There was a sign, when we hopped on the 1-train at 168th St. No 1 service all weekend. We can get to the A from my grandmother's, but it's a hike to get back to her place from the station (all uphill). Shuttle buses are ok, but they're never as fast as the subway since they have a lot more traffic to contend with. So yeah, NYC was not particularly welcoming to us.
More fun ensued Saturday morning, when we went to pick up Becca's car at the body shop. The body shop that had assured us they would be open on Saturday, causing us to purchase train tickets based on this assurance. The body shop which was closed, and whose answering machine gave us two helpful emergency contact numbers; the first of which wasn't helpful and the second of which could not be contacted, even in an emergency.
We puttered around the tri-state area for part of the morning and the early afternoon. I got to visit my old coworkers at BankCo. Then my phone died. Not died; actually. It still worked. Well, the PDA half still worked. The phone half stopped working. I took it to an AT&T store, got a new SIM card, spoke with a phone rep who sent my phone an update (after which it worked briefly), came back to my grandmother's where it stopped working again, and spent the remainder of the afternoon on support chat (liveperson.net—it's a real live PERSON reading from a script and using a computer to chat with you, not a computer reading from a script and chatting with you!) and the phone. Finally got routed to the right people who (after a diagnostic SIM swap with my grandmother's phone) decided it was time for me to receive a new phone. And oh hey, did you say you were in NYC? We have a Device Support Center there! You can pick up a new phone between now and 8pm, when they close! Hooray. Head to their center, across 42nd Street from the NYPL as soon as Becca calls (my grandmother's phone) to say she was out of her meeting and ready to meet for dinner. So I hop the subway to meet my gf and seconds after I catch her eyes, I see that the DSC is closed and shuttered (the ubiquitous NYC metal grate is down). I run across the street to see they closed at six. Wow, what the lovely fuck. So I've got a phone with plenty of battery but no working service, and Becca has a phone with no battery and working service. And we're running late. So we're just going to be late and not call people and hopefully no one hates us. I neglected to mention we're going to Astoria, which is somewhere on Long Island, where I've never been and have no idea how long it will take us to get there. I know it's going to be more than 15 minutes, which is when we're due to meet folks.
We took the N train out to Queens, which is probably the first time I've been in Queens for non-Mets-related reasons. The bridge and tunnel people tell me it's lovely, but then, they're bridge and tunnel people. Turns out folks were still waiting for a table. We meet a few MeFites and reverend_dave at Taverna Kyclades and had an awesome dinner (I had the red snapper. You can imagine how it was.) and great conversation. On the way home, Becca started feeling sick again and could barely make it up the hill from the A train stop. We looked at Amtrak.com and decided to just take the 3:15AM train to Boston. So I got maybe 3 hours of sleep all weekend, because if you know me at all, you know I didn't go to sleep until my regular bedtime between 10 and 11 Sunday night. There was just too much stuff to do.
I had asked the phone rep if there were any of these AT&T Device Service Centers in Boston, in case my replacement phone (which I was surely going to pick up in just another hour) ever went on the fritz, and she told me there was one on Bear Hill Rd. in Waltham. So Sunday after 12 (when they said they'd be open) I called the Warranty Service Dept. to ask them where the Waltham DSC was and what their hours were. Then I went up to the Bear Hill location and got a new (reconditioned) phone, brought it home, and HotSync'd the shit out of it. After a few hours, it was, for all intents and purposes, the same as my old phone. That's what I love about Palm. Just sync it up, and everything that was on there last time you synced it is now on the new device (except the Java Runtime Environment, which is no longer freely available on Palm's website; but I think I have a copy on my desktop from the last time I download it, since I never. delete. anything.) and it's pretty seamless. After HotSync, it started recognizing my SDHC card again, which means the sync included the latest firmware update downloaded from Palm's site a few months back. But since I stayed up til after noon (not wanting to sleep through the DSC's hours), I figured I might as well just stay up. So I beat Portal. GLaDOS was pissed. Then I beat it again, with the Developer's Commentary turned on. Interesting stuff; I liked the voice-acting stuff most, followed by the gameplay design info. The latter means things like: "We had to redesign this level because players kept putting their dicks in the electrical socket." (not actual commentary); stuff where they really had to get inside the mind of the playtester. How hard is "hard enough to be challenging, but also hard enough to be rewarding not punishing"? (see: Nintendo Hard)
Today, the body shop contacted Becca. They apologized profusely and had a guy drive the car up to her today. They also threw in a $100 reimbursement for the *cough* four hundred dollars in r/t (since, of course, we had to purchase return tickets) train travel we had to spend this weekend. At least it's something. She just called a little while ago to say that she now has her car back, so that's good. We also talked a little bit about her health while waiting for the train Sunday morning (we took a taxi to Penn Station so as to avoid the stupid non-running trains, so we had about an hour to spare). I was suspicious to me that she started feeling worse right after dinner, despite having been given a clean bill of health at the hospital last week. Seemed to me like after the fun and social part of the evening was over, the fact that she still didn't have her car, and would have to probably come back to NYC during the work week (by herself), and that her car might not even be done then, and so on, came crushing down on her. The hard part was convincing her that illness caused by stress != psychosomatic (or "faking it"). After that little revelation, she started feeling a bit better (her insides weren't trying to twist themselves apart, at least not as much). There obviously were some very real things going on in her body, so I *know* she wasn't faking it, but the stress was making them 1000× worse. She's got the next three days off now. I have recommended to her checking into a day spa until her body has healed itself well enough to deal with the stress of her job and life in general.
What's great about being in a relationship is that you be the greatest asshole in the world until it comes out that you're actually right. Then you're a smug asshole, but at least your heart is in the right place. Is this what parenting is like?
I still have a tingling (paresthesia, or pins and needles) in the last three fingers on my right hand. I still intend to call my insurance company, get a PCP, and then go to that doctor to get it checked out. I hope it's a pinched nerve that will unpinch itself. I hope it's not CTS. Ugh. That disease is so 1990s, it's not even funny. Why can't I ever have a fashionable illness?
I wonder if doctors also hate it when I'm right. Becca was trying to tell me all about how she knows folks who can set me up with a good doctor at a hospital and blah blah blah. I told her I wanted somebody convenient. "But all the best doctors are at hospitals." "I don't need a good doctor. I just need someone to sign the scrips." No, I'm not actually as arrogant as I pretend to be. It's just more fun if I pretend I am. But yeah, self-diagnosis? I'm totally awesome at it. Fucking carpal tunnel.