now, someone bring me a beer
After a lovely ploughperson-themed lunch with Ross, I spent the afternoon hustling around the unseasonably and misleadingly warm canyons of downtown. It was cold when I got dressed, in a sort of classy apres-ski schoolmarm getup (plaid wool skirt, open-work sweater, knee-high biker boots) that I thought would suit well in all the major settings of the day's planned activities. Namely:
1. interview to be a cutter for custom messenger-bag company
2. submit applications for several waitressing gigs
3. "pick up supplies" from the pink-scrubs-clad gang at Planned Parenthood
4. withdraw all monies and close out my bank account at the Inaccessible Unhelpful Bank (TM)
5. buy new underwear at the excellent cheapo shops on Chestnut
I missed out on #4, because IUB closes at 4pm. You see what I mean about inaccessible? In any case, the outfit may have been part of the problem, because the combo of sweater and boots made me so overheated that I just couldn't muster the hustle. Banking notwithstanding, the day was by recent measure ridiculously productive.
The messenger-bag company peeps were, as imagined, way cooler than me but offering a job I could do in my sleep. Also interviewed (instant application gratification) at City Tavern, which despite its blandly historico-folksy name is actually in a Parks Service historical building, and features colonial-style fine dining, complete with knee-breech'd and mob-capp'd waitrons. Be still my beating heart! As a child I yearned to live in "olden days," which pragmatically translated into the wish to become Amish or (when told that that's pretty hard) maybe Hasidic. With the wisdom of age I see that perhaps City Tavern is route to wise moneymaking nostalgia.
So right, not only did I to-and-fro and interview like mad; I purchased and installed a washing machine. The old one up and choked about three months back, forcing a lot of Hazel-to-Baltimore laundromat porterage. Craigslist orchestrated a beautiful match for me, wedding our washables' future to the past of a $100 almost-new Whirlpool from nearby 47th and Kingsessing. ND and I took Mazal (the truck) over there and picked up the pretty li'l thing. Handing the nice lady a crisp fan of five twenties felt so proper, so neighborly, so industrious and connected. Good deeds done all around.
Later at home, ND went to bed and Jen Becky Leslie and myself went to work exhuming the old monster (o, the indescribable scum beneath!) and wresting it to the curb. We used tools. We clamped hoses. We padded the old washer's feet and slid it screeching to the porch. Then, with mounting delight, we whisked the shiny new much-lighter Whirlpool into the vacant kitchenslot and screwed everything back together. Plugged it in, threw the dirty dishtowels in with some bleach, and checked the hoses for leaks. Praise be! It works.
Maybe it's that I just got done reading Nicholson Baker's Mezzanine, which basically consists of lovingly rendered pickings-apart of minor daily sense experiences (tying shoelaces), which gave me such a fine sense of the many sensual and design qualities of the washers, and of the amazing human capacity for technological finesse. I appreciate not only the industrial designers' skills, but also, our nonskilled yet satisfyingly sufficient jiggling, shoving, wrenching, and heaving. What pleasure in making things fit together and work!
Alternately, or perhaps in combination, there is a truly empowering feeling (for me) as a woman to deal with big machines, set them up, make them go. We Could Do It!, you know? Just as we were riding down off the first ego-rush of hearing of UltraWash "intermittent agitation" action, and smelling its hot chloriney streak in the air, our boy-roommate Kevin came home. We told him to buy us a sixpack, and enjoyed the sudsy swishy satisfaction of quadruple-team girl-on-machine triumph.
More interviews tomorrow. Later, volunteer election phonebanking with MoveOn. I keep saying that maybe I'll go canvass for three weeks, not take some random job at a Time Like This. I keep saying I'm going to call one of the many organizations leaving daily pleading-yet-energizing ads on all the job boards. Why haven't I? Well, I'm trying to get a Real Job. Bears more consideration, wot wot.
For now I'm going to bask in the scent of Ecover detergent, and hang some towels to dry.