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So about two years ago I thought I would jump-start my mostly-dead blog by answering The 36 Questions That Lead to Love. Not for any reasons related to love, but because I needed writing prompts, and usually I enjoy answering questions about myself. Unfortunately, I have not enjoyed many of the Questions That Lead to Love. This may explain why I have historically had difficulty getting people to fall in love with me. It’s okay because I really only needed one person to fall in love with me, and he did it without me having to answer any of these pesky questions, but now I’m getting off topic. Where was I? Oh, yes. I felt like jump-starting the blog again–really, this is getting ridiculous, but I’m slowly making peace with the fact that I’m a ridiculous person–so I looked up where I left off on the 36 Questions, and I’m on #15:

What is the greatest accomplishment of your life?

Of all the questions I have hated, I may hate this question the most. Actually, the question I hate the most is “What’s for dinner?” Something about that question just sends me into a rage spiral. I can’t explain it. Why does anyone need to know what’s for dinner? Why can’t we treat it like Christmas or your birthday? Why spoil the surprise? Do you have alternate plans? Have you received other offers? But I’m getting off topic again. Aside from “What’s for dinner?” the question I hate the most is “What is your greatest accomplishment?” Is it really fair to ask this question before one is on one’s death bed? Do I really have to contemplate at the tender age of almost-45 how puny and pathetic my accomplishments thusfar have been?

I think it’s not so bad to have to answer this question at, say, 25 (or almost-25). A 25-year-old isn’t expected to have too many accomplishments. You could say, “I graduated college” or “I got a job,” and that’d be fine. You’re just starting out in life, after all. You have plenty of time to look forward to greater accomplishments. At almost-45, your life is, let’s face it, probably more than half over. (Obviously, your life could be more than half over at any age, since death is usually unpredictable, but for the sake of argument, let’s just assume most of us will live until 70- or 80-something, at the most.) (Of course, I may well live to be 90-something. It seems to be how the ladies in my family tree roll, with the obvious exception of my mother, who only made it to 52 1/2. If I’m not destined to put up more years than my mother, I’m certainly on my last legs here, but just this once we’ll go with a more optimistic estimate.) (Someday I will tire of parenthetical asides, but today is not that day!) This is not the best time to do an assessment. It is both too early and too late. Too early to say, “Oh, well, I did my best,” and too late to say, “Dude, I really need to get going on those accomplishments!” because at 45 (or almost), you are busy with a lot of stuff that doesn’t really matter in the grand scheme of things, and far too busy to re-think your grand scheme strategy.

At church, the ladies’ auxiliary has been doing a weekly spotlight on individual ladies, to help us get to know each other better, and one of the questions, regrettably, is “What is your greatest accomplishment?” Almost everyone says, “My children” or “my family.” I think that there is nothing wrong with that answer. It just isn’t the right answer for me. For one thing, I don’t feel that I have “accomplished” my family. I mean, I gave birth to four people. That’s a thing. I don’t disparage that thing. On the other hand, pregnancies have a natural tendency to end in birth, requiring no special skills on my part. But more to the point, aside from giving birth to them and taking care of them, which is not a small thing–I don’t mean to suggest that it is small–a) they’re not finished yet, and b) even if they were, I can’t take credit for what they are. I mean, I refuse to take credit for it. (Especially since I don’t even know what they’ll end up being yet. You can’t pin this thing on me! I won’t have it!) So I can’t say that my family is my greatest accomplishment. That doesn’t mean anything to me. To say my family is my greatest joy is something different. I could say that, probably, without laughing. (Not sure I could say it without my family laughing at me, but that’s a separate issue.) Greatest “accomplishment,” no.

But what have I accomplished? In 45 years of living, what have I accomplished? I graduated from college. I got a job (that was in no way related to my college education). I gave birth to four people. I learned to tap dance. Learning to tap dance may have been my greatest accomplishment. I’m not sure what that says about me, considering that I’m not a great tap dancer. I mean, I’m fine. I’m as good as one can expect to be when one takes up tap dancing at 33 and also isn’t terribly coordinated. I enjoy my ability to tap dance. What does it mean to me that I’ve learned to tap dance? What does it mean that I’ve learned to tap dance and yet it isn’t enough?

I guess this question just seems especially cruel after Question #14: “Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?” I answered that question in November. The answer hasn’t gotten less depressing. I give some version of this answer every time someone asks me if I’m “still writing.” Really, that question ought to be right up there with “Are you still married?” If you don’t know, don’t ask! It just brings up painful feelings!

It’s mainly that I had great hopes for my accomplishments, back when I was 15, 25, 35, and even as late as 40 or 41. It’s only been in the last couple of years that I’ve thought I should probably make a new game plan for accomplishing stuff. I should go back to college, but this time major in something useful, and get a job that will be useful and that I will be good at. I’m not about to waste tens of thousands of dollars more on educating myself, though, until I know what it is that I would be good at that would also be useful. So far I’ve got nothing. I really have a very limited skill set. For one thing, my people skills are terrible. You’d be surprised at how many careers this eliminates right off the bat. And yes, it is too late for me to become a doctor.

I spent far too many years expecting my greatest accomplishments to be in the writing arena, but it turns out I’m not nearly as good at writing as I am at reading. I tell myself that I would be better at writing if I read less and wrote more, but I can’t bring myself to do it. Do you know how many hours I spent reading Don Quixote last month? I didn’t even enjoy it all that much (although I have an intellectual appreciation for it). The only reason I read Don Quixote instead of writing was that I knew that if I kept reading, I would eventually finish Don Quixote. I know how to keep reading. I don’t know how to keep writing, and I haven’t finished writing anything apart from posts on this blog for about five years. (I think. I don’t know. It depresses me to count. Although I know how to count. I’m just afraid to keep counting.)

At this point I am waiting for someone to say, “Don’t you see, Mad? Your greatest accomplishment is this blog!” Followed immediately by “WHICH YOU ALLOWED TO DIE!!!”

Just remember, I said it first.

 

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So it’s January. Crazy, huh? 2016. The year my oldest child graduates from high school (knock on wood). Hard to believe, especially considering that when I was her age, I thought for sure the world would have come to an end before now. Funny how life works.

I believe that when last we spoke—I use the term “spoke” loosely—I had just come from an appointment with the doctor who had bloodied my toe and prescribed me an antibiotic that I had to take for three months to kill a fungal infection in said toe (and wherever else it might lurk). Three months is actually a rather long time. I’m on the third month now. I was supposed to get my liver function checked once a month while I was on this antibiotic. Guess how many times I’ve had it checked. That’s right, zero. I would probably know if my liver were failing, wouldn’t I? I mean, by now I certainly would. If it were failing. Or maybe I wouldn’t. Maybe on the day I take my last pill, I will just keel over from liver failure. I suppose that’s not the worst way I could go. But I reckon that won’t happen. I really enjoy not having a fungal infection. At least I hope the fungal infection’s gone. My toenail hasn’t really grown back yet, or really grown at all, frankly, but the doctor did say it would take about a year. In the meantime I have a somewhat awkward pedicure. Good thing I do my own pedicuring.

Anyway, that was November. Let me tell you what happened in December. First I got my braces off. No, I’m not kidding. It actually happened. That makes my time in braces a mere 4 years and 10 months, rather than the 576 I was afraid it was going to be. It was a Christmas surprise. I went in for an adjustment and my orthodontist said, “Well, you still have this one millimeter space that hasn’t closed yet. I’ve tried everything I can think of, but I can keep trying, if it’s bothering you.” I said, “Of course a one millimeter space bothers me. How could it not? It’s a whole FREAKING MILLIMETER. What the hell am I paying you for?” Just kidding, I didn’t say that at all. I told him the truth, which was that I wouldn’t know a one millimeter space from a half-millimeter space, and in fact I had not noticed this gaping chasm at all. So in that case, he said, we could go ahead and take the brackets off and make my retainer that very day. America!

I was hoping I’d look different when the braces came off, but it turns out I don’t really. I look pretty much the same. That’s okay. Better than looking worse, I guess.

Well, the second thing that happened in December was I got in a car accident. That’s neither here nor there except that it means we had to get a new minivan. Yes, I totaled another car, but I swear it wasn’t on purpose. Of course, if I’d known what a nice minivan my husband was going to buy… Just kidding. I totally wouldn’t have totaled the car on purpose. Car accidents are horrible. I’m beginning to feel like I just shouldn’t drive anymore. I’m sure my insurance company agrees. On the other hand, if I have to drive—which I do—I don’t mind doing it in a new minivan. (Except for that crippling paranoia I feel every time I go out on the road.) It’s much fancier than our old minivan. For one thing, the windows roll up and down, and all the doors open. Not only do the doors open, but they are automatic doors. I even have one of those fancy key fobs that will open the doors remotely. Of course, I am constantly opening the wrong side of the car because I can never remember which simple diagram represents what, but I figure I’ll get the hang of it eventually.

The bad news is that the check engine light went on about a week and a half ago. The good news is that the car’s still under warranty. The bad news is that the part that has to be replaced is hard to find, so the car’s been in the shop since Monday and will probably stay there for a while. In the meantime, we are making do with Sugar Daddy’s car, which, I have to say, does not seem nearly so fancy anymore next to the new minivan. It does have heated seats, though, which the fancy new minivan does not. SD’s always depriving me of these little things so I don’t get too spoiled. Speaking of spoiled, we are not really making do with just SD’s car, but we are relying heavily on my mother-in-law being willing to drive him to and from work. Proximity has its privileges, that is fo shizzle.

I said “fo shizzle” the other day and Princess Zurg thought it was really lame. Well, duh. Of course it’s lame. I’m 44 years old, obviously I am saying it IRONICALLY. Also, because it’s kind of fun. Because I’m 44 years old and I don’t give a crap anymore about sounding lame.

Or being lame, for that matter. You might say that I have finally embraced lameness as a way of life. I wouldn’t say that I endorse lameness as a way of life, but I probably could fool a lot of people into thinking I do, what with how intimate an embrace lameness and I are currently entangled in. So maybe the “fo shizzle” isn’t ironic. Maybe it’s whatever it has to be.

Currently, I feel like a day has been a success if I didn’t take a nap during it. By that standard, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday have all been successes. I think. I don’t remember taking a nap yesterday. If I don’t remember it, it probably didn’t happen. No, I’m sure it didn’t. So, yes. Unmitigated successes, all three days. Can I make it four? Only tomorrow will tell.

I used to feel like a day was a success if I’d a) not taken a nap, b) exercised, c) did enough housework to make myself upset, and d) taken a shower. Showering can seem like such a burden sometimes, although in the end I’m always glad I did it. I have never regretted taking a shower, as far as I can remember. I have oft regretted the shower not taken. Let this be a lesson to you, kids: there is no substitute for personal hygiene. This paragraph has inspired me to slightly raise the bar for a successful day: a) no nap and b) at least one shower. Actually, (b) can compensate for want of (a) in a pinch, as far as I’m concerned. But by this standard, two of the last three days have been double successes.

It occurred to me the other day that I am probably depressed. I’m not sure what to do about it. My depression is sort of like my teeth—it used to be horrible and untreated. Now it is treated, but there’s still this one millimeter space I can’t seem to close no matter what I do. Actually, it’s more like a three or four millimeter space because I do notice it. I notice that I don’t write anymore, and I don’t have aspirations or plans, and I don’t have any close friends. If I wanted to be social, who would I call? If something wonderful happened to me, who would I tell?

I don’t like to complain about these things because it seems pretty douche-like to have a comfortable lifestyle and a minivan I don’t deserve and say that it’s not enough. I’m sure 95 percent of the world would like to be as unhappy as I am. There’s an old Far Side cartoon where two cows are in a sitting room or parlor or whatever; Mr. Cow is reading the newspaper and Mrs. Cow (wearing pearls, as I recall) is holding a martini and she says, “Wendell, I’m not content.” That is me. That has always been me, actually. I used to expect more from myself—or rather, I expected that eventually I would produce more, or contribute more—to my family, to my community, to humanity in general. But I seem to lack a certain essential quality—the quality that causes people to accomplish things.

I’ve tried to look at myself in a more charitable light. My mother, for example, was not a person of great accomplishments—I mean, most people aren’t, when you come right down to it—but you wouldn’t call her life a failure because what really matters in life, I think, is relationships, and she was a people person. I am not a people person. Even when it comes to my kids, whom I love—and who I think love me, most of the time—I feel like I don’t measure up. I mean, I’m not a failure as a mother. I’m not ridiculous enough to think that. Although I might be a failure on some level—I’m afraid I haven’t instilled the value of work in them, and it’s probably too late to make a difference on that front now. My credibility is completely shot. The ladies at my church have a book group, and every year they get together and pick the books they want to read that year, and there are always tons of suggestions in the self-help genre. This is where I differ from most Mormon women, I think. Self-help books don’t inspire me, they just depress me. Really, is there any hope for a woman who is depressed by good advice?

Well, this blog took a turn for the dark at some point, didn’t it? It’s a good thing I don’t have anything to prove. That I have embraced my lameness, as it were, because this post is lame. On the other hand, I did not have to take a nap in the middle of it, so SUCCESS.

Is there something that you’ve dreamed of doing for a long time? Why haven’t you done it?

Isn’t that a loaded question? For a long time I’ve dreamed of writing a novel. Pretty much since I was a kid, in fact. As a kid I started many, many novels. Well, they were children’s books, but they were chapter books. I even finished a few. There weren’t any good, mind you, but I did finish them. They weren’t very long, either–more like novellas, really–but I did finish them. But the last novella/chapter book I finished was when I was about eleven years old. What happened after that? I’m not sure.

Well, as a teenager I became interested in screenplays and television writing. That lasted for several years and was probably my downfall. I didn’t start writing stories again until college, and that’s when I started thinking about writing a novel again. But I didn’t actually try to write a novel at that time. I continued writing stories, or at least trying to write stories. I wrote stories through two (failed) attempts at graduate school. And then I got married and had kids, and that was the end of everything.

Not really. When I was pregnant with my third child, I took a writing workshop class through the community college, and I wrote stories again, for the first time in…I don’t know. I should say that I actually finished stories for the first time in a very long time. Then that class ended and I gave birth and more life happened and then I started a blog. I used to blog pretty much every day, even when I wasn’t getting any other kind of writing done (and I mostly wasn’t).

About…five years ago? Six? It couldn’t be seven, could it? Or could it? Maybe six or seven years ago I started writing a novel. I wrote several chapters. There might be thirteen or so altogether. I don’t know. There are a lot of files and some of them are re-writes or alternate versions of other chapters, but I think thirteen chapters is about right. It’s not more than fifteen. I don’t know what happened to that novel. I couldn’t decide what happened next, I guess. I got stuck. Maybe I lost interest. I decided a novel was too ambitious, considering my circumstances and level of productivity, so I started writing stories again. “Started” being the operative term. How many whole stories do I have to show for that period of writing? Definitely one whole one, possibly two. I spent a lot of time re-working old stories I had written while in college or while pregnant with my third child–stuff I’d done during my productive times that wasn’t very good but at least had been completed once and could possibly be good if I completed them again.

About a year or so ago I got an idea for another novel, and that’s what I’ve been working on–“working” being a relative term, because now I’m in the same place where I was with my last novel, i.e. I don’t know what comes next, and not knowing what comes next leaves me with little to do except re-read what I’ve already done and realize that it’s crap. Last week I went back and re-read all the chapters of my old novel and realized that a) it’s actually promising and b) I shouldn’t have abandoned it but also c) I still don’t know what comes next.

It’s hard for me to move forward with either novel right now because a) I don’t know what comes next, but also b) I can’t quiet the voice in my head that says, “You’re a good writer, Mad, but you’re not that good. If you can’t figure out how to write this thing, it’s probably because you can’t. Maybe your calling in life is to be an excellent albeit obscure blogger.” I do think I’m an excellent blogger, when I actually take time to blog. I’ve tried not blogging to make more room in my life for other writing, but it seems like I don’t really need the extra room after all. Nothing’s coming.

That’s why I’ve never written a novel.

Did I scare you? You thought I was dead, didn’t you?

Actually, you probably just thought I’d given up on blogging forever (finally), and you were right. Mostly. I mean, I was pretty sure a couple days ago that I would just never post anything on this blog again because, well, look at me. I mean, look at the blog. It’s just sad. It makes me sad to look at it. Why didn’t I find some way to go out with a bang? Probably because I’m not very good at big productions. I’m good at excelling in small, insignificant things. And you just never know when you’ve written your last insignificant thing. But I digress. The point is, I changed my mind. I changed my mind just now, because for some reason I am perpetually signed in to WordPress, so whenever I visit another WordPress blog, I see the header with my username and whether or not people have been commenting and/or following me. I am apparently still getting lots of followers even though I haven’t updated this thing since…well, I guess it was June. Seems like longer. Anyway, that’s not the point. I’m still getting followers, but I’m assuming most of them are spambots because that’s who most of my commenters are. I haven’t investigated this to know for sure because I’d rather maintain the illusion that there’s a possibility at least some of them are actual people. But the comments are getting to me.

It is the best time to make some plans for the future and
it’s time to be happy. I’ve read this post
and if I could I want to suggest you few interesting
things or advice. Maybe you can write next articles referring
to this article. I wish to read more things about it!

I liked it better when I was blogging in obscurity and no one commented. This is like flies laying eggs on your decaying flesh. Gross!

You may have noticed, if you are a blogger that I have historically followed, that in addition to not blogging I am also not commenting on anyone’s blog. This is because I’m also not reading anyone’s blog. This is not because your blog no longer interests me. This is because I am intentionally not paying attention to anyone’s blog because it reminds me that I’ve left my own to die, and that makes me sad. I would be less sad about it if I had replaced blogging with writing in some other form, but I really haven’t written much of anything since the kids got out of school. For one thing, they hog all the computers. For another thing, I’m busy. For the most important thing, I’ve been lazy. How can I be both too busy and too lazy? Well, I’m not simultaneously. I’m alternately too busy and alternately too lazy. And intermittently without a computer because my kids are computer hogs. I can’t seem to convince any of them that this computer is actually mine. It belongs to me. My husband bought it for me with his own money. I’m the one who married him, not them! But they don’t get it.

That’s why I should probably get a job. One of many reasons, but that subject depresses me too.

Anyway, I know this makes me a fair-weather internet-friend. You should see how I’ve been letting stuff go on Facebook too. I’m sort of over feeling guilty about it, though, because really, there are so many ways I’ve failed others in real life (i.e. off the internet) that I just can’t afford to indulge any feelings of remorse over anything anymore.

I might be turning into a sociopath. I understand those are usually born, not made, but I might be the first self-made sociopath. That could be the title of a new blog. “Self-made Sociopath.” I’m considering it. Don’t steal it until I say it’s okay!

When I think about it, there are a great many things I could be blogging about right now. For one thing, I recently got back from my first camping trip in 25 years. Maybe 27 years. In fact, I’m pretty sure it’s been 27 years. Maybe 29. All this counting is making me feel old. Anyway, I’m sure you’re dying to know how that went.

Okay, I’ll tell you.

The last time I can remember camping is when my family (all of us except my older sister, who was working that summer) went to the Grand Canyon. That wasn’t the only thing we did that summer. It was just the most noteworthy thing.

I kid you not, one of my kids just came up and asked for the computer. Just now. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? GET A JOB!

Anyway, that summer we went to the Grand Canyon was the summer we trekked all over the Western United States. We started in Southern California, where we lived, drove out to the Grand Canyon, went up through Utah and Idaho, where we saw relatives, across through Washington, where we had more relatives, and down through Oregon, where we had yet more relatives, and back down through California again. While in Utah we visited the Salt Lake Temple. Just the outside, just for a little while. We also might have had relatives in Utah at that time. I can’t remember for sure. What I remember most vividly is driving through Las Vegas around noontime and there were five of us crammed into a Dodge Vista wagon with no air conditioning. This is where my hatred of Las Vegas was born. (My hatred of cars without air conditioning had long been established by then.) It doesn’t seem quite right to me now that we should have been in Las Vegas at all. It’s neither on the way to or the way from the Grand Canyon. But I’m 99% certain this was the same trip because when else would we have been in Las Vegas? We don’t have relatives there. I also remember that we had lunch at an A&W and they served me a root beer in one of those glass mugs, which I reckon they don’t do anymore, but the point I was going to make was that the mug had lipstick on it. I did not wear lipstick. Now that I think on it, it could very well have been an Arctic Circle. We didn’t have either of them in California, but I’m almost certain it was an A&W because of the root beer. I used to drink root beer. I don’t anymore. Not because of the lipstick incident but because I probably drank too many of them when I was younger and now they just taste kind of gross to me, unless they have ice cream in them. But I really do digress this time. How old was I? I want to say 15. I’m 43 now, so that’s 28 years ago. (Gee, one of the few numbers I didn’t guess.) Except for when we stayed with relatives, we were camping.

Camping was what my family did instead of staying in hotels. I can’t recall ever camping in the same place two nights in a row. I don’t think we did. Why would we have? We had places to go–relatives to see, canyons to visit. Anyway, my family camped A LOT when I was growing up, always on the way to someplace else. We never really camped just for the sake of hanging out in nature. It was just that camping was cheaper than a hotel. Don’t get me wrong–my father loved camping. He was a boy scout. He loved the nature. My mother did not so much love it, but she was a good sport and she didn’t like spending money either. (More to the point, she felt guilty about spending money, but that’s another story.) The only time I can remember staying in a hotel when I was growing up was when we moved from Oregon to California and we stayed in a Holiday Inn in the Bay Area, courtesy my father’s new employer. Otherwise, it would never have happened. Let me tell you, the Holiday Inn was my idea of luxury for many years. To this day I have kind of a soft spot in my heart for it, although my last stay at a Holiday Inn Express was less than ideal.

But anyway–yes, camping. We did it every year. Every. Single. Year. The thing I remember most about it was blowing up my own air mattress. These days you have these new-fangled battery-operated pumps to blow up air mattresses. You also have much better air mattresses. Back then it was the kind of air mattresses you float in swimming pools and we had to blow them up with our own breath. You should know that I was well into my thirties before I successfully inflated my first balloon with this method, so you can imagine how much work it was for me, as a mere child (or sullen teenager) to inflate an entire freaking air mattress. Actually, by the time I was a sullen teenager, I had given up on blowing up the air mattress. Actually, it may have been on this Grand Canyon camping trip that I decided I wasn’t going to bother with them anymore BECAUSE THEY ALWAYS SPRANG A LEAK AND I’D WAKE UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT ON THE HARD GROUND ANYWAY SO WHAT WAS THE POINT. I was also on my period during this camping trip, so that made everything extra-delightful. (I’m sorry if you’re a dude reading this and needed a trigger warning before that sentence, but on the other hand, maybe you should just grow up. I’m the one who really suffered.)

So that is my prior camping experience, in a nutshell. Now a foundation has been laid so that I can tell you how I, a grown woman of 43, got suckered into making a camping trip–a four-day camping trip–and how that went. Stay tuned, gentle readers. Same bat time, same bat channel.*

*Same bat channel. I can’t promise the bat time. Heck, I can’t even guarantee that I’ll update in less than a month. But I will. I promise!**

**A promise is not the same as a guarantee. Promises are frequently broken. You never hear about a broken guarantee. Probably some legal thing.

All the kids are back in school today, and I could not be happier. Just kidding. Of course I could be happier. I could always be happier! If I ever reached the fulness of my happiness potential, the world would probably explode. Nevertheless, I am pleased to have the house back to myself. Unfortunately, I think that also means I have to clean it now.

If I were a better person, I would have made my kids clean it this weekend. But I’m at best an average person; therefore, all I can do is whine about how messy things are.

Maybe I couldn’t possibly be happier. Maybe this is as happy as my average-person self gets.

But this is no time to get bogged down in philosophy.

Today I went to my clogging class for the first time in three weeks. We didn’t meet during spring break, and then after spring break I got sick. Or rather, during spring break I got sick and was not better enough on Monday to dance for an hour and a half. I confess I was not looking forward to going today. I haven’t practiced at all, and I thought it would probably hurt to start again. It didn’t hurt that much. It was driven home to me, yet again, that I really need to practice some more. I’m so bad right now, I am starting to be embarrassed by it.

And I don’t embarrass easily.

It’s fortunate that I don’t embarrass easily because Princess Zurg had a semi-public breakdown this weekend. I say semi-public because we were at the church, but not many other people were there at the time–and not really anybody we knew. If your daughter has a psychotic episode in front of strangers, is it still humiliating? I shouldn’t say “psychotic episode.” That is hyperbole and inaccurate. What shall I call it? A total loss of self-control and rational thought, which included screaming and profanity. I realize church has that effect on a lot of people, but I’m still concerned. It happens at home too, you see. And yes, I realize family life has that effect on some people. Like me, for instance. But I spend weeks and months repressing it and only let it out occasionally. PZ lets it out all the time, and it doesn’t seem to help her at all, so I’d rather she did more repressing. Do you think it’s possible to teach someone how to repress stuff? I have a natural talent for it, so it’s hard for me to explain how it’s done, but surely there are professionals out there who could offer their assistance.

I had a talk with my husband yesterday about several things, but one of the things he brought up was my writing, and it put me in a rather unhappy mood. I was actually already in an unhappy mood because of the PZ situation, but I was repressing it pretty successfully, and then my husband’s innocent inquiry about my writing forced me to confront my fear of failure, which I suspect is a fear that grows more rational every day, and that put me in an unhappier mood. And here I am now, writing on this blog for no reason except to prove to myself that I can. But it isn’t very interesting, is it?

I’m hungry, and I need to do more laundry. Gentle reader, I apologize for how often I talk about the laundry. I know it has to be annoying. But I keep needing to do it, and there’s just nothing else going on in my life right now. Except that PZ’s birthday is coming up, and she wants to have a party but she doesn’t know what she wants to do, specifically, and I certainly have no ideas because I’m not a party-giver. Also, I’m apparently not an idea-haver, or I would be writing a lot better than I currently do. But that’s treading too closely to the matter I’m trying to suppress.

Tomorrow night is a baby shower for a woman in my clogging group. I feel like I should go because I like her, and perhaps I should get out of the house, but I’m afraid I’ll go and not have a good time. I kind of hate baby showers. But I feel obligated to make some effort to be social with people sometimes. I don’t know. I suppose I could go and if it sucks, I could leave. No one would notice or care. And I will have fulfilled my social obligation. So I guess I’ll go. Maybe. We’ll see.

Now I’m really hungry, and that laundry isn’t washing itself.

My psychiatrist helped me to see this. Well, I kind of already knew I was at a crossroads. Chatting with my psychiatrist has helped me to see how I might conceivably choose a path rather than make like Tom Hanks in Cast Away and stand at the crossroads until the credits roll. I’m only 41 years old. Even if I only live as long as my mother did, I’ve got at least another 12 years until the credits roll. That’s a long time to be standing at the crossroads. Much longer than the seven months I’ve already been standing here. My psychiatrist, in her way, gave me permission to forgive myself for wasting the last seven months of my life. She also gave me permission to take a while to figure out what exactly I’m going to do next. Here’s the progress so far: I accept the permission to do both of those things. I’m going to actually do them…eventually.

Two things: I am a very impatient person, especially when it comes to making decisions. I don’t like the decision-making process. I like the end result of decision-making, which is having made a decision, even if it’s wrong. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve made ill-considered decisions simply for the sake of not having to make the decision anymore. You might recall that’s how I ended up with my fourth child. I love my fourth child dearly, and she was definitely a right decision, but I couldn’t call the decision to have her anything but ill-considered. “I’m going to do this even if it’s wrong” is not the hallmark of a well-considered decision. That’s all I’m saying. Sometimes it works out, sometimes it doesn’t. The intermittently-rewarded action is more likely to be repeated than the consistently-rewarded action. Did you know that? I learned that in my high school psychology class. Where was I going with this? Oh, yes. I had a fourth child even though it might have been wrong, but it worked out, so that’s validated my habit of making ill-considered decisions.

Unfortunately, sometimes I can’t even make an ill-considered decision because I can’t discern what my options are. This is the problem of my future right now.

Here are some things I’ve already decided: I’m not going to be a dental hygienist. I’m not going back to school. I’ve already wasted tons of my parents’ money on a useless bachelor degree and a not-small chunk of my own change on two ill-considered attempts at graduate school (attempts at graduate school being even more useless than a bachelor’s degree in English), and I’m just not going to waste any more money on school. There are way too many people in school as it is. Higher education is overpopulated; I don’t want to add to that. I know what you’re thinking: “I didn’t even know she was thinking about being a dental hygienist.” I wasn’t, really. It was just one of the things that occurred to me while I was thinking about useful careers I could enter. It happened while my dental hygienist was cleaning my teeth. I thought, “I’ve been a parent for fifteen years, so I’ve seen a lot of gross stuff. I could totally get past the ick factor and probably enjoy cleaning people’s teeth. That seems like a satisfying job.” Why? I don’t know. Maybe because I would be allowed to finish cleaning a person’s teeth and not have to do it again for another six months. Not that same person’s teeth, I mean. I wouldn’t have to go home with them and brush and floss their teeth twice a day while living inside their mouth. That’s the difference between cleaning a stranger’s teeth and cleaning your own house. Maybe I was working through some other issues at the time. That’s neither here nor there because my husband says I’m not perky enough to be a dental hygienist, and I totally agree. I’m not really perky enough to be anything but a DMV employee, and I don’t want to work at the DMV. That seems like a very unsatisfying job, in addition to a demoralizing one. But I digress. The point is that I’m not going to embark on a new career. I’m not qualified for any of them, and I’m not going back to school to get qualified.

I’m also not going to go back into journalism. Once upon a time, when I was young, if I hadn’t started having kids when I did, I probably could have enjoyed a fair-to-middling career in that industry for a number of years. But having been out of it for quite some time, absence has not made the heart grow fonder. I have absolutely no desire to do that sort of writing anymore. I mean, no one really cares anyway. I’m old and I’ve been unemployed for 15 years. No one would want me to write for them. Writers are a dime a dozen, anyway. Actually, by now they are probably absolutely free. I’d have to be some kind of go-getter. I’ve never been much for go-getting. I’d have to really, really want it, and I really, really don’t. This might be related to the perkiness issue. Or it could be a coincidence. The point is, I’m not going down that road again.

Which leaves me with the following options: 1) finish the novel I started six years ago, 2) start a new novel, or 3) become really, really good at cleaning my house. I know which option my husband would prefer. Which option has the greatest likelihood of success, however? I just don’t know. Two problems: 1) I fear failure—like, I’m deathly afraid of it, it’s a debilitating fear, and 2) I really, really hate housecleaning. I just feel like it’s time for me to succeed at something. It has been a very, very, very long time since I’ve succeeded at something, and I’m feeling very success-deprived. This is where you say, “Well, duh, Mad, no guts, no glory, nothing ventured, nothing gained, blah blah, you can’t succeed until you try,” but you don’t get it. I’m looking for something I can definitely succeed at. Then I can feel free to try something else that I’m going to fail at. I know, I’m making excuses for myself. Don’t you think I know that? Do you think I can keep a blog for nine years and be so lacking in self-awareness? I’m not telling you how I ought to be. I’m telling you how I am. You should know that about me by now.

I can’t tell you how many times I have advised other writers to give themselves permission to write crap, to give themselves permission to suck. I give myself permission to suck at a lot of things. Housekeeping and parenting being chief among them. Also, public speaking. Social interaction. Teaching children’s Sunday School. Coloring my own hair. The list goes on and on. Permission to suck at the thing I’ve always wanted to do more than anything else since I was a little girl, I cannot seem to give myself, no matter how hard I try. I know I have to. Don’t you think I know that? I’m like my seven-year-old, who currently has a bladder infection and has to drink two teaspoons of antibiotic twice a day and it tastes like hell. She knows she has to drink it. She knows it’s better if she just chugs it down and gets it over with so she can have a Scooby Snack. She knows if she doesn’t drink it, it’s going to start burning again when she pees. So she’s motivated, but…gah, it just tastes so horrible! She brings it to her lips and remembers how bad it tastes and she just shudders and puts it down again. Rinse and repeat, for about 10-20 minutes. That’s me, only instead of 10-20 minutes, think 10-20 years. I’m not sure where I’m at in the journey just now.

So that’s why I find myself considering things like being a dental hygienist, even though there was never any danger of me actually becoming a dental hygienist. If I can’t succeed at this totally useless thing I’ve always thought I was good at and meant to do, I need to have a back-up plan. That is why I’ve managed to maintain this blog for nine years, even though at this point it is really only just barely, technically maintained. That’s why I still blog at BCC even though I don’t really have anything to say about Mormonism anymore. It’s not the kind of writing I want to be doing, but it’s something, and if it’s not great, who cares, because it’s just blogging anyway, and moreover, if I give it up, I will be writing nothing. That’s what I’m afraid of.

Did I mention something at the beginning that seemed somewhat optimistic, like I was going to choose a path instead of remaining at the crossroads indefinitely? I was just kidding. No, I was actually just more optimistic when I started than now, when I’m ending. For now I am ending. Tomorrow maybe I will post something cute that one of my kids said. Or I will tell you about how I’ve become an expert on Regency romance novels. Or I will just skip blogging for another eight weeks. I think I said that six weeks of not posting was the magic number for a blog dying, which means that this blog is officially dead, no matter what I do. It can never be resurrected again. This is just Zombie Giraffe talking. Eventually someone will do the thing to me that you have to do to kill a zombie. I don’t know what that is.

Princess Zurg and Mister Bubby discuss middle school

Princess Zurg: So how is it, getting changed in the locker room?

Mister Bubby: It’s fun. Because the boys and girls share a locker room.

PZ: No, they don’t!

MB: And the girls take showers.

PZ: They do not!

MB: Just kidding.

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Religion and public school intersect

Mister Bubby: There’s this kid at my school named John Baptist.

Madhousewife: That’s a cool name.

MB: Yeah. He just transferred from band to choir. Then he started healing people.

Mad: Impressive.

.

????

Princess Zurg: I don’t get what’s so complicated about wearing pants. I mean, you put one leg in, you put the other leg in, and you’re done!

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Sugar Daddy and the new health regimen

Sugar Daddy: So I was feeling very carb-needy this afternoon, and I found something in the cafeteria that was very wrong.

Mad: What now?

SD: Lucky Charms Treats.

Mad: That was a mistake.

SD: There was something that made it even more of a mistake.

Mad: What?

SD: Frosting.

Mad: Why would you do that?

SD: Well, I think I haven’t been taking in enough calories for the amount of exercise I’ve been doing–

Mad: There are better sources of calories than Lucky Charms Treats.

SD: Like what?

Mad: Anything?

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Not overheard, but seen randomly on the interwebs

“Romney’s campaign is so dead the Mormons have baptized it.”

Obscure religious humor, FTW.

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Epilogue

Speaking of death, I really don’t want this blog to die. I’m just having a hard time thinking of stuff to talk about anymore. Life is kind of boring, which is good, in a way, but also kind of boring. I mean, I’d like to quit blogging because I’m too busy doing more interesting stuff, not because even my inner life has lost meaning for me. What a terrible waste it is to lose one’s mind, or to not have a mind. Who said that, gentle readers? I’ll save you the Google. It was Dan Quayle. And what is Dan Quayle up to these days? I don’t know. Maybe he has a secret blog. We can only dream. (Because who cares what he’s really up to?)

Maybe I’ve said everything I have to say. Maybe I’m meant to devote the rest of my life to laundry and clogging. I suppose I could do worse. Or maybe I need better prescription drugs. You know what I really need? For the stupid phone to stop ringing.

And now I have 40 minutes until my mother-in-law comes over here. I should probably start on that laundry. Gentle readers, adieu.

So last week I finished reading book seven of Julia Spencer-Fleming’s Clare Fergusson-Russ VanAlstyne mystery series, and it was so good I read it twice. I’m not kidding around. And then I went back and read most of book six again. And some of books four and five. And yes, three. I still have them all here. They’re not going back to the library yet. Not that JSF shouldn’t take it as a compliment that I can’t let go of her characters, but I think it is probably a sign of depression as well. If I had a real life, I would have just enjoyed these books and moved on. Instead I’m…wallowing.

I had a similar reaction when Veronica Mars went off the air. I don’t think it’s healthy.

Anyway. I’m trying to get back into my usual reading routine. I’ve got a crapload of unread books on my Kindle. I’ve got three I’ve been reading since April 8 or something, and I just can’t seem to finish them. They’re not bad. They’re just not what I want. One of them is a 99-cent special I wouldn’t have bothered with (probably) because I’ve learned from sad experience that there’s a world of difference, quality-wise, between the 99-cent Kindle books and the $1.99 Kindle books. You wouldn’t think a dollar would represent such a huge difference, but it does. I guess a dollar is a huge difference at that level, economically speaking, but the quality increase from 99-cent book to $1.99 book is exponential in nature. Anyway. I wouldn’t have considered it under ordinary circumstances but I decided to take the risk because Oprah recommended it. I mean, her magazine recommended it, which is sort of the same thing, isn’t it? Her face is on the cover every damn issue; I assume her essence resides within every written word inside (but maybe not so much inside the pictures that aren’t of her). So yeah, I bought this book and it’s okay. I’m (finally) about halfway through and I’d like to know how it all turns out, but I’m not dying to know. In point of fact, I could live quite contentedly never knowing. Except that I paid 99 cents for this book on Oprah’s good word, and I’d kind of like to hold her accountable at the end–which I can’t do if there’s no end. So I’m going to finish it. It’s just such. hard. work.

The other book I’m reading is about a young woman’s mental illness and how it affects her family–it’s all literary and character-driven rather than plot-driven, but the problem is that I don’t really care about any of these characters. Well, I guess I care a little bit about the dad. No, not really. Never mind. I’m about…golly, am I halfway yet? It seems to be taking forever. Oh, would you look at that. I’m actually 61% through. I really turned a corner there. Too bad I still don’t care. I don’t remember how much I paid for this one. It may have been as much as $2.99. Possibly even $3.99. Incidentally, I have not found the quality difference between $1.99 books and $2.99 books to be nearly as substantial as the difference between 99-cent books and $1.99 books. I mean, it’s there, but it’s not astonishingly huge. And the difference between $2.99 books and $3.99 books is so insubstantial that paying the extra dollar almost seems like a rip-off until you realize, dude, I’m getting a whole book for less than four bucks–that’s pretty righteous.

Just in case you’re wondering, I have paid as much as $12.99 for Kindle books. I think once I may have even paid $13.99. I’m not only interested in the cheap books. I’m just especially interested in cheap books, the same way I used to hang around used book stores looking for gems. Only looking for cheap digital gems is even more challenging and therefore particularly rewarding when I find one. Some people play the lottery, I buy cheap Kindle books. It’s my way.

The way I’m still holding on to these JSF library books makes me think I should have just shelled out the $7.99 a pop to get them on Kindle. I feel like I owe JSF that money, morally speaking. Here’s a funny insight–not funny ha-ha but funny I-don’t-know-what-other-word-to-use-so-I’ll-say-funny: I’ve always thought of myself as a lover of literature. I would never put it that way because it sounds corny, but I think of myself that way. Only I freely admit that I’m also a lover of serial-killer books and (I’m discovering, much to my chagrin) romances and other stuff that is dismissed as Not Real Literature. I myself dismiss it as Not Real Literature because no one will teach it in school and not even Oprah would have it in her book club if she still had a book club. (Does she still have a book club? I don’t really follow Oprah, my occasional perusal of her magazine in my daughter’s psychologist’s office notwithstanding.) But which do I love more? Clearly I love Not Real Literature more because as much as I love real literature books, do I sit around reading them over and over again and thinking about the characters and worrying about them like they’re real people? No.

And yet, will I pay $12.99 for Not Real Literature? Well, I haven’t yet. Am I sort of a hypocrite, or am I just cheap? Am I cheap hypocrite? Do I owe Julia Spencer-Fleming about $52 for all the pleasure her books have given me over the last few weeks? Or does she owe me $52 for addicting me to her mystery-romance crack and ruining my life?

Maybe we’ll just call it even.

I was just thinking–I haven’t gotten to the point yet–about how I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I always wanted to write Serious Books That Are Real Literature, but I’m really not that kind of writer. I’ve accepted that. Unfortunately, I’m also not a writer of serial-killer romance novels. I just don’t have those skills. I haven’t found my calling in life yet. Unless it’s this blog, which I refuse to consider because if you haven’t noticed lately, the blog is just barely alive anymore. (Because I’m too busy reading other people’s crack books? No, it was mostly dead before that, too.) Anyway, I’ve decided I have a new impossible dream. I no longer want to write Pulitzer Prize-caliber books. Which is good because that was never going to happen anyway. I think I would rather write books that make depressed housewives send me invoices for $52 because I ruined their lives. I’m almost 41. It’s time to start diversifying my delusions of grandeur.

Also, I should probably take a shower. That is another thing grown-ups do.

Not when there are things like exercise, showers, lunch and naps to perform. Forget about errands and pursuing my dreams!

Not to mention blogging. It’s a problem.

It makes me wonder how I used to blog so much when my kids were younger and only one of them was in school. For only two and a half hours, I might add. Maybe I can only blog when I have someone to ignore.

And now that someone I’m ignoring is me!

The humanity!

I’m just kidding. I really think I’ve just run out of things to say. I’m not even updating my status on Facebook regularly. It’s pretty serious, actually. Not a “kidding” matter at all.

So it’s been about…eight months since my last haircut, give or take. I try to get my hair cut every eight months whether I need to or not. Historically the pattern has been 1) get my hair cut, 2) wait until it gets long enough that I can’t do a thing with it, 3) go back and get another haircut, shorter than I am really comfortable with because I know it’s going to be eight months before I get around to it again. Rinse, repeat. It’s only two steps, really, not three. It’s been a very basic hair care routine.

Since I’ve decided to embrace my natural curly hair, my hair has not been appearing to grow as fast as it used to. Because it’s curling, you see. But I think I am reaching a point where I need to do something else with it. I think I need to get layers. I have eschewed layers for the last…jeez, 24 years? Layers and bangs. I just don’t do them. Too high maintenance. I just bob my hair and let it grow out. 1) Bob. 2) Grow. Two steps. No fussing with layers, which have to be maintained with more regular professional attention than every eight months. Also, they inevitably end up causing trouble when you just want to pull your hair back but some of those layers are just too short. It’s a problem. (Similar to when you get your hair cut shorter than you really want just so you don’t have to go back to the hairdresser for another eight months.)

However, I just don’t have as much hair as I did in my youth, and since it has stopped being frizzy, I have lost some of the body that frizziness provides. I think layers may be my only option. It may come to that. I just have to make an appointment to see a stylist. That is another thing I haven’t done for quite some time. Usually I just go to the cheap haircut store because usually if I’m getting a haircut, it’s on a whim–an aggravated, I-just-can’t-stand-this-anymore whim, not the type that is conducive to waiting for an appointment. And because my haircut was (intentionally) so low-maintenance, I didn’t notice much difference between when the appointment-only stylist did it and when the cheap-haircut lady did it. The only difference may have been that the appointment-only stylist used more product–usually to straighten my hair to a degree that could never be replicated in real life. (If you define “real life” as “not at the salon with professional assistance.” Which I do.) So I decided, why pay $40-50 for a haircut when you can get just as good a haircut for $20 and afford to leave a better tip? So that’s what I’ve been doing. For at least five years, maybe seven.

But now I’m feeling…I dunno, maybe more high-maintenance. There may be layers involved here. So I guess I’m going to make an appointment at a salon. But good grief, you know how long it takes me to make appointments with my psychiatrist. Am I going to feel a greater sense of urgency for my hair? Especially when I have all these psychological blocks to overcome. 1) I have to use the phone. 2) I have to talk to a stranger. 3) I have to interact with people I’m pretty sure are better than me. I know what you’re thinking: Maybe I should make the appointment with my psychiatrist first. You may have a point.

Well, there are only 35 more minutes until I have to leave to pick up the kids from school. Fortunately, I have already showered today. And exercised and eaten lunch. I’m really on top of my game. I even had a nap this morning because Girlfriend slept in. What more can I do to be all I can be? Tune in next time to find out (if I did anything). Same bat time, same bat channel.

Although I could talk about turkey literally. My husband smoked a turkey in his new smoker that he got for Christmas. That was a week ago. We did not eat enough of this smoked turkey, nor did we store it appropriately. Some of it shall therefore be wasted. It’s a depressing topic, which is why I suggested we stick to the metaphorical turkey-talking.

I just didn’t have a better title for this post. Because I’m not sure where it’s going. I’m pretty sure I’m going to start talking about my personal problems, though. Not personal like “TMI,” just personal like “not that interesting to you.” But here you are anyway, so let’s begin.

Here’s a dilemma: Princess Zurg wants to join an after-school club. It’s called the Girls Club. I don’t actually know what it’s all about, except that probably only girls belong to it. I know that they put on a fashion show every year. We went to it last year because one of PZ’s BFFs is in the club, and she was in the fashion show. I think the point of the fashion show is for the girls to use their creativity–take something old and make it new, create ensembles, blah blah, whatever. It’s kind of cute, if a bit uncomfortable. Maybe it’s just me. Anyway, I think PZ would enjoy participating in the fashion show, if nothing else because, in case I’ve never told you–and it’s possible I never have, even though it seems absurd that I never have, but I can be absurdly negligent in my information-dispensing–PZ is really into fashion. Like, “alternative” fashion. I think she would rock a fashion show. She would also be among the minority of participants whose bra straps are not visible. Seriously, when did it become okay for middle-schoolers (as opposed to Madonna or grown-up slutty types) to exhibit their bras to general public? Clearly it is not accidental or incidental bra-showing. I don’t see any ratty, gray-and-dingy bras hanging out. They’re all colorful and in good repair, and definitely out there. Is the new retail variety in bras a cause or an effect of this trend? In any case, I don’t think I like it. I mean, I appreciate a bright-green polka-dot bra as much as the next person, but I really think bras should stay semi-private. Only your lovers, doctors and community-dressing-room compadres should get to see them. Unless you are a bra model. And middle-school girls should not have lovers or be bra models. Call me an old crank. I am an old crank. And I make an end.

So back to the dilemma. PZ wants to join this club, but as the ever-contrary universe would have it, the club meets Wednesdays after school, which is when PZ has her standing appointment with her psychologist. Are you aware of how difficult it is to secure a regular, after-school appointment with anyone, let alone a psychologist who treats adolescents? I’m sure you’re aware, now that you’ve thought about it for two seconds. Anyway, we’ve discussed this dilemma with her psychologist, who has been encouraging PZ to get involved with more extracurricular activities. Predictably, her only other after-school opening is on Tuesday, at exactly the same time I have to take Elvis to his social group, ten miles away, during rush hour. I’ve tried to wrap my brain around how I can get each of these children to their respective appointments at the same time on Tuesday during rush hour, but I just…can’t…quite…reach…No, there’s no way I can do this. Not without human cloning, and a) the science isn’t there yet and b) I have some ethical problems with that anyway.

Here are my options, as I see it:

Option A. Continue taking PZ to this psychologist weekly, on Wednesdays, and forget about the Girls Club.
Option B. Switch to taking PZ to this psychologist on an every-other-week basis, at an appointment time that is during school hours, possibly jumping the appointment time around so that she doesn’t miss the same class period every time (bearing in mind that the psychologist is in Freaking Tigard and there’s a 30-60 minute round-trip commute time, depending on traffic, to factor in).
Option C. Find a different therapist.

An Option D that isn’t science fiction has thusfar eluded me, but I’m open to suggestions.

This morning I asked PZ to rank these different options, and she ordered them Option B, Option C, Option A (Option A being the least appealing). We have (finally–finally) gotten PZ in to see a psychiatrist, and as of this morning we are increasing her medication dosage, which we hope will eventually result in a drastic improvement. However, she still needs the support of regular counseling, at least for now. Certainly while she’s transitioning to a therapeutic medication level. I’m not 100 percent certain that it needs to be weekly. Maybe biweekly is sufficient. But I hesitate. The current appointment time is not totally convenient (because we don’t get home until almost six, and Elvis has basketball practice at 6:15, and PZ has youth group at 7, bleeeeeaaahhhhhh), but it is nevertheless so precious (regular after-school appointment slots being so very rare) that I am loath to let it go. Bird in the hand, you know? I’d feel a fool to forsake it. And what if biweekly turns out not to be good enough. And I don’t want to be taking her out of school on a regular basis, but I don’t want her to miss a good social opportunity and I don’t want to change therapists when the current one is working so well.

And then there’s this other factor: What if she ends up hating Girls Club? She’s been known to want to do stuff and then turn out to hate it once she’s doing it. I’m going to give up a sweet after-school appointment slot for that? My brain is exploding with (negative) possibilities.

But does PZ deserve to be deprived of an opportunity because of what I’m afraid she’ll do? Possibly. But if we all got what we deserved, we’d all be pretty much screwed, wouldn’t we?

Tell me what to do, internet!

Well. That’s one moral dilemma down.

In other news, my laptop continues to work intermittently, so long as I don’t make it work too hard. As of now and for the foreseeable future, it is the only (semi-)operational computer in the house, so I have to share it. Well, technically, I don’t, but unless I want my life to be completely miserable, I have to share it. It’s okay. I mean, it’s not like I mean to be living on it or anything, but it does kind of suck when I want/need to use it and some rotten kid WHO HASN’T HAD A TURN ALL DAY is on it. Blerg. But that’s neither here nor there. I was going somewhere with this. Oh. I have been writing more, and very often I am doing it longhand because when the mood/opportunity strikes, someone else is on my laptop. Which kind of sucks, as I mentioned. But that brings me to where I was going. This laptop is certainly on its way out. It is losing the will to live. I’m not sure what’s keeping it holding on. It certainly isn’t so I can update our family blog because uploading pictures to Blogger = Working Too Hard. But whatever. Someday it’s going to just go gentle into that good night, and I need to be prepared. Which brings me to where I was going.

My husband bought this laptop for me a few years ago, to celebrate my first national publication. As it happens, that was also my last national publication–well, my last for money, anyway. (Not that it was a lot of money, but it was the principle of the thing.) I don’t want to think about how many years ago that was. Enough years ago that my laptop is now wearing out. (In fairness, I’ve used the crap out of it. I just haven’t published the crap out of anything. Not for money, anyway.) As a result of these circumstances and my contemplation thereof, I feel like I don’t really deserve a new laptop. I’ll take one, mind you–don’t misunderstand me. And I’ll complain about not having one. But on the occasion of receiving this particular laptop, I felt that I was on the cusp of a new stage of my career, and in retrospect I see that I was just on the crest of a random wave in my career. It is somewhat depressing. Did I already say that? I’m sure it bears repeating, even if I’ve said it a million times (which I’m sure I have, if not all in this one specific post). I need a new narrative surrounding my laptop ownership, but I’m too busy worrying about the PZ therapist/club thing and also the fact that she has an eye infection that won’t go away and I need to take her back to the doctor but there’s no TIME.

And there’s also no time to keep gabbing about this crap. I have to get Girlfriend on the school bus. Adieu, gentle readers, adieu.

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4thWaveNow

A community of parents & friends skeptical of the "transgender child/teen" trend

gambolinthegrammar

not so distracted by zombies anymore...

Shut the door!

The intersection of LDS discipleship and conscious citizenship

Beserker Life

Feed the fish...walk the blog.

The Two Boys Club

If strangers can tell you've got your hands full, you've found a new home on the Web.

This is the Corner We Pee In

Bulletins from the Parenting Trenches...

Miss Order

If you can't be a Good Example, you'll just have to be a Horrible Warning.

astepclosertoperfection

The Life and Times of Me

Transvestite Rabbit

Not what you expected

Alison Wonderland

Rantings and ravings about the kids, work, and whatever else strikes my fancy.

TheWoobDog's Weblog

(Shhhhhhhhh! Don't tell...)

By the lbs

nutty goodness in bulk or by the pound

Bored Bunny

Seen any field mice lately?

By Common Consent, a Mormon Blog

The greatest Mormon blog in the universe.

ordinarybutloud

This is where I landed.

turnedgreen

further down the journey of a greener family

Dandelion Mama

A Memoir From the Trenches

WordPress.com

WordPress.com is the best place for your personal blog or business site.