Friday, February 14, 2014

Cat Conversations

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Jet Ski

It was the summer between my freshman and sophomore years of high school.  I had just spent the night with my friend--we'll call her Katie--at her grandparents' lake house.  Our friend Lisa, who had always been inseparable from Katie, had recently moved away, and this sleepover was clearly a test to see if I was potential New Best Friend material.

So far, I was botching it pretty badly.

"Lisa always used to change the CD while I was driving," Katie announced during the 45-minute trip to the lake, so I stretched my arm awkwardly in front of her face and rummaged through her visor-mounted CD case.  

"Oh," she said when the CD I picked started playing, "I guess that's okay."

After a fitful night on the upstairs couch "where Lisa always used to sleep," I slipped downstairs shortly after daybreak, careful not to wake Katie, who was burrowed in her own bedroom.  

"Why didn't you wake me up?" she demanded when she emerged several hours later, looking refreshed and well-rested.  "Lisa always used to wake me up."

Now Katie wanted to go jet skiing on the lake.  I had never ridden a jet ski before, and I was immediately alarmed by the lack of anything to hold onto whatsoever.  In the driver's seat, Katie had the handles and foot pedals to anchor her; riding behind her, I had no grips, no straps, no footholds.  

"Are you sure this is safe?" I asked.

"It's fine," Katie shrugged, already revving the engine.  "Lisa used to ride back there all the time."

This was likely my final chance to squeeze some magic memories out of this awkward, exhausting weekend.  Katie would know if this was really dangerous, I assured myself.  I mean, she has a jet ski license.  

We careened away from the pier and into the open water.

It took a full thirty seconds for me to yell "SSSTTOOOOPPP!" as my arms flailed uselessly behind me and my ankles lost their ineffectual grip on the hard plastic seat.  

The roar of the engine died away.  Katie cast a cursory glance over her shoulder as the jet ski bobbed in the water.  "WHAT." 

"I'm falling off."

"Just grip my waist," she barked, and we sped away once more, now with my hands resting hesitantly on the sides of Katie's life preserver.

The wind was churning up some impressive waves that day, and Katie's objective was to hit each wave hard enough to send the jet ski briefly flying through the air.  Shortly after we started moving again, a wave slammed against us, and I lost my timid grip on Katie's life vest.  I barely had time to process what was happening as I flew through the air in a graceful arc.

I hit the surface with a giant, full-body slap, then tumbled head-over-heels underwater at breakneck speed.  My field of vision consisted of swirling water and streams of bubbles.  I had no idea which way was was up or which way was down.  Not that it mattered, since I couldn't feel any part of my body.  I'm actually a pretty good swimmer, but it's impossible to swim when you literally have no control over your limbs.  I was like a floating head caught in the spin cycle of a washing machine.

This is pretty much exactly what was happening in front of my face.

Finally, I lost my momentum, and my life vest buoyed me upward.  I broke the surface of the water, gasping for air.  Katie circled around on the jet ski.  As I floated there, watching her approach, I prepared myself to gracefully accept her apology for dragging me into what was clearly a deathtrap.

At that moment, I realized there were things I absolutely would not do for friendship, and that being flung off the back of a jet ski was one of those things.

I spent the rest of the day watching TV with Katie's grandmother in an air-conditioned room, while Katie rode her jet ski around the lake. I was not invited back to the lake house.

Sunday, June 30, 2013


I haven't been blogging this month, but stuff has still been happening to me.

I went to a concert with my mom like a cool person.

This concert was at a standing-only venue in Asheville that serves beer in plastic cups.  The show was sold out, and the uncirculated air closely matched the internal body temperature of the horde of human beings inside.  Just as the show was about to start, I was nudging my way back through the sweltering crowd from the bathroom, when I somehow collided with a plastic-cup-wielding girl who splashed beer down my leg.  

I had been looking forward to this concert for a while, and I wasn't about to let one damp, yeasty-smelling leg ruin it for me.  But as I stood there, waiting for the band to take the stage, I realized something:  All these people are milling around with, at most, six square inches of personal space per person, and roughly two thirds of them are carrying beer in unlidded containers, consuming said beer and getting progressively drunker and, consequently, less able to steadily grip said containers as the evening progresses.  We are all basically standing here taking a giant beer shower.

It was a mind-blowing realization.

I got way too emotionally invested in Game of Thrones.

This actually started when, determined to find out what all these memes were talking about on Pinterest, I put season one of the show in our Netflix queue, at which point Ari announced that neither of us was allowed to watch the TV series until we'd read the books.  (I have a sneaking suspicion he only said this so that he could move 2001: A Space Odyssey to the top.)  So a couple of weeks ago, I finally picked up the first book in the Song of Ice and Fire series, and found myself sucked into a state of psychological turmoil the likes of which I hadn't experienced since my Harry Potter days.  

Seriously.  I literally found it difficult to concentrate at work because I was so concerned about the characters' safety and well-being.  Who cares about wrapping this order?  Arya is trying to escape from the castle and I DON'T KNOW IF SHE MADE IT.  How can I be expected to sweep when NED IS LOCKED IN THE DUNGEON?!  For about a week, my existence consisted of sleeping, working, and then practically dive-bombing my bed at the end of the day so that I could indulge in another marathon reading session.

I have no regrets.

My car did something weird, so I took it to a mechanic, but then it immediately stopped doing the weird thing, and now I feel like an insane person. 

It's amazing how one barely-detectable lurch or vibration or mysterious noise in my car takes me from zero to cray-cray in a matter of minutes.  On the bright side, the mechanic didn't charge me for my visit, which I am going to choose not to interpret as an act of pity toward the girl who was clearly having a paranoid episode.  My car has been driving fine ever since, so I've decided to just stay calm and assume my engine is going to explode at any moment.  My solution to this impending disaster is to treat my car with especial kindness, as though my goodwill and affection will convince it to continue functioning properly.

So as you can see, I'm in a really great place mentally.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Monday, May 6, 2013

Grocery Guilt

Friday night, I did something I never, ever do.  I went to the grocery store on my way home from work.  This is a recipe for disaster, because I'm always starving after work, so I want to buy every single food item I see, and I'm also exhausted, so I don't have the strength or willpower to argue with the little voice in my head that says, "Get those tulips.  They'll look so good in the front flower bed.  You deserve to come home after a long day at work and see an aesthetically pleasing flower bed.  What is work for, anyway, if not to earn money with which to buy tulips?"  

But I had a coupon that expired that day, so to the grocery store I went, with an empty stomach and very low resolve.

And thus I came home Friday night laden with reusable bags and shame.

Seriously.  Of all the things I bought, fewer than half could be eaten as an actual meal.  This is how I end up with lunches that make no sense.  My co-workers come to work with nice, neat little containers of things to eat for lunch, like sandwiches, or a healthy vegetable stir-fry, or leftover pizza.  I bring a huge bag of cheese puffs, a jar of peanut butter, a handful of caramel corn, and if I'm feeling really responsible, an apple.

The good news is, I don't feel guilty about it anymore, because the moment I dumped my bags of failure-groceries on the kitchen counter and started lamenting my spending habits and personal choices, Hubs revealed something awesome.

Ultimately, it all comes down to priorities.  Some people like eating from all the food groups.  Hubs would rather buy 82 packs of Ramen for $5 and play Skyrim.  As for me, I don't mind eating cheese-filled tortillas for every meal and continuing to wear the same pair of sandals I've already glued back together twice, as long as I can have chocolate ice cream with swirls of marshmallow and caramel and tiny fish-shaped fudge pieces.

Having low standards is really the key to happiness.