1 am ~ feeling the full effects of the recent events, stresses, thoughts, mile-long and unfinished to-do lists, all amidst this Depression2.0 and crumbling financial institutions (hopefully my creditors will go out of business!).
In honor of my unfinished to-do list, I can only think in bullets right now. Current sensory overload contributors, in no particular order, although #1 is the most worrisome:
- Received short email from my little brother Rudy Monday afternoon. He also is so busy it was mostly a forwarded message, confirming his next assignment. Six to 12 months in Afghanistan; and he ships out Thursday afternoon, from Dallas. He was in D.C. when he received the email, had to be in Austin the next day, Fort Hood Wednesday morning, and Dallas Wednesday afternoon. I freak out and call him; explain that this is not the way to handle his current family crisis. He points out that Iraq (he spent a year in Baghdad '06-'07) was/is 10x safer than Afghanistan. Yes, I know. He was hoping for the "easiest" of the assignments: Djibouti. Now that's Arrona-style; make the crisis better by doing something harder. I dropped everything at work to book a flight to Dallas.
- Last-minute flights half-way across the country are not cheap, not even affordable. Ruby, my savior, gave me one of her Southwest credits, which eased the pain on my bank account, which has worries of its own anyway since it's at WaMu.
- I will be out of the office for 3 days; my boss pointed out all of the policy issues piling up on my desk.
- Realizing I have at least three Ordinances to research and draft by December.
- Attending the Mayor's Budget Conference. Five-day shutdown between Christmas and New Year's, without pay. Bah humbug. Sorry mami, no "Channel" for you this Christmas.
- Not only do we get Christmas without pay, but no cost of living increase, either.
- Which would be ok (PBJ sandwiches are pretty tasty) if the salt in the wounds isn't a City Hall shut-down every other Friday, or, a 20% pay-cut. On top of no Christmas. On top of no COLA. I figure I will have to start paying City Hall just to show up and work.
- Realizing I only have a few months left before Everything Changes, if it changes, before I leave City Hall, leave Oakland; existential suicide someone called it.
- Getting an email from my Afghanistan research guy in L.A., saying, "Will we get to see your brother when we're there?"
- Realizing it's 1 am and there is ajax all over my bathtub. I have to clean; it was embarrassing. But I will be out of town you point out. Yes, but neighbors will be in and out, checking in on Bill and I will be mortified if they see this mess. It's my thing; move on.
- Three jobs. Working until 2 am every night.
- Taking work, from all 3 jobs, with me on the trip.
- Realizing it's 1 am and my laundry is still downstairs. Still need to pack. Oy.
- Getting my laundry and realizing it's still damp. Wondering if that cute skirt will dry by 6 am.
But the Good News:
- Realizing I have three Ordinances to draft by December ~ at least I will leave a little bit more of a pseudo-legacy, for better or worse. But it does feel amazing to have your name attached to a law. Nerd-alert.
- After the family time in Dallas, I will drive to Austin to finally meet up with La Ruby. I can't wait, can't wait. Her name is my birthstone and it shows. She is wonderful.
- The new lens for my camera. Beyond my "photo" abilities but hopefully I will learn.
- New eye glasses. I found the frames by accident at the "Sundry Store" across the street for $5.99! Then just had my optician add the lenses. Similar frames, from Sean John and Versace and Revlon (!), cost $150 to $200 at the optical place. Cheap Frugal is Fun.
- My mom's kooky, adorable phone calls. I spoke with her last Sunday; they were on DAY 8 of no water and no electricity due to Hurricane Ike. She sounded so happy because she told me about the milanesa *deliciosa* she had cooked the night before, with arroz y frijoles y una salsitia buenísima, híjole ~ all by the tiny glow of a little lamp. attached to a generator she was hoping would not burn out Thank goodness they have a gas stove. She explained how she has just been staying indoors eating. "Ay!" she explained, "I have to get back on my eating plan.......Ay, pero mari, que riquísima la milanesa...luego, luego paro de comer." I asked her what they do without water. She laughed and explained that when my dad needs to go to the bathroom he says, "Voy al baño ~ I go outside." She laughed and said "Es funny." I love that. Here are some other Arrona-ismos we have:
- Ay, eso es bad manners!
- Que dumb.
- Que nice.
- Estoy aquí watcheando el Tiger Woods. [My dad loves Tiger Woods.]
- She explained the back yard was still filled with the downed trees, the downed fence, and tree-limb chaos. Then she opened the door and said, "Oye, oye ~ los pajaritos. Que lindos verdad? Cada día me cantan a esta hora." Even with no water, no electricity, a mess to clean up, and tenants to help with hurricane repairs, she was waxing poetic about the song birds outside, that sing to her every day at that hour. How does she do it?
- Now going to sleep, about 1/2 an hour early. Beauty sleep much needed.
- Having this song stuck in my head for many months, and Lovin' Kanye with the lovely Estelle, who sings like she just woke up from a nap:
How rude and selfish of me ~ and how are you doing?