Tuesday, August 30, 2005

A Day in the Life

Once again, I'm posting in an effort to expunge frustration. Today was tough. At least one day a week of the two weeks we've been here have kicked our ass. Here's today's sampling of what it can be like to move to a new state:

7:30 a.m. Jack wakes up. Fine. He's been sleeping great. I, on the other hand, am not. Spending far too much energy on trying NOT to freak out about teaching four preps or the fact that I've only produced one syllabus (no planning yet, mind you) and my school "stuff" is still in boxes (waiting new shelves) has kept me from sleeping well at all. I woke up to Jack's chattering, blurry and puffy eyed. Bearable? Definitely.

8:45 a.m. Ed gathers Jack up to take to day care up the street. I'm expecting a visit from two health insurance agents, one at 9:ish, the other at 10:30ish. Jack and I have no insurance as of September 1st (Thursday), so time to get on that (nevermind that we don't have the $200+ dollars a month it would take to get us insured. Details, details.

9:15 a.m. Ed calls from the road; the day care wanted the check for September. Oops. Our new checks from Bank of America haven't arrived, and besides, we don't have the money in the bank to cover it (just yet). I called the angel woman at daycare and let her know we'd put the check in this afternoon.

9:20 a.m. I start calling around to car insurance places. Apparently, State Farm isn't in MA and the one quote we have is for $280/month - for ONE car (that's about $120 more a month than we pay now). While I'm on the phone, the first health insurance lady has left me four messages, claiming that she can't find our house. By the third message she's saying things like, "okay, I'm in the yard of someone's house, but it isn't your number. It's raining out and I'm soaked. Please call." Well, I had given her the wrong address; I transposed the first two numbers. I called back at 9:40 to give her the correct address (she's rightfully annoyed, saying that she'll need to use the bathroom to soak up all the rain- by the way, MA was on flood watch last night. She was caught in the rain that keep the flood watch on). Feeling terrible, I turn on the teapot (on medium heat), get out my favorite coffee mug- the sturdy one with the English garden that Ed's parents got me for my birthday a few years back -- and lay out all the tea in the hopes of warming up an insurance agent who I'm probably not going to buy from today.

9:45 a.m. Ed calls back; he's lost. After dropping off Jack at daycare, he headed towards BU to buy an area rug from a guy who posted on craigslist. Ed thought he'd try a new, apparently quicker (not today) way. Once he gets there, the guy has to meet him. Ed's going to be late picking up Jack (today was another one hour adjustment/get to know you day). I call day care and our angel lady is a bit stressed; she needs me to get Jack by 10:00 so she can put down the six month old for a nap. As a mom who COMPLETELY understands the sensitivity of sleep windows, I tell her I'll be there as soon as I can. Besides, I don't want to piss this woman off; we already owe her a check and I don't want to lose our spot.

9:50 a.m. I call the insurance lady to cancel - I need to walk six blocks in the rain to pick up my son. She's probably releaved that she doesn't have to deal with me again. We end the call with a curt, "we'll talk," meaning, "we're done."

9:55 a.m. I grab a coat for Jack, head towards the angel lady's house (thank goodness she literally lives about a five minute walk away). Half way there, I realize that I left the stove on. Once I get to the house, I wonder if I should bother he to call our landlords --who live upstairs-- to go down and turn the stove off (with the nice blue natural gas flame overheating my teapot). Putting pride ahead of practicality, I just hope everything will be fine. Jack is picked up, locked into his wet stroller, sucks on his blanket quietly while I look for an exploding house in the near distance.

Next few hours- "normal." Lunch goes fine for Jack- Ed & I opt to not eat, since there's no food (unless you count frozen peas).

12:00 p.m. Ed calls his health insurance company and we can put Jack on his policy for a mere $1400 dollars (all up front, mind you). We've gotten a few quotes from car insurance and the cheapest is about $2100 - about $500 more than we pay now, and they need about $600 up front. (what's with the "up front" crap- do you have to have thousands in the bank to live in MA?).

12:15 p.m. We sit down, figure out what our bills are, what needs paid, and when, and how much we have to draw on from our handy MBNA account to survive this next month (while we wait for our $2000 deposit from our landlord in Seattle who is apparently in Hungary for a month-long family reunion). Meanwhile, I'm dog tired, trying hard not to think about the three syllabi I need to type up or the seven hour workshop I agreed to attend on Wednesday at one of the colleges I"m teaching at.

1:00 p.m. As we mull over our expenses, I open my contract from the other college- oh! I only get paid three times this quarter and the first check doesn't come until October 13. I call the workshop college-which I'm thinking I won't be attending despite the $150 stipend which I probably won't get until next year since they only pay me TWICE in four months- once at the end of October and once at the end of December. Basically, this means that the main income here (mine) is delayed until mid-October. Ed writes an MBNA check to cover the basics (welcome to middle-class America, folks, where to move your way up in the world and follow your dreams, you forego a savings account in favor of outstanding debt just to survive).

1:45 p.m. After getting off the phone with our dentist in Seattle (we still owe around $400 despite insurance), Ed walks in the door - way too early, since he was going to the bank, the car insurance place, and grocery shopping. Apparently, at Bank of America, out of state checks are put on hold for five days to insure funds. Bottom line, we have no bottom line until next Tuesday-- when school and the real hectic life begins. Mom to the rescue; she works on wiring us just enough to cover our daycare check so we can live on the few hundred we have left in the bank.

3:00 p.m. grocery shopping while providing routing numbers to my mom on the cell phone. Jack grabs a green plum off the produce box and proceeds to walk around the store, nawing and talking to the world.

5:00 p.m. Jack grubs on mac-n-cheese, olives, and carrots, while Ed prepares an amazing Bobby Flay cuban burger recipe, complete with roasted garlic mayonnaise. Yum. We watch the news (no cable, but good antenna reception), listening to Brian Williams try and relay Katarina's devestation in New Orleans. All I can think about is if you have nothing, you have nothing to worry about. The bitterness is becoming second nature now. I try to count my blessings and realize I have many, but would rather soak in the stress.

7:30 p.m. After playing with Jack, talking with the landlords to explain that our rent check won't clear until next week (they are very understanding), giving Jack a bath and getting him into bed, I head to the computer to write one of my syllabi. I start to think about how I need to decide if I need to go to that workshop tomorrow, about all the new hire paperwork I need to fill out, and my eyes begin to blur. What I need is a bath (no matter how humid) and some rest.

8:30 p.m. I've just finished blogging, sending my (our) bad day off into cyberspace and am turning on the jets in our jacuzzi tub (remember those blessings...). Screw the syllabi for now. I'm not getting paid for another six weeks anyway. Hello Vogue and lavendar scented bath.



  1. Anonymous9:46 PM

    (gasp) very thorough. (except wait...how did the favorite tea mug figure? and how did the teapot fare? and what about that rabbit made you giggle so?) good god. the counting your blessings thing is nice in theory isn't it. this too shall pass and all that. true, true. thanks, that helped. what's so great about putting things into perspective anyway?
    9:30pm. the girl is asleep. the house is a mess. it is the end of another good day.
    i'm waiting to check my mega millions numbers. don't get your hopes up, but i've got a good feeling about this one. how many millions shall i wire? and what type of cookies shall i bake to send along?
    say hi to jack for me would you. tell him iota really likes unripe fruit too.
    i love you. maya

  2. Anonymous1:28 AM

    Mark 11:20-25 NKJV

    The Lesson of the Withered Fig Tree

    20 Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots. 21 And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”
    22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

    Hello, Just remember what the fig tree represents, and Jesus has given you all authority. We love you and know what your going thru.
    Keeping you in our prayers.

    God's blessings, and lotsa love,
    Bryan Lara and Ashley

  3. Anonymous1:45 AM

    thank goodness you didnt move to New Orleans was all I was thinking yesterday!


  4. Anonymous7:07 AM


    It breaks my heart to hear your sad voice when you call and know your situation is what it is and not want to come and be the supermom that all moms want to be to take care of their children - and make everything all better for you and give you all the money and care that your family needs at this moment of many trials you are going thru.

    My heart is aching for you -

    Please call when you can and I pray that I will be not caught up in matters of circumstance that need my immediate attention when you do!

    xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxoxox (wish I was there to give you these)
    We are praying for you!!

    I Love YOU and Ed & Jack

  5. Anonymous7:09 AM

    By the way - April just walked in the door with Frank, just flew in for his leave from Iraq - he is doing well and their family will be one again for a couple of weeks.


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