Tuesday, July 19, 2005

What a peculiar day.

I returned home from the game last night at midnight, trudged upstairs…and felt heat like an oven was left on. Now, my oven doesn’t work, and it’s not upstairs. Uh-oh. I went back downstairs and realized: Yesterday, I switched the A/C off so I could talk to a friend outside while standing next to the A/C unit and he wouldn’t think I was standing next to a running jet engine. I forgot to switch the A/C back on. That was late at night, so the house had stayed cool that night, but after the heat of the day, the upstairs felt like the Mojave at noon. I switched the A/C on, and it began to cool down a bit, but it takes awhile. Ah well; this is what shorts are for.

But I felt bad, because my roommate had come home that evening and had to suffer with a hot house all day. I’d also forgotten to switch off my bedtime alarm (my computer plays Mozart’s “Ave verum Corpus” at 9:00 p.m. each night, to remind me to stop what I’m doing), so that was softly playing Beethoven. Not the worst thing to be trapped in a house with, but still, a situation I wish I’d avoided.

This morning, I forced myself awake at 6:00 a.m. so I could get in to work by 7:30 so I could make a presentation at 8:00. Managed to shove myself through the motions until I got to work, where professionalism took over, and I brightly took my paperwork over to the meeting room: Nobody was there. I tried the meeting room next door: Full of people I’d never seen before. Hmmm.

I eventually made my way to the receptionist, who told me they were meeting in another building entirely. Ah; it would have been nice if I’d been informed this. So I marched over there, walked in…and was politely told that they were in the middle of a particular set of work and I wouldn’t be needed until 10:30. Oh.

A wonderful start to the day, which had the following general form: I would spend ten-minute bursts receiving information, entering it into their system, and printing out information. Then, I’d spend the next several hours waiting for more information. I couldn’t start anything else of importance, as they needed me able to respond to requests quickly. So I spent the vast majority of the day in a holding pattern. Odd.

But by arriving at 8:00 and eating lunch at my desk, I could leave at 4:00, stop by the grocery store, and be home by 5:00, in time to catch up on chores (bring the garbage can around back, empty the dishwasher, refill the bird feeders, water the pots in the garden), make a quick dinner of pan-seared tilapia and corn, and bang this out, before heading off to writer’s group at 7:00.

(Those chores are odd things; I was always afraid that I’d get intensely bored by them, want to fob them off on other people. But no, not yet, not with my own house. Maybe someday I’d let other people do these things, if I simply don’t have the time, but it would be a sad response to a need.)

Writer’s Group was sparsely attended—just me and two others—and we discussed the need for more content. After batting around a few ideas, someone suggested each person writing a story based on a photograph. I volunteered, and just sent everyone a link to this photograph:

[Flowers and Iron]

What germ of story does that conjure up to you?

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