Working Through The End of Summer List

Since July 12th, I’ve…

  • Made two week-long-away-from-home business trips. These are the first I’ve been on since The Monster was a year old.
  • Turned in multiple projects, including one co-written while on flights back home. Let me tell you, having wireless on an airplane is fantastic, both when it works and when it doesn’t (because if I hadn’t had that involuntary nap on connector flight #2, I would have never stayed awake long enough once I got home to finish the project).
  • Done a lot of laundry. There have been a number of times I’ve seriously reconsidered my life choices because of the amount of freaking laundry that’s been done and It Still Keeps Coming Back. Other times, I’ve just wanted to cry into the fresh clean clothes that I’d bought two washes ago, and they fit fine until after their second wash.  Just wanted to cry.  Those were The Monster’s clothes.  Had they been mine, I would have definitely been booing the hoo.
  • Managed to get in only one workout, and my eating wasn’t consistent enough to be called a habit. I gained ten pounds one week, dropped twelve the next, gained four back, lost ten … yes, just nuts.  I am genuinely looking forward to getting my butt kicked at the gym again — and all of that will resume once the Monster starts back to school.  Will the meal planning also resume?  Let’s hope.  Though I must say, I did manage two planned dinners so far this week, so I’m kind of excited.1
  • Signed up for my first charity walk. It’s a walk, not a run, but it’s for the same cause who had that charity run I freaked out about four years ago. I’m healthier than I was then, at least physically.  Mentally?  It’s okay, you can say “jury still seems to be out on that, Shai”.
  • Made it to Week #2 of another Coursera course.  Will I succeed in finishing this one? Tune in next month, after I start the on-line networking2 class that I’m taking to keep my enrollment current so I can get back into this spring’s on-campus PL/SQL course and finish my freaking data certificate.  Yes, while I’m going back to the gym, and working, and trying to figure out why it is Taking So Long to get the patio finished. Oh, and that bioscience Coursera course that I so wanted to take this spring?  It has another session in September, so, there’s that too…
  • In the quest to let more positive energy into my life…

…yes, I did just type that, I’m sorry. I couldn’t think of a less fluffy way to say it. I’ve been Twittering along with an author named Kathy Grubb (@10MinNovelist) for, oh, probably a few years now.  She’s a sunny person who has figured out a way to herd her cats and flatten her dragons while also making sure her goals stay important to her3, and as an extra bonus, achieving those goals in the process.  I admire the heck out of that, and since I’ve wound up wading in the Facebook, I decided to splash over and check out the pool where she and other similarly minded folks hang out.

To my delight, it’s been a wholly non-toxic experience.  The group’s also active enough to drown out a lot of the unhappy-making stuff that still manages to creep into my Facebook feed, despite my best efforts not to paint my own wall with troll poop.

The one downside?  The group encourages their members to share their blog posts, so you might be seeing more of these from me in future.  Notice that I’m saying might.

1I’m not kidding.  I do get excited over tiny things like that these days.
2Computer networking, not people networking. Yes. Even though I’ve worked in that field and taken classes in that … yes. Don’t get me started on how many credits I’ve lost in transfers because they were over ten years old.
3Emphasis wholly mine, because I’ve always found it easy to toss or change my goals and objectives in reaction to circumstances instead of sticking with them.

In The Muddle

Excellent note, one of the best I have seen. The explanation is correct in every way.
-#SpamCommentary

It is taking me days to write this post. I found the SpamCommentary quote on May 24th, and I’m typing these words on May 30th, when I should be getting up and going to the store because even though I’d planned for all the food this weekend, I didn’t get the meal plan together for this week, and it’s Monday, and I’m not on the telephone, so I should be getting up and going to the store, though I could be working on the project that’s due on Wednesday, or the one that’s due in early September.

I’m getting up and going to the store.

It’s July 12th. I should be working on the project that’s due on Wednesday, or getting up and going to the store, or any of the easily a dozen other things that need to be done, but I stumbled across this old draft post that I’d forgotten about, and decided to finish it instead of just deleting it.

Yes, that is rare for me. I tend to stop more things than I ever finish, and often delete them when I stumble on them again — assuming I don’t get fed up with them or myself (it’s usually myself) and choose not to save them at all. I rarely suffer from anguish or guilt when I do this, which probably says there’s something deeply wrong with me, but, hey, it’s not like I’m kicking puppies, right?

Not much has changed since last week, other than the Monster’s coming down with chicken pox. Yes. He’s been vaccinated. He’s had both doses. He still has chicken pox, so his schedule for the week’s right out the window, which frankly bothers us more than it does him.

And that’s … yep. That’s about it. See, there’s utterly nothing exciting happening that’s been distracting me from blogging!

p.s. We’re not even playing Pokemon Go.

Staying Put

Spring’s happened.

I feel better.

We achieved our fourth year in Northern Virginia.  Our boy’s starting a great middle school this fall.  We have no obvious plans to move. We’re celebrating by getting a stamped concrete patio/outdoor kitchen.

Yes, we do know how much the universe likes to screw with any plans we make to stay put.  We’re doing it anyway, so, nyah.

And that’s … yeah, that’s about it.  We have house guests staying with us until they get into their place in August, and that’s been fun.  It’s also come with an unexpected bonus:  @bhoneydew and I have gotten some date nights, which really hasn’t happened since we moved from PA.  We got to have dinners at Places That Did Not Serve French Fries and see both Captain America: Civil War and ID2 In A Theater As They Were Intended To Be Seen, which was awesome.  Between that and it being pleasantly (surprisingly non-humid) warm out on those nights, it was almost like we were back in California.1

I see you don’t monetize your website
I noticed that your On-Page SEO is is missing a few factors
-the most recent #SpamObservations

I’m beginning to suspect that the spam bots don’t actually read my blog.

1I miss that about California.  Not Bay Area home prices.  I also do not even want to think about the hoops we’d have to jump through to get the Monster into a good school situation out there.

Catching Up

Appreciating the persistence you put into your site.

-the latest #spamcommentary

What I Am Saying:

Hahahahahahahaha.

So, February sucked.

March was a little better. I’m getting into the groove with the new full time gig (which appeared out of the middle of nowhere while I was fighting fires the week I got back from Mom’s funeral1): put two large projects to bed before I headed back to Arkansas to help my sister do triage on Mom’s stuff, and managed to take care of a small project while I was doing that triage. There are still lingering embers from the early February fires, but hopefully hopefully they’ll be burned out by some point in April. Of course, I said that to myself about the fires in December. And the ones in September. And the ones last April. And the ones in December 2014.

I dropped my PL/SQL refresher. I was doing well in it — in the interests of full disclosure, I’m only taking it because the PL/SQL class I had didn’t transfer — but life had decided not to cooperate with my wanting to take a class on Tuesday nights. On that note, I haven’t looked at a single lecture for the Coursera bio class I signed up for. Not. A. Single. One. Nope. I’ll get things figured out eventually, or at least enough to fake it.

What I Am Not Saying:

As a child, I did science
To contain and explain
Madness
I wanted to be more
Than flesh and bone,
Hormones and hysteria
I knew … like I knew everything
That logic could
Let me leap out of the mud
Allowing me to fly
Through even God’s fingers

It did.

In college, science didn’t want me
I was too mad to love
My logic all circumstantial,
Conditional,
Anecdotal
Poetry was a better fit
But I knew … like I still knew everything
That poetry could
Starve me so much
That my meat and its needs
Would betray me
Crushing me back into the dirt

I did not give it that chance.

In adulthood, I have said
I am not that
I was this instead
I do not do that
I said
I did this instead
And I will be
And I was someone else
And I will do
And I did something else
But in truth, I have just done
Only what a bee does
Fading flower to brighter flower to next flower
But dumping my cargo
So I won’t be forced to land

There is no more ground to fear now
And I am no longer as certain of the sky
Or that I know anything.


 

1Yeah, I did see it as a sign.

Signs and Portents

You’re so cool!
This site is something that is needed on the web, someone with a bit of originality!

The latest #spamflattery (full marks for its being grammatically correct).

Quick update this week.

On the morning of February 1st, I wrote the first draft of a writing-related post. I had intended to tell you guys that I’d had a productive writing session the night before, and had not only figured out where to put the assassin, but had crafted the main storyline for the trilogy and more importantly (at least for me), figured out the damn names for each book.

Then breakfast had to happen, and the Monster needed to be herded toward school, and then my sister called (as @bhoneydew was walking toward his car, bag in hand, to head in to work) to tell me Mom was dead.

So, yeah, I didn’t get back to that post that week. Or last week. Or most of this week. Yeah, I have been crazy stressed (in a soak-up-others’-stress like a sponge one week, and deal-with-work-related-disasters the rest), and super busy, but I’m coming out from under that cloud.

We almost ran over a groundhog yesterday when we were taking the Monster to his horseback riding lessons. I’m afraid I might have laughed inappropriately. You see, that means Spring Is Coming!

“What do you want?”
Mr. Morden, “Signs and Portents”, Babylon 5, Season 1, Episode 13

I want spring, damn it.

Inevitabilities

Oh, how to start?
Where I am now
Is even less me than art
The feinting thump
Of an armadillo heart
Hey, I can walk in your shoes all day
Probably best to keep it that way.

–2.1.2016

Last week’s cryptic post was brought to you courtesy of my mother’s making an unexpected exit from the world. It was followed a few days later by my losing my great aunt; less unexpectedly, but damn, my family’s sense of dramatic timing.1

I’m now back home, up to my eyebrows in work that’s been keeping me up to 5HourEnergyCaliberUnfortunateHoursOfTheMorning, and now and again my brain gets stuck on the fact that my mother — who was Payroll Officer for a community college — made sure that she didn’t drop dead before she got out this year’s W2s.

Her shellshocked co-workers kept repeating that to me when they filed in for her viewing and funeral (and feeding us, bless ’em). Peggy got out the W2s.

@bhoneydew and I did our taxes as soon as we got back.

Now and again, my brain gets stuck on that fact too.

—-
1One of the ways I kept myself together last week was imagining I was in a movie, and doing mental exercises as far as who I’d cast to play us all, and who’d do the cinematography and soundtrack. My sister (wisely) curated my in-the-real-world choices for funeral music. My (wiser) Monster opted to sing along anyway. Loudly. In a chapel full of stunned silent people. I was dumbfoundedly proud of him. Also wondering where he’d been listening to Miss Dolly and Miss Loretta sing gospel music, but more proud than dumbfounded.