Your new canine overlord

Let me tell you about Special Agent Dale Cooper.

No, not the Twin Peaks character, though I will gladly proselytize for that show any day of the week. This is Cooper:
My friends adopted him last year and, noting his affinity for maps of Tibet and his uncanny coffee-sniffing abilities, knew that he was a kindred spirit to the character they ended up naming him for.

In the course of babysitting for the little guy, I’ve learned a few things about life, love, and horrific intestinal emissions. Here are some Cooper facts that everyone should know:

  • Cooper is 37% composed of dark matter. This accounts for his ability to pin me to the wall within ten seconds by body-slamming my shins, despite my substantial height advantage.
  • Cooper is terrified of baby gates. This is the only thing standing between him and total world domination. Once he figures out he’s probably tall enough to just jump over the thing, we’re all doomed.
  • As you may be able to tell from the picture above, Cooper is part dingo. Coincidentally, six babies have gone missing from the streets of Roscoe Village since the beginning of 2012. Cooper resents the implication that he is involved in the disappearances, and also insinuates that maybe people should consider giving him some bacon every once in a while, just to be on the safe side.
  • Cooper has refined the guilt trip to an art form. After I let him out of the kitchen to play and cuddle on the couch for a bit (because duh), his reaction to being wrangled back behind The Gate is something that would make millions in donations if it were set to a Sarah McLachlan song.
  • Cooper’s ears have the ability to pick up radio waves, which he will likely end up utilizing for the aforementioned emotional blackmail once he figures out how to install speakers in his skull. Whether or not he can also transmit signals has yet to be determined, but it’s probably best to keep all hypnotic materials and Wiggles CDs out of his reach, just in case.

Welcome to the chopping block.

Yesterday was not a productive day, to say the least. Why not? My fellow citizens, heed my plea: Food Network is the opiate of the masses.

The whole thing started innocently enough. To give you some background, you’ll need to know that I’ve idolized the B-52’s since I was too young to distinguish between Kate Pierson and Katey Sagal in Married… with Children. I dimly recall watching the music video for Love Shack when I was two or three and wondering a) when Peg Bundy joined a band, and b) when I would be old and cool enough to get invited to these kinds of parties. To avoid going into a long and possibly embarrassing digression, let’s just say that if the B-52’s are involved in something, I will generally end up drawn to it like a moth to a glittery, fabulous flame.

On Wednesday, I saw that they were going to be on that night’s episode of Top Chef. (Yes, I know, Bravo show. Wait for it.) Yesterday afternoon the TV in our apartment was available, a fairly rare occurrence and not one I usually take advantage of, but this was different. I curled up and pulled up the episode, only to find that only two of the band’s members had appeared for a grand total of under five minutes.

I kept watching anyway.

When the episode ended, I flipped over to the Food Network out of mental inertia.

Have you ever lost three valuable hours of your life to Chopped? Let me explain Chopped to you, if you’re less of a soulless husk of a human being than I am. Chopped is a cooking competition show in which four chefs cook a three-course meal, with one chef being eliminated after each course. The catch, because of course the viewing public needs a catch, is that each round the chefs are assigned a “mystery basket” of three to five ingredients that must be incorporated into their dish. These ingredients are usually some bullshit like duck testicles, astronaut ice cream, or chicken in a can. (I’m not exaggerating. These examples were all taken directly from yesterday’s viewing spree.) Don’t let the judges catch you just tossing the granola around as a garnish, either, because they will tear your head off and put it on a spike outside the Food Network studios as a warning to future chefs.

Chopped is perhaps the most insidious type of show that Food Network has to offer, because it has virtually no educational value while trying to convince you that it does. With many of these cooking-oriented reality shows, there’s at least a token attempt made to display some sort of technique. Chopped is an hour straight of chefs running around the kitchen in despair, throwing things in pots and failing spectacularly. The host and judges do explain some of the more unusual ingredients, but there are no applications as a cook (especially a home cook) where you’ll be trying to use them together. The mystery basket in my kitchen at present is something along the lines of “eggs, Nutella, trout, wilted lettuce leaf, and dried-out brown sugar.”

Even knowing all this, the show is still a vortex draining my will to do anything but mumble faintly about pairing chorizo and chocolate syrup. I could be writing about Pussy Riot or voter ID laws or Julian Assange or, hell, even Miley’s hair, but I’m still exorcising these demons. Conspiracy theorists, adjust your tinfoil hats and start your chemtrail engines.

Anyway, I’ve torn myself away from the TV for the time being and am getting some work done. I do want to catch the encore of the Roseanne roast tomorrow night, though. I hear Kate Pierson’s on it and everything.

5(ish?) Habits of Moderately Effective People

I have too much time on my hands.

I sense a chorus of annoyed grunts from my nonexistent readership, but it’s true. There are few things more damaging to productivity than being able to do whatever the hell you want at any given time. This is especially true if you’re creative, crazy, or easily distracted. Basically, what I’m trying to say is that I’m doomed.

Oh, I’m trying to do the responsible thing and not just make excuses to sit around eating cereal and watching Olympics recap GIFs all day. In fact, I’ve been fairly successful at limiting those activities to only a couple of hours per day thus far.

Current plan of attack for a Productive Lifestyle™:
– List five tasks a day on my to-do list. These will be a mixture of work, chores, and personal enrichment. Five tasks is enough for me to feel that I’ve accomplished something with my day, while not causing me to dissolve into quivering panic attacks at the prospect of facing the world at large.
– Do the tasks.
– Alternately, do some of the tasks and then start yelling at the Internet. The entire Internet. Without exception.
– Take a nap!

The problem with self-directing like this is that you tend to end up in something of a bubble. At least, that’s how it seems to work in my case. I did get out of the apartment this afternoon to do some work at a coffee shop for a few hours, but even then, I was listening to NPR and ignoring my surroundings until my headphones started shocking me in the right ear. At this point, I found myself trying not to throttle the wedding planner sitting next to me who had been loudly discussing cocktail napkins or some bullshit on her cell phone for an hour straight. As a writer, though, I appreciated the material for a potential future character. I was mentally taking notes on her brusque personality and the strange younger man outside the window that she would occasionally consult with, even as my nerves slowly frayed at her raised volume and limited decorum and utter lack of self-awareness and ohmygod SHUT UP SHUT UP.

It’s important for me to be putting myself out in different situations, because it’s just not possible to write in a vacuum. (Despite what my teenage self would have had you believe, the Internet isn’t sufficient material in and of itself, though I’ve gotten more than my fair share of inspiration from it.) There is life outside my apartment, to quote Avenue Q, and I intend to find it. I reserve my right to then run away screaming obscenities, of course.

New plan of attack for an Interesting Lifestyle™:
– Have adventures. Calvin and Hobbes would approve, and after all, they were the inspiration for this blog’s name. Adventures tend to make for more interesting blog fodder than Olympics GIFs anyway. (But seriously, McKayla won’t be impressed with anything I write, so why bother?)

Of course, these two plans will probably have to be balanced against each other if I want to eat, but we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it.

“I’m not dead! I feel fine!”

It’s been a while, hasn’t it, blogosphere?

(Is the word “blogosphere” still a thing?)

Many things have happened in my life over the past 2.5 months, but I haven’t really figured out how to make most of them funny or relevant to others yet, so they’ll have to wait. It’s probably better to cover them separately than do an infodump, at any rate. The same thing goes for current events, since if I tried to cover all of my thoughts on the past couple months of news, I would probably rupture a few major blood vessels.

To parallel my previous post:
I was employed for a while, and now I’m not again. Such are the hazards of temp work. I am picking up a bit of writing work, though. A small bit. Very small.
I am no-longer-newly single and completely apathetic regarding that fact.
I have been on the verge of an existential crisis since I was six years old, so nothing shocking there. I am cheerfully blasé as far as existentialists go.

I have ideas now for things to write that won’t be incredibly dull to people who aren’t me (and, hell, people who are), so stay tuned, I guess?