Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Merry Christmas, a little early

Mom: Do you need more socks?

Me: I have plenty of socks, they're just lighter weight than I need here. So I've been wearing two pairs at once the last few days. I might need some heavier socks.

Mom: Or we could just get you some slippers

Me: You already did, but they're a Christmas present. Remember, from Yonkers? That's why I was going to buy them.

Mom: Oh, I forgot about those. Want to open a present early?

So now my feet are very warm.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Stuck in STL

I was supposed to be home by now.

Monday I made the trek north to visit some friends I know from home who now live three hours north of STL. It was great seeing them, despite the continued "when are you getting married" talk. Karen is more concerned about my future prospects than my own mother. Let me work on where I'll be living in a month, OK?

Then Tuesday it was time for the going away lunch. It being STL, it was pouring, and I was running late due to traffic. However, that ended up not being an issue because Teal was running much later than I was, having gotten a flat tire on the side of the interstate. We went on a rescue mission, two of us having knowledge of how to change a tire. Forty-five minutes later, we were finished, if very wet. My total now is helping with ten flats in the past eleven years. I think I've now not only surpassed most people's lifetime totals, but lapped them as well.

While I was drying out at my place, I got a call from Mom. A storm was moving through the upper Midwest, causing even Yankton to call off school. Driving conditions looked to be hazardous for my trip.

I woke up yesterday morning to sun streaming through the window. It was mocking me. The storm was so bad that I-29 was closed - not just covered, but closed - pretty much the entire way home. I've learned not to tempt fate when it comes to my car, so no drive home. I had to unload clothes, some books, and the TV from my car in my pjs. I'm sure I provided some lovely entertainment to the neighbors at 7:30 AM.

This morning it was pretty much the same song, second verse - road conditions were better, but not great. So the move has been postponed two days. A some point tonight I will reload the car, ready to make the likely ten hour drive home.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

In which I nearly reenact a scene from Gilmore Girls

This morning I started out on my voyage south one more time back to STL, this time with my brother who needed to be dropped off back at school. Near the Dakota Dome, not thirty minutes into the trip, a buck comes streaking across the highway. I hit the brakes, narrowly missing the buck by mere feet. Now, I asked Eric's opinion and he agrees, if I had not braked the deer would have hit me. I may love the episode of Gilmore Girls when Rory gets hit by a deer, but have no desire to relive it. And I still had almost nine hours of driving left.

The rest of the trip involved long conversations with Crystal, a soggy sandwich from Hardees, the failure of my cigarette lighter/charger, and witnessing the mass exodus from STL. I70 westbound looked at nearly a standstill from Columbia onward. If an evacuation ever happens somewhere I'm traveling to, someone needs to call and let me know so I can turn around, because obviously otherwise I will just keep going.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Real World Tetris

Tonight I took a break from research to go get my laundry out of the dryer only to be greeted by a mattress in the stairway. Last week, the mattress and box spring were delivered for the new housemate. The delivery guy (who happened to have a degree in theology - the things you learn while moving furniture with people) and I moved the mattress fine but were unable to get the box spring up the stairs due to geometry.

Apparently deciding that we simply didn't try hard enough last week, the house owner and his friend could get it up to the second floor. Now, the guy would delivered the set sells and delivers furniture for a living. He does this all the time. And while I don't move furniture on a daily basis, I have helped multiple people move, and have moved myself three, soon to be four, times in the past two years. Needless to say, I can play real life Tetris. So when tonight the friend said, "We're just doing man stuff," (referring to physical labor, I guess?) I'm pretty sure I snorted before saying, "right."

I tried to let them know what all we did last week, but it was pretty clear that they were not going to listen to me. I headed back to my room for a bit. A little while later, I went downstairs, finally able to get my laundry, and the box spring is back in living room.

Friday, November 13, 2009

I look out the window this morning to see this sight

I live in a metropolitan area, even if it is in the county not the city proper. Yet, by moving 30 minutes last May, I went from watching for muggers to watching for deer. I have seen more deer in the past sixth months than the rest of my life, excluding the rather stressful drive to the FCB Spring Retreat my senior year. A word of advice - never tell God that the "topper for the week" would be hitting a deer. He has a sense of humor.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Proof Positive

"Good job getting the printer fixed. Even if you did use magic." - My boss, via email yesterday

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Save Robin

My cousin Ben just turned four. Last Christmas, he received the whole Batcave thing, complete with a Robin on his bike. However, he doesn't have any villains. Therefore, Robin goes to jail. A lot. Mom tried to find him some for his birthday, but she couldn't find any in the greater Siouxland area. Right now, Batman has a dragon he can fight.

As a fan of Robin, I can't have this. I made a special trip to Walmart this morning and found a Penguin. I will continue to search the greater STL area until Mr. Freeze and Joker are also found. If I come across Superman, he'll be picked up too.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hasn't stopped raining for days

It is, once again, raining in STL. Actually, it might have finally stopped, but I haven't seen the sun since Sunday, so it doesn't actually count yet. Apparently I have selective memory, because it took me a while to remember that, yes, it rains a lot in STL in the fall, so much so that I bought rain boots last October.

The rain outside was not the only water I dealt with today. Some time in the past week, a very important hose was moved at work. Rather than directing water from the ice cream machine into the drain, it sent the liquid out over the floor. I mopped every half hour on the half hour all afternoon, spreading the water out so it would dry. Good thing the air was nice and dry so it evaporated quickly, right? Oh wait....

Other typical minor crisis occurred throughout the day. I think the best analogy to my position out in OF is that I am Cam when she first started on Bones. The store runs alright, although not as efficiently as it should. My job is apparently to clean up the store, without actually working with other employees. My boss must think I have magical powers.

The weather forecast has given me hope. The sun is supposed to be out on Thursday. ON MY DAY OFF! I can go hiking and try to photograph the beautiful colors. Fingers crossed and prayers sent up.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

More real life movie scenarios

So while craziness has continued, it been confined to school life, preventing all attempts at blogging. But Saturday at Cold Stone was too story-ful to not talk about it.

First, the day wasn't terribly busy, and people were tipping again (possible sign of the end of the recession). By three I had already made almost $10 after multiple shift of no to $1 in tips. Unfortunately, some teenagers came in and stole my tips. These teens are making it a Saturday habit, and it's getting ridiculous. The owner has advised to pocket tips as we get them, which strikes me as awkward to do. Also, people tip more when there is money in the tip jar.

I thought that was going to be the story of the day. Then a couple came downstairs after finishing their ice cream and headed back to the bathrooms. They didn't come out for quite a while, long enough for me to consider going and checking on them, when they both came out of the women's bathroom. Now, I can't know for sure what they were doing in there, but I can make some pretty good assumptions based on what I had to clean up. As my coworker Emily put it, "It's one of those things you hear about happening but never think will happen where you work" (to which Crystal added "or where you use the bathroom").

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just a typical Wednesday

The internet failed to work last night at home. I guess I wasn't supposed to work on homework, right? Here's a summary of my day, surprisingly not all that unusual for a Wednesday.

It was payroll day at work, and (surprise, surprise) the computer program was not fixed. That means manually entering everyone's hours for the past week in to a spreadsheet and sending it to the boss. We also got a truck, and the weather was nice, so the store was pretty hectic without that little wrinkle. I also took a bunch of cake orders. I'm one of two people regularly at that store who know how to build/decorate cakes, so I had my hands full on that front. As I was leaving, tech support called back, and I had the privilege of reprogramming a register. This was what tech support suggested we do two weeks ago, but last week they decided that wasn't the problem. Turns out they were looking at a function that has always worked, not the time keep. I ended up working an extra hour. Also, a lady ate an entire quart of ice cream in less than thirty minutes.

On my way home, the frying pan lady called back. The first thing out of her mouth was "I hope I have the right number this time". It took me a few tries to break through her speech to tell her that, no, she did not have the right number. I hope she gets her frying pan.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Wrong Number

I had a message on my phone last night after the World's Largest Ice Cream Social. The lady went on for over a minute about this frying pan, how she was all excited about getting this frying pan, and if I could please call her back soon because she was really looking forward to getting this frying pan.

I checked the number, and it was from SD. I felt bad that this lady wasn't going to get her frying pan, so I called the number back. She answered, and I nicely told her that she had the wrong number and I couldn't get her a frying pan. She was pretty embarrassed.

Monday, September 21, 2009

This weekend in weird


I had to get to work at six, meaning I had to drive through rush hour and I wanted to run by the library to pick up some stuff that was on hold for me. I pulled up to a stop light not far from my house, and the guy in the car next to me honked. I looked over and he motions to me to roll down my window. Great, I think, I must have a flat tire or a tail light out or something wrong with Harvey that will require me to be late.

Dude in next car: Huron or Mitchell

Me: Um, Yankton

Dude: Oh, I was trying to figure out what 7 was (referring to my SD license plates) I'm from Aberdeen

Me: Nods

Dude: Well, welcome to MO!

Me: Thanks... (mumble) I've been here a year

I then waited an awkward moment and rolled the window back up.


I had to work during a crazy birthday part. There was major miscommunication between my boss and the lady. He is going to get a phone call this week.


I was watching some of the Emmys for Dr Horrible before Mad Men started. The owner of the house came home and wanted to make sure I knew how to run the new tv and cable box hook up.

Guy: Yeah, the remotes not working, so I'm going to have to look at how I hooked it up. I must have done something wrong.

Me: It's the remote.

Guy: No, there are new batteries in the remote.

Me: The picture is coming in on the tv. It's hooked up alright. But the remote isn't working.

Guy: Oh... you know, those batteries might be old. I'll be right back.

*brings back batteries*

The remote then works, but he had the box behind the tv.

Me: We need to move the box - right now it's blocked by the tv.

The remotes now work from the couch.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Memory fail

So I completely forgot (or blocked) my fail at work yesterday. Three of the four lights in the ghea (where the ice cream is kept) were burnt out. I found one replacement bulb and decided I would try to replace it. I'm a grad student, I should be able to replace a light bulb. Turns out, no, I can't, but I can slice my finger open in a poor attempt. Also, Cold Stone still had no band-aids (I put it on the 'need' list three weeks ago), so I had to MacGyver one out of paper towel and packaging tape.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Just another manic Monday

I'm usually a pretty early riser. No alarm necessary, and I wake up around seven. However, one of the major perks of being an online student, in my opinion, is being able to do my school stuff in my pajamas. This morning I heard a knock on the door, but figured the house's owner would get it. His house, his repair problems, his responsibility. However, a few minutes later there was another knock, so I threw some clothes on and went to answer it.

After letting the kitchen repair guy in, I got myself some breakfast. The repair guy asked if and when I would be leaving. I didn't have to be at work until 11:30, so the plan was to leave sometime between 10:30 and 11:00. He relayed that he would be spraying the kitchen and advised leaving sooner. I thanked him and packed up my stuff, departing for Bread Co. (Panera for all you non-STL people) soon after.

I thought Bread Co. would be pretty quiet during the morning; it just has that coffee house atmosphere. Apparently I was mistaken, because the new retiree community has group meetings at the one in the Loop. Also, I decided I shouldn't listen/watch lectures in public places, because the diagrams associated with infectious disease are not for everyone.

Work was uneventful, and the test I took was finished without any problems. Not ten minutes after submitting the test, the power went out. I waited a bit to see if it would come back on by itself (it didn't) before venturing downstairs armed with my GPS unit complete with flashlight feature (the actual flashlight had dead batteries). To my surprise, the power was on in the back of the house. The owner checked the breaker box and said he flipped all the switches back. Still, no power for me. I went down to check, and the switch actually labeled for the upstairs bedrooms was still tripped. I fixed it quick, and power was restored. Hooray for me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

I now have smoke inhalation on top of everything else

One of the blenders at work went epically kaput at work this afternoon. The crew member was making two shakes at once, and suddenly the blender was smoking. We let it sit for a bit, then I tried the blender again. It emitted comical amounts of smoke. You know in movies when smoke billows from something? That's what it looked like.

I got a face full of black smoke. When I went in the bathroom to check it, I caught a glimpse of myself in the mirror. Black soot was all over my nose. My eyes looked like I had been crying while wearing mascara.

I tried to call Crystal on my way home to update her on these developments, but she didn't answer. I considered leaving a message, decided I would, and started talking. Apparently I chose poorly, because her voicemail hung up on me.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Welcome Home

I just got back to STL. I rent a furnished room in a house, and I arrived back tonight to discover that the kitchen was completely sealed off from the rest of the house via plastic sheeting. Remember Andromeda Strain? That's what the entrance to the kitchen looks like. Turns out the leak the owner was working on fixing when I left resulted in mold (possibly black mold - I don't really know what kind of mold yet) spreading through the entire rear kitchen wall. The whole thing is torn up, microwave in the living room, etc. I can get to the fridge, but have to unzip the doorway.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

OK, Universe, We'll Put Today in Your Column

I'm getting ready to go back up north for the weekend/my birthday, so I've been attempting to get all my homework done before leaving tomorrow. With the internet down this morning, that did not happen. It's hard to do online class when you can't get online.

I then headed off to work. One wouldn't think that Cold Stone would be all that crazy a job. However, when the computer software goes wonky, the truck arrives, and the weather is nice enough that everyone and his brother decides to go out for ice cream, it gets a little nuts.

But now the internet is back up, I'm clean (I had chocolate on my shin when I got home. I didn't make chocolate ice cream. I have no idea where the chocolate came from), and lack all motivation to do anything.

I'm going to put today down as a "win" for the universe and watch some Muppet Show.

First Mate Miss Piggy about Captain Link Hogwash: "You and your bowling shows. He cries at the sad parts."

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Does the night count as a win or a loss?

Saint Louis has a trivia obsession. Rather than doing car washes or bake sales, most groups do trivia nights for fundraisers. I did the SPH Relay for Life trivia night earlier this summer and had a great time. Since the local bars also tend to have trivia once a week, Katie and I decided to try our hands it last night.

We got there a little late (Mythbusters was a little too good), so there we no tables left. We ended up joining a team of two older guys to "pool our resources". The trivia was fun, but getting hit on ALL NIGHT by a 43 year old was decidedly not fun. However, at the end of the night, we won first place.

I would do bar trivia again, but ONLY if I had a group of about five people with which to go. No more "pooling resources" for me.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Stupid Target Fruit Snacks

I admit it. I'm a Mott's fruit snack addict. Really, any fruit snacks will do (well, most any - the cheap HyVee ones are hardly worthy of the name). However, Mott's are made with apple juice and I feel slightly less guilty about eating multiple packages in one sitting. I bought another package today from Target, and once again they are all melted. I'm going to have to make a pit stop at a different Target in order to buy good ones and return these.

Monday, August 3, 2009

I just needed the register to work

I got to work this morning and, once again, the money aspects of closing weren't done. After taking twenty minutes to finish that up, I tried to clock in on the computer. No dice. I tried all the various ways to clear out yesterday's information from the log to start a new day. Still no dice. At this point, I called both of my bosses, and both of their recommendations didn't work.

It was time to call tech support.

I started by calling the tech support number listed in the manual. This number didn't work at first, then gave me a "this number is no longer in service - please call XXXXX" message. So I called the new number.

Now, I hung pretty fast, but I'm sure the tech support automated message would have been less adult than 5 seconds I heard from that phone number.

I then tried the tech support number on the register itself. This number was also not in service, although it did forward me to an annoying voice mail service. So much for 9 am to 10 pm Mon-Sun.

I finally got the correct number from my boss, but the phone decided to revolt. It would not call multiple numbers. Once I realized that the problem was on my end, I called tech support on my cell phone. Hallelujah - I finally got through.

At this point, it was noon and the store was supposed to be open. However, since I was the only one working, I decided to continue dealing with register problem. It's not like I could sell anything at that point. People were, of course, waiting for me to open today. Two ladies waited 20 minutes before leaving. Then, while I was following tech support's instructions up front, more people were waiting outside and actually pounded on the door for me to let them in. I would if I could people.

The tech guy had to remotely install some software and said he would call me back when it was ready to go.

I finally opened the store at one, still no registers working, and we had to manually record all transactions for the day. And of course this was a busy Monday, something that happens maybe once every six weeks.

When I left, the registers still weren't working.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

List of injuries since Sunday

1. Bruise on base of left hand, pinkie side, from catching hand on corner at Coldstone. Pinkie/ring finger were numb then tingling the rest of the night (while serving the line that would not end)

2. Dropped pitcher on left foot. Results in circular bruise about 3 inches wide

3. Fell at gardens. Scrapped up right arm, right calf, and top of right foot. Fall was harder than originally thought, resulting in what feels like deep bruise on right arm and leg.

4. Broke blood vessel in back of left hand. Hand is currently slightly swollen, affecting grip. Driving is not fun.

***Does not include random bruises picked up during routine living. This list is limited to injuries actively causing discomfort.

The hot pad and ice pack are my best friends. I can't cross my ankles to sit as I normally do because I've injured the tops of both feet.

It was me or the kid

Last night I went to the jazz night at the Botanical Gardens. Katie and I didn't have great seats, so we decided to walk around, allowing me to take pictures and listening to the jazz via speakers. The walk way was pretty crowded, so when Katie stopped suddenly, I tripped. I could have caught myself, but that would have involved knocking down a preschool-aged girl. I did the noble thing and wiped out. My arm is pretty scrapped up, but neosporin is being applied.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Everything In Its Place

I am a weird occurrence magnet. Crazy things happen to me that don't happen to normal people. It's not entirely that I have klutzy tendencies. It's more that I attract situations.

For example, I work at a Cold Stone Creamery. My first day as shift leader, my coworker called in sick. Can't really fault her for it - she was in the emergency room. I called a few other people to try and get some help, but no one could come in. OK, I thought, I can handle this. What I didn't know of was a festival in the Loop. The line was so long that the wait was 1.5 hours. And people waited it. This went on for five hours, dying off 15 minutes before I got off.

This blog is a place for my stories. Hope you enjoy.