Random Happiness

My stray three-pawed cat fell asleep beside me the other night. On her back. Rolled right over like a doofus, belly up, completely secure next to me. I laughed, but it made me so happy to know that she feels so safe.

I was desperate to buy cheap shoes the other day, and ended up at Marshall’s buying stretch ankle boots for twenty bucks. They make me look like a Disney character, huge feet on skinny legs, and they have glittery swirls on them and I am so not a glittery-swirls kind of woman, but I love the damn things and they make me happy whenever I put them on.

My house is an absolute nightmare–too much stuff, single-pane windows, tiny rooms, a crumbling foundation, and an antique septic system–but every time I walk inside, I love it more: a funky cottage built by amateurs in the 1940s with a lot of love that still shows. It’s just a happy place.

Things don’t need to be perfect–like having four paws–to make for happiness.

How were you imperfectly happy this week?

79 thoughts on “Random Happiness

  1. Things that made me happy this week, or even just today, in no particular order.

    I got two hydroponic garden kits. One came with Basil starters, the other was “seeds sold separately.” I bought teeny tomato pods. Tomato and basil. I am a soup farmer, happily.

    The light (from my garden) made me feel good, so I finally installed that LED fixture I bought in 2020 (possibly earlier) in the bathroom, taking the single LED bulb to put in spares and throwing away the old fixture. My bathroom be bright. That makes me happy.

    I bought three extension cords from Amazon. One has mounting hardware, and will be used to expand an otherwise difficult to reach GFI outlet. One will be used for the garden lights. The other is a spare. Sooner or later, the dotter will borrow it. 🙂

    My 24″ TV is mounted to a swivel bracket on the wall. My old 23″ computer screen was mounted to an identical bracket under it. I don’t use that screen. I finally unmounted it. If I can find the base, I’ll reinstall that, otherwise I’ll remove the swivel bracket and donate them together to Goodwill.

    I finally posted feedback for some of those “Ring of Fire” authors I’ve raved about. Bethanne Kim asked me for a link to my blog, so I posted that. I praised her and Bjorn Hasseler and Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlett. I used to be such a cheerleader for favorite authors, posting spotlights. I hope I’m not slighting anyone here. I’m behind on that.

    That TV? It’s also a DVD player. I watched the new(est) Jumanji movie on it. I’ll watch it again, then Goodwill gets the DVD.
    I finished a few books, but they get mentioned on Thursday. I’ll be happy about that then.

    One other happy maker. LiveJournal, like FaceBook, wanted me to celebrate eighteen years of LJ. My first post there was January 22, 2004. I accepted, and now there’s a garish 18th anniversary post in my LJ feed. That caused me to go back and actually read my old posts. Some are winners. Some are whiners. Looking at them, I’m giving serious thought to compiling them into a Kindle-style “book.” Not because they’re good, but because they have historic value to me. Got to do it soon, before the rest of the links are broken – so many are. I think that might make me happy.

    Last thing. This insomnia or whatever means I’m wide awake and usually on the computer when Jenny posts. 😀

  2. Compiling old writings into a book could be good, like a memoir, also a timeline of stuff you wrote

  3. I finally cleaned the carpet in my ex’s old room. I got an email to say that the bed I’ve ordered so my grandson can have sleepovers with me is somewhere on the docks in Melbourne! It’s a gorgeous nickel-plated simple Victorian-style bed, and as it’s on sale, not much more than one of Ikea’s better beds. I’m having fun redecorating 🙂

    I’m finally washing that man right out of my hair/carpet/home!!

  4. I’ve been enjoying the snow. We don’t get a lot here, but the 2-3 inches that fell Friday night were beautiful to look at. And when I had to run an errand on Saturday, the roads were slushy, but not particularly horrible (I’m sure they are now, after freezing temps overnight).

    As a result, I’m enjoying my “forced” weekend staycation. Stanley the cat keeps asking to go out. When I open the door, he sees the snow and cold are still there and decides not to go. That makes me happy too.

    1. OMG! (Old Man Gasps!) That is totally The Door Into Summer a science fiction novel by American science fiction writer Robert A. Heinlein, originally serialized in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction (October, November, December 1956, with covers and interior illustrations by Kelly Freas). It was published in hardcover in 1957.

      The protagonist, Dan B. (Daniel Boone) Davis describes how he lived in a New England farmhouse with his cat, Pete (Petronius the Arbiter). In winter, Pete would insist on checking all eleven doors to the outside, certain that one would be the door into summer. It’s a time-travel book, so Pete gets his way.

      I… don’t have that book in my library, or this post would include quotes. Gotta go buy it.

  5. Susan Elizabeth Phillips ❤️my comment to her. Found bananas foster & amaretto ice creams😋 And…got a new JD Robb book.
    My house needs a closet clean-out & deep cleaning too, but I will plan extensively in my head and …🤨😏read some more.
    I meant to find the Bob Meyer book, maybe this week.

    1. I encourage you to find Shane and the Hitwoman. It’s so good!
      There’s a new J D Robb book. Yay! I’m gonna go find that cause I could use some Eve Dallas & Roarke.
      See now you made me happy!

  6. I seem to struggle every Sunday. Maybe it’s subconsciously facing the work week? Ugh. I’m trying to paint to get ready for a little show in March and I just can’t seem to do it… Or work on anything else productive.

    Winter’s Orbit is on sale in audio book form, along with some others. So that is fun. Will try to find my gumption here shortly.

  7. We got 20 inches of snow this week. Most of it came down one day and the whole city took a snow day. It’s been a few years since we’ve had a snowy, cold January and I’m enjoying it.

    I have 3 Amaryllis blooming right now. All different and each one is gorgeous. I have a pink striped one near my desk so I can see it while I’m working.

    Finally recovered from Covid after 2 weeks and I’m slowly ticking homework assignments and projects off my list. Busy week ahead but the end is in sight.

  8. Thursday was a rain/snow event when I went to get my license renewed. I really don’t drive on snowy days if I can help it but I had an appointment and with two e-mail notices from the registry and AAA plus my own calendar, off I went. Totally uneventful so on the ride home I was taken by surprise with the sight of a young man holding the front door open in a pair of shorts and a small dog on a very long leash doing his business on the front lawn. It’s the little things that put a smile on my face.

    Yesterday I don’t know if it was a phenomenon or a natural occurrence but I saw a flock of robins out the kitchen window. I counted six on the ground and the rest were flying around and wouldn’t land for counting. It is still January and normally I don’t see them till Spring. I’ll take that as a good sign.

  9. I got my first Covid vax in June. I got boosted yesterday. A little fatigued but otherwise ok. I know it’s a vax side effect because I had a three-hour nap from 10am to 1pm my time today and I still feel tired. At least the head-ache is gone though.

    In related news, I’m happy that I got to nap today.

    I started a cardio and bodyweight exercise program at the tail end of December, taken from some of the dancers’ warm-ups that I follow online. Yes, their WARM-UP routine was really hard to do and I was so stiff for the first two days. I’ve gotten better and quicker at finishing it and have added targeted yoga asana to it. This has made me very happy because I am not dealing with physical fatigue at after work.

    I have a class of 42 grade 1s. Rotational system for social distancing. I thin 22 on one day and 20 on another. I am trying my best to be organised as possible even though I struggle if I don’t have help. Since I’m ahead in some things, I’m going to call it a win and be happy about it.

  10. I am a member of my local writers group. I haven’t been able to attend for a while due to a change in my job schedule.
    One of the members is doing a free class on writing memoir on Wednesday mornings which is a day off for me. I was waitlisted cause class was full but a got a call saying I am in!
    Thinking about spending the next 7 Wednesday mornings with writers makes me happy. And I love libraries. The library where the class is held is beautiful.
    I had a good idea about my memoir project. And it involves changing people’s names. I have had fun thinking of those names.
    I extended the fun around that project to give me seconds of joyful rememberance when I work my job by changing my passwords so they are reminders.
    On a different topic; I live in Florida now. It’s in the 40’s at night now. I’ve been waking up with cold feet. Last night I remembered an old trick from bygone days when I lived in a colder climate. I slept in double socks. My warm feet this morning made me happy.
    Last but not least; connecting in the arghink posts and comments makes me happy! Thanks Jenny!

  11. It’s been a good week. Had an old friend to stay for the past few days – she’s just gone home. Loads of conversation and just hanging out: properly human. We went for walks and visited a garden – which made two in one week. Even had a glimpse of the sea.

  12. We’ve been under massive renovations since last summer and as of this week we’ve finally been able to clean up. I was ridiculously happy this morning for the ability to walk through the dining room & open the blinds on our windows. Never undervalue the power of natural light.

  13. This is political, so Jenny can delete it or others can skip it.

    I have a deep, interior satisfaction about having Joe Biden as president. He is both a career politician and a decent human. I feel so much better than I felt for four years. He will do what he can. If democracy fails, I will remember that he was the last good person in office.

    Jenny, I realized this when your intro was partly about how happiness is fleeting. And it isn’t what you picture it to look like. Happiness is when you stop and discover that — for right now — things are as close to an angle of repose as they can reasonably be.

      1. Used by Wallace Stegner as the title to his best (in my opinion) novel and one of my all time favorites.

    1. I’m pretty sure anybody who is anti-Democrat left this blog a long time ago, even though I try to keep it openminded. Posting that you like Biden is not a problem. It’s posting that you hate people or want people to fail or whatever that becomes a problem, and of course you didn’t do that. Personal attacks are forbidden; personal praise is not. Basically, the rule is to be polite to each other, or as Wheaton’s Law puts it, “Don’t be a dick.” (https://knowyourmeme.com/memes/wheatons-law)

    2. In the past year I have not thought once upon awakening in the morning “what has that idiot done or said now”.

  14. Happiness was having brunch with old friends at their house and talking for hours.

    Happiness is the silver lining of watching kids love being outside even though omicron has upended all my class plans for the month by forcing us into a 50/50 indoor/outdoor schedule.

  15. Last night (well, really this morning) I decided it was time to change the sheets and put on my frolicking polar bears flannel ones. It was very satisfying. Of course the stuff piled on my bed is now on my couch (though I did put some of it away). I know there are people who manage to change their sheets every week, and given how much I like a freshly changed bad I should be one of them, but I am just not. Maybe that can be an intention this year.

    Today is mostly a work day for me, but this afternoon I will join my friend at the allotment and do some final cleanup that cold and travel and work and weather had delayed. We have an arch that we got at an estate sale several years ago that is on its last legs, but I am going to duct tape it up enough that it lasts at least a season more. Goals!

    1. Krissie and I once had a discussion about how often we changed our sheets. The general conclusion was that they shouldn’t go a year unless a disaster happens, like spilling beef stew on them (don’t ask).

      This is a safe space for people who are relaxed about housekeeping.

      1. I also made my bed this morning. (I mean, I have a duvet, so it was not hard.) It is pleasing to walk by it. I guarantee that I will not make my bed again this month even though it looks nice. I am definitely relaxed about housekeeping.

      2. So, so relaxed. Languid. Slack, even. That describes me and housework. I only have a few round tuits, and i don’t want to waste them on housework. 🙂

    2. I got around to putting our flannel sheets on a few days ago. It’s going to drive me nuts when it time to change them as there is only the one set. So from now until April I’ll be standing by the dryer waiting for the buzzer the off.

  16. I was very pleased to solve an accounting conundrum in QuickBooks that the accountant asked me about. Of course, I am sure I also CAUSED the problem, but it was still satisfying to figure it out.

    I am about to start the traditional beginning of the year eating virtue, but for today, I have a little chocolate cake from Trader Joe’s which I am truly enjoying. Also the oatmeal cookies I made last night for guests, which I thought were a little extra textural, but which got rave reviews.

    And I just read Good Book Thursday, which I often end up doing on Sunday. The good news about reading it Sunday is that I don’t miss any posts, and I have time to go check things out on Amazon, and start the week with new samples to try. it’s all good.

  17. A long walk along the river followed by a cup of tea and some lovely biscuits from the Island Bakery.
    That always make for a happy Sunday for me!

  18. Like Lupe, I sometimes struggle to be happy on Sundays. Partly it’s the looming Day Job (I like my job, don’t get me wrong, but I haven’t had a real vacation since 2018 and am feeling it). Partly it’s looking back on whatever I did on Saturday and sighing over all the things I didn’t get to. The list is always so long.

    However, I can be happy that the first yard-work day of the year had visible (for me at least) results; the whole immediate family remains healthy; I am imminently foisting off two boxes of books etc to my sister for redistribution; one of those books is a massive thing about Art Nouveau. Feels like a significant piece of decluttering, and paging through it for images to scan/photograph reminded me how much I love that artistic moment. 🙂

    Also, watched the Bolshoi Ballet ‘Flames of Paris’ yesterday while recovering from yard work, and it was brilliant.

  19. Great Sunday post. You had me at “secure stray cat” and her rolled over belly. Having worked with pets to build trust issues, I know what a big win that is:) A lovely happy. Yay for both of you!

  20. I’m walking around the house wearing holiday shoes, a pair of shiny tropical patterned patent high heel slides, a pair of shoes I bought about twenty years ago. We are going on holiday next month. Fully vaccinated and taking all precautions. So, until we are on the plane in the air, and arrive safely on the ground in the house with the cousins, then I will relax. Just walking around in them makes me happy. Hey, I’m wearing heels. Hey, aren’t these pretty. Vanity arising. Totally frivolous. And my ankles look good too. Total vanity. At least I made my husband laugh when I struck a pose.

    On the serious side, I cleaned out one of the tall cupboards of old shoes, boots, garden stuff, old snorkeling stuff and what is in this bag surprises. Noodling around YouTube; I found a short video on disowning the stuff. Light bulb moment. Sorted and disowning a lot of crap.

    Back to the cupboard, it is now winter boots, etc, bottom and the pantry goods, on top shelves. I can see everything. Only found three cans of expired canned milk. Not bad for me. Makes me very happy.

    1. Favorite shoes: T straps only I’ll be hard pressed now bending over to buckle them.
      I have to plan ahead to give myself a pedicure.

    2. What I find when I do a deep clean is things that I forgot I owned. I was making bread and complained to my husband that my thermometer was broken. The next day I stuck my hand into a hidden corner of a cupboard and pulled out a brand new digital thermometer. That kind of synchronicity weirds me out but also makes me happy.

      1. Krissie calls it “shopping your house.” As in, “I cleaned out this closet and look at the thing I didn’t remember having or thought I’d lost.” It’s wonderful, isn’t it?

        1. Exactly I found the stand part of the outdoor umbrella base. Look what I found, said to the husband, who asked where and that’s were it was. We had a custom stand part made. Using it this summer. It was a treasure trove of found things in that cupboard. Three more big bags gone. Think I turned a corner to letting go.

  21. I am on a 20 day streak on Duolingo! Practicing French was one of my resolutions, since I applied to a volunteer opportunity in French! Pleased at how well it’s coming back, vaguely worried my French still isn’t up to par – trial by fire it will be.

    I’m down 8 pounds so far this year!

    Those are the only two goals I’ve been successful with. I’m counting it as a win. I had a really long list so I knew things would fall off, and I am at peace with it. It’s not about completing everything, but taking steps in the right direction!

    Happy Sunday Arghers!

    1. I took French in high school and a little in college (but only because it I had to and I didn’t apply myself because I was concentrating on my major). I’m delighted when I recognize individual words spoken in French films, so I admire anyone who becomes fluent in a second language.

  22. I continue to be happy about preparing for the Romancing The Vote auction beginning on Valentine’s Day, and I’m posting sneak peeks of what I’ll be donating, starting with the lap quilt featuring a really sweet tiny cherry print (in blue!), cat doing obligatory photobomb not included: https://www.instagram.com/p/CZDE3E0P2wB/

    I’m also happy to be planning what I’m calling FAFO February (Fuck Around and Find Out Feb, or Faff Around and Find Out for situations where a different F word is needed) to go with #DailyFeb2022. I need to make some (more) changes in my life in the aftermath of heart surgery, so I’ve decided to take the entire month off from anything that counts as “work” to see what changes I want to incorporate in my life. So, I’ll Fuck/Faff Around with assorted stuff and find out what sticks or at least appeals to me for the long run. At a minimum, I’ll be quilting some tops (that’s my #DailyFeb goal), playing with fabric more generally, enjoying the above-mentioned auction, trying some exercise options, maybe trying some recipes to give me more than my current three or four heart-healthy dinner options, seeing how much more minimal I can get with my belongings, and I don’t even know what else. Maybe look at houses, even though I can’t move for another couple of years. Just generally keep an open mind for what I might fuck/faff around with and find out if it’s something I want in my life.

    1. I got an invitation to Romancing the Vote, so I sent in a proposal critique. Haven’t heard back if they want it. Now reading your post I’m thinking about all this crochet I’m finishing up. But then I’d have to deal with sending it in. This way, I just have to e-mail somebody after the auction. Yes, I am a lazy, disorganized person.

      1. And an inspiration to lazy, disorganized people everywhere. I really appreciate the company.

      2. I’m sure they’ll want it. I haven’t heard anything back from my donation submissions either. I’m going on the assumption that they’re swamped (a few days ago they said they had over 200 donations already, and they haven’t even promoted the submission link outside of people who donated last year) and will only contact donors closer to the auction going live. I think last year they sent a form letter with links to the listings once it was almost time to go live.

        I’m only NOT being lazy about it, because this auction is kinda’ what’s keeping me productive during the winter doldrums. It’s the only thing I have currently with a deadline, so the various things I need to do to prep for it are the only things I absolutely positively have to do on any given day. I’m being lazy with everything else in my life.

    2. My sister as a young teen, ages ago, had a white summer blouse with tiny blue cherries on it, just like the fabric in your quilt. The quilt looks very good!
      That blouse was a very fine and soft cotton, really nice to wear on hot days, made by our mom as she made most of our clothes; and I used the scraps in one of my quilts too. A good memory, triggered by that fabric. Thank you.

  23. This week, out of the blue, I was asked to re-form our small writing/crit support group and I said yes. Utilizing zoom, email and FaceTime. It’s a big step recommitting to the writing life with other blocked for the moment writers. And funnily enough, I’m not feeling afraid.

  24. My happies for this week were numerous – after quite a few weeks of struggling to find joy.

    I took my father out for lunch on his 80th birthday. Given he was in hospital fighting cancer this time last year, that’s a big win.

    I pushed the buy button on an inflatable Fall Off Paddleboard. I’ve been wanting to buy one for 3 years and kept on talking myself out of it, but someone said this week that I should just do it, because life is short. Good point.

    We’re having some great weather in Melbourne this weekend, low to mid 30 C, yay for summer weather, I’ve been going for a swim in the bay daily and even better, I’ve got a long weekend, taking Mon & Tues off before Wed, public holiday, and more time away from the disliked day job is wonderful.

  25. I came to Aruba on vacay yesterday which It’s kinda cheating on the happiness thing because it’s Not. Real but what the heck.

  26. I’ve finished sorting and organising my work space. I’ve painted and put up a whole lot of shelves, and treated myself to a whole lot of very pretty two dollar shop gift boxes for putting things in. There are bunches of artificial flowers on the shelves for crafty purposes, and the whole thing, between being able to find and get at all my stuff now, and how pretty it all looks, it makes me very happy.

    My youngest son chose interesting colours for his bedroom shelves, and experimented with a splatter pain technique that came up beautifully. I’m very proud of his creativity.

  27. My Passport and State ID card arrived!!! After all the initial red tape and security warnings, FedEx left it on the ground without getting my signature. However, due to the email status reports I was monitoring, I knew it was out for delivery that day and so went out to the main gate to look for it.

    I was, however, not so lucky with the mug I ordered from Vermont. The Post Office said they delivered it on the 15th, but Dave’s employees couldn’t find it. I called Bennington Potters and they are sending me a replacement, despite the fact that they were not responsible for the loss of the item. It really demonstrates the difference between the postal service in Milwaukee and Chicago. The larger box (8 cups)was delivered quickly and intact to Milwaukee, while the smaller box (1 mug) never made it to Chicago.
    Fortunately, the check my brother in Milwaukee sent me to pay for the magazine subscription we are splitting arrived intact and on time. It is only packages that are a problem in my neighborhood. I thought that since Dave’s store is in a different neighborhood and they get merchandise deliveries all the time, sending things there would dodge that difficulty, but I guess those days are over.

  28. We had some sunshine and slightly milder temps this morning (milder as in 20F, rather than -5F) today so I went for a hike at a local park and took photos with my new camera. They turned out well and I posted them on FB, where my brother ( who got me started on photography) complimented me on them.

    I am also getting closer to joining Gary as a retiree, FEB 28 is my last work day. Nerves and excitement are warring with each other. My mind keeps saying can I afford it, how will I occupy my time, and then reverses itself saying, you’ve been working with a financial officer who says, as long as I don’t overdo it, I will be fine, and there are several projects around the house to be done, as well as having the time and energy to hike, travel a bit, take lots of photos, and work on my gardens.

    Finally Jenny, I wanted to mention, I had a cat with 3 legs (one had to be amputated because of cancer) and she did very well with just the three. I am so glad your cat is happy being inside with you and trusts you as well.

  29. My youngest son is visiting! He was here six months ago, but it still feels like forever since I’ve seen him. He’s burning out on his job, which isn’t surprising, since he’s a Registered Nurse in a hospital in Honolulu. And he has also decided to move back to the mainland (USA) within the next year. He will have finished his Masters and be looking for a job in his new field. It is so good to hug him, and sit and talk for hours. Very happy!

  30. My big happy was crushing flat the many many cardboard boxes in the garage, with the view of getting them to the dump. I also ordered a new robo vacuum, and am looking forward to that. We eat in the living room, so the toast crumbs are building up. Why yes, I do have a vacuum. And?
    Made a double batch of sweet rolls, one to mail to my brother, still experiencing new job pains over in California.
    I’m really not great at January, so I’m letting myself remain low key. Working at being upbeat or cheerful when you are not adds guilt to the mix. I always perk up in February.

    1. February is always the one that gets me–winter has been too long and I start to give up hope–but this year it’s January. Argh.

    2. Robot vacuums are the best invention EVER!

      I hate vacuuming. With a Robot vacuum, I only have to vacuum the bits that it can’t get to. I’ve set it up to do the whole house daily, and the reduction in surface dust is significant, so less dusting too. Given I’m also bad at dusting 🙂 this is another win.

        1. LOVE this! I used to recommend that the office make a point of purchasing floor mats — the ones you put down at the doors in wet weather — wider than the doorway, because if they were narrower, they kept trying to make a break for it.

  31. It turns out that I have not recovered from whatever knocked me over last week, but I’m happy to have gotten a doctors appointment tomorrow at the clinic around the corner. I seriously don’t have the energy to get the bus to my old doctor right now. But my work is understanding, and the cats are thrilled to have me so horizontal, and I get to read all day because I can’t do anything else without getting all wobbly, so things could definitely be worse.

  32. Max (the dog) was feeling his oats after his surgery and when given a treat to help daughter’s SO take out the trash, took off after the neighborhood feral cat. A big black tomcat who thinks he owns the street.
    Max ran half a block on three legs and wearing his cone, not at all embarrassed, and came back inside quite chuffed and ignoring all lectures on the subject of no weight bearing and taking things quietly. He’s been smiling ever since. My guess is it felt great to have that run even though he didn’t catch the cat.

    1. They so seldom do catch the cat as long as there is a tree nearby, so I imagine that dogs get used to it early. And being able to run after surgery sounds like a triumph to me.

  33. I am some shrimp, bok choi, ginger garlic soup which turned out well and will probably be better tomorrow. I used the shrimp stock and vegetable stock I had in the freezer. A few more things gone in my empty and organize the freezer project. Happy!

    No unexpected happiness but a couple of non-expected petty annoyances. Which I’ll easily survive.

    1. I am unfond of shrimp (bait to catch real food) but the rest activated my saliva glands. That’s unexpected – I just finished eating leftover Recipe #6 (Boneless, skinless, chicken thighs on a bed of onions and banana pepper rings and minced garlic with pepperoni slices.) and It. Was. Delicious. I’ve not had bok choi in a while.

  34. We had a meeting with our accountant and he went over our year end books and answered some questions so that anxiety is gone. Another business tax issue seems to have been resolved promptly and reasonably so that is (hopefully) off my plate.

    The young man who helped me with so much yard work this summer and his family need some help moving this weekend and I’m able to help so that makes me happy. I’m just driving their stuff from point A to point B, they are doing all the packing, loading and unloading. That also makes me happy.

    I’ve still been working on my drawing but work has been busy-ish so there’s been less fun and more typing.

    So it took a lot more work to move the people from the previous paragraph. I did a lot of logistics and figuring out the order in which we would move things but they are out of their rental place and away from a problem landlord.

  35. My play came back this weekend, it went GREAT, we got it filmed, and we made through the entire weekend! I hope we make it to the last weekend. I also started rehearsals for the next show, so yay there. I also get to work from home the whole week next week, even if we have to go back to the office again after that (sigh).

  36. My old college friend came to visit again for the ConFusion science fiction convention, which they were able to hold again this year, fully masked and proof of vaccination required. They had about half the attendance of the usual, by my estimation, but I think a good time was had by those who did come.

    Then he went with me this afternoon to a local fencing tournament to help me coach a couple of my clubs students. We originally met at our college fencing club 40 years ago. And both of our students got their first classifications. One finished 7th in the open event, and the other struggled mightily to do things he knew how to do (he’s 15) against the other unclassified fencers. When he got to the single elimination round he proceeded to beat one of the kids he had just lost to in the pool round 15 – 1. He then struggled mightily to beat a kid whom he had just beaten fairly handily, but pulled it out in the end. And then in the championship bout against the top seed I thought that if he fenced his best he had an outside chance. He proceeded to put everything together and clobber his opponent 15 – 4.

    So I had a good weekend in several ways 🙂

  37. I got an unofficial job offer for a job I’m excited about (official offer to come on Monday) and celebrated by buying some small things for the apartment and by going to the grocery store to buy fresh produce just because I wanted it, not because I needed it. Assuming it all becomes official tomorrow (knock on wood) this will be the first full time job I’ve had since I got pandemic laid off almost two years ago. When I walked into the grocery store today, for the first time in two years shopping didn’t feel like “delicious things you have to resist STICK TO THE LIST OR ELSE.” I stood in the produce section and just stared. I know full time job + grad school will be a lot, but right now the idea of not worrying about money feels so relaxing.

  38. Aside from the escaping robot vacuum (see above) what made me happy this weekend was watching the Nero Wolfe tv series. Light hearted and great expressions on the actors. Also it’s done repertory styles so this shows murderer might be last weeks murderee. The reappearing characters are played by the same actors. I recommend it.

    Also my son, who is turning 25, might actually sort of have a date. Maybe. I’m biting my tongue to avoid asking. Romantic life is hard for gay introvert physics grad students at any time and pandemics make it even harder.

    And I can look forward to spending quality long distance Olympic figure skating with him since he is passionate about skating (even though the sport he actually does is gymnastics). So good bonding time to look forward to.

    And my mom mailed her application for an independent living center. It has a long waitlist but I more and more think she will actually move there when she can. That’s a big relief.

  39. My cousin and I reviewed the draft cover for THE LARAN GAMBIT and agreed that we wanted the text color changed from olive green shading to gold (looks like regurgitated salad, alas) to something in the teal-turquoise family, and another slight font change — one vote to go from all caps to lower case on one word, and I suggested using small caps since I agree on de-emphasizing that particular word, but everything else is in all caps, so perhaps lower case will spoil the look . . . .

    Also can’t get over my amusement at Rachel Maddow’s show on Thursday, 1/20; I keep replaying the podcast tape.

  40. Have you seen ‘All about Steve’ where Sandra Bullock wears the red boots? Its one of my favourite movies and the she wears the boots because ‘they make her toes feel like 10 friends on a camping trip’!

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