Sunday, October 10, 2010

Big dangerous day

Last night was the last night of this rotation, and the end of another sixty-hour calendar week of work.  I go back on Monday night for overtime and then work a regular rotation of Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday nights for my last week of what you could call "easy sixty" - the following four calendar weeks will only have three workdays each, so I will have to work two overtime days in the same calendar week to get in sixty hours (and earn seventy hours of pay.)

I would have loved to go right to sleep when I got home, but that wasn't in the cards.  I absolutely needed to get out my insurance paperwork today, and before I could do that I needed to get one item notarized.  I finished filling out all the necessary forms, scanned everything and saved it as image files, made some pancakes, and started to look for Notaries Public who were open on a Saturday.

It's not that easy.  Some didn't answer their phones, and some didn't seem to have phones.  Ditto for the local post offices, but I was fairly confident that the Wilkes-Barre post office would be open into the afternoon.

I was going through the phone book and my eyes fell on one familiar location.  I looked at the address.  It wasn't nearby, but it was close to the comic book store, and I was planning on going there anyway.  I called them, and they would be open for another hour-and-a-half.  Just enough time for me to get ready, hit an ATM for some cash, and get myself up there.  And then go to the comic book store.

All with no sleep.

The pancakes helped, as did three or four mugs of coffee and a shower.  My car stalled once along the way, as the World's Longest Traffic Light finally changed from red to green with me at the start of a parade, but for all I know that might have been my fault - I may have accidentally knocked the car into neutral or something.  I made it to the notary with fifteen minutes to spare.

Along the way I listened to a new radio station.  92.1 FM has variously played easy listening, classic rock, oldies, and Christmas Carols in the past, but on the way back from taking Homer to the vet in Allentown, while scanning stations for something that wasn't playing solid crap or solid commercials, I stumbled across its new format: easy listening classic oldies alternative.

I have to admit, I feel like a hypocrite listening to this station.  I can't stand the thought of alternative as a nostalgia act.  If this were a college radio station, I might be complaining that they're ignoring current bands and modern music, like "Bloodbuzz Ohio" by The National, in favor of playing stuff from the 90's.  But they do play some more recent songs by bands like Paramore and Finger Eleven.  Oddly, for just listening for a few hours, I've heard a lot of repeated songs - I'm listening right now on the online stream to "Dammit" by Blink 182, which I just heard this afternoon.  (Excuse me for a minute, they're now playing "Cherub Rock" by Smashing Pumpkins.)  On top of everything else, the station appears to be a robot station playing a satellite feed with no DJ's or other local presence beyond the occasional commercial.

After getting my stuff notarized and adding some oil to my engine just for luck (it goes through about a quart a month, but what do you expect from a fourteen year old car that still gets better than 40 miles to the gallon?), I made my way along Wyoming Avenue past the site of the Battle of Wyoming and into West Pittston and finally to the comic book store.  There was a sale going on there, but I couldn't rouse myself to spend any more money than what I had already committed to with my pull list. Then I remembered something else:  I needed a haircut.  Fortunately, Sam (the comic book guy)'s wife Rose has an attached beauty shop in the back, and she also does haircuts.  So I turned a twofer into a threefer, and got three things accomplished in one trip.

Having zinged east through the Wyoming Valley to do all this, I then zanged back west towards Nanticoke to get to the Wilkes-Barre post office to mail my packet of forms, receipts, and bills.  This went off without incident.  I then decided that while I was out already, I may as well make a few more stops at a Home Depot (which does not sell any sort of home security stuff, by the way) and a pet supply store to get cat food.  (All, still, without sleep.)

I somehow managed to do all this and get home without crashing my car or running anyone over.  It was a stupid and dangerous thing to do.

I slept from 4:00 to 10:00 and have been up since.  (Now they're playing "Six Underground" by Sneaker Pimps for the second time today - I heard it as I pulled away from the post office at about 2:00.  Ah, well, I am sort of in love with Kelli Ali, so that's a good thing.)  Tomorrow I'll go to church in the morning, then give blood, pick up some groceries for next week's rotation of work, and then do some stuff with the things I picked up from Home Depot.  And then start the cycle all over again.

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