Catch the Witness, Catch the Wit

My brother called me one day last week when I was in WinCo, shopping for groceries. It was a little hard to bag broccoli and cart around carrots while simultaneously chatting on the phone, so I said I’d call him back.

Yesterday, I dialed his number and the following conversation took place.

“Hey,” he said. “What’s up?”
“You tell me,” I replied.
“But you called me.”
“No, you called me. I’m calling you back.”
“What do you mean, you’re calling me back?”
“Remember last week when you called me and I had my hands full, so I promised to call you back? This is me fulfilling my promise.”
“That was four days ago!”
“Right. So, what’s going on?”
“Calling four days later doesn’t count as calling me back. It’s a new call.”
“No, it’s an extension of the last call. The only reason I dialed your number is because you dialed mine first. Ergo, this is calling you back.”
“What if you had called me two months from now? Would you consider that calling me back?”
“Of course not. Too much time would have passed.”
“Four days is too much time!”
“Four days is a drop in the cosmic bucket. So, what’s up?”

This whole Seinfeldian exchange (and ensuing debate) does bring up a good question. At what point does a call back stop being a call back and become a regular call? Is there any way to measure this objectively?

Does a call back have an expiration date?

In my mind, apparently that distinction lands somewhere between four days and two months. I just don’t know where. My brother, on the other hand, would have none of that. I asked him to give me credit for calling him back, but like a corporate banker sitting across from a bankrupt man, he patently refused my request.


And then, to make matters worse, he dissed Rush.

I mentioned that Portland is one of the stops on their 40th anniversary tour this summer, and we were thinking of going. At that point he made a gagging sound over the phone.

“You don’t like Rush?” I asked.

“Hate ‘em,” he replied. “I’ll give you three reasons why. A) They’re Canadian. B) Their lead singer sounds whiny and nasally. C) “Tom Sawyer.”

I thought my brother’s points were completely off base. Except for the Canadian thing, of course. Can’t trust our neighbors to the north worth a damn. But Tom Petty’s got the whole nasally thing working for him, so why not Geddy Lee? And what’s wrong with “Tom Sawyer,” anyway?!

What you say about his company is what you say about society. Catch the mist, catch the myth. Catch the mystery, catch the drift.


So, do you think I called my brother back, or did I just call my brother? And what about Rush? Would you pay to see them in concert?

Damn Kids

You know you’re getting older when you wonder whose kid that is wandering around the office, and it turns out to be your company’s newest employee.

I was on a phone call and when I saw one of my coworkers escort a young man who appeared to be no older than 15 to a desk, I assumed somebody had brought their kid to the office since it was a holiday, and he was looking for a spot to do homework. In reality, he’ll be developing user interfaces for our websites, determining flow patterns, and writing JavaScript, AJAX, JSP and other coding.

Well, now.

kid 2


For the first time in my career, I am on the older end of the age spectrum at work. I remember when I was fresh out of college and starting my first “real” job at the tender young age of 23. My coworkers probably thought was somebody’s kid crashing in the office, looking for a spot to do my homework. I guess this is what they call the circle of life.

Paper_cutter_1I certainly acted the part, too. One day I pretended to cut my finger off when using the paper cutter. I came rushing out of the copy room, ketchup applied liberally to my hand to simulate fake blood. Another time, I stuffed a couple of oranges down my shirt and pretended I was halfway through a sex-change operation. WTF was I thinking?!

Grapefruit would have been more impressive.

So, yeah. I wasn’t the most mature person at that age, but I was definitely the office prankster. Eventually, I took work seriously enough to end up with a promotion and transfer to the Pacific Northwest, so all’s well that ends well, right?

Apparently, our newest employee – the teenager-who-isn’t – has three kids. “Holy crap!” I exclaimed when I heard this news. “I don’t even have three kids!” Either this guy became a dad when he was 12, or he’s older than his appearance would indicate. Regardless of his true biological age, it dismays me to know that I’m old enough to think of younger people as “kids” in the first place. When did that happen?! Next I’ll be yelling at them to get off my lawn. And the “them” I’m referring to will probably be 26 years old.

Damn kids…

My Kitchen Thinks It’s 1979

When I was a kid, I used to eat Special K cereal for breakfast, even as my friends were singing the praises of Frosted Flakes. “They’re grrreat!” they’d declare, but I never saw the appeal. My other obsession was Fresca. Which just goes to demonstrate one thing…

I was a weird kid.

I’m not saying I was a health nut. After all, I also used to fry up bologna, douse it in ketchup, and stuff it between two slices of white bread. Gordon Ramsey I was not. But at least I made a few healthy choices back then.

Ironically, if you step inside my kitchen today, you will find Special K in the pantry and Fresca in the fridge. Which means it’s either 1979 or Some Things Never Change.

I’m going with the latter, but a few fun facts about 1979 just because: The Dukes of Hazzard debuted on CBS, McDonald’s introduced the Happy Meal, and the smallpox virus was eradicated.

Hmm. I kinda wish it was 1979 still…

Daisy Duke

Or maybe not.

IranIn reality, the Special K and Fresca are on hand because of my newfound dietary needs. Do you have any idea how hard it is to find a cereal that is not loaded with carbs? Let’s just say I won’t be listening to any snapping, crackling or popping in the morning anymore. And diet sodas are considered a “freebie” for diabetics. Not that I’ve ever thought of Fresca as a diet soda, but it does have zero calories and is sugar-free. That’s the good news. The bad? It’s sweetened with aspartame. Which means my glucose levels won’t go up, but I might end up with cancer someday.

Damned if you do, damned if you don’t.

Apparently, once upon a time Fresca was even marketed toward diabetics.

FrescaInteresting. I always just liked the taste. Kind of grapefruity.

What unusual foods or drinks did you like when you were younger? And are any of them still in your kitchen today?




“Flying” the Friendly Skies

I recently came across an advertisement for a company that sells an authentic “Pan Am experience” to anybody interested in flying the friendlier, 1960s-era skies. For a mere $297, you can board a perfectly recreated Pan Am 747 jumbo jet complete with spiral staircase, upper deck dining room, and stewardesses dressed in authentic uniforms. Think short skirts, pillbox hats and white gloves.

Sign me up!

Granted, you don’t actually leave the ground, but this is Hollywood, after all. Once you’re handed your first cocktail, it won’t even matter that you never exit the tarmac. Or more accurately, an unassuming warehouse somewhere in L.A. It’s all about illusion, baby.

It's the Pan Am Experience!
It’s the Pan Am Experience!

Air Hollywood has gone to great lengths to recreate the experience. When you check in, you receive a classic 1970s-style boarding pass and ticket jacket and are handed a glass of champagne while Frank Sinatra plays over the intercom. After the in-flight safety demonstration (let me guess – seat cushions may be used as flotation devices), you are served a four-course meal that includes foods such as shrimp cocktail, hand-carved Chateaubriand or roasted chicken with peppercorn sauce. Then you’ll enjoy a period movie while relaxing with a cocktail before “landing.”

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like a pretty fun way to spend an evening! Almost makes me want to plan a trip to Southern California just to do it.

Too bad I hate California.

But boy, does it illustrate how much air travel has changed over the years. All the fun is gone. Stewardesses are now “flight attendants,” and you can’t slap them on the ass or call them “honey” (at least not without serious repercussions). People are crammed together like sardines, and you’re lucky to get a tiny bag of pretzels. Hell, just getting on board the plane involves removing your shoes, tossing your three-ounce tube of toothpaste that might be harboring a bomb (how?!) into the trash, and submitting to a full-body X-ray in which the screener is likely to see more intimate parts of your body than your own spouse. I may never have gotten to experience the golden age of air travel, but I miss it anyway.

Maybe I’m just glorifying things. Flights were expensive and you had fewer choices back then. And the cabin was filled with the acrid haze of cigarette smoke. But you also had this…

Interior of a Pan Am 747, circa a hell of a long time ago.
Interior of a Pan Am 747, circa a hell of a long time ago.

What do you think? Do you miss the golden age of airline travel, or are you content with today’s no-frills flights? Would you sign up for the Pan Am Experience?

An Ill Wind Blows

When it rains, it pours. So naturally, after I was released from the hospital, I ended up catching The Cold From Hell.

I could blame Tara, though it’s not really her fault. When she climbed into my hospital bed on New Year’s Eve and we started making out like a couple of lovestruck teenagers, she didn’t know her body was harboring germs. My first inclination that anything was amiss came the following morning, when she called and said she was sick.

We’d had a date to catch the sunrise together from my room on the first day of the new year, but she hadn’t shown up. That should’ve been my first clue, but I figured she’d simply overslept. Or been abducted by aliens. Either seemed more plausible than a sudden illness when she’d been perfectly fine a mere 12 hours earlier.


“Well, I did start coughing earlier in the day,” she admitted.

“Wish I’d known that last night!” I said. “I never would have had you climb into bed with me and start making out all passionately and stuff!”

At this point we both paused and burst into mad laughter, the ridiculousness of my statement not fooling either of us for one second. Still, I clung to the hope that I would not catch what she had. After all, I rarely get sick. It had been years, plural, since my last cold. Maybe this one would pass me by.

When I started coughing Sunday morning, I knew this one had not passed me by.

Sunday night was so bad, I could not sleep. I hung out in the living room all night, watching YouTube videos and reading online articles I’d been meaning to get around to since August (example: 15 Reasons to Love Portland in the Fall. That ship has obviously long since sailed). At least I managed to get rid of a bit of clutter.

I was too sick to go to the office Monday and Tuesday, so I ended up working from home instead. Which sounds great, but when you’re coughing nonstop and battling a fever, is less fun than it seems. Plus, I had to stick myself and shoot myself up whether or not I felt like it. Which, again, sounds great but isn’t – at least not in this context. I was finally able to return to the office on Wednesday. It felt like forever since I’d been there. It was an important step toward normalcy, though; I felt much better afterwards.

My actual temperature at one point.
My actual temperature at one point.

On the positive side, my doctor switched me from one of my insulin therapies to Metformin (a pill) instead, which means fewer shots during the day. I seem to be adapting well, as my blood sugar numbers have mostly been within the normal to slightly elevated range. At least that’s one bit of good news. The way this year has begun, I can definitely use it.


I’ve been home for a couple of days now, and am slowly settling into the new routine. To be honest, my emotions have sort of yo-yod. At first, there was the exhilaration of being home after three days in the hospital. I had a really good blood sugar reading – under 100, which is normal. I got this, I thought. Then the next day I had a couple of high readings, and that left me feeling nervous and depressed. Today, before lunch? 88. Diabetes is a numbers game, and I am quickly learning you have to look at the big picture rather than focus on each specific test.


One thing I have been doing very well is eating healthy. Lunch today was a turkey sandwich on whole wheat with lettuce, tomato, avocado, and a smear of hummus, accompanied by 10 whole wheat crackers and a handful of grape tomatoes, washed down with sugar free iced tea sweetened with Stevia™. Breakfast? Scrambled eggs with mushrooms and green onions and a side of chicken sausage. I’m countin’ carbs like a boss and have been averaging only about 30 a meal (I am allotted 60). I used to scoff at people who went to such extremes, so believe me when I say this is a huge attitude adjustment for me. Tara and Audrey are proud (and a little surprised) at how well I’m doing, but I am a Taurus, which means I’m stubborn. This can be good and bad. When I put my mind to accomplishing something, I do it. This case (eating healthy) is an example of good stubborn. Bugging Tara to go down to the Mini dealership even though I’ll soon have hospital bills arriving in the mail is an example of bad stubborn.

My new reality: healthy eating.
My new reality: healthy eating.

A drawback to this whole carb counting thing: grocery shopping takes forever. I spent over two hours in the grocery store yesterday reading the back of every single box and can I put in my shopping cart. And I hate the grocery store! 

Yeah, it's a pain in the ass. But things could be a lot worse.
Yeah, it’s a pain in the ass. But things could be a lot worse.

Since coming home, I’ve had a lot of time to reflect, and it really scares me how badly things could have gone for me. When I was last at work six days ago (is that all? feels like a lifetime), my vision was so bad I could not recognize the coworker I sit next to. There are plenty of horror stories about diabetics who go blind. If that had happened to me (and I honestly feel like I was close to that point), well…I’m a writer. Kinda hard to write when you can’t see. Right now, looking at the TV across the room, everything is sharp and clear. A few days ago, the laptop on my lap was an incomprehensible blur. I don’t know what I would have done with the rest of my life. As inconvenient as insulin shots  are, things could have been much worse.

You know what? I do got this.

Hospital Food (Term Used Loosely)

One of the side effects of this hospital stay is, I have become a proper Englishman. I say this because every single meal has come with a cup of tea. And to make matters worse, it’s been decaf. I haven’t had coffee in three days, and my pounding head is reminding me of this fact. I like tea just fine, but don’t go out of my way to drink it. Then yesterday I realized the “lemon juice” option under beverages was not straight-up lemon juice, but a little packet to squeeze into your tea. Yeah, I’m a little slow sometimes. Once that dawned on me, I started drinking the tea instead of pushing it aside. Now I actually look forward to it. How bloody cheeky of me, eh, chap?

I haven’t had any spotted dick, though.

(Thank god. Diabetes is bad enough).

Speaking of hospital food, I just have to rant a little. I know people don’t come here for fine dining, and there are usually dietary restrictions (especially for those damn diabetics), but there are things they could do differently. A few observations/comments…

  • Quit trying to make the menu sound better than it is. “Spinach mushroom mozzarella scramble” and “hot open-faced turkey sandwich with rich brown gravy and a medley of fresh seasonal vegetables” sound a lot better than they actually are.
  • I know it saves money to combine three menus on one sheet, but when you’re on a liquid diet and you see that they are serving hamburgers to other patients, that just hurts.
  • There are two cooking techniques in the hospital: “well done” and “more well done.” It’s not necessary to cook a 4 oz. portion of meat for 60 minutes. I have never longed for “medium rare” so much!
  • You guys sure do love mashed potatoes. I’m surprised you don’t serve ‘em with breakfast, because they accompany every other meal. Don’t get me wrong, I like ‘em, too – but the single bland scoop dished up here does not make my mouth water.
  • Knock it off with the “chef’s seasoning” already. It is not a substitute for salt, no matter how pretty it is (thanks to paprika, maybe?). No proper chef would ever season his/her food with this stuff.
  • Margarine? Really? That stuff will kill you faster than whatever you came in for.
  • I don’t consider melons, melons and more melons a “fruit medley.” Even if they were cantaloupes, honeydew, and watermelon. Let’s see some mandarin orange and banana slices in there. Some apples. A pineapple chunk or two.
  • Fat free cream cheese reminds me of spackling paste. In both texture and taste.

Chefs SeasoningBut enough of the negatives. There were a few bright spots. The “classic meatloaf” I had last night was pretty decent (though that might have had something to do with my mom sneaking me in a salt packet…shh). And the low-calorie syrup I put on my french toast yesterday morning was surprisingly flavorful. The best thing I’ve had to eat this entire time, though? The salsa I put on my eggs this morning. Compared to everything else, it was packed with flavor.

"Classic meatloaf"
“Classic meatloaf”

Better still? My wonderful daughter took the bus here last night to bring me a small bowl of black-eyed peas and ham. These are supposed to bring good luck if you eat them on New Year’s Day. They worked for me back in 2012, to the tune of $47K. Tara made a big batch yesterday, but came down with a bad cold and couldn’t bring them to me, so Audrey stepped up to the plate. She’s pretty special, that one.

Enjoying a bowl for good luck in 2015!
Enjoying a bowl for good luck in 2015!

But enough about food. I’m going home today! They’re discharging me around noon, which probably means 2 PM, but I’m not complaining. Three days here is quite enough. I feel great – full of energy, able to see again. My nurses, time and again, have complimented me on what a nice guy I am, great attitude, excellent sense of humor, etc. It was my goal coming in to be the patient that everybody liked, and I think I’ve pulled that off.

“We need more patients like you,” a bunch of them have said, which makes me wonder whether most patients who wind up in the hospital are grumpy and insubordinate.

Must be all the hard to chew meat.

Homeward bound!

Unleashed But Still Caged Up

At 10 AM, my nurse unleashed me.


(Actually, the “rawr” was reserved for last night when Tara came over and “snuggled up” with me in the hospital bed. Shh…).

But this morning they removed the last pesky IV from my arm. At one point I had four lines going into two arms. If you’ve never been hooked up to an IV, you won’t understand how restrictive it is. And every time you move the wrong way, the damn thing beeps at you. Want to get up to stretch your legs, go to the bathroom, take a shower, etc.? The IV pole is coming with you. So all I can say is, freedom!

Yet I’m still in the hospital, and will be for another night. I’m just in a different room now. Remember how nice my first room was, with a full-on view of Mt. Hood?

Yeah. This one is not. Despite a fun room number (420, sure to elicit snickers from all the potheads (and don’t potheads and Snickers just go together?)), the room is pretty crappy. First off, it’s about 30 years older than the previous one. It is sterile and feels like a cage. It’s like stepping down from the Waldorf to Motel 6. Plus, there’s a second bed in here. I really, really don’t want a roommate. If it comes to that, I’m sure I’ll draw the curtains around my bed and then I’ll really feel like I’m in a cage.

On the plus side, I woke up with my vision greatly improved this morning. It had been so blurry I couldn’t see more than two feet from my face. Diabetes can damage your organs and has been known to cause blindness in certain individuals, so I was a little freaked out. I’m very glad to see (pun intended) my vision returning to normal.

I already miss my nurses from the other wing (I was in the Progressive Care Unit, and now am in just the regular ol’ hospital). Oddly enough, they were almost all male – and they were awesome. Yesterday I was attended to by a pair I nicknamed the Dynamic Duo. We were cracking jokes all day long, swapping stories, etc. At one point I was moving furniture around in my room, and they were shocked. “Our typical patient isn’t nearly so mobile,” Nurse John (who, unbelievably, is Peyton Manning’s first cousin by marriage!) said. “You’re the first to ever move the furniture around.” And then he dropped a cup on the floor and I said, “Cleanup on Aisle 4!” We shared that kind of banter all day long. It was very weird to be on the PCU. That unit is reserved for people who need extensive care but don’t quite quality for the ICU. Lots of cardiac patients, and almost everybody is 70+. No wonder they all kept calling me young and spry.

The night nurse who waited on me before the Dynamic Duo was a pretty cool guy, too. Don’t get me wrong, the nurses on this new floor are nice enough, but we haven’t quite developed that kind of bond. Ashley did compliment me on my music choice, though. Yeah…I’m playing it nonstop. Got nothing else to do today, right? Other than the Rose Bowl at 2 PM. Go, Ducks!

So last night after they moved me, I asked for a sleeping pill since I had been up the entire night before. They gave me two melatonin.

Holy shit.

I managed to snap this pic…

The moment the ball dropped in Times Square to usher in 2015 on the west coast. I captured it, IV and all.
The moment the ball dropped in Times Square to usher in 2015 on the west coast. I captured it, IV and all.

And then fell into a stupor so deep I felt like I was dead. Even though nurses were coming in all night long to check my vitals and take blood, I barely registered their existence. At one point I swear a couple of interns came barging into my room for a little make-out sesh, then apologized profusely because they thought the room was empty. I even remember the guy was wearing red scrubs…but now I question whether that really even happened.  I had to force my eyes open this morning, too. And I only did that because breakfast was coming. No more sleeping pills for me…I prefer to be semi-cognizant, at least.

Speaking of breakfast, I’m now eating actual food. If you can call tough and chewy pot roast and bland scrambled eggs food. C’mon, at least give me a little salt here instead of “chef seasoning.” My sodium is not an issue, folks.

Yesterday I had a bunch of visitors, and a coworker (hi, Sarah!) dropped off a plant, a balloon, and a card signed by a bunch of my coworkers. Love their sense of humor.

My coworkers are so thoughtful. And funny.
My coworkers are so thoughtful. And funny.

So, another 24+ hours before I can go home. I’m looking forward to that more than you can imagine.

What is it With Me, Holidays, and Hospitals?!

My friends and long-time readers probably recall how I ended up in the hospital the day after Thanksgiving, 2011. Tara was visiting from Nevada, so it put a damper on her trip…but also brought us closer together. The gall bladder surgery and six-night stay were hell, but our relationship blossomed.

Guess where I’m writing from, folks?!

That’s right. I’m in that very same hospital, and will be for a few more days. Happy New Year, huh? I have been poked and prodded all night long, every hour on the hour, which of course translates to no sleep. But because I am the type who always looks for the silver lining, I am enjoying this view as I write.

Hospital Sunrise

Hey, if you’ve gotta stay in a hospital, you might as well enjoy a room with a view.

Unfortunately, breakfast came next. This is what I got:

Hospital Menu

To add insult to injury, instead of salt – which might have given the broth a little bit of flavor – they left me with a tiny package of pepper instead. WTF?! Don’t get me wrong; I love pepper, but that broth needed a little sodium in the worst way.

And if you think I’ll be able to pop open a bottle of champagne and watch the ball drop tonight….ha. Fat chance. I’ll be slurping down clear liquids and, with a little bit of luck, Jello while having blood drawn every stinkin’ hour or two. But I am trying to remind myself there are people going through much worse things than this. I follow a couple of bloggers who are dealing with cancer, and I have it so much better than them. So I am thankful for that. Perspective, yo.

You’re probably wanting me to cut to the chase. Before I announced what I was dealing with on Facebook, my extremely witty friends were guessing the diagnosis. Their answers included:

  • Bunions, extreme flatulance, prolapsed colon?
  • Species reassignment surgery? Chronic explosive diarrhea? A boil on your butt?
  • Ruptured family jewel
  • Splinter
  • Human werewolf syndrome
  • Foreign accent syndrome
  • Ken Doll facial reconstruction
  • Extreme case of jock itch
  • An erection that lasted longer than four hours

Nope, none of those things, my friends – though I am impressed with your creativity. Here’s the real scoop…

About two weeks ago I suddenly became extremely thirsty. I started downing liquids all day long, anything I could get my hands on – water, iced tea, orange juice, Gatorade, milk, etc. Try as I might, I could not slake or quench my thirst. Tara and I were lying in bed one night and I told her I was fantasizing about a lovely, tall glass of orange juice. That’s when I knew something was wrong. My fantasies very rarely involve fruit!

And then, my vision started to suffer. I’ve always had good eyesight, but suddenly – in a matter of days – I couldn’t see worth shit. That’s pretty frightening! And then I stepped on the scale and discovered I was losing several pounds every day. Plus, I was extremely weak and had zero energy. Because I write about medical conditions, I had a few ideas about what might be going on. I went to the doctor, she told me to quit self-diagnosing and ordered a bunch of lab tests. Stupid me waited five days to get them done because I wanted to enjoy the Christmas holidays. Ha! They weren’t exactly enjoyable since I felt like a blind, thirsty slug. Late Monday night, another doctor called and told me I was diabetic. Not just diabetic: insanely diabetic. My blood sugar level was 635; normal is around 100. This just perfectly sums up my attitude: go big or go home.. He told me to call my doctor first thing in the morning and get an appointment. When I called her, she pulled up my lab results and sent me into an absolute panic. “You’re extremely diabetic, your cholesterol is sky high, and your kidneys are operating at 40%. You need to drop everything and go to the ER right away! You could lose your kidneys!!”

I literally said “Oh, shit!” and practically dropped the phone. I called Tara at work and told her she needed to take me to the emergency room immediately because, guess what, I might be dying!

Nobody can ever accuse me of downplaying things.

So we sped to the ER, and when they admitted me my blood sugars had risen to 782. There I go, overachieving again. I was put on an insulin drip and here I am, 24 hours later, my blood sugars much lower but it’s a gradual process to drop them; too fast is a bad thing. Fortunately, my kidneys look fine.

But I’m stuck in the hospital for 3-4 nights. And facing a dramatic lifestyle change. Talk about deja vu. Like last time, Tara has been my rock, helping me through this difficult period. I don’t know what I’d do without her.

I’ll post updates as I receive them. I might even try to convince Tara to join in on the conversation, much as she three years ago.

In the meantime…happy new year!


We Stayed Between the Lines

I apologize for the long absence from blogging. I could blame the holidays, but really, there was lots of sitting-on-my-ass time. Like all day yesterday. I’ve been feeling under the weather a bit and haven’t had a lot of energy to do much, other than fret over what disease I might have. When you write about medical conditions all day long, I suppose that’s natural. Something is going on, and I’ve got lab tests this week to figure out what. I’ve got suspicions, but my doctor admonished me for self-diagnosing last week, so I’ll be cool about it until I can say “told ya so!”

Enough about that for now.

I am happy to report that Christmas was a resounding success. Thanks largely to this:

Wrapping Lines

That’s the wrapping paper I used. You’ll note it’s got guidelines on the back. I suck at wrapping, but using these lines as points of reference enabled me to perfectly wrap gifts this year. Score!

As a matter of fact, staying in the lines was a holiday theme this year.

Tara Beer

Christmas treated me well this year, to be honest. At least if you’re the type of person who considers National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation-inspired Moose Mugs and a new recliner good gifts.

I am that person.

Tara’s Christmas was merry, too. Audrey couldn’t resist

Sock Monkey.Even the cat got in on the action.

Cat in Tree

Hope your Christmas was merry, too!