Weekend Report

I was hoping to get a lot of writing done this weekend because there is SO MUCH TO WRITE ABOUT! I got exactly zero writing done, but looking back on my weekend, it turns out I did some pretty cool stuff.

Friday night was supposed to be a night of relaxing and hanging out with the Virtual Drinking Skeptically (VDS) gang. Unfortunately, work setbacks trashed that idea. I didn’t have all my ducks in a row and ended up working until midnight 🙁  Long story short, I grabbed some material (calibrators) for a study and forgot to check the expiration date. After doing all of the set-up on Friday morning, I went to use the calibrators and discovered that they were expired. No problem, I’ll just go grab a new lot, right? Ohhhh…so sad for me: there are no unexpired lots left in the freezer. Luckily, my company makes the darned things on site, so I’ll just go over to manufacturing and pick some up. Three hours later…

At some point during the morning’s series of fiascoes I noted with that sort of inappropriate hilarity that often precludes a mental breakdown that I was going through various stages of grief as my Friday night went up in flames.

  • Shock/Denial: WHAT? How the hell are the calibrators expired? What do you mean we don’t have any extra calibrators in the building? How is that possible? I am NOT letting this get in the way of Virtual Drinking Skeptically tonight.
  • Pain/Guilt: How could I be so stupid as to not check the expiration date before I started!? How could I have everything in place and forget that? I haven’t been to a VDS in months and I feel horrible for not showing up and supporting it because it’s awesome and I can’t believe I’ve ruined my evening like this!
  • Anger/Bargaining: How did NO ONE stock calibrators? Why did this have to happen tonight!? Maybe I could use the expired cals and write some sort of justification. No? Okay, if I can just get the study started, I can sneak away and come in over the weekend to finish things up.
  • Depression/Loneliness: This sucks. I hate working late on Friday nights. Everyone goes home to relax and start their weekend and I’m going to be stuck here pipetting samples until kingdom come. Which isn’t coming, so that means FOREVER. I’m not making it to VDS.
  • Upward Turn: Okay… I have new calibrators. The instruments are all ready to go. Let’s calibrate and see if the controls pass. Samples are thawed, time to start pipetting. If I can load 20 samples per hour and I’ve got 149 samples to load… awwww, man. Wait, calm…I can do this.
  • Acceptance/Hope: Okay, there’s no way I’m getting out of here in time for VDS, but I’ll just have to plan to make the next one. And hey, everything’s running well and I’m going to make it through at least half of these samples today. I’ll come back on Sunday and finish ’em up. And I’ll still have all of Saturday. Every little thing… is gonna be alright.

That’s a whole lot of emotion to go through over the course of a day! Like I said earlier, I left at midnight, but I did get to come home to a sympathetic partner and a whiskey nightcap. So that was nice.

Saturday was jam-packed! I woke up at 8am and went downtown to the abortion clinic to escort. Things were pretty laid back, but there were a few obnoxious moments that I enjoyed tweeting. At one point during the morning I tried to chase down a car to let the driver know he was going the wrong way down a one way street and a protester yelled at me as I ran past her:

The snark runs high on escorting mornings. Tweeting and playing with my phone is the way I ignore protesters between clients. And I’ve started a new hobby of obviously holding up my phone and taking photos of the protesters who get in my face. They don’t like that and tend to go away when they see me aiming my phone at them.

Here’s me in my bright yellow vest with my coffee. Can’t forget the coffee.

Afterwards I stopped home and picked up the Hubby. We headed over to the Super Moon Buffet in Saint Louis Park for a friend’s birthday party. That buffet is over the top. Aside from the normal Chinese buffet-style foods, Super Moon has huge selections of dim sum, sushi, teppanyaki and a gazillion different types of seafood. Omnomnom.

Then back home to drop off the Hubby and out to St. Paul for a Minnesota Atheists meetup. We volunteered at The Family Place, a secular 501(c)(3) day shelter in Ramsey County. We prepared chili, salad, fruit salad, cornbread and cookies for about 40 guests, which was all sorts of fun chaos.

Bowls of salad being prepped for the tables. Our volunteers provided all of the food that we served.

When everything was ready we shared dinner with the guests. Food was served family-style. The staff member who runs the program explained that a lot of shelters will offer pre-plated food or cafeteria lines, but with family-style, the parents get to serve food to the kids (and themselves); they are able to retain a portion of control over providing dinner to their families. And people take as much or as little of exactly what they want. There’s less waste and no one feels panicked about having to wait to see if there’s enough for seconds. If a table runs out of food, people ask the neighboring tables if they’ve got any left of whatever they’re looking for. The kids that I sat with were awesome about their dinner manners (Would you pass the chili? Can I go get more fruit from that table? Mom, can I have a cookie?) and it felt very relaxed and friendly.

During the orientation we learned a little about the emergency shelter services in Ramsey county, and some statistics regarding homelessness in Minnesota. It was a sobering reminder that there are a LOT of residents who use emergency assistance services at some point in their lives, that it’s often a temporary situation, and that unexpected circumstances can lead people of all types to the door of organizations like The Family Place.

After that I drove home and took a nap. Yay sleep! The Hubby and I went over to a party that night to hang out with friends, which was all good and fun, but we didn’t get home until 1:30am…

…which leads us into Sunday.

At 7am I woke up to host yesterday’s Atheists Talk radio show. We had Dr. Matt McCormick on to speak about his new book Atheism and the Case Against Christ. Dr. McCormick doesn’t argue against the existence of Christ, but he does question whether the resurrection of the big JC happened. It was an interesting interview. You can listen to a recording of the show on the Minnesota Atheists radio show webpage. It’s also on iTunes if you subscribe to the podcast.

Aaaaand then back to work at 10am. By 6pm I had finally completed the testing that I had started on Friday. When I got home the Hubby and I went out for dinner at Las Teresitas. Somewhere in between everything else that was going on I managed to watch the new Doctor Who episode, hang out with the pets, catch up on a couple of podcasts, read a chapter or two, stop by Target, and sleep a few winks. All in all, not a bad weekend.

Weekend Report

579 thoughts on “Weekend Report

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    Sorry your Friday night went pear shaped. It has happened to me, albeit never because of calibrators.

    Nice to know I’m not the only one with intrawebs drinking buddies. It’s pretty cool to hang out with folks on three continents drinking and goofing and arguing about whose country makes the best beer.

    And all this volunteering of yours is inspiring me. It’s been a couple years since I volunteered. I do believe I shall look for something…

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