Duncan Hospitality

I’ve learned a lot about myself on my many cycle rides over the past few years: how far I can push myself before my legs give out, how anger at the wind can drive me to overcome it, how much I value (and need) the serenity of a quiet morning with just the sound of bike tires and birds. I’ve also learned a lot about other people, though the teachings haven’t been nearly as positive (or as much fun for me.)

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Getting Organized
I love to organize things. Books, files, documents, rooms, you name it. I can track huge projects and barf out complete status reports within ten minutes of any request. So why does prioritizing my own personal crap make my brain feel like a pretzel? Specifically, I’m referring to exercising and writing, and how to cram them back into a fairly full schedule while still getting enough sleep to avoid becoming the epicenter of mayhem. This goal has proven difficult to hit, but I’m happy to say I’m making decent progress.

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I’ve been self-employed since May 2011, working mostly from our house. The first two years involved air travel and visits to new and exciting places like Wisconsin (sadly, Delaware hasn’t happened yet). The last two involved a flagging proposal environment and learning how to coupon effectively. Both phases of the business have been valuable experience that I wouldn’t trade for a fat 401(k), but now that I have said experience, trade it is exactly what I’m about to do.

After four years of doing my own thing, I’m putting Verb Forge on the back burner to accept a full-time position.

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Updates and Such


Featured Image: Taxes by John Morgan (via Flickr)

Despite the three cups of coffee swirling around my system this morning, I’m so tired I could faceplant into my keyboard. We’re talking full-on headdesk contact. With extra bruising. Normally I’m not this gassed before lunch, but we’ve had a lot going on lately. Here’s a mishmash of current events in the world of Orks and Cats.

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The Hair Chronicles


Featured Image: Frizzy Hair, by Adrian Valencia

Haircut History
As you might remember, in 2013 I got my hair cut short after more than two decades of super-long, super-fluffy 80s glory. I kept up with it and had it cut again last March in the midst of my uterine escapades because surgery was coming up and I didn’t want to fuss with my hair during recovery. I’ve tried to get it cut again since, but the salon ladies kept blowing me off and being rude on the phone, so I let it grow out rather than hunt around for a new salon.

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Book Time

Featured Image: Looking For a Few Good Books via internetmonk.com

I’ve been Sicky McBlarghpants the last couple of days, which has made me extra grumpy (boo) but given me extra time to read (yay). Here’s a list of what’s run through my cranial mill lately in case you’re in search of a new book.

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Coffee Achieving

Featured Image: Bloom County by Berkeley Breathed, February 13, 1984

A couple of weeks ago, Berkeley Breathed released the entire “Bloom County” catalogue in a digital bundle. Bloom County has been my favorite comic strip since junior high, so I squee’d, pounced, and started re-reading. When I got to the strip for February 13, 1984, I snorked. Loudly, because I remember those commercials. They were dorky at the time, and they are unforgivably dorky now. Follow this link and prepare to activate your Fringe Face. If you can’t watch the video, here’s a transcript:

You are the new American society! The movers, and the shakers!
You are the New Coffee Generation!
Because coffee lets you calm yourself down, and picks you up.
Coffee gives you the serenity to dream it, and the vitality to do it.
No other drink does that like coffee.
Join the Coffee Achievers!

Serenity, really? And get a load of this gem from another ad in the campaign: “Coffee is the calm moment that lets you think.” What. Were they serious? Who came up with this stuff? If I have more than two cups in the morning I’m orbiting Saturn before lunch. That is not a recipe for calm.

To be fair, my perspective could be skewed because I’ve only been drinking coffee for a year or so. I love it because it’s a vehicle for caffeine and dubiously healthy add-ins (half and half does contain protein, y’all). As far as I’m concerned, coffee is hot chocolate with benefits. It is lovely and makes mornings better, but serenity is pushing it.

From what I’ve read, this ad campaign wasn’t considered wildly successful, but I have to wonder if it was just a slow burn. Vance Marriner put it best: “But maybe, just maybe, the seed had been planted in those commercials back in the ’80s, and took a while to germinate. After all, one does not attain the lofty rank of Coffee Achiever overnight.”

I think he’s right. It took me a few decades to join the club, but here I am! Do we get jackets?

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Fun with Aging


Featured Image: Funny Birthday Card via thunderpeep

While chasing the elusive balance between cheap and good, I’ve split our supply shopping between two stores: grocery and The Great Blue Satan (GBS), aka Walmart. I hit the grocery every week and the GBS every two, depending on when we’re going to run out of things. This week was a two-fer, and experiences at both stores reminded me of a fact I’ve been happily ignoring for a few years now: I’m getting older.

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