Friday, March 31, 2017

Is Friday over?




a. It's payday (or: government check, depending) Friday, and so the stores will be slammed.

b. Everyone is driving like they took an extra dose of Idiot Pills today. The worst was, coming back through town, someone had gotten into a left-turn lane, right? And I was coming up on the "straight through" lane and would have come up alongside him, right? SECONDS before my car occupied that space (so: he could see me in his gorram rear-view mirror if he had checked), he decided the left-turn lane wasn't wide enough for the U-turn he was apparently doing - so he slewed over into my lane.

I slammed, hard, on the brakes. Said a very unladylike word. All my stuff (purse, sweater, folder of scholarship forms, t-shirt that was my "pay" for the day) wound up sliding off the passenger seat into a jumble on the floor.

FORTUNATELY there was no one behind me, though now I wonder: in that situation, is it better to rear-end somebody or let yourself be rear-ended? I'm not talking about whose "fault" it would be in the accident, or amount of car the damage would sustain: I am talking about "would I be more likely to walk away from being rear-ended, or from rear-ending someone."

My guess is that it's preferable to be rear-ended, on the grounds that the crumple zone most likely to crumple would not trap me in the car and would only mess up the way-back, or at worst, the rear seat - both of which were empty.

But yeah. I am NOT happy about that.


Anyway, I'm home. As soon as my blood pressure returns to some semblance of normal, I have some grading to do and maybe an exam to finish writing, I don't know.

I may well not go to Sherman this week and instead make do with what I can obtain locally for food, just because I want a day at home very badly, and going to Sherman eats up an hour plus getting there, then I feel obligated to go to All The Places seeing as I burned the gas to get there and OH how I wish we had a proper supermarket - we have a small grocery (the Green Spray) and we have a wal-mart supercenter which lacks some of the things I need and whose quality leave a lot to be desired.

But anyway - the science fair. Some bad news:

If they can't find a corporate sponsor for next year, this may well be the last one. Yeah, the cuts to what is called "common education" here has caught up with us. It's unfortunate - I get that Science Fair is kind of a bell-and-whistle sort of thing and less essential than, say, teaching kids to read, but: you know none of these high schools are getting their football teams cut, and it would be nice to have something for the smart but non-athletic kids.

I hope they do find a sponsor but I also hope it's not a kind-of awful one....

I've seen how this has changed. When I first started doing this, we were encouraged to turn in our mileage and the middle of the following month, we got a check that covered it (and then some; the per-mile rate in this state used to be pretty good). Then after a few years they asked us: "If you can afford to donate your mileage, please do" (So I did). Then last year, with the e-mail recruiting volunteers: "We are sorry but we cannot pay mileage."

At least we still got a free lunch. And they gave us t-shirts if we wanted them (The same ones the students got). If nothing else I can use it for a pajama top; my typical pajamas are a t-shirt and a pair of either elastic-waisted shorts or flannel pajama bottoms.

I also got "voluntold" to do another special award. I was already doing one for ONPS; it seemed to make sense for me to do it as I had gotten some little research funds from them and I was there anyway, but then the special-awards guy found me and said, "You're a botanist, right? Here's an ag award we need to give" and I was like "But I don't know the guidelines" and I noticed it was for a foundation in the state that had sent several people. I PRESUME they didn't want them picking it because of conflict-of-interest or something.

I dunno. I did my best*. The things I picked were perhaps marginally ag-related (I asked one of the foundation guys about one of them and he seemed to think it was an OK choice). If they don't like my picks, tough: if there's another Science Fair they can find someone else and notify them ahead of time.

So I had to do extra scrambling around but at least the ONPS award had pretty clear guidelines and there was only one project that fit them and was good enough, so.

But yeah. My brain is tired. And I am sad and frustrated from having to be on "high alert" through so much of my drive (the lane-stealing goblin wasn't the only idiot driver I saw, but most of the others I had enough lead time where just slowing up a bit prevented any issue).

I also drove home first (I am in my office at the moment) because coming back into town I saw a plume of smoke and at first was like "Well, shoot.....that looks like it's coming from near downtown in the region where my house is" and I worried slightly. As I got closer I could see it was too far east and too far south (probably someone burning off a stubblefield or burning brush) but still. And I got my mail but boo, no fun mail. (Still no Doki Doki box....)

(And yeah, I probably SHOULDN'T go to Sherman: I got paid for this month but I have no idea what next month will bring, given that my state is broke. Yes, Amazon is collecting sales tax on our purchases now and April 15 is the middle of next month, but still....I'm enough of a pessimist to think about how I'd manage given a couple months of IOUs from the state in place of a paycheck)

I wish I weren't so used-up at the end of the week. there's more stuff I could do but I have so little energy left.

(*It occurs to me that maybe "I did my best" would some day be a fitting epitaph for me. And yeah, a lot of the time I feel like "my best" isn't as good as it should be, but also in a lot of cases I'm asked to do stuff with totally incomplete information, or not enough time, or something.)


And yeah, kind of sad and tired but so much still to do - grading the progress reports, and a catch up exam, and finishing writing an exam and then home to work out and do Sunday school lesson and all I REALLY want to do is go to bed and tuck a stuffed Pony up under each arm and read something either funny or soothing until it's dark out and I can go to sleep.

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