Thursday, June 27, 2013

Good Things Come in Small States

I'm in Rhode Island for work this week, Reader.   Here's what I love so far:

1/ Lobster. Yeah, yeah, I know all about my big stance on lobster after the whole lobster-claw game that was really no game at all for the lobster, it was just mean. But I'm here, they're here, it seems like I should be putting them in my mouth. At least it seems that way to me. Probably not so exciting for the lobster.

2/ Groovy hotel. With one of those rainforest showers, which I have appreciated the hell out of.  Because it's like standing in a downpour. Naked. I've taken two showers a day so far. When they asked me if I'd stay over another night, I told my boss you betcha, as that means two more showers, at a minimum. My vendor told me they were going to nickname me Squeaky.  My skin is a little dried out from all the washing, but I do not smell bad. At all. Anywhere.  So basically, how I can go days on end at home without showering? It's not because I like to roll around in my own filth. It's because I don't have a rainforest shower. My Mister may want to add one to the  new house, if he'd like to keep me a little bit cleaner.

3/ Quaint little towns. Which make me think of my cute little cape-cod style house I'm still in the process of buying, and am glad I choose that style because it's quaint and I will pretend I live in a seaside town. In fact, I've decided that I am going to tout the fact that I've got a cute little cape cod home on the water, because technically I do (or will), as it butts up to a ravine, which oh, by the way, has water in it. So I have a house on the water. Just like The Kennedy's. Or Taylor Swift.

We're a lot alike.

4/ Keurig coffee pots. In our hotel room. Score.

Sunday, June 23, 2013

A Scam, A Fraud, a Two-Bit Hack

When people tell me I'm nice, I feel like a fraud. 

Instead of relishing the compliment, I shrug it off and instantly the thousand asshole things I've done in my life pop forefront to mind. 

Why is it so hard to believe that we are good? Or is it just me, and not a "we" question?? 

I focus almost daily on my shortcomings as a proper member of society - things I didn't do for someone. 

  • I don't call or visit my dad (or aunt, or friend, or lonely old lady who lives up the street from my dad who I really do need to visit, but never make the time to do so) nearly as often as I should. 
  • I don't give to charity - of money or self. I hate volunteer work. At least all the volunteering work that I've tried to date, I have not liked. 

Wait! I do give to charity - I just forget that I give, because I'm so consumed by the ones that I say "no" too - I donate monthly to the ASPCA. And then I save the rest of my giving for people who are doing walks/runs/bike rides, that type of thing. I have to budget for charity or it would be thousands of dollars per year, and I have a lot of cat food and litter to buy.  

Yet even though I give, I don't feel I do enough. Obviously, as I needed to remind myself about the monthly donation I do make. It's not top of mind. 

  • I don't Return to Love as much as I should. I forget the guiding principles. 
  • My Mister gets under my skin and I get snippy with him daily. Sometimes minute-ly. I say mean things to him because fuck, he can get under my skin, mostly when he lets the burdens of the household fall on my shoulders.  But it's not nice, is my point.
  • Daily, I feel like a failure with my life. I've underachieved, have not lived up to my potential, and have complacently/lazily allowed that to happen. 
Now, I'm not sure that's a true statement, but I feel this way. I mean, I've worked at some jobs. I've made a decent salary.  I try to contribute to a product that has a positive impact on people's lives in some manner. 

But perhaps I don't feel that is the true meaning of my life, and not the measure of a man, as they say. 

However, if the true measure of a man is how much charity work they do, then I will never achieve contented status, see bullet point two. 

If it were only as easy as Pink sings, "Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead." I try. I try to let "you're nice" sink in when people are so very gracious enough to tell me that, but the voices in my head scream, "Fraud." 

Even my voices are unkind. 

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Transitional Housing

This blog is a No Judging Zone, Reader. Well, really, it's not - I mean, I type a lot of stuff here, you're welcome to judge away, and a good portion of this nonsense is anecdotes bout how I've been a Judgy McJudgerpants, so it really is a Judge Everything Zone. 

So with that lead-in, I'll just say it: We acquired another cat. 

Judge away. Go ahead, snigger and deride.  When you're done, come back. There's a story behind the story. 

Done? Okay. 

So my friends sold their house and had to move due to a job layoff from my old stompin' grounds, The Card Mines.  And they have a problem cat, which they kept confined to a very large unfinished portion of their basement. Because apparently - on occasion - this cat is an asshole and will decide to poop outside the box. Once my friends spent a good deal of money on finishing the majority of their basement, and Random Pooping Cat decided to poop on the new carpet, she lost her Run of House privileges. 

This posed a problem once they had to move, and move in with relatives for a short duration whilst they get back up on their feet. 

No one wants a Random Pooping Cat. But they tossed the offer out to me: Would I be willing to take this cat for an undetermined time, until they get re-situated? If not, the answer was Death to the Pooper.

That was the only other option. 

They called a bunch of cat sanctuaries, but apparently they'll only offer sanctuary if it's a young cat with no issues, who will be easier to adopt out. They explained they didn't want the cat to be adopted out, just someplace to hold it for a bit. No place like that exists in this area.   

Let me correct that statement. One place exists like that: My house. 

So I agreed to take the Random Pooper, but only on a sworn statement that it was temporary and I am not acquiring an old pooping cat for good. 

And that was the plan, until we bought a new house. I'm less than thrilled about a pooping cat in the new house. This house has bad carpet anyway.   So it was looking like death for the Random Pooper. 

Then we came up with Plan B. Also known as "The Plan in which we begin to feel more and more like Ariel Castro." 

The Plan involves a 3-level cage to keep her in. One level for food, one for sleep, one for pooping. Easy to keep her contained and not messing up the new house. 

The cat, Mystery, and her cage arrived a couple of weeks ago.  She has super sad eyes, and they darted around nervously as we put her in the cage, clanged the doors shut and stuck in the security pins. 

The security pins seemed like overkill. The doors themselves clang shut rather tightly. 

Mystery stayed in the cage for the first day, and didn't eat a drop of food or make a sound, or even basically move once I put the blankie in there with her. And I threw in a few stuffed animals to make it look less lonely, but that was more for me rather than for her. 

And by Day 2 in the cage, I was thinking maybe she needed to run around a little. So I opened the door and walked away from it. 

She was too beat down at first to move. Her eyes darted nervously from me to the open door. I walked away and she leapt to freedom. Well, not exactly freedom - she ran under my recliner and decided to hang out there for a while. 

I let her stay out for several days, not really seeing much of her, but keeping food around so she could come to terms with the new digs at her leisure.

I left the cage open in the event she wanted to return. 

She didn't. 

DJ, however, decided to move right in. 

He's all George Jefferson in this thing, sitting tall in his dee-lux apartment.  He enjoys the hell out of this, rooting around in the (clean) litter on the bottom level, digging it all out of the short side of the box and scooping it onto the bottom of the cage. Then he'll bound up to the top floor,  get a bite to eat, knock over the water, and survey the land and all of us little people in the room.  

When he's exhausted from all that fun, he cozies up on the mid-level for an afternoon nap. 

He's requested we hang some room-darkening shades as the light can be ever so annoying. 

After several days we hunted down Mystery and determined we needed to put her back in the cage, to ensure she is eating enough.  

I caged her back up again, but felt so horrible with her sad face that I couldn't bring myself to padlock the doors, so I just closed them snugly. 

My Mister woke up the next day and Mystery was G-O-N-E from the cage and the Baby was back on the blanket.  So either she went all Amanda Berry and kicked the door open, or he evicted her ass from his condo, but something went down in the middle of the night and now we're the crazy cat people with  SIX cats running amok and possibly random pooping in places we won't discover until we move. 

Go ahead. Judge some more. I don't mind, really. I'd be doing the same. 

Sunday, June 16, 2013

The Price of Love

Reader, I have the daunting task of going through all my boxes of things that are stacked in the garage, things that moved over here 8 years ago and have been sitting there ever since.  

I'm following the 80/20 rule while sorting it: 80% of that shit is not making it to the new house. Now, some of it is good stuff that has just been waiting for a bigger home in which to sprawl out.

Most of it is just shit I can't believe I moved to begin with. 

And then sometimes, buried in the boxes, a little gem rises to the top. And while it's not a necessity, it's one of those things that has been granted a stay of execution, and shall join us in the new house. 

This letter is one of those little gems,  written by my nephew, I don't know how old, around 7 or 8 would be my guess. 

He's a Marine now. 

I read it and my heart melted a little, and I think an, "awwwww!" escaped my lips. My nephews used to like spending time at Aunt Trixie's, because it was pizza and movies and all sorts of things that Aunt's allow.  

So I took the letter upstairs, to put it away for safe keeping. And that's when I discovered The Rest of the Story:

And that became my new favorite part of the letter. I know what loving me is worth: 50 points of extra credit. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Why It's Never Good To Be a Book Club of One

I was in Vegas for eight days.  

I'll let that sink in. 

Eight Days. In Vegas.

No one should visit Vegas for eight days. Vegas is a sexy showgirl you're excited to spend a long weekend with, but after a while your wiener gets rubbed raw, and it's time to move on to other entertainments.

My wiener was rubbed raw by Day 5.  But I still had more days of work that was just starting, so I stayed until I was cheese-gratered raw and sick of the whole damn city. 

While I was gone during those 8 long days, I read a series of very unfortunate books. I couldn't have picked more ... un-uplifting (what's the opposite of that? they weren't depressing - that's not the right descriptor - just un-uplifting) books to choose to read during my stint. 

The first book I read was a library book I threw in my bag as an afterthought, Indiscretion by Charles Dubow. 

Now, it's not that it's a bad book. It has a bit of a different perspective, which held my interest.  But man alive, it was all about how a man's wiener can ruin a bunch of lives.   

Guys? You need to control those things.

So then I moved on to a story about a man and his dog, because that seemed like a better story - a man and his best friend, Man Redemption. No wieners getting out of hand. 

But holy smokes, you know what's coming from the very get-go, and I did go into knowing it wasn't going to end well for the dog, but as I woke My Mister up with my heart-wrenching sobs at 2:30 in the morning (where we were in our respective beds, because by that point in the trip after we'd switched hotels for the third time, we were both excited that they only had rooms with 2 queen beds available, hooray!), he exasperatedly explained, "But you KNEW it was coming!" 

Sobbing, I explained, "But I didn't know it was going to be so sad!" 

That Garth Stein, he writes an emotional story.  

I was wrung out after that, and needed to not read for a while.

So I waited until my flight home, where I knew I had long hours to pass at the airport and then during my 4-hour flight home. 

I took a recommendation from my hairstylist, which was to read the memoir of Jaycee Dugard, who was kidnapped for 18 years. 

Another uplifter, right? Might as well make it a trifecta. 

I got into this story and by the time my plane touched down, my first thought was, "Already??" 

Those four hours flew by (literally). 

I've had quite an interest (not quite an obsession, more just a strong interest) in kidnapping stories since the rescue of Cleveland's own trifecta of girls that made the headlines. Reading Jaycee's story provides a good glimpse into survival, and getting by year after year in captivity, and also a good understanding of how a kidnapper/tormentor can wield such mind-power that it becomes impossible to escape, even when opportunities arise. 

By the end of that trip to Vegas I was in an emotional slump. 

I went to the library to return Indiscretion. And picked up my next read, The Girl in the Leaves

A synopsis: THE STORY OF ONE OF THE MOST BIZARRE MASS MURDERS EVER RECORDED. AND THE GIRL WHO ESCAPED WITH HER LIFE. In the fall of 2010, in the all-American town of Apple Valley, Ohio, four people disappeared without a trace.

Reader. I need an Intervention. This is currently on my nightstand and I started in on it a couple of nights ago. Luckily, the writing isn't that great so I'm not as mesmerized as the story no doubt warrants. 

My brain is like a rubbed-raw-from-too-much-Vegas wiener and needs a time-out. 

So help me. I need some reading recommendations that are going to make me smile, and when I replay the scenes over and over in my mind I'm going to have pretty thoughts, instead of comparing my cat's lives to those of kidnapped victims. Because I'm starting to feel guilty for keeping them caged up in the house, never allowed to go outdoors, having to succumb to my affections because I'm bigger than they are, and being at my mercy for food, water and medical care. 

Help. My book club - that includes only me - is making bad choices in a row. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

It's Karma, Kramer.

Karma is mean. 

I have been Getting Mine! in several formats as of late, Reader.  

And I do not likey. Because it's mean.

But I probably (most likely) deserve it, so I can't even be too mad at Karma. It's more like an acknowledging nod of the head, chin down for just a moment, accepting Karma's touché. 

#1 Karmatic Moment:

When I was married, I hated - I mean despised! - my exhusband Fucksteve's allergies. I hated all that phleming and clearing of the throat - everything that came with it. I had zero sympathy. Zilch. I just wanted him to stop making so many noises and get on with life. 

And now? You guessed it. I'm the noisy one. I'm so noisy with my own allergies, I can't even stand to be around myself. I throat clear and cough, and when it's really super special with the pollens, the tickling in my throat is enough to test my gag reflexes and I have to talk myself into NOT throwing up on my own lap when it starts. Because that would just start a chain reaction. But it would probably clear my throat. At least momentarily. Maybe. 

I can't even have confidence in allergy meds, because I haven't really found one that works, and they need to be approached with caution. If I take one in the morning, is it the kind that's going to make me groggy?? If I take it at night, is it the kind that's going to get me all jazzed up?? 

Allergies are risky. 

So Karma's stickin' it to me. Right in my throat.  

#2 Karmatic Moment:

Also when I was married to Fucksteve (I note a theme here, Reader. So basically he's to blame for all of this. Of course.), I lived in an old fixed-up colonial in the city proper.  It was realz nice on the inside, albeit in a shit-tastic neighborhood that only got more shit-tastic the longer we lived there, hence the reason I moved out upon becoming one of Beyonce's Single Ladies. I had my hands up, hands up... (small digression, I blame the allergy pill I bravely took this evening).

So anyhizzle (I get a little street talkin' about when I lived in the old 'hood), while I lived in that nice colonial that we toiled and sweated and put a lot of elbow grease into, we had nice carpet installed. And at that time I was the mother to The Best Dog In The World, who truly was The Best Dog In The World, but he had his small quirks. Nobody's perfect, right? Right. 

One of his small quirks was digging up a few spots on the carpet. Now, in his defense, he was only digging it up because I had a cat who took a pee in one (or two, it's impolite to count, Reader, so back off) little spots. One, under a table, and two, at the base of the stairway. Now stop it with the counting!

The Best Dog In The World decided he'd dig up the carpet in those two little spots. 

So while I was on the way to becoming one of Beyonce's Single Ladies, it was advised (by my lady lawyer) to sell sell sell while I was still married.  Only problem was, now the house had a few imperfections. 

I did what any Single Lady Who's Not a Master Carpenter would do: I covered up those little spots with some decorative rugs, and promptly sold the hell out of that house. An Inner City house, sold in a matter of months. Quick. 

And I didn't feel a bit bad about the surprise they were sure to discover upon moving in. Because hey, Let the Buyer Beware, am I right? Right? 

Karma doesn't think that's very right at all. So Karma's paid me a visit. 

Fast Forward 8 years, and Beyonce's (Still) Single Lady is buying a house.  And on Sunday, she received an email and a picture from The Best Realtor In Ohio, who also happens to be her namesake (ironic that there would be TWO Trixie Bang Bang's in the same state, much less the same area!). 

The current homeowners dog-shammed their Not The Best Dog in the World, by making her sit next to the evidence: 

And they are apparently a little frantic about what we would like them to do about it. 

I laughed.

And figure I'm owed it. 

Because you can run from Karma, but she'll catch up with you sooner or later.  She has all the patience in the world, My Friends.