Friday, September 25, 2009

Ever Have a Bad Week?

I had a really bad week this week, and it was so bad that it started last Saturday, when I woke up with a sore throat. Woke up with a really sore throat on Sunday. Woke up with no sore throat, but a full-blown case of the flu, on Monday. Slept most of the day. Alternated between being hot and sweaty and cold and in need of a blanket. Renamed my nose Niagara. More of the same on Tuesday and Wednesday, but to progressively lesser degrees. Felt like crap. Got nothing constructive done.

Decided I felt well enough to return to work on Thursday. Broke out in a sweat that lasted the first two hours. Was cranky all day. Yelled at students who probably deserved it, but showed a considerable lack of restraint in the doling out of said yelling. Oops. Found out that I had returned to work on the day of the big Homecoming Pep Rally and had to escort a group of students to the gym and endure a full hour of drum pounding and the sound of 600 teenagers yelling. Okay, more like 500+, but still a lot of noise. Took out my hearing aid for that. Helped to a small degree. Still loud.

Came home for Thursday night red wine therapy. Babs called and said to go ahead and eat because she was meeting a friend for a drink and wouldn't be home for a while. Had a bite to eat and read. Babs called and asked if I'd pick her up at the bar. Getting late and the closest El stop was in a questionable neighborhood. Got dressed and hopped in the car.

Drove to Lawrence and Broadway and looked for parking not far from the bar. No street spots to be had, legal ones anyway. Saw a strip mall parking lot across the street from the bar. Sign out front that said, "Free parking." Pulled into a spot in the row nearest the street and went across the street to retrieve wife from bar.

Returned to strip mall parking lot approximately five minutes later to find that the car wasn't there. Hadn't noted the more obscure sign high up on a pole in the middle of the lot that said, "Parking only for patrons of blah, blah, blah. Violators will be towed." Group of vagrants drinking in the corner of the parking lot informed us that Lincoln Towing had taken the car and it was only a short walk over to their impound lot on Clark.

Occurred to me that said vagrants probably were paying for their drinks with money from Lincoln Towing for being spotters and keeping non-shoppers out of the lot. Pissed me off greatly. Looked around the lot and saw some 15-20 empty parking spaces and 6 or 7 drunk vagrants partying away in the corner of the lot. Pissed me off further. I occupy a spot in the lot for 5 minutes and my car is gone before I return. Obnoxious drunks hitting everyone in sight up for money and drinking openly in public are allowed to stay, unmolested.

Friend decides that maybe if we buy something in one of the stores and have a receipt, we can get the car because we patronized a store in the strip mall. Leaned against the wall of an apartment building while friend went off on a Quixotean quest. Vagrant spots two white people leaning against an apartment building and goes a half block out of his way to ask for money for the bus. Replied, "Not happening."

Friend returns with a can of Pepsi and a receipt. Turns out to be a fruitless venture. Off to the impound lot. Ever heard a song by Steve Goodman called "The Lincoln Park Pirates"? This is who we are dealing with. Guy behind the bars in the office at the Lincoln Towing impound lot is a smarmy looking prick who looks like he definitely lives in the suburbs and commutes to the city to demand money from city residents in exchange for their cars. Cost me $170 to get the car. The receipt says I left the mall lot and was illegally parked on private property. It also says the Chicago Police were notified. The person notified space was blank. My name was on the Illinois Commerce Commission Relocation Tow Record. My accusor's was not. The name of the guy behind the bars taking the money was not. The name of the police person receiving said report was not. Are there Constitutional issues here? Went home and seethed.

Friday was a non-attendance day for students. Professional development day. I thought, "Oh Jesus. Am I going to have to listen to endless useless crap and then join with a group and make signs on big Post-It Notes to put on the wall and present to the room at large?" Found myself wondering why teachers are continually made to sit in groups and come up with creative solutions for positive change that never actually occur. Found myself wondering if kids were not given so many days off for teacher meetings if they might not learn more. Found myself wishing that they would just leave me the hell alone and let me do my job, to teach teenagers a little something about the world.

During the course of the day Friday got crabby and snapped at a colleague who was spouting Republican inanities while swearing that he isn't a Republican. Let's see, he thinks Ronald Reagan was a demi-god. He thinks less government is better. He thinks Democrats are stupid. There is a word for these people. It's Republican, although sometimes they will try to convince you that they are Libertarians or Independents. He also annoyed me by denying that racism is behind some of the current disrespect for the President. Being in denial does not make it any less true. Whew!

Now it is Friday evening and I would like to put all of this behind me, although the $170 bill will come back to haunt me on the next credit card bill, probably just in time for Halloween and various other hauntings. In the meantime, I think Corn Nuts go well with both red wine and white wine. Tomorrow is another day, and let's hope it's a better one.


  1. NOt a good week at all!! Hope this week is better and brighter for you!!

  2. And as Bartles and James always told us, "Thank you for your support."