I didn't do any writing Sunday because, well, I was recuperating. As per my plans I drove up to Cap's place on Saturday after doing some routine house and truck maintenance. I stopped at the Jewel, grabbed some liquor to make various beverages for the evening, and then hit the wide-open road, only to discover it was simply pouring to the North and West of me. What should have taken me roughly an hour and a half took me maybe two and a quarter hours to drive. The rain was pouring down, people were driving like idiots, and there seemed to be a higher number of highway patrol cars running than what I'm used to seeing during rain. Eventually I made it up to Rockford, and things got a little better for the rest of the way there. I arrived to find that Captain wasn't home yet, so I spent maybe fifteen minutes in the pickup, listening to tunes and just relaxing from the drive. I didn't have to wait long before he arrived home from work, which was a nice thing. We hopped in his car, skipped up to the local bar/bowling alley/restaurant place, and had a decent lunch. The food was excellent there (bars usually do have their specialties, and they do them well) and it gave Cap and I a while to shoot the breeze. We drove back to his neighborhood and he took a little while to give me a tour of the new house his parents are looking into acquiring -- which is basically across the street from the current residence. The cool part is that the lot is right on the lake, so there's easy boat access! The downside is that some building maintenance is quite badly needed, as well as some major interior redecoration. But the house itself, aside from those two issues, is really very nice. I was amazed at the amount of space inside it -- outside it looks very small. I guess I need to relearn that old axiom about "looks are deceiving." It has an excellent floor plan, and was very well put together. An example of the reasonable thinking that was applied towards this house is there are electrical outlets everywhere you could ask for them! Since I'm living in an apartment, and constantly living in fear I'm going to blow a breaker thanks to all the six-strips I've had to put in for computer equipment, stereos, TVs and the like I'm very impressed by this fact. If his folks do close on the place, I think they'll have walked away with a very decent deal and a sound investment.
Once we got back to the house, out came the beer. We sat around, chatted and drank for a while. After the beers were finished I took the time to mix up some Kooshtayles, a personal drink that I am rather fond of, and a meme that I've spread to Roho, Aureth and some other friends (Heather and Don, notably). We went through a couple courses of those, took a break for cigars and cigarettes, and also had to take a few minutes for me to field a phone call from the illustrious Don Stefanich. It was a blast to hear from him again, and I feel really bad that I haven't been in more communication with him over the last few months. He's been making some headway on breaking into the acting arena, it seems. I thought this boy had contacts before when he was living here in Illinois, he seems to have doubled the names and numbers in his little black book now that he's out in Las Vegas! Incidentally, jenwolf has been expressing a keen interest in going there. I have been most non-receptive to this because I'm not a big-city sort of guy. I take from my father's side when I find myself trying to avoid tourist traps an overwhelming amount of the time. Don, however, has promised that if she and I come to visit he'll show us the time of our life and that we won't have to deal with any of the "public, tourist side" but instead be treated to the "private local side" instead. I'm almost intrigued enough to start making travel plans for next year...
Once I got off the phone with Don, we settled in for some music (I'd brought my CD collection with me, which spurred Cap to break out his... we ended up playing all sorts of different genres), some various subjects of conversation (quintessentially summed up as "life, the universe, and everything") and kept on drinking -- this time moving to Banana Ass kickers and vodka tonics. I am so pissed off that Jewel had only "Diet" tonic water. Why diet? How many calories can tonic have, for crying out loud? Why was it that was all they had? Why wasn't I smart enough to read the label before I bought it? All these questions and more on the next Unsolved Mysteries....
Ultimately we ended up winding down around 5:30 Sunday morning, a good twelve hours or so after I first arrived at his place. Cap was getting ready to crash, but I was sober (it'd been a few hours since I'd had anything hard to drink, I'd been eating cheese curls like a fiend and sipping on straight Coca-Cola) and completely wired. Rather than crash there for bed, like I'd originally figured I would (drinking + late night) I decided instead that I'd drive home. I packed up my CDs, made sure the incredibly cool little figurine Cap gave me was safely secured in my tote (Thanks again for that!) and jumped in the truck. Yay, it wasn't raining anymore. This made my drive home much more tolerable and a lot faster. I got in to the apartment at around 7:01 in the morning, hit the washroom to clean up, and then fell gratefully into my bed. No matter how much I may hate my current bed (extra-long twin, with a completely sagging set of springs from age and travel) there is something to be said for just being able to sleep in your own bed when you're exhausted. I slept until about 2 in the afternoon, woke up because the cat wanted to be fed, and made my way into the living room. I checked my mail, hopped on the IRC, and then killed a great deal of time either reading my current selection (I'm rereading Steven King's The Gunslinger, and thanks to Roho I can't help but hear Roland's voice with a lisp or a completely fey accent) or doing chores (cleaning up the wreckage that is my bedroom is the current Herculean task of choice). Jen called around 7 that night from work, so I talked with her for a little bit and then excused myself to procure dinner. This turned into an exercise in futility as I wasn't in the mood to cook and right now the apartment's fridge is sorely lacking in materials to build a worthwhile dinner from. Mostly it's full of take-out boxes and things that are way past their expiration date. I believe tonight I will tackle the cleaning of the fridge and freezer of extraneous items, and anything that tries to take a bite at me will likewise be pitched. Yes, this cleaning of the fridge is quite overdue.
So, thanks to my general laziness and tendency to sleep in, Sunday was pretty much a complete write-off, save for the conversation on #watertower, my hanging about on FurryMuck for a bit, and the series of rather amusing and blunt e-mails that I exchanged with Jen in the late evening once she got home. I'm quite looking forward to spending this upcoming weekend with her -- she's made reservations at a remote little hotel, nicely isolated in Wisconsin by lots of forest. We'll be hitting The House on the Rock, a really interesting piece of architecture and pseudo-museum that I haven't visited in about eight or ten years, as well as the Frank Lloyd Wright studio that isn't far from there. This little bit of mind-expanding culture, plus the fact it's a "romantic getaway" adds up to an enjoyable mini-vacation for me, one I owe a great deal to Jen for planning. Thanks, sweetie. *smooch*
I mentioned that Sunday I'd spent a brief time on FurryMUCK. Yes, it is true, I have made a brief reappearance on there. Mostly it was due to my mood as of late, which is a little more laid-back towards the fandom in general. Add to that a little loneliness in the face of all that's been going on in the world and I just felt a need to go spend some time with my friends. Since FurryMUCK is pretty much where they all hang out (aureth especially doesn't seem to like ICQ, which is how I was keeping in touch with most folks during my hiatus), I decided to go log in for a bit on Friday night. This was a pretty darn good choice on my behalf, at least on Friday, because Koz and several other folks I haven't seen in ages were logged in and I was quite mobbed by them with friendly "Welcome backs," queries as to my well-being, and general conversation. It was rather strange being, in a small way, the center of attention of several people whom I hold in such high regards. Strange and surprising, but very, very pleasant. I never knew that my dropping off the face of Furry would have such an effect -- I certainly didn't pull this as a stunt to get attention, just as a measure to save the last few shreds of nerves I had left. So, as I said a few moments ago, this was a very pleasant surprise. Besides, it was just damned cool to be able to talk to all my friends again. I have truly missed them. Maybe this is a sign I should be taking to heart?
So, thanks to Friday's events, I'm considering the idea of appearing semi-regularly on FurryMUCK again. No, I'm still not coming back to Furry. That decision was made after a lot of thought and it stands. I still hate all the politicking, I hate the impact it had on the relationship I had with one of my best friends, I hate the general attitudes that are held by a large portion of the participants in Furry. So I still will be avoiding Furry cons and most Furry gatherings. Does going back to FurryMUCK make me a hypocrite? No, I don't think it does in this case. I think what it does make me is aware that I have a lot of friends still inside the fandom and that if I completely burn these bridges I'm only hurting myself. It also leaves me in a bit of a quandary as to where exactly I stand. I guess I could phrase it as "A removed, remote observer on the fringe." Being just that keeps me removed from all the things I hate but still in contact with those I care about.
While I'm on the topic, I'd like to take the opportunity to send a big THANK YOU and "I'm not worthy" to those people who expressed concern over the disappearance of my LiveJournal account, and the many kind words that were spoken when it returned. Wakky, Frost, Pogo, Jen, Cheb, all you guys who really are too numerous to list: I owe you a most sincere thank you.
On a completely different note, our latest hire has sent off an e-mail that's incredibly scathing about some of our current practices. I'm still not sure what to think of this guy, but he drew a line in the sand today and there was no mistaking it. I believe the quote of the year belongs to him, and I will put it here for your reading pleasure. Quoth the new Supervisor of Operating Systems (without context for the time being): This is like giving the keys to your car to a child who not only has no drivers license but is intoxicated and incapable of making sane decisions. This guy may be handed his walking papers in the next week, but DAMN do I respect a guy who is as much of a straight-shooter as I am. Pull no punches, John!
So tell me have you ever really really, really ever loved a woman?