evaluation 3 - spikes

I'm working on the idea that I am not meant to be a consistently ambitious individual. I go through phases where I think it would be a good idea if I cooked more, or cleaned more, or ate healthier foods, or was nicer. Then, I wake up one morning and think "enough of that" and go back to my normal standards. I think of this instability as the line on a heart monitor - I'm happy with the norm for a given amount of time then, on a whim, decide to drastically alter my life only to return to the lull of normalcy once again.

Don't get me wrong, these spikes are good - I finished a multitude of yard projects over the past two weekends when I was on a landscaping upswing. That stint has now been replaced with the healthy eating kick (which includes not eating my favorite meals of nachos and/or cheeseburgers five times per week).

My spikes are an addiction. The only constant thing in the spikes is that I am constantly on one in one area of my life, fleeting as each spike may be. I go on music spikes (currently I am ingesting the Death Cab for Cutie "Plans" cd at a rotation of five times per work day). I go on food spikes (Fresca and cheese popcorn - this spike lasted four months and got me to a point where those two products were the only sustenance I wanted). I go on writing spikes (I wrote 23 handwritten letters/cards last month - not to mention multidunious e-mails).

Instead of being happy with the humdrum quotidian life I lead, I must snazz it up with some sort of "look at me, I do this, I am interesting and amazing" mentality - even if it only lasts a few weeks. I believe I will work on cutting down the frequencey of the spikes, knowing all well that my attempt at ridding myself of spike addiction is in effect its own spike.

june 7, 2006: evaluation 2 - livin' on the edge...

My consolidation loan has come through so I can cut my monthly student loan payments by half. On top of this my raise takes effect July 1. YAY! I am thismuchcloser to financial independence (not dependence from the bank, but from having to fall back on familial funding - which I haven't had to do since my employment). This "stability" makes me ponder the reasoning behind roommates.

I am happy where we live, but sometimes the man and I feel like we have three adult children who are in constant need of picking up after and are inconsiderate and unappreciative. With my newfound feline companion being an actual living, breathing creature under my care and supervision (in addition to the doggess) I have become less patient with the inadequacies of the roommates.

My course of action is going to remain steady - I am going to take pride in where I live and do my best not to fall down the slippery slope of passive aggression. I will make the place look and feel like home as much as I can and if I happen to piss off the roommates along the way so be it. It is not as though I am growing illegal drugs or subjecting them to any kind of injustice - a few potted flowers and a clean, tidy yard are beneficial to everyone. I leave the injustices to them.

june 6, 2006: evaluation 1 - i suffer from HRP

I have had to send a letter to an ex-boyfriend explaining that I don't want him to pursue any kind of friendship with me. This was all made abundantly clear when we were still together two years ago - when we broke up, we wouldn't be friends. Apparently, like many of the other things I ever said to him, this also went in one ear and out the other. That brought up a bunch of issues with my current relationship. The man and I are happy, happier than I can ever remember being as a result of a significant other - not that there have been all that many. Now comes the shitty part: I have developed a case of HRP. This is not a disease, not transmittable, not contagious (though I think many people suffer from it without having diagnosed the malady). HRP = Happy Relationship Paranoia. When things are so good, it is a definite failing to think "Oh my god, things could be so much worse than this - what if they get worse - then what?" Oh yes, I am suffering from this now...thank you ex-boyfriend.

The course of action that I will take in regard to ridding myself of HRP is to attempt to avoid overanalysis. I am a constant worrier and I am going to try to chill out. I will learn to let well enough alone and not pass my paranoia on to the man by way of neediness. Although, it would be nice if there were some sort of trend to the acknowledgement of my amazingness...

june 5, 2006: evaluation series

I am taking some time to reevaluate my life this week. Not any kind of deep soul searching, just a broad questioning of why I do what I do when I do it. This is number one of a series of blog posts entertaining this questioning and subsequent rationalization. There has been a handful of events (nothing major) lately that have made me rethink why it is that I have chosen to prioritize some things over others. I am writing a series of evaluations in the upcoming days.

...wait for it...

may 24, 2006: kitty commands

Names that the cat answers to:
  • Jack (rarely)

The cat's various names (which may explain why he has trouble learning his name - also see earlier post highlighting eccentric need to nickname animals):

  • The Cat Named Jack
  • Attack Jack
  • Monster
  • Crazy
  • Scratches McGee
  • Scratchy McScratchesalot
  • Little Jack
  • Baby Jack
  • Kitty
  • Turd
  • Stinkitty
  • Black Jack
  • Jack be Nimble
  • Jack be Quick
  • Jack Bauer (okay, we watch too much 24)

Commands/words/phrases the cat understands:

...Oh, yeah, he doesn't know any

Commands/words/phrases the cat doesn't understand, but should:

  • Stop eating my foot/hand/arm/leg.
  • Stop eating the dog's body parts.
  • The dog is not a scratching post.
  • I don't have nipples on my neck, so stop looking for them.
  • Stop attacking every moving and inanimate object.
  • Stop licking my face while I sleep.
  • Don't poo so stinkily.
  • Stop scratching my foot/hand/arm/leg.
  • Stop growing so fast.
  • Hold still...hold still...please, please, please hold still.
  • Make the dog stop breathing on me.
  • Be a lover, not a fighter.

may 22, 2006: my dog is s-m-r-t

Names that the dog answers to:

  • Jammer (only sometimes)
  • Jeff Doucette
  • Muffin
  • Sweetness
  • Jammerkins Snugglebutt
  • Dogface
  • Sugar
  • Stupid
  • Dog
  • Jack
  • Kitty

Words/commands/phrases the dog understands:

  • Sit.
  • Lay down.
  • Get Jack.
  • Get the Stick.
  • Want a treat?
  • Up.
  • Get Nike.
  • Get the Frisbee.
  • Who's here?
  • Do you have to go potty?
  • Gotta poop?
  • Want outside?
  • Want to go for a walk?
  • Want to go for a ride?
  • Take it nice.

Things the dog only understands upstairs:

  • Get the man.
  • Get Trish.
  • Want to go downstairs?
  • Where's the kitty?

Things the dog doesn't understand, but (if the heavens shine upon us) will some day:

  • No more human food.
  • Stop breathing on me.
  • Stop licking your naughties.
  • Stop licking [Insert any random object here].
  • Stay.
  • No.
  • Oh my god, please stop doing that.
  • Wait.
  • Get down. Get down. Get down.
  • These are work clothes, you can't jump on me when I'm wearing these.
  • Stop shedding.
  • Don't leave Jammer tumbleweeds all over the floor.
  • Roll over.
  • Bring me the remote.
  • Bring me a soda.
  • Get the phone.
  • Make me a sandwich.
  • Stop eating Jack's food.
  • Stop stinking.
  • Pay the bills.
  • Fill the car with gas.
  • Do the laundry.

may 17, 2006: ode on a "cat named jack"

The Cat Named Jack was born into the family at approximately 2:45 p.m. Sunday, May 14. This was Mother's Day - how fitting. We are approximating his age to be between five and six weeks. Notice that I wrote that he was born into the family on May 14, not into the world. He was happily greeted by his brother, Orpheus, and his sister, Jammer.

Jack (the shorter version of The Cat Named Jack) is much improved in health and attitude since we plucked him off the busy street and out of the cold rainy weather. He just discovered the joy of running yesterday and does so with much vigor and excitement so much so that he must make sounds to express his happiness. Before his discovery of running, he would mew out of fear when he found that he had wandered too far (out of sight) away from me or the man. He has also improved his hand/paw-eye coordination and is quite intrigued by all moving objects.

The man took the first Jack-watch overnight Sunday. Jack was a good boy and only woke up twice to eat and play. The second night was mine and he awoke more than twice. After checking on him a the first two times I realized that he had gotten an understanding of how to get attention when the lights are off and he is being held captive in his kennel (dog-sized, so it is more of a suite for him). He has taken to climbing the gate/door and shaking it while making pitiful mewing sounds. Yes, he is quite a sight with his fat little cat belly pressed against the gate. He hasn't quite mastered the dismount and often topples backward or stays hooked to the door when it is opened. Last night he slept throughout the night and only woke up when I did.

I am taking Jack to the veterinarian tomorrow to give him the once-over. Well see how this outing goes and I will report more later.

UPDATE: Jack was not as old as we suspected - the vet pegged him at 4 weeks, 2 days old. He is healthy, particularly given that we found him in a ditch in the middle of a thunderstorm. He weighs in at 1.2 lbs and we will be taking him back when he reaches the 8 week benchmark at which point he will have bloodwork done and shots administered. All we have to do now is put some goop in his eyes to clear up any infection and let him eat and eat and eat. The veterinarian and staff all fell in love with him immediately and hauled him around the office oohing and aahing. It seems that we have a little playboy on our hands.

april 27, 2006: i've been tagged, but I didn't even get the complimentary ear tag like wildlife does

Kristen prompted me to write about my eccentricities, which I will do, but I do not believe in forwarding silly e-mail messages/prompts that no one other than the author cares about so I will not go through the rigmarole of doing a "tagback." Here is her spiel:

Okay, here are the rules, once you've been tagged you have to write a blog with 6 weird things/habits about yourself. Then you need to pick 6 other people to tag and list their names. You need to leave a comment saying "You've been tagged." in their comments and tell them to read your blog.....

Here is my list:
  1. When I was a child I would kiss my mom good night each night and tell her that I loved her for fear that she would die in the night if I didn't - this lasted 'til I was nearly 10 and realized that I didn't command that kind of power over life and death. However, I have now found that I have the intense need to wake "the man" up before I leave for work each day and kiss him goodbye for fear that he or I will die before I return (there is no "love" exchange as we do not do that, and I'm not sure if I could even insert a "yet" in there because I'm an idiot unable to judge level of emotion in other people).
  2. I have the sneaking suspicion (shared by the man) that one of the roommates doesn't brush his teeth very often so I move his toothbrush and toothpaste very particularly to gauge when he has last moved them. UPDATE: I saw that he got a new toothbrush so I think I may have just been bored, but I carried out the procedure nonetheless.
  3. I LOATHE socks. I could wear flipflops each and every day and be perfectly content (if they were appropriate work attire and there wasn't that pesky thing called winter in WI).
  4. I need to use a blanket all of the time. It could be 100 degrees outside and I would still be found sweating under a blanket on the sofa watching tv. I think it is a cuddle issue - I need the security of the blanket. I also like to be naked under the blanket, but that is more of a comfort thing and I haven't been able to do that since I moved in with the man.
  5. I give all animals pet names whether they belong to me, or if they are wild, or if they are on tv.
  6. I have a degree in communications but I am completely inept at communicating with the man in any manner that displays competence or tact.

march 27, 2006: dog mental disorders...cured by exorcism?

The man and I have decided that the dog has a split personality disorder. Her good half is Jammer, her bad/naughty/make-you-wish-you-were-never-born half is named Jeff Doucette. This name came about when we were watching the end credits of a movie and laughing about certain names. When the man said "Jeff Doucette" the dog, who was being more than a tad bit pesty, ran over to us and dive-bombed us on the couch. So begins the saga of the schizophrenic Jammer and her nasty inner demon Jeff Doucette.

Anyway, the man was gone at a tournament Sunday and I took who I thought was Jammer for a walk out back (the man lives on a dead end road that goes back into farm fields about a mile). The minute we got out of sight of the house, Jeff Doucette emerged and the dog went berserk. She was okay at first, running ahead of me for about 200 yards, then pooping and then running some more. Then, after we turned around, a pheasant flew out of a creek (aka drainage ditch) and Jeff sprung to action, galloping through the nasty, putrid shit spring of water and chasing that damned bird from the pits of hell, sent to be the bane of my existence. I proceeded to yell at Jeff, then he (she turns into a he when she is Jeff because only a penis-wielding creature can wreak so much havoc) turned to look at me, while standing neck deep in the murky algae-coated water, as if he had done nothing remotely wrong. He proceeded to trot home while I was fuming, trying to figure out how the hell I was going to get him into the house and up the stairs to the bathtub without causing a torrential downpour of dog-nasty to rain down on the house (which I had just cleaned the day before).

I played frisbee with Jeff for a bit, hoping (in vain) that some of the grossness would ooze off of him, or at least dry, before we went into the house. Alas, I had to pick the little beast up and carry him upstairs (he seems to gain weight when under the Jeff Doucette mind control). The second I put the dog into the bathtub, Jeff Doucette released Jammer from her prison. She seemed to be shocked that I would torture her by giving her a bath, particularly for wrongs that she herself did not commit. She was quite docile, though incredibly pathetic, and didn't even try to get out of the tub (as she normally does when the man and I both administer the bath time activities). After the bath I towel-dried her and set her free to frolic about the house. I then cleaned the bathroom for the second time in 24 hours. The sludge at the base of the tub was of a consistency only seen in the work horror/sci-fi movies.

Without jinxing myself, I will claim that I may have managed to exorcise Jeff Doucette from Jammer's little dog body in the bathtub as she was the picture of perfection for the rest of the day and was also quite good this morning as I prepared for work. She even followed me into the bathroom as if she had forgotten the torturous bath of the day before (she usually stays out of there for at least two weeks after she has been cleansed). I'm not sure I believe in holy water, but that bathtub faucet definitely was spewing something resembling a spirit-freeing fluid.

feb. 12, 2006: can you "turn over a new leaf" if the trees are bare?

Well, I am newly employed after many years of schooldom. So far it is going well, just pretty busy for the first week and one-half. I am not complaining though because the job search was not something that I would like to repeat anytime in the near (or distant) future. I am now in the "real" world and it sucks even worse than the "unreal" world at times. I am deciding to try to be less cynical and it is nearly killing me (see, I obviously suck at being optimistic). Let's just say that I have yet to find any rose-tinted glasses that fit me and that the glasses that I do find are always half empty (is that a mixture of cliches?).

I am still homeless. I am not so sure about the whole permanent (or semi-permanent) dismissal of all independence-minded feelings for the purpose of cohabitation. It is not the man that is holding me back from the decision, but rather the man's two roommates that would make the penis-wielding:female ratio go from 1:1 to 3:1 (I guess that if I were to count the dog it would be 3:2, but she also licks her naughties as I imagine the menfolk would if they were able, thus rendering her exempt from the man:woman ratio). I like the man's roommates, but as they are men, they are selfish and dirty by nature. I liked/loved living alone (with my fish), but now I am faced with the prospect of either (a.) never seeing the man and moving into an apartment, (b.) moving in with the man and chancing that we will break up and I will be out on my ear, or (c.) happily living with the man and the other men and turning into one of the Stepford wives. I suppose that I could move in and everything could be fabulous, but the way that I am feeling today would make me think twice about that notion. The long and short of it is that I need my own space within the house and the man is not making any kind of headway in acquiring said desired space (even though it exists and is not currently being used by any of the penis-wielding members of the household).

This indecision has nothing to do with my feelings for the man. In fact, the amount of time I will be putting in at work plus the stress that that work would cause are bound to affect my personality and I do not want to "take out" anything on the man that he wouldn't deserve. Unfortunately, because of my now-hectic schedule, I have only been able to spend a minimal amount of time with the man since I have been employed (as opposed to spending nearly every waking and sleeping minute with him for over a month). I am not taking the separation well and see it as the end-all of the relationship. Perhaps that is a tad bit melodramatic.
Yet another reason for my uncertainty is that the man and I do not take steps in the correct order. For example, he asked me to move in before we ever had the exclusivity/boy(girl)friend discussion. Now that the move-in is more likely to happen, there are still some steps in our relationship that we are hopscotching over. I am not a spontaneous leaper and this is making me uncomfortable.

Here comes the "new leaf." I am not going to micro-manage my relationship despite my intense desire to make it fit into what I want, when I want. I have been pretty good at going with the flow lately, but that was when the flow was going the way I wanted it to. Now I feel as though I have relocated to Australia and the flow is now reversed sending everything in a backwards spiral down the shitter. I guess I'm going to just have to learn to speak with an accent.

jan. 30, 2006: reasons why kristen is the most amazing friend...always

I have decided that now would be a fabulous time to post on the amazingness of one particular Kristen out there (you know who you are):

1. No one else would appreciate the wonder and magic of a little-known, grape-flavored, purple thumb man named Peter Hood who died tragically one day back in 2002.

2. I have never seen anyone eat so much of the same variety of food at one time and not be entirely turned off from that food for the rest of one's life. I take this to be a good sign that she will not grow weary of my friendship anytime soon even if I have a tendency to overwhelm her from time to time.

3. She appreciates my caustic cynicism and brings me back to reality when I blow things out of proportion (see blog titled "Where is the love?"). Also, she does so in such a way that I do not feel stupid - and she knows that I hate feeling stupid.

4. Her optimism and love of love and all things romantic is in complete contrast to my usual personality and that is why we work. It is similarly important that she doesn't freak out in my instances of romantic foolishness.

5. She laughs at my jokes. Even the stupid, un-funny ones. Also, she likes my witty t-shirt collection. She even takes the initiative of creating her own witty and sarcastic t-shirts (e.g. "get a job").

6. There is no one else that would appreciate having their own Golden Girls ringtone. More importantly there is no one else who I would rather be Golden Girls with in my old age.

jan. 27, 2006: where is the love?

Lately it seems that a number of the important people in my life are splitting up with their long-term significant others. While I understand that this is not uncommon and that people shouldn't stay together if they are unhappy, it still makes me question the whole concept of "togetherness." In my ponderment of coupledom I find myself wondering what would happen if one actually did forgive and forget. By forgiving and forgetting I mean forgiving the wrongs of the relationship and then forgetting that the relationship ever existed.

Everyone (that I know, at least) goes through the post-breakup throw away festival. You know, going through the house/apartment/trailer/cardboard box and tossing out all mementos, photos and keepsakes that are either a.) too painful to look at or b.) reminiscent of the evil bastard/bastardess and therefore should not be allowed to exist. I happen to just like the concept of decluttering my life of both the man and his belongings when a relationship is over so that I can move on and don't have to worry about being weighed down by the past. This is my new take on life and love (or at least it is while I am happily coupled). BUT...here is the kicker. What happens when the relationship was serious but there are no mementos or photos to link said relationship to reality once the ties that bind have been loosened? Hmm, then what? Well, I raise this point because the man and I don't have any photos of "us." He has a few photos of me (none of which I consider very flattering, but he claims are "cute) and I have zero photos of him. So again I say...what happens if things go sour and there is nothing to throw away?

The throwing away of the no-longer-significant other's stuff would be rendered anticlimactic and thus the purging would not work. I have the feeling that this would be worse than having photos of the previosly-loved one plastered all over every surface of one's living space (but not as bad as having their likeness tattooed on your ass, for example). In other words, I am taking up a bit of photography to alleviate any future lack of stuff to throw out in light of the recent splits. I want to be able to forgive and forget but in the forgiving and forgetting to be able to tear pictures and cards into tiny little bits before shoving them through my paper shredder. Knock on wood (I have a good thing going and don't want to jinx it).

jan. 20, 2006: reasons why the man is the most amazing boyfriend...today

I may not always give the man enough credit for his actions in our relationship, not because I am not grateful and appreciative, but rather because I believe it goes without saying. I mean, really, I wouldn't be around if he wasn't amazing in comparison to my own amazingness. So, here are the reasons why the man is a great companion (oh, how I despise the word but am using it anyway):

1. He is most patient despite his nature for being quite impatient. This newfound patience has arisen as a direct result of my dwindling patience and complete desire for immediate gratification.

2. His extreme optimism in the face of my extreme pessimism. This comes in the face of the lack of job and unwavering feeling that something is going to blow up in my face (particularly my relationship with the man). However, he is on the opposite end of the spectrum with complete unwavering faith in our relationship because he "believes in us," etc. Keep in mind that as a rule his pessimism usually matches if not overshadows my own with its severity.

3. He has accepted my love of cheeseburgers and nachos and reminds me often that I look like a vegetarian (meaning I am svelte) even though I eat like a lumberjack (thank God for high metabolisms).

4. He watches Gilmore Girls with me even though he hates it and thinks that all of the characters have the same personality. He is even willing to admit that the show is clever and witty with smart humor (although the first time he watched it he had to step out on the porch and scream for some unknown reason - I am just going to believe that small mind gnomes had crawled into his brain through his ears and were telling him that he had to yell for world peace).

5. His approachability rating is about as high as mine and seems to attract more random weirdos than I do. I find this quite refreshing and now have someone to blame for all of the oddities we encounter when we enter the world of the public. Oh, what a wonderful thing it is to no longer be the weirdo freak vaccuum on my own.

jan. 11, 2006: cohabitation

I am a nomad. I have no home. I am squatting at my significant other's until I have a permanent residence and a job to pay for said permanent residence. I am also living at my parents' house semi-permanently, as much as I hate to admit that little tidbit. The job market is kind of slow right now, what with all of the holidays and such, so this squatting is becoming more lengthy than I at first imagined. I actually don't mind sharing a residence with three men and one of their girlfriends, but it is a different lifestyle to that which I had previously been accustomed. Here are the main ways in which my life has been altered since I have been staying with the man:

1. I no longer can get away with "the whole bed is mine and I can lie down wherever I wish and wake up in whatever sprawled out and contorted position I so desire" without waking up and hearing about how much I stole the blankets and smacked the man in the head with flailing limbs.

2. I am a much better person than I thought I could ever be as I have made an effort to leave the toilet seat up when I am done so as not to rock the boat for all those penis-wielding members of the household.

3. I have had to mix my favorite spiral mac and cheese with the regular kind as to pacify the man who hates the spiral kind (but who also does not even know how to make mac and cheese).

4. I have to wander to the bathroom in the middle of the night with clothes on rather than in whatever I happen to be sleeping in as not to be caught in the hallway with my pants down (figure of speech).

5. I actually get to wake up and spend time with the man, which is a welcomed change from the short term visits that our long distance relationship had consisted of. Note: this is a happy change to my life and should not be misconstrued as griping.

i have arrived

I'm moving my blog over from myspace, the bastard stepchild of the blogosphere (as much as I hate to use the term "blogosphere"). Also, I feel that I may be too old to use myspace and instead of using it as a friend-generating/pot-selling/sex-mongering device as I hear it is often used, I was using only the blog function.

I'm reposting my blogs from the past - do not go thinking that I am incredibly prolific and they are all the fruit of one day's labor.

Oh yeah. Welcome to the new blog.


trish t.