• reganland

Friday the 13th

Updated: Aug 27, 2019


(I posted this on my old blog on 6/13/14. As that blog is going away permanently, I'll be posting some of those entries here on my new blog. This entry is a personal peek into my life at the time. I added a few links to the original and made a few minor edits. Enjoy.)


It’s Friday the 13th. And a full moon. This will not happen again until 2049. This little factoid comes to me as no surprise.


When I scheduled my trip to Vancouver, BC and I noticed that it happened to begin on Friday the 13th, I was not concerned. I have a friend whose birthday falls on the 13th every year and frequently that happens to be a Friday. He has always considered it GOOD luck. So I was not concerned.


Although I would have rather taken this trip in late May, my father planned his vacation to Victoria, BC the week I would have gone and I’d promised to take him to the airport and pick him up upon his return. So I planned my trip for the middle of June.


It’s now been 7 months since I’ve had any time off. The two holidays that we’ve had as days off so far this year, I have worked. I am on call 24/7 and if my memory serves me correctly, only on one day for a few hours that I went to Hood River, Oregon to make music with my buddies in this band we call BNR have I been relieved of being on call 24/7 in the past 7 months.


I think that a lot of people assume that for the most part an apartment building runs itself. Nothing could be further from the truth. At least not around these parts. It is absolutely amazing to me how much hand-holding it takes to keep these two buildings (three, counting the duplex) up and running.


It is 5:45 am now and I’ve had at best four and a half hours sleep. As I have to be up by 7 am, I’m probably not getting any more. Between being woken up at 2:30 am by the upstairs neighbor coming home and again at 4 am by the boiler whose issues I was quite sure I had sorted out…such is the story my so-called life.


I was actually up at 4 am draining the boiler by hand, bucket by bucket, in an attempt to get it to stop making the radiators rattle. My guess is it’s a check valve issue. Normally, I would drain the water into a pit and a sump pump would blast the water out through a pipe in the ceiling. I couldn’t afford to make that much noise at 4am, especially considering that it was noise I was trying to prevent from being created, so bucket by bucket it was.


Unfortunately, this boiler issue is going to have to wait until I get back from vacation to get permanently fixed. Luckily, it’s just about warm enough now to shut the boiler down for the summer. If I drain the system completely, that should take care of the noisy radiators. I’d rather have the residents just a little bit chilly in the mornings for the next three days than being woken up in the middle of the night for the next nine. Nobody has complained or even mentioned anything about being woken up, but just because people don’t tell you that they are upset about something doesn’t mean that they aren’t. And it’s my job to keep people around here from being upset. At the very least.


It’s Murphy’s Law that when you plan a vacation, a massive cavalcade of poop is going to descend upon you in the hours before it actually begins. I guess that is why they call it Murphy’s LAW. I won’t go into great detail about the final hours of my workday yesterday (which stretched well into the night to my dismay) but several distressing issues hit me square in the face at approximately 3 pm. Which was precisely the time I was expecting to be able to wind things down, clean things up and take a slow, soft cruise into the end of my last full workday.


The vacations I take tend to start on Friday afternoon. Luckily, I’ve learned to tell everyone that the office will be closed on the Friday. This gives me a good portion of Friday to take care of any last-minute catastrophes. I will have a little bit more to deal with this morning than I expected, which is why I’m probably going to get up soon and start working on things.


I’m so exhausted. I feel like I could sleep for days. Arriving in Vancouver BC on a Friday night tends to make one feel like going out on the town. I highly doubt I’ll have the energy to do that. I could well see myself in bed by 10 pm tonight.


But I will be in one of the most special places in the world. At least to me. No matter what time I go to bed tonight, I will have my nightcap sitting on the steps of the Okanogan building on the University of British Columbia campus where I am staying in their summer hostel. I will have Crown and Coke in my cup and I will be looking this crooked little tree that was planted in the courtyard that I have watched grow up over the past 7 years.


And if I should die before I wake, it is this very spot where I want you to put my ashes. It means that much to me.


And for all I go through and for all I’ve gone through and for all I will go through, that is the one place on earth where I can make it all right. And I will be there tonight. Amen.




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