And so I begin again.

 

In the last many days, I’ve had time to think about this space in my life and its accumulation of nearly two years of what passes for me these days — me in writing, that is.  Whenever I run through the archives and skim the content,  so many thoughts come to mind about when the piece was written — the season, the weather on a given day, what I was preoccupied with or annoyed about.  It’s been more and more difficult to write here and so the frequency has decreased and I’ve found myself adjusting to that, but not particularly enjoying it.  I’ve taken the time on my occasional walks to make mental plans where I’d whip myself into writerly shape working on one project at this point in the day and another later on, somehow fitting it all in.

The implementation lasted one day.

One.

I’d decided to do some admin work related to my sites and busied myself in all that it entails, which is a lot when one might consider that I currently qualify for the old dog aspect of the whole can’t teach new tricks classification.  Bound and determined to prove it wrong, I spent ridiculous amounts of time reading codex and phoning and thinking and whining to get everything moved and it just never worked.

With every piece I had nearly worked out, another arose and on a computer screen it looks like two window open with several tabs to access in each one.  My head spun with angst over root directories and files, php and FTPs, domains and DNS.  Having much experience in the area of reading research, I can tell you that when content is dense, even proficient readers default to subvocalizing in order to digest and comprehend new information.  It helps — but only if one is also willing to repeat the process over and over with little or no distraction.

Ahem.

I Twittered much.  I wallowed in Bubble Bazinganess.  I bonded with Facebook finally, and satisfied my creative spirit cooking, shooting photos of what I’d cooked, editing those photos, and then finally writing about what I’d cooked.  *insert note regarding food obsession here* It only fills the hours, but it never quite fills the spot that this space fills and the longer it was unavailable to me, the more I realized that although I could live without it, I just didn’t want to.

I thought about people who have lost posessions in a fire, or who have had property vandalized.  I morbidly recalled my trauma induced by the loss of my hard drive on my beloved MacBook and all the glorious photos of our trip to the UK and several years of my son’s boyhood.   I conjured up all the images of loss I could to add to my incessant mulling over of not having this space because I may have been careless.  And if I had, nothing could be done other than start again, because that’s what I do.  I’m good at it.

So that’s what I was ready to do this morning when I sat down.  Start again.

And metaphorically, that’s what I’ve decided to say I’ve done, because clearly my archives are in order and everything is up and running.  But I have perspective I didn’t have a week or so ago and need to put it to good use.

It seemed appropriate to make a few visual changes to celebrate moving on with new purpose.

Ahhh……

If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.

Be satisfied with what you have.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

Dude, make it a double.  That was a close call.

Blog Wraps & Ballsy Mothers

Clearly, my blog is having an identity crisis. A few days ago, my aunt who lives in New York emailed and said my blog wasn’t loading. Outside of that sounding like some strange kind of medical condition, I cringed knowing that things didn’t bode well for my new theme.

I put a message up at MyBlogLog to see if I could get some responses and people were kind enough to let me know whether they could open my site or not.

It turns out that Internet Explorer and the Evil Empire *just kidding Bill* was somehow connected to the problem. No comment on that one other than I routinely encourage everyone to download Firefox every time I get a chance, which works just fine. Scott of My Thermos offered to take a look and also pointed out that ads running on my site might also be contributing to the problem. It was pretty cool. His help. Not the problem with the ads. I had downloaded Skype some time ago so that I could IM with my baking friends, so he suggested we use that to try and figure out what the problem was. Like I said. Cool.

In the meantime, I’ve taken everything out of my sidebars, reported the problem with the ads to BlogHer who quickly responded and guess what?

It still doesn’t work.

And the reason everything is purple is because I was trying out different themes this morning and then got sidetracked with my mom (which is normal because we’re sort of unfocused when we’re around each other…) and then I forgot the purple thing was up. I’m trying to find something that will work. You know, because I don’t have anything else to do but play with this ridiculous thing.

She made it back to Paradise in one piece...catbox and all. But my mom! She made it! w00t! And our doggo has been beside herself with delirious happiness since my mom arrived. My mother is her favorite human in the world. She’s worn herself out following my mother up and down the stairs as her things have been unpacked and now she’s limping pretty badly. The doggo. Not my mother.

She rolled in at about 3PM Sunday after leaving New York on Wednesday morning. She drove over 700 miles on Saturday alone. Amazing, huh?

Remember those tornado warnings she drove through? The ones she was supposed to stop and find shelter from? Yes, those. She said it was like the sky just opened up, with blackness on both sides of the I-40 as it angles in a northwesterly path through Little Rock, AK. We later heard that six people died very near there in that storm.

But she is here safe and sound. We stuffed her full of Huevos Rancheros a la MoH and some wine.

Stay tuned for more adventures with mom.

So for those of you who are sick of seeing those books in the background of my photos, you’ll have a change of pace since I’ve moved my Mac from the office to put together a bedroom for my mom. She’s up there fluffing her nest right now going through the things she’s managed to hang on to after moving three times in less than a year. New digs for my Mac.

It makes me tired just thinking of it. Seriously.

Thanks for your tolerance with my blog wrap. I’ll get situated.

And you know about flying pigs, right?

Um-Hmmm.

Gawdy Enough?

Jeez. If this isn’t the busiest piece of Bloggsville now, I don’t know what is. And if you haven’t figured out how persnickety I am, you’re about to find out. It’s not just about three columns.

It’s the font, and the colors.

And I can tell you right now, that this thing is screaming at me. Do you have ANY idea how hard it is going to be for me to write here? There’s nothing soft about it at all.

Crap.

Good thing I work for cheap, right?

It’s dinnertime and there’s no dinner. So I’m heading downstairs to whip something up for us and watch American Noodle with the MoH who just got home.

In the meantime, I sure hope you like red. Oh, and claustrophobic columns.

But at least I get to see your smiling icon-type gravatar thingys again, which makes me smile.

Until tomorrow…

Better than Bed: TED & Big Questions

Have you ever heard of TED? It’s a place I’d love to be a fly on the wall — especially this year considering they’ll be addressing “Big Questions.” But the $6,000 price tag is a bit steep.

If you’ve never taken a look at their talks, it’s worth it. There are some amazing topics addressed — that is if you consider avoiding aging amazing, or the idea that great cars are art.

And then there’s this guy — Jonathan Harris. His talk is fascinating. He explains how the software he’s designed essentially captures what we say each day in places like kellementology and attaches them to others who are saying similar things. Does Dubyah know he doesn’t have to spy on us now? It’s all there for the listening.

I know. You knew about this already. Fine. Indulge me.

But have you checked out Universe yourself?It’s amazing. Especially if you watch all of Jonathan Harris’ talk first…

And what else am I supposed to do on a night when the MoH is still at work?

Sleep?

That would be quite the concept, wouldn’t it?

Maybe TED will tackle that as one of the Big Questions.

Overhaul in Order…

I guess with the upgrade that didn’t quite go as I wanted it to, I’ll be working on redoing the entire thing again. January is a good time for that…I’ve been avoiding it for quite a while.

And if I don’t tackle these things, then my learning stops, and what’s the point of that? I’m wired to keep pushing to understand things that intrigue me. And this whole business intrigues me. I know I can sit down and write, but the way this looks is an extension of me as well. So I guess I better get busy and figure out how I really want it to look.

I’ve changed over the last year. And as fond as I am of that woman in the header, she isn’t quite me anymore. That’s not a bad thing. I’m not quite ready to give her up, though, so I’ll figure out that, too.

I deplore “shopping” for themes, and with the WordPress upgrade, there seem to be so many kinks about what works with what. Sheesh.

So, I’m off to watch the Chargers play the Colts in the playoffs! GO BOLTS!

Hang in there with this thing. Okay? I promise I’m not going anywhere…

Parts is Parts

What does it say about me when I can admit that I spent most of my morning at work putting labels and stickers on file folders in preparation for this next year of business and L.O.V.E.D. it?

CONTROL. The woman craves CONTROL. (insert wicked and crazed laughter here and clasp your hands near your chin, making sure to rub them as if applying lotion) It’s an office supply problem. You know. Paper, and pencils, envelopes and white out? I’ve always had an issue with office supplies, and I’ve learned there’s no cure.

But wait! There’s more.

I worked a whole extra 90 minutos loving it. I could see a real live finished product that had dimension. And I could carefully pick up all the brightly colored folders, and click them on the desktop to make sure they were PERFECTLY lined up. So. Cool.

About half way through my time, someone brought up New Year’s Resolutions, and I was surprised that I hadn’t even thought of making one. Of course, now, it’s still on my mind. But not so much that it has kept my drawers in a knot or anything. Now that would be quite the conundrum. Call this practiced avoidance.

Why do you need a resolution when you have a list. I made one last night before going to bed so I could hit the ground running when I got home from my J.O.B. Guess what was first on the list? Okay, so you’ll never guess, and although I’m a complete pro at Twenty Questions, I’ll cut to the chase…

…my friends at Best Buy. Or better said if you’ve watched the show on Monday nights, Chuck, which is beyond surprisingly good for television and no, I’ve never watched Boston Legal, or 30 Rock, or…Okay, you get it. Buy More. That’s what the store is called on Chuck. Best Buy is Buy More. Whatever.

Anyway, I called like a gracious and tolerant consumer who has been screwed and dragged over the coals by the capitalist machine that will be the bane of our existence before we know it ahem…has been so patient with an obvious communication problem.

I was less than thrilled when Josh answered the phone after I dealt with the cheerful machine and sitting on hold for 10 minutes. It wasn’t that Josh wasn’t thrilling. He’s been well trained. “Let me verify that the television we’re talking about is at (***) 555-DORK.” I told him that was correct and that there were most likely red flags and unhappy faces stamped around my phone number along with a few Jolly Rogers and a Fickle Finger of Fate for good measure. After a professional pause, he stated that they did not deal with red flags and unhappy faces (bwahahahahahaha!) and then he read me the notes the supervisor wrote on 12-14 after I spoke with her about what could be done.

Poor Josh read, “General Electronics (authorized posers) is having difficulty ordering parts.” I could only gasp delicately and ask him to tell me if that meant the parts to fix our T.V. still had not been ordered before I collected myself to breathe scorching flames through the receiver. He politely responded that,” because I’m not a supervisor, ma’am (wince), I may not be able to access all the information regarding what has transpired.”

So yes I spoke to yet another supervisor whose name I was provided without a request and isn’t that stellar customer service? But after she said hello, she asked to put me on hold so she could review the service notes. Uhhh…what service?

And when she couldn’t tell me whether parts had or hadn’t been ordered, I told her I would take the T.V. to the closest Buy More Sucker Store and stay there until they gave me a new T.V.

And guess what?

She said in her well-trained and pleasant customer type service voice, ” I can submit an authorization for you, if you’d like.”

Huh? “An authorization for what?” I asked.

“An authorization for a replacement T.V. which will take three to five business days.”

Go figure. So I told her I’d prefer the quickest way to ensure the T.V. was totally functional and wasn’t this a lot of horse shit from me.  She said she’d pursue both avenues and ain’t that special. I was smiling, however. And I did NOT raise my voice ONE time. But my eyebrows were very angry.

So next Wednesday, I’ll bring this up again. You will be soooooo over it, but it will be so special to find out whether I’ve been granted a brand spanking new T.V. or parts. And you know what they say about parts.

Parts is parts…OR…the sum of the parts is greater than the whole.

What’s that song that says something about being happy if you know it and clapping your hands?

Yah. Like that.

Now, on to the next thing on my list.

Cheers to You, Family, and new Gaming PCs.

So we made it to Virginia and after a few days of very grey skies and a refreshing chill in the air, it totally warmed up to near 60 degrees and then rained. Sheesh. And today?

The freaking sun is out. What’s up with that? You would think that when you fly across the damn country for the holidays at least it could pretend like it was going to snow. Feh.

That list I made before I left had to get done or we wouldn’t have been able to get on the plane. So no problem there. When the shuttle driver arrived at the front door to collect us, the house was decent, the presents for the older boys were snuggled under the tree and as an added bribe to them to take care of the house while we were gone, we had the RT open one of his presents we couldn’t take…a gamer’s computer (HP Pavilion Elite) with a 22″ flat panel monitor and a humongous graphics card (XFX GeForce 8800 GT XXX) and I have to swagger around a bit when I say that even though I have absolutely NO idea what I’m talking about) that had to have its own power source (or some kind of a fan thingy installed). We had it installed before we left the store (Fry’s Electronics, thank you very much and NOT BEST BUY Bwhahahahahahaha Losers…) by a sales/tech guy who was completely cool, talked the entire time he was putting it in and answered everyone else’s questions at the same time — including “The Wife” on his cell a couple of times regarding being home on time for a change. The guy works 16 hour days. Amazing. We came home with a fist full of rebates I now have to complete so we can actually have a few checks in the mail at some point in the next century. I’ve done them before and I swear we never get anything out of them — most likely because I forgot to cross a “t” or dot an “i.”

Now the cool thing about this computer is that it also functions as a TV, so that helps us out a bit in the area of ensuring that we can all be in separate rooms watching different programs and never see each other ever again. Trick. AND (drum roll…) now neither the MoH or the RT has to use my Mac. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOT.

Seriously. It’s mine, mine, mine. ALLLLLLLLLLL mine and they don’t get to TOUCH it.

EVER. So I’m sure the two older boys (okay, so they’re men, but you know how that goes when you’re the mom, right?) are enjoying it while the RT is away. And you can imagine the RT is sweating a bit because he had to leave it at home and is now stuck in this female infested house for the holidays. My sister does have a Wii, though, so people have been having a blast with that. I haven’t succumbed, but most likely will tonight after a couple glasses of wineski.

Enough of that nonsense.

So I just wanted to let you know we were all alive and well, have celebrated my mom’s 70th birthday in true style (there wasn’t a fancy dress in the house…) and took some photos I’ll have to try and share later. Totally hilarious. Oh, and “we” constitutes my sister’s family (husband and two younger daughters) her oldest daughter and her boyfriend (who left Monterey, CA to live here instead and are holed in upstairs indefinitely..) my mother (who’s living in the basement sort of indefinitely, but actually more like temporarily…) a dog, and three cats who all have to be kept away from one another. Oh. And us. Quite the household.

Today, more lists are in order — but they’re the lists I’m good at that include miles of ingredients and a sequence of what to prepare in which order. With one last trip to the grocery store (there have already been two…) we’ll be ready to hunker down for a fun night of dessert making, toasting (instead of the roasting we did to my mom last night), and preparing for our holiday breakfast and then dinner later.

The MoH and RT are out today with my seester doing the turismo thang in D.C. I’ll venture out on Wednesday (which is our wedding anniversary) and make like a tourist myself. Maybe I’ll even twist the MoH’s arm a bit for a swanky dinner or something.

In the meantime, I sincerely hope you are warm, doing what fills your heart — regardless of what it is — and that you are healthy.

Thanks for visiting my little space in the Bloggosphere so often this past year. You have helped to take me from the exhausted, burnt out, frazzled, and completely flattened person that I was, to a person who laughs much more than she used to, and who has also recovered something she thought she’d lost for good — writing.

YOU ROCK!