As with all good things, there's always a price. No, not the hefty sum I paid for the privilege of being able to sleep during the baker's dozen or so really hot days that we're periodically subjected to (though there is much discussion that this number is going up). I'm speaking of the sheer effort to bring the large, completely handless box from work (where I had it shipped) home, and up the three stories worth of stairs (and then some).
But once again I'm starting in the middle.
Last weekend was very odd. Roni's good friend, AJ, had abruptly lost his partner the week before to... well, to be honest, I don't know exactly how he died. The poor man was suffering from so many physical problems any one of them could have been the fatal straw, though the fact he had suffered a seizure the Friday before he died could be a proverbial smoking gun. Basically, he woke up dead on Monday morning -- one hopes and prays it was a gentle parting, bidding bon voyage from a ship of dreams.
I mean that. AJ's a great person, and it's hard enough on him.
When it happened in mid-july, the memorial was set for the same weekend as Perforce's summer getaway to Santa Cruz. Roni's plan" SHe thought I could hitch a ride with a co-worker and she could meet me there later in the day.
Sure, I could have easily gotten a lift to Santa Cruz. However, while there are many things I can easily walk away from (Jennifer Anniston, Sushi, Iraq), having Roni going to support a grieving friend on her own was not even on the waiting list.
AJ was hoping to spend some pre-memorial time with us, so it was going to work out anyway -- we could skip the first half of the day and time the trip to get there before the picnic proper was to begin. Excuse me, WAKE. I'm a bad irishman to keep calling it something other than an excuse to get totally ripping drunk in celebration of a life that lived.
Ah, best laid plans. Turns out that, even though we were actually on time (no thanks to bleary eyed Yo... I think I was a touch insomnulant last week), at least a dozen people had decided to come early to "help out".
We were able to spend some time, making sure he got a special "package" courtesy my special club card (I requested the most potent mix guaranteed to produce a good night's sleep).
We actually got a bit later a start as a result, but screw that. If this had been anything but the company picnic, I would have blown it off.
I decided to take a chance on taking Highway 1 down the coast. Devil's Slide outside of Pacifica had just re-opened (a good month and a half early!) from the repair of the damage wrought from last winter's storm, so I was hoping that no one had caught on to it.
Actually, the traffic wasn't bad at all. However, the moron's who refuse to take turn-outs, all while driving ten miles under the speed limit, were almost enough to make me regret the choice. Fortunately, I was finally able to pass most of those by Ano Nuevo, and the rest of the drive was glorious.
We got to Santa Cruz by 4, and actually scored parking right across from the board walk, within shouting distance of the picnic. We got there as Allison handed out some shirts commemorating the event, right before they served a very tasty dinner. A pretty tight steel drum band riffed away, and we got air-brush tattoos (Roni's is already gone, but mine STILL looks like it was just sprayed on).
After an hour and a half we wen down the boardwalk. We had received wristbands for the rides, so we decided to hit as many as possible before heading to Well Within for a soak.
We hopped on the ski lift (well, that's what it looks like!), and I discovered that I still have some vestigial fear of heights under some circumstances. Fortunately, I was able to breath it out and enjoy the view -- that ride made for enjoying various eye candy from a whole new viewpoint.
We jumped on logger's revenge (a log plume ride) -- the picture was so good I actually shelled out the 10 bucks for a print (I'll scan it for viewing pleasure soon enough). Roni wanted to jump on the tilt-a-whirl, but I chickened out... I was certain I was going to throw up, no matter how much I enjoyed it.
On the way back I realized I had never had the chance to try the bumper cars. I don't mean this particular boardwalk's bumper cars, I mean EVER. That turned out to be a lot more fun than I thought it would be.
The rest of the evening was blessedly uneventful.
As I mentioned, the AC arrived Tuesday. This was also the same night Perforce was showing Rocky Horror in "The Shed". Roni, Kim and I went, and discovered that we could have just as easily gone in our usual get-ups -- after all, if the founder of the company can show up in a wig and hot pants, I'm guessing our outfits would have fit right in.
Since we all had to drive here anyway, I loaded the AC into the car and brought it home. When I read the specs online I noted that the shipping weight was about 85 pounds -- not a light weight, but I've handled heavier objects, so it seemed doable.
After I dragged that monster upstairs, I thought I was going to faint. I keep forgetting how hard it is to deal with something sans hand holds.
Much to my surprise, the unit wasn't the one I thought I ordered -- this would have been an issue, except it turned out to be the unit I had wanted in the first place from CostCo before they sold out, for pretty much EXACTLY what it would have cost to get it from them. Remember what I said about Murphy cutting me a break? Thanks, man.
A good thing too -- it was over 90 in the apartment this afternoon when I went home for lunch. Since it was already 3, I fired it up so the bedroom would be cool when Roni got home.
There's more, but I'm afraid I'm going to have to put that in a friend's locked post -- all I can say is it involves my annual review, and I'm positively shocked and awed in all the right ways. Have I mentioned lately how much I love my job?