Sunday Lowdown #123


Last Sunday I made the trip to Indianapolis, which I guess is my state’s capital. That’s weird to say, having grown up in Michigan, but I suppose things are official because we bought a house (and it’s been 15 years). The Indiana School for the Deaf hosted PTCO Day, which I cannot, for the life of me, find out what that stands for. Perhaps . . . Parents and Teachers Coming Out? I’m not sure; it’s been a tradition for 75 years, so I think everyone “in the know” already knows. I was asked to volunteer with the Michiana Deaf group (Michiana = Michigan + Indiana, because we are right on the border of both states). I’m familiar with these folks; many of them come to Deaf events that I attend, so I was glad to donate my time and have more experiences conversing with new people.

I learned some signs for Pepsi, Mt. Dew, and Coke — everyone was on a caffeine hunt — and was surprised two of them look illicit. I put food into containers after asking customers if they wanted sweet, regular, or spicy ribs or chicken skewers, if they want chips or garlic bread, etc. Because the day called for rain, we were moved inside. Typically, I was told, all food vendors are outside. We were scrunched, but I had a great time! There were animals, bounce houses, items for sale (I got a coffee mug for Nick and something for Mother’s Day for Biscuit from Mandala by Chrissy — please check out the photos!).

On the anxiety front, I’ve been tasked with two new homework assignments. My therapist asked me to commit to ruminating (on purpose!) for 20-30 minutes each day and writing about my experience. It’s really hard. When I ruminate without choosing to do so, it can go on for days. This new experience is interesting, as I sometimes have to make my mind go, but then I can reflect on how long it “felt” and if I actually solved anything through rumination (lol, no).

And, I gave myself homework: take a full-body photo as often as I can. I’ve had poor self-esteem about my appearance lately, and I’m not sure what that’s about (okay, I have inklings, but whatever). I’ve read several stories of individuals who were grossed out by fat people acclimating their viewpoint by just seeing photos of fat people in a variety of settings. I guess you could say I’m trying to acclimate to myself?

And then the reason this post came to you a little late is that last night I took Nick, and we drove to Kalamazoo, Michigan, to a brewery for a local DNO (Deaf Night Out). I typically only hang with the Michiana Deaf group (see above), but I wanted to meet new people. The group was great! There were people of all ages, which surprised me (the Michiana group doesn’t have many folks in their 20’s, for example). Watching younger people sign can be totally different, just like hearing younger people talk. It’s their word choices, inflections, the subject, etc. I will definitely go back again — the hour drive is worth it.


I hope you enjoyed something lighter this week that appeals to your funny bone. Both Success is 90% Spite and Long Story Short are written for adult audiences. Jane Zei’s book about work and awkwardness sounds like most every other Millennial’s adult life, but her images and competitive nature set her apart from authors like Allie Brosh and Sarah Andersen. Lisa Brown’s work is a more accessible joke on literature. Most lit jokes I come across require you to do some 6 Degrees of Kevin Bacon meets Inception type of deep dive to even “get.” Some of you have encountered Brown’s work. If you like her, check out Kate Beaton.


I’m definitely behind the times, but I’ve finally arrived to that thriller that started it all, the one that made every writer out there try her hand at “Girl” books: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn. I saw the movie with Rosamund Pike and Ben Affleck around the release in 2014, so I knew the ending (well, the film ending). But what was the experience like for me? Actually, I listened to the audio, which had two narrators and may have changed my perception. Review Wednesday.


Books I paid for (that are not textbooks) since January 2023: 1

Running Cost: $1



  1. The movie of Gone, Girl was filmed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, where I grew up. Everyone from there thought it was hilarious that every time they got in the car to drive to St. Louis they went across the Mississippi river bridge (which would take them to Illinois). There were a number of good shots of home, though, and there’s a bar called “The Bar” which is still open in Cape.


  2. I got stuck trying to solve PTCO. I thought Parents and Teachers Committee Open Day. That seemed smart – then I thought that would probably be PTCOD, so, moving right along. I’m sorry you are having body image problems at the moment. If there’s one thing I’ve learnt it’s that nothing is ever static. When I thing I’ve worked through a personal issue that bothers me it often comes back but I think in that two steps forward one step back way so mostly I’ve learnt something and progress is made. I hope that’s how it is for you.

    I saw the Gone Girl movie but you won’t be surprised to hear that I don’t plan to read it.

    Take care and have a good week.


    • I think the body image stuff is happening due to some changes in Nick’s appearance due to medicine, but it’s not his fault. There is always something new to think about and work through. I used to think some day I would reach homeostasis, but I’ve learned in therapy that not only is that not possible, it’s a hallmark of life to always face resistance.


  3. Gone Girl was actually the book that finally convinced me to become someone who abandons books I’m not enjoying! Before that I was a determined completist – but I abandoned Gone Girl about a third of the way through, and since then I have been much more willing to stop reading if I’m not enjoying something. I will be interested to hear what you thought of it, since when it first came out it seemed like everyone apart from me loved it.


    • Honestly, learning to DNF a book is a great big step in the right direction, and even if it was a popular book everyone loves that led you to that place, I’m still glad for you.

      I’m happy to DNF a book, though if I’ve paid for it I find that much harder to bear. On the other hand, I’m very fighty about not starting books that do not apeal to me. I read the first Harry Potter book when I was 18, I think, and I remember that it felt very juvenile. Because it was — it was for children. So, I didn’t read anymore. The amount of convincing people have tried to get me to read the rest of them is unreal. At one point, a friend’s husband berated me as a terrible person because I was just being elitist.


  4. I have read Gone Girl but never seen the movie.

    I like your idea of taking pictures of yourself and I hope it helps you. I know the way I think of my body and the way it looks in photos are often very different and sometimes I don’t realize this until years later.


  5. I remember being into Gone Girl (the book) when it came out. And then for years afterwards, everything was “the next Gone Girl” in publishing, lol.

    Re: body image stuff and photos, I listened to a recent episode of We Can Do Hard Things about photographs and how we look in them and how we want our kids to look in them, etc… it was REALLY good and helpful and it’s kind of made me be like, Well, this is actually how I look! I have fat! I am older! It’s kind of liberating. I hope that your experiment can give you some mental peace about it as well.


    • Yes, everything was “the next Gone Girl,” which, for me, was annoying because I don’t want to read the same book rekerjiggered a over and over.

      Yout comment about appearances is great; thank you for that.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Sounds like you got to attend a couple really fun events! And Mandala by Chrissy, wow, gorgeous work!

    I never read Gone Girl but I saw the movie and it was so forgettable that I had forgotten I had seen it and a year or so later was halfway through watching it again before I realized I had seen it already! For the life of me, I couldn’t figure out why I knew what was going to happen before it happened. Finally I asked James, have we seen this before? And he said, yes, yes we have. 😀


    • Ha, I think my mom has the same issue with books. She’ll be listening to an audiobook and know what’s going to happen next before she realizes she’s listened to this one before.

      Yes, Chrissy’s work is amazing. She’s so talented, and she kind of shrugs like it’s no big deal. She learned to do her art only a few years ago, she said.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Ok this is so fascinating about younger people signing and how different it can be. I’m always amazed at what I learn through you about this language! Also, are the signs for the various kinds of pop different? Are there alot of ‘brand’ ASL???


  8. That’s interesting about young people’s signing, thank you for sharing that. And always interesting to dip into people’s lives, it does make me feel connected with the world when I feel a bit isolated.

    Liked by 1 person

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