Monday, April 14, 2008


I’m back from the living dead. At least it feels that way. For the last two weeks it’s been one thing or another.

The first week in April I was hog-tied and shipped to the Land O’Mickey for training. Training in Orlando? That must have been great! What? Your hotel was AT A MALL???? Awesome!

Nope, not awesome, I didn’t get to shop much and the one time I made it to the mall, I was…and I’m not afraid to say this…. too tired to shop. I just wanted to hit the food court, grab a gyros, hork it down, and get back to my room for peace and quiet. No T.V., no music, no group of grown men trying to out-do the next with some big, grand idea of how we should go about saving the world in the event of a hurricane. (I forgot to mention I was in training for Hurricane Preparedness. “Target Capabilities: A Companion to the National Preparedness Guidelines” by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.) Can I tell you how awesome and awe inspiring government agencies are? My manual was 590 pages thick. That 590 pages, people! I can see it all now:

Hurricane Cooper, a category 5 on the Saffir-Simpson Scale, has just decimated a swath of land from Miami, up through Orlando, and exiting the State of Florida via Tampa Bay. Millions are left homeless, injured, with nowhere to go as designated shelter locations have been leveled and the necessity of Special Needs Shelters is not being met; patients are being transported out of state. A small sub-division just outside of Ft. Lauderdale has been totally and completely cut of from civilization for six days. Help finally arrives. A transport carrying water, food, and medical supplies has breached the natural barrier of palm trees and homes destroyed by the storm. Little Ms. Heffelfinger runs to the truck on her spindly, arthritic legs sobbing for joy that help has found this tiny isolated neighborhood. “Please, we need water; we haven’t had any fresh water in four days! Thank you, thank you, oh God bless you all!”

She is greeted with this:

“Step away from the vehicle, ma’am. We are required to follow standard operating procedures here. I repeat, step away from the vehicle. We must find and locate what exactly our SOP is for this situation and are required to reference this manual. Return to the wreckage you now call home and we will be with you as soon as possible.”

Yeah, Mrs. Heffelfinger will really appreciate that. Bet she has an eighteen inch sawed-off Browning stuck down the back of her apron and is ready to take our entire team out for one bottle of water.

Thanks guys, great manual!

Once the training was over we headed back to Tallahassee arriving home a little after nine Wednesday evening. I grabbed spawnette, threw her into the truck and we drove back to central Florida for a long weekend with my sister. (Spawn was at the beach with his buddy for spring break so it was mommy-daughter time for me.) As we arrived so very late into the evening and I was still a little wired from the pot and a half of coffee I drank to wash down the no-dose, I really needed a shower to wash away that icky travel glaze one gets from riding in a car too long. I jumped into the shower at 2:16 a.m., quickly washed off, and by 2:31 was totally and completely covered from my chin down, in a red bumpy rash. It was NASTY!!! Nasty and itchy! What the hell was this? I’d never in my life had anything so gross...except for maybe that one time, when I had what looked like thousands of mosquito bites along with ringworm after being in the field too long right after Charlie. That was really gross. I mean worms? Under the skin? EEWWWW…Anyway, my sister and I had wanted to take the collective spawn to the beach, hang out by the pool, and just have a relaxing weekend. Nope, not gonna happen. Every time I so much as walk into the sun the rash raised it’s ugly head swelling three times its size and burning my tender, oh so fair skin. I – was – lovely! Thank goodness my sister has a pool and didn’t mind me swimming after dark. But you know what? The pool light wasn’t working and it’s really kinda scary swimming in a dark pool and not being able to see what’s swimming with you below the surface.

Oh well, we had a great time hanging out and eating entirely too much. Hey, one has to compensate for disappointment, you know?

Back to work last Monday preparing for a couple more days of hurricane preparedness. We were “gifted” with a new tracking system and guess what else! That’s right, folks, no training! Just another fun-filled time courtesy of different government entity! YEAH POLITICS!

Wednesday...last week...that tiny little ol’ cough my niece and brother-in-law had while spawnette and I were visiting? It wasn’t little and it wasn’t just a cough. It was a “lay your miserable ass down on the couch because you won’t be moving for the next four days” cough. I think I was able to gather enough strength to pee two times in the four days I was knocked flat on my padoobies. But I think I lost about three pounds so that’s cool, right?

And to top it all of, yesterday afternoon while I was hacking, yanking, and slaughtering the ivy that’s trying to mate with my brick house, I found an infestation of microscopic, itty-bitty, I couldn’t take a picture because my camera isn’t cool enough bugs. They’re red, tick-shaped (I freaked out because I thought they were ticks at first) and they leave a red smear behind when you squish ‘em. I was outside freaking thinking “GOSH….how much more do I need to clean here people???? I’m not that dirty but now I got these?!?!? Come on….I’m tired......HOLY CRAP ALL THE WINDOWS ARE OPEN AND THEY CAN WALK RIGHT THROUGH THE SCREENS!!!!!”
Found out it isn’t just me. They are e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e. Home Depot and Lowe’s both had record sales this weekend from people all over town trying to kill these swarming yet oddly pretty mites. Fairly certain they're clover mites which don't bite and should be gone sometime soon. Aren’t they pretty? (That’s a dime, by the way)

So…….how was YOUR week?


VE said...

Damn...that was a LOT! I have a history of 'everything happens to me' but can't say that this weekend. It was glorious weather, went to the beach, enjoyed the sun, and nothing happened. ps - I've been through Hurricane Gilber and Super Typhoon Zeb. I know all about hurricanes...

Mrs. R said...

Wow...yeah, suddenly our never ending winter doesn't seem so bad in the grand scheme of things...

Hope you're feeling better and everything's back to normal soon.

Queen Goob said...

VE - not bad, just all at once. and thanks for rubbing in the fact that you hit the beach this weekend, right Mrs. R?

Mrs. R - Feeling lots better.....except for when I cough too hard I'm still peeing a little in my pants. LOL

Melissaria said...

My week - I think I had that cough you mentioned. Been a wreck for 6 days now - Thursday through Sunday were the wrost, now it just feels like an ordinary, very manky cold, and not like something that is going to kill me...urgh...

Glad to hear civil service is the same in the US and in the UK - I think our flood prevention people are going through something similar at the moment.

LceeL said...

My week has (thank the Goddess) been no where near as adventurous as yours. And frankly, my dear, I intend to keep it that way.

KathyLikesPink said...

Dang that DOES look like a red tick! I hate ticks worse than mosquitos. Up here in Massachusetts we are now officially in May Fly season. Do you get them there? They sting like a skeeter but the welt stays for a month. Which is about how long the flies themselves hang around. Another little gift from Mother Nature.

Oh, and that swimming in a dark pool thing? I am so with you there. I have seen JAWS too many times. Ok, so it's a pool...I've seen a lot of weird slasher movies too. TOO CREEPY FOR THIS GAL.