More Trip Problems, At The Other End…, Oh, What Now?, Whims

More Trip Problems
So last night I talk to Marc and Madi for about 15 minutes, and head off to work on some web dev at the hotel.  I finally get tired of that, get up, and work on my “little” postcard mural project.  Which isn’t so damned little.  It’s still not done, and I’ve probably got 10 hours in on this thing already, and the artwork isn’t THAT good.
So I’m working on it, and my tooth starts to hurt.  Didn’t think much about it.  I’m supposed to call Devvi at 10 (which has it’s own little odd drama now apparently), and reach over and call.  No dice, set the phone down…. and that’s when I noticed I could see my cheek.  Wait…
My entire left side of my face was swollen.  Uh-oh.
I swished hydrogen peroxide a couple of times, and tossed a txt to Devvi telling her what was going on.  About 11 I headed to the store for asprin and oragel.  The asprin is a nice fever reducer and blood thinner (so reduces swelling) and the oragel… well, just in case really.  My tooth had already quit hurting, but the swelling was getting large fast. It was already up to my sinus cavities it appeared, as I was now getting a sore throat and coughing.
Devvi of course txted back finally to swish hydrogen peroxide 🙂
I told her if it wasn’t better tomorrow night, I’d call Doc and get a scrip for a anti-biotic.
I woke up in the morning, late by about an hour, and the swelling had continued.  So I did my morning call and talked to her for a minute or two, then called Doc – there was no need to wait until tonight. Looked up the Walgreens number, and gave it to him, and he called it in.  Then called Devvi for her “10 minutes later protocol” call, and got ready for the day.
The infection was bad enough I had matter coming out of my left tear duct.  Yeeks.  
Even after the antibiotic, it still continued to get more invasive.  It takes about 6 hours for an anti-biotic to kick in, then for up to 24 hours if you’ve got a nasty infection before you feel better.  Well, it continued – I started having ear aches, muscle pain, and joint pain.  Yes, today was it’s own special little form of hell.
Very early in the trip, Devvi had said “Jesus, this is the trip from hell for you!”  I told her “I’ve had worse.”
I txted her today:  “You win.  This one is now The Trip From Hell.”
At the other end…
At the other end of the spectrum, I got called about another web job today, finally finished the HOA quote, and Dad called yesterday with more work.  And since I’m not doing a whole lot at the mill, I’m getting some quality time in on cleanup on a number of projects.  I’ve been doing everything I can to keep boredom at bay.  But I find it weird that such a fucked up trip ends up with various customer calls and potential sales coming in like this.
The customer is embarassed.  I could see it in his face today.  We sat down to talk schedule again, since Allen Bradley finally showed up to do the job.  I explain that I should probably get out of here on the 22nd, so that I can get in town to deal with Dad’s work (who’s going to be headed for India on the 28th for three weeks.)
He explains that Monday and Tuesday of next week they are going to do commissioning on the mill (basically, starting it all up and making sure it runs.)  I cocked my head… “Only Monday and Tuesday.”  He slowly nodded.  Instead of a slow staged startup, they decided it was best to do it all at once.
I’m being paid two weeks to be here for a two day startup.  Gets better yet… we’re talking about some of the programming behind it, since I’ve had lots of time to comb it.  He mentions how long he wants the startup times to be on the fans, and I cock my head yet again.  “Um, Dominic?  They are already set for that range.”
So…. now I’m not even being paid to be here two weeks for a two day startup where I’ve got to change a line of code.  I’m being paid to be here for two weeks.  To do nothing but be here, just in case. 
He’s not angry or anything – it was in the budget to do it.  But he was definitely embaressed that they just did all this for… well, almost nothing but the piece of mind of having me here.
Oh, What Now?
Calling Devvi in the morning is actually pretty handy while I’m out of town.  I become coherent, so it’s a lot harder for me to go back to sleep, unlike the snooze on my three alarms.  (Yes, an alarm clock, and two separate alarm tones on my iPhone.)  And it’s sort of fun – yesterday’s response to “This is your wakeup call” was “I don’t wanna.”  followed by about three minutes of yacking back and forth.  Then today’s was “Was there a reason I needed to be out of bed this early?” “Nope.  You just told me you wanted to start getting up at a reasonable time everyday except Thursday and Saturday.”  “Oh. Yeah, that’s right.”  She’s pretty dazed sometimes when she first wakes up.  While the daily calls are a new thing, calling her on Wensdays and Fridays has been going on for… I dunno, a month and a half.
But… the oddity comes from the evening phonecall.  This has been a routine for quite a while, and it’s not uncommon for me to call for just one day and not get an answer (or get a txt back saying “I’m doing (x), I’ll call you back” (and my response is almost always “No problem – I’ll just call you tomorrow.”
For some reason something triggered me to think about it… there’s been a disruption in the schedule.  It’s been Thursday night since I’ve talked to her for any length of time on the phone, and both times it’s been because of my call to the kids.  
Oh what the hell?  Here’s what bugs me about this… I had quit my 10 PM calls a while back.  She was the one that asked me to continue doing them.  So I did.  Now I’m in a position where I’m calling, leaving a message.  Fine.  But if I do it every night, and don’t talk to her?  I start to feel like a pest, or like I sound needy or something.  Not a position I like being put in.
After four days of this, I’ve seriously considered not calling anymore at 10.  But, hell with it, I’ll compromise a bit here.  There might be things going on I don’t know about, so I’ll continue with the standard call until Friday.  If she don’t answer calls by then, well, I’m done calling like that.  Screw it.
Txt messages have been a little odd too since then.  It used to be a continuous stream of ’em, now I get one word replies, or hours later I’ll get a response, or they may not get responded to at all.
So something is up.  No idea what.  I figure it boils down to one of three things:
1)  Something (or even, potentially, someone) is taking up buttloads of her time.  Madi did mention that the couch finally had all four sections down, which means she’s been working on the house.  But that’s never affected things before.
2)  She’s grown tired of the situation, and just hasn’t had the heart (or balls) to tell me that.
3)  She’s trying to get some distance from me, and again, hasn’t had the heart (or balls) to tell me that.
Again, I could take the extremist option, and not txt her anymore.  But I’ll just continue for the moment.  If there’s an issue, well, she’ll just have to balls up and say something 🙂
But it does bug me, and it starts throwing a negative spin into something that’s been pretty happy and positive (and confusing) for me.  I’m sure certain females on this list will nod their heads when I say there are moments that I’m needy.  These days, well, it’s sort of rare – you might see some neediness on here, but really the blog ends up being an outlet for more of that than real life does.  But I don’t LIKE being needy.  And I really really don’t like being in a situation where it appears that I’m something I don’t like!
I think I’ve linked before to my “Romantic Whims” stuff before on Deviant Art.  Well, I’ve got two Whims going on – one for the kids (and Devvi), which is this 18 postcard mural.  And it’s pretty cool.  I’ll start mailing out the parts of it tomorrow, so the first one should show up about Thursday or Friday this week, and Devvi is planning on clearing a space on the wall and taping them up as they come in, so that it becomes a work in progress sort of thing for the kids.  Cool idea.
But one is for Devvi, and it’s a doozy.  A while back the kids had ahold of my phone, using it as a camera on the way in to Wichita.  When I viewed the playback later, I was pretty damned impressed.
OK, quick aside.  An iPhone EDGE / 3G camera is passable in good lighting.  An iPhone 3GS camera?  I’ve never seen anything as cool as it.  Selectable auto-focus where you pick what you want to focus on by taping the screen has been wonderful to play with, and you can actually do arts stuff with it.  
But the video camera is just downright amazing.  It’s color saturation and contrast is better then the setup I typically use (though lower resolution – great for TV resolution, but not good for HD stuff.)  It’s got some tearing during high motion, but not much in the way of artifacting during complex scenes.  
I’m just downright fucking impressed – my phone may be the best camera I’ve owned (not including the Canon HV-20, which shall forever live in my heart.)  And I ALWAYS have it with me.  No more half-assed blurry iPhone shots 🙂
Anyway, back to the story…
I had looked at what the kids had shot, and was pretty impressed with the quality of the shots on the road.  Then didn’t think much more about it.
I was in Kenosha, getting ready to hit Best Buy in Racine when a random thought came out about something Devvi had said about my previous trip, and half wishing she could go with me.
So I quickly rigged up quick way of recording the drive to Racine.  Then, on the way back, I reversed it, so it was looking at me from the dashboard.
Meh.  The road stuff was OK, but it was too blocked by the hood of the car, and felt to… enclosed.  The stuff looking at me from the front of the car while I drove and talked to it?  Just WAY too un-natural.
But it got me to thinking… damn that was boring.  There’s just nothing in Kenosha or Racine to show someone.  I’ve been coming here 15 years now, and I’ve yet to see… anything.  Because I haven’t looked around.  It’s been so second nature to think there’s nothing here of interest, because I’ve been on so many startups where I never looked around.
So I’ve looked around a bit now.  Kenosha has a nice little pier that I visited, and recorded some shots of.  OK, not bad so far.
Then I totally changed the recording setup.  I basically taped the iPhone to the rear view mirror – now the field of view was unencumbered by the hood of the car, and all you could see was the Cadillac emblem.  It was really pretty slick looking.  Well, as fate would have it, I had to go to Racine again – this time I took a more scenic route, which led me to downtown Racine and the Uptown Docks (which is another thing I hadn’t seen before.)  The drive is beside the lake, and you can see peeks of it from time to time.  MUCH better.
Now for the finisher.  Ignoring everything that I had shot before, I taped the phone to the passengers sun visor, and spun it so it faced me from the passengers seat.  I got it pretty close to head height, and the effect is… well, almost uncanny in it’s perfection.  I’m driving along, watching the road, talking, and look over at the phone from time to time, and because of all the positioning tricks, it’s spot on for location and effect.  It feels like being in the same car.  I was originally going to shoot for “clean audio”, but the car noises, the bumps, etc. actually add to the effect.
I drove back on the same route (after Best Buy and Chipotle), so I can cut back and forth between the two tracks – suddenly it’s a virtual drive where I control when the person is looking at me or the road.  If you watch closely though, the two routes are in reverse of each other – but it’s subtle enough it’s nearly unnoticeable.
So I’ll cut this one up in iMovie (I don’t need a 20 minute drive on there, this is fairly short), and drop it in the mail, and Devvi gets a virtual vacation.  The two sets of camera angles even give me perfect editing fodder for covering up flubs and boring parts – just switch camera angles, then back again. 🙂
But ya know… at this moment, there’s a part of me that’s seriously thinking about this.  Ya know, why the hell bother – I already had my fun, which was in the process of creating it.  She might enjoy it, but without knowing if she’s actively avoiding me or what’s going on at the moment, well, hell… this doesn’t really seem like a positive idea anymore.
There are moments in my life these days I think what I really need is a steady girlfriend who’s good looking, dumb as a brick, and good in bed.  That way I get laid frequently, and have an outlet for my whims.  Problem is… I’m just not motivated by stupid people.  And thus I’m stuck back at the beginning of my problems of meeting people I like anyway 🙂

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