Saturday, April 10, 2010

I got to sleep in a bunch of times...

Got my wish. I ended up sleeping in a lot over several days. Sleeping until 11 am is just an awesome thing. But I'm already sick of that and ready for other things.

I've had a couple nice lunch dates with friends, some stay at home mommies and my former co-workers Mike and Jeremy. I have done a little yardwork, but not a lot. We were treated to some gorgeous summer-like weather for a few straight days last week. I have had some fun with the dogs outside, and chatted with neighbors and did bike maintenance on Geoff's bike but cannot get the pump to attach to the stems on Jess' bike so I can't go riding. I want to figure that one out the most because there isn othing nicer and time-killing than taking a bike ride in the middle of the day.

Seeing that I have all this free time, you would think I'd be getting a lot done. I managed to clean the guinea pig cage. And that is sort of about it.

I have lists. The lists have to be done. The lists have to be completed. Item by item. But I can't manage to focus and do.

Instead, I long for distraction. I watch DVR'ed shows, "Red Eye" on Fox is my favorite. It is a news-ish topic oriented panel show, slightly conservative in nature but positively inappropriate and naughty at times. I goof off on Facebook and play Bejeweled (which my children call Becrack). I procrastinate to the last possible minute, and sometimes even later. I even rejoice when someone calls and asks for my help with something, because I would rather do stuff for other people than do stuff here. I was able to help Keri with some Rebel stuff last week for 2 days, but didn't go see the show (kicking myself for that). I will help her a little bit again tomorrow.

Tuesday I'm having lunch with Professor CM. Remember him? Over the course of this journal I've done a lot of work with him. He has a project for me, a website that has to be prettied up and fast ("Christine, you know my style. White Background, One Picture, Times New Roman, Blocks. Make it nice") that he will be presenting to a publisher. He hopes to get a huge pantload of awesome moneys in advance, and will be able to pay me for building the website. My first form of "payment" will be new software. He's getting me the new Adobe CS4 with Dreamweaver and Flash and Photoshop and all that good stuff. It's good that he gets things for free or little money. For me, this is the equivalent of a $2000 payment which he got for $500 or so bucks. Hot damn. Thank you CM! We'll figure out an hourly rate to "pay back" the software purchase, and then he'll start paying me.

University of PittsburghThis weekend I'm taking Jess to Pittsburgh.

She applied to Umass Amherst (accepted), Syracuse (waitlisted), University of Pittsburgh (accepted and first choice), and University at Buffalo, but she accidently did her common app to Buffalo State. We didn't care for the University at Buffalo too much, and they can't just forward her application to them (jerks). So we don't give a crap about Buffalo.

Pitt was her first choice, and after visiting I think she fell in love with it. We're in love with it. Great place, great school. Cathedral of Kicking Ass and all that. Syracuse's loss if you ask me.

So this weekend is accepted student's day. And she and I are going out on Friday, staying with my friend Liz who lives about 5 miles from the campus (gotta google maps her address!) and spending the day immersed in Panthery Goodness. Somewhere in there we'll spend some time with the in-laws, possibly hotel it up that way on Sunday night and head back on Monday morning.

I need to make sure that's okay with Her Royal Hiney, Jess. I mean, she might have a paper due or something! And heaven forbid she miss two days of school! Oy! I honestly think that if my parents offered to take me out of school for 2 days and go on a trip, I'd be rejoicing and not pushing back that I have homework due. She's a weird duck. I hope she keeps that weirdness in college though. I mean, once you're paying to be somewhere.... and that ...

The following weekend I'm heading back to my hometown.

Thanks to the joys of Facebook, a bunch of people I went to elementary school with started jawing at one another about whose elementary school could win at kickball. When I was growing up we had like five elementary schools, and then we were all brought together for 6th grade, split up into TWO junior high schools (so people you got to be friends with for one year now were at another school and no longer liked you... really smart stuff Huntington....) and then we came together again for High School.

So the jawing and posturing turned into a 'let's actually DO a kickball tournament!' Bah ha ha ha ha! A bunch of 40 somethings running around playing kickball sounded pretty funny so I got my fat ass all into it. Then they got the idea of having this be a charity event, and they set up a scholarship fund for one of my classmates who died in 2004 in a work accident. I never knew this guy, but I was vested already in the kickball portion of things because I was all "hell yeah, Southdown can kick Washington's ASS!"

I think about 100 people from the different elementary schools are signed up, who knows how many others will sign up, and there is a $20.00 buy-in to play. Hopefully this scholarship fund will grow, and we'll do this every year. There is another round of games in July, but I'll be working with Rebel, and Geoff's performances are that weekend, and I can't pass on that.

That night, two brothers who are in different bands are doing an acoustic show together to entertain us and cap off the shenanigans. I think I'm most looking forward to that. It should be amazing.

And in between, I'll try and do some vacuuming and clean the bathroom.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

When do I get to sleep in?

People keep asking me "so, now that you're laid off, what are you gonna do?" Instantly my reaction is "Sleep In Late."

Or I go the Homer Simpson route and say "Well first I'm gonna get really drunk...."

I've done neither. Not sure if I am disappointed in myself for not doing either. I've found that I take the kids to school, come back here, get on facebook, and then do some cleaning. And then I pump out the basement. And then I go on facebook. And then I let the dogs out. And then the kids are home. And then. and then and then...

Tomorrow I can sleep in. No one needs to go to school. I don't have getting drunk like Homer on my list of things to do, but all told, a glass of wine would be nice.

One thing that I've been doing a lot of is running the sump pump in our basement. Three weeks ago we had a catastrophic rainstorm. About ten inches of rain in 72 hours. Records were broken, chaos ensued. We left for church on the Sunday morning that the rain was really trucking, and I heard the sump pump running but didn't think anything of it. It was running like a champ, like it has for almost 4 years when we get some rain. We got home and I could hear it. I got some laundry together at about 2pm and went downstairs to discover about 7 inches of water on the floor.

The sump pump was running, but not sucking any water out of the basement. I brought it to Doug's attention, and he decided to go find a new sump pump at the store. I went to an Eagle Court of Honor for our Boy Scout Troop. I got home at 7pm that night and Doug still wasn't back. He had to go to 10 different stores to find a sump pump. He went down to hook it up, and we couldn't hook it into our system so we had to run a hose out the window to pump the water out.

There I was at 11pm, running a hose down to the street to get the water away from our house. Good thing I love my life.

I looked across the street as I was unraveling the hose, and saw my new neighbor throwing a bucket of water out his back door. They had just moved in back in October, and I didn't know them well but knew that they went to the same college I did. We met while their kids were trick-or-treating. Already they'd had a tree fall over on their car in December during the first snow storm and here they are bailing out their basement. I told Doug that I felt that I should go over to help. He opted out, since he spent four hours driving around America looking for a new pump for our basement.... and I can't say as I blame him.

I grabbed a bucket and went across the street. When Ben came out on the side porch I said "need some help?" and held the bucket up. Ben smiled and invited me in. I spent the next 90 minutes helping him and his wife bail out the basement. We took out about an inch of water, and then they decided it just wasn't going to make a difference if we kept going. At least we had a couple laughs, and I got to meet the new neighbors. New ish. Not totally new. But you know what I mean.

The following day, our hot water heater was under water, the pilot out, the gas off. Doug and the kids went to work and school (or maybe the kids had no school, I can't remember at this point). I stayed home, manning the pump and monitoring the situation. At one point I was convinced that the pump wasn't working so I went out to check my hose. Looking across the street, I saw that the fire department was there pumping out the neighbor's basement. And the two houses next to them. So one came across and asked how our basement was and asked to evaluate it.

"You should have called us yesterday, when the water got close to the water heater." They had the basement pumped out in no time. Literally, an hour. Done. I got to hang out in my basement chatting with my town's finest, apologizing for bothering them.

"It's our job, Chris" said Lt. York. "We get paid to do this, and your tax dollars go to us doing this so ... use us. We're not just for when your house is on fire."

I ended up calling the next day again, when the water got to be a few inches away from the hot water heater. We had the plumber come out and flush out the tank and relight the system... and I didn't want it to get wet again. They confirmed that our sump pump was not working. We'd burned through the second one in less than 2 days. Doug bought another one on the way home from work.

Our basement hasn't been water-free since the first storm really. This week we got yet another storm with about six inches of rain. It could be worse, we could be living in Rhode Island where everything is completely trashed.

As for our basement, we have to wait until it is fully dry to install the sump pump exactly right, and until then it has to be plugged in manually. On that note, I'll be right back. About every 2 hours or so I have to plug it in, and it takes about 90 minutes to empty out the basement. Wash rinse repeat.

That's been my life since getting laid off, really. Rather thrilling.