Saturday, February 17, 2007

Patience is a virtue, or so I’m told…

Herein lies the tale of one of the most stressful weeks of my semi-young life.

To tell the tale of the past week, I must actually begin about two weeks ago, with the arrival of two stray dogs (an adult female and a puppy) to our back porch. Of course, the dogs were hungry, and oh so cute, so we fed them, and they stuck around. We never had any intention of keeping the dogs, so we immediately started trying to find homes for them. Fast forward one week, and we are told by several people that the adult looks pregnant. Yikes.

So, Monday, February 12, 2007 rolls around, and the week of horrors begins.

As I’m getting ready for work on Monday morning, I hear the yelping of puppies coming from our back porch. As I leave the house, I notice the mother dog curled up in a ball on the back porch, presumably with the puppies beneath her. I put a towel over her to keep her and the puppies warm, and I head off to work.

I got a call later that morning from my wife saying that the dog had gone insane, and was refusing to nurse the puppies. A while later, I got another call from my wife saying that the dog had gone EVEN MORE insane, and that she had bitten the UPS man. I called animal services, and the only helpful thing that they had to offer was to “put the whole lot of them down”, which was really no help to me at the time so, by the time I got home, three of the puppies were dead, and three of them were barely living. As I approached the dog, she growled at me Old Yeller style, and I knew that we couldn’t keep her around any longer.

I called a good friend of mine who handles dogs, and he “took the dogs to a better place”. One problem down, many more to go.

Later that evening, our trusty 900 mhz Pentium III desktop went on the fritz, so on Tuesday, February 13, I brought a brand new computer from CompUSA. It is a 2.8 ghz dual-core Pentium with 1 GB of RAM and a 250 GB hard drive (hardly top of the line, I know, but light years better than its predecessor). The thing that I was most excited about, though, was the fact that it came pre-loaded with Windows Vista! Joy of joys! Because my wife is the primary user of the desktop, I brought it home and presented it to her excitedly as her Valentine’s Day present. She was very excited…until I hooked it up.

The thing wouldn’t come on. It just beeped at me. I called technical support, and was forced to sit through the likes of Meatloaf, Sting and Dan Hill for somewhere around 15 minutes before the phone was cheerfully picked up, breathed into, and then hung up.


I called back later, and finally got someone to answer the phone. The end result was that there was a loose chip on the inside, so I had to open it up, push in on the RAM, and close it back up. The computer then booted up, and my problems were solved….until I tried to load AutoCAD.

If you know me, or if you’ve read my blog in the past, then you will know that I draft for a living (ie: I draw building plans on the computer). Because I draft for a living, I often bring some work home with me, and my primary drafting computer at home is the desktop. Well, at least it USED to be the desktop. Apparently, every version of AutoCAD is completely incompatible with Window Vista.


Later that night, as my wife was happily exploring the “improvements” of Windows Vista, I got a call from my sister, informing me that she had gotten a call from a close family member of mine. To keep this short, I will simply tell you that this particular family member has had a past of abusing prescription pain medication, and has on occasion freaked out as a result of having done so. On this particular occasion, my family member had called my sister in the middle of the night to tell her of vast delusions that she was experiencing (ie: visions of the impossible occurring in her backyard). A plan was quickly formulated to finally intervene for this person; to get them help. I went to bed that night worried about the health and safety of a person that is very close to me…

….and woke up the next morning to find out that another person that was very close to me was on the brink of death. My wife’s grandfather was a very good man. His entire life was spent making other people happy, and it was very sad an unexpected when we found out that he had cancer last May. The doctor’s didn’t give him long to live, but he outlived all of his doctors’ expectations, making it through Christmas and performing his annual Christmas show for various nursing homes in the area. However, after Christmas was over, his health steadily declined and on Thursday, February 15, he died.

My wife and I, as well as our two sons, were very close to her grandfather, and his death brought great sadness upon us all. I took the day off work to be with my family and, unfortunately, spent most of it mopping up poop.

Apparently, the line between the house and the septic tank had become clogged, so, when the dishwasher was running in the kitchen, the water from the dishwasher was shooting out of the toilets and the bathtubs in other parts of the house! Or course, the water brought poop, toilet paper and other goodies with it, so we were forced to leave the house that evening and spend the night at my in-laws’ house.

Friday morning came, and so did our intervention for the aforementioned family member with the prescription drug problem. I’m happy to say that she accepted the help that we offered her, so my sister and uncle loaded her up into a car and drove her to a treatment facility that should, hopefully, give her the tools that she needs to lead a happy, productive life. Later that evening, we attended the viewing for my wife’s grandfather, and went to bed that night with newly-repaired plumbing and one quarantined bathroom (the poop went EVERYWHERE; you wouldn’t believe it if I tried to explain it, so I just…won’t…).

On Saturday morning (err…that would be today), we awoke and began preparing for the funeral. I was asked to be a pall bearer, so I needed to buy a suit for the occasion. We were rushing around, getting ourselves and our kids ready to go to the funeral, still needing to accomplish several tasks before leaving. Before my wife and I could take a shower, I had to scrub out the tub and shower in the master bathroom (the secondary bathroom was still quarantined, due to the fact that it still required cleaning and disinfecting from the septic tank incident). After having scrubbed and disinfected the tub and shower in the master bathroom, I proudly turned on the shower so that my wife could get ready for the funeral.

Of course, the shower head snapped off and fell into the tub as soon as I turned it on.

We both had to take baths this morning, and I ended up barely being able to buy my suit and make it to the funeral on time. I pulled it off, however, and arrived at the church 5 minutes before I was asked to. However, shortly thereafter, my wife’s cousin asked me, “Hey…isn’t that your red car?” “Yes”, I replied. “Well…I just wanted to tell you that your rear right tire is flat.”


After the funeral, and after the burial, I made my way back to the church parking lot where, with the help of my brother, I was forced to change the tire on my car in my brand new suit. Luckily, we had no problems changing the tire and, as of now, I am the proud driver of a 1997 Honda Civic with a tiny rear tire that inhibits my speed to 50mph or less.

I assume that I will get the tire replaced on Monday, and that everything will begin to get back to normal next week. Hopefully, after this past week, I will have developed a little more patience. After all; why else would all of these things be happening to me? Obviously, I need to learn patience.

If you made it to the end of this post, you have probably been forced to employ a little patience of your own. Believe it or not, I have actually left several other things out of this post, so feel fortunate that I haven’t gone into EVERYTHING that happened to me this week.

Patience, apparently, is a skill that can only be learned through much testing. Let’s just hope that my particular testing session is over for now…..


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a week you would like to forget but I'm sure you will remember. Hopefully you've got your share of problems taken care of for a long time. Ti quiero.

Anonymous said...


Sorry you had such a bad week...

Mine was actually pretty good, and I had the best weekend I've had for over 6 months so this week should be really easy to get through.

Much <3-