Category Archives: flood

leaves drop & turn

Today was a pretty decent day. The last couple have been, actually, in spite of some dramatics concerning arguments over abortion and gay rights. But today all that floated away on a relatively cool Memphis breeze. I did wake up to a neighborhood without electricity, but I was happy to find out (after 45 minutes and five phone calls) that people with city water can still take showers! I was raised in the country with a well – it’s all very confusing for us backward rural folk! H’yuck?

Anyway, I went to work with wet hair pulled back and a sack full of perishable groceries, just in case. That flood back in Ann Arbor really did strengthen my survivalist skills. Before I found out about the water situation, I already had an overnight bag packed for a trip to the home of whichever coworker would be kind enough to take me in until power was restored. Be prepared!

But after all that, things definitely smoothed out. My camera arrived from Amazon, much to my incomparable delight. As soon as I’d opened the box, RP came over, requested that I hand over the battery, set the clock and shot a video of most of the Web team. Technically, the camera is still his, since we’ve yet to make it to the bank to deposit my bonus check, but that’s not my fault! I carry it around with me everywhere these days, just in case we somehow randomly end up at Regents Bank… Soon though.

However, on the camera note, RP suggested something interesting tonight. I am still sort of considering it, but only in the mildest sense of the word. He does Web development for a local Jewish high school and he was setting up a registration module recently for a set of community classes that’s starting there soon. The Conversational Hebrew one sounded pretty cool, and he kept going on and on about the pottery-making class. Problem? A single class is $100! And the art supplies fee for the pottery class is $250! So, when we were chatting online tonight, he said something cryptic about “canceling the camera” and taking the class with him. I immediately brushed it off, knowing I wasn’t about to send back the camera and accessories just to take a two-month-long pottery class. But apparently what he meant was, forget about paying him back for the camera, let him use it when he wants (because he doesn’t have one) and use my bonus check to take the class instead. !!! Like I said, very, very mild consideration on my part.

Tonight, I went to Romans class at Hope, which was decent. It occurred to me while there that I’m still in love with taking notes and preparing for quizzes. While everyone else there was sitting back in a leisurely manner, maybe filling in the blanks on the evening’s worksheet, listening to the presenter read bible verses off the big screen, I was poring over my own translation and taking notes in a separate notebook. Like I was in college preparing for a test. I think that’s actually how I am about most things – if someone sat me down at work and wanted to teach me about something new, I’d scribble notes furiously for a test later – so it’s not that surprising, but it does remind me of the whole seminary thing again.

Tonight when I got home, I had an email from a new acquaintance, which helped round out the evening quite well. I don’t know what this potential friendship holds, but I have some hope. We have a gym date of sorts tomorrow evening, which should be fun. I’m not always up for chatting during cardio, but for nice people, I’m willing to make an exception. Now ideally? I will hop off the elliptical and say, “Gotta get home and watch ‘The Office’!” And he will say, “Really? Me too! Want to come watch with me?” And then we will fall madly in love in a cute Jim-and-Pam kind of way. … ….. haha?

But seriously, it’s kind of fun.

I also watched the “more cow bell” SNL sketch for the first time tonight after RP called me a fraud for knowing who was in it, claiming to know what it was and never having seen it. Honestly? It was a LOT funnier than I thought it’d be, considering all the hype. Much like “Monty Python,” if I hear anything repeated too many times, I automatically start to hate it, even if I haven’t seen it myself. But Will Ferrell’s gut and Christopher Walken’s general awesomeness redeemed this particular cult classic for me.

Tomorrow morning holds the potential for being kind of stressful, but I’m trying not to get overwhelmed just yet. It will be my first live chat session without my supervisor. He’ll be out of town for a funeral, so I’ll be showing our chat host the ropes, maintaining order during the session, etc. I was already the entire tech support crew – now I’m also the organizer, implementer, timer, peace keeper, problem solver and executive decision maker. I may become the blubbering idiot as a result, but I hope I can keep it together! Just have to remember the important stuff and shrug off what can’t be fixed.

All right, time for sleep. I will be a basket case in the morning if I don’t rest up…

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Filed under flood, fun, jobs, plans, recap, thoughts

defined

There is no better way to describe my issues than this: http://www.webmd.com/depression/guide/chronic-depression-dysthymia. There’s an even better, more in-depth description here: http://www.allaboutdepression.com/dia_04.html. I’d forgotten about dysthymia all this time.

So, I haven’t really felt like posting lately. I’ve been living at home since the flood and I think I’ll be able to move back in tomorrow, once I load up all my stuff and make my way back over there. I’m going to check things out at lunchtime today, just to be sure it’s ready. Just to add a cherry to the already gargantuan flood ice cream sundae, the company replacing the flooring managed to break the glass on my oven door while moving it back into place. Seriously? That’s just too much. I’m happy to hear the flooring has been taken care of in all of the rooms, so I don’t have to figure out how much rent to trim off because I’m walking around on bare concrete.

My new computer may arrive today! According to DHL’s Web site, it’s with a delivery courier out of Romulus, Mich., so I have high hopes of a day-early delivery. Not that I’m scrambling to find a place to do my work, but that would make the transition back into my apartment almost entirely seamless, not leaving me without a way to do my second job, as I would’ve faced before once I left my mom’s. I’m still ruing not scaling down my build a bit to save money, but I know the ridiculous speed of my machine will be worth it. It better be, anyway…

I stayed up too late last night watching “Gilmore girls.” After coming home from Tod’s, I thought I’d finish the episode I’m pretty sure I fell asleep during, but it ended with grandpa Gilmore having a heart attack, so I obviously couldn’t stop there! So I watched the next episode and went to sleep around midnight. I’m dragging a bit today, despite getting 10 hours of sleep a night over the weekend. And now that we’re out of white tea, I’m drinking green, which is fine, and probably better for me. Once I move back into the apartment, I need to get back on track. Going to the church nearby means I can work out for free at the local health club on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, 1-6, so I’m going to try to do that as often as possible. If they offer a month-to-month situation with low start-up costs, I may do that, too, through May. There’s a place on Washtenaw that charges only $10-20/month, but it is a bit out of the way, so $40/mo for something I’m more likely to use may make more sense for me. We’ll see. I just need to start feeling better, especially when the weather’s improving.

The past several days… I don’t remember much going on during the week. I visited with Vicki, Ed and Ryan, who came out from Nebraska last week. I had Vietnamese food with them, Ben and Jo on Wednesday. That was after I had an eye exam during the workday and came back unable to look at the computer because of the pupil dilation. It was like when you take a video of a computer screen and it flashes like crazy – I thought my head was going to explode. But I found out I needed a higher prescription in my contacts (and likely several steps higher in my glasses, but that won’t happen for a while), which is good. Anyway, I also saw the whole crew for lunch on Thursday, and they took a tour of my office while they were here.

Thursday night I got to meet Tod’s new library coworkers, all of whom are very nice. There’s one other guy within his department: a dad who’s really excited about his tiny son. The rest of them are women of varying ages, from pretty close to our age all the way through grandma status. I think I liked his boss and her partner the best – they were very amiable gals. We had food and drinks at Sidetrack in Ypsi and I ordered a Lindeman’s Framboise Lambic, not realizing it would cost $8 (!!!!) for one bottle. Tod and I then shared a gigantic Woodchuck, which cost considerably less and was twice as big. I know what to get from now on…

I got to see Tod Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights, and most of the day on Sunday, which made for a very nice weekend on my end (hopefully his too). We watched “Death at a Funeral” and “Knocked Up” (which we first saw at the theater with Mandy during our month-long broken-up period), as well as the last 5 minutes of an episode of Gilmore. On Sunday, we drove to Marshall, Mich., to have dinner with my dad’s family at Schuler’s. My dad turned 60 yesterday, which I think should come as a huge shock to all of our systems (my family’s, not my readers’) because of the landmark quality of that age. He is 60, my mom will be 60 and my sister will be 40. Even my brother turning 33 is going to seem weird, because he’s closer to my age and doesn’t seem so unreachable in his elderliness. Luckily, I will be a random 24, which is: a) my favorite number of all time, and b) not 25 or some other notable number. Phew. I wonder if we’re going to do anything to mark 40 for my sister… we didn’t celebrate my brother-in-law’s 40th last year, so that might seem rude. Hmm.

Back on topic, sheesh. Tod napped while I drove back from Marshall and no sooner did we cuddle up in his bed for some shut eye than his parents walked in the door with the tiny dog. Disappointing. =\ We sat around for a little bit while his mom fretted about what she would feed us, despite Tod’s insistence that we weren’t hungry. I think she might’ve been afraid I would just leave and not visit with them if there was no food on the horizon. =P Silly moms. Tod and I played a little DDR while she baked her hand-breaded chicken tenders (geez) and set out a spread of dips, veggies, cookies, bread, chips, etc. It was way over the top for a casual Sunday meal after we’d already eaten enough “dinner” at the restaurant. But it was nice, and appreciated. We all watched and complained about “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” then Bev slept while the three of us watched “Law & Order,” featuring a fake Jack Kevorkian guy and a disappointingly bland ending.

We have two Web site meetings at work this week, which is exciting. We’re moving forward! Two more will happen next week, and one the week after. It’ll be good to get input and keep pressing on. I’d love to have some updated Adobe software for creating and editing images, but I’ll have to stick with Photoshop 6.0 for now, since NHQ didn’t come through with the extra licenses as promised. Jana got her Mac under the impression they had extra licenses for the Adobe CS3 suite, but they don’t, which means she’ll keep using her old PC until we get something. It’ll be a few weeks, I’m sure. Maybe after that, but I bet not, for some reason. They’ll forget or give it to someone else; that’s usually how it goes. I’m used to it. Speaking of, I need to start looking for jobs…

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Filed under computers, depression, flood, health, recap

who says you can’t go home again?

Why do I find it so comforting to awaken in my mother’s house? Even when I’ve spent the evening fidgeting around on the hard futon, I still prefer that to waking up alone elsewhere. Perhaps it’s just that it feels like a vacation right now, after only one night, and will lose its luster after two weeks homebound. The whole routine really makes me miss the wellness center; I wish I could coerce them into letting me use it while I’m in town. More flexible membership options would be nice too. I’m going on their Web site to see if I can leave comments…

There, that’s done. Moving on. Tod’s mom was kind enough to set a place for me at their table last night and we had a delicious breakfast for dinner: whole-wheat blueberry pancakes, scrambled eggs with bacon and scallions, ham and fruit cups with whipped cream. I was so tired from the night before, and had been sustaining myself on Wendy’s chicken nuggets and a baked potato all day, so I scarfed it down without a second thought. Bev said I made her day by coming for dinner, since she had had kind of a crappy one to that point, because of work drama. I hope that resolves itself soon; I hate to see/hear her upset about the jerks at the retirement home.

The eclipse last night was lovely. I wish I had had some binoculars to see it better, but even stepping outside to move my car at 10 p.m. allowed me a great view. Archie (mom’s fiancĂ©e) was all excited about it, but both of them were sound asleep on the couch come 9 o’clock, and barely stirred when I wandered in to say goodnight. I was asleep before they relocated to their bedroom. Early bedtimes are wonderful. =)

I feel more relaxed being back at home too. I was pondering my plans for the next couple days and considered vacuuming my car, taking a bath, having Tod over to watch a movie, finishing the last few hours of STN work for the week, organizing all the stuff I brought home and doing laundry. Nothing seems urgent and I am not stressed in the least about any of it. I probably would be if I were still out in the scary world. I definitely would be if I were trying to live in my rainforest-like apartment. The only downside: I had to scrape my car this morning and drive a half-hour to work on the expressway. I didn’t miss that at all.

On a less buoyant note, I think I’m getting sick again. My throat started feeling scratchy at Tod’s last night, which doesn’t surprise me after all that late-night gallivanting, but it definitely doesn’t make me happy. My goal is to go to bed early the next couple nights and keep my activity to a minimum. I’ve been swilling OJ (or at least drinking it twice a day) and bundling up outside. The pox are fading, which gives me hope, but Tod claims to have had one on his arm the other day, which totally freaks me out. What are they? I hope the spread ends there. Senior citizens and babies, stay away!

I have to follow up on a random bill from the insurance company today, as well as my 1-800-Contacts order, which has been pending for the past two weeks because of my eye doctor’s stubbornness. I will not pay $30/box for your contacts, lady! Let me have my clearance lenses! And on that note, have a great day all.

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Filed under flood, health, home, recap

generosity and type B

Sometimes I fail to notice the generosity of the people around me. Even the smallest things are laced with kindness when I least expect it, and for that I am so thankful. This short list has come about in the past 24 hours and it amazes me that so little need be said or done to make the sun shine more brightly:

Steve at the Sheraton: Gave me a $25 discount on a premium executive room and wouldn’t accept a $10 tip, “Because [I’d] need to get breakfast in the morning without a kitchen.”

Nina: Invited me over for dinner, bought a bunch of expensive ingredients and made awesome lasagna for us. She shared her wine and helped clean up the ridiculous mess I made when dropping my plate in the dining room. She kept saying how glad she was that I could come over and share a meal with her.

Brian: Offered to let me store stuff in his garage and/or chest freezer, if I needed space.

Warren: Offered to pay for me to stay at the Holiday Inn down the street if I didn’t have any other place to go – apparently it’s a lot cheaper than the Sheraton!

Upstairs neighbor: Offered any help I needed to pack things up and move them out.

Next door neighbors (Steve and Sara): Let me store food in their freezer and came squishing over to offer condolences and helping hands, if needed.

Kim: A friend of my mom’s who happens to be a carpenter extraordinaire. He came over to my apartment and offered some guidance as to watching for mold and making sure everything’s squared away before I move back in.

Tod: Is going to let me store food in his chest freezer until everything’s back to normal. And he took my library book back for me. =) And he’s my boyfriend.

Carla: Called me back this morning to check in after having received my late-night voicemail.

Bud: Has been hanging out at my place most of the day and is fixing the pipe in my kitchen. He also expressed deep condolences and we joked about my ability to stay cool last night, despite the crazy goings-on.

Kurt: Fielded a random, rambling phone call from me when I was en route to the disaster scene. I’m pretty sure I woke him up.

Mike: Fielded an equally random, rambling e-mail from me at 12:30 a.m., because he had made the mistake of responding to something else I’d written.

Officemates: Have been dealing with a fridge and freezer full of my groceries all day.

Mom: Is going to be putting me up during this ordeal. I’m glad she loves me as much as she does.

The list goes on, of course, and doesn’t even touch on the other wonderful people in my life, and those who would have superseded these people’s efforts had they known about the incident. But even this brief inventory gives me great pause, because I would like nothing more than to be this generous on a regular basis. Perhaps I’m just not given the chance to be, because no one ever seems to need anything, but would I rise to the occasion if given the opportunity? I hope so.

Second topic: The point of all this. While I do not cling wholeheartedly to the idea of the universe or God communicating with me, I know there is a lesson to be learned from this situation. It started last night, when I showed up on the flood scene slightly buzzed, but fully aware of the chaos. Somehow I managed to joke with myself and keep moving, packing up box after box and bag after bag, making trips to the car in my high heels. Bud said today, “You just don’t want to walk into a situation like that. I didn’t know what to say to you last night, so I just stepped back, offered my help and let you do your thing.” I laughed and said I was proud of myself, since I’m usually such an anxious person. If I had had a shoulder to cry on, I would have. But since it was just me and all my damp belongings, I took action and did what I had to do. I even came up with the post title of “soggy tragedy” while I was sloshing through my bedroom.

So, what is the purpose of the flood? It’s one of a few possibilities, really. One is that I’m very concerned about my “stuff,” when I probably shouldn’t be. This situation forces me to look at it all and say, “It could be worse. I’ll just throw these pillows away. I don’t need these pictures anymore,” rather than tearing up every time I find another damp article or can’t salvage something. Maybe this will get harder if someone says, “The couch has to go,” but hopefully that won’t be the case. Two, I’m learning to be more easygoing in general. It all started over the weekend, when I was forced into a fun situation after a stressful drive through GR and a fire alarm fiasco. Although it took several rum and Cokes to make it happen, it happened. And that continued into the days that followed, through the staff meeting and into the remainder of the week. I find I’ve been talking with people in a more casual manner, less nervous and scared and twitchy about saying something stupid or “wrong.” If this continues, I will be happy. If it doesn’t, perhaps I will have gained some new perspective, if nothing else.

I love learning lessons. I hope this situation continues to roll on smoothly. At this point, the furniture is staying and my carload of belongings is going to my mom’s with me. I’ll be staying there until everything is settled back at the apartment, estimated at 2-3 weeks right now. I may have new carpet when I get back! And I will have a new kitchen floor. No more warm spot though…

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soggy tragedy

I know most everyone is squeamish about the idea of walking in on their parents having sex, but I’m pretty sure I would have preferred that to what I walked in on last night: an apartment soaked with water from one end to the other.

I decided to be sociable and have dinner with Nina last night, chucking my plans for making a fancy salad and a smoothie and working all night. However, after some tasty zucchini, lasagna, garlic toast and red wine, our viewing of “I ♥ Huckabees” got cut short by a call from my landlord. On vacation in Tucson, he received a phone call from my neighbor Steve, who found water in the hallway – origin: my apartment. Bob (landlord) told me George (handyman) was on his way over, so I headed that way, too, and found myself in a much more serious situation than I had thought.

When I heard Steve had found water in the hallway, I figured a bit of a puddle right outside my door. No such luck. The “puddle” stretched down the hall toward the outside doors, as well as across our little nook and down the front hall of their apartment. No idea what happened on the other side of my unit, but hopefully not much. Every single bit of my carpet was soaked and even the parts that appeared dry were left with dark, soggy shoe prints after I walked through. I spent just over 2 hours packing up everything I could, after hearing the “disaster team” coming to vacuum up the water also would be cutting out all my carpet. I piled things in my car, including all my bedding, some clothes, items off bookshelves and everything I wanted to save from my fridge and freezer (they had to unplug them). My neighbors took a bit of my frozen food, but the rest is stored here at the office, after a 12:30 trip in and a quick apology e-mail for taking up so much space.

At 1, I was in desperate need of a place to sleep. I had made a call to one person at midnight, but that was my last contact with the outside world and I didn’t want to wake anyone, so I went over to the Four Points Sheraton, where DU hosts its annual staff meeting. Bob had told me the insurance money from the incident (on the condo’s tab, not his, because it’s a sub-foundation issue) would cover my hotel expenses, so I hope that will be the case. However, the front desk agent at the Sheraton was very kind, giving me their last room for $99, instead of the standard $125. I’m planning to write a letter of gratitude later today. The room was very nice and the bed was exquisite – I only wish I could’ve spent a few more hours in it. I’m dragging today. Twenty trips back and forth to my car while wearing pointy dress shoes and slacks probably didn’t help either. I’m just glad my shoes dried.

I’m going to head back over to my apartment at lunchtime to assess the damage and cleanup progress. I don’t know if I’ll be back there tonight, and kind of don’t imagine I will, but at least it won’t be a middle-of-the-night scramble and I can just stay at my mom’s. Oh, what an evening. And I thought breaking a dinner plate at Nina’s would be the worst moment…

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