Saturday, July 21, 2012

A Day in the Life of a Crazy Lady

Oof.  My feet and legs are killing me.

Yesterday was an adventure.  In very typical style for my life.  It makes me wonder what the hell I'm thinking sometimes.

I left my house around 7:00 a.m., so I could be sure, considering rush hour traffic, to be at my mom's place by 8:00 to meet up with my sister so we could head over to campus.  I made it, and after hanging out for a little while trying to figure out what is wrong with my mom's cameras, we left at about 8:20.  (The timing of the morning will become significant later.)

We arrived at the campus around 8:40 or so, and parked along a residential street.  I was already feeling a little sentimental because I parked in almost the same exact spot that I parked the VERY first time I drove myself to the campus, in the late summer of 1989.  Crazy.  So we went and had a bagel on our way in, which was lovely, and then headed to the Veteran's Affairs office, which was our first stop.  And this is when the craziness started.

I should explain.  The reason we had to stop at the VA office first was because my dad was a Vietnam Vet, and the Navy has attributed his cancer to his exposure to Agent Orange while he was serving.  Because they say his death was a direct result of his military service, his children receive a benefit of waived tuition to an approved school, and the University is one of those schools.  So this is why we are now able to fulfill our desire to finish school.  Thanks dad.

But we had to go to the VA office to turn in the appropriate paperwork for all of this, and so that's where we started.  It was there that we met the lovely Jenny.  Jenny is a cute college kid, much like everyone else who worked with us that day.  We had excellent luck, because all the offices we needed were open during these summer months, and there were no lines, so it worked out well.  Jenny went through our paperwork, made all the right copies, and was extremely helpful with everything.  Our first hiccup was with the sister, and the question of whether the benefit would work for her yet, as she's not yet fully admitted to the school, but that's a whole different story.  And besides, it sounds like it may work out anyway.  Then we found out about the second hiccup.  I asked her if she had access to our files, and indeed she does.  She printed out an unofficial transcript for me, and I asked her to check if I had holds on my record, since I had heard that would be the only reason why I may not be able to register.  Indeed I did.  Of course.  I had two.  But Jenny's eyes got very wide, and she said, "I've never seen these holds before."  Of course she hadn't.  They are mine.  That is the story of my life.  Apparently there was one in the Gopher ticket office for athletic tickets and one at the Coffman Union. They are both 20 years old, so of course I have no recollection of what they were, but I can only assume they were for bad checks, very possibly for Football tickets and for a chicken sandwich.  That was the way I had to roll sometimes back then.  The ramen years.

So anyway, I had to clear these up.  But we figured out all the next steps we had to take, and went on our way after joking with Jenny about our situations, and how grateful I was that my records weren't on Microfiche, but actually in the computer.  Ha!  Oh, and sister actually was able to tentatively sign up for a few Extension classes while we were there.  We're being optimistic that everything will work out for her.

We then went over to the One Stop office around the corner, where I was going to try to clear up my holds.  The One Stop program is a new thing to me, a sweet program where they manage everything you need as a student on the computer.  It's way cool.  But the problem was, the cutie who was helping me there had never seen my holds before either.  He called the appropriate numbers for the departments, and they were befuddled as well.  Apparently, my holds were placed back when they had to be chiseled into stone tablets, and long before they had a computer code.  Yay me!  So basically the decision was made that I should just try to register around them, and that if I ran into a problem they could just delete the holds.  I wondered why they didn't just do that anyway, but who am I?  Just some weird old lady.

Our next stop was Johnston Hall, home of CLA.  There, I needed to set up an appointment with an advisor.  This one was weird.  The office of CLA is really dumpy.  There was this sour-looking girl with this old-lady dress on with tennis shoes, which was weird because I swear she looked like she was about 20.  She was cranky, and kept interrupting the kid who was trying to help me about when her lunch break was.  He eventually shut her up and then gave me my information, sending me to another office with an advisor's name, Claudia.  I went up to set up my appointment with Claudia.  This office was busier, with lots of kids sitting around waiting.  When I approached the desk, I noticed a sign-in sheet.  People sign in with their names and their Student ID numbers.  This was also super cool because  these are 7-digit numbers.  This has not changed.  I still keep my original student ID.  However, all these numbers began with a 4 or a 5.  Mine starts with a 1.  Yes, a 1.  Yay me!  But I got my appointment set up with Claudia for Wednesday afternoon, so then I'll really get the ball rolling.  I also found out I still have a declared major in Spanish, which was interesting.

I forgot to mention how great it was to see my hideous old transcript.  Man, my priorities were NOT academics back then.  But it's the story of that time of my life, right there on paper.  The fact that during my last year of enrollment, my classes included the History of Walt Disney, American Indians in Cinema, Spanish, and Fundamentals of Music proves that I had no idea whatsoever what the hell I was doing.  But I did find out that I got a D in Logic, which was sweet because for some reason I always thought I failed that one.

Then we were off to Williamson, where we had to hand in my name-change form.  You see, although I have been married to my darling hubby for 16 years, I was still an unmarried wild child then, and everything is in my maiden name.  So we took care of that.

And off to Coffman Union.  Here we needed to visit the Tech Center to get our Computer accounts set up and all that fun stuff.  We also needed to get the magic UCard, which entitles us to all the beauties of attending college in the technical age.  It's your bank account, your ID card, your life.  All on a small plastic rectangle.  Here's the funny thing about this, though--when we left the VA office, it had started sprinkling, and by now, it was full-on raining.  And we were walking.  Outside.  A lot.  We looked like sweaty, tired, old, drowned rats.  And now we got to face getting our pictures taken for the new little magic cards!  Yay us!  Thankfully, we did find out that I needed to wait until Wednesday to get mine, after I was registered for class.  But the sister had to get hers!  And it was a beautiful shot of a deer in headlights.  Or a very surprised middle aged lady.  It's awesome.

By this time we were starved.  And tired.  And needing an adult beverage.  Or several.  So we went to one of our old hangouts for some lunch.  Thankfully, it was still there, and we got some good, cheap Vietnamese food.  Then we popped over to a new funky place (well, new to us anyway) for a beer.  That was the best thing we could have done.  Nice break from all the insanity.

After a couple more quick things, we headed back to the car.  Our legs were getting tired, we were SUPER hot, and still somewhat damp from the rain.  We got to the car, grateful that we would be sitting in the air conditioning.

Only the car wasn't there.

I had been towed.  Yay me!  Here's where the time from the morning becomes significant.  We arrived on campus before 9 a.m.  There were cars lining the streets, and we had squeezed into an open spot.  When we came back and noticed the empty street, we saw the sign, tucked into some trees, that there was no parking on that side of the street from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

People, I almost started weeping openly.  But we are tough old broads, so we dealt with it.  We called to find out where the car had been towed.  This was no small task.  Apparently, there is no record of an impound lot in Minneapolis.  After LOTS of calling, and LOTS of screaming swear words to nobody in particular, we were successful tracking down a number and the location of my car, along with the information that this would be a $200 adventure.  We got on a city bus, remembering the route it took, and believing it would drop us off close to the impound lot.

It did.  Several blocks away, but still.  Walkable.

Except it was several blocks away according to actual distance, not walking distance.  We were across a couple freeways from where we needed to be, and had to walk for a very long time to get around to the other side, where we needed to be.  It was hot.  Damn hot.  We were hot.  And tired.  Damn tired.  So we are two middle aged, out-of-shape ladies, carrying my big bag of crap (and my iPad), in inappropriate footwear for distance power walking, thirsty, and grumpy.

By the time we got to the lot, I had almost lost my voice from yelling swear words like a crazy homeless person.

We got into the car, and drove back to my mom's place in exhaustion.

But the story doesn't end here.  Almost, though.

The MOH's parents are in town (If you don't know who my MOH is, see this post).  They had arrived at my mom's while we were on campus, and when we got back to mom's they wanted us to go out to dinner.  I felt like I should probably go.  So we dragged our poor, abused selves to the malt shop with them.  I ordered a BLT on white toast.  My MOH's Dad (who I love very much, by the way, and have since I was a small child) immediately starts telling me about how white foods like white bread and flour and pasta are basically poison, and he has been doing extensive research about it, and how it is very possibly going to lead to my death.  Then I try to change the subject and talk about how excited I am that they are going to see A's last baseball game this year, and how excited I am about the upcoming youth football season.  He looks at me in shock and says, "don't you EVER watch the news?"  He informed me about the crisis about kids getting concussions from these sports, especially football, and how much research he's also done about this, and basically infers that I am a horrible failure of a parent for even considering allowing them to play this evil, deadly sport.  I'm sitting right next to him.  I look across the table at my equally exhausted sister, and stuck my finger in my mouth like a gun, and motioned that I was shooting myself and my brains were spraying out of my head all over my lovely MOH's dad's beard.  She's just shaking her head.

And that's how my day ended.  I made it home.  Hugged my boys.  Looked around at my messy house and wondered what I'm getting myself into.  I can't keep up with my life now.  How can I possibly think I'll be able to when I'm a student and possibly an employee along with what I do now?  WHAT THE HELL AM I THINKING?????

I truly am Flying by the Seat of My Pants.  Barely hanging on to my sanity.  Thank you all for holding my hand.


  1. Oh my goodness, what an adventure, to say the least! I'm so glad I found your blog, because I can totally relate - when it rains, it freaking HURRICANES, lol. And that's awesome about going back to school, congrats! :) -Mia

  2. Yay for you going back to school, but what a day! I have tagged you for an award. Come on by and pick it up!

  3. Sorry but I am laughing at you... with you... thanks so much for the entertainment... LOVED this one!!! =) ... I gotta go back & read all of previous posts now cuz I'm wondering what I've been missing, LOL!!! (DH)