As the bright sunshine slowly began to melt the ice, the sick, tired, underpaid writer became increasingly bored by curling up with One Hundred Years of Solitude in a warm bed. (It probably always took a few degrees of fever to motivate any woman to curl up with Gabriel Garcia Marquez in any situation.) "Chilly air actually kills germs; it's only freezing air that gives people pneumonia," I reasoned with myself, not knowing whether there is any solid scientific answer to this old debate. Dragging my weary bones to the computer center, I even spent some of my remaining $20 on chocolate-dipped peanuts (not M&Ms, but a local seasonal specialty, corn-syrup-free) to see whether they'd supply enough energy for me to finish a project I'd promised to finish, and not finished, yesterday. And felt disgusted with myself. I am so tired of spending every penny on food, cheap food at that, and electricity. I had promised myself that this $20 was for doing something different. No more food. Yet the energy surge I'd had this morning was just about exactly enough for the two-mile walk.
Seriously, Gentle Readers. I've started posting about my financial situation, and where can this stop? We can hardly go back to a bland "We're all strangers here, talking about things other than ourselves" blog position. You've read about my financial situation. Either you think it's some sort of joke, which may be the best way to read most things you see on the Internet but is not the way to read what I write, or you don't want this unsustainable situation to improve...or you've already invested in the Frugal Gracious Living Challenge, which the computer shows is not the case.
Throughout the ten years I've been writing online, my position has been that most people who aren't writing the obvious ads and "viral content" gimmicky stuff are probably writing fairly honestly about their lives. Allowing for the self-serving bias, the tendency for most people to focus on those of the facts that support our preferences, the need to falsify any information that might allow anyone to trace or contact real people, and the tendency to focus on what we emotionally "like" so that even when we're actually miserable we tend (as Arthur Brooks discusses on pages 37-38 of The Conservative Heart) to post things that make us sound happy and thereby make our friends feel more discontented than they otherwise were...Understanding that someone who posts consistently and credibly about wanting to spend more time with his or her children may be choosing not to post about an addiction or mental health issue that makes it unsafe for him or her to have custody of children, and so on and so forth, I tend to believe that most people don't have wild enough imaginations to post ongoing first-person narratives that are radically different from their real stories. I don't have that kind of time; I wouldn't have expected that you do.
Well, maybe you do. Or maybe you're not very good friends in real life, either. Anyway, one thing that's definitely changing is the way I look at online socializing. If Indiegogo isn't showing that you've even referred traffic to my Official Fundraising Page, and yes the computer does report whether you have or not, then you're not an e-friend. Which should thin out my e-mail list considerably.
Here, collected from the Blogspot, is the set of snapshots of my cat Ivy, who went missing under suspicious circumstances. Meowing until she gets her point across is Ivy's only fault. A natural-born communicator who never had to be asked or trained to pose for pictures, Ivy has been dearly loved and sorely missed.
(Update: Ivy had been run over by a car on December 24. Based on physical evidence I believe she died quickly and her body was concealed by the same person who later dumped out Inky at the Cat Sanctuary--an acquaintance who didn't have the fortitude to tell me about the accident.)