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good weekend so far

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good weekend so far

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After a Friday spent doing the task I enjoy the most at work (needs a separate post) I prepared to clear out from the apartment for the night - had made plans to crash at sterno's. Yesterday after work I went to the bank with my check, then ran to the liquor store for things to drink and to say hi to the store cat. Then I went home and made up matching cheese and fruit plates for nekouken and myself to have at our respective evenings before leaving for sterno's.

Headed to the city; traffic was sticky but livable. To avoid a Friday jam that started on 90 around Harlem I got directed to take Lawrence to Montrose. That's just how we used to go to Buddy's, and in fact I drove right past. The next time I go by I think I will call his folks and make time for a stop there if they are still living there and free.

Got there, got help parking (failed yet again at reading parking signs in the city) and then competed with Moly puppy for Most Underfoot in the Kitchen while sterno made steak and potatoes and mushrooms - very good stuff. The wine I had bought was super cheap fruity stuff, one I had considered an acceptable risk because it was $4 a bottle, and we both liked it - I actually liked it quite a lot, as I don't care for actual winey wine and this was sweeter. Of course the first glass was enough to make me wobbly, but I opted for more because wobbling felt good. After we killed the wine, I had Jack Daniels Watermelon Spike. This is a huge amount of alcohol for me, and really nothing to sneeze at for all but the most serious of drinkers, but occasionally these things must be done.

Because of my imbibing, I can't guarantee the reliability of this review, but I am pretty sure that Fanboys, about a crosscountry Star Wars geek trek, was really good, hilarious with just a touch of poignant. It has that guy who looks like Wil Wheaton and a voice actor from Kung Fu Panda, as well as Ethan Suplee from My Name is Earl. There was also a totally awesome cameo by Carrie Fisher and a far less interesting one by Billy Dee Williams. Big thumbs up.

Went along for a dog walk, still pleasantly wobbly, and then came back and we both fell asleep watching Airplane - didn't miss anything, as it was not exactly my first watching, though I've seen Airplane II many more times.

At some point in there we also ate the awesome fruit and cheese plate. Two varieties of goat cheese (cranberry cinnamon and lemon), some havarti and something called fudge cheese (or cheese fudge, I'll have to check the package *edit* Fudge Cheese, distributed by JS Brands of Wisconsin. Ingredients: Sugar, walnuts, pasteurized processed cheddar cheese, butter, salt, cocoa, soybean oil, cornsyrup. Fascinating!) all things I picked for dessertiness, went really well with the strawberries, raspberries and grapes, as did the multigrain crackers. The fudge cheese was weird sounding but really it was mostly like a very dense and sticky fudge. I congratulate myself on my choices.

One zombie-like trudge to the spare bedroom and hangoverless awakening later, I got up and practiced loosening my gauge on the adjustable ring technique for starting crochet in the round, as mine stand out a bit more than I like in my projects to date and I don't think that just because a thing is rounded means it needs nipples. It may be an unavoidable effect of that technique - I'd like to see someone else's use of it up close - but if I can change it in my own work I'd like to. When sterno got up he made chorizo and eggs with sour cream, and I ate a real people sized serving - odd as of late I have only been having V8 for breakfast. He opined, reasonably, I thought, that the alcohol from the previous evening was opposing the appetite suppression of my meds. It's nice to want to eat. :)

We returned to the couch and watched two episodes of Original Trek. I had only seen one of them before, "Shore Leave," which I picked just for fun. Belying the intensity of my youthful Trek fandom, I had not actually seen "The Squire of Gothos" before, though I had read the Blish novellization of it. The thing is, I was a fan so young that video tapes were still a relatively new thing in our home - what a difference a DVD makes. I taped episodes off the local station running them in syndication, and cut the commercials by use of the pause button - I was pretty good at it. As a preteen and not 100% in charge of either my TV or my lifestyle, it was really easy to miss episodes doing it that way, especially since I was not able to just find and print off an episode guide; I didn't do that until after college, when I was an actual internet user - and that was just for cataloguing purposes, as my Trek fanning had already gone slack during school (hey, YOU try to get Star Trek on the shared TV in the lounge of an all female dorm!) (well, actually with the recent movie out you probably would have an easier time of it than I did back in '92) (also, I developed an actual social life and was very active in extracurriculars) (hey parentheticals!). I could have gotten help from the Trek community in my youth, but I was very solitary in my fandom and did not think of other people as resources even though I knew that other Trek fans existed. Not only that, but Next Gen had come along when I was 12 and distracted me, and my Star Trek tapes had both series on them in a huge jumble which was really quite annoying. It is funny how "primitive" all this sounds to me now. Stone knives and bearskins indeed - fandom is much easier nowadays, and requires less actual fanatacism. It did make me realize that I really desire to get the original series on DVD and watch through them in order, though. Someday when I have extra dough again... though in the meantime I may give some thought to the Netflix/Roku player combo that both dayo and sterno have advocated.

After that, I tried to leave for home and hit a snag. The tumblers in my ignition keyhole have been getting worn, and been problematic for the last few weeks, working apparently randomly and only after numerous tries. I took it to nekouken's mechanic, where of course it refused to demonstrate the problem, and he squirted some lube into it and told me to call him back if it recurred so that he could order the part. I switched to using a single key rather than my heavy keychain, and it worked incredibly well after that, right up to the point where trying three times as long as any previous time garnered no results - again, of course, after I had gone far outside the range of my five mile AAA tow range. Obviously, this particular instance of car trouble has been ridiculously stereotypical. Towing the 40 miles to the familiar mechanic would have cost $90, and even if we found a local mechanic open, that one would have had to order the part as well, so I would have been at a shop that was an unknown quantity and still not have had a car to get home that day. Since the car is in a safe location, what I opted to do instead was upgrade my AAA (for only $25!) to give me 100 miles of free towing, which I will be able to use after 72 hours (so Tuesday morning). I left a message with the home mechanic to order the part so that it should be there around Wednesday, the first business day after I can get the car there.

Happily for me, sterno was amenable to helping me handle getting home on public transportation. Metra was an option to get to Union Station, but I opted for the El, since we had time and I had never been on it - so I have used that now, and have one of those cards even! I made actual progress on a New Year's resolution, how about me. Hm, I should look at those... Anyway, I'd had enough cash for my travels, but then I put too much on the El card due to not having a clue how it worked (though I'm all funded for another trip now!). When away from my own bank, I prefer to get cash over when buying something to paying an ATM fee whenever possible. We had extra time and had spoken of sweetened caffeinated things, so we stopped at Starbucks, where I forgot to get cash over. I did however have a white mocha and tried his funky green tea frappachino (or whatever it was called) - very interesting! We got to Union station where I figured out that I'd forgotten about the cash, so we went out to the nearby CVS where I bought stuff to let me get cash over... and chose credit instead of cash, so failed to get money over, and I bought something ELSE rather than make the clerk do a return to fix my mistake. I had been wanting gum anyway, so this was no problem, just comically mishandled. From there, we went back to Union Station, and sterno left me safely at the proper train.

Started my next crochet project on the train, and no one asked me about it, which was half a relief and half a disappointment. I could feel several people watching me at different points, but no one bugged the stranger about her hobby. I have to wonder what they thought I was making. *chuckle*

So many good things are in this litany, but the one that pleases me most is that I was able to turn an obstacle into a venture rather than having a freakout about it. It takes time for stress levels like the ones I had going up until a month ago to really ease, but I can feel them continuing to go down, slowly but surely. It's almost GOOD to have had a trivial problem crop up, just so I could use my response to it as a metric of how I'm doing: pretty well, that is.
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