A few days back I posted about a conversation Gary and I had about getting the Mini fixed.
What I haven't told you about is the conversation from the day before, Tuesday. I had to save that for this week's Friday Freakout. (It occurs to me now that Menopausal Mondays might have been a better choice.)
Anyway, Tuesday evening we had some errands to run. I'd had a fine day at work. Quiet. Productive.
I walked in after work and Gary said, "We have to get the Mini fixed. I tried to drive it today, and it gave off an awful smell."
"Why did you want to drive the Mini? What kind of smell? And we'll get it fixed, just not right now."
"I wanted to visit my parents! It was an exhaust smell! And look here, I researched what a used Mini would cost!" He shoved a printout into my hands.
"Let's talk about this later, Gary. I don't want to think about this now."
After we got in the Honda so we could go buy the squirrels some nuts, he continued, "The used Minis have a one year warranty - "
A little loudly, I said, "Stop it. I love my Mini. I hate the Mini dealer. My Mini is fine. Stop TALKING ABOUT this."
About half a mile down the road he said, "If we got a new car - "
"STOP! IT!" I could tell I was starting to lose it. I tried to calm myself down by concentrating on my breathing. I concentrated so well I started to hyperventilate and got a little woozy.
After a few minutes of shaky breathing I said, "I'm sorry. I had the working car and you didn't get to see your parents. Did you call your parents instead? How are they?"
He said, "Well, Mom's not feeling well."
I burst into tears. "WAAAAHH Your Mom's sick and I had the car and you couldn't seeeeee heeeeerrrrrr."
I was able to calm down by the time he went into the bird store to pick up the nuts.
When he got back to the car he hesitantly said, "Are you okay now?"
I burst into tears again. "I'm sorry I'm like this now I HATE MYSELF." Sob sob sob.
I sobbed for about three miles before he took a shortcut that led us the wrong way through the McDonald's parking lot. You can't sob and gasp in terror at the same time. Good to know. That's a Life Hack right there.
That episode calmed me down, so that by the time we were done with the Walgreen's drive-through I calmly and pleasantly asked, "So what side effects come with this new cholesterol medication?"
"Uhhhhh ... it says,'increased sensitivity to pain.'"
I burst into tears again. "WAAAAAAHHHHHHH," I wailed, "YOURE GOING TO BE IN MORE PAIN?"
Seriously. This is not acceptable. I'm like Miss Pittipat with the fucking fantods.
Gary and I were talking today about the Mini, and the Fit, and our future car situation. I'm a big believer in fixing cars until the metal wears out; he thinks cars turn into pumpkins at ten years old. The Mini is ten. It's the one sitting in the garage with the blinky dashboard lights.
I mentioned today I might have cooled my rage at Mini enough to have it fixed two weeks from now.
Essentially what I said was, "Lets send the Mini to the doctor," and Gary heard "Let's put the Mini in hospice." Within minutes Gary was online shopping for a used replacement. Then he proposed buying a new one because of the low interest rates. (Of, course, given how Gary shops for cars, it will take him a year to make up his mind.)
But seriously, I said my car was sick, he euthanized it within five minutes. "Hey!" I said."Settle down! What about your car? Your car's almost ten years old."
He said, "Oh, when my car goes we won't replace it. We'll have just one car."
"Okay then,"I said, "Let's see if we can't get the Mini to work for the next five years, then we'll buy a new car and that will be our retirement car."
OUR RETIREMENT CAR. As in: I am making plans for retirement.
Of course, I suppose our retirement car shouldn't be a Mini, it should be whatever high-tech hydrogen-powered car they have five years from now. A hydrogen car is about as realistic as thinking I can get another five years out of the Mini.
Gary's morning chore is to fill the box of nuts we leave out for the squirrels, raccoons, opossums, skunk, and deer. This morning he picked up the box to reveal a wee little blind vole, snorfling around for any spare nuts the above animals might have left. He reports that he screamed like a little girl.
He related this on Facebook, and added that most animals don't make him scream, just ones between one and four inches long.
The claim that Gary only screams at animals of a certain size made me hoot in derision.
Seriously? I diet myself back down to normal sizes AND THIS HAPPENS? Jones New York shuts down? There is no way I'll ever find my trusty single button black blazer again. Women with tiny thighs running around in jackets that hit at the navel will be set, but we voluminous ladies will be out of luck.
LIFE IS NOT FAIR.
I was motivated by this news to go out to T.J. Maxx to buy the few scraps of Jones New York they had left, which ended up being one item that was not my size. I went then to Dillards instead and ended up with a new navy polyester "suit." Separates. The jacket is a size 14 that hits at the hip, exposing my size 18 pants. I am slowly melting back to my rapper Iggy/Minaj disporportionate body.
So the suit look less like this:
...and more like this:
My parents had a very limited music collection. Two Pete Seeger albums, a Four Tops album I never listened to, two Christmas albums (Burl Ives and Goodyear), Debussy's La Mer, and the soundtrack for My Fair Lady. No one ever had to out My Fair Lady on the turntable because I whenever I was alone in the house I would a) do somersaults in the family room and b) sing all the parts to My Fair Lady.
I love show tunes. The only other genre that outs as much effort into the words is musical satire. When I found out that the library loaned out albums I brought home every Tom Lehrer album and kept them out for half a year. (Also, I just checked: I still remember every word of The chorus of Vatican Rag.)
So, there's this new show out there, Crazy Ex Girlfriend, that is essentially a sitcom, but twice an episode they do a musical production number with clever lyrics. I think so far this one's my favorite:
I would recommend it. Now that the female lead won a Golden Globe, I doubt it will be cancelled. If you can tolerate the commercials, you can go to CW.com and binge watch the first eight half hour episodes.
Well, years ago the Los Angeles Rams moved from L.A., Glamorville, to our little burg here in Saint Louis, and evidently they are done with us and moving back in with their ex in L.A.. The last time a football team broke up with us the owner needed protection at the remaining games.
I haven't been following it closely, but I heard this owner who is moving the Rams away said some harsh things about St. Louis. It seems he said "St. Louis is a stuck pig bleeding money and despair and if anyone else tries to hook up with that bitch, they're crazy" (Not his exact words.)
Anyway, we again have an enemy to root against in addition to the Cubs: this California-bound Kroenke owner. The Blues hockey game was interrupted by fans chanting, "Kroenke SUCKS!" We are not classy when rejected.
Trying to keep it positive, the local paper printed an insert on "Why We Love St. Louis" and the Weatherbird solicitied tweets to fill a column.
My tweet, in which I said what I loved about St. Louis was the Bathroom Mirror piece at the Art museum, was too wildly controversial, I guess. Whatever, @Weatherbird. Go with the Toasted Ravioli and sledding on Art Hill. I understand. We're still cool.
Alternatively, this came from someone claiming to be the breaking news editor at the Post Dispatch:
That made me laugh, but probably only because I don't follow football so my heart isn't broken.
One year ago the toilet in the master bathroom began running incessantly. Not my problem: I sleep in the guest room. I shower in the master bathroom, though.
Eleven months ago Gary bought an entire new toilet innards assembly. He did not install it. He just bought it, perhaps to instill fear in the current toilet so it might shut up.
Nine months ago Gary asked me to start closing the bathroom door after I use the shower. He said the toilet noise bothered him.
The closed door method worked until eight months ago, when the noise through the door began to keep Gary up at night. The noise. Not the binge-watching of old science fiction tv shows. It was the noise of the toilet.
So, eight months ago he adjusted the screw on top of the float. He convinced himself that worked for one day.
Seven months and 29 days ago Gary placed the still-boxed set of new toilet innards on a table in the master bedroom. The toilet couldn't see it, but it sensed it, yet still gurgled defiantly.
Three months ago Gary experimented with the toilet and found that he could make the toilet stop running if he took a heavy bottle of shampoo and propped it up so it rested on top of the flapper inside the toilet. He called this "the mute." (He plays the trumpet. "Mute" is a noun.) He advised me that if the shampoo bottle was sitting by the sink the mute was off and I could use the toilet, otherwise I would find it difficult to flush the toilet.
One month ago I had to use that toilet so urgently I forgot about the whole mute business. I flushed hard enough to move the shampoo bottle, but it was still annoying.
Three weeks ago I went to the hardware store and bought a new flapper. I hid it under the mattress in the guest room. I had to hide it, because I planned to install it secretly when Gary visited his parents. I can't just say to Gary "Perhaps you might like to try installing this flapper. Look, it says on the package: 'Stops Running Toilets!'" If it isn't Gary's idea, it is dismissed out of hand. (Besides, he had only "recently" threatened the toilet with replacement innards. The toilet had not had enough time to think about what it had done.) So, instead of trying to replace the flapper under Gary's nose while he explained he was GOING to do it, he INTENDED to do it, and why this FLAPPER SCHEME would NEVER work, I had to do it behind his back. (Besides, if the flapper didn't work I didn't want the know-it-all lecture.)
Two weeks ago Gary's back went out. He has not left the house and thus I have not been able to do any ninja plumbing.
This morning Gary said, "I'm getting kind of tired of having to move the mute when I want to use the toilet."
He seemed resigned. Like he might not put up a fight. I jumped on my chance. "Hmm. Have you ever thought about replacing the flapper? Would that work?"
"I guess I could try that. I guess I could order a flapper online."
He watched as I ran to the guest room and got the flapper from under the mattress. He laughed immediately, because he knows how I often avoid the fight and fix things behind his back. Sometimes it doesn't work (the refrigerator light) and sometimes it does (the kitchen soap pump).
He did help with the replacement, even though there was a moment he saw me struggle to get the old flapper off and said "See, that's why I didn't do I, could see we couldn't get the old one off." I immediately pulled harder at this bullshit and got the old one off.
After he saw that new flapper works great, Gary tried to spin a new story about how he bought that whole new toilet assembly with the intention of replacing things bit by bit, starting with the flapper. I called him on it. I made him get the package and show me the flapper. New assembly has no flapper. Lies.
"Oh," that's right he said brightly. "I remember now. I opened it, saw there was no flapper, and then I planned to get a new one on-line, but I didn't."
He just yelled in to my room, "Can't tell you how tickled I am about the bathroom, babe."
Gary's back went out almost a week ago. It hasn't gone out for years, ever since he went to the physical therapist and started stretching. One thing he took away from the PT was that resting in bed for six weeks works against you, so he's been up and shuffling about throughout.
I've been doing the chores, but Sunday night he decided I should go to bed and he should do the dishes.
That sounds lovely, doesn't it? It was not lovely. I would not have accepted the offer had I know he meant, "Oh, hon, you just go to bed, I'll take care of the dishes WHILE I SHRIEK INTERMITTENTLY IN PAIN."
My instinct at the first yelp was to get up, go out to the kitchen, and insist he stop. But I know how he would react. "NO LEAVE ME ALONE I'M FINE. (SHRIEK)"
So, I just lay there and got more and more upset. It was like listening to someone I love being tortured by someone I love. And, most infuriating, I'd been pushing pain relievers on him all day. "Advil? Tylenol? Wine, hon, do you want some wine? Baileys? Heroin?" He kept saying it didn't hurt that much. (YELP)
I know he wants to be the tough guy. The cowboy who refuses the shot of whiskey while he yanks the arrow out of his shoulder. But he's not that guy. He's the cowboy who refuses the whiskey, pulls the arrow out an inch, screams, stops, reaches for the whiskey then refuses the whiskey, pulls another inch, and screams "AHHHHHH! I'M DYING! AHHHHHH! NO WHISKEY I'M FINE NO REALLY THIS DOESN'T HURT THIS MUCH!"
So when the dishes were done he came in for a goodnight kiss and found me with my head sandwiched between the pillows, sobbing. I hissed, "Get your hand off of me" when he patted my hip, and he wisely elected to vacate the room.
I stayed in there for a while and thought about how I should be feeling, since clearly I was overreacting. Back when I could deal with my emotions, I would have just hardened my heart with every yelp. Now I have the amplified reaction to everything, and every yelp from Gary reminds me that he's just ten years younger than Mom was when she died.
Eventually I realized I need to calm down and go in and give the man a normal degree of sympathy. We negotiated a dose of one (NOT TWO!) Advil (TWO ADVIL ARE YOU TRYING TO KILL ME), and since then he's tried to make strangled noises instead of shrieks. ("UGGH-CHUH-CHUH-Chuh-chuh.")
You might say "It sounds like Gary isn't the only one who needs to be on medicine." I hear you. My thoughts are still rational, though. It's just when other people are expressing emotions I can't apply the brakes anymore.
Sunday morning I set out for a furniture store down by the river, and (unbeknownst to Siri) the road was washed out. I made the classic mistake of just taking a nearby road that seemed to point the same way. Country roads are not in a grid. I got lost, but in a good way. When I was a kid, my favorite past-time was to get on my bike and get lost, then try to find my way back home.
I spent 45 minutes by myself tooling along on that windy country road. It was tremendously relaxing. I know if Gary had been in the car, there would have been shrieking and tears, but it was fun. There was a new road, and adventure, and the swollen river, and I was lost. I was so lost that at one point Siri just kept repeating ("In a quarter mile, turn left. In a quarter mile, turn left. In a quarter mile, turn left.") I had to shake her to get her to stop.
I have big plans now for next Sunday morning. There are many country roads by my house. I think I'll just point myself west and get lost. I'll use Siri to find a nice long road and then turn her off.
Tuesday night was the fun-filled State of the Union, which is always fun at our house because Gary has strong opinions about politics. I anticipated he would get more conservative as he aged, but he is now more vocally liberal than ever. I'm liberal, but I don't go on Facebook and make sweeping statements about "Republicans." You know, "How stupid can Republicans be" and "Republicans are such cowards." I am horrified. I've tried to tell him that while he may mean "Tea-party Republican congressmen and spin doctors," people read "Republican friends on Facebook," but he doesn't care. Now ultra-conservative trolls have discovered him on Facebook. He tries to engage them in debate. It is hilarious. I was expecting him to be really vocal during the SOTU.
I killed time beforehand by watching the Curse of Oak Island, which is the best time-wasting show because it is a reality show about people actually wasting their time. It follows a team trying to find the treasure at the bottom of the fabled Money Pit. The Money Pit story is very compelling because everyone thinks, "You know the spot, just dig up the whole island." Season one the government says "You cannot dig up the whole island." So, it's been three seasons of people diving under the island, and operating sonar devices, and rooting by hand in the swamp. Gary and I first saw it a marathon over the holidays. After a few hours we got wise to the formula, and when the narrator would intone "will draining the swamp lead to clues about the treasure?" we would answer "No. No It will not." Because it never does. Three seasons of this.
7:45 - Gary got antsy and made me switch to a news station. Gary does not like the CNN anchor suggesting President Obama doesn't like the Congress. Soon there will be a Facebook post from Gary condemning Republicans because Wolf Blitzer asked a question.
7:52 - I loaded up Twitter and saw the news that the Rams are going to leave St. Louis. "Hey," I said to Gary, "Looks like the Rams are leaving." I thought he could handle a but more disgust piled on top of his existing political disgust, but it diverted his attention and I essentially lost him for most of the speech.
7:58 - Michelle Obama showed up in a Crayola yellow dress. This dress is my favorite of hers so far. And, what was with the camerawork? It swung from a steady shot of Michelle to a wobbly panorama of people's butts.
8:13 - While the president was speaking the camera panned to some nuns in the gallery. Gary whispered, "Nuns, nuns, nuns." He's a little afraid of nuns. Catholic school.
8:51 - The nuns frightened Gary into reverential silence for most of the speech. I had to check Twitter again to feel like I was watching this with someone. There were a lot of tweets about the "Just ask Osama Bin Laden" remark. "Oh yeah, you can't, he's dead. "#SOTU " There were many tweets about Marco Rubio actually being in the senate chamber for once.
8:57 - Gary perked up when Obama spoke against rancor and suspicion. Gary immediately accused Paul Rand of having devil horns under his curly hair, then they showed County Clerk Kim Davis on screen, and my old Gary was back. When the President called to "Change the system to reflect our better selves," Gary yelled, "Socialism! Ber-nie! Ber-nie!"
But by then it was too late. He gave the person giving the Republican response some grief for talking through her teeth, but it wasn't the same.
He has a 29 year old wife. Why isn't she working? Does she get to stay? None of the new reports I've seen cover this detail.
The obvious answer is that Playboy corporation buys it and makes it a museum. I've read that it's considered a "tear-down," but I bet Graceland was considered a tear-down as well.
I'd like to buy it. I'd dig up my Dad's ashes and transport them to the Grotto. He'd love that. Oh, wait, I forgot, his ashes are fully blended with Mom's ashes. That won't work.
I could buy it and make it into a Bunny Retirement Home. I like to think of Hef surrounded by nothing but equally old ladies. Old naked ladies, because of course they'd all have to be naked. (Let's be honest, I'd be naked too.) Maybe I'd let the elderly bunnies wear one of those thong incontinence pads, otherwise the floors would be covered with pee, and that would be a hazard. But would walkers slip on pee? I guess it's a trade-off: bare-naked bunnies on walkers, or corked up bunnies without walkers.
Cleary there would need to be an age limit. Exceptions to the age limit would be made if you pass a weight limit. The fat bunnies can clean up after the old bunnies (I'm deciding on full nudity with pee). But the young bunnies need to be really wall-scraping fat, like 600 pounds. In MY mansion it will be easier for Hef to pass through a fat bunny's thighs than for a hot bunny to enter the kingdom of Playboy.
Wait, what am I thinking? We need young hot men to run the place, and they all have to be scantily clad specimens. How can we be sure Hef sees impossible airbrushed versions of them all the time? I bet he has a security system in his off-limits bedroom. The security camera feed is fuzzy and at a flattering angle already.
Maybe it would be enough to just slide a photo of a gorgeous young man under Hef's door every morning. No, every month.
New Policy: Friday posts are devoted to whatever is giving me anxiety this week.
Anxiety, my new friend. I've never been a worrier in the past, but now my new buddy Anxiety sits by me and bothers me allllll the time, and he says things like:
"Oh no. The phone's ringing. Someone has died." It's just a phone call. In fact, it's a telemarketer, because IT'S ALWAYS A TELEMARKETER.
"Oh no. I have email. It's the rental company calling to tell me Mom's house has been blown away by a tornado." IT IS NEVER A TORNADO.
My Mom was a worrier until she got old. Then she realized none of the things she worried about came true. Instead, other, more horrible things happened, so what was the use of worrying?
I, however, have come to worry late in life. It annoys me. I can't be the delicate princess who gets the fantods whenever the phone rings.
THIS WEEK'S ANXIETY: The car.
The day after Thanksgiving the SERVICE ENGINE SOON and Dynamic Stability Control lights came on. I called the dealer to make an appointment. They couldn't get me in till December 7th.
Our car stayed at the dealer three days. We would call and hear "We're still diagnosing it." I snorted loudly on the third morning, and later that day we got a call that they couldn't find the problem, so they reset the warning lights and we could pick it up.
When I paid the cashier the $130 (instead of the 4K I was worried it would cost), I noticed she looked at the invoice, and then pointedly said, "If anything goes wrong with your car be sure to call us." I was too relieved I was getting out for $130 to think that anything might go wrong.
Sure enough, ten minutes down the road, SERVICE ENGINE SOON.
I cursed steadily until I got into a parking lot, got on my phone and called the dealership.
"YOU DID NOT FIX MY CAR."
"Ma'am. I'm not familiar with what work was done on you car. I need the invoice number to see what we did."
"NOTHING. YOU DID NOTHING AND CHARGED ME $130 FOR IT."
Before I got home, some Customer Service Wrangler had called to hear the whole story. When I called him back I was still so angry I lost my ability to say simple words like "cashier." It came with a French pronounication. "Cash-e-AY." I don't know what that's all about. But that's how mad I was.
So mad they called back the next day and sweet-talked Gary, and promised us a loaner car, and they'd give our car special attention, and drive the car home themselves personally to their house to see any lights, and not give it back till it was fixed, and bullshit, and et cetera.
Gary had already called Dobbs Auto, who immediately said they couldn't get to anything until after the holidays. You know, as opposed to lying and making appointments they can't keep.
In the past, I would have thought, "My righteous indignation has cowed the dealer. They will now do the professional job they should have done before and charge me a fair amount."
My new friend Anxiety says, "They hate you now, and they lie, so they will take advantage and spit in your wiper fluid and tell you that the transmission is out or whatever the most expensive thing is, and then just buff the exterior and do nothing else. Last time you got that light they said it was the fuel pump. I bet it wasn't the fuel pump at all. They probably set the computer chip to randomly send a SERVICE ENGINE SOON light whenever they want your money."
Happily, we have two cars. And while I could have afforded the car work before Christmas, I can't now, so the car just sits in the garage. I start it up every two weeks, and look balefully at the SERVICE ENGINE SOON light. Hah. "SOON." Sure.
Have you seen this new Trump commercial?
CNN describes it thus:
... Trump posted a new video to Instagram casting himself as the "true defender of women's rights" as a montage of images showing Bill Clinton with Monica Lewinsky and Hillary Clinton at Bill Cosby's side flash across the screen.
The only voice in the clip belongs to Hillary Clinton, who declares, "Women's rights are human rights and human rights are women's rights," a now famous phrase the then-first lady used in 1995, in Beijing during an address to the United Nations' Fourth World Conference on Women.
Had I been on the fence about Hillary before this commercial, I would now be entirely off the fence and mad to vote for her. You watch a parade of powerful, allegedly abusive men and the only think you can think is: "Men are dicks. We need a woman president." I don't believe men are dicks, but what can I say, the video is compelling.
This page has a link to the video on Instagram.
So, here's what I do for a living. I create computer-based training for a very ethical and fiscally conservative Financial Services firm. You may recall that in 2010 I have to take my Series 7 stockbroker test to be able to do my job. It was hard, especially since I have poor math skills and duck my head at conversations about money.
In this post I mentioned obliquely how hard I found the Series 7 and quoted one of the harder things I had to study: tranches.
PACs (planned amortization class) are CMOs insulated from prepayment risk by "swing" tranches called companions or support bonds, which are retired before PACs if prepayments are high, and after PACs if prepayments are low.
Oh. Are you still with me? How much of that paragraph did you read? If I recall, I read that paragraph at the time and said, "Well, I'll be getting that question wrong."
Gary and I went to see The Big Short - a movie, if you can believe it, about CMOs (Collateral Mortgage Obligations) and tranches. While in line I mentioned that CMOs and tranches were the hardest thing in the Series 7, and I was curious to see them explain it in the movie without putting me to sleep.
This is how they explain tranches in this movie:
Jenga. It was genius. It also pissed me off, because I'd just told Gary tranches were hard and then these bastards turn around and simplify it into a game, and I look like a moron.
At any rate, if you suffered throught the Series 7 this movie might annoy you, but if you did not, I highly recommend it. Be forewarned, though, at 53 I was the youngest person in the theater.
My brother asked for what he thought was a simple birthday present. He wants a locking metal trash can so his dog will stop pillaging the trash when my brother is out. He can't muzzle this dog: evidently she chews through muzzles. It can't be a plastic trash can because she likes the taste of plastic, it is second only to vinyl vertical shades in lip-smacking tastiness. And my brother can't just out the trash can behind a Doerr that latches because that isn't how his house is configured.
I hunted for a locking trash can. I got close with one that was plastic (yummy yummy plastic) and one the dog could pry open with her nails and jaws. I thought I was close when I went on a baby-proofing tangent, but evidently all baby-proofing devices are also made of tasty plastic.
I was again looking at the $100 simpleHuman trash can that the dog would have just pried apart, and Amazon told me that based on my recent searches for "dog proof trash can" and "trash can lock," might I be interested in their simpleHuman dog food bins? Air tight, all metal, locking, impervious to dog jaws. And look at this. Is this not a trash can by another name?
I'm hoping this will meet all specifications. If it does I will count it as one of my best Gifts of the Holy Grail, in which I am asked to find impossible gifts by loving family members. Just another example of looking at a problem from another point of view: in this case the dog's point of view, given that she see's one man's trash as her pet food.
Best Change In Appearance
I am smaller, since I'm 40-plus pounds thinner. By some foreshortening magic I took a selfie in which I have thigh gap.
That photo lies a lot. Still, I am some inches less wide, and for a few days after the visit to the Citi Museum I was down one inch in height. Which reminds me:
Worst Change In Appearance
This post details my temporary shortening and my permanent ... lumpening. And now that I look at that photo above, that mole farm on my neck is pretty sad.
I learned to read music and pluck out about 16 notes in fingerstyle guitar, which I find much more satisfying than playing chords. It's easier to play notes than to follow guitar tabs, if you ask me, since the information doesn't have to detour into the confusing numbers part of my brain.
Blogging. I only blogged three times a month. I think that's probably contributed to my emotional decline this year.
Best Out Of Town Visit
We had many mini-vacations and trips out of town, including week-long trips on The Rock Boat and a riotous visit to Chicago, as well as short trips to Springfield IL, Hannibal and Branson. The best of all was a visit to KC for my niece's wedding shower. I supplied the food for the Mad Tea Party.
Worst Out of Town Visit
My niece's wedding. At one point I was on the side of the road screaming into my hands and Gary was talking about divorce and it wasn't the fault of anyone I just mentioned in this paragraph.
The racoons, deer, opossums, and skunk in our backyard? They were good. The wildebeest in Springfield that wanted to lick my shirt? Terrifying. Hard to beat. But, when I feel low, I still watch this video of the alpaca spitting on Gary.
Almost the best laugh of the year.
Best Laugh of The Year
The best Girl's Night Ever happened at Friend #2's house, and sad to say it started with young Friend #8 confessing she'd had a debilitating stroke. I'm used to being on the receiving end of the Heartless Cows' sympathy, but that night I got to be a cow myself.
We all then played Cards Against Humanity. I announced the Question Card "What's That Sound?"
Friend #8, the one with the stroke, played the white card.
I don't remember doing anything for the next five minutes but falling on the floor and laughing.
Worst Laugh of the Year
Or rather, worst non-laugh. In 2016, I changed. Usually I can laugh at dark things, in fact that's my first reaction (see above). This year, a few things happened in which I couldn't see the humor (and thus didn't write blog posts about them). In the past I would start from a position of emotional detachment, so I could see foibles in myself and others. That detachment is ebbing away every day. I'm becoming such an emotional basket case, and according to this article I'm probably headed toward a panic attack if I don't get back to who I am.
I'm not going to end up the scared sick lady who makes her family dance to her crazy tune. Step One: More therapeutic blogging. Step Two: Therapy. Step Three: Medicine, if it comes to that.