I got a random itch this week to spruce up the old homestead, so I took a quick look around to determine what I disliked the most about our house. Sure, our living room lacks furniture (unless you count the Lego table), making us appear like nomadic serial killers, and an entire year's worth of Scotty's school work is littered in one of the upstairs bedrooms (what the heck am I supposed to do with all that stuff?), but it was the outside I focused on first. Namely, our address plate.
See, here in Vegas, most homes have these crappy white boxes technically called "address lenses" attached to the stucco where the house number is displayed. Per our HOA, it has to be uniform and match the rest of the neighborhood. One look around the cul-de-sac told me most people had replaced their lenses at least once since the homes were built in 2003, since theirs were bright, white and shiny. Ours was yellowed and cracking with one of the bulbs burned out. This seemed like a quick fix, right? Perfect. I love a good (easy) project.
The only place to purchase an address lenses (approved address lenses, that is) is clear across town. As in, the east side. ::collective gasp:: I know, right? The EAST side. And not Green Valley, either.
We all know the West side is the best side. Traversing across the Strip is kind of a big deal in my tiny universe. For non-Vegas people, you need to understand, when you live in Summerlin, your ultimate goal is to live, work, and shop no more than 10 miles from your house at any given time. Leaving the safe confines of Summerlin's gentle rolling hills and scenic walking paths is met with disapproval and disdain. Some trips are necessary; Downtown is okay, since it's fun to play hipster occasionally, and the Strip is fine when the moment calls for it (hello, Fashion Show Mall). But the EAST side? Really? Do people even live over there?
Scotty and I made the drive Tuesday afternoon. I made the unfortunate mistake of taking Sahara the whole way. Directly in front of Palace Station, 35 minutes into our journey, as I'm trying to weave around a ditched car in the left lane (this never happens in Summerlin!), Scott decides to inform me he needs to go potty. As in, #2.
Much swearing commenced, followed by strict instructions that Scotty can NEVER say those words to anyone, ever.
We finally got to the store (just east of 6th Street...that's how far through the looking glass we were), bought the appropriate lens, and let the boy poop. Things were looking up.
Until the lens did not fit.
The Very Kind Woman at the store assured me - no, PROMISED ME - the lenses were all the same size. Nope. Nope, nope, nope. That's a tall glass of nope if I ever saw one.
I found this out only after I had removed the old one, which shattered like glass in my hands. Years of baking in the hot sun had all but destroyed the thin plastic. "Popping" it off was not an option. More like "gingerly removing tiny shards at a time as not to slice a vein" was more accurate. Thankfully, I do not need my hands to run. Does this require a tetanus shot?
Today we went back to the store (took the 15 and it took 15 minutes). The Very Kind Woman gave me a new back plate and very specific instructions. It involves like, wires and stuff. Maybe even a drill. But, she assured me - no, promised - that this was the easiest repair of my life. Okay...
So, the good news is my assistant is a very cute 44" little guy who is well-adept at holding the ladder. The bad news is that it's 107 degrees out and the HOA has already driven by our house, staring and jotting notes about our gaping eye of an address lens.
I can do this, right? If I can run 31 miles in the dead of night, I can change an address lens. Off to meet my destiny...