Happiness is Watching Movies with Two Good Friends

This week, Krissie (Anne Stuart) came to visit, which is always great, and we met Pat Gaffney for lunch and shopping and dinner, but the best part was the night we watched Barbie together. They hadn’t seen it, and I was a little worried since I suggested it because I love that movie. But they did, too, and it was so much fun watching their faces when we hit the highlights, and I still cried at the end when they talk about how dangerous being a human is (especially if you’re a woman). But mostly I was just so happy, sitting in my darkened living room with two of the friends I love most, watching a really good story.

What made you happy this week?

68 thoughts on “Happiness is Watching Movies with Two Good Friends

  1. We watched Everything Everywhere All At Once last night and man, it was so good. I had this reverse snobbery where I expected anything that wins an academy award to be heavy and sad. And the trailer was intimidating. But it was wonderful. Playful and serious in turns, and the messages (of which there are several) are all timely and done with some subtlety. Really, I can’t recommend it enough.

  2. I just woke up from a dream where Jenny Crusie asked if I wanted to get together to talk about promoting her book (?) on the 12th, but disappointingly, I had to decline because in my dream I was going to be in Antarctica on the 12th.

    In real life, I’m not leaving for Antarctica until the 14th! So today happiness is packing for a 2.5 week trip that includes spring in both Buenos Aires and Antarctica!

    I have been playing the library holds game for weeks to get my kindle loaded up with the right combo of books for this trip.

    Argh Ink is one of the few places where there are people who read more than I do, so I know y’all understand the importance of having enough books when I will be on a ship with no Wi-Fi for 11 days….

    1. First, have a great trip!

      Second, if you like Science Fiction at all, go to https://baencd.thefifthimperium.com/

      That’s where Joe Buckley (the superfan Baen authors kill in many, many books) hosts the Baen CDs of absolutely free ebooks. The CDs are promotional and intended to be the first taste of book-crack to hook you on Baen Authors.

      The physical CDs used to be included in the hardback books of the eponymous CD. It started with the Honorverse CD (which should have been called the “War of Honor CD”. It had that book plus nine of his backlist from the Honorverse and three anthologies. Then there was a subdirectory “Friends of Honor” which included a sampling from nine other authors (some of the long departed) like James H Schmitz. Or there was the Baen Free Books subdirectory. Authors contributed one or two of their “first in series” as samplers. That’s still available at Baen.com, and still free. There is also a subdirectory of Filk Songs.

    2. Have a great trip!

      Your dream reminds me of a real-life incident from decades back in which a cousin of mine who I hadn’t seen since at most college age called me up and said he was going to be in my vicinity, and I had to tell him I was going to be in Australia then! We still haven’t connected. (The reason for his visit to my parts was a one-time thing and I’ve traveled nowhere near his place.) I made sure to send his family a postcard from Oz to make it clear I wasn’t making up a story to blow them off!

      1. If only Jennifer Crusie really would call me up so we could get together. Sigh. I love that you sent the postcard proof!

    3. OMG, I love Antarctica and South Georgia so much and I am positively green, GREEN, I TELL YOU. Take eleventy-million photos of icebergs and penguins and whales and albatrosses and have a fantastic trip!!
      And if you need book suggestions, let me know.

        1. Away with the Penguins by Helen Prior is a really great book for your trip I can thoroughly recommend.

          Have a wonderful time

      1. I am charging multiple camera batteries as I type this! We aren’t going to South Georgia, which may be for the best as they are dealing with confirmed cases of avian flu right now 🙁

  3. My brother and his girlfriend are visiting from Vancouver so we are going with the nephew that lives with us to visit the nephew who does not because he’s now going to law school in Kingston. We’ll have bunch and visit the Fort which is old and historic (like most of Kingston). My role is to act as a buffer between the girlfriend and the nephew in Kingston who have never met, despite being around for eight years. My nephew has refused to meet her because he thinks his mother (who lives with another man now) will be unhappy. My brother asked me pleadingly to come along. My job is to keep everything light and bright and oil the wheels of smooth social functioning. Ah, the dynamics of family.

      1. Tammy, If anyone can do it, you can! I picture you dressed like a train engineer holding an oilcan. You know — kinda like a teakettle with a long, thin spout.

    1. His Mom lives with another man and and her son (after 8 years) still refuses to meet his Dad’s girlfriend? I am torn between wanting to give you props for keeping things civil and asking why you enable this dysfunction. Does the Mother actually require this of your nephew or is he still “defending her honor”? Granted, I don’t know what happened in the divorce, but it sounds like your nephew, if not the larger family, is overdue for some family therapy. My sister’s family (in 3 different states) has a monthly Zoom session with a therapist which is helping them handle some issues that have been unaddressed for decades.

      1. Oh believe me, I have tried to suggest family therapy, been willing to pay and participate in it but no dice. It’s all everybody else’s fault so no one needs therapy.

        Today went well though. My nephew did meet his father’s girlfriend and everything was civil. She was not happy that we went to a brunch place instead of Chinese food and so didn’t talk to anyone for 15 minutes but I don’t think anyone really noticed except my brother and me. I confess I will be happy when they fly back to Vancouver.

        1. If she sulked because she didn’t get to go to a Chinese food place, on her first time meeting her man’s son… OK, I don’t blame him for not wanting to meet her. Jeez Louise.

          1. To be fair, I think she is super disciplined about what she eats and wanted some vegetables instead of a high carb meal. But at no point did she ever communicate that in advance. On the other side, I believe she is high maintenance (and this is the kettle talking about the pot) and hasn’t developed some productive ways of getting her needs met, which, if you’re high maintenance, you really should learn to do.

  4. Happiness is making some progress on the current novel. It seems like it has been a long time since I sat and wrote fiction for a number of days in a row, and even though my brain still doesn’t work like it did pre-Covid, and progress is slow, I’m enjoying it.

    I’m also happy that my handyman and his assistant were able to come do repairs on the new roof that was installed incorrectly (in about half a dozen different ways) and it has stopped raining inside the new 4-season porch. (Lots about this I’m not happy about, obviously, but I’m trying to take the wins I can.) Also happy that the people I hired a few years ago to take down a large pine tree can come back and take down the one next to it, which lost a number of big limbs during the last couple of winters, and might or might not miss the house, or the car in the driveway, if it fell this winter. Very happy about the fact that they’re actually charging less than they did for the last one (they bring huge machines, chip the thing up in the driveway, and haul it all away) and can take some large limbs off the pines behind the garden which are healthy, but have grown to the point where they are casting too much shade plus dropping huge amounts of pine needles onto the garden and the garden pond. It’s still going to be about $1,500 for the job, but I will be very happy to have it done.

  5. I watched “Mixed Nuts” last night. It stars Steve Martin, and at least a dozen famous and hilarious actors and actresses. It’s a Nora Ephron movie. She was such a good director and writer! In most movies, there is at least one scene that grates on a second or third viewing, that I end up skipping. I have never done that with her movies. It’s all good. This is one of my faves because of the human connections that are already there, and also form during the movie. There’s also a trans person, played with just the right amount of femininity by Liev Schreiber, which makes the movie a bit ahead of its time. It also has a lot more slapstick than usual in a Nora Ephron movie, which adds to its appeal. The HEA for multiple characters is heart-warming, too. I may have mentioned this movie before, but it bears mentioning again. So, I’ve started the introduction to Christmas movies, now. 🎄

  6. I got another day in at the flower farm – dug the dahlias into vermiculite for the winter, cut back the last of the peonies and re-potted geraniums. We had ice pellets, snow and freezing rain the next day so I was happy to have a “bonus” day outside.

    DH and I went to look at sinks and faucets for the kitchen reno. Twenty minutes later, we were loading them into the car. I’m not usually excited by fixtures but the faucet is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see it in the finished kitchen.

    I pulled out some scrap card stock and started making Christmas tags and cards. I’m working off the corner of our dining room table since everything is topsy turvy during the construction. I have lots of fancy supplies but cutting and glueing small bits of paper is satisfying and relaxing.

  7. I am happy that all my “Home Moanership” problems are, at least temporarily, resolved. Also happy because you can’t have Home Moanership problems without owning a home.

    I watched some movies, alas, alone. Dungeons & Dragins: Honor Among Thieves, for one. WW84 for another.

    I’m happy that it’s only two more days until System Collapse (The Murderbot Diaries Book 7).


  8. I had a surprisingly good time at a funeral this week. I didn’t know the person who’d died – who sounded horrible, though there was no hint of that in the service – I was there to support her son, who’s my brother’s best friend. So I caught up with my brother, who I hadn’t seen for six months, and who was touchingly keen to chat. And bumped into a couple of women I was at school with.

    The sun came out and I grabbed a morning and then a day in the garden – which only catches the sun for a couple of hours at the far end now. I tidied the shed so I can use it, and planted up my spring pots, which was a great relief – and gives me a lot to look forward to in the new year.

    1. Jane, I’m glad you had the funeral to catch up with your brother and past acquaintances. I’ve been to several funerals that had moments of laughter when folks told stories about the deceased. I think that’s a great gift to everyone present.

  9. This is a mixed bag on the “happiness” topic, so um…just deal with it, I guess.

    I am off from work for 2 weeks to adjust to medication, specifically because if I have side effects at work, I will be written up for them. So far, so good on that topic. Swallowing pills has been a bitch but is mostly working now with hiding them in peanut butter. The one thing so far that’s noticeable is that why yes, Wellbutrin is an appetite suppressant and I haven’t been mega hungry since the first day I took them. That’s nice, I don’t need to eat as much. Would be nice if I lost weight, but I doubt that’ll happen since my birth control is one of those that makes you gain a bit. Otherwise psychiatrically I’m still a mess, but since I’m not at work I’m not crying over it.

    I haven’t slept more than 2 days in the last 8 days, though, because I got forced to go off the sleep aid that actually works for me, and off anything but Excedrin so I can’t do anything else either. So…that’s fun. I don’t blame that one on the pills, that is unfortunately just me these days. Yes, I know that’s bad. So far I’ve only been super messed up one day and that was because a friend of mine had a screaming suicidal meltdown in public over, among other things, finding out my situation and it apparently…infected her, somehow. So…yeah, didn’t sleep after that and was more messed up. But otherwise it’s my usual functioning on no sleep.

    I have spent a lot of time having or scheduling appointments. I did the first (of many, presumably) ADHD evaluation and got dubbed “inconclusive” because I can’t prove it as a child worth a damn and they also said if you have depression/anxiety (which are now black marks on my record) they may not diagnose you. I am waiting on a re-evaluation to happen next week, which will annoyingly have to involve my mother. She doesn’t remember much about my childhood either and we have no documentation of anything, so that won’t go well, but she’s at least found 3 boy cousins with ADHD, so there’s that in the gene pool. I’m debating trying to get a second organization to do an ADHD evaluation since my HMO is making it sound like they really don’t want to diagnose me in the first place 🙁 Anyone have any advice on that? Because with no diagnosis, I’m fired in January and the odds of this aren’t looking good.

    Other than that shit, the time off has been nice. My brain has been a mess for crochet (to be fair, the project instructions are also a mess, damn you Drops Design) so I had to start something simple, but I’ve hung out with some friends (albeit that one I mentioned above didn’t go well), so that was nice to do during the day like a retiree.

    Oklahoma has had Wardrobe Incidents this weekend–broken shoe, someone forgot bloomers and flashed the entire audience including their grandparents, a costume was lost and found, and the light board computer went kaboombah. But otherwise, going well, I suppose. It’s fun and not a show that taxes my brain any.

    I saw the crush a few times this month at shows. (Yes, I know, I know. I still miss him. I restrain myself from talking to him much, but I miss him.) He actually ran to catch me before I left and hugged me several times and seemed to miss me…I know, I know., but I enjoyed it and was flattered. I just miss having that hope because my life has been hopeless for so long, he was my only hope, and my life is only getting bleaker. I’ll probably have to move in with my mother if I can’t get a job soon and frankly, I’m too broken to do that now and I’m too awful as an employee to be hired. People are asking me what shows I’ll audition for and I have to say, frankly, I may not be here any more in 2024.

    So. There are brief moments of pleasure in my personal hell, is what I’ve got here.

    1. Jennifer. I’m so sorry you feel so hopeless, helpless and totally broken. Yes, perhaps check out the second organization for a diagnosis. Often think of you. Sending you hope and hoping/praying for someone wise and capable of assisting you to be restored to health. Carol

    2. Excedrin has caffeine in it, so you might want to switch to a different pain reliever until the insomnia is over.

      Definitely get a second opinion from a doctor who has no ties to your HMO/insurance company. It must be hard enough to document childhood AD/HD on an adult without a conflict of interest. But if you are trying to establish adult AD/HD, why do you have to have the childhood records?

      I am sending you timed-release hugs for whenever you need them.

      1. It’s required that you prove you had it in childhood. I frankly may not be able to do that. There’s one person around who can testify to my childhood and she doesn’t remember much and we have no documentation from elementary school.

    3. Joining Aunt Snack on the timed release-hug-sending. It’s an awful time you’re going through. Hope things will turn brighter soon.

    4. Lots of hugs. It all sounds so difficult. Giving up the sleep med sounds like it might not be worth doing, unless the new med ends up being hugely helpful.

      I second and third the “see a different doctor” and question why an adult diagnosis relies on childhood things. Are you seeing someone for the depression and anxiety?

      More hugs.

      1. Jennifer — I feel so much for you. I agree with seeing as many doctors as it takes to get the diagnosis you need. I’d also suggest telling doctors that you know there’s something wrong beyond depression without telling them you suspect ADHD. 1) They won’t peg you as self-diagnosing. 2) Sounds to me that you might really have something completely different from depression or ADHD (or, in addition to).

        Like others, I’m confused over the weight different diagnoses carry. A diagnosis of depression will get you fired but a diagnosis of ADHD will save you your job?

        I’ve thought for a long time that both you and Lupe need new jobs. I hope you end up working (and staying living independently) in some place other than where you’ve been.

        Best of luck. And, I understand that seeing more doctors — including making even more appointments will probably aggravate all your current problems. But finding the right doctor/diagnosis is really important. I wonder if there are any advocacy groups that could help you with all the planning, phoning, etc, that you need to do.

        1. What Elizabeth said. You are in a bad situation at your job. Getting out of that and finding something where you feel comfortable and not threatened would really help. Finding that may not be easy. Sending calming and inspiring energy your way.

          1. At this point I am frankly, incompetent and stupid at working. I don’t deserve to be hired to clean toilets at this point. That’s not “the depression talking” either, I am just…bad at work. I wouldn’t hire me.

        2. The diagnosis criteria for adult ADHD require severe symptoms before age 12.

          However I do think that if the depression is causing the job problems and reasonable accommodations can result in your doing a competent job that could save your job. So if that’s the diagnosis they give you ask them about whether it could be causing your work problems .

          Depression can also cause problems with attention

          1. adhd website that has been helpful to me below. When I don’t fall into never ending link chains, sigh. this particular article is covering adult vs kid presentations. It might provide a place to start in discussing your actual difficulties. I recommend being as specific, and work related a possible.
            That sucks, the rest of your life matters too, but work problems will get better attention. As in “Dear dentist, my teeth hurt when I eat sweet food”
            Dd – don’t eat sweet food!
            “No, no, I meant when I eat healthy dried fruit”
            Dd- We can fix that!

        3. It was spelled out by several people that if I prove I have a disability, they won’t fire me right off because it looks bad if they do it. Depression doesn’t count as a disability.

          1. By law a clinical depression diagnosis can be a disability if it creates problems for you in doing your work

      2. I have no choice on the sleep med thing. (a) They said “No other drugs but Excedrin” and (b) the sleep med I was using was pot gummies, and they will drug test me if I want ADHD meds. Unfortunately pot gummies will be in my system for at least three months :/

        1. undiagnosed adhd can _cause_ anxiety and depression. Many doctors familiar with these kind of problems would know that.
          back in the Nineties a friend was told that one of the ways to diagnose, at the time, was to take one of the simulant drugs. If it kept working you needed it and if it didn’t have any effect or dropped off quickly then you didn’t have adhd. The usual doses are so small that neurotypical brains don’t tend to react much.

  10. A minor bit of happiness was reading in Vermillion up to Liz’s Pluto T-shirt (start of Chapter 53) and realizing that my earlier comment about belatedly discovering the “We Don’t Talk About Pluto” takeoff on YouTube was actually relevant and timely. I’m not going into moderation jail by providing links, but if you search that title, besides the original version (original as in first takeoff from Bruno) with 3.3 million views, there is a version with different lyrics by deuxpopband that emphasizes history and that Peri might find helpful. I also liked the version and lyrics by nontenoble. And Pluto, that imposter, got its just comeuppance, although it’s par for the course for Liz to think otherwise.

  11. More happiness: I’ve spotted three little green tomatoes (on three separate plants of five) growing in my farm. There are probably others hiding in there, and before long I’ll be harvesting and eating tomatoes, peppers, and lettuce.


      1. From AeroGarden, I am growing Golden Harvest and Heirloom Cherry tomatoes. The largest I’ve harvested in previous crops were ~3/4-inch. Here’s a picture of a Golden Harvest plant from last December. The Heirloom Cherry tomatoes are the same size, but red instead of yellow.

        Click on my name and look at the November Farm Report. I have tomato plants growing two to a 12-pod unit, and they take over the units. That’s unavoidable. They do that, unless you do really, really aggressive pruning.

  12. Happy this week was getting lovely comments from beta reader on the recently completed first draft of new novella.

    Also a fun Saturday out with my BFF involving brunch, some shopping, and a cruise around parts of West LA I haven’t seen in literally years. We stopped at Staples to get me some Really Useful Boxes for packing a few fragile things that can be packed now even though we’re not moving right now, and found OMG wonderful Crayola crayons (pearl! metallic! glitter!!) and coloring books for office toy drive.

    Also getting the car washed this morning and then going to Barnes & Noble to buy kids’ books, also for the office toy drive, and finding two KJ Charles paperbacks and giving myself permission to buy them even though I’ve already read the ebooks (twice each) and am not supposed to be adding to my book freight. I’ll find something else to get rid of, to balance them out.

  13. I was reading my local neighborhood news blog, which actually reports news since the founders started life as journalists but also includes photos taken by community members, reports on salmon spawning in our two local creeks, and obituaries sent in by readers among other things. Today someone sent in an obituary for their dog which was touching and ended with these words “Actions in memory of Wilhelm should be to sniff the breeze, crunch in the leaves, and stop to say hello to your neighbors.” Wishing you all time to sniff the breeze today.

  14. I cleaned out my car. It was pretty major, although not complex. I used the sticky ball of glop to pick up crumbs and dust and stuff. Major improvement. Now I have four seat available again.

    It’s a low key week.

  15. Happiness is relaxing. And, I’m lucky because I’ve been sleeping well. I seem to have more trouble adjusting to the standard time than the day light saving time switch. Not this year.

    I can’t think of anything I’ve done that was interesting or anything bad happening. Can’t be unhappy about that.

  16. My mum is here, visiting from Sweden, and so far it’s feeling really good. Happy! She brought me clothes she and my sib had picked out, and everything except 1 pair of pants fit nicely. She also brought me tea, Swedish honey, julmust (a Swedish Christmas-soda) and some other stuff I’ve missed. Yesterday, we watched a show of our favourite commedian, and she laughed so much she was squeaking. It was fun. She’s been feeling a bit under the weather since she arrived yesterday, so I’ve wrapped her in blankets and given her tea and Sven cooked for us yesterday, so she said se felt thoroughly spoiled. She felt well enough to go out for dinner with us tonight. We went to the Italian, and the food was great. I’m paying for eating now though, but it was worth it. Just hope the food will stay where it is and not look for a return-trip exit. Mum stays ’til Thursday, so we’ve still got some days left to hang out. Sven leaves for London tomorrow and stays til Thursday, so mum and I will have our first only-us-two-time in more than 20 years. Gonna be nice, I think.
    Sven gave me a huge bouquet of flowers yesterday when mum and I came back from a walk. He said he thought I deserved flowers, because he loves me, and because I did so well finishing up my therapy and never skipping any appointments even though it was tough to go some days. That was very sweet. Happy.

  17. Happiness this week has centered around my Nanowrimo project. I have enjoyed writing, communing with people and the thought required to get my story out.

    Part of my story involves book bans and censorship and I have gotten some feedback about those subjects that just makes me so happy.

    I’m a weirdo, I know.

    Everything else, health, financials, etc are complicated and more unhappy than happy so f..k them.

    1. My favorite quote from Bette Midler is “Fuck the if they can’t take a joke”, although I might not use it on the IRS.

  18. I’m happy for a good book launch reading/signing last Sunday and for lunch with a friend [who’s helping promote the book] on Monday. People are making nice noises about the book, which is lovely and encouraging.

  19. I am enjoying what is becoming a new ritual of having weekend tea and chatting with my neighbor who is a good friend but I haven’t seen regularly in a long time due to complexities in our schedule.

    That’s pretty much it. Been recovering from three relatively minor but uncomfortable medical treatments so I will take a quiet week.

  20. Today happiness is “Bet Me”. Just dnf’d a romance because the standard break-up-before-HEA, was completely horrendous, and they got back together anyway. (Was really enjoying the book before that, but had to skim to see if I could finish it). And so that reminded me of Cynthie’s relationship readjustment theory, and I dumped that other book for a sure thing.

    It’s one of my all time favorites. I have read it approximately twice a year since it came out in 2004, or about 40x.

    Thank you, Jenny, for my happy today. 😁

  21. Happiness was spending the long weekend in Savannah for a friend’s 60th birthday. We rented an AirBnB, ate out, drank, walked around, etc etc etc. We’re all friends from different parts of her life, but we didn’t all know each other before the weekend. All I can say is she has a type and I am by far the quietest.

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