In which I continue to allow myself latitude to not keep up

I get into the habit of beating myself up over my lack of regularity for posting here. You would think that it wouldn’t be a huge hairy deal. After all, blogging is a voluntary activity. No one forces a person to have a blog or contribute to it. There’s no rule that says I have to do anything at all.

Except the annoying EXPECTATION VOICE that lives in my head, of course.

That’s the voice that comes with a bag of pressurizers labeled, “Must Be Best At” and, “Can Not Make Mistakes With”. Not to mention the ever-popular, “Don’t Tell Anybody Anything, Lest You Fail Publicly”. That voice has been with me all my life. That voice accompanies every new thing I have ever tried, and everything I have done over time. For always. It is what kept me from ever (that I recall) raising my hand to ask a question in school. Ever.

That’s also the voice that has revved me up to learn enough to get by on almost any subject, so I guess it’s something of a motivator.

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That amount of expectation and pressure also contribute to the amount of guilt and shame that accompany just about anything that I am not immediately awesome at or about doing.

For example, I had every intention of posting to this blog with regularity. I meant to keep up with amusing, not-too-personal anecdotes. I wanted so badly to narrate my own story, to have some control over what to prose of my current life would be. But I am lazy and stressed about what life is really like, and so don’t have the humor necessary to sustain the effort necessary to do what I intended.

Learning, at my somewhat advanced age, to allow myself some latitude in this area is incredibly difficult. I am not particularly well equipped to permit less than perfection. I am trying, but it’s so damned hard. Learning to forgive myself is also hard.

And I find that relearning higher algebra is also a fairly large pisser. And I am doing that*. So I can learn to allow myself some slack. Maybe. We’ll see.

(*Really. I am doing higher algebra so that my kid doesn’t feel so put-upon that I am making her review it this summer a) because her performance in that class was less than stellar this past year, and b) because she will need a good understanding of higher algebra to be successful in pre-calculus, which she insists she wants to take next year, rather than Functions, Statistics and Trigonometry, which I suspect might be the better option for her, given that she doesn’t seem inclined to become a research scientist or phyisicst. I mean, not everybody has to be Neil de Grasse Tyson.)

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Filed under Deep Thoughts, Living wilth intent, Making it up as I go along, Parenting

Things Fall Into My Lap Sometimes

Through association, I’ve become involved in TV. I never thought such a thing would happen, and I am finding it quite strange, and sort of exciting. Oh, and scary. Very, very scary, as I am afraid of not being able to pull everything together.

I’m not at liberty to say anything specific about what’s going forth, but I can say that there is singing involved, and I am recruiting like a mad woman. I’ve got some takers, and expect to have more as the next few days unfold. It’s a great opportunity to do something completely out of my comfort zone, something absolutely new and different. I’m thrilled at the prospect, certainly. This thing is something I would likely find very funny were I to come across it in me peripatetic wanderings on NetFlix. Being involved and invested in it at this stage is leaping into the great unknown without plugging my nose or deploying a parachute.

I wonder how other middle-aged women would react to this sort of random twist. Do people get stodgier as they age, or do they see new stuff as a way to add excitement and thrill to their otherwise busy and mundane lives? Is it only people who have already taken some risks who would agree to zap so far from what they know well?

Taking risks is nothing new, really. Getting married is a risk. Having and parenting children is a huge one; I am continually flying by the seat of my pants as I try to negotiate the massive landmines scattered about the relationship landscape between my eldest and myself. Every decision one makes involves some element of randomness in the outcome. Every non-decision one undertakes, every time we choose not to decide is risking that the universe will make a crappy decision for us.

I’m trusting my gut not to steer me into a wood-chipper. I am getting a great vibe from parts of what is going on right now, about which I can not give particulars, but trust me, it’s cool. If everything comes together even marginally well, I’ll be so tickled, as well as proud to have been a part of an awesome endeavor.

Meanwhile, I am left with a pithy thought and a great image to go with it:

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No idea what I’m doing, but I hope I’m doing it well.

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Okay, so I’m not consistent as such…

So, it’s becoming obvious to me that I may not be cut out for regular-interval blogging. I’m going to give myself a pass on this, and remind myself that, while I am not the most prolific writer I know, there are a bazillion people out there who couldn’t write a coherent sentence to save themselves, so I get to write whenever the mood takes me, no more and no less. Take that, practices and standards!

Rather than dive into the minutiae of what I’ve been doing in lieu of writing, I’ll hit some high notes. Or big notes. Or some notes that mean little, other than to me.

I have recently been implored to join the Board of Directors of the music non-profit for which I sing second tenor. I am unsure how people have managed to get the impression that I’d be good at such a thing, but apparently I’ve got a bit of a rep. (Not, thankfully, the kind you get in high school.) as long as people do what I tell them and don’t get in my way, I’m sure it will be fine. It was nice to be asked and receive such a positive reception.

Speaking of singing, I actually sang a solo in a foreign language and a lower vocal register this past Christmas time. While I don’t have a recording of myself, this is the song sung by another soloist somewhere:

Hacia Belen va un Borrico

What else….

I got ordained and legal with the state to officiate marriages. I will be performing my first one on Saturday, with the rehearsal this evening. I wrote what I think is a very nice secular ceremony, and I’m pretty excited about the whole thing. After Saturday, I have 2 more weddings on the calendar, and I imagine more will come, especially since Minnesota has adopted marriage equality. Yay!

As always, there are some downs to balance things out – our cat Boodle has continues to have peeing problems, necessitating special wet food that smells atrocious, x-rays, and vet visits. The Esteemed Spouse keeps throwing his back out, then not letting heal fully, so there’s often a little old man tottering about. The activities of the kids often require bi-location, which is manageable, just.

I’m sure we’ll get through. At least it’s finally warm, and periodically sunny.

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Filed under Making it up as I go along, Uncategorized

Okay, lets try this again

I know it’s been a long time. Mea culpa. Mea maxima culpa. Beat me with a stick and call it a lollipop. So sue me.

To catch up a little:

My knee is better. It works. I can do stairs and multi-mile walks (which we did, in Chicago – from Willis Tower to Navy Pier via Millenium Park:

We also had a blast in the Wisconsin Dells in June. The general consensus was that Magiquest

was the favorite activity… Despite the roughly 19 million stairs involved.

The rest has been, unfortunately, a struggle. My big kid is in her last year of middle school, which means high school registration is in a couple weeks. I am completely unprepared for such a thing.

My little kid is struggling with behavioral issues at school. She is a great refuser of any task she isn’t interested in completing, and it’s really getting in the way of educational opportunities. She is missing out on the High Potential program, which I believe she’d love. She was worse last year, but she’s no prize this year. We’re doing everything we can think of, and I think there has been improvement, but it’s a shame and a huge frustration.

I recently opened an Etsy store, which you may be interested in visiting: ElsmamaCrochet It’s certainly nice to have the possibility of some income, but the real treat is having a creative self-calming activity to pursue.

I guess that’s the big update. I will do my best to keep posting. It’s really difficult for me to reveal much of myself, though I think the effort will pay off eventually. Outlets are good, right?

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It appears I’ve been remiss

Well, damn! Have I really been off since Valentine’s Day? Sigh. Guess so.

Well, I guess there have been some extenuating circumstances. We’ve been rushing around a bunch, getting the kids focused and motivated. Not to mention getting myself ready for surgery (which has since taken place, but the prep was a huge pain.) (The amount of laundry and grocery shopping alone was pretty daunting. I wanted to make sure the Esteemed Spouse could find what was necessary without having to look too hard.)

Before I forget, here’s  the revised appandage:

So, yeah, I’ve been busy, but not so busy that I haven’t been paying attention.

Now is the hard part: rehab. I am not the most patient person. I don’t really mind pain too much, but I have trouble coping when there is not visible progress, and I frequently expect too much of myself. (If you were to ask my eldest, she’d probably say I expect too much from her, as well.)

I am finding it a big challenge to remain somewhat positive in the face of reduced  mobility and increased discomfort. I am so darned crabby, and that frustrates me, too. We have in this culture a model for women bearing their troubles with fortitude and grace, for bearing up uncomplainingly. I apparently have bought into this, because I am feeling so guilty for not being able to spring back into the fray, physically and emotionally.

I just don’t wanna. I want everybody to leave me alone, except for when they are anticipating my needs and magically making everything better. I realize this is unreasonable. That doesn’t change the fact of what’s going on inside, though.

I hope soon to be off the pity stool. I’m sure it won’t be long.  Bear with me.

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Filed under Making it up as I go along

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Enjoy. Love. Laugh. The world can be wonderful.

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Filed under Making it up as I go along

Geek indulgence

I must detour into the land of technology today. After the afternoon I spent yesterday, which was chock-a-block full of resets, ipconfig tweaking, sharing fiascoes not involving any children and various episodes of looking cross-eyed at the several screens in the house, I think it’s time to confess to something that is often not spoken aloud, but is sometimes whispered in tech circles.

<shh…> <sometimes what makes computers work is magic juju that doesn’t make sense>

We have a bunch of computers. There are only four of us, but our devices have us way outnumbered. That seems to be the way of things nowadays. You wouldn’t think there was any problem with that, since most things need only to get out to the internet, and that seems to be fairly easily done.

In my pre-child life, I was an all-purpose computer professional. I am completely self-taught, having discovered that auto-didacticism is less frustrating than waiting for someone to come and save me. I learned operations, database management, PC hardware and software, mainframe administration, networking, UNIX system administration… The list is extensive. What I really learned is that if you have a decent memory for what you’ve done and where you started, and are willing to make mistakes, at the root, computers are just hammers with fancy press.

Unless, of course, the fairy dust wears off. That is what I have been coping with.

I will spare you an in-depth, blow by blow account of the mysterious issues that started plaguing our devices, including our gateway to the outside world. I will also spare you the hours of adjustments to settings on every machine in the whole damned house, over and over and over. (As soon as I got one going, another would fritz out, until finally nothing was talking to anything and I was looking for an actual hammer so I could bash my brains out, or smash all their screens.)

I finally called for help. I called my ISP, thinking that at least I could confirm the router settings I plugged in from memory, having first discovered that the router had apparently come down with DID, no longer acknowledging anything it had been told in the past several months since we purchased it.

After we resolved the router issue, heroically and at great personal cost bending that motherfucker to my will, the woman at my ISP and I chatted a few minutes about what had led me to check on the settings in the first place. She was very sympathetic as I outlined the travails to which I had been subject, tech-wise, and the complicating fact that, due to my recent indisposition, the repeated trips up and down the stairs were a bit of a pill.

Then we came to it: the secret. The truth that fears to speak its name.

Sometimes computers and other devices just decide not to work for their own reasons. The magic juju wears off.

She said it first, but we both knew the truth of it. It’s the dirty little secret of technology, and it’s a reality.

When I was done with all I could think to do on the downstairs machines, it was time to give up on the root problem, at least for the day. I had already ignored the kids, neglected to make dinner, and failed to get my poop in a group for book club. I arduously dragged myself and my gimpy leg up the stairs for the umpteenth time. At least, I reasoned, we have internet everywhere again, and that’s no worse of than we were before.

Except we didn’t.

Where’s that hammer again??

More tweaking, to fix something that mysteriously broke itself after other stuff was fixed. More silent swearing. Finally, I surrendered to the deity of computer juju. I started making an non-sensical, silly, ridiculous change, just to be doing something. Anything.

And damned if the whole system, upstairs, downstairs, and non-essential devices didn’t start working, sharing and generally functioning beautifully.

“And thus the goddess of the circuits smiled, and all was again full of light”

At least until next time, bitch…

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Filed under Oh, dear., That's Ms Geek, to you., Tribulation and Strife