19 October 2007

What Have I Done to Deserve This?

It's been a pretty awful week.

Rewind to Saturday, what started out as a nice "date" evening for us ended in an argument over money and the new house. I'm not getting into detail here, but it wasn't pretty. Sunday, I got up and posted a Craigslist entry to sell the Grand Prix. Cameron and I talked very little, but made up to some degree later. But we still have a lot to work out.

That evening, we suspected that one of our teammates and good friends had been drugged at our weekly league bowling. He'd had one Salty Dog and one shot of vodka (that I purchased and brought to the table. Within thirty minutes he was a blithering, barely conscious idiot. One cocktail and one shot does not do this. By the time we got him to his apartment he was barely conscious. We called 911 for an ambulance, and while we waited for its arrival I went to his apartment to let his dogs out. He'd given me the wrong alarm code on three different occasions, so now the police were on there way as well. Long story short, we were home three hours later than normal, around midnight.

Early Monday morning, 5:30 or so, the doorbell rings. It's our friend's mother, there to pick up his keys. She'd picked him up from the hospital and had him in the passenger seat and his grandmother in the backseat of her car. After a few minutes discussion and hugs of gratitude, we tried going back to sleep, but I couldn't. Later that morning Cameron left for Florida to take care family business that has him exhausted and driving back and forth from Orlando to Fort Lauderdale several times over the next few days. I had to drop the Passat off at Gossett Volkswagen for two recall repairs and for them to check a leak at the right front wheel that was slinging an oily substance on the inner fender well. A few hours later I get a call that the right CV joint boot is broken. It'll be nearly $300 to repair. Later still, when they were pulling the wheels to do the bi-annual brake fluid flush, they found that the left CV boot has a one-inch crack and should be replaced as well.

Nice. With the exorbitant price for an oil and filter change and the brake fluid flush, we're up to $817. The car may be five years old, but it only has 39,000 miles on it. The CV boot repairs aren't covered under the 5/50 powertrain warranty. How convenient.

Tuesday, I had a video shoot for a commercial that we had less than one day to plan. The coordination involved a lot of scrambling on our Production Manager's part, (meaning that the artist, copywriter, Creative Director and myself were interrupted many times during the day, Monday, with questions or pertinent information). The shoot started out at the wrong location. Even with having to make arrangements to get access to another building before we could get started, and waiting for the dean in the lobby (while he waited for us in his third floor office) for 30 minutes, we stayed on schedule and I left the shoot in the artist and copywriter's hands at 1:30 so I could get back to the office for a 4:30 review of the work we were presenting to another client the following day.

At home that evening, I got a call from our bowling teammate who told me that his doctor had run more extensive tests than the hospital, and he was in fact slipped the date rape drug, Rohypnol. Blood and urine tests within the 72-hour window confirmed it. Who the hell would do this? We know everybody on the league on some level. We're still perplexed.

Wednesday was hectic at work trying to finish preparing for the presentation that afternoon. I'd been able to devote most of the time I had not working on the commercial from yesterday to this, another series of commercials for another client, that I'd been working on since last Friday. I began the day scouting for some specific locations in West Memphis, only to get lost, not find what I was looking for, finding a lot I didn't want to, and finally getting to the office around 10:45. The trip netted two snapshots I could use in the storyboard. I got a call from Gossett that my car is ready. I called John to make arrangements to pick it up after work. But, since the client was late, our 4:30 meeting started at 5 and was over around 6:45. I couldn't pick up the car then, because the cashier closes at 7. All that said, the highlight of the week, so far, was the presentation. This client is awesome and has loved everything we've presented to him.

So, one positive blip.

Arriving home late from work, I got a message from our real estate agent saying that the couple who'd come to look at the house last Thursday night (without either agent) were finalizing financing options and that she expected us to get an offer in the next day or so.

Tentative positive blip two.

But, finding Doris moving slowly that evening, I was unsure if I'd hurt her when I had tried to perform a canine version of the Heimlich maneuver to dislodge a mouthful of too-quickly-eaten food from her throat that morning or if this was a sign of something else. So I figured I'd monitor her closely for the night and see how she was in the morning.

Thursday morning, the edit of footage from Tuesday's shoot was taking place. As I rushed out of the house to get there, I was worried that Doris was getting worse but with Cameron gone there wasn't much I could do at the moment. I got to the edit and liked what the team had done so far and was told it could take over an hour to render the spot, so I left for the office to get caught up on some things. Once there, I received and aggravating phone call in which the account manager apologetically informed me that he'd been sitting on a couple of small projects for two weeks and that they needed to be done by noon, Friday. Adding insult to injury, he told me that it would only take me five minutes to do these things, and continued on about how I should design them. Bullshit. I have to revise an agenda that was already layed-out and design a pocket folder that even if I follow the lame design cues I was given would take over two hours.

When I was leaving for the edit, the artist who was still there called requesting I make a change to the Photoshop file that she designed because the client still "doesn't like the typeface." I made the change, rendered the two layers and sent them to the editor. I told the artist I'd wait to hear back from her before I left to ensure what I sent was working. I'd planned on being back at the edit at 1:00 to meet the same A.E. and the client. But, because of this delay I passed the two as I was walking in. Ugh.

Back at the office after my second trip to the edit I worked on a few projects and started packing up at 5:00 to meet John at my house at 5:30. As I was walking out, the traffic manager brought me 4 job jackets, two of which were for the materials that had been sat upon for two weeks. Reviewing them, I figured if all went well I'd have plenty of time to meet the likely bullshit noon deadline. We picked up the Passat, where I reluctantly put the $817 on my credit card. After another long day I arrived home around 6:30 to find Doris in worse condition.

So, rather than getting to work as planned this morning, the apparent benefits Doris had from the last round of Previcox had worn off. She has arthritis in her back, and this morning she was shaking and couldn't stand. I had to carry her outside. I started calling the animal hospital at 7:30. When the vet's office phones finally stopped rolling over to the Emergency Animal hospital, I spoke with Sissy about my girl. She told me she'd call me back if the doctor wanted to see her. Otherwise, I could pick up a new round of Previcox after 3:00. I called my boss around 8:05 and told her that I needed to take Doris to the vet. At around 8:45, Sissy called back and explained that the doctor didn't need to see Doris and that I could pick up the prescription now. However, Dr. Jo would like to see Doris in three months to make sure that the drug isn't causing liver damage. I picked up the medicine, drove back to the house and gave some to Doris and made it to work around 10.

Once settled, I found that I hadn't been given all of the information needed to complete the two sat-upon jobs in question. I finished the pocket folder at 11:20, and the agenda insert around 12:05. I put the second PDF proof on the server around 12:15, only to have the account coordinator call to tell me the e-mail wasn't working. I had to downsize the PDF of the folder. I believe she got them to the client around 12:30.

I went to Bhan Thai for a nice lunch alfresco with Amy and Michelle. When we returned I was able to make some progress with some other jobs, later to get a report while passing in the hall that Tuesday's shoot was a disaster because "we started at Ball Hall. Oh, nobody's blaming you," he said. Bullshit. I'm the one who identified that building as where the biology labs were as we were scrambling to pull together a shooting schedule on Monday.

After everyone else in the office was gone for the day, the head of the creative department, my friend Eric, and I sat and talked for a bit. It was actually nice to talk like the friends we are, rather than talking about work stuff or making light of the myriad aggravations we're faced with everyday. We'd considered going for a drink, but decided against it because we both wanted to get obliterated.

Instead, I came home to find Doris in much, much better condition. Positive blip 3.

Still no word on the couple interested in making an offer on the house. Rather than scrounging in the refrigerator for dinner I ordered delivery from Pizza Slut. Papa John's made me violently ill last time.

The delivery guy showed up 10 minutes ago with two boxes. When I chased him down the driveway to let him know something was wrong, he checked the other thermal pack and said, "it's their mistake. You can keep it if you want." What I didn't realize, when I kept this box of awful hot wings accompanied by a foil-lidded container of high-fructose corn syrup laden ranch dressing, was that the pizza was wrong, too. A doughy pan-pizza with italian sausage is no substitute for a medium, thin-crust pizza with normal sauce and cheese, pepperoni, italian sausage, mushrooms, onions and anchovies.

What the hell is going on? I don't remember shitting in someone's Wheaties. Dammit. Tomorrow is Saturday. Surely things will be better.

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