So when last we chatted, it was a few days before our non-denomination winter party, which this year also served the functions of New Year's Party and Housewarming. All seemed well with the world. We had moved into our new place and switched all the utilities and even fixed a few minor things around the house.
Monday, I went to work, and when I came home, I found that the internet connection was no longer working. Probably some minor glitch, one would imagine.
Tuesday, we get some calls from our agent, and the reps of the former owner, and the workmen who work for the former owners, and we get some time scheduled Wednesday morning to get the work done that the seller promised would be done (and hadn't yet). Wednesday is the day of the party of course, so I'm hoping the electrician doesn't put his foot through the attic floor. Later Tuesday, still no internet, so Rebecca calls Comcast and talks to the trained Canadian monkey on the other end of the line. Basically, he assumes we are idiots, that the fault is all on our end, and after having us turn the cable modem off and on a couple times, absolves himself of all responsibility -- which is all the more irritating because, of course, I have already spent a good deal of time disconnecting and turning off and on just about everything to try to get things to work. His parting suggestion is that we may need to update our OS (which we do in the abstract sense, though Comcast says what we had was good enough).
Anyway, we set aside the question of Comcast and prepped a bit more for the party. In the morning, the workers came and fixed some plumbing and wiring, with no disasters, unless you count the dirt and insulation and woodchips scattered all over the floors that I had swept and vacuumed the day before. Curses.
The part probably requires a post of its own, but why should I stop when I'm on a roll.
Naomi was first to arrive. She also brought some raw meat along. Not for the party, but for herself. Evidently, she's on a raw food diet, eating mostly raw fruit, raw vegetables, and yes... raw meat. She scarfed it down happily, while I stuffed the cat in the pantry, where one would have thought she would have been happy. Food, catbox, a blanket to sleep in...
Anyway, a metric busload of people arrive in swift succession. Each of them brings enough food and drink for about ten people. Consequently, food and drink are soon overflowing all over the place. Our homemade eggnog and Becca's chocolate chip cookies and her shrimp goop are all big hits, but soon there are many distractions, and a confusing multiplicity of champagne bottles. Pretty soon I realize that there is no way we will need to save them all for midnight (since we had bought 5 bottles ourselves) so I open up a bottle and keep at least one open at all times through the rest of the night.
Several people were super specially nice enough to bring house-warming gifts. Brian and Kristen got us some lovely purply martini glasses. They are very cool. Aaron & Kirsten got us a hot red decanter. If I recall correctly, Ray Cynthia Deb Kevin Chun Roselle combined forces to get a decanter and a bottle of cognac. I begin to wonder if our friends think we are lushes. Tapani and Monica got us a practical gift along with some very fine champagne. The Crosbys presented us with the Cthuzuzah, a little Cthulhu-head plaque to be affixed in the manner of a mezuzah. Yes, it is as wickedly spiffy as it sounds. Oh, and Robert remembered to return the Life of Brian DVD he borrowed ages ago. That counts as a good housewarming gift in my book.
I mixed some drinks, drank some drinks, offered numerous (if necessarily short) tours of the house. Aaron is the only person I made two drinks for, I think. But it's really not my fault. I understand that he had already had a couple-three drinks before showing up. And he clearly was aiming for more. The party made it all the way to 2004 without any trouble, and was still going strong. I could go on an talk about all the lovely and scintillating conversations I had, but instead, I'll talk about how Aaron threw up on himself.
After midnight, Aaron went downhill rapidly. It was clearly only a matter of time before the inevitable took place. When it seemed the time was near, Rebecca wanted to stick him in the bathroon, but I wanted to keep it clear for guests, so I channeled him into the garage, where he was soon sick as a dog.
Not content to simply lie in his vomit and feel miserable, he soon was commanding his zombie hordes to arise and do his bidding. This was not in a firm, commanding tone of voice, but a loud shouring tone of voice. He went on and on about these zombies. Long after it ceased to be amusing (one would think), but most of the other party guests enjoyed going out to the garage to see him and come back, and he also had angelic attendants in the form of Kirsten (happy anniversary, you two) Greg and Lisa, who made sure he didn't die.
So not only was there an obstreperous drunk in the garage, but people were tracking dirt into the house from the backyard, etc. Ah, well. After a couple hours, people drifted on to their final destinations for the evening, and I watched the quite zombie-like form of Aaron being led (or rather supported by Kirsten and Greg) to their car, strapped in, and ferried away.
Aaron seems to have carried the last of the fun away from the party, because things broke up shortly afterwards. The last guests left about 3:30 or so, I think.
My own stomach didn't feel so hot for a while, so I couldn't get to sleep, but eventually, I nodded off around dawn. After what seemed like ten minutes, Rebecca had popped up, and I could hear her cleaning up. My body fell into unconsciousness for a bit longer, but I got up after a bit and helped out as best I could.
It was truly a shambles. Mud on the floors, mud on the carpet, Food and drink and empties everywhere. And, of course, vomit in the garage. We did a bit of cleaning. Then I called for a timeout and took Rebecca out for brunch. Then some more cleaning. And then to clear our heads, we took a little walk around our new neighborhood. Probably about this time, the Heslins came by and found us not at home, so the left an excellent lamp as a housewarming gift, which we found a bit later.
Friday, I set out to figure what's wrong with the cable modem. I fiddle with it a bit, and then go off to work, so I can at least use the internet there to see what's what. I soon find that I can't log onto the Comcast help community because it doesn't recognize our usernames and passwords. I call Rebecca - she calls Comcast - and we find now that our internet service has been cancelled somehow. Note that Canadian Monkey #1 should have been able to tell us that, but he was just competent enought to read the card that said "Turn the modem off and on; if that doesn't work, it's not our problem."
[oh, yes, we also sped off to the Mac store at Third Street and updated the OS -- we're now running 10.3 Panther -- and incidentally got a good lunch at the Gaucho Grill.]
Rebecca spends a long time on the phone with Canadian monkeys #2, #3 and #4. #4 may be high enough up the food chain to qualify as a Canadian gibbon or orangutan. For some reason, it appears that they need to send a serviceman out to turn the internet back on (though it didn't take a serviceman to turn it off) At first, they want to do that next Thursday. Rebecca bitches out the orangutan until that gets changed to tomorrow (i.e. today)
Today, three Comcast techs show up and are surprised to find everything in readiness. They thought it was a cold install, but there was a modem, it was hooked up, it was getting signal... the only thing was that it didn't recognize us as subscribers since our account had been cancelled. They agree that this should have been handled over the phone, but they spend some time setting things back up again. It still isn't back to normal, for reasons that are too boring to go into, but basically we have a new account, and need to transfer back to the old accound so we can get control back over the webpages, etc.
Otherwise, the long weekend has been pretty nice, although we still continue to spend too much time doing things around the house instead of just lying in a coma, which would be my preferred occupation for the next few days.
Anyway, after a depressing interlude, I'm back on the 'Net, so lock up you daughters. If you managed to read all this, you are awarded a virtual gold star.