Undergraduate

“Education is the key to unlock the golden door of freedom.”
-George Washington Carver

Dear Diary… I did, indeed, take a break day as previously stated that I would. TJ biked and lifted weights though, I’m so proud of him.

I got my nails all filed down and ready to do a back fill on them tomorrow morning after working out. I’m kinda dreading it, I fear I’m going to do an awful job.

After I have them all filled TJ is going to paint them for me. That part will probably turn out great, TJ is a great artist.

I am signed up for English, Psychology, Writing and P.E. I am officially a college student, I start on Monday. For the duration of medical martial law, it is completely online.

Nothing exciting to report, elsewise.  Until next time.
-Olive

Look to the Future

“Being sober on a bus is, like, totally different than being drunk on a bus.”
-Ozzy Osbourne

Dearest diary, I nearly didn’t even workout at all today. I am pretty wiped out after working out seven days straight. I can’t go to the doctor because my doctor is incompetent, as I’ve spoke of previously.

Because of this, I must look out for myself, paying attention to the signs my body gives me. I haven’t really noticed any SVTs or palpitations for quite a while now. I think alcohol was a significant contributing factor in the av nodal re-entrant tachycardia.

Alcohol is poison, if only I had accepted that 28 years ago, perhaps I would have already achieved my dream.

No point dwelling on the past though, right? Look to the future. 
Until next time,
-Olive Kotov

Thunderbolt

“He who would learn to fly one day must first learn to stand and walk and run and climb and dance; one cannot fly into flying.”
-Friedrich Nietzsche

Dear diary, TJ got me up to workout this morning. I’ve got to say, were it not for him, I definitely would have taken a break day. I probably need one, but I won’t get big with break days!

Hopefully, if we survive this pandemic, I will eventually make it as a professional bodybuilder. Of course, I will never get there if I don’t get rid of this stupid beer belly. I’ve almost been dry for a year, why won’t it leave?

Maybe this quarantine will get me closer to my goals. Looking for the positive within the negative here. Speaking of.

Lera stopped by today. She’s been watching all the Harry Potter movies over and over. She never really got into those when they were really popular.

She’s considering moving to New Haven, Connecticut. She wants to get a B.A. in Art at Yale University. WHAT?! Why wouldn’t she do that online? That’s like clear across the country!

It was real nice to see her though. Hopefully she decides to do something else or go to college here. I worry about them while they live in town, how would I handle any of them being so far away?

Ugg, time to sleep.

Olive Kotov

Scarlet Optimism

“If we survive this pandemic, we mustn’t again take for granted the blessings that are bestowed upon us.”
-Sil Hattaavah

Dear diary, today was another boring day in the Kotov house. TJ and I worked out together again this morning. I’m proud of him for getting up and getting on that bike. It’s a good push for myself as well. Two of the last three days I most likely wouldn’t have gotten up.

I’m starting to get tired of being locked away at home. I even missed my nail appointment today because everything was forced to fucking close.

I know it’s not truly an important thing, but it’s the one thing I’ve consistently done for myself since I quit smoking. It makes me feel good about myself, pretty.

Tally says her nail girl works from home and may do it for me as she only has one client at a time under normal circumstances. I haven’t heard any more, and I wouldn’t hold my breath anyway. She doesn’t even know me.

Well actually, one plus is, I got my advising appointment scheduled for Monday morning. I emailed her my transcript and my placement test so she can decide which classes I need to start with.

Katja reports that her mouth is still hurting badly. I told her maybe the emergency room. She thinks they won’t see her because of the virus shit happening. I don’t see why they wouldn’t see her because of that. I might make her go tomorrow if it’s not feeling better.

She hasn’t slept, ate or drank in two days because it hurts so bad. But you know, according to the dentist’s office, it isn’t an emergency.

I am seriously looking forward to things going back to normal, I hope they do.

*sigh* I reckon it’s time to sleep. I have a feeling I may be spending a good portion of my day at the hospital tomorrow.

Well, goodnight, stay safe.

A Thursday

If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.
-Rene Descartes

Dear Diary, good evening. Turns out mister crazy-pants, that kept bugging me in the mornings, wasn’t all wrong. Not any less irritating, stupid people disgust me. But this virus thing is real.

Over the past couple weeks the idiots of the world have been hoarding swaddle doodle (toilet paper) of all things! And allot of other things in the last week since towns have been closing down.

Mind you, this is an upper respiratory virus, what the hell does swaddle doodle have to do with that? My mom started posting memes about that a month ago, I thought she’d fallen off her rocker. That’s what I get for not watching news.

So here we are on day four of medical martial law. This is my third day getting up and working out and biking AND taking all my supplements. Also on a sidenote, it’s my 335th dry day.

TJ got up with me this morning and he biked while I lifted weights.  He went ten miles! Then I biked while he watered his plants around the house.

This worldwide lockdown is a little bit disconcerting. I find myself wondering if I will ever actually see my dream come true.

I feel like I have something to contribute to the world that may never be. So many conspiracy theories out there. So many unknowns. It’s frightening.

I notice I spend a good portion of my days trying to convince myself that all this chaos during this pandemic is temporary. Part of me believes that, part of me does not.

*********

Katja called me crying about her mouth hurting because the filling fell out of the tooth that they did a root canal in about a year ago. TJ went and took her to the emergency dentist.

Just as I am about to step in the shower my watch zings me. It’s the dentists office.

Receptionist: You just dropped Katja off with us here at Citizenry Dental?

Me: Yea, what’s wrong?

Receptionist: Nothing, I’m just calling to let you know she’s done.

Me: What? She’s done? Already!? She literally just got there!

Receptionist: Yes, she can explain it to you when you see her.

Me: Uh, okay then.

I call TJ, hoping he has his phone with him because he’s probably not gotten far from their office.

He answers and says he’ll head back, he is only about five minutes away.

They arrive just after I’m out of the shower and dressed.

Me: What did they say?

Katja: They wouldn’t even see me. They gave me an appointment for May. They said they only see emergencies right now and this isn’t an emergency. She’s crying.

Me: How is it not an emergency? They couldn’t see your filling is missing? See that you’re in pain?

Katja: They didn’t even look in my mouth. First they said I never had a root canal on that tooth or any work done on that tooth at all, at that. The nurse looked at my last xray and they realized I had, but said they aren’t bothering the doctor for non-emergencies.

Me: It is a fucking emergency.

Katja: She said it’s not infected so it’s not an emergency.

Me: So they did do an exam?

Katja: No. They only looked at the last x-ray.

Me: Then how can they possibly know there’s no infection?… I’ll go get some tooth medicine when TJ’s done burning the burnables. Maybe you can saturate some gauze and stuff it in there.

Katja: Mom, it hurts so bad, I can’t stand it, I literally want to die. She’s pretty close to bawling. I can’t believe they didn’t fucking do anything.

Me: I’m so sorry Katja, I don’t know what else to do other than get some good tooth medicine. And take 1,000 mg Tylenol and 800 mg Motrin together. Maybe, if you keep going every day they’ll see you just to get you to quit coming in.

I don’t know what to do. I don’t understand how it couldn’t be an emergency. They’re the ones that did the bleeding root canal in the first place.

An unsupervised student did her root canal in FOUR two-hour appointments. And now that she’s in excruciating pain, because of them, they do nothing.

I’m thinking they’re doing shit work, period. I had a filling put in around the same time and it fell out about six months ago. It’s super annoying, I have to brush frequently to keep food out of it. God forbid it actually starts hurting, takes about 3-4 months to get into the dentist.

I had a cleaning mid February, I told them about it then. I said, and I quote. “I didn’t bother calling you guys because it doesn’t hurt yet so I knew you wouldn’t care. “

She pretty much brushed it off. Ah well, I knew they wouldn’t care, lol. She scheduled me for a filling late May.

Most all the doctors here are lacking in the intelligence department. Most of them are incompetent and or arrogant. My primary is both. I dislike him so much that I self diagnose and find ways to cure myself, just so I don’t have to see him.

Anyway, I went on Citizenry Dental’s Facebook page, funny they have a post about being opened for emergencies. So I wrote them a nice post.

My daughter went in because the filling came out of the root canal you did and it is excruciating.
Pain relievers and her temp filling from Walmart is no longer helping, at what point will it be considered an emergency?”

I found some Red Cross tooth pain liquid at Riteaid that you dip a teeny sponge in and put it in the tooth hole. Hopefully that brought her some relief. I have not heard anything from her for the last couple hours.

*********

I’m lying in bed watching M*A*S*H. I use to hate this show, now I find it to be one of my favourites. It’s almost therapeutic.

Hopefully tomorrow I have something exciting and fun to write about!

The Closing: Part Two

Goodbye doesn’t mean the end. It only means that I will return or see you some other time. Take the sky, for example, the sun tells the sky goodbye when it gets dark only to return the next day once it is bright. – Frank Alile

Well, all I can do is apologize and let him know that I will have one as soon as I can, I just started the second pot of regular but I will start the decaf the second it’s done.

I apologize all over myself, of course; because that’s what we’re supposed to do, and thankfully, he is OK with it. He says he’ll come back in a bit.

Once I have all the coffee made I message Ryan and tell him that the coffee pot quit working and I am doing the best that I can to keep it going for the guests.

No response, but I know he’s awake. He’s getting his kids up for school, I’m sure of it, as I would be if I was home.

He arrived on time, as usual. However, he brought me birthday/good luck flowers. That was super sweet of him.

I wasn’t t really sure what to say, I wasn’t expecting that.  I didn’t think he really cared that much that I was leaving: Upset with me maybe, even.

Me: thank you!

He had a gander at the coffee pot, it is not going to be fixable. He calls the company that provides our coffee, they advise him that they will be sending out somebody to either fix it or replace it, tomorrow.

Ryan: I’m going to tell the guy just to change it out because we just had somebody out to fix this a couple of months ago and it was basically doing the same thing.

I tell him about the printer and he gets that figured out quickly. The special tool he needed was a screwdriver. It was a deep, paper jam.

Me: We have 54 rooms, 2.5 girls no laundry. What do you want me to do?

Ryan: Let me call Kaydie and see if she would be willing to come in.

She answered and I can tell by his side of the conversation that she said yes. I run three runs of fifteen rooms each and one with nine for Kaya, the early housekeeper.

Tally, the head housekeeper, arrives as I’m colouring their runs.

Me: Kaydie is coming in and they have alot of yellow, should be a good day.

Tally: Good. I almost called in this morning, my kids are sick, I’m sick: I’m exhausted! I’m gonna ask Ryan if Evini can come in and do laundry.

Me: I’m sorry. Hopefully the day is smooth for you.

She goes back to talk to Ryan for a few then heads to the laundry room to rotate linen.

Kaydi and Celeste arrive just before clock in time. Arelia calls just then to let us know she’s going to be five to fifteen minutes late. They get to work.

There is a guest who has been staying for a couple weeks now, he comes in and pays daily. One of them irritating types.

Me: Good morning, paying for another night?

Guest: Yep, this is probably the last night.

Me: Okay, go ahead and slide your card.

I already added the night and got the system ready to accept payment when I saw he was walking in.

Guest: You know, all it’s gonna take is one person saying they got that virus here and they’ll quarantine the entire motel and you employees won’t be allowed to go home.

Me: That would suck. Do you want a receipt?

Guest: No, I’ll get one when I check out. I’ve been watching the news, they’re taking over motels to put quarantined people in because hospitals are running out of room.

Me: Well, I haven’t heard of anyone sick here so I doubt that’s gonna happen anytime soon. Do you want housekeping service today?

Doesn’t this guy get that I couldn’t care less about his theories?

Guest: No, you guys should be worrying about catching this virus. It’s killing allot of people.

This guy is bloody crazy, I haven’t heard anything about this, although I don’t watch the news. But I would think I would have heard about something this big, regardless.

Me: We’re careful here. We’ll be okay. There’s still some coffee left if you want another cup before I pull it.

He wanders over and gets a cup and heads out the door. I open up his profile and add a comment.

Guest has made numerous comments over the past few days about a virus that’s killing people, possibly causing the motel to be quarantined including the employees if someone reports being sick that was a guest here.”

If something hinky happens, there will be documentation and they’ll know it was this nut. Most likely, he’s just setting it up so he can get a refund. He’d get it, corporate refunds anyone that complains about anything. Rather, they call and make us do it.

Arelia arrives just as I’m putting up the coffee. I’m mopping when she comes back from clocking in, carrying flowers.

Arelia: Happy Birthday Liv! She hands me the flowers.

Me: Thank you! I tell her as she gives me a tight hug.

Arelia: You’re welcome. I wish you so much luck on your next adventure.

Man, I’m really gonna miss everyone here allot.

Me: Thank you Arelia, you are so sweet.

She goes out on the floor to get to work. The guy that wanted decaf never came back, imagine that. The rest of the morning goes without a hitch for the most part.

Jevin is the p.m. shift, he arrives at 1310 hours, about thirty minutes early, like clock work. He goes straight back to the breakroom.

As I’m sidetracked digging in my bag for my brush, I hear a commotion coming up behind me.

I turn around and Jevin is leading a train of singers carrying a delicious chocolate-chocolate personal birthday cake from Safeway. Mmmm. My favourite!

Following Jevin is Robbie, Arelia, Kaya, Tally, Evini, Kaydie and Celeste, all singing happy birthday to me!

I don’t know what to say, I’m certain my face is beat red at this time.

Me: Wow, thank you so much, all of you!

These people genuinely care about me, I feel awful leaving them. But I find myself at a crossroad and I’ve made my decision.

Thank You

To all the healthcare professionals working tirelessly to save the ill, to the truckers traveling to provide our country with food and supplies, to the police officers out there risking their lives in this time of unrest, to the store employees working hard to keep our shelves stocked, to the motel employees working to keep clean rooms for health professionals and truckers to get rest, to everyone working through this pandemic, we can not possibly thank you enough!

The Closing: Part One

Luck is a very thin wire between survival and disaster, and not many people can keep their balance on it.
-Hunter S. Thompson

TJ went out to start the truck while I finish making sure I have everything I need for my last day. I feel like I’ve forgotten something but I can’t figure out what it is.

LivCocktail, check. Deodorant, check. Supplement packs, check. I took my collagen, took my lysine. Sinus pills in my bag. Work shirt. Phone in my wallet, watch on my wrist. I just can’t place it.

Oh well, it’s 0520 hours, I don’t have time for this, I’ve got to go. I grab my stuff and go out the door, and it’s bloody cold. 36 degrees and the truck isn’t much warmer. TJ is scraping the windows.

He gets in and starts to pull out, blowing on his hands to warm them, he wasn’t even wearing gloves.

Me: ugh, I can’t wait for summer, I hate coldness!

TJ: 36 this morning, maybe it will drop down to 35 right as it starts to sprinkle and we’ll get some snow early. Then have a high of 60.

Me: oh yea , that would be nice, hey? I’ll already be at work, so you wouldn’t have to drive in it, hehe.

We pull into 711 and I hop out to go make us each coffee for the last time, this early. His: sugar, chocolate and caramel columbian dark roast. Mine: cinabon decaf with stevia rather than sugar.

This guy that is nearly always there before me that works at The Rainbow Store walks in while I’m stirring.

Me: I beat you today.

Patron: yes ma’am, you did.

He chuckles.

Me: “Have a great day!”

I say as I walk away, taking my normal path to get to the cooler with the water bottles. I grab two 33 oz Pure waters, carrying one under my chin to the checkout.

Me: yesterday we accidentally drove right past here without realizing it till we we saw Wal-Mart. We stopped at the little store on the hill and can you believe this? They didn’t have any coffee!

Clerk: wow, that sucks.

Me: yea really! Well have a great day!

Clerk: you too, dear.

I get back in the truck, handing TJ his coffee and putting mine in my cup holder. I shove one water in my bag and drop the other on top. We pull out. The first light we hit is red.

TJ: gotta stop for all this traffic out here. He says blandly.

Me: yea, I don’t think they have magnets under this light. Really, they should have magnets under all the lights and use magnets at night and timers in the daytime.

TJ: you think?

Me: yes, dude, I should be running this town. (I chuckle). Yea right.

TJ: you should, or maybe go for president.

Me: it would be pointless to be a city official if I can’t actually make a change. Like, I know how to make things run smoother but the people actually in control don’t want that, they want chaos.

TJ: that’s probably true, doesn’t mean you can’t try. You could go for mayor.

Me: No, then I’d be a target. Hmm, I wonder if the mayor is a puppet like the president.

We arrive at the motel. I grab my bag and walk around the truck and give TJ a kiss goodbye as he hands me my coffee. “See you at lunch, mow.” I say.

I walk into the lobby and Rodney is mopping the floor. I set my stuff on the counter and go back to clock in. I have two minutes. I sit down and clock watch.

We are suppose to submit our hours daily, so I submit the previous days hours once I am clocked in each day. My reasoning, if I must take the time to submit my hours daily I’m gonna get paid for it.

Today will be the exception as it is my last day. I’ll submit all my hours at the end of my day because I will not be back.

I go to the front and pull out the til I’m going to use and start counting.

Me: how was the night?

Rodney: Good, very calm and quiet. Happy birthday.

Me: Thank-you!!

Any complaints?

Rodney: nope.

Me: oh, nice!

Rodney: the printer on node one jammed up while I was printing the audit. It’s going to take a special tool to get in there and get the paper out.

Me: okay, I’ll tell Ryan when he gets here. As long as I have one working that’s all I care about. Lol.

I finish counting both tills and get logged into the tablet. Yes, we have to check people in with tablets. Stupid.

Anyway, once it is finally logged in I print all my necessary reports. Usually, I also print everything for maintenance, but it’s Billy today and he won’t use the stuff I print, only Robbie appreciates my pre-printing.

Rodney: oh, one of the coffee pots is leaking, I kind of don’t want to put it out.

Me: oh, so it decided to leak instead of explode this time, huh?

Rodney: yea, I guess, lol.

Me: oh well, we can’t afford not to put it out. We are required to have decaf, despite the fact nobody drinks it. I can’t only have one regular pot made at a time, and we have no spares to my knowledge.

I drink decaf, but I haven’t drank the motel coffee since I found out Matilda had poop under her nails. I am a semi-germaphobe and even though she’s gone now, I can’t forget. Her germs are permeated in everything.

Rodney: yea, I guess you’re right.

He goes to the back to clock out and I take the coffee pots out to the lobby and get them all set up.

Rodney: “Have a good day. “

He says, as he walks out the door. I double check he brewed the second pot of regular and check my lunch bag that TJ packed me. He put cookies in, yummy.

I check the schedule and see we have two housekeepers, an early housekeeper, which I call a half, and no laundry person with 54 dirty rooms. Wonderful.

I’m not making the boards until Ryan gets here because I don’t know how he’s gonna wanna break it up and I’m not running them twice.

I decide to eat my cookies for breakfast rather than oatmeal. Bad me, but they’re so delicious! Unfortunately, this also means I’ll skip my a.m. supplement pack, which puts the whole day off. Oh well, it’s my last day and my birthday, I’ll indulge.

Halfway through my first one a woman comes in for coffee.

Guest: Is there something wrong with this coffee? It looks like water.

Me: Um, I’m not sure let me check it out.

I walk out there and sure enough it looks like coffee water, so I take the pot to the back and grab the other pot.

Me: I’m so sorry about that, something must have happened when the pot was brewing, this one should be good.

I run back to dump it and start another one.

Guest: uh ma’am this coffee’s not even hot.

I walk out and look at her coffee and it to looks like water so I walked to the back to check on the pot I just started and it looks like just water’s coming out. I grab a cup and slip it under the stream, then stick my finger in; it’s cold.

Well that explains a lot, yesterday we had some issues, including myself getting burned all over my wrist and hand. It wouldn’t stop brewing: I had to flip the breaker to stop it.

Luckily, I had coconut/e oil in my bag with everything I might need and nothing that i do, (usually).

As well as I having to redo a couple pots, I’m freaking out trying to figure out what I’m going to do.

I remember we have this extra pot that Matilda had in her apartment before she was finally forced to move out, (two years after all managers were evicted from their on-property apartments). I’m just gonna have to use that.

I run out and apologize to the guest and tell her that I’m going to make a pot with a regular pot and it will be a couple of minutes but I will get coffee out for her.

Thankfully, she is very kind and understanding, not what I was expecting. Thankful for that gift on this, my last day.

I get the coffee done, that takes a while, obviously. A normal household, 12 cup coffee pot is pretty slow. But, it is better than nothing at this point.

After I get that part out to her, I start the next pot thinking “OK, I’m going to get the two coffee pots of regular out because at this point I have a line, then I’ll do the decaf”.

I sit down and guess what, somebody walks in and asks me if I have decaf. Seriously? Nobody ever drinks the blasted decaf!”

to be continued.