SD 1132–1159: Once again reconsidering the naming/numbering function of these as we have now passed a few more milestones. On day 1148 the WHO declared an end to the COVID global health emergency. On day 1154 Biden ended the COVID national emergency. But this is not over, etc.

People are still getting COVID. Brandi got it for the first time (confirmed at least) in the past month. Or was it two? Time is weird! I have switched to writing these monthly or so instead of daily so I am missing all the mundane details of the early posts. Brandi’s case seemed to be pretty mild luckily, though she did experience the loss of smell which doesn’t seem to be as common of a symptom these days. She must have gotten it before I wrote last since we went to stay with her for my cousin’s wedding. Did I not even mention it? I am spiraling in banality.

Well, the plan was to stay with her. After a relatively uneventful ride on Amtrak we got stuck a bit outside of Winona, MN which is less than two hours from St. Paul. There was apparently a “minor” freight train derailment ahead of us (no injuries or cars tipped over, train just jumped the track). They originally told us the delay would be 1–2 hours. It ended up being about six, meaning we got into St. Paul after 5am. Matt and Dane made the executive decision to get a hotel instead of going to Brandi’s which ended up working out great.

It was good to have our own space and the hotel was in walking distance of the wedding events which made getting around much more convenient than it would have been to be Ubering back and forth between her place and things.

It was nice seeing cousins and family that I haven’t seen in over a decade. I was nervous about bringing both Matt and Dane but everyone was very welcoming. Turns out there is something rewarding about spending time with the people you grew up with!

Since it was a quick trip focused on dad’s side I am headed back in a few weeks to spend more time with mom. Going to also snag a couple days in Milwaukee on the way back for more creative rejuvenating me time or whatever.

The nieblings are getting so big!

The train back to Chicago was delayed an hour or two as per usual but was good otherwise. Oddly enough, we realized it was the same train we took to St. Paul. Or at least the lounge car was the same one. I wonder how big the stock for the Empire Builder is. It’s gotta be at least six trains right? It’s a three day trip in one direction and it has one trip a day. There have to be backups and it also splits in Washington so has to be even larger than that.

The end of April also heralded Andy and Dane’s neighboring birthdays. Yay friends!

After that one beautiful April weekend where I injured myself things cooled off a lot. Every day we were in Minnesota it snowed at least a little. We also saw a lot of flooding in Wisconsin. On the train ride up at night you could see lights reflecting off of lakes and then the reflection would extend in front of houses that were surrounded by high waters. Real Spirited Away vibes.

We’ve continued going out regularly though maybe a little less than in January and February. My wallet is feeling anxious after a trip to Macy’s in the Mall of America for wedding clothes and a surprise hotel stay. Though we did get kind of a “free” night (in that we checked in at 5am but didn’t have to pay extra for the previous night or an early checkin).

In May we had our first show at the newly opened Salt Shed venue. After seeing some posts from people at early events last summer I was a little worried but it turns out to be an amazing venue and not quite as expensive as I was worried about. A newly constructed venue means the bathrooms are still nice! We saw Fever Ray with CHRISTEENE opening and it was transcendent.

I had so much fun I was prepared to go see Bright Eyes by myself but I waited too long and it sold out. Instead I saw the Fur Fighters with Dave Growl headline the launch party for Stern Pinball’s new Foo Fighters table at Logan Arcade.

On the way home we passed a Garfield art show but Matt wouldn’t let us go. 🙁

There was also another Diablo beta server slam test weekend. I am excited for this game. Need a break from grinding in FFXIV to grind in another game.

Babycat is still grooming too much and it’s upsetting. She’s been going to the vet a lot and is getting steroid shots. I wish they’d say if we should be doing more about the grooming issue.

I gotta figure out the brick work. Worried about how much I’m spending now but am ready to drop another 20 grand on home renovation work and new furniture. I just want someone to do all the planning work for me and send me a bill. I am a great adult.

Here’s a vague hand wavy acknowledgment of all the things I am not writing about here. Fun, eh?

Oh I have been spending more time fucking around in Glitch with A-Frame and Kaboom which has been fun. Still need to build something that is a little more interesting than a mildly reskinned Hello World. Haven’t been drawing much as lately which I also need to return to. I feel like everything is taking me longer than it should. Gotta find some more ways to shake out the cobwebs.

Oh I also quickly devoured the final three books of The Expanse, and now I am sad that it is over. There is still a short story collection so will pick that up soon while I think about what to read next. I suppose I have some other series sitting on my self to pick up.

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