Sunday, October 02, 2011


The fastest way to have an out-of-body experience is to work and drive long hours, and then work and drive long hours again after only 2 hours of sleep. This week’s out-of-body experience for me is sponsored by God (my mother’s version), my parents, and Shiva the cat. And that’s just this past Friday. The last week is another matter entirely.

My adventure began on Monday. At the beginning of September, I always read Susan Miller’s monthly horoscope for my sign. She mentioned that after the Autumn Equinox on the 23rd, things were going to get “stormy”, so I should prepare for about 3 weeks of “storminess” (read as: crap). I remember thinking about this as I drove to work at the crack of dawn on Monday. I’d had a reasonably good weekend, and was dropping by to check on my parents’ house while they were on vacation. There’s no need for me to do this every day, as they have no living things in the house (pets, plants, etc.). I thought, hmm, what could possibly go wrong this week? (Note: do not ever think this. You will regret it).

Before she went on vacation, my mother stopped before closing the door and said a silent prayer: “Please, God, take care of my house while I’m gone.” (Here is where the God sponsorship comes in). As you know, I don’t believe in a personal God. However, it is clear that whatever God heard that prayer did not like the d├ęcor in her house—particularly not the 1970s-style bathrooms, or the 1990s carpeting, flooring, or wallpaper. So, He or She decided to take the opportunity to “take care” of it. I walked in the door that morning to the sound of running water. The upstairs toilet had a bizarre-looking crack in the front and back, and water had been pouring out of it as it continually filled up, probably for the last 2 days. Long story short—her upstairs carpeting, most of the downstairs floors, and most of the ceilings downstairs were destroyed by water.

And thus began my work week. I think I worked 2 hours on Monday, as I called every conceivable person necessary to deal with the crisis, starting with the fire department (who made sure that there were no fires in the walls from the wet electrical connections—the switches were buzzing), then my parents (who did not take the news well, as you might imagine), then the insurance company, and then a water extraction service. I had to let various people in and out of the house, and the water extraction crew was there for 6 hours. Mind you, I shut off the main water valve first thing, and 6 hours is a long time to sit without a bathroom. (Fortunately my parents’ neighbor let me use hers). Before the crew left, the project manager said to me, “You know, I do 7 or 8 jobs like this a day. This is the hardest one I’ve done so far”. I don’t know if we get a prize for that. Not likely we’ll get a discount.

My “stormy” week continued when a routine thunderstorm suddenly became a torrential event and flooded my basement to a dangerous level (4th time since mid-August). I need to find a reliable drainage method, and I want climate change deniers to pay for it. Thursday night I picked up my parents from the airport, and they went to a nearby hotel for the night. I am not close to the airport or my parents’ house geographically, so I got home after a long drive, and realized I had about 4 hours to sleep before getting up for work. Shiva (the cat) has been rather needy these days when I come home, so I looked at him and said, “Do NOT wake me up before 4:00 in the morning, OK?” He meowed at me, which could have meant, “OK”, or could have meant, “You’ll get up when I want you to, biatch”. I’m guessing it’s the latter, because he started his morning yowl at 2:15 AM.

Let me just say here that the bigger challenges of this week did not faze me. It is little things like being woken up by a yowling cat after 2 hours of sleep that make me want to commit harakiri. I am seriously looking forward to vacation this month.

By the way, it's slated to rain again tonight.


Denise said...

You so need to leave for your vacation. Just hang in there a few more weeks and you will have a wonderful time in the U.K. I just know you will.

Brigid N. Burke said...

Thanks, Denise! Really, vacation can't come soon enough...only 10 days now!