30 December 2021

 EOY Oddz N Ends...B'bye 2021

This year was not as bad as 2020 was, at least not for us. But I am still smarting from 2020, which kinda left a simmering wound on 2021, and I am just starting to not hurt as much as I was this time last year. If you'd told me I would spend the better part of a full calendar year grieving two cats, I doubt I would have believed you. But here we are, more than a year after they died, and after a lot of false starts thinking I was ok, I am finally ok.

These beautiful kitties made me realize that yes, I have healed enough to (almost) be ready for another pet. They were hiding under the space between the boardwalk and a restroom, and popped out while I sat on a bench to wait for the Spouse Thingy. There was a third, but he scrambled back under when my phone came out.

I really wanted to scoop them up and bring them home. They're completely feral, though, and that's not something I'm ready (or skilled enough) for. 

But...I am very close to being ready for another furry friend. We've been talking about a dog this time, and I'd really like another Golden Retriever. So maybe by spring...


2021 starts with some rearranging of furniture. We figured out a layout that will allow me to keep my beautiful desk but add another smaller one I can actually write at, and at the same time we'll wind up with more room for the Peloton, rower, and bikes inside. 

Unless they just don't fit, I'll have 2 bikes on trainers; one on a typical wheel-on trainer (both wheels still on the bike) and one with the front wheel off and rear wheel resting on rollers. 

This is all a precursor to the sweat equity that will go into one of my 2021 projects:

If my back allows it (and lately that's questionable) on the 1st of January I'll start racking up miles and taking notes for a new book. We (meaning the publisher and me) expect this to be a year-long endeavor, during which I'll test out a few different type bikes and approach it all as a senior with some experience riding, but not as a hard-core dedicated cyclist. 

It's my favorite thing to do and my bikes are my favorite toys, but I am not a hard-core cyclist...who knows, maybe I'll become one. To start, I'll be riding a road bike, an electric road bike, am electric cruiser, a cargo bike, and a single speed. Possibly a crank-forward ebike, too, if the Spouse Thingy lets me borrow his. I'd also like to find an e-trike, but just to rent for a few days, since I've had a few people ask me about them.

And if I'm lucky, by the end of the year, a large part of my asterisk will be in the rear view mirror.


I am not happy about the weight gain of 2021, but also? I am not horrified by it. And I've reached the point where I'll be okay with whatever the results are. I'll get into better shape no matter what, barring injury. If my weight shifts, fantastic. If it doesn't? Meh. I have been battling my weight my entire life, save for a few years in my teens, and then in my late 20s and early 30s when I was training in TKD but also too nervous about it to eat. Other than that, I've been overweight.

It's time I was okay with that. I refuse to torture myself with strict dieting; I've done it, the weight never stays off. So now I eat normally, I'll exercise, and let the flab fall where it may.


We very nearly ended 2021 with a tragedy, one that left me tossing and turning for a while last night. I was upset and had that oh-no weight in the pit of my stomach.

The Spouse Thingy's Nintendo Switch would not turn on. We were pretty sure it had bit the dust.

Now, laugh if you want to, but one of the things we did a lot of this year was play a lot of Animal Crossing together. Not on the same island, but in the same room. We set up Max's old room to be a game room, with each of us having our own TV and Switch. We've swapped stuff and watched each others' islands go from nothing to pretty freaking sweet, and the idea that he'd just lost it all?

It was oddly upsetting.

He managed to get it to turn on and did a soft reset, but by then I was asleep. This morning I spent some time looking for a new one online, and there's a nice, long delay in getting a new one. I'm almost tempted to order one for us to have a backup if either of ours breaks for real.

Hell, if it had been mine, I probably would have cried. I like the idea of starting over, but I'd want my main player and all the money he's accumulated...I'm greedy that way. If the Switch croaks? So does he and all his $$$

We are so winning the whole Being an Adult thing.

And yes, trapping him on a toilet made me LOL


 Speaking of Animal's calling to me. Tonight I am going deep sea diving, and then just might tear down an entire cliff to rebuild something else.


12 December 2021

 :::blows the dust off the blog:::

This was supposed to be the Year of Celebrating. Spouse Thingy and I both turned 60, and we're a week away from out 40th anniversary. For years we talked about doing Something Big to celebrate the milestones, and a trip to Hawaii was at the forefront of those plans.

Then came COVID, and we scaled back the expectations. But surely we could still do a few things. By the time his birthday was approaching, we'd both been fully vaccinated and assumed it would be fine to go do something, somewhere. He'd put in for a week off for his birthday, mine, a week in November to go to Disneyland, then a week for our anniversary.

For his birthday, we were leaning toward the Monterey Bay Aquarium. We've never been but always wanted to go, it's not too far, and it was something.

Then Delta reared its ugly head and we both agreed: not worth it, not yet. We still had my birthday to look forward to, and surely in 4 months we wouldn't feel so squirrely about it. Surely Delta would subside, right?

It did not.

We did a few things locally, and on my birthday we hit up the Crocker Museum and a bicycle shop. The museum had controlled, timed entry, but once inside they couldn't stop people from being stupid, and we found ourselves a bit too close to groups that didn't seem to care. And in the bike shop...not a single mask to be seen, other than our own. We didn't run out screaming--hell, we bought the Spouse Thingy a new bike while there--but maybe we should have left.

We both woke up the next day with sniffles. Mine lead into a full blown upper respiratory thing, which was thankfully not COVID, but it still ticked me off. The rest of the week was spent at home, coughing.

But hey...we still had Disneyland in November. Until I went to make reservations, and saw how much prices had gone up. Because of my assorted krap, we really need to stay on site, but the rooms had shot up from a couple hundred a night to six hundred. Tickets have gone up. Fast pass was gone. A couple of cast members I spoke to online warned that they expected the parks to be slammed from early November onward.

We noped right out of that idea and were okay with just having a week off at home to go do whatever we felt like on a whim. Movies. Walk around downtown Sac and hit up my favorite indy bookstore, Capital Books. And since every freaking thing was canceled this year, we decided to pop for something tangible for both of us, and we ventured to a mall where there was a Peloton store, and bought ourselves a Bike +.

Surprisingly, I was not the most excited about it. That was pretty equal for both of us.

But then I decided to take a ride on my cargo bike. It's very tall, especially when it's up on the center stand, and for some bizarre reason, I tried to mount the bike by swinging my leg over the very tall seat, and sprained my lower back. And I did it good...For the last couple of weeks I've barely been able to move much less think about giving the Peloton a good try.

So we had one last milestone thing to look forward to: a few days in San Francisco. It's probably my favorite place and if we ever win the lottery, we're living there. I made reservations at the Westin on Union Square, we got tickets to the Van Gogh Immersion, and planned on hitting up at least one museum. But we also planned on a lot of walking to see the city decorations, and to wander Pier 39 because we unashamedly like the touristy kind of stuff.

Have I mentioned CA is in a drought, and any rain is something to cheer and be grateful for?

I'm trying.


We kept watching the weather reports, mostly out of curiosity. A week ago the weather peoples on TV said there would be rain, but that was a week ago and things change. A few days ago they seemed to agree: rain on Tuesday, not so much on Wednesday, maybe a little more on Thursday. We could handle that.

But the predictions kept getting worse, until last night when it seemed as if SF would be slammed all 3 days we intended to be there, with as much as 11 inches of rain over the week. Just the drive there seemed a bit less than safe, the one day we planned on 90% of what we were doing sounded awful, and drive home kinda iffy.

We'd been waffling for days, but last night the reality of what we didn't want hit: it seemed stupid to spend upwards of $1000 for a hotel and food, just to be utterly miserable most of the time.

So we're 4 for 4 on 2021 being a year of celebration. 4 weeks out of 4 weeks of not doing anything we intended.

Oddly...I'm okay with it. I feel like I should be more upset than I am, but it's not like we've been stuck in the house. We just haven't taken any trips that we wanted, and in the grand scheme of things those don't seem all that important. We rescheduled Van Gogh for next month, SF isn't going anywhere. Disney can go fork itself; I'd pay those prices if they were raising pay for cast members, but they aren't. It's all a profit grab, made worse by new management (IMNSHO). The aquarium will be there next year.

So...Spouse Thingy has this week off, and it's going to be wicked rainy, maybe windy, and we're not terribly upset about not getting to SF. If there are times when the rain lets up, maybe we'll venture out. Go to a movie. Go Christmas shopping (despite being done, because Christmas shopping is the one kind of shopping I like, and yes I go overboard every year but IT'S FREAKING CHRISTMAS!!!)

And maybe, just maybe, I'll be able to get back on the Peloton and give it a good workout for once.  Because the little I got to try it before I sprained my back? AWESOME.