Work: The Mountain

Both my coworkers have been off since last Thursday.  The back up girl was unexpectedly off last week but thankfully returned this week.

But since she was off for the birth of her newest grandchild, who is now in NICU I don’t think I can count on her.  She needs to be her daughter’s biggest support and that is more important than anything else.

So.  As the days past, the things that don’t get done remain undone and those piles get bigger.  I’m reminding myself daily that tomorrow is another day.

Last night I was there until 11pm.  And still the giant pile remains.  And expands because poor back up now has her own pile.  She took on half my job on the busiest day and she has a full time job of her own.  So.

Life happens as it will, however we plan it.  Only one person was planned to be off.  But my other co-worker ended up in the hospital.  And as I said the back up has the new grandbaby.  None of that could have been predicted.  It’s just how life works.

However.  I intended to go to work over the weekend to clear it to a fresh starting point.  But I didn’t.  So as a result I was there until 11pm last night and didn’t get as much done as I’d hoped.  That weekend choice was something I could control and didn’t.

We always pay for those moments we don’t do something.  I knew it when the stillness of my depression kept me in bed.  But the knowledge didn’t move me.  I wonder why knowledge isn’t motivating?  Imagine how many of our personal problems would be solved if knowledge was enough for us to change.  All the smokers would quit smoking, we all would exercise and eat well.  No one would be overweight.  We would all work on climate change… It’s odd how knowledge is just so useless as a catalyst for changing personal behavior.

I wonder if there are people who learn something and adapt their personal behavior immediately and permanently to the new information?  If so, what is going on in their brain?  Can I get that wiring?

I find emotion is mildly motivating, but not permanently motivating.  Fear, of course, being the best motivator.  But I think because we don’t remember emotions in the same way that we remember events or information, it’s not as permanent.  And we obviously aren’t supposed to because when you remember deeply negative emotions like that, you have PTSD.

Anyway, all of this is to say, I’m not thrilled with my choices this past weekend.  They were mostly dictated by the stillness that envelops my weekend, but it remains true that motivation is elusive, especially with depression.  To the point of being useless.

Yesterday – A Day.

I was supposed to meet my sister for breakfast at 10 am.  She was driving over an hour to meet me for breakfast.

I forgot about it.  Got there an hour an half late, which was beyond rude and inconveniencing.  I called my boss to tell her I would now be late for work, by necessity.

I also found out that my my 2nd teammate was found unresponsive that morning.  She’s the one on drugs.  They rushed her to the ER and she was brought around but they kept her.

I’m HOPING they convince her to go into rehab.  She’s so nice and when she’s not on the drugs, very smart.

I’ve been so worried about her losing her job, I didn’t give much thought to her overdosing.

The thing is – the drugs are prescribed by a doctor.  I want to go over and bitch slap this quack.

Since, the first teammate was having surgery yesterday and the back up person was off because her daughter had a baby in wee hours of the morning, it was just me doing all of it.  Thank goodness it’s nice and slow.  I got most of it done.

I like feeling necessary.  And yesterday I felt very necessary.  So the stress of it sort of rolled off my shoulders, despite it obviously not being one of my most focused days – ie  breakfast disaster.



Indoor Hunting Feeder – A Review

I bought this hunter feeder for my cats.

indoor feeder

So.  I got it because I was concerned that the Kitten, whose not a kitten anymore, was bored and starting to act odd as a result.

First you try to show the cats that their food is in the toy by using the little plastic trainer with too many holes.  The trainer has so many holes that any movement will knock out food.

Then you put fill mice up and put them in the place of their food dish.  Then when they figure out how to extract the food, you start to move the mice to other places in the house.  So they have to hunt and play to get it.

Concerns:  Feeding Time is no longer an easy scoop and pour on the dish process.  Putting Food into the mice is annoying at best.  The provide an absolutely useless scoop that appears to be purpose made for the process but make it worse.  I got more food on the counter and floor filling mice than in the mice.  I have finally given up on their scoop.  I used my old scoop, keep the mouse just slightly inside the food bag while I pour into the mouse.   It solves the mess but it’s still more time consuming and involved.

Food is on the floor.  If they don’t eat all of the food they knock out, you may well step in it.  Also you have food on the floor when you don’t step in it.  Which bothers me.  It makes my apartment feel dirty.

I’ve stepped on mice in the middle of the night, twice now.  Not enjoyable.

I’ve been woken up by mice hitting the hardwood floor from the desktop at least once.

My cats are apparently lazy and/or smart.  I put out mice and they yowl like they are starving.  They know the food is in the mice, I have not started hiding the mice although I have been putting them around the house to give them the idea that food is no longer just in one place.  I do it with them following me, so I’m not sure “hiding” will ever be possible.

At least one of them is fully aware of how to manage the mice to get food because yesterday when I came home from work and today when i woke up the mice were empty and the food eaten.  But I don’t know if it’s both of them or just one.  They will not eat from the mice if I’m home and awake.  Apparently hoping I will offer up the buffet style they prefer.

Because I don’t know if both of them know how to use the mice I have a bit of food anxiety for them.


Nearly all of the above are concerns from my human perspective.  I bought these for a purpose.  To keep a bored cat more interested in his daily life.  It’s hard to say if it’s working.  He’s not been acting out in obsessive ways, which was the thing that triggered my concern.

I intend to keep using them until or unless it becomes a problem from the cat’s perspective.  Beyond their lazy preference for buffet food.

Why does Indonesia get kicked around so much by Natural Disasters?

It feels like they can’t win for losing.

They had a landslide that killed 15 people on New Years Eve.

On average, a natural disaster has occurred in Indonesia every year since the 2004 tsunami, including earthquakes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and climate change fueled events.

It’s so unfair.  I know they are sitting in a hotbed of earth movement, add in climate change and bad infrastructure and you just can’t find a good outcome.

What is amazing is how they just keep trucking.  It gives me hope that we can all manage the future of climate change causing too many natural disasters.  Humans are resilient.

But that’s just a simplification.  Many aren’t trucking along.  Many are drowning in the consequences of the disaster, without sufficient help.

And in a future world where everyone is experiencing a disaster, will we be able to step up and help each other?  Now we all chip in and send aid.  But at what point does that implode under the weight of the need vs those who can support it?

I wonder how we will respond to the new world of constant upheaval?  Will we be our best selves or our most selfish selves?  I hope we will be our best.  I hope we will always be a community in local and a helping hand globally.

But it’s impossible to tell.  We ought, at minimum, to setting up infrastructure standards that will support the inevitable natural disaster that will hit all of us.  Soon it won’t just be those poor people in Indonesia.  It will be everyone, regardless of the geo-active area we live in.


New Years Eve. I just got home from work at 10:30pm.

And I didn’t get everything done and tomorrow will be worse as far as number of things that need to get done.

I always start these sorts of days with the absolute belief that it’s all doable and by mid-day I know it’s gonna be overtime and by the time the overtime begins I making choices about what won’t get done.

Of course tomorrow is another day.  That is what if beautiful about tomorrows.  What can’t be done today, can be accomplished tomorrow.   And by Wednesday, the excess work will be sorted and it will all be done.  Tomorrow it won’t all get done.  I say this to prepare my mind for the fact.  Perhaps if I go in knowing that I will make different decisions.

In my old job, I could count on one hand the times I left work on my desk when I left.  Possibly two hands, but I’m leaning heavily into one.

When I worked late, it was USUALLY on a task that could be done in one day.

I could have finished all the tasks today but I would have left at midnight.  It didn’t seem like a wise thing, much less an attractive one.  So I came home.  Cuddled my cats and now I await the inevitable firecrackers, which will raise my anxiety.

I’ve bought a bottle of wine in hopes of being asleep when they start and being able to stay asleep through them.  I don’t hold out much hope.  It’s 11:15pm and I haven’t even finished a glass of wine.  I’m not even tired yet.

Tomorrow I’m going to leave work for a few hours in the middle of the day and have lunch with my nephew and his Significant Other.  It’s a busy day to interrupt with a lunch, but I made a healthy decision and recognized the my nephew is more important than getting every damn task off my desk.

The first of the month is a bear for me.  All of our biggest accounts are invoiced on the first for the previous months trips.  1000s of tickets per account.  Many of them require special handling and invoicing in ways that are not normal.  It’s ridiculous.  And time consuming.  Last month I did it all alone, my teammate who trained me, helped me in the previous 3 months.  I was damn proud of that solo accomplishment.  But tomorrow will be worse due to it’s day – Tuesday.  Only worse if it was a Monday.  And being a Holiday it means less help.

But it’s doable.  Thank Chaos that the Stillness was gone this morning.  Hopefully it will remain away tomorrow.


Watching People be Busy and Productive

I adore youtube channels where people make things.  I watch makers do things I have absolutely no interest in doing myself, I’m just fascinated with their productiveness and the creation of a thing.  I follow woodworking, metal working, cooking, gardening, and artists of all kinds.

Yesterday I binge watched a channel of a young man who is rebuilding a 108 year old yacht.  I think he he is going to be lucky to keep 20 yards of original board on that boat.  It was a mess.  It will take years and years to rebuild it.  And he’s filming it.

He’s a boat builder, so it’s not like he’s inexperienced.  And he threw himself into this project heart and soul.  It’s hard work.  Both mentally and physically.

A few weeks ago he cut off his finger.  He was quite philosophical about it.  Life is about taking risks, he said.  You don’t learn anything or experience anything if you don’t take risks.  Sometimes you get hurt, but it’s all part of the process of living.

I don’t do anything.  Even in smaller ways.  People like Leo, the ship builder, fascinate me.   They just do it.  It might not work.  But the doing is worth it.  My grandmother was like that.  I’m not.  I’m stillness to their wind.  I want to be more like the wind – changing things, making things, doing things.  It seems like it’s just as simple as Just do it.

But something in my brain, Depression, makes the space between thinking about a thing and doing a thing enormous.  It’s like the Grand Canyon and my brain doesn’t seem to be able to cross to the part that makes me move into action.

I call it Stillness.  It’s the antithesis of a well lived life.

I think I watch these youtube channels so I can live the life of productivity vicariously.  That might be making the stillness worse.  It’s possible my brain marks my experiencing the video as a thing accomplished.  Our brains are fucked up wonders.

Worrisome Behavior

Rebel Tim, the grey kitten whose not a kitten anymore, has been acting a bit off.  Odd.


He’s started doing obsessive digging in the kitty litter and yesterday he was digging at a random place on the hardwood floor.  Nothing there.  I smelled it worried that someone had peed there.  But nope.  I distracted him for a bit but once the distraction was over he was back to digging obsessively.

I picked him up to check his bladder – I’ve had cats with urinary tract blocks and it killed one and cost more than a fortune to fix the other one.   But his bladder wasn’t full.

I wonder if he is constipated?  But the kitty litter seems to have the requisite amount of poop. His stomach isn’t distended, although he is too fat.

Last night it finally occurred to me.  He’s bored.  And is acting out in odd ways.  He needs more playtime than Bijou is willing to give him.

I have been seriously considering getting those indoor hunter feeder things that Katzenworld recommended last week.  I have hesitated because I picture my own hunt to find the empty toys every day.  Also stepping on random uneaten pieces of dry food.  But I might be wrong about the food, he is a piglet.  I won’t be wrong about the annoying hunt.

I’m also worried that the more active recently a kitten will get a disproportionate amount of the food.  I’m not sure how to make sure that doesn’t happen, but I guess that’s part of the process.  Making them work and compete.  Maybe??

Has anyone tried the indoor hunter feeder for a multi-cat household?

The Christmas Party

Today was the Xmas party at work.  My coworker, K, was in charge of it.  She worked her tail off for it and it paid off for her.  It was a great success.

They gave out those folding chairs that people drag to their kids soccer game and sweaters.  All with the company logo, obviously.  My sweater was too small, but one doesn’t mention that for a variety of reasons, not all of them related to my humiliation at being too big.   I can’t be given a gift and then go – Not it’s not my size, is there a different one in that box?  That’s rude.

We had Secret Santa.  I got 2 bottles of alcohol in the MOST ADORABLE FUZZY SANTA BAGS.  There was a little Santa cap on the top of the bottle.  I was enchanted by those bags.  I showed them to everyone.  They were all enchanted.

Isn’t it funny how the small, inexpensive thing is the thing that is such a hit.  For me the alcohol is nice, but those adorable Santa bottle bags were perfect.   They came from the Dollar Tree.  She spent $2 on bags that made me so happy.  And $25 on alcohol that it was nice to get, but did not give me the smiles that those little bags did.

I remember 20 years ago I bought my nephews $5 plastic swords for Xmas.  I didn’t think the gift would amount to much. Their parents and grandparents spent enormous money and huge effort to get the latest hottest thing for them.  But in the end, they LOVED the swords and played with them the entire day and for years after.

I don’t know how I hit on those swords, anymore than my coworker knows how she hit the jackpot on an impulse buy for something that I didn’t ask for but would make the presentation more fun.  Sometimes those inexpensive impulses are the best gift, however much you don’t expect it.


Shower Thoughts

I very much support the work being done in extending healthy old age.  I even think finding a cure for death is probably a good idea.

However.  What about the Ears and Nose Problem.   Our noses and ears keep growing all of our life.  You may have noticed.  Or not.


But you will notice if we are able to extend life dramatically.  Another 100 years of nose and ear growth will turn us into veritable elephants.

Everyone focuses on wrinkles, but honestly – the nose – ear issue is interesting.   If no one dies eventually the vast majority of the population will be older than 70.

Will giant noses and ears be the new beautiful?   Will ears that hit your shoulders be considered a sign of sexual vitality?

Or will we sensibly give up sexual obsession upon discovering that we can pick our nose with our tongues?

I have to say, I’m in favor of the latter, not the former.  I’m an old fashioned girl I guess.  I can’t imagine finding elephant faces to be sexually attractive.  But what do I know.  Maybe time will change that.

Eh.  Probably Plastic Surgery Shops will be as common as Starbucks.  It will be done by anyone who is willing to get the certificate from the local e-college.  39.99 for the nose and 59.99 for the ears.

There will be a whole group of people who think leaving noses and ears natural is the only honest and right thing and they will be known as Elephants.



So many Bad Ideas come so easily…

I am addicted to gardening channels although the most I can muster is a few pots on a balcony.  One of the channels is a permaculture nursery that started raising chickens on compost. He gathers food scraps from a couple of restaurants he trusts.  Dumps it into the coop.  They eat it, poop on it and it degrades into compost over time.  He adds wood chips and leaves and a bit of bio char.  And his interesting addition is a bit of seed so the chickens will kick around for sprouts.    It’s amazing.  The chickens kick around the compost, helping it develop.  They poop, helping it.  And he gets nearly free chicken feed and eggs.

Winter was a bit of a problem for him.  He lives in upper NY.  It gets really cold.  Chickens don’t love cold.   So his compost system, while a pile of warmness didn’t always work in the winter months for chickens who refused to leave the warmth of the coop.  So he built a polytunnel and began dispersing his compost in the polytunnel.  The hot compost heats the tunnel and the chickens are VERY HAPPY.

happy chickens

His only downside is it’s not comfortable for him.  He has to turn the compost for the chickens daily.  And it’s tight and awkward.  A batch of  viewers think he created this tunnel to keep his chickens warm and have come up with several creative fire hazards for him to try instead of his successful tunnel.  They haven’t been watching since the beginning.  I know those chickens have a lovely warm coop with a heated water dish.  They aren’t needing a warm home.

He has chicken workers creating compost.  And he needs the workers to show up at work when it’s cold.  So he created a comfortable place for them to work.  They could refuse to participate and he would still give them grain in their coop, just as he has in previous winters.

What is interesting is that suggestion brigade is so oblivious.  The entire video shows extremely contented chickens kicking about in the leaf litter and compost while it’s 20 degrees outside.  They LOVE the new poly-tunnel.  The only one suffering is it’s creator and he already said during the video that the awkwardness is worth it to have content and working chickens.   He called them his workers at least 3 times.

There are of course several practical suggestions from people who listened and know the situation.  Those suggestions are the reason the internet is such a boon to society.  He can get suggestions from people in Russia or Canada or China.  Chickens are everywhere.  In fact I believe they out number us by a factor or two.

So many people have ideas.  And the internet makes it so easy to spew them.  Sometimes this is a great thing.  People are helped.  Sometimes it’s just the garbage of an uninformed mind.  I think the problem is in the person receiving the ideas.  Can they discern the garbage from the practical advice?  Sometimes that is hard. Int his case, I think it’s going to be obvious.

I’ve been all of the above. The person spewing a random but informed idea that entered my head.  I’ve been the person with experience and knowledge who offered advice.  I’ve been the person receiving the barrage of good and terrible suggestions.  I think I have learned to curb my desire to share whatever uninformed thought enters my head.  But probably I will do it again.  I do think I’m pretty good at distinguishing the seed from the chaff on the advice that comes at me.

The internet is a marvel.  But with marvel came a lot of garbage.  I am sorry that it works that way, but it is inevitable considering humans.  So it seems to me the only solution is to teach people how to sift the good seed from the chaff.