Saturday, December 11, 2010

Winter Wonderland .... Minnesota Style

Every year, Minnesota gets several snow storms. Each time, the meteorologists predict it will the worst storm since... last year or Halloween 1995. The snow, from each storm, is usually deep but nothing unusual. So, when they were predicting between 10 to 14 inches of snow... I said, "I'll believe it when I see it." Until it actually starts snowing, it's all up in the air. Minnesota weather is like that though. Sometimes these storms and weather systems just bypass the Twin Cities and surrounding suburbs.

Today was a little different. I got a call from my roommate saying she couldn't open the front door and would I come down to close the garage door. I did and went back to bed. It was 7 am. I got up around 10am and wandered downstairs. I ate breakfast and was going to make coffee when I noticed the immense snow drift in front of our door (see above). It currently stands at about four feet tall. Further along, it is only up to my knees. I opened the garage door and found my drive filled with snow that was about a foot and a half deep.

It took me about an hour to shovel the driveway. It's still snowing so I'll have to do it again. I managed to trudge to the front door and move enough snow to open the door (hence the picture above). My roomie is currently trapped at work as are most of the couriers. They should have just shut the station for the day. But with Minnesota, you just never know what will happen.

Happy winter days!

Friday, December 3, 2010

Highway to Hell (or Minnesota Roads in Winter)

It is snowing. A lot. Large fat flakes that manage to conceal the ice that has formed over several days of melting and freezing. Aw Minnesota. The state seems to be known for one of several reasons: the lakes (our 10,000+), the Mall of America, and our weather. Because of the latter, many often joke that our motto should be: "If you don't like the weather, wait ten minutes." That statement has never had a more fitting month. Snow, rain, sleet, more rain, then some more, temperature drops, ice, and snow. Some all in one day.

In any case, these changes in weather inevitably lead to people driving like they've lost their bleeding minds and they are the only people on the roads. In two inches of freshly fallen snow (over ice), the driving becomes more than a little difficult. It becomes a full body activity and an exercise in "Spot the Idiot."

The Idiot of the Day was driving a branding new, yellow SUV. Still had dealer plates. They were showing the rest of the highway exactly how their common sense was equal to that of a brand new baby. They swerved in front of my car, narrowly missed another SUV (again, while changing lanes), tailgated a semi (who was hauling ass), and then drove on the shoulder. Now, if someone wants to recklessly endanger their lives and possibly removing themselves from the breeding pool... fine. However, I don't need him recklessly endangering my life or others. Unfortunately, I wasn't around to witness his eventual skid into a snowbank or ditch. It would have been fitting.

On a separate (yet similar note), work was definitely more difficult today. The weather slowed down our couriers so that some deliveries were delayed. Most of the customers understood... However, one of regulars (who has managed to get our direct line) called us four times to inquiry when her package would arrive. Since she paid for a two day service, it was an afternoon delivery. What really bothered me though was that she had the audacity to ask why it was so late... I managed to not ask whether she had stuck her head out the door lately. Instead, I politely pointed out that the weather was causing a slow down and apologized. Whatever. Some people don't understand.

Beyond those two idiots, I'm enjoying a pleasant Friday evening with the roomie. And the snow is beautiful and I won't have to drive in it until after the plows have arrived. Huzzah!

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Life in the time of Debt

I've recently come to terms with my students. Well, if by come to terms I mean that I am now required to acknowledge their presence and add them to my list of worries. Hind sight ands its cousin Common sense suggest that I should have started planning for this event prior to...well, just two days ago. However, like many people I believe in the power of procrastination. So, the things that have are not of a pressing nature have thus fallen to the wayside and forgotten.

The wayside (and the things that live there) has come home to roost. I have gotten my first official loan payment bill. It is a beaut rolling in at a hefty 389 dollars and some random about of cents. To make things just a tad more complicated, I've lost my pin for the loan website and was unable to check the due date of my lovely bill. I finally called, out of frustration with site and my inability to request or reset my pin. Luckily for me (the only thing lucky in the this situation) was the fact I reached a very nice person with the loan company.

December 7th. That was the due date. Huh. Since that is less than a week away, and I am poor, that wasn't/isn't going to happen. Enter the helpful loan person. I got a temporary reprieve with a forbearance until February 7th. Helpful in that I don't have to really worry until then. Less helpful, the interest continues to grow. Plus, as a bonus, I have a load of paperwork coming my way that I have to fill out in an attempt to find a way that I can afford to pay back the loans and manage to feed myself...and keep my kitties in kibble.

In the end, the idea that seemed most...workable for me would give me a payment of roughly 100 bucks a month. This I could probably manage. Especially with a second job. So, I felt pretty proud of myself for finding a solution without having a melt down and calling my parents crying. Probably a pathetic thing to do at 25. Anyway, the next day I spoke to my dad. Who, once I explained what I had learned, pointed out that my $100 wouldn't even cover the interest and thus it would be like chucking money in the void of my debt monster/toilet.

Balloon of proudness and calm = popped.

While I wait for the paper, I try and remember to be grateful that I got an education and that I don't have as much debt as some of friends. 

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Pink Wine

It's interesting the thoughts that come upon you when you're alone... I often find myself reliving parts of the day, composing emails/letters (that I'll never send), or lists in my head. I redo stupid conversations and come up with witty retorts or remarks.

I was sweeping the floor tonight. Nothing more exciting than cleaning on a Saturday night by yourself and drinking a glass of two buck chuck (or three buck here). I found myself thinking of an old friend whom I haven't spoken to in a long while...almost a year? It wasn't as though we parted angry at each other... but uneasy with who we'd become in regards to each other. That's often the case with friends though. People grow and change. For a long time, we grew and our friendship stayed strong. But sometimes friendships can't survive the strain of personal problems or issues.

I know the breaking point in the friendship. That moment that...after it happens... you know. It suffered long before that though. I don't know if the fight was inevitable or not. I never will. I go over that day in my head a lot. Not the specific arguments or words, just the feelings. The remorse. The anger. At myself. At her. I knew she was in trouble. Just as I'm sure she knew I was battling with my own personal demons. She was able to help me, in her own way. And I feel as though I failed her as a friend.

I can't stop dreaming about her. In my dreams, sometimes the fight happened and sometimes not. Sometimes everything is as it was. Sometimes its some alternate universe. I know my mind is telling me that I miss her, that we have "unfinished" business with each other, and that I subconsciously (or maybe consciously) want to see and talk to her. But how do you bridge a gap that has grown so large you can't remember the last time you spoke...or saw each other...?

I don't know if I ever will be able to mend that bridge or this friendship. Some things don't last forever. Lots of friendships don't. It's a somewhat miserable thought... but it happens no matter anyone's intentions.