Friday 5: November Rain

November 5, 2021
a bouquet of flowers, airport security in the background
The most unwelcoming arrivals area in the history of passenger airports.

Happy Friday! My mother-in-law is finally here! She arrived Wednesday night (WM flew out Wednesday morning and came back with her Wednesday night) and we’re all kind of figuring out the new normal. So many new normals. Murphy is having a bit of a time, though. He barks whenever she moves. He’ll get over it. It’s been pretty loud in the meantime.

Anyway, people have been super-quick to share their MIL horror stories with me and yeah, that’s really not such a great thing to do. People are overall puzzling most of the time. I remember when Mom was recovering from her broken ankle. We were in Ulta, someone saw her walking boot and asked her what was up. And then they told her about their friend who died from a blood clot from a broken ankle. What? Why? Don’t do that!

This week’s Friday 5 is November Rain and themed around the epic Guns N Roses video for that song. It’s nine minutes long, and in 1992 it was a heck of a video. The best part is Slash’s guitar solo in front of a church, about 4:10 into the video.

  1. What unique behavior, attire, or ceremony element have you seen at a wedding?
    Bah, I posted my skeleton cake topper photo too soon. It’s been a long time that I’ve seen something really unique at a wedding. I’m ready for the trends to change from down-home farm to something else.
  2. Who’s your favorite piano player?
    I really don’t have one? I know of a bunch of them, but I don’t have a favorite.
  3. When did rain notably ruin your plans?
    There was a small fall festival a few weeks back that we were going to venture to, but those are no fun in rain.
  4. What is your going-to-bed ritual like?
    I wash/moisturize my face after work so the bedtime routine is pretty easy. We let Murphy outside, and when he comes in we go upstairs, shutting off the lights as we go. I say goodnight to the fish. We dump Murphy on the bed. I use the bathroom, braid my hair so it doesn’t tangle, and apply a whack of lip balm. When WM and I get into bed, we watch the TikToks that we sent to each other through the day. Then I plug in my phone, plug up my ears with earplugs, and it’s lights out.
  5. When did you last give roses to someone or receive them from someone?
    We have a beautiful rose bush in our backyard so throughout the spring and summer, WM and I will clip them and give them to each other.
a two-toned rose
From the garden

Weekend plans: continuing to get MIL settled, see if I can sneakily swap in the Christmas projector for the Halloween one, comfort the dog, study study study, sadly take the rest of the garden plants down (weather permitting), figure out the towel situation, and try to read for pleasure.

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October 2021 Extras

November 1, 2021

Boo, hiss, here comes November. Second-worst month of the year. Dead, wet leaves. Cold, damp air. People throwing hissy fits if you Holiday it up too early.

Here are some thoughts and photos from October that were a little thin for their own posts.

CAE studying is kicking into high gear. I’m doing 90 minute study sessions on weekdays now. The exam is NEXT MONTH and this week I should be able to choose my exam date.

CAE exam notes
So many notes.

Halloween was fantastic and just about back to normal. We had about 85 trick or treaters this year. The benefit of living in a state where most people believe in vaccines and where the governor did a decent job shepherding us through Covid. We’re not though by a long shot, but we’re in a place where I can finally exhale.

Nephew B is Buzz Lightyear, and Nephew A is a pirate.
Nephews B and A. I block their faces because their adorableness would break your screen.

Which is also why I was comfortable attending a family wedding this weekend. There is still a risk of contracting Covid from the crowd but … I’ve done all I can. I’m fully vaxxed. I wear masks where I’m told I have to, but I stayed home a very long time and I’m not hiding anymore.

wedding selfie
Dress by eshakti, hair and makeup by Youtube and Twitter assistance on how to achieve volume.

The wedding was amazing and I am still sore from dancing.

skeleton bride and groom cake topper
Halloween wedding cake topper

The garden is still producing tomatoes and peppers. I should have cleared it out weeks ago, but I’ll take fresh produce as long as I can.

Murphy’s ACL is at about 90% and what a haul. There’s a chance that he’ll tear the other side in the next 6-9 months because of all of the accommodating he’s done for the injured side. Luckily, he is not a fan of damp and prefers to spend those days curled up on the sofa.

murphy among a pile of fluff
I vacuum a lot.

Sofa: we ordered one! When will it arrive? Who knows? It’s a small sectional with a left arm chaise that I am super excited about.

Here is my unproven, unfounded conspiracy of the moment: yes, there are supply chain issues, but it’s not as bad as we’re being led to think. Retailers (and economy policy wonks) are urging us to shop early. However, there will be gifts on the shelves in December, so we’ll actually end up buying more because we were frightened into buying earlier. This will play into a very nice “we are coming back stronger than ever” midterm election storyline.

Listen, just because I voted for Biden doesn’t mean he’s my dream guy. He’s leagues better than the previous dude, but there are still issues.

Pennsylvania and the surrounding media markets — if you know, you know:

My NYT crossword puzzle streak ended on October 3rd at a very respectable 286. Picture a crossword puzzle. On the day I lost my streak, the long across answer that spanned the middle of the puzzle was ZIZZERZAZZERZUZZ, which is a Seuss character that I had never heard of. And I couldn’t puzzle it out from the 10 or so down answers that intersected it. So many Zs meant I took an L. My current streak is at … zero, as I couldn’t figure out the proper format for the rebus answers in yesterday’s puzzle. We begin again.

Tomorrow is election day – go vote!

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Friday 5: Yuputka!

October 29, 2021

Happy Friday! Lots of sighs of relief this week as some medical tests came back good for me and for others and we can slightly unclench and return to just a normal pandemic-level clenching. I’ve been clenched since September 2019. At this point I don’t know what it even feels like to be carefree anymore.

murphy lying on his back on a quilt
Carefree, exhibit A.

I’m also in a “HOHO HOHO so much to dooooooooooo” phase and a simultaneous “NONO not going to do anything!” mood. I have a wedding to go to tomorrow and Sunday is Halloween so yeaaaaaaaaaah, the weekend is shot already. May as well just spend the rest of the time reading, right?

Here is an incomplete list of things I need to do soon: switch the seasonal clothes, move suitcase from my closet to the garage so I can move the seasonal clothes out of MIL’s future room into my closet, donate the seasonal clothes that I didn’t use, continue the seasonal rug steam cleaning, pack up the Halloween goodie bags, continue to empty our stuff from MIL’s room, etc etc etc.

And here’s the Friday 5 – this week’s theme is Yuputka, which is an Ulwa word that has no direct English translation. It means A word made for walking in the woods at night, it’s the phantom sensation of something crawling on your skin.”

  1. Iktsuarpok is Inuit for that feeling of anticipation when you’re waiting for someone to show up at your house and you keep going outside to see if they’re there yet. Who last invoked iktsuarpok in you?
    I’m very fortunate to have a bunch of windows pointing toward the front door so I can peep outside. I doordashed (TERRIBLE habit do not start this) dinner on Monday and I was low-key stalking the window to see what the time differential was between the app saying the car was at my house and when the car was actually at my house. It was less than 2 minutes difference!
  2. Georgians call it shemomedjamo when you’re really full, but your meal is just so delicious, you can’t stop eating it. When did you memorably shemomedjamo?
    I LOVE bar food. Wings, fries, tots, apps, etc. We went to PJ Whelihan’s (local chain) and last week and everything was so good and so hot and so greasy I just kept going. Fancier places have decadent food too, but the portions are usually smaller. Go to a bar or a diner and you get so much food.
  3. Zhaghzhagh is Persian for the chattering of teeth from the cold or from rage. When were you last so cold (or so enraged) you experienced zhaghzhagh?
    Today! I walked around the block to see Nephew A at his school’s Halloween parade and it was so damp and windy and I should have been bundled up more. I get cold quickly and I was trying to hide the chattering.
  4. bilita mpash in Bantu is the opposite of a nightmare: an amazing dream. Whenever a dream question shows up in memes, half the respondents say they don’t remember their dreams, but here we go anyway. What is one bilita mpash you remember?
    I remember so many dreams, but the general Internet Fuddy Duddy Consensus is that nobody cares about dreams. One of these amazing dreams was when I commanded a battalion of rebels against an alien invasion. We were based in the NJ Pinelands, and we won. The scale of this dream was on par with Independence Day.
  5. In Thailand, the feeling you get when you don’t want someone to do something for you because it would be a pain for them is greng-jai. When did you recently resist greng-jai and ask someone anyway?
    For my birthday back in September I requested a Hawaiian pizza (shut up) knowing that I usually order the most generic pizza that the largest number of people would enjoy. But for my birthday I wanted Hawaiian and I asked for it. Others enjoyed it anyway, but sometimes it’s hard to ask for what you want, y’know?

    Missed the Friday deadline by 10 minutes, but it’s still Friday in many places, so I’ll triumphantly hit post.

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