The driver's-side headlight on M----'s CRV burned out yesterday. Being the man of the house I stopped by Kragen Auto Parts on the way home to pick up a replacement bulb, and set to work trying to solve the problem my damn self.
I approached this task knowing that, despite my healthy track record of replacing tail light bulbs and lenses, the headlight was a different beast entirely. I once helped my friend try to replace a headlight bulb on his Honda Civic and it didn't go well. There's a lot more crap to deal with in the front of the car than the back. This difficulty, I knew, would only be exacerbated by the fact that I don't own a single tool that wasn't at one time in the "hardware" aisle of a supermarket. Nonetheless, I decided to give it the old college try before overpaying some mechanic to do it for us.
It took about an hour. Though, to be fair, part of that time was wasted in trying to replace the high-beam instead of the headlight. After testing the outer limits of my spatial reasoning skills by trying to negotiate the little metal hold-in wire blindly with my right hand while holding a graphical representation of the apparatus in my left hand, encountering some strange whitish goo in the electrical connector that I was afraid might be acid (it wasn't, which I determined by poking it with my finger), using dish gloves to handle the new bulb to avoid getting oil or perspiration on it, scraping up my forearm on the various bits and pieces standing between me and the light fixture, and getting my shirt thoroughly covered with grease, I managed to get the bastard in there and get the CRV's front end back in business. I felt very pleased with myself.
And then, the goddamn hood wouldn't close. The primary latch (the one controlled by the switch inside the car) would not engage the hood at all. I got M----'s help in trying to figure out what was wrong, and after a while determined that I had no answers. This was very upsetting, being as it was that M---- was already having a profoundly stressful week which is set to culminate on Thursday when she defends her dissertation (something which will require, at the very least, a functional automobile).
The story of getting the hood fixed this morning is long and arduous, and involves one of my many ideas that was good in theory (calling the tow truck service that we bought when we bought the car) and bad in practice (the tow truck never showed up). The bottom line is that the guy at Berkeley Honda fixed the hood by whacking the metal clip with a ballpeen hammer. There's something very satisfying about auto repair using nothing but the application of pure physical force.
Anyway, M---- has her car back, I was two hours late to work today, and by the end of the week I'm going to be married to a doctor.