Friday, January 24, 2014

Photo An Hour: The Year Two-Thousand and Froze to Death

6:30: The alarm goes off at 6 AM. I roll over, turn it off, and tell Jason we are going to sleep until 6:30 today because I don't care anymore, I want to sleep in.

Our older cat then begins to meow loudly every two seconds for the next fifteen minutes, because food is supposed to come at 6 am and she will not be ignored, she has food needs and we are the bringers of food and food was not forthcoming and that is not acceptable.

Finally Jason gets up and goes to feed her while I stubbornly lay in bed for the last fifteen minutes cursing the day we chose to get her, cursing morning, cursing Fridays and generally cursing life. Then I roll over and take a photo before I got up to take a shower, because I knew I wanted a 'just woke up' photo and this is as close as we're going to get, folks.

It occurs to me that the door, with the light from the living room just vaguely beginning to slide in, looks like the door to Hell.

At 6:30 in the morning, that comparison seems very apt.

7:30: While getting ready to leave, I step outside and snap a quick photo of sunrise from the front door. The amount of cold sinking into my bones from just this five-second photo makes me consider calling in "I did not move to the South for this kind of crap" and going back to bed.

I am beginning to think the neighbors across the street have never seen me smile. They have inside dogs they bring out to do their business, and some mornings we happen to be out at the same time. I am a cranky bear in the morning. I bet I look angry all the time to them.

Eh, who're we kidding, if I haven't been awake for three hours yet I am angry.

It's not personal, neighbors, I just hate morning. For instance, that's probably a very pretty sunrise photo up there. Part of me can kind of tell it probably is. The rest of me hates it for the fact that it represents me being awake.

8:30: Waking up late = no time for a healthy, planned-out breakfast. Or something like that.

In any case, I bring half a loaf of bread and some pb & j to work, toast it there, and eat it on a paper towel which is kind of like a plate if you tilt your head and squint. Wash it down with a delicious gas station latte.

Still angry at morning. Rage shows no sign of abating. Hope my coworkers are feeling understanding today. Debate going home and hoping no one notices I was ever here and that maybe they will think the coffee just magically made itself.

9:30: In an attempt to cheer myself up, I do the crossword puzzle, but find that I am angry that it's so easy. Read Doonesbury. Remember that Doonesbury is annoying, too.

Wonder if dehydration is perhaps the root of my rage and drink a whole bottle of water in thirty seconds.

Discover dehydration is not the problem, and now I'm angry because my stomach is sloshy and full of water. Decide the problem is that it's just too cold, and if I'd known it would be this cold I could've just stayed in Illinois where at least snow happens sometimes.

Think about what it's like to live in New York City right now, or Vermont. Or Denver. Or Illinois.

Look outside at the not-snow, smile to myself, and start feeling better.

10:30: Find myself getting very sleepy when my coworker comes to relieve me for my morning break. Decide what would help is taking a brisk walk around the museum in order to have the cold wake me up.

Get distracted by taking pictures, making walk take longer than planned. Our running water features are all frozen over and it's both cool and surreal and unpleasant to see. After five minutes, realize I can no longer feel my fingers.

I am definitely more awake, though, so I consider the mission accomplished.

Wonder if, somewhere in Illinois, my mother just sat up and said to herself, "I'll bet Katie's not wearing gloves today."

Well. I'm not. So she's right.

He's hilarious. He's bitter. He's very angry. And he gives a ton of tips about how to get better service at hotels (number one rule; if it seems like maybe you might want to give a tip, GIVE THEM A TIP. Voila, instant better service.)

Reading cheers me up, if only because someone else in the world is exactly as cranky as I am.

12:30: Mmmmn, lunch. Leftover vaguely Mediterreanean chickpea salad thing I made from this recipe off Pinterest. Delicious.

That Klondike candy thing, though?

It is without a doubt the single worst dessert and/or sweet item I have ever consumed in my entire life.

The "chocolate flavor" was something between cardboard and that aftertaste you have after you eat something off the street that someone drove over, and the "mint flavor" was, without a doubt, toothpaste.

I'm not kidding.

It was just toothpaste, sandwiched inside "chocolate flavor" casing. Minty green toothpaste.

I gagged.

1:30: I forgot to take a photo at 1:30.

So, uh... here's a photo of our water feature being frozen over that I took when I first got to work in the morning.



2:30: I step outside for a second. It's all of maybe 25 degrees, which compared to this morning feels deliciously balmy.

The sun is bright, I can actually kind of feel it on my skin, I am able to bare the bottom half of my face without feeling like an extra in an Arctic adventure movie... all is well. I discover I stopped being full of rage a couple of hours ago.


3:30: I look out the window at the cars on the road, and realize that there are people heading home from their jobs right now. Lucky, lucky people.

Then I realize that most likely means those people had to get up way earlier than I did today.


I probably wasn't cut out for whatever job those people are doing anyway.

4:30: I, uh, forgot to take a picture at 4:30, too. I was busy! We had people in the museum! I had stuff to do!

So, to ease my stinging conscience... here's a photo of an orange gingerbread cake I made out of the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook. It was delicious. It was amazing. It was everything I dreamed it would be.

It's also a cake I made last week. But I kept that photo, because that cake was so good I needed something to remember it by. Seriously.

5:30: Home. Delightfully, gloriously home.

This is the best I could do at getting a very excited puppy to hold still. You can see the horror in his eyes at having to sit, and stay, and not jump on me or wrestle-play like we normally do. 

Whatever, dog.

I gave you a Beggin' Strip, that sad face is a total lie. Besides which, your tail was wagging the whole time.

Also, we've had Indy over a year now. I was not a dog person when we went to the Humane Society that day and picked him out. I'm a dog person now.

6:30: Jason is hanging out with some friends, therefore I declare this GIANT BATCH OF COOKIES FOR NO REASON NIGHT.

What you're looking at is the first six ingredients in this oatmeal raisin cookie recipe. It's for crunchy cookies, be warned. I also added some chopped up dates and almonds and cut the butter amount in half, substituting the rest for applesauce. Next time I make it I'll cut the sugar in half or at least to two thirds, too. 

Can I replace sugar with something?

More applesauce?

Anyway, I'm calling these breakfast cookies because that makes them sound healthy. So there.

7:30: The finished product.

Incredibly unattractive, kind of gross looking, very delicious "breakfast cookies". I ate four.

Don't worry, they are very tiny cookies.

Except I have like thirty of them.

Oh no... however did that happen...

8:30: I make a terrible mistake and sit down for five minutes.

Within thirty seconds, there is instantly a cat curled up in my lap. She teleported there, or perhaps it was some kind of magic spell. I blink, and there she is looking like she's been sleeping in my lap since time began. It's a special talent that cats have, along with moving so reluctantly when you (finally) have to get up to go to the bathroom that you begin to wonder if, maybe, you don't really need to go that badly...

Trust me. 

You do.

They're cats. They'll live.

9:30: When I finally manage to push one cat off my lap and get up to check the internet, I discover the other one curled happily up in my computer chair, purring in a way that is frankly almost aggressive as he turned to look at me.

He's daring me to take this chair.

He weighs like 2 pounds.

I pick him up and deposit him on the couch, where he, the dog, and the older cat all promptly curl up and go to sleep within a couple of feet of each other, while each of them pretends they are alone in their own universe.

I'm going to stop here, not because I'm going to bed at 9:30 on a Friday night - although I kind of want to - but mostly because I think "I am 27 years old and spending my Friday night taking photos of my cats" seems... it seems like a good place for us to stop.

You know. Before things get weird.

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