Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Me and Alexander

Yesterday, I felt like Alexander in Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day. For those unfamiliar with the book, Alexander has a day in which everything goes wrong, from waking up with gum in his hair to going to bed that night in railroad pajamas. Nothing went right.

I suppose my own, personal Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day started the previous night, where I couldn't for the life of me fall asleep. The minutes rolled by slowly and with each passing moment my insomnia only seemed to gain momentum rather than weaken and melt away. I resorted to booting up my laptop and playing online word games, hoping that some moderate mental activity would speed the process of falling asleep. I managed to get myself drowsy, and what after seemed like an eternity I feel asleep.

Only to wake up again a couple hours later, faced with the same interminable problem of getting some rest.

Enough with the blow-by-blow; I'm sure you get the picture.

I woke the next morning, fumbled my way downstairs where I enjoyed my ritual Morning Cup of Coffee (or 3) at the Davis house. However, I came downstairs only to learn that the windows of the car had been left open all night long had rained last night. Figured, that the car that my dad brought down to exchange would be the car with the nifty feature of being able to control the windows via the car keys, and that in addition to locking the car right before my father left, I also managed to roll down the windows. Smart, Melissa. Real smart.

Additionally, with Ben's allergies, the car needed to be vacuumed, due to the dog hair sprinkled about the interior of the vehicle. But before the car could be vacuumed, the water needed to be sucked out of the seats (because, of course, a wet-dry vac is rather ineffective when it comes to picing up dog hair...or at least that has been my experience). I gave the wet-dry vac a go, and when it looked like that would take forever, I started using towels and hair dryers (thanks Matt!) and de-hairing the areas I could with a normal hand-vac. The job wasn't very thorough, as Ben started getting an allergic reaction about three-quarters of the way back to Drew, but it was passable, especially with copious amounts of anti-allergen Febreze.

I tried to nap before we left for Drew, and that wasn't a successful venture -- at least shutting my eyes for a bit helped. We left around 1:30 or so. I loaded up the CD player with music, loaded up the rest of the car, and we were on our way.

Only to find out that the CD player isn't working. We pulled over to try and fix it, or to at least discover the root of the problem, but no such luck.

I decided that I needed some silence on the trip back.

I eventually gathered myself together, just in time for the AC to break down. I knew that the AC was making some weird noises; the previous evening when my father had pulled into the driveway, it sounded like there was something seriously wrong with the motor. Not the case - just the AC doing weird things, and it only happened when the car was going slowly or idling. Well, we were on the highway, when we started hearing a weird resonance with the motor and thought it might be the AC (which was working rather well at that point). I turned off the AC, and the sound stopped. So that made us feel better, and so I turned the AC back on. The light went on, air started moving -- but it wasn't cold air...and the strange sound didn't come back. I left it on for awhile, and turned it off again but left the vents on. Sure enough, there was no difference in the air temperature. We pulled into a gas station along Rt. 15 in CT only to find that when idling, the strange motor sound had really gone away. So we traveled the last two and a half hours without air conditioning.

We hit traffic. Not fun. We managed to get in around 6:40, so despite everything, we made OK time. I skipped out on the orientation team meeting, after deciding that for my own mental health I needed some time to myself.

I intended this post to be more reflective and instead it turned into a regurgitation of the day in (most) of its gory detail. But getting it out on screen was cathartic, and I'm sure in a month or so I'll look back on it and laugh.


In the meantime, due to stress, feelings of anxiety, being overwhelmed, and very off-center (along with many other pressures), I have decided to retreat this weekend. No cell phone. No computer. No outside distractions. Just me, nature, and God (and perhaps Robert Jordan can come along for the ride as well). I'm hoping to get away to a retreat house run by the convent that one of my classmates is a member of. I think it'll be good for me to get back in balance after all the crap that has happened recently. And because I've been seriously needing this since 2nd semester.


Journey Mama said...

I like that Robert Jordan was with you on your retreat. The same thing happened to one of our community cars- turned out to be the a/c belt. Bummer of a day. Hope you feel better.

Melissa said...

Robert Jordan is going to be with me for awhile -- I'm only on book 4 of 11(?) so this project of rereading will take me awhile.