Category Archives: Stories

Auto-Correct Cat Escape Story

Coconut perched on the window, waiting for me to arrive home from work. An earlier time when she didn't know how to escape.
Coconut perched on the window, waiting for me to arrive home from work. An earlier time when she didn’t know how to escape.

I had an Auto-correct moment in October.

  1. I had an Auto-correct moment in October.
  2. Coco’s Catwalks.
  3. The Orange and White cat Saga, & a brief history of our cats.
  4. Once upon a time, an Orange and White American Short-hair cat jumped out the window.
  5. Figuring out the Great Escape
  6. The moment of truth, the Auto Corrected Text:

I meant to write this post earlier, but life got in the way.

For about a year plus, my mother and I have walked my cat Coconut, or Coco for short. We take turns taking her outside of the house on a leash. She is the only cat I have walked out with a leash. Every cat I’ve had in life has been an indoor-outdoor cat. Every cat I have had has been The King/Queen cat of the neighborhood dominating other cats. Coco is only the second cat to jump out the front window to escape.

Songs of the post: Stray Cat Strut by Stray Cats, Jolene by Dolly Parton, Jump by Van Halen.

Coco’s Catwalks.

I chose to walk Coco on a leash outside because I didn’t want her to become comfortable with being an outdoor cat. This conflicts with a long goal I’ve had to move out.

I haven’t moved out because what could go wrong did. I’m so close. The only left as obstacle is my physical health. (Well, my physical health AND finding an affordable place to live on my own without roommates.)

Living with Long Covid is a drag. Some days I feel awful. I have to remind myself that the good days outn umber the bad. The unpredictability sucks. It sucks having a barely understood chronic illness. I have to remember that I am slowly recovering.

One advantage of living with My mother is that she has helped to walk Coco too… I’m usually wiped out after work because of this chronic illness. Well, and laziness.🤦 My job isn’t physically taxing most days, so it’s not why I’m so tired when I get home. I’m getting better about making time to walk Coco.

Coco on top of the grape trellis checking it out.
Coco on the grape trellis checking it out. She figured out how to climb up herself.

Coco wants to go outside immediately when we arrive home from work. Natural for a 2-year-old Siamese cat. Well, maybe. I need to explain some background.

The original plan was to have her be an indoor cat. I didn’t then, and I don’t want her to be comfortable with this area, then have her be an inside cat at a place I move to. Coco enjoys being outside. I like going out with her on our zen cat-walks.

I used to come home from work and smoke weed outside to unwind. I don’t smoke at all anymore.

I changed my mind about letting her outside because I felt terrible seeing her inside, wanting to be closer than the window, watching me on the back deck. Coco is a talkative, social cat to those she knows and is comfortable with.

Coco would hang out on the kitchen windowsill and watch. Over time we trained her not to explore the kitchen counters while we were outside.

I decided on a compromise which was to take her out on a leash.

Cartoon cat walking on a leash
Expectation…

Over time, Coco has become more vocal about wanting to go outside. A meow/yowl that sounds like “Out.” She has become more clever in her escape attempts. She was trying to wiggle by whenever one of us came through the doors to the house. I have to play man-to-cat defense with her as a basketball player would.

Tough basketball defense.

Unlike dogs, it’s not guaranteed that taking cats out on a walk on a leash will work. Cats are independent creatures and can decide one day that they won’t allow me to walk them on a leash.

Cat on a leash leading a blind man... who gets hit by a car because the cat led him there.
Reality.
Okay, not that extreme. 😅 More slow and steady with lots of exploring, seeking grass to eat, and sniffing things by Coco. Plus, Coco is not a mean cat and is cautious outside.

As Coco has grown up, she has become much more intelligent and figured out ways to escape the leash while outside. She has figured out how to climb up places none of our other cats has climbed up on. She has explored every inch of the inside of the house. Coco has become more assertive about wanting to go outside more, even when she has already been outside for a walk for the day.

For context for this story, I need to talk about the only other time a cat escaped our house from the front window.


The Orange and White cat Saga, & a brief history of our cats.

About five to six years ago, a white and orange cat with a collar showed up regularly at our back door. I assume it was a neighbor’s cat because it had a collar with a name on it… Which I have since forgotten. This cat was affectionate, and my g,guess is that it lived nearby and explored the neighborhood while expanding its territory as cats do. This cat was smart enough to show up whenever my cats at the time, Lucy and Flip were not nearby. Lucy was in her prime at age 5/6, and Flip was about 12 and was fit enough to challenge Lucy as the ruler cat of the neighborhood.

King/Queen-Cat of the Neighborhood

Our block had one other cat who was dominant and lived in several different houses, a half-Siamese all-black cat buff as a bodybuilder cat named Oliver… However, Oliver was below Lucy and Flip in the hierarchy. Oliver was originally a kitten from one of our family friends to another family friend. Was part of our family’s cat after he left our neighbor’s house when they got a dog and moved residences along the block along with living outside in his younger days. Oliver was the only neighborhood cat that visited our family regularly, often to come inside and eat food, and all of us to pet him. Oliver, the bluffest cat you have ever seen, was a submissive baby to our family. My cat Flip would allow him to eat crunchy cat food but would complain if he saw Oliver in the kitchen. Oliver would usually leave if I was not there to stop Flip. Flip was the second generation of our cats to be dominant over Oliver after our cat Tip was already a couple years old before Oliver was born. Eventually, Tip got older, and Flip took over. Flip got older, and Lucy took over. Oliver respected the chain of command, was respectful if rebellious of Flip, and feared Lucy, who would assert dominance and chase Oliver away. Flip would sometimes assert dominance but would allow Oliver to come in if I was there.

To summarize, Oliver was the only cat who would visit, want to come inside, come to eat, rarely play if it was safe, and leave.

Cat flow chart:

  • Generation 1: Tip
  • Generation 2: Tip, Flip, Oliver part-time.
  • Generation 3: Tip, Flip, Lucy Oliver part-time.
  • Generation 4: Flip, Lucy, Oliver part-time.
  • Generation 5: Lucy, Coconut.

Our family would know our cats were the top because our neighbors would tell us, I digress; back to the main story.

Once upon a time, an Orange and White American Short-hair cat jumped out the window.

orange and white american shorthair cat
A representation of what the Orange and white cat looked like. Maybe it was a calico?

For this story, I will refer to this neighbor cat as Orangey instead of Orange and white neighbor cat. This story occurred 5-6 years ago at home during the summer.

Orangey began showing up more often at the back door, and would want pets and attention from me outside as he was a friendly cat.

One day, Orangey was looking in the back door window to look inside. I opened the door, and he cautiously looked in for other cats, then proceeded in. He sniffed around, snuck to the dry cat food bowl, and ate.

As I remember, I was cooking something at the time and focused on it.

Next thing I know, Lucy is yowling and puffed up in the kitchen staring at Orangey. Orangey runs downstairs, and Lucy dashes after him. I hear them downstairs yowling as cats do in a fight for territory. I text mom what’s going on, and we meet in the basement, where we find both cats on a storage rack with boxes of stuff. Orangey climbs to the top and to the window to shield himself. Lucy is about a foot away on a box growling. I pick up the box with Lucy on it, put it on the floor, and carefully climb up on the drier to pick up Orangey. He allows me to pick him up, and my mom watches Lucy. I bring him to the downstairs door, and Lucy dashes towards him again. The chase is on.

I run after the cats, hoping to somehow make it upstairs to open the back door to allow Orangey to escape. I don’t make it. Lucy chases Orangey around the kitchen, Flip sees this and follows. I see Orangey make a beeline to the living room.

The window is wide open since it’s summer. Orangey dashes to it, and I follow.

Gif of a Cheetah running at full speed.
At full speed like this cheetah.

I make it before seeing him dash across the living room to the window and jump out to safety.

A black and white cat jumping a long distance from a couch to a bed, landing gracefully.
The jump looks something like this.

Lucy stops at the window and sees Orangey land safely on the garden strip below. Orangey pauses to clean himself and wanders off. I’ve never seen a cat make a jump like this before or after. Lucy has a look of utter satisfaction. I never see Orangey again.

This brings us to October 2022, when Coco managed to escape outside.

Figuring out the Great Escape

Siamese cat Coco on an open window windowsill looking outside watching a rabbit during the summer.
Coco is on the windowsill watching a rabbit during the summer.

I did not witness Coco escaping. I couldn’t find her around the house when this event happened, despite searching everywhere and calling her name. The window was open, as shown in the picture above. Coco enjoys sitting in the window and peering outside. It’s a way to calm her down when she wants to be outside, but she either has had a long walk outside, and/or we are busy doing something else. To this point, it had not been an issue. Keeping the window open like this has been a thing we have done for our cats when it’s warm.

Picture of a point of view from a house window looking down into a driveway and garden strip.

Coco would see this from her point of view, sitting at the window. This is about 10 feet to the driveway and about 6 feet to the edge of the concrete wall shown here. Even if she were to jump, it would be difficult with all of the plants in the garden growing at this time. I estimate that it would be about 8 feet to the spot in the center of the photo beneath the mint plants at the top of the concrete wall, above the rusted frame of a chair. Missing this jump would be dangerous and likely cause severe harm to a small cat such as Coco.

While a cat can make this jump at full speed, as I described earlier, I suspect that Coco was savvier about her jump. This is the cat that figured out how to climb up to my bed as a 6-week-old kitten to sleep on me on the first day I adopted her. This is the same cat that can open unlocked exterior doors by clawing and pulling at the corners.

However, she did escape; it’s an unsolved mystery.


The moment of truth, the Auto Corrected Text:

Picture of a text message conversation. 

Me: OMG Cock jumped out of the window and is outside exploring. 

Me: 😂😂😂
Me: Coconut LMAO
Me: She complained (when I found her and approached) then hissed at me when I brought her in.
The brief auto-correct conversation.

So that’s the story of a cat jumping out of a window to go outside.

Thanks for reading! If you enjoyed this or have a pet escape story, share it below in the comments! If you enjoy this blog, be sure to subscribe below! You can find more posts about cats below, or in the archives.


Copyright Reilly Anderson 2022.

Living with Long Covid

Picture of the eastern side path of Seward Park
Picture of the eastern side of Seward Park

Song of the post: The Four Seasons – Summer – Allegro non Molto. By Antonio Vivaldi

I took my physical health for granted

I caught the coronavirus in January 2022, during the omicron spike in the US. I saw it at work after I bought pizza for everyone on the first Friday of the week I was promoted to department lead. (Which later changed). My place of work is a tiny building, and the break room doesn’t have excellent airflow, so I likely caught it there when everyone was eating… Masks down. I can’t remember if I went outside to eat. Everyone was vaccinated, and some were boosted; I wasn’t boosted due to the high demand during the winter Omicron surge. While we have safety measures at work, and ownership was generous to offer us a couple of hundred dollar bonus for the initial vaccine, there never was a booster policy. I, along with others who were concerned, asked, but it never became a requirement.

Mid-January, I caught coronavirus and was out for two weeks.

I wasn’t boosted for lack of trying. I could have gotten one if I had shown up to specific locations with extra shots after they closed. The fact is that I didn’t. Testing at that time was complex; you had to go to a drive-thru location and hope they had open appointments. This was before the at-home tests became widespread in the US.

I haven’t been the same person since

Today is one of many days that I have had to call out sick because of Long Covid symptoms. I took a short hike with my mom on Sunday afternoon at our favorite local park: Seward Park. It’s a park on Lake Washington in Seattle, close enough to walk to, an excellent workout that will leave you sweaty, and a good couple of miles with varied terrain. I used to be able to walk there, walk the loop around the outside of the park, and back. Since January, I can walk 10 minutes on flat terrain and be okay.

Up until July, I could go to work and back on most days and crash when I get home. Combine this with the depression, anxiety, inflammation flareups, and PTSD as a result of how about a third of the world refusing to vaccine or distance… Or another third not putting on their mask correctly, and brain fog. And I haven’t followed up on treatment. Which didn’t yet exist because this condition is so new.

On Sunday, I went on a short, roughly 30-minute hike with my mom at Seward Park.

Turtles on a log on Lake Washington, from Seward Park.
If you zoom in, you’ll see several turtles on the log. From 2021

A refresher on Long Covid Symptoms

From CDC.GOV

General symptoms

  • Tiredness or fatigue that interferes with daily life
  • Symptoms that get worse after physical or mental effort (also known as “post-exertional malaise”)
  • Fever

Respiratory and heart symptoms

  • Difficulty breathing or shortness of breath
  • Cough
  • Chest pain
  • Fast-beating or pounding heart (also known as heart palpitations)

Neurological symptoms

  • Difficulty thinking or concentrating (sometimes referred to as “brain fog”)
  • Headache
  • Sleep problems
  • Dizziness when you stand up (lightheadedness)
  • Pins-and-needles feelings
  • Change in smell or taste
  • Depression or anxiety

Digestive symptoms

  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain

Other symptoms

  • Joint or muscle pain
  • Rash
  • Changes in menstrual cycles

Post-exertional malaise

In the past 8 months, I have had all of these symptoms except for rash, change in smell/taste, and menstrual cycles (for obvious reasons). The most common are: fatigue after effort, difficulty concentrating, sleep problems, and diarrhea. I have slowly gotten my energy back, and have more good days than bad, yet the condition hangs on.

On Sunday, I decided to go on a walk in Seward Park with my Mom. One of the things that my therapist suggested was to spend time in nature. When I was in therapy the last time, going to the park and walking for exercise did help. I have gotten out of doing both of these things due to my health. It has been a long time since I pushed myself to exercise. I have been doing short ten-minute walks a couple times a week at work. What was I talking about again? Oh yeah.. The walk at the park.

Dory, a metaphor for brain fog.

The Park

From Wikipedia: Seward Park is a municipal park in Seattle, Washington, United States. Located in the city neighborhood of the same name, it covers 300 acres (120 ha; 0.47 sq mi). The park occupies all of Bailey Peninsula, a forested peninsula that juts into Lake Washington. It contains one of the last surviving tracts of old-growth forest within the city of Seattle. The park is named after U.S. Secretary of State William Seward. The 300 acres (120 ha) of Seward Park have roughly 120 acres (49 ha) of surviving old growth forest, providing a glimpse of what some of the lake shore looked like before the city of Seattle was founded. With trees older than 250 years and many less than 200, the Seward Park forest is relatively young (the forests of Seattle before the city was fully mature were usually 1,000–2,000 years old).[1] Source

The Walk

Normally this walk, this is as the cliche goes… Is a walk in the park.

“walk in the park”:

Something that is easy to do or accomplish.

https://idioms.thefreedictionary.com/walk+in+the+park

Normally, or life before I caught covid, I could easily walk any route around Seward Park and back. I would be sweaty and be tired from a long cardio workout, but nothing that I couldn’t recover from. If I would go the long route, walking there and back, on the longest route, this would be about a 60-90 minute brisk walk. Which has always been doable, even in recent times where I have been out of shape.

Ever since I caught covid in January, and later Long Covid, I haven’t been physically able to exercise outside of work and every day chores. Since July, I have been able to do 10 minute walks on breaks a couple times a week. So, I thought it would be okay to try some longer exercise.

That was a mistake.

I was mindful to pace myself and to not overdo it because I hadn’t pushed my body this hard in months.

Yet, after 15 minutes of slowly walking through the evergreen forest and windy trails common to the inner forest path we chose, I was dizzy, wheezing, my heart was pounding, and I had to stop to catch my breath. I felt like I was hiking a mountain or sprinting at full speed, not shuffling along like a snail on a gentle park trail. I have walked this trail and others in the park several times a year during the summer, every year of my life without any problem.

Turtle crawling slowly through sand

This time, I felt physically like I did shuffling around the hospital wing after I had a couple heart attacks as a severe side effect of Amphetamine based ADHD medication at age 22. (Thankfully I recovered, there was no damage to my heart, and all tests after said I was healthy). It was a struggle and I felt weak after. I really hope these current symptoms are not current heart problems because of Long Covid. I don’t get treated. I am more afraid of the insane cost of treating chronic health problems in our messed-up healthcare system.

Thankfully, my mother drove us to the park. I would not have been able to walk back.

Monday was Labor Day, so this was a short work week. Even so, I was only able to work two half days. All I could do Tuesday morning was to drag myself to shower and dress before I was too exhausted to continue. Even though I have slept more, and taken it easy, I’m still not recovered as I write this today, the following Saturday. Work has been great with my health issues, with me missing so much time this year and I’m very grateful to them for that. I’ll always have a little fear of being fired, even if there isn’t evidence that I will be, but I am glad to have their support. Thankfully, I have sick leave accrued, so I’ll be okay this time.

I contacted my doctors office, and did an E-visit checkup. There still isn’t a cure or a specific treatment for Long Covid, but they can treat symptoms. Hopefully I’ll get some answers at the next in person appointment later this month. Just like the pandemic as a whole, I have to wait for an unknown time for this to be over. Maybe this is how my life is from now on.

Distant hope for the future.

All things considered, my life is alright. I’d like it to be better, to be different. The struggle with this chronic condition is so hard. Especially because there isn’t a cure or specific medical treatment yet. A lot of days, I wonder if what I’m feeling is due to this condition or a flare-up of the preexisting depression or anxiety that I manage. Well, one day at a time. I’m so tired of being patient. I’m so tired of chronic health conditions that I have little control over. Thanks for letting me vent a bit.

It took me much longer than usual to write this week. It’s hard to write when your health gets in the way and you need to prioritize that. Do you or anyone you know struggle with Long Covid? Let me know in the comments! If you like this and are a new reader, subscribe below and checkout my latest posts! Thank you for reading!


kitten blocked

I’m fighting for my writing journal and pen as I write this. My kitten, Coconut, born June 13th is attacking my arms, my hands, and the journal/pen. She wants to play. She is nipping my fingers. Chewing on the corners of the page. I’m holding her up as she wiggles in my left hand, chewing on my fingertips. She is half on the journal and half in my hand in a curled ball. I’m the toy. Coconut, or “Coco” for short, is a Siamese kitten with white and grey fur. Blue eyes, grey ears and grey-black tail. in this zoom group she hasn’t been still. She’s been exploring my desk… Walking in front of my webcam and watching the pc screen with intent interest.
I’m having trouble writing because she is lying on the page, like it’s a new bed perched on my office chair armrest. She is entranced with the moving pen as I write this.

Just now

I am physically blocked from writing more. 5 minutes pass. Coco has settled onto my lap, purring. Gazing lovingly up at me, purring. She closes her eyes and takes a nap. I’m free to write again. The joy of having a kitten.

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates!

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19!

Lucy and I, high after midnight

My orca-tuxedo cat Lucy, getting up to pose for a picture, on a yellow sonics blanket while on my bed. In a corner, Green walls in the background.
My orca-tuxedo cat Lucy, getting up to pose for a picture while on my bed.

On Tuesday/Wednesday I Was up until 1227am because I couldn’t sleep. I went to bed at my regular time these days around 8pm. I did everything I usually do, but couldn’t sleep. At about 3 hours, I turned my phone back on and browsed with nightlight setting on, bedtime mode on, and the brightness to zero. When nothing else works, reading puts me asleep. This didn’t work either. I haven’t been able to exercise much the past week because I strained my right foot. I’m only feeling better again today. Long story short, the lack of exercise screwed up my routine and sleep. Melatonin, Valerian root, and magnesium supplements do work to a point. Good sleep hygiene also helps. When everything fails and I can’t sleep, I smoke pot. My main reason for smoking pot has been to help me sleep. (For the pot head readers, it was the strain GMO by the company Dank Czar.) Pot was a last resort after trying many prescription medicines that didn’t help or had bad side effects. Occasionally I get a story like this.

  I had a bowl of pot with the strain GMO loaded. Smoked it. When I came back in, Lucy dashed outside. I’m very careful at night coming back in from the back deck by opening the backdoor slowly, by not opening the door much, and herding her gently with my feet if necessary. Tonight, she out maneuvered me and escaped. I drank a swig of water, and went back outside whispering to Lucy. “Lucy? Where are you?”  She was outside the garage door, on the concrete patio path with her fur proofed out. Ready to fight, or pounce. 

Something with a glowing green eye was in the rundown, lean to, shitty garage. I heard a strange higher pitch animal call. I scooped her up, in my arms firmly so she couldn’t escape and held her against me. Lucy tried to squirm and wiggle free as she usually does when either my mother or I pick her up to hold her and give her kisses. She meows like a teenager would to their parents not being cool. When she’s had enough after 10 seconds, she wiggles around like a snake or worm to wriggle free, as I put her back on the floor.

Complaining with a meow that said: “Nooo! Put me down! I want to see what’s in the garage!”  I whispered: No Lucy, it isn’t safe out during the night anymore. There are coyotes nearby! I quickly walked back inside, as quietly as I could. I fear a coyote. A couple years ago I saw 2 crossing the road about a half mile away where my street crosses Rainier Ave. 

Lucy perched on her cat house, ready to play. She was much like this on Wednesday. Lying on most her toys… The piece of pink wrapping paper, and her blue kitten chew toy. The box on the floor, and old toy she doesn’t use anymore.

As I took Lucy inside, carefully closing the door so she couldn’t escape out again. She dashed to her *Cat tree play toy* in the living room. Scratching the bottom mast, staring at me, eyes crazy, ready to play. I remember at that moment that we are both high. I gave her a double amount of catnip infused cat treats, in her food dish, the moment before I went to smoke. I couldn’t resist her sleepy begging eyes, and cute charm. Rubbing against my ankles helped. Lucy’s my only kitty. Of course I spoil her. 

A black foam roller I use for back and leg massages. Upright in a living room near furniture.
The black foam roller I use for back and leg massages. It tips over easily.

I tried to play with her, but one of us knocked over my cylindrical foam roller (think a thicker pool noodle, black). Flop! The noodle tipped over hitting the living room floor! Lucy disappeared in a flash. I assume all the way upstairs to mom’s room for the night.  She comes back to visit me as I’m tucked in bed trying to sleep, writing this story. She is already purring as she hops onto my bed. She settles on me for like 3 minutes. She leaves again. Lucy is high, lol. I believed that I saved Lucy’s Life that night. Or we could have been both so stoned that we were both paranoid and reacted to nothing. Oh well.

Lucy in 2014. I accidentally spilled the catnip we had then on the floor, and she immediately went to roll in it.

Songs of the week:

Stray cat strut by (Actual band name) Stray Cats

Lucy in the sky with diamonds by The Beatles

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, comment, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! Please wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19!

Anthony Bourdain: Chef, Writer, TV travel show host. A role model.

Anthony Bourdain smoking a cigarette from the No reservations era.
Image credit: Here

               

Here is what I wrote about Anthony Bourdain on June 8th, 2018 in a journal entry: Another person I idolized was found dead by his own doing.  Anthony Bourdain, dead at age 61. Bourdain joins Robin Williams, and Chester Bennington as cultural icons that I admired… All dead from suicide. Despite seeming to have it all, none could continue living. Depression makes it seem like it will never go away. Like there is no point to life. Maybe there isn’t, but when in the darkness, you feel the weight of its nothingness. Welcome to the suicide generation…

I tried to write a post on June 8th this year, but couldn’t. Instead I turned to cooking for comfort. I turned my horror at the world that week into a present for a friend. (Which she said was exactly what she was craving… Really chocolatey brownies) Anthony Bourdain ended his life by suicide. A tragedy as suicide always is. I’d rather celebrate his life, his birthday, today June 25th. While alive he taught me through his travel shows how to cook dishes from around the world, and showed me what a big world we live in. To be honest, I haven’t yet read Kitchen Confidential, the book he is most known for, (I finally bought it last night on Audible!)  and which gave him a second career in his 40s. 

He opened my eyes to the world through food. He was no nonsense, tell it like it is, not afraid to swear, adventurous, and compassionate. He could sit down, eat, and talk with anyone from former president Barack Obama to rock stars, to local people in any country.  It’s been two years since he died, and this year is the first time I’m not sad by his death. He was a role model to me. A model of how to be a good human being, a good man, an example that you can be successful from nothing later in life. Him dying, and from suicide hit especially hard because I struggle with depression, and had close calls with suicide before. I hope his tragic death was a wake up call to others who looked up to him, who also struggled with depression and suicide. 

To my friends and family that read this blog: It’s hard to admit I have been suicidal before. It’s not something I wish anyone to feel. Depression is hell. Yet many people struggle with it in silence. I’m feeling like I fit in with the world for the first time in a long time, right now in quarantine, which is strange. All the feelings others are experiencing now… The fear of dying, the paranoia, the fear of the unknown future, feeling confined, trapped, lonely, anger, frustration, and despair is what it feels like to be suicidal. Sometimes my fight with it feels like a Muay-Thai fight. You survived, but I’m sore, worn out, exhausted. But I’m alive. I’m so grateful that I haven’t done it, because as strange and stressful this year has been, I’ve never felt closer or more connected to you and the world. Ironic since we are stuck at home. Therefore I need to apologize. I’m sorry I never told you. That I didn’t reach out in my darkest moments. It’s impossible when fighting it to think of anything else. It creates a dark tunnel where you see nothing else but the void. The hard part is that you “think” you have to break out of this darkness alone when you are vulnerable. Which is a lie. Thankfully I have a therapist I fit with now, which was the major reason I haven’t received the help I’ve needed for years for my depression. That is not having a therapist I click with, or the therapist leaving for many reasons. You can’t do therapy without a consistent therapist, or one you don’t click with like a friend.

If nothing else, in my darkest moments, it’s 1 more reason to live. He taught me that everyone has an impact on others even if it isn’t clear to the person in the darkness struggling with mental illness. It ‘s hard to watch the later seasons of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown because you could physically see the toll on him. Watching his shows helped me become a better cook, a better person, a creative mind I could emulate. Gave me hope that I could still be successful later in life, despite struggling professionally.


Takeout food from Rainer Restaurant tonight. From right to left: Salt and Pepper Prawns, Sizzling Pepper Eel (the first time I have had cooked eel before), and Stir Fried Garlic Ong Choy. Also shown is a pink flower in a plastic planting pot.
I went and got takeout from Rainer Restaurant tonight. From right to left: Salt and Pepper Prawns, Sizzling Pepper Eel (the first time I have had cooked eel before), and Stir Fried Garlic Ong Choy. Everything was delicious! Also, the restaurant was giving away the pink flower in a pot. Guest starring, our messy kitchen table.

My mother and I went to Rainier BBQ (https://www.rainierrestaurant.com/) that Friday for dinner after I found out it happened. The place was filled. It was the first time I had been there before. I ordered the Beef Ong Choy salad, which Bourdain had while filming the segment there for his tv show The Layover some other dishes which were delicious. A person at another table told a server working there about Anthony Bourdain, and she cried. I still haven’t watched the final episode of Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown. Thank you Anthony Bourdain. Rest in Peace.

“Maybe that’s enlightenment enough: to know that there is no final resting place of the mind; no moment of smug clarity. Perhaps wisdom…is realizing how small I am, and unwise, and how far I have yet to go.”

― Anthony Bourdain”

Songs of the post: 

On the street by The Stooges

Across 110th street by Bobby Womack

Anemone by The Brian Jonestown Massacre

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Reddit, we need to talk.

O RLY? The classic Oh really Owl Meme.
My favorite Meme of all time. Boy this shows my old man internet status! If I had to justify by bullshit for explaining why I like this meme its probably because it shares 3 letters with my first name. I’m such a narcissist lol. (Source)

This is a fictional satire of how I would break up with the website Reddit.com as if it was a real person. Clearly Reddit and I have some things to work on. Also, no I won’t post a picture of Reddit. It doesn’t need any more attention!

Reddit, we need to talk:

It’s time to break up. This relationship has almost been 6 years, but it’s over. I’ve become a different person, and I can’t live this way with you anymore. I can’t leave the house without you around. I’m ashamed to browse you around other people. I rarely see friends because you constantly want attention. This is an unhealthy relationship. We are Codependent. Yet, I’m never good enough for you. You are incredibly smart, and taught me so many interesting things such as history tidbits, psychology, science, and relationships that I’m in awe. However, you are also shallow, a vain narcissist who only cares what you give to it, yet has no sense of self.

You drive me crazy with your immaturity. Which is saying a lot because I’m what you call your biggest fans, a Neckbeard. (A slur for men online who are have nerdy interests and can have mental health problems.) Apparently that’s okay for you to insult me, while I burn to keep you warm. (An idiom I learned from you!) What does that say about you? That you want my attention and presence, yet despise me? You might be unique, and famous. I don’t care. I’m done feeling like shit because of you. So I’ll change the only thing I can. Which is being around you. I’m sure you could explain every reason why we should stay together. Why I’m acting this way, supported by science. Reasons supported by psychology and so on. The problem is, you refuse to even consider what I feel or my opinions. Relationships go two ways. They take work to maintain.

Translation: Yeah, Really. I’m serious about this! (Source)

Don’t contact me. I’ll be ignoring your favorite advice for relationships:

1) I won’t delete Facebook or other social media. I’ll simply block you. While Facebook is flawed, I know exactly what to expect from it. Yeah, it’s an evil giant corporation. But so are you. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

2) I won’t be hitting the gym because I’m not into that. I prefer walks. I’ll lose weight because I won’t be stress eating worrying about our relationship anymore!

3) I’ll only lawyer up if necessary. I assume you’ll handle this breakup like an adult.


It’s not you, it’s me…

You changed when you got big. I’ll be moving on with Blog. I know you are familiar with her. You think you know everything about her, and everything else in human civilization. I don’t care. Despite what you think, you’re not perfect. I don’t care if you literally know everything. I don’t care if you can take any appearance to suit your vanity. I’m never good enough. You never feel good enough as you are. I don’t care how many millions of followers you have. You are a mirror. Like a vampire you have no reflection, drain everyone’s energy, and become them. Once your target becomes a vampire because of you biting their neck, draining their life force, they lose their sense of self. Like a disease, they have to feed on other people’s energy until everyone is like you. That isn’t being human. While you were created by humans, you aren’t human. Somehow you are both the best and worst of humanity at the same time. I’m tired of your emotional outbursts to get attention. While Blog is much older than you, She’s willing to grow with me. She doesn’t play games. She knows who she is and what she wants. She respects me as I am, and accepts me, flaws, strengths and all. 

I’m tired of putting all the work in for someone that doesn’t care. I thought you would change if I became someone else. If I did something to get your attention. But this is impossible since you change at will. How can a person love something that is anything but itself? It wasn’t love between us, it’s addiction. Hopefully you get the help you need. Internet addicts, social media addiction, closing myself off from the world, codependency, don’t interest me. I can’t help you fix yourself. Not my problem anymore. You’re smart, you figure it out! Goodbye.

This is from the classic “Vader No” Meme, which is from Star Wars episode 3. Warning, the following link is loud sound. It’s hard to believe that this is considered ancient in Internet Meme history. https://dvnooooo.ytmnd.com/

Farewell Reddit. (In case you didn’t notice, this is sarcastic.) Would Reddit tell me to break up with itself?!


   

Misc thoughts

I figured the blog needed a silly breakup post to balance my own super serious posts before. I hope it’s not too ridiculous, lol. I do use Reddit too much. Honestly, people in my generation use the internet so much that it is like we are dating it. We use our phones like our grandparents smoked cigarettes. But, with the internet, it quickly becomes an unhealthy relationship because the internet runs off of money. Massive websites such as reddit cost a lot of money to maintain. And you can’t have a healthy relationship with a thing that’s sole purpose is to enrich itself by any means.

I hope all the mixed metaphors and satire hit its mark. I haven’t had this much fun with something in a while. Blogging is hard, but satisfying. As I go through my final edits of this post I realize… Who is this post for? Lol. There’s so many specific jokes that few people would understand. The target audience: early thirties or late twenties internet users who remember these old memes, and use Reddit. This plan is so crazy it might work! (What plan? Write an awesome blog post with more traffic than last weeks post!)

 I can’t wait for the quarantine to be lifted. This solitary life at home feels like I’m in a hamster wheel. Online interaction only goes so far, and I don’t want to live this online life any more. I’ve already had long periods in my life living with little human interaction when my depression was at it’s worst. When I didn’t have the right mix of medicines for my health issues. When I didn’t have a therapist I trust and connect with. In the future I want to be online less often.

As for me, I’m feeling okay more often than not. This amazing Seattle spring, and the perfect sunny weather is welcome relief. Despite the stereotype of Seattle, it actually doesn’t rain that much here. The reality is looming passive aggressive grey clouds… You never know if it will rain. This is why I sarcastically assume Grunge became big in the PNW. Long term residents are cold socially to new people that move in because the grey grinds their once sunny disposition into hazy clouds. Amazing springs and summers can only heal the soul so much. It’s not personal, its the weather.

I know that I don’t have a focus yet for the blog. I’m planning to add sections for content once there is enough to fill them. Maybe in the future, I’ll split stuff into separate blogs. I’m pacing myself so I don’t burnout or lose interest. I want to enjoy the journey. This has been an eventful year for me so I’m interested to see how my “Top songs of 2020” will look at the end of the year on Spotify.

The song of the week is dedicated to the stone age of memes, Ytmnd.com. I’ll leave the surprise in this Link.


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I’m working on figuring out Pinterest, so that will be another option in the near future. Don’t forget to wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance from others to fight Covid-19!

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.

Have a good week!

Reilly.

Blue Sparkly Shoes

My old work shoes on the left, current pair of sneakers I was looking for, and this story happened.

Blue Sparkly Shoes

This story originally posted on Facebook. This is an updated, rewritten version of the post. In early January, I was looking for a new everyday pair of sneakers to use for work. Hard to believe it will be 4 months since it was closed by the corporate owners, and all 30 people lost their jobs at once… 

Like many people I buy most of my stuff online through the Amazon borg. I would prefer to buy shoes at a store, but the past few times I have, the service was awful and the selection limited. For a couple years, I’ve wanted to have blue sneakers that were decent quality and not too expensive. Earlier in 2019, I had a different pair of blue everyday sneakers. Unfortunately, they started to smell like a garbage dumpster, and no amount of cleaning would get rid of the foul odor. I guess that’s what happens when you wear some sneakers without socks during the summer. I made do for months with a pair of red Rockport shoes as seen in this picture:

(Despite this entry being about shoes, I’ve never been someone known for fashion or spending much money on clothes. I lean toward comfort and practicality. Some times you gotta say “Fuck it” and try something out!) 

Usually, Amazon is pretty on point with suggestions and items that fit what you are searching for. I searched: “Men’s sneakers”. I expected sneakers and running shoes. Logical. What was illogical was this pair of shoes….


Actual product description…

The Blue Sparkly Shoes

ON THE FIRST RESULTS PAGE for “Blue men’s sneakers”. So, having normal human curiosity for strange shiny things, a propensity for unique experiences… Yeah, I clicked on them. How could I not?

Inside was further comedy gold. Such as: “FASHION LOAFERS – Less dressy than Bal oxfords, Can be worn with jeans assuming they are casually styled”. This makes a massive assumption. Any casual style jeans? Did the author of the description actually interact with this product?! 

More: “COMFORTABLE – Faux Leather upper plus breathable ultralight soft insole let you feel good and lessen joint impacts” Just, no. You have to focus on maintaining your balance like an ice skater to wear these if not on a flat level surface. 

Continued: “A GREAT GIFT – If you know your dad, husband, brother or boyfriend’s shoe size this will be an amazing gift for them on their birthday, Christmas or any other suitable occasion” Oh lord…You do not surprise men with these shoes as a gift they didn’t ask for. Well, if you want to start a fight I suppose. Lol. 

More from the page… SLIP-ON – they are a product of comfort and convenience. Hahahaha. I supposed wearing these is like wearing high heels. These are not comfort shoes. You wear these to stand out. I’m astounded that women put up with wearing heels every day.

My favorite gem: “for everyday wear and easy to pair up with an outfit; Whether going to a barbeque, wedding, business meeting, or shopping; these shoes can get the job done in style without causing unnecessary pain” I can’t top that with commentary. According to the ad, clearly the shoes can be unnecessary by using them abusively as described here. May cause unnecessary pain by surprising people with them as a gift, by wearing them without accentuated clothes, by lying about how wearing it feels. If you want even more fun, check out the rabbit hole of related products. It gets stranger and stranger the more you search. You too can easily wear 80s pop musician clothes! …Ugh, I just wrote an awesome ad without meaning to.

Read more

Stoners… Don’t dabble in Scorpion Poison! Part 1.

Scorpion Poison, A legal Cannabis story:

A wise man once said: “Cocaine is a hell of a drug….” Giggling while telling his own crazy story. It was rock star Rick James, collaborating Charlie Murphy’s story about him on Charlie Murphy’s True Hollywood stories, on Chappelle Show. If you haven’t seen that episode, I suggest you watch it after reading this. Episode 204. Or on youtube. That whole episode is still relevant. I counter that “Cannabis is a hell of a drug…:” 

Likenesses and details changed. Names for characters are combinations of celebrity names. Any likeness to real people, or companies is coincidental. Based on a Drug Trip.


 Once upon a time in a nondescript warehouse in the PNW, 

There was a small legal cannabis company. They bought their cannabis from farms, and sold it to stores as the brand Dirty Girl Cannabis Co. A classic small business warehouse which was growing in employees by the month. A typical day in a tier 3 distributor weed company is a handful of things for a cannabis processor. Cannabis strains such as White widow, Girl Scout Cookies also coined Og (Short for Ocean Grown) cookies (to avoid a lawsuit), Blue Dream, or Sherbet, are stuffed into plastic mylar bags or glass jars. The bud is weighed out on an electric scale for packed containers varying from one gram to one ounce in weight. ‘Rolling’ joints, or packaging cartridges. 

    The work space where all of this is produced is like someone set up an office in a storage warehouse with whatever tables and chairs they could find online. Your basic warehouse layout… Cold and grim, but functional. The work culture, being a weed company, is anything but. It’s a weird cross of Half Baked, The Office, and Mad men. Day to day work is often repetitive like working on a production line, by filling as many bags of story ready product, and rolling as many joints as possible. This creates a work culture where you listen to something on headphones, or talk with your coworkers about whatever while your hands are busy. Often a bit too lax since everyone working there are stoners!

    It was an usually sunny day on a chilly spring morning at Dirty Girl Cannabis Company. The work assignment is to help fill a current order by breaking down cannabis strain Purple Haze, into shelf quality bud for legal retail stores. The whole team is processing and packaging cannabis into ounce bags. The quality of this Purple Haze weed? If the best stuff is Jimmy Hendrix’s hit coined after this strain, this is a person on youtube playing it, but only knows half the song, and can’t sing. You can’t blame the farmers for selling this stuff… If someone ends up buying it. Growing cannabis is a  specialized skill like farming any other agricultural product. This batch wasn’t grown right. It had no smell despite being a cross of two pungent parent strains – Purple Thai with an aroma reminiscent of purple flowers and chocolate, and Haze, which smells like fresh orange-spice tea . This smelled like hay. A common sign of improperly cured and grown weed. Cannabis is grown, chopped, hung up, and dried. If only one of these precise methods is screwed up, the final product’s quality will be dramatically affected. Lower THC percentages, less beneficial effects, little to no smell or taste, and so on. If you bought this from a retail cannabis store, it would be like buying canned peaches, opening it up, and discovering the peaches were barely ripened, have a stiff mealy texture, taste awful, and offer no nutritional value. 

Processors don’t enjoy trimming this weed, but nobody likes every part of their job. When you make minimum wage, this is “Paycheck weed”.  Top grade Purple Haze is it’s own experience unto itself. At high doses it feels like the classic Jimmy Hendrix hit, the world appears in a golden glow, you are happier due to its antidepressant effects, and it tastes amazing. Like chocolate, berries, violets, and spices. It can make you energetic, or sleepy depending on how it’s grown.

To be continued…


Fuck! Writer’s block! Ugh.. Writing is hard! I wanted to finish this today, for it to be a longer post, but I’m tired and don’t want to be late for a second week in a row. I must honor the readers I have, even if zero people visited the blog in the past two days. A stark reality check for me as a beginning blogger. Despite writing this since 6am today, clearly I underestimated the amount of work this post required. That’s what I get for procrastinating on this all week. I guess this is part of the learning curve for blogging. So I’m splitting this story into two, and will finish it tomorrow. Yes, a shitty cliffhanger… 


Song of the post, Mary Jane by Rick James.:

Thank you for reading this, if you enjoyed it, please give it a like, tell me what you think in the comments, and share on Facebook. Don’t forget to subscribe to my email list for updates! 

Please wear a mask outside that covers your mouth and nose, wash your hands, clean your cell phone, and keep your physical distance (6 feet) from others to fight Covid-19! 

© Reilly Anderson. 2020. All rights reserved.