Wednesday, March 21, 2012


Today was my dad's birthday. It was also a day for small victories. This is a lesson about taking things one step at a time. I've decided that if I want to find out what's going to give me that feeling of purpose, I need to start looking at what I already do. Perhaps it's already in front of me, but I'm so distracted by my discontent that it goes unnoticed.

I did not take a walk to a new area of town today. Instead I tried to figure out ways to make my normal surroundings more desirable.

First example, my cat Penny...I talk about her a lot, I know. I was supposed to take her to the vet today to get a booster shot. In order to do this, I have to get her into some sort of container, which is not only heart-wrenching, but very dangerous. This is because whenever anyone tries to get Penny in her pet carrier she does not hesitate to claw the ever-loving sh** out any body part she can get her paws on. A successful attempt must be well-calculated and perfectly timed, but rest assured there will be blood; it's no task for the faint of heart. Therefore, until today, I had accepted defeat when it came to getting Penny to the vet with my extremities unharmed.

Last time I took her in, the vet refused to treat her without sedating her first, what a proud moment that was. I was ready to cancel the whole appointment out of pure dread, but the women at the vet's office spent several minutes plotting alternatives in order to persuade me to bring Penny in before the window for her booster expired (did I mention I love my vet clinic?). She suggested that I put Penny in a box, rather than her pet carrier, then stay in the car with her until she they had everything ready for her booster shot, then they would wave me into the building.

So I went ahead with the plan, carried Penny inside the clinic in her box and when they were ready to inject her, we threw the box lid off, threw a towel over her head and poked her immediately with the needle before she had a chance to realize she wasn't in the car anymore.

She was definitely confused, but not nearly at her normal stage of acting like an enraged rabid street cat minus the foamy mouth secretions. It seemed so stupid at first to be happy about my cat not mauling anyone (including myself), but perhaps if you knew Penny, you'd share in my immense satisfaction. Even stranger was my ability to perceive such a small victory and treat it as such, extending myself a self-assuring figurative pat on the back for having conquered the monster in Penny for almost an hour. I'm still definitely not excited about taking Penny to the vet, but it was important for me to realize that I am far more intelligent than any cat and how silly it is to let these types of hang-ups get the best of me.

Even more exciting was that I had a desire to share that moment with you all (my multitude of dedicated readers, you make this all worth it to me! All 12 of really, you're fantastic, keep reading my posts, I love you...). I couldn't wait to get home and blog about it.

I'm going to stop here and not try to make this small accomplishment more than just that. But I wonder if any of you, my devoted blog-reading audience has any similar experience to share. I've given you my little triumph of the day, now it's your turn. Do you reward yourself for your smallest victories? I definitely recommend it.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Jumper

Tonight, someone committed suicide off the bridge across the street from my house. As I stood there watching the chorus of flashing lights and cops rowing back and forth in their canoes under the bridge searching for the body of some poor, unfortunate soul... it did cross my mind, that perhaps blogging about this could come off as inappropriate and shameless, but then I realized that this event was by far the most memorable of the day and to deny that would be to dishonor the life of the one that took the plunge. So I'd like to take a moment to consider this john/jane doe's predicament and bid them farewell.

Just a few hours before I caught word of the jump, I was fluttering around in my seat while watching the latest episode of the AMC series The Walking Dead. For me, the appeal of the show is its lingering examination why the living desire to continue on doing so, even when unthinkable things happen, for instance like when everyone you know is getting devoured by flesh-eating zombies. At this point in the series, about half of the principle characters have toiled over suicide. But with the exception of a few throw away characters at the beginning of the series none of the survivors have been able to part with their mortality, even in the face of imminent, rotting, blood-pouring doom.

Some might say, 'that's just television,' but I think there really is some truth to the show's depiction of the all too cliche' 'survival instinct.' An instinct is, according to, a 'natural intuitive power,' Merriam-Webster calls it 'a largely inheritable and unalterable tendency of an organism to make a complex and specific response to environmental stimuli without involving reason,' which makes me extremely curious about the kinds of things that are strong enough to override such a persistent behavioral phenomenon?

Are there cords getting crossed in the brain? A severe malfunction channeling the energy usually dedicated to your instinctual survival methods instead toward the complete opposite? And even more intriguing to me is what it must feel like to have completely lost hope? I have enough trouble getting out of bed in the morning, I don't need any help from a nagging feeling of inadequacy and regret.

At the risk of sounding sinister, I'm dying to know what someone's last thoughts are that fuel that total release. I'm also baffled by it. It seems so contradictory to be too cowardly to live, but brave enough to pull the (figurative) trigger (yes, I do think that takes guts, I couldn't do it). Once you've crossed that line of conquering your survival instinct, does planning the strategy of your elaborate demise start to have some appeal that continuing to live doesn't? Is not planning a death worthy of yourself something that gets you excited about continuing on with your life? If you examine the fundamental elements of the process, it kind of reminds of the ironic death of Amy Winehouse, who is alleged to have died from symptoms of withdrawal after choosing to turn her life around. It's the one thing left to get excited about, but it's also the thing that's going to kill you. The fact that you could get excited about anything, including the planning of your suicide, should provide some sort of gratification for living right? Of course, that's only my perspective on reasonable behavior, what's yours?

Monday, March 12, 2012

I know, but Why?

This blog has meandered a lot of different ways over the years. I have been on an adventure to discover what it is that drives me. What exactly is it that helps me get out of the bed in the morning and say, 'Here I come, World!' And it's become a little unsettling that I haven't really been able to put my finger on it yet. As someone who aspires to be a journalist I feel like I'm stuck at the level of an advocate rather than a reporter. I've always expected something to just grab me unexpectedly and I would all of sudden be compelled to find out everything there is to know about that one amazing beat, but as of yet, no such passionate
notion has struck. I'm starting to get a little worried that I'm going at it all wrong. Maybe this is not a job for time, but a test for my will to succeed. What I really should be doing is sampling my world every day until, through my own judgement of my experience, I can string together something of interest.

(Eureka moment commencing...)

Wow! That was something! So here's my idea: I'm going to blog about my daily walks through a new part of town each week. I'm going to document my surroundings, give witty and entertaining commentary (when I'm feeling up to it) and delighting you with a weekly photo or video. Today, I'm going to skip the walk, because I have to be at work in like 45 minutes, but I'm going to entertain you with this random photo that's already on my phone. It is a picture of my evil cat Penny, who decided to go on a grocery excavation mission and fell right into my trap! Predictable.