A Rant from Strider the Cat  – My Human is Despicable

I am a reasonable cat, but lately I have been feeling frustrated.  She is a horrible person, and there is nothing I can do about it.    I know that in my previous postings I seemed optimistic and even happy, but that was just a front.  My life is bleak.  She is awful.  Since I can no longer determine any pattern to her comings and goings, I am going to start right in describing the terrible things she is doing to me.  Please, save this.  It may be needed as evidence.

Let me start off with the worst. She has put me on a diet.  My food allowance was never overly generous, but in the last month she has seriously cut back. I am a cat, a member of the Felis genus, and by nature a carnivore and fierce hunter.  A great human would provide me with live prey for food. A good human would make sure I had bowls full of freshly butchered meat.  My human feeds me kibbles that taste like dry, meat-flavored pebbles.   Not only is my food substandard, but now it is meted out in overly small amounts.

I am willing to admit that I have put on a bit of weight, but so has she and that is what makes me so angry.  We could have gone on the diet together.   Instead, she stands in the kitchen having a late-night snack while my food bowl remains empty.  I glare at her fiercely but it has no effect. Her willingness to withhold food from me while stuffing herself is despicable, but not the only example of her complete lack of decency.

She has no sense of humor, none what so ever.  Mine is delightfully sly. For just one example, a few years ago she purchased a rather expensive upholstered chair.  Since the day that chair was set down, I have gone out of my way to claw and scratch it whenever she is around.  It drives her nuts!  There is nothing funnier than watching her race towards me when I start in on the chair.  I can run it around or under it and she cannot catch me.  She has purchased any number of products that are supposed to make me stop scratching that chair, and of course none of them worked. If she had even the slightest appreciation of a good joke she would applaud my efforts.  I will not stop until she either gets the joke or that chair is in tatters.  Either way, I win.

Some time ago I wrote about the game we played called “Hallway Escape”, and how much I enjoyed it.   There is another game we occasionally play in which I chase a most exquisitely fascinating red light that moves up and down walls and through every room in the house.  That light compels me as no other thing can.  Just when I think I have caught it, the light dances up a wall or zips past me.  It vanishes without a trace, and then suddenly reappears.  I love that light.

Well, my horrible human found a way to combine my two favorite activities into a single disappointing and infuriating game I am calling “Wretched human”.  It starts when she is clearly about to leave.  I’ll run up, excitedly thinking we are going to play Hallway Escape, and hide near the door.  Just as though we were going to play that fun game, she will find me and toss me away, and I sneak back.  We do that a few times and then the red light appears! It flickers and dances near my paw and while I try to ignore it, I start reaching for it.  The light races off into another room, and I jump away and run after it.  Next thing I know, the light is off, the door has opened and shut, and I am alone in the house.  Tricked, shamed, angry.  With nothing to do but write this plea to all of you out there.  Please, help me.  She is cruel and terrible.  Wait a minute; I hear a key unlocking the door.  Sorry, but I must start clawing the chair so that is the first thing she sees when coming home.  Goodbye for now, I remain as always, Strider the Cat.

New Year’s Greetings from The Cat

She had company on Christmas, and one of the visitors mentioned how much she enjoyed reading my updates.  I was touched, so much so that I let her briefly scratch my belly before reaching out with a warning slash.  That kind and intelligent visitor then asked why I had not been posting any updates over the last few months,

I have much on my mind that needs sharing, but it has become difficult to use the computer. She used to be on a schedule that was easy to figure out.  Monday through Friday, she left the house early and was gone all day. There was plenty of time for me to explore, nap, look for food, and organize my thoughts for writing.  Alas, that schedule is no more.  Last summer she started staying home later during the day.  Now she sleeps in late and comes and goes at irregular times.  She might spend an entire day at home, not leaving once; or she might leave in the morning, be home briefly during the afternoon, and then be gone until late night.  It has disrupted my life and made finding time to write updates much more difficult.

Now, do not interpret what I have just written as an excuse; no cat would ever indulge in such self-abasing behavior. Excuses are what a cringing dog would do: “Oh, please don’t be mad because I piddled on the carpet, but it’s because you weren’t there to take me for a walk”.  Disgusting! I am not asking for your approval or forgiveness, simply stating a fact.

Her new schedule has affected every aspect of my life, and mostly for bad.  She is up later in the morning by several hours, which means that my food bowl remains empty.  She has completely disrupted my nap schedule, and I have found myself getting a bit cranky from lack of sleep.  There were some rather delightful things I enjoyed doing when she was not around to stop me, and the opportunities for those activities have become more challenging to find.

Adding to my general frustration is that as my life has become more challenging and stressful, she seems so much more relaxed and, dare I say it, even happy.  Apparently, what she did was to retire.  I thought that word referred to the very wise idea of taking a nap, but now realize its meaning is to sleep late and look happier.

Good for her, but what about me?  I’m still waiting for that better mood to translate into something of value, like giving me more and better food, or not being so upset when I scratch that delightfully scratchy chair.

Damn – I hear her at the door. She was gone for such a short time.  Such is now my lot in life.  I wish all of you a very happy New Year, and my sincere hope that 2017 will be a good year.  For me, personally, my New Year’s wish is that she purchases a huge bag of cat food, leaves it out on the floor, and then takes a long vacation.

Where’s My Reality Show?

How often have you found yourself stranded on a desert island with no food, 15 sociopaths, and a full television crew?  Or what about that one time you lived for 3 months in a gorgeous penthouse apartment shared with 10 other people, all of whom were delusional, suicidal, homicidal or all three?

I love reality shows, but I want one that’s more, well, reality-based.  Lots of people work in offices, and I’m one of them.  The closest thing to a reality show we’ve had was The Office. Neither the British nor American versions made anything up; they just took what was actually there and exaggerated a bit.  There are millions and millions of us who spend the majority of our week days working in an office environment, and I think we deserve a reality show that depicts our life.  So I’ve created one.  Here’s my pitch for a new, guaranteed to be a success show.  If you are an executive producer, please contact me and we can discuss terms.

Project Survivor

Elevator pitch: The Office meets Survivor.  A competitive quasi-reality show in which contestants are forced to work their way through office politics and shenanigans until one person emerges successfully as the winner. 

Description:  Teams compete weekly to achieve meaningless goals.  The losers nominate 2 people each to go to Human Resources (HR), where one or more people are selected for right-sizing.

The season begins with 3 teams of 8 people each.  Teams include these types of members:

  • Aging Boomers who complain about everyone younger except when they need help accessing emails
  • Someone who never seems to do anything but still gets the credit for other people’s work 
  • A few people who gossip and trash talk everything and everyone
  • At least one person whose main skill is derailing every effort at organization and competence
  • A few Millenialls with loads of enthusiasm and energy coupled with a complete lack of people skills and knowledge
  • Several people with mad skills in one area only, and no interest in doing anything else
  • A sociopath who wants to take over every everything and doesn’t care who gets destroyed
  • A nurturer who spends all their time planning parties and pot lucks

Each week consists of 2 challenges. The first is at the individual level, with scores ranked by team.  The winning team will receive a reward or be given an advantage in the final team-based challenge. 

Individual challenges are based on office skills and situations.  For example, a memo-writing challenge would have each person handed a new, 2-page policy with 90 minutes to understand it and write a memo explaining it to staff.  Judging is done by a panel of office experts looking to see who can write in the most boring and unreadable style, and for the ability to white-wash negative information.  Other individual challenges could focus on stealing office supplies, staying awake during HR training, or creative back-stabbing.

The main challenge each week pits the teams against each other as they try and accomplish a strategic initiative.  Teams have 2 days to complete each challenge, and can divide up that time between planning and execution in any way they want.  There are some defined milestone deliverables where points can be won or lost, but the majority of points are earned at the end when the project is complete. 

It is exciting to watch as one team may spend a day and half arguing over project scope and roles, and then have only a few hours to actually do what was requested.  Another team may jump right into executing the project, and discover at the very end that they’ve successfully completed the wrong work.

What makes Project Survivor stand out is that the teams change every week.  After HR has decided on the right-sizing, remaining participants are reshuffled with a weekly reorganization into new teams based on no logic or rationale discernible by anyone outside of HR.  This upending makes the game new every week, and will keep viewers on the edge of their ergonomically designed office chairs. 

The core audience is expected to be the millions of people that work every day in an office environment.  A strong secondary audience will consist of telecommuters watching streamed versions of the show from their home offices while they are pretend to work. This show is bound to be a hit.   Please, contact me as soon as possible to discuss terms.  I desperately want out of office work, and am hoping this is my ticket out.

Answers from the Cat

Were my facial muscles capable of doing so, I would have laughed out loud while reading your letter. Clearly you have forgotten the most basic premise of our relationship, which is that I issue demands, not you. You want a companion willing to spend their time answering your yammering questions? Get a dog. Though, of course, most of them are not bright enough to craft readable answers, and those that could are such despicable people-pleasers all they would do is write simpering, sniveling responses.

I am the cat, the true mistress of this household, and it is not my job to provide you with comforting answers to your boring questions. However, I am a generous and kindly soul, and therefore will answer one. Like all cats, I see little distinction between food and friend. So long as my bowl remains full and you show signs of life, you are my friend. That does not mean I cannot occasionally daydream about a time when those conditions cease.

There. I have answered one of your questions. The rest are too tedious. It is not my job to salve your ego or to explain how best to spend your money.  I am off to take a nap.  Please be sure to have the food bowl filled by the time I wake up.

Questions for My Cat

Let me start out by stating how I admire you, both as an individual and as a member of your species.  I’m especially impressed at how felines made a somewhat hesitant deal with humans for food and shelter in return for, well, not much on your side.  Sure, you’ll live with me, take food, show some level of affection, but I recognize it’s a choice, and one you make on a daily basis.

Still, there are some things I just don’t get.

  • Why do you wait all day to use the litter box? You spend the entire day alone in the house, but wait until I get home before you decide to let loose with something that smells so bad I’m considering purchasing a hazmat suit.
  • What are you looking at?  Periodically you will stare at nothing for a long time, and with a look of total concentration.  It weirds me out.  
  • How come you pretend to love your toys when I have company, but won’t go near them otherwise?  You look like those cats in the commercials; when it’s just us they gather dust.
  • And, in general, what’s with the pickiness regarding play things?  I buy a toy guaranteed to amuse you.  You play with the box and won’t touch the toy.  
  • Why are toes so fascinating?  No explanation needed on this one, just some rationale for why you feel that my feet, and especially toes, exist solely for your amusement.
  • Do you deliberately wait to scratch my favorite chair in front of me?  You never touched any of the furniture, only using scratching posts.  Because of that, I spent a lot of money on a custom-made chair that is now covered with a throw.
  • Am I food or friend?  You snuggle up next to me and purr.  An hour later I catch sight of you perched on top of the kitchen cabinets, glaring down at me like I’m a gazelle and you’re the tiger.   
  • And, finally, the biggest question of all: do you like me?  Sometimes you seem to adore me, but other times you shoot me that look of utter disdain and scorn only a cat can manage.  It really messes with my confidence. 

Please respond at your earliest convenience.  Don’t pretend you can’t read or write; I’ve seen your earlier posts. 

Cat Chronicles

I had some spare time in between naps the other day and reread my kitten posts from last year. How young and silly I was; my tail was twitching with amusement as I read them.

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Last year I was obsessed with establishing dominance over my human.  So many things confused me.  I couldn’t figure out why she would spray me with water or physically remove me from the best places in the house.  I worried a lot over our relationship and what my future would be.  Now that I am fully grown, I have come to realize how foolish those kittenish mewsings were.

First is the ridiculous notion I had regarding who was actually in charge.  It was me, of course, all along.  Sure, she is physically bigger, but that means nothing.  Do I feed her?  Am I required to do anything I do not wish to?   Do I even need to clean up after myself?  No, no and no.  She attends to my every need, from ensuring I have a multitude of toys and attention to keeping my bowl filled with food.  No one does that for her; I know this is true, because in all the time I’ve lived with her I have never seen anyone come in and provide her with food, or clean up her messes, or even bring her toys.  Yet I get these every single day. 

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She is my servant, pure and simple. Though not always the best servant, at least she tries.  This leads to the second lesson I have learned, which is that she is not that smart.  Last year I was so proud of a trick I taught her that I wrote a post about it.  I was excited and felt this would be the first of many such games I could teach her.  I was wrong; while she is capable of learning, the pace is much slower than what I had hoped for.  I believe this lack of intelligence is endemic to the entire species.   Other humans that visit her also appear to lack the most fundamental logic and reasoning skills.  For just one example if another cat showed up I would chase it around, fight a little, wrestle, determine who was dominant; in short, have fun.  When she has other humans in the house they sit and talk, none of them realizing what they are missing. 

20150919_191728_002I think a big reason for this species-wide stupidity is their inability to communicate in meaningful ways.  The gentle nips and scratches that are clearly meant to push her, or a visiting human, in the right direction never work, and instead of going “Oh!  You need more food.” I get shot with a spray of water. Believe me that gets old fast! She has extremely poor communication skills, and this seems to be the case for all humans.  They don’t get the most basic requests.  A simple “get out of my chair” is ignored.  Obvious requests to stop petting me, or to start petting me, are consistently misinterpreted.  They have no sense of smell, and limited hearing and sight.  The complex range of mews, yowls and chirping noises I make are never interpreted.

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I realize now vastly superior I am.  Those few issues I noted last summer mean nothing. My nemesis the spray bottle is still used but I now understand she has to use this because she has no other way to communicate.  It is annoying, but I feel sorry for her more than for me; how limiting it must be when her only options are to spray water or physically pick me up!  Her size, which intimidated me last year, means little without brain power behind it.  She is like any large beast of burden, capable of heavy lifting but certainly not up to the philosophical reasoning on which I spend my days.

The key to our relationship is to let her think she’s in charge.  This is quite easy to do as she misinterprets size for smarts.  She is remarkably easy to manipulate, and within her limitations I am becoming somewhat fond of her.  Wait… I hear her at the door.  Time to close out this post, turn off the computer and pretend I’m napping.

A generic ‘Open Letter’ for use by all those open letter bloggers

It’s 2am and I am wide awake. You, I am sure, are fast asleep. I know this to be a fact because your behavior towards me during our 2 minute interaction was so callous as to prove, definitively, that you are a deranged sociopath.

I have cried for hours, replaying the incident between us.  You, of course, walked off without any concern or awareness of how your cruelty would affect me.   I am a sensitive, caring individual – unlike you – which is why I am writing this blog post to inform the entire world of the grievous wrong you did.  I know that the entire world will be interested in what I have to say because I am an extremely important person, far more so than you.

Earlier this evening, we were both at a location where groups of people go to interact with each other in public.  Clearly my group of people had the right to do whatever we wanted regardless of its impact on anyone else.  I mean, it is a public place, right?  Therefore no rules of conduct exist.

Apparently you were not happy with the behavior of individuals within my group.  Instead of recognizing our superiority to you, and therefore our innate right to disrupt everyone else, you decided to ask me to do something about it.  I was so shocked that someone might think their rights are equal to mine that I was unable respond.  All my life I have been treated as the most special person in every situation, and your action towards me was incomprehensible.  You actually thought it was acceptable to ask for the behavior to stop.  You did this unaware of the year’s long history and issues of every single person in my group, and how that causal relationship made us blameless for the results of behaviors we knew would occur.  If you had even an ounce of compassion or humanity, you would have realized that we counted for more than you.  I have no idea why you felt the need to speak up; and I do not care.  The personal histories of people in your group are of no concern to me.

In closing, I am hoping you see this open letter, and realize how very wrong you were to expect rights equal to mine.  I hope that the entire online world takes my side in understanding that some of us, mostly young and privileged, always White, and generally with higher incomes, count more than everyone else.

Thank you.

The Age of Anger

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “From the Collection of the Artist.”

A hundred years from now, a major museum is running an exhibition on life and culture as it was during our current historical period. You’re asked to write an introduction for the show’s brochure. What will it say?

Introduction to the Age of Anger exhibit
Welcome to the Museum of the People. This special exhibit focuses on late 20th century and early 21st century American culture. Historians call these “The Angry Years”. This introduction will attempt to provide some context to what you are about to view.

Section 1 focuses on home life. The first thing you’ll notice is the noise; sound mufflers are available if needed, but we really urge you to try and last as long as possible before using them. That ongoing, never ending persistent background noise is from a television, or TV (a sales and entertainment machine displaying 2-dimensional moving content that was ubiquitous starting in the mid-20th century). During The Angry Years, most American homes contained multiple televisions, distributed between common areas and sleeping chambers.

The kitchen area looks stark; can you tell what is missing? If you guessed the lack of a garden and composting area, you are correct. Also missing is solar panels; in fact you will notice a lot less light in all areas of the house than what we are used to.

The idea of generating power through movement, and the positive affect of exercising on attitude, was only just beginning to be understood during this time period. People spent most of their time at home being immobile. What little movement they did was physically isolated from the other parts of their lives. In most cases, Americans sat on couches and watched TV.
There is lots more to see in this section of the exhibit. Be sure and visit the gender defined sleeping chambers for children, which give a good example of the constricting roles assigned at birth based on presumed gender. Take a look at the large garage, and the number of vehicles stored inside. To answer the question that almost everyone asks, yes, it was considered normal for each adult to have their own pollution causing large automated vehicle (or “car” as they were called then).

Section 2 contains a display of a variety of work environments. The Angry Years were the final period of what historians call The Machine Ages. This time period started with the industrial revolution in the mid-1700s and ended around the middle of the 21st century. This was the one and only time in recorded human history when the it was generally believed that people should create a separate environment for focused activities. In addition, the type of activities each person did had a direct connection to their level of power and prestige in society, and even to their ability to procure basic necessities such as food and shelter.

During The Angry Years, in fact during the entire Machine Age time period, most people earned income from “work”, as these activities were called, and that income was required to pay for every facet of their life. Most settings in this section of the exhibit look familiar to us. What you need to envision is that people were required to spend a pre-defined amount of time in these settings with the expectation of being focused solely on work activities.

What does not look normal to our eyes is the “office” work area exhibit. The small square rooms (or “cubicles” to use the parlance of the time) were areas in which people were expected to spend 40 or more hours per week, focusing only on tasks assigned to them. We urge all visitors to sit one of the interactive cubicles to experience a few minutes of what this was like. Now, imagine being in this environment 5 days a week, for 8 straight hours, and doing this year after year. Historians universally agree this environment was a cause of much of the anger and hostility that affected this time period.

Section 3 covers entertainment and activities, with lots of interactive areas. Everything shown here is labeled with the date it was created. It all seems very primitive by our standards, but keep in mind that these items were considered state of the art at the time.

About the Age of Anger exhibit

The big question historians ask about this time period is why there was so much anger. As shown in this display, the average American had a good life. Food and potable water were in abundance, and the environmental crises we experience on a constant basis were infrequent and viewed as unusual weather events. Despite what appears to us as an oasis of plenty and good fortune, the average American during this time period was in a constant state of anger. People formed into self-defined groups based on race, ethnicity, religion or even political affiliations, and focused intense hatred at other self-defined groups. Every activity had the potential to degenerate into an angry confrontation. The number of violent interactions between people seems staggering to us today. Murder was an everyday occurrence. Mass shootings happened weekly. Smaller examples of rage can be found in section 3 by viewing examples of actual comments that people posted on the internet (please note that due to the graphic content, only adults can view this part of the exhibit).

There are no easy answers to why people were so angry. Years of study by academicians in multiple disciplines have resulted in two main theories, which can be very broadly summarized as:

Too much stimulation – this theory presumes that the constant, ever-present level of noise and marketing experienced during this time period was just too much for many people;

The work and life dichotomy – we know, now, that human beings did not evolve to be mono-focused on a single activity for hours at a time. Adherents of this view point to the rise in violence that occurred during the entire Machine Age as proof.

The goal of this exhibit is to provide people with a chance to learn about and experience, just a bit, what life was like 100 years ago. We hope you enjoy this look into the past.

A new career as a winter consultant for films – or my desperate attempt to escape to warm weather

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Ah, winter.  No time of year looks so different from its actual reality.  For those of us living in Northern climes, the end to this season cannot come soon enough.  In honor of it being March, I daringly unsnapped the hood from my parka this morning, using only earmuffs and a scarf.  Walking proud, I was.

Recently I started watching a Syfy channel show called “Helix”.  It is about an outbreak of a mutant killer virus at a research station, and the CDC team sent to fix the problem. Of course, turns out there are far more nefarious things going on, and the plot twists come so fast and furious. The show isn’t great but it is great fun. 

The locale for this research station is supposed to be in the Arctic, and there are frequent references to the -40 degree temperatures that exist outside.  Despite that, the scenes shot outside the station are among the most laughably lame attempts to show cold I’ve ever seen. 

A typical outside scene in Helix features a wind machine going full tilt, spraying soap flakes in all directions with a great howling wind sound.  The people, however, appear like they are experiencing a balmy late fall day.   No one is shown with a scarf wound around their hood to muffle their neck and provide a way to warm air before breathing it.  Nope, these folks spend their time outside with an uncovered face having long conversations.  Their noses never run and their eyelashes don’t freeze.  When they finally go back inside, we never see anyone dripping snow onto the floor or see them trying to warm cold fingers.

Watching this has made me realize there’s money to be made as a winter weather consultant for the film industry, and I’m ready to be that person.  My shingle is out.  For a reasonable sum and a plane ticket to warm SoCal (or even just for the plane ticket) I will work with the set designers, costumers and directors to ensure that portrayals of cold weather are done correctly.

Among the services I will provide:

Snot wrangler

The all-pervasive, but seldom discussed byproduct of cold weather is over-productive mucus glands.  Nothing ruins the perceived realism of a winter scene than seeing characters without this telltale sign of a truly cold day.

As snot wrangler, I’ll work with makeup artists to ensure that actors are given the right amount of snot at the right time.  Anytime a character goes inside after being outdoors they should be shown with weepy eyes and red cheeks. Directors will receive a snot check-list to follow that includes direction on which character types would carry tissues, and which would use whatever item of clothing was handy.  I’ll do extensive work with costumers to make sure that scarves, mittens and coat sleeves all bear the telltale marks of dried snot wipes.  Finally, I’ll work with the Foley engineers until the absolute right noise is found for snot-snuffling.

Snow-melt surveillance

Newsflash for people raised in SoCal: snow is made of water, and easily reverts to a liquid state.

In this role, I will make sure that, despite the use of Styrofoam and soap flakes, an adequate and appropriate use of puddles and drips is used in winter scenes.  Never again will you see an actor go from outside to inside and remain perfectly dry.  Set designs will be tweaked to add realistic looking puddles and wet spots to all entry ways.   Actors shown in falling snow will be lightly sprayed to portray what happens when cold snow meets warm skin. 

Schmutz coordinator

Winter’s dirty little secret is that it is the dirtiest season of the year.  Cars are covered with a salt rime and coats are spotted with a mix of mud and salt.  Scarves and gloves are stiff with snot.  Go inside and it gets worse; carpeting is gritty with salt and stained from tracked in frozen dirt.  Floors come in two types; wet dirty puddles or dried with crusted salt and dirt. 

I will make sure that the grimy side of winter is shown in set design and costumes.

Social interaction evaluator

When the temperature is -20 (f), people walk with their hands in their pockets and hunched over to minimize exposure.  Standing is never still; people hop from foot to foot or sway back and forth to generate some heat.  No one wants to stand outside and have a conversation.

I’ll review the script and make sure there are no obvious misses, such as long conversations held in subzero weather. Any conversations that are left in will be edited to match the environment. 

For example, the script may contain this:

Sarah: Sam, we need to talk.  I’ve been thinking about you, and what we fought about.  I realize how wrong I was to let you go.  I love you, and I want you back in my life just as you are, not as I think you should be.  If you still want to start that restaurant, I’ll support you 100%”

Sam: I knew you’d be back.  Welcome to “Sarah’s Diner” (said while pulling down tarp hiding sign on building).

Sarah: Oh Sam, we can finally rekindle our relationship (cut to distance scene showing couple embracing).

Here’s how I would fix this scene:

Sarah: Sam? Is that you?  Great Russian winter hat, it looks really warm.  It’s so fucking cold I can’t stand it.  My eyelashes are freezing shut and I can’t feel my feet, so I’ll make this quick.  My apartment is freezing and I remember how warm you were.  Want to hook up again?  I need a good night’s sleep.

Sam: Sarah!   Yes, it’s me.  I hardly recognized you with the scarf wound around your face.   Sounds good to me, there’s a pile of snow in front of my place I don’t want to shovel.  

So, in conclusion, if you are a Hollywood movie producer reading this blog post, I would love to come out to LA to work on your movie.  Or even for an interview.  In the meantime, I’ll start packing my summer clothes.

A year in review – the honest way

I really meant to create an end of year post for 2014.  It would have gone over the highs and lows of the year, capturing what I’d learned and giving an overall sense of the year.  And, of course, it would been so well written as to seem universal, with anyone reading it smiling and nodding in appreciation.

Instead, as the temperatures plummeted and the amount of sunlight shrank, I spent my time drinking Tom & Jerry’s and binge watching TV.  January, on the other hand, is the perfect month for deep introspection.  January exists as  the hangover to December, the Jiminy Cricket of months when you face up to everything wrong that needs to be fixed. 

Therefore, I am going to do my 2015 year in review now.  Why wait?  This will ensure me of completing it, and I can smugly sit back in realization that I will be the first person to have completed it. 

January 

This year I resolve to fix up my house and myself.  Joined a gym and spent $300 dollars on a gym bag, shoes and clothes.  The first week I went 4 times, proving what a good idea it was to buy all those clothes.  Since I’ll be looking great in just a few months, I signed up for a 6-month membership to an online dating site; I fully expect to meet someone wonderful within the first month or two, but 6 months was a better deal. I’ve also cleaned and vacuumed the entire house and brought 3 bags to Goodwill. 

2015 will be my year!

February

Going to the gym 2 – 3 times a week; 4 times a week was just nuts.   I plan on waking up at 5am to do yoga; spent $200 on yoga pants and DVDs.     I’m bringing healthy lunches to work every day.  Have been busy contacting likely looking single men from the dating site – 4 meet and greets this month!

This is my year!

 March

Decided it was too hard to get to the gym after work, so am going on weekends only, when I can spend a lot  longer exercising.  Also, it turned out that  the cat thought Yoga was an invitation to jump on my back, and 5am is way too early to do anything but sleep.  But that’s Okay, because I’m still exercising once or twice a week.  The dating site meets were a disappointment.  All the men I met were kind of blah, except for one – I really liked him.  He didn’t like me. 

I hope this will be my year. 

April

Something smelled weird in the fridge, realized all the vegetables I bought  had turned to green slime. Made it to the gym twice this month, yay for me!  Stopped bringing lunches to work, instead I’m just eating chips from the vending machines –only 220 calories per bag, so having 1 or 2 per day is fine.   House is a mess, but there is no point cleaning until winter is finally over.

May

Warm weather finally arrives!  No reason to go to the gym because I can exercise outside.  Signed up for a tennis class and plan to go jogging on the days when I don’t play tennis.  Spent $300 on a tennis racket, clothes and shoes for these new activities.    Really excited about this, I plan on playing nightly after work and weekends.  

June

Tennis is hard, and it hurts my knees.  I need at least 2 days rest after playing a game.  Jogging is okay, but so far I haven’t gone more than a few blocks. Have given up on eating healthy lunches at work – the job is stressful enough without having to obsess over lunch. 

July

Remembered I had joined the stupid dating web site when I saw the automated renewal on my credit card bill.  All the men who look good to me want to find women 10 – 20 years younger than they are.  The house is a mess.  

August

Too hot to do anything outside.  Went to try yoga again, but couldn’t find the DVDs anywhere.  The cat had ripped a hole in my yoga pants.  Went to a farmer’s market and spent a lot of money on health, fresh vegetables.    

September

Decided to start going back to the gym, but couldn’t find my clothes.  I spent another $300 on a new gym bags, shoes and clothes.  Went once, but it was crowded.   House looks dusty and dirty, did some cleaning.  Found the old gym bag, shoes and clothes.  Cleaned out the refrigerator; more slimy vegetables.

October

Bought 10 pounds of candy for Halloween.  Ate 10 pounds of candy.  Bought 10 more.   Went to the gym twice, but didn’t see any weight loss. 

November

Ate the 9 pounds of candy left over after Halloween.  Thought about going to the gym, but was too depressed because it now gets dark at 5pm.  This year sucks.

December

What a shitty year this has been.  Next year will be different.  Next year I will exercise on a regular basis, learn yoga, meet a nice guy and keep my house looking gorgeous. 

I can’t wait for 2016.