“Patience is a Virtue”

“Patience is a virtue.” These four words are said all the time. I even find myself using them an annoying amount of times.

But what exactly is patience? I know people who can sit for hours waiting for a deer to walk in front of their scope but cannot handle a room of excited children, and I know people who are just the opposite. In light of Easter and all the goodwill fostered by the holiday (even for those who do not have religious ties, I might add), I will be talking about how I divide the different types of patience.

Apocalyptic Patience

This is the type of patience practiced by first grade teachers and security at overloaded concerts. When you can handle massive quantities of people, whether children or adults, acting irrationally insane, you are a master of annoyance patience. This type of patience features individuals who can put up with excruciating amounts of noise, chaos, and general insanity without snapping and either swearing at a child or quitting your job. All of you bouncers, teachers, day care providers, and fair employees are awesome. You are the people who can prevail while your immediate world is literally exploding.

Idiocractic Patience

This type of patience can be seen in the people who deal with the most ignorant and frustrating people out there, especially online. Some people either will not or cannot admit when they are wrong about something. The individuals with idiocratic patience are the once who gently and maturely attempt to educate these people, despite their incapabilities. When someone is telling a ‘fact’ that is incredibly flawed, and you attempt to show them the truth without getting angry or calling them stupid, that takes a level of patience many do not have. A certain amount of human decency and respect must color the kind of person who can avoid being upset while correcting another human. People with this type of patience are blessings on this earth, and should be treated as such.

Assassin Patience

This is the patience of trained killers. It is possessed by snipers, spies, hunters, assassins, and the lifeguards. Okay, so lifeguards are not actually trained killers; they’re trained savers. But the patience is the same. You see, this type of patience is characterized by doing nothing for a long period of time because you are waiting for something to happen. That something could be someone flailing desperately in the water or the level of access you have been waiting years to access finally appears and you can end that one evil person’s reign of terror. Either way, you’re doing a lot of seemingly meaningless nothings to achieve that one big something. If you have this patience, you could be a totally kick-butt assassin and should feel very special.

Note: I realize that there are a dozen of examples that do not result in death, but I am feeling particularly gory while typing this. I’m not actually totally evil, I promise.

Zen Patience

This is the kind of patience seen by those who believe that good things come with time. These people meditate instead of freaking out because their paycheck is one day late. These people are content that everything they need in life will be accessible to them when they need it. These are the people who don’t try to rush through the less-pleasurable aspects of their existence because they can wait for the better times to come while appreciating what they have in the present. I find these people the most admirable because they are so comfortable with their humanity. They are cool as a cucumber floating on wild oceans of life, and I think that is a really important trait to have.

On a lower level, this is also the patience of those children who wait patiently for Easter morning when the Easter Bunny will bring them brightly colored eggs, candy, and other goodies to find and consume. Please note that these are not the children who sit there complaining constantly.

 

I like to think I have a healthy balance of all four of these patiences, but I am sure that is not true.

What kind of patience do you feel is most applicable to your personality? Do you simple have no patience at all? Let me know in the comments!

Cacophony

Hello again!

Today’s blog post is going to be a myriad of unrelated things.

To start things off, let’s get some music going in the background. Turn this on and then just keep reading.

This is my favorite song at the moment. It’s Pachelbel’s Cannon in D (don’t I sound smart saying that?), and I have fallen in love with it every time it comes on my Pandora play list. It doesn’t matter what version of the song it is, I just find it so hopeful and soothing. I can be a pessimist quite often, but this song brings out my inner optimist!

 

This week has been a little wild for me. I managed to get over 20 hours in at work because I took some extra shifts this week. That might not seem like much, but when half of them are accumulated from teaching swim lessons (1-2 hour intervals), it makes for a long work week. Especially when you add up the chunk of time taken out of my day for changing into swim suits, travel, and the various other prep.

I wouldn’t change it for the world though. I even had the opportunity to guard for the local Special Olympic swim meet in my area! It was pretty low-key, with only about 40 people on the pool deck, but by golly were those swimmers happy! It was not an easy shift by far, but it was worth it. Rather than just sitting in a guard chair watching our patrons splash and splash, my coworker, Erica, and I kept ourselves busy moving lane lines, helping people in and out of the pool, and telling the swimmers how wonderfully they did when they asked. Getting to see the smiles on their faces was amazing.

The individuals running the meet were great with the swimmers as well. At the beginning of the meet, the woman running the microphone recognized the guards and asked everyone to stand and give us a round of applause. She even explained to everyone that if they got in trouble in the water, we would be the ones to help them and make sure they were okay. Erica actually ended up jumping in to help a swimmer who grabbed onto the lane line because she was too tired to finish her event. It was not a life-threatening emergency, but it was an educational experience for anyone who had never seen a lifeguard make a rescue before, and I was so proud to be a part of it, even if I was only the secondary responder.

 

We’re going to move on from my deep and emotional reflections in favor of an idea I have been toying with for a while. Introducing…

Kat’s Top Apps!

Plant Nanny

This health app helps you stay hydrated! If you’re anything like me, it is also a way for you to raise plants without killing them (Jose, Josephina, and Adolf are all doing quite wonderfully still).  You start by selecting a plant and a pot for it to live in. The free options are a dandelion and a devil’s ivy, but as you raise more plants, you can earn seeds and buy fancier ones! Once you have your baby plant set up, you alter the settings to match your weight and daily exercise, create a virtual cup to match whatever you prefer to consume water from, and start drinking!

I love this app because I love being well-hydrated. It estimates the amount of water I need to be healthy, and it helps me keep track of it. I also love the faces on the little plants! Currently, I have two in my garden (where they go to live and produce seeds once they are all grown up) in addition to the little guy I’m growing now.

Ads: You have the option to pay to remove adds, but I haven’t had any problems with them interrupting gameplay any more than the usual free-to-play ads do.

 

Sudoku

I have the Sudoku app from Genina.com. This app is pretty customizable, easy to use, and has a variety of levels for you to choose from.

I love playing Sudoku before going to bed, and since I haven’t bought a fresh book, this app is my way of getting my nightly puzzle in. The numbers and logic of the gameplay help my mind relax and prepare for sleep. Yes, I know that the backlight from my phone is not good to stare at right before going to bed; yes, I will live in denial. I enjoy this app because of the customizable settings and the optional timer in case I want to beet my personal best.

There is not a lot in the lines of a tutorial to teach you to play Sudoku, however, the “how-to” section of the menu is very straight forward, and you should be able to figure it out from playing the easy level for a while.

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Ads: There are a few pop-up ads, but they don’t really interrupt game play. The rest of the ads are just banners that stay well away from any of the buttons you need to use. The option to pay to remove them is also available.

 

Taptastic

If you like discovering fledgling artists and reading mini comics, Taptastic is the app for you! You make a simple account, and that one action grants you access to thousands of comics from amateur sketchers, the creators of the comics that become Facebook memes, and everything in between! If you have no idea what you are looking for in a comic, the app generates a daily “comic snack” for you to peruse. These snacks are made up of a handful of comics that appear when you open the app. If you find a series or artist that you like, you just click the subscribe button and you can see everything from them!

I love this app because it gives me on-the-go reading material that is light and fast. My personal favorites are The GaMERCaT and The Pigeon Gazette, though I’m subscribed to over a dozen different comic series. You might also be familiar with Sarah’s Scribbles as they tend to show up on Facebook.

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Ads: There’s no ads! Unless you count some artists making comics to promote merchandise from the comic series you’re reading, but those are quality ads. Owlturd Comix periodically creates hilarious, quality ads to sell T-shirts. You should check them out.

 

With that, I leave you with one last question, dear followers: Did you like having music going in the background? I have wanted to include a link to some good music in past posts, but I didn’t know if that would be overstepping my boundaries. Let me know in the comments!

My Beautiful Flaw… And My Plants

I often find myself cursing my forgetful nature. Yeah, sure I end up with some pretty funny stories. I once spent a full 5 minutes looking for something in the freezer before my mother asked what I was doing. I didn’t realize my folly until after I replied with “Looking for a spoon.” In an attempt to combat happenings more serious than this (i.e. forgetting classes, appointments, and various other important obligations), I have developed an intricate system of alarms, reminders (both digital and human), a personal calendar, and check lists. I am proud to say that I have not forgotten to eat in three weeks.

However, sometimes being an airhead has its benefits. I am going to tell you about one of those benefits…

The summer of 2015 found me making plans left and right. One week in particular, I planned an extra busy week. I crawled through it, one day at a time. It was fun, but the sheer amount of stuff I had to do each day was suffocating. Thankfully, my forgetfulness had a plan.

I was staying the week at my parents’ place, and my boyfriend, Sam, was visiting. I work up early Friday morning, showered, and got dressed. I was preparing to leave for that day’s plans when I began questioning why my Sam hadn’t gotten ready yet. After many piercing questions directed towards the man unlucky enough to call himself my boyfriend, my mother pointed out that my plans were scheduled for Friday.

“Yes,” I growled, glaring at Sam’s pajama bottoms.

“So where are you going today?” Mum asked me. I started explaining all of Friday’s plans to my mother (for the umpteenth time). In the middle of this, she decided to start laughing and say, “Katherine, it’s Thursday.”

Of course, I didn’t believe her. First, I bristled with irritation. How can everyone in this house me so dense? Then, the icy fingers of doubt touched my mind. My phone was swiped open before it was even in my line of sight. I pulled down the menu at the top of the screen to see, written in tiny letters, Thursday.

I was utterly shocked. Right when I needed a chill day the most, I got one. I actually gained a day I had not had before that moment, and I spent my extra day relaxing instead of running around like a chicken with its head cut off.

 

What would I like you to gain from this story of mine? I have no idea. What I do know is that since that day, I have come to appreciate one of my most endangering flaws. Because of my forgetfulness, I was able to experience a phenomenon few individuals ever have the pleasure of knowing. Because of this flaw, I was allowed to live one extra day. Because of this flaw, I bought a personal calendar and now cross off every day as it passes.

There is always a little good in everything bad, even when that bad thing is a personal flaw.

***

On a different note, want to meet my plants?

Since starting college, I have brought 11 plants into my heart. I have also managed to kill 8 of them. The fallen foliage has included everything from cacti and succulents to two air plants. However, there are three that still live.

Meet Jose and Josephina (The J is pronounced like an H). They are my twin Christmas cacti I bought from Walmart during the 2015 holiday season. They got their names because I had this weird voice in the back of my cranium telling me that Christmas Cacti came from Mexico. I still have no idea if this is true or not, and it is not an important enough question for me to research. I think they might need dusting. How do you dust a plant? This I might have to Google.

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Yesterday, I bought Jose and Josephina a little brother. I was at Walmart alone, which gave me the opportunity to wander. My deep love of plants brought my mindless feet to the garden section, where I saw many plants, most above $5 and requiring a lot of light and love my stony heart just is not capable of giving. Just before I left, I saw a lone leaf poking out of a pot in hopeful solitude. The pot had three clearance stickers, layered on top of one another, and the uppermost one declared that the plant was only 93 cents. Well, I bought him even though I have no idea what he is as the tag only presents basic care info and the word “golden.” I decided to name this little fighter after a man who had a really crap childhood and still managed to fight his way into a position of immense power.

Everyone, meet Adolf.

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DISCLAIMER: This plant was not named out of any love for Hitler or his actions. He was only named because I characterize my life with dark humor. I’ll also probably end up killing him, and I want to be able to say “I killed Hitler.”

 

The Most Awkward Short Story of My Youth

Well, another week has passed, and I am continuing my terrible blogger’s block. It’s been a busy week, and this morning was the first time I thought about what I should write about. Predictably, I came up with nothing during the course of my busy day. I was starting to feel discouraged about my ability to keep this weekly posting up for a year, so I decided to look to my old writing from high school as a means of inspiration. I found many story ideas and intros that were turned down by the friends I had critique them, though now I believe I had some very good ideas, and I may one day pick them up again.

However, this post has nothing to do with the greatest ideas of my youth. Rather, I would love to introduce you to one story I have never shown anyone. I was too ashamed of my creativity and awkwardness, and I did not trust the world to receive my blunders with grace. Mind you, this was four years ago when I was a high school junior with no literary courage. Now, at a time of night when all shames have faded to a mass of giggling courage (aka: 11-something pm), I present you with…

 

Merpeople vs. Velocichickens

“General Bubbles, we have received dire news from the front lines,” said the Merman messenger. “The Velocichickens appear to be mobilizing along the coast. They have scores of mangoes already harvested.”

The battle-hardened general shuddered at the mention of the feared fruit. “Tell General Flippers that my platoon will be joining him for this confrontation,” he said.

“Will so, sir,” the messenger said as he turned his seahorse mount towards the front line.

General Bubbles ran his eyes over his platoon. Young Merpeople, fresh from the training water, gathered in nervous groups of around the older warriors to hear tales of the previous wars with the Velocichickens. The Mermen and maids who had seen battle with the fierce prehistoric chickens had many a scar from the teeth and claws of the beasts, as well as stories of the power of mangoes, to share with the gathered youths.

With a slow spin of his tail-fin, the general turned from the sight of his warriors and retreated to the maps in his tent made of giant clam shells to study the sea and land that would soon see yet another battle of the Merpeople and the Velocichickens.

As our mighty mangoes fly,

The Merfolk blood spurts high!

Oh, to laugh away your breath;

To laugh yourself to death!

We’ll watch those Merfolk giggle

As our claws begin to wiggle.

Our teeth will soon shine red

And the Merfolk will be dead!”

The high-pitches voices of the Velocichickens as they prepared for battle caused a smile to lift the skin at the edges of Captain Thorn’s beak. The preparations for the final battle with the Merfolk were almost complete. The log boats had been ready weeks ago, and the mangoes were just coming into season. The Velocichickens in charge of sharpening teeth and claws had done their job well; every Velocichicken in the military was now equipped with the sharpest weapons they had ever known. The ones responsible for gathering the mangoes were almost done harvesting the fruit. Yes, thought the captain t himself, this would definitely be the last time the Merpeople ever dared contradict the word of the Velocichicken Empire.

Suddenly, a screech rose from the beast by the end of the beach. The ear-splitting call was taken up by the rest of the Velocichickens in and around the encampment. The army was ready to sail. Captain Thorn raised his voice in the highest pitch of all as he stepped into his log boat, extended his long neck, and flapped his green iridescent wings so the sun glinted off the feathers and sent inspiration coursing through the Velocichicken ranks.

“The Velocichickens have set sail!” yelled the Mermaid as she sped into the camp from her look-out position atop Fishhorn’s Rock. Her cry sent chills down the spines and tails of the other Merfolk.

“Do not panic!” boomed a voice. General Flippers emerged from the large tent at the center of the camp. “Are we going to let some over-grown chickens scare us? No! we are Merpeople, for the love of Triton! We have brought fear to the hearts of human sailors for hundreds of years! What are a few big piles of feathers compared to the harpoons we faced while defending out milk whales? Nothing!”

“But they have mangoes!” called out a scared voice belonging to one of the newest recruits.

“So?” asked the fierce general. “We laugh harder at the jokes we tell around the dinner table!”

Hesitantly, a group of veterans broke into cheers. Soon, the entire camp was alive with war cries. Even the most timid of warriors raised their weapons, hungry for victory.

Suddenly, a strong currant swept through the camp, knocking over tents and setting the seahorses into a fury. Once the water calmed, the finned creatures under General Flippers command were delighted to welcome General Bubbles’ platoon to their ranks.

“Ah, General Bubbles,” greeted General Flippers. “You have arrived just in time. We will be setting off soon to confront the Velocichickens.”

The two generals quickly finalized the plan of attack on the Velocichickens as the rest of the Merpeople prepared to meet them in the most horrific battle either race had ever known.

 

A calm sea. A perfectly calm and peaceful expanse of ocean spread out as far as the eye could see. Blissfully undisturbed and incredibly mesmerizing.

Perhaps, if the young Velocichicken perched on the scouting boat had been looking beneath the water, instead of at the glassy surface, she would have been able to counter the vicious attack from the Merman who suddenly landed on the boat, flopping and throwing drops of water everywhere.

The Velocichicken found herself splashing wildly in the water as she frantically tried to get into a position both to float and reach the mangoes strapped to her back with her sharp beak.

But before she could spear a mango, the Merman had dove from the boat and was attacking her with a clam-shell dagger. The sea churned and turned red around the struggling Velocichicken as she squawked loudly in pain. Only when the feathered beast sank below the surface of the water did the Merman withdraw his attack.

The scout on the nearest boat watched the gruesome scene unfold. A bellow of warning escaped from his beak only as a pale lavender fin flashed just a mere ten yards from his boat. “Help! Help!” he called. “The Merpeople are attacking! They…” his cries were ceased as he was knocked from his boat and dragged beneath the surface.

The call of warning spread quickly through the rest of the scouting boats and back to the main body of warriors. Within moments of hearing the news, every Velocichicken held a mango in his or her beak; pierced and dripping sticky juices. A tentative voice started up a war song that soon flooded the ranks.

“Never will ocean-bound being wni,

For we are wing and they are fin!

Never will our freedom fall,

For we stand not for one, but all!

Those Merfolk, they will die

As we raise our mangoes high!

‘Tis time for the Velocichicken reign

And for fishy cries of pain!”

 

General Bubbles watched from his mount as the battle raged just a short distance from the headquarters which had been set up in the sheltered area behind a coral reef. He watches as Merpeople dove under water in a frantic attempt to avoid the mango juice. Most of these warriors suffed the spasms of suffocating laughter before sinking to the sea floor as the life left their bodies, only a few managed to return to the surface and continue fighting.

“How are we fairing?” asked General Flippers as he steered his seahorse next to General Bubbles’.

“Not well, I’m afraid,” was the response. “The Velocichickens seem to have developed new weapons to spread the mango juice farther and faster than ever before. We are taking heavy hits.”

“I see…” said General Flippers said as he turned to look at his fellow Merman General. “Well, my friend, I believe it is time for us to join this battle.”

“And so it is, comrade. The best of luck to you, and may we meet again,” said General Bubbles as he flicked his deep green tail against his stead’s side and sped towards the swirling waters of the battle.

“May we meet again,” General Flippers echoed as he watches the other Merman charge into battle. Without another thought to the odds of the fight working out in their favor, he followed his friend into what might be the last battle of their lives.

“A general! I see a general!” the excited cry came from a young and battle-hungry Velocichicken. Suddenly, a dozen feathered raptors were leaping off their boats and swimming towards the green-tailed Merman who wore the emblem of a general across his chest. The Merperson lifted his shell-sword and prepared for a fight to the death.

A low note from a foreign instrument made the Velocichickens pause just before they launched their mangoes and dug their claws into the general. Around them, all the battle stopped as Merpeople and Velocichickens alike looked towards the horizon and the spot of land that separated the water and sky, where the horn had sounded from.

The General, whom moments before had been bravely facing inevitable death, now gasped out a single sentence before diving below the surface in terror. “The Cupids are coming.”

The few moments it took for the other fighting beings to comprehend what was happening were a few moments too long. Before any other could follow the path of General Bubbles, the Cupids were on them with poisoned arrows flying.

The heart-shaped tips of the naked, winged babies pierced both the flesh of Velocichicken and Merperson with the same horrifying effects. As one creature was shot, another poisoned being looked towards him or her… and the seed of love was planted.

Well, that explains where flying fish came from.

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