- On Monday morning, I get a call from the landlady (not about the rent, yet), saying that there's an alarm going off which she can hear in our bedroom. (She lives in the other half of the house, so it's not creepy or anything that she could hear what was going on in our bedroom, since it's right next to her kids' nursery*). I respond that it's probably the alarm clock, and she can feel free to go in and turn it off if it's bothering her (they have a spare key). She says that's okay, it's not a problem, and I think no more of it till Mr. Philena gets home and calls me to say I left the stove on that morning, and the alarm was the carbon monoxide detector, and he has to call the gas company to come do an inspection of the house. Argh.
- Tuesday I get a call from the landlords. They very politely mention that we haven't paid the rent, and we should let them know whether we plan to do that. Argh.
- Wednesday and Thursday go smoothly, but Friday night I forget my wallet when I leave for campus, and so I have to call Mr. Philena to come pick me up at 7:45 because I don't fancy walking home in the dark. Argh
- Today I realize that I never responded to the conference organizers who accepted my submission and wanted to know whether I'm coming by Monday. Since this submission has been rejected twice already and my CV is pretty skimpy, I'm naturally anxious not to lose other items that I can put on it, such as conference presentations, and I missed the deadline for this one. Argh.
As it turned out, everything worked out this week. Mr. Philena took care of the gas company, I dropped off a rent check with no problems, Mr. Philena picked me up from campus, and the conference organizers just wrote back to my contrite email saying that they're happy to have me there. But I feel as if I'm constantly just one step behind the world, and it's getting really annoying, and I'm ready to start being successful at something.
Of course, I have been successful at other things this semester. For example, after almost a year of talking about it, I and my three office-mates finally made it happen that we cleared out all the junk left by a professor emeritus, re-arranged the furniture, and re-painted the walls. The office is actually to offices linked by an adjoining door, and years ago someone had painted a pipe in the ceiling a really nice color of green. So we built the entire color scheme of the office around that scheme. The room with the duct now has blue walls with green trim, and the other room (where my desk is) has green walls with blue trim. People in my department have been wandering by for the last two weeks to check it out, and the general reaction has been that the grad students say, "That is SO AWESOME", while the professors look doubtful and ask, "who chose the colors?" The fellow who originally donated the green paint for the duct has commented with some relish that the paint was left over from when his 7-year old son painted his room, and that this particular shade of green was therefore chosen by a 7-year old. I, however, think that this particular 7-year old has excellent taste.
*And, of course, since it's right next to the nursery, Mr. Philena and I get first hand knowledge of how well the kids are sleeping through the night. The answer is not very well. I'd say easily every other night one or the other starts screaming, and since the parents have just started the "cry-it-out" method of sleep training, we get awfully annoyed. It's been this way since last September.