And sometimes, there are entire evenings of awesome.

So yesterday was the epic get-together of win. A dozen of us crammed into one of the local restaurants and pretty much had a table or two entirely to ourselves, and an epic server of awesome to boot. Why? Simply because we could. There was me, Jessica, Heather and a whole crap ton of others, most of whom I’d never even seen before then, sitting around a huge table, eating and generally doing all manner of cutting up. The layers of awesome just kept coming–and so did the very nearly doubling over laughing at quite probably the absolute most random crap going. The food was awesome, the friends were epic, and when I came back to the apartment last night, I honestly questioned for about 10 seconds how the hell it was I’d be fitting through the door. It’s been a small age since I saw that many people get together and no punches were thrown. And the flirtation, oh the flirtation. I’m convinced that was half the hillarity in and of itself.

Everyone was all in general agreement last night we should do that more often. Which probably means I need to start inventing money to get myself back down here for another one of these parties. And, well, hell, because I can–why not? I have all kinds of reasons to keep coming back here, and surprisingly–or perhaps not, if you’re keeping score–not all of them are Jessica-related. Just most of them. This stuff keeps happening, I’m gonna start to wonder just which of my two apartments I should be staying in. Now to get through the week so we can do something just like this all over again, except potentially with a different group of people and for possibly different reasons. This should get real interesting real fast.

Related: Heather, we’re getting you a blog. Yesterday. Because we can. Yeah, I said it. Wait for it.

Old computer is old, and other asorted bits.

I’ve officially managed to date Jessica‘s computer. Its official age, as of right now, is older than dirt. Yesterday was an adventure in the upgrading of RAM. After finally figuring out this thing cannot keep its various periferals attached while it’s being worked on, I got to playing around with a couple 1 GB sticks I punked from Kyle while I was over there. In so doing, I think I did both Jessica and him a favour. Before me, he wasn’t sure if one of his sticks went south on him. That took all of 10 seconds to determine for absolute sure–it’s toast. As for the other? It might as well have been, at least so far as I’m concerned. This machine just plain ain’t supporting. It’s DDR2 RAM, for starters, which apparently this motherboard predates by a couple years. Add to that, I think this thing only goes up to PC2700, which well, do they even make RAM that slow anymore? So that was a fun excuse to throw open the case.

Now, it’s off to a valentine’s get together with a few friends, one of the 80 million things I love about Rochester. Mockery? Snarkery? General geekery? Yeah that’s still coming. As for now? I see food in my near to immediate future. Catch you on the flip.

Concert Goin’.

We discovered completely by accident over the weekend that Rascal Flatts is coming to Rochester at the end of the month. Not normally being ones to make plans that far in advance, and looking for an excuse to cellebrate neither of our having been confined to the bed for the majority of this week, we thought we’d take full advantage. So yesterday, while the fiance worked her ass off, I punked a couple tickets for the event. If you’re in the Rochester area on the 24th of this month and don’t have anything else to do, they play at the Blue Cross Arena. There are, last I checked, still decently priced tickets available. If you’re going and want to sneak in a quick hello pre-show, give a shout out. For the interested, the show starts at 7:30–bring your love for country music and optionally some booze.

Yeah it’s still 2 weeks early, but to get us in the mood for it and, well, to interest anyone else who may be considering, have a random RF video. Readers of the RSS and/or LJ variety may need to click over to the actual site to watch it. Sorry–limitation of technology. In the meantime, bring on the party atmosphere. Where’s my vodka?

And on the 8th day, God said, “Murphy, it’s all yours.”.

I should have probably taken the events of last weekend as a hint that this wasn’t going to be as event free a travel year as I’m used to. Shane had to push his departure date ahead a week to deal with a whole new brand of stupid that’s, naturally, since been squished underfoot. That meant we got the pleasure of throwing together departure plans on 24 hours notice–doable, but it took creativity. On the saturday afternoon, he left Petawawa destined for Boston with his suitcase, and a backpack full of technological wonders. On Saturday night, he left Montreal destined for Boston without the afore mentioned technical wonders and little to no chance of ever actually getting them back–for the record, I think we’ve kind of declared them a lost cause. The process quickly got underway to start the replacing of the afore mentioned technological wonders. And as I was packing to leave for my own trip, that process was pretty much everything but complete. So I thought it should go smoothely from here on out. Then I got to Rochester and someone thought it’d be cute to tease me into thinking otherwise.

As I said in the previous entry, I showed up in Rochester an hour and a half late. Took a cab from the station to the apartment, where Jessica met me at the door to the building with cab money–the thing about having 80 million things to do is almost always, at least one won’t get done. I had time to pass her change off to her, and when I turned back to see if the trunk of the cab was open so I could snatch my suitcase, there was no cab and there was no suitcase. We had a pretty good idea which company the driver belonged to, and were pretty sure it wasn’t entirely intentional–that’s yet another trip related entry for when I have slightly more brain juice. So we called that company, and pretty much got no help from the dispatcher. Not figuring on giving up, the next day we called a few of the direct numbers for drivers we could dig up online. Say one thing for Rochester, there’s no shortage of cabs, be they independant or otherwise. We got a few possibles, and a few nos. The possibles eventually turned out to be very easily ruled out, but this is where it gets interesting. Every single one of the drivers we spoke to directly knew someone, or could point us in a direction of someone who did. Even if the driver was a possibility we found out didn’t have my clothes, the conversation never ended there–it was almost always “Well, I know this guy and here’s his number, see if he’s got it.”, or my second favourite, “I don’t remember driving you, but I know these 6 guys. Let me call them and I’ll get back to you.”. You don’t see a lot of that anymore, anywhere. So that the cab drivers around here were actually willing to do that was freaking amazing.

We eventually called the original cab company back and got a dispatcher that was a little more helpful. And, wouldn’t you know, we’d been right since the morning of my arival. So I got my stuff back within a couple hours of those phone calls. Meanwhile, the other drivers were keeping a lookout and while I didn’t end up hearing anything back from them, I’m pretty sure if it was still out there, I probably would have. It just amazes me how even in a city the size of Rochester, you can see stuff like this going on–and all it takes to start it is one phone call to the right driver.

So now, Shane’s getting stuff to replace what was lost, and I got my original stuff back. But I couldn’t help but laugh while all this was going on–not 2 days before I was meant to leave for Rochester, either Jessica or I had made the comment about at least Shane got to Boston with his clothes. And of course, that night, I very nearly didn’t get inside this apartment with mine. Murphy’s law hard at work, kids. Playing with your mind since the mythical day of rest.

Last big weekend in Rochester, summarized. Awesome.

I may have spent the last 3 days playing catch-up on what happened over the weekend, but the weekend was still far worth it. It was pretty well back to back cellebrating of one thing or another–first with a belated wedding shower for a couple friends of ours on Saturday, which I think went about as well as I expected considering the collection of people there, and then on Sunday with a birthday cellebration for one of said friends–equally as awesome, in spite of the fact I apparently butted heads with a few folks over trivial stuff but oh well.

Saturday consisted of a huge bunch of us getting together for dinner and talking, with some variety of music or another in the background. Then Jess and I went back to stay with the guests of honour and their family overnight so we could be there for her birthday in the morning. There was a bondfire and more conversation when we got to the house, then the lot of us pretty much went one after the other for the nearest bed and promptly fell into it.

Sunday was pretty low key, though that may or may not have had more to do with the fact her mother stuffed us all to the point I know at least I was considering just rolling away from the table than it did with the weather, which had apparently decided to pick that morning to be nasty at us. We sat around for most of the day, and I finally had an opportunity to introduce Jess to an Adam Sandler movie she hadn’t yet actually seen. The house got busy later on, when several more of their relatives dropped in with birthday wishes, and some stuck around for the dinner they’d planned–which, I think, was only slightly bigger than the breakfast we had that morning. More conversation, more attempts at humour on all sides, and I got a couple snorts out of people with, of all things, a simple ring tone I snagged forever ago from the brother thing. Then it was the typical birthday stuff–opening of cards/gifts, singing happy birthday, cake, ice cream, all the usual shananigans. When that was taken care of, we started to all get back to what served as our usual routines. We were naturally among the last to leave, and ended up hitching a ride with the birthday girl and her husband on account of her mother had offered to drag us home. Got back here, flaked out for a few minutes, and eventually, crashed.

Monday was equally low key, what with the fact we hadn’t actually had a day to just not do much of anything all weekend–it was fun, but that many people gets to messing with your head, even if you’re me. So we sat around being zombies all day. Then came the catching up on pretty much the last 4-5 days of current events in the news, tech and blogging worlds–then it was off we went to pick up right where we left off.

If I had to pick a weekend to not have to be anywhere, this past weekend would have definitely been it. As it turned out, I think all told everyone who was there had a reasonably good time. And with this weekend seeming to be pretty well cut and dry, as much as I’d rather forget my way back to Canada sometimes, if I had to leave, I’d almost prefer it to be on a weekend like this next one. In the meantime, since this weekend hasn’t happened yet, I’m going to go back to my daily routine and pretend I don’t have to go anywhere. Because, hey, it worked before.

If you have not heard Donna the Buffalo, you are broken.

So I’ve been on the US side of the border for nearly two weeks now, and busy as all get out for most of it. Part of the busy was spending the majority of this past friday evening at the Rochester public market. We were planning to check that out anyway, Jess and I, since she’d only been there maybe once before me, and of course I hadn’t been there yet. So i cruised by where she was getting off work, picked her and Kyle–who conveniently also hadn’t been there yet–up, met Heather over there and we crashed it for a few hours. And in doing so, were treated to a free performance by Donna the Buffalo. Apparently, both Kyle and Heather have heard/seen this group live before, which left both Jess and I to experience it for the first time. Hell of an experience, really.

From right around the first or second song, I had a feeling it’d be a pretty damn near wicked awesome performance. Of course, anyone who can perform “Ring of Fire” and not completely kill it deserves at least a shot at not making me cringe. I didn’t cringe. Instead, I find myself rather unsurprisingly in the category of those who highly approve. I don’t think any of my partners in crime were entirely all that surprised by it either–I’m looking at you, Heather.

They only played for an hour and a half, give or take–a lot less time than I thought they’d get, but apparently the organizers decided to do the headliner thing first. Still, it was long enough for me to decide when I do return to the cooler side, I’m gonna have me some downloading. Because I don’t have some downloading right now, have a video instead. Not Friday’s performance, but a performance. I approve by this. And if you find yourself not approving, evaluate your musical tastes. Right now. Enough said.

Winter tries to say hello to Rochester. Finally.

There’s about a 6-hour drive between Ottawa and Rochester, where I’ve been spending the last few weeks, which one would think wouldn’t amount to a whole lot of difference weather-wise–when we’re freezing, they’re usually freezing. But there’s been a winter trend that, until just yesterday and today, has been trying to buck the usual tradition. Winter has been playing head games with us. It teased us near to the beginning of November. And just when I thought we might escape the month snow free, not quite. And now, well into the month of December, we finally get serious about winter.

Ottawa got hammered yesterday with its first major snow storm of the year, as did the Pembroke area. And, surprising the hell out of me, as did Rochester. We’re still catching it good out there right now, and I’d be laying money on roads not being very fun to drive on this morning. It played with Ottawa and Pembroke, teased us up there, then finally decided to have at it. It didn’t once touch Rochester all month, but when it finally did, I do believe it made up for the teasing. Ladies and gentlemen, fans of Christmas everywhere can now relax. Winter has screwed your travel plans.

There was a weekend. I had it.

And, not surprising in the least, it was a fun one. It started on Friday evening, when Jessica, Julie, her husband and I headed out for a bit of their last minute Christmas shopping. Of course, mine was, historically, finished before December. Afterwards, supper was had at the local Cracker Barel–there’s something to be said for random get togethers with awesome food and things of a mock-worthy nature. We didn’t end up getting home until closer to 10:00 or so, and by then I think we were both sort of contemplating falling over.

Saturday was largely spent around the apartment. Jessica had her last clinnic of the year, and as usual, owned the hell out of it. We sat around afterwards, talking and grabbing supper. I started actually reading the “In Death” series by J.D. Rob, which she pretty well already read most of. Pondering getting hammered, or at least tipsy, we decided to take a random walk up to the booze store about half an hour before it closed. Of course, as Murphy would have it, by the time we got back we were a little more tired than we expected we’d be so only ended up having a shot, then doing the vodka and coke thing.

A large part of Sunday was spent with Julie and her husband again, going out for breakfast where yet more random bouts of hillarity took place. Was starting to think maybe the folks at the restaurant we chose to occupy were wondering exactly how insane we all were. And I think we’d of been more than happy to tell them if they’d ask. There was a wallmart trip, an interesting time with our shopping assistant during said wallmart trip–certain individuals just should not be doiong work in the customer service field. We came back here, put shit away, invented supper, and called it a relaxing evening. There was a crap ton of conversation involved all weekend, and random antics with interesting and humourous qualities at the expense of others who had the misfortune of not actually getting to be there. But, that’s half the fun.

It’s a little more than 2 weeks until Jess graduates, and a little more than 3 before we kick it up back to the right side of the border. If things keep going the way they’ve been the last few weeks, I may have to have someone tap me on the shoulder to remind me my time’s nearly up. But until then, well, there will be plenty more random acts of insanity. Possibly illegal, definitely barely legal, and more asuredly laugh-inducing. As for right now… off to see a girl about a well-spent evening. Or… something along those lines.

Also: One of these days, I’m coming up with a Rochester category. Just not right now.

They sure don’t do Christmas like we do Christmas.

About 2 weeks ago now, I packed up my things and got me on a bus across the border to Rochester. The plan, which is coming to fruition ever so slowly, was to be here for Jessica’s graduation, as well as her birthday, plus the already passed thanksgiving, and then bring her back with me for Christmas at home. While I was down here, I thought we’d do a thing or two here to maybe enjoy the holiday festivities a little, since starting about this Sunday or so, we’ll both have the time to do so.

So I looked up my trusty goog, and did some poking. At the same time I was dooing that, there was a small band playing Christmas music almost directly outside my window. They only played a few songs, but it definitely helped a fair bit to set the mood. Add to that, a few horses pulling wagons made their way past the building. My googling took me straight to the cause.

Sixteenth Annual
PARK AVENUE
HOLIDAY OPEN HOUSE
Thursday, December 3rd, 2009
5 to 9 p.m.

Well now. That might have been interesting to see. The description is perhaps vaguely similar to the Park Avenue Festival held here every August or so, with businesses demonstrating what they have to offer while playing host to various forms of entertainment. Certainly not something I’m used to seeing in December.

Folks here in Rochester do love their festivals. Every couple months you catch wind of one it seems like. Pembroke’s the same way to a point, but the rules rewrite themselves come December. Where Rochester has all kinds of live performances, theater, and other activities, back home it’s all about the parade. Petawawa had one in mid-November. Pembroke had one a week or two later. There were like 3 or 4 in Ottawa throughout the course of the month, and probably into December. Toronto usually has a huge one. You usually can’t turn a corner without either running into one or seeing an ad for one. This festival something’s not what I’m used to, but admittedly, it’s a fairly nice change–I rather enjoyed being able to open my window, listen to them playing, and not have to stand there to do it.

They sure don’t do Christmas like we do Christmas. But they don’t do it too bad either.

Still alive, or at least breathing.

As anyone who’s been following the previously linked twitter page knows, I made it to Rochester in one piece on Friday. Got in at about 12:30 or quarter to 1 saturday morning, and pretty much hung out around here for a couple hours talking. We caught a few hours’ sleep, and when the actual morning got around to being here, Jessica (samari76), Tasha and I headed it into Wallmart to pick up a few things. There was some talking and generous amounts of coffee to be had, as well as your typical grocery run. We managed to pick up a lot for our use during the week, and lugged it all back here to be appropriately tossedaway. We also picked up various items for an eventual get-together at Candice’s (acorna_cat), which ended up happening later that night.

Tasha went back to her place and we flaked out here for a few hours, before we had to go over to Julie’s fiance’s place to meet up with them, and her fiance’s best man to go over wedding stuff. Or, rather, the idea *was* to go over wedding stuff, but it ended up being largely a shop talk session instead. Absolutely thrilled Jessica to no end, let me tell ya. Pizza was had, things were suggested and debated, and at about half past 8 or so we shoved off to go to the after party party at Candi’s. By this point Tasha had already been there for a while, and they’d managed to eat something too. Jess started putting together her natcho dip so we could all manage to pull off a proper dessert. She wasn’t overly thrilled with how it turned out, but it actually wasn’t as bad as she thought it was. Of course we had to spend like 5 minutes debating that, because… well, we could. There was a not entirely unreasonable amount of drinking involved, until it came around to truth or dare time (I owe you, by the way, Candice. :P). I had a feeling things were going to get interesting after that, and when we started getting into taking shots, I already had a sneaking suspicion that evening was pretty much over. Maybe an hour or two after that, Jessica was passed out where we’d be sleeping, and Candi and I were trying to convince Tasha that she was, in fact, not about to become the endless fountain of puke she’d apparently invisioned.

I was slightly buzzed, Jess was what I call sleepily drunk, Tasha was… well, Tasha, and Candi… she was done. Like wo. After we finally managed to get Tasha to calm down, the best thing for everyone to do at that point was to pass out. So that’s pretty much what we did. I didn’t move until a little after 10 or so Sunday morning, and that was only because our ride was coming to get us between then and 11 or so. When all was said and done and we were packing to leave, 3 of us had hang overs and all of us were doing some serious wtf-ing. We got back here and pretty much wrote off the rest of the day, sleeping for most of it and being barely awake for the rest. By about 8:00 we decided we’d about had enough of that, so got up and ended up ordering pizza.

By this point, we hadn’t heard anything from Tasha, and we knew Candi wasn’t gonna be doing a whole lot of being useful, so we tried getting a hold of the former. She wasn’t answering her phone, so we figured she was either still sleeping or… well… done with the world. We sat around talking for the better part of the night, and about midnight or so, decided to take a random walk just for the sake of randomly walking. So we hit up the local 711, got us a couple coke slurpees, and found ourselves somewhere to sit and talk for a bit. It was still bordering in too damn cold though, so we brought our act back to the apartment and kept on talking and generally goofing off until, oh, it must have been 7 or 8 or so before we decided to do that thing where we pass out. She got up once to try again and call Tasha, but other than that, we didn’t move until upwards of 2:00 or so. Not much was accomplished here so far; leftover pizza was finished, Jess went to class, and now we’re both just generally sitting here and doing that thing where we curse technology. At some point this week, I’m thinking I might switch out screenreaders for her, and convert her to Tech Hit‘s OutTwit plugin for Outlook and Twitter. As for now, though? … I’ll decide that when I get there. Jessica’s back from class, and looks very much like she could use a little tlc. Off to go do that and shtuff.

PS: Email is working. Sort of. IM won’t be. Deal with it.

PPS: Dear mother nature, pick a temperature already plz. I can has stability? Kthx.