Bitter Grounds - espresso fueled ramblings

Monday, March 19, 2018

Emails from an increasingly desperate catsitter PT 2 - original story (2)

Here's the second chapter of Isobel's adventures. I have about 20 days now pounded out and ready to go.  In case you're coming in late:

Cast of characters: Donna, cat owner on vacation; Isobel, cat and prime suspect; Susan, catsitter. A few other people may pass in and out as the story goes on.

Read more: Emails from an increasingly desperate catsitter PT 2 - original story (2)

Serial story in the works - stay tuned

I'm 2/3 the way through a serial story for the site. It's titled "Dear Donna: emails from an increasingly desperate cat sitter".  Over the holidays I was cat sitting. Nice cat, very polite. But I wondered what was really going on in that little cat brain and "Dear Donna" was born. The emails span about 20 days while the cat's owner is away and let's just say it covers black holes, pirating, plumbers at 2am, sword fighting, ice rinks and more.

I have a few more days to finish pounding out and then some editing and I should start posting the letters next week as a series. Hope you enjoy the humour.

My New Year’s resolutions -> insert appropriate profanities here

I guess I’m supposed to be listing my New Year’s Resolutions for 2017. The thing is … I don’t do the whole “make a promise and break it in record time” commitment shtick. By the way, did you know shtick is in the Word spell check dictionary? I’m impressed. Anyway … I’m sitting here having my usual latte in a slightly new location listening to people blabbering on about their plans for tonight. They have to have that last drink before the year is out, they have to make their resolutions for the New Year, they have to … have to … have to…

Is there something wrong with me that I see tomorrow the same way I see today – Sunday, the day that follows Saturday? Same as it did last week and the week before.  I don’t quite understand the rush to have one last whatever today. (Hopefully) I’ll be around tomorrow to have a drink or whatever floats my boat. 

So, after listening to so many around me rattling off their list I’ve decided, shit yea, let’s make a list of promises. And here it is:

1 – “Coffee first. Schemes later.” ― Leanna Renee Hieber, Darker Still
Find a café within walking distance that doesn’t burn my damn espresso. No seriously, espresso tastes like crap in a cup when it’s overheated.

2 – “I like the word ‘indolence’ It makes my laziness seem classy” Bernard Williams, philosopher
Stop procrastinating and reset Word defaults so I don’t have to keep adjusting them. Yes, I am that lazy.

3 – “The question of what you want to own is actually the question of how you want to live your life.” ― Marie Kondō, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up: The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing
Throw out the 10 tonnes of crap I’ve accumulated over the years. I’ve been looking at the stuff I own and came to an epiphany over the holidays - I don’t need nor want it. All I want can fit into one small room.

4 – “You ate ALL the popcorn” My mom, Dec. 23 2016.
Eat more popcorn … that’s self-explanatory.

5 – “Life without noodles isn’t worth living” Goddess of 1967 – film by Clara Law. Increase my noodle intake. It’s fallen to an appallingly unsafe level lately.

6 – “The test of good manners is to be patient with bad ones.” - Gabirol, The Choice of Pearls.
Be patient when I’m in public. Okay, I blew that one within 30 min of writing it down.  I’m putting an exemption in: I can be snarky & pissy to anyone carting about an SUV sized designer purse, cutting in front of me and swinging the useless piece of shit purse so it hits me on the head … I’m free to retaliate in any fashion I deem appropriate.

7 – “Nice girls don’t swear” Dumbass saying that should be drop kicked into a past century.
Swear less. Another one I blew out the door in record time (see #6). Maybe I should just cut down on a specific swear word. That’s it, I’ll stop using the F word altogether.  This might be a bumpy January.

That’s about it. I think I can manage 4 and 5 quite easily. I already bought two bags of my favourite popcorn so I’m ahead of the game.  It’s a crapshoot as far as the rest.


UPDATE: 7:17pm and I already chewed through #7 and the F word promise. Screw it...


Not even for free coffee

Sorry Starbucks, the only way this is going to happen is if I've stayed up all night:

Screen capture from Starbucks contest

How I torture myself every Christmas

I always know it’s Christmas when all the appalling perfume and cologne commercials flood the airways. They’re the same cookie cutter nonsense - obtuse, vague, pretentious and incoherent pretending to be edgy. The Christmas decorations that pop up in Sept are the shots across the bow warning us we are about to be inundated with the worst of Christmas excesses.

That being said ... I will now pivot on my melodramatic sense of indignation, plunge headlong into irony, and tell you how I torture myself every Christmas by dreaming of the epitome of luxurious excess – the Christmas Hamper from Fortnum and Masons ... but Harrods’s will do in a pinch. The best ones are not exportable, but that doesn’t stop me from ogling them.

Photo of Fortnum & Mason's  Imperial Christmas HamperI spend hours wandering through the condiments offered, special Christmas cakes and snacks and debating the merits of various coffees and teas. Hey, some people shop for shoes, I shop for food. But the cheese offerings! Oh be still my cholesterol levels! The cheeses. When I was in the UK, oh so many years ago, I’d pop into cheese shops and have them recommend a cheese. Then I’d spend the day merrily munching away on cheese and fresh bread. That’s one of the greatest pleasures in the world. The Christmas hampers offer a dizzying array of choices. But my favourite is the one in the above picture – the Imperial Hamper for £6,000.00 – dream big or go home is my motto. 

After I examine the contents of each hamper, I invariably conclude it's more fun to pick and choose specific items & create my own dream hamper. For some reason, any phantom hamper tends to be loaded down with the 3 Cs - cookies, cakes, and condiments. I always start with F&M Christmas chutneys and Piccadilly Piccalilli – 2 bottles of each please and work my way through the list. And yes, I like Christmas fruit cake. Not that awful dreck you find around here ... real, whiskey soaked fruit cake. A couple of those makes it to the list along with at least one Christmas pudding. Then there are the biscuits, teas and coffees, chocolates, marmalades ... Last year’s imaginary hamper must have weighed at least 200 lbs. before I satisfied my lust. Sigh ....

Maybe one year I’ll treat myself to a small box of goodies ... just the most wanted in my list. Maybe next year.


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Catpaw with a pint & a typical bad haircutTime for a new look - the venerable cat on a postage stamp is now retired. As much as I loved him, it was time for a face lift - bad haircut & all. 

"The purpose of a writer is to keep civilization from destroying itself."

- Albert Camus

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