Transplanted Life
Monday, July 03, 2006
I... am... wiped.
The past week and a half has been seriously crazy. Nothing to do with me being me, either - just crazy stuff that can happen to anyone.

For instance, the day after my last entry - 23 June - my boss gets out of a meeting and assigns me a new project. It's a big one, the kind that shows how impressed the company is with my work because they're entrusting this thing to me, or at least the back end of it. Due 14 July, or at least it has to be in shape so that the user-interface guys can take control by then. Fine, I say, no problem. I am, admittedly, kind of looking to get out the door; it's four-thirty in the afternoon on a Friday and he's giving me a whole bunch of documents to study over the weekend. I've got no intention of doing so, of course - weekends are for movies and finding a spot by the water where you can read and get less pasty at the same time. I'll never get rich with that attitude, I know, but I'll probably live well.

Actually, that weekend, Alex and I are doing the Brattle Anime Festival. After all, we met at the Sci-Fi Marathon, and even though he's not into the manga and anime like I am (even the young guys at the Marathon are kind of old-school), we figure it's a kind of chance to do something like the Marathon together without waiting a whole year. Besides, it's pretty miserable bikini weather anyway.

So we do that, and then stumble back to my place with the intention of falling asleep in some sort of naked tangle. I'm dumping the freebies and trivia prize on my desk, but the whole contents of my purse comes out, and that's when I see them right next to each other - our hotel reservations for a week and a half Fantasia and my project due two days before I get back.

Ooooooooohhhhhh shiiiiiiiiiiiiit.

The next morning, as you might imagine, I march right into my manager's office and say, hey, I can't do this; this thing is spec'ed out for three weeks but I've only got a week and a half. He's all "you accepted it, and I made all the other department assignments based on that"; I point out that he made me stake out vacation time two months in advance so he darn well should have known I couldn't do this. He says that in a company like this, everyone has to make some sacrifices. I say my reservations are non-refundable. He asks if they've got internet at my hotel so I can VPN in. I say if I do, I expect those vacation days not to be charged against me. He says they're not going to pay me extra to sit by the pool and see movies. I say I see movies after work anyway, so what if I'm doing it in Montreal?

I suspect I lose the argument entirely based on senority.

Which means that for the past week and a half, I've been busting my ass to get this project done in half the time. I'm making damn sure to note the twelve-hour days in the project tracker system, so that when performance review time comes and someone other than my immediate supervisor is analyzing my June... Oh, yeah, there will be a bonus or an acknowledgment or something.

Of course, this plays hell with my other plans. I miss a Red Sox game Alex had tickets for, gritting my teeth and saying that ten days in Montreal is worth three hours in Fenway. I'm just incredibly thankful that it's not the Pedro game, but the one before. That would have been too much to bear.

The Pedro game winds up being the only one I even get a chance to watch semi-live on NESN. Thursday, I'm on my way home from work when my phone rings; it's Carlos, saying that a friend in Harvard Square whose moving out of town on Friday had a pet turtle that couldn't come with them, and he'd offered to take it, but it had to be picked up tonight but he's on duty and don't I live near there...

So that's how I wound up in Carlos & Jen's doorway with a reptile in a cage when she announced that she was having contractions.

No sooner had the turtle been put down than I've been given keys and drafted to drive her to the hospital. Scared me out of my mind, it did - Jen's something like two weeks early, which I gather is unusual for first children (how would I know that part of health class would be so relevant later in life?), and I haven't driven a car in a year or two Maybe longer. At least five years since it was a stick.

At first I'm driving very cautiously, because of precious cargo and my own rust, but she says that, hey, I can't scare the baby out of her, so put some effort into it. Besides, she's got a stopwatch, and that's what's going to determine whether she has the baby in the car or not. So I floor it.

Fortunately, I call Carlos and he somehow gets the local cops to leave me alone; says he'll meet us there. He gets there just after I do, and goes to see his wife while I wait a couple hours.

I didn't screw anything up. Eloise Maria is a beautiful little girl, apparently perfectly healthy. Jen looks like she's just run a marathon, sweaty and tired and deliriously happy, when she holds their little girl in her arms. I call Kate, Carter, and every mutual friend Jen and I have while Carlos talks to family. For a second, I'm a little jealous of her, but it passes. I'm not ready to be a mommy yet.

That was just extra excitement. I am glad that I got to be around when my friend had her baby, though; she was due during my vacation and I'd have hated to miss it. And I'm pretty sure I'll get to go on that vacation - I didn't get out of work until nine o'clock tonight and had to take a taxi do the train station because the buses don't run that late, but I have the end in sight. Wednesday should just about do it.


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