Tuesday, January 5, 2010

What a Challenging Day

Ever have one of those days where everything seems to go wrong? Today was that day for me. This morning, I got Mike up and off to work and the boys out the door with Mike to go back to school. I laid in bed for a while longer, just enjoying our new sheets (microplush that we got for Christmas from my mother-in-law) and then when I finally got up, I got the little two ones up, dressed and ready for the day. Once I had accomplished all of that, I sat down to use the computer. It had a blue screen on it. For those of you don't know, a blue screen on a computer is a bad, bad sign. I restarted the computer. Blue screen. I restarted and tried to go into last known good configuration. Blue screen. Restart. Safe mode. Blue Screen. Restart. Safe mode with networking. Blue screen. Restart. Safe mode with command prompt. Blue Screen. Shut off. Say a number of words in my head that are not desirable or polite. Picked up the phone and called Hubby. He verbalized my thoughts. He didn't know what to do other than have me bring it in to him. I called his techie mentor, J. J told me to bring it in. So, I got things ready to go. Went outside to put the tower in the car. Tried to start the car. No luck. Tried again. Still no luck. I didn't fill up the tank yesterday at work, so the gas gauge shows that the level is just above empty. Most likely my fuel line is frozen. Argh. Way to go, self! Go back inside to call Hubby and ask him to come get me. I can take him back to work and then use the van until the fuel line thaws out. He makes plans to come home and pick me up.

I go out and try repeatedly to get the car to start. Eventually, it does! I rush back inside to call Mike so I can let him know that he doesn't need to come get me after all. His co-worker who is covering for him, JL, says that he left awhile ago and that he is probably almost here. I go outside to wait for him and he shows up within minutes. We discuss the vehicle and quickly run through the day's plans. Hubby follows me to the gas station so I can fill up the car. While we are there, we grab some lunch (there is a pizza place inside the gas station.)

We leave from there, with Mike following me. He tries to honk at me when we are approaching 33rd Street to signal to me that he is going to turn. I don't realize it until I'm a block past the turn but decide to use 27th Street anyhow. Hubby sometimes likes to try a different route to see if he can get somewhere before I do. I continue down to 27th Street, which is the street he works on - just far north from where I was at that point. Once I am within a little over a mile from his work, I can see that there is an accident on the bridge on 27th Street, and traffic is being redirected on to a side street and rerouted to 33rd Street. I go with the traffic and at 33rd Street, the traffic is incredibly backed up. There is a two block wait to turn left onto 33rd Street. I decide to take 32nd Street back up to another main road. I'm driving along, the snow is covering the street and is packed down and glazed over. My car starts to slide straight sideways. There's a van parked on the side of the street and I know that I'm going to hit it. I can't do anything to keep from hitting it though. My front driver's side quarter panel and the van's connect. I get out and check the damage. I can't tell how bad it is. I get back in my car and back up. I hear tearing of my car. I get free from the van and get out of my car to look again. All the damage is to my car. That's a good sign. I crunched my car pretty bad, but at least I didn't hurt the van. And my wheel wasn't damaged so the car should still be drivable too.

I go up to the house that the van is parked in front of. The lady comes to the door and I explain what happened. She tells me that this portion of this street is terrible after a snow. I have already deduced that one on my own, but I appreciate her understanding. It's not her vehicle though. The van belongs to her neighbor across the street. She has hit that particular vehicle three times in the last 24 years that they have been neighbors. I'm not really sure what to do with that information, but it does make me feel a bit better (and a bit worse as well). I trek over to her neighbor's house and explain what happened again. Maybe now would be a good time to mention the fact that it was cold outside. Really, really cold. The high today was 11 degrees and it was windy so it felt much, much colder than that. I think at the point that the accident occurred, it was around 2 degrees with about a -10 degree windchill. Brrr!!!!

The lady comes out and we assess the damage and exchange information. I head over to the gas station and call Hubby at work. I tell him what happened. He says to go ahead and drive the car out to him the rest of the way. I am so shaken at this point that I don't even want to get behind the wheel again. Plus, the car actually belongs to my mother-in-law and father-in-law. Title, insurance, all that is in their names. So, I brace myself and head to Hubby's work. I get onto 33rd Street. I get to another main road (the last main road before the one that I actually want to use) and I get rerouted (AGAIN!) - this time back to 48th Street. Seriously? So, I get onto 48th Street, head north until I get to the other main road that I was working to get to in the first place. I turn and get back to 27th Street without incident and head up to Hubby's work. What an ordeal. It usually takes 20 minutes to get from our house to his work. It took me almost two and a half hours. Aye!

So I get there, Hubby goes out and takes a look at the damage, says that he will drive it to his parent's house so that they can see it and so he can pick something up from them. I hang out for awhile because I'm scared to drive. I also call the insurance company and then my mother-in-law. Scary calls, but both ended up being fine and mostly painless. I knew that I had to head out soon to go get the boys from school, and that Ii'm not going to have time to get everything done that I had planned on doing today, so I call my boss and let him know that I had been in an accident earlier and that I had planned on getting my promotion request in to him today, but the accident took a good chunk of time out of my day. He says not to worry about it and that he'll get it from me tomorrow. The deadline is today though, so I'm still slightly stressed out about it. But I'd rather not have the promotion (which I highly doubt that I'll get anyhow) than have frostbitten children, so I head over to their school to pick them up.

I get them from school, then stop at home to pick up my mom and the little ones. My mom got a call from her new landlady and the apartment was approved, so we can go over there and she can sign her lease and pay her money so that she can move in. Yay! I'm really happy for her!

I pick them up, we head over to my work to see if the manager is still there. He is, so I head inside and get my application for promotion turned in. In the meantime, my mom and all four of my children come into the store. My manager is kind of...what would the word be...kidaphobic? He doesn't much like kids. My kids were well-behaved in the store though and all went well.

So then we head over to my mom's new place so she can go in and talk to her lady. I wait. In the van. With four kids. Who have already been in the van for awhile. It's not pleasant. My friend, G, calls. Girlie loves this G girl. G asks me if I can give her a ride to work. I say sure. I try to call my mom at the landlady's number, but get no answer. Knowing my mom, I figured if I left, ran over to G's house, picked her up, took her to work, dropped her off and then came back, my mom probably wouldn't even notice. I was right. G and I had a chance to talk too, which was nice because I hadn't seen or talked to her in about two weeks or so.

So, I get back to my mom's new place. And we wait. I call the lady's number. My mom says it will be maybe another half an hour. Time freezes. Say what? ANOTHER half hour? She'd been in there for an hour and a half already. No way. I tell her that the kids are getting restless and that I can't wait that long (not to mention the whole gas factor in the van). I can't turn the van off because it's too cold outside to not have the heater on. She talks to her lady and she ends up coming out within ten minutes.

We head home. I drop my mom and my four kiddos off. Then I head back over to the inlaw's house to face the music. I don't want to, but I know I need to. I shouldn't have been so worried though. It really wasn't that bad. My mother-in-law at one point did ask me though, if I thought maybe I was going too fast for the conditions. I was going at a top speed of 15. I don't think that was too fast. She let it go. I was kind of surprised. My inlaw's have very ultra high expectations of me, which is fine most of the time. Except for when I mess up. Then it's really really bad usually. What would be a minor mistake for most people has the potential to become earth-shattering. But this time, it wasn't so bad. What a relief!

So, this is my own version of a "horrible, no good, very bad day". The end. Breathe!