The Stars Did Not Align
Published On: December 5, 2011

We’re actually pretty good at the short trip thing.  We don’t overpack (for one or two nights we just share a super tiny rolling bag).  We understand the importance of snacks.  We have the music situation well under control.  I know all about the care and feeding of car knitting.  We have a system.  Usually, it just sort of works.  But this weekend…this weekend we never quite found our groove.

It started when we woke up on Saturday and found the furnace had given up the ghost.  We have a service plan through our gas company, so we called them and said ‘help.’  They assured us someone would call within 24 hours to arrange a service visit.  We figured we might as well spend those 24 hours somewhere warm, so we headed off to Pittsburgh more or less as planned, though a bit later than we had hoped.

Once there, we stopped in at East End Brewing.  We had a few of their growlers that we thought they might want back.  We’re thoughtful like that.  Though somehow we ended up refilling two of them tasty things and bring them back home…we’re like that too.  Thus supplied, we swung by Natural Stitches (conveniently located just up the street).  I did a bit of stash augmentation (oh Madeline Tosh, your colors weaken my resolve), and we headed off to find dinner.

The plan had been to go to Embury.  We try to go there every time we visit Pittsburgh because they have amazing cocktails.  We drove, parked, walked…only to find a construction site.  The restaurant was gone, and another was taking its place (apparently they’ve moved and will reopen later).  This was more than a bit frustrating, especially as their website made no mention of being closed or of having moved.  Undaunted (or, rather, quite daunted but also quite hungry) we set off to make other arrangements.  We found another option.  They had food.  That’s really all I can say about them.  Or no…I can say that between the unnamed restaurant and the car was a lovely establishment called The Milk Shake Factory (link to the yelp page because the actual page makes lots of terrible noises).  There we found exactly the right sort of chocolate to make up for some of the mishaps of the day.

After that, we headed out to the hotel (getting only moderately misplaced along the way) and turned in for the night.  Now generally, I try to exercise a certain level of decorum in what I tell you about my personal life.  My policy is that you’re not here for the details of my marriage, my digestion, or my finances.  But now, I will break with tradition and tell you something private.  At home, The Boy and I sleep under separate covers.  We each have our very own duvet, and I firmly believe (as does he) that this is one of the keys to our relationship.  At hotels, we usually manage to rig something up so we still each have our own covers.  We neglected to do that this time.  The result was more or less what you might imagine trying to sleep next to an angry badger in a burlap sack to be like.  No one got much rest, and I’m pretty sure we both need rabies shots.  (Please note, I am not casting aspersions on The Boy’s character, I am every bit as much the angry sleep badger as he is…it’s why we don’t share covers.)

After a less than restorative evening, we went downstairs for breakfast.  We returned to our room and noticed that the gas company had not yet returned our call.  I called them again.  They allowed as how someone should have called us.  I agreed completely, then pointed out that alas, no one had called us.  They agreed that this was less than optimal, but had no solutions.  We discussed a variety of possible approaches to this problem and settled on the oh-so-popular continue to wait method. They did eventually call back…with the news that we would need to call again on Monday morning to try and set up an appointment.  Keen.

We packed up and headed out to Ikea.  I managed not to buy any furniture, though I did get an awesome desk pad, a very knitterly blanket, and some marvelous purple trays.  Then we hit up Half Price Books.  I found two new stitch dictionaries to add to the shelf, and The Boy fed his ever-growing collection of sci fi books with really tacky looking covers.  After a quick lunch, we headed over to Knit One.  I restrained my yarn lust (though I did finally lay hand on a few of The Fibre Company’s yarns, and now I know I need to use them in future–there was one skein that I would not have been able to resist if there had been more than one in stock…yummy stuff).  We stopped in at Caliban Books and did our part to stimulate the local economy (and may possibly have tripped into a little game store right next door too).  Commerce complete, we headed off to dinner.

While we were sitting in Church Brew Works we came to a realization.  We were tired.  Really really tired.  Last week had been long.  The night before had not been restful.  It was at least two hours until the concert started, then another hour until the band we wanted to see went on.  Add in another hour or two for the show and you’re up to five hours.  Then of course there was the two and a half hour drive home (earliest likely arrival time, 2 am).  We ran through the math in our heads a few times, thought about what we had on our schedules for this coming week, and did something shameful.  We left without seeing the show.  We just got in the car and came home.  We were tucked up (under lots of covers, as the furnace still wasn’t working) by ten.  I think this may mean I am officially old.  Somehow, I’m comfortable with that.

So with that, I’ll leave you for now.  But I will come back shortly to show you the new sock.  Because despite the otherwise questionable voodoo of this weekend, the sock I worked on seems to be coming out well.

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