A Conspiracy Unmasked

It is entirely by accident that I have taken to making annual jokes about Apple (the company I love to hate) and the Lord of the Rings trilogy (the books and films I love to love) on Twitter (the site I will eventually hate to love?)—and of all my unintentional hobbies, it is probably my favorite. Here we have the first volume, At the Sign of the Parallax Pony:

They boasted the nine-hour battery life would allow you to watch the entire Lord of the Rings trilogy, but the extended editions of the films span nearly twelve hours.

In the Still of the Night

There are exactly eighty-seven minutes left until midnight, the final eighty-seven minutes of my twenties. I hauled out my laptop to write about this from my bed, and I had to move a phone, a tablet, a Kindle, and a plate full of taco wrappers out of the way to make that happen. If that isn't the perfect bookend to whatever I was doing ten years ago, I don't know what is. In fact, the taco wrappers are such a beautifully pathetic addition to this story that I might frame one of them and belly-laugh about it until I'm forty.

I very earnestly thought I was going to be one of those people who could coast through this transition without getting sentimental or nostalgic, even though I'm one of those people who gets sentimental and nostalgic about taco wrappers. Surprisingly, I believed this lie all the way up until this evening, when my boyfriend texted, "You're running out of 20s, Bae." I stared at my phone and couldn't ignore it anymore. This is the end of a thing. I hate endings. I've been trying to work myself up into a proper panic ever since.

So here I sit, listening to Jamie Cullum's Twentysomething album on repeat and laughing at the mess on my bed and trying to figure out why this feels like a goodbye. I'm delighted with the person I became in my twenties, and I'm afraid that I will abandon some part of that as my responsibilities change and my world evolves. As with many fears, it completely ignores history (I have always been true to myself and have always loved myself for it), and it presumes that Future Me is somehow less capable than Past Me at adapting to new situations, which doesn't even make sense. I mean, just last month, Past Me bought a cowgirl hat at the county fair, which will obviously be a great asset for Future Me.

Maybe this won't be so bad. Maybe I can handle this after all.

Twenty minutes are left on the clock, and I have managed to talk myself out of a panic attack. I always legitimately look forward to birthday celebrations anyway, but I really want to be able to enjoy this particular birthday without fear or anxiety, gosh dang it. This is the start of a thing, and I really like starting things. And in the spirit of starting things off on the right foot, I will now clean up the remnants of Taco Thursday and settle in for a good night's sleep on a clean bed.

Farewell, twenties.

Sludge the Cat

A pounding headache has been plaguing me for days, and I have decided to call it the "August hangover." (Awful things are less awful if they have adorable names.) I think I spent the entire last month checking things off a never-ending to-do list at work until my eyelid started twitching, and then I would go home, sleep immediately, and try again the next day.

But this morning, the calendar flipped to September (birthday month!), which means I survived the brunt of the insanity and can start thinking and functioning like a whole, healthy human being again. One of my big accomplishments this summer was that, in July, I met every fitness goal every day on my Apple Watch—move, stand, and exercise. I established a really great routine for getting away from my desk regularly during the work day, making time for a walk at sunset, and then calming down with yoga* before bed. When August hit, all that flew out the window, and while I don't want to beat myself for going into survival mode, I'm excited to get back into a routine.

The real reason I'm telling you any part of this story is to talk about the to-do app that I use to stay on top of this routine, and I don't even care about the app itself, just about the in-app cat. Yes, cat. Kitty cat. In the app. It's one of the perks I got for checking things off my list, and his life is tied to my ability to continue checking things off my list. I also get to feed him once a day and pet him and name him. (Well, the app was mad at me when I got my cat, so it named my cat Sludge as punishment. Turns out: I am very okay with having a cat named Sludge, so joke's on you, grumpy app.)

So basically, the best thing in my life right now is Sludge the cat, who lives on my phone.

The second-best thing in my life is Bennett the bee, who bumps into the sliding glass door while I'm eating breakfast.

September is already so great.

*A few people have asked what app I use, so here is the short version: I paid for the upgrade to the Fitstar Yoga app on my iPad ($40 annually or $8 monthly), so I can enjoy personalized yoga routine videos every day. As a newcomer to the world of yoga, I find the app really helpful and intuitive—good instructions, easy to use, etc.. I also really love that you can give feedback on every pose either during the session or at the end to indicate "too easy," "just right," or "too hard." Sometimes, my body just isn't strong enough to do a certain move, y'all. Anyway, this is not a paid promotion; I'm just sharing a thing I liked.