They say life is stranger than fiction, for me it's unavoidable. No really, I should be dead at least six times I can recall, but I'm not. Most people do not believe in the odd power of coincidence, for me it's been a way of life for so long...I don't even fight it anymore.

That, and the fact that my karma is just evil...

We'll start with Saturday, the 5th of February, when the expected happened and my sister-in-law passed away after a long illness. So began a very long and stress filled week.

Now, I dare you to take two normally overactive boys to a funeral home, especially mine. I guarantee it'll make for an interesting evening. Let's face it, no one ever spells out funeral home etiquette, it's a learn-as-you-go thing... perhaps someone out there knows of some random children's book that could be helpful - but I digress...

The younger boy and I visited the casket a good ten or twelve times, he also asked twenty or so random questions. This is what we did for the first hour. When I told him we should say a prayer, he did. Of course, the only prayer he knows by heart is the one we say before you guessed it. He said grace. In a very firm and curiously loud voice. Lucky for me, he's five, so everyone still thinks he's cute.

The older boy made the rounds and disappeared into the hallway not to be seen or heard again until it was almost time to leave...he is tricky like that.

Fifteen minutes before it's time to go, my oldest put in an appearance. My daughter lives about two hours away so it was good to see she made it home. So picture three full days of that, and you'll start to understand why I rarely go out in the evenings.

On Friday the 10th, my husband and I planned to leave home for just one day to celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary, remember that evil karma?

I should have known it was waiting to get me and since we'd settled back into our daily routine without many problems. So I was unprepared when it struck; not only with a vengeance, but also, with a sense of twisted irony. Sort of like Murphy's Law with an attitude.

11am - My daughter calls,she's going to be watching her brothers for us and says she's off work and will be leaving her house shortly... this is good.

2 pm - Got a rare call from the husband. The daughter still hadn't arrived and he, of course, cannot remember her cell phone number.

3 pm - Still no daughter - and she's not answering her cell phone...perfect.

4 pm - I leave work - still no word from the girl and I started to get that peculiar sinking feeling when I know things are going to go from bad to really, really annoying.

5 pm - I arrive home to find there's still no girl, no call, and my husband failed to make the hotel reservation.

5:15pm - I make the reservation online. My daughter calls and tells me she is still some ways off, far enough that I know she's going to be late...I collect the boys and start getting them ready to leave for a cub scout banquet their sister is supposed to be taking them to. This starts at 6:30 - the movie I wanted to see starts at 7:15

6pm - No girl and the younger boy cannot locate his shoe. I, on the other hand, spent the last 45 minutes hunting down random pieces of cub scout uniform...

6:15 - I'm done waiting for my daughter and pile the boys into the car to take them to the banquet. We arrive and find a seat at the table reserved for Den 6. Two bowls of random snacks later, the newly ensconced Cub Master starts the festivities with the ominous statement that it was going to be a long night. Moreover, I feel a twitch starting when he adds that no one should expect to leave until at least 10 pm. With the formalities out of the way, they start talking about raffle tickets...this is when I realized that in my haste to get there on time - I left my wallet by the computer - the damn thing is at home along with my cell I also, have no money.

I look at the clock, it is now 7:00pm - still no daughter, and it's time to get in line for the food. At 7:10 she appears - looking flustered and seriously irritated...I decided, at that moment, not to get angry. It would have served no purpose anyway and there was a sixty percent probability of her guilt factor being just high enough she'd clean the house.

SO, after raiding my car for all the change I can find,about $4, I give it all to the girl, say good bye and head home. It is now 7:30...okay no movie...there's still dinner right?

hahahahahahahahah *ahem*

After going home and collecting the husband we go the hotel and drop off our things (I won't bore you with the debacle of checking in, since it still irritates me when I think about that...) It is now 8:45pm and off we go to dinner at a local restaurant. They seat us next to a table with two very young children, with two equally young 'adults'. Obviously, the whole quiet dinner thing was not in the cards, so we took our time and eventually they left with two very tired and pasta covered children. We left the restaurant a short time later and went back to the hotel. It is now 10:05pm.

This is about the only part of the day that went off without a problem, and this is where the irony comes into it...

On the night we were married, my husband made plans for us to stay at a nice fancy hotel. Reservations were confirmed and all that jazz, so it was entertaining that when we arrived, they couldn't seem to locate them.

Whatever, skip ahead to the following morning; we planned to stay there for two days, but when we woke up - the entire hotel had lost power. Seems someone crashed their car into a transformer...and just because it could, my monthly visitor - stopped in...

...Eleven years later...

Around 5:30am, I woke because I was cold. I also noted it was pitch black. Looking around in the darkness I realized, there was no power. I will admit at this point I was amused. I found my way to the bathroom and just like eleven years before...just because it could...exactly. I was still tired so I crawled back into bed with my husband and went back to sleep.

Now if this had been the end of it, I suppose I could have written it off as just a series of unfortunate events...However, that only lasted until 7:36am, when the hotel fire alarms went off...