Nordic Boy

2014 Finito

2014 is about to go into the garbage can, fellas! Ima do this year end quiz one more time. Uno, two, trois, go!
1. What did you do in 2014 that you’d never done before?
I had my first tarot reading ever, and it was full of surprising and auspicious predictions, which I thoroughly do not believe in yet I was stuffing it all right into my brain and heart and guts because even though I am not superstitious, I still don’t need to be suspicious about stuff that is auspicious. That was fun to say. Let’s throw some more in. Wishes, fishes, bootylicious.
2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year?
I actually, for the first time maybe ever, made resolutions last year! 100 books read? CHECK. 100 movies watched? I think I saw maybe 40 movies this year. Two-fifths CHECK. Take a photo a day? Not every day, but I did take a butt-ton more photos this year. BUTT-TON CHECK. 100 dates with people I like? NO IDEA. How did I think I was going to track that without being psycho? Uncheck.
3. Did anyone close to you give birth?
No? Can that be true? I feel like there have been babies popping out everywhere every year for many years now. Was this the first baby-less year? I sort of can’t believe it. I must be having tot amnesia right now.
4. Did anyone close to you die?
No, but there was an extremely close call earlier this year that was effing awful and scared the living bloomers off of me.
5. What trips did you take?
All the usual suspects: Michigan, Chicago, New York, Bay Area, Portland. Plus I was dipped in the nutbarn that is Vegas, and I am never to be the same again.
6. What would you like to have in 2015 that you lacked in 2014?
Remember that whole Anger Potato thing I was talking about before? Yeah, I was mad about some stuff earlier this year. Like, stifling mad. I am glad to say that the anger potato has passed, finally, and I am hoping for less of that crap next year.
7. What date from 2014 will remain etched upon your memory, and why?
Fixy’s birthday was super duper fun in 2014. We rode a ferris wheel! We had a warm day in January! We went to the opera and watched a lady kick the bucket while singing her face off!
8. What was your biggest achievement of the year?
This year was a rebuilding year, after the shit show of 2013. I took a lot of care of myself and healed a lot. It was slow going.
9. What was your biggest failure?
Eh, I don’t want to talk about it.
10. Did you suffer illness or injury?
Not really, although I took two falls this year. One was at the beginning of the year when I somehow convinced myself, against my better judgment, that ice skating was a good idea, which anyone can tell you is wrong if you just think about the dumbness of strapping razor like blades to one’s shoes and then locomoting onto ice. I mean, what kind of bull-feces is that? Second time was just a few weeks ago, so apparently 2014 was brought in and out with my ass kissing the floor. What does this symbolize about the year? Hmmm.
11. What was the best thing you bought?
Our spontaneous decision to fly to California to see Baryshnikov perform was kind of the best. Aside from being amazing and fun, just the fact that we up and did it last minute when we really had no business doing anything of the sort was pretty sweet.
12. Whose behavior merited celebration?
I had lots of work-related hoo-hah that was celebratory-worthy.
13. Whose behavior made you appalled and depressed?
See: anger potato.
14. Where did most of your money go?
Building our deck! Our lovely, monstrous deck! Our Tyrannosaurus Decks! It was built too late in the year for us to really use, but 2015? YEAR OF DECK PARTAYS AND HOE-DOWNS.
15. What did you get really, really, really excited about?
Going to Chicago to see Alli and Map, my homies who know mes.
16. What song will always remind you of 2014?
Cool Kids, by Echosmith, for many reasons.
17. Compared to this time last year, are you:
i. happier or sadder? Way happier. WAY WAY happier. Like, happier times a kajillion.
ii. thinner or fatter? Well, my mom is in town and stuffing my face with baked goods, so probably fatter?
iii. richer or poorer? Richer, just a touch.
18. What do you wish you’d done more of?
Hanging out with my peeps, especially Biogirl. She moved to the burbs and it was like we had to have passports to get to each other.
19. What do you wish you’d done less of?
Mowing my yard.
20. How did you spend the holidays?
With my mom, bro, sister-in-law, nephew, and dude. It was hella fun. I am lucky to have a rad fam.
22. Did you fall in love in 2014?
Oh that dude of mine makes me so gushy.
23. How many one-night stands?
This question is so DUMMMMMMB
24. What was your favorite TV program?
The Good Wife and John Oliver. How can The Good Wife just keep getting better and better like that? How can John Oliver make me laugh at depressing news items? These are the mysteries of tv times.
25. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year?
No.
26. What was the best book you read?
Women in Clothes. I wanted to EAT THE PAGES I loved it so much.
27. What was your greatest musical discovery?
I don’t know- lots. I liked Sylvan Esso a bunch. Also that Lemonade song by Danity Kane was sort of my jam for a while. I am sinking in to the new D’Angelo. FKA Twigs. Just, lots.
28. What was your favorite film of this year?
The Lunchbox got me squarely in my innards.
29. What did you do on your birthday?
Not much on my actual birthday, but right around then, I took a trip to New York. I cannot even tell you how it made me feel. After the hellish festival of horrible that was 2013, I had been feeling better all year, bit by bit, but right around my birthday was the tipping point in my year where I needed a balls out fantastic time to remember myself fully. My beloved pal Maddie plus my beloved NYC made it happen. The. Best. Time. Sewed up my soul.
30. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying?
The other day I was at a meeting and we had to go around the table and, as an ice breaker, tell the group an interest we have outside of work. One person, clearly a for reals genius, said “sleep.” I was so taken with this person and this answer that I sort of stared at them for a minute. THIS IS A PERFECT ANSWER. I think she thought I was mean-mugging her, I was looking so thunderstruck. Anyway, to answer this question: more sleep.
31. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2014?
I love apparel. This year my fashion concept stayed much the same (I am choosy as a Jiffy-choosing mom when it comes to fashion) but I did expand my repertoire a bit. Like for instance, pants. I branched out into pants! This is a huge broadening of horizon for me. 2014! The year I joined The SIsterhood of the Wearing of Pants!
32. What kept you sane?
My guy. Or maybe he kept me insane. One of those.
33. Which celebrity/public figure did you fancy the most?
I spent an inordinate amount of time contemplating the Kardashians. I have theories upon theories about them. I feel like a Kardashian savant. Literally no one in my life cares about this, much the way you must feel right now.
34. What political issue stirred you the most?
Events in Ferguson and all intersecting issues around it.
35. Who did you miss?
My dad.
36. Who was the best new person you met?
I met another blog friend- this time it was Aine from the UK, who swung through Seattle and contacted me to say hello. She was a frigging delight.
37. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2014:
Healing takes time and patience, and some things can never heal, but instead may just change. Sounds trite, but it’s true.
38. A song lyric that sums up your year.

Breakfast, by Kelis:

Sometimes it’s just so dark/And I can’t see past my hand
But you’re solid as a rock/You’re everything I love
And I done all that I can/You told me still stand
When it’s said and done/I am just what I am

So much of who we are/Is from who taught us how to love
So much of who we are/Is from who first taught us how to love

This is the real thing
The real thing about us
Welcome to the world

Happy New Year, everyone. Love to you in 2015.

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T-givs, y’all

I have been trying to make “T-givs” happen, as a way to say Thanksgiving. I currently have zero supporters in this campaign.

Here are some things that happened over the weekend.

It snowed and then it froze. Our front yard looks like it is covered in cottage cheese because Seattle doesn’t understand snow, not in its soul.

Although I am a notorious Scrooge, this year we went out and got some lights to string up on our brand! new! deck! Mainly this is because my mom is coming to visit me and she is not a Scrooge. Also this is because we do not have lighting installed on our front stairs yet and I would like for my mother to not trip when she is here (apparently up until now I have been fine with the thought of other people tripping).

I got my hair cut and another stylist besides mine was (I guess?) bored or something because she jumped in to blow dry my hair on one side while my stylist did the other. It was sudden and sort of terrifying, although I can’t say why.

I went to a movie in a theater and when the preview for the new Star Wars came on, the lady next to me started crying from excitement. Like, loud crying. I say this as a fan of the pop cultures: WOW LADY. For the rest of the night I kept thinking about what sort of pop culture event would make me lose my shit. I am sure there is something. I guess I will know when it happens and I promise I will share it.

Fixy and I spent more time in our pajamas than in day-time clothings over four days.

I got texts and messages from two of my friends who had sad news. Two sets of news, actually. One set sad and scary, one set sad and devastating. I called immediately, and basically just wanted to keep calling all damn weekend. Really, what I wanted to do was go over there, but in this case, “there” is across the country so. Being there for friends is hard when you can’t actually be there. All weekend, I was feeling heavy-hearted and distracted.

To help with this, I did what makes me feel better: I squeezed my dude a lot a lot a lot. He did not seem to mind.

Here’s the grainiest ass cell phone photo of me, Fixy, and Delium on T-givs (I am gonna say it until you love it). I do not know why I am making the face that old timers make when shaving with a straight razor.

Thankful for this:

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Easy Freezy Beautiful

The cold snap we have been experiencing continues apace (it’s been in the 20s at night here, which I KNOW my friends from other parts of the country will chuckle about but for Seattle in November it feels like Frigidaire in our underwear), and not only have my efforts to not be a whiny milquetoast been successful, I resisted the urge to huddle in a pajama ball at home all weekend, which makes me feel quite proud of myself. Good job, me!

Well, let me back up for just a second– I suppose, if we want to be technical, I did arrive home from work on Friday evening to my beloved, who was ready to take me out to dinner on the town, and I did, according to verified facts, refuse his going-out-enthusiasm due to pajama yearning. Sometimes the call of the jimmity jams cannot be denied.

However! I did get myself out and about for the rest of the weekend. My friend Kristen and I went to get our art on at a local museum, and the prevailing take away for me was a big fat royal “HUH?” during and afterward. The exhibit we saw was thoughtfully put together and ripe with meaning I am sure, but I just did not get it AT ALLLLL beyond a very surfacey understanding. The whole time I was just thinking: who the what now? I am going to glass-half-full this one and say that it is a valuable experience to be put in a position where we do not know what the eff is going on sometimes. This is not a rare feeling for me, though, if I’m gonna be truthful.

After confusing museum time, we went on a nice long walk and talk around the UW campus. It was sunny and cold and the autumn leaves were showing off. Look at me, embracing fall! Stepping on crunchy leaves, getting red cheeked, stopping off for a hot chocolate. Pretty damn fine.

In the evening, my sweetie and I went out to dinner at a place where we usually get take out and you should have seen the shock on the restaurant staff’s faces about it. You would like a TABLE? You will be staying and sitting? We continued to blow minds by ordering shit off the menu that was not our usual take out dinner items. No, we will NOT be ordering our usual! Up is down! Left is right!

Other highlights of the weekend included going to see a dance show (and this was some art that I could fully understand, thank goodness because I was kind of over feeling cornfused) and grocery-doing, laundry-finishing, home-improving, family-phone-calling and the like. And maybe a little pajama huddle squeezed in at the end. Cold weather has not defeated me yet and it shall not this year! IT SHALL NOT! *shakes icy fist at sky*

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Consumables #97 Reads: Like No Other

Remember a few posts ago, when I did that little quiz from Dizz, and there was a question about when the last time I was embarrassed was, and I couldn’t remember one, but I did say that I felt like that meant I was due? Yeah, so yesterday, I was mortified. MORTY FIED. Like, we are talking David Brent levels. Don’t you want to know what happened? Well, I’m going to be a butt munch and not tell you because GAHHHHHH SO EMBARRASSING. Just know that my embarrassment clock has been re-set and I am good for months.

On another note, Fixy parked his car in a spot he shouldn’ta yesterday, and when he came back to get it, his shit had gotten towed. The ordeal to get his truck back clocked in at about 3 hours of our evening last night, with a honker of a bill to match. I was home at the time, having just gotten into my pajamas even though it was broad daylight because that is what one does after returning home from Embarrassmentopolis 2014, and he called me up and I had to unpajamify and get out into rush hour traffic and the longer the ordeal the hungrier we both were and the tireder we both were and neither one of us turned on each other the entire time. This, added onto the whole deck building togetherness a few weeks ago, and I think that guy and I may be set to stay together for some time to come, I’m just guessing, because that constitutes a double miracle.

If my truck-got-towed story (I know, I am really stretching the definition of “story”) is not romantic enough for you, maybe a better thing would be to read this book I just read (SEGUE WUT WUT). It’s called Like No Other, by Una LaMarche. Please forgive me for saying something so tired, but it’s a modern Romeo and Juliet style romance. But yes, I know that’s been done a fazillion times, but there’s a reason, maybe? Love with obstacles is compelling, right? (How many of you pictured a romance on a Battle of the Network Stars style obstacle course when you saw “love with obstacles,” like I did?). In this case, the romance is between a Orthodox Jewish teen girl and an African American teen boy, and the story is sweet and the characters are smart. If you liked Eleanor and Park, by Rainbow Rowell, you might like this one. Oh, it’s a teen novel, so if you aren’t hip to that jazz, whatevers.

Someone please invent a transporter

Friday night, I got home from work around 8pm, ate a hasty dinner of take out pad thai, packed some stuff, slept for a few hours, got up at 3:30 am (why do those cheaper early morning flights seem like such a good idea at reservation time?), flew to Chicago, found out our connection flight was cancelled because the pilot just didn’t show up for work (which, wow, I guess that happens, but the fact that they just balls out told us was surprising), was told that we could not be routed to another flight because one simply did not exist (which, wow again, flat out S.O.L. for us), argued for the airline to give us SOME alternative and finally got them to spring for a rental car, drove two states over to Flint, and now here we are.

Whew!

The kicker on the lack-of-reroute was that the next day the airline cancelled our return flights, which we wouldn’t have even known about had it not been for Travelocity telling us. When we called the airline to see what was up they were all “your reservation was cancelled because you never showed up for your Chicago-to-Flint flight” and we had to be all “Sucka please. YOU did not show up for that flight.” And they were like “oh yeah.” And re-booked us. We shall see on Sunday whether (a) they actually did rebook us and/or (b) the pilot shows his/her face. At this point there seems room for doubt.

I fear I am veering into Nobody Cares territory, because travel/flight mishap stories belong in the same category as traffic stories and dream stories (and by “category” I mean “garbage pile”) but all of that was to say that I was ready to maybe sit down a minute once I got here.

Thankfully I have had some sit-down time to talk with my mom a lot, and also some running around time as we get a list of projects done for her as well. We’ve yard-worked and auto-mechanic’ed and plumbed and organized and cleaned. We murdered that to-do list and it feels pretty good. It’s sad in this house without my dad, though, which doesn’t feel so hot.

That’s been my week. Next post, I hope will not be about travel logistics. I’m not promising.

Get a load of these two pals.

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Din-din win-win

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Typing this blog post, waiting for Delium to come over, chatting with the chef.

I feel like I want to blog more, but I have been having trouble finding time this week, and when I do have time, I have little to say. How about I just blah blah for a minute while dinner is cooking?

I grew up in a house where we ate fresh food, with lots of variety, and cooking was always happening. My parents had a huge vegetable garden and there was never a moment where something delicious was not on the stove for me. As an adult, I now love fresh, healthy food, so major yay for that. To counter that major yay though, I did not grow up to be much of a cook. Well, that is not entirely true. I actually can cook pretty well. I just don’t really love doing it. Whatever that thing is that people have who love to prepare a tasty meal is a thing that I do not possess. I can do it, and will do it, and I won’t hate doing it. I just do not think of it as something fun to do. It is totally and completely utilitarian to me. And given my druthers (druthers from anothers mothers), I would rather just not. To make things even more of a pain in the arse, my upbringing spoiled me regarding variety. Meaning, I gots to have it. The thought of making a pot of soup for the week makes me have boredom hives, and you may be thinking there is no such thing as boredom hives but there are if you get bored ENOUGH, and I am talking fall-on-your-face boredom. Kind of like how you are feeling listening to me talk about cooking feelings.

AT ANY RATE. The point I am trying to make here is that Nordic Boy loves to cook. I feel like this is almost enough of a reason for me to have been with that dude all this time and the rest of it is pretty much a bonus. I think people should be finding their mates based on the complimentariness of the cooking/eating preferences. I am only partially kidding because I LOVE IT THAT I GET TO NOT DO ANYTHING TO MAKE IT HAPPEN YET I STILL GET TO EAT FRESH DELICIOUS VICTUALS.

How’s that for half-ass blogging? Whatever. I gotta go. Dinner time.

A coupla do-nothings

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Aside from getting ourselves to an after-work happy hour party at our friends’ Jen and Zach’s house on Friday evening, we did exactly jack diddley squat the whole weekend. We read books, cleaned our house from top to bottom (damn I am so glad our house is the size of a postage stamp), went for walks, talked, made food. Mostly this was due to the fact that my dude decided to take up kettlebell excercise last week and so he was all butthurt in a grandpa fashion and couldn’t rightly move very well, but we made the most of it. It was all he could do to get himself to that Friday night happy hour, but we made it. Jen and Zach have been in their house for about a year and have fixed it all up super cute. I always get a bit jealous when I see people who can cutify it up so quickly when our house is in a constant state of construction, but then I remind myself that (a) we are doing every last thing on our house by ourselves, and by we I mean Mr. Butthurt over there; and (b) we have had to re-do everything, not just cosmetic things, and that shit takes time; and (c) it is not a race.

Here is to not-a-race-ness, friends. Kick back and take it easy once in a while when you can. Even if you aren’t butthurt.

One year later

 

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This past weekend was the one year anniversary of when my dad died. It has been quite a year for me, and I have learned some stuff  about myself. Maybe a million stuffs. I will not spew all of them, but here are a couple few.

1. I learned that I don’t care that much about the fact that it’s the anniversary.  Maybe not too much of a surprise, since I’m not really much of an anniversary person in general- I don’t tend to have a ton of ceremony around dates or build up a lot of emotion that is centered on a day. I know that certain markers of time can be hard for grieving people– like I have friends who have lost loved ones that say that Christmases or birthdays can be hard. For me, I haven’t felt that way so far.

2. I have a dear friend, L, who lost her beloved dad a few years ago. I was talking to her about it and she said something to me that I never forgot. This may sound weird to some, but Ima tell you anyway. She said that when she gave birth to her kids, during labor, there was a complete and utter letting go of all of the control that she had because there was nothing to do but let it happen. She didn’t care what she looked like, she didn’t care who was watching, she didn’t care what she sounded like, how much she cried. She was just totally immersed in the experience of birthing her child. She then said that the only other time she felt something similar to that was in her grief for her dad. She went through a period where she did not care a wit about what she looked like, sounded like, or who was watching. She was just in it. I have never given birth so I can’t speak to the comparison she was making, but something about that description felt more in tune with what I was feeling than just about anything anyone has said to me all year. There was a period of time there where I was just IN IT, I felt like it was super hard but also the most natural and right thing in the world, and I didn’t give a flying fuckbucket what it looked like to anybody. Is it weird to talk about the birthing process in comparison to the grieving process? Sorry. Blame my friend L if you must.

3. That being said, I also learned that there’s a time when it’s best to suck it up and wrap up the Eeyore tendencies. This is one of the harsher things I learned and it’s actually hard to say, but I’m being as real as the STREETS right now, homeys. There are maybe one or two people, if you are very, very lucky, that will hang out with you as long as it takes for you to get all that sad stuff out, no matter the timeline. But for the most part, people– really loving, wonderful people– can’t hang with you like that for too long. They have their own lives and things they need to do and they need you to get back to being a more equal person in the relationship. They need to talk about their stuff and not just listen to your stuff. I may have even gotten some straight up CUT THAT SHIT OUT NOW I AM DONE HEARING ABOUT IT here and there.  Sure, hearing that can be a lesson learned right in the nuts, but I can’t be mad about it, because I know behind the frustration, there’s love there, and none of us are perfect. Well, besides Beyonce, obviously. So as much as I have learned about letting my grief fly and letting myself be in it, I have also learned when it’s time to fold it up and put it away.

4. Even though I would have said, before this happened, that Nordic Boy and I were closer than peanut butter and jelly in a Goober jar, this year has shown me that it was possible to be more connected, more solid, more joyful together. We jibber jabber about ev-er-y-thing, we laugh a lot, we cannot wait to hang out together. We are just horribly sickening.

5. I have learned that there’s a sort of secret society of grievers out there. People who have lost someone too, and who will reach out and help.

6. There was a time, when I was 23 years old, where some really not-so-hot stuff went down in my life. After that year was over, I felt like a changed person. Obviously there were things that remained the same about me at my core- I am not saying I changed my whole identity like a movie psychopath. But the way I related to the world changed that year more than it ever had before or since. My goals changed, in terms of what I wanted to do with my life. My relationships changed, in terms of how I socialized and with whom. That was the year I really committed to my relationship with Nordic Boy, even though we had been hooked-up-sort-of-friends for some years. After what I had been through that year, I saw him differently than I did before. I saw my friends differently than I had before, some for better, some not. Most of all, I saw myself differently. Whenever I think back on my life thus far, I think about the events that led up to that year as the Events That Changed Everything. A crossroads year, not outwardly. Inwardly. I think we all (or maybe most of us) have an experience or two that splits your life into Before That Happened and After That Happened. Now that I am one year out from losing my dad, I can see that this time feels like another one of those times. I feel so different than I felt before, you guys. It manifests itself in a lot of small ways that may not be noticeable to anyone but me, but they are numerous and glaring to me. If I had to boil it down into an overarching idea? I care about some things SO MUCH LESS than I did before, and it feels EFFING GREAT. I have never been a high-pressure person to begin with, but now? The level of not-caring about dumb stuff is at an all time high. Maybe this is a short term feeling, but dang, I hope it lasts. Someone didn’t call me back for some minor work thing? DON’T CARE. This friend or that friend hasn’t gotten in touch for a while? IT’LL BE FINE. Oops, I got another parking ticket? WHATEVS. I’m not saying I don’t have stress– I do. I worry about big stuff, for sure. But the day to day? Rat’s asses are not being given, people. And on the other hand, things that really matter to me feel really heightened right now. I love my dude so much. I spend much more time doing and seeing art, which really, is the thing I love doing most. And I love myself and more than I ever have. I think that, for me, having the right perspective between the DON’T CARE things and the REALLY CARE things is a huge mental kielbasa I wrung out of this year, and it may not last but for right now, the DON’T CARE list is actually quite long, and although the REALLY CARE list is spare, it is way, way deep. I feel like that’s a good place for me to be right now.

I don’t even know if any of this makes sense to anyone out there. But honestly? DON’T CARE. It makes sense to me.

Food and friends and also jumpers

Last week I got a message from an internet friend from the Twitters. Her name is Aine, she’s a librarian, and she and her bf were visiting Seattle for a few days from jolly old England. We met up for a short visit one afternoon last week and she was a total delight. I have the best internet-to-IRL encounters, you guys! Just top shelf, every last one of them. Aine is a funny, smart, nice-as-can-be librarian (with a royal blue skirty trench coat that was the cuteness), and I could have listened to her talk all the livelong day. I mean, good conversation, what is better? Plus, when she said that she was glad that, considering Seattle weather, she had packed some “wooly jumpers,” I could have died from the accent alone. WOOLY JUMPAHS! I want to have every opportunity to say and hear WOOLY JUMPAHS every day of my life.

This weekend was supposed to be rainy, but ended up being quite a nice springy weekend. The kind where you may leave your coat at home and just tool around feeling fine in your wooly jumpah. Nordic Boy and I stayed in Friday night and caught up with the teevee, and then spent a lot of Saturday doing all of our chores. We cleaned the house, paid some bills, weeded some weeds, grocery shopped, hardware stored, all that kind of thing. (An aside: I sort of love the word “chore” because in Hindi a “chore” is a thief. So “doing a chore” sounds sort of like you are having grown up sexy touching times with a burglar or something. Aren’t you glad you don’t live inside my mind?) Then that night we met up with Delium for dinner, where we sat at our table and talked for almost four hours. Now that I am thinking about it, I hope we left a really good tip after hogging that table like that. Shit. Now that’s going to bug me for days.

On Sunday, because we had done all of the chores (ha ha), we spent the day just being all leisurely. We read in bed in the morning, we made pancakes for a late breakfast, we went on a long walk, we made some phone calls, we made food for the week, we took a nap. Just good solid Sunday stuff. That night, we met up with Biogirl and her man to celebrate the date of Biogirl birth. We went to a fancy restaurant and ordered the tasting menu, chock full of things half of which I do not even know what they were. The salad had freeze dried grapes on top, for example, which seemed half fancy and also half like really tasty camping food. Anyway, it was one of those meals where, after I ate it, I was pretty sure I was going to be full for the rest of my days.

That’s what’s up in my world lately, everyone. Food and talking to nice people. It’s not a bad life I have.

 

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