Forehead and Forearms vs. Fridge (Or I Lose)

Eight years ago, I bought a used fridge from Craigslist when I moved into my apartment. I nearly had to sandblast it to remove years of grease and curry powder from every square inch of it, but I got a good deal — and a good workout in the process.

A few years later, I painted it with stainless steel paint to hide its glaring whiteness. In the process of pulling the handles off to paint the appliance, one of the handles sprang back and hit me in the face.

Hard.

I had a massive contusion on my forehead for weeks. (I had to buy a ridiculous hat from H&M to hide it.)

That fridge served me well for years (minus the forehead assault), but it has been on its way out for the last year or so. I refuse to buy a new fridge for a place I’m renting on principle so I started scouring Craigslist for a replacement.

After a month, I found a candidate… in Compton.

Yes, Dr. Dre’s City of Compton.

Apparently, the guy had been trying to sell it for a long time, but everyone bailed on him when he told him where he lived.

People are idiots.

I mean, maybe I’M an idiot for driving 21 miles to go into a stranger’s garage with him, but considering the deal I got on a stainless steel fridge I’d say I won.

The only catch?

I didn’t have anyone to help me haul it home.

I didn’t think that was going to be a big deal because I moved my last fridge by myself. I figured I’d just rent a truck with a ramp and a dolly again and I’d be fine.

Yeah, not so much…

I didn’t realize how heavy the fridge was because the guy who sold it to me put it in the truck for me. Maybe the grimacing and the sweat on his brow should have tipped me off, but he was kind of small, so I didn’t really think too much about it until it was my turn to haul the thing solo.

I struggled to tip it on its end to roll it, but I finally managed. I held it at the edge of the ramp preparing to roll it down, and I grimaced in pain as the weight of the enormous appliance rested on my forearms.

OMIGOD, it hurt.

Once I was sure I had the wheels aligned properly on the ramp, I started the slow descent to the street. By this point, my arms were aching, and I was grateful my legs had the strength to keep the fridge (and me) from flying uncontrollably into the street.

I survived that ordeal and made it across the sidewalk, but I was absolutely out of breath. It turns out stainless steel weighs A LOT more than whatever my last fridge was made out of (clouds and cotton candy?!?).

Totally spent and in pain, I looked at the two small steps standing between me and my building. They weren’t that big. They should not have been daunting, but my forearms were already aching. I couldn’t face steps alone.

So I started my SOS texts.

I generally try to avoid damsel in distressing it, but this situation was out of my hands.

My friend Lauren offered to come over because she is amazing. While I was waiting for her to arrive, my neighbor Mel came upon me sitting on the steps, looking a bit bruised and pathetic.

It turns out his grandfather had owned a moving company back east and he offered to help as well.

Long story short (too late), Lauren and Mel bailed me out of a situation wisdom probably could have prevented in the first place, but now I have a fabulous fridge.

(I bought them gift cards to the bougie pet store up the street because I know when I’m indebted to incredible people, and they both have rescue dogs who deserve pampering.)

So, anyway, here’s the appliance that almost killed me and my arms:

Welcome home, fridge. Thank you for hosting my bacon and my beer.

Welcome home, fridge. Thank you for hosting my bacon and my beer. You’re worth it.

Now I’m adoring it while icing my arms because moving it all but kind of killed me.

Repurposing an already indispensable item = winning.

Winning with wine pacs.

If you can handle gore, this is why I need the ice:

Fridge > forearms

Fridge > forearms

IMG_6081

I swear the only abusive relationship I’m in is with a large appliance.

It’s actually a little worse today than it was when I took these photos last night, but I’ll spare you those pics

Instead, I’ll conclude with this: both fridges did damage to my forehead and my forearms, but I’m grateful for cold food… and the angels who helped me haul the pretty new one into my place.

My crew rules.

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I Begin My Birthday Week with a Flesh Wound (Or Here’s the Compost Update Because I Can’t Do Anything Else)

So, I think it’s a great idea to begin my birthday week by slicing my thumb open. Yeah, that happened Saturday night….

There I was, having a picnic on the lawn of the Academy (as in, “I want to thank the Academy”), enjoying truffle popcorn, New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc, and good company when I decided to partake in the salami sitting in front of me. Now, being a moron who is generally used to rather dull and ineffectual paring knives, I thought nothing of holding the salami in my hand and slicing toward my thumb. See, when I do this with my own knives, it doesn’t slice through my finger — the knife just sort of bounces off my flesh without incident. I was not using my own knife, however, but a viciously sharp one instead.

Um, yeah…

I’ll spare you the rest of the gory details (and the bloody, bloody photos) and just say I should have gotten stitches instead of sitting on a blanket sipping wine and watching the movie introduced by Frank Oz himself. (Sorry to be a name-dropping starfucker-type, but I really like Miss Piggy. And Yoda.) I made a makeshift tourniquet out of many, many (SO many) paper towels and my hair tie so that I’d make it through the evening – and also so I didn’t bleed all over the nice picnic spread out in front of me.

Now, I know from my last thumb carving incident 6 years ago that one needs to get stitches within eight hours of an injury or it’s too late. (That particular incident involved a dinner party of 25 people, a new Shun knife, an eggplant, and me nearly passing out twice throughout the course of the evening.) Even though I probably could have made it to the ER in time, I decided to skip it all together, because I’m dumb like that.

I did a bit of internet research last night in an attempt to find out how long the tetanus booster is effective, and it looks like it’s about ten years. There is some information indicating that one should get another booster within five years if one is in a tetanus-infested area (whatever that is, I doubt it’s Hollywood), and if one has a particularly gory wound. I have deemed this wound un-gory, though very painful despite heavy wine consumption, so I am skipping the tetanus shot.

I would like to take this moment, however, and ask any medical types out there – particularly any of you I tutored in calculus (you know who you are, and you owe me) — if my last booster of 6 years ago will be sufficient to prevent me from dying or whatever.

So, anyway, now I’m trying to figure out how one makes sixteen owl sachets, a papier mache tree, and about 152 cupcakes with only one thumb. Oh, and just in case you don’t think I’m a complete lunatic yet, I’ll show you how I fixed up my thumb when I got home. (I’m out of actual medical tape.)

Apparently, I think it’s OK to use painters tape to adhere sterile bandages to my person.

It should come as no surprise that my father thinks it’s appropriate to make a tourniquet out of a dishtowel and duct tape. He also doesn’t bother to go to the ER when he slices his forearm open – despite being on blood thinners. Oh, and he gets fillings without anesthesia because he’s actually insane. So, yeah, that’s my gene pool. (This explains a lot.)

Anyway… my thumb hurts and I’m not in the mood to make the skull and crossbones cookies I had planned to make today. I think it’s because I’m exhausted from five and a half hours of grocery shopping for two parties this afternoon — and also from a trip to the USC Credit Union to sort out an issue involving credit card fraud with my check card and some jambonie who tried to buy $102 worth of cigars in Spain. (As my friend put it, “They didn’t even try to buy good cigars!” So, yeah, my credit card thieves have poor taste in tobacco in addition to being general thieving asshats.) Also, I think I just need to unwind by watching shirtless Americans dive into a pool. (God Bless America. And the Olympics.)

Woodley is judging me for slacking on the sugar cookie front.

In other news, my balcony no longer smells like it’s hosting a rotting raccoon. My plan to dry out the compost in buckets actually worked. Today I put the liner back in the bin, along with a bunch of soil. I placed the soil from the smaller buckets back into the bin because that soil had dried properly. I transferred some of the soil from the larger buckets into the smaller buckets so that it would dry as well. I also added more paper to the bin and stirred it for an hour. (No lie; it was cathartic and whatnot.)

My soil dries in buckets. That’s the situation.

I think it’s probably time to start a second bin. It turns out I generate a lot of kitchen waste.

My Evening of Epic Fails (Or I Screw Up My First Attempt at Cake Pops)

“I don’t think people understand what you’re saying when you say Albus.” My mother said as she sipped her sauvignon blanc.

“Well, that’s why I introduce him as Albus Dumbledore,” I replied.

“Not everyone knows who that is.”

“Of course they do. Albus is a mighty wizard!” I exclaimed indignantly. “Besides, it’s Latin for ‘white.’ I like Latin.” (I did NOT like Latin when I was translating the entire Aeneid into English, but this is not important now.)

“I think they think you’re saying Elvis.”

This from the woman who named me Anika? I’ve been called everything from Anita to Shaniqua over the years, and I’ve been correcting people on the pronunciation of my name since Kindergarten, so she hardly has a foot to stand on when it comes to weird names for offspring – human or dog.

“Well, I nearly named him Chappy Sinclair, but I changed my mind at the last minute.”

By look on her face, it was clear this name would not have met with her standards either. (She does not appreciate Iron Eagle any more than Harry Potter, apparently.)

She’s actually right that people have called my dog everything from “Alvin” to “Elvis,” but I had no intention of conceding this. The little girl downstairs squeals, “Elbis!” every time she sees him. (Even this hybrid is probably toddler for Elvis.)

I should also mention that she doesn’t approve of Woodley’s name either. She thinks it’s confusing I named a fluffy female after a 265-pound linebacker. She’s probably not wrong.

She may have given me a hard time about my dogs’ names, but she did buy me this fabulous pink cake pop pan from Sur La Table, so there’s that.

My fancy new cake pop pan, courtesy of my mother.

I must say, my first attempt at using my new toy was even more disastrous than my attempts at dog-naming.

I was hoping to make Hedwig-like owls that looked like this:

See these perfect owls from Bakerella? Yeah, mine looked nothing like them.

I didn’t even get to the decorating part, because I ended up with THIS mess.

Albus is ignoring the Chernobyl-like disaster in the foreground and heading straight for the un-sullied cake pops on the counter. Even my dog doesn’t think the others are edible.

I think my first mistake was using a strawberry cake mix for the cake pops, as it was not nearly dense enough. (I’m starting to believe “cake” is a bit of a misnomer and the base of these balls is really more of a cake/cookie lovechild.) My next mistake was purchasing Ghirardelli white chocolate chips to coat my cake-y creations. Despite adding shortening to make the melted mess thinner, it was just too thick and sticky to properly coat the crumbly cake.

Desperate to find another coating substance, I scoured the internet this morning and discovered another option on Bakerella. It turns out it was hidden within another one of my pins. (Oops. I probably should have READ the post first instead of simply pinning the photo at first sight.) Bakerella suggests using Merckens Candy Coating for the pops. I guess I’ll be looking for a new cake pop recipe and then dipping those in Merckens next time.

I’m not really sure what to do with my cake pop rejects. I’m leaning toward feeding them to the squirrels downstairs even if they are the sworn enemies of my poorly named dogs.

Oh, and don’t get me started on what went wrong with THIS watermelon shark carving last night….

This Jedi-eating watermelon monster was supposed to be a shark. Alas, my Shun Sumo Santoku knife was just too big for the finer details.

Have you tried making cake pops? Did you make an epic mess like me?