Sunday, June 4, 2017

Buddy and the Black Death, Minecraft Vortex, Fitness Nut (Not)

I promised a Buddy update last week, so here goes: We recently experienced what I refer to as the Era of the Black Death. About two weeks ago, Buddy burst through the screen door on the deck at around 9:00 p.m., triumphantly bearing a giant black rat in his jaws. He marched over and flung it onto his “cat bed”—a big sheet of packing paper that he commandeered from an Amazon box and now calls home. He started crowing triumphantly and prancing around, exuberant with hunting glory. Meanwhile Mr. Typist and I were staring in horror at the stiff, dead rodent and already beginning a silent debate over who was going to remove it from the apartment. I, driven more by blind panic than quick thinking, grabbed a paper towel and thrust it into Mr. Typist’s hands before he could object. He whisked the rat away, to Buddy’s immediate outrage and disappointment. To distract him, I snatched one of his stuffed toys, rubbed some catnip on it, and threw it down in place of the rat—you know, the old “dead-rat-stuffed-animal-switcharoo” trick, but he wasn’t fooled in the least. He grew frenzied with panic over his missing trophy, sniffing and scratching at the paper and emitting sounds that were the verbal equivalent of “What the bloody hell???” It took a half hour to calm him down. To add insult to injury, it’s common knowledge that you’re supposed to compliment cats when they bring home dinner, so we also had to pet him and say nice things.

We naively figured this was a one-off incident, but nope. It was repeated no less than four times within the span of a week, with only slight variations on the aforementioned scenario. I have no idea where all of these rodents are coming from. At any rate, I think Buddy finally figured out that when he brings in prey, we steal it, because the rat delivery service has stopped, at least for the moment. Thank God. Otherwise, Buddy is just being Buddy...taking 22-hours naps on our good Pendleton blanket, scamming extra meals, and vocally complaining about the deficiencies in our efforts to entertain him on demand. Humans are so lame.

*Sigh*. Okay, I have a confession to make. I didn’t really want to bring this up, but it has loomed large in my reality the last week or so. I have somehow gotten sucked into a Minecraft vortex. Before when I have attempted Minecraft, I would just wander around at a loss for a few minutes, knock out some blocks, shrug, and exit the game. It was all very puzzling, and I couldn’t figure out what to do. But for some reason, I started the game up again this week, and it suddenly clicked. With some expert tips from Mr. Typist, I was off to the races! I have created the beginnings of an empire, my friends. I have a beautiful cobblestone house with adorned with artwork, two skylights and an underground spa, a lakefront view, a cow pen, a garden, free-range sheep, and soon, my own enchanting shrine. Once I started, I couldn’t stop. (I mean, I can stop anytime I want, I’m not an addict or anything, but you know what I mean.) I was telling Mr. Typist the other day that I find it incredibly Zen and relaxing. Unlike in real life, a small bit of effort in Minecraft allows me to create any world I want. That, my friends, is very dangerous. But it’s not going to stop me.

However, one must keep one’s mouse-clicking fingers in good shape, and lately, I’ve been pudging up again. I have finally figured out my exercise pattern—go hard, consistently, until my knee starts hurting. Then get discouraged, give up, gain five to seven pounds, sulk about it for a while and contemplate giving up entirely and allowing myself to explode into the Michelin man, then getting back on my grind until I no longer deem myself pudgy. Right now I’m in the “go-hard, consistently” stage. I don’t really have any plans to change this pattern to a healthier one, so in a month or so, I’ll be slumped on the sofa with an icepack on my knee, halfway into a bag of Ruffles. Hashtag healthyhabitsforlife!

--Kristen McHenry

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