ipconfig /all, I noted the wireless appliance's IP address, popped that into my browser, and met the appliance's status/login page. The status helpfully gives the air quality and SSID of the connected network; it was one bar, connected to PacificaNet4. Moving the appliance around did not help much. Ugh. 1 bar. That about fit my mood, too.
I woke up groggy, and things did not really improve much over the morning. My brain was out of tune, what with the lack of internet, and I may not have eaten a proper breakfast. Moving hurt. Thinking about moving hurt. The closer we got to time to leave and go do things, the more I was aware that all was not right in the department of my brain. I could barely focus, and needed to do things very strictly one thing at a time, very strictly monofocus. I was also somewhat cranky from lack of sleep. That is really a bad combination. The internet had conked out even more by the time we had to leave, resulting in JD calling IKEA for the address and me completely failing to function. But we got ourselves loaded up in the car, complete with all JD's stuff and the desk bits.
I dropped JD off at BART and headed for the IKEA in question at the whim of the GPS. Whee, IKEA! I made my way in (wandering through the parking lot with a loaded trolley is not fun when you're in the best of states, and it's just that much better when at diminished mental and physical capacity). As I was heading in, JD called to let me know that he'd got stuff done with the hotel. This was not good news for me, since it meant that I was effectively running late, as it had taken so long to get there. Then I was nearly stymied by the insurmountable problem of the following combination of occurrences: the returns department being a room with (very wide and wide open) doors rather than out in the main lobby, having a number to take, needing to choose somewhere to sit, needing to choose somewhere to sit that had a path that was navigable with a large trolley with bits of desk that aren't working, someone right behind me needing to get in forcing me to speed up the issue, and same person going around me aiming at the place I was planning to sit in, forcing me to re-choose a place to sit on the fly. I almost fled.
Instead, I forced myself to do what I came there to do. That, and the thought of going through the parking lot again with the trolley was too much to bear. After waiting, and talking to Twitter (which seems not to have posted yet), I learned that because this was an assembly error, it was not refundable. They didn't have a spare piece (they did check). I left the bits with them, and didn't grab a snack at the café like I was thinking of doing. (I probably should have; would have made me more coherent.)
Driving back was over the Bay Bridge, my first time driving over it in the toll direction. It was gorgeous. I took the time to admire the artistry as well as function of the seemingly-delicate pieces of metal, and the patterns they made from my shifting perspective. The city was hazed in, making it seem half-real, and half-receded into a land where spiders can spin a bridge across the waters.
I picked JD up from BART, and we drove to the San Jose airport to pick up The Boy. By this time, I was feeling much better, as the focused action of driving and the soothing car seat had conspired to improve my brain function and take away a lot of the pain. Hooray! This meant that I was actually able to have coherent bits of conversation. It seems that "It's Complicated" has attained an enviable status, as the linguistic semi-equivalent of "Um ... friends!" of the new generation of internet children. (It differs in that "um-friends" are often acknowledged relationships that one can explain without recourse to a whiteboard and a whole playbook full of characters, but just that this status should not really be conveyed to the present audience (or can be shared with the *present* present audience, but not your mom. (Not mine. Yours.) "It's Complicated" implies that while you might be happy to explain the scenario to present company, it would require a Long Story (or two), and perhaps the sort of diagrams that have to include yarn in various color-codes to model the full dynamics of the whole situation.)
We reached the airport after some busy text-messaging. I found myself with a back-seat full of giggling and otherwise silly boys, and we had various cellphone hijinks getting in touch with sithjawa. My trusty GPS delivered us to the correct hotel housing Consonance '09 (not without commentary at the GPS), and I spied willskyfall and sithjawa in the parking lot. Introductions were made all around, involving usernames.
We had not actually decided on a specific venue for supper, but JD had done some Googling and had found that there were many possibilities in the area. He put forth the idea of "drive until we find something that looks good"; sithjawa and willskyfall suggested that the closest four-star-reviewed thing they'd heard of in the area was right across the way.
My dietary requirements were merely that they have something available without any shrimp, bananas, and walnuts. This seemed entirely like it could happen. (I am thinking that the banana problem may have upgraded itself to an allergy, if one sip of smoothie containing bananas will make every part of my mouth that touches it start to sting even after it is hastily spat out.) So we were off! willskyfall had shotgun on account of leg length, and sithjawa was in the back with the giggling boys. (In the parking lot headed in, they declared that no, actually, it was not possible for them to let go of each other at this point in time.)
Hot Pot City was great fun. We did not have the spicy hot pot. I can take certain amounts of spice; Steph is not a spice person.
Upon learning that it was our first time, the fellow who seated us demonstrated what we were to do. There was a burner in the center of the table, which had an arrangement of a foil-covered platter and a pot in the center of it. He poured water in the pot and spread butter on the foiled tray. At his direction, we headed to the buffet to choose our ingredients, then put vegetables in the pot and spread meats on the tray.
We were a little unnerved at first, that all the vegetables were going in together, but that passed quickly in the debate about whether this was too many cooks for the soup, and then the resulting discussion of how many cooks are too many, anyway, and the concept of a successful multi-cook gestalt. There were mushrooms, assorted greens, bean sprouts, more mushrooms, a tomato, some zucchini, and goodness knows what else. The meats were delicious. I had picked a skewer with chicken gizzards, and sithjawa and the Boy had some (after I explained to Steph what part of the chicken it was). There were ribs. There was some sausage. There were potstickers. There was crab in the soup, and there was IRC-related giggling on the Support side of the table. It's very good to be Out with fellow internet people. Things got alarmingly meta when "Live Your Life" came on as background music, as that samples O-Zone. Oh, internet. (Also, your mom.) Steph needs to write a filk of "500 Miles" involving a sex change rather further away than one would like to be driving. There was more general silliness than can be easily remembered.
After a very good dinner, we dropped the filk contingent off at the hotel again. Steph has a tendency to unmount her brain while being petted. I have a tendency, given a Steph, to pet the Steph. This can lead to a bit of hilarity. It was good to see them! JD and Steph geeked about assorted transit schedules. Then we headed back for SF, and they headed back to the con.
The assorted hijinks in the back seat of my car made me giggle extensively, particularly when "My Heart Will Go On" hit the radio. I miss my best friend. I miss him a lot. Stuff like Mythbusters will trigger that. Stuff like cute couple stuff will too, even though my best friend and I are not an actual couple. (The who-ranks-whom for the purposes of determining who gets shotgun was amusing when JD was here for Thanksgiving and we did lunch; that conversation, or lack of conversation, still makes me giggle. He may not entirely realize that while we're not a couple, in my social circles he socially counts as ... something that's more than just strictly best friend.) It's been too long since I've seen him, and I know when I see him again I'll want to make sure I can soak up as much touch as possible. Last time it was my arm tucked into his: the naked soft inside of my wrist pressed against his bare arm, skin on skin.
I dropped the boys off at the BART station, and zipped by Trader Joe's to make sure I had enough edamame. Hooray, edamame.
I got home to realize that I'd left my laptop on the kitchen counter, and it had run out of battery. Furthermore, the wireless appliance was plugged into a dodgy wall outlet, one that was not entirely right in the wall. I'll have to have them see to that one too. Gmail failed to connect a whole lot. I eventually wandered down to the apartment complex's clubhouse with the laptop, where the wireless was plentiful and free in the wild places. Too soon, security came by -- evidently we're supposed to be out of there by ten. Woe.
However, since the pages were up, the pages were able to be loaded better back with the dodgy wireless. It's like the 1990s again. It can take a half-hour to fully load a page. LJ is horribly thick to load, with all sorts of stupid subdomains.
Tomorrow will feature a call to the insurance agency, probably some faxing, a call to PacificaNet about the fact that I seem to be living in a pit that has no signal (which is just not a livable internet situation for me), and possibly a call to somewhere like Verizon to arrange for some internet that does not depend on the whims of radio in all its delightful varied little forms.