Sunday, October 29, 2006

But Other Than That, How Did You Like The Play, Mrs. Lincoln?

I had to use that for a title, because I love that line. I don't know who to credit for it, however. Google for "play, Mrs. Lincoln", and you'll see how there are many variations on the line.

I also choose it because it's sorta how I feel about putting an update on here. I'm working 1.75 jobs (or one full-time, one almost-full-time), taking nights off 1.5 days a week for other obligations, and Sundays off for my sanity.

Which translates to very little sitting-at-home-being-me time.

Also, I'm running a sleep shortage like you wouldn't believe. I get home at midnight or so some school nights and have to do laundry so I have a uniform the next night. Other nights I'm home at 10 and have to do laundry.

So it seems stupid to get on here and update people, as the update is "326th verse, same as the first".

I am getting a lot of think time. If I ever have a really long stretch to sit and write, I've got some GREAT projects worked out in my head.

Also, I'm almost getting bills paid.

Okay, speaking of bills, I need to vent (and update at the same time... two birds down, infinity to go):

Remember the flat tire? Well, I took it to Wal*Mart and there was the whole delay thing mentioned in the earlier post. I noticed when they were putting my tire on that they had to stop partway around and seemed to be having some sort of trouble, but then got over it and moved on. I didn't think much of it at the time, other than the fact it was making me even more late than I already was.

The next weekend, I've got a flat tire again. This was the tire I had just had put on.

I went to Wal*Mart. They tell me I'll have to wait four hours. I said, "To finish the job you started last week?"

Apparently so.

I go to a manager... actually, I go to the customer service desk, and I say, "I'm in a rush, so I need to go as high as I can go on the customer service chain without dialing a phone" and got a manager who pointed out that it wouldn't be fair for me to go in front of those people who got here before me, to which I replied, "They got here last week? Because that's when I brought this job in and you people failed to do it correctly."

He told me he was sorry, and I left, pointing out that he wasn't sorry, or he'd actually do something to rectify the situation.

So, hello Tires Plus.

After some waiting and a drive home on the donut to shower and change, I learn that Wal*Mart put the tire on a bent rim. This explains that trouble they had getting my tire on, but it's still a mystery as to why they wanted me dead. The Tires Plus mechanic was so wide-eyed I thought his eyes were going to fall out. Apparently this is an appling thing for Wal*Mart to have done.

So, I ask Tires Plus if they can get a new rim.

They said lots of words that basically came to, "Well, we can direct you to a place because none of us know who we call about rims."

Uh.. okay.

So I call Bowman, and he helps by making some phone calls for me on Monday. I give up when it seems unlikely and just call Tires Plus to see if the guy who knows where they get rims has made it in to work.

He has, and I tell him I just want them to get the rim, and ask how much, etc. He verifys my phone number, which was off by a digit, and so we presumably fix that.

Tuesday: No call. Rehearsal in the evening.

Wednesday: No call. Parent/Teacher Conferences in the evening.

Thursday: No call. Parent/Teacher Conferences in the afternoon. Work in the evening.

Friday: No call. After school lets out at 11:15, I drive home and decide to call and find out what the delay is.

I wish I was lying about this next part...

"Mr. Riggs, we need to know what type of car you drive in order to get the rim."

Um... see, theres' this thing I have (thanks Ruth) called a cell phone. You can reach me on it pretty much all the time (except during school hours). I gave them that number. I had not heard from them. And so, when I call on FRIDAY, and they mention they can't order it until they know what kind of vehicle I have...

And I was so tired of the whole... being awake and dealing with life thing, that I just politely told them what it was.

This reminds me, I need to call them after I'm done here. Maybe they'll remember me.

Anyway, in the meantime I have been driving around on a donut. That's closing Monday night, Thursday night, Friday night, an Saturday night.

I seriously don't know how much more this donut can take.

Meanwhile, I still need to call Wal*Mart and demand the money back for the incompetent manslaughter attempt or whatever they're calling tire changes at Wal*Mart these days.

But other than that, how have you been, Mark?

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Hooray! Another Flat Tire!

Because life is too easy, it's always nice that small difficulties like this arise.

Yesterday, 4:20-ish.

I was due in to work at 5:00.

Luckily, I had my phone.

Got out of the tire place around 7:00.

Made it to work around 8:00.



Before the weekend of the 8th, the most I knew about Dallas was the Kristin shot J.R. and Bobby's in the shower.

My impressive singing powers (I kid) were needed in Dallas, so on the morning of the 6th, I took off in a carpool with a couple of other people whose voices were needed (along with about, um... fifty others).

The night before, Ruth left me a message that my cell phone had arrived (my first cell phone, which I wouldn't have if it weren't for Ruth). Of course, someone was fired at P.J., so I ended up closing, which meant I couldn't pick it up until the morning.

Oh yeah, and I'd be up for quite a while doing laundry.

Anyway, I picked up the phone, and it's good that I did, because before we got out of the greater K.C. area, I realized I'd left my digital camera on my front porch... in plain view of anyone who might think hocking a stolen digital camera might be a great second job.

So I thought of the one person I know who might have some flex time to go pick it up, and I called her. Tricia told me that Ben was near my house, and she'd call and have him pick it up. So the first half of that crisis didn't last long.

However, I do have that other blog where I take a picture every day. Luckily, Wal-Mart sells disposable cameras very cheaply.

But a camera with 27 exposures is not a digital camera with several hundred exposures. I had to be picky, and I had to be 4 to 12 feet from what I wanted to photograph.

The trip was long, but I spent it grading papers. And grading papers. And grading papers.

We arrived in Dallas around 6:00-ish, and got to where we needed to meet up with others around 7:00-ish. We ate at the original Black-Eyed Pea, so there was my sight-seeing for the weekend.

After dinner I met my host for the weekend. He was a nice guy who had a house far away from everywhere we needed to be that weekend, but I enjoyed seeing different parts of the Dallas area.

He had two dogs, and he used to have a cat. I think some tiny part of catness must have remained in his home, because the morning of the 7th I had very bloodshot eyes, which normally comes from my being around a cat. Good news: didn't happen again all weekend.

Saturday was a rehearsal day, and that night we did a sort of Meet-n-Greet. There was a comedian for entertainment, and in general it was a good time.

The concert itself was on Sunday. It was very stressful, because I was doing a solo and also singing music I wasn't as familiar with as I would have liked.

But it also kicked butt.

Of course, as fate would have it, one night (either Saturday or Sunday) I was in what I assume is the downtown Dallas area, and the harvest moon was framed by two big buildings... would have been a great shot with my camera. Oh well. Grr.

Monday was the drive back, and I can sum it up in two words: graded papers.

I think the people in Dallas must have found me very boring. I slept a lot. Grading papers tires you out.

Anyway, if I ever get these photos off this CD, I'll be able to catch up over at Still Life. I'm hoping tonight will be the night.