Well, that was…uhm…jolly fun… Spent the better part of the night at the Mayo’s ER after spiking a high temperature and enjoying a spectrum of annoying symptoms. Develops that the UTI that I was enjoying returned with a vengeance. The ER doc re-prescribed the stuff his colleague had given me. She’d written a prescription for only 5 days. He said I needed to take it for at least 10 more days. It was after 2 a.m. by the time I got home, and of course I didn’t sleep very well.
Head hurt like hell this morning…but eventually I realized it was probably because I hadn’t eaten a thing since yesterday morning.
Client mathematician wanted a word count of the first five chapters of his current book, the edits of which I sent off to him the day before yesterday. In editing math copy, I don’t charge for content that I’m too stupid to understand: videlicet, just about every mathematical expression. Word counts every element in a mathematical expression — all those Greek letters, all those numbers — as a separate word. So in order to figure the actual editable number of words, you have to go through it line by line and delete every equation, every mathematical expression, every graph, every table…on and on and ENDLESSLY on.
Well, Word was having none of that. It kept crashing, and even when it didn’t crash, getting this done in any sane manner was almost impossible.
Finally it dawned on me (ever slow to tumble to the obvious…):
Hey! WordPress counts the words in a blog post. And when you paste copy from Wyrd into a WordPress post, it converts to HTML!
Hot damn! Unlike effing Wyrd, HTML is extremely stable.
Or maybe just…dayum!!!
It took hours and hours and HOURS to paste each chapter into a post and then, in “Text” (HTML) view, to sift through line by line by line and delete every equation and every mathematical equation. Much of this stuff, WordPress converts into tables. You then have to find the table (even though it doesn’t appear as a table in the more easily comprehensible “Visual” view). This entails more sifting: through the HTML in search of tables, and then having to force WordPress to delete the damn things…which it does NOT want to do.
Along about the time this adventure ground to an end, I realized I had a 100-degree temp on top of a number of unpleasant other symptoms. That’s high for me: my normal temperature is well below 98.6, so if I have a fever of 100 degrees, I am sick.
And I have a splitting headache.
Eventually I decide to drive to the Mayo’s ER, which is a distance. What time? Late…the roads were very clear, which is some sort of a miracle.
Though they kindly saw me promptly and were, as usual, marvelously attentive, it was after 2:00 a.m. by the time I rolled out of there and made my way through the black night to the Funny Farm. They called in a prescription to the Safeway near my house, saying I should show up there the minute the place opened — that would be 8:00 a.m. — to retrieve the pills and start gulping them down forthwith. In the meantime, the doc handed me one (1) of the horsepills to take while I was sitting in front of him and said “Get your tail to the pharmacy the minute they open, grab the Rx, and start gulping these things down!” This, as you will see, is a trick easier said than done…
The few hours that remain to the night pass uneventfully and without sleep. Now I have to be at the Safeway at 8 a.m. to try to extract this stuff from their pharmacy.To make things even jollier, I promised one of the volunteer front-desk workers down at the church that I would do her gig this afternoon so she can visit family in California. That chore runs from 12:30 to 4:00 p.m.
So there’ll be no nap time for me. Can’t imagine how I’m going to get through the day.
First off, though, the problematic issue of getting to the Safeway pharmacy at 8 a.m.:
There are essentially three main drags that run from the north parts of the mid-city through the central commercial district to the downtown lawyers’ and bureaucrats’ district. Central Avenue goes through a genteel old-money residential area and ends at the North Mountains. Seventh Avenue also goes up to the base of North Mountain but then flows into Meth Lover’s Drive, which will take you westward if that’s the way you must go. Seventh Street indirectly joins a freeway bringing residents from the far northern bedroom communities, picks up people who live in the north central part of the city, and proceeds downtown.
Our City Parents, in their infinite “wisdom,” took it into their collective mind to convert the left-turn-only central lanes on Seventh Ave and on Seventh Street into one-way NO left-turn lanes during the rush hours: southbound from 6 to 9 a.m.; northbound from 4 to 6 p.m. While this sort of (marginally) speeds commute traffic (but not so’s you’d notice), it creates a GIGANTIC headache, because…well, no matter where you’re going, you can’t get there from here. Everybody who needs to go left to get to a destination travels on Central, so it’s bumper-to-bumper all the way downtown. The other roads move faster, but you have to perform what is known as an “Arizona turn” to get where you’re going.
An Arizona turn? That’s where you turn right to go left…and in the hands of a gifted driver, this can be quite the little maneuver.
This means that to turn left out of my neighborhood during the rush hours, you have to drive around and around and AROUND Robin-Hood’s barn. Because everybody else is trying to get to the same place you want to go, it creates vast traffic jams on the surrounding streets as people try to avoid those goddamn no-left-turn lanes.
Stupidly, I decide to drive across GangBanger’s Way to 12th Street (going north in order to turn south). This lovely boulevard is heavily traveled by my fellow law-dodgers but usually is navigable. BUT….I fail to take into consideration the goddamn high school on Gangbanger’s. At the high school, the city in its infinite stupidity has installed one of those crosswalk lights that holds up traffic whenever some pedestrian pushes a button. The upshot of that is that around 7:30, when I leave the house, traffic on this 7-lane main drag just flat comes to a dead stop, as kid after kid after kid ambles across the road.
But if you know where you’re going, eventually you can circumvent the schemes of Our City Parents and…yes: get there from here.
A hard left across three lanes of oncoming takes me and the pickup ahead of me into a neighborhood. We weave our way through this fairly dire little slum (there’s a reason I call it Meth Central), back to 7th Street, go north (opposite of the direction we need to go), shear right on Butler, cruise through a slightly less dire slum (yes, even this garden spot is beginning to gentrify), and come out on 12th Street. There we cruise southward, he toward whatever his destination might be and me dodging westward (a right turn) on Glendale toward the Safeway that I can’t turn left into because it’s at 7th Street and there’s no left turn allowed there.
Once I reach 7th Street (turning west now in order to go east), I sail into the nearly empty parking lot, shoot through the Safeway’s front door, and accost the two pharmacists, who bless their hearts are in a pretty good mood at this hour of the day.
However…the lucky soul who chooses to take me on has no clue to the Rx that was supposed to have been sent over at 2 a.m. Finally she realizes: they’ve made it out in my unpronounceable legal name, a little horror that I never use. Being a little frazzled myself at this point, I don’t think of it, but just as she’s about to send me away (having tried and failed to get thru to the Mayo on the phone) it occurs to me that maybe this funny name thing has been applied to the Rx, and lo! So it turns out to be.
Finally I get home around 8:45. It has taken a full hour to make a twenty-minute round-trip drive and grab a bottle of pills!!!!!
Ugh. Now I have three hours before I have to schlep up to the church, where I stupidly volunteered to take on my friend Barbara’s afternoon shift at the front desk.
“When will they ever learn?” NEVER volunteer!!!!!
I’m too keyed up to sleep now; I really should take the poor little dog for a walk; I’m sure there’s a sh!tload of things I should be doing right this very minute (pay the bills?); and I cannot even imagine how I am going to stay awake through three hours and thirty minutes of excruciating tedium down at the Church.
Why do you suppose they have a switchboard-like phone at all? I do NOT understand that. There’s no reason the staff/clergy (all of about 12 of them) can’t have their own phone numbers that will ring direct to their office phones or to a voicemail. They want somebody lurking around the front office to bounce out the homeless and greet the parishioners?? Whaaa? Maybe two people a day come in. Could the office manager, who appears to be a kind of Guy Friday, be parked in an office near the front, where he can see and greet whoever comes stumbling in the door?
Our rector is in the final running for the position of Bishop. That’s good for him: he’s a pretty ambitious guy and an exceptionally worthy candidate. But it means now we have to get a new pastor. That means major hassle, as you’ve no doubt noticed. I’d like to see them plant our associate priest in that job. She happens to be a woman. She also happens to be amazingly sweet and she can give a killer sermon.
The present incumbent was hired to rescue our merry group from a fairly dire financial predicament, after the prior regime took a richly endowed organization and within three or four years ran its finances right into the ground. Having performed what we might best describe as a dramatic rescue, indeed, he’s ready to move on to the next stage in his career.
We, on the other hand, are not and never will be ready for him to move on….