Tag Archives: Monie

Added Value

I’ve heard it said that in order to “build your brand” and become a bighugeimportantblogger that you should always make sure that your readers are given every opportunity to know about every minute thing that you’ve ever done in your Internet life.

So even though I’m a tiny little peon in the blogging world, I figured it was verysuperimportant that I send out a newsletter to my loyal readers (Hi, Mom!) In it you will find a recap of things that happened “behind the scenes”—added value!


  • First we’ll take a look at the minutes recorded from the first executive “Abby Has Issues” post planning and self-promotional tour meeting. What’s that? I’m being told we neither recorded minutes nor held that meeting, so we can cross that one off the list!
  • Speaking of lists, it was proposed that changing a “to-do” list to a “suggestions to be considered” list could leave one feeling more optimistic. This was immediately approved and implemented.
  • There was an unfortunate incident involving the vacuum and a cat toy. Long story short, I’m not winning “Cat Mom of the Year.” In an effort to reverse any bad karma, I spent the better part of that night leaving inspirational notes around for the cat: “You WILL catch that red dot” and “Hairballs happen to everyone!”
  • There was also trauma when I found a pile of feathers under my feeder when I got home from work. Let this be a reminder to hug your wild birds a little bit tighter tonight.
  • An ethnic cooking demonstration was given in the kitchen, if by “ethnic” you mean “Cajun” and by “Cajun” you mean “burned.”On a related note, the smoke detector is in perfect working condition.
  • An evaluation of laundry on Sunday revealed another pretty big week for gray T-shirts and white sports socks, so keep up the good work!
  • In terms of relationship status, the last two things I’ve spooned were a pillow and a jar of sunflower seed butter. However, Hot Gym Guy, obviously smitten by the smell of garlic emanating from my pores, asked me if I, “was done with that bench.” I might be reading a bit too much into it, but I’m sending out wedding invitations next week.
  • Oh, and I also overheard a 20-year-old girl at the gym say, “I feel so old!” The crime scene is still under investigation, so if anyone asks I was here the whole time.
  • Things did perk up though when I saw a guy pushing a “pull” door several times. Instead of helping him, I said, “Never give up. Don’t let anyone tell you how to live.” He was quite an inspiration.
  • I celebrated a birthday and capped off the evening by going to the grocery store, because hey! It was my birthday! And because it was Thursday. I always go to the store on Thursday.
  • On the work front, it was business as usual. I made it until lunch every day without eating my lunch before lunch, so I would consider this week to have been a success.
  • However, my attempts to “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have” were frowned upon. Apparently showing up in a tiara and tutu isn’t quite what they meant. The policy has since been changed.

I think that pretty much sums things up—at least the most important points—so stay tuned for future updates! After all, you don’t want to miss a thing!

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(I updated the tab to include the new best-seller, a book I’m totally mooching off the success of the other authors with. Thanks to everyone for their support!)

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A Hidden, Hairy Agenda

I’ve made no secret of the fact that despite my best intentions, I’m not a cat person but still own a cat because I don’t always make good decisions. 

But my hairy little roommate is stuck with me (and vice versa) until we put her cold dead body in a sweater and bury her in the backyard (not vice versa, as I can’t see her using a shovel with any degree of dexterity.)

And while she might be cute and sweet and blah, blah, blah, she’s also not pulling her weight. The other day she spent 10 minutes watching me try and capture a freaking fly before rolling her eyes, opening up the slider and simply shooing it out.

This is what I have to live with.

I guess I really can’t blame her. Her days are spent lounging in luxury without a care in the world — or at least that’s how it would seem.

A Day In the Life

Wait outside bedroom door for human to rise. Marvel that she survives on less than 22 hours of sleep.

Trip her going down the stairs. (Pro tip: Be careful. It doesn’t do any good to trip them if they fall on top of you. Food will be delayed.)

Act like I haven’t had food in three days, sniff bowl, walk away.

While she showers, find the one thing she doesn’t want me to lie on and lie on it until she’s done.

 moniebag

Trip her going up the stairs.

THE NOISE! THE NOISE! SHE’S USING THE HAIRDRYER AGAIN! MUST SEEK SHELTER!

Trip her going down the stairs.

Once she’s at work, lie on the bed that I’m not supposed to go on.

Somehow find a way to eat straw from the fake tree even though she’s attempted to stop this by covering it with a towel and packing tape. It’s like she doesn’t want me to have any fun.

Puke up straw from the fake tree. Shrug. Sleep. Repeat.

SHE’S HOME! SHE’S HOME!

In moment of weakness, allow myself to be picked up for 2.5 seconds. Feel cheap. Run away.

Pretend to like new toy filled with catnip for 1.3 seconds before playing with a piece of rice that was dropped on the floor.

cattoy2

Strategically place death toy in anticipated path of human so she steps on it, letting out all of the catnip and colorful language.

Watch her clean out my shit box. Gaze at her in a way that implies, “More enthusiasm, and with a smile. You missed a spot.”

OH MY GOD THE VACUUM IS ON AND IT’S LIKE SHE’S TRYING TO SUCK OUT MY SOUL!!!

Where are my drugs? Must find my drugs!!!

Feel catnip buzz wear off and crave treats. Roll on back and implement “teats for treats” campaign in front of treat stash until she caves.

Sucker.

Run from sun room to the kitchen 74 times for no apparent reason.

Wait until she’s settled on the couch before staring into empty fireplace in a way that convinces her there are ghosts taking up residence.

ALERT! ALERT! THERE’S THE RED LASER LIGHT AGAIN! MAYBE THERE ARE REALLY GHOSTS!

Try like hell to catch the red dot for 4 seconds before resuming the staring contest with my reflection in the glass fireplace doors.

I am beautiful. Another clear indication that this woman is not my real mother.

Wait until she’s ready to go to bed and resume my wind sprints throughout the house.

Go find that bowl full of food.  I need to make sure she feels useful. Plus, I need energy to do it all over tomorrow. 

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It’s (not) Complicated

Long story short: People complicate things.

Long story long: I’m using my cat as a reference even though I’m not particularly thrilled about owning a cat.

The disclaimer is that Monie is basically the sweetest feline on the planet, and with the exception of shedding, somehow whizzing on the top of her covered litter box—parents potty training little boys, I feel your pain—and attempting to eat my fake trees, she basically does nothing wrong.

It’s not her. It’s me.

She’s so damn hairy and clingy and happy all the time. I don’t do clingy or hairy, and I’m much more Grumpy Cat than a purring Pollyanna. 

Wee! I’m fat and chasing a feather!

She just wanders around the house making little Gremlin sounds that are either of delight or a coded message of impending world domination, and no matter what happens she’s simply a peach.

My point isn’t to highlight the fact that my cat is entirely more mentally stable than I am—the fake tree she tries to eat would fall into that category most days—but rather to highlight how animals get those things right that humans continue to complicate.

They don’t have to work, pay bills or bathe on a regular basis—which could describe some humans I know—but as far as we can surmise, they live in the moment of “now.” They feel what they feel, they let you know and then move on to whatever is next.

Life is so simple for them.

Yes, let’s sleep on a shelf instead of your cat bed.

I was thinking about this the other day as I lint rolled the cat directly, my latest attempt at being proactive. As humans, we’re bombarded by vision boards, motivational posters and the reminder to manifest a constant state of motion in attempts to achieve more, do more, be more!

There’s nothing wrong with that, of course, but from what to eat, what to wear and what to say, things that should be simple are now simply analyzed to death. Just trying to keep up with the next greatest “thing” takes away the time that someone could be actually creating the next greatest “thing” for themselves.

As a result, people today are so scared of missing out on something that they say yes to everything and then marvel at how they have no time to do anything.

See how we complicate things?

I’m included, of course, as I continue to be the stereotypical artist searching for  my Three Things. With each dead end I want someone to tell me how to do ALL the things so I can have ALL the happy emotions.

But much like me waking up to find I’ve suddenly grown boobs, that’s not going to happen. I can either obsess over it or I can be okay with where I am with the understanding that it’s not where I have to be forever.

Does this ease the frustration?

No, not really. But maybe I need to take a note from the cat. Eat and enjoy food. Play. Laze around in the sunlight. Don’t feel guilty. Be curious and not cynical. Forgive someone if they accidentally lock you in the sun porch for an hour or so.

Remember that yes, things can get hairy. But at the end of the day, wherever you are is okay.

moniebag

Even if it’s on my reusable grocery bag, which coincidently, now lives there in my kitchen for her to plop on while I use another one I purchased to replace that one instead.

At least she’s not on the couch. 

You learn to pick your battles.

Lesson learned.

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Shower Power

Here’s the deal.

While I like my cat enough and everything, I’m not one to spoil her and treat her like the child I’ll never have. I don’t do clingy, and (she lets me think) we have an agreement regarding our boundaries.

Monie can do whatever she wants except jump up on things (not an issue, as she’s not really athletic,) sleep in my bed or hang out in the bathroom while I’m in there.

I’m don’t need her staring up at me while I’m on the toilet or getting into the shower, silently judging me with her eyes. I figure I don’t camp out outside her shit box, so she shouldn’t camp out outside mine.

Then again, she does bathe in random rooms around the house, so I suppose our boundaries are a bit blurred.

All of this is to say that her new “favorite” place to camp out is directly in front of the register in the bathroom—the one located between the toilet and the counter and directly across from the shower.

moniebathroom2

She had never shown any interest in the bathroom before and I didn’t realize this was a new “thing” until I was in there and heard her little bell as I stepped out of the shower. I shooed her out and didn’t think much of it until later that week when I pulled back the shower curtain and found the furry little beast sitting in the middle of the tub.

A more pleasant surprise than a spider, for sure, but still not entirely welcome.

Anyway, I’m letting her have her own little space next to the heater when the bathroom isn’t in use, simply because a) I choose to believe she likes the warmth and isn’t some kind of a pervert and b) it keeps her out of my hair when I need to do important things like eat or Swiffer.

And while I refuse to allow an audience for normal toilet things, I am thinking she might be able to serve a purpose for those times I’m in the shower.

You see, it’s been my experience that showers are a great place to spend 9 minutes thinking about all of your problems and 1 minute actually showering. If she wants to hang out while I’m reading the back of the shampoo bottles out loud in the multiple languages—“Shampoo/shampooing” “cranberry oil/huile de canneberge” —she might as well make herself useful.

If she can complete either of these tasks on a regular basis, she can stay:

1) Along with thinking about all of my problems, I also compose great literary works while showering. I think it’s something about the steam releasing all the creative things from my brain or something. Look it up. It’s probably a thing.

I will dictate these brilliant thoughts out loud for Monie to transcribe so my thoughts aren’t sucked down the drain with the suds. I know it doesn’t sound possible, but SOMEONE’S been adding “catnip” to the grocery list and it hasn’t been me. Let’s put those skills to good use.

2) Michigan is cold in the winter, and most days I could stay in the hot shower until my skin resembles a sunburned prune. This is not good for either my skin or the water bill, so if Monie can somehow reach her little paw in and shut off the water when a timer goes off, that would be most helpful.

Oh, and warming up my towel in the dryer would be a nice touch.

All in all, I think my proposal is fair. If she doesn’t want to comply, she can scoot her furry feet out of the bathroom when I’m there—as long as she stays off my bed.

We have boundaries, after all.

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My Hairy Little Roommate

It’s been a few months since I got the cat, and I thought I should update you and let you know that I’m not a cat person.

Whee! I’m fat and catnipped!

Before you freak out, let me add the disclaimer that Monie is an awesome cat and I love her. But I’m a neurotic weirdo who’s still trying to be Zen about having this walking hairball that demands affection, sheds and forces me to say, “No lickey!” entirely more than I’m comfortable with.

But we’re roommates, and to be honest, I probably have the better part of the arrangement.

moniecouchtoy

While I have to deal with a creature that makes Gremlin noises and leaves the occasional hairball on the carpet—dramatic sigh—she has to deal with me jumping around the living room yelling with Jillian Michaels, dancing with the Swiffer and making up songs about catnip while trying to get the cat high.

The last verse of which is usually something about how I’ll probably die alone.

 Anyway, here are some things I’ve learned these past few months:

If there is a Hell, it’s covered in cat hair. If there is a Heaven, it includes the Bissell Pet Hair Eraser. And million dollar idea: yoga-type pants that are made of the same stuff as lint brushes. Run with that, people.

She also prefers the hard shelf to her leopard print cat bed because that makes total sense.

She does not enjoy me making her little arms “raise the roof” to “Hip Hop Hooray,” but she does seem to take delight in watching me try and capture a fly for 10 minutes. I think we’re doing this wrong.

Although she’s great about giving me my space when I workout, 40 minutes of yoga calm is instantly negated by the sound of the her hacking up a hairball in the next room. Namaste.

monietoys

Of all her toys, this is one that she will put in her mouth and carry around while growling. I found it on my pillow once. Affection or warning? TBD.

I never feel more inferior than when she watches me scoop out her shitbox. It’s not that she’s mocking me, but I swear her gaze says, “More enthusiasm, and with a smile. You missed a spot.”

While many cats are motivated by food and reinforce the “I want affection for 1.2 seconds, after which time I will claw you to escape from your overbearing presence” stereotype, she does neither. On the other hand, I just described myself.

536421_3939989498298_1498835538_n

“Oh, hello. I will sit in this stupid bed for five seconds before leaving to get my head stuck in your flip-flop and then bolting across the room.”

The term “scaredy cat” doesn’t really apply. I can “Riverdance” across the living room floor or yell at her for making risotto like a fat cow while watching “Kitchen Nightmares” and she doesn’t budge. The vacuum does provoke a little fear, but that could be because I usually end up lassoing the ridiculously long cord around like a demented cowgirl.

Anyway, to summarize, I’ve learned I’m really not a cat person.

But unlike stories I’ve heard about other roommates, I’ve never come home to find she went on a crazy (catnip) bender that resulted in her piercing her multiple teats and ordering mass quantities of Snuggies off QVC. And while she has yet to pay rent or learn how to flush, she can make me laugh and puts up with my neurosis while simultaneously contributing to it.

I just thank god this cat can’t blog.

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My Batman

The new Batman movie came out recently.

batman

Even though I like action movies, I won’t be going to the theater to see it because a) I’m cheap and with a few exceptions, I won’t spend $9 to go and b) see point “a.”

However, I deal with a lot of companies for part of my job that bank their success on the licensing of Hollywood trends, so needless to say, superheroes have been everywhere the past couple of years.

Why are superhero costumes, in particular, so popular?

The general thought is that when people buy that costume, they imagine they are that superhero, even if it’s just for the moment. An executive was quoted as saying that sometimes people “see themselves in their favorite superhero, through both struggles and glory, through qualities we admire and qualities we wish we could emulate.”

Or they just want to look cool at a party.

But regardless, this got me thinking, which we all know isn’t my superpower. Yes, it would be nice to hook up with a Man of Steel that could leap tall buildings, but let’s be honest. Who really wants to be around someone that needs to find an actual phone booth to change clothes? Impossible and impractical, not to mention disgustingly germy.

So instead I have created my own version of the superheroes I would like to see wandering the streets and helping to better mankind—or just me.

Spider-Man

So a skinny gentleman gets bit by a genetically modified spider and gains spider-like abilities that he must use to fight evil. I’ve been bitten by a spider and all that I gained was a huge painful welt and the inherent paranoia that suddenly spiders WERE EVERYWHERE and I must use a sandal to smash up the evil.

Instead, I would like a Spider-Man to instinctively sweep in every time the arachnid nemesis attempts to tip-toe his way into my house and I have to try to “save” it with a piece of paper and a cup to shoo it into before freaking out and just stepping on it.

Batman

Forget Bruce Wayne and the passive-aggressive Robin. All I’m asking for is a hot baseball player. The end.

Iron Man

A rich guy has an accident, is forced to build an armored suit and decides to use its technology to fight against evil. Really. An armored suit. That will really come in handy when it’s 103 degrees in Michigan with 80 percent humidity.

Instead of that scenario, I want an Iron Man to actually come and do ironing. This is the part of the program in which faithful readers remember how much I love ironing and I tell those who are new here that I don’t exactly love ironing. Or iron, for that matter.

The Avengers

I don’t need a group of superheroes trying to stop Thor’s disgruntled brother from taking over the Earth.  I would just like this group of intimidators to avenge the murder of a few of my plants as a result of the woodchuck who has broken through the impenetrable fortress I’ve created around my garden.

The furry bastard must go.

Avengers unite.

Catwoman

Apparently a woman with the speed, reflexes and senses of a cat walks a thin line between criminal and hero. Hmmm…this is one I could get behind. I’m not fast and my reflexes are comparable to those of a sleeping sloth, but I feel like I might possess a few cat-like senses—namely the fact that I can be anti-social, possessive of food and distracted by colorful things.

monieshelf

However, I can’t explain why this cat would prefer to sleep on a shelf and not the cushy leopard print cat bed that’s available to her instead.

I suppose that’s why we need superheroes.  

What superhero would you like around?

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Musings on Monie

Breaking news: My house isn’t perfect anymore. There are cat toys all over the place, hair on my dining room chairs and a four-legged creature wandering around—and I have survived the past two weeks.

To be honest, it was rough in the beginning and I’m still adjusting. But if I had to get a cat, Monie has turned out to be the perfect choice. Since a few of you have asked how things have gone, I figured it was time for an updatea few of the highlights and a few of the lessons she’s taught me so far.

She hid under my desk for the first night or so, but was lured out with catnip and a brush.

moniehiding

Let that be a lesson, my friends. Legal hallucinogens and massage will do wonders, and I suggest someone sends some over to me ASAP.

I kept shoving her towards food, water, the litter and this cat bed, seeing as I spend a lot of time doing those things myself, and she took to them all pretty quick.

monieinbed

Leopard print cat bed. She is a rock star.

Eventually she executed her plan for world domination by claiming certain spots in the house. I challenged this authority by busting out the vacuum for the first time, at which point she simply shrugged her furry shoulders and walked back to “her” room.

This is a good thing, as the vacuum makes an appearance more than a Kardashian in the news.

Anyway, she sounds like a gremlin when I brush her every morning, didn’t get the memo that 10-year-old cats are supposed to aloof and reclusive and was called “husky” but healthy by the vet.

fatmonie

Weee! We’re working on the “husky” thing.

Plus, she tried to eat the same fake plant I tried to water, so apparently she fits right in.

But in an effort to make this post slightly worth your while, I will dig a bit deeper and say she is teaching me a couple things.

First, she’s shown me she’s a creature with a tremendous capacity for love. I was a complete stranger taking her home that day and she was willing to trust and love me almost immediately. I realize she would’ve been that way with anyone taking her home, but it just goes to show that her heart was open to love.

Second, despite her rough situation, she wasn’t defensive or mean (even though I wouldn’t have blamed her if she was.) She was/is curious, affectionate and willing to experience a new situation with courage and joy—and catnip—but not bitterness.

Third, I can unplug. The time before bed I might have spent online/screaming at a blank computer screen is now often spent playing with her. I can also set boundaries and say “no.” When I want my time, you can bet I still take it—despite her whining and attempts to lick me.

sunsleep

Side bar: She tries to lick me. She’s a weirdo.

And while I’m trying very hard not to get annoyed when she wants attention all the time — I don’t do needy— those times when I do snap at her seem to be forgotten by the next time out paths cross, which is often, seeing as she follows me around. But she never holds a grudge and seems to take things as they are—in that moment—and nothing more.    

Finally, if I don’t completely secure my bedroom door at night, I will wake up and roll over to see a 13-pound cat on the pillow next to me.

I’m still learning.

Buy the book. Save a kitten.