SD 1354–1398: Well, I missed posting at all in December and I am now writing a New Year’s wrap-up of sorts on January 1…0th.

I have already scheduled and had a dentist appointment at a new office! First time having to change dentists in Chicago since I moved due to the old practice getting kicked out of their office. My old dentist is at the new location, so let us hear it for continuity of care! The waiting room at the new practice is a lot nicer too. I don’t know how I lived without thick overstuffed leather chairs for so long. I also scheduled my annual physical (for 2023…) which will be Friday. And the biggest news (though it was scheduled a month and a half ago) is we are having the brickwork done, starting on Monday. Which will be at the start of a polar vortex and hot off of a blizzard wherein we’ll moving a few blocks down the street to stay at an Airbnb for a week and a half.

We were going to stay with friends (but they are maybe getting sick and everyone is sick—more on that in a bit) and sending Babycat to stay with a different friend but it was going to all be a bit stressful. Beebz finally has the cone off but is on a few different meds and may have a UTI at the moment. The main symptom being she is looking grumpier than usual. Debating bringing a second monitor to the Airbnb. Fingers crossed the WiFi is good. I was half-expecting to go into the office more than usual, but between the Polar Vortex and wanting to be close in case the brick people need anything, who knows.

But that is the future. Now let us travel… to the past.

December started with a bang with the office decorating for the holidays and requisite weekend brunches and a lunchtime visit to Christkindlmarket with my team.

Things are work really started picking up going into the end of the year, which is great. We also elected to have our world-famous holiday party in the office this year, which worked out great.

We failed once again to renew our pre-pandemic Christkindlmarket and Walnut Room tradition sadly due to Jane and Tara getting COVID and the disturbing discovery that the Walnut Room closes at 7pm now. Andy, Michael, Matt, Dane, and I did a makeup dinner at BiXi for their Owen & Engine (RIP) pop-up. The food was very good but Matt and Dane were feeling a little sick so wasn’t quite as joyous as it could’ve been.

Dane ended up getting COVID for the first time (this happened first and he was testing negative before the dinner, I swear). Being late to the party, he was able to get Paxlovid which seemed to help a lot. Matt and I avoided COVID, though Matt got sick with a cold (???), then Dane got it, and then I got it as well. Dane and I had fevers, so maybe it was RSV instead of a cold. Remember when everyone spent a couple years getting less sick due to never leaving the house and universal masking? Sigh.

I was at the end of my sickness and had multiple negative COVID tests so made the trek up to St. Paul to stay with Brandi for Christmas. Amtrak once again changed the boarding process (this time due to construction in the passenger lounge it seems) and getting onto the train a woman yelled at me for cutting for entering a line that wasn’t a line. Sigh. I stayed in the lounge car for the full trip. I wanted to go to my seat to try to sleep, but my seat check and the person I originally sat next to when I boarded had disappeared so I felt very awkward not being sure where my seat was and ended up back in the lounge car. The passenger car was also way too hot while the lounge car was just slightly too cold. A fun time was had by all!

On the ride Brandi texted me saying she was now feeling sick so I took an Uber to their place rather than being picked up. Then the next morning before I even saw her she texted me to say she’d just tested positive for COVID along with my niece. Merry Christmas! After much debate, my mom decided to still come and we ended up masking indoors with the windows open and my mom’s high powered air purifiers running for the whole week.

Now that it’s the future I can say my mom and I luckily managed to avoid also catching COVID along with my brother-in-law, so thankful for that. All things considered it was a nice Christmas, but it is always sad to spend it without Matt and Dane who I seem unable to convince to join me. The indoor masking and not having meals together was also a bit frustrating, but better than the alternative of my immunocompromised mom getting sick. Patrick’s parents, two brothers, and brother’s husband were supposed to join us for Christmas but that got cancelled between the COVID and Patrick’s dad ending up in the hospital with pneumonia. Not great times for health!

We resumed the holiday tradition of seeing the British Arrows at the Walker Art Center which had some great entries. Also I think my first time back to the Walker since the pandemic. I should check my camera roll to see if that is really true.

I failed to even ask Jess, Jill, and Cindy if they wanted to meet up while I was visiting, but given the sicknesses going around, probably for the best.

For the ride back to Chicago, I managed to snag another upgrade to a roomette where I was able to nap in peace. The train also arrived in St. Paul on time (which is quite rare), so I was able to get both breakfast and lunch in the dining car as part of my roomette reservation. The shared dining wasn’t quite as awkward as my only previous experience, but cafeterias in general are a danger zone for me, so sitting at a small booth with strangers during a meal is not my most favorite experience. I could say more on that but I won’t!

We made no advance plans for New Year’s Eve but managed to join up with several friends who also failed to plan and ended up deciding on having everyone come over for a fun little friend hang and party games.

I insisted that we needed to watch whatever local Chicago NYE celebration we could find, and NBC Chicago delivered in spades with Billy Corgan singing along with… Wizzo. It was haunting.

Auld acquaintances were not forgotten! And now here are, almost two weeks into the new year. I have not made any resolutions as I have not even thought about it yet, really. I suppose I could do that. Hmm I suddenly feel like I looked at a bright light (oh I did it is the streetlight outside because it is nearly 5pm so it is pitch black outside).

Anyway, I had another migraine with aura before New Year’s for the first time since September or so. I tried one of the inhalers for the first time but do not think I inhaled properly. Headache did not last too long but I hate the visual distortion issues. I also noticed losing part of my peripheral vision as part of it this time. Bad brain. Do not do that. So that is an idea. I resolve to not have more migraines with aura. That is an achievable goal, right?

Here was this year’s Merry Whatever card.

And then this happened. All while Apple Watches are illegal in Joe Biden’s America.

Uhm yes. These have been some words I have written. Now to try to write at least monthly again this year.

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