Wednesday, June 5, 2013

6.5.13 CftWH (Chronicles from the Wash House)

Attempt #2
Feeling sassy as I gather things up this morning for laundry day. Sassy because I was just there and now I know what I am doing. I'm an experienced laundromat user. While it's only been 2 days since the last three loads, one of my beautiful children has had potty accidents each of the last 2 nights in bed. So another three loads we go. The washers at the Wash House are pretty small, so a normal sized load for everyone else is like two loads there.
I remembered to grab a magazine on my way out the door - thanks, Costco Connection for just recently arriving.
I get there and scope out the place. Mumbling woman possibly doing laundry, but more than likely, a crazy homeless person. She could also be a recent escapee from the local hospital as she is wearing all of the attire still. For the record, I am woefully uncomfortable around people who loudly talk and cuss at the wind. Not necessarily their fault, we need more social programs, etc, I just don't like being in the same room with them.
Only one other launderer this morning. Guy who had somehow managed to nap while sitting up on the uncomfortable bench! I must replicate his positioning... AFTER I grab the good washers that is.
Monday I learned one washer doesn't keep time well. It was the first one loaded and started yet somehow the last to finish. I will not use it today. I am smarter than that.
Only sort of. The new washer I picked has a terribly annoying squeak, but fortunately only while it's running. Must remember this for next week.
Washers finish, got two loads into one dryer. I feel successful!
Out of some back room comes the worker guy / owner/ custodian I don't really know who he is or where he came from but all of a sudden he was telling the woman she had to leave. This didn't go over too well, as she insisted she was doing laundry (she clearly wasn't) and then continued to cuss and yell at him even after he disappeared back to where he came from. In a few more minutes, she gathered her belongings and left.

Another ten minutes later, worker guy is back to wake up sleeping guy and ask "Can I help you?" Polite enough, right? Sleeping guy responds with "No" and continues to ignore him. Worker guy mumbles something back and then disappears again. Man, I am going to have to watch this guy next time. He's like a magician - throws a distraction my way and *poof* he is gone! Sleeping guy is now awake and I have totally misjudged him. Thought he was just a neighbor doing laundry and dozing while it laundered. Dressed decent, not talking to himself or yelling at me. Until he asks me if I smoke, then I'm done with him. Dryer finishes and as I'm folding the towels and sheets, worker guy appears again (how DOES he do that??) to take picture of now awake guy. WG tells him what he's doing, it's perfectly clear he taking AG's picture, and then *poof*. AG just sits there the whole time and says or does nothing. What is going to be done with the picture? I just don't know.
As I leave, I pass the escapee patient sitting on the curb in the parking lot with her pile of 'stuff'. Still in the hospital garb, still rambling on.
For this day, my clothes are clean and I was entertained. Plus I read about cooking camps for kids, for the summer time, so a win all around.

Chronicles from the Wash House

We are renovating our house right now. Started last week, the Tuesday after Memorial Day. I am without my washer and dryer. My first visit to the nearest laundromat was this past monday. I'm going to try to write a little each time I go, mostly because this little hub is large with activity.

Monday, June 3
My first "house renovation" visit to the Wash House. Actually, the name painted on the walls is " 'lectric Wash House" . Not sure why they didn't put the E there, but they didn't. I've been to this laundromat before, when the washer died two years ago. It's open, clean, but there is literally NOTHING to do while your clothes are tumbling.
I don't surf the net on my phone. My phone is too small and slow, my eyes too old and slow. I start the 3 washers and watch the timer click ON to 31 minutes. I sit on one of the most uncomfortable benches on the planet and watch the lady across from me with her book. Oh - a book! Why didn't I think to bring something to read? Because I'm not in school right now, so technically I don't have anything to read.
I decide the benches are so uncomfortable to keep the riff-raff that hang out along Telegraph Ave from sleeping on them. It's not that they are bumpy or metal or jagged or anything. The seat portion angles back, so that if you are borderline short, your feet wouldn't touch the ground.Very awkward. After about 10 minutes of trying to look like I have mastered finding the sweet spot on the bench, I get up for a walk around the outside of the House.
Not necessarily the smartest thing to do. First discovery around the corner was a used condom. For reals. There HAVE to be more romantic places to do this and really, the thing was tossed on the ground maybe 5' from the garbage can. I started thinking about the poor (hopefully gloved) sap who cleaned the parking lot and discovered it too. Would they pretend not to see it, so they didn't have to pick it up? Or just deal with it as they do every time they find one there? Either way, I felt bad for them.
Make it all the way around the rest of the building with no other discoveries. UNTIL I get to where my car is parked. I lean against it for warmth, as the sun was mostly hiding behind the clouds that day. As I start paying attention to the playful pigeons in the parking lot, I realize spring has sprung, and they got the fever. At least one set of pigeons were going for it, right there in front of me. National Geographic, live in Oakland, only I can't change the channel.
Ah well, maybe next time will be better.