Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Mmmmm. Warm Guilt.

apparently it is my fault because i do not know how radiators work. but how was i supposed to know how radiators work? i didn't have that class in school. i grew up with like, a thermostat. no one made me fill out a form when i applied for this apartment (or any apartment i've ever lived in) that asked, "do you understand how radiators work?"

so okay. remember how a few weeks ago i woke up to discover that it had rained in my apartment? where by "rained" i mean "super hot steam had blown out of a valve on my radiator and soaked half of my apartment including my entertainment unit"?

well, and then i didn't call my apartment fix-it guy because i am me. and i get weirded out about having a guy come to my apartment when i'm not there. and also i can't have a guy come to my apartment when i'm not there if the apartment isn't at least somewhat clean. and thus, i've had to go a few weeks without heat because i couldn't manage to clean my place. it's really very sad.

but finally i called the guy because man, has it gotten cold! and i called him and he said, basically, that that's what radiators do. and if it spurts water for more than like, 10 minutes, i should be worried. but not otherwise.

so i decided to go home and try and put a wash cloth over the valve for 10 minutes and see if it stopped spurting.

and it did.

which means that ya-huh. because i feared speaking to the man about my radiator in case he'd have to come to my unclean apartment, i went without heat for three weeks despite that the problem was fixable by me in under 5 minutes.

i have issues.

on the other hand, i was feeling pretty stupid about the whole thing until i got home last night and discovered that everyone in the building had been left with a note on their doors.

the note was entitled: RADIATOR DO'S AND DON'TS.

a-HA! i thought. so i'm NOT the only person who missed that day in class!

i mean, obviously this note was delivered for a reason other than my silly phone call to mr. fix-it. and plus, the note had obviously come from someplace special, since it was all typed up and photocopied as opposed to the notes i usually get from my landlady which are always handwritten in phoenetic english and copied through a fax machine on fax paper (high-tech circa 1992).

so the Magical Note from Somewhere was in fact very helpful in explaining Radiator Rules that i had no idea existed.

except i did think the tone was a little...snotty. like, i'm just supposed to KNOW that you can't turn your radiator off while the radiator is warm? i'm just supposed to KNOW that if you DO turn it off while it's still warm that you will force water to collect and spurt and leak and stuff? i'm just supposed to KNOW that the valve has to be all the way open or all the way closed, but not partially on because that will make bad watery things happen, too?

and come ON. who honestly knew that turning your radiator off while it's still warm is why radiators make banging sounds? apparently your radiator does NOT want to be turned off when it's warm and it will yell at you -- BANGBANGBANG -- to tell you so.

so all this time, there was my radiator banging out, "kristy! no! i can't go off now! turn the valve back on! on!!! allll the way!!! or else i will be forced to spit water out at you!"

and yet all i heard was "BANG. BANGBANG. hisssssss. BANG."

which makes me very sad.

because i realized that -- in addition to being oddly scared of my fix-it man, unkempt, unreasonably cold, and just plain radiator-stupid -- i am also a very poor radiator communicator.
******

oh. so guess what i had for breakfast this morning.

a Grande Guilt Latte. with foam.

i thought i could handle it. and i knew i had to try it. because the people i know who have had the eggnog latte have been singing its praises too loud to ignore.

go ahead. ask someone who's tried it. say the words EGGNOG LATTE and see what sort of reaction you get. eyes will glaze over. mouths will hang open. drool will form. "why??? are you going to go get one???" they'll ask, feverishly. "let's go get one! right now!"

and be careful because they are not kidding and will possibly stampede over you on their way to the nearest starbucks or peet's.

anyway, i decided i needed to know. so this morning i headed on over to starbucks and picked up a couple of the eggnog lattes for me and risey.

and? the verdict?

well, pardon my french, but steamy, foamy eggnog mixed with espresso is pretty much hot orgasm in a cup.

HOWEVER. (and of course there has to be a however. remember that part about guilt?) it turns out that even when made all fancy and hot and served in a lidded cup, i cannot avoid the classic eggnog guilt.

you know what i mean. you know the guilt. the guilt that comes from having heard The News (EVERY YEAR since forever because The News LOVES telling you this) that eggnog is the single most fattening substance known to humankind and if you drink it you will immediately gain ten pounds and clog your arteries and go cross-eyed and start limping and heaven forbid you drink eggnog with abandon because then you will simply die a horrible eggnoggity death.

and even though i try and explain to The News (in my head) that it's really okay if i have the occassional eggnog latte because it's only available ONE TIME a year, and it's not like i'm drinking chantico* or something, The News echoes its warnings of eggnog doom and i am left feeling helplessly, hopelessly guilty.

because not only did i DRINK an entire grande-sized cupful of steamed eggnog, i ENJOYED it. and thus feel like i should spend the rest of the day apologizing to The News and my body and God and all that is good and holy and sugarless and fat-free.

and no latte is worth that.




*don't even get me started on the absurdity of this being legal.

29 comments:

  1. good lord! i just moved to nyc and and had NO knowledge of radiators because this is the first time I've had one before & I'm SO glad you've taught me these new things about them! It hasn't gotten cold enough to touch the thing, so thank god you've shed some light on the situation beforehand.

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  2. Umm, when I moved into my place in San Francisco, I practically had to sign a waiver that I would use the radiator correctly. I think that there was an addendum to my lease and notices are posted on every floor in the building!

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  3. Don't despair!
    Some coffee shops have FAT-FREE eggnog lattes! It's true. They are not as good, but only in the way that real lattes aren't as good as non-fat lattes.

    Go forward and have more eggnog. As it's delicious.

    Oh, and radiators suck.

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  4. So have you tried the Chantico? What's it like?

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  5. I approve of your new format. Not that you want, need or asked for it, but still.

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  6. At least your Mr. Fix-It man didn't come and fix your radiator while you were still there and walked out of your bedroom half-naked. I really wish I knew enough to manage that radiator myself...

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  7. Have you tried the ginger bread late? It's like liquid crack. Not that I've tried crack or liquid crack.

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  8. We just got new radiators, so Thanks! Now you're all warm and toasty.

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  9. OK, first of all, TWO of your IIFs came up with the VERY SAME hot water bottle cozy pattern, so you realize this must be fate, right?

    Secondly, egg nog is just plain gross. I convinced myself of that at the age of 5, and in 25 years, no amount of coffee or steam or rum has been able to tell me differently. If you talk yourself into this, all will be well...

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  10. hot orgasm in a cup. jesus, woman, you are HILARIOUS!! that was awesome. i might have to borrow that phrase, but i'll give you all the credit.

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  11. Oh no, I tried the gingerbread latte, and it was foul! There's no way I'm trying the egg nog latte, which I already know will be gross...But Kristy, I think you should get all the egg nog lattes you can before they take them away!

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  12. Chantico...Oh man! Just look how its loaded with calcium and Iron. Three or four of those a day and you got ALL your Ca and Fe. Good stuff.

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  13. Update: Partner has told me that Starbucks does not carry the fat-free eggnog (bastards!). But if you're willing to make the trip, Progressive Grounds in Bernal Heights does. :)

    Small consolation, I know.

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  15. the eggnog one has far more cholesterol AND sodium than the chantico. and the chantico has 6g of fiber, as opposed to the eggnog's 0. 6g is pretty good, that's like 2 slices of whole wheat bread.

    and so what if you get a little extra fat with the chantico? it's not like you'd be drinking them every day.

    on the other hand, you could just get a cup of coffee.

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  16. rewards make the struggle worthwhile.

    on your death bed, would you rather say, "dammit, i wish i hadn't had that latte," OR, "dammit, that latte was good. i wish i could have one more."

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  17. Oh, the eggnog latte...it is worth it. It IS worth it.

    And the Chantico is worth it, too. But only very occasionally. I'm not at all worried about the fat. I take about a sip and a half and my internal diabetes-monitor starts clanging. Three sips and my eyes are watering from the sugar. And I love it. LOVE IT!

    But cannot drink enough of it to get all the fat in the cup, because I'd die before the end. So...the Chantico is actually the better choice, I think.

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  18. This reminds me of a delightful little conversation I had with a maintenance guy at our last apartment. The maintenance people would conveniently leave at 4 so if you work regular hours you have to make an "after hours emergency call" when you got home. And they do say that no heat qualifies as an emergency (I think it's a law that they can't leave you without it).

    maintenance: "yeah, uhhh got your message, you don't got heat?"
    me: "no, I don't hear or feel any heat from the register when I turn the knob"
    maintenance: "well ya see, the radiant heat, it don't blow...so don't think it's not on just cause it don't blow"
    me: "yeah well, the register's ice cold and we've had this problem every time we go to turn the heat back on in the winter"
    maintenance: (sighs, sounds pissed off) "alright, I'll come over there but I'm all the way across town"
    me: alright then

    Wouldn't you know it, I wasn't hallucinating, there was a problem that we couldn't have fixed ourselves. Jerkasses.

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  19. I tried that Chantico when it first came out...I live in Seattle and it's a prerequisite to try all new Starbucks drinks. I was good, but left this nasty chalky chocolately film in your mouth...

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  20. Totally with you on the eggnog latte...it is a thing of beauty, incredible to imbibe.

    I had one with half-eggnog, half-skim milk, and it was actually quite awesome.

    Plus, what's Christmas without eggnog and guilt? At least you got a twofer with your latte. :)

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  21. You almost make me want to go to Starbucks.

    *almost*

    but, lolol.

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  22. I tried the Chantico (another Seattlite forced to try everything Starbucks) and thought it was way too thick. Solution? Add two shots of espresso. Mmmmmm... Chantico mocha. Now there's liquid crack.

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  23. i hate egg nog, and i'm tempted to go try one of these suckers- if they're available in nyc (i'm sure they are). i laughed out loud about the orgasm in a cup and The News (the limping and such- definite stand up material!!), which i'm having a rough time explaining to my evil coworker. can someone please tell evil lady, "tis' the season ya hummbuggy old bag! giggle a little!"

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  24. k,

    am i the only one who gets a aluminum-like flavor/taste in my mouth whenever i sampled starbuck's eggnog latte? uh, yeah, so it was easy enough to say "no thanks" when i stopped being a starbuck's mystery shopper and avoid them altogether as if they were the black death.

    anyway...i had read your initial blog regarding the radiator and stored something away in the back of my head, for future reference. reference being, of course, as it relates to electricity and electrical items including cords, surge protectors, appliances, switches, and lamps.

    as a journeyman union electrician (i'm a woman but yeah, that's what we're called if we're licensed and certified by a state electrical exam board), i highly recommend that you take the time to become as familiar as possible with the electrical hazards found everyday in your own household.

    why?

    because it's not really the total number of voltage that can hurt ya, it's the amperage. yes, even a 110-volt lamp has the potential to electrocute ya just as much as a high-voltage line outside on the street somewhere.

    every year at the union hall, they show a new movie that is meant to "wake" us up and make sure we don't get complacent on the job. one thing that the movie consists of is actual video footage shot by others of their loved ones, etc...

    and the most startling segment i've had the misfortune of having to sit and watch in its entireity is a half-dressed woman in her apartment who is late for work and is surprised by her husband/bf/partner who is filming her. at the time, she's in the bathroom, blow drying her hair, and when he peeks in with the camera, she drops the blow dryer, swings a fist at him, and pushes him out the door at the same time she's shutting the door.

    only thing is, the door isn't shut and he sneaks right back up to the crack to film her some more but see, she's distracted after what's just happened, she isn't really thinking about what she's doing, so when she reaches down to get the blow dryer, she doesn't realize it's in the half-sink basin full of water and when she touches it...

    *BAM*

    the video shows her entire body thrown backwards into the shower/tub, a bright flash, and a loud pop.

    and the camera is dropped as her husband/bf/partner runs to her aid but guess what?

    she's dead.

    electrocuted from a 110-volt circuit.

    *sigh*

    and we have to sit in that union hall for about an hour watching tons of these little segments because, well, that's what happens on jobs like ours, in our chosen profession, mistakes and lots of them.

    so...the next time you have a radiator water-blast that soaks your apartment and you think the best thing to do would be to protect your electronic goods so, of course, you're gonna go shut off the surge protector, do me a favor and don't.

    ok?

    i'll be happy to explain why-fore's and how-come's in a personal email but suffice to say, what might make sense to you at the time might not really be the best decision you could possibly make.

    capische?

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  25. Try the Grande Skim Peppermint Mocha with Whip... mmm... and the skim and whip neutralize eachother. Yuuuummmmy!

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  26. god, i've lived with a radiator for nearly two decades now and i didn't know all these rules...!
    yikes.

    and you haven't truly had egg nog unless you've had it in wisconsin. what we're drinking on the west coast is swill compared to that.

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  27. You can order psuedo non-fat egg nog lattes at Starbucks - ask for a non-fat one, and they'll do half full-fat eggnog and half skim milk. I prefer them that way b/c I think straight egg nog is just too sweet.

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  28. Terry - have you tried Strauss family dairy's egg nog? It is pretty tasty, and chock full'o' guilt.

    I do the half egg nog, half skim milk thing. They should have a name for that.

    The "Ish." Whadya think? Catchy, no?

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  29. ooh... Ish... i haven't tried the Strauss nog. i swore off California nog once I had my first taste of what's in Wisconsin (which they also stock for Easter -- go figure).

    anyway... i'm gonna have to check it out now!! damn you!

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