Chaos Attraction

Mildly Unpleasant Surprises

2013-10-21, 1:42 p.m.

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So L came to visit this weekend.

We met up on Friday after work. She is about 3/4 of the way through a giant massive research'/work trip that started in New Orleans, was in California for a week-ish, then goes to Oregon before she goes back to her current job for yet another conference. She had just spent the last week pretty much locked up in an apartment in Berkeley with two guys she's worked with in the past...with pretty much no ability to leave or get food and they didn't want to eat until dinner time. This, I think, had perhaps made her a little stir crazy (and hungry).

She did get a free guitar for one of them, though, which she was going to take back for her mom. So I took her out to the music store to pick up a case, and while we were at it, I mentioned the whole United Breaks Guitars saga and that maybe she might want a harder case or something. When we called over someone to help us, he asked what airline she was going to fly on. Her next airline was going to be Southwest, which this fellow approved of, but her flight back to the East Coast was...gonna be on United. The store guy was all, "Yeah, um, United's not very good with these things....um....." Well, she got a $40 soft case and we'll just have to hope for the best when she finally goes home, I guess. (The guitar survived Southwest with no difficulty.)

After that, we did a bit of shopping, followed by burgers and drinking. Then we went home and I showed her a bit of "Reign," which gave her some lulz of horror. Then she wanted to watch "America's Next Top Model" that came on afterwards.... which gave her MASSIVE lulz.

Saturday....was, I dunno, a partial bust? I had found SHIT TONS of interesting things to do this weekend, and showed her what they were. My top choice was the Folsom Renaissance Faire (which I planned on going to on Sunday by myself if necessary), which she also considered, but eventually she picked two craft fairs in Sacramento. We went out to breakfast first and to pick up exotic Fig Newtons (I'm not kidding) to mail her brother before splitting town. However, the first show turned out to be not really a craft fair so much as it was two booths. The second one was an actual craft fair, with some pretty crafts, but it was also...kind of strange. They had some dance acts going on, and they had a group of...I'm gonna tactfully phrase it as people who really couldn't dance.... attempting to bop around the stage....and in the middle of the stage, SOME DUDE WAS WELDING A SCULPTURE. And some of the dancers were wearing welding helmets--with the screen up, thank god, or people would have been falling offstage. This struck both of us as being incredibly fucking dangerous and a bad idea!

So we wandered off, hit a few stores, and then L was all, "Eh, we could just like, sit at a cafe and read or something." I went through the pile of stuff to see what was still open in the late afternoon--pretty much nothing-- and then L got a whopping headache and we went home so she could pass out for awhile. Later she said she'd kind of wished she'd picked the Renaissance faire, but we would have ended up leaving that early as well. She did rally after a few hours and wanted to see a movie, so after a delicious Chinese dinner we saw (at her request) The Fifth Estate. I have paid very little attention to the whole WikiLeaks drama, so I was relieved that I found it at least mildly interesting. Though there is a lot of corny "we're trying to make typing on laptops interesting by using DizzyCam" and the overuse of some imaginary empty room with a lot of desks and sand thing going that is quite cheesybad. And a lot of shots of Germans at some kind of rave party. But...whatever, it wasn't that bad, so go figure.

I came home that night and found that my Internet had gone out. Now about every other year, my modem unexpectedly takes a dump and I have to call tech support to fix it. I started doing that the next morning...long story short, it took an hour and it couldn't be fixed and they figured that after 13(!) years, the modem must have finally keeled over and died. So I am getting charged $100 to have UPS(GRRRRRRR) send another modem...which I will probably have to skip work to go wait on the delivery for. I also get to go to the dentist and get the oil changed in the car.....argh. I don't think I can combine most of those on the same day, unfortunately. Meanwhile, I was on the phone for so long that L headed off to the nearest coffee joint and I met her there later. Which is kind of not what I wanted the last meal to be, but....she seemed fine, at least. Plus she could get Internet access at ye olde Panera.

Anyway, it sounded like she had a good time, at least. Next time she'll be on this coast is in August.

After dropping her off at the airport around noon, I headed off to the Folsom Renaissance Faire. Which turned out to be a terrible drive because I was going from I-5 to 1-80 with no 50....and going there on 80 is awful because the freeway exit is like a half hour away from the town itself, and while it's a total straight shot of a drive, it is also a drive through stop-and-go traffic, of which there was a ton on a freaking Sunday. I did this accidentally once before when I fucked up the directions, and towards the end of the drive this time I finally clued into that. It took an hour to get there, and by the time I did....the faire was completely and utterly out of parking. "Um, you can try the street parking....?" the little kid said in a dubious tone of voice. I looked at the piles of cars around. "I should probably just go home, huh?" Yup. So I turned around and drove the hell back home....and then spent time finding free wireless so I could do my 750words.com for the day.

I finished off the day by going to knitting group. Which had a lot of people and met outside, yay!....but an annoying dude showed up. "He's been here before," one of the group leaders said. "He recently moved here from London and last time he kept complaining about how horrible here was. I finally told him to stop it because this is my town." Upon further acquaintance with the dude, I should have freaking applauded her for that statement. Because when his topic of conversation was on crafty stuff, he was fine. Unfortunately, he didn't stick to that so much and a lot of the time he was a total braggart. He has FOUR medical degrees! He insists on being called Doctor here! (Note: L has a doctorate and told me she'd been totally baffled when her friends V&C told her they appreciated that she wasn't a stuck-up doctor. V&C would have been losing it with this dude.) He went to, of course, Harvard! He did something with the Nobel committee! He lived in England and is only here because his kids moved here! If you mentioned anywhere, he'd claim he knew people there. Yes, we get it, you're a high muckety-muck....which is not something people at freaking knitting group are going to be super concerned with.

And when he wasn't bragging, he was complaining. The aforementioned group leader mentioned doing interpreting at a flu clinic and mentioned some girl she'd done it with who was from some country or other, and The Doctor suddenly turned that into, "I wish you hadn't mentioned that" and started complaining about how "all of Europe" is suing Monsanto. I am really confused as to what the original topic had to do with that at all. And in general, he was quite complainy when he wasn't name-dropping. At one point he flat out said, "I can't afford California because the food and water are so expensive." Everyone just stayed quiet at that, and I kept thinking, "If you hate it here, leave, dude!" I kept rolling my eyes when he couldn't see me. The dude actually mentioned owning a spinning wheel that I want, that he wanted to sell....but I just didn't want to keep having contact with the dude enough to ask him about. As Bugs Bunny would say, what a maroon.


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