Well, let's see, we might as well start with Friday afternoon when I called in sick to work during a work-at-home day which is the most pathetic thing I've ever heard of, but the ridiculous mild cold had worn me out and I had gotten to this point at which I was just staring at my computer and unable to think or do anything much productive and I didn't think it was right to do that on the company dime when I could just do it for free, so I took my temperature and found out I still had a smidge of temperature, 99.2 F, so I gobbled a bit of ibuprofen and took a nap and felt better afterwards, so I did a bit of cleanup around the house and called DirecTV to get our antenna fixed (again) probably because something came loose from the mid-January repair after the windstorm but I can't really blame the guy because he was working 2-1/2 stories up on a ladder in ten-degree weather so it's not surprising he didn't get it quite right and I had an interesting conversation with the DirecTV customer service rep while we were waiting for my receiver to reboot because they make you go through all of the steps before scheduling a service call even if you've already done it before and know it's either the damn antenna being misaligned or a transceiver problem on the dish, but it turns out that this guy wanted to chat a bit about the phrase "war on drugs" and some of the real devestation it has wrought on some of his family members including this cousin of his in Chicago who got convicted of a drug felony and now can't get a cosmetology license to work as a barber which is just ridiculous and a disproportionate drain on the African American community as a whole because so many black guys do work as barbers, anyway it was a much more interesting conversation than the usual hold music, so kudos to DirecTV for having an interesting customer service dude to talk to while my receiver rebooted, and after that I cooked us a little dinner since I was feeling better, a deep-dish pizza pie with artichoke hearts, green peppers, mushrooms, and Italian sausage and it turned out to be extremely delicious I think I am getting the hang of that new addition to my kitchen repertoire practice-makes-perfect and I am very willing to practice making and eating deep-dish pizza pies, which was about the end of productivity for me so we watched the Tiger game and a bit of other television and called it an early night because I had to get reasonably early the next morning to go play rugby in Toledo.
CRASH! In the middle of the night lightning and thunder and poor little Katie the Beagle who is very brave about squirrels and rabbits but not about inexplicable lightning displays or floor-rattling thunder poor little Katie went back and forth around our bed digging for a safer spot and mostly just looking for a little assurance that the people were keeping an eye on things and that all was okay so I turned on my light and read one of my Knights of the Dinner Table Bundle of Trouble collections for a bit, now that I have them all I'm going back and re-reading them in order, and I petted Katie occasionally and then fell back asleep around four am.
In the morning throwing my rugby gear in the bag I couldn't find my mouthpieces, but they turned out to be right on top of the drawer, and then I loaded up on Sudafed and ibuprofen and drove down to Toledo in the rain to play in our old boy match and it was great to see all the guys and have a bit of a run around, which I survived in much better shape than I expected with three or four quite nice plays amid a lot of general gasping for breath because I really am in generally poor cardiovascular shape these days -- must work on that -- and the sun came out by the end of the game so we sat about and watched a couple games during the tournament and shot the shit and made a few general plans and I stayed away from the beer -- well, okay, one post-game LaBatts -- 'cause I was so full of cold medicine plus I wanted to get a bit of cleanup and erranding done when I got home since we were going to have dinner guests on Sunday, then I drove back on home where I fixed little Anna's bike handlebars then fetched propane and filled Sprout's gas tank and picked up some spackle to hopefully start patching a few problems this week and then I watched the Preakness on DVR with a mint julep even though it wasn't the Kentucky Derby, but it was a really good race, that Rachel Alexandra is a good horse and Mine That Bird is for real, despite a bad run and getting blocked around the rail I think he would've caught her if he had another furlong to run, and between rugby and cold medicine and mint julep that was pretty much the end of productivity for the day so I checked out my rugby bruises -- a nice cleat-mark on the inside of my right shin and a really interesting bruise on my left shoulder where I hit something or someone pretty hard and actually bruised the stitches of my jersey into my shoulder, never done that before -- then I futzed with the fantasy baseball team a bit on the computer, watched the Tiger game and then a couple of Star Trek episodes, the second of which put Monique to sleep on the couch, so I covered her with a blanket but I wish either one of us had thought to turn the heat back on because it got chilly on Saturday night and she was sleeping under just one blanket on the couch and I was by myself upstairs and although Katie the Beagle joined her on the couch there just wasn't enough body heat sharing overall to have an unheated house on a cold night.
Sunday dawned crisp and sunny and it was too bad that Monique's Mom had to cancel on their planned flower-and-plant outing because of her injured back, I hope she feels better soon, and I read the paper for a bit before going off to the last day of the Motor City Comic Con where generally I just wander about, but this year I had a couple of genuine to-do lists on my list including getting autographs from Ron Frenz and Tom Buscema on the Amazing Spider-Girl pages that I've picked up over the last few years, buying a few page portfolios to better store and organize the original-art pages that I've been collecting, plus I wanted to drop a MapQuest map off with Ryan, since he and his girlfriend Candace were stopping by after the con for dinner and a pontoon boat cruise, and my tasks complete I then bumped around a bit and checked things out, picked up a few new indie comics -- I'd already loaded up on several of the local guys at the Michigan State comic forum in March, and then I dug through a box under some dude's table and found eight more Savage Sword of Conans cheap to continue to fill out my Savage Sword collection, one day I'll have the full run and read them all in order, sure it's not the deepest goal in the world, but it is kind of a fun one, and generally wandered about checking out booths and costumes -- the best were a guy in a fabulous Doctor Octopus get-up with big gangling arms boinging around and this tall blond girl at a horror film booth who would've been wearing just another goth-lingerie getup with fangs except that she turned and smiled at me and she had blood-red contacts in her eyes which was pretty cool and a bit unsettling -- and I picked up a few trade paperbooks for five-beans each, which was a sweet deal -- and it was a pretty lively show, more so than the last couple of years and at least a couple of the dealers I talked to thought it was because the feature guest was Carrie Fisher and she had drawn a big crowd, which reminds me that I really and truly must tell the real-life story of why I have a photograph of Carrie Fisher's key ring, then I headed home to complete pre-dinner-and-cruise tasks, the vast majority of which had already been done by Monique who took the occasion as an opportunity for general Spring cleanup and really did a great job of cleaning everything, though I wish Brigitte had been up for the flower outing since it was a great day for it and also because I felt more than a bit guilty about galavanting about all weekend while Monique cleaned and vacuumed, but everything was ready by the time Ryan and Candace stopped by at six and we had a really nice dinner -- chicken ka-bobs, followed by chestnut puree and whipped cream for dessert -- and a really good sunset cruise, lots of interesting get-to-know-you chit-chat, since they're both really interesting people and found themselves living in Michigan perhaps a bit unexpectedly -- boy, don't I know what that is like?! -- and seem to be settling in comfortably in East Lansing where they both teach, she's a professor of African Art and he's been instructing visual arts and MSU's first comic studio art class, which is sort of how Ryan and I met in the first place, since Monique and I met him at a comic-talk back in December after I had read couple of his autobiographical comics, which reminds me that he also gave us a very neat print of this little drawing that's hard to describe, but this being the Internet and all I will just post a photo, voilá:
... which I'm not quite sure where I'll put, perhaps in my cube at work, and anyway the point is that it all made for an extremely pleasant, interesting, and fun evening shindig, plus the sunset was great and even though it was pretty chilly on the lake we were all well bundled up, and Katie the Beagle was at her most charming and is now the first of our clan to make it onto Twitter, at least photographically, so a good time was had by all, and then after Ryan and Candace headed back to East Lansing -- they're going to spend six weeks in Africa in Mali this Summer, how fun! -- Monique and I watched the Survivor finale, which we had been recording on the DVR, and as I bring this thing to a close I won't even begin to defend our Survivor habit here, except to say that I still find it to be one of the most consistently interesting and fun shows on television, then we called it a night, a busy and productive weekend having been brought to a successful conclusion and the doldrums of last week's annoying-and-mild cold having been shaken for good.
A very good weekend, indeed.