Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Nuclear Meltdown

By the end of last week I was beginning to feel like it was no longer safe to leave the bedroom, and if I did – I was likely to burn the house down.

It began slowly on Monday as I encountered some relatively insignificant administrative snags regarding a short profession masters course I was about to teach and reached nuclear levels by Tuesday night. Tuesday I found out that the overworked head of the PSM program, neglected to actually put me on the payroll prior to teaching my course. This of course means waiting for the endlessly slow gears of the university payroll to grind into gear, and I might actually see my pay sometime in February. Of course this is a problem for the enormous fee bill that I owe to the University, essentially… Now. Ugh, so it was off to the bursar to beg for leniency (pigs might also fly). The entire reason I even went to school that day was for a meeting, and the person was totally AWOL. Great. So finally I pack up and head home, falsely assuming that things would be better at home.

As I stepped into the house my nose was assaulted with the smell of rotten… something. Oh, no! Now what! So I clean the cat box, take out the trash and do a thorough spray down with Lysol. Didn’t even dent it. Great. Eventually I went down to the basement and found that our deep freezer had ceased to function. All the food (approximately $300 is my guess) was warm, warmer then the air, and totally rotten. But of course the light in the freezer still works so I could really see the mess particularly well.

After a few minutes for the enormity of this disaster to sink (and to recover from how much worse the smell was when I opened the door) in I decided to jump in to cleaning it up as a way to prevent myself from freaking out about the monetary cost of this little problem. I took the first bag of rotten stuff upstairs to go out the kitchen door to the trash area. I give the door a big tug, and you guessed it, I’m holding the door knob and the door is still closed. Damn it!!!! Put down the trash, go find a screw driver. Fix door. Take out trash. Go back for more. Smell back, Ugh, I think I’m going to be sick – Yep. Run upstairs quick! Guess I shouldn’t have eaten those Girl Scout Cookies before I figured out what smelled bad. Ok, thinking I was partially recovered I went back downstairs to face the mess. As I look down at my white sweater I see red… blood, Oh No, now I’m hemorrhaging blood from my nose.

That was it, I lost it. I was bleeding, retching and crying – total meltdown. I called Dan at work and asked him to come home. “Oh my God are you OK????????” I think I freaked him out a little bit. Managed to clean up and regain my composure by the time he got home. Luckily he brought his respirator home so I could finish cleaning without smelling any more of that funk. We locked up the cats and opened all the windows and the basement door to ventilate the smell. I asked Dan to get us something to eat (seeing that there was no food left). Half a bottle of Clorox later the mess was all cleaned up. We ate and then decided to close the house up again.

Ten minutes after the window were shut, the whole house smell of old rotten wood and cat pee. What the hell? I guess poor little Simba had his legs crossed while he was locked up and ran right for his box – but unfortunately for me – he missed and got the old wood paneling on the wall behind the cat box. Out come the rubber gloves and the bottle of Clorox. Again.

About 10pm I finally crashed on the couch. Phew. Maybe I should just go to bed.
“Rattle, Rattle, Wheeze, Gasp.”

Oh, No. Not tonight. Don’t you dare…. We have a 50 gallon fish tank that has a small algae problem (no make that a big algae problem) that will totally kill the old and tired filter system. Which is exactly what happen Tuesday night at 10:15 pm. We had to totally disassemble the filter system and clean it out.

Ok, that’s it, I’m going to bed, I can’t take anymore. About a half an hour later, Dan asks for a flashlight.

“Huh?”

Shortly thereafter he comes into the room and says “I don’t think I should have sat by you on the couch tonight. Whatever affliction of calamity you have must have rubbed off on me!”
He dropped his contact, we all do it, but unfortunately for him – it went down the drain. The last pair. His glasses are 4+ years old and he has no medical insurance…

I figure blessed sleep, make the day end – the next day I woke up with a cold, almost no voice and was facing teaching all day for the remainder of the week. Figures.

One of my favorite books growing up was about a little girl named Violet. Violet was a little bit of a tomboy, she loved to be outside and doing things that were fun, usually at the expense of her clothes, personal belongings and general appearance. She was as her mother put it an Ultraviolet Catastrophe – some weeks I feel more like Violet then others…

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