One of those things was the dining room chandelier. We had taken it down as part of the rewiring, and then it looked like it was old, bad wiring, so we left it down. About a month after that, I had time to examine it more thoroughly and it was fine! Someone had just done a dumbass patch job that they didn't even need to do - basically they thought they didn't have enough wire to reach the ceiling box, so they spliced in some extra inches very badly, and after who knows how many years that had started to fray and come apart. I just yanked that extra wire out, the original wires were in fine shape, and with some careful maneuvering and help from a friend, put the fixture back up.
It was a very old chandelier, and it was in many pieces down a central column. Each piece was held together in a slightly different way, mostly variations on several long hollow screws. They were all precisely measured, and try as we might, we could not get them to all work together to allow the fixture to look and hang normally again.
(this is where I'd put a picture of that crooked chandelier if I had thought to take a picture of it but alas I was not that smart_
After a while, we just left it as best as we could, and so the fixture hung crookedly for about a year. Also, sort of from the wires which was obviously less than ideal and okay, fine, kind of dangerous, but you had to be there to realize just how maddening trying to get that puzzle right was.
I finally got sick of staring at it, and started to think about how I could fix it, when I was at the hardware store looking for something I discovered two things.
1. Those hollow screw things are called "lamp nipples."
2. You can buy them in all sorts of sizes!
Well, boom. I took the fixture apart, found the one that was the worst offender, went to the hardware store, and bought one that was 1" longer. Old one is on the left above, new on the right. $2.52 with tax, sweet!
Then I put the fixture back together, and hung it back up and lo, it hung straight and beautifully.
Then I flipped the light switch.
And there was a loud POP with a sort of echo-y fizzle, and the light turned back off.
Other lights were on, so it wasn't the breaker. I went to bed grumpy and feeling like a failure and the next morning got up, flipped the breaker off, and proceeded to take apart both the switch (totally fine) and the fixture itself (no obvious scorch marks, melted wires, etc).
Stumped, I put up a bulb in its place, and that turned on just fine. So...the fixture was dead. I must have tweaked something in all the twisting and movement that I had to do to take it apart and put it back together.
On the one hand: it's kind of dated, and was slated for replacement in 3-5 years anyway.
On the other hand: GOD DAMN IT.
So, we lived with a bare bulb for a week.
Wicked classy look.
Then we ordered a fixture off of Amazon for $75, because we are Millennials, and honestly there was ZERO room in the budget for the ideal perfect fixture right now.
And that's the story of how I accidentally installed a new dining room chandelier.