Our relationship, in a nutshell

Just in case you were worried this blog had gone all serious business and long posts, all the time.

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I don’t actually remember when this conversation took place or even if I’ve shared it before; I found the screenshot of it when I was browsing through pictures on my phone. Pretty sure it happened when I still lived on the Island, though.

In other news, this weekend I became obsessed with New Girl and Gossip Girl, because apparently I’m on a TV-shows-with-‘girl’-in-the-title kick. Gilmore Girls is on my list, too, because my friend lent me her DVDs of Season 1 (but I stupidly left them at Ogre’s or I’d have started watching them already). So far Gossip Girl (three episodes in) passes the Bechdel test and New Girl (24 episodes in) does not. Just as a note of interest.

What will you cross off your bucket list this year?

Click the image to see the other bloggers participating in the hop!

Everyone should have a bucket list, I think — that list of essential things one must do in one’s lifetime. It can be specific — related to one area of your life, like writing — or it can be about everything. And I think it should be never ending. Hopefully life is interesting enough that once you cross things off your bucket list there are more you want to add.

I just got finished reading Dana Sitar‘s A Writer’s Bucket List, and I quite liked it. I decided to participate in the Bucket List Challenge Blog Hop — that is, I’m challenging myself to cross some things off my bucket list this year.

Not everything on this list will be writing-specific. In fact, possibly most of it won’t. I have a lot of writing-related things on my bucket list, but many of them are more long-term. For this year I have other, shorter-term bucket list goals I can tackle.

What your lovable angry favourite furry monster pal crazed, whiskey-driven penmonkey Katje is going to cross of zir bucket list in 2013

  • Learn how to bake bread. This is something I’ve wanted to do for a long time now, and I’ve decided 2013 is the year for it. It’s my hope that once I know the ins and outs of baking bread with wheat flour, I’ll be able to find or create the perfect gluten-free bread recipe. (Someday, I will make a GF loaf of bread that will fool even Mr. Katje.)
  • Co-write a book with my mom. Specifically, a cookbook of gluten-free traditional Dutch recipes. We’re going to spend this year developing the recipes — finding that exact right mix of ingredients to create the perfect GF ontbijtkoek, for example, or speculoos. (I’m a koek-junkie. Can’t get enough of the stuff. If we can find a way to make it GF and just as delicious as normal? My life will turn into unicorns and rainbows.)
  • Knit a sweater. With or without a pattern. Patterns are my bane, but I’ve always wanted to knit a sweater. I’ve been working on one for several months now, and this year I’m going to finish it. And possibly post pictures of the wonderful horrible adequate outcome. On me, even. Assuming it fits.
  • Finish my first/Bachelor’s degree. So, this was supposed to have happened already…last week, to be specific. It didn’t, and if you’ve been reading my blog this past month you know why. Anyway, I’m working to fix that now, so getting that first degree is still on the bucket list — and it’s definitely on 2013’s list.
  • Put together a Story Bible for Bellica and The Jade Star of Athering. I really need to sit down and do this now-ish, while I’m working on The Jade Star and not after it’s long-done and I don’t want to look at it any more. (I love Bellica, but man, after a million+ edits and ebook formats, I get to a point where my brain is screaming CAN WE JUST MOVE ON ALREADY?) I should do this for Stranger Skies this year, too, come to think of it — but the Bellica / Jade Star one takes precedence at the moment.

I think 5 is enough for one year. It’s already promising to be a very busy…eleven months, now, so I’m going to try and not overload myself too much. I’d rather make a few commitments I can keep than make too many and have to de-commit, or miss deadline. (There are no unrealistic goals, only unrealistic timelines — even so, I hate missing a deadline.)

So, what about you, dear readers? What are you going to cross off your bucket list this year? Leave a comment below and share your goals with the world! insert maniacal laugh Wait, how did that get there? Move along, nothing to see here…certainly no maniacal laughter because of my secret plan to eat your delicious goals like the Nothing eats dreams and fantasies, or however that worked, it’s been years since I saw that movie. Anyway, I’m sure you have a bucket list, so why not get galvanized to crossing some stuff off it this year?

Also, don’t forget to check out Dana’s new book (which is actually a package of book + workbooks, so that’s pretty awesome), especially between now and the 12th — she’s having a special sale for Launch Week.

My mother-in-law’s cats

My mother-in-law — well, bonus mom, ’cause she’s not technically an in-law yet — has two cats. Xander and Willow. (The names are a coincidence. I swear.)

Awww, who’s a pretty kitty?

Willow is a pretty mellow ginger kitty who has set himself up as my NaNoWriMo mascot. By which I mean he likes to sleep on the back of the couch that I sit on to write when I’m at my boyfriend’s house, and whenever I’m not clicking away on the keyboard I get kitty claws on my tits.

He generally keeps to himself, but does ask for pets and cuddles. Aside from a bit of a foot fetish and a weird, pervy side that involves licking himself in places while staring at my bonus mom lecherously, he’s a pretty normal cat.

Bad picture, so I tried to fix it in post. This did not work so well.

Xander is a Bengal, and he’s neurotic but sweet. He also has chronic sinus infections, so we call him Darth Xander. We also call him FaceHugger, because if you sit down with open body language in the house, you will get a face full of Bengal within three seconds. (He likes to press his forehead against the human clavicle/cheekbone/neck area, because pressing down on the sinuses feels good during a sinus infection. Don’t believe me? Try a showerhead massage on your forehead next time you have a sinus headache.)

The upstairs bathroom has rules: keep the lid on the toilet down or Xander will fling whatever he can reach into the bowl. Also, the wastebasket keeps the door propped open, or one or both of the cats will slam the door closed. He drinks water using a paw to scoop it out of the bowl, generally directly after he’s used the litter box — then, if he’s by the bowl while you’re replacing the water, he’ll freak out and run away if you put it down too fast. He loves playing with Nerf gun darts.

He’s also scared of muffins.

I spent the weekend at my boyfriend’s, because that’s what I do on weekends. Boyfriend and I decided to watch something on the TV in the family room. The door to the front hallway and stairs was slightly open. Halfway through whatever we were watching, the door slammed by itself.

Or, rather, Xander decided to join us, and slammed the door as soon as he walked in. He then proceeded to run around in circles, yowling like a gorram fire engine, panicking because he was trapped in the room, for a full five minutes.

“I’m not letting you out because then you’ll never learn,” said Mr. Katje.

Eventually Xander stopped yowling, and sat down on a chair and stared intensely at us until we let him out.

Having cats around means my endorphin levels are always high. From all the laughter.

Pets: a natural high.

The Linguistics of Relationships

Recently my boyfriend got new bathmats for his bathroom. This is good, because the old one was getting kind of manky. It was white. I disagree vehemently with white things for the house. They get dirty easily. Rather, they show dirt easily, and, when it comes to cleaning, I’m a lazy bitch.

His new mats are black, round, soft, and decidedly not-manky. There are two of them, overlapping like a Venn diagram. (“This mat is wet, this is dry, and where they meet they are both wet and dry.” —Venn, the most boring kid ever.)

Me: You have new thingies in front of the shower. They’re nice.
Mr. Katje: New showermats, yeah.
Me: …new what?
Mr. Katje: Showermats. Mats for the shower.
Me: You mean bathmats.
Mr. Katje: No, because there’s no bath. There’s a shower. Showermats.
Me: …the word bath doesn’t…that’s not…argh. There’s no tub, but there is a bathing space in the bathroom, and the mats go in front of the bathing space. Hence, bathmats.
Mr. Katje: No. Showermats. We shower. We don’t take baths.
Me: We bathe in the shower, which is in the bathroom. Bathmats.
Mr. Katje: You’re wrong. We don’t bathe in the shower; we shower in the shower.
Me: (sighing and giving up) Yes, dear.

I may outwardly capitulate for his sake, but I know I’m right. So does Firefox’s spell-check — it recognizes bathmats as a word, but not showermats. Obviously I’m correct.

(Whenever we spawn little amoeba-kittens, I’m going to have to be proactive so they don’t pick up his weird language. “Remember, kids, daddy is silly.”)

In other news, I’m participating in Fat Mum Slim‘s October Photo A Day Challenge. You can see the posts on my tumblr, with the tag #FMSPhotoADay. (I may put up some here, too.) If you’re into photo-taking, why not give it a try yourself? Definitely peruse the hashtag on tumblr and Twitter to see everyone’s contributions (you can also search the hashtag on the Instagram app).

Life without spoons is actually okay right now

Friday wiped me out.

Overall it was a good day. The positives outweighed the negatives. Or they didn’t, and I’m just in a place in my life where the positives have more of an effect on me than the negatives do. Friday was my first Zoloft day after a week without, because I’d run out of my first month of pills. That may have something to do with it.

But it wiped me out. I slept for twelve hours today. I got nothing done when I did wake up, because I was tired enough to go back to sleep. And I had weird dreams. The only one I really remember in any detail involved my boyfriend driving my car, which would never happen because it’s too small for him. The car was FULL of my stuff, which is basically still true because moving never ends, and we were on the highway and he was bitching about really needing to go to the bathroom. I finally convinced him to pull over so he could relieve himself by the side of the road, and while he did that, some weird dude came up to the car and started trying to open doors to steal my stuff. So I got out of the car and beat him to death with my cane.

And then I woke up and discovered I had to pee. Funny how our brains work.

On Friday, my car broke down, I slipped and fell, torquing my back out of alignment even more, and then twisted my ankle later on in the evening — it still hurts — and in general I was already feeling crappy physically and emotionally, because a). whoever designed the human body so that some humans will have terrible pain and cramps and bloating and general feeling-like-shit once a month or thereabouts and some humans will not is the DEVIL, and b). there will always be people on the internet who will piss me off and/or trigger me.

Nevertheless, I did have a pretty good day on Friday, despite all that. I saw the 200th show put on by Screaming Chickens Theatrical Society, which was a Taboo Revue — a night of burlesque. There were a few things in the show that really bugged me (a sideshow portion that involved something that’s probably really not good for other former cutters to watch, and one of the new dancers has a name that includes an anti-trans* slur that’s also been reclaimed by many trans* people — but I have no idea if he’s trans* or not, so there are some complicated emotions there for me), but overall I had a really good time. I got to wear my fancy gold dress, and some fancy gold makeup. Any day I can do that is a good day.

I also sold a book! I brought along a copy of Bellica on a whim, thinking I’d maybe show it to one of my burlesque friends. And Star Buxom, who is one of the most amazing burlesque performers I’ve ever seen and a really incredible person all around, bought it! The best part? I got to sign it using her back as a table. I feel like a big-time star author now.

Afterwards, Ogre took me out to dinner at Denny’s. This was probably the best part of the evening, because I got to build my own burger. That’s right — Denny’s now has a build your own burger option. I got to have two types of cheese, bacon, onions, lettuce, and sour cream on a burger. On potato bread. With no tomatoes or pickles. It was magically delicious. They even let me name it, and I told Ogre we have to name one of our kids after this magical, beautiful burger.

I called it Burger of Enrampagement.

I regret nothing.

Anyway.

Today I spent recouping spoons, and I’ll probably spend a good portion of tomorrow doing that too. My fall on Friday hurt me harder than I thought.

But I can’t help but be grateful. Because if the low-points of my life right now are as mild as all this, then you know what? Life is frigging fantastic. And it’s only going to get better.

Probably a good thing we’re not actually living together…yet.

Boyfriend comes home from work, hungry and exhausted.

Me: I ate your Nibs.
Him: Fuck!
Me: And your chocolate.
Him: Fuck!
Me: And a box of your Kraft Dinner.
Him: …one of the good ones or one of the Tears and Poverty flavor?
Me: Sharp Cheddar.
Him: FUCK!

I haven’t told him about the Chewy Dipps bars or the cans of Coke. I’m hoping he won’t notice until after I go home tonight.

Swear Jars for the Modern Couple

I was chatting on Skype with my boyfriend (finally; been ages since we really talked) and spamming him with links to The Bloggess (aka Jenny Lawson), because her interactions with her husband remind me so much of my interactions with Mr. Katje. And her interactions/actions/etc in general hit me where I live. Also she’s awesome; you should read her.

I linked to this post specifically, not needing to tell Mr. Katje I was thinking of setting this up for him.

Mr. Katje: Then I’d just have to create some for you.

Me: …

Mr. Katje: “I have to pee!”
“It’s cold!”
“Give me the covers; I’m freezing.”
“NO! My covers, yes, precious.”
“How do my nails look?”
“WAIT I’M DOING MY MAKE-UP GODS”
“Why aren’t you ready? I’ve been done for 20 minutes!”
“Five more minutes. Really. STOP SHAKING ME I WILL CUT YOU.”
“Cook for me.”
“Because you’re better at it.”
“AUGH! Fine.”
“…the stove’s on fire.”
“Also I’m freezing.”
“And I have to pee again.”

Me: falling off chair laughing

I can’t be angry because it’s all true.  Somewhat.