Took a whirlwind trip to Iowa to drop off stuff at my new apartment and interview for a job- which I thought was at a community agency, but turned out to be at a couch inside a Remax Realty office.

Drove into DeKalb for a brief Pizza Pros reunion, and decided to stay an extra day because Lulu and I decided to look up the online DeKalb events calendar and do whatever was on it the next day.

So we spent the next afternoon at the Sycamore Steam Show and Threshing Bee. A tractor drove us from the cornfield parking lot to the cornfield tractor and engine display area, where signs advertised that it was Senior Citizen Day, and where a senior citizen band played “Take me out to the ball game” while other senior citizens sang along.

Lulu and I immediatly purchased T-shirts that said “Northern Illinois Steam Power Club” with pictures of engines on them. Then we asked a man in overalls and flannel (not that that distinguishes him from anyone else there) to take our picture in front of the largest engine. He tried and failed five times, each time pressing NEAR the button on Lulu’s camera rather than on it, then handing it back to Lulu who would again demonstrate how to press the button. He said nothing the whole time, and by his fifth try we were laughing so hard we were crying, so we just thanked him and left to go check out the tractors.

That night we went to the other listed event, an outdoor concert in Sycamore, where it also appeared to be senior citizen day. (Lulu and I figured out that every week day must pretty much be senior citizen day, unless you’re unemployed, like us). The old people formed a sort-of mosh pit in the grass, and when the singer sang “Love Train,” an elderly man led a bunny-hop line through the audience, and everyone joined in.

I ended up staying in town many more days, because my tailbone spontaneously started producing the most extreme pain I have felt in my life, rendering me unable to sit upright. Eventually I went to the emergency room where they told me I had an abscess, and Lulu let me squeeze her hands and scream while they drained it. (I cannot thank Lulu enough for caring for me that week).

As I was still unable to sit for a few days, my mom had to pick me up from DeKalb. Vicodin was doing nothing for my pain, so I got a prescription for Hydrocodone, which I ultimately concluded was worse than the pain itself. Symptoms of the drug included: debilitating headaches and dizziness, vomiting, and peeing myself.

I had to fly to San Francisco a couple days later for my sister’s wedding, and I had to sit on an inflatable donut pillow while doing so. (I opted for the inflatable donut because the box showed a younger woman sitting on it, unlike the box for the foam donut, which showed a 90-year-old man). Still, I wanted to die as I inflated my donut in front of everyone on the plane, and tried to discreetly place it under my ass.

My first few days in San Fran were spent assisting with wedding preparations. There was not much normal about this wedding, as there is not much normal about my sister. My tasks included sticking adhesive insults to heart-covered bubble blowers (such as “I usually see people like you passed out on tavern floors,” and “You make me want to puke”), buying beakers, and Googling what to do when my sister spilled potassium iodide on her skin (while preparing the chemistry experiment that was performed at her wedding in place of lighting a unity candle).

Then there was the bachelorette party, which was a rich treasure-trove of writing material, but which I unfortunately must take to the grave with me because my mom and grandparents read this.

The wedding went off without a hitch (pun intended), though I’m still confused as to why my dad made us all wake up at 4am when we had nothing to do for the next twelve hours except kill time by eating many leisurely meals.

But the ceremony was beautiful, and I managed not to trip or faint, though I was literally about to kill the photographer when he insisted that the bridal party take those silly “jumping in the air” photos after we’d been standing in our heels for the whole ceremony plus an hour greeting people in the receiving line. This took several tries, of course, and I noticed that I was the only person NOT in the air in the final photograph he settled on. I was also scowling.

Then there was a miniature train ride through the redwood forest– I’m still confused about where this miniature train appeared from, but I got on without question, assuming this was a miracle sent by God to relieve my sore feet.

Then there was dinner, and toasts, and during my toast I learned that the best way to get laughter from the audience is to use the phrase “vomit coat” whenever possible. Then there was dancing.

After the wedding, we gave a ride back to the city to the three drunkest Irish men at the party- the ones who missed the real shuttles home. I was stuck in the backseat of the van with a guy who kept repeatedly asking me what city and state we were in. Meanwhile, the guy in the middle of the van was puking all over himself, Noemi, and my parents’ rented van.

Now I’m back in St. Louis, sending out resumes and cover letters that it feels as though I might as well be launching into outer space.

This weekend, I move to Iowa for good.