thoughts

I’m Going to Have To Give Up The Cat

by D.J. Paris on March 17, 2014

I recently came to terms that I’m going to have to give up my cat Pantaloons.

My girlfriend is allergic. She’s a good sport when she visits and takes a Benadryl which clears up her symptoms. But how long am I going to make her pop meds to be comfortable?

We’re only six months into our relationship. Neither of us has gone ring shopping or started practicing the Viennese waltz for our first dance. This partnership is healthy and progressing at a normal clip. We both have our own homes and see each other a few times a week. That’s plenty.

This is the healthiest relationship I’ve experienced. Part of it is choosing the most compatible woman for my craziness. The other part is all the work I’ve done to minimize my craziness. While we just crossed the half-year mark in the relationship, I just passed the five-year relationship mark with my therapist. I work on stuff.

My cat is important to my well-being. She’s coming up on six years and has been a loving companion. When I arrive home from work she runs over and brushes up against my leg. Pantaloons is affectionate without being needy.

She’s also in love with the dog.

You already know that I bring my dog to work in a backpack that I take on the subway. After greeting me she rushes over to the backpack and waits for it to be unzipped. The dog springs free and the cat follows her and starts to rub her head against the dog’s body. They sleep together, too. Pantaloons is actually much bigger than Meepers the chihuahua. The often curl up together next to my body while we all pass out. I’ve noticed that their sleep cycles are synced – within seven minutes of falling asleep (I’ve timed this) they start dreaming simultaneously and have paw, nose, and eye twitches. It’s wild to see them shaking together.

There’s a ritual that happens every night before we drift off. The dog, since she’s the alpha, walks over to Pantaloons and extends her neck in front of the cat’s face. The dog is then groomed, first with the neck, then moving down to her shoulders and back, by the cat’s tongue. She licks the dog for five minutes. Since cats have that sandpaper tongue thing, I imagine the dog likes the sensation. Pantaloons is purring wildly during the entire cleaning.

Now, many cats are stinkers. We’ve all met some. Your grandmother’s, for example. Standoffish and stoic, these unholy terrors bite and scratch anyone who dares come near. For these felines, drowning them in a river would not be unjust. So, it’s not like I’m a de facto cat lover.

But mine is solid. Sure she spees on anything I leave on the floor, and I don’t trust her not to soil the bedspread in my second bedroom, but other than the urination thing, she’s great.

The cat also loves my girlfriend, Beth. Even though Beth cannot touch her due to allergies, Pantaloons is crazy for her. She constantly brushes up against her while sitting on the couch and tries to sit in Beth’s lap. The cat never even sits in my lap, for chrissakes. Also, when we sleep Beth will wake up with Pantaloons perched atop her belly, purring loudly.

The reality is, though, that you can’t marry a broad who is allergic to cats and have a cat. It’s unfair.

Last week I started to come out of the denial that we would all live together. I’m sure if Beth and I were to take the next step it would be at least a year away. That means I have some good time left with Pantaloons. It’s sad to look at her and realize that she won’t be with me forever. I know this horrible inevitability that she doesn’t.

Once it happens I’ll be sad and then get over it with time. Loss has a predictable grief cycle. However, I’m wondering if now isn’t the hardest part. To stay with the discomfort of a future loss is not easy for me. There’s no solution for this pain except to celebrate the cat as often as I can.

Now, if you excuse me I have to go beat the shit out of her for missing the litter box. AGAIN.

pantaloons laying in sink

Taken this morning. I was naked at the time. Naked, people!

47 comments

It’s been three weeks since I wrote anything.

Well, this is not entirely true. I did post a story last week about how it was discovered that my girlfriend’s ex-boyfriend is now seriously dating a woman I used to see ten years prior.

You may have to read that twice. There isn’t an easier way to explain it.

It is an amazing coincidence and a hell of a fun story to put on the blog. I had to take it down, however, as it violated some boundaries. First, the story didn’t have that much to do with me. I was only one of the four players involved. Second, it had not yet been revealed to this guy that I had dated his girlfriend. There is a chance he would have stumbled across this blog and found out. Third, I had accidentally revealed some details about my girlfriend that weren’t fair to her.

I thought of rewriting the story to protect everyone, but I couldn’t figure out how to do it. It had to be unpublished and now it’s in the vault.

About once a year I write something that ultimately has to come down. It’s always for the same reason – I have violated someone’s privacy. And in small ways that I don’t realize at the time. It’s a good reminder to keep this blog focused on the one person willing to violate his privacy – me.

Okay – so what’s up with me? Why haven’t I been writing?

I’m not lazy, so that’s not it.

Simple – I don’t have any ideas!

Recently I’ve been going on a SiriusXM and podcast binge. On the subway to work (45 minutes) I do nothing except stay entertained with talk shows. Then I’m at the office all day where I’m busy making a living. On the way back, more podcasts and satellite radio. Then it’s home where I stay occupied with television and other distractions.

I know that to have ideas I actually must take time out of my day to let ideas emerge. Which means I have to get quiet for a least a little while. This I haven’t done.

While on vacation in Nicaragua I assumed I’d amass a huge number of stories to write about when I got back. But I didn’t. I couldn’t figure out why I wasn’t bursting with blog posts. The answer is the same as now – I was too busy on holiday to notice what would make for a fun blog entry.

I do have a few stories to tell which should come out shortly. One about how we shared a treehouse open-air cabana with two bats in the middle of a monkey forest overlooking one of the top surf spots in this half of the world. We had a net around our bed to keep out the bugs. It was crazy. And no hot water – this was an expensive hotel, mind you.

Going forward it’s important for me to get back to basics. Namely, starting each day with this one thought – What the hell should I write about when I get home tonight?

Then I actually have to shut up and listen to my brain. Eventually something comes up and I start typing.

bats

These sons of bitches flew around my head while I was reading. It was terrifying.

6 comments

100k Twitter Followers and Caffeine Addiction

by D.J. Paris on January 28, 2014

I crossed over 100k Twitter followers today.

Yes, it’s a not-so-subtle brag. But, screw it.  I’m taking a victory lap.

The victory lap equates to a night of eating pizza until passout.

Before the carbs and fat sink my consciousness I’m going to attempt to eek out this post.

I’m not proud here, but I’m back on caffeine. I’ve written about swearing off the stuff a few times. For a month or so I’m off it and then I get back on. Lately, I’ve been using it like crazy.

Most of America is hooked on caffeine, so what’s the big deal? For me, it’s different than the average consumer. I use it as an escape – a way to change my state. A high, as it were. In short, I abuse it.

The problem isn’t that caffeine is ruining my life (it’s not). It’s that I am “on” it most days all day long. Over the past few months I’ve become habituated to the drug and its positive effects are almost nil.

I no longer receive energy from caffeine. Maybe a slight pick me up in the morning, but it fades quickly. I have to increase my dosage for continued alertness. Since a stimulant’s main job is to stimulate, and mine isn’t working, what am I left with?

Well, I’ll tell you because I’m on it right now. I had two Diet Pepsis tonight before writing. For some reason caffeine now makes me anxious and scared. I’m not a naturally fearful person and I’ve never had anxiety problems. Yet as I’m typing this I’m feeling a slight sense of impending doom. Also, caffeine depresses me. It reduces my humor to nothing and induces some less-than-pleasant feelings. It makes me dark and foreboding. It crushes my creativity. I don’t get the rush of ideas throughout the day that I get when off the stuff.

So, with limited upside and a whole bunch of downside, why do it at all?

That’s a darn good question. I guess I’m still hoping caffeine will work – that it will give me pleasure and make me feel good. It did this in the beginning. No longer.

Well, I’m obviously using it to escape – escape what?

I’m afraid of regular, daily life.

Somehow I have the misaligned belief that if I’m not having extreme experiences I’m missing out. Of course 99% of life is living in the middle and not on the edge.

This is what I’m running from. In an effort to avoid the discomfort of regular life I escape through caffeine.

I’ve been exploring this addiction (with me it’s a definite addiction) for a few weeks and I’m about ready to let go of it entirely. Well, first, it isn’t working anymore as I mentioned earlier. But second, I’m retarding my growth. I’m not feeling emotions that would naturally arise. I’m just feeling the effects of the drug.

Today I decided that I wouldn’t buy caffeine no matter how much I wanted it. I walked by a grocery store and didn’t go in. My inner addict yelled, “You’ll feel better on it! It’s going to be fun!” Then, another voice started listing all the ways in which it would harm my day. These two voices battled for a few seconds.

Tonight, however, the addict voice won and I finished off the last two cans I had in the refrigerator. And just as I suspected I am feeling the negative effects throughout my body. They’ll wear off soon, but I’ll have the urge to drink caffeine again tomorrow.

The answer is simple – I must learn how to stay present without escaping. This means sitting in normal day-to-day discomfort. Boredom. Tiredness. Natural states we all experience. The feelings that I am terrified of.

I’m excited to get off the stuff and back to regular life. I’m sure I’ll be battling it over the next few days, but it’ll pass and I’ll be back to my normal non-extreme self. This time I’ll try to stay there permanently.

caffeine addiction

18 comments

I Have a Big Brag to Announce About My Greatness

January 27, 2014

I’ve been busy over the past two days. First I released a new version of my Apple and Android app which include push notifications. Yes, you now get a popup whenever I write something new. Does my narcissism know no bounds? Also I launched a Twitter web app which pokes around through your followers to […]

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ThoughtsFromParis Apple and Android App Updated!

January 26, 2014

There is a new version of the ThoughtsFromParis mobile app now available for Apple and Android users. The biggest update is that you can now receive push notifications when a new post goes live. To download for Apple iOS click here To download for Android click here Note – if you already had an older […]

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Introducing FamousFollowers.me

January 25, 2014

Celebrities. They’re just better than the rest of us. Okay, well, maybe that’s not true. But most of us are starstruck, at least a little. I think we all  have someone who, if we met them in person, would render us speechless. If we’re on Twitter the pinnacle of stardom is to become “verified.” That […]

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Manifest My Desires, Universe! Chop Chop!

January 22, 2014

I’m trying my hand at this manifesting thing. I’ve been into New Agey crap for twenty years. Most of it is BS but I’ve always found spiritual practices entertaining. Back when I was nineteen I was introduced to the idea of chakras. Whether they’re real or not (probably not) I can still feel all seven […]

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I Don’t Know How to Soothe Myself

January 21, 2014

What do you do to soothe yourself when you’re having a rough day? I stared at my therapist blankly. By 10am I had been having a “not feeling good” kind of morning. The cold and the sludge and no sun – it was affecting my well-being. I was bummed. Plus, I hadn’t slept enough the […]

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I Just Responded to 200 Blog Comments

January 20, 2014

The last four hours have been a blur. In my effort to show appreciation for everyone that comments, I have committed to responding to each in 2014. The process is a lot of fun and often what you write is funnier and more poignant than what’s in my post. I started tonight by responding to […]

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Let’s Assess My Production Today (Hint – It’s Disappointing)

January 19, 2014

Yesterday I moved this blog to a new hosting provider. The site had been lagging and it was time for an upgrade. Not that anybody formally complained but I noticed the speed issue and it bothered me. The transition was almost hiccup-free. Somehow a few comments slipped through the cracks. I apologize to those readers. […]

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I Was a Poopy McPooperstons Yesterday

January 19, 2014

I have been in a foul mood all day. (this was written last night, by the way) When I woke up I felt my normal happy self. But soon, everything changed. I had an early situation which warranted some anger. Basically a work thing popped up unexpectedly that had me thinking I was being attacked […]

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