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February 28, 2005

After the grunge

February was a tough month to get excited about for me, up until today.

I was virtually on my deathbed from the Dreaded Grunge, at the start of it. Hack, sniffle, wheeze, and the requisite buckets of phlegm, just to breathe at all. In comparison, my unblushing bride went through a similar but shorter ordeal, and (with a personal constitution I suspect is almost otherworldly) managed to not only get vertical but resume her keepin’ on keepin’ on. I in turn held on to my misery, turning it into Fate of the Nation stuff. They tell me all guys do that. Maybe so, maybe so.

Meanwhile, there was no justice in this life. The 19-year-old Plaguebearer didn’t so much as get the sniffles. Of course I wanted to murder him.

Winter came, winter went. Then it sneaked back in and slapped us around again, simply because it could. We saw three snowfalls, which I believe is a record for one month in our area, and a fourth is coming down outside now, as I write this. The small-engine-repair shop did manage to get our snowblower fixed and back to us just in time. She Who Must be Obeyed figured (accurately) she would just barely get it down to the basement storage area, and have to lug it back up again. I think I’ll turn that over to her son. Take that, you non-sniffler, you.

Amidst all this, a few other things. A night talking to and hearing Odessa Harris and the others. A relatively rare pair of drinks, which probably helped snap the back of the Grunge (or at least I’ll say it did, because I stopped the major hacking about that same time).

Then there was another trip down to Toledo, about 9 days ago or so. I was cured, I tell you. Cabin fever hit with a vengeance, and besides all that I was feeling fiendishly clever again, which always gets me in trouble and always costs me money. I was right on all counts.

“Let’s go down to Toledo,” quoth I to mine bride. “I want to buy you an early birthday gift, and I need your help in picking it out.”

Zang. She perked right up and started to get curious, and so I finished getting my Port Royal kit together and out the door we went. A meal and about an hour of travel-time later, we wandered into a Best Buy on Monroe Street, where we spent roughly an hour and a few hundred bucks, and then after that we headed over to the tobacconist’s, because by then I was severely Jonesing for want of anyone to talk politics and other stuff at. I am blessed that Port Royal also has good coffee, and doesn’t fling me out in the street to drink it.

The “kit” I mentioned was actually the final CD-R that I’d burned a few weeks ago, as part of a give-away to several of the A-Team who shine there. Political images, photographs, and a few cigar-related images which got on there because of where I gave them out. I had one such disk left, and I’d made up my mind I owed it to a guy, over a misunderstanding we’d had on the day Hanoi John Kerry stood up and conceded the election. (Yeah, I know. I am dreadfully slow at seeing my very few flaws for what they are.)

The political season had done that to me. Lawyers running around doing this, trying that. All the election-year craziness, the truths half-told, the lies half-heard. And the Morning Justice Prevailed, I’d gotten hinky in almost a Hunter S. Thompson kind of way, over a guy in the crowd who simply was not the poli junkie I fancied myself to be. He kept talking — while Kerry was conceding. I was, to summarize, about to Get Stern™.

So that one had festered a while, and I finally had decided enough of this crap, it was probably my fault, so give him the damn CD and let him use it for a coaster like I am sure all the others have done, since I inflicted it on them.

We’d been down there the night of the Odessa Harris Group's performance, and he’d been in there with a friend. And (churlish me) I wanted to apologize to him right then but hadn’t, because he got to talking about a new secretary who managed to infect two of his computers with spyware and a bunch of other stuff. Aha. Halfwit that I am, I delude myself into thinking I know this subject. I got sidetracked, telling him what little I know. And then it was time to go hear Odessa, and so I still owed him the apology.

Not so the night we went down to Best Buy. I stumbled in the door there and within minutes a goodly number of the regulars started trickling in as well. SWMBO finally had enough of staring out the window at a chocolate shop across the causeway, so she took off and I started pestering people. (I do that one fairly well.)

Finally, I showed the disk to Neil, the owner of Port Royal. And just as he got it locked into his laptop, in walked the intended owner of that disk, in as sweet a bit of farcical timing as anything I’ve seen in ages. Neil finally got the disk out, and I gave it to its new owner. And by then SWMBO got back with a bottle of cherry wine, a bookmark, a t-shirt from a shop somewhere in that row, and chocolate. She was pleased: something to wear, something to munch (and sip) on while she read, and something to mark her place when she put down the book.

We wound up eating at The Seafood, in Sylvania, a superb specialty restaurant we’ve enjoyed for about five years. I got my creamed herring and tried their perch, she got her shrimp appetizer and then scallops. And then we wandered back home.

Today was the nine days later, and two guys from Best Buy showed up, and soon uncrated the dishwasher my lady has talked about getting for the last seven years or so. Today, I felt pretty damn good with myself for hijacking her to go with me. I don’t tell her enough how much she means to me.

Especially now that neither one of us has to do dishes, as if I ever did myself.

Posted by Weaselteeth at February 28, 2005 11:04 PM