Monday, January 21, 2013

Crappy Projects: Anna vs. The Light Fixture

Universal truth: boobs are awesome but boob lights are the worst.  I don't know how many decades ago somebody said "Do you know what the ceiling needs?  Light bulbs covered in semi-opaque glass shaped like boobs.  And not just THIS ceiling... every ceiling.  Ever."  If you are reading this at home, there is an 85%1 chance that right now there is a boob lamp stuck to the ceiling over your head, watching you and hating itself for existing2.  I do know that they weren't around in the early 20th century, based on my close watching of Downton Abbey, which has provided my entire breadth of knowledge on all the years before 1950 or so.

A Prime Example Of The Offending Light

I made the rash decision to vanquish boob lights from my house several months ago when I drove by a lighting store.  I realized that I don't have to live under their creepy, horrible gaze anymore; I had the power to free myself.  And lo, one Sunday after a local, organic brunch, I bought a light fixture and took it home.

And then I watched America's Next Top Model reruns for 3 hours, like one does when one has a task to do.

Finally, in the late afternoon, my lady and I brought all the tools we could think of into the guest room, and quite quickly dismantled the boob light.  It was so easy!  I could envision legions of boob lights falling beneath my screwdriver.

She's smiling because she doesn't know about what's coming.
And then came the lesson learning.

  • Don't expect the instructions to look anything like what's inside the hole in the ceiling, especially when your house was built by a handyman.
  • If you're lucky, the colors of your new light fixture will match the wires that are in the scary hole.  If you're not lucky, you're probably going to die.  Accept this before moving on.
  • Remember: you took down the other light fixture, so now you don't have a light.  And the sun is going down.  So... maybe start earlier.
  • You probably only have one headlamp, so your instruction reader better have crazy good night vision, otherwise there will be a lot of passing the light back and forth.
  • Your frustration level is directly proportional to the number of minutes ago the sun set multiplied by the number of times you have to ask for the head lamp to be passed back to you (F=m*a)3
  • You will be made fun of if you constantly assume that the wires are all hot even after turning off the breaker and the light switch, and if you think everything's going to explode.  BUT YOU WILL ALSO BE ALIVE4.
  • They gave you those extra long screws for a reason.  Don't spend 45 minutes trying to make the ones that were already in the scary hole in the ceiling work, even you're pretty sure that sticking your hand into the hole in the ceiling will result in an unknown light fixture monster5 to bite it off.
  • At one point, your partner will quit.  At some other point, you will quit.  You will each consider the other to be crazy, no matter what side you're on.
  • The only way to finish installing a light fixture in the dark is, in fact, to be a little crazy.  It helps if someone triple-dog-dares you.
  • You will probably temporarily blind yourself when testing the light bulbs because you're staring right at them when you flip the switch.  But, you know, don't.
  • Ignore the fact that the lines in your new light fixture aren't exactly square with the wall... Definitely don't make any measurements checking squareness.  This can only end in tears.
  • Once you have successfully installed the new, non-boob shaped light fixture, revel in your success.  DO NOT try to figure out how many boob lights there are in the world and then multiply that number by how long it took you to defeat just one boob light, because then your dreams will be crushed, and you will spend another three hours curled up and watching reruns of America's Next Top Model.
This is what success looks like!
1This number based on a non-scientific survey that I did in my imagination.
2Several boob lights were interviewed on their feelings about their own existence to back up this statement.6
3Physics joke!
4There is a possibility that people who are not scared of electricity will also survive light fixture installation.  Further data is needed to determine this.
5Remember: light fixture monsters are more afraid of you than you are of them, probably because you're about to impale them on screws and hook up their exposed wires to something that will eternally drain them of energy.
6That was a lie.


  1. Success looks really good!

  2. Love that light fixture!
    And I wouldn't make fun, because electricity scares the pants off me (and I usually have my belt cinched tight).
    Well done!

  3. I just want to say that I can't reply to comments for some reason... but I'm glad you both like the light fixture!

  4. P.S. b/c it will probably seem creepy, I would just like to note that I'm here looking for information on what to call a tarp canopy cover thingy, as described in one of your earliest posts. I need to post about it on fb, and don't know the correct name.

  5. BTW, I think the boob light fixture dates to mid/late-90s or so. Maybe a bit later, but def. not earlier. <3 your local historian/sister whose experience of the interior design world predates you by 10 years.

  6. P.P.S. the BTW should come before the P.S.