Wednesday, July 18, 2007

A Worse Than Average Day

Hi All!

I don't mean to make this another "The world is a dog and Wog is a hydrant" story, but Godfrey Daniels, this day has been a right sledgehammer.

I may flesh this out later because I am blocking out quite a few incidents.

For now, "in the mood" so it seems, I will recount just a few slings and arrows.

Everyone has days where nothing goes right, so I don't pretend to feel special.

An unexpected tuition balance of about $3000 was brought to my attention by a student who doesn't read his UofM email. Pay up by 8/1 or fall registration is canceled. Worse, the bill includes $367 of "Student Medical Service Fee" which is in error, as the student is covered by the family's insurance. In any case, we live so much hand to mouth that even $2633 kills.

The latest unexpected and un-budgeted and mechanic screw job needed to be picked up from a shop many miles distant. I was able to prevail upon an available offspring to drive me out there to pick it up. I had already bent over and taken it in the checking account yesterday so we just needed to get it.

I forgot the keys.

Ho hum.

Another offspring made off with mom's car, the only air-conditioned vehicle in the fleet, to go to work.

Mom and aforementioned available offspring had to drive to the work site to swap cars with my pride and joy -- the primo, darned near collectible one. The thought of it sitting all day in Rosedale's parking lot added to my already spiking anxiety and frustration.

But mom needed her cool car to ferry the third offspring to tennis lessons and friends houses and grocery shopping and the stuff moms do in their ubiquitous late model generic white GM sedans with a cruising temp of 60 degrees or less on full A/C, cocooned with all windows shut tight and KS95 spewing out boring crap MOR mom music.

I retreated to my furnace room retreat and tried to compose myself. The PC had become almost completely buried in stacks of urgent papers and such, so I dug into the pile, determined to pay some bills and settle some disputes and recycle some paper.

As modern suburbanites, we of course have the much vaunted "Central Air". There is a pump attached to the furnace that expels the many gallons of condensate that accumulate during hot steamy days like today.

The water is forced overhead through a copper pipe and travels the length of the basement along the ceiling to the laundry room where the drain is located.

I had simmered to a slow boil as I distracted myself shuffling through the "Pile of Great Urgency" when the pump kicked in.

A pinhole leak in the copper tube right over my head let out a fine stream of condensate on me and my computer and my work.

At this point, I started laughing hysterically.

The absurdity of my life in general and today in particular was embraced and accepted.

I calmly waited for the pump to stop, dried off the pipe and wrapped the afflicted area with a few yards of duct tape, which helpfully was hanging from the pegboard behind the desk.

A minor but important victory.

With uplifted spirits, I paid some bills, cursed out a few customer service reps and wrote a few nasty letters to unfair creditors.

Things were turning around.

At noon, I had my first meal of the day, some old chicken soup I made a week ago that no one else would touch, and a half bologna sandwich.

Thus sated and feeling spent, I succumbed to the temptation of attempting to pull off a "power nap" which always ends up in my awaking after supper.

I changed into a fresh pair of shorts and a clean shirt and collapsed on my back into the welcoming queen bed, folded my hands over my huge, gelatinous gut and started to blank out.

But I couldn't.

Whether is was the pissed-offedness of the bad stuff or the encouragement of the small achievements, my endorphins kicked in and I launched my considerable frame from the demon temptress queen.

When I need to attack a hopeless mess, I needn't go far in my house. I chose to take on the garage -- why chisel away at something in the nice air conditioned domicile when hot, sweaty work with lots of moving heavy boxes and stuff around was beckoning my growing insanity.

I got a bit dizzy and remembered that I had forgotten to take my morning meds which prevent my poor brain from going all encephalitic from the ammonia buildup that my liver can't filter out anymore. My doc once warned me that once I realized I was getting light headed and confused, I could be minutes from a coma.

A couple of pills and a big swig of Laculose got me back to reality and I went after the mess in the garage with a determined, yet controlled vengeance.

Then it got really dark all of a sudden and rained like hell. The car windows and sunroof were open, so I got an my second shower of the day, but this one was much worse than getting peed on by a pinhole leak in a copper pipe.

It should air out in a week or two.

Last week I brought my '72 Bug home from it's pole barn home at the lake for it's summer exercise.

I had accomplished what for me is a lot so I thought I'd reward myself with a short Beetle ride to HarMar Mall for a game or two of trivia and some fitty-cent chicken legs at Buffalo Wild Wings.

The storm had abated, but I encountered some serious puddles on the half-mile trip. When I pulled into the shopping mall from busy County Road B, I was confronted with the sight of some poor sucker who thought his fancy faux-Mercedes Kia could get through a deep river, like the horses in the old westerns who forded streams.

Those of us old enough to remember will know that VW Beetles float. Too bad Ted Kennedy wasn't taking Mary Jo home in one of them, but I digress.

Since the entrance was blocked by a drowned Korean jalopy, I was force to back out onto a very very very busy street.

Everyone stopped for me and let me out. The Beetle Cuteness Factor worked it's magic.

Found another way into the lot and played a couple or rounds and chatted up my favorite waitress and headed blissfully home.

Remember that car that needed picking up but I forgot the keys?

Well the urchin who had my prize Scorpio was done with work so I prevailed upon him to drive me out, keys in hand, to pick up the other Scorpio.

Unfortunately, he had left the lights on and killed the battery. I calmly planned to jump start it with the mom's car.

Now where the hell or those jumper cables?

At this point, I am so beyond feeling that I simply drove to where he was, picked him up and took him to get the car. My PP could be jumped later or perhaps the battery would recover after a time.

As long as I was out in Vadnais Heights, a visit to my favorite trivia venue was in order. A cranberry juice and a HamDog (a specialty of this place combing a dog wrapped in a burger -- it is better than it sounds) and a couple of weakly played rounds and some depressing Twins-Tigers watching, and I was ready to head home.

I got it in my mind that I REALLY had to hook up the old turntable to my modern media center and play "It's Only Rock and Roll." It became an obsession. I couldn't wait to get home.

Then I got home and the PP car is still dead and there isn't any shelf space for the turntable and there is a dry furnace room with a computer and some stash in the drawer and so I started writing this.

And now I am stopping.



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