Saturday, October 13, 2007

Poor Karen's Almanack

Weekend Assignment #187: Share a story about when you were once memorably late to something. Late to a big event? To a date? To a wedding? Your wedding? If you were late, and it made for a good story, that's what we want to hear.

Extra Credit: How many times do you have to hit the alarm clock before you get up in the morning?

You know that maxim attributed to Benjamin Franklin, the one about being early to bed and early to rise? I am the absolute opposite of that. I mean, here it is, 4:30 AM, and I'm just starting on this entry, having spent most of the night watching Doctor Who stories from 1963, 1964 and 2005. This is Friday night, so I can do that, and sleep into the early afternoon tomorrow - I hope!

Anyway, this pattern holds true for my natural tendencies when it comes to appointments and other obligations. I can get there on time, and usually do, but I tend to cut things close. Just this week, I happened to leave home a couple minutes later than usual, hit extra-heavy traffic on Golf Links, and soon realized I was going to be about two minutes late for work. It wasn't a huge deal; the person I'm replacing (in some of her duties, anyway) always arrives well after I do, and I'm constantly staying late at the end of the day, just to get to a good stopping point. So I was slightly annoyed about the two minutes, but far from panicked.

But then...

Every city has its confusing intersections, places where you need to pay close attention or you'll end up on the wrong street. One example of this in Tucson is at Palo Verde and Irvington. There's a right turn just past the Honda dealership that's actually an I-10 on ramp. Less than 100 feet after that, the next right turn, is Irvington Road.

So I was thinking about being two minutes late and analyzing the implications of this, and failed to notice that I turned right about a hundred feet too soon. This put me on I-10 West. The first exit was a couple miles west and a mile north of where I needed to be, but I got off and started backtracking. Silly me, I disregarded the construction notices and chose Country Club as my southbound street to get back to Irvington. And my "two minutes" lateness turned into ten minutes, total. People still didn't really mind, though, and I was told by a co-worker that "everybody does it" from time to time. It's just the nature of that intersection. Let your mind wander, just for a second, and you're suddenly heading off toward Phoenix!

Other things I've been late for, so late that I sometimes didn't get there at all:
  • I'm pretty sure we once published an issue of 2-5YM, our 1970s Star Trek fanzine, roughly a year after its originally scheduled cover date. I think that's when we abandoned whatever publication schedule we'd been trying for. In my defense, I should point out that the more frequent, early issues were five to seven pages long. The June, 1975 issue was more like 30 pages, I think, and had an interview with David Gerrold.
  • I once forgot that a particular Saturday was the date of All Country Choir rehearsal, and realized my error several hours after the rehearsal started, probably 30 miles away or farther. I called in, but it was too late, and I wasn't allowed to go to All-County that year.
  • As I've mentioned before, I once misread the schedule at Friendly Ice Cream, and thought I was supposed to work the night of a local public appearance by Gene Roddenberry. When I showed up for work that Thursday, I was promptly fired. I'd actually been scheduled to work on Wednesday, and had reported for work a full 24 hours late! I have to say that I was more relieved than upset upon losing that rather miserable job.
  • Having promised to be a crucifer or torch bearer at Michaelmas a few weeks ago (I was also scheduled to be a lector), I remembered the 6:30 PM mass at 11:30 PM that night!
  • I have a bad habit of posting the week's church announcements only when the week is almost over. Good thing most events are announced more than a week ahead!
  • Oh, and of course I was once so late in coming home from a Sunday afternoon session at First Magnus, working alone on year-end stuff, that I think I actually got back to the house around 2 PM Monday - 22 1/2 hours after arriving at work on my day off!
I can't think of anything else offhand - nothing amusing, anyway. And I hit the alarm twice, usually. Can someone explain why every snooze I've used is calibrated for 9 minutes? Why isn't it an even ten?

Ah, well. 5:03 AM, and I'm going to bed now, late as usual. But won't be setting the alarm, I assure you!



Astaryth said...

The 9 minute snooze? It originally had to do with all of the cogs in the clock. When they added snooze in the cog had to fit in with the others, which meant either 9 or 11 minutes because 10 minutes was already a cog! This guy has a better (and more in depth) explanation

Astaryth said...

Oh, and before anyone asks, I didn't have that link... I googled 'snooze alarm' LOL