Running with Cats…

Standard

For those who have never had an exercise buddy of the feline variety:

  1. Cats do not understand exercise with humans. To be fair, I haven’t ever had a steady habit of exercise around these cats, so this isn’t completely their fault. But, after a few weeks, you’d think they’d get the gist of what’s going on. We’re going to go around in circles for a while. Then we go home. We’ll be sweaty. I don’t imagine a lot of what we do makes sense so I’m not sure why this particular practice is so exciting/distressing.
  2. When cats do not understand exercise they signal their distress by screaming at you repeatedly the entire time you are exercising. I initially assumed they would get tired of screaming at us and go back home. This is not the case. They begin yelling as soon as we get out of our yard. They will trot behind us meowing that ramps up to screaming/yowling the further from the house we get.
  3. They seem to assume I need a bodyguard. If you’ve ever been around cats they have no clue they’re small. While I’m walking (and wishing I could not be doing the entire exercise thing) Neo puffs up, arches his back, and crab walks all around me. He’ll spit and yowl and act like a lunatic. It kind of looks like I’m engaged in a very slow chase with a very angry cat.
  4. They can run along with me but no, they’d prefer I look ridiculous. When I pick up the pace a very, very small amount the cats fall back and yowl pitifully as they trot along behind. Picture it. My big, sweaty, ungainly self shambling by in a painfully slow jog ….nothing happens for a minute….and then a couple of cats trot by yelling at my back. The next time I loop by your house you see the same bizarre parade. The last time I ran two different neighbors were taking their trash out. Both ended up standing there with their trash bags laughing for a couple loops.
  5. It’s hard to concentrate on anything whilst running when loud, pitiful sounding yowls are your constant chorus. I’ve become an even more unusual “runner” because now I just walk/jog/shamble/stagger around meowing back or fussing at the damn cats. It was just funny and charming, dare I say quirky, when we used to walk the dog and the cats came with us. Now that I’m trying to exercise it’s just weird. I was able to just run around the loop behind our property so very few people saw the cats chasing me. Now that it’s dark early I run through the neighborhood so I can actually see where I’m going.
  6. The new workout trend will be the crazy cat experience. I’ll go slower than you so you feel fast and strong and fit while my cats run around us screaming like they’re starving/being skinned alive. That’s what Marshmallow running dreams are made of.
  7. PS. Our fancy runnings cats are rescue cats (as are all of our animals). So if you want to run with a buddy, please rescue rather than buying. 

26961574_10103510693084976_7286680231683334120_o

Fleet Feet, Marshmallow Mascots, and Embarrassment…

Standard

Having never been an athlete (or even close to it) I never paid any attention to stores catering to that specific clientele. I assumed it would be a room full of very slim, attractive people jogging in place or stretching in impossible ways, eating celery, and talking about fat people. As I fall into the fat people category, that did not seem like a place I should visit. I have only been “running” a couple months, off and on, and at a very slow pace. More like, walking at varying speeds with the occasion quick shamble thrown into the mix. I’m not an athlete. I’m barely a human. So those stores are most certainly not for me.

Mancandy used to be in the Marines. He’s further along in his running journey than I am. He assumes he belongs anywhere. And he got it into his mind that he needed a running shoe. Apparently, all athletic shoes are not running shoes. Runners are athletes. But athletic shoes are not for all the athletes. I guess. Which makes sense really, I just hadn’t thought of it.

Whilst running (or, shambling, which is a better description) my shins have been killing me. I assumed shin splints, talked to a couple runners, read a few articles, and then just accepted my shins would be angry. I didn’t really think much of it. New shoes were mentioned but I had zero intentions of buying shoes specifically made for runners. They are pricey and I’m not really a runner. I don’t know what I am (a shambler…a randomly spirited walker….a wheezer), but looking at other runners and then looking at me will very quickly make that fact apparent.

Mancandy insisted we needed to go into Fleet Feet. I’d never even heard of the place. The name alone obviously wasn’t going to call one such as I. But being a supportive idiot, I went in.

Full disclosure, I did not want to. While I admire anyone who is confident and comfortable with their size/body/abilities/disabilities, I am not there. My body is just a thing. I don’t like it. I don’t really think about it if I can avoid it. And while I will never be a pixie little waif of a woman (which is some serious bullshit as I would LOVE to be a tiny petite ballerina looking thing) I could be more comfortable and healthier. So…running. But, I generally do this alone, under the cover of darkness, so no one can see my inability to move gracefully.

All that to say, the perfect beautiful people munching celery are not my people. And I was quite sure they are a judgy clan. Pretty, perfect-skinned, hairless athletes just waiting for a fat chick in sale rack non-running athletic shoes to mistakenly cross their threshold. My palms started to sweat walking across the lot. Entering the store, there was a whiteboard set up asking guests to sign in. Mancandy wandered off. I blinked, explained to the intimidating salesperson that I was not there for a try on so we didn’t need to sign in, and scuttled after Mancandy. If I made it apparent I knew I didn’t belong maybe they wouldn’t judge as harshly. I poked at shoes whose brands I’d never heard of, cooed over really soft, thick flip flops until seeing the price tag, and tried to appear appropriately shameful of myself.

Eventually, Mancandy decided he DID want to try on shoes (which made me panic as we had not signed up on the whiteboard as we’d been asked). The same intimidating sales person walked up and I immediately threw him under the bus saying I’d TOLD him to sign in and he was the trouble maker. He ignored me and started discussing shoes. It became apparent quickly that she knew what she was talking about, he did not, and this pleased me. Until she asked what I was wearing. I muttered “Fila” and got the look. She told us to sit down. She brought shoes for Mancandy. They talked.

I tried to will myself to stop stress sweating. And blushing. Why was I blushing? Who knows. My body reacted to the stress in the most annoying ways possible. I sat with my offending shoes tucked as far under my body as I could get them and tried to be invisible.

Once Mancandy had decided on his shoes they both turned to look at me. I blinked back. Our salesperson asked if I would please take my shoes and socks off and roll my pant legs halfway up my calf. I blinked again. I asked if I could come back another time. She said I could not. I tried again, I was not prepared for this and my feet were stress sweating and my legs were so pale I am basically translucent and my eczema is bad right now so I don’t even know when I last shaved my legs and at this point, I’m drenched in sweat and tomato red.

Also, because stupid Mancandy and stupid perfect skinned salesperson are continuing to try to convince me, I’ve become the center point of attention in the store. If you have ever been suddenly aware of people’s attention, it has weight. You can tell. And everyone in the store was looking at me. Athletic, hairless sales person calmly shoots down my “excuses” and other than storming out and causing a scene, I had no choice. So I took off my shoes, peeled off my sweaty socks, and stood on a machine thing with my not at all pretty or perfect legs sticking out.

I wanted to ugly cry. Everyone was looking. And many of the things I find repulsive about myself were on display. I absolutely abhor being the center of attention and all these strangers (most of whom with slender, runner people physiques) were looking at me.

The freaking machine wouldn’t work. I stood there, on display, sweating and trying not to throw up, for ages. She finally took pity on me and had me use some sort of little metal thing they used when I was a child. She let me unroll my pant cuffs and hide more of myself. I could breathe a little easier. I walked up and down the store, she and Mancandy discussed my shin issues, and just focused on not throwing up.

Three different types of shoes were brought out. The first two were pretty, sleek looking things. They felt like normal shoes. The third pair were unattractive, boxy-looking things with huge soles compared to the other shoes I’d tried on. She explained they would absorb more impact and keep my shins from being so sore. I was too embarrassed and upset to argue, so I tried them on. And made an involuntary “Oooooooooo” sound. They were so soft and comfy. She boxed the other two up, took the try-on socks she’d had me use back (her pretty, long-fingered hands casually touching the super sweaty socks….more embarrassment), and told me they’d need to be replaced in 6 months.

I keep shoes until they fall apart. So, that seemed ridiculous. They were expensive. Then she gave me the parting shot. This particular shoe’s mascot is a running marshmallow. What she did not say but the entire store must have been thinking, I was the embodiment of their mascot. Humiliating, but it tipped the entire experience into the land of farce for me and I was able to laugh a little bit.

There was no way to explain any of that to Mancandy. He’s one of the most self-assured, confident people I’ve ever met. Much to my annoyance most of the time. But I did make sure to go tell my buddy from work who runs insane distances. She told me about ambassadors for the brand, they send you shoes and you wear them and I’m assuming represent them on social media and whilst running. Obviously, I should be the ambassador for this brand.

Hoka, where are you at? I am your marshmallow! I mean, no one ever sees me run, but I could be your ambassador convincing all the scared, shy plump little peoples to run! Have your people call my people.

Also, in the next edition of embarrassing stories I shouldn’t tell but do, other people’s children gave me a stomach bug and I’m still terrified to run(ish). That seems like a recipe for more embarrassment. But, if it goes poorly, it will be a good story for those who enjoy laughing at others.

 

 

 

Running, Tea, and Baby Fuzzy Things…

Standard

This is all randomness. Brace thyself.

My friend at work loves to run. She seriously runs. Mountain running, trail running, long-distance running, etc. She does those things. I am still in the fast walking phase of trying to run. She is pro-level compared to me. And she brought me a book to read. The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances by Matthew Inman. (https://theoatmeal.com/running) It was a quick, easy, hysterical read. I have always enjoyed The Oatmeal. I am absolutely going to pick up more of his stuff now. If you haven’t checked out his comic about what would happen if two middle-aged men acted like dogs…trust me when I say you should. It’s the best.

My friend was spot on when encouraging me to read Inman’s book. I have not experienced the euphoria of which he (and most serious runners) talk about, but the way he felt when starting and the way he feels currently ring true. So now I drink tea, and I try to run. I am not in love with either, but both feel like an accomplishment in different ways. I feel very much like a butterfly in the cocoon stage. I’m gooey and kinda gross and really confused and everything is changing. But, there’s something exciting about it. I’m not expecting to be a butterfly at the end of this. I’m much too sturdily built for that. But I’m curious to see where this goes. Which is enough for now.

Bossman and I made an interesting observation. If I feel like I might puke, he ends up deserving a poop cookie. If that doesn’t make sense, go back to the poop cookie conversation and you will then understand. Our stomachs are linked psychically or something. It’s been uncanny thus far. I’m under new orders to shoot him a text anytime I start feeling less than awesome so he can plan ahead.

For those who haven’t ever been tea drinkers, and those who might decide to try it in the future, the labeling is correct. If it says don’t microwave it, do not do that thing it told you not to do. Microwaved ginger and lemon tea is bitter as all get out. Ginger and lemon tea that is steeped correctly is much better. And ginger is a flipping miracle worker if your stomach is unhappy. I never thought tea would have enough of anything in it to help. I was wrong. Big wrong. Highly recommend. But do not microwave the tea bags. Trust me.

I was informed this past weekend that the Nashville Zoo has baby flamingoes. This was a wonderful surprise and I demanded that Mancandy and I should go see them the very next day. So we did. Baby flamingos are fluffy tyrants. They all beat up on one, then randomly switch and beat up another. They are typical baby birds, ugly cute.  I’ll put a picture here:

Baby Flufflebutts

The taller one with flight feathers strode into the room like a supermodel expecting someone to bring her a skinny latte stat followed by zookeepers. It’s nonchalant snotty attitude and supermodel strut were pretty awesome.

The Andean Bear exhibit is one of my favorites.

Andian Bear Exhibit

The bears were refusing to politely put themselves on display, but the exhibit is lovely and I kind of want to go frolic in it.

However, the best thing of the day was completely unexpected. Whilst on my quick walk toward the exit (the number of strollers and children there was just absolutely bonkers and I had had quite enough of that thank you very much) I noticed a meerkat posing on a rock. The lighting was pretty so I thought I’d see what I could get.

I lucked out and got a Holy Meerkat. Light shone from him. And he was blessed among kats of meer evermore.

Holy Rodent

Other odd things that made me laugh:

A morning jockey said something about being sick and coughing up rather impressive lung butter. That phrase still makes me gak a little bit. And whilst traveling around for business, Bossman and I went to Ralph’s Donuts in Cookeville TN. Their butter twists are where it’s at. Also, Big E’s BBQ….go get ribs. You won’t be disappointed. But, while happily eating donuts and jabbering, lung butter turned into butt butter. And that phrase has been repeated multiple times since and never fails to make me laugh.

It’s incredibly hard not to laugh in teenager’s faces when they talk about how keeping up with school and clubs is hard. However, news flash for those without teenagers: they are insufferable if you laugh at them. No sense of humor. At all. They just sulk. And they are experts in the sulking department.

A group of women from work and myself occasionally meet up to eat cheese dip, have a drink or two, vent about work, and in general do the things I’ve missed doing with friends since college. Finally finding a group of people I very much enjoy in Nashville has been a godsend. They are smart, dynamic, kind, and motivated. And they have opinions. So Mancandy has taken to calling them my “Bossy Work Women”. It amuses me greatly. Finding such wonderful human beings who also eat cheese dip is a glorious thing.

Also, Mancandy has randomly started making the bed in the morning. And saying nice things for no reason. Immediately my girl brain thinks…he’s cheating on me. And then I think…but if it makes him help me clean…I may be okay with that.

A wedding….a new friend….and lip gloss…

Standard

There was a wedding this weekend. I attended. And wrangled children. And got into skirmishes. And spent too much money trying to make my hair look like normal people’s hair. And had lip gloss smeared in my hair. It was an event. I’m sitting here looking at my suitcase trying to get up the energy to deal with it. I have to go out of town again this week for work so in all reality it will likely just sit there until I need to do something with it in the morning.

The reality of it is the wedding adventures started out more in line with a disaster. Mancandy and eldest of the Minicandies were in a big spat on the road which caused all candies to turn into vengeful, irritable, unpleasant riding companions. None of us were terribly fond of each other by the time we arrived at 1:30am. The next morning the family O’Candy was one giant mass of pissed-the-hell-off. I, unsurprisingly, found this not at all fun and became even more pissed-the-hell-off. I was my usual mature self and stayed quiet but kept score every time a snarky comment was made, a snappy tone was used, or a broody silence hung in the room. I am pretty sure the O’Candy’s are used to being the angry, vengeful ones. I tried to be polite and hold in my wrath.

I failed.

Without turning this into a giant post (you’re welcome) suffice to say, I got fed up with snappy, nasty attitudes quickly and ended up so having the first panic attack I’ve had since my father died about 8 years ago. It was not a fun adventure. I need time by myself to recharge and settle, having no time to do any of that combined with tons of negative emotions being blasted at me with no ability to influence the situation just did not sit well with me. So multiple O’Candy’s felt my wrath.

I have no regrets. My sister calls that stage banshee mode. She ascertains I’ve hit baby banshee phase and will enter the teenage banshee phase soon. I am not excited about it, but it is what it is. I’d had enough.

All that to say, the day of the wedding came and I was not in the best mood. I actually wanted to set everything on fire and dance in the flames. Instead, I dressed up, put on my girl face, tried to create girl hair, and went to the church. I wasn’t sure where to sit, I’m not family but I’m not really a friend so I wasn’t entirely certain where to plop. I ended up sitting at the end of a pew with extended family. A man with three children around him was the closest person to me. The smallest of his children crawled over him to crawl right up to me on the pew. She got an inch from my face with a big grin and a suspiciously greasy lower face area.

“I have lip gloss” was whispered directly into my face from roughly 2 inches away.

“Lip gloss is good stuff” I whispered back.

She grinned and held up her bracelet.

“The lipgloss is in my bracelet.” She explained.

I must have appeared as confused as I actually was. She took the bracelet apart, pulled it into one straight line, and held it out to me.

“Make it into a toy and you can have lip gloss” was whispered into my ear. And I do mean directly into my ear canal.

I explained that I did not know how to make a bracelet into a toy. She was a smidge less thrilled with me. I felt disappointed in myself but was still unsure how to proceed.

Her father was consulted.

He figured out how to make it work.

My new little friend came back to my side, squished up against me, and proudly showed me her bracelet-now-turtle. The turtle shell was opened slowly with gestures reminiscent of Vanna White. Inside the shell was a secret compartment that had the appearance of a mini tub of grease. A tiny little finger swished around in the shell compartment, came up with a glob of grease, and smiled at me while happily smearing grease on her lips and all surrounding areas for good measure. She was a well moisturized little thing, kind of young for skincare but who am I to judge?

I was then treated to a show of her turtles jumping and running skills. When I admired how fast the turtle could “run” across the back of the pew she carefully explained that we were playing pretend, it was not real, but we could keep playing as long as I understood we were just playing.

I solemnly nodded and complimented her turtle for a while more.

Eventually, the wedding started and we had to be quiet.

I felt a little hand on my arm. I was being petted.

She continued to pet me and brush at my hair while smiling happily up into my face. It was disconcerting.

She had very greasy little fingers.

She halfway crawled into my lap. When I moved my arms to accommodate her she slipped back into the pew beside me while explaining she had been about to sit on my lap. I nodded and said she could. She shook her head and explained she had been about to but decided not to and would continue sitting on the pew. I said okay. The purpose of this conversation eluded me, but she calmly explained again that she almost sat on my lap but didn’t. I imagine there was a kid message in that, but I didn’t get it. I still don’t. I put my fingers to my lips and gestured to the wedding, hoping the ceremony would distract her.

“Are they kissing yet?” my new little friend asked with equal parts dread and enthusiasm.

“No.”

She nodded as if that business was complete and launched into a new effort to pet my sweater and slick back my hair. She began concentrating on the effort to give me a greasy mullet. It was a catholic service so we were up and down frequently. She was a patient little thing, pausing to let me stand up along with the rest of the church and going right back to her mission as soon as I was seated again. She eventually stood up in the pew to reach the top of my head (that was carefully sprayed and fussed with so as not to lay flat) and began petting my hair down and back in a windswept yet chicken grease imbibed style that gave me pause. Unsure how to keep it from becoming a scene, I let her stand in my lap to address the front of my hair, slide around to the other side, and accommodated the slimy little hands grabbing my face to turn it this way and that.

In between asking me if the dreaded/wonderful kissing part of was upon us, she mumbled to herself like any good beautician does when they realize my ineptitude with all things girl. Her little forehead wrinkled up and she muttered to me about my hair. I didn’t understand anything she said but it was the same tone I’ve heard my entire life. I was unsure how to avoid the judgmental beautification treatment of my little tyrant when she had had enough of me.

The wedding was moving toward the end and my little friend thought her siblings might be more fun than my frumpy, newly greased up self. They tried to quietly squabble while their exasperated dad tried to quietly strike the fear of dad’s everywhere into them. The older two would settle, but I had befriended a warrior princess who was not the least bit worried about her dad.

After much swimming and squirming up and down the pew, she wiggled over to me to announce that her family was mean to her. I noticed we were at the part she’d been waiting for and pointed out the groom and bride were kissing. She glanced over, shrugged, made a noise equivalent to “ew” and turned around to tear into her brother about being mean. We were able to escape the pews and the crowd and I hid in the back of the church while everyone filed out.

My new friend was apparently done with me though, she kicked me to the curb as soon as other children were available to play with. She did, however, make a long ceremony much more interesting and humorous (although the priest did his best, and was the most epically awesome priest I’ve ever seen). I’m hoping to find more bracelet/toy/grease-pots so I can send a few for Christmas, I figure at the rate she was going she’ll have run out of grease already.

I’m still unsure about kids, especially greasy ones carrying their own grease pots increase the grease level dips too low, but she completely changed my mood and was obviously her father’s greasy little social companion. We ended up chatting later at the…after wedding party thing who’s name escapes me…reception? He finds socializing a difficult affair (I ended up in the corner with all the older gentlemen and occasionally a younger one cycling through to avoid social obligation) and appreciates the fact his daughter has never met a stranger. It makes it easier for him. I inquired about borrowing her for future awkward engagements. He politely laughed but was obviously distracted. I looked over to catch him staring at my hair.

“Your kid glossed my hair along with the lower half of her face. But it’s okay, you’ve got a smear of gloss along your cheek and into your beard there.”

I believe in equal humiliation.

Thanks, Eva. You were magical. Greasy, but magical.

 

Spooky Travels…

Standard

Since Halloween is around the corner this is a fitting time to put this one out there. Bossman and I traveled across the state for work a few weeks ago. There was no hotel availability in the town of Elizabethton in northeast TN, so we ended up in Greeneville. The hotel was the General Morgan Inn (https://www.generalmorganinn.com/). It’s absolutely lovely, an old hotel built in the 1800s with a long and storied past. And, most importantly, rumors of ghosts.

I love ghost stories. I was always terrified of the dark when I was a kid because I read ghost stories and spooky tales religiously and scared myself silly. I also have a vivid imagination and crappy eyesight, so I can turn nothing into something and it’s usually a terrifying spooky drooly something.

Then I lived in some places that were…if not haunted then very odd….and I lived alone for a really long time. You can’t constantly be spooked if you live alone. You’d die of a heart attack. So I outgrew it. Mostly.

I learned a very important factoid about Bossman while on our recent adventures. Bossman does not appreciate the idea of ghosts. Which amused me. So I looked up the history of the hauntings and chatted about ghosts as we got ready to go on our adventure. He was not pleased about the ghost talk but was excited about the historical markers in front of almost every building downtown. The entrance to the hotel is amazing and the ambiance is southern class and charm.

I went to my room which was directly across the hall from his. I explored a bit and was surprised to find a phone just above and to the right of the toilet. For….toilet emergencies? I wasn’t sure, but it amused me. A phone started ringing in the bedroom. I expected it to be the phone by the bed, but to my surprise, there was another phone on the desk between the bed and the short hall to the bathroom. I answered to hear Bossman excitedly tell me he was calling from the bathroom. We discussed how weird that was, then hung up. I walked over to the bed and sat down just in time for the desk phone to ring again. I answered to hear Bossman exclaiming about the phone by the bed. I agreed. He hung up and I went to sit down. As soon as I sat down the phone rang. I answered to chorus along with him that there was a phone on the desk. I told him if he found any more phones he was not allowed to call me. I hung up.

We drove around the little town exploring and found the most beautiful scenic route around the town. Big hills, picturesque farming land, forested areas, lovely old graveyards, it was just delightful. I was enchanted. He, however, was busy telling his wife what to do and getting himself yelled at. But I was enchanted.

He started asking about food options. We’d driven around aimlessly and hadn’t seen any particularly interesting restaurants. I pulled over to google our options. I listed out options, pros and cons, reviews, explained which photos looked good and which looked staged, details about local specialties, etc. I realized I’d been talking for a long time. He’d been quiet a long time. That’s never a good sign. I look over to see him playing with his phone. He eventually felt my glare and looked up, startled, like he’d forgotten I was there.

After a brief, intense spat I announced we were going back to the hotel. We looked in a couple cute shops around the little downtown area and between being irritated with him and tired from walking an entire 20 feet, I was ready for food.

When we went to dinner in the restaurant attached to the hotel I asked the waitress about the ghosts in the building. She happily explained that a waitresses’ spirit haunted the dining room we ate in. Bossman got pale. Then she explained people on the third floor of the hotel often called to complain about loud noises throughout the night in neighboring rooms that were empty. Little kids could be heard running up and down the hallway giggling. Bossman started fidgeting. People complained of someone knocking on doors and then disappearing. All around 3am. Bossman was not having it. He was jumpy and wide-eyed and threatening to sleep in the car.

Up to our rooms we waddled, Bossman quietly insisting to Gracie the Green Room Ghost that she stay her ass downstairs as we left the restaurant. I was so tickled at him for being so freaked out. I wanted so badly to knock on his door but the hallway was just wide enough I didn’t think I’d be able to get back into my room in time without being caught. I didn’t want to annoy him, I wanted to scare him. I snorted in ladylike and classy amusement as I brushed my teeth and got ready for bed. I turned the Predators game on, sprawled out in a giant bed just for me, and relaxed. The ceilings were insanely high and the ac had to work really hard to keep the temperature somewhat stable. The walls were also paper thin. I could hear my neighbors’ conversations, TV, and their AC unit was right behind my head. I started to regret not bringing earplugs. Being a light sleeper is the worst in hotels.

Eventually, the game was over and I was ready to try and pass out. I turned off the TV, made sure the alarm was set and turned off the bedside light.

I listened to the neighbors’ conversation about the medication they may or may not have forgotten to bring. I listened to the air turn on and off. I listened to the neighbors’ air turn on and off. I flopped around. And then, finally, I started to drift. And the most ominous feeling crept up my neck. Like someone was leaning over me.

I flipped on the light, peered around with my weak little hamster eyes, and realized what I’d done. In creeping out Bossman I must have creeped myself out. I laughed at myself, figured it served me right, turned off the light and laid back down. The same strong, ominous feeling crept up my back, up to my neck, and made all my hair stand on end. I ignored it, telling myself to stop being an idiot. I had lived in places I was pretty sure were haunted and had experienced all sorts of creepy stuff. This felt worse than that. Which made zero sense, there was nothing making any sort of noise. I laid there barely able to breathe until I finally turned the light back on. I decided to just turn lights on and feel stupid. I turned back in with lights blazing around me and still felt uncomfortable. Not even scared, just really on edge. However, I couldn’t even be irritated at anyone but myself. I did it.

The temperature of the room fluctuated wildly and every time either of the AC units turned on, I woke up. I had bizarre dreams and woke repeatedly to fall asleep back in the same dream. It was disorienting. I finally surfaced right before my alarm went off. I was laying on my stomach and turned the alarm on my phone off so it wouldn’t startle me as I had no interest in trying to sleep anymore anyway. As I set the phone back down on the nightstand what felt like a hand grabbed the back of my leg right above my knee and slid up my leg. I instinctively smacked my hand down on my leg above the sensation and whipped around.

There was nothing there. The sensation disappeared as soon as I turned. There was no odd sound. There was natural light coming in and all the lights around my bed were on. But the ominous sensation was gone too.

I don’t know what the heck happened. I am not saying it was a ghost. I am just saying I don’t know what it was. And as much as I mocked him (and will likely continue to mock him) Bossman might have been right about getting better sleep in the car. And I won’t be arguing with him about not staying in that hotel again.

However, if you’re the brave sort, go stay. Be sure to get a room on the third floor. I was in 315 if you want to try and see if something touches you.

Also, while there, get the creme brulee. It’s amazing.

Running high is a myth. Fight me.

Standard

Happy Saturday! I have been on a long health journey of sorts and man do I suck at staying on track with anything. But, I’ve been doing the doctors and medications and programs and all that stuff. There has been quite a bit of success over a long period of time and I was pretty darn happy with it. Unfortunately, I’ve got a long way to go. One of the major things I struggle with is my weight. Swamp monsters tend to be a larger sort of frumpy folk. But, there has been some progress. Mancandy and I have been following the Couch to 5K program. He’s a former marine (you can’t say ex-marine or you will be forced to listen to a really long lecture…save yourself the torment). He ran every day for 8 years and was on the track team before that. He likes to exercise. And his motivational tactics are straight from the military, insulting and annoying. You can probably guess how well I respond to insulting and annoying people.

I, on the other hand, have not really followed any sort of exercise program since junior high. And I hated it then. Being a consistent sort when it comes to hatreds, I hate it now as well. And I’m a crap ton older, so I extra big big hate it. But, I’ve been doing it. He’s so dang happy I’m doing it, and I know he’s trying to help, but I hate his help. Every time he speaks to me while I’m sweating and sore and miserable I want to punch him in his nose. Hard.

The best part of our jogging crap are the bodyguards we’ve now peer pressured into jogging with us. Our two inside/outside cats, Neo and Tsuki, aren’t sure what’s going on but they feel duty-bound to go through it with us. They do not suffer in silence though. We jog to a chorus of meows. They puff up, dance around, fly past, trip you darting between feet, race ahead, run behind, and in general create a fuss. Anyone out walking or jogging ends up laughing at the ridiculous circus we make. We get questions from everyone. Usually, “Do you know there are two cats following you?”

I enjoy their enthusiasm, but I hate jogging. If Mancandy asks me if I “want” to run extra laps, he’s going to end up kicked in the noodle. Who “wants” to run at all? Not me said the flea. It just makes for extra laundry, extra sweat, extra showers, and extra sore everything. But here we are.

Also, no one told me jogging makes you have to pee immediately and desperately. I have to pee immediately before leaving my house and then by the time I get back (not even two miles at this point) I am desperately trying to strip out of wet clothes so I can avoid peeing on myself.

Also also, sports bras were made my a stupid, evil man who’s never worn a bra in his life. And they’re expensive torture instruments! I bought two because I knew I had one here someplace. Three to get through running three times a week. At least while I’m starting. But can I find the sports bra I already own? No. No, I can not. And nothing is quite as miserable as trying to rip a wet sports bra off of one’s person without damaging the stupid expensive torture device. So much worse than wet swimsuits. It’s revolting.

So. That’s the latest adventure. I’m sure there will be many more posts whining about it. You’re welcome.

 

That time I was the jerk…

Standard

Explaining why I’m upset with someone is not my strong suit. I’d much rather just peace out brussel sprout and be done with the situation. However, since I live with Mancandy, ghosting is difficult to achieve. So. I like to fall back on the standard “let it all build up until you freak out over non-freak-out-able things”. I know it’s not the mature way to handle disagreements. But, it’s what I do.

The trigger for this latest bout of snark was this long discussion we had as a family unit. Mancandy, Minicandy, and I all sat down and hammered out an agreement to relieve some of the unfair distribution of work around the house. It took a long time. There were details written down. We signed the stupid thing. And then, none of the items I was so excited to hand off to someone else ever happened.

Why bother me with a discussion and debate and so much stupid time talking if it was never going to be adhered to? That did not sit well with me. And every time I ended up doing the thing assigned to someone else, the anger was fanned and flames would erupt. I’d wait, give them time to see if they’d magically decide to not be crappy. Not surprisingly, that never happened. They would sit there while I cleaned the areas they were assigned to clean and not even move out of my way.

On top of that, if I asked for items to be taken out of the refrigerator or prepared before I got home so that it would cut down on my cooking time (they get home a few hours before I do), it was rarely done. And when it was done, it was done right before I walked in the door, which defeated the purpose. Then, once I walked in the door and started getting ready to cook, it was always to a dirty kitchen. And Mancandy would stroll in to “do the dishes” as I was trying to cook in the same area. This absolutely enraged me. He had hours to take care of it. Yet every single time I would try to throw dinner on the stove so I could go change and have a few minutes to myself, he was in my way. Talking incessantly while I desperately wanted quiet. Sometimes he’d call Minicandy in to clear out the dishwasher while he was at the sink and they’d both be in my way.

Even when Mancandy would say “I will vacuum the stairs today” it never happened. Every time I took it personally. It was a fight I was losing that he wasn’t even aware he was involved in. Every week that passed I got that much angrier.

We went for a drive when he needed a tux fitting and when he asked why I seemed so stressed, I unloaded. My job, at its essence, is taking care of someone else. I don’t want to be in the position I’m in long term, but I take pride in my work and try to do my best. I put effort into being useful. While I very much enjoy my boss and most of the time enjoy my job, it is more difficult than most people would assume. To constantly be on alert and trying to look ahead for any future issues and focus so completely on someone else can be tiring. To then come home and have to not only take care of most things here but to also be frustrated by lack of follow-through or thought out systems just wears me down after a while. I explained how the lack of follow-through on promises wasn’t fair and hurt. I’d been excited about a different workload. I’d planned on having time for projects or just get some time to decompress and not think about doing everything by myself. It stresses me out when the house is a disaster and there’s so little I can actually impact since it’s technically not my house. I finished up a long dissertation about how tired and stressed I was with the explanation about the lack of planning. If the kitchen is cleaned before the person trying to cook gets home, things go faster and are much less stressful. But how do you not look like a jerk when you appreciate the help you do get, but wish it was at a time that made more sense? I acknowledged I sounded like a brat but wasn’t intending to. I stand by that assertion.

Mancandy nodded a few times and quietly said, “Well, I hadn’t thought of it that way. I just looked at it as a way to spend time with you, I like being in the kitchen with you and talking about our day. Cleaning gave me something to do that I thought you’d like while I was there with you.”

That answer was the perfect way to make me feel like a lukewarm turd.

And here’s the thing. If I’d bothered to have a conversation about it before I got upset, I would have known why he did that and I wouldn’t have gotten upset. It would have been a nice gesture and I would have had much more patience. However, I’d decided everything they did was to spite me and I just got more and more upset each time it happened.

I stand by my thoughts that everyone should chip in. When I was looking for work and home all day, cleaning everything didn’t bother me. I was using that as a way to earn my keep. However, I work really long hours now. I’m home the least of anyone in this house. And they should help. But, instead of being a brave wounded heroine valiantly pointing out inequity, I blasted Mancandy for doing something when he was trying to be thoughtful and do something healthy for our relationship. Life lessons abound.

But let me say, realizing I was handling it wrong and having to absorb that information after being so righteously angry for so long burned the entire way down. It physically hurt. Which probably aims to teach new lessons. But instead, I’m determined to never be wrong again. I’ll let you know how it works out.