Being a cat person has it’s ups and down. You get a fuzzy companion that loves you as long as it has use for you, and has the inherent ability to sense when you’re upset. However, you also have this fuzzy little bastard that only loves you if it has use for you, and has the inherent ability to do everything that makes you upset. More often than not, a cat will completely ignore you until you’re too busy to pay attention to them. As soon as you’re in the middle of writing a blog, or cooking dinner, or trying to sleep, that’s when they demand that you pet them, and cuddle them, and spend a good two hours fawning over them. Of course, as soon as you set aside time for this, they promptly scamper off to deposit their hair all over your freshly cleaned clothes and/or sheets.
They also like to get sick and not tell you. Baby, aside from being a bit of an idiot, recently had to go to the vet for tapeworms, which, as any cat owner should know, comes from fleas. There’s no telling how long she’s had them, or how in the hell she got fleas when she doesn’t go outside, but I suspect little miss craftypants imported them in with the squirrels that hide in the attic during rain. So, appropriate anti-flea measures have been taken, and we’re watching Styxx’s bedding for signs of worms. Taking him to the vet would be barrels of fun.
Styxx is one of those cats that, in his deceptively cute way, hates everyone. I don’t know if it’s because he’s old, or because he was brought into the house when my brother and I were very young, but he is one crotchety old bat, and he makes his dislike for most of humanity very clear. Whenever he had to be taken to the vet, he had to be sedated. While that was hilarious to watch when he came home, he’s now too old for that. So, to spare the vets from getting their limbs ripped off in a flurry of kitty fury, we just don’t take him, and do our best to keep him healthy.
Baby’s trip to the vet went smoothly, though she power-shed as soon as we got in the car. By the time we left, the exam table was covered in an inch of her hair, and the vet-nurse person could be seen sweeping the mound into what appeared to be a second cat.
As I get older, I can’t help but notice how many of my friends and peers from High School are settling into their lives. People are getting married and having kids, moving out of their parents houses, and back in six months later. Some people I knew during school are even well on their way to making a name for themselves.
And here I am, sitting on my couch, writing a blog no one reads.
Honestly, that’s enough to get anyone down, but, somehow, it rarely dampens my spirits. Mostly because I ignore it, I think.
On the other hand, sometimes I’m glad that I’m not settling down into a family I’m not ready for, given my crippling fear of pregnancy and childbirth. Not to mention my fear of being alone with small, volatile children. I have my partially-brain-dead cat, and that’s really all I need as far as incoherent company.
I’ve also noticed that a lot of popular female bloggers are mothers, which leads me to ask:
“How long is it going to be before people start giving me the ‘Why don’t you have kids yet?’ look?”
I don’t mind the idea of having kids, I mind the idea of having babies. To be perfectly honest, I think I’d be just as happy with a house full of cats and a sign in my front lawn that says “Beware of Gnomes”.
And as odd as it sounds, I’m kind of looking forward to The Look, or, for some of the more opinionated pro-morefamilythanyoucanlegallyhandle people, the loudly asked question. “I’ll have children if or when I’m damn well ready. Keep your nose out of my uterus.”
Growing up has always seemed a scary concept for me, and I’ve dedicated a lot of my life to avoiding it as much as possible. The adult world is a harsh place, where the bank always wants to take what you have, and your peers tell you what you have is never enough, and I think I’m well within my rights to postpone growing up until I can figure out a way to make it less frightening.
November is slinking around the corner somewhere, and every writer knows what that means. National Novel Writing Month. I’ve decided that this year, I will do everything I can to get 50k words done on my original novel. You know, the one I put aside because I would get irrationally angry every time I opened the document. Even if I only get another chapter done on it, that will be something, and I’ll feel accomplished.
Since I’m not working at a haunted house this Halloween season, I’ve got time to finish the background planning that would probably never end up being explained in the novel itself, and get everything in order for the flurry of words that probably won’t fall out of my fingers as soon as November starts. Every week, I’m going to write a short blog documenting my progress, setbacks, and how much hair I’ve pulled out. I suspect Folgers and the local produce market will be profiting greatly from me next month. (I like to eat apples while I write.)
So, fellow writers, now it’s your turn. Do you have a a story in mind for NaNoWriMo, and what kind of unusual tactics do you use to accomplish your word count? Leave me a comment and let me know.
Until the next interesting update,
Throughout my short life thus far, I have made many wholly unremarkable discoveries that, as I’ve gotten older, I can’t seem to get rid of. On the other hand, I’ve made some mostly unremarkable discoveries that, to me, seemed profoundly more exciting at the time than they do now, but amuse me to no end nonetheless.
For instance, very recently, within the last few hours, in fact, I have discovered a few things in my attempt to keep myself occupied. I decided, for some now unfathomable reason, that it is a perfectly good idea to make potato chips at one in the morning, without really looking up a decent recipe. It’s not that big of a deal, right? Thinly slice potatoes and stick them in the oven.
Oh, brain, you well-shielded trickster. At first, I tested them in a small batch in the toaster oven, and it didn’t fare too badly, though I practically had to burn the slices to a crisp to keep them from being chewy. And I believe I over salted them. I had a chip about half an hour ago, and haven’t been able to drink enough water since.
Whilst waiting on these to finish, I got impatient and wanted to see what would happen if I microwaved a slice. This turned out significantly better than the toaster trial, and I was pleasantly surprised at how crispy and evenly cooked they ended up.
Well, my microwave had other plans, after the third batch of about 6 chips. Halfway through a cycle, it just stopped, and a very brief, very faint smell of overheated electrical wires emanated from the lifeless contraption. It’s working again now, but let that be a warning to anyone who wants to supplant their normal potato chip intake with home-microwaved crispies, at some point, your microwave will tell you it’s time to stop and go to bed.
So, the last two batches are being made in the conventional oven, and I’ve finally learned what the squigly shaped long grater side is for on my multi-sided grater. At first I’d assumed that some people just like weird squigly shaped cheese, but no! I was mistaken! And, oddly enough, these thick sliced wavy chips are cooking better than my painstakingly hand-sliced thin chips were.
I’ve given up on salting them. I have a sneaking suspicion salt reacts adversely to some government-born chemical now present in modern potatoes, and the grain come alive and multiplies in an evil plot to ruin your food. If I’m right, they’re almost certainly in cahoots with the bottled water companies.
Also, while trying to find out if this is already a thing, or if I made a new thing, I learned there is a stackable tray specifically designed for making potato chips in the microwave. So, just in case any of my lovely readers would like to surprise me on some gift-giving occasion…
Did I mention you look ravishing tonight?
Due to an unfortunate hardware issue with my laptop, and the fact that I’ve been just a bit too busy for my liking lately, I may not be posting again for a while.
I’m also trying to stay off the internet as much. Because, you know. Addictions and such.
Update, though. Both of my best friends are now out of state, and I’m taking this time to work on other relationships.
I made a kick-ass chicken stew. Yes, you can make a stew with something other than beef.
Spices. They do wonders.
I’ll probably end up posting a rough recipe for that on [insertdatethatIprobablywon’tremember].
Also, as haunt season gets closer, I find myself feeling as though this Halloween is going to be, for lack of a better phrase, complete crap.
No scaring, no justified costumes, just a trickle of candy-crazed kids demanding sugary goodness.
Well, ciao for now, dear readers. My next post will hopefully actually somewhat resemble humor.
It’s come to my attention that a previously age-specific form of psychosis is spreading quite rapidly outside it usual range, and that the general public is still mostly unaware of how likely this illness is to show up in the people they love.
What is this illness?
CCLS (Or CLS, for those who are only slightly eccentric) is a condition where the brain receives excessive signals in the sympathetic and pleasure centers whenever the subject encounters an animal, usually a cat, in a non-domestic setting. Acute cases involve these signals sending in any setting regardless if the animal in question is physically there, or if it’s an image, and the subject to believe that the animal cannot survive without them.
How to tell if someone is suffering from CCLS
Mild and moderate symptoms include a strong affinity for cats, owning anywhere from two to six cats, setting aside a budget for cat accessories, obliviousness to cat hair on furniture and clothes, and a sort of “sixth sense” for the presence of cats.
Severe cases can involve owning upwards of ten cats, preferring feline company over human company, frequently changing any conversation to or incorporating cats into the subject, referring to their cats as “my children”, often feeding and/or adopting strays, and owning excessive amounts of cat accessories.
What to do if a loved one if suffering from CCLS
Subjects experiencing CCLS should be handled with caution. Judgement or removal of their cats can cause extreme trauma or distress. Loss of one of their cats can be as devastating as the loss of a friend or family member.
If you discover a loved one is experiencing CCLS, be careful how you go about confronting them. Bluntly telling them they’re becoming or have become a Crazy Cat Lady could upset them, at which point the best course of action is to hand them a kitten and hope that distracts them from the fact that you just called them crazy.
I hope this was an informative and helpful announcement, and that this syndrome can be recognized as a serious mental condition.
Or, you know, a lifestyle.
I love cats.
Until next time.
Well, the haunted house I worked at the past two years is having it’s auditions today, which means it’s the start of haunt season. From now through halloween, many talented actors and not-so-talented volunteers and crew members will be doing everything they can to bring you the very best scares they can, or, if they’re one-time volunteers, until it stops being fun. (I have no delusions whatsoever about what it’s like to work at a haunted house.)
This year, I won’t be scaring. As a whole, that’s a completely depressing thought, and I’m still not sure I want to completely admit that, but, as it stands, I can’t commit to the old haunt full time, and the ‘new’ one just has too much drama attached already.
To all my readers who are planning on going through a haunted house this year, or if you know someone that will be, please, heed my advice.
No matter how cool you think you are, no matter how scared you may or may not be, do not, and I mean DO NOT fuck with the actors.
They’re not there to trap you in a box, or hold up your group for hours in some asinine joke. They’re there to scare you through the maze of rooms and hallways the crew built to entertain the public. I cannot possibly express to you, dear reader, how dangerous it is for them to do that. While most of the customers are just annoying at the worst, some will actually attack the actors. You can be arrested for this. Unless a waiver is signed, it is illegal for an actor to touch you, or you to touch an actor. For the most part, they don’t say anything about it if it’s all in good fun. Like if they scare you, and you pat them on the back, or something good-natured. No actor is going to call security on you for that. But when you resort to punching a masked guy for startling you, or some snot-nosed 12 year old thinks it’s hilarious to pull a female actor’s hair so hard she almost gets whiplash, then the job is made considerably more difficult.
DO NOT ACT TOUGH.
They just laugh harder when you get scared. Even if you don’t get piss-your-pants terrified, they still make fun of you.
CONTROL YOUR GODDAMNED KIDS.
This was the biggest peeve when I worked at the haunt.I swear to frog, some of these parents would come through and just giggle their hideous faces off when their unruly brat would terrorize the actors and destroy the sets. Or, they’d let their kids go in without them, thinking it’d be some half-ass carnival haunt, and the kids would mask their fear by being incredibly obnoxious, and even violent. The actors will call security on your shithead little brats if you don’t control them, and you’ll have wasted however much money you just spent.
(I don’t dislike kids. I dislike the ones that never got raised to be people.)
REMEMBER: The actors are not getting paid to take your bullshit. They are getting paid to stand around for 5, 6, 7 hours and scare hundreds of people a night. Just because you paid $25 to get in doesn’t ,mean we have to be nice. If you go along with it, allow yourself to get scared and don’t try to fight the whole way through, you’ll leave satisfied. Everything will be gravy. If you decide to be a dick and ruin the experience for everyone around, you’ll probably end up wasting your time and money, only to get kicked out, and maybe even a brand new criminal charge on your record, depending on what you’ve done to the actors.
I really can’t stress this enough.
And if you decided not to read all of this, then here’s a summary.
Have fun. Get scared. Don’t fuck with the actors.
One more time.
Are we clear?
My apologies for the uncharacteristically humorless tone of this blog, but this is kind of important to me. Not enough people know how to act when they go into a haunted house, and it sickens me what people think is acceptable.
Well, I promise the next one will be funny.
I apologize, but I’d gotten sucked into the TARDIS and only just made it back to my own time stream.
Anyway, I thought I’d make today’s blog a little DIY manual for my crafty friends out there.
“What cute craft project do you have in store for us?” You’re probably not wondering. Well, this one is multipurpose! Yayyy!
You can use it for a costume, or if you just want to sit in a public area and confuse the hell out of the random passerby, or if you’re into whimsical photography, or if you’re into whimsical hipster pictures taken with instagram. Whatever your fancy, this is pretty neat.
Pretty wings for people who like to be difficult.
You will need:
Old stockings or pantyhose in whatever color floats your boat
Several wire hangers or a spool of thick wire.
Wire cutters. Nice heavy ones.
Needle-nose pliers. or whatever pliers you fancy.
Incense stick (Alternatively, you can use a hot pointed metal thing, but I’m assuming my readers are as… special… as me, and the hot pointed metal thing is probably a bad idea.)
Electrical tape (Or duct tape, but electrical holds up better for this.)
Two long ribbons
Hot glue. (Adult supervision required. This goes for you, too, Kristen.)
Your choice of paint. (Optional. The glitter’s optional, too, but let’s face it, who passes up glitter?)
Have all your supplies? Let’s get to it!
Step 1: Shape
The size of your wings depends on the number of wire hangers or the amount of thick wire you’re using. You can make teeny tiny ones for a baby or some poor defenseless pet, or great big ones, it’s really up to you. Just remember that the nylon stockings only stretch so far. Unless you’re going for a patchwork look, and I’ll get to that later. This is a basic how-to.
First and foremost, untwist and straighten the hangers or thick wire as best you can. You can clip them to size or twist some together now if you like. Now pretend you’re a bender robot and bend that wire into a basic wing shape. Add curvy bits if you like or just do a rounded-ish wing like a flutterby. (Ever notice all my tutorials have a lot of “Your choice”s in them?) Make sure the ends of your wire can come together, and use your pliers to twist the ends tightly and wrap them in thinner wire and electrical tape. You don’t want wire ends stabbing you while you’re trying to pretend you’re a fairy. Unless you’re into that.
Rinse and repeat for another wing, and a second lower set, if you want a nice full set of wings.
Got the shape now? No? Well, somebody doesn’t like to follow directions. I’m not waiting for you.
Step 2: Stretchy stretchy
Assuming you’ve kept the elasticity of the nylon stockings in mind, your frame should fit just fine into it. If it’s looser than you anticipated, simply stretch is out more and clip to fit. To secure it, you can either melt the opening a little, or just tape it up with electrical tape. I always recommend the tape.
Step 3: Decorate and make a huge mess.
Now you get to do the fun part. Paints, glitter, glue, leaves, dangly bits, small dogs, whatever you want to decorate your wings with, have at. You can use a lit incense stick or hot metal poky thing to melt controlled designs in the nylon, as long as you’re careful, Kristen.
Once you’re done decorating, there’s one last step. Ready? No? Okay, let’s move on.
Step 4: Ribbons. Ribbons everywhere!
Arrange your wings the way you’d want them while you’re wearing them, secure them with lots of tape and wire, and then attach your ribbons so they can be tied over your shoulders. You can substitute elastic bands, but what’s the fun in that? What? Oh yeah, it’s easier. Whatever floats your goat.
Now let everything dry completely.
Once that’s all done, tie those babies on and run around your local shopping mall like a kid whose mom doesn’t care if they get diabetes.
Hope you enjoyed my serious, informative tutorial on a completely serious project. I’ll be back next time with a somethingsomethingsomething.
About two weeks before my 19th birthday, I had finally decided what I wanted to get myself as a birthday present, and, little did I know, my two best friends, Chelsea and Samantha, had also decided what thy wanted to get me. In the usual birthday tradition, they didn’t tell me what it was, but, being my best friends, they told me they had a surprise planned for my birthday, and “we’re not telling you what it is!” And for the next two weeks, they taunted me. Every day they’d giggle their little asses off and say “Have you figured out what your surprise is yet?” and collapse in gales of laughter when I’d start yelling at them to at least give me a hint. They even went so far as to tell me to “dress like you’re going to a club, but you’re not going to a club.” They were relentless.
So, two weeks drag by at a snail’s pace, and I start researching what could be happening on the appointed day, but to no avail. I show up at Sam’s house and spend a few hours listening to my two best friends debate on what I should wear to an event I don’t even know about, and finally I ask “How are we going to get there if you’re not going to tell me where it is?”
Side note: We were going in my car. What they’d neglected to tell me was that they’d gotten Sam’s mom in on the conspiracy, and it turned out that she was going to drive us there, in my car. What’s even worse than someone else driving my car, you ask?
They blindfolded me.
So, for about half an hour, I had to sit, blindfolded, in the back of my own car, while Chelsea smacked my hand down every time I tried to peek, waiting for some hint that this torture would be over.
Finally, we arrive, and the two conspirators remove my blindfold. The first thing I see is a line of people standing against a dingy brick building under a flickering sign that said “The Pit”.
Then it dawned on me. They were taking me to a concert.
Not just any concert, but one of my favorite bands at the time: Otep.
I was ecstatic, of course, and the wait in line was almost as bad as the wait in the car, but we finally made it in and watched several local bands barely entertain the crowd before Otep Shamaya, in all her remarkably short glory, appeared on stage.
Most of the rest of the night was a blur of screaming and sweat as my two amazing friends and I got shoved, kicked, punched and deafened with our hair in our faces and our fists probably in somebody’s ribs, but I do remember stumbling, dazed and exhausted back to the car, driving home and passing out with a huge smile on my face.
These are the kind of memories you make with your closest friends. The ones you’ll tell your grandchildren about when your favorite bands are long outdated, and your friends are so wacked out on medication your conversations consist of “What?” “Huh?” “My hip hurts!” “Call my nurse, I can’t get up.” “What?”
As much as we want to kill each other a lot of the times, I do love my best friends. To date, Sam has moved to Kentucky with her boyfriend, and Chelsea is about to move to Virginia with her father. I don’t know what I’m going to do without those two, but Sam has promised to come visit every so often (And I know you read this, Mango. If you don’t come visit I’m going to be very upset.) and Chelsea probably will too, if she can. Chances are, when I have the resources, I’ll be making the journey to go see them from time to time as well.
Friends come and go, but there are a precious few to whom you should hold on, and Chelsea and Sam are definitely in that precious few.