Friday, July 28, 2006

What a Bunch of Depressives

Oye, what a whirlwind trip out to FC that was. The trip out there went OK. I got to the hotel a little earlier than I expected, and I wanted to send an email to a guy at work with the final version of this thing I had written on the plane. Opened up the old peecee, and the wireless connected, though with only 2 bars of signal. I logged in, as I had done every day the previous week so that The Sister could check her lack of email from The Boyfriend.

Then the signal dropped. I wandered all around the room trying to get a signal. I stood in the tub. I held the peecee up to the ceiling. I went by the window. Zero to 1 bar of signal. Checked my watch; still time to meet the guys at Old Chicago. Call up the front desk and ask if they have a signal repeater, as a lot of hotels do. They don't know what I'm talking about, but give me the tech support phone number.

I was suspicious, as the entire section on connecting to the internet was missing from my hotel directory in this room. I know this as, of course, we stayed in a different room last week and I had read the instructions there.

I call up the tech support line, give the nice lady the hotel and room number information. Tell herI can't get a reliable signal. She says, "That's strange. There should be a strong signal in that room."

I wonder if their cue card tells them to say that, or if they actually have a signal strength map for each hotel they service. I'm guessing the former.

She has me diddle around with my peecee wireless setting, which naturally don't make a damned but of difference cuz you can't create a signal to receive by diddling your peecee settings. But you have to humor these tech support folks or they can't proceed.

She puts me on hold. Comes back a few minutes later. "I'm going to have to escalate this. Your access point is not responding, and I'm going to file a ticket to have it rebooted."

Wow. They have remote access to the network and can tell when there's a hardware problem. Fancy. I'm happy. I go to dinner, though now I am a touch late from being on hold.

I get to the OldC about 5 minutes late, and CJ and MoustachioP are waiting. M-P brought along his son, who told me his name was something like Mr. T. Then we had to wait for El Toro, who ambled in from under the cork tree presently.

Now, as it turns out, this was like some sort of group therapy meeting for chronic malcontents. I'm not sure why, but it seems that maybe this is the crowd that either I am drawn to or is drawn to me. It starts out innocently enough, with nobody able to figure out what they want to drink, since normally they have some kind of beer on sale, and you just take that, but tonight no such luck. I got some local brew from Odells. It was drinkable, which is about the best I could say about it. El Torito ordered Michelob Ultra-watered down. I can't remember at all what MoustachioP got, but I swear it was like a lemonaid. But he had his kid with him, so I cut him slack.

CJ was the wild card - getting the Long Island Iced Tea. Someone said, "CJ, I didn't think you drank." He says, "I'm starting to."

Now that, my friends, is one hell of a line. CJ is damn funny, when taken out of context.

I started to explain to CJ how long island iced tea is kind of a chick drink, and I was about to say, "In fact, it's more of a fat chick who realizes she's going to have to debase herself again tonight with whatever barely literate, penniless creep is left in the bar at closing time and who will probably throw up on her pillow and then never call her back so she might as well be good and drunk by then kinda drink," but then I said to myself, "Self, explaining the finer points of drinking to CJ is like explaining why you prefer reruns of VIP over reruns of Baywatch to your dog. Sure, he'll listen intently, he may even cock his head to one side and perk up an ear. But you know you're basically just talking to hear yourself."

So I was quiet after, "it's kind of a chick drink." Plus, you know, CJ went to great trouble to put together this gathering on short notice and in competition with a poker game, so you shouldn't rag on your host.

You should wait until you're home, then rag on him in your blog. He's too tired, what with the new baby, to read the blog anymore, so it's safe.

Then, with a few tiny sips of alcohol in them, the guyz let loose. El Torito starts talking about how he wants to move about 30 miles south to be located midway between his job and his wife's, so she doesn't have so long a commute, but how he can't cuz he's pretty sure we'll all be out of a job when they shut down the sit in a couple months.

The floodgates come wide open at that point. "Well, I don't expect to make it until they shut down the site." "I expect to be laid off in a month." "I expect to get fired by the end of the month." "No, I'm going to get fired first." "Big Boss never liked me - he's going to single me out to fire as soon as the next round of layoffs happen."

I think CJ and MoustachioP got into some kind of competition as to which on is going to be fired first. El Torito is at least going to stick it out until the whole site gets shut down. I kept thinking to myself, "Self, what in the hell have you dragged your fambily into?" I managed to get so depressed that I only had one beer.

The next morning, of course, I realized that we normally have a few upbeat guys to balance out these idiots, but all those guys went to the poker game cuz it sounded like more fun than sitting around with a bunch of depressives trying to outdo each other with who is going to get fired first. The poker game, as it turns out, was hosted at a house just a couple blocks down the circle from my new one out there.

Speaking of the new house. Here are a couple snapshots from it that I took when we were trying to figure out what carpet and paint we wanted after we were in contract.

This one here is MaxieC on the built-in trampoline in the back yard with our realtor. The Sister, aka Ellie, is taking the photo from a different angle. I'm standing in what will be HannieC's bedroom looming out the window when taking this photo.

This next one is also taken out the window of what will be HannieC's room. She has an excellent view.

Here's a picture at the foot of the basement stairs. MaxieC is looking up at the electronic basketball game, which is not included with the house. The wine cellar door is to the left in the photo.

Here's a shot of the bar from the pool table room. The pool table isn't currently in this room (it's in the living room upstairs), but it's clearly proportioned for a pool table and even has a pool table lamp hanging in the middle of the ceiling. I'll have to get me a pool table.


ellie said...

I didn't realize that was a wine cellar. I thought it was a sauna.

wife said...

We could turn it into a sauna - it's not finished. We have to fix up that trampoline.

wife said...

I vaguely recall CJ mentioning something about a Long Island iced tea. Maybe that's all he knows.

Who is El Toro or Torito? Is his name Ferd? Bull? Munro?

mabel gershbein said...

Do you have any more house pics?