There are approximately eight gazillion things I should be doing this week, so naturally I have accomplished none of them and now I am using what little time I have left before heading out to Tinytown to deliver a bunch of stuff to my oldest tonight to blog instead of work. Because blogging brings in the big bucks!! Oh, wait…. (Did you know I actually used to make money doing this? I don’t anymore, but once upon a time it was in fact lucrative to overshare on the Internet. It probably still is for people who have business plans and long-range goals and strategic partnerships, whereas I just have A Lot Of Feelingsâ„¢ and spend about half of every day looking at my dogs and demanding to know which one of them smells bad.)
Speaking of the dogs, they are responsible for one of today’s rabbit holes. They’re not just smelly (seriously, between the yeasty ears and I-ate-something-dead breath, it’s a VERY good thing they’re cute), they’re also getting kind of old. Licorice still acts like a puppy, but Duncan is moving slower, no longer jumps up or down on furniture (preferring, instead, to stare at the couch and bark until you lift him up), etc. And I gave him a bath and washed his bed this weekend, and then I washed the pad in the crate the dogs share when we’re out, so somehow I got it into my head that the crate needs a better/thicker pad in there. I want the dogs to be comfortable. Easy enough, right? I’ll just go look online and find something and…
… HOLY HELL have dog beds always cost as much as people beds?? The problem might be that I am accustomed to buying small, cheap beds, for I have small dogs and I am cheap. Licorice mostly sleeps on our furniture and in our beds, because she firmly believes she’s a human. But at one point I did acquire a bed on clearance and toss it into the living room thinking that Duncan might use it, and Licorice promptly claimed it as hers, because she’s a bitch (literally), and her new favorite thing is to hoard all the toys in it and just sit there. She never SLEEPS in the bed. On the other hand, Duncan came to us with an unremarkable bed he sleeps in at night, and at some point I replaced it with a newer but equally unremarkable bed. All of these beds are small, as befits the 12- and 16-pound little monsters who use them.
The crate, however, is big. I know there’s a whole philosophy about crate-training dogs in a space just big enough for them to rest comfortably, blah blah, but I am putting two small and oftentimes cranky dogs into a single crate together most often when there won’t be any humans home. I want them to have plenty of room. I do not ever want to return home to some version of Doggy Fight Club because someone sat on someone else’s head. Thus the crate is MUCH LARGER than any other dog bed I’ve ever purchased and now that the dogs are getting order I thought maybe I should look at orthopedic memory foam or whatever. Just, like, a nice plush mat for the crate with some support would make me feel better about leaving them in there, y’know? And how much more could it cost, really?
Well. A lot. To buy a decent mat or bed in a size roughly double what I normally buy in a crappy bed costs about four times (or more) what I’ve spent in the past. And a different person, a saner person, perhaps, would simply find something the right size with decent reviews and buy it. I, however, am me. Which means I spent hours comparison shopping dog beds today and I still haven’t bought anything. I love my dogs a whole lot, but I’m not sure I love them $100-orthopedic-dog-bed much.
When I wasn’t looking at dog beds today, I was working very hard. HAHAHA! Just kidding! When I wasn’t looking at dog beds, I was on eBay looking at vintage college pennants and also Googling pictures of old post cards. Because I hate myself.
Wait, no. I do not hate myself! I am NIFTY and GOOD ENOUGH and SMART ENOUGH and just, um, kind of distractible. I am assisting on a show and I agreed to do the lobby decorations and because I have A Lot Of Feelingsâ„¢ and this show is darling I now also have A Lot Of Ideasâ„¢ about things we should have on display with the actors’ headshots. Most of the things I would like us to have cost many, many dollars and so instead of just purchasing everything that would be cool, I am spending hours looking at pictures and figuring out what I can make and/or print myself, instead.
Those two rabbit holes are just where I’ve been TODAY. If I think about the week so far (and yes, it’s only Thursday), we also have:
Please Bring Me
With the impending trip to visit Chickadee and drop off various things for her and take her out for a decent meal, I gathered up the items in question (an Amazon package she accidentally sent here; a custom orthotic we had to exchange and which arrived after the semester started; some clothes I bought her after she left; a few forgotten items from over break) and put them into a bag over the weekend. I also asked Chickie multiple times if there was anything else she needed, to the point where she started prefacing responses with “For the third time…” in her exasperation. AND YET. First she asked for some more toilet paper, which led to a lengthy and unnecessary conversation about whether or not all of Tinytown has run out of toilet tissue, or have all the stores there closed, perhaps? But you see, she says, because I order it by the case, she just figured it would be EASIER for me to bring her some from here. But if not, she can always—“Buy your own?” I interrupted.
“No, I was just going to grab some the next time I’m home. I mean, it’s coming from the house either way,” she said.
Then she asked for a sponge for the kitchen a few days later, and round and round we went again. OH DEAR, ALL OF TINYTOWN’S STORES ARE STILL CLOSED! I can bring it or she can swipe it later. Okay. So noted.
I also keep an extensive pantry of various shelf-stable foodstuffs—much of which I do order in bulk—and so I ran through the usual suspects to make sure that she didn’t need any of those things. More instant oatmeal? Cheez-Its? Pop-Tarts? Wheat Thins? Granola bars? No, she was fine, PLEASE DON’T BRING ANY FOOD, she said.
Well, I certainly didn’t bake a few batches of her favorite cookies, then. Uh. Yeah. Definitely not. That would just be silly. She doesn’t need any food. I… don’t know where those cookies came from….
And today she texted me all frantic about needing more contact lenses. Because after years of me hiding the extras from her in her younger teenager-hood due to constant power struggles wherein a certain young lady wore 2-week lenses for months at a time and could never be bothered to clean them, I finally started handing over the entire shipment with a loving proclamation along the lines of, “You’re an adult now! Have infected eyeballs, see if I care!” I order the contacts, because I pay for the contacts, and then I give them to her. And then she leaves them here at the house and tries to tell me I took them. Which I didn’t. “Oh, wait, they’re in my room!” she said, after several circular “yes you do” “no I don’t” lines of accusations. I went up to her room. I dug around. I found lots of things that made me want to strangle her, but no contacts.
The spare contacts were finally located under the bathroom sink. They will be delivered tonight. The speech about how if she doesn’t clean up her towering piles of crap the next time she’s home has already been delivered.
Software Updates For the Dumb and Apathetic
I think I mentioned that recently my work computer tried very hard to die a spectacular death, and Otto was able to nurse it back to life and wipe it and reinstall and generally save my bacon. It’s all fine now, except part of the rebuild was admitting that I was running very old versions of a bunch of software. That was fine (or not; my computer did die, after all), but now I have to upgrade things because we don’t have the old product keys and/or redoing everything made my computer realize I was using old stuff and so now it’s all I CAN’T LET YOU DO THAT, MIR or something.
So I’ve been trying to figure out what to replace things with, and the thing is I don’t really care (except I do, sort of), and I am easily confused, and did you know there’s like twelve different versions of Quicken out there, now? For real. I don’t know which one I need, I just know my old one is broken and all the new ones cost money I don’t want to spend, because I could be spending it on a new dog bed.
I’m Supposed to be Stronger Now
Last weekend I took a self-defense seminar because it’s something I’ve always wanted to do and because it was free. It was great! I mean, it was hard and I got really sweaty and after about, oh, two hours, I started thinking that maybe it would be easier to just fake my own death than to keep practicing throwing people off of me, but yeah, it was cool. Of course, the next day I was COVERED in bruises because I’m a delicate flower, and so I alternate between checking said bruises to see if they’re getting better or worse and if I need more arnica, and Googling various things we talked about but didn’t do, because now I know how to get out of a chokehold but I’m really curious to know if I actually COULD break a dude’s wrist if it came to that.
Also, it occurred to me that if I exercised with more regularity I probably wouldn’t be quite so sore after things like that, but then I remembered how much I hate to exercise. I spent quite a lot of time baking and eating things and reflecting on how I really should probably bake less and move more, this week. It’s a puzzle, this whole thing where my pants are tight and exercise is hard. Weird.
Of course, the weather here has been crazy and spectacular, so Otto and I did sneak out for a nice long pre-dinner walk the other night. It was great. As we were turning the corner at a not-particularly-busy intersection, a friend screamed my name out the window of her car as she turned, and I waved, grateful that it had been enough days since the seminar that I can lift my arms again. “Townie!” Otto said. Yes, I saw one person I know less than a mile from her home. I KNOW EVERYONE. But also, she saw me out for a walk, so that means I totally exercised and have a witness.
I recently reseasoned all of my cast iron pans. It was a painstaking process and Iâ€™m already too bored with it to tell you more, except to say that BELIEVE YOU ME, I read no fewer than eight articles on The Right Way to do it before proceeding. They look great now. The pans, that is. Not the articles. Those are still boring and no one cares about this but me.
Tickets, Get Your Tickets
Another show is opening this week at the theater where I handle season ticketing, so I sent out a show reminder and was immediately flooded with questions/issues from patrons. To be clear: I love helping folks with this stuff. But if I had a nickel for every “Okay, go to this screen, follow these steps” “Oh I did that and it didn’t work” interaction I’ve had with a patron, I could retire. Also, I can now go through the automated system and reserve tickets for people in under a minute flat, now (there’s multiple screens and a whole bunch of information you have to enter). Sometimes I have dreams about making ticket reservations for people, which just goes to show you that I am capable of losing time to this volunteer job even when I’m sleeping.
Otto and I are currently binge-watching Parks & Recreation on Netflix, because—I hope you’re sitting down—neither of us had ever watched it, before. I don’t know how that happened. Anyway. Otto goes to work every day and does a million important things and shapes the young minds of tomorrow and then he comes home and wants some hard-earned relaxation. So when he says “Wanna watch some TV?” after dinner, I think about all of the work I didn’t do during the day because I was Googling things and finding things and looking at expensive dog beds and making ticket reservations and trying to figure out if that bruise was there before, and then I look at all the dishes in the sink that need to be washed, and like the responsible adult I am, I usually say, “Sure!” And then we watch TV for an hour (or two or three).
It really is a puzzle, why I haven’t been more productive recently.
Mir, you’re wonderful and it’s wonderful that you’re blogging again. :)
Computer keys – After a hard drive failure, I started keeping software keys in a file that is backed up in multiple places. I should probably do some editing, because it still contains keys for Windows software, and I’ve been on a Mac for almost eleven years.
Check places likes Marshal’s and TJ Maxx and Home Goods – they often have fancy pet beds for cheap.
I love your post and all the rabbit holes you’ve been down. It all sounds so familiar to me. Glad to read you whenever you decide to write!
Your week sounds…a lot like my week. Last week I decided I was going to make better choices. I have but, baby steps.
Also–on the cast iron, was it flaxseed oil? I hope so! Please tell me it was flaxseed oil because, uh I already bought it.
PS 78 today. Are ya kidding me?
Flaxseed is supposed to be the best due to its high… something scale. (Clearly I paid a lot of attention in my reading.) But I read soybean oil is nearly as good, so thatâ€™s what used. Three coats! Warm in a 200 degree oven to open the pores, thin coat of oil wiped mostly off, back into a cold oven set to maximum for 30 minutes, then shut the oven off and leave for three hours. Repeat, repeat. Pans are glistening now.
Self defense course sounds cool! I need to start taking Krav Maga again here…
Thanks for the update, glad things are going well.
Sofa cushions at thrift shops make good dog beds. My cast iron pans need help too. I went to a belly dancing class tonight and my abs and butt will be sorry tomorrow. And, well, yeah.
Season iron pans?? I have a bunch, some of which were my grandmother’s, in constant use. I just scrub ’em and dry them on low heat on the stove top. It must be OK since some of them are at least 100 years old!
As long as youâ€™re happy with the finish, thatâ€™s fine. My everyday pan had become unevenly coated and needed some help, and the smaller pan I use for cornbread mustâ€™ve gotten put away a little damp, because it actually had some rust! Theyâ€™re both fine now.
How did you get the rust off? I tried once and then seasoned and my husband was all “there’s still rust”…dammit.
Just steel wool, hot/soapy water, and elbow grease. Dry thoroughly before starting the seasoning. Seems to have worked.
As far as the dog bed; I’ve picked up memory foam bathroom rugs on clearance dirt-cheap. I suppose maybe those could be thrown on a couple inches of regular cheap foam? Maybe stuffed into an old pillow case for stability?
Don’t worry. It’s still winter time when bears use to sleep in holes all the time, and a lot of other people are not much more produvtive and efficient than you are. People who work in a dayjob, well, they have to.
Over here in Germany they say, when the kids have left the house you get yourself a furry kid to take care of. And you got even two!
Oh, the cast iron! Dear Husband loves to cook with them, but he doesn’t clean or reseason them. Why? Because he thinks that he doesn’t know how and he might wreck one. Yeah, right. Uh-huh.
At least he’s seasoning the wok now. I can hand him the grapeseed oil and tell him the cast iron pans work the same way.
We used the cone-type foam mattress pads to make a bed for our standard poodle when she was older. Actually got them from the hospital when my dad was a patient. They were sent home with him. I cut it to the size needed and sewed a simple pillow case cover with velcro closures. Easy and cheap!
And I just clicked on your post versus doing any of my 10 super critical, must be done today, mayday, mayday, this is urgent work things to do (will start now but a different set of 10 will appear tomorrow and in many cases if I only do 5 the others never come back). It is a mystery some times how we don’t spend more time in the rabbit holes….