Ever had a run of bad luck? Just were everything you tried to do was made just a little bit harder by the fates for no apparent reason other than to bedevil you and make you moan and curse and explode with frustration? I’m in a bad-luck rut right now, and it is driving me batty. Here, in a nicely organized powerpoint-friendly bulleted list are my bad luck moments:
• When I left for work yesterday, I turned the corner off of my block onto the main street and it was — closed. I had to detour around 6 or so blocks and backtrack to get to the coffee store.
• My decaf Americano was awful. Far too watery and not enough umph. And, what’s worse, I knew it would be because I had had bad luck with this barista before — but I thought I’d try it anyway. Because, hey, it’s coffee. I was driving. I wasn’t having breakfast. I needed it. It sucked.
• I got back into the car, and turned down another street to head to the big road that takes me to work an hour away — closed. Construction. I had to wait for 15 minutes while cars crept slowly by on the one lane that had been stripped down to concrete corduroy.
• Driving on corduroy road jostled the bad coffee into spilling because it was still completely full because I didn’t drink it.
• When I finally found an open road that was actually paved, I got stuck behind a large produce truck on a long stretch of the road where passing was verboten. While no vegetables actually attacked me, but the way my luck was going, I wouldn’t have been surprised.
• After I got out from behind the vegetable truck, I had to slam on the brakes and honk to get a couple of deer out of the road before I hit them.
• Then, in class, the EXTENSIVELY prepared exercise I had worked out for Monday’s class on political campaign materials from the 19th century tanked utterly and completely. I had these great (I thought) group exercises — where one group looked at ballots from the 1820s-40s like these and these, one group looked at campaign songs Tippecanoe cause he’s our guy, he killed all those Indians and drinks hard cider, that’ll make him a great president… etc. You can hear a few here), and another group looked at political cartoons like this one. I had them work in small groups and analyze the images/text, then get back together as a group and I had large images printed out — and they were supposed to share their ideas about it while we all looked at the cool political stuff. Two students fell asleep IN SMALL GROUP, and the rest of them didn’t have really much of anything to say at all about these things. It was awful. I did my best to talk about how cool these images were, and what they told us about 19th century politics, but it was pretty much like beating a dead horse. Or attempting to engage bored students. In other words, impossible.
• On the way home I had to slam on the brakes and honk to get a four deer out of the road before I hit them.
• When I finally got home, to ease the bad-teaching-day pain and deer-created anxiety, I made myself a yummy drink (variation on a fuzzy navel — plus apricot juice. mmm.), and tried to take a HOT bath to have with my cold drink. But, our giant cast-iron tub didn’t fill all the way with hot enough water because Spousal Unit has been worried that our energy bill is going to be a bazillion dollars this winter so he turned down the temperature on the hot water heater tank. So, I sat there in lukewarm water nursing my drink and cursing the bleeding environmentalists, because I know they’re right and I shouldn’t use so many of the earth’s resources just to sit my bad-luck butt in 20 gallons of excruciatingly hot water, as well as cursing my tightwad, oops, I mean, frugal, concerned, and earth-conscious husband because I know he’s right that we should be conserving energy right now to help our budget as well as the earth. What’s worse? While I was upstairs grousing about the cold water, he was downstairs making me an amazing dinner. It even had a salad. So not only was I cold and grumpy, but I was a bad, mean person.
• This morning I faced a number of hard things that I have been putting off. I decided I would dedicate a whole day to doing all of the shit I hate to do. Such as calling people, making appointments, and dealing with campus bureaucracies. First, I scheduled a doctor’s appointment (I HATE the doctor beyond almost anything except grading — all that poking and prodding. Is it really necessary?). Then, I tried to turn in my “I’m taking a leave” form to the graduate school registrar. I flew up to Old Campus make it before noon, I double parked illegally in a disabled space (Yes, Mom, I know…. I’m going to burn in hell. In my defense, there were 4 others at the exact same place that were open), ran into the school, all prepared to do battle for my Leave — and the office was closed until noon for meetings. So, I had to come back. Which I did, then turned in the form, with little fanfare or resistance. Then, I went to the Cage for the first time in FOREVER, and purged it of books that were charged to my account. Now, I think I only have 2 books checked out to my Important University account. The rest are either returned or charged to my Cage.
• Just now, trying to make this post — I can’t get any of the links to work. I got an error message for EVERY SINGLE ONE.
None of these things are really horrible. In fact, they’re just normal everyday stuff that we deal with as humans existing in the world with other humans. But, just today, I am wishing that there were fewer other humans making obstacles for me like closed offices, closed roads, closed minds, bad coffee, and cold water.
And grading. Item # 2598 that I’ve been putting off…
Updated to fix the strange extended words that blogger added with the spellcheck. Sorry guys for the earlier illegibility.