Good freakin' gravy, this has been one of those weeks.

Monday, I'll grant you, was pretty slow.

Tuesday wasn't too bad, aside from work being super-busy, having to skip lunch, and having to go to the irritating Grocery Store Filled With Idiots after work.

"Hey, are y'all carrying that Mountain Dew Pitch Black? That stuff's good."

"Naw, we're not stocking that anymore. It was too much trouble to keep restocking it over and over."

"Wait, you're not carrying it because it was popular? You were selling a lot of 'em, so you went with a product that fewer people wanted?"

"Hey, pal, don't try to tell me how to run my store."

Wednesday was pretty hellish. I'd taken the day off so I could take my 93-year-old grandmother to a very rare flu-vaccine clinic. Her doctor decided he didn't want to deal with ordering flu vaccine this year, so we've been trying to find someplace that would give her a shot. The clinic was scheduled to start at 8:30 in the morning. We got there a little after 7, and the parking lot was already full. There was a two-block line outside the place. We decided to skip it. She's 93. She can't stand all that long. No way I'm gonna let her stand in the sun for hours, get an awful sunburn, maybe fall and break her hip. We'll have to keep looking for a less-crowded clinic.

After getting some errands done at the bank and the post office, I got a call from my brother. His car had broken down, and he needed me to give him a ride so he could try to change the alternator. Neither of us had ever had to change an alternator, the car repair book he'd found was vague on the details, and he didn't have the right tools anyway. We still spent about 90 minutes pretending we had a chance at it, though.

And then, that evening, my grandmother called, worried to death, because my diabetic uncle was supposed to go in for emergency surgery the next morning to have one of his fingers removed. A few hours later, the doctors changed their minds and decided they'd try to save it for a bit longer, but still, that was another dollop of stress to top off my day.

Thursday was okay until after work. My brother had found someone from his office who knew how to change an alternator, so they were out at the parking lot getting that done. But my bro hadn't been back by his house since before 8 a.m., so his dog had been cooped up in her crate all day. So he called me and asked me to take her out, put her in the yard to relieve herself, and give her a bowl of dog food. Well, I got there way too late. She hadn't been able to hold in. Stinky. I had to give her a bath, then go hose out the crate. Everything still stunk, though. I didn't know how to disassemble her crate so I could get it properly cleaned, so rather than leave her to roam the house with no supervision, I stuck around for several hours. By the time I finally got home, I had time to pay some bills, then go to bed.

On Friday, half the office -- hell, just about half the campus -- was absent for completely unspecified reasons. I had two last-second projects, given to me by people who assumed I could get every TV station in the state to show up for a ceremony announcing a $2,000 grant from a local soda bottler. The cops and ambulances were seemingly running their sirens constantly, which after a while, really starts making you crazy. And I had to skip lunch again. I hate being hungry.

So on Saturday, after a week like this, I was in the mood for a goddamn beer. A little background: Lubbock is a weird town. You can buy liquor at various restaurants, but there are no package sales in the city limits. So if you want a six-pack of beer, you've got to go to the Strip, just outside of the city limits, where they have a half-dozen liquor stores. They're crowded with college students and bums most nights. Saturdays are far worse.

And this Saturday was apparently breaking all kinds of records for end-of-week lunacy. No full moon, so that's not an excuse. There were way, way too many bums and college students sitting around the parking lot, either drunk or stoned into near-catatonia. To be honest, I was having trouble telling the students from the bums. Everyone was filthy. Everyone stunk. Everyone looked like they'd been in a fight. I went in, grabbed my beer, paid for it, and got back into the car. Just narrowly avoided some really fucked-up panhandlers who were apparently going to bearhug me into giving them change.

Had a guy try to wash my windshield at the stop light on the way back. Too bad he didn't use a rag. Too bad he got blood and other crap all over my windshield. I thought of rolling down the window to yell at him, 'cause by this point, I was really getting mad, but I also didn't want this blood-soaked lunatic to get mad at me and come through my window after me.

Seemed like the panhandlers were everywhere tonight, so I went straight inside my apartment after I got home. Didn't bother to clean the windshield, which means it'll be a bitch to wash off tomorrow.

Got inside the apartment, and the phones had stopped working.

And there were people screaming in the parking lot outside for half the night. By now I'd had it. I went outside and yelled at 'em (more panhandlers, dammit) to shut up. One of the fuckers actually bit me on the arm. Of course, I gave up at that point, went back inside, locked the door good, and washed my arm. I'll be going to the hospital tomorrow morning, if the phones don't start working before that.

Jesus, I'm getting so fucking hungry. I hate being hungry.