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Modern times

May 27, 2012

We’re in the middle of a spectacular thunderstorm that’s been going on for at least an hour already. AJ’s supposed to play baseball at 10 and I’m thinking that’s not so likely. Right now we’re watching hail pile up on the skylights. I’m thinking I may want to wear a helmet to go out and get the paper.

I had a particularly busy week in New York. There’s a lot going on at the Toy Factory. I suppose there’s always a lot going on at the Toy FactoryI’m in the process of hiring a new person for my team. I’ve been serving as a sort of consultant on a large new project my department’s taken on, and several new projects have come my way that are interesting, but time consuming. I spent more time than I would have liked this week trying to decipher some 30-year-old contracts for some toys that we created but which were licensed to another toy factory for a while. The documents were not as complicated as you might have expected. That might seem like a good thing, but really, it just means that they are pretty vague and trying to hash out what was intended proved challenging. The fact is, I’m still not sure of the status, but I got enough of the details sorted out that I could make it someone else’s problem.

Other things have been taking up my time too. Like my flight back to Chicago, for instance. I left the office at 3:30 pm on Wednesday to catch my 5:00 flight home. I should have been walking in my front door at 8 — 9 NY time. I didn’t get home until 2. It took me 12 hours and 3 planes to get home. At least I didn’t get stuck in New York. That was the first time I’d ever heard of an airline handing out dinner vouchers and free drinks for a flight that wasn’t actually cancelled. By the time we flew home, so many people had bailed out to stay the night and catch new flights in the morning that the plane was nearly empty. I had a whole row to myself. It would have been a completely miserable experience except that the staff was incredibly nice. One woman in particular so impressed me, that I actually wrote an email to her employer.

I was not at my most incoherent at my 9 am meeting. It was a beautiful day and I decided that I needed to set up my office on the screened-in porch. Maybe the fresh air would keep me awake. Then a cardinal started singing in the plum tree right outside the window. “Are those birds?” someone asked. Busted. It was pouring down rain in New York. So at the afternoon meeting, the one where they usually pretend they don’t have snacks so I don’t feel bad for missing them, they decided to talk up the snacks in detail. “If you get to sit outside, we’re going to tell you about the doughnuts.” Fair enough. I love my coworkers.

Yesterday evening, I was cleaning up the house for a showing the next day. I got the stepladder to replace the lightbulb in the closet fixture, but discovered that the insulation around the lightbulb was disintegrating. I decided to try to put the lightbulb anyway, but stopped trying when it started sparking. So I bought a light fixture at home depot and came home to install it. I’ve installed most of the light fixtures in this house. It’s one of the easiest home repair jobs there is and it’s the only piece of electrical work I feel completely competent to tackle. The hardest part of the job is figuring out which breaker switch to turn off. After a lot of trial and error, I finally figured it out and got the fixture up (no thanks to the company that made it, which omitted a crucial screw from the box). When I went to turn it back on, I accidentally hit a couple of wrong switches before I got the right one. When I came back upstairs, I discovered the stove and microwave were no longer getting power. I turned every fuse in the house on and off, but the power didn’t come back.

I called the electrician and they put me on hold, where I got to listen to not Music, not Smooth Jazz, but Gregorian chant. That was unexpected. I worried that they thought I needed the time to be prayerful. They informed me that they could come today, but because it’s a holiday weekend, they’d have to charge overtime. Overtime is more than twice as much. “Well,” I said, “we can’t cook, so I guess you’d better come today.” “It’s the biggest grilling weekend of the year,” he pointed out. “You make an excellent point. How about Wednesday. Which is why I had both lunch and dinner out today.

But lunch was with the lovely Jeanne. We met at a local brewery, where, to be contrary, neither of us had beer and discussed gender and children and books and our mutual disbelief in the way we discovered we had a mutual friend when I noticed one of my coworkers on her Facebook page. I think the internet is a wormhole.

I also managed to make to AJ’s second game of the day just in time to see him make a great hit. The team won both games and a couple of truly amazing plays were made, plays even I could appreciate. When these kids are on, it’s real baseball. It’s easy to forget they’re only 11 until someone stops the play so a kid can tie his shoe or a pitcher walks off the mound fighting back tears from the stress of it all. Only one game today, which is lucky because it’s supposed to be in the upper 90s. Summer is here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. May 28, 2012 10:17 am

    I like being contrary. And being called lovely!

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