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Part Four: Exhaustion and Frustration

I woke up naturally at about 7 am on Sunday morning, and I went ahead and got up. Nobody else got up until about 9, so I offered to go get breakfast for people.

We got to the house around 10:15. Chris's plan was to finish prepping for the insulation and put in the sink, then we'd do the insulation and he could go home. It turns out he hadn't gotten to sleep until very late. This kind of big exciting and stressful thing really overwhelms him sometimes.

I started the day by finishing pulling out the mulberry in the back and filling in the hole it left. There was a convenient pile of dirty hay nearby (see Part Two for why) which was very helpful in that project. It was hot, sweaty work but it was satisfying.

Then, figuring I was on a bit of a roll and that I should do as much outside work as I could while it was still relatively cool, I went up to the front of the house to try regrading the ground up there. Little did I realize that the grass in front of our new house has the Strongest Roots Evar. Cutting through them was insanely difficult. I even sharpened the shovel with a file, and it was still a major undertaking digging out even one shovel-full of grassy dirt, because I had to make a minimum of three cuts for each clod, each of which was an exercise in frustration. Finally, after digging up a 3'x5' area or so, and digging a roughly 6"-wide trench from that out around the side of the house, I gave up, realizing that any more would probably dehydrate me to the point of uselessness.

I went inside to find that things weren't going all that much better there. The ceiling fans were proving troublesome to finish, and Chris realized he didn't have the right parts for the sink. He had at least finished prepping the ceiling for insulating. We made a list of stuff to get from Home Depot and went on yet another run. This one included picking up the 'green' cellulose insulation bales and the blower machine, as well as a handful of other things that we'd either forgotten or decided after the fact that we needed, including new parts for the sink.

We got back to the house and Chris started working on the sink again. Sue and Selina had mostly finished the fans and decided that the power needed to come back on for the air conditioning. (They had the power off to work on the fans.) While they replaced the rest of the doorknobs and rested, I went downstairs, finished sweeping out the basement, and put up Sue's curtain rod. Then I came back upstairs, worked on cutting trim a bit with my friend Laura, who had showed up to help wipe down the walls in preparation for painting. I found that to be a tiring and frustrating job, because the miter box was poorly made and the trim was a little too big for it. After a little of that, I gave up and decided to try working on spraying grate stuff (expanding foam insulation) into the cracks between the existing trim and the floor. When I went to open the new can, the plastic connector to the straw broke off.

Chris still hadn't quite finished the sink. He had to widen the hole in the countertop for it to fit, and he found out that the new pipes he'd bought still wouldn't work. I told him to do as much as he could of it, and I went to set up the insulation blower, with Sue and Selina's help.

The machine wouldn't turn on. We tried it in multiple outlets, which Selina even tested to make sure they had power. After about fifteen minutes of fiddling with it, I went back inside and decided to call Home Depot about it while Sue, Selina, and Chris brought in the bales of insulation so that Sue's van would be usable. By this time it was 5:30 or so, and boiling hot outside, and the pets needed to be fed, and one of Sue's friends needed to be picked up from work, and we all needed rest.

Home Depot couldn't troubleshoot the machine over the phone, so we loaded it back into the van, grabbed the unusuable can of grate stuff, and Chris and I headed back to Home Depot while Sue and Selina went to feet the pets and pick up Sue's friend. Chris and I dropped off the machine, exchanged the can of grate stuff, and headed home.

On the way home, Sue's van overheated. There was a pinhole leak in a radiator hose, and we had to stop and borrow some water from a good samaritan in order to limp home. By that time, I was very ready for a good gyro, which is what we planned to have for dinner.

The gyro place was closed. We decided to go to Chili's on the strip instead.

It's not there anymore. So we went to Chili's on Kingston Pike instead.

All's well that ends well, so they say, and at least Three Spoons was open for frozen yogurt after dinner. As an added bonus, they had a new dulce de leche flavor which was fantastic.

Part Five: Nope

I woke up this morning and caught the bus to school so I could work on my powerpoint presentation and get it all ready for Wednesday. My thought was to put in a good 10 hour day and then go to the house and finish the grate stuff, while Sue and Selina finished the last ceiling fan and put up some tape for painting. I polished and shined the powerpoint to what I thought was a darn good presentation. Then I gave it as practice to my supervisor at 3:30.

Not only did she not like it, she wanted me to basically completely rewrite it, and in addition, add in some data that I didn't have.

It is now 12:16 am. I have spent the intervening time collecting the data she wanted me to add. I'm about halfway done. I'm writing this as a mental break. I really, really wish I was home right now. Either home. I'm not picky. Just not here with my face glued to a microscope.

Date: 2011-07-20 03:27 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I'm sorry about the presentation. I find that issues like this are usually caused by supervisors with poor communication skills, which makes the extra work doubly irritating.

Your house sounds like a lot of work. I'm both amazed and tired just reading it.

Date: 2011-07-20 12:16 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I think you're right about the poor communication thing; I also think that when we started the research she honestly just thought I should concentrate on viral inclusions for data collection, and as the project went on she started realizing that we also needed to focus on necrosis. Necrosis is what she wanted me to focus my presentation on, and so I had to go back over 180 microscope slides and make sure I had data for them.

The house is a lot of work, but I'm hoping it will be worth it.


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