Yard work is hard work

I love being in my own house. Granted, we are just renting, but it’s still our own space, so I want it to be homey and welcoming (considering I spend a lot of my free time there and everything). So yard work was a necessary part of moving in, especially considering the last tenant clearly never lifted a finger to mow or rake the entire time they lived there. The house may only have been sitting vacant for a few months (according to our landlord) but it’s obvious the yard hasn’t been tended to for about a year. At least, that’s what I would assume based on the amount of leaves and debris covering our yard and clogging the outdoor space.

Kevin and I both wanted to get the yard cleaned as soon as possible so we could get to the part where we actually enjoy the house and living there, so spending a weekend doing some serious yard work seemed like the best plan. But aside from the one random afternoon I spent raking my mom’s yard a few years ago when I lived there (which did not go over so well, as I remember finding a dead cat in the grass and being stung by a bee ten times), it’s been years since I’ve had to attend to anyone’s yard, mine or anyone else’s. So I don’t think I quite knew what I was getting into when I agreed to spend my weekend raking leaves and weeding. Because I was not expecting this:

29 bags was just the front and side yards. Add about another 10 bags and you've got almost 40 bags of yard waste cleaned up over two days.

29 bags was just the front and side yards. Add about another 10 bags and you’ve got almost 40 bags of yard waste cleaned up over two days.

That’s five hours worth of raking, weeding, clipping, cutting, all rolled and bagged into one. Or, er, 29. Not only did raking it all up into piles take forever and a day, but bagging it all was a giant pain in the rump. By the time we got to the back yard, I just wanted to be done and take a nap. It’s quite exhausting doing something so tedious as yard work, but I’m glad we took the time to do it, because now it doesn’t look like bums live in our house, and we can actually begin to enjoy the outdoor space we have (which is quite a bit- the more we cleaned, the more we uncovered and discovered what kind of space we were truly working with). I only hope the city will remove 40 bags of yard waste, because they never specified a limit, and I sure as hell don’t feel like lugging it all down to the facility myself and paying $5 for it. Really, what is that about? You’re going to pick it up at the curbside for free but then charge me if I bring it there myself? Whatever, Tarpon Springs. You have things ass-backwards, but I’m not complaining, because if you’ll haul it away for me, that’s 40 bags of leaves I never have to rake again.

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I’m probably just lazy and unmotivated but let’s pretend that isn’t true

I used to be so much more ambitious.

I am now the biggest slacker I’ve ever been in my entire life, and I’m pretty much working more than I ever have. How does that make sense?

Maybe it’s because I had more free time when I was younger to devote to writing and sending out pieces to publications and submitting to contests and other things of that nature. I hope that’s what it is, because if it isn’t, that just means I’m getting lazy. Which I completely endorse when it’s regarding anything else, but I refuse to accept that excuse when it comes to my writing. When I was in college, and my only job was to be a full-time student (and even with my various part-time jobs on top of that, I still had plenty of free time), I had all these opportunities to write and get my work out there for others to read. And now, I can’t even keep this blog up-to-date, let alone get anything published anymore. It’s incredibly frustrating.

I swear, the more I become an educator, the less I am a writer. So much of my time during the week goes towards being at work or planning for work or taking classes to further my credentials so I can keep being paid to work. I wonder how other people find the time to do the millions of things they do, even when they work 48+ hours a week like I do (which I realize isn’t a lot, but really, it is when you aren’t salaried). Part of my problem I think is that there are so many other housekeeping things to get done during the week that by the time I come home and do all of those things, I’m exhausted and all I want to do is either lay on the couch and relax or go to sleep. It’s hard to force yourself to get back into a routine when it’s so much easier to just do nothing.

*****

Okay, so I just went back and reread a post I wrote two months ago and it is basically almost exactly the same as this one, except I don’t make as many excuses. I am the worst writer ever. Recycling topics that weren’t even that good the first time around? Seriously, what is my problem? I should basically just give up on my dreams of ever becoming a full-time writer.

But I won’t do that, because then what would you read to entertain yourself late at night when there’s nothing better to do? I think instead I’ll go churn out some more terrible blog posts and maybe a depressing poem or two. See you guys in about another month and a half…

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Woe is me: a day in the life of Felix the cat

I had my 7th graders start a creative writing assignment today about the life of their pet, from the animal’s point of view. As an example, I wrote one from Felix the cat’s perspective.

I often wonder what my cat is thinking when she does certain things. Her behavior continues to baffle me, but if I had to guess, this is what must be going through her mind on a daily basis:

6:58 a.m. My food bowl is empty. I’m going to die in this place. There is no hope for me anymore. Goodbye sweet world. Meow.

7:21 a.m. That Julia girl finally put more Meow Mix in my bowl. I crept into her bedroom while she slept and stared a hole into the side of her head until she finally woke up and fed me. I’m saved. At least until the bowl is empty again.

7:45 a.m. She’s left me again, mumbling something about “work” on her way out the door. Not sure what this “work” business is, but I don’t like it. I’d rather she just stay home with me all day and pet me to my heart’s content. Or at least until she pets me the wrong way, in which case I’ll be forced to bite her and run away.

8:36 a.m. I’ve noticed that Julia just cleaned my litter box. I’m not sure what to make of all this empty space inside the box, so I think I’ll just poop on the floor instead.

9:01 a.m. I’m ready for a nap but there’s no suitable place for me to lay. I think I will just curl up inside this tiny box that is two sizes too small.

5:01 p.m. My eight-hour nap was great but I’m not feeling too well. I think I swallowed some of my fur while I was bathing earlier. I feel the urge to throw up, but I’m not sure where I should do it. I don’t want to upset Julia. I think I will throw up in her shoes; she will appreciate that.

6:03 p.m. Julia has come home from “work.” She wasn’t happy with the gift I left in her shoes; I don’t understand how I have failed her.

10:35 p.m. Julia has abandoned me and gone to bed. There are a few kibbles gone from my food bowl since she last filled it so I’m going to have to stare at her while she’s sleeping and meow all night until she gets up and fills it again. I think I will die before she wakes.

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Felix the cat: probably the most disgusting living creature ever

I don’t understand how one cat can be so disgusting. I swear, you’d think I was the crazy cat lady who had 12 cats the way my apartment cruds up with cat grossness.

I’ll go into the bathroom, where her litter box is, and you’d think she shit all over everything just from the smell alone. She is probably the dumbest cat I’ve ever encountered; despite how clean I keep her litter box, she used to always insist on pooping over the side onto the floor. I have since reduced the likeliness of that action by finally putting a lid on the box, but she’ll still stick her butt out of the opening every once in awhile (usually after I’ve JUST CLEANED IT, so it’s litter-ally {get it? haha, litter} fresh and clean with no poop or anything in it) and poop onto the floor. And even when she does use the box like a normal cat and shits inside, she doesn’t cover it up. You know, how cats are supposed to push litter over top of everything to cover it and make it smell less and generally make it less gross? Yeah, she doesn’t do that. Instead, she’ll get out of the box and push around the puppy pad that’s on the floor (for catching those stray turds), mushing it into a big ball as if that’s accomplishing anything. Maybe she’s wiping her paws, but she needs to figure this out, because I’m tired of coming home and getting hit with a wall of poop stink, and then having to go into the bathroom and push the litter over her poop myself. Not my job, Felix. Figure it out.

I also don’t get how she can shed nearly as much as she actually does. Even in winter. Like, hello, you need that fur, don’t you? She hates being brushed but I do it as often as she’ll allow it, not that it’s really accomplishing anything, though, because she still sheds like it’s 1,000 degrees and it’s her job. I am constantly sweeping and cleaning to remove the tufts of white fur from absolutely everything in my apartment: couches, towels, all my clothes and shoes, curtains, stove tops (how does it even get up there?!), you name it, there’s probably cat hair on it at some point or another. I just don’t understand it. You would think for a cat who’s constantly licking her butt and cleaning herself she wouldn’t be anywhere close to as disgusting as she actually is.

I don’t ever want her to die but man, when that day comes, I will have so much more time for literally anything else because I won’t be constantly cleaning up after her. And my life will no longer be covered in cat hair. Until then, I guess I will continue to deal with her filth because, goddamnit, I love that cat.

She likes to sleep in the basket where I keep my sneakers. Since I've banned her from my room when I'm not home (after she threw up in my shoes), she has to find other ways to leave her grossness all over my belongings.

She likes to sleep in the basket where I keep my sneakers. Since I’ve banned her from my room when I’m not home (after she threw up in my shoes), she has to find other ways to leave her grossness all over my belongings.

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That’s it, I’m moving to the sun

I don’t know how I ever survived as  Northerner. Because I fucking hate the cold.

Even by Florida standards, winter is freezing and miserable for me and all I want to do is curl into a little warm ball under my bed covers and stay there until spring. Which is technically only a month or two away (perks of living in a warm climate state), but still, a month or two too long. My 17 years of actual winters in Pennsylvania have done nothing for me; almost 9 years of living in Florida have completely erased that.

Being cold and “surviving” through winter makes me want to do nothing but sleep or stay in bed all day. Which doesn’t bode well for me, considering I’m a (somewhat) active member of society, at least in that I have a full-time job I have to actually get out of bed to go do on a daily basis. If only my school participated in virtual classes, then I could just teach in my sweatpants from my couch. Damnit, how do I get that job? Stay focused, Julia, that is a whole other topic.

As I was saying, I can’t stand it when I can’t get warm. I absolutely hate it. In fact, even as I type these words on the keyboard, my fingers are numb and my toes have lost the feeling in them. I’ve quickly realized there are many everyday actions I’ve taken for granted when it’s warm, because when it’s cold, I hate my life.

Some things I hate when it’s cold:

Putting your bare feet on hardwood floors.

Curling up on a leather couch.

Sitting down on a toilet seat first thing in the morning.

Sitting on vinyl kitchen chairs.

Because all of these objects are freezing, and all of these actions yield less-than-pleasant feelings.

My apartment possesses all of these things.

You know what else I hate? Heating units that don’t properly warm your apartment. Instead, they warm the living room where they are located and leave every other room in this joint a walk-in freezer. Thanks a lot, wall unit.

I really don’t know what I’m going to do until spring.

Tomorrow is supposed to be warmer though, so maybe I’ll survive. Otherwise I’m moving to the equator. Or the sun.

winter-f-u-c-k-cold-weather-demotivational-poster-1262901961

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