[tech, domesticity] Oy, Verizon

Jul. 17th, 2017 06:28 pm
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[personal profile] siderea
The one logistical thing that has not gone swimmingly with D's move to assisted living has been moving her landline.

The extent to which Verizon has screwed this up has been epic. [personal profile] tn3270 referred to it as a Russian novel.

Penultimately, I had a conversation with billing that went approximately thus:
Billing: Hello, Verizon Billing, this is [NAME]. How can I help you today?

Me: You can waive this month's bill because Verizon has screwed up two move orders so far, and the 90 year old account holder hasn't had access to her phone line for five days and counting. It's still not on at her new place, but I understand there's an expedited technician order for today. But who knows? You're the seventh Verizon employee I've talked to so far, and I've been told a variety of wrong and contradictory things every step of the way. This has been the worst corporate fiasco I've been involved with in years.

Billing: ...yes, we will totally credit the account for the month.

I had originally thought that we might have trouble because Verizon had security and stuff, and I wasn't the account holder (D) and I wasn't the contact on the account ([personal profile] tn3270). But no. I text chatted with Verizon in advance of putting in the order (CSR #1), and they told me what authentication tokens I needed to authorize the move order, I got them, and they worked fine when I put the order in.

No, everything went to hell apparently due to galloping incompetence on Verizon's (staff's) part(s).

Initially, I was told we didn't need a technician to come out for the line move, unless we wanted help plugging the phone into the wall; they could do it on their end. For the record, this is a good ol' fashioned POTS line, and moving within the same town. Fine. Once we'd nailed down the move date and booked movers – June 30th, to be precise – I got back in touch – btw, I was using the Verizon website realtime customer service chat, because I couldn't find a damn customer service phone number. It's 1800VERIZON, btw. So I fired up the chat thingy, and talked to a customer serv rep (CSR#2), who said they'd be happy to do the move order for me. Somewhere in the middle of the process, he apologized to me and said that the system was saying that a technician is required for that address; that there were no available technicians on the move in date, but could do the day after (7/13) between 1pm and 5pm, and it wouldn't cost anything to have the technician. I said to make it so, so he put the move order in. I asked him to confirm the service and he quotes me a price that I later find out is almost twice D's usual bill. I ask him whether he needs the account contact there to meet the technician, and he doesn't know, so he transfers me to another cust serv rep (CSR#3), who says, no, any adult who can let the tech in is fine, and who confirms the order is all complete, and (he specifically said this) the previous CSR did everything necessary.

Subsequently, [personal profile] tn3270 got a phone call from Verizon confirming the incipient move.

On Thursday, 7/13, 6pm no Verizon tech, and D's landline still has no dial tone at the new place, and is still working at her old place.

I am working until 9pm, so when I get home around 10pm, I get back on the text chat, and ask what happened. I'm informed they can find no move order on the account. The cust serv rep (CSR#4) asks if I have an ID number for the move order, and I don't have one. But they're happy to submit a new move order. Grrrrr. I say, yes, do it. After a long pause, the cust serv rep apologizes and says they can't do the move. Because it's a landline. The text-chat customer serv reps can't do landline moves. For that you have to call in. 8:00 AM and 9:00 PM EST Monday through Friday or 9:00AM to 5:00PM on Saturday. Also, he tells me, I might need to present paperwork in person at a local Verizon office.

It's after 10pm on Thursday, so I have to wait until the phone is staffed again. Why they can have 24/7 text chat CSRs but not 24/7 phone CSRs, I don't know.

Other stuff comes up, that has priority Friday, so I don't get to call Verizon until Saturday, 7/15. The rep I speak to (CSR#5) tells me she sees no record of the move order for Thursday, but she can totally put in a move order for right now immediately. I say the guy I talked to on Thursday said I needed a technician and special documentation; she said she had no idea what he was on about, no technician was needed, and no, they didn't need any special documentation. She said it would be done by "5 today, though maybe really more like by midnight". I make her give me the order number for this move order.

Sunday, 7/16, still no dialtone at her new place, dialtone at the old place. Verizon is closed for phone calls.

Today, Monday, 7/17, I call Verizon and ask WTELF. The CSR (CSR#6) calls up the account and says, "Oh, I see you had a move order for last Thursday." "WAIT. WUT. You can see that order? I was told you guys had no record of that order!" I make him read me the order number; so now I have the order numbers for both move orders that failed to happen. He then apologizes on Verizon's behalf and tells me they over-booked technicians, and that is why no technician came out. "BUT, BUT, WAIT. NOBODY EVER CALLED OR EMAILED. I WAS TOLD THERE WAS NO ORDER. THE LAST PERSON TOLD ME WE DIDN'T NEED A TECHNICIAN AT ALL." The CSR apologized again, and said he'd put the order in, and expedite it, and a technician would be by today.

Then I explained that I wanted the bill credited, and he referred me to billing (CSR#7), who both credited the bill ([personal profile] tn3270 has already got the confirmation email) and confirmed her service level and price, contra CSR#2.

Miraculously, a Verizon technician actually showed up at the assisted living facility today. He did a bunch of stuff, including something in the network closet and sticking some sort of probe in her wall socket, and assured us everything in the building is all set.

She still doesn't have dialtone, though; the technician confidently told [personal profile] tn3270 that the problem was on the pole outside. They'll have a lineman deal with that tomorrow (Tuesday, 7/18).

Next up, contacting the Mass DTC to see about filing an official complaint.
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[personal profile] kareina
We got home from our time working on Gustaf's landscaping project on Wednesday evening, which gave us Thursday to recover. David and I sat down with the internet and looked at some options for a replacement computer (which, if I get one, probably means I won't go to the states to visit my sisters in October due to the costs involved), but rather than ordering one straight away, I instead went to my office and brought home my work computer (which is what I am using at the moment). We have a thing in our Dropbox folder that I can use to log into our server and thus access the files from my computer which are backed up there, so it has been working well enough for now. After the Medieval days at Hägnan event I will figure out what I want to do--if we should just fix the old one (he thinks a new hard drive would solve the issues, but it would still be an old computer with a new hard drive, and I don't actually have disks for the operating system, only the programs), or if I will buy a new one, or what.

Friday we drove down to Skellefteå for their Medieval Days event. This is the first time they have done this--they have a lovely site on a small island in the river, accessible via a foot bridge, and I think it will make a great annual event. I would have loved to have participated the full week, but I was also glad to have the time to work on projects for the house (working at Gustaf's counts as working at our place, since he put in so many hours on our landscaping first, so it is a good trade). It was kinda rainy on Friday, and I spent most of the day working on a nålbindning project while sitting in the pavilion of a cute Norwegian merchant (from whom I purchased some fur that looks good with the grey/black diamond twill wool I bought last year at Visby). Caroline had to work on Saturday, and the others were ready to head home earlier than I had expected. I considered just staying--one of the autocrats tried to convince me that even though I hadn't registered for the event I was very welcome--they have room in the crash space tent, and plenty of vegetarian food available. I considered it, but decided it was wiser to head home and accomplish stuff.

Since heading home we have:

* started painting the south side of the house (it has needed it for quite some time)
* did the hand-smoothing of the dirt on the terrace (which we will probably cover over with some sort of concrete or stone tiles, depending on what we find at a reasonable price) to make a nice outdoor entertainment area that doesn't need to be mowed (it would be bothersome to carry a mower down the steps to the terrace anyway)
* built a base for the support frame for the earth cellar roof (out of some birch trees that he cut down over near the shed on the bottom half of the property as they were in the way of the road that his bother put in)
* cleaned out the container
* bought some shelf support brackets (which he has welded into place inside the container)
* started power-sanding the wooden floor of the container (in hopes of getting the smell of old spilled oil out of it)
* done some baking for Hägnan

Now it is Monday and David has returned to work. I have started packing for the event, and will return to that momentarily. Tomorrow we go set up, and then we spend the rest of the week alternating between educating the public about the middle ages during the day, and enjoying an SCA event in the evening.

I ATEN'T DEAD

Jul. 15th, 2017 09:31 am
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[personal profile] freckles_and_doubt
oh, dear, apparently I haven't posted in a month? good heavens. I attribute that variously to (a) still being bloody exhausted from the bloody start to the year, (b) still being bloody exhausted by relentless student enquiries, particularly the noxious upsurge towards the end of term, (c) being overloaded with human interaction by (b), (d) being bloody exhausted by the rush to finish a bunch of stuff before going on leave, and (e) the natural and inevitable physical and mental shut-down which always happens when I go on leave, as my beleaguered bod realises that it's actually allowed to relax and promptly falls over.

Of course, all the frantic rush to finish a bunch of stuff before I went on leave was utterly futile, I didn't finish everything, which meant I spent a day or so of my leave writing budgets and hand-holding my staff writing their own budgets, and another day of my leave finishing the thrice-dratted report I should have written a month ago and forgot about, because exhaustion riddles my brain with holes like a Swiss cheese someone shot up with a shotgun. I was, shall we say, somewhat narked by this necessity. Those were my leave days, dammit.

But I'm on leave! and my mother is out from the UK, calloo callay! and is currently sitting in the living room cruising the internet and permitting Jyn to climb on her head. I am clearly my mother's daughter in more ways than one.

Also, I am catching up on sleep, and thus dreams. Last night I dreamed that I had authorised the wholesale and epic renovation of the house in which I was living (not my current one, something much larger and with a slightly worrying resemblance to the Red Rocket in Fallout 4). The renovation team were enthusiastic and a bit oblivious, and ended up mostly deconstructing the house, to the extent of knocking down most of the walls, squishing the entire contents of the house into one room inaccessible other than by climbing over rubble and squeezing through a narrow gap, and leaving me nowhere to sleep. I also spent a lot of the dream wandering around futilely protesting as they installed various dubious interior decorating features, mostly dreadful kitschy art-work, instead of reconstructing walls. About halfway through the process I suddenly remembered, with a horrible sinking shock, that I didn't actually own the house, and thus shouldn't actually be reconstructing it. I spent the rest of the dream increasingly frantic, trying to chivvy the renovators into fixing everything quickly before the landlady arrived and saw what I'd done.

It is slightly alarming to contemplate the extent to which the above dreamscape neatly replicates my current difficulties with mentally processing the massive life change of trying to find a new job.

My subject line is, of course, Granny Weatherwax. Possibly what I actually need is a new job as senior witch in a Pratchett coven.

[me] Update on MiALFM

Jul. 13th, 2017 01:10 am
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[personal profile] siderea
D moved in to her room at her chosen assisted living facility today.

Despite her being resolutely and bravely determined to do this, despite the movers being wonderful, despite all the staff being lovely, despite all the residents being super friendly and even outgoing, despite her room turning out to have rather more space in it when her furniture was in it that we expected, despite everything being about as optimal as one could possibly dream of...

It was still utterly wrenching and distressing for D. At one point I was reassuring her that this was normal, and said not to underestimate the challenge this was for her. "It's probably the hardest thing you've done in forty years," I said, thinking of her divorce. "Ninety," she corrected me.

I fully expect for her to adjust substantially in a day or two, but right now it's all terrifying, anguishing, infuriating, and all-round overwhelming.

[personal profile] tn3270 took yesterday, today, and tomorrow off from work to be with her. He spent the day before the move over her house, helping her pack and generally being an emotionally stabilizing presence. He slept over, and ran the move; I traveled up to meet them a little before noon. I helped with the unpacking and setting up the space, and being emotional support; we had lunch there with her. Then he and I went back to her house to get some things they forgot (her cane!). Then we spent more time hanging with her in her room, being supportive. Then she dismissed us, and said she was all set, and we could go home. I informed her that we'd leave, but we'd be in the area (North Shore) for some time, and to call if she needed us back. She insisted she wouldn't. She did, about three hours later. We didn't leave until around 7:45pm.

[personal profile] tn3270 will be there tomorrow morning to spend the day with her. Friday will be her first day there without us. I think [personal profile] tn3270 is planning on being there on Saturday and we'll both go up to visit Sunday afternoon. Hopefully by that point everything will be much more familiar and she will be more confident in her ability to navigate it all, and in the staff's kindness and availability to help her.

ETA, Thursday 2:15pm, just got off the phone with [personal profile] tn3270: Last night when D was freaking out a la I CAN'T LIVE HERE IF THIS IS HOW THE PLACE MAKES ME FEEL O GOD SIDEREA WHAT IS HAPPENING TO ME WHY DO I FEEL THIS WAY, I reassured her it was temporary and she would feel 80% better tomorrow. This morning she felt 80% better. \o/

[personal profile] tn3270, however, is not unexpectedly something of a wreck. He had been planning on spending the whole day, but later in the morning D announced that she had to learn to handle the place on her own, and he clearly needed some rest, so she ordered him home to bed. So he's home taking a nap now.

I am beginning to wonder if we've found the best assisted living facility on earth. They've, top to bottom, been incredibly helpful and easy to work with, and they are so understanding and considerate and cooperative. Like, usually there's a fee for room service, but we told them that she needs to hermit a bit in her room to adjust and they're waiving the fee. Like, one of the staff had me literally coach him how to approach her for her maximal comfort. The staff are following our instructions about how to handle encountering her in her room, and it's apparently going really well. Staff are dropping by one at a time to introduce themselves, so she's learning who people are at a steady slow drip, on her own turf, rather than all at once in busy congregate areas.

D continues to impress me with her determination and guts. There's three options for breakfast at this place: the dining room (restaurant-style service), room service, and a continental breakfast set out in a "kitchen"-style lounge on each floor. This morning, she decided to go check out the continental breakfast, even though she could have had room service, and she's terrified she'll get lost in the hallways. Apparently she loved it, and met another resident who is a regular at the continental breakfast. Crucially, she discovered that the continental breakfast has better coffee than she can make herself, and promptly did something that was tantamount to deciding never to make coffee for herself again: she told [personal profile] tn3270 to take away her coffee maker.

Note, she had asked us yesterday to fetch her her coffee maker from home on our trip to pick up the cane. [personal profile] tn3270 assured me it was safe and she could leave it on for days without it burning down the building, aeb the fact her home was still standing. So we brought it to her; and now she's decided she doesn't need it after all. Transitional objects come in many forms, yall.

I think, ironically, one of the things exacerbating this transition for D has been that D has been pushing herself too hard, and not allowing for her own emotional limits. For instance, she broadsided [personal profile] tn3270 and I with the announcement at the intake assessment on move-in day, that she wanted the medication-administration service after all, which has a variety of emotional challenges for her, which suddenly got dumped on top of her move-in stresses. Now, we think having her meds administered to her is great, we're all in favor of this, I had asked them about the service weeks ago anticipating it might become necessary. But D didn't talk to either of us first, and just up and did this on the one day she really, really didn't need additional stressors. I wasn't there for that meeting; when I arrived, she was already fully into OH GOD SIDEREA DID I MAKE A TERRIBLE MISTAKE ASKING THEM TO DO MY MEDS?!

Had I been at that meeting and had I known how badly it would throw her for a loop on a day that was already looking like a serving of cheerios, I would have put my foot down and insisted that she was going to self-administer for now, and we could discuss it again in a week. Because, ironically, the facility can't immediately start administering her meds, anyways. So all she got herself was the stress of knowing this was coming, without any of the relief of someone taking that chore off her hands. She's still stuck self-administering her meds anyways, for the time being. This is seriously worst-of-both-worlds. Oh, D.

With the benefit of hindsight, I wish I had known to have a conversation with her in advance about make no changes to the plan for the first week. And also that I had realized just how much her best character features can set her up for failure, and that she needed someone to tell her to take her move as easy as she can. Me, I in her situation would have been like NOPE, WHATEVER IT IS CAN WAIT UNTIL AFTER MY MOVE IN, ALL MY COPE IS BOOKED – hell, it is how I've handled her move, and I'm not even the one moving. It never occurred to me that she would multiply her own stressors like that out of a sense of "should".

So she's been making decisions on "it would be good for me" basis in blithe disregard for her own human limitations. Thus she exceeds her limits of cope, and melts down. Then she starts catastrophizing like she's trying to make the US Olympic catastrophizing team.

Things we've successfully done that were super helpful:

1) Not believing her when she airily declares that she'll be fine, and have plans in place for when she is (inevitably) not fine after all.

2) [personal profile] tn3270 taking those three days off. There was a point late on Wednesday, the move-in day, when D was freaking out and the following approximate dialog happened:

D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!

[personal profile] tn3270: Mom, I'm going to be here tomorrow and you won't be all alone.

D: OH GOD WHAT AM I GOING TO DO TOMORROW WHEN YOU'RE NOT HERE AND I'M ALL ALONE!

[personal profile] tn3270: MOM, I'M GOING TO BE HERE TOMORROW. I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF WORK.

D: ... you're coming after work?

[personal profile] tn3270: No, in the morning.

D: What about your job?!

[personal profile] tn3270: MOM, I'VE TAKEN THE DAY OFF. I'LL BE HERE ALL DAY.

D: You'll be here tomorrow?

[personal profile] tn3270: YES, MA.

(Of course, he had gone over this plan with her numerous times in previously. But when when she gets going into a freakout, it doesn't matter what she has been told. If she's afraid of being alone, that becomes the cognition I WILL BE ALONE, which overwrites any less emphatic contradictory information in her memory. We're just lucky that it didn't manifest in the delusional certainty that [personal profile] tn3270 would be in a car accident on the way up.)

3) We quite deliberately established a pattern of "go away and come back". For instance, there were some things she needed today from her house: rather than go to her house first to pick them up and then go visit her, [personal profile] tn3270 first went to see her, then made a round trip to the house to pick up the things and brought them to her. This manufactured for her a span of time when she was alone in her room, but knew her son was coming right back. We did this on move-in day, too, at several removes – leaving her in her room to go talk to staff about things but still being on-site, leaving the facility to go pick things up for her with a plan of returning soon, and leaving the facility but staying the local area (with no scheduled return) for her to be able to call us back; and of course the go-away-come-back of finally our going home and [personal profile] tn3270 coming back the next day.

This seems to be really working for her. It's giving her some control over how alone she's being, which allows her to balance her independence and need for solitude with her anxiety about being abandoned and neglected, and provide her adequate scaffolding for learning to tolerate that separation. Attachment theory FTW!

4) Lots of doting on her: I brought her flowers; [personal profile] tn3270 got her some nice new sheets for her bed; lots of hugs and kisses and back rubs and literal handholding.

5) I helped her do some moving in things that were familiar domestic tasks (making the bed, organizing her kitchenette, etc) which were re-skilling, and marvelously distracting and organizing for her. I got her to give me orders about how she wanted things in her room, which she found soothing and calming.

It might be time for a new computer

Jul. 11th, 2017 02:58 pm
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[personal profile] kareina
I bought my personal computer while living in Italy, so more than seven years ago now. Some months back it started having issues with being painfully slow to turn on or off, so I got into the habit of just leaving it on all the time and only restarting if it was really necessary.

Then it it a time when it was also painfully slow to do anything in it, so David hooked up one of his machines to it and used SpinRite on it, and we did a few other things I don't recall, and it started behaving better. However, it still took ages to restart, so I continued to leave it on all of the time.

However, it was necessary to turn it off before packing it up to bring along when we headed south to Gustaf's house. All was well with it when I turned it on for the first time after we got here, and I was able to update my logs without any issues, after which I turned it off, packed it up and put it back into the camping trailer in which we are sleeping.

Yesterday mor I realized that it is time to turn in my Chatelaine's repot, and so got the computer back out, turned it on, and found it frustratingly slow to respond. I managed to write the report anyway, but had to keep pausing to let it catch up with displaying the previous words before giving it new ones. Then I introduced my computer to the house WiFi and tried logging in to Gmail. I don't know if it was my computer's molasses like speed or issues with the WiFi, but it couldn't manage to display Gmail. So I restarted the computer and tried again, but couldn't actually get anywhere. I couldn't even convince me to let me open Word to look at the report again. After a couple more re-starts I decided that I had had enough and used my phone to send a "report will be late" note and put the computer back into its bag.

This morning I tried again to turn it on, and have discovered that if I push one button or give it one key-stroke command and walk away for some minutes that it has done the task and is ready for the next task when I return. So I have, over the course of a couple of hours, managed to copy that report to a usb and tried to copy my logs. However, it wants to know if I really want to copy those files without their properties, and I have no idea why it thinks that it should discard the properties.

Ordinarily I could have David look at it and solve the problem, but while he is working 15 to 17 hour days on the great landscaping projects of 2017 that isn't an option.

Perhaps it is time to go look at it again and see if it has accomplished that last copying. Or I could check to see if the boys have any tasks I could help with outside (there are some, sometimes, but usually one to drive the digger, one to drive the tractor and one to move the measuring pole with its mini surveying computer into place to check the height of the working surface is enough).
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[personal profile] kareina
Those Granberg boys sure have an amazing work ethic. They started working this morning somewhere between 07:30 and 08:00, and other than two brief breaks for meals and one short coffee break they have been going all day. I tried luring them in for the evening a bit before 23:00 by telling them I had baked coffee cake, but they replied that they didn't want to stop for the day till they finished leveling the part where the new garage will be built.

...and today we filled ditches

Jul. 9th, 2017 09:59 pm
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[personal profile] kareina
The boys didn't quit on the landscaping project last night till 00:30, and they got up again at 07:00 and have been at it all day (other than a couple of short breaks to eat) and show no signs of stopping any time soon. This is their vacation!

I helped out on several occasions today, for a total of 4.5 hrs, David and I put drainage pipes into ditches and covered over them with gravel so that Per could later use the digger to fill the ditches in with dirt and rocks.

Prior to moving to Sweden I never had much occasion to shovel dirt or gravel. Now I have tossed enough shovel fulls of gravel that I am getting reasonably efficient at it, and have even learned to switch which hand is on the handle and which on the shaft.

Other than shoveling I have managed to catch up my logs, visit with Jenny (Gustaf's wife) get cuddles from two of their cats (of four), drive to the store for snacks, read a chapter in a book, do my yoga, and some nålbinding. Don't I have such an exciting life? Two or three more days of this before we head home.
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[personal profile] kareina
Friday morning David and I spent cleaning up a bit at home and packing and organizing things to take with us. He focused on getting stuff put away from the landscaping projects and I caught up on things like vacuuming and cleaning the bathroom. I also vacuumed the inside of Styx, since that car is big enough (when the back seats are out) to put a mattress in it, which I did, and then added pillows and doona as well, and the covered the nest with a wool blanket to keep it clean, and then I added one bag of costume for the larp, one of clean modern clothes for the next several days, one full of sewing projects, one with my comp, another of yardwork clothes, and one of the soft sided ice chests full of food to take with me.

Then he added his bags, and we were off. He drove us the two hours south to his brother's house, where I left him, then I drove 55 minute northwest to the Larp village, where the larp had already been on going for more than 24 hours.

I parked in a small sand/gravel quarry in a spot that looked like it would have shade most of the time, changed into costume, packed a few useful things into a small bag, and walked down the path to the Larp village. Upon my arrival I asked, in English, the first person I saw to please direct me to Academia Octavia. When she told me I had found it I expressed surprise, and wondered where the castle was, but then recovered, introduced myself as Inspector Montgomery from the European Commission for Magical Education, and asked to be taken to the Head Master, which she did. I gave the Head Master my card as I introduced myself, and let him know that I was there to conduct a routine acrediation check and proceeded to pepper him with questions about the academy, his personal qualifications, etc. He eventually got rid of me by taking me out to interview his teachers, who were relaxing at the tables outside waiting for dinner to be served. I had time to interview several of them, in a very brisk manner. Till I got to the teacher of magical energies, who after answering a few questions told me "you sound stressed, here take this rock, which has been filled with calming energies". At which point I agreed that I had been pushing too hard recently, this was my third school inspection this week, and instead of standing, looming over her, notebook in hand, asking about her qualifications, I sat down next to her on the bench and admired the rock, and how one could see the different levels of energy contained in the different layers of the rock (a nicely river-rounded stone that probably started out as a mudstone before undergoing some low level metamorphism and being cut by a series of small quartz veins). We chatted pleasantly for a bit before I wandered off, at a much more relaxed pace, to interview some of the other staff members. The school nurse had trained under Florence Nightingale herself, and served in the Korean war before taking the post as a school nurse, as it would be"less bloody".

Not long after dinner I found myself sitting on the front steps of one of the houses, chatting with one of the PhD students about his research, when the Head Master asked us to step asside so that he could use the porch as a speaking platform.

He then proceed to present two little girlls with a very large hammer as some sort of school honour, and then tried to perform some sort of ritual magic, which failed, so he called for his assistant to fetch him the chest containing the stone of magical power which is the basis for being able to have this school of magic at all.

Of course, when they opened the box it was empty, and the students were dismissed and the teachers summoned to an emergency meeting to decide what to do in this crises.

About that time I realized just how tired I was from several very long days of cooking for the guys doing landscaping, and I decided that the Inspector needed to hurry off to a meeting herself, and I went back to the car, crawled into that nest and went to sleep (at 19:55!) for a couple of hours, then got up, did my yoga for the day and went back to bed. I arrived back at the school the next morning in good time for the classes. The first period had five classes, so I spent just a few minutes in each. Some of the teachers paused their lectures to explain to me in English what they were doing, others just carried on as if I weren't there.

During the second period I started in the care of magical creatures course, where I didn't catch the name of the creature, but I had no problems understanding when the teacher explained that they are fond of fruit and can thus sometimes be lured forth with an offer of grapes and cherries.

She then lead the students (and I) off intothe forest and up the hill, where we actually found a magical creature! Oh, sure, a cynical observer could see that it was just a human in a (very good) costume pretending to be a creature, but the actress had "act like a timid creature who loved fruit" down very well, and it was really quite believable, and I think the kids enjoyed it. I certainly did, and wound up spending most of that hour with that class.

The day ended with the Head Master revealing that he had suspected one of the staff members of conspiring against him, and had this hidden the stone himself to try to trick the guilty party into revealin themselves. Then he hadthe school nurse give all the teachers in turn a truth serum and asked them if they had conspired against the academy. They all passed the test, but when the school attorney took his turn he admittedtjat he had, and ran into the building to try to get away. But the head master and atudents were too quick for him, and working in unison they all cast the spell to turn the guilty lawyer into a coffee pot, and with so many working together, the spell worked, even through the closed door, and the school was saved, and the larp ended. Good thing, too, else my poor inspector would have had to spend the rest of the day filling out her report, in triplicate.

Instead I returned to David's brother's house and spent a couple of hours helping him with hand-finishing ta drainage ditch (the digger had been used to start it, but to get it exactly the correct level to add the drainage pipes needed carefully adding back just the perfect smount of dirt).

By then I was too tired to do more and went into the house to do my yoga. Then I kept them company as they atea late meal before crawling into bed and typing this. But now it is after 23:00 and I can no longer keep my eyes open, though I can still here the boys out there working.

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vesta_aurelia

January 2016

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