Things that have made me happy lately

  1. Hearing my friend’s story about her son and Picture Day. Her child hates wearing underwear, and dress pants, and anything that my friend wants him to wear, really. So she sat her son down and explained, “Look. I know you hate wearing these things, but it’s important. I want you to wear this dress shirt and these khakis and your underwear, but it’s just for one day, OK? After that, you can wear whatever you want.” And her son sat patiently and when she was done reiterating the importance of Picture Day Clothing, he said, “I got it, mom.” And then she went to work and her son went to school and when she got home and greeted him coming off the bus, she saw he was wearing a Batman sweatshirt and camouflage sweatpants.
  2. All of my pants are too big. This means I can do the whole “remove my pants without unzipping them routine,” which is both fun and strangely weird.
  3. Freaking out about what to buy people for Christmas, having a 15-minute conversation with Jason, and already having 1/3 of our stuff purchased in less than 4 hours.
  4. Watching the ridiculous Bears-Vikings game yesterday. After some jerkhole on the team named Ellison not only dropped a sure TD pass, but also got nailed with a blatant face mask penalty on what was supposed to be the game-winning kick, it looked like the Vikes were screwed. Our kicker then missed a super-long kick (thanks to the penalty) and the Bears were ready to score a field goal for the win. But then their usually reliable kicker missed, and the Vikes had another shot. As I was scouring the field for Mr. I’m Purposely Throwing This Game, our kicker made the FG and we won. Nice try, Ellison! 
  5. No snow on the ground yet.
  6. I have to use up some PTO before the end of year or else I lose it, so I have two days off next week to do nothing. And it is going to be glorious. The most taxing thing I have planned is to add bubbles to my bath.
  7. We played Pictionary on Thanksgiving with my family. As usual, it was the men versus the women, with the men sharing a collective brain cell and using minimalistic drawings to garner correct guesses in about 15 seconds. Utterly ridiculous. Someone would draw a straight line and in two guesses, they’d have the right answer. Obviously they were cheating. One of the funniest guesses though, was when one of the ladies was drawing the word “ripple” and someone guessed “wave.” The person drawing made the universal signal to shorten the word and the guesser said, “wa?” (She used the signal to mean that a ripple was shorter than a wave, but we still joked about it for the rest of the evening.) Honestly, I should’ve just recorded the guesses, because that was funnier than the drawings. One of the guys kept shouting, “TRAIN LOCOMOTIVE!!!” over and over and after they were done, one of his teammates said, “What’s going on, Mr. Redundant? What the hell is a TRAIN LOCOMOTIVE?” (The answer was Amtrak.)

Easing in

I keep going back and forth with whether or not I want to continue writing here, and every time I decide, “I don’t have anything to write about anymore,” the thought of shutting down completely makes me sad (and honestly, seems like a lot of work to archive things). So I’m going to make a conscious effort to write more often, even if I’m writing about nothing. (You: Just like always! BADA-BING/rimshot)

For now, let’s start with what I’ve been doing lately:

  1. Exercising regularly. I know you all love to hear about other people’s exercise habits, but let me tell you, I have been working out regularly for SIX MONTHS and it is the highlight of my day. Like, yeah, the weight loss and visible appearance of things that might be catalogued as muscles are nice, but mainly I feel so much better and less like an 80-year-old woman, so it’s win-win.
  2. They’re finally hiring another writer at work, so my insane workload will be easing. Since they started outsourcing a lot of the work in preparation for the new writer’s arrival, the decrease to my workload means I am now loving my job. I also just won an award for work my team did for the City of Minneapolis, so that was an added bonus. (Plus, I’m going to tell Jason that the phrase, “award-winning writer” now needs to precede my name in my obituary.)
  3. I am trying very hard not to be a Grinch when it comes to the holidays this year. I just need to face the fact that we’ll be doing a lot of traveling, there’s a ton of presents to buy in a very short amount of time (and I REFUSE to set foot in a mall, so help me God), and it’s going to snow constantly, which means SHOVELING. (This is another reason why I love working out; I can come in angry and stressed, and leave 60 minutes later with a blank mind.)
  4. I keep knitting things and then messing them up on the very last, and easiest, step. Last week I finished a tedious infinity scarf made with irritatingly thin, prone-to-splitting yarn, and in the act of binding off the stitches, managed to miss one, which started to unravel the second I held the what-I-thought-was-finished masterpiece up for inspection. It is annoying that I can only knit the most basic of things and that patterns with such advanced techniques as “counting” and “paying attention” are beyond my skill set.
  5. I thought I’d have five things, but I only have four. Oh well, I’m just easing back in, right?

Cacophony

The other day, Jason mentioned that he keeps seeing the same word over and over in the books he’s been reading. I asked him which word, and he replied, “cacophony.” “That’s weird,” I told him. “I know!” he said. “It’s not like it’s an extremely common word.”

At the time, I was reading the latest Odd Thomas novel by Dean Koontz, and not even 24 hours later, I saw the word “cacophony.” Knowing Jason was going to be reading the book after I finished, I didn’t say anything. A week or so later, as he was reading the book in bed, he sat upright and stabbed his finger at the page, exclaiming triumphantly, “Here it is AGAIN! Cacophony! What’s up with this word being in every book?!?”

“I’m sure it’s not in every book,” I said, giggling.

But you know what? I’ve read five books since then, and the word “cacophony” has been in each one of them.