Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Not getting a ride home and being out of oil

My mother does not live with me (for the most part) but her car generally does because where she lives (with her boyfriend) is so out of the way that driving two cars out there every night and back every morning would be a tremendous waste of gas and thus money.

As a result every morning when she has work she shows up at my house to pick up her car and since my university is on the way to her work gives me a ride in, thus saving me a walk that takes an hour (or more, depending on conditions.)  This semester when I get out of class is generally close enough to when she gets out of work (which varies) that it's made chronological sense for her to give me rides home as well because even if I have to wait around almost an hour it's still quicker to ride back with her.

On Wednesdays there is a meeting of the Classics Club* which I have been attending this semester with the result that on Wednesdays I get done with on-campus stuff at almost exactly the same time she gets out of work.  (Seemingly independently of when she does, if the meeting runs long her workday runs long, if the meeting runs short her workday runs short.  It really is remarkable.)  You'd think this would be a good thing, less waiting and whatnot.

You'd be wrong.

Instead what happens is this, as soon as the meeting gets out I call her, this time I borrowed a cell phone so I could call without taking the time to walk to the nearest phone.  It turns out if I'd called her two minutes earlier it would have been the easiest thing in the world to give me a ride home but instead she now is committed to going to another city, would have to turn around once she got there, come back to the city I'm in, be pointed in the wrong direction, pick me up, turn around again, and head back whence she came.

Now there is no secret to this meeting on Wednesdays.  None at all.  She knows exactly when it starts, how long it usually takes, and what the variations are in length, and so forth.  All of this has been made clear both by myself and by experience.

Which leaves me wondering... well... wtf.  It seems to be like clockwork, no matter when she gets out, no matter when I get out, the phone call is always two minutes too late (give or take but not by much.)  Now I could try to disrupt the entire meeting by saying, "Gee, it looks like we're about two minutes from done, I need to make a phone call."  I'm not about to do that.

So instead what happens is I get told, "I wish you'd called two minutes earlier."  The first or second time I believed this, but at this point I have my doubts.  She knows that I'll be stranded with an hour long walk between home and myself if she takes that turn onto the interstate, she knows that we almost always get out at about the same time, as the pattern continues I feel more and more like if she really wished she could have given me a ride she'd wait a few minutes before committing to leaving me behind.

Anyway, hour long walks with a heavy backpack tend to leave one very much in need of a shower, and me more-so than most because I've actually been unable to fit one in these last few days and on Monday I had to walk some of the way in and most of the way back from school.  Not to mention cause to sweat yesterday.

So after getting all ready to take a shower I discovered that there was no hot water.  I checked the furnace, did all of that stuff, tried to coax it into turning on by setting the thermostat absurdly high (the highest level isn't actually labeled but I think it's 90 degrees Fahrenheit.)  And then, finally, I realized that the oil tank read empty.

So what followed was a prolonged period of trying to heat enough water to accomplish something.  At this point I wouldn't say I'm clean so much as rinsed.

And that is how my day will end.


*Tomorrow (Thursday the 14th) at 7 PM there's a lecture at USM: A Cupid May Look at a King: In-Between Spaces and their Occupants in Roman Art by some Harvardy person, Elizabeth (Lizzie) Mitchell.  Next Monday (the 18th) at 4:30 PM there's going to be a showing of The Life of Brian.  At some point in the future there are going to be dark T-Shirts with the original Latin from The Life of Brian in white and the corrections in red.  If you've seen The Life of Brian you know what Latin I'm talking about.  (Romans go home!)

If you'll happen to be in the greater Portland area at either of these times and are interested in the events, or you'd like a T-Shirt, let me know and I'll give you more information.


  1. That sucks and I'm sorry.

    I would loooove a t-shirt, and an extra one for my friend. How much will they cost?

  2. Seconding the "That sucks and I'm sorry."

    I hope at least the oil situation has been resolved.

  3. I've been meaning to respond to both of these comments (depizan's first because I knew the answer first) but guess I never got around to it.

    So, first off, the furnace is working again. I have heat.

    Second, T-Shirts, the manufacturer doesn't like giving quotes until everything is finalized (just in case) even though they know with almost complete surety how much it will cost. So, officially, no idea what they'll cost. Unofficially, looks like twelve dollars each.

  4. Thanks for that unofficial estimate.