Saturday, June 7, 2008

Vying for Worst Week Ever?

Folks, it has been one crummy week for Publius.

One of the big stories in Charlotte this week has been the abnormally hot temperatures, which are set to puncture triple digits this weekend. Leading up, temperatures and the associated humidity have been rather cruel to me. Usually it seems like the summer screwdown starts earlier in May, but within the last few weeks my body has not adjusted well.

Shortly after my parent's departure in mid May, I had some pre-summer maintenance done on my Smithsonian-bound A/C unit. But about ten days ago I noticed that with the climbing temperatures the system was just not kicking on. It was the previous weekend that I came to the total realization that the unit had failed right after the scheduled maintenance!

The previous weekend featured a tough Saturday long run with some of the worst humidity! That afternoon I was on work duty, helping out at the Conservancy's Land Conservation Celebration out at Redlair. Giving my vast intellect, I was reduced to watching children in the inflatable bounce machine. I was a bounce bouncer, and boy did I crack down on checking IDs. The day was mercilessly hot in the middle of Haywood's field, easily approaching ninety. That was probably harder on my body than the nearly ten miles I suffered through that morning!

Then on Sunday four of us ventured out for the Inside Out Sports ride. It started off slowly, having to wait forever on a train, but then we took a new route for me out towards Stanley. About mile 18 of the official ride disaster nearly struck for Bob Nixon and myself. We were riding two abreast, with Bob and myself on the the outside. The group was descending Stanley-Lucia to cross Dutchman's Creek when all the sudden a grey Nissan (?) sped by us at 60+ mph with about one inch to spare! I first felt the close wind then saw how close the car came to Bob! It then slowly sank it that the car passed that close to me as well! The rest of the ride was a big suffer-fest for me, climbing Spencer Mountain was just crazy - I was the only one who opted out of the HC version. Inside of climbing Cramerton Mountain we instead beat for home, taking the long agonizing Wilkinson Boulevard back. Once back on Marsh I bade farewell to Bob and Melissa, who were very focused on hitting the pool and forgetting this particular ride!

That afternoon was quite agonizing as well; it was time to say farewell to Sonia Perillo. Her husband had taken a transfer to Phoenix. Sonia was my original Charlotte friend and most importantly responsible for me coming to the Queen City. She was then the Associate Director at the Conservancy and running operations while the original Executive Director was on leave. Sonia was the one who interviewed me, saw something special, and offered the position. When she left the Conservancy several years ago to raise Sophia, it was hard enough. But this was pure torture.

Things did not improve Monday. I took up the opportunity to tutor that evening. I've been taking Winston for a long time now, and during the twilight hours there are up to eight bunnies in the field when we arrive. I usually have to get him started, but he just tears after them with utter delight. That night something dreadfully wrong happened and he came back with a huge gash under my left eye (see previous post for his perspective on the event).

Then Tuesday was the big Ultimate start to Summer League. I posted previously on the event. It was very hard on my body. I didn't remember any particular misstep on my feet, but afterwards my left ankle/foot felt strange. That evening it had swelled quite a bit and I knew I was in trouble. Later on I would become very sore having used muscles hardly stressed!

On Wednesday morning the A/C technician finally came. It drives me nuts not going to work on time, but this was important - it was just becoming unbearable, especially for my recovering dog! The bad news was that a small part called a capacitor failed, which melted the wires above it - shutting down the unit. It would cost $450 to replace. I declined the repair as my home warranty (which would require another visit) would repair it for $55. Before leaving they cheerfully quoted me $6,100 to replace the unit. Sure dude. I then ran into work, which was a total mistake as I could really feel the swelling (there was no other associated pain) and the temperatures were sky-high.

That evening we had a party to celebrate the contributions of Jean Woods, the Conservancy's stewardship committee chair who has been around the Conservancy just as long as Sonia. This was another HUGE loss, both for the Conservancy and me personally. As a compromise, Jenni drove me part of the way home and then I ran from Marsh. I realized I could not run anymore.

Thursday had to suck too - each night of sleeping was worse than the next. I had decided to swim instead. When I got there it was closed for the UltraSwim event. I really rely on the MCAC events page (I complained several years ago to get it started) and for some reason (laziness) it wasn't updated for June, so I assumed it was okay. So not only would I not swim, I was going to miss out on running tonight. ARGH! That afternoon I also send a scathing message to a close Charlotte friend, who has a strong tendency to ignore my inquires and go AWOL for long periods of time. I naturally regretted my message, but it's so frustrating to be able to depend on her for anything.

Friday was the crowning turd. My whole week was centered around the arrival of the new A/C folks to bring some beloved cold air into a house when temperatures were now close to triple digits. I had specifically told them to call me on my cell, and of course they said they'd be there any time from 3 to 5PM. As usual, I was delayed at work until 3:45, but there was no call. So I changed into my bike gear and made some all along the way home to make sure they had not called. When I arrived around 4:30 there was a note in the door saying they waited from 4:00 to 4:15. AAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH!!! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! I was SO MAD! Sure enough I got a voicemail and boy did I go off! (I later realized this was not a sound strategy for getting my problem fixed) I then called the warranty company. By that time I was at Home Depot ready to buy some expensive portable A/C unit. The guy said he talked with the vendor and said they would come by after the current job. So I waited.

They never came or called.

This of course meant suffering through the intolerable heat set to peak through the weekend.

Saturday had some serious stink to it as well. As if losing two very important people who were leaving town, I suffered through a third. Earlier in the week I was contacted by my old Sharksbite friend Jill who had shocked us all by moving to Atlanta. She asked me to help her move a big couch into a U-Haul. Unfortunately the timing was a bit off - I got the call just when I arrived at work (yes, apparently I live here now) to escape the inferno that is my house. Okay, no big deal. But then I spilled orange cola on my favorite (and oh-so-white) Grand Columbia hat to get there! I almost wanted to stay around in the stifling heat and move some more stuff to avoid the goodbye, but my better sense did take hold. I was there for the big stuff. I had to retreat back. The route was I-74/Independence, which easily ranks as my least favorite road to travel in all of Charlotte. As anyone here and they will tell you why.

And worse yet, I had waited all week for two big events - 1) the fixing of my A/C and the posting of the latest episode of Battlestar Galactica. Those Hulu/NBC bastards said it would be posted today. Okay, I'm addicted. This show is unrealistically good!

After hanging out at work on Saturday afternoon, I got a call from the second A/C company, they'd be there in 25 minutes! This was potentially great news. I packed up Winston and came home, and sure enough they came. The guy took a look inside and without a hint of doubt told me the unit was completely shot! Do note the cost from above...

Julie has also been out of town for over a week and still has more time left for her visit to Florida. I've really missed having her smile around, but I totally understand why she needed the vacation.

I need one too. Especially with some nice A/C.

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