Monday, August 11, 2008

What's the count?
It's official. I have totally disabused myself of the thought of any potential as a card counter. Working on the status animarum worksheet this morning proved that I could not keep the count of confirmandi if there would be the slightest distraction. This is not rocket science. This is not MIT BlackJack Team mathematics. It's counting pages while wearing one of those little rubber finger thingies.

In my defense, it is not a task as easy as it might sound. First of all, the parish registers run according to calendar year but the the statues animarum is done on a fiscal basis, so years have to be split, so to speak. The confirmation report might have been the easiest if I had finished entering all the names in the register, but that is a daunting task that is usually spread throughout the summer when things are quiet. Burials are the trickiest, since they have to be broken down into burials in Arch. of Chicago cemeteries, burials in other cemeteries, cremains buried in Arch. cemeteries and cremains elsewhere. When I totaled those up I was off by twenty one (funny, huh?) when I compared the total of the four categories against a raw tally of all burials etc. I counted one group twice, I think. But it all worked out.

I finished the worksheet before the rest of the morning unraveled. Fran called me to say that Rick was coming home early and wanted to go the Highland Park ER because he was having trouble breathing and didn't want to keep taking his inhaler because he was starting to feel like his heart would explode. Still feeling guilty about the last time I left him in the hospital while I kept on working, I checked out and said I'd meet them there. Moral support is good, plus Fran couldn't stay there forever and he would probably need a ride home. His doc decided to keep him overnight, so once they admitted him I dashed back to work. (A nice lady asked for his religious affiliation and wanted to know if they should call to let his pastor know that he is in the hospital. I let her know that I told the pastor as I was leaving work. And decided against telling her the rectory's alternate number to call in the middle of the night since the phones have been doing some wacky things. You know, because the phones will probably be fixed by tonite. And I don't know how reassured he would feel by my spelling out for the nurse how to find a priest if he should take a turn for the worse. I'm the kind of person who might find that reassuring. Rick is not.)

That's the day so far.
Lots of other small disturbances. Paid too much for gas by having to stop at the Shell in Lake Forest on my way to the hospital. Chewing gum caught in my hair.

This much I've learned. "Always account for variable change."

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