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Sunday, June 19, 2011


What a strange week this has been.  My two oldest friends have celebrated their birthday and are now officially in Area 51!  I still have another two weeks to go.  Last year, on our amazing 'Fab Fifty' Vegas birthday trip, I constantly reminded them of the fact that I was the youngest. It is a peculiar feeling being the 'baby' at this age.  Throughout my younger years, and I mean school age, I was always one of the last to have a birthday in my academic year, and those who celebrated their anniversary in September, were already looking forward to being yet another year older, before I had attained the current one.  Now, whilst still at 50, I know that another one of my old school friends will be 52 in less than 90 days, and am rather happy to be 'so much' younger.  Of course, age is just a number, and my daughter still reminds me, often, that I am in fact 12! 
However, I digress.  The strange week started with having no sleep on Sunday night due to my being a dog sitter.  Samantha and Edward had gone to Houston, to see one of Edward's friends.  They had left late Sunday morning and, of course, left the animal.  Apart from being woken every time someone drove into the complex, I was the victim of vicious tail wagging activity.  It is amazing how much strength a small dog has in his tail.  Although there was no evidence, such as bruising, my left ear felt as if it had been dislocated.  Being awoken at 3am to constant slapping around the head and face, is somewhat alarming.  Monday morning, and sleep deprived, the week was not off to a good start.  Fortunately, Samantha returned Monday afternoon, and I was relieved from duty.  The week, I thought, could only get better.  It appears my powers of prophecy malfunctioned.
The temperature in Austin has reached three digits for nearly two weeks, and there have been many casualties of the heat, both human and mechanical.  Wednesday afternoon was particularly hot.  The appearance of a Fire Engine outside our office was rather concerning, as everywhere is very dry, and almost anything can be kindling to the slightest spark.  Samantha had gone onto the front porch of the office to see if she could ascertain the reason for the red truck, and Kyle, one of our process servers, followed her.  They started to mount the stairs to the first floor offices.  This was my queue to exit the building, and see first hand why we were in need of the emergency services.  It appeared that a local homeless person had fallen out of his wheelchair.  The gentleman in question is not usually sober, and no fowl play was suspected.  I was rather curious as to why the fire engine was called to the scene.  I knew the temperature was above normal for the time of year, and there was a concern that fires could be started by the clicking of fingers, but surely they did not expect this man to spontaneously combust!  The ambulance arrived about five minutes later, and the victim was helped on to a stretcher. The invalid was covered with a blanket and wheeled to the EMS vehicle.  It was roasting outside and Kyle questioned as to why he was being covered up, if he was suffering from the heat.  'Perhaps he is suffering from shock', I said.  'After all, I was very shocked!' I said, mocking my previous statement given to the newsman a couple of weeks ago, and a statement which I have not been allowed to forget!  However, with no media vans in sight, and with my First Aid qualification expired, I decided there was little point in me being outside.  I returned to the comfort of the air-conditioned office and let the emergency services continue without the benefit of my uncalled for advice. 

Later that day, on the way home, our car overheated.  Fortunately, we were almost home.  However, the traffic lights were red for an inordinate amount of time, and the oncoming amount of vehicles, that prevented us to turn into our complex, was more than we had seen for a very long time.  With my panic level reaching heights beyond normal levels of sanity, we pulled into the carport.  Dana released the catch on the bonnet, whilst I was searching for the Yellow Pages 'app' on my phone, to search for local car dealerships.  Panic appears to be written into my DNA, which in cases of emergency means, Do Not Approach, if you require any modicum of rational behaviour.  I do like to think of myself as being level headed and sensible for the most part, but when something threatens the smooth running of my everyday life, I become a psychotic neurotic.  My mind runs off in every direction, and practising common sense becomes an alien talent.  'What's wrong with it?', was the only question I asked. The problem was that I continued to ask it every twenty seconds. Dana was unsure immediately, but thought it may be lack of oil.  'It's still probably a lack of oil', he said, very patiently, after I had asked approximately thirty times.  We would have to go and buy some oil.  'How are we going to get some oil, without a car?', I asked.  Four adults fit into a mini quite comfortably.  It is getting out of the two door vehicle that is more difficult.  Three times I had to exit from the rear seat, and three times I wondered how it was possible to do so in a lady like manner. 

Friday morning, Dana was unable to walk.  (We are still unsure as to why but think it may have been a wasp sting.)  His heel was very red and swollen, and he was not able to put it to the ground, or put any weight on it at all.  There were no visible puncture marks, so a spider bite or scorpion sting was ruled out.  I had to drive into work and home again.  Although I rather enjoy being behind the wheel, the reason as to why I had to drive was because something else had dented my nice comfortable cone of security.  I don't normally drive unless we are on a trip, and it felt rather strange not stopping at State signs to take pictures.
Today was Father's Day.  We had a wonderful meal at a very nice restaurant with Chara, Samantha and Edward, followed by a trip to the cinema, where after we returned home and spent a pleasant couple of hours just relaxing and chatting about current affairs.  The car was fixed, Dana could walk, and my only concern was how to remove green food dye from my fingers.  Samantha made a very clever cake.  A giant golf ball on the green.   

With my life running along quite smoothly at 11:15 pm and work in the morning, I can only ask that next week be easier, and cooler.  We need two weeks of rain or there will be no fireworks for my birthday, and the other July 4th celebrations, but that will be...another story.

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