The Lost Weekend

by J.D. Roth

“Let’s go on a date this weekend,” Kris said during the middle of last week.

“Sounds good,” I said. We haven’t spent much time together lately. I’ve been absorbed in my world, and Kris has been…well, Kris has been watching me be absorbed in my world. “Where are we going?” I asked.

“Either the art museum or IKEA,” she said. “Your choice.” I chose IKEA. I’ve never been to an IKEA before, and I’ve been to plenty of art museums recently. My feet hurt just thinking about it.

On Friday afternoon, we stopped for lunch at Sully’s Cafe in Milwaukie. The menu was limited, but I contented myself with a ham-and-cheese sandwich and a cup of clam chowder. We were impressed that Sully’s seemed to use quality ingredients. Not what we’d expected. (Note that the quality ingredients in my meal were cheese and milk, though.)

After lunch, we drove to IKEA to have a look around. Jeff had warned me that the store is set up like a maze, and indeed it is. We wandered through looking at all the stuff. I was enamored with the shelving units, of course. Kris spent far too much time looking at the kitchenware. As we wandered through the showroom, I began to complain that I didn’t feel good. “My stomach feels gross,” I said. “I feel like I’m going to explode.” Kris just shook her head. “I’m serious,” I said.

We hurried through and finally reached the self-service area where we could pick up the shelves, etc. we had decided to purchase. “Where’s that basket?” Kris asked.

“Which basket?” I said.

“The one I liked,” she said, but she hadn’t written down the bin number, so there was no way to find it. We had to go back to the start of the maze/store. Along the way, I made Kris stop at the in-store cafe.

“You wait here,” I said. And I went off to explode. You see, I’ve come to realize that I just might be lactose intolerant. I realize this is a rather gross subject for public discussion, but it really spoiled my Friday afternoon. When I’d pulled myself back together, Kris and went through the entire store maze once more.

We headed home.

Meanwhile, I had agreed to purchase a server at National Net, and to move Get Rich Slowly there. While Kris and I were off on our IKEA date, the NatNet elves were setting things up. When we arrived home, I spent some time verifying their work.

“I feel sick,” I told Kris later in the evening.

“Not again,” she said.

“No, not that way,” I said. “I mean that I feel sick. My stomach is upset. My sinuses are plugged. I think I have a sore throat.” To prove my point, I began to sneeze.

That night, we watched a strange French film from a Polish director. My head felt like a balloon. I could barely sleep.

“I couldn’t sleep,” I told Kris on Saturday morning.

“Neither could I!” she said. “I lay there for hours.”

“Me too,” I said. I checked my server progress, and things were good. At 1am, NatNet had sent me a message indicating that we only needed to do some final checks, and then I could switch the server over. I did the final checks and e-mailed support. Meanwhile, I discovered that while at IKEA on Friday, we’d been billed for ten yards of fabric, though we’d only purchased one.

We drove back to the store. The return process was hampered by the fact that I had developed itchy, watery eyes and an uncontrollable sneezing compulsion. I felt awful. We waited for half an hour, got credit for the overcharge, and left.

Back home, nothing had been done on my server. “Can you give me an update?” I e-mailed the tech.

“We’re waiting for you,” he said.

“I told you to go ahead,” I said.

“I can’t,” he said. “I need more info.” I sent him the info. I waited. Nothing happened. Mid-afternoon, I pinged him again. “It’s not enough info,” he said.

“It’s the same info I gave the other guy yesterday,” I said.

“I need more,” he said. So I gave him more. Meanwhile, Kris and I watched a strange documentary about a German man who came to the U.S., enlisted in the Navy, got shot down over Laos, escaped from his captors, and now has gone back to revisit the scene.

I was supposed to help Kris pick grapes and make grape juice, but I felt sick. “I feel sick,” I said. Fortunately, Tiffany was able to come help. I moped. I slept. I knew that I should write, but I didn’t have the gumption.

I e-mailed NatNet again. “Any progress?” I asked.

“I’m still waiting for you,” the guy told me, and I about blew a gasket. Fortunately, the guy from the day before came on shift, and he seemed to be able to take care of things just fine. “We’re ready,” he said.

So I threw the DNS switch, moving the server.

This morning, I was happy to see that many of my readers were able to see the new server, even though I was not. I was also happy that I felt a little better, if not physically, then at least mentally. “I’m going to write today,” I told Kris. I managed to get a couple of entries done before noon.

I took some time off to relax and run a couple errands. Then I came back and wrote some more. More and more readers wrote to tell me that they’d found the new site. I still couldn’t see it.

In the late afternoon, my sneezing fits returned. My throat felt raw. “I’m sick,” I told Kris.

“I don’t feel well either,” she said. “I want McDonald’s. And brownies.” I drove to McDonald’s to get her some comfort food. She baked some brownies. We ate poorly, but enjoyed it.

In the evening, I wrote some more. I was just posting tomorrow morning’s entry when all of a sudden my new server froze up. “What the hell?” I wondered. I phoned tech support. “Something’s wrong,” I said.

They took a look at the problem, and then e-mailed me back. “Something’s wrong,” they said. “We don’t know what. We have to replace the hard drive. It might take a while.”


So basically this was a lost weekend. I got very little done. My new server is no nearer being ready than it was on Friday. I’ve even lost some data, I’m sure, because I made changes to the server since they moved things over. I’ll have to reconstruct the changes I made, which will take time. Precious time. Meanwhile, I wrote very little, didn’t chip any branches, didn’t read the book group book, didn’t do anything.

Plus, I still feel sick.

Updated: 16 September 2007

Do what's right. Do your best. Accept the outcome.
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