Refresher Course

In these cases, the unusual
Answering questions is outstandingly grave
Do not begin
Words can just be presented in a behavior that minimizes anxiety
The side effects vary

-the latest #spampoetry

It is no longer February. It was March. It was April. I barely remember any of them, but the paychecks did show up on time. My hyacinths were beautiful, my azaleas were beautiful (despite being rain battered), my landscape roses are still beautiful, and my tulips yet again got munched before they even opened, so much for my hypothesis that the bears turning up in our neighborhood scared off the deer as much as they seem to have the rabbits and foxes. The lilies are already tall enough to suggest they are considering taking over the world this summer, or at least the cul-de-sac.

The Monster is now taller than both of us, and still will be taller than both of us, once he recovers from tendon surgery. He shot up before he was entirely prepared to be as tall as he is (and well ahead of when we would have been ready for it). He’ll be in a cast for the first half of the summer, and a brace for some undetermined amount of time after that, which is certainly a fantastic way for him to spend his last summer before high school.

Not that this seems to bother him, but not much does.  Every day and everything is a new adventure.

I could take a lesson from that.  I believe I will.

 

Not Yet On The Sidelines

Your child’s actual inquisition and grit
May only seem rhythmical at the end of the process
However, if the uptake angle is too salutary and likewise advantageous…
Our approbation for parents is to try to get at least one hour a day of strain

— #spamadvice aggregated from last week.

One more dishcloth down! I’ll post pictures at some point: maybe after the advertising showcase/Maroon 5 concert that’s happening in February.

(If you were under a rock on Sunday and haven’t watched the news today, the Chiefs and the Saints both lost.)

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Interstitial Sorting

Hey there, you have done a great job.
-Random Spammer #1

(Evidence is lacking of poor traits or conflicts
So the comparison of benefits and harms cannot be determined.)

-Random Spammer #2

I like how this sounds. Have you considered changing?
-Random Spammer #3

Hi. Wow, yeah, it has been a while. Remember when I used to post multiple times a week, or once a week, or once a month? Yeah, me neither.

There’s been … you know, stuff going on. I’m still doing work and school and gym wise what I was doing back in September — and back in June, if we’re counting from my last “real” blog post.  There have been good weeks and bad weeks and gritted teeth days, but none of them have involved sacrifice of anything other than the occasional gym visit or good night’s sleep or entire weekend or part of a vacation.

I am feeling better, but it’s best not to ask how I spent my summer vacation.

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Somewhere Between

It’s a rattling nice place.
After my altered engagement
Truly programming is nothing
However it’s a logic
That does not come to me.
-The latest #spampoetry

I had a thought that I wanted to write down, but I lost it somewhere between homework and reloading the dishwasher and dozing off in front of American Ninja Warrior. It’ll come to me tomorrow, most likely during a round of questioning my life choices, otherwise known as running behind a middle school cross country team. I’ll find it.  Eventually.

Throw

No spam commentary this week: all the fake comments I’ve gotten since my last post were all straightforward pitches for the male enhancement supplements I apparently need to be taking. Guess I’m just not a convincing female, despite this pesky c-section scar.

Happy Monday. I’ve been trying to post things on Mondays, to throw something together and stick it up on the blog in twenty-fiveish minutes or so, reckoning that getting what I can say said within that time period is preferable to something I’ve crafted from the finest syllables and polished to within an inch of its life, because you will likely never see that, and if you do, it won’t be within the next ten years.1

Trying, yep. And failing, but in a happy way: I’ve been getting decent amounts of sleep, and balancing work with the spring school schedule (mine and the Monster’s) and the ongoing domestic shenanigans in a way that’s more like, well, balance and less like throwing plates into an overhead cabinet while hoping I’m the only one that’ll ever open that door after it’s shut. I’m continuing my twenty-five minutes of morning reading-stuff-just-because-I-want-to2, my twice-a-week gym workouts, my once-a-week bread therapy, and once I finish the remaining sleeve4, I will have crocheted my first sweater. I’ve also resumed chasing the Monster during his cross country runs, which I’m still certain might be scaring the local wildlife.

Writing? It’s also happening. The piece I submitted in February was rejected, which made me very happy, because it was one of those things that should have gotten lost in an electronic file purge.

And that’s pretty much all I can talk about right now. At least it’s not laundry!


1This is assuming I wouldn’t trash it during one of my every five years or so electronic file purges, because nothing’s safe or sacred when I get on one of those tears. During the last one, I got rid of a journal that I’d compiled out of hand written ones that I’d kept off and on for two decades.

2I just finished Jenny Lawson’s Furiously Happy (which I still conflate with my favorite Björk song). In ways, her stories were awkwardly familiar. While I haven’t ever put on a costume to infiltrate a band of koalas, I did stay up for an entire week once to do a research project on Lucky Charms. Not for money. Not for a marketing class (never taken one). I don’t even like the cereal. I had the idea stuck in my head that General Mills had increased the frequency rate of new marshmallow introductions as Nickelodeon had gained market share, and I wanted to prove I wasn’t crazy. Yes, I know that was asking a lot from breakfast cereal, but at least it wasn’t poetry.3

3I don’t mourn the loss of my old journal. It wasn’t something I would have wanted to share with the world, even if I’d known there was a market for batshit.

4The idea of making a sweater has daunted me for years. I start with the “make a swatch to check your gauge” step each time, fail that each time, try it again, fail it again, and throw everything into the closet for another year, rinse, lather, repeat, WhyCan’tIGetThisRight?, et cetera. This time, I skipped the gauge swatch step, and just tackled the project as something to do while I finally got around to watching Suits while waiting for this season of The Expanse. I don’t watch much television. When I do, I like to have something to work on that makes me feel like I’m not completely wasting my time while parked on my butt, but my habit of blindered focus on story-based entertainment means that I don’t have much attention span to spare for that which is making me feel like I’m not completely wasting my time while parked on my butt. So, I’m getting a sweater made by ignoring it while I’m in the process of making it. Yep. I’ll post a picture when it’s done.

To be clear, I’ll be posting a picture of the sweater, not my c-section scar.

Points on a Woogedy Timeline

Woogedy (woo-geddy) was a word I grew up hearing1; [x] is woogedy or woogedy [x] translates to “[x] will progress or is progressing, but the progression will be/is neither in a direct nor predictable manner”, comme ça:

curvy-road-ahead-sign-01

Having woogedy in my vocabulary made it possible for me to understand one of my Most Favorite Short Stories Ever (Alfred Bester’s “Galatea Galante”) as soon as I accidentally read it as a young’n2, without needing to know what the heck a Drunkard’s Walk was.

So, this week?  Woogedy life is woogedy. I’ve made it to Week #3 of that Coursera course, yep, Week #3 and there’s only four. Only four, so I am so close to finishing it that I can almost taste it … which is exactly when the universe tends to decide to drop more Bright Shiny Objects into my life. Or Dark Spiky Objects, because it’s 2016, and I am beginning to think that as a planet we’ve hit a cloud of them like we haven’t seen since, oh, maybe 1968.

History books strongly suggest (to me, anyway) that year also sucked. I can’t say much of it was my fault, since I wasn’t born until that December. Nor can I take much credit for our going to the moon the following year, even though I’ve been told I was genuinely fascinated by all the news about space … as opposed to just staring into space so intently that I look blurry in almost all of my candid baby pictures.3

We did go to the moon in 1969, though. We also managed to get through the Cold War without blowing ourselves up, so we didn’t terminally screw things back then — and  though we’ve had as many setbacks as we’ve had successes, there are still signs that as a whole, we’re still growing and learning more about our universe, despite some of us being hellbent on keeping us locked in windowless dark basements listening to the mice chewing the insulation while telling ourselves they’re all Godzillas.

And I’m rambling … because I’m also woogedy. I sat down to bang this out in an hour, and while it’s probably been about an hour of writing on this, there have been many, many Do Now Objects between when I sat down and now, and probably there will be many more before I finish this.

Today is the Monster’s first day of Middle School. He got up, got dressed, ate most of his breakfast, then noticed that we hadn’t taken out the garbage and recycling yet, so he wandered away from his breakfast and took care of that before getting on the bus.  When I was eleven, I wouldn’t have wandered away from shoving breakfast in my face before school to take out the garbage, no matter how necessary it was to get done.

So, I got some sun in my eyes, and got all misty about The Monster’s not being where I expected him to be, but still growing and learning, and being exactly where he needs to be on his woogedy.4

We’ll be okay. The rest of 2016 will probably find new ways to suck, but we will be okay. Eventually. Overall, we are still better than we were.

Except for the laundry.

Freaking laundry.

1 I did some quick prepost research to see if woogedy was a genuine word, or just one lifted from (what is becoming increasingly apparent and a little uncomfortable making) my family’s invented dialect … which, yes, I’ve spread to my husband and son, and good grief, maybe that’s how language starts in the first place. Woogedy was apparently used in a kid’s cartoon series called Rocket Power starting back in the very late ’90s. I’ve never seen the series — as a semi-grown person then with not a lot of time I wanted to spend watching television, I was only following this obscure cult cartoon called The West Wing. I’m sure you’ve never heard of it. [INSERT APPROPRIATE EMOJI HERE]

2While I’d repeatedly read every science reference book I could get my hands on by that point5, I wasn’t introduced to science fiction until 1980, when Tara Thompson, one of my middle school classmates, got stuck with my name for the classroom gift exchange. She had no clue what to get me, but knew I liked books and I liked science, so she gave me Terry Carr’s The Best Science Fiction of the Year #9, which probably wasn’t appropriate reading for a just-turned-twelve year old but heck, since it wasn’t a romance novel6, my grandmother and mother didn’t mind, and that’s what mattered.

3The Monster inherited this trait.

4The Monster is more even-keeled than I was at eleven, and more cheerful than @bhoneydew was at the same age, and is still more of an athlete than both his parents will ever be, unless we snap and start doing Ironmans (which he’d want to do too, and be better at it than both of us, so vicious cycle).

5If I didn’t understand things then, I just kept reading them until I could make them make sense, and honestly, that hasn’t changed all that much now that I’m a little further along on the grownup trajectory. We do have Google now, which does make that process faster.

6I was reading those, too, just when they weren’t looking — especially the ones they’d thought they’d hidden under the dryer in the bathroom.

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.