XXIV: Christmas & New Year

I have survived the holidays. Only just. Or maybe I'm speaking too soon, since we've a few hours yet and some people consider New Year's Day more holiday.

I didn't get anything for Christmas, which doesn't really bother me. What did bother me:

I suppose this is what comes of not being clear. I had said there couldn't be two stars on the tree, so The American opted to dress me as an angel instead. Allow me to point out I wore the halo and wings well past the tree's decorations being taken down. In fact, she didn't remove them until yesterday, when we went to the salon . . .

I don't trust these women behind me, not least because they have no bodies.
Afterward, we went down to Connecticut. Turns out I was being dragged to a concert.

Not sure why everything looks so pink . . .
Turns out The American is rather fond of this fellow:

Rob Thomas at Mohegan Sun Arena, 30 December 2011
Fine for him, but my ears almost couldn't take the man on our right who evidently believed he was part of the band and sang along to every song. At ridiculously high levels.

After that, we wallowed in Americanism. By which I mean sodas, burgers, milkshakes.

Then finally returned to our hotel.

Yes, I am wearing her necklace. No, I don't know why.
As a sort of early New Year's treat, there was champagne.

Which meant in the morning we were required to put some more food in ourselves. Ate at Octagon, which had a very friendly staff and good food.

I would have stayed longer, but they insisted it was time to go.

Home now with John, which is as it should be.

That's the proper way to start a new year.

With gratitude for the hospitality of Secrets Salon; Mohegan Sun Resort & Casino; and Marriott Mystic Hotel & Spa and their restaurant Octagon.


XXIII: Birthday Weekend

Not mine. God, no. But I was still forcibly compelled to "celebrate." As if getting older were something to be glad of. It seems to me that birthdays are designed to congratulate people on not having died over a span of the previous 364 days. Good for you! Have some cake.

Cupcakes, anyway.

I'd say life is like a box of miniature cupcakes that come in a variety of flavors, except no, it isn't.

As if that weren't enough she dragged me to a movie. In a cinema. Where we were surrounded by other people. Hadn't we just done this the previous week? In London no less?

She never looks this happy with me.
Seats weren't even comfortable. But at least I had one this time.

And this is a terrible angle besides.
Fine. I endured and prayed the jubilation over the simple fact of having existed for any number of years was at an end. But no. Just when I was certain it couldn't get any worse, she insisted I come along with a group of friends to a comedy club.

Do I look amused?
Though the low grade of humor turned out to be the least of my worries.

The best I can say of the evening, besides having come out of it in one piece, is that I walked away with pastries to my name. (Though my name is not Mike.)

The final touch to the weekend was Christmas decorating. Look, there can only be one star at the top of the tree . . .

Just as well she chose the other one; not a terribly comfortable perch, and I can't imagine having been required to stay there for a week or more.

Whether I survive the remainder of the holidays remains to be seen.


XXII: The Surprise

I gave The American an early birthday gift.

Note to Self: consider a bigger coat.
The tickets were for some screening in London she'd been wanting to attend. This meant traveling to London, which we did the night before, landing the day of the event. We were there bright and early, able to watch the sun come up over the duck pond in Kensington Gardens . . .

. . . and walk the Palace grounds . . .

It was chilly, so we visited The Orangery and enjoyed hot chocolate while sitting like cats in a sunspot.

The Orangery
We whiled away the day in this fashion; I'm always happy and relaxed when home in London, and The American was good company because she was losing her voice, which meant she spent more time simply smiling and less time making a fool of herself by talking. Though the locals seemed a bit confused by her muteness.

We went to the screening, of course.

I fancy that fellow on the left looks a bit like me.

I had my own seat . . . at first.

Long story short, The American threw me over for a better vantage point. Voice or no voice, she has quite the self-interested streak. I can grudgingly admire it, but I don't have to like it. At least not when it works against me.

We flew home the following afternoon. A quick trip, all told, but a very happy birthday for The American.

And she still can't speak, which makes it a very happy day for me, too.


XXI: John Comes Home

For the past couple days, I continued to receive pictures on my phone.

At least I knew he was eating well.

And up very late.

And keeping tabs on me.
I spoke to some of our housemates to see if they had any idea where John had gone and with whom.

This is Sir Puffy.

And I'm sure you remember Beary. (Or Barry. Or Berry. Still don't know how it's spelled.)
But it seems I should have saved myself the effort. Because when I woke up this morning--after several sleepless nights--John was home. And had done the shopping.

We stayed in and watched something called Grimm. It made absolutely no sense to me, but John liked it. He does always seem to enjoy the weird ones.

And no, I haven't asked where he was. I'll figure that out on my own, later, when I have access to his personal belongings.


XX: The Mystery Continues

Two more photos of John were texted to me today.

He's moved to yet another unknown location.

And he's enjoying himself far too much besides.
Despite his looking robust, I am beginning to worry . . .


XIX: John Is Missing

John went out last night. I didn't think much of it; in fact, I didn't notice until after he'd gone. (Which is to say, when tea didn't materialize.) Even then I wasn't worried. He goes out, he comes back . . . sometimes with groceries, which is a definite plus.

But then I began receiving strange pictures on my phone.

Evidently on an airplane...

And at a hotel...

Tell me why he needs such a large bed?
And who tucked him in, exactly?

Where IS this place?
Aside from the pictures, which have been sent as text messages, I've heard nothing from John. And while he appears none the worse for wear, I have to wonder: who is taking these photos?


XVIII: The Long, Hot Weekend

They dragged me around all last weekend. I wouldn't have minded except that (a) it was bloody hot for it being October, (b) all the drives were at least 90 minutes, if not more, and after all that, (c) we didn't go anywhere very interesting. By which I mean: no mysteries to solve, not even an injured person much less any dead ones to investigate. Honestly, what do these people do with their time?

Well, as it turns out . . . They go to more Renaissance Faires. Last spring it was a sort of Robin Hood theme. This time it was King Arthur. These people do realize they're not in England? They even tried accents, most of which were awful.

And to top it all off, The American dressed up this time.

So did the other ones.

Well, not the smallest. He appears to be the only one with any sense, aside from wearing sweatpants in 27 degree heat. (That's about 80 Fahrenheit.) But that's not really his fault considering he can't even dress himself yet.

The "little princess" there got the grand idea of draping me with beads.

She told everyone I was a mermaid. I take exception on two accounts: one, I don't see how beads possibly make one a mermaid, and two, if anything I'm a merman. But no, I'm not.

Fine. We got home, had a rest, and then the very next day we were off again on another long drive, this time to visit Thomas the Tank Engine. And yes, ride on him. Did they really ship him across the Atlantic to entertain small children? Apparently so.

There wasn't even anything to look at during the ride.

And no air-con, either, so it continued to be sweltering.

She was happy enough, though. Likes the heat.

The princess got her hands on me again at one point.

All that hair AND she's got me right in the sun besides.

Later, I hid. Though being next to the sippy cup made me more conspicuous than I'd intended.

Sufficient to say I was glad enough of getting home, even if I normally complain of being bored there. (Sorry, John.)