Thursday, April 05, 2007

this shouldn't be funny

my Type A personality makes me an early person. not a morning person but an early person. for big events, i tend to struggle and stress and then find i am ready three days in advance with nothing but the slow click of the second hand on the clock to distract me. that is when i tend to get unreasonable with regard to those around me.

in theory, it isn't possible to be early for a Defense, because there is always one more paper you haven't read, one more flow problem in the slides. but eventually a person hits the point where even one more thing learned will cause something much more important to fall out one's ear. i hit this point Friday. i still had 3 days of slide revisions to go, but there was simply no option for further accretion of data. because i spent most of 2007 in hermiit-mode in anticipation of this turn of events, it didn't really affect anyone else. Travy is easygoing enough that he just simultaneously coddled and ignored me.

knowing this about myself, i was very careful not to leave too early on Tuesday for the hospital. too much time waiting there would just whip me into an inchoate frenzy. i got up and read email. made my first latte and checked blogs. pet the cats and studied my yarn. eventually i showered and made a second latte. after dressing, i set aside two extras of most things in case of emergency. i packed up all my books and articles. loading the car was done in stages to best mete out time. finally, i packed up my ninjas (Thank you again, Denise!) and left for work. it was still too early (11 am) but there was nothing left with which to distract myself at home.

pulling into the parking lot, i heard a subtle clicking noise. Esther doesn't make clicky noises. i parked, exited and looked back from whence i came to note 'water' trailing about 100 yards.


i walked around to the passenger side of the car to unload her and discovered coolant pooling round the front tire, like blood around a gunshot victim in a movie. the pool had grown past 18 inches in diameter in the time it took me to walk from the left of the car to the right.

'This can't be good,' i think to myself.

'This is going to be expensive,' i think to myself.

'This is actually kind of funny,' i think to myself and then worry the pressure has finally made me snap. but really, it was kind of funny because it was fit the flow of the rest of my life so well.

i wanted to clean things up - it is a vet hospital after all - but the fluid just kept coming, i was already girlified, and i no idea what other surprises might await me. so i made my way inside with all my books, clothes, computer, peripherals and food for attendees.

i called the mechanic who recommended i just drive the car over when the Defense was past - in spite of the lack of coolant. 'There must be some still in the system.' anyone else notice how men always assume women are exaggerating when it comes to cars or construction?

on to the Defense... my talk clocked at around 75 minutes, before questions. the attendance was significant, in sharp contrast to my Prelim. people were interested. the talk with questions ended up running two hours. we took a short break, during which i ended up continuing to answer questions. i reconvened with my committee to answer any further questions. given the strong audience participation, most of their questions had been addressed already. this portion lasted 30 minutes at most. they excused me for deliberations which lasted a grand total of two minutes based on the call time of my update to Trav.

and then it was over.

i hefted the books back to my office where a dozen irises were waiting from Steinie. [i will post a picture soon but am waiting as they are still opening up.] i hitched a ride with my boss to a nearby bar for our celebratory drink. poor Esther had created quite a mess by this time but appeared to still be hemorrhaging coolant...

Just a little leak
Originally uploaded by jacquichris.

since my boss had a lecture to give that evening, we went at a bar near the hospital to start. the bartender Bradford swore he could make a margarita to rival the Rio's. the ninjas liked this marg but didn't agree that it bested a Rio marg...

Ninja mania
Originally uploaded by jacquichris.

LAP's wife and my dear dear friend kittyCat joined us and gave the ninjas and me a lift to the Rio to celebrate in style. all the lab girls turned out for the fun, which meant a lot to me. TraV of course was there and LAP joined us after his lecture. we all had far too much tequila, esp the ninjas who got quite belligerent. as you can see here, Cat and i had to break up a couple ninja fights:

Originally uploaded by jacquichris.

yesterday i spent righting my apartment and my liver. eventually i biked in to campus to turn in my Final Examination Results form and then to the hospital to have the car towed to the shop. sadly, Esther's water pump blew. it will be about a grand to get her back in fighting trim. after quite lengthy discussions with the auto mechanic, my mother, Roland and TraV, i have decided to stand by my car instead of abandoning her for someone younger, sexier and under warranty. what the hell. life is a crap shoot.

tonight, Jen, the ninjas and i are going to Denver to see the Yarn Harlot. it should be a grand time and a nice way to celebrate.

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