations." (But they left behind the actual user manual and warranty for the radio.) I told the police that if they find a suspect, and they know anything about Thomas Cromwell, they should behead him. I enjoy thinking about the encounter with the fence: "That's a nice JVC radio/CD player but WTF is the English Reformation? Are these game CDs"?
Alas, the thief did not take my Lee Holden CDs which talk you through the Inner Smile, Six Healing Sounds and Microcosmic Orbit. I quickly learned that these are not useful while driving, if they are useful at all. (I am not a big fan of Mantak Chia and his various proteges.) But they might have helped the crack-addled car burglar. Yeah, in my dreams.
I recovered from all that plumbing and theft nonsense, only to be disturbed two unrelated area power outages that left us without electricity for more than 12 hours. In the morning I made a cup of tea with residual hot tap water but I didn't really wake up until I had, uncharacteristically, a double cappuccino from the campus snack bar and later, custom-made espresso in a colleague's office. I don't know why a power outage left me craving caffeine.
But a change may come with the mid-Autumn Festival, peaking tomorrow. Last night I observed the almost-full moon sailing through a mackerel-clouded sky, like a grand pearl on luminous silk brocade. I had attended a funeral mass earlier in the day, of a beloved colleague who I learned to my surprise was actually several years younger than myself. (That always gives one pause.) It was a Catholic rite with Hawaiian accents. Incense and the Eucharist, black garb and flower lei, oli and hula (which was really the best part.) I must say the Hawaiian chanting outshone the Roman ritual, but that may just have to do with talent. I have never attended a funeral mass with ukulele. Post-Vatican II ritual is infamous for guitar liturgy, but this was way beyond that. It also struck me odd to hear Amazing Grace in a Catholic service, to say nothing of something to the tune of "Danny Boy." It was all very ecumenical and multi-cultural. And there was a lot of laughing during the eulogies.
I came home, entertained myself with the 13th episode of Da Ren Wu, then slept well, until the moon gently woke me and reminded me that I was alive.
2 years ago