15

O, Give Me a Home – Part 3

Image result for herd of buffalo

Where we are: The Bison family has gone to visit Jen’s brother in Wyoming. John, Jen’s husband, is finally impressed with Bruce when he finds out that he has a regular job and a job filming a commercial. The only possible issue is that Bruce works at night and the commercial will film during the day. Part 1 is here and Part 2 is here.

For the next few days, Bruce takes his family around the area to meet the herd and see the scenery. He seems popular; a couple of the girls said he was cute.

Sunday afternoon, Bruce said he wanted to go to bed early because he’d have to be extra alert on Monday morning.

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Bruce: OK guys, I’m off to bed. Seen you in the a.m.

JJ: Good night, Uncle Bruce. Sweet dreams.

Bruce settled down in his usual spot under the trees, but couldn’t get to sleep. Finally, he decided to get up and walk around. Then he laid back down to sleep. He couldn’t get comfortable. Next thing he knew, it was morning and JJ was standing in front of him.

JJ: It’s time to get up. It’s the big day!

Bruce: Leave me alone. I’m tired.

JJ: Mom said it’s time for you to get up.

Bruce: Tell your mother I’ll get up when I’m ready.

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JJ runs back to his mother.

Jen: Is Uncle Bruce on his way over?

JJ: No. He’s really grumpy. He said he’d get up when he was ready.

John: I knew it. Same old Bruce. He’s going to mess this up.

Jen glares at John.

Jen: I’ll go talk to him.

Bruce: I said I wanted to sleep.

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Jen: You have to get up. Your commercial’s today.

Bruce: I can’t. I have a terrible headache.

Jen: How much of that caffeine do you take?

Bruce: I don’t know. Enough to stay awake.

Jen: How long have you been taking it?

Bruce: Hmm. Maybe a year.

Jen: How often do you not take it?

Bruce: What’s with all the questions? You’re not my mother, you know.

Jen: No, but I’m smart enough to know that you’re having a reaction to not having enough caffeine in your system.

Bruce: Great. I would have been fine if you hadn’t come and messed up my schedule.

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Jen: This is your own fault, not ours.

Bruce: Forget it. Just go away.

Jen goes back to her family. A few minutes later, JJ goes back to Bruce.

Bruce: What do you want?

JJ: Mom said you should eat this.

Bruce: What is it? It looks like a bunch of grass.

JJ: It’s special grass. She says it will make you feel better.

Bruce: I don’t want it.

JJ: You have to. It’s your big day.

Bruce: I don’t care. I’m not eating it.

JJ: Dad! I need your help.

John comes over and glares at Bruce.

JJ: He won’t eat it.

John: Bruce, you can either eat the grass or I can feed it to you. You are not going to disappoint Jen one more time.

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Bruce looks up at his much larger brother-in-law.

Bruce: Fine. Give it to me.

Bruce takes the grass and chews it.

Bruce: This tastes awful.

John: I don’t care. Eat it all. We’re leaving in an hour. Get yourself together.

JJ helps Bruce brush out his coat. Bruce wouldn’t let him touch the hooves. They needed to look as bad as possible. By the time John came back, Bruce was feeling better.

John and Bruce arrived at the shoot just before he was due. John watches everything and decides that Bruce had done well. Soon they were back at the meadow.

Conclusion: How did Bruce do on the commercial? Does he have a future in Hollywood?

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14

Don’t Worry Mama, We’ll Help

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The last time Mama Kitty had been sick in bed, she got up to a complete mess. There were dishes everywhere, food on the counter, toys all over the front room, and mud on all the floors. She just wanted to go back to bed.

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After she had cleaned everything up, Mama Kitty held a family meeting. She said that she understood that the kittens were little, but that if she was sick, everyone had to do something to help out. The kittens nodded solemnly.

Not long after, Mama Kitty caught a bad cold and had to stay in bed. Remembering what she said, the kittens got together to talk.

Muffin: Remember what Mama said? We all have to help. I’m going to make her some catnip tea.

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Thomas: That’s a good idea. You can be in charge of cooking too. I’ll be in charge of muddy footprints.

Princess: I’ll put away toys.

Bubba: And I’ll eat all the leftover food.

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The kittens agreed it was a good plan.

Muffin didn’t know how much catnip to put in the tea, so she guessed. When she was finished, she took it to Mama.

Muffin: Mama, I made you some catnip tea. I thought it would make you feel better.

Mama: That’s sweet, honey.

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She took the cup, and sipped it. She started coughing.

Mama: Sweetie, how much catnip did you put in the tea?

Muffin: I wasn’t sure how much to use, so I filled the teapot halfway.

Mama (trying not to choke): That’s a little too much. Next time, a teaspoon will do. But I love this.

She took a long drink and emptied the cup, hoping Muffin wouldn’t offer any more.

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Mama: Thank you so much. I think I need to sleep now.

Muffin happily left the room with the empty cup.

Mama slept all afternoon, trying to ignore the banging and bumping in the next room. She politely refused the tuna that Muffin brought in later.

Mama stayed in bed for two days and got up the third morning feeling much better after all that sleep.

When she went into the front room, Mama was surprised. It looked a lot cleaner than she had expected. The floor was clean. No toys and no mud.

Mama: You kittens did a wonderful job of keeping the house clean.

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Princess: Thank you, Mama. I didn’t realize we had so many toys. I filled up the toyboxes and had to put the rest in that chest over there.

Mama looked to see her china cabinet overflowing with stuffed mice and bags of catnip. At least they were soft toys.

Mama: Thank you for keeping the front room so clean. I don’t have to worry about tripping on anything.

Thomas: Come into the kitchen and see what I did to keep the mud out.

Mama hesitated. Was she ready to see that mess? But Thomas was waiting, so she followed.

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Thomas: See? I put down towels at the door so we could wipe our feet.

Mama looked down at her best linen towels covered in mud. But there was no mud anywhere else in the house.

Mama: Thomas, that’s a wonderful idea! Thank you.

Mama looked around. The kitchen was fairly clean. There were dishes in the sink, but the counters were clean.

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Mama: The kitchen looks good. I’m proud of you.

Bubba: Thank you, Mama. I ate all the extra food, so it wouldn’t sit out.

Mama looked at Bubba. Despite his name, he was not a large kitten.

Mama: How did you do that, sweetheart? You usually can’t even finish your own food.

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Bubba: I didn’t realize how much food it would be. I took some to share with my friends. We had a party.

Mama Kitty started to laugh. She hadn’t realized how resourceful her kittens were.

Mama: I’m so proud of all of you. You took care of the house for two days and it looks wonderful.

Then they all curled up in front of the fire and cuddled.

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7

Technology Strikes Back

Miss me? Talk to Edgar.

Edgar is my new Toshiba laptop (with Windows 8.1). Yes, I finally have one. And my dreams of being able to finish my email and work on my blog on the same day are, at this point, still dreams.

The issue was that my weird work schedule leads to a weird sleep schedule. I have to get up at 2:30a to be at work by 4a. Due to some unfortunate genetic material, I have always needed 8-9 hours of sleep/day. Except when I’m manic, but that has its own problems.

The only time I tried to stay up all night at college to finish a paper was a bit of disaster. I’m sure the paper was horrible. At least I did it on a typewriter so I was saved the embarrassment of rereading it. But the notes I took in Constitutional Law were worthless – I’d write a few words then put a citation number. Never finished a single thought.

Anyway – if you calculate backwards from 2:30a, you get to 6:30p. I’m sure there are some people who are more disciplined than I am (probably 90% of the world). But I am totally incapable of going to bed at 6:30p and staying in bed until 2:30a. For one thing, I’d miss ‘Bones’.

So my solution (all you scientific types who understand circadian rhythms should probably skip this paragraph) has been 2 naps that last 2-3 hours plus ‘bed’ which is 3-3.5 hours). So I sleep at 1p, 4:30p, and 11p. It actually works pretty well. Except for sharing the PC. Since I’m sleeping while he’s at work, we need to share. Which wasn’t really a problem when I was only using it for news and emails.

Finally my husband got tired of me complaining, and here we are. As everyone else in the world knows, the first thing you need to do is name it. I’m sure there is a logical reason for that, but I haven’t run across it yet. (Don’t tell me – I want to be surprised.)

They recommend something like ‘Cat’s Computer’. I did that with my Kindle. I cringe every time I download a book. I mean, seriously, for someone who has my vocabulary is that not the lamest excuse for a name?

So when my husband asked me what named I wanted to use (you don’t seriously think I set it up by myself do you?), I didn’t hesitate. I gave him the first name that came to mind: Edgar. As in Edgar Allan Poe. Not quite as weird as you may have thought.

Thought Break –

I was going to finish this post with a litany of various strange experiences Edgar and I have been having as a couple, but now I will just tell you what happened as I tried to write this.

I went to the Reader and chose New Post. Then Text. It’s my favorite format for typing. So I’m typing and things are going along fine. I got down to the paragraph that starts, “So when my husband…”, and I touched the wrong thing or got too close to the wrong thing or thought the wrong thing and it ate everything back to “Don’t tell me…”

I could hear it laughing. I have never met a piece of hardware that was this touchy. It took me a day to get used to the touchpad, but I’m still learning why the time keeps popping up. And why sometimes the down arrow moves the screen. And why sometimes the ‘mouse button’ and the side arrow move the screen. And why sometimes nothing at all will move the screen.

And most annoyingly, sometimes it will react when I get close to a key and sometimes I can double-click twice and not get a response.

So I thought I would show it who’s boss. I would type in Word and transfer it into WordPress. That way, I wouldn’t lose anything.

Anything except Word that is. I couldn’t find it in any of the usual places – Control Panel, system files, HELP!!! Luckily my teenage son walked in at the moment and immediately found it under Apps (of course). I knew there was a good reason for kids.

So here I am in Word 2013, discovering that – surprise! – Edgar is here too. Moving text without my permission, deleting things.

There is much, much more to tell you at a later date, but I’m going to post this now before the whole thing disappears. Assuming I can get it over to WordPress.

I hadn’t thought about it before – I wonder if the problems are related to naming it after Edgar Allan Poe?

6

Who Needs Tryptophan?

I was intending to send this post yesterday, but I fell asleep.

I would like to think that it had something to do with the Thanksgiving turkey the day before, but napping has been an issue with me as long as I can remember. My family swears I am part cat. Someone even had the foresight to give me the name when I was born.

I have always been a morning person, which means that I have never been a night person. It was a little embarrassing in high school and college. There was no point in staying up all night after graduation; even if I had  been able to stay awake, I would have been incoherent and grumpy well before sunrise. I later learned that more than a few people were incoherent and grumpy that night, so I guess I might have fit in anyway.

I only stayed up all night one time in college. I was finishing a paper. It was in the days when we wrote it down on paper (stuff made by pulverizing trees) and typed it later (no spell-check or backspace/delete). It was sometimes a painful process and could not be done during a boring lecture. The clicking of the typewriter keys would have kept everyone else awake.

What was funny was that I felt too guilty to miss class the next morning. My notes consist of a few works followed by a number in superscript, repeated multiple times. Too bad there weren’t actual citations associated with the numbers. Later I might have had some clue what he had talked about.

I worked at a weight loss clinic for a couple of years. Aside from the truly appalling practices they condoned (I found out later that I got my job because I looked better – weighed less – than my competition), the hours were noon til whenever we finished recording and calling in sales to the home office. A lot of people thought those were great hours. I got off early enough to go to the bar and then could sleep in. Unfortunately, I was usually too tired to do anything but go home to bed.

Dating was a little strange at times. Some guys had trouble understanding that when I said I wanted to go to bed, I literally wanted to go to bed, as in to sleep. Coupled with a real paranoia about eating in front of people I didn’t know well, I was probably a memorable date. Luckily movies were really loud, so I rarely had a problem with falling asleep there.

A couple of times I have tried to work two jobs at the same time. Not really a good idea. The first time I tried it, I lasted two days at the second job. While it seemed reasonable to work Thanksgiving weekend when I was interviewing, by the end of the second day I was too tired to even function through the day. The second time I tried it, I ended up with pneumonia.

After starting on afternoons at Ralph’s, I have been working first shift for quite awhile. That shift is 6a – 2;30p. Since I like to spend some time with my family, I usually came home, ate dinner, napped, and watched TV with my husband. Yes, we still eat as a family during the week (scary, huh?) Last week, they changed my hours to 4a – 12:30p. I saw it as an improvement – now I can nap before everyone else gets home. Just as soon as my body adapts to getting up at 2:30a.

I would go on, but Kommando Kitty is meowing. It’s time for a nap.