So, it's been a rough and tumble weekend, to be sure....
I'm going to write more in here than in my old memory logs to ease the transition between formats. I figure that I'll cut over to this system on Monday as the grand opening, because last night I uploaded the last images from my photo album and turned them into galleries using a utility from the Gentoo portage collection called mkgallery. At some point I'll get around to turning the commentary from the old index.html files into comments for the galleries. For now, this will suffice.
Anyway, where was I....? On Friday night, Lyssa and I stuck as close to home as we could. I went in to work late on Friday morning because I had to work late, but thankfully everything was ironed out by 1830 EST/EDT that night, so I hopped on the Metro and headed for home. We did a lot of sitting around and relaxing and generally catching up after a long, cold week that sapped our strength and left us dragging ourselves toward the finish line with our eyelids and fingernails. Somehow, we found the strength to drag ourselves to a Thai restaurant in downtown Fairfax, not far away from the A.C.Moore outlet at the mall. As it turns out, not eating for twelve hours can do some pretty bad things to your state of mind, so once the food arrived we were right as rain. Also on Friday night, Lyssa put together the pork shoulder she'd set to marinate in the fridge the night before and roasted it in the oven for most of the night. By the time we went to bed it had been in the oven for almost eight hours and was done, as far as I'm concerned, to perfection. That's really saying something, because I'm not ordinarily a fan of pork.
On Saturday morning Lyssa and I picked up a bit around the apartment and then hit the highways in search of the bookcases that have been eluding us for two weeks now. Lyssa's been rearranging the library lately - throwing stuff out, organizing stuff, and making better use of the space we have in that particular room. We hit route 50 west and eventually found our way to the local K-Mart (the place that nobody ever talks about in affluent northern Virginia), and wandered around the store for a while.. no soap. As it turns out, the Officemax hidden on a side street that we spotted on our way back down route 50 had a couple of them in stock, so we grabbed one of the sales associates and had him get one out of the stockroom for us. Score.
I also picked up a couple of packs of three ring binder pages that you can use to store CDs. Seeing as how I have nearly one thousand music CDs piled up in the corners of the library (or did, as I'll get to in a moment), my plan was to pull all of my CDs out of their jewel cases and put them into binders. Cleaning Officemax out of these CD pages was also cheaper than buying multiple CD binders, which tend to go for about $40us per binder that can hold upwards of 250 CDs. But I ramble.
We stopped off at Fudrucker's for lunch after making our purchases. Fudrucker's is your middle-of-the-road burger joint in Virginia (and probably other places around the country) where you place your order at the counter up front, pay, and wait for your restaurant pager to go off. Then you walk back and get your food, get your toppings from the condiment bar, and then sit down and eat. The food's about what you would expect of a greasy spoon - the grilled chicken was okay, the seasoned fries not bad. It's really nothing to write home about, to be honest with you. Then we headed home and I set about hammering together the bookcase, followed by moving a good three quarters of my CD collection into a couple of looseleaf binders I had laying around.
I wound up making quite a mess of the living room in the process - pulling the CDs out of the cases wasn't too bad save that this left a pile of empty cases and liner notes that stretched from nearly one wall to the other and six inches high. And did I mention that not all CDs have track lists silkscreened on them, let alone have titles on them?
Yeah, uh-oh. I'm going to have a heck of a time correlating all of the CDs with the liner notes Mika and Hasufin helped me save later on that night. I can probably pull a lot of information off of the Net, either through CDDB or from Amazon but there are some promo CDs that no one else might have cataloged by now. This is going to suck. The whole time, Lyssa was in the library cleaning out the old half-height bookshelf and putting all of the keepers on the new bookcase I'd put into position earlier that afternoon. We also moved the beanbag chair and the remnants of last year's Halloween costume (photographs forthcoming) out of the way, which freed up a lot of floor space in there.
On Saturday night we'd planned a get-together with some of our friends in the area. Hasufin and Mika came over, along with Rialian, Orthaevelve, and Jason. Hasufin and I went on a last-minute supply run to get a few things for the party, and wound up leaving just as everyone else was arriving. We hit the local liqour store to get a few things, then went in search of ginger ale for Lyssa and ice cream sandwiches for everyone else.
Have you ever tried to find ice cream sandwiches in the store the day before Super Bowl Sunday? Good luck. We had ot go to two supermarkets before we found anything worth serving to anyone that wasn't cheap beer or wine really only fit for making pasta sauce.
By the time we got back, a conversation that Hasufin and I had about things you just don't hear in everyday conversation recieved the perfect postscript: "Hey, Bryce? The vampire and the chaos mage went to get pizza."
We hung out. We sat around eating and drinking. We cracked into a bottle of mead that Rialian had given us as a gift a while ago. We sat around watching Jesus Christ Vampire Hunter and laughed until we thought our ribs were going to break. We laughed, and winced, and debated, and talked shop, and sat around being friends with one another. It's hard to sum up a night like that unless you've got a disinterested observer sitting in the corner doing a play by play of the night unfolding.
This morning Lyssa and I didn't much feel like cooking, so we wound up at Amphora for breakfast and then hit the grocery store to get stuff for the week to come. If it's one thing that Amphora can do well, it's breakfasts at any hour of the day. I do feel kind of bad about our service, though - if it's one thing I've learned down here, it's never to assume that the waitstaff remembers anything on the menu - even if breakfast comes with toast, if they don't mention it then it's not wise to assume that they already know it. This guy did, for a change, and I wound up apologising profusely.
During a routine betta water change this afternoon, we had a close call - we thought that we were losing Eris, the last betta I brought with me from Pittsburgh a couple of years ago. He was floating on his side on the bottom of the bowl and was all but unresponsive. I estimate conservatively that he's pushing four years of age, which is positively ancient for male bettas these days, given how extensively bread and inbred they are anymore. While Lyssa was reading, I sat down to work on a project that I've had lined up for a while, namely, copying the data off of a couple of dozen CD-ROMs that date back to just after the year 2000 so that it could be consolidated onto a number of DVD-ROM disks.
About halfway through the process, I discovered that Eris was almost back to his old self again, swimming around the tank, tearing the bloodworms Lyssa had dropped into his bowl into tiny pieces and gobbling them down, and generating a field of pure hatred that scares most carbon-based lifeforms who enter our apartment.
However, we just lost Baku, one of Lyssa's bettas.
I don't know if it was shock from being handled, from something in the water (even though we treat it to remove the chemicals), a virus, or what, but we had a close call today, a death today, and we're keeping an eye on Ruby, the betta bequeathed to us by Mika. The last thing I expected was a bad fish weekend, given everything else going on.
No Dresden Files fan posting tonight. Due to the Super Bowl, the Sci-Fi Channel showed reruns of Birds of a Feather and The Boone Identity.