January 2nd, 2012

New Years

I had several places I wanted to be to celebrate the new year, but I decided I would go to spend time with old friends rather than new, so I went to Milwaukee.

The trip up had some minor bits of stress.  I got going almost on time, but not fully mentally functional, as I would discover as I drove past Rantoul on I-57, only realizing at that moment that I was on the wrong road -- I was supposed to have stayed on I-74 to get to I-39, because I was going to VOTK.  Shortly after that, I realized that when I'd put my snacks in the cooler I'd forgotten to put the sandwich I had made (that I didn't eat on Thursday when I didn't go to EFRC because I felt too crappy with my sinus infection and cold), so I was mentally hitting myself with a hammer.  I had just installed my shiny new IPASS tollway transponder, and I drove through the automatic lane at the toll plaza at the Wisconsin border -- and the transponder didn't visibly do anything.  Wait, the papers they sent with it said it's supposed to have blinking lights.  Shit, I said, I guess it didn't work, now I have to deal with a missed toll when I get back.  But I managed to decide that since I couldn't do anything about it then, I wouldn't worry about it.  Made it to VOTK, an hour later than I meant to.  Although it was slightly above freezing, it was very windy and felt miserably cold.  I took a few pictures of Jasmine, and renewed my membership and got a calendar.  Then on to Milwaukee, where I got to filkart and ithiriel's house, and got hit by the tired bus; I got into the living room and collapsed in a chair.  After a bit of vegging and some cheese and crackers I was able to move; we grabbed a bite to eat at Culver's and then drove to Lytheria.  I found myself feeling more like a spectator than usual.  Filk didn't happen until after the toast at midnight, and it was only me, filkart, wyld_dandelyon, and beige_alert; we ran out of steam by about 2.  The filk was nice but less than I expected.  Got home and fell into bed.

Today, after I got up at noon, we determined that Champion Chicken, the restaurant that is a cornerstone of my friendship with Art, was closed for the holiday, so we went to Athens, where they had a prime rib buffet, a little pricey at $15 for a fairly short buffet, but the food was decent and we all had too much.  Then Art and I went for a short trip to the museum, so I could see butterflies in January.  ithiriel stayed home and made us biryani, which seemed unnecessarily generous.  And then I came home, because I needed to get home before the tired found me again.

Here at home, the furnace is still limping along, but it's still keeping the house warm.  The furnace guy told me he'd call me on Friday to set up an appointment, but he didn't, so I have to try to call him and hopefully fit that in real soon.  I did manage to get logged in on the IPASS site (after more swearing than should have been needed), and my account had been charged for the toll on Saturday.  So I guess the thing works after all.