Sunday Lowdown #119


I really debated whether I should write this post the night before (Saturday) or hold off until Sunday morning (well, in my location, anyway). It’s a bit depressing to say, but my emotions were utterly shot today because I finished Cat Daddy by Jackson Galaxy, the memoir that covers the life of Galaxy before he became famous for hosting My Cat from Hell, which I learned today has been on TV for 11 years. It looks like COVID caused filming to stop and I don’t see it starting up again yet. Before he was on TV, Galaxy was a white guy with tattoos and dreads and addictive tendencies, which led to drugs, alcohol, and an amazing amount of food consumption.

During this period of his life, he adopted a cat no one wanted named Benny. I was grateful that the book didn’t follow the formula of something bad happens to Jackson and then some “ah ha” thing happens with Benny, and hence Jackson learns about himself through his cat. It’s not like that at all, not that simple. The audiobook — which is read by Galaxy — really got under my skin emotionally, so even though I knew Benny was dead (the book was from 2012 and Benny is always referred to in past tense), I was absolutely wrecked during the scene in which Benny is put down. The emotions, the metaphors, the tone of voice. It was a lot. And not only wrecked, but I continued to cry for about an hour afterward.

On a happier note, I had so many things due at school this week; the uncanny ability of professors to choose the same due dates across the board is impressive. I wrote an interpreter policy for my future self, imagining I had graduated and was freelance on the market. I called Biscuit for business advice, as she has a bachelor’s in business. The day before I had called Dad because I also needed to be able to describe a specific truck I had been assigned using what are known as ASL classifiers. Basically, there is no sign for what you are describing, and you can just spell it on your fingers, because if someone’s first language is ASL, the English may mean little. So, classifiers are handshapes that denote size, movement, thickness, location, etc. What exactly is a C/K truck and how can I describe it? I also use a lot of compare and contrast. No, it’s not an aluminum truck bed, it’s steel, which means it carries heavier loads by rusts more easily. I also learned how to shift a “three on the tree” gear stick. Thanks, Mom and Dad!!!

While a lot of challenging projects may pile up on a person, since last August I’ve been learning more about evidence-based tools to diminish anxiety. From my perspective, it almost seems like magic that my projects get done, but something my therapist pointed out is that worry and anxiety take a lot of time out of your day. By using a triage method on my homework and assignments, and understanding which are of the least importance and prioritizing the others that aren’t — and not expecting 100% in all areas — I’ve felt better, saved time, and get more done. Then, the more I get done, the more evidence I have that I can get things done.

Oh, and if you’re wondering what Nick is up to, just as I finished writing this post he showed me how he removed the motor from a hand mixer and reassembled it in an old peanut butter jar. Definitely for normal reasons, I am sure.


Although I hadn’t heard of Women Talking by Miriam Toews until I read a review, I believe by Canadian blogger Karissa, it seems like everyone else has! I appreciate that the novel kept the sexual assault largely off the page, and I also read that Sarah Polley, director of the film, does the same. Has anyone read Toews’s other works? Does she always write such heavy topics?


Way back when I read Elizabeth Crane’s first collection of short stories, which were published by Punk Planet Books out of Chicago and is now defunct, I was surprised by the weird joy they gave me. So this memoir, This Story Will Change, surprised me for how different it is from those anarchistic days of Chicago. The author is getting divorced, and how did that happen? I listened to the audiobook, read by the author, and it delivers what sound like vignettes of Crane’s and her husband’s lives together. What worked, what didn’t, how did they feel, etc. It reads unlike a traditional divorce memoir, which is what I would expect from Crane.


Books Bought Since January 2023: 1

Running Cost: $1


Thanks to Anne @ I’ve Read This for her recommendation!


  1. It’s amazing how a book (or other art form) can so thoroughly bring your mood down for a period of time. It hasn’t happened to me often but the memory of the times when it has is strong.

    Good luck with your assignments. And do tell us what Nick made. You can’t leave us like that!


  2. I bought Fledgling last week. I’m not sure whether to read it or give it as a present (and then read it).
    I had to look up a C/K truck – it was a cab made by GM and used mostly for Chevrolet pickups but also for GMC light trucks, 6-8 tonners I’m guessing (not models we had in Australia). How you explain all that will be a fair test of your skills!


    • Yes, the C/K was a Chevy/GM thing that had certain years and styles. I signed that the inside of the came was SAME-ALL-OVER, meaning that it’s not abnormal, and then the wheels all move, FULL POWER. The truck in the assignment is a half-ton (1,000 pounds).

      I think I’ll get to Fledgling soon. I’m listening to When Madeline Was Young by Jane Hamilton with Biscuit for our two-person book club right now.


  3. I hope you like the golden spoon! And I can commiserate with all professors having the same due dates, I remember that very clearly from when I was in school. It’s a bummer when that happens!


      • I loved the old movie Clue, I think it came out in the 80s. I can’t remember if we’ve talked before about how great that movie is, but just in case we haven’t and you haven’t seen it yet – you must!!!


        • Oh, I’ve seen it so many times. I did finish The Golden Spoon, and while I get that all the characters seem a little suspicious, like in Clue, I think I was focused on them maybe running around trying to solve the murder together, and that did not happen. I did love the book, though! My review is next week.

          Liked by 1 person

  4. You brought back some vivid memories of triaging school assignments to decide which project got the most focus when they were all due on the same day!

    I’ve read at least 3 other books by Toews and Women Talking is definitely her heaviest, I would say. She touches on some hard subjects but her other books have more humour and focus more on eccentric characters and the quirks of modern Mennonite life.


  5. Animal stories always make me sob so I have become very good at avoiding them. But then when animals show up in fiction stories as minor characters, I spend so very much time worrying about them! There is a character on Star Trek Discovery who has a gorgeous Main Coon cat named Grudge and every episode I worry something is going to happen to her. It’s so stressful!

    So happy to hear you have tools that are working to diminish your anxiety.

    Also, super impressed with Nick’s “motor skills” 🙂


    • Kitty in space; how lovely! I would be worried the cat would get kidnapped. Someone is always mad at the crew in Star Trek. Or, maybe the cat will be a bridge to cat when two different races start comparing the cat’s naughty behavior to some space-like cat, a Snarfnorf, or something.

      Liked by 1 person

Insert 2 Cents Here:

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s