A long, strange trip…of 14 days.

Wow; has it really been 14 days since I posted here?  A lot has happened since that post to make sure that I didn’t have any time to write something up.  I guess I’ll try to play catch-up with this post while still trying to make it enjoyable for everyone to read.

Let’s see:  my last post (HERE) was on September 30th and was about Ted Cruz‘s “filibuster” in the Senate.  I’m fairly certain that I gave a rather impassioned and well-thought-out rationale FOR NOT raising the debt ceiling, FOR being nicer to government workers in general, and FOR generally supporting the fight against Obamacare (for lack of a better option).

So, to pick up my train of thought as it intersects the car-on-the-tracks that is my life, let me say that Tuesday morning I got up, went to work, and signed my official notification of furlough.  Meaning?  Go home and don’t come back until we call you.  We knew this was coming, of course, but we still had to NOT sleep in and get up, get dressed, and head to our jobs–and they didn’t even pay us for the time we were there.  Insult to injury.

Stay classy, Washington.

As an aside, my wife went through this as well, but her fun trip involved a 45 minute train ride and 10 minute Trax ride (BOTH WAYS), and she won’t be paid for her time, either.

But I digress.

Tuesday night, as I pondered whether or not my prediction of the shutdown lasting AT LEAST a week (until October 7th), I got a call from my brother in Texas telling me that my mother had passed away.

So, in addition to everything else, I was going to spend a portion of my “paid vacation” (which it ISN’T, Harry Reid, you d-bag) traveling back to Pennsylvania for my mother’s funeral.  (see previous posts HERE and HERE concerning my mother’s recent medical travails)

Thankfully, my incredible supportive wife got me through that week, and I was able to return from Pennsylvania in time to drive up to beautiful Vancouver, Washington, for the 67th annual Rocky Mountain Modern Language Association (RMMLA) Conference, where I was to read an excerpt of my novel “The Cooper’s Son” (excerpt HERE).

Sadly, due to the fact that my Session was scheduled for Friday evening at 7 PM, we had no audience.  All that effort by my fellow panel members and I, gone to waste.

I can only assume that everyone was out across the Columbia River in Portland, Oregon, partying it up.

Universe – 1, Ego – 0.

Ah, well, at least I got to attend some excellent discussions, including one during the last session window of the conference on Fairy Tales, which included a paper on the TV show Grimm, which is must-watch in our house.  It was nice to be able to correct the otherwise well-prepared presenter on a couple of minor points about the show.

My brain works like that; I totally need to go on a game show.  I am chock-full of useless knowledge.

We made the drive back to Utah yesterday, and I am somewhat not surprised that not only has my original prediction of 7 days of shutdown WRONG, but we are now at 14 days and counting.  Happily, I have been recalled to work by the Department of Defense, who seemed to admit that we shouldn’t have been furloughed at all, but who won’t be paying us for our “vacations,” either.  Even though it wasn’t our fault that they screwed up.


So tomorrow morning I get to get up at the crack of dark, get dressed, and go to work, which is all I’ve wanted to do for the last 2 weeks anyways.  Hopefully, by later this week all of my fellow Government Workers will have jobs again, and we can concentrate on what’s really important: having these same arguments about budgeting and spending against in 60-90 days.

But, now that my life has some semblance of order restored to it–for the moment–I can get back to what I want to do, which is focus on my writing.

Is that enough of an update for now?  I hope so, cause that’s all I’m in the mood for at the moment.

Maybe later this week I can write up a pithy puff piece, which is much more my style.


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