Chaos Attraction

A Late Recap of President's Day Weekend

2013-02-20, 10:20 a.m.

Valentine's Day....normally I am a total crankass about that particular holiday, especially when there isn't some kind of Grade School Valentine's event going on at work or something. (Indeed, our social committee didn't do anything for that one. I think they must have been tired out after the Super Bowl party.) I refuse to dress up for the day--the one holiday I don't dress up for--but other than that, I was feeling pretty mellow about it. I am used enough to my permanent singledom at this point to not really give a shit about everyone else's love holiday, though I did eventually end up avoiding the cooing lovebirds on blankets in the arboretum and the school band oompah-ing not-so-romantically around campus. That was a little much. On the other hand, I was amused at my CC manager (who is newlywed-ish) saying that the romantic night they'd be having after she got off shift was to have a candlelit Taco Bell dinner.

However....years ago, I used to go to an awesome con held this weekend. Then my friend group went buh-bye and suddenly I had no one to go or stay with, con for me. At this point, yeah, I could technically rent a car for four days and attempt to get a hotel room (though I'm told that's difficult), but...I'd still be there alone, running into my ex-friends who are from the area awkwardly and multiple times a day.

A few months ago, Merry casually mentioned wanting to go this year. I said to let me know if she went. She let me know....oh, the day before the con started. A little late for me to go make rental and hotel arrangements, thanks.... She was all, "You could have asked me if I was going," and I pretty much said that given how she is constantly busy with her social life in the Bay Area, plus whatever her husband wants her to do....well, I know better than to ask her to do anything, and it no longer occurs to me to even ask her to do anything. She occasionally lets me know when she's free, and that's that these days.

Sigh. You can see why I think I'm on the way out there anyway. I probably shouldn't have said that at all, but it's the truth.

Saturday was actually a good day, even if I wasn't at the con or socializing. I slept for 10 hours--love days like that. The inertia didn't shut off for the morning, so I never made it to the gym classes (sigh), but I did wake up with a craving for cream cheese fried wontons. Which, alas, I did not have any of in the house. So I took myself out for a solo dining lunch experience at the nearest Chinese restaurant that has good ones, followed by sitting around outside in the sunshine. Which I don't get to do enough of on workdays, especially when the warmth of the days don't really kick in until after lunch.

I had planned on going to the bookstore to pick up the new Gail Carriger book, which came out last week but I haven't been in the store area to go get it yet. But while piddling about online in the morning before I finally left the house, I started reading e-mail and saw that she was coming to my town THAT DAY in the afternoon for a signing and Q&A! How exciting! So I put off my visit for a few hours for that.

In between lunch and the book signing...Mom called, upset at all of my aunts. Aunt Susie isn't picking up the phone when Mom calls any more--can't say I'm surprised at that, even if it was the annual birthday call. I told her that we need to make other plans for Easter this year. But what she was really ticked off about was my other aunt--you know, the jerky one who pretty much disowned us all after Dad died. Somehow six years later she has a bug up her arse about getting some watch of my grandmother's from my mother. I...guess mom handed her the wrong watch or something? I'm not totally sure on this subject, but I gather my aunt called while Mom was out and left her a very nasty voicemail demanding the watch back, with a lot of "I DESERVE IT!" being said on it. Um, what? And where did "deserving" come into anything? Is she listening to self-help books? I'd be inclined to tell her to fuck off, or claim that since I'm family I deserve it too, but...let's face it, she's a bitch and doesn't back off about anything, and it's better to drop the watch like a turd to get her to shut up. (And on a nicer note, she actually knew her father and I did not. That is also a justifable reason to give her the thing.) But still, what an arse.

Anyhoo... I tell you this because I got off the phone to go to the book signing--which I did tell Mom about, including what time it was-- and then Mom called AT FOUR. Loudly. Presumably she hadn't run out of things to say about my aunts yet. I did my patented answer of the phone at moments like this-- "Hi Mom, I'm at that book signing I told you about, so I'm busy and everyone is hearing you. Bye now!" I'd like to think someday she'll learn on this...oh well. The funny thing was that about 30 seconds before this happened, it occurred to me that the phone was on, and I thought, "Eh, everyone I know is out of town right now and busy and unlikely to call me, and I told Mom I'd be busy at four. Not gonna worry about this." Hah hah hah.

Back to the signing: despite the author being sick, you couldn't really tell somehow. So good for her. She had on an awesome tiered dress--I asked her where she shops and she said, "Haight Street." Jackie and I are pondering going to a steampunk store we hear is there, so....hmmm. I'm sure I can't afford it, and god knows steampunk isn't my aesthetic anyway because it seems like brown is a mandatory color for it and I haven't seen much color used in steampunk anyway, But it's intriguing. Also my shrink is all, "You should totally take up steampunk." I love the idea of a tiered dress, I don't really have too much of that in my closet. I've been doing research on DIY steampunk on the cheap, but I gotta say that I really haven't seen anything remotely steampunky-looking in thrift stores, ever. Where are they finding this stuff?!?! I find T-shirts! And once in a while, a wacky bridesmaid's dress! I'd have better luck knitting an outfit. Okay, I might actually do that, but it'd take me like a year. And I have other things in the queue to worry about first, like winter sweaters to finish before actual winter ends. And a scarf for a coworker.

Again, back to the signing! I asked her a few questions, other folks asked questions, it was a good time. I asked about the threesome raising of baby Prudence--answer: Alexia's not terribly nurturing compared to Lord Akeldama, plus rule of funny. I also asked her to clarify a remark about how she was annoyed at a rule she'd made in the first series that screwed with her second one--answer: no werewolves on a dirigible. Now that I've read the book, I see that it's very awkward for this one, indeed!

Most notable to me was her saying that the technology in this book is ahead of the Parasol Protectorate series for a reason (not just in a George Lucas sort of way), and that reason has to do with the heroine of this book. She's referring to all the automaton servants/mechanimals that crop up in it, specifically. So I have been pondering this in the last few days, and rereading Parasol Protectorate books, and checking dates for a chronology. This book (Etiquette and Espionage) starts in 1851, and according to Timeless, the Clandestine Scientific Information Act of 1855 is where "the disposal of patents of domestic servitude" happened, among other things totally classified to the supernatural set. Since the Finishing School series is four books...well, guess that's how it ends, with a giant kerfluffle! It's interesting to think that Alexia is a baby (3 years old) at the start of this book. I wonder if the Maccon/Akeldama folks will meet Sophronia in the third series to come after this one. Sophronia is around 41 as of Changeless...add maybe 18-20 years after that and it's possible? It'd be interesting to see, eh?

Waaaay back on the topic of the rest of the weekend....I was supposed to drive L to the airport on Monday. Didn't end up doing it, as she has a friend visiting her from SoCal and the friend ended up staying a few extra days and could drive her there on her way back home. I was nervous about driving home alone in the dark more than I am the reverse trip, so that's all right. I went to dinner with those two Sunday night after knitting group, which was interesting. Sometimes I boggle at the grad student lifestyle stories, and occasionally wish I'd gone that direction even though I really have just never been very into the idea of going (or paying for it). I also went to knitting group for the first time in a few months, and ran into an ex-friend from college. She was the BFF of my college boyfriend. I liked hanging out with her at the time, but given my eventual "I apparently don't get over the ex as long as I have contact with him" inner wankiness, I dropped out of our mutual social circle and there you go. It's a real shame that I did that, since a lot of those folks actually REMAINED IN TOWN, compared to about 80% of my friends I've made here since college.

I didn't even know this girl knit-- I gather she goes to the Monday night knitting group instead (which I can't go to without a car) instead but came to this one to get a spinning lesson. We got on fine, I suppose--did talk to her about the signing, she knows the author (LUCKY). But...I dunno, I felt weird anyway, as I usually do when I run into the ex-people that used to be in my life. I always feel this urge to have things go back as they were, except everyone else has Moved On and that wouldn't happen. Especially with the folks who had kids, as this one did. I know better. I doubt she'll become a Sunday regular, so I probably don't have to worry about this, right?

Oh yeah, and I also knit a vibrator cozy. I dunno about it. I'm not sure if I should make a blingier one. I went to Joann's on Monday since I had L's car and bought the supplies to make a peacock-blinged vibe, but haven't actually done it yet. Not sure if I want to? Argh, decisions.

In other news, I broke L's cable yet again while petsitting this week--actually at this point I think it just freaking BREAKS ITSELF, since I was watching Xfinity on Demand episodes of Dallas just fine last night and then the entire TV stopped working for no reason. Since I can't call the stupid company to get it fixed and I'm not the account holder....grrrr. Okay, seriously, there are reasons why I don't have cable, and "it works shittier than my rabbit ears at home and that's saying something" is one of 'em!

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