Dummy-Down

Today I was reading a post by Brad and it occurred to me that what he was talking about sounded a lot like what I accuse my hubs of doing… I call it "dumming-down". My hubs is a smart guy. He can even speak well, when he wants to. Many times I get frustrated listening to him talk to other people because he'll use poor grammar (ain't) and sound like the 'hick' that he's not. He claims it is his way of putting others at ease and many times they'll let their guard down and tell him things they wouldn't normally if they thought he was as or more intelligent than they are.

In recent years I've noticed my younger daughter and son doing the same thing. I realize these family members can talk to anyone about anything and perhaps that is why. Me? I usually am standing there feeling like the one who really doesn't know anything so I have a tendency to keep my mouth shut and only speak when spoken to. Not around my friends or family, but when I'm around other people  I don't know as well.

Is that the secret to having good social skills? Dummy-down? Maybe I need to learn this some day.

The Written Word

I don't know what prompts us to throw ourselves on the tracks and purge all over the blogosphere, but I've seen it so many times from so many of us. I've seen confessions and breakdowns and infidelity and loathing and love. I've seen blog posts from people that I'm not sure they themselves have a clue what they're talking about. We all have written posts like that, our internal monologue filling in the blanks so that the reader is only getting half of the conversation, only half of the clues to the puzzle that is our thoughts.

I admit, I read some of your posts with envy. I am jealous of the words and the emotion and the absolute beauty that comes through your words. I am a reader. My family will attest to the fact that I am rarely without a book on my person – or within reach. I used to buy them all until a few years ago when I realized I was going to go broke trying to keep up with my habit – as horrible as a crack habit. You do not want to see me without a book. Trust me on this.

I took a New Years' oath to stop buying books. Okay, not altogether, but I cut back by at least 98 percent. I read about one book every day or two. If it is a very long tome, it may take me a week. I am lucky that my local library is online and I am able to put books on 'hold' – including new releases, so I am in there about once a week exchanging one pile for another. It is highly frustrating to finish one book in the dead of night, only to pick up a new one and start to read – realizing you have read this one already. I used to keep a list of books I'd read, and even tried to put them on my blog, but I just go through them too fast to keep lists of them. It slows me down.

So it is that I feel exceptionally bad about not keeping up on my blog reading. It isn't that it would take me a long time to read your posts. It isn't that I don't want to know what is going on with you and in your life and in your head. I can't really explain why it is that I am so bad at it. I only know that as much as I do read I am inside-out green with some of your posts. I want you to expand those posts – I want to see a book that explores this person further and lets me see more insight than the glimmers you've shown me. The way you turn a phrase or bring a tear or make us smile. I envy that ability to move us with words.

Keep up the good work. You know who you are.*

*Yes, you. All of you over there on that list to the right.

Blogiversary

I've been pretty scarce around here to the point where I was wondering if I was ever going to come back here myself. The past few posts have been so depressing and gloomy that I wouldn't expect many people to come along and check out what I wrote the next few times because of the predictable taste of what is coming out of these pages.

I realized that we are almost to the end of August and it is my blogiversary. I started this way back in 2004 and I'm still, although barely, here. I have to make a decision. I either start doing this a little more regularily again, or I walk away. I hate to walk away… from anything.

So here I am, begging your forgiveness for being absent. Wanting to come back and purge the thoughts that stuff my head day in and day out. Hope you'll be along for the ride. If only to let me know that you, too, are still here.

Thank you to all who gave me condolences on the dogs. I know some people just think they are animals… but to those of us who have them and love them, they are family. Just the furry kind.

I'm back. See you soon.

Jon and Kate Plus…?

You'd have to be living under a rock right now not to have heard about the reality show “Jon and Kate Plus 8”. Even if you've never watched it, you have certainly caught news articles or magazine covers in the supermarket check-out line touting the end of their marriage and all the wailing going on about “oh-what-will-we-do-about-the-children”? I guess there is even a special episode on tonight that is supposed to answer the burning question… will they or won't they?

I would like to say I've not stooped so low as to follow this fiasco, but I would be lying. I started watching the show a few months ago and although I don't always agree with their decisions or their parenting skills, I have always maintained that children don't come with manuals and we all do the best we can… well, most of us do. I'm not talking about the crack-moms or the ones who leave their children in the car while they go into the bar. I think for the most part, main-stream moms who love their children do the best they can and they really do try to think about what is best for their children.

Do we all get it right? Hell no. I can speak from experience. I don't think most of us get it right very much of the time. I think a lot of it is luck… and angels watching out.

We've all gone crazy about Kate's bossiness and Jon's wussiness. We've all decided she's a bitch and he's a wiener. It is rumored he's playing around with young women and she's playing around with old bodyguards. Personally? Who cares. I mean, seriously. Who. Cares.

Yes, they put their children out there for the world to see. Yes, it has brought them a lot of money and fame and follows comes photographers and sleazy news articles. Are they true? Probably. Should we care? Not unless we are prepared to have to answer to our own perfection. Remember, glass houses, rocks, etc…?

I think there is probably going to be a big change in that tv show. I think there is going to be a huge change in that family dynamic. I think it should be done in private, not out where we have to live with seeing all the dirty laundry aired. Yes, it is probably there, but do we have to look at those children ten years down the road with a knowing smile and say, “yeah… I saw your parents implode on national tv”. Me? I'm going to just turn it off now and let them live their lives… hopefully, not in the public eye.

One Foot In Front of the Other

That pretty much explains how I'm doing. Just taking it day to day. I'm good. Happy, even. Just can't seem to get real excited about much of anything… at least, not enough to blog it. I feel I'm letting down my blog. I think of several posts a day, but they never seem to make it to the page. Not even to the draft stage.

It isn't as though I've abandoned it for some other means of communication. I don't Twitter, and although I've got a Myspace and Facebook account, I rarely pop in to do anything there. As a matter of fact, I don't think I've done a thing on Myspace. Just set up the account so I could view someone else's page they wanted me to see. *shrug* I did more with Facebook when my dad was in the hospital, just because I have many relatives on there and it was a quick way to keep them all updated on what was going on with him. Now that I don't have that responsibility, I can't seem to get very enthusiastic about it. I hear people talking about Mafia Wars and Eggs and things and I think, "oh, that sounds like fun"… then never get around to actually participating.

I've been in my head a lot lately as well, it seems. I've had some long talks with my kids and my hubs and I'm trying to think of ways to get those things out of my head and onto the page. Some days I wonder if that isn't how a person with some disabilities feel… the knowing what you want to say, but just not being able to get it out of you in a way that is understandable by others. How frustrating it must be. Me? I'm not exactly frustrated, but am having that experience where it is just on the tip of my tongue, but can't seem to make it from there to my fingertips to the computer to the page. Okay, are you completely confused now? If so, then you know EXACTLY what I mean…

Still Here

Yeah, I'm still here. Lucky to get a post a week out, but hate to just give up the ghost and say "on hiatus"… or, even worse, "quitting the blog"…   sooooo I am posting just to let you know that neither of those are happening. Happy?

Been getting back in the swing of working, at least half days. The time change still has me messed up – more so than other times when it has changed. I'm not sure why. When I was at my mom's for that couple of months, my Hubs and daughter managed to get the puppies so they sleep later in the morning. That's part of it. I don't get awakened by quiet woofs at five a.m., so it is easier to sleep later. I suspect as things get busier at work and when the guys get in the field, then I will finally get back on my more normal schedule, but right now I feel like a lazy sack of shit.

Also been working with my mom on my dad's memorial service – or whatever you call it. We are going to have it in mid-April on his birthday. It happens to fall on a Sunday, so it will work out pretty well. We're just keeping it small, about 30 people, just mainly immediate family. I have a cousin who is a minister who is going to say a few words and one of my aunts has been putting together a DVD of pictures that were my grandparents. It should be neat. There is a chance of snow every day this week… hopefully by mid-April the weather will straighten itself out.

I've been (as always) struggling with my weight. I go up and down with the stress and lost about 10 lbs when I had that bad cold. Amazing how little you can eat when you can't taste anything. I've always said I'd be really thin if I hated food! At any rate, I am buying my son and daughter-in-law's treadmill off of them and hopefully will be getting into the swing of things soon. I'm hoping that helps, just to get moving. I'm such a couch potato. I like being outside, but I am challenged by cold-weather asthma if I try to walk in the cold, and a klutz gene which causes me to find any and all rough dips, holes, and other numerous places to fall or turn or sprain ankles when walking on anything but a perfectly smooth surface. So I'm thinking, treadmill is the key. 

If you are still here… thanks for dropping by. One of these days I may actually get back in the swing of things!

A Long Winter

I was under the mis-conception that last winter was a long one. Last winter went on and on into the spring with rain and cold and gloomy gray clouds that sucked the life out of everything and everyone. It took a toll on my eldest daughter, sinking her depression to lows that none of us thought could ever be. Not her. No way.

Then this winter came and it became a bit darker than the one before. Economic hard times have hit many families in so many ways. We've been lucky in that regard. We know it.

This winter snow became ice more often that snow. Ice that was slick and deceptive in patches. One thing led to another and friends were lost, family lost, injuries sustained. Then news filtered down about friends in the blogosphere losing loved ones, pets and human… children, parents. It seemed to go on and on. 

My daughter is back to struggling. Again. The ECT helped, but not, it seems, for very long. For a little while she was her old self again. Joyful, even. Now she has dark days which, although she's not had to be hospitalized yet again, lead me to fear it could be returning. The darkness that swallowed her once. Her doctor is changing her medications and she's been staying home from work… I'm hopeful that this will be a solution and not just a brief interlude. I love her so much… I don't want her to have these dark times. I want to take it away, to make it all better. Isn't that what mom's are supposed to do? 

The sun is out today, but the temperature is hovering barely above zero. It is deceptive… everything looks okay, but it isn't. I want this long winter to be over, in so very many ways. 

This ‘n That

Not much exiting to report.

  • Mom has had no more phone calls. I'm hoping that was the end of it. I think she'll be more careful from now on.
  • I got a new 'puter. I'm like a little kid. I love me a new 'puter (okay, like a lot…. don't love something that can't love you back.)
  • New 'puters are nice, but they take a lot of work to get all your stuff transferred, programs installed, and then because I'm selling my old one, getting it all cleaned off to sell. It was a weekend full of 'puter stuff.
  • I've had this cold for, what? Two weeks? Getting sick of being sick. I guess I am just lucky it didn't hit when my parents were in the hospital. Maybe that was mind over matter?
  • Sounds like there have been lots of relationship issues in blogosphere. My head is spinning with it all. I really, REALLY need to catchup one of these days.
  • Speaking of which, where does the time go? I've barely been working, I've hardly been on World of Warcraft, I haven't been blogging, I swear… the time is just getting away from me!
  • Thank for stopping by. One of these days I'll (hopefully) get more interesting. Undecided

Learning Curve

Mom called me last night and said she was almost afraid to answer the phone. She said a man called her earlier in the evening, irate, and demanded to know who he was speaking to. She gave her sirname, then he said that a man from her number (home, landline) had been calling his cell phone over and over and he was sick of it. He insisted this was the number. I said, "Mom, you didn't say there was no man there, did you?"… she responded, "No, but I told him there had been no man here this week."  Doh.

He proceeded to tell her if anyone called her from that number again he would be calling back.

Well, I did what any good daughter would do. I called the police. I mean, the obit was in the paper. The phone number is in the book (along with her address, of course). They are going to make extra trips through her neighborhood and she's to call them back immediately if he calls again. No, she doesn't have caller ID (like Hubs said, it would probably be blocked anyway). I did suggest to her that if he was legitimate he would be willing to give her his number and to ask him for it politely. Tell him you are going to check with the phone company to see if there is a wiring problem or something, but to never, ever, ever, let a stranger know you are there alone.

She's an easy target. She's elderly, rather weak, and she goes out with her dog at all hours of the night and day. Anyone watching her would find her easy prey, I'm afraid.

I swear… you just get your kids grown and think you've got them to where they can take care of themselves, then you get to start all over again… with your parents.