Customer Service

I love it when I’m dealing with a business entity that leaves me thinking, “Wow. They really put the cuss into customer service.”

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Not A Movie Review

We watched a movie last night called, “What Happened to Monday?”

It’s a violent, dystopian science-fiction movie that we watched on Netflix. Netflix brought it to their streaming offerings in August of this year. The premise, about septuplets secretly coping and living in world where only one child is authorized per family. This draconian policy was instituted to stretch scarce resources. Resources are scarce due to climate change. The problems are complicated by war and unforeseen consequences of genetically modified organizations.

The seven girls are named for the days of the week. They assume one identity, using their deceased mother’s name. Only one is permitted out each day; they go out on the day of their name. The rest of the time, they live secret lives in their apartment.

Naturally, things go wrong.

Glenn Close, William Dafoe, and Noomi Rapace star, along with Marwan Kenzari and Christian Rubeck. Dafoe plays the father, and Close is the villain. Rapace plays the seven sisters. You get a lot more of her than the other two. There are plots holes, some cringing moments and predictability, but it was sufficiently intense and unique to draw our attention and focus. Several of the sisters are shadows of a full character. Rapace works with that, but she does a powerful job with the more fully developed sisters.

Give it a watch, just to say that you did.

Floofends

Floofends (catfinition): Cats who sleep on opposite ends of objects, such as beds, sofas, and tables. They resemble bookends without books.  They rarely help hold anything up, although they can put plans on hold, especially if it might disturb them.

Saturday’s Theme Music

Crazy, but that’s how it goes
Millions of people living as foes
Maybe. it’s not too late
To learn how to love, and forget how to hate

Mental wounds not healing
Life’s a bitter shame
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train
I’m goin’ off the rails on a crazy train

h/t to AZLyrics.com

You might recognize those lyrics. They’re from Ozzie Osbourne’s song, “Crazy Train.”

When I first heard it, it struck me as right. Craziness was, is, a subject that’s avoided. It’s considered a perjorative, and a derogative expression. Ozzie fully embraced it, starting with that maniacal opening laugh, and that welcome, “All aboard.”

The song fits these days. Caught between political rails, we’re riding a crazy train. Everything is politicized and amplified. Political discourse is healthy, but too many of us hang onto hate and the past, refusing to open our eyes and look around. We just keep riding this crazy train. Sooner or later, it’ll all go off the rails. When it does — if it does — I expect few mea culpas. All of us are blaming the others. Liberals, progressives, conservatives, neo-Nazis, Republicans, Democrats, white supremacists, slaves, refugees, religions, history, wealth, privilege, ignorance, poverty, disease and war…we throw the blame around, and hang onto our new world slogan: Never Forget.

We, of any ilk, are loathe to forget anything. On the one hand, we must remember to learn, and not repeat our mistakes. But we need to find that balance between remembering, learning, and moving forward. Of course, to move forward, an agreed upon direction is required. We fail agreeing on where we should be in ten years. And sometimes, we remember one aspect of history to the detriment of other aspects.

I can’t forget. I try. Perhaps I don’t try enough. For example, I can’t forget the last election for POTUS. I despise Donald Trump. He represents the world’s worst qualities to me. By extension, I have a hard time with his supporters. I don’t understand their support. They don’t understand why I don’t support him. They don’t understand why I can’t forget. But I can’t forget how Trump and other conservatives treated Barack Obama, and Bill Clinton, long before this.

It’s not just politics, though. Old wrongs, bitterness, and resentment cling to me like cobwebs. I can never rid myself of them all. I try working and writing myself out of it. I bite my tongue, take a lot of deep breaths, and indulge in long counts to calm myself and move on. But I’m fighting the enemy I best know from longevity, yet one that I know the least. Because he knows me, too, and knows how to manipulate me.

Yeah, we’re often our own worst enemy. That’s how we end up on the crazy train.

 

Felinesophy

Felinesophy (catfinition): The study of general and fundamental problems concerning cats, what they’re thinking, what they want, and the reasons and causes of their behavior. Classical felinesophy questions include, “You want to go out AGAIN???” And, “Are you for real?” However, most felinesophers include more mundane questions, like, “Who’s a good kitty?”

Friday’s Theme Music

“Across the Universe,” written by John Lennon, and performed by the Beatles.

When I hear the song lyrics, I often think of the writing process. For example:

Images of broken light which dance before me like a million eyes
They call me on and on across the universe
Thoughts meander like a restless wind
Inside a letter box they
Tumble blindly as they make their way
Across the universe

h/t to AZLyrics.com

Things flow and bounce into us, and we write to create order from that nonsense. Sometimes, we succeed.

The Sausage

We’ve always had cats. We claim them as ours. That’s because we paid the rent or the mortgage, bought the food, and paid the other bills. We thought we were in charge because we control the money. Yeah, we control the money, but they control us. Cats have us. Out of the most recent who lived with us (Sammy, Scheckter, Pogo, Smudge, Lady, Quinn, Tucker, Boo, and Papi), all came to us. They picked out our house, walked up, and meowed, “Hello. Feed me.” The exception is Lady. We took her in because the elderly man who took care of her and six other cats was moving into a home, and couldn’t care for her any longer.

The thing about cats is we love to entertain them, because it entertains us. We love watching them pretend to stalk and kill strings because they’re cute and funny. Plus, we need to entertain them. When they’re not sleeping or eating, they need entertained. Fortunately, they’re eating or sleeping twenty hours out of the day. But if you’re not entertaining them for the other four hours, you will become their entertainment. They’ll start playing head games, like the Door Game, or they’ll start walking around, meowing, the game they call Meow Polo. It’s like the Marco Polo game humans, but crueler, and sans water.

These circumstances drive us to hunt for cat toys. You’d think it’d be easy. Cats like chasing mice. Bugs. Spiders. Each other. Lights. Strings. Pieces of foil. M&Ms. Blueberries. Should be easy to find them a toy.

But no. One of the mind games cats like to play with people is to be indifferent to what we offer them. Food, snacks, treats, toys…cats like to look at them, sniff them, maybe give them a bat, and say, “No thanks,” and walk away. And we know this about cats, so we try to out-think them. But we can’t, because we’re using human logic, and they’re using cat logic, which is superior.

Yet, we still try.

That’s why we’ve been so happy with the sausage. Sixteen inches long, it looks like four sausage links. It’s stuffed with catnip. Every cat we’ve had will walk into the room, see the sausage, walk over to it, and go into some frenzied but gently violent feline foreplay with it. They’ll lick it, bite it, seize it with their front paws and kick it with their back paws, roll around on it, drool and dribble on it, and gently rub their faces against it. Then they’ll get up, step away like, “That’s enough,” wash, and generally pretend that what just happened, didn’t.

And we love it because we feel special for finding something that entertains the cats, so they can entertain us, and re-establish our balance about who is supposed to be in charge.

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