Tuesday, January 26, 2010

A Day Usurped

Okay, so this morning I had two things on my mind--well, actually three:
1. Get the reanalysis done for my floodplain project so that on Wednesday all that would be left would be to have the CADD tech change the two maps and assemble a submittal to send off.
2. Attend writers critique group at 7 PM.
3. Help my wife decide on when to go to Oklahoma City: today with Sara and Ephraim; tomorrow the day after them; Thursday; or Friday.

Concerning the floodplain analysis, I had good success on Friday, completing 1/3 of it (as to total computer runs), and less success on Monday, due to interruptions, working sub par due to this cold, and to normal Monday inefficiencies. Still, the morning went well, and by a little after noon I had completed much, and could see my way to finishing it today or early tomorrow morning, making deadline.

I had a couple of conversations with Lynda. She felt she should go on Thursday, but we are under a winter storm watch for Thursday: 4-8 inches of snow, possible ice, possible rain. It all depends on the track of the storm. I suggested she go tomorrow. Sara called at 1:45 PM or so, when I was working on my analyses after lunch, and said they were going today and that Mom needed the cell phone (hers has never been replaced; I'm not going to do it) and would I meet them in Decatur, sixteen miles west. I hopped in the truck and met them to transfer the phone, and headed back to the office to check one thing in Centerton (right on the way) useful for my floodplain analyses.

Heading back to the office, about 2:45 PM I witnessed a four car accident right in front of me. I circled around the block and hung around about half an hour until I could give my contact information to one of the emergency workers, and drove the mile to the office. So far no one has called to take my statement. Others probably had a better view and so they may not need my observations.

So, with time lost but with no wife to go home to tonight, I decided I would stay at the office till 6:30 PM, rush to writers guild, getting Sonic on the way. That would almost make up for the Decatur run and the accident time. But no, the VP in charge of Production dropped by, asking me to assist that afternoon and help with an unexpected floodplain issue in Covington Louisiana. So from about 3:45 till 5:45 I huddled with one of the young engineers, then with the said VP of Production, including a conference call to our Dallas office where the project manager who botched--I mean supervised--the original work could hear our findings.

That done, I went back to my computer and saw an e-mail from another engineer, saying he knew I was busy but he had finally made the changes to the wastewater lift station project I checked last week and it had to go out tomorrow and could I look at it by mid-morning. He had the specifications done that I insisted he do before I signed off on it, he said. I told him to get it to my by 6:20 PM and I'd take it home. I also wished, by this time, I had not committed to going to writers guild, cause I sure could use the entire evening at the office.

The lift station documents in hand, and the writing I was to share tonight in the truck, I rushed to writers guild, picking up my discount Sonic burger along the way. And nobody else showed up. I waited half an hour, knowing there would be a message on the answering machine at home, saying it was cancelled because of people not being able to attend.

Had I known writers guild wasn't going to meet, I would have stayed at the office until my floodplain analyses were done. But at that point, I was about a mile from the house and fourteen from the office. So I came home and entered the Dungeon, deflated from the day's usurpations, very tired from the emotions, and possibly from the effects of my lingering cold, so I decided to not bother with the two articles I was going to write tonight. This post will have to do. I'll pack a bag to take in tomorrow and spend the night in town, either at the office or at my mother-in-law's so I won't have to fight the snow on Thursday. I'll stay in town Thursday night as well.

Right now, I feel both sad and mad: sad at the missed opportunities and the tiredness, and mad at the usurpations. My choices are to fight the emotions with food or with writing. About the only writing I could do tonight is to critique a poem over at Absolute Write, but the way I feel I'd probably dash some budding poet's spirit with an overly-harsh critique, and I don't want to do that. So the forage in the fridge it is. I seem to remember seeing some vanilla ice cream in it.

ETA: Oh, and when I got to the writers guild meeting that didn't happen and opened up my Sonic burger with mayo and added ketchup and took a bite, it turned out it had mustard on it instead of mayo. The perfect unauthorized substitution for an usurped day.


Gary said...

Dave, it's starve a cold...
Too bad about the interruptions. Some days you just can't win.

David A. Todd said...


The cold is playing second fiddle to the need to...what? put an end to my disgruntledness. Plus, I remember it as feed a cold and starve a fever.

BTW, I added something more to the original posts, something I meant to put in originally but in the rush to publish forgot.

Gary said...

Did you throw it on the ground?

David A. Todd said...

No, but I should have. I haven't thrown any hamburgers on the ground since...well, never!

Gary said...

Yeah, but Joe wanted me to ask.

David A. Todd said...

Oh, so you're Farina's agent now, are you?

When I was looking through the 1970 Cranstonian last weekend, I saw where someone had written: "I knew you when you were sane, before J.F."