Friday, July 17, 2009

Goin' off the rails on a crazy train...

Maybe it's just me, but some days you shouldn't get out of bed. Not for any true reason that you couldn't have known ahead of time, like to avoid being in a pileup on the freeway or catching Swine Flu, but because nothing really goes "right" and there are no do-overs.

First thing I've learned about coming home is that it is as wonderful and stressful as Christmas shopping at the mall. Your time is limited, you want to make everybody happy, and darn it, there are some things on the shelf that, guiltily, you'd like to buy for yourself.

So, as time is limited and there are so many wonderful people and places to spend time with. when I waste that time it makes me crazy.

Mike got on the plane last Monday to go home, leaving us behind on our extended vacation (more guilt here) while he went back to work in the dust and jaw dropping humidity and heat index. He'd left me a honey-do list that I was happy to undertake, thinking, how hard can this stuff be? Things like going to the bank, moving boxes into storage, having copies of keys made.

The next day, so many things went wrong it would be entirely accurate to say I was a walking train wreck. Nothing big, but good gravy. Worse, it was all stuff that if a person complains about it they sound like a total whiner.

Fortunately, I'm fearless that way. (You get now that none of this stuff is of the least bit of consequence, universally, right? Basically I figured maybe somebody out there could get a laugh out of it since it was otherwise an irreplaceable waste of life in general.) I had a day where Colleen would take care of Bethy and Thomas so I could to take care of most, if not all, of the honey-do list.

So, let's see, traffic and more traffic, including being rerouted around a fatality accident. Yes, I know, it is just wrong to even feel inconvenienced that you had to go 30 minutes out of your way because someone died. I'm sorry, so sorry... (more guilt!)

A pleasant but unscheduled family luncheon made haywire of the schedule I had so carefully planned. I managed to leave my borrowed cell phone under the table after lunch and had to do some more time wasting to go retrieve it. After, of course, I'd already gotten to the point of total out-of-the-way-ness to come back.

Let me say it now: in the Pacific NW the driving is immeasurably more conservative than in the UAE (so much so that suddenly I'm one of the more aggressive drivers---how did THAT happen?!) and people are pretty darned nice, but 4-05 traffic stinks.

I wore my new shirt bearing the legend "I'm not dead yet", which the more erudite of you out there will recognise as being from Monty Python and the Holy Grail. It didn't so much as get a nod or grin from my family at lunch (they protested that they took it for granted and felt it didn't warrant a comment) but when I went to Walmart (in itself a hideous time waster -I found most of what I was looking for, but damn I had to earn it!) a woman saw me and sang out "Bring out yer dead!" Startled the heck out of me. Belatedly I realised she was commenting on the shirt.

Among other things, I picked up smoke detectors and a screwdriver and drove to our house in Lynnwood to put them up in preparation for a renter. Sad, empty Huckleberry house reproached me with it's very emptiness. I had neglected to realise that there was nothing to climb up on to screw the smoke detectors in up on the walls, so they ended up maybe 6' from the floor. That's as high as I could reach and I desperately hoped it didn't break some sort of renter's fire code.

I cleaned and vacuumed and dumped the vacuum into the car to take to storage along with a last load of boxes. Now, we somehow lost the code for the entrance gate to our storage unit. I called early in the day to ask the managers what to do about that and they said to stop by, show ID, and they'd give it to me. I knew the place was open until 9, but at 7:15 pm when I arrived the office hours were until 6. Oops. Well, fine then, I drove in, following behind someone else after they punched in their code. Easy, right?

Approaching our unit with the loaded dolly, the lights on our row were out. Well, I thought, that's not very customer friendly...must be a switch somewhere. I looked around and when I got back to our row the lights were on. OK, must be motion activated lights and for some reason I didn't set them off the first time around? I had my huge bunch of keys, but my heart sank as I tried each one to no avail. The storage key wasn't on the keychain. Dang and double dang.

Not much point in hanging around, so I carted the boxes and vacuum cleaner back down to the car and dumped it all back into the trunk. There was planty of activity around the units, and I asked the first friendly person if they would use their code to let me out. I'd tried a few variations on the code as I pseudo-remembered it, but this seemed like the best way.

"Yeah, we'll let you out, but how did you get in?" asked the first person I queried. I sheepishly confessed to having followed someone else.

"Well, you know the code is different for everybody, right?" I actually didn't know that, nor did I particularly care, not seeing the relevance of such a thing.

"You see, if you haven't put in your code and then try to open your storage unit it sets the alarm off."

Oh, eek-o-rama!

Guess it was a good thing I didn't have the key after all.

I slunk away, and went to go get a Jamba Juice for dinner, hoping they were still open even though it was after 8 pm. In the parking lot someone barked at me "I'm getting better!" (Oh, yeah, the shirt, uh huh OK) and then the cashier at Jamba Juice went OFF reciting as many lines as he could from the movie...and I'm pretty sure he had the whole thing memorised. I was standing there, just wanting a juice for cripes sake, fixed smile gettting more plastic and painful.

I wondered how soon I could politely edge away, out of range of the Pythonisms spewing from the Jamba guy. He was really into it, including sound effects (simulated coconuts), singing, and screams. At one point he bonked his head on the counter as one of the self-flagellating monks. At a loss, I shook his hand after I got my juice, and he flung "What is the air speed velocity of an unladen swallow?" after my rapidly retreating personage. "Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries!"

Eek again. I obviously don't have what it takes to wear this shirt.

I went to get keys made at Lowes. Despite repeated attempts by the customer service folks to page someone, no one arrived. Fine, drove to U Village figuring they have a key kiosk there that might still be open...which it wasn't...but that at least I could finally get one of the things checked off on my other list, the must do in Seattle list: to eat a Cardamom Chai cupcake from Trophy. ( They were out of them and I had to console myself with a vanilla one. Oh, the horror.

Well, perhaps I couldn't screw up depositing a check at the bank ATM. I would do that and go home and go to bed and the heck with it.

Now....which bank bought out Washington Mutual again...?

Sugared up with the juice and now a cupcake on an empty stomach, I drove to Chase Bank, and at the ATM there were no envelopes. In a moment of pique, I signed the check and let the machine suck it up in a deposit without an envelope. Mike's Mom was horrified when she heard I did this and hadn't put the account number on it. I trust the nice folks at the bank will figure it out.

You hate to have a terrible-horrible-no-good-very-bad-day for no good reason.

Now I've shared the idiocy and hope you guys get a good laugh at me so the day won't have been a total waste.

And I put some pretty photographs from the UAE for those folks who only look at the pictures and read the comments. You know who you are.


Sariya Rashid said...

LOL! Thanks for the laughs!
You should wear that shirt in Dubai ... maybe you'll get responses from the Brits!

Will & Cheyenne said...

Oh my gosh Natalie! That is seriously one for the books!
....and I read every part! :)

*Paula* said...

Oh my! What a day Natalie!! I hope the days that followed improved on that. The whole shirt bit had me in stitches :)

Julia said...

According to the Trophy website, they only have the chai on wednesday and Sunday, so your chances really were limited anyway.

Good to know there are so many Python-fans out there who are willing to yell out movie phrases :)

Your Friendly Neighborhood Librarian said...

What a day!
I love that your Lynnwood house has a name too - The huckleberry house!
Do you all name everything? I love it!

Natalie said...

Yes, we name cars and houses, what can I say? Life is too short not to have fun.

Our vacation has been jolly and stressful and we shall be both glad and sorry to go back to Dubai for all the right reasons.