Gwendoogle Part CIX – I Do Not Like Clocks or Cats

GwendoogleAnswers served with a good one-two punch

Kate Kearney searched: How scheduled do you like your life?
Sometimes I read a question, and there’s one word that immediately decides exactly how I’m going to answer. In this case, it’s the word “schedule.” When a word like that comes up, I always have to stop myself to question whether the meaning that I heard was the same one that the asker had in mind when they chose their syllables.

It’s the Bread Principle, which I have been gleefully fixated on ever since I heard of it: The food item that I cut into slices and use as the outer pieces of a sandwich is called bread. The Spanish word for bread is “pan,” but that doesn’t mean that a Spanish speaker won’t stare at you if you tell them about the amazing, mile-high stacked sandwich you made with flat pieces of pan. When you say the word “bread” to an English speaker, the image they make in their mind is not necessarily the same as what a Spanish speaker will make when you say “pan,” even though they are both baked food items made from water, flour, and yeast.

When you say “schedule” to me, I hear piece of paper which tells me exactly where I will be at 1 p.m., 2 p.m., 3 p.m., 4 p.m., etc, with boxes and straight lines and probably a no-nonsense serif font, also known as a pair of pulp and text handcuffs. Which probably goes a fair way to telling you how well I like them.

I can handle that sort of schedule for about four days, before two things happen. One, I start to get very tired, because after ten hours like that, I need some time to unwind, which almost never fits well with the planned bedtime. Two, my need to rebel kicks in like bucking donkey.

I prefer to order my days in a list (which could be called a schedule) with a simple “and then” between each item: I will wake up, and then eat breakfast, and then do the dishes, and then write my blog, and then go to work, and then

It’s a good day when I can leave my focus on completing a task rather than on watching the time. I’m happiest if I can stack my appointments so that I just run from one to another as they come to a close and only occasionally glance at a clock. It’s a great (and oh so rare) day if I can get to five o’clock having only glanced at the clock once or twice.

I relate to Captain Hook more than I probably should. That ticking noise will be the death of me.

Kate Kearney searched: Did you find an alternative to cats on ships?
Yes, and in related news, YouTube says that this week I have watched 5.7 hours of ferret home videos.

The Weasel War Dance is entertaining as heck. And I have a problem. But at least I have solved a fictional rat problem without compromising my authorial dislike for cats!

Kate Kearney searched: Why is time such a strange dimension?
I think, scientifically speaking, it’s strange because it’s the only dimension which we travel through, but are incapable of using the “undo” button to manipulate. If we take a step forward, we can take a step back. If we take step to the right, we can take a step back to the left. If we take a step up, we can jump right back down. If we let a moment pass, the only option we have is to let another pass as well. We cannot roll it back.

Of course, it’s also strange because it’s also the only dimension that is also a superhero. I mean, it flies for goodness sake, and I swear I’ve seen it disappear in front of my eyes.

Kate Kearney searched: Why should I get more post-it notes?
If you don’t remember agreeing to help me cover my neighbor’s house in a fluffy, endless blanket of rainbow-colored post-it notes that can be seen from outer space – or from the Google satellites anyway – I’m not going to remind you.

But you should totally get more post-it notes.

Kate Kearney searched: How do you feel about instrumental music?
It’s very hard to sing along with.

The funny thing is, that sass directly above is the most honest answer I can come up with. I have occasionally purchased instrumental movie soundtracks and enjoyed listening to them. I think my parents used to play Vivaldi and Chopin to calm me down at night. I like saying “Tchaikovsky”, but the same could be said for two-thirds of the last names in Leo Tolstoy’s books. One of my favorite jokes carries the punchline, “I’ll be Bach,” and I had no idea that Mozart’s first name was Wolfgang until I started looking things up to answer this question.

I think I need more exposure, just to get to the point that “instrumental music” doesn’t automatically bring up Hans Zimmer soundtracks and classical music, before I could tell you how I felt about it.

Kate Kearney searched: Found any good writer’s resources lately?
As a writer, I tend to oscillate between two frames of mind: one, that writers don’t need special tools, pfff, what is that? and two, that everything under the yellow blazing sun is a writer’s resource. Neither mindset is particularly helpful in answering this question. The first would lead me to give you the world’s most annoying shrug. The second would lead me to point at the entire internet, dictionaries from before 1900, your favorite board game, my favorite librarian, and the local ice cream parlor.

Kate Kearney searched: Why do I have so much stuff?
If you’re anything like me, you can easily be motivated to go out and get additional items when you need them, but with the exception of taking out the trash, you rarely take the time to contemplate which items you no longer need to possess. If you’re anything like me, you’re still forming your understanding of how necessary space is to your peace of mind, and so it hasn’t yet become a thing that you can easily motivate yourself to acquire.

Have a question for Gwendoogle? Leave it in comments below and I’ll be back next week to answer it.

The question bucket currently has: 11 questions

The next two weeks will be theme weeks here on Gwendoogle, so if you have any questions about books, or questions which you would like answered only with GIFs, be sure to drop them in the bucket.


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