Wanted: An Extra Tomorrow — Friday Follies

Bing’s photo this morning is of three baby opossums hanging by their tails from a branch. 

Frankly, they’re as cute as they can be.  And…they all look like they’re looking at their mom with the question of the moment:  “OK, Mom, we can be good now.  Can we come out of ‘time out’…please?  There’s other things we need to do and see and time’s a wastin here. This is a good trick, and we’re glad we know it, but we’ve been here for awhile, and it’s getting a little boring…'”

Have you ever had that feeling?  Like you’re stuck in the moment, in a ‘time out’  hanging upside down and looking at the world totally lopsided?

Like you know you screwed up somehow, and either took on too much, took on projects that rightly belonged to others, or just haven’t managed your time well enough to accomplish the priorities of your day?  Continue reading

Procrastination Again or Still? Friday Follies on Sunday

OK…see what I mean?  Here I am doing Friday Follies on Sunday!

How bad is that?

I’ve been going through this…trying to figure out how to ‘splain it away…this being Sunday and I haven’t published my Friday follies yet.

I’ve written about procrastination before.  The reason I write about it is because it’s habit I accept responsibility for…and choose to change.  The reason I’m writing about it for a Friday Follies is because it is…a folly…foible…forgettable?

Except…it’s so appealing.  Continue reading

Cat Staff Needed: Must Serve — Friday Follies

 Hope-cs

 Here’s Hope — getting into “the picture.”   “Hoping” her cute pose will get my attention.

 And, when she doesn’t get what she wants, she lets me know.  As she did here.  “Hey..you…it’s ME.  Yo…I know you like the screensaver with the cat on the clothesline sticking out of the jeans…but hey…get real! 

Here I am… I REALLY am sitting on your printer…looking…oh, I don’t know…so much more svelte with my paw just soooo.  The perfect mime!  See?  I can do that…you know, hang my paw…perfectly.

So…uh…like…could I just get a little attention here, please?”

Around here it’s sometimes just not enough to get spoon fed  gourmet cat food. 

 “Sometimes WE (me and my  mate the Princess)…  and we determine the sometimes…want to have your immediate and undivided attention. 

Regardless of what you might be doing…it is important for you to remember…before all else…you are staff…CAT staff .  Continue reading

All Agents Assisting Other Customers — Friday Follies

At this moment, I am on the phone.  I’m currently on” hold”….I’ve been on  “hold” now for 36 minutes and 21 seconds, waiting for the “first available agent” at a government office to assist me. 

I decided that while I was waiting for the “next available agent” I may as well do something enjoyable at the same time.  Fridays are most enjoyable.  I love to write, but Friday Follies, where I’m just sharing…and laughing at myself…are special. 

And, at moments like this, when my frustration level is high, I know it’s much healthier to laugh at myself and share than it is to “vent my spleen” at the “next available agent” when and if they ever answer this call! 

In case you can’t tell already, one of my biggest pet peeves is being put on “hold” or put into que.  The repeat message loop does say that I can press “3” and leave a message.  if I weren’t so stubborn, I would…but I’d probably have to erase it…or never get a call back! 

 This is a business task I really want to talk to someone –a REAL person — about.  And, it’s not something I can find online.  So, I am stubbornly, persistently, holding…waiting…for the next available… Continue reading

Who’s That Looking Over My Shoulder — Friday Follies

Here we are again…Friday.  How did that happen…so quickly?

Time again for…

If you guessed Friday Follows on Twitter…you’re only partially right.  I love doing Friday Follows.  But now…I also love doing Friday Follies.  The day when I look at how silly I am sometimes…how totally ordinary, mundane, abnormal and out of control I am. 

As compared, of course, to my “public persona.”  Cool, sophisticated, hard-working, intelligent, natural leader, born writer…oh…and did I mention [almost] totally perfect in every way?

The thing is…I’m starting to get paranoid.  I’m starting to think that everyone  knows  everything about me, like every detail of every flaw I ever might have had, or thought I had, or thought I might have had.  Or…thought that someone else thought I had, or might have had.

Here’s why I’m starting to get paranoid.  When I check my e-mail, I’m getting e-mails from people I’ve never heard of who say…on the subject line…”Max, you’re not a millionaire yet?”  or..”Max, why are you still suffering from indigestion?” and “To succeed, this is what you really need the most.”   …right when I was actually beginning to think I  was reasonably successful…

 Here’s another one that’s really making me look over my shoulder to see who it is that’s watching me…making all those recommendations for “others” to compile to send me stuff…the email with the subject line that says…”Recommended books for you.”  When I click on it to open it, the titles read like the “Who’s Who” of all the “Who’s” that exist in me that I’m trying to forget.   Continue reading

Books for Dummies — Friday Follies

It’s Friday.

That means Friday Follows on Twitter. And Friday Follies here at Max. Following Max’s foibles.

I was strolling through my house this morning, looking at all my overflowing bookcases…thinking.. maybe…it’s time I started filling a few more boxes with books for Good Will.

Or not…

As I was scanning my bookcases, I noticed something. Something that I’d never really focused on before, or given much thought to. And that is the number of Books for Dummies that I have.

I am a Collector. I admit it. I have not yet joined Collector’s Anonymous, though I am still giving it serious consideration. And I know I should do it…soon. Continue reading

Sex and the Common Cold – Friday Follies

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that on Fridays, I take a detour. Since today’s Friday, that’s what I’m doing…detouring.

What started me down the path was Friday follows — from Twitter. And, for whatever reason [and the way my mind works, sometimes there is no reason] Friday follows gave me the idea for Friday follies. So…on Fridays I just talk about my foibles …or what I refer to as my foil-ables, because I’m easily foiled at times… and whatever pops into my mind.

Sometimes it’s my diet — or lack thereof, sometimes my discipline– and lack thereof. Oh yes, and last week I talked about who really runs our house — the CATS!

This week what’s not off the table because it’s “politically incorrect” is sex when your partner has a cold. And, you guessed it, my husband has a doozy! oooooUuuuu…yuk! Coughing, sneezing, runny nose, watery eyes…the works! Continue reading

Cats Have Staff – Friday Follies

Instead of Twitter’s  “Friday Follows” , I have my own twist that I call Friday Follies.  

I’ve mentioned before that Fridays are my day to “be me.”  A day when I don’t take myself so seriously.  Not write about anything important..at least in the serious, “what do you do and how can I help” sense. 

No trends.  No patterns.  No consistency. 

Freestyle.  Only one rule.  That I have fun.  Not at anyone else’s expense. If I laugh at anyone today, it’s only me…and my foil-ables!

Today I thought  I’d throw out a few comments about my feline friends.    How they make me laugh…how they command my attention…and how they run the house.

There is no doubt whatever.  Cats Have Staff

There are numerous quotes about cats and their independent nature.     Here’s one by Bill Alder that I really like:

“The cat is there when you call her – if she doesn’t have something better to do.”

And here’s another by Mark Twain that captures their essence:  

 “Of all God’s creatures, there is only one that cannot be made slave of the leash. That one is the cat. If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve the man, but it would deteriorate the cat.”

Cats are totally independent creatures, and they want to make sure that you understand that you are here to serve them…not the other way around.  While a dog will wag its tail, and always want to please you, a cat wants to please you…only if there’s something in it for them!!!

Here’s a case in point:  Our cats have an “outdoor patio;”  a secure upstairs deck where they can be outside and yet protected from coyotes, owls, and other predators that happen to share our environment.  They have a special cat door fitted to a window where they can slip in and out to the deck when they want.  The deck, however, also has a “human” door, so we…the humans.. can go in and out also.   Or…at least.. that’s what I used to think.  

Until I was properly trained.

What I have learned  [or have been trained to respond to] is that the real purpose of the human door is for the cats to go in and out when they don’t want to use the cat door.   When they feel so inclined they call us…  allow us a brief moment of petting…and ensure we get the imbedded command…   “Open the human door for me…NOW.  I don’t feel like going through the cat door at this moment.   It’s so small.  And I just ate.  I’m feeling a little bloated.   And… there’s something even more important.   I… have…Staff –You!”

The message couldn’t be more clear.  When the call comes, the Cat frequently isn’t even at the door.  If the Cat  is in the middle of room, when I respond to her call…that plaintive, “Help…can’t you tell I need you now?” cry… she will walk me to the door [human].  Then, asking for a chin rub (only a ruse, a bribe  to make sure I respond appropriately), she will rub her head against the door frame, and stretch up to the door knob.   Then, she will turn her head toward me and purr ever so pleasingly, to convey her message. 

If I am silly enough not to open the door immediately, she will take me through the routine again… drop down to the floor, allow me to scratch her chin and pet her, and then reach up to the doorknob…”OK, enough already…why do you think we are here???”  until, of course, I open the [human door] for her to go through.

And… we have two cats.  If one is already on the deck, and sees the other issuing commands for me to open the door, the second one will go to the deck side of the door and stretch. 

One cat in…one cat out.  Unless… at the last moment, one can’t make up its mind.  Then we all stand at the door, letting the flies in. 

All day long.   Except when I am gone or through some furtive maneuver, manage to elude their directive…in which case they somehow manage to get in to and out of the patio through their cat door.

I admit, however, that I am very well trained.  I respond like Pavlov’s dogs.  I salivate at the opportunity to serve.   Because my reward…the purr, the snuggle, the playing, the very occasional lick of my hand…is  so very fulfilling.  I am a slave to the Feline Furry.  

  I am willing to say without reservation…at least at this home…Cats Have Staff.

Is Constant Change A Fleeting Perception? Friday Follies

Fun on Fridays!  As I’ve mentioned before, I got the idea for Friday Follies from Twitter’s Friday Follows. 

 The RT’s, or ReTweets are all about sharing.  Sharing ideas… expanding the Universe…  letting what we know, or have been illuminated by, be known by others. 

I’m diving off the deep end today on a couple of phrases that have been around for awhile, and what I know about them…or think I might know about them.  And have a little gentle Friday fun…laugh at myself..my follies, my foil-ables…

Here they are:  “The Only Constant is Change.”  and “Perception is Reality.”   I’m sure you’ve heard them both before.  But what do you know about them?

 Actually, if you think about those two catch phrases, especially together… “What is it that we know…about anything??   If the only thing constant is change… then the thing we knew a moment ago we couldn’t possibly know now, because it’s already gone.  Faster than I can key what I thought I knew,it’s changed…  constantly disappearing in the exact perspective in which I thought I knew it.  And…if perception is reality, whatever it is that I perceive as real… in this moment… is in flux, changing as we speak, so my sharing is changing faster than I can key it…constantly. 

I want to share anyway.  My thoughts, my ideas, my perceptions of what is, and isn’t, in this moment.   Life as I “know” it.  Or… as I perceive it. Even knowing that it is changing…now.

One thing I know, for example, is I like to have fun.  What I know about fun is that when I’m having it, I’m smiling, laughing, and dancing on the inside if not with my 2 feet on the outside.  And…yes… dancing is constantly changing, perception of skill, grace, or lack thereof, strictly in the eye of the beholder.  Or…that’s my perception of it anyway.

I love to be on the dance floor, moving, twirling, sometimes tangling my feet.  The feeling of being.   Outside of myself, looking in.  Not the observer, but the participant… combining mind and body in being.  Constantly changing. 

I love to dance around the house as well.  To release the child in complete freedom of movement, without constraints of what I might “look” like to someone else.  Without regard to posture or perfection of step, but entering another level of existence where I am totally free…to be… Or to exist momentarily within my perception of it.

I admit, though, if I think someone might be watching, I constrain myself.  I’ve seen people on TV, at weddings, parties, and on barroom dance floors who dance with abandon, clearly oblivious to the perceptions of others. 

Why is that?  What is it that they know that I do not?  Perhaps because I still think that ‘who I think you think I am’ is allowed too much control in my life.  A tongue-twister to be sure, but perception is reality, yes? 

So if everything is constantly changing, and only my perception in a moment that is fleeting… is real… than where are we?  There are tomes by great teachers and philosophers on the topic.  And… there is this poem by Gordon Lightfoot…

  You make time stand still,

you do it now

and you always will.

You take me as I am,

you make me feel

like a brand new person…

because you are

what I am.

 

Perhaps it’s not so much what we know…but the expression of what we perceive…that when it’s shared… moves into the Greater Thought of the Universe in which we all exist.  Where you are what I am.  Perhaps it’s an expression that touches another in a way that gives meaning in that moment.   Perhaps it reignites a flame that only flickers.  And, if even for a moment, an expression of fun…of joy…brings a special meaning  in someone else’s life …I’m glad I share. 

 And I’m glad I can dance. With the Universe… On the floor… or in my mind…I perceive it as graceful, fun, and most of all…joyful.

Calling Collector’s Anonymous – Friday Follies

I admit it. I’m a follower.

I love Twitter and on Friday, I do Friday Follows. Not only do I recommend follows for lots of folks of great talent, I recommend lovers of fun and frivolity. After all, it is a social network, and for me, being social is all about having fun.

From Friday Follows came the idea for Friday Follies. You may “follow” right into these… or… not. In the context of being social, however, comes sharing, and I’m not above making fun of myself and sharing my “foil-ables.” As you will discover, I have my share. (pun intended)

I’m not just a follower… I am also a collector. I thought I’d tell you a little about that… see if you connect. (double ‘n’ instead of double ‘l’ — there’s a little collectible for you)

When most people picture “collector” in their head, they tend to see a collection of objects of great (or at least above average) value. Like a garage full of classic cars, or a room full of baseball cards, or dolls. Like that.

What I collect is “stuff.” Clothes that I had in high school. Or close. Along with shoes that went out of style and I haven’t worn in at least 10 years. Screws and nuts and bolts that I don’t know what they belong to. But I can’t throw them away because then I’ll have the “aha” moment, and know exactly what they’re from. And I won’t have it anymore. That kind of “stuff.”

My closets are full…way too full. Jeans, shirts, boots, hats, mittens, and gloves (and that’s only the beginning) that either don’t fit or I don’t like well enough to wear. “Stuff” that should go to the church, Good Will or the Salvation Army.

And did I mention books?  I’m a reader.  Eclectic tastes. Therefore… books everywhere!  A room without a book is like a house without a cook… no flavor.  And, yes, that’s my story and I’m stickin’ to it.

Getting rid of what I’ve collected is agonizing.

I know I have to. I’m running out of room.

We need walking space, and room for everyone else’s “stuff.”

 I’ve done it before –purged “stuff” that is. Not often… nowhere near often enough… but I have done it. And I’m telling you, every time I’ve agonized through the process, one of the “collectibles” I’ve just retired for someone else’s use, I need…the same or very next day!

I’ve tried to determine the cause of this malady.  I’ve come up with a series of underlying causes.  Like not being an only child, and therefore having to endure hand-me-down clothes from my bigger sister causing me to hang on to anything that was new and truly “just” mine.  Like lots of moves across the country, and losing parts of a stove, a dresser, an entertainment center… something with every move.  A spouse who takes my hammer and other tools out to work on a project just when I need them.  Stuff like that. 

What I haven’t found yet is the cure.

We’re pretty much settled now… if such a thing really exists… and I don’t expect to move a lot more.  I can afford new clothes when I want them, and (sometimes) enjoy shopping for something new.  While he’s not perfectly trained yet, my husband is getting better at returning my tools when he’s done with them… and he has quite a few of his own. 

And I still can’t quit collecting.  Whether I’m truly addicted, or have just developed a really bad habit, it’s becoming a part of me.  Like the few extra pounds that I want to drop, I have developed an attachment to collecting.   Like most attachments/addictions, I have periods of denial.  When I tell myself it’s not really that bad, it’s no big deal, and if we can’t get in the front door… well… there’s always the side door. 

Sometimes I picture what it would be like not to collect.  Our house would be so… empty… so alien. 

I don’t know if they have a Collector’s Anonymous… at least not for my kind of collector.  But maybe they do.  I know I have an irrational fear… of being without… something.  

So maybe I’ll find it…”Stuff” Collector’s Anonymous and go see if I can collect some behavior-changing ideas.  More “stuff.”