Everybody’s hugging!

First, I’d like to thank the five decent Philly fans out there who acknowledge that both teams played an amazing game. You’re the real MVPs. You are doing what Jesus would do, I’m pretty sure.

Now that that’s out of the way…

What a weekend. Three masses: one a funeral for someone I admired tremendously in the short few months I knew him before he was too sick to come to church, one a Latin mass with early Mozart chorale at my old haunt, St. Thomas. And, of course, Sunday mass at St. Nicholas, which was small and intimate today because #SuperBowlSunday.

Despite my team losing, it was a pretty phenomenal weekend, with tears & laughter & guacamole & cheesy dips & tremendous affection. I’ve been hugged by everyone and their mother. I was told, in a torrent of earnest & fervent love, that I should be a priest (I should not). I’ve stacked a lot of chairs. I’ve washed some wine glasses. I’ve read from Paul’s first letter to the Corinthians. I’ve had a very good conversation or two with people I respect tremendously & for whom I have deep affection.

I don’t even know how to thank Jesus for all the really lovely things I heard & did this weekend. I hope my constant little random smiles are received as gratitude to him.

Even the cat was slightly pleasant.

Oh, a short funny thing before I go. I let the Fitbit wake me up, which means instead of an audio alarm that might disturb the others in my home, my wrist vibrates me awake.

Today that was perceived in my dream as me being sucked from work (I was dreaming about work) into the parish hall at St. Nicholas with my friend Janice yelling at me, “Hey! Hey! Hey, Kellie!”

I awoke laughing. That’s never a bad thing.

I’ve written some books if you like any of the stuff you read here.

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Medium excess

I was just musing over some of the more fun experiences I’ve had since living in Los Angeles, and without exception, every single one of them involved middle aged, middle class men going slightly overboard at dinner.

I am not talking about rappers popping bottles or doctors splurging on the Kobe beef or any of that claptrap. I am talking about simple, hard working excess.

What does that look like? He tells you “Oh, you need another drink. Also we need tableside guacamole. Let’s just go nuts!” He is literally spending in excess of $40 here. Somebody stop him.

Or there’s two bottles of wine at dinner, or there’s more Chinese food than four people can eat, or somebody suggests a pitcher of margaritas but won’t let anyone chip in to pay.

OMG. I just realized I am describing dad luxuries. They’re not enough to break the bank, but you’d never do it every day. Maybe someone won a golf bet or had a little saved up from last month. This is the guy who takes you to the dollar store and tells you to fill the cart, go crazy! And you spend $50 instead of $10. And he just laughs with glee.

Oh God, I genuinely enjoy Dad Level Excesses. And I am intimidated and put off by anything more.

At 43 years old, have I just decided that Pinnacle Fun involves being all of my friends’ 22 year old daughter?

Is that sad or good? I can’t tell. I feel like it’s fine, but somebody will inevitably tell me to aim for higher, off the chain fun — or that I benefit from some level of privilege because I know a few men in their fifties who happen to not be suffering all the time.

It may also be the conversation. But who can’t have a great conversation after two piña coladas and guac?

I’ve decided that it’s fine and that the next person who wants to take me to PF Chang’s for dinner and order appetizers and dessert is welcome to do so. They have gluten free.

God speaks in the doing

This has not been a good month.

The irony of becoming depressed with suicidal ideation in the very months after I publish a book on turning to Christ in times of terror & misery is not lost on me. It is in fact a great jumping off point for a dark humour indie film, but enough about inspiring dreck. This is a confession.

I cannot get into all the reasons this was a bad month, & they don’t matter because depression is depression. There was just a lot. A bit of it was financial, a lot of it was tremendous, unrelenting physical pain (which I have also written about, but less well). Some of it was long buried emotional pain, because I am extra good at pretending everything is peachy keen.

Don’t worry about the suicidal ideation, FYI. I ideate; I don’t plan & would certainly never carry out. I know that some of you who have known me a very long time are giving me side eye right now, because you remember a time when I did actually attempt to carry it out (or two). Those days are long past. I wouldn’t even normally describe myself as depressed in the past decade, except for now. Now is a thing.

What I do — & please don’t be jerks about this because there’s a whole story here involving a Buddhist empress — but I pray. And sometimes, when the pain is so intense I do not think I can stand another second, I pray the following:

Dear God, please heal or kill me immediately. I cannot bear another second.

Obvi, it’s not occurred to God to end my life just at this juncture. In fact, He has strangely seen fit to heal a great deal of other things that were wrong with me.

I’ve had a number of doctor, dentist, & physical therapy visits in the past months. And what I have learned at all of my most recent ones is, through my own hard work & some prescription nutrients I do not make or absorb on my own, I have improved my health so dramatically that every health care practitioner has expressed astonishment.

“Your body wants to get better,” one said. “Man, I wish all my patients worked as hard as you,” said another. “You have perfect teeth/retinas and beautiful skin!” gushed yet another couple of health care practitioners. I have improved my already pretty good lab work to stellar, & my terrible no good very bad ankle to Nearly Normal.

So the physical body, with the exception of its inability to recognize simple essential nutrients as good, is very, very healthy. Nobody believes I’m 43. I am physically 30.

Except for my central & peripheral nervous system. Those still fire like a sadist has a voodoo doll of me. Neurological stuff is a bitch, but I am always grateful it’s not organ failure. I guess if you’re going to have an organ go bad, the brain is the least…poisony of them.

How to explain…I’m in little to no danger of atherosclerosis, diabetes, COPD, liver damage, or kidney failure, and even my damaged intestines do some kind of job. Everything that’s wrong with me is in how my brain processes stimuli. It thinks everything is a life threatening injury, & it sends a casacde of pain neurotransmitters in kind.

This is not a fun existence.

But it’s also not a slow death, like the things I listed above are. It’s like…it’s like I prayed for death & God said, “Well, how about a healthier body? Would that work?”

And it kind of helps with the fibro, I guess. So now bad things need to just stop happening, & maybe I will find a moment in between crying bouts & panic attacks to be grateful that my hard work has paid off in radiant health — even if my brain 100% could not give the least of shits.

I mean, I never cry, & in the past month I’ve burst into tears in front of a substitute physical therapist, a nurse, a phlebotomist, a dentist, a dental hygienist, and an optometrist.  But I have also laughed just as hard at all of those appointments.

I’m miserable & feel like I’m short with everyone, but I’ve been called Sweetie & Cutie more times than I can count. I’ve argued before that people think I’m just adorbz when I’m angry & stampy-feets.

My prayers to God now are “Thanks?” and “You’re making me function better. Why? What have you got in store? I can’t see it yet. It seems like I am supposed to flail utterly everywhere while also having every reliable thing I needed fall out from underneath me.”

But I also thank Him for my friends, who have occasionally surprised me with kindnesses & timely bits of assistance that really have saved my ass. Most people wouldn’t want me to say their names, but Art is not most people. Art drove me home when my car died 39 minutes from it. Art is a magnificent being, & also called me a Sham Cougar, which…oh, it’s a long story.

Eventually, I will come up from this mire of unrelenting darkness & see all this as blessing. Right now, I can’t, probably because I still won’t really deeply face it & admit how bad it’s gotten. I keep trying to Gratitude Mindset my way out of things, which sometimes is bullshit. Sometimes, you really do just have to stare a thing in the face & say “You suck.”

So, My Life, you suck right now. You’ve kind of always sucked, but you got betterish at times & you even have moments of magic. But right now, you just plain, flat out suck, & I hate you. And now I feel bad for saying that to you. You didn’t mean to suck, & sometimes you even behave when I try to make you not suck. Maybe it’s actually fate that sucks.

Screw you, Fate, you bastard. Unless I am pre-paying for something bloody marvelous. In that case, I’ll take it all back upon receipt of my lay-away Destiny.

Which apparently requires me to have a mostly functioning ankle & the stellar blood work of a 30 year old woman who eats kale & jogs (I do neither of these things).

Hermione & Himmione & the Marshmallows of Fire

This happens later.


As the absence of Draco completely changes the story, today the part of Girl Harry is played by Hermione, shifting Boy Hermione to Himmione, which is what I may start calling him in real life, too.

(See the beginning if you have no idea what’s going on.)

As Ancient Runes is clearly not enough for Himmione or Hermione, they have, as you’ll recall, taken up Ancient Greek, for fun, which is what people whose names end in -mione do.

Draco was sadly absent from this particular study session, texting Hermione while she was at brunch with her dorm mate that he was having a particularly long oil change. This might have been true, but then this is also a Malfoy, & it could be bollocks. Nevertheless, Hermione texted Himmione that Draco was most likely going to be absent, & they got on with it anyway.

Meeting up at the Three Broomsticks, the children got out their books & translated the riveting tale of the Minotaur. When it’s just the ‘Miones, there are a lot of excited interruptions & pauses over points of interpretation, smoother story telling, idiomatics & grammar. This happens when Draco is there, too, but much less. There are also several side conversations into superior Greek grammars & anecdotes about professors. This is all a kind way of saying that Hermione & Himmione are more colloquially described as nerds.

The ‘Miones also have zero qualms about correcting each other without the niceties people expect, which is refreshing & expedient, even when HERmione has cramps & wants to stab all men (& did jokingly threaten HIMmione, once. Maybe twice).

Even with all this exhuberant nitpicking, the ‘Miones are through the story of Theseus & the Minotaur in slightly over an hour, giving them around 3 hours before Ancient Runes begin. Both of them cannot be arsed to drive home & back, being so close to Hogwarts, so they decide to park at the school & walk to a new cafe. Hermione has brought a book to read (just in case) & Himmione already has a backpack filled with everything he is working on at any given time. Down the bloody great hill they go.

The cafe does not actually open until Wednesday. The ‘Miones attempt to figure out where to take themselves, when Himmione gets the grand idea to walk back up to the school & see if they can study/read there. Hermione notes that he is kindly walking a little slower this time, so even though she is wearing a bit of a heel, it’s much easier to go back up the hill than last week.

As Liquid Luck would have it, Aberforth is emerging from the great hall right as the ‘Miones approach (pro-SKO-roo-seen). He lets them in because the ‘Miones are inherently trustworthy, & they have sweet, innocent little angelic faces. Felix Felicitas was working overtime because there were also tables & chairs set up. Hermione always picks the most defensible seat (back to a corner, facing the door…part of her Harry personality) & Himmione sits across from her. They work in silence for nearly a couple hours, interrupted only once when Hermione hears noises near the kitchen & goes to check it out, totally prepared to Stupify someone.

She sees Neville! She opens the door & calls out “Neville! Hi!” He is surprised to see her poking her head out the locked great hall, & then Luna emerges from the Even Greater Hall. Everyone is surprised to see each other. Neville & Luna were picking their wedding hymns with Professor Flitwick, & Hermione explained that she & Himmione were just killing time between Ancient Greek & Ancient Runes.

Luna & Neville & Hermione are going to the same party later, but Luna & Neville are not going to Ancient Runes, so they all say “See ya later!” & Hermione gets back to her book.

Around 4, Hermione has to go pick up a great deal of cheese for Profressor Flitwick’s reception, & Himmione has to pick up an older wizard, so they part company & go to their errands. Cheese acquired, Hermione returns to the Hogwarts kitchen with Seamus & Flitwick & begins poorly slicing up cheese while Seamus creates a hostile working environment.

Soon Ancient Runes begins. Hermione is joined by another of her friends & Himmione arrives with the older wizard, who was splinched & needs to be driven. The class is wonderful as always, accompanied by male singers with beautiful voices, & mostly everyone goes into the great hall for cheese & wine.

Himmione, who is also going to the party later that evening, takes off to rest first. Hermione, who is not quite as practical, remains in the great hall but gets to talk a great deal about books & art & film with her friend Fleur (& her Bill). After they leave, Hermione finds herself chatting with Professor Trelawney, which is ok, & Ernie MacMillan, which was decidedly better. Realizing she was now late to the party, Hermione jumps up, washes a couple of glasses, & disapparates.

She arrives in a part of town she’s never been, & rings the doorbell. No one comes. So she walks around the side of the house, which sets off a protego charm & she is nearly blinded. This prompts her host to tell her to just walk in the front door, which she does, & is greeted by the birthday girl, whom she hands a small present.

She then goes round the back outside where young wizards from other schools are playing a more sanitary version of beer pong. She makes friends with a couple girls, one of whom knows her younger sister’s high school drama teacher, which shows how small the wizarding world is.

A tall blonde girl at the beer pong table hears Hermione say that she’s from Hogwarts, & she asks if she knows Himmione. She says she does, & that he should be along shortly. This pleases the blonde girl. Hermione also remarks that Himmione will probably take the exact same course of action to get into the party that she did, as they are both excessively polite. And that is exactly what happens.

Himmione actually knew more of the people at the party than Hermione did, so he was catching up with his friends while Hermione made new ones (men…de Hermione observes in Greek). Hermione was mostly discussing witchcraft & space exploration with her new acquaintances until she & the tall blonde got very excited when Dean said they could light a fire & roast marshmallows.

A group of girls formed around the fire, & the blonde girl demonstrated a fantastic marshmallow roasting technique that Hermione enjoyed greatly. Eventually Luna & Neville turned up, & they sat with Hermione & talked about sci-fi & music & church & how this is pretty much all they ever do at every party until way past midnight. Himmione had escaped way before that.

Hermione did not have one drop of alcohol the entire evening, proving once & for all that it is Draco that is the bad influence on her, & not the other way around.

IN YOUR FACE, HIMMIONE.*

*this is kind of how Greek goes, too. Well, internally.

Harry, Hermione, & Draco Have a Very Long Day

I have a long blogging tradition of giving aliases to friends, but I will now take it one step further & explain this sort of bizarre friendship I have in the context of Harry Potter characters. 
The rules of this exercise:

1. Harry is a girl.

2. Hermione is a boy.

3. Draco is an only slightly evil Armenian.

You will have to figure out what everyone & everything else is based on those rules alone, & your vast, obsessive knowledge of J.K. Rowling’s books, which is no doubt greater than mine. It would also help to know a little bit about LA, but it’s not necessary.

This is the first story:

Harry arrived at Hogwarts far too early for Ancient Greek study, delighted to see Hermione’s car in the car park, as it was hot & she wanted to get a move on. She then received a text from Draco, who was running 3 minutes behind. And Hermione was not in his car.

Harry was hauling a good deal of cheese in her enchanted bag. It was going to melt, & the later music concert reception would be in ruin. She made haste to the Hogwarts kitchen only to find it locked. She cast about for other wizards with keys, but there were none to be found. With a bit of a huff, Harry turned & trudged up the bloody forsaken hill to the car park when she spied Hermione, also trudging up the hill hauling a giant backpack full of books.

“There you are!” said Harry cheerily. “The kitchen is locked so I’m putting all this reception food back in the car.”

Hermione made a face. “Shouldn’t it be refrigerated?”

Harry shrugged, walking up the bloody great hill with Hermione. “I have an enchanted bag. It should be ok if I shove it in the shade.”

Hermione seemed satisfied with that so Harry added “Draco texted & is going to be three minutes late.”

If Hermione had long unruly hair, he might have tossed it, but instead he set his backpack full of books down & stood in the shade. “Oh well. What’s all that noise?”

Harry’s phone was in her pocket, pinging. “That’s Seamus. He’s in Ancient Runes but he’s texting me about something Lavender did in the virtual great hall.”

Hermione never rolls his eyes, but he makes an expression Harry has come to read as eye rolling. “Well, Lavender is…Lavender.”

Harry continued in a rush. “Now Seamus is telling me Lavender is thinking of taking History of Magic Next year.”

“Oh dear. Poor Dumbledore.”

“I know, right? And poor Aberforth. Anyhow I can’t believe Seamus is texting from Runes!”

“Well, it’s Seamus.”

“We should pray for Aberforth.”

Hermione hestitated, then was distracted by a muggle contraption called an aeroplane, soaring across the sky above them. He came back to earth with “Let’s think of people who should take History of Magic next year.”

Harry immediately suggested a nice Hufflepuff she knew, & Hermione thought of a few, too. Then it was exactly Three Minutes Late, & Hermione looked up to see if Draco’s luxury vehicle had arrived. It had not. Harry was pretty sure Hermione kept his time turner, but he obviously wasn’t allowed to use it on Draco.

Draco arrived exactly Five Minutes Late, which was good enough for Harry & Hermione, & they sped off to Hogsmede to study Ancient Greek together. The boys were talking about whatever while Harry, who had lost some of her hearing in a horrific Sonorus charm accident, struggled to keep up, as the boys are both quite long-shanked.

They reached the Hog’s Head & grabbed an outside table. Despite having a remarkably large amount of Greek to translate, the “children” sped through quite well, though Draco had not prepared half of it, which is not really his fault as he has two jobs. Also Harry & Hermione are probably quite insane, & get really excited about arguments of grammar & pronunciation. While they politely quibble over whether something is said “loo-OH-so” or “loo-oh-SUH”, Draco is generally envisioning the smart uniforms he will bequeath the elite soldiers of his imagined future dictatorship.

The children realize they are going to be late for the period concert if they don’t leave for Hogwarts soon. And they must be there on time, as Draco (a patron of the arts) has promised Professor Flitwick (who is probably elven in this version, but Tolkien-elven, not tiny elven) to usher. Hermione, who must excel & assist in all things, decides he wants to usher, too. So now poor Harry, who lived under a cupboard for ten years & has terrible cramps to this day, is expected to hurry up The Bloody Great Hill to get back to Hogwarts on time.

So Harry casts a summoning charm on the server, & he brings the check with speed (Hermione probably could have done it better, but he doesn’t like to waste magic on mundane tasks). Draco over tips because the waiter is hot or something, & Harry imagines they shall now proceed with all haste to Hogwarts.

No, the boys are now discussing another aeroplane, which might be a 747 or something bigger, & Harry notes with Rowling-Hermionesque annoyance that they are now ambling, not speudo-ing (as she has come to imagine it in Greek), toward Hogwarts. Look, Harry loves planes as much as the next girl, but the enchanted bag will only keep the cheese cool for so long.

Harry takes the lead & listens to the boys speculate as to this airplane’s make & model, & then Navy vs. Airforce stories, as they turn up the bloody great hill. The boys take the lead while Harry scurries along on her cramped stumpy girl legs. Finally they make it back to their vehicles, & Draco dons a smart tie while Harry & Hermione get out sweaters, because knits always make jeans seem more formal. Also it is 4000 degrees Farenheit out, but as previously discussed, Harry & Hermione are probably insane.

Harry also gets out the bag of cheese, & a bag of soda & wine, & waits for Draco to get his bags of cookies. Hermione is about half way toward the school when he realizes his friends are heavily laden, then turns back. Draco waves off Hermione, then takes a bag from Harry & helps her to the kitchen (now unlocked).

Harry & Draco add their goodies to the pile on the prep table, then proceed toward (pros-KO-roo-sin, Harry notes internally) the concert. Seamus is already taking donations, as Hogwarts concerts are “free” to the public, but cost Hogwarts money. So donations help. Hermione & Draco are already in ushering mode, so Harry goes & takes a seat, inviting The New Girl (name TBD) to sit with her. The New Girl turns out to be a slightly awkward music nerd, too, so Harry is happy.

 

The Even Greater Hall at Christmas

 
The concert (17th & 18th century pieces in Italian & French with period instruments) was wonderful, & everyone filed into the Non-Virtual Great Hall to drink wine & eat Mostly Not Melted cheese. Harry, being gregarious when she can muster it, & also tired, notes that New Girl & New Girl’s Friend are trying to balance drinks & plates of cookies while talking, & suggests everyone commandeers a table. 

The table is a circle with Draco, Harry, New Girl, New Girl’s Friend,  Arabella Figg, Mr. Figg (one assumes), & Hermione. Harry & Draco get up to their usual mischief, causing Hermione to abandon his conversation with Mr. Figg & remark that Harry is actually a terrible influence on Draco, who is well mannered & beautifully behaved when it’s just him & Draco. Harry protests that Draco is just as terrible around Neville, but Draco insists that he & Neville are quietly impish together & Harry realizes to her chagrin that Neville is also somewhat more loudly terrible in her presence, too. Harry then concludes with some satisfaction that she is merely an amplifier of people’s proclivites, & not a cause. Hermione doesn’t not roll his eyes.

It is at this time, I think, that Harry heads over to Seamus for her first glass of wine.

Seamus is a heavy pourer.

At some point during Harry’s first glass of wine, New Girl’s Friend disappears, leaving an open seat, & Harry & Draco start giggling about something–probably boys. Harry notes that Lavender has cornered the violinist. They then cross the room together in great haste (spay-OO-dough-seen, Harry thinks). Harry turns to Draco & says “That’s the gait of a couple about to have it off in the girls’ lav.” 

“Myrtle’s not the only thing that’ll be moaning,” laughs Draco.

Hermione is not amused. “Someone should rescue the violinist,” he remarks with concern. Harry says, “Draco, I suddenly need more wine.”

The two proceed with haste to the wine table. Harry asks Seamus for more wine, then says to Lavender & the violinist “I’m so sorry to interrupt, but that was bloody brilliant. You are a fantastic musician! Oh, hi, Lavender.”

Now Harry is annoyed that Seamus is holding the bottle over her glass, but not pouring, as Seamus is now talking to Filch. Draco engages Lavender & Seamus finally pours the wine (PO-loos, Harry notes).

Harry returns with her second glass of wine & Draco returns with Lavender, who engages in a lively conversation with Mrs. Figg. This frees the children to talk with New Girl. Harry & New Girl gang up on Hermione, teasing him that they are going to get him drunk one day, to which he is rationally opposed. “I hardly see the appeal in losing my mental acuity,” sniffs Hermione.

“It’s fun,” says New Girl.

“You’ll be happier,” says Harry. “Being in control all the time isn’t always brilliant.”

“You’ve had too much wine,” says Draco, laughing.

New Girl tells the children about a drinking game involving difficult pieces of music. Hermione now remembers a drinking game involving mathematics. Nobody is surprised. Harry wished Harry could remember what Harry said, but everyone told her to limit herself to one glass of wine from now on. She does remember that. Everyone except New Girl, who is now Harry’s favourite person ever.

“Doesn’t she look like Felicia Day?” Harry asks the table. Everyone nods wearily, except New Girl, who is delighted. “You’re so pretty,” Harry says. Harry is probably drunk. 

Harry now switches to water.

Lavender leaves for a voodoo ceremony & Aberforth pulls up a chair between Hermione & Draco. Harry is pretty sure Aberforth implied she was a whore, but Aberforth is wise. Seamus then pulls up a chair between Aberforth & Draco & tells us about the time he put on his mother’s heels & sang Patti LaBelle. Harry roars with laughter. Harry & New Girl talk about 80s music, & then New Girl has to leave, as she has a long day before her. 

Harry drinks more water. 

Filch has started cleaning up, so Harry, Draco, & Seamus start to help. The Figgs leave, & Harry catches Hermione making one of his great escapes. Hermione is sensible & has a lot of homework to do, even with a time turner, so Harry wishes him well & goes back to throwing out paper plates. Seamus isn’t helping so much as looking up Patti LaBelle videos on his phone.

Filch has already washed all the wine glasses, thwarting Harry & Luna Lovegood’s tradition of talking about boys & Jesus & breaking glasses, but Luna is gone so it’s just as well. It turns out Lavender was still there & wanted to help, but everyone had done everything, so she left.

Flitwick joined Harry, Draco, Seamus, Filch, & Aberforth in the kitchen to wrap cookies & put them away, but then everyone stood around laughing & doing impersonations & sweating (it was hot). Flitwick suggested they all go outside, & Aberforth retired to his lair.

Harry, Flitwick, Draco, Seamus, & Filch kept saying they all had to leave, but no one did. Well, Filch eventually did, but Draco, Seamus, Flitwick & Harry stood around debating whether they should go to one of those magical faerie dances in the Forest (Flitwick kept going “untz untz untz”).  Nobody went. They all felt too tired.

Harry got home around midnight & texted revelations with Draco until like 1:30. Then Harry finally crashed.

****

I have decided to call this style of writing “allegorical fic”. Or “hypothetical fic”. I’m not sure. Either way, it’s for nerds.

UPDATE: I had made a grave error in assigning any character other than Aberforth Dumbledore to the person I previously implied was Albus Dumbledore. I have since rectified this error.

Arthur

 

Arthur, probably.

 
Arthur told me he likes reading things I write about him & that I should write more about him, so here is a post entirely about Arthur.

Arthur (not his real name, but it’s close) is a guy who’s been going to our church for about a year. He seems innocuous at first, just a polite guy in a suit & tie, but soon you realize he is basically the personification of evil. 

Don’t let that alarm you, though. Arthur is pretty spectacular. He laughs at all my jokes. He also agrees with nearly everything I say. Already you can tell he is one of the best people ever, despite being the personification of evil.

He is the dark yin to my yang. He is Palpatine to my Yoda, Saruman to my Galadriel, YoSafBridge to my Inara. One time myself, Christopher, & Arthur were in the church kitchen eating ice cream Arthur made for us & I thought, “Here we are: Harry, Hermione, & Draco.”

Arthur is also my sham husband & as such, is very encouraging. He has yet to say a disparaging word to me, about me. He has said a number of disparaging words to me about nearly everything else ever. In that respect, he is maybe Edina to my Patsy?

I am fairly certain Arthur & my boyfriend are going to get along beautifully when they meet next week. They both hate the same stuff & revere the same concepts. The difference is that Arthur might use fascism to achieve his aims, where my boyfriend is more of an anarchist. 

We are going to open a religiously themed Snuggie business together. We also offer to plaster entertaining banter on your Facebook wall for a small fee. Our text conversations are legendary.

Arthur is a trained pastry chef and an accountant. I would not be surprised to learn he played the lute weekly at a retirement home. He works harder than any of us. Evil never sleeps.

I do, though, so I will have to write more on Arthur after Easter, maybe. Meanwhile, enjoy Arthur’s theme.

My Song is Love Unknown

What a weekend.

I’ll start from the start, with many details omitted as they are the gentle, cheerful secrets of others. I’ll give you my take on things & make it up to you with a neologism you simply must appropriate.

Saturday began after a week of daily trips to the gym after 2 years of not going. So let us preface this with the simple fact that I was very sore. Sore is quite different from fibro pain, as it has no neurological component, & is therefore mostly endurable. But it is handy to know for the rest of this narrative. Many of you will relate.

Saturday consisted of purchasing snacks for a church reception, church cleaning in preparation for Holy Week, a well-intentioned attempt to review a very long chapter of Greek, the purchase of cheekily named wine for the church reception, & then a mad dash back home to get ready to see New Order with my dear friends, who got my ticket as a birthday present (March 28 is the exact date).

But before I could go to New Order, there was Palm Sunday vigil, for which I had promised snacks, & could not skip.

  
Latin mass + LASchola = bliss. But I’d had to go back to Encino to get tarted up for the New Order show, which presented a Latin Mass appropriateness issue (rectified by a black cardigan, I hope, though the glitter eyeshadow & cat eyes were in full effect).

I had to skip the reception for which snacks & wine had been bought to make it to pre-show drinks with my benefactors, who then benefacted drinks. My friends make me laugh & sometimes also drunk, but we were at a campus bar, so there was probably ever the slightest hope & dream of gin in my glass of tonic. I was able to walk & dance & drive just fine.

The show began & was marvelous, not least of which because they performed 2 Joy Division songs, & because I was with my friends, who seemed to enjoy it as much as I did. I got home some time after midnight.

These are my Fitbit stats for the day: 

Fibromyalgia step goal recommendations are no more than 6k a day BUT I HAD TO DANCE DAMMIT

 

I rose at 7 & got going for rosary & Palm Sunday. Shockingly, I had never previously been to a Palm Sunday mass in my life, despite being a devoted parishioner of Saint Thomas for three years. It always seems to come when I am in bad flare or previously committed. 

Holy Week is intense. It is a week of pondering Christ’s sacrifice & it’s not unusual to shed a tear or two. Sometime during the offertory I began to lose it. I have no idea what snapped. I wasn’t in tremendous pain, we hadn’t started singing the communion hymn yet (more on that later), & I had held it together fine during the Passion gospel. But I looked up at the statue of Christ over our altar, covered in red fabric, & I lost containment.

By the time I got to the communion rail, I was fully weeping, but trying to be sly about it, which is hard when you’re snuffling. Father must have noticed, as he blessed me immediately after giving me the host & kissed my head & then I just full out sobbed like a small child pretty much forever.

OH GOD AND THEN WE SANG THIS

On a good day, the first five notes of this make my eyes glisten. By the middle of the second verse, I couldn’t sing. Well, I already couldn’t sing because I lost my voice at New Order, but I could not sing because I legit could not go on. You know that video where Celine Dion breaks down on stage after her husband & brother died?

So here’s what might be shocking for many of you. I was never this person. Crying in public? No. Admitting I cried in public? Unfathomable. Committing this information to the public realm? WHAT STOP YOU’RE ON ALL THE DRUGS

But here we are.

Now I’m going to do what you expect: rationalize.

Keeping in mind that I was gym sore, & that I’d slept less than 5 hours, & now add that I had not eaten since lunch the day before, I have decided that I was sadmished.

Sadmished: adj. crying uncontrollably out of fatigue & hunger, like some kind of grown ass baby

Root: sad + famished

You’ve heard of hangry, yes? That, but sad.

It’s also possible that I was moved by the Passion of Christ. Whatever. Feelings. 

So anyhow I was feeling so awful that I just wanted to go home & sob, but the parishioner who sponsored coffee hour kindly picked up a gluten free snack for me, so I had to stay, & then miraculously there was Hawaiian Punch, & Ray came over & asked me about New Order, & we met a super enthusiastic Latvian, & before I knew it I was going to brunch.

And that was magnificent. We went to Bossa Nova on Sunset & had a grand old time, plus Christopher picked out my bridal march, which is this. 

Now I am going to die until tomorrow. After this load of laundry.