June 12, 2006

My first shift of the week began at midnight, first thing this morning. I still don’t know what the schedule is going to be like for the rest of the week. I am still guessing that I will be working days for the rest of the week but it is only a guess. I will only be doing that if someone volunteers to work the night shift instead of me. It is weird. I have only been at this job since the last few days in March and for several weeks all I did was sit in my cubicle and wait for access to things. Then I managed to get about three weeks of real, solid work in. Then the guy that I work with that trains me on everything was out for a few weeks, I was out of the office at a week long class, we had a couple of holiday days and for the past week I have been working from home doing the overnight shift which I am doing again today. So it is weird that I have only had three or four weeks of normal “work” since I started. I have been at the job long enough that it is starting to feel natural for me to be there but I haven’t been there long enough that I have all of my “tools” working yet and access to everything yet and the past three weeks I have been pretty much completely out which is extra weird since that is such a huge percentage of my total time at the job. And I am being scheduled for another class sometime soon that will disrupt the normal flow of things yet again.

Mary’s Internet access is back on. They had thought that it had been shut off but they found out yesterday or the day before that their cable modem had been hit by lightning and that it was fried. So they are happy and back online now.

Dominica was really tired this evening and went to bed just as I was about to start my shift. She had been attempting to study her database development texts on the futon but I found her passed out sleeping on her book and sent her to bed.

Since I am working the Sunday overnight I decided that it was a good time to run a full, manual system backup of the email and instant messaging system so there was some disruption of that in the middle of the night – just in case anyone noticed. Sunday nights are about the only decently safe time to take the system offline for a backup so that is when I try to squeeze them in. It takes over an hour to run the backup once the system has been brought down and then it has to be manually brought back online so it isn’t a fast and easy process.

I finally managed to get Dominica computer working again. For the most part it had been working but there were some issues with its My Documents folder not functioning correctly and, of course, Microsoft doesn’t make it something that is easily modifiable and there isn’t any good documentation for it so that is just a huge pain. It took quite a bit of work and it turned out to be several overlapping issues that were all causing the same thing to keep happening. We wouldn’t have been worrying about it but she needs Access 2003 to work on it and that is one of the things that was not working. Funny how often it is the Microsoft products that fail when you are doing something too complex on a Microsoft operating system. OpenOffice, of course, worked just fine. But her class uses Access so that is what she needs to use. I wish that the State University of New York would get with the times a little bit and modernize their teaching tools and work with things that are more accessible to more students and not use proprietary software just because their aren’t familiar enough with the industry to not be swayed by whatever product is sitting on the shelf at CompUSA. It is really sad.

Since I am pulling the overnight tonight and have the entire day free tomorrow Dominica and I are toying with the idea of running into the city and trying to catch a Broadway musical. We figure that we have been here for too long not to have seen one yet and we have all ready managed to miss the people that we really wanted to see doing “Spamalot” and are really sad about that. Harry Connick Jr. is in “The Pajama Game” and we want to catch that while he is still in it. There are a number of shows on Broadway right now that we really want to see. Actually there are more Broadway shows on right now that look really good than we have seen of movies that look good expected out yet this year. Right now the only movie that we want to see is Prairie Home Companion but we will most likely just wait for that to come out on DVD. It isn’t the type of movie that really demands that we run to the theatre to see it. We didn’t even know when it was coming out until we looked today to see what was playing.

Well, one in the morning rolled around and all was quiet. It has been such a busy, busteling weekend that I really can’t believe that it is Monday all ready. It seems like it was Friday yesterday and I haven’t had any time off from the overnights yet.

Working overnight makes you accutely aware of the very loud air conditioning coming on and off in the apartment. I am pretty sure that the air conditioning runs about two thirds or more of the time. Maybe a lot more than that. I can’t believe how often it has to run to keep the apartment at a decent temperature at night when it isn’t that warm outside. This must be the world’s least efficient air conditioning system. That is a problem with apartments – they install really inefficient appliances because they know that it is your problem to pay for the energy. If the government would put stricter requirements on appliances like refridgerators and air conditioners it would save a lot of power in this country. There are so many people who are stuck living in situations where they have no choice but to use very inefficient appliances. It would cause housing costs to go up but nominally and it would pay for itself in the energy costs. Overall it would be good for everyone.

We had mandatory security training that had to be done at work this week so I took the wasted time on my night shift to get it out of the way. That ended up taking me two hours to complete. What a waste of time. Not that I have tons of work that needs my immediate attention in the middle of the night but still. No way that I am going to manage to stay awake all night doing stuff like that. I am pretty tired as it is and I have a long way to go. Only three o’clock by the time I did that annoying “training”. Five hours still ahead of me. Email and instant messaging was backed up and back online around a quarter till three and I doubt that anyone noticed.

By four o’clock I was pretty sleepy. My entire body ached from all of the walking on Saturday and it wanted an opportunity to rest and heal itself.

I spent the rest of the morning being kind of delirious. Around six I decided to lay down and watch my BlackBerry to see if anything was going on. I would snooze for five minutes at a time and watch the email to make sure that everything was under control. That helped a little. Oreo moved into the bedroom and got into his car seat that we moved beside the bed and I managed to get a little bit of rest. I had to get up and come out to the living room to work every twenty or thirty minutes or so but normally just for five or ten minutes. By seven forty I was up for good. I am so glad that I am able to rest like that and not just fall asleep and be worthless. Being able to sleep this way really adds to my overall quality of life considering the type of work that I do and have done for many years.

By eight thirty I was wrapping up with my shift and I was ready to get to bed for real and not worry about checking in with the mail every so often. I collapsed into bed and was asleep immediately. Dominica got up just as I was going to bed and she made a run to Panera and Dunkin Donuts to get breakfast for us. She was home around nine and we ate and I went right back to bed. Oreo came in and slept all day right beside me. He loves his daddy.

I got up at three. Six hours, not too shabby. Dad watched the Tony Awards last night and found out that “The Pajama Game” with Harry Connick, Jr. is closing on Saturday (less than a week away!) Dominica and I were really hoping to get to see “The Pajama Game” and we were really disappointed that it was closing because we had thought that we might get to see it today but it is closed on Mondays. I talked to my boss and he changed my schedule so that I am working the overnight again tonight. “The Pajama Game” is running in an extended week as a benefit to a number of charities. So the tickets are outrageously expensive and there are almost none left. As soon as I found out that my schedule was clear we called the box office and managed to get just about the last tickets. They were $110 a piece for a partially obstructed view and we have to sit one in front of the other but at least we get to see the show. We had thought that we were going to have to spend $250-$350 per ticket but those had all sold out and we were not about to spend $2,500 which is what was left without an obstructed view. Ouch. So the tickets didn’t end up being cheap but they are a lot cheaper than they might have been and we get to see Harry’s Broadway deput show before it closes which is really cool. We are really excited. It is our first Broadway show since moving down here and only the second that we have seen together (we saw “Into the Woods” a few years ago.) Even with bad, expensive seats this is going to be awesome. This will really help us feel a lot more like we live “in the city.”

Dominica was so excited about getting to go to a benefit show in the city that she ran out to do some shopping for new clothes for it. While she was out the ice cream truck came by so I went out and got myself a strawberry shortcake ice cream bar. I love living in a populated area. No ice cream trucks in Geneseo.

Min got back from her little shopping trip and then we went out to Tanjore for dinner. The food there is just amazing. I think that only three people work there and that makes it really hard for them. We got enough food to stuff ourselves and still have plenty for lunch tomorrow. We ran out to Sears real quickly and returned a blazer that Dominica had bought for me that was too small and then came home. I was still tired after the long weekend and doing the overnight so we decided that a nap was in order. Dominica fed Oreo and then we went to bed hoping to get a little rest in before I start my shift at midnight. Tomorrow will be a busy day and I don’t want to be too tired for it.

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