professional procrastination

so here i sit, with a deliciously coveted sunday off of work. there are a handful of things that i want to do, such as writing a blog post that i got the brainspark for two days ago, and going out for a photography session on this almost 50 degree january day.  there is a crucial list of things i need to do including exhausting-sounding gerunds such as cleaning, purging and organizing.  my favorite thing to do on a day of rest is try out a new, elaborate recipe and hope the outcome is a nectarous end to a luxurious day of, well, rest.

with the limitless possibilities tugging at me and the tv remote always at the ready, this is the discourse that just took place in my head.  this is the monologue that occurs more often than i am proud to admit.  this is the true inner-workings of a procrastinator who is seasoned in her craft.

ok, so it’s 2 o’clock now.  the sunset is at 5:14 so i need to be somewhere photogenic by 4:30 at the latest which means i have to leave the house around 4.  if i shoot for around an hour, that still gives me five hours before i have to pick leanne up from work.  writing a blog post usually takes me a couple of hours so if i put the pork chops in the crock pot when i get home from taking pictures, then i can finish writing before dinner is ready.  but i don’t want the food to get cold before we eat so i should probably write first and then work on dinner. i can throw a load of laundry or two in there.  and the floors could really use a vacuum and mop in their lives.  the bedroom should be vacuumed too.  alright so i will leave at 4 to take pictures, be back home by 6, throw in a load of laundry, bust out the vacuum and the swiffer, then sit my ass down in front of the computer for an hour.  but no facebook and no tv.  i could always leave now to take some shots so that i catch more sunshine.  maybe if i change out of my pajamas i would feel more motivated.  hmm.  but this episode of roseanne just started.  and it’s a really funny one where mark punches out the jukebox at the lobo and dan lies for him to cover his ass.  and of course everyone gets caught.  you can’t hide that shit from roseanne.  ok, so after this episode is over i will stop being a lazy piece of shit and go be productive in the world.  or at least what i consider productive.  because taking pretty pictures isn’t going to clean out my closets. god, i really need to get all those bags of donation crap out of the third bedroom so i can take pictures of the drafting desk i want to sell.  i can do that tomorrow before i go to work.  then i can work on turning that into a library and hang all the local artwork i have acquired.  crap, i need to get up with laura to buy that photo from her.  we’ve been talking about that for months.  i need to shoot her a message.  but i can do that later when i’m not wasting daylight.  ok.  i should probably eat something before i leave the house.  i wonder if i can make a toasted ham and cheese sandwich before this show is over.  eh, if not, what’s one more half hour going to change?

seriously people.  and it just goes on.  in the time it takes me to rationalize all my actions, i have pilfered away the time i could have actually been doing all the things that i was thinking about doing.  in the end i usually end up just staying on the couch and wallowing in self-hatred.

the hardest part of being a procrastinator by nature is the lack of understanding from non-procrastinators.  do you think i want to be this way?  do you know how much easier life would be if i had unlimited ambition?  i certainly have the time.  my house could be immaculate and organized.  college would have been much less stressful if i could have written my papers sometime previous to the night before they were due.  i probably could have sold some photographs before christmas.  my blog would be famous if i utilized all the free time i have on my hands properly.

this is me, for better or for worse.  i will always be this girl.  my brain chemistry requires a certain reward system.  i can guiltlessly enjoy bad tv marathons as long as i swear to fold laundry on every commercial break.  i can have one more cigarette as long as i load the dishwasher immediately after i stub out the butt (and yes, i’m still working on re-quitting.  it’s much harder this time. that’s a whole different blog post).  even the small things, like answering emails or calling to make a dentist appointment are put off for days, sometimes weeks. i am sure it seems senseless to you eager beavers out there.  you just don’t get us.  it’s a constant cycle of self-bartering and broken promises.

but there is always tomorrow.  that is the cornerstone of living the procrastination life. tomorrow is the bane of and reason for our existence.  with inexplicable rationale, us procrastinators always believe that tomorrow will be there, waiting for us, and that sounds like downright positivity to me.  i will go to bed tonight disappointed that i watched five episodes of roseanne instead of hitting the beach with my camera.  i will get up in the morning and not harp on my shortcomings.  instead, i will start the conversation all over again.  i will revel in the small victories of each day, even though sometimes they are as excruciatingly small as writing a blog about slacking on my blog-writing.

there’s always room for…

Several years ago, a close group of my college cohorts created a yearly event called “Turducken.” It is a gluttonous weekend shared between longtime friends who gather around a excessively fowl creature of gastronomical delight, pun absolutely intended. If you don’t know what a turducken is, well my friend, I do not envy you. But I also do not have time to teach you things you should already know. There’s this thing called Google. Look it up.

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Meat orgy.

In the passing of Turducken celebrations, there have been ugly sweater contests, haiku writing competitions and redneckery. We have enjoyed snowstorms and mural painting sessions, and monstrous games of Scrabble where we learned that some of our friends don’t know any words that contain more than three letters. Discussions of politics and religion are always encouraged. Prank phone calls are suffered by those who do not attend. And the food. Sweet baby Jesus, the food. That tri-fecta of birds and bacon is lovingly surrounded by potatoes and veggies smothered in cheese, casseroles and pies. And dozens upon dozens of deviled eggs.

It is my turduckenly duty every year to supply two things: deviled eggs and Jello shots. Unlikely bedfellows, for sure, but staples of this hallowed holiday’s traditions. My quantities of production have had to increase each year of the event. If I recall correctly, 2012 required 6 dozen deviled eggs and somewhere around 160 Jello shots. My friends are animals.  And honestly, every event involving my SMC alumni requires that I bring the same two party supplies.  I swear I have other culinary talents, but if it ain’t broke…

Anywho, this is not a story about egg farts or vocabulary. This, shockingly, is a story about booze. I’ll give you a moment to process. I need to finish this growler of Burley Oak’s Sour Trip before it goes bad, and that would be a travesty.

. . .

What follows is the email that I sent to the fellow members of my Turducken clan. Now I warn you, with medium such as email, Facebook or poetry, I do not bother with the constructs of capitalization or punctuation. Sometimes I talk like a 12 year old boy. Please do not judge me:

holy shit, dudes. i just had a momentous idea. or at least i think it is, so screw what you think. you’re doing it anyway.

so i was researching buying jello shot cups in bulk online (there’s a phrase no one in this email thread has ever typed before) and i discovered that there are at least 5 different methods of jello shot delivery. i have read reviews on all of them and we, ourselves, have tried at least 2 or 3, depending on which of the rest of you have been to the freaky tiki in myrtle beach. there are so many pros and cons for each method that i could not decide on which to go with. so here’s where you come in: i am going to turn turducken into a literal testing grounds. i am bringing jello shots in all 5 forms of delivery, the classic and the newfangled. i will make up comment cards for you all to fill out on your experimentation with all forms. not only will this solve the dilemma of which vessels will be further used in all events, but i am going to create a damn hilarious and informative blog on our findings. everyone will receive credit when i get famous. i will never forget the little people.

so, who’s in? or should i say, who is lame enough to protest?

Yes, that’s right kiddies. This mid-thirties woman just found a way to combine her love of academia with her insistence on binge drinking like a 21 year old fresh off the graduation stage.

Sure, there is almost always alcohol consumption when old friends get together. I would love to say that our tastes have matured over the years, but the truth is that we have simply expanded our repertoire. We still love our cheap canned beer, but we also share some of our favorite local craft beers and homebrews. Our wine now comes in a bottle instead of a cardboard box with an udder. We like to pretend that coffee drinks cancel each other out. But, Jello shots: there is an alcoholic concoction that just screams, “I want to pass out under the dining room table and hate myself for three days.”

It’s a sickness. And a life choice.

In the time of this project I will be letting you witness my important research. You know, pictures and graphs and shit. Okay, not graphs. I have an English degree, people. But maybe charts, if I can find an easy program online. It would be hilarious if one of you would create a PowerPoint slideshow. I don’t even really know what that means.  Please feel free to share any experience you have in this area of study. All recipes and advice will be gratefully accepted, although I will probably just do what I want.

PS ~ I have only received one response to my email as of yet. It was one of the Turducken founders telling me that he had a dream last night about eating too many Jello shots. Yeah. I think it’s a sign.

UPDATE:  This might be the most evil Amazon cart I have ever loaded:

jelloshotcups

 

Now to decide flavors…

and this is why i should not have kids

I think I may have screwed up one of my cats for good.

Wait, wait, wait. Let me back up for a moment. I would like to warn you, fair reader, that if you continue to read these silly blog posts, you will likely read a decent amount about my cats.

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No, I am not a crazy cat lady. I have two of these obnoxious creatures and that is where I have drawn the line. We all know that acquisition of a third feline is when you start wandering the streets with an empty baby carriage and mumbling to yourself. I am also not a “cat person.” I am an “animal person.” In my lifetime I have also befriended dogs, birds, mice, rats, frogs, lizards, rabbits, fish, and a very unfortunate hamster by the name of “Princess.” Cats just happen to fit my lifestyle. And by lifestyle I mean that I can leave town for a few days if I provide them with an extra bowl of food and they are none the wiser.

The reason that I own cats and not a plethora of other more dependent animals, like I wish I could, eerily mirrors the reason that I am 99% sure that children are not in my future. Don’t be sad. I’m not sad. I really think it is just best for everyone. I rarely make responsible decisions in my own life, so how could I be trusted to properly guide that of someone else? Let‘s put it this way: Sometimes, when my cats are being loud and batting at my face in the morning to communicate that their food bowls are empty, I pull the blanket over my head and pretend they don’t exist. I mean, I know they aren’t going to starve to death.  Plus, I was up late last night and do not feel like standing up yet.

Back to the matter at hand. Now and then I forget that I am my cats’ whole world. Gideon (aka Babyman, Supermodel Kitty, Tiger, Mittens) just turned 16 in February. Raven (aka Fatty Boombatty, Midnight, Asshole) is somewhere around 12ish. Come on, we all know that the second kid’s baby book is never as good as the first‘s. They are both indoor cats and have been ever since I took away their freedom and domesticated them. They have nothing but the environment I have created for them. That can get to be a lot for a girl.

This past week I bought them new food bowls and an automatic water dispenser. As cats get older their bodies start to do mean things to them, as do ours. Their organs don’t function as efficiently. They are thirsty all the time and peeing all the time. My vet calls this “old man’s syndrome.” I call it “I have to remember to fill the water bowl and clean the litter box twice as often.” Hence, the water dispenser was necessary. The food bowls? Well, they were purple.

After setting up the new café for my furry roommates, I go to work. When I return, it doesn’t seem as though they have eaten as much as usual. But the new bowls are smaller, so I figure it is just an illusion. I go to bed. I wake up and go off to work a double. When I come home this time, same deal. But it’s been so hot and humid and I refuse to turn on the air conditioning, so perhaps this is a protest.

As I go about my usual business of post-work decompression, Gideon is being annoying as fuck. He is always pretty needy, even more so now that the “old man’s syndrome” has taken hold, but this is excessive. I go to change the laundry and he is right on my heels. I run to grab something out of my truck and he waits at the door for me as if I will never return. He clambers onto my laptop. I walk to the kitchen for a snack and he practically climbs into the refrigerator. Hold on a second. I think he’s hungry!

Not for one second did it occur to me how monumental of a change I had made by altering the eating and drinking habits that had been developed for over a decade. Those creepy little bowls with the faceless whisker and paw print designs had been a ritual for these cats in this tiny world of theirs, and I just walked in one day and changed shit. No warning. No memo. No democracy.

No lie, I cackled a little at the thought of my power. The psychological implications seemed limitless. And then I immediately felt like a jerk and pulled a rotisserie chicken out of the fridge. I bribed my little beggar to eat out of the new bowls, and it worked. Then I splashed my hand around in the water bowl of the dispenser so he could see that it was his friend and not some alien being that had taken the place of his life source. I got another laugh when he jumped because the jug of water bubbled while he was gulping away. I’m only human. But I think that my training an old cat new tricks shows that I can also use my powers for good. Occasionally, it may just take a day and a half.

What about Raven, you ask? Oh, don’t worry about him. That fat boy will eat out of a paper bag if I let him. He will be just fine.