Happy Friday. There’s a mosquito somewhere in the apartment, which has bitten me approximately eight billion times today. I’m going to spent the afternoon hunting it down and seeking grim vengeance. With insects, I generally try to take an all-creatures-great-and-small leave-well-enough-alone approach, but mosquitos are exempt from my mercy. It’s going down.
Last weekend, I replaced a faulty igniter in our gas stove. I am not especially intrepid with household repairs—I live in constant fear of electrocuting myself, accidentally blowing stuff up, or causing grievous property damage—but I’m getting much better. This year alone, I’ve re-hung vinyl windows, replaced a broken window lock, replaced a p-trap in the kitchen sink, and fixed a leaky bathtub faucet. And now, of course, I’ve replaced the igniter. I watched dozens of YouTube videos before starting the repair, which ended up being a little tricky, since I had to get out the hacksaw to saw off a stuck machine-threaded screw.
Here’s my #1 household repair tip: Always have a hacksaw on hand. I ended up using it when I replaced the p-trap, too, as I had to saw the new PVC pipes down to the correct size to get them to fit together. Anyway, the most valuable YouTube video for replacing the igniter was the one below. I love this gentleman with his crisp shirt and his calm air of quiet competence. I want him to calmly guide me through every aspect of my life:
Anyway, the oven works like a dream. It’s still too summery here to really cook or bake anything, but I tested the new igniter by roasting up some broccoli and cauliflower. Toss the florets in olive oil and salt, spread them out on a cookie sheet, and roast at 425 for ten to fifteen minutes, until you start to get some good color on them. Scoop them into a serving dish, add a couple spoonfuls of drained capers and maybe a quick grating of lemon zest, and you’re done. One of my favorite ways to eat broccoli.
I picked up the wines in the above photo at the Whole Foods wine shop this morning. I’m doing roast chicken with zucchini and potatoes for dinner tonight, so I thought the chardonnay might be a good pairing. Mostly, though, I really love that label. Absolutely gorgeous. Probably 80% of my wine-purchasing decisions hinge upon whether I like the label, which I feel strongly is the most prudent and sensible way to decide such things.
My Wrong City promotion is still going on! Buy the Kindle version from Amazon (or download a copy free from Smashwords), then post a review—any length, any level of detail—on Amazon by the end of September. Then let me know about it by leaving me a comment here (or on any other post, or by Tweeting at me, or emailing me… basically, just let me know that you’ve done it), and I’ll enter you in a random drawing for a paperback copy of Demon City, plus swag. Look, September is more than half over now, and not a single person has taken me up on this, so if you do it, your odds of winning are very, very good.
What Not To Wear’s Stacey London wrote a surprisingly introspective piece recently for Refinery29 on figuring out how to dress when you’re in your forties and single. As someone in that same position, I related pretty strongly with a lot of her observations.
Video of the week: Tom Petty’s “You Got Lucky”, which is kind of a cool post-apocalyptic video for a song about a bitter breakup.
See you next week.