General Chaos

$1200 Later.

About a month ago, our dryer started to show signs of going wherever it is dryers go when they die. The Great Lint Trap in the Sky. The Land of the Heat Miser. Laundrytopia.

Anyway, I performed some maintenance, and for a few days it seemed like crisis had been averted.

And then about a week and a half ago, it just stopped working. I looked underneath and it was pretty clear that the burner (it’s a gas dryer) was failing, in a pretty dramatic way–flames were shooting out of places that they shouldn’t. So, I called the Department Store from Hell’s home repair line. I gave them the dryer’s model number, the part that I thought was bad, and asked for a ballpark estimate of the part cost. Unfortunately, even with extensive information, K-Sears customer support reps can’t provide any sort of meaningful information other than how long I’d have to wait for a maintenance appointment. And that was: until yesterday afternoon.

Well, around 4:30 PM yesterday, the repair man shows up, takes a look, and says, “Your burner’s bad.”
“That’s what I told the repair center on the phone,” I said.
“That’ll be…”he said as he tapped on his wireless laptop and pulled up an estimate, “$460.”
P. has been lobbying for a new washer and dryer. I, on the other hand, was not exactly ready for another major capital expenditure this quarter, having just bought the minivan and having a major living room furniture purchase already in progress. But the only way to get back the cost of the guy coming out to tell me exactly how f*cked I was was to go to K-Sears and buy a new dryer.

“And if we’re going to do that,” P. said, “we might as well buy a new washer.” She pointed out that the new ones were more energy-efficient than our 80’s era washing equipment.

Might as well, indeed. Considering I’m going to have to virtually remove the doorframe to our basement in order to get the deceased dryer and its washer spouse out of there. So around 7 last night, we drove out to Hunt Valley.

$1200 later, we have a new washer and dryer scheduled for Friday delivery. Of course, it’s not real money until I have to pay the Sears Card bill in 12 months, but deficit spending makes me ill.

We may need a new refrigerator soon, too, P. says. I think I need to wait a while before I cough up another lung.

Baltimore, Music

Mercy Me

At the concert at UMBC’s fieldhouse last Friday, Alkaline Trio’s Matt Skiba dedicated this song to John Waters, substituting “Baltimore” for “San Francisco” in the lyrics. Then he dedicated the next one to … John Waters.

Alkaline Trio was the middle band of the show. This came as some surprise, as only My Chemical Romance was on the bill when we bought the tickets.

The opener was Reggie and the Full Effect, a death-metal band-as-costume headed by James Dewees of the Get Up Kids. Dewees/Reggie came out dressed in purple velour pajamas claiming to be Prince, and threw cheeseburgers he pulled out of his pants into the audience before launching into something really, really, loud. In fact, the only thing that sounded vaguely like a real song was a Slayer cover the band performed.

Then, as my son and I had just about regained our hearing, Alkaline Trio came on to the opening music from “A Clockwork Orange.” They played for almost an hour, and every song was epic.

Finally, around 10:00, MCR took the stage. Gerard Way worked the audience, telling them (us) that they had the potential to be the best audience on the tour (Baltimore was the last US stop). “But you’ve got tough competition…you’re up against San Antonio…”