Sunday, December 20, 2015

Tiny Houses

Tiny houses:  You do it your way, I'll do it mine!

As with all things house, I see that right now, tiny houses are A Thing.  A big thing.  There seems to be a fevered race to the bottom--bottom square footage, that is.  I was watching one of the many shows about this lifestyle a few months ago, and a couple was actually excited that they could not stand up on the second floor of their tiny house.  One couple even had a home where the second "floor" was tiered!  "Hey, look!  I can not stand up in my bedroom, and then I can not stand up even more a couple of inches to the left, in my office! I can't even open my laptop all the way! How efficient and awesome I am!"

Another person who was looking at tiny houses actually considered one where the whole bathroom becomes the shower.  Well, at least that would save you needing to wipe.  I mean, after all:  That pesky toilet paper takes up valuable inches, and it's bad, anyway, because it kills trees!

I recently moved to West Virginia.  There have been tiny houses here for generations.  They are called mobile homes. People get by living in them without needing to give them a fancy, trendy name.  They are, in fact, tiny houses.  This is not new. Honestly, it's not even innovative. I mean bully for the guy whose pantry doubles as his office, and good for the woman whose kitchen sink doubles as her bathtub.  That's gross, but it's not that unusual in these parts.  Hell, I know people who manage to store all of their antiques, car parts, and twenty cats in a one-bedroom trailer.  They are so efficient, they even have room behind the bathtub for a family of raccoons!

I fully respect the desire to downsize and live simply and be greener.  These are goals that I share.  My number one hobby is Getting Rid of Shit.  I don't know where the stuff comes from. All I know is I have a lot of it, even when I'm sure I don't.  It turns up, I get rid of it, I feel awesome, I turn around, and there's yet more shit to get rid of.  I really admire people who are able to let go of things so that they can live life on their own terms.  I've done some of that, too, recently.  In fact, the biggest thing I have gotten rid of was my job.  Paring down really does free up time, as it turns out.  You can do anything you want when you're marginally employed!  Good luck paying for it, though!

I do stop to think from time to time about how nice it would be not to have to worry about mowing a lawn or paying a large electric bill or having a chimney cleaned, or how my shoes can be incorporated into my furniture so they don't need their own storage space, but the truth of the matter is I need my sprawl.   I have lived in a tiny space before, and not just in college.  The biggest thing I learned from these experiences is that I'm living space claustrophobic.  I like knowing where my clothes are, but I also like not being able to smell them, for instance.

What I do like is being able to go to a different part of the house and forget that I live with other people.  I like to be in my studio or my bedroom and not hear people flushing the toilet or opening or closing doors or, I don't know...existing.  I like not being able to see my neighbors' houses and not being able to walk to the grocery store.  I like that it takes fifteen minutes to go get the mail. My current apartment has the same square footage as my old townhouse.  It's like a tiny house-inside-a-house. (Hey, maybe that can become a thing!)
All of this is to say that everyone has a way they like to live.  There are a lot of interesting housing concepts out there.  There are a lot of ingenious designs.  There are a lot of people trying to live in a way that helps or at least doesn't hurt the planet.  All of these things are admirable and interesting, but not all of them need to be a thing. Some of them can just be your thing or his thing, and that's a great thing!

Friday, September 11, 2015

Pay Attention!

It's very important to be fully present during a conversation. It's just good courtesy.  No one wants to be half heard or feel ignored, after all.  There is another reason, however, that it's a good idea not to be looking at your phone when someone is trying to have a conversation with you.

This became very clear to me this morning.  My boyfriend asked me a question, but while he was talking, I was responding to a text from our cat sitter.  Here's how the conversation went:  

Him:  Why are the flags flying at half-mast?  Did something happen?
Me (Looking at my phone):  Oh, good lord.  Someone had diarrhea!
Him:  OMG!  What do they do when people have IBS?!

Now, see...This conversation would have gone much better if I had been present for that conversation.  Not only would my boyfriend have felt that what he had to say was important to me, but he would also have learned that, while someone did, indeed, have diarrhea, the flags were at half mast in remembrance of 9-11!

Lesson learned!

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Do You, Too, Suffer from Life?

I was telling an acquaintance recently that it's hard to fit getting stage time in with everything else that's going on in my life and about how crazy it all can be sometimes.  His response was, "Yeah.  I suffer from life, too."

This has caused a real breakthrough for me! That's the problem, I thought.  I'm ill!

You see, all this time, I thought I was just busy, but it turns out I'm suffering from a usually-fatal condition!  Some of the symptoms include:

-Going to sleep at night
-Waking up in the morning
-Deep thoughts
-Base thoughts
-Slippage of morals and standards
-Random people and experiences

...The list goes on! Each symptom triggers further symptoms.  I've been seeing doctors all these years trying to figure out what's wrong, and now I understand when people mean when they say, "Well, that's just life!"

Don't lose heart!  There is a cure, but it's a very risky cure. It is also very expensive, unless you live somewhere so remote that you can...just disappear into the wilderness. (Be careful, though.  The wilderness is also suffering from this condition called "life".)  I don't know how the FDA ever approved it (if it did, that is. Maybe it's one of those fancy alternative cures!) The side effects are pretty major, so before you seek it out, it would be  a good idea to explore all other options.  Sometimes, symptom management is preferable, after all.

The cure is called Quietussin (tee em) and can only be administered once, and it will cost you an arm and a leg (literally,) so make it count!

*Talk to a health professional before administering Quietussin.  Side effects may include:  stiffness, difficulty breathing, drop in body temperature, slowness, rot, disruption of sleep patterns, digestive disruption, and involuntary elimination.  Avoid Quietussin if you are generally a happy person or are capable of solving problems by other means.  Quietussin should only be used as a last resort.

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


I'm lazy.  I do not exercise, unless my ass is on fire and I'm being chased by badgers.  Giving the house a good cleaning usually means doing a sink full of dishes or dusting one piece of furniture and then taking a nap.  Oh, wait--I don't dust.  My bad!  I'm so lazy that when I walk a dog, I sit on a skateboard and let him do the work.  In fact, I have cats instead--they do everything themselves.

I need incentives to exercise.  I especially like muffins.  Charity's good, too, though.  I have a weakness for food drives, and not just if the food is for me.  A couple of years ago on Thanksgiving, a local aerobics instructor offered a free class in exchange for cans of food.  It was the holidays, and I was in a giving-a-shit mood, so I decided to drop in and give this a try.  I mean, come on: Food drive?  Free?  FREE? What'd I have to lose, except for a few pounds?

I arrived and got set up with a mat and some weights.  "A mat," I thought.  "Wow!  We get naps!  I'm totally going to love this!"  Alas, about midway through, I found out that the mats were not for napping.  The mats were so not for napping.  The mats were torture devices.  More on that later.

Despite my normal activity level, I got easily caught up in the energy of the workout.  Aerobics is fun! ...That is, it's fun while you're up and moving and dancing.  It's not fun when it's time for the mats.  Nothing in life is free. Those mats and that time spent lying down comes with a price.  What's the price, you ask?  Good question.  The price of the lying down time is the pair of weights you get to play with while lying on your back or while on all fours, while sitting--you name it, those weights are there, like a pair of mobsters with bats, making sure you never forget and that you keep your nose clean (and thin.)

The instructor tells you to lie down on your mat, and you think, "Awesome!  I get a break!"  Then, she tells you to lie on your stomach, grab a weight in each hand, and life your arms behind and above you. "Now, hold for eight hours!"  Ok, so maybe she didn't say eight hours.  Maybe she said "A count of five," and maybe we were actually on our backs.  After a while, it was hard to know what position my body was in!

At one point, partway through the floor work, my body twisted in several directions at once like a mangled Barbie doll, I remember slowly turning to my neighbor and asking, "Is she trying to kill us?" to which she answered, "I'm really not sure..."

It turns out she was not trying to kill us--or at least not all at once.  It seems this instructor likes to kill her victims slowly, because she encouraged us to sign up for her classes and to "come back soon!"

The crazy thing is that I actually want to!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Conversations with my Cat: Kitchen Wars

Toranaga (Tori for short)
You'll see me posting about my cats a lot.  I have six of them.  There are going to be stories!  This cat is special.  Not only is he my favorite and a Spoiled Brat Supreme, he's a huge dumbass.  He does amazing, amazing things, like shut himself in the bathroom and get lost behind in the 3-foot-deep space between the fridge and the wall.  It's all very amusing, and he's lucky he's cute.  ;)
Like any pet parent, I talk to my animals, and of course, they talk back. (I swear they do!)  Sometimes, they start the conversation.  My conversations with Tori are entertaining initially, but they almost always end with him getting something thrown at him.  Luckily, that never includes rocks.  Yet...
Tonight, I'm washing the dishes after dinner, and the kitchen door is open, when Tori sidles up, like he does. He comes right up to the doorway and sits just outside it, looking all innocent and smiling, like he does. The conversation goes like this:
Me:  Washing dishes:  "Hey, buddy!"
Tori: Sticking his nose just inside the door:  "C'n I come in now?"
Me:  "No."
Tori: "K.  How 'bout now?"
Me:  "No.  You know better.  No kitchen!"
Tori: Sticking his nose in again, just to see what he can get away with: "Now?"
Me:  "Out!"
Tori:  Wanders off and then comes back.  Starts mouthing the corner of the dishwasher door, which is open.
Me:  Watches him.  Flicks water.  "Out!"
Tori:  Repeats above.  "If I put my mouth on this, it's mine, right?"
Me:  "No.  Out!"
Tori:  Ignoring me.  "Yup.  If it's got  my mouth juice on it, it are mine.  Therefore, the kitchen are mine! Right?"
Me:  Flicks water.  Closes dishwasher door.  Closes kitchen door.
Tori:  "What'd I do?!"            
These arguments never last long, because--let's face it--when I come to my cats, I'm a punk!  (But they still aren't allowed in the kitchen!  At least I can stand my ground on that!) 

Friday, November 22, 2013

Sam Says "No"


My boyfriend and I have six cats. Not in an "icky crazy cat people bordering on hoarder" way, though. We have six cats, and they are well cared for and have plenty of space, our home is clean, and most importantly, NO KITTEN-MAKING--everyone is spayed or neutered.

Keeping them healthy can get really interesting, because all six of them are now senior cats. Inevitably, there will be blood work, and inevitably, the blood work will say, "Let's look into this further", by which I mean, "Let's really fuck with these people and make their lives hell!" Normal routines go out the window at times like this. Money, what money? Hell, we didn't really want to go on vacation, anyway!

I recently needed a urine sample from my cat, Sam.  Sam has these big, blue eyes, and this gentle face, and he's very fluffy, sweet, and trusting.  He's affectionate and lovable... until you try to get him to do something he doesn't want to do. I named him "Sam", because his personality has always just been a typical "boy" personality.  One of his first acts when I brought him home as a kitten was to slam a door in my face.  True story!

The first morning, I got up, and nothing. No pee, no poop. Everything was just as squeaky clean as it had been when I put him in there the night before. OK. No big deal. I left him in there and went to work. When I checked in on him again after work, the box was still clean and dry, but his bed, the floor, his "Boogie Mat" (TM)--everywhere but the box was soaked in a layer of pee.  He looked at me as if to say, "Did I do good, mom?  Is this what you wanted?"  No.  No, it wasn't. That earned him another night's stay at the Pee for Me Inn.

The following morning, I got up and went to check on him. The floor was clean and dry. His (new) bed was still clean and dry, but there in the box was the lab litter, all scooped up in the center of the box. I swear it was the exact center. I'm pretty sure Sam measured for it and everything. (They are smarter than we think.) He had built a lab litter castle, complete with a little fiefdom and everything (but no moat!  There was not a drop of liquid to be found anywhere.) Right in the center of the lab litter castle was a massive poop. (I didn't take a picture of it to go with this note, but I thought about it. You're welcome.)

Sam can't speak, but he had very clearly said, "Fuck you!" that morning. Well played, Sam. Well played.

Photo credit:  Jennifer L. Moore

First Stand Up Performance-10/10/13

This was my first stand up performance, ever.  The material I share on stage is decidedly cleaner than my writing, for a variety of reasons.

As this was my first time, keep in mind my performance was not perfect.  Hopefully, it was funny.  The subtitles are embedded, so they can't be turned off.  Sorry.  I make it a priority to make sure my material is accessible to the deaf/HoH.

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Test Post

This is a test post.  I am making this post to test my layout.  Based on how I feel, my layout might change... or, it might not.  Depends on how I feel.

If your eyes bleed when you read this, that's a pretty good indication I'll be changing it.

This concludes this test.  There may be other tests to come. It pays to be prepared... Just sayin'...