I lost a cat.

I have four cats, 1,800 sf, and my house is not Pinterest perfect. So occasionally we “lose” cats. Generally it’s just that we haven’t seen one in a while, but occasionally it’s because they’re actually locked in a closet they shouldn’t have snuck into.

Tonight it was the former. I hadn’t seen the shy one for a few hours, which is unusual. We checked all the usual hiding spots (of which we have plenty, including nooks, crannies, designed hiding spots, and accidental ones), and then figured, meh. He’ll show up.

But then I hadn’t seen him after an hour while the other three were all in the living room. I went and did another, somewhat more thorough search of the house, and again came up with nothing.

Dang it. Was he stuck somewhere? Did he get out? (It’s important to note that none of our cats have ever snuck outside, despite being outdoor cats with plenty of practice hunting with mama when they came to our house.)

Finally I remembered.

Our cats like to watch TV. Cat TV, to be precise. The kind with birds and squirrels and nature sounds.

I turned on the TV. 15 seconds into the video, the lost cat appeared as if out of nowhere to join his siblings standing in front of the television, their necks cranked, fascinated.

I found the cat.

clean thots

I’ve been watching a YouTube series about seasonal decluttering (Simplify Your Life Challenge 2.0). While I’m not able to follow along, exactly, I’m definitely drawing inspiration from it. Bits and pieces of other cleaning and decluttering influencers have stuck, too, and so in the past couple of days I have done Some Things.

I threw out everything in the door of my refrigerator that had expired. (Did you know soy sauce evaporates?)

I recycled (almost all of) the Starbucks Vanilla Frappuccino bottles I moved across the country with about 18 years ago that I had intended to be crafty with but hadn’t touched. (There’s a couple of stuck lids. I’m attacking them when my hand hurts less.)

I emptied a vodka bottle from a couple decades ago of all the soda can tabs it had collected in the past dozen years, threw away it’s cute hat-shaped lid, and recycled the bottle.

I cleaned bits of the downstairs toilet with new, fresh cleaning wipes. It’s up to my lowest standards of acceptability.

I wouldn’t say my house is disgusting, but I also wouldn’t say I’m happy with the level of cleanliness my house currently exists in. It is hard to not feel like a cluttered or dusty house is a moral failing. But thankfully I am starting to stop thinking like that (when I pay attention) thanks to some of the folks linked above.

And I had a good example growing up. My mom vacuumed and dusted weekly, and everything had a place, and things were put away when they were done being used, and equipment was taken care of. But somehow those lessons didn’t stick, and now at nearly 44 years old I am relearning how to make my house and space something that isn’t completely overwhelming.

So far, I’m really happy with the small progresses I’m making. The intent is to take care of things that get out of hand the most obviously (recycling, dishes) “immediately.” And when I have a few minutes, to get rid of things that are obviously trash, even if it’s not going to make a huge difference right away. (For example, the counter space that the glass I recycled tonight took up is still a dirty, dusty mess. But there’s less crap in the way now, and so cleaning is going to be easier when I’m ready to do it.)

Another thing I’m looking forward to doing is getting containers for the things I have entirely too much of, and trimming down those things to fit the containers. There are perfectly awesome notebooks, pens, books, and just Things that I have that I love, but have no reason to keep. I won’t use them, or I only love the idea of them, or the quantity of the type of Thing is overwhelming.

This is where I am, and I was excited to share. I would love to share more soon, but we’ll see what happens when I’m back to work next week.

I love my family

I do laundry every week with my eldest child, hereby known as Elder Youth, and abbreviated EY. we were sorting laundry this week and he tossed a pair of socks in the heavy black load, but immediately regretted his decision.

Why? I asked. My toe socks don’t get dried, but regular socks can be.

Huh? This perplexed him. Why wouldn’t all socks just get dried then?

Because, I explained, for the same reason we don’t dry my bras. The dryer makes the elastic go wah wah.

EY blinked.

It’s a technical term, I elaborated.

What? I call you on your bullshit, Mother, he replied.

Ask Grandma, I told him. She knows.

So we did. We went to find my mom and we recounted the story. When I repeated that the dryer makes the elastic go wah wah, my mom didn’t hesitate.

Well, yeah!

To which EY put on an exaggerated pout, pointed out that what really drove home the truth of wah wah was that she hadn’t even hesitated before enthusiastically agreeing with my choice of term, and that was that.

I love my family. We’re so weird.

Ego and Survivor (and Facebook)

I’m watching Season 32 of Survivor and I’m having quite a bit of fun watching the faces of the guys with huge egos fall to pieces as they get voted out when they were certain they were on the top of the game.

Also, I hate to admit this, but I miss Facebook. I miss being able to put things like this out there where nearly anyone could see and comment or interact with it.

I have this, though. And I’m not going back to Facebook or Twitter. Not yet. (Never say never, you know?)

A string of unusual events

I went to Costco with someone who had a membership to purchase hamburgers and hot dogs.

While there, I found some mac and cheese in microwaveable containers. My youngest really loves mac and cheese, so I thought I’d get a new kind to try, despite the high price tag.

My youngest didn’t love this mac and cheese variety, though. That was fine, because I like that brand, so I figured I’d finish it.

My partner needed emergency care over the weekend, and as a result needed something soft to eat since it hurt to swallow. “Just a couple bites of something,” he requested.

I had microwaveable mac and cheese that my youngest didn’t like, so I made it for him.

It was perfect, and made taking his pills much easier.

Had I not gone to Costco and bought overpriced mac and cheese, I wouldn’t have easy food in the house for my partner, and these particular couple of days would have been much, much harder to handle.

Thank you for your attention.

NO

One time a shredder got jammed. After nearly an hour of fussing with it, I determined it could not be cleared with the usual tools. I was frustrated and irritated, and apparently I had very little patience left. The note left behind on the machine to indicate that it was unusable was a single word.


NO.


I can have notes that describe the issue and what action is being taken until the issue is resolved. I can have notes saying what is okay to take and what isn’t.

But apparently, in my world, nothing quite shocks a person into paying attention to the contents of a note than only having one word on the page.

So I continue to use it.

It is a complete sentence, after all.

I forgot the name of my blog (and Dune)

Which is kind of funny considering that the domain name is, currently, “Nicki Gets Distracted.”

This is not a post about that, though.

Ages ago I watched Dune. Somehow I think it was the TV miniseries from 2000, because I have absolutely no recollection of anything after seeing stills from the 1984 film.

Also – now I feel old as I say “ages ago” to something that happened when I was in my early 20’s. Ugh.

Anyway, I liked it. Whatever version of Dune it was, I liked it. And now that there’s a new version coming out, I’m excited and interested. And because Social Media, there’s a lot of reviews and “here’s why I liked it” posts. So now, of course, I want to read the book first.

I turned to the audiobook instead of buying a paperback or ebook for a couple of reasons. One, I haven’t made reading a priority lately, and an audiobook guarantees that I’ll be able to get about an hour most weekdays listened to. I have a half hour commute, and audiobooks really help, especially as it gets darker earlier. I also tend to get sleepy behind the wheel when I need the heat on and I’ve been at work all day, and audiobooks also help with that.

Also, if I purchased the paperback I would have been very, very tempted to buy all the paperbacks, because (as I did not know before) it seems that Dune has multiple books to churn through to get the entire story. And after buying all the paperbacks, I likely wouldn’t have read any of them. Damn it.

Finally, I have a hard time getting caught up in books of a certain age in a particular genre. I don’t know how I managed it with The Eye of the World, the first Wheel of Time book. I definitely couldn’t swing it with any of The Lord of the Rings books. Listening to the opening of Dune just confirmed that I made the right choice, at least to get started. I have a feeling that if I get really invested in this, I may be able to complete the other books in the series with little issue.


Maybe there should have been more to this post. I think I’m done, though.

Looking for new.

I mentioned in my previous post about the Facebook outage a few days (weeks?) back that I had locked up my Twitter, deleted my YouTube channels, and was thinking about doing something drastic with Facebook as well. I did indeed end up deactivating (but not deleting) my Facebook, and after that, I deleted all 8,000+ tweets in my main Twitter account (but didn’t delete the account itself).

I took the Facebook and Twitter apps off my phone a couple months back, and didn’t really miss them too much. I was visiting them sparingly anyway, and would just go to them online when I wanted to check something.

I feel pretty good about all this, but I’ve also made a little discovery:

I miss both platforms when I’m bored and looking for “new,” whether that’s something new to read, something new to learn, or something new to entertain me.

me

Why does this feel like such a revelation? It shouldn’t. Of course that’s what social media is – a place to go to see what other people think and create and advocate for. But for some reason, I remember social media as a place to be seen, and then as a place where I went to see myself think. Now, when I find myself missing it, it’s when I’m idle find myself looking for something to alleviate boredom.

I’ve been trying to think about what I used to do when I got bored. Was I watching a lot of television? Reading? Going outside? Taking naps? My only clear recollections are as a teen and a young adult when I nearly always had a book in hand, and if I didn’t, I was at the library or used book store getting more. I was reading during classes in high school, I was reading as I walked to my job. I was just always reading. The rest of the time, honestly, before social media really caught on? I do not precisely recall.

Ah, also as a child I spent pretty much every spare second outside pretending, exploring, and occasionally chasing rainbows.

Anyway. Contrary to previous deletions, I’m not pretending this time like I won’t ever change my mind. I deactivated Facebook on purpose (as opposed to deleting), because I want to be able to go back if I decide I want or need to. I didn’t delete Twitter for the same reason.

And it’s not a complete blackout, either. I still have Instagram to follow one person’s stories, and I have TikTok because it’s addictive as fuck to stay connected to my youngest, and I have YouTube because it’s practically like television. It will be those platforms that I reach to when I’m looking for new, now. Unless I figure out how to redirect my boredom to more productive activities.

Hopefully.

The wall falls down.

Looks like the ‘book is down today. I want gossip – was it a hacker? Did someone take it down on purpose? I am interested in learning more.

Recently I got into a headspace where I wanted to restrict some of my accounts. I’ve done this before. Sometimes that has been about depression, or about pushing people away, but this time it was about the amount of information I put out into the Internet, and really being conscious about it.

*delete* went the YouTube. Both of them, actually.

*private* went the Twitter. Just the main one. The author ones I let alone.

My Facebook profile has been locked down for a while now. My attitude regarding that service has probably been shared before. In fact, I’m sure I’ve had this conversation here more than once.

Usually the blog would go, too. I’m not really sure what happened here. I decided to leave it alone. I removed the posts with videos in them, and that was it.

And now, look: the place where people go to get updates about other people has disappeared. Well, it’s down. For how long is uncertain. Maybe it will be back up before I finish this post. Unknown.

So yeah! I have my own blog. My friends have their own blogs. I still use Feedly as a RSS reader to keep track of my favorite sites. I don’t need Facebook, and I don’t like it, and I’m glad I didn’t destroy the blog along with the rest of the things I was removing.

I keep talking about this. Why do I keep talking about this?

At any rate. Hello! I am indeed alive, and the blog is still in one piece.

For now.

Bwa. Ha. Hah.