Okay, so I missed doing my Six-Pack yesterday; in fact, I thought about it all day, but just kept too stinking busy to sit down and type it up. But I wanted the updates posted before this week begins, so here goes.
Jiggah did, in fact, die a natural death. The whole subterfuge and deception that I had planned was completely foiled by the fact that there was not another calico fantail goldfish anywhere in town that looked like him. He died on Mother's Day while we were out, which was good timing, because we had picked up a new one while we were out. I had talked to Andrew and explained to him what was going on, and that if Jiggah wasn't dead by the time we got home, we were going to put him out of his misery. I'm not sure he knew what the hell I was talking about, but it didn't matter because the fish did me the favor of croaking on his own. And we buried him in the back yard, The Ramones Pet Sematary playing in my head the whole time. Jiggah II is happily ensconced in the aquarium, and he and Bootie are getting along famously.
Relay for Life was Friday night. I gave my speech, and I kicked ass, if I do say so myself. I thought for a while beforehand that I might throw up or something, but the anticipation of it was way worse than actually doing it. I got a little choked up at a couple of especially emotional parts, but I kept it together. There's video somewhere, so I hear, as well as some still photos, so I'll get those up as soon as I can. That's officially a "I've Never" moment---I've NEVER spoken in front of 2,000 (hell, or 200!) people before---and not that I'm going on a public speaking circuit anytime soon, but it was actually kind of easy considering the circumstances. And I COULD if I wanted to, which is all I need to know.
We ended up leaving Relay around 10:30 p.m., which was about 8 hours early. A wicked thunderstorm with major lightning rolled through around 8:30, just as we were getting ready for the luminaria ceremony. The committee announced that everyone should take cover in their cars (and kiss their asses goodbye, pretty much), so we grabbed necessities and ran for the Jelly Bean where we waited out the worst lightning I've ever seen, at least that close up. After the storm passed, we went back to our site to find that everything, including the inside of the tent where Andrew was going to sleep, was soaked, so we loaded up the vehicles and abandoned camp, just as the weather was clearing off. I felt bad for having bailed, but it was nice to not have to sleep the day away on Saturday trying to recover. And as penance, I ultra-cleaned the entire effing house. I mopped, for God's sake.
To compensate for the fact that he didn't get to camp out Friday night, we promised Andrew we would camp in the yard Saturday night, and I invited my brother and niece to join us. She had a scratchy throat, so they turned us down on the tent sleeping portion of the evening, but we did have nice cookout, complete with some "nice, hot, shmoes" as Buzz Lightyear says. Those are s'mores, by the way, for those of you who haven't seen Toy Story 2 a go-zillion times like we have. After my brother and niece left, we set up camp in the tent, where I was surprised to see that Andrew was asleep before his head hit the pillow. James was snoring seconds later, but not me...I was FREAKED OUT! In my own damn yard! It didn't help that five seconds after I lay down, an animal of some sort walked by the front flap. We had the flood light on, so all I saw was the silhouette of something mammalian stalking us. There's no sleeping after that, lemme tell ya. I will not be a sitting duck while a rabid wombat sneaks up on us and tears our throats out. Okay, so it wasn't quite that bad, and while I was seriously spooked, I managed to doze off after that, for a while. An hour later, though, I came to the conclusion that I was going to have to go inside. My old body just can't take sleeping on the ground anymore, at least not without an air mattress or cushion, which we didn't have, so I woke James up to tell him I had to go in. After giving me hell for waking him up for the fifth time, he said I should go on in and leave them in peace. Ummm...there'd be no sleep for me inside, either, with them out there. Don't laugh! There was a hungry, rabid wombat out there! I scooped up Andrew, lugged him in the house, and dumped him in the bed, while James grumbled and fussed and gathered up the essentials (Buzz Lightyear, Woody, Woody's hat, Lion) to come back in. Now, one would think that I'd be sleeping like a baby after all that, right? Wrong--I was wide awake! I read an entire book, and finally drifted off around four.
Now, let it be said that every "yard camping" experience I've ever had has ended abruptly with me running for the house. Back when I was a kid, my cousin and I would occasionally try this very same thing, only we were big shots, so we'd try to do it on our own, sometimes not even with tents--just blankets strung over ropes tied between trees. This one particularly vivid time, when I was about eight or nine, and my whole extended family was staying in a vacation cottage together, he and I loaded up on all kinds of candy and junk food to fortify us through the long hours in the makeshift tent, but I had to "be a girl" and get scared five seconds into the night. The logical solution at the time was to go get my dad and make him sleep in the "tent" with us, which he did...but even that wasn't good enough, and I made us break camp. I remember it as if it were yesterday. Oh, wait...that's because I did the same THING yesterday.
Speaking to 2,000 people? Piece of cake. Sleeping in my own yard? No way.