I don’t want to insult kid-owners by saying that having a kitten is the same as having a small child, but I am feeling some extra empathy for my friends with young kids right now thanks to Fritz. Since he continued peeing on the bed, we are making a point of supervising him most of the time and keeping the bedroom door closed when no one is in there! Fritz wants to play when he wants to play and won’t chill out just because it’s what you want. I am used to cats making demands but I had forgotten a kitten is a little more demanding. I’m not upset—I’m just tired. Fortunately for us, kittenhood is much shorter than childhood.
When I’m not focused on this kitten, I’m spending a lot of time thinking about how I want to run my life now that non-pandemic life is resuming. I am prone to this kind of self-reflection (just look at all my end of the year/new year posts). I like living my life conscientiously, not just operating on auto pilot. I really want to focus more on spending time with people I care about and doing enjoyable things with them. It’s easy to not socialize, and I definitely recognize that it’s tiring, but I want to make sure I’m not taking my friends for granted. I’ve also been thinking about which hobbies are worth my time and how much. For example, I want to keep playing roller derby, but I want to make sure I’m not there four nights per week so I have room in my life for everything else. I’m curious about how other people are viewing this moment in time. Are you reevaluating how you allocate your energies as things get safer?
Here are some things I’ve recently read, watched, or bought.
Books and Other Words
I didn’t read a lot this week, but I did read this thick book, The Unbroken by C. L. Clark. I liked this one. It’s a fantasy exploring what it feels like to be colonized and what happens when the colonizers are forced to confront the consequences of their actions. The main character, Touraine, is a conscript who was taken from her home country (a fictional version of Morocco) and raised from childhood to be a soldier for the empire that colonized her people (a fictional France). The story follows Touraine as her company returns to not-Morocco for the first time since they were children and have to reckon with what it means to fight for their own oppressors. I enjoy this kind of political stuff in a book, but there’s also a lot of fighting, there are rebel groups, there’s lesbian romance, magic, and ladies with swords. I’m looking forward to the next books in the series.
TV and Music
I’ve had this brooding-ass vampire movie starring Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton on my radar for a while. This week I finally watched it. Only Lovers Left Alive is a movie where not a lot happens but the vibe is strong. Something I did not expect from a vampire movie was environmental commentary. The vampires focus a lot of their efforts on maintaining access to “the good shit,” that is, blood that’s not full of impurities. They refer to humans as “zombies” and talk about how we’re ruining the Earth and even polluting our blood. This environmentalism isn’t the focus of the movie, but it is an interesting backdrop to the main plot of Hiddleston being a reclusive, depressed musician whom Swinton is trying to coax into a better humor.
I mentioned Fritz peeing on the bed so maybe it’s not surprising that we got new bedding this week. We learned that, once a cat has staked out a place as a spot to pee, you can’t really make them stop without eliminating the smell. In the case of bedding, all you can do is throw it away and start over. I was surprised to see how sparse the options were at Bed, Bath and Beyond, which is usually stuffed to the rafters with wares. We were able to find some quite comfy stuff, despite that. The comforter we got is nice and light so we’re not too hot here in these summer months.
Making Things and Doing stuff
There are some things I’ve made and stuff I’ve done.
On Saturday, I attempted to pull a semi truck, which is pretty fucking cool. I was not particularly successful with it but I did manage to budge it a few inches. For that effort, I was very sore.
This week my roller derby team started a weekly off-skates conditioning practice to get us ready for skating again. It was fun to see my friends again and the workout was actually quite tough. I’m really committed to making sure I ease into derby. I don’t want to go hard and hurt myself, which is easy to imagine. I want to build my skills back up and treat it as the fun hobby it is, not like the demanding part-time job it can easily feel like.
This week I made a couple of recipes from the Latin Grilling cookbook since it was hot and I didn’t want to cook inside. I grilled a brown sugar marinated chicken and made a salad of roasted potatoes and arugula. I wasn’t sure I’d like the salad since I don’t normally eat arugula (or hot leaves!) but it was actually good. I also bought a great cookbook of desserts from a chef I follow on instagram. She’s always sharing variations on her black-ass brownie recipe and I was like, I want those brownies! I made a batch with walnuts and chunks of chocolate and gave most of it away, then immediately made another batch with a s’mores snack mix from Target stirred in. Brownies are so easy and I love them.
Finally, here are some cat photos for your nerves. Fritz discovered the cat tree, which is great for him, but Huey is mad about it. However, Huey is very pleased by the offering of new bedding. It’s comfortable and I think that she likes that it doesn’t have any other cat’s scent on it. Finally, Fritz wants to play with Huey SO BAD and Huey is like, “Do not approach me, demon child.”