Saturday, September 02, 2006

Bursting The Bubble Lounge

The week went really quickly, but not in one of those "Wow, this week went so fast" kind of ways; instead, it was like "I can't believe I survived this week." Every conceivable thing went awry in some way, shape or form, and aside from Kaia's safe arrival, we both have been going top-speed since she's been in. As of this writing, my apartment is swathed in candle light and the glow from the muted television; it's somewhat indicative of where my head is at this point.

First, we had originally planned on assembling a half-dozen people Tuesday night to get together with a good friend who'd arrived in NYC from LA the day prior to celebrate his 40th; however, because Kaia had gotten very little sleep the night before her flight, and I had stayed up way too late cleaning the dungeon, we both wound up taking a light nap at 6:15ish that wound up lasting until midnight. We both woke up briefly around 9:15 or so and realized we weren't going to make it to our friend's mini-bash downtown, and in my cloudy state, I spoke to a couple friends I knew were going to be going and told them to let him know what was going on with us, ie that we were both completely shot. My mistake was not calling our friend directly and letting HIM know what was up, so when a large majority of people never showed -- because of rain, because it was a Tuesday night, whatever -- he wound up hanging with a friend but not with a bunch thereof, and never having heard from me what was going on, he was, understandably, pretty disappointed. In my cloudy state, I remembered him telling me he was going to dinner with his family so I shouldn't call and just expect to run into him later; but even still, I should have just sent him a text message or called to let him know directly we were out of commission. Not doing either was a bad move on my part. Both of us felt terrible and when I spoke to him the next day I let him know that I had my head up my ass and apologized numerous times, and even though he and I are each fairly quick to forgive, I couldn't blame him for being pretty disappointed and a little hurt. In either case, we wound up setting up a similar mini-gig for Friday night, knowing most of the same invitees would be far more able to head downtown for fun and festivity, and we basically adjourned the matter until then.

The rest of the week, work-wise, proceeded completely against plan. First, we were still without internet access until yesterday afternoon. Apparently, our proprietary ISP service had the rug pulled out from beneath them by Verizon, which means that all their lines to the Internet were simultaneously disconnected. In short, an Internet Service Provider whose entire connectivity is yanked in one swift motion is not going to remain an ISP for very long. We went the entire week without any connectivity whatsoever; it wasn't until the prior Monday before we regained server access (ie our files, data and ability to use applications) so not being able to read e-mail or check the net for external data was merely an inconvience, although we missed some crucial e-mail and were unable to provide the necessary City tax data which we would normally be able to access while online. What's worse, of course, is that we had a power failure -- another one -- which ended up throwing our voicemail offline and kept us without phones for awhile. So we had no e-mail access, no phones and no fax. Essentially, we could have been completely inaccessible to our clients for awhile; that is a no-no for a business that wishes to remain in business.

Eventually the power came back on, and the next morning our telephone hardware consultants addressed and resolved our voicemail problems. We were still without the internet but at least we had lights, phones and a working fax machine. At this point I began negotiating with another ISP to get us back up and running while our old service worked out the kinks, so to speak. It turned out we settled on Time Warner business-class cable, and we wound up getting all set up and installed Thursday. Of course, nothing -- especially as it pertains to the events I'm describing herein -- goes as planned. It took our off-site PC consultant and the purchase of a new switch/router to finally get us back online, connected to our server, with functioning voice mail, fax and phone capability. As for the electrical problems in our building, the building management company explained that there would be an electrical shutdown on our side of the building today (the 2nd) so all our equipment should be turned off. That's not the worst thing in the world, considering it's the Saturday before Labor Day. So before leaving the office, I shut everything down, including the voice mail, to insure nothing would be damaged over the weekend.

Just to make sure it would be fine, I reactivated the voicemail to see if it would work on Tuesday morning. Deader than Nixon.

Happy Damn Labor Day.

In the meantime, we arranged to hang out with our friend Morph to celebrate his 40th; about 15 people ended up coming to celebrate at Bubble Lounge downtown. Two cabs later, we arrived and we knew it would be a perfect place. When I spoke to the invitees I told them I knew it was awful weather but that this was a birthday celebration for a good friend and we wanted to make sure it was special, and I give credit to all the people who showed up in the rain to celebrate; it really wound up being a blast. Bubble Lounge, incidentally, was the perfect spot for us; plenty of space, yet cozy, with music pumping throughout the night (but not too loud), and the alcohol -- including a variety of champagnes and special drinks -- flowed freely. I was relieved to know that we all had a great time, but specifically the guest of honor seemed to really enjoy himself. At some point during the night I talked to him and let him know I had screwed up and felt shitty about Tuesday night, but he very graciously let me know all was cool; when it comes to friends, I don't screw up often, but when I do, I'm proud and thankful to have such good people as my good friends.

We took a bunch of pictures and celebrated, thanks to Trippy, with two cakes -- one cheesecake, one oreo cookie-esque -- because one of the guests had her 40th today -- and all in all, despite really screwing up Tuesday, I think everyone had a nice time. And most importantly, we got a chance to hang out with a good friend of whom we see far too little.

And we got a chance to take a mini-tour of the city, courtesy of a gypsy cab driver who was not quite all there. I'd go into more detail, but suffice to say we all went to bed happy. So a big thanks to all the attendees, a bigger thanks and happy birthday to Morph and to Dara, and a shout-out to Ralph Waldo Emerson, who wrote "the only way to have a friend is to be one."

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