mikigarrisonpicked me up about 1030, and we got money and gas and got out of town. Got to Olympia a little after 1230 and ate at Taco Ding-ding, because one must. They were playing the most god-awful muzak of Eurythmics "Here Comes the Rain Again" that involved one keyboard, all the sound effects they could muster off of it, and me giggling into my mexican pizza. We were appropriately appalled. Picked up our friend and yours, Dragon Red Koster just after that, and headed on the rest of the way to Portland, gabbing the entire time. We showed up close to on time at the pizza place, greeted the inestimable jaylakein his flaming shirt, and were badged and seated with free pizza and soda shortly thereafter. Yay for free soda and pizza, and yay for Jay and his flaming shirt, and yay for badges. We were all named Jay.
We ate pizza and Miki's cookies, which were supposed to look like rockets but looked a bit more like deformed genitalia than perhaps she'd meant. But she was the one who brought that up. And they still tasted good. frankwuand Miki did a stopgap animation of the deformed rocketship landing amongst the animatronic dinasaurs on Jay's Trope Chest. Later, kenscholesread his birthday story to Jay, "Jay Lake and the Last Temple of the Monkey King." Which title people had voted on in his blog. Yay Ken! Ken always tells the best monkey stories.
While we were at the parlor, I was talking to some people, and I don't remember how it came up, something about me feeling far more comfortable not being noticed by large groups of people, for instance for public speaking, and the gentleman next to me saying that it was impossible for me to go unnoticed, since I'm an attractive woman in the regular world, but at a con I'm about a nine point seven. I had to laugh. What I did not say (because I'm never clever enough to come up with these zingers and witticisms on the spot) is "what am I normally, then, a seven-five?" It just amazes me how people, mostly boys, can come up with numbers for things without half thinking about them. Where did he get a nine-seven? What's his criteria? Why seven? Why not two, or eight? Is seven just a funnier number? I'm always amazed by people being able to calculate distances such as 100 or 300 feet and feel that they're accurate. Or say "I'm 40 percent sure I want such and such." 40 percent? Where does that come from? Not that any of this matters, it just made me laugh a bit. And uncomfortably turn the subject, because the subject of my attractiveness is not one I like to discuss at the dinner table. Although it was sweet of him to say.
After the pizza parlor, there was the slightly scary and very dark inside Tiki Karaoke bar, where we had one accident due to poor lighting and trick knees and stairs, and lots of fried food and odd conversation, and then at 9, karaoke. I ended up singing "Closer to Fine" with mistymarshall, and I can only hope that we didn't make anyone want to kill puppies. Misty sounded nice. I realized that I know that song so much better when I'm singing along with Emily and Amy, who are by far the best singers for that song. Ahem. I almost sang "Hopelessly Devoted to You," so that I could gleefully torture people, but we decided to leave before they called my name. We did have to drive back up here, after all.
So Miki, Greg and I swooshed back onto I-5 and headed up the road. We stopped to get Dairy Queen, because I said "Oooh! Dairy Queen!" But the rat-bastards didn't have any chocolate ice cream. Which is just ridiculous. How can you call yourself an ice cream place if you don't have chocolate? So we swooped back onto I-5. Then later in Centralia, we stopped off for a potty break and such. The Dairy Queen there was closed. Well, it was about 1130 at that point. Dang. We stopped at a gas station and got candy bars. Swooped back onto I-5. Stopped dead on the road about two minutes later. Er. Sat there. Sat there. Sat there. Turned off the car. Realized my ice packs were warm. I changed into my sweat pants for comfort. Broke out emergency ice pack, which it turns out was old and not really interested in getting cold, even after prodigious shaking. Sat there. Called Miki's friend who might still be up. Found out very little more than what we already knew. Bad accident. Road blocked. No one had any idea on how long it would be before they opened the road. We weren't even sure how far up it was. Sat there. Sang camp songs and show tunes and bits and pieces of things we thought were funny. Horrified Greg by indoctrinating him into the secret of the secret keeper. Which is something all girls in Jr. High do. (You remember, girls, that little thing with the numbers and the names, and the colors, and you had that thing that looked like a double pac-man and you counted out the numbers and spelled out the colors to find out the secrets of your future? Well, it turns out Greg is marrying Kent Brewster and they will have 97 children.)
After 2 and 1/2 hours, give or take a few minutes, they let us by. In the right lane were a couple cars whose people hadn't come back yet (people had started to wander around after awhile.) And then a semi and some cops. No real idea what happened,but something had to be either spilled or overturned for it to take that long to clear the lane.
Dropped Greg off in Tumwater shortly thereafter. Miki and I sang along to her mixed tapes of Monty Python and show tunes all the way back up to SEattle. Home at about 3:45. Cat and dog still in one piece, but wondering what the hell happened to me. I'm so glad I got someone to walk Mingus in the evening, as well as at dinner. Or there may have been some more problems to clean up. As it was, they were just anxious. Let the dog out. Brushed my teeth. Fell into bed.
Spent all Sunday on the couch, after taking Mingus to the dog park and going grocery shopping. Still really tired. But the good news is my itchiness is much better. Either the prednisone is working, or the rash is going away, or both. I'm not using ice packs to sleep, I'm only scratching occasionally, and I feel less like ripping the skin from my body. All good things. And the weekend, while exhausting, was pretty fun. Even if we had to sit in a traffic jam for two and a half hours and think of ways to entertain each other and keep each other awake. Punchy can be fun, too.