As mentioned previously, the second day of our shed building experience deserved it's own post. It was one of those days that, if seen in a movie or something, would be dismissed as too far-fetched to be realistic.
This is my life.
You may recall an Ode I did a few months ago for my lovely MIL when she invited me to see Wicked with her and one of Tarzan's aunts, who'd never been. Tarzan's cousin VT went as well, and if not for her I might have jumped in front of a bus several times that night.
It started early at the job site, we naively believing we could still finish the shed that day. We spent a lot of time measuring the front beam for cutting - I checked the marks three times - squaring the posts and aligning everything - this will become important later. But I had to leave by 3:00. The show was at 8:00, we were meeting around 6:30-7 for dinner before and I figured if I left before 3, which meant 3:30, I'd be home in time to shower, dress and be ready to go. (All that heaving and running around leaves a girl with a certain 'glow.')
I didn't miss by too much, getting on the road by 3:45. I'd be home no later than 6.
Except traffic was atrocious.
I don't know why, I was going opposite to all the commuters, there were no accidents, no freeway construction, nothing but slow cars and blinking brake lights. Tarzan called me frequently to check on my progress and we discussed alternate routes to get home. (Thankfully there is more than one freeway between my parent's neighborhood and mine.) But nothing was any better. Shortly after 5:00 Tarzan's mother called to see how I was doing because in their eagerness to get to the show and beat the traffic - they were staying with family, a good distance south of us - they were at my house already.
I was nowhere close to being there.
Time became a real issue but what can you do when the cars just won't move? I raced when I could, took all the shortcuts Tarzan could find on the map, relaying it to me between calls from Gamma but nothing doing. I started revising my schedule for when I finally got back, skipping lots of frivolous things, like eating. Gamma, AuntReese and VT went and got dinner for themselves and me, but they had to eat it in their car because they couldn't get into my house and there aren't any parks or nice places to just hang out in the dark in the south central Jungle.
Sad, but true.
I finally pulled in to my house around 6:45pm. I opened the gate and let AuntReese pull her car into Tarzan's usual spot.
(I forgot to mention that the whole deal was we were going to drive in my car because AuntReese didn't want to take her fancy, red car into the neighborhood where the theater was. She was going to park it at my house, behind our secure gate and then pick it up when we dropped me off.)
My car was in it's spot, so there was about three feet for me to leave the car I was driving - Tarzan's - while I raced into the house, tore off my filthy, construction clothes, donned my Wicked green shirt and black pants and raced out the door again. No shower, no dinner, not even a chance to brush out my hair. The other three were already in the car so I hopped in and pressed the button to close the gate.
Then I remembered parking money. Gamma had bought the tickets, AuntReese had paid for dinner, it was only fair I pay for the parking, so - and this is the stupidest thing I have ever done - I clicked the remote to open the gate before it had shut completely and ran into the house to get some cash. When I came out, the gate was partially open, where I had left it and beeping.
I had forgotten about that safety feature.
So I tried to unscrew the bolts that hold the cover on the motor by hand but they were too tight so I raced to the shed to get a wrench - in my haste nearly tumbling suitcases on my head - and got them off, flipped the switch that shut off the horrible noise and waited the 30 seconds for the gate to reset itself. I turned it back on and clicked the remote.
I tried again, and still nothing. I called Tarzan, he mentioned the "really big allen wrench" that we use to crank the gate open when the power's out and I ran to get that from the shed. I found what I thought was the wrench but couldn't find the place where it fit on the motor box.
I'm in a panic. I'm filthy, now also covered in grease, sweaty, tired, late and my mother-in-law - plus company - is witness to this all. She's on the phone with Tarzan telling him to come and fix it - remember he's a two hour drive away, with neither of our cars available - it's getting later by the minute and I am nearly in tears.
Finally, it's about 7:10, AuntReese suggests that we just go or we'll miss the first act - not true, but whatever, I am in no mood to argue - and with one last longing look at her car and my half open gate, we hit the road. I am not chancing the freeways again, so we take the surface streets. About 15 blocks up the road we pass a Burger King with six police cars outside, flashing lights and megaphones. Apparently there is some sort of disturbance and the authorities are directing all traffic around the area.
Fortunately, I know an alternate route to the one they are suggesting and we get around the jam. I am probably going too fast but we figure all the police are already occupied for the evening and no one's going to bother me. Despite many careful questions from the passengers we arrive at the theater by 7:30pm. Even I am impressed with myself. There have been times ATL and I haven't even left our house by that time when making a show at 8, so for the first time in five hours, I can relax a bit. Parking is a breeze and right across the street from the venue. We get in, find our seats - which are phenomenal. I mean, able-to-see-the-expressions-on-the-cast-faces good - and there's time to text Tarzan about my mental state and his mother's before the lights flickered in warning.
It was a good show. It's Wicked - it's never a bad show - but I thought Mamie Parris did a nice job as Elphaba. Good balance of emotions and excellent voice. Katie Rose Clarke as Glinda was also very good. She didn't overplay the silliness which I appreciate. Liz McCartney as Madame Morrible was 'eh,' Kyle Dean Massey was a good voice for Fiyero, a little too slapstick in his actions. Boq wasn't too stupid and Nessarose, though a little violent, was strong. I was really glad to see it again, and as mentioned before the seats were amazing.At intermission I checked the dozens of texts Tarzan had sent me and he reminded me ATL got home from work shortly after we left; she was watching AuntReese's car so that made me feel a WHOLE LOT BETTER. I was able to reassure everyone, including myself.
After the show, we drove back to my house to see if we could get AuntReese's car out of my driveway somehow. Through Tarzan's second round of texts, he explained and I found the OTHER "really big allen wrench" in the shed, it also had a blue handle, and it fit, no problem, in the motor casing. We cranked open the gate - about 20 minutes of work - the car came out and since it was nearly midnight, the three of them left for the 45 minute drive they had to get home. I shut the gate, with the remote, after turning it back on, no sweat, threw all the tools in the wholly disarranged shed, went in the house and barely changed into pajamas before I fell into a pile and slept for nearly nine hours.
In the morning when I woke up, I finally got a shower and went back out to the Desert to finish the shed.
This is me and that was a crazy 24 hours.