Thursday, June 18, 2009

Scenes from Our Personal Gas Crisis

I'm way behind in my blogging, let alone blog-jogging. I've planned a number of entries that remain unrealized in my head. This is due to the kind of week I've been having, this week and last. I've had unusual obligations at home, several days a week working at church for a few hours each, and more CPA review coursework than I could handle. Let me tell you about it, illustrated with photos from our recent interactions with work crews from Southwest Gas. That's a big piece of the puzzle right there.

From the Picasa album Gas Crisis

It started 10 days ago, with the fire in the alleyway that I told you about last week. After the first of the Southwest Gas employees showed up at our door about 4:30 AM, and (eventually) discovered a gas leak in our back yard, I took this shot of activity still going on in the alley where the fire had been.

All day the next day, there were Southwest Gas people all over Calle Mumble and adjacent streets. That was the day I interviewed three plumbers and a Southwest Gas engineer about replacing the gas line and possibly moving the meter up to the house. We decided on having Southwest Gas do to work, for a number of good reasons I explained in a previous blog entry.

The day after that, I dropped off the contract at Southwest Gas before going in to start training for my new position at St. Michael's. The actual work of installing the gas line and moving the meter was scheduled for Monday the 15th. Over the next several days I took the dogs for a walk in the alley a few times, and photographed the remains of a neighbor's fence where the fire was. (The rest of the wooden fence has since been pulled down.) I also worked a few afternoons, and left two voicemails in response to a missed call from my other prospective employer for a second part time job. On Friday he called back, and set up a second interview for Tuesday the 16th. Meanwhile, John did some serious yard work over the weekend, in the grand tradition of "cleaning up for the maid." And of course I had Round Robin duties, but was too busy to make the rounds of people's entries.

Sunday night I was up until after 4 AM, working on my CPA review assignments, trying to get caught up to where I was "only" three days behind. Monday morning arrived too soon, when the Southwest Gas crew arrived at 6:30 AM. I was awake and busy all day on a few hours of sleep. When I wasn't checking in with the work crew (which was complicated by the fact that I kept ending up talking to a particular guy who spoke very little English), I was dealing with computer problems, going in to work at church, taking the dogs up the street for a little discreet peeing, and getting another call from the prospective second employer, postponing my second interview to some undetermined future date. Oh, and I found out that the software training sessions I'd hoped to attend in Phoenix on Wednesday had been canceled. When I discovered that I left my first paycheck behind at work, I went home, tracked down my proof of citizenship for my I-9, and headed back to church, briefly. I intended to attend a meeting there at 6 PM, but at that hour the gas guys were still at the house and John had just gotten home, so I was bringing him up to date on things.

At 7 PM I was at the dog park, preparing to take photos for the Ellipsis Monday Photo Shoot, when my phone rang. Only I didn't know that at first, because it was the "other" ringer, the one the phone uses when Caller ID is blocked. By the time I answered, I had missed the call and had to call voicemail. There was already a message I hadn't listened to yet. It implied that a friend was being evicted, and asked for help finding packing boxes. The second voicemail was from my co-worker at church, rescheduling our next session. I listened to her message three times, trying to memorize the phone number she gave. When I dialed it back, I got the voicemail of the friend who needed boxes, presumably because I'd failed to exit the voicemail system. All this time I was standing over Pepper's dog park mess, unable to clean it up because I was too busy fiddling with the phone!

I did reach my co-worker eventually, and my friend called and she's not evicted, although she will be moving when her lease is up. I went home and edited photos, did CPA review assignments until my brain couldn't possibly manage the task any longer, posted a slap-dash version of the EMPS entry to be expanded on later, and went the heck to bed!

Early Tuesday morning the gas guys were back, but just for a few hours to finish up and clean up. Once they were gone I tried to sleep in, but got a call from Wells Fargo trying to sell us the services of a Personal Advisor, and another call on behalf of a friend I'd promised to meet with for moral support as she printed mailing labels. No, really. She bought me lunch, and I spend the rest of the day at the computer, except for another brief, unnecessary trip to church. I got more CPA review stuff done, but was more behind than ever.

Wednesday, I got semi-adequate sleep, battled the computer some more (I think my Firefox build is messed up), did the deposit at church, ate lunch, bought gas, washed the car, bought dinner, and took the dogs to the dog park at dusk. There will be photos for that in a future entry. And I did a bunch more CPA review assignment stuff, and I'm STILL way behind.

Then I edited these photos, and wrote this entry. And now I'm going to bed.


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