We split up early. I usually take CR with me, because his pace is faster than most, and I can keep up. We did the usual. Visited my merchant friends like Kathy at Sleeping Dragon South, visited Bee Folks (Lori and Dave were not there, due to Dave's condition, which I hear is really improving), Larry at Sandcrafters (he was busy, so all we did was wave), squire_liz at the stables, and I bought a rose from dreamtigress (who, due to our high differences on a steep slope, I accidentally hugged her boobs, so if that offended you, Tiger, sorry, and if that didn't, then... well... you got a cheap feel for free!).
And while my visit with squire_liz was short (she only had a little time before preparing for a show), she took us back to see the horses, and with trepidation but the hope that if the horses bolted, there weren't that many of them, I went back there.
See, when I was a kid, I spooked horses. I think I have spoke about this before, but the summary is the last time I was near a horse was at a parade where a policeman's horse made eye contact with me and bucked him to the street (actually, he reared and the policeman fell off off the back). I also had a rather traumatic event happen when I was at an elementary school field trip, and I asked not to be taken into the stables because I knew I made horses panic. Mistaking my warning for, "I am a kid afraid of horses," a woman took me into the stables, rather forcefully, convincing me that the horses were used to children. The moment I entered the stable, several of the horses pulled back into their stalls, and started screaming (that panicked neigh you horse lovers know). This caused the others horses to freak out, and soon the stable was echoing about a dozen or so horses, bucking and screaming. Hay was flying everywhere, and the sound of rattling doors being kicked was deafening. The women and one of the stable hands freaked out, and "rushed me to safety." She tried to convince me that they must have seen a lizard or something, but then a horse in the field next to me saw me and ran away at full gallop, its trainer running after him like, "Hey? WTF are you going?" I remember that moment with a mixture of fear of what just happened, depression that I was bad and scared horses, and indignation of, "I told you so... bitch!" Jokes were made about me being like "Damien," who was a character in a popular horror series at the time called, "The Omen" or something. It took years before those jokes stopped.
So as Liz took me back there, I wondered if she would get into trouble if the horses freaked out, but I had to know. A lot of other "weirdness" that used to surround me had long since stopped after I was a teen, so I hoped this would be one more thing to cross off my list, "Don't go near horses. That's not funny." I am so, so, so happy to report that the horses did not do anything abnormal. In fact, they were eating, and didn't rise up and try to escape or show any indication I was threatening. Liz went on and on about the horses, like their breeds and so on, but I found it hard to listen because for the first time, I felt the presence of a horse up close. It was fucking amazing. I was afraid to get too close because I didn't want to push my luck, but I had never been within 10 feet of a horses in... god, since age 15, I guess. After I saw the policeman get hurt, I felt really, really awful deep down inside. I almost teared up because I can't tell you how much it meant to me.
I am so retarded.
I also got a one hour massage by a girl named Kay, whom dreamtigress had recommended. The massage was great, I went for the ears/hands/feet massage, which was awesome. I started up through the trees without my glasses, which made a kaleidoscope of blurry green patterns with the distant sounds of the faire, peppered with ninjacooter's laugh, which could warn ships at see in a thick fog. "BWAH!" she'd go.
We had to leave at 3, to get ready for stodgycat's birthday party. By the time we got home, though, we were exhausted. But I am glad we came early, because as we were leaving, we saw the parking lot was nearly full, and people were pouring in for miles, causing a 3-4 mile backup on Route 450.
Then the day started to wind down, and it not only took us longer than we though to get ready, when we stopped at a restaurant to eat, that took long, too. The Outback in Herndon used to be a nice place, in the last few years, their quality has slid. People got their steaks too rare, and my mashed potatoes had dish soap in them. Ugh. And it took forever to fix things, so takayla finally had to cancel her dinner because they couldn't get it right, and we were way late.
We got to the party at 9:30, where apparently everyone was asking for me. I saw Bruce and Cheryl, and also a lot of former AOL coworkers. One was still working there. None of them had heard I had left, and Benu in particular said, "That's why I couldn't find your desk." Apparently, I am STILL in the phone directory. Ben Bahn congratulated me for leaving, and Dennis, my old boss from the International desk, told me he was proud of me. And I had another victory when a former coworker from way back, a guy whom I could not stand for more than five minute before I wanted to punch him in the face, managed to have a civil conversation with me that was neither annoying nor aggravating. I don't know who changed, me or him. I thought it was him, because he finally had a girlfriend, but some people later told me, "I am surprised you didn't punch that guy after what he said about you being an author. For the life of me, I can't figure out what he said that would have been considered insulting, but people thought he was being patronizing and really undercutting the concept of being a writer. I didn't think that at all, so maybe it was me that had improved. It always bothered me I hated him so much, because I am not that sort of guy, and this guy NEVER EVER did anything mean or harassed me in any way. He was always civil and nice to me, and all could think of was, "Shut up, SHUT UP!!! GAAAAHHHH!" I desperately wanted to "make peace" with this guy because I felt he didn't deserve the waves of hate I felt for him for no good reason I could ever explain. And I felt I did that. Yay for me!
But ninjacooter and takayla were getting tired. I wasn't hanging out with anyone but Chance, because she was catching me up on some social stuff she was involved in, and really had some stuff to get off her chest. I really like talking with her, because she always makes me think. But we kept being interrupted by her siblings, CR, and then some guy named John, who I think works with cheezy_reads. Then I left early, and I felt really bad because I wanted to stay and be social with the people who always stay late at these parties (which is why I talked with Chance first, before she had to go to bed). Sorry, stodgycat. Happy birthday!
Sunday, I stayed home, while takayla went shopping. I got done a ton of laundry work, some random cleanup, and a backlog of e-mails to the FanTek and BWSMOF list. Last time I read those lists? June 24th. YIKES! I got Heather's address from the FanTek list, and that's how I found out about her. I gotta go have lunch with her or something. Hell, I miss Jedi and Theresa, for that matter.
I ate shumai for dinner, and it didn't agree with me. I was awake until 1am. I did more laundry, and tried to set up a backup for my network (after Megumi died), but my USB drive cage crapped out on me. I have no idea what happened, but get this, when I hooked it up to the USB... my motherboard stopped responding. THAT was scary. Since that was Megumi's old drive, I wonder if there's a voltage issue. Probably not. I am betting on some PEBCAK.
Anyway, sorry this was long, but I didn't have time to make it short. Heh.