Sunday, December 19, 2004

Overstimulated?

When I was in second grade, I was best friends with a girl named Melissa. My parents agreed once or twice to let me sleep over at her house, which basically meant that we stayed up really late watching movies and playing and talking. I would come home the next day grumpy, mean, and often tearful, so after a couple of these events, they said no more until middle school.

I'm not sure that much has changed, although it takes a bit more than one late night to make me tearful and grumpy - a weekend can do it.

This weekend was SO much fun, but I haven't had a second to myself since Friday night.

Friday I went to see Rachel Yamagata play at Housing Works Used Bookstore & Cafe. The bookstore & cafe raise money for homeless people with HIV/AIDS, and they have a monthly concert series for the same cause. Since most of the people who work there are volunteers, pretty much every cent you spend there goes to the charity work they do. I had never been to the bookstore before, but it is beautiful, has a great selection of books, and everyone is very friendly; I may volunteer there in the summer, depending on what happens with Turkey and other plans.

Rachel Yamagata has a voice and style somewhat similar to Norah Jones, but I personally liked Yamagata better - she's more believable. It was an odd show, however. Yamagata apparently went through (or is still going through, really) a very traumatic break-up. Every single song had something to do with this guy who broke, and keeps on breaking, her heart. But the crazy thing is, she cried or at least sniffled throughout the entire set! And I don't think it was an act; I totally believe that she is absolutely miserable. It would have been bad, except that she also is a great performer and has a sense of humor, so she was funny even while she was crying... this is hard to describe. And the music was good.

I came home on the early side and should have gone to bed, but instead I attempted to fix my CD-RW drive. On Wednesday night I tried to burn a CD, the process froze, I did "end task" - and now my computer does not recognize the existence of a CD-RW drive AT ALL. I've restarted. I've jiggled the computer gently to try to nudge whatever wire is loose back into place. I've run all the diagnostics. I've called the service line, but my computer is five years old and the warranty is long-expired, and they couldn't promise they could fix the problem, so I decided not to pay $40 for the privilege of staying up even later to have them try. I even took the case off the frame and poked around a bit to see if anything was obviously out of place. Nothing. Maybe Santa will bring me a laptop... or at least a new drive and a personal computer technician to come in and help me everytime something like this happens?

Saturday I got up, did laundry, and then went Christmas shopping. SoHo and Chinatown Saturday afternoon a week before Christmas. That ALONE is enough stimulation for about a month. Luckily the Christmas shopping was fairly successful and I can finish the rest after school over the next couple of days.

Saturday night I went to a friend's wassail - Scottish rum-spiked cider - party, then P's friends' party, then to see the Pixies! The show started at midnight and the opening band (50 Foot Wave) sucked, so it was off to a bad start, but the Pixies were a lot of fun and everyone there was very enthusiastic, bouncing around, etc. The layers of cotton that surrounded my head for hours following the show wore off this morning, fortunately! I'd give a more complete review, but there were hundreds of other people there who can probably do better (and I'm sure some of them will blog it).

No sooner did I wake up then it was off to a bakery to pick up a chocolate cake, and then onto the train for the long ride to my friend E's house in Inwood - his neighborhood is beautiful - and a "traditional Danish lunch." This involves two kinds of pickled herring (which I love, and make an exception to my vegetarianism to eat), fruit, cheese, Acquavit, Danish beer, rich desserts, and strong coffee. It also involves really fun, geeky company, the best there is!

Five hours later, I came home feeling stuffed, a bit tipsy, and completely and utterly exhausted, craving nothing more than a couple of hours alone with the cat, computer, and some music. But the weekend wasn't over yet - it was my friend J's birthday. She and another friend and I hung out, cooked & ate homemade pizza, worked on our various knitting projects, and watched Sex and the City on DVD. That was pretty chill, thank goodness!

I cannot wait - cannot WAIT - for a day alone in my apartment when the holidays are over. I am going to veg and veg and VEG.

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