2012: My first 36 hours

 Oh, look, a blog.

I don’t complain. It’s not a thing I enjoy doing or hearing other people do, which I think makes me rather an unsupportive listener. “Quit complaining, whiney-face” is an actual thing that I say in my head when someone I don’t know {and you know this person: the one who, while you’re having a conversation about Christmas trees informs you that they suffer from clinical depression and wish their grandmother was dead [THIS HAPPENED TO ME TODAY (parenthinception!)]} and complains about their life. My excuse here is that you clicked the link, or even went up to your browser bar and entered my name, hyphen and all, deliberately to read the misfortunes I’m about to lay on y’all; you’ve brought this on yourself, dear reader, and now you’re about to pay for it. Bwaha-frickin’-ha.

To be fair, part of why I’m thus far unimpressed by 2012 started several days before the year began, but it didn’t really blossom until it had actually started. I will begin my tale on Thursday, December 29.

Upon waking that morning, I noticed that my heater was producing a very annoying “buzzing” noise instead of actual heat. Could I warm myself with noise, I wouldn’t have minded, but I can’t, so I did. I had to be to work soon, so I dropped in on my landlord to tell him about our bumper-crop of buzzing.

He assured me that he’d take care of it as quickly as possible; I made my first mistake by telling him that it takes quite a bit to actually make me uncomfortably cold. I can only assume that this statement caused him to place “keep tenant warm during the winter” further down on his list of priorities than it might have otherwise been, say if I were a tiny-girly-man (read: “Normal Person”) instead of a grizzly bear in human form.

Cut forward to New Year’s Eve. Instead of at a party surrounded by beautiful women (all sisters, all slightly less in love with me than with their significant others) and good food, I was working. This is my own fault: damn my stomach for needing food, my head for needing a roof, and my bookshelf for needing a Bachelor’s Degree with my name on it(currently coated in a fine veneer of moss).

Fortunately, we were able to trade “hello’s” over Facebook’s handy-dandy video chat (my second job is as a night-clerk at a hotel, which fortunately requires very little more of me than my actual presence and an ability to fold linens, and allows me Internet access and plenty of time to catch up on my podcasts), and we took this wonderful picture.

Just look at that again. It’s beautiful.

The rest of the night was uneventful. I went home, slept for three hours, went to church, had a delightful lunch with my family, then went home to my rapidly more-and-more subarctic apartment where I bundled up, climbed under three blankets, and discovered that, for various reasons, sleep would be denied me for the next few hours before that night’s shift at the hotel.

Please… just a few hours?

But no. No sleep for me.

The roads were slippery on the way to work.

This should have clued me in.

Upon reaching work, I discovered police, EMTs, and firemen congregating in the hotel lobby; there had been three car accidents within ten minutes, and the people who weren’t near their homes were being put up for the night at our hotel.

This should have clued me in.

It snowed all night. In the morning, two separate guests told me that it was slippery out. I went out and spread salt around.

This, dear reader, should have clued me in.

On the trip home, I am sleep deprived, impatient, and driving faster than I should have been. I lost control.

Only white instead of brown.
(The brown was in my pants.)

(That was a poop joke.)

The first swerve was to the left.

“Oh,” I thought, “I better turn the other way and pump my brakes.”

The second swerve was to the right.

“Hmm,” I continued to ponder to myself, “this isn’t going as I planned. This must be what those dumb people who get in accidents must experience. Good thing I’m not them!”

The third and final swerve was to the left.

“Oh, I say,” I thought, “this is dangerous. I better to a 180-degree turn at a high speed and land in this ditch, backwards, on the wrong side of the road!”

I didn’t actually think that last bit, but that’s a pretty good rundown of how I ended up.

Physically, I was fine. I got out, checked all my moving parts, and discovered they worked. Claire (the car) started up, moved forward when I told her to, backwards when I told her to, and aside from some damage to the arm rest (where a 235-pound slab of man slammed into it a few moments before), she seemed fine.

I continued my journey home. I immediately noticed that she didn’t handle as well, veering decidedly to the right.

In my sleepy, adrenaline-fueled haze of “THANK YOU JESUS I’M ALIVE”, I ignored it and drove home. Once home, I examined it closer and discovered that the back-right tire was burst. Not in a “that’s not a problem” way, but in an “oh, that’s what the inside of a tire looks like” way.

Unable to process this, I determined to slumber ‘til noon (about 5 hours) and work on it then.

Noon came 5 minutes later. I got dressed to walk around the apartment (it’s cold in there, remember), then I got more dressed to walk around outside (it’s colder out there; not much, but still) and checked the thermostat before leaving the apartment.

There was no actual frost on my thermostat, but neither do I know what temperature my apartment was: the thermostat simply doesn’t measure below 50 degrees, its developers apparently deciding that no human would, or should, ever possibly be in a situation where the temperature inside a home would be anywhere between Absolute Zero and 49 degrees Fahrenheit.  


I called my landlord: there are limits to even my ability to shrug off icicles.

“Oh!” he says, surprised by my existence. “I called the heater guy and he didn’t call me back, and I completely forgot about it.”

That’s understandable.

Me and my new roommate.
Just a coupl’a guys off the street.

He promised to reattempt contact with the mythical “heater guy” and get back in touch with me. I, meanwhile, put on at third layer and prepared to go put on my spare tire.

No problem.

First, I empty out all the survival gear from my trunk. This amounts to a lot of survival gear. Blankets, first aid kit, water bottles, a tent, rope, an axe, various blunt instruments (for the odd pickup game of baseball, or in case I ever need 2.5 feet of pipe), that sort of thing. Under all of that is my spare. I get out the spare, the tire iron, and the jack, jack up the car, and proceed to loosen the bolts.


…but not really. No, some combination of the blistering cold and my own Herculean strength resulted in a broken bolt on my first try.

“Maybe it’s just that one,” I think, and try the next bolt.


So here’s me. I try to be a decent example of manlihoodedness. I don’t complain (except for on here, or if I do, it’s stealth-complaining that makes its way past my personal Whineometer, and I apologize to those subject to it; I promise, it is unintentional) and instead try to deal with the problems I am dealt. In this case, as a man who is cold, sleepy, hungry, at least three other types of Disney-dwarf, and who has just used my bare hands to sheer off the steel that holds my car together… I do the one thing that makes sense.


I explain everything: the cold, the crash, the bolts, the hazy stupor. And what does he do? He frikkin’ handles it. Using the logic that comes with making it through 50+ years of life, he cuts through my crap like a laser.

“Put the stuff away, I’ll be right over, you’ll drive the car to the shop, and then you’re coming Home.”

“*sniff* Okay, Dad.”

So that’s what we did. I went Home (notice the Capital H? My apartment doesn’t have a Capital H) and slept, then ate delicious homemade vegetable soup (thanks, Mom) and played a card game with my family, then watched an episode of Boston Legal, then went to glorious, glorious sleep in a room that wouldn’t freeze a glass of water if I accidently left it out.

I caught a ride to work today, where I’ve done my frikkin’ job and wrote this book.


How’s your year going?

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One Response to 2012: My first 36 hours

  1. jpow says:

    fine, thank you

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