OK, so you’ve probably read about Tuesday and Wednesday. Let me tell you about yesterday, Thursday!
Yesterday started off fine. I had the kiln going by 7:30 AM, and it’s a bisque fire which meant 9 hours — perfect timing for getting me out of the house to meet my friends for Third Thursday Spinners no later than 6 PM. After I had plans to go to the art show opening of a friend of mine, which was between 7-9. I would be spinning until 8, so I’d be late, but dammit I would get there! (Can you sense the foreshadowing…?)
While I was firing the kiln, I planned on labeling soap. Last week before going to Disney, I had wrapped a ton of soap — but I was almost out of ink for the printer and didn’t have time to both wrap and label anyway, so I only wrapped and this week bought new ink and was going to get to printing, cutting, and labeling.
I took it kind of easy in the morning, after starting the kiln. Had some coffee, took a nice long hot shower, checked up on some online things I couldn’t get to on Tuesday and Wednesday (a combination of checking up on friends blogs, and uploading new items/renewing old items on HaldeCraft). Then right about the time I was getting ready to print out the labels… the power went out.
Did I mention I was firing the kiln?
Now, with this new kiln there is a bit of technological magic; if there is a power failure, when the power comes back on the kiln will remember where it was and restart automatically. That’s happened twice in the last year, with small power outages of just a few minutes. However. This time the power was out for 45 minutes. Before, when the power has gone out, the kiln as flashed PF1 (for Power Failure Level 1 — I guess it has a time frame that it figures out for categories of catastrophe?). This time when the power did come back on, it was flashing PF3 and wouldn’t turn back on. I had to manually restart it (see why I like to stay home during kiln firings?!) and hope that the 100 degrees it lost in that 45 minutes wouldn’t have too much of an effect on the bisque. Fortunately it was bisque and not a glaze firing, as that much of a temperature change could have really messed with how the glaze acts. It took me about 15 minutes of watching and waiting to figure out maybe I should restart it, so now the firing is an hour behind…. an hour behind when I didn’t really have an hour to play with today. I had to be somewhere by 6. When Tim came home for lunch, though, he said he would keep an eye on it when he got home in the evening, if I wanted to go ahead and leave to get to spinning on time.
Also when Tim came home for lunch, he found me spazzing out, almost in tears, threatening to quit HaldeCraft and go work at McDonalds, because… I couldn’t get my soap labels to print. I couldn’t get anything to print. The printer, which had been working fine when the previous night when we made all the network changes… no longer wanted to acknowledge that it was actually a printer. It wouldn’t print over the network from my laptop. It wouldn’t print plugged into my laptop. It wouldn’t print plugged into my desktop. I turned it off, turned it back on. Nothing. I turned everything off, and turned everything back on. Nothing. WHY CAN’T THIS SHIT JUST FUCKING WORK WHEN IT IS PLUGGED IN? WHY IS THAT SO HARD? I have a show on Saturday! I need these soaps to be labeled by then, or my table is going to look like ass, and by “my table” I mean “my table inside the Wild Iris Books booth,” which means they will look like ass if I look like ass, and I can’t do that to those wonderful women.
Tim took a good portion of his lunch hour to troubleshoot while I stood by imagining what my new career as the Fry Cook is going to be like in the fast food industry, and about the time I was ready to just go out and buy a new printer, Tim got it to work. Do you know what was wrong with it? Are you on the edge of your seat? The cable had become disconnected in the back. Either a kitten had stepped on it and dislodged it, or knocked something over on it and that bumped it juuuuuuust enough out of place that the printer never even heard all of the computers talking to it. Tim jiggled the plug and then about 47 test pages printed out.
So the next five hours was spent printing soap labels and putting sets together.
Then I went to Spinning.
Then I left spinning to go to my friend Erin’s art opening. It was really important to me that I get there because I absolutely adore Erin, and I love her art, and she and Kalina have been working on some really amazing things that I’ve been lucky enough to see some stages of during development. I was really looking forward to going and seeing finished things, and supporting them, cheering them on, and celebrating with them as lovely and well-deserved compliments are tossed their way. (As an aside, for my birthday Erin gave me a handmade card and a photograph of hers I’d admired months and months ago… and it was a real toss-up which is more beautiful. I may actually wind up framing the card.)
The art show is at the Reitz Union on Campus, and while I did not go to UF and tend to get lost trying to find even rudimentary and large things like Lake Alice and the Bat House, I figured… I’d been to Reitz Union before, I had a general idea of where it was and what it looked like, and even if I did get lost I have a GPS on FancyPants and so my phone would be able to tell me where to go.
I had a vague remembrance that it was on the corner of Museum Road and something right before Stadium Road, so I would go down Museum and if I got to Stadium Road, turn around and go back about a block. Stadium Road is roughly 17th, and I was coming in on 13th, so I know I didn’t have far to go. Even if it did seem to take a while due to the 20 MPH speed limit. By the way, did you know it’s not called Stadium Road any more? TRUE STORY. This may be why I never saw a street sign for Stadium Road, telling me I’d gone too far.
Next thing I know, I’m way the hell out past Lake Alice, passing IFAS, have reached Archer Road, and am completely off campus. OK. Time to ask GPS what to do. GPS immediately tells me it can’t find me. It can find a map, and I can generally see where I am and how to get back on campus (something I sort of already knew, being familiar with Archer Road if not UF campus). So let’s try this again, shall we…?
I drive around on campus for another five or ten minutes, 20 MPH, dodging students stepping straight out in front of my car regardless of whether there’s a crosswalk or not. All of a sudden there’s a voice in the car! After my heart attack I realize it’s FancyPants, and that GPS has found me, and it’s trying to direct me to where I can park for the Reitz Union. So in about five minutes I’m in the largest parking garage I’ve been in since the last time we went to the Orlando Airport… driving around, trying to find a spot. Driving. Driving. Driving. No parking. Driving. Driving. AT LAST! A parking space. It’s hard to get into and I can’t figure out how to pay for it, but I don’t care because being at this opening is important, and come hell or high water I will figure out how to get to it. Somewhat across from me there are pay stations, with vague instructions. At first I think you can choose one of three different options (45 minutes, 2 hours, all day) but it turns out there are three different colored parking spaces and the color you park in is what determines how you pay.
At this point it’s about 8:25 or so, so I know I don’t need more than 45 minutes, but it looks like I’m in an all-day spot, so… fuck it. It was empty. I try to pay my $5, using the Actual Cash Money the machine says it takes. Except that every time I try to feed my bill into it, it says on the screen “not set up for bill payment.” I think this is when I broke. I just couldn’t take this day ANY MORE. I went back to my car, emailed Erin that I was sorry but I was lost somewhere on campus and couldn’t find parking, and then I left. Except first I drove around in a circle inside the parking lot six times because there weren’t any signs that said “EXIT” and it took me forever to figure out that the middle part (which I had just come down ten minutes before, so you’d think I would have recognized it) was the exit. At this point GPS no longer cared where I was; it had found the parking lot and had gone back to sleep. So I finally found my way out of the parking lot, drove around campus until I found my way off of it, and went home. Cursing silently the whole way.
I feel like a complete shit for missing the art opening, but Erin has graciously offered to tour it with me on Sunday — and even to drive.
Today? Today I have done fuck all this morning, other than open the kiln and tell the woman who knocked on the door that no, I am not interested in a bible reading today. Now I am about to shower and go meet a friend for lunch, during which I will consume at least one pear cider. In the afternoon I am going to label soap and lip balm like a motherfucker (I can not WAIT to show you the awesome labels Mariana designed for my lip balm — that woman is a DESIGN GODDESS). Today will be a good day. Goddamnit.