A Date on Saturday Makes For an Easier Difficult Anniversary on Sunday

As most of my dear readers know, I dread 7 November. Every year, as the leaves change and the clocks go backward, I feel the sadness loom. I had self-care planned and everything.

Well, there was a little change to the plans. I signed up for Facebook dating, I wanted to give it a try. Hey, why not? I’m a little tired of missing out, especially out of fear. Yet, I will admit that I was sort of feeling nervous about it all.

On Thursday, a young man messaged me and he seemed nice. He wasn’t talkative, but sounded nice.

He asked me if he wanted to chat, and I said, “sure.” He sent me his number. I’ll be honest, I was feeling a little nervous and I wasn’t going to text him. However, a few hours later, I decided to take a chance and give the guy a chance. We texted back and forth on Friday and asked if I wanted to meet up with him at the King of Prussia Mall on Saturday.

I was supposed to go out to dinner with someone else, and I said to him, “I have plans that evening, and since you live closer to the city, I’ll be in the city, how about we meet closer to you.” He agreed and we agreed to skate. He would skate board and I would roller skate.

I was nervous as hell on the high speed line and el on the way to meet him on 6 November. I was talking to one friend and she said, “you got this! It’s normal to be nervous! You’ll do fine!”

We met at the 15th Street Station, introduced ourselves to each other, and walked to the first skate park: the really cool Monopoly themed park across the street from City Hall. We skated around a bit and I’ll admit, I’m not used to street skating. I didn’t want to go to the ER on our first date, so I took care.

He noticed that the bearings that came with the skates were junk. He had me sit down and looked at my skates and said, “no wonder why you’re struggling. These bearings aren’t really made for years-long skating. Let’s go to Zumiez and I’ll help you pick out new bearings. I love Reds.”

We walked to Zumiez and he helped me pick out the Reds. He asked me if I wanted to stop at other stores and we went into Ulta for a bit. I saw the arcade and I asked him if he ever been to that arcade. He had, I never had been, so we went to Arcade.

We played DDR (Dance Dance Revolution) and needless to say, I stunk a little bit. It had been 17 years. After three rounds, we moved on to Space Invaders. That was my game. I did well. He beat me at DDR, but I beat him at Space Invaders. We both complimented each other on our skills and we both laughed while playing these games, especially DDR and Space Invaders. We both agreed the Ghostbusters game sucked and didn’t make sense, which caused us both to laugh. We spent a good hour and a half at the arcade.

I told him I would pack us a lunch and asked him what he would like. He requested a PB&J sandwich. I made gluten-free PB&J sandwiches for us, so we went outside and had an urban picnic of sorts. He enjoyed the sandwiches and thanked me for packing them. I thanked him for treating to the arcade.

We chatted as we ate and after we ate, he changed my skates. He said to me, “Crap! I forgot that you have roller skates! You need two packs of bearings, not one!” We went back to Zumiez, bought the other pair and went to Spencers after. We looked at the t-shirts and talked about music. Turns out we love the same types of music. We walked around and laughed at the different things in the store. I was telling him I used to buy my nose jewelry here. I told him I have an infinite stud, though I haven’t worn it in five years. He thoughts that sounded cool.

We went back outside and he added the bearings to the other set of skates. I think you’re really pretty and I really like spending time with you. We have a lot in common. I’m just really nervous and I’m nervous that I may screw things up.” I replied to him, “I think you’re handsome and I like you too. I’m just as nervous and we can be nervous together.” We both laughed and he said, “and awkward!” I continued to laugh and chimed in, “and awkward!”

He asked about the dinner I was going to and what I would be doing after. I said, “I am only meeting my friend for dinner. After that, I might just see a movie.”



“I really don’t want you to walk around here alone at night. I don’t want anything to happen to you. Can I just meet up with you after?”

I said, “You know what, I am having second thoughts about dinner and I want to spend more time with you. Let me text my friend and cancel.” I canceled plans with Daniel, he understood and told me to enjoy. Honestly, the care my date showed me, turned what might have been two dates into one. I told him my plans were canceled, and we could spend more time together. I had to leave the city by 10pm.

He smiled and we walked, hand and hand (he asked me if we could hold hands, and I told him, “yes, I like holding hands.”) to the next skate park near the Art Museum.

That park was so neat! There was graffiti everywhere. I wish I took photos, but I was too busy enjoying the moments with Tom. I skated with some roller bladers, then Tom called me over, I took off my skates, put on my sneakers, and he tried to show me how to skateboard.

Needless to say, I tried standing on his skateboard and it shot out from under me a few times. He had me sit down and showed me foot placements. That was easier sitting down, but his deck was too big for a beginner. Next time he’ll bring a small deck to teach me some more.

We skated for an hour, then decided to take the bus to the Angelo Pizza. We split a gluten-free pizza; half cheese (for me) and half pepperoni (for him). We talked and laughed and watched MMA as we ate. He asked if I liked watching sports and I said, “yes! Mostly football, MMA, and baseball has to be live.” He likes those sports too.

We ended our evening at Penn’s Landing. He let me wear his hat, and we cuddled on the bench, watching the waves of the Delaware crash along the peer. It was really romantic and really sweet. We took a selfie.

I didn’t take many photos that day, since I was enjoying time with Tom. He agreed to a few selfies.

I caught the 10:15 bus home and Tom waited with me. We hugged goodbye and when I got home, I texted him. We arrived home at the same time. I couldn’t sleep a wink that night, I had such a great time, I really like Tom, and just felt so excited about it all.

7 November 2021. I only got 3 hours of sleep and prepared for my three hours helping out voter’s services. Dad took me and when we got there, we were turned away. Voters services hadn’t shown up in two days, and the worker had me sign the attendance book. She wanted me to get overtime credit. I signed it and headed on my merry way.

At 11am, I Facebook face-timed with Tom and we just flirted, and talked about the fun we had on Saturday. He really liked spending time with me, he really thought I was kind, and I made him feel at ease. I was on cloud 9.

The book discussion was great and it felt great seeing everyone in person. I will admit, I was a little distracted during the discussion, I was thinking about Tom and the date.

After the book discussion, Tom face timed me again and asked me on a second date. He wants to spend more time with me. I want to spend more time with him. I spent a good portion of the evening chatting with him and I forgot to sing “Happy Inkday” to my tattoo. I was too busy on cloud 9 and feeling good with Tom.

Let me show you a comparison from 7 November 2013 and 7 November 2021. 2013’s photo is me in the Pantera shirt.

Brandon found me at my most vulnerable moment and took advantage. He was wrong about me. I am not ugly, I am not unlovable, I am not fat, and I am not lame. I am beautiful, I am lovable, I am loved, I am liked, I am beautiful in my skin, and I am a fighter. I have spirit. In 5 months, I will be older than Brandon will ever be. He died 5 months before his 33rd birthday. I am still alive and breathing. I am still getting out there and I’m getting more comfortable again about it. He has never stolen that from me.

I’m probably still vulnerable, but as humans we all are. Now I know how to respect my vulnerability and how to find others who will too.

I am looking forward to spending time with Tom on Thursday. I am looking forward to a lot of things now.

I’m glad I decided to let go of my anxiety and gave Tom a chance. I’m really glad and grateful that I texted him.

Thankful Thursday 4 November 2021

Happy November! I can’t believe there is a little less than two months left in the year. I was thinking about that when I posted a photo of Happiness Box 2021. Someone wanted me to share the story about how the project came to be. I did share, but quickly made it private. I feel weird sharing my story on Facebook. Yet, I don’t mind sharing it here:

Thanks Ruth for the comment. It might have been prompted by the post I made on Writing.com earlier:

*”Happy NaNoWriMo! Good luck to all the novelists this year! I plan on working on my memoir this month. Memoir? Maybe… it’s about my Happiness Box Project. Memoir? Creative non-fiction? I’ll just write and see what happens!”*

I’m writing about the origins of the Happiness Box Project currently, although I do have to talk to some professionals about the legalities with sharing my story.

On Sunday, it’s the 8th anniversary. I was given a second chance to life, but I floundered in anger, anxiety, and hatred for two years. In August 2015, I saw an idea for a Happiness Jar on Pinterest and thought I’d start it for 2016. Write something that makes you happy daily, then open it in the new year and count your blessings. Hey, why not? What could I possibly lose? Absolutely nothing. In December 2015, I revisited the idea, and decorated a jar I inherited from Nan.

Unfortunately, the jar didn’t hold a whole year. I ran out of space in March 2016. When I opened the jar on 1-1-17, I felt sad. However, I did have scrapbooks I could look at from 2016. That year I was given a sweater box and I thought that I’d create a “Happiness Box.” A happiness box might hold more. Lo and behold, it did!

One thing I didn’t acknowledge in the aftermath of November 2013 was the people who helped me and stood by my side throughout the whole ordeal. I had one co-worker from my internship accompany me to appointments. She didn’t have to, but she knew it was a time of high anxiety and stress. She didn’t want me to go through it alone. Even other co-workers from both jobs helped me and gave me time I needed. Instead, I focused on the negative voices and obsessed on all the negativity. I didn’t look at all the good that happened during this time period, I just focused on what I had lost.

Not everyday is a happy day or a good day. Instead of skipping those days, I decided to find one grateful moment in the bad day. There’s always something to be grateful for. Life isn’t all good and it isn’t all bad. It’s a mixture and there’s always something to be grateful for.

Opening Happiness Box 2017, I felt a sense of gratitude and joy reading through the notes. I decided I wanted to keep them and I decided to incorporate scrapbooking. I scrapbook the previous year while I collect the current year. Scrapbooking is therapy for me as well.

I have help. I don’t do everything on my own. We are not an island unto ourselves and there are many people involved in my journey. This project is one aspect of the journey. January will mark 5 years since I started this project and I’m happy to report it has made all the difference. I can’t wait to open 2021’s Box, scrapbook the contents, and collect for 2022.I might have to refurbish the box a bit for 2022! The sweater box has worn down a little over the years.

This project may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but I would like to a write a story about it.

Sunday is the 8th anniversary and I was doing well until 1 November 2021. I’m feeling all the emotions. I was talking to my friends and my friends helped me talk through everything. They also asked me what I could do for myself that would cheer me up. I hugged myself and told myself I am a strong, beautiful woman. Thank you, dear friends! I love you!

My self-care for Sunday won’t be a tattoo or piercing like years’ past; I’m working over-time helping voter’s services with the election ballots. That will be 9:30-11:30 am, and then my self-care will be a book discussion group in person from 2-3:30 pm. I’m grateful that the book this go-round hasn’t been depressing, and being surrounded by others will help. I’m so excited to see everyone.

Today is also Diwali. I’m thankful for Ms. Rina’s blessings and I’m glad we could share the holiday, even if over e-mail. I posted photos from Diwali 2018 (at the library) on Facebook, and the photos brought joy to my Hindu friends who celebrate. They wished me a Happy Diwali too. Awww, so glad we could bring cheer to one another!

I’m also thankful for family, co-workers, and both jobs. What are you grateful for today?

Halloween 2021

Halloween was pretty quiet for me. I handed out treats to trick-or-treaters.

I started a tradition in 2013. If there was a costume I liked while handing out treats, I would get a photo with the trick-or-treater or trick-or-treaters. It was always a hit and trick-or-treaters loved that I acknowledged them.I haven’t been home for the last two Halloweens and couldn’t continue the tradition. I brought the tradition back tonight and was able to get a selfie with the last trick-or-treaters before I shut down for the night. The best was saved for last.

Athena and Poseidon! They were amazed that I guessed their costumes and were happy. They were happy about the selfie too. Loved their treats.

Maybe it’s an odd tradition; it was exciting to add this to the Happiness Box.

Harley Quinn’s Halloween Celebration on Mischief Day (And Night) | 30 October 2021

Happy Halloween dear readers! I celebrated yesterday since I have work tomorrow. I dressed up as my heroine: Harley Quinn. Added blue eye shadow and blue glitter to complete her. Everyone on the bus and walking around Philadelphia loved Harley Quinn.

Before I arrived at the Franklin Institute, I decided to stop at a Gothic church for some photos. I thought they would be fitting for Harley Quinn.

Last year was my first Halloween being a member at the Franklin Institute and I didn’t realize that they have stations set up for trick-or-treating. Last year I was a bit of a jerk because I didn’t realize I needed tickets to get candy. I was able to get candy from a few stations before I realized I needed a ticket.

This year when I showed my ticket and membership, I asked if I could get some tickets for trick-or-treating. Since I’m 32, I wasn’t quite sure if that would be kosher or not. The clerk smiled at me, “sure! These tickets are included with your admission!” She handed me 6 tickets and I went on my merry way.

The first few houses for trick-or-treating, the greeters recognized me from Fright @ Night. We agreed that the vibes are different, but both fun. I love the adult celebrations and I also love the family-friendly celebrations. Unfortunately, I thought of asking someone to take my photos while trick-or-treating at the last house.

I’m truly a big kid at heart. As one mother said to me, “meh, 2, 12, 22, 32, who cares?! Candy is for everyone and trick-or-treating is fun. Let me share the rest of the homes with you.

The rest of my time at the Franklin Institute, I watched “That’s Gross,” different science experiments and enjoyed the planetarium.

I left at 4:45 and went to Nightmare Before Tinsel. For those of you who have been following closely, you know I met Josh last month when I decided to check out Nightmare Before Tinsel. I loved his Beetlejuice costume and me being me, asked if I could get a photo with him.

He absolutely loved the idea and we had a few photos taken. He even said to me, “we can take photos all night if you’d like.” I had to go to a Shabbat.

I returned two more times and last week I went before Franklin Fright at Night. Despite my Harley Quinn makeup, he could recognize me. Despite the wig, he recognized me. I smiled and asked, “how do you feel about Joker?”

“Which one?”

“Whichever one you like.”

We both agreed that Heath Leger was the best. I asked him if he could dress as Joker for the 30th and he said he would.

He wasn’t and when he saw me, he apologized. He said, “it’s been a crazy week and I just wanted to do simple today.” I smiled and said, “hey, it’s okay. You look great as Van Helsing.” Before Josh apologized, he gave me a big hug when he saw me. He bought me a drink. Josh and I chatted until he had to get back to bartending.

I made my way to the back and I met Rayne, Kevin, Amy, Ben, and Jen. I loved their costumes – Rayne and Kevin as Steve Irwin and the Crocodile. Ben as the Taco Bell worker, which he works at. I asked them for a selfie, and they agreed. We all hung out for 25 minutes and I got talking to Ben. I was telling him about Josh and I said, “I think I might ask him for his number. Would I be misreading signals?” Ben replied, “No! Definitely ask him! He sounds like he’s interested.” Rayne invited me to go to McGillie’s with them, and I told them I might meet up with them later.

I made my way back to the bar and got two glasses of water. I was still finishing my drink that Josh bought me. It takes me a good hour or two to drink and I need to drink other liquids with it. Josh approached me and we took a selfie together. I did something daring. I asked him for his number and he gave it to me. Also, Facebook. He also said later we could get a photo together in the electric chair.

Before I headed to dinner, I met this gal with an awesome costume. We took a photo together. I had a delicious Mexican dinner at Sueno, which Josh suggested, and before I went to the Orchestra, I ran into a couple with cool costumes. They agreed to selfies.

It felt great being back at the Kimmel Center to see the Philadelphia Orchestra. I haven’t seen the Orchestra in person since January 2020. The Sorcerer’s Apprentice was my last show on 4 January 2020. Almost 22 months! I saw Phantom of the Opera.

I was sitting next to Tobias, an exchange student from Germany. We chatted before the show began, and he told me he was visiting King of Prussia at some point before he goes back home in December. I told him that’s where I live, I can show him around if he wanted. When we took our selfie, we exchanged What’s App information. I sent him the selfie (and this morning he thanked me).

The show was interesting. It was an airing of the 1925 silent film of Phantom of the Opera and Mr. Conte played the organ to accompany the movie. He used some of Weber’s music from the musical, then some Faust, then came up with the rest on his own. It was a great show and the silent film is really different from the Broadway Musical. I enjoyed the show and Tobias did too.

What a wonderful Halloween celebration! My Happiness Box entry was a jumbo entry – happiness overflowed yesterday!

Happy Halloween!

Thankful Thursday 28 October 2021

I can’t believe we’re three days away from Halloween AND the end of the month. It’s hard to believe spooky season is here, a few more weeks until Diwali, next month is Hanukkah (two days after US Thanksgiving), two months til Christmas and Kwanza, and I open Happiness Box 2021.

2021 has been an interesting year and it really turned around at the end of July 2021. I love my new job and I love the people I work with. I love the work I do and I love that I’m included in events. There was an after work Halloween party and it was so much fun. I took a few photos, but they are being kept offline (for my Happiness Box and the scrapbook). I’m grateful and blessed.

I’m also thankful for my friends and family. What are you thankful for today?

Sending holiday cards during Christmas, Even if you aren’t Christian

As most of my dear readers know, I am not Christian. I was a practicing Muslim for a while and now I’m in the process of converting to Judaism. Despite not being a Christian, I still like sending holiday cards during the holiday season. I send cards to all my friends and family, which I have friends from all walks of life.

I never really thought that people would think me sending cards during the holiday season would be seen as a Christian only thing. I’m giving one of my friends a card and I surprised him, “Wow! When I was younger, our Christian friends would give us cards, but we always thought it was a Christian thing.”

I decided to Google this phenomenon and that’s how I found the comic above. It seems like many Orthodox Jewish, Muslim, non-Christian religions DO NOT send cards. However, many moderate to liberal Jewish, Muslim, non-Christians do, and LOVE sending cards. They also LOVE to receive cards.

I’m in that camp. I love sending cards and receiving cards. I’m sentimental and I like scrapbooking the cards I receive, especially if it is acknowledged that I celebrate Hanukkah. I also love receiving physical cards and letters; I think there’s something more personal and loving about the gesture.

To be honest, I never really sent out cards during the holidays when I still celebrated Christmas. This became a thing after 7 November 2013, when I wasn’t doing so well, was extremely depressed, and was coping with the aftermath of trauma. My cards are year in reviews, with general holiday greetings. I normally sent a newsletter and would customize holiday greetings to the recipient. I sent around cards not to be narcissistic, but I wanted to show others that are near and dear that I’m doing okay. While my trauma changed me, I’m doing okay – I survived and I’m thriving. Also, sending cards became part therapy for me.

This year I created “My Top 10 of 2021” with season’s greetings, love Jessica. I’m going to handwrite letters; and send them around Hanukkah. I’ll probably send the few Jewish ones I’m sending via mail a week before Hanukkah, but for the friends I will see in person, I’ll hand them the cards with the letter.

Part of my resolution for Rosh Hashanah was not to put so much anxiety into what others think about me. I am me and I am practicing my Judaism. The library has a book called “My Isl@m” and I have “My Jud@ism” (maybe I should turn that into a book… hey, why not?). During a service this past week, my Rabbi told all of us that our mitzvahs come from our hearts, and we are not perfect beings. We try our best, even if it is celebrating customs in our own special ways.

He was talking about lighting Shabbat candles way after the time specified, especially if waiting for friends and family. His argument was Shabbat begins when friends and family are together.

But I can argue the same thing about holidays. In my case, I live in a multi-faith family and while Christmas isn’t a religious holiday for me (never was because I was always in a multi-faith family), it’s a time for family. There are a few things I enjoy about Christmas – I love the Grinch and I love watching the original “How The Grinch Stole Christmas.” I also love singing some Christmas carols. I remember singing Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs as a child, then both in German when I was studying German in high school. I still love doing both as an adult.

One of my really close friends told me that my faith is mine and the way I practice it is the way I practice it. He told me to ignore negative voices and just keep on being myself. Even if it is non-traditional. Heck, I know many multi-faith families that do the same things I do. Heck, I also know full Jewish and full Muslim families who celebrate Christmas. They don’t celebrate the religious aspect (obviously), they love exchanging gifts and the togetherness of the season. Christmas is cultural to America, Canada, and the UK. It can be secular too.

I will be sending out holiday cards this year. I’m not going to stress negative voices because my friends and family enjoy the cards and letters I send them. The whole reason behind the holiday season is good cheer and kindness. I like to think my cards and letters bring both those things to the world, in abundance.

I also sent out Halloween cards. I love Halloween. Halloween and Purim are my holidays. My Judaism is special to me, just as everyone’s beliefs are special to them.

Shabbat Potluck with Spruce Street Minyan (22 October 2021)

It has been nice gathering with my Jewish groups again. A few weeks ago, I noticed Mallory sent around an e-mail to the Grad and Young Professionals’ Network about a potluck Shabbat hosted by the Spruce Street Minyan. I thought it would be fun, a chance to meet new people, and I signed up.

I sort of have a crush on Daniel. He’s a Celiac Jew and we met on Zoom earlier this year, formed a connection on being gluten-free and it was wonderful meeting him face to face a few weeks ago. I asked him if he was going, and he had to think about it. He said, “potlucks are difficult for people like us.” I told him I was going to bring gluten-free and he added, “Spruce Street Minyan is more devout than I am. We’ll see.”

Unfortunately, on Friday, he had a report to finish up for his PhD. He’s getting a doctorate in robotics and had a report due at 10pm. Awww, well, maybe next time or maybe I may invite him to do something at a later date.

Daniel wasn’t kidding, however, about Spruce Street Minyan. I’ll admit that I wasn’t expecting a service before Shabbat. Mallory’s group doesn’t do that before dinner, so I wasn’t dressed for service. I like to dress up in business casual for Shabbat service, but I was in my Halloween t-shirt and ripped jeans. Mallory loved the shirt, but I felt a bit embarrassed for my casualness. I also didn’t bring my Siddur. The group had Siddurs we could borrow, and while I could follow along, this group was different than my Synagogue. We sang, worshipped, and prayed in Hebrew. Nothing was announced, Cantors just led the song and prayers. At that point, I gave up on the Siddur, and followed along with Mallory, Sasha, and my other friends. I’m used to a hybrid of Hebrew and English, and a Rabbi that announces page numbers and prayers.

However, it was all good. I was fine and it was a gorgeous service. It felt great singing and praying in Hebrew. Over 60 people attended (we all had to show proof of vaccination) and it was just awesome that all 60 of us were singing in unison. This was a total Happiness Box moment. The leader of Spruce Street Minyan made an announcement that this group is led by volunteers and they were in need of volunteers to read dvars. They would help if anyone needed help.

After the announcement, I walked up to her and said, “I’d be interested in reading a dvar. However, I’m in the process of converting and I would need help.”

She smiled and said, “Mazel tov! Welcome! We wouldn’t mind helping you at all. After Shabbat, e-mail us and we can start.”

I smiled too. I have to take classes to convert and I will, but I also know that I need to do Jewish things as well. I can read and study to morning comes, but it’s better to learn by doing. Hebrew is similar to Arabic, so I have that on my side too.

Daniel wasn’t kidding about another thing either. It is difficult to be Celiac at a potluck, especially when 60 people came and not everyone brought food. I expected to have a few slices of my pizza. Only had one slice, and it went. A lot of food that people promised to bring didn’t show up. I came home so hungry. Someone brought GF pasta and there were a few salads, but I still came home hungry.

I sat next to Rafael and we struck up a conversation, then we shared a Truly. “L’chaim!” I asked him if we could get a selfie l’chaiming for the Happiness Box scrapbook. Rafael was excited about being in the Happiness Box, that he gladly agree to l’chaim again. His friend joined the photo. We were l’chaiming. 😂😂😂😂

What a great evening. Mazel tov!

Next time I will be leading a dvar and I may bring two boxes of gluten-free pizza. Maybe I’ll bring something else gluten-free kosher as well. Overall, it was a great experience. I can’t wait to go back.

Franklin Fright (And the Return to Nightmare Before Tinsel) 21 October 2021

On Thursday evening, I decided to go back to Tinsel. I ran into Josh and despite the Harley Quinn makeup, he recognized me. He said, “I could recognize you from a mile away.” Awww. He was dressed up as a gangsta Freddy Krueger and couldn’t wait to take more photos. I asked him how felt about the Joker. And dressing up as Joker.

“Which Joker are we talking about? Jared Leto?”

“Nah. I broke up with that Joker.”

He laughed and said, “good, I’m not ripped enough for that one. How about Heath Ledger’s?”

“I love Heath Ledger! I love his Joker the best.”

He smiled and I replied, “I’ll be back again on the 30th, all dressed. I’m going to another costume party then.”

“Okay, I’ll see what I can come up with on the 30th.”

By that point, I met a group of young women and they let me join their group for a round of shots. I met Kathy, Karen, Joe, and Ben. It was Kathy’s birthday and we spent a good half an hour chatting. Taking a shot for Kathy’s birthday was fun and I’m grateful that they included me, and let me take a photo for the Happiness Box. We exchanged phone numbers and we’ll be in touch.

Karen sent me the Boomerang video she took. Unfortunately, lighting is bad in spooky places.

Unfortunately, I didn’t see Josh before I left for a photo. It was getting pretty crowded, and I needed to eat before I went to the Franklin Institute. It was 6:45 at that point and Franklin Fright began at 8pm. At least Kathy took this photo for me before I left:

I was going to have dinner at Sansom Kabob since I haven’t had a meal there since before the pandemic. Unfortunately, they were still on a take out basis only. Instead, I tried a new place: the sushi and poke restaurant up the street. They had gluten-free options and the sushi I had was delicious. Harley Quinn loves sushi.

I finished around 7:16 and walked to the Franklin Institute. From 13th and South to 20th and Winter streets, it took me about 35 minutes to walk that. It had to be a good 3 miles. It felt nice to walk. Everyone I passed by loved my costume. Even young children shouted, “it’s Harley Quinn! I love you Harley!” Their mothers also loved my costume. Made me feel good.

Franklin Fright was amazing. I met Gwen, Meg, Laura, Elsie, and Matt. It was an evening of selfies, photo booths, drag shows, the planetarium, and science experiments. We had to show proof of vaccination and it felt good to be back to a new normal.

I’ll post photos first, then videos of two of the drag performers.

Such a fun evening! I’ll be going to the Franklin Institute next Saturday before going back to Nightmare Before Tinsel and the costume party. Next Saturday will be the family one. It’ll be a different type of fun, but fun nonetheless. I love Halloween.

Thankful Thursday 21 October 2021

Good morning dear readers! I’m writing this post super early because tonight I will be going to the Franklin Institute’s Halloween party. I’m thankful they are having a Halloween party this year and it sounds like it’s going to be super fun. I’m also feeling better, so now I have the extra protection from my booster, which I am also grateful for.

As I said the other day, we are not out of the haunted woods yet with COVID-19, but there is some semblance of “normal,” a “new normal” this year and I’m grateful. My Happiness Box overflows.

What are you thankful for today?