un entry grande
Francisco and I are going out tonight with one of the AtomicFriends (she's in town on business), and if it just so happens that I get drunk and get into a bar fight, and the person I'm fighting with knocks me down and rubs my face on the pavement, I'm going to be conflicted. Because that would mainly hurt, but it would also scratch these two mosquito bites, and that would not suck. I really couldn't tell you why, after having the bites for two weeks, and after they were almost gone, I woke up yesterday morning with them itching all over again. By the end of the day yesterday, all my bites had flared up and were swollen and crazyitchy and it's all I can do not to scratch them. I've hypothesized that it's the heat, because it's quite hot here now, but I don't really know for sure that that's it. I took an antihistamine today, and I think it's helped a bit, but the bites on my face? Are all red and puffy and zit-looking again, and I feel that the Universe is toying with me. Stupid Universe.
I think we're going to take our AtomicFriend to a relatively new restaurant that we've been to once, but other than that I don't know what we'll do. She'll need to work tomorrow, so we can't stay out Too late. I've been doing the summer flex time this week, working 4 ten hour days, so tomorrow starts my weekend. I love that. I plan to sleep in as late as I want (this will be about 9:00 a.m., I suspect) and we plan to figure out how we want to cook the assload of vegetables delivered today in our farm subscription, and grocery-shop accordingly. I also need to mail some stuff and make a couple of calls, and have the sex. Boy made it to my parents' with zero problems and is living it up out there, so Francisco and I will live it up here. If you know what I mean. And I know you do.
This morning I woke up at almost 3:00 because I smelled something. It wasn't smoke, it was just an icky smell, and I figured out it was coming out of the air conditioning vent by my side of the bed. I tried to ignore it, but it was not ignorable, so I got up and turned off the AC and went back to sleep. In between the AC turning-off and the sleep, I laid awake while Esther lounged on my pillow, purring, and worried about that stink. I thought maybe something had somehow gotten into the AC ducts and died there, because I didn't know why the air coming out of there would suddenly stink. And did I mention the stink was coming out of the bathroom vent too? Because it was, so it wasn't just the one vent. Today Francisco went out and investigated the heating/cooling unit outside, and there was nothing weird out there, so he turned on the AC and it didn't stink, so it's all a big mystery. I guess maybe a stray cat wandered past the outside unit and sprayed it, or something, so the air it was sucking into the house was stinky. I KNOW I didn't dream it.
Yesterday afternoon I went to the eye doctor, and my appointment was well-timed. Every year my office goes to a daytime baseball game (the Durham Bulls), and I don't go. I went the first 2 years, but it was a misery so I gave it up. It's always very hot and the seats are small and there's almost no leg room, and basically I end up feeling trapped when I'm sitting in the middle of a row. I get a little claustrophobic, actually, so I don't subject myself to the experience anymore. Everyone said it was godawful hot yesterday--apparently the seats burned everyone's asses when they sat down--and people sweated like crazy. Meanwhile, I was at the eye doctor's office, enjoying the air-conditioning (good-smelling) and getting my eyes dilated. I'm very happy I went to the eye doctor, for two reasons. 1) She told me that my retinas are quite healthy, for someone with eyes as bad as mine. I needed to hear that, because sometimes I worry I will go completely blind. 2) I'm getting new contact lenses, and they'll be clear this time! The last time I got contact lenses (1991, thankyouverymuch) the place I got them from said that rigid gas permeable lenses were not available in clear, and that I would have to choose between light blue tinted and light green. I chose light blue, and they barely change the color of my eyes. Still, people always ask me if my eye color is real (they did this before the tinted lenses too) and I've been having to explain that my eyes are not quite this blue, but almost. People seem a little too satisfied with this answer, as though to say, "HA! I knew they couldn't be that color". After I get the new lenses, when people ask me The Question, I can say, "Yes. This is really the color." I'm going to love that.
Okay, I want to tell you about meeing Atomic and Ozzy now. I wasn't too nervous to meet them, and we had no trouble taking the T and finding their apartment. We had stopped on the way to pick up flowers and wine (which I know is very unoriginal, but I hadn't had time to shop for other, more interesting things, dammit) and arrived at the arranged time. Their cat greeted us on the steps and we knocked on the open door, and suddenly there was Atomic! In a cute dress and the white go-go boots she wore for her wedding. Hugs and introductions and handshakes all around, with Niclas as well, because he came to greet us, and he's adorable. I tried to keep from using the word adorable, but I don't mean it in a bland, "aw, how cute!" kind of way. He is funny and smart and gorgeous and all things good. There was some chatting and wine pouring, and Atomic had us sit down while she finished the dinner preparations. While she was finishing things, she gifted Boy with a bag of cool stuff from a Chinese store near their place. There was all kinds of things in there, including paper clothing (note to self, remember to send the picture of him wearing it) and play money--two kinds; one is Money from Heaven and the other is Money from Hell. One guess as to which is Boy's favorite. Atomic also gifted Francisco and I each with cool plastic lunchboxes from the Chinese store. The tops of the lunchboxes even have Engrish on them--something like "Food is fuel for human body". The lunchboxes have two layers and come with chopsticks and a spoon. I love mine so much, and everyone in the office was jealous when I first brought it in. The other thing she gave us was ho-made Skor bar (this stuff is So Good; I have the recipe but am now afraid to make it, due to it's addictive powers), half of which disappeared Way too quickly, and the other half of which was given to Miles two days later when we met him. I gave it to him because I wanted to be Atomic's Ambassador of Skor; I hope she doesn't mind.
Anyway, dinner was the raclette grill, and I was happy because I had secretly hoped they would break out the raclette grill. It was good, and a fun meal, and I now want a raclette grill but Francisco won't let us get one. He says he is like Alton Brown, in that he doesn't like to have kitchen gadgets that are good for only one thing. I can see that point, but .....raclette grill! So we had dinner and drank wine, and Ozzy got Boy set up in the living room to watch a Star Wars movie while the grownups talked and laughed and had drinks Many drinks. While Boy was getting set up, Atomic poured grapefruit drops, and I had a couple of those (I have trouble nursing a drink). More talking and then the pouring of Swedish liquors. When we were all good and drunk, Ozzy set out to make Boy a couple of cds (he made him 4), which was very sweet and generous. At some point Atomic dropped something on the floor and when I leaned down to pick it up, my chair fell over, and me with it. I was completely unharmed, and thank god there is no pictoral evidence of that. Or at least I don't think there is. Speaking of which, we forgot our camera at the hotel and didn't remember until we were on the T and it was too late to go back for it. I am still chagrined about that, because I would've loved to take pictures. Oh, and we met the turtles! They're really big now--living with Atomic and Ozzy definitely agrees with them. They were taken out of the tank and allowed to scrabble around on the wood floor for a minute, and they got Huffy. The evening (as you can probably tell) is somewhat fuzzy in my memory (thanks vodka) but I remember talking about dobermans and eating disorders and the Atkins diet, getting a tour of the various Swedish delicacies that live in their refrigerator, and reaching under the frig for the cap to the fish paste after it fell and bounced under there. I didn't find it but something fuzzy molested my hand. At some point Atomic took down the ceramic cat with upraised paw she had on a shelf in her kitchen, cleaned it off, and stuck it in a bag for me to take home, but I don't really remember why. I think I admired it, and I will say that I Do enjoy having it in my kitchen, but I found out that she was lying when she said, over my protests, "Come on, do you know how Cheap these are?" I saw them for sale in the Chinese store next to the restaurant we met Miles at, and they were Not that cheap. She a liar, but a generous liar. She also lent me Mil's book, which I have read and will be mailing back to her tomorrow. I enjoyed it, it's a fun read. The ending was a little meh, but there were a lot of laugh-out-loud funny parts to it, so it is worthwhile.
I digress. I will just wrap up by saying that we all had the most amazing time and when we were talking about our vacation as a whole, our dinner with them was in the top three best things we did. We'd planned to take the T back to the hotel, but by the time we noticed we should think about leaving, it was after midnight, and so we took a cab. Ozzy was going out to a party at his friend's place, so we shared a cab with him to there, and were then driven to our hotel. Or rather to 3 blocks from our hotel, because our cabbie was seriously confused. Even more than we were, and that was a lot.
The meeting with Miles will need to wait until next time, because I'm all typed out and I still have some stuff to do before I head home.
Sending all my love along the wire,
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