Monday, March 22, 2010

Dear comment spammer, THANK YOU!

No, not because I really needed a new source for underground viagra, or to 'make many moneys on the web', but for the laugh. I needed it...
I'd enabled anonymous comments on this blog, mainly because I hate having to log in elsewhere to comment, so I went all 'do unto others'. Until recently I'd not been on the receiving end of comment spam, in fact, I was unaware such a thing existed, but I guess my blog has been around just long enough to get spidered by the spambots, and my has my comment traffic gone up!
I haven't had 2 seconds to rub together, much less the 30+ minutes needed to post, but there's a difference between a lull in posting, and letting your blog totally go to seed. Not pretty wildflower seed, kudzu seed. THAT you FIND time to stop so I finally got in here today to do some clean up.
In the comment purge the vast majority were total wastes of vowels - but this gem stood out from the rest for it's sheer ee cummings artistry. I've been collecting spam emails for a while for the eloquence of their randomness. And for giggles. But this tops them all - If this isn't poetry, I don't know what is....
Ladies and Gentlemen, I present "The Ulysses of His System" - enjoy the poetic artistry:

Send where us
at ground, varies its possible "family set"?

Countrywide financial corporation, the explicit introduction import, that has used to convey agentic of
the systems of
the compulsory setup d a t a b a s e .

Many side motorcycles were an special world
information to adopt the number belts,
deformed - with the slot for both

the gun



but were a story, since
biological equipment of the references built a special stage

of the crime

and vast gauge of the projected car
(unless the grass was offset with limits from the flexibility. )

used cars
delray beach.
These remedies, and the hand model points . . . that wireless!

(when they show)
can affect concentration
and single automakers
and measure our car
and sensor of the lake.

Car upholstery
wilson, (usually played as valerie plame),
and the bush dust's barre for 2003 administration of iraq
and the iraq war.

of the trench tires
has an hybrid auto of material.

Jasper is running. . .where?
the available bleeding gums, murphy decides, nearly.

As level students pulled
the ulysses of his system,
Monoxide, they found - a applied corresponding drawback.


(All the original artists words and spelling were retained intact - spacing and some punctuation contributed by me)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

New Year's Resolutions - Twenty10s in 2010.

I've been ruminating on my New Year's Resolutions for a while now. Part of it is my usual info junkieism/bigger, better, stronger, faster perfectionist side (And I admit it). But the larger part of the intense thought is wanting to really change things. While I, overall, am quite happy with my life, I know in my heart of hearts that my life could be. . . well, easier, more FUN.

I've been doing a lot of reflecting and research and drafting and redrafting of my life style reboot, and will continue to work on it for the foreseeable future. I gave myself permission for it to be an ongoing process, but I have locked at least a few things down. I decided that I would come up with Twenty10s for 2010. Twenty "10" framed goals for the year. For example: I will lose 10% of my body weight, I will avoid sodas for 10 weeks straight, I will invest at least 10 minutes a day in growing my friendships (a call, an email, a dinner - SOMEthing). You get the idea. The BIG "10" goals will be lined up roughly one per month, since it takes 3-4 weeks for a habit to stick, and I want to be sane about this. The rest of the 10s will come up, well, whenever they occur to me.

While researching ideas my Twenty10s I ran into a NYT article - "Carpe Diem? Maybe Tomorrow" based on this study on "Resource Slack". The upshot is people somehow expect that they will have more time in "The Future", so we put things off, even fun things, until "later" when there will be (magically) more time to do them. However, on average, people will be just as busy in a month as they are now. For some reason, we don't get that. And these fun, or not so fun but important things just don't get done.

This was an eye-opener for me. I realized how often I fell prey to this thinking - that I'd do something next weekend, or later, because I'd have more time then. Except there won't be more time - you can't grow it or create it. It's a constant, so it's really about how you choose to fill it.
Even worse, I'd gotten trapped in the mindset that there 'isn't enough time'.

'Not enough' is a judgment - not enough time, not enough money, not enough space. It all is, what it is. Pushing against the reality with a crabbity attitude isn't going to change the truth of things - it will just make you more crabbity. The amount of time is a constant, and it won't change. The same thing applies to our home, 'not enough' space, and our bank account, 'not enough' money. There is just as much space as there is, and just as much time as there is, and just as much money as there is, and being frustrated that something isn't what it isn't - ain't helping. I simply have to figure out how to work within the real restrictions of what's there, or not there.

In a way, though I am right - there ISN'T enough time for everything I'm trying to do - there are only 24 hours in the day. Period. So whatever I do has to fit within those constraints. In prioritizing what to tackle first, I realized one of the biggest time sucks I have, is the stuff. The more stuff you have, the more stuff you have to clean, sort, stack, maintain, manage, or otherwise just DEAL with. So the shortcut to more time, is, oddly, less stuff. In one fell mind-set swoop I've gone from 'not enough' to 'too much'.

Plus, getting rid of stuff has benefits across the board - there isn't enough space for everything we own, so less stuff means more room. And less stuff means BUYING less stuff, which means spending less money which = working within our budget. Win/win/win/win!

Which leads me to my first big 10 of 2010. Get rid of 10 things a day. Every day. No matter how tired or busy or cranky - at least 10 things need to be gathered up and ushered out of my life. On weekends, the count goes much much higher, but every day, rock bottom minimum - 10 things. I've gotten a solid start on the 'things' part of decluttering by just picking away at it - 10 things a day. It's working, and I'm sticking too it, because it's doable. Once the momentum has started, its a bit easier to keep it going, because it feels so good. Things feel easier already.

Decluttering day to day tasks, commitments, to-dos - all those are up next, and they will free up even more time, but for now, one thing at a time - because there's only so much time to go around...

If anyone wants to join me on my Twenty10s in 2010 - I'd love to have company! I'll be posting on my Twenty10s throughout the next few months (and probably the whole year). Post your own starting "10"s in the comments and keep us updated on progress, via blog links, twitter hashtag #twenty10s, or new comments.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Wordless Wednesday - Love

GrandPa and The Bean (and Elmo, of course)

Thank goodness for Wordless Wednesdays, it's the only post I have time to make these days...

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Stop the madness!

Life is just hectic - and I'm not sure why. Oh wait, yes, I do know this one. I have a toddler. And a full time job. Both of these are good things - but they are squeezing out pretty much everything else, save occasional errands and my husband. Friends have been relegated to Facebook and Twitter, and face to face contact with anyone I don't a) live with or b) work with had become a rare and exotic occurrence. Which, frankly, sucks. And forget hobbies - the art that I love and can't find time for. The craft projects undone. Blogs unwritten - it's all falling away. And this is SO not cool. Don't get me wrong, I get the life balance CONCEPT, but the practical application part is where it all collapses.
There's also some portion of the fast. cheap, and right theory that ends up applying. Since the Hubble is going back to school full time, we are on a bit of a budget. A lot of the 'tips' designed to help a working women achieve life balance assume a certain amount of disposable income - hiring a mother's helper a few times a week, having meals delivered regularly, outsourcing the day to day basically. Good in theory but not practical to the pocketbook. Daycare pretty much cleans out the disposable income category.
Mercifully, the Hubble is generally a rock star and helps out tremendously with the Bean and around the house. But school is starting back full time in a couple of weeks and even that help is going to be less available. So how to do it? How do you do it all?
The bottom line is, you can't. That's what no one bothers to tell woman - that this bring home the bacon, fry it up in the pan crap is just that crap. There are inviolable limits in the real world - things take time, and time doesn't expand. (Well, unless you want to get all string theory, and I just don't have the brain power to even consider the implications.) Mother's kill themselves chasing the impossible dream of having it all - and then getting confused and frustrated and resentful when they seem to never be able to achieve this 'balanced' state. What they don't realize is that there are simply too many things to balance.
Working full time means that during the week, I get very little time with the most precious knee-high creature in my life since she's zonked by 7:30. That means weekends are all about family time. Which in turn pushes out friends and me-time. And all of these are vital to me being sane. So what to do?
The past year and 1/2 have forced me to come to the conclusion that to achieve this mythical work life balance, you have to give things up. Maybe just for a day or a week or a year, but you can NOT have it all, and you will drive yourself batty trying. Many women give up work for a a couple of years, so they can focus on their child. This has a bunch of pros and cons, but for me, it's moot. With the hubs in school full-time my income is it. It's all good because he's building a future for ALL of us with his new degree. But it does mean I have to be a 'can't lose' employee at work, which means zero slacking allowed. So working ain't going anywhere, but the other pieces and parts that make up a fulfilling life, friends, time with the little one, time with the Hubble, time for ME, those parts can bend and move and twist. And bend and move they must - time to start giving it up, cause I can't have it all - at least not all AT THE SAME TIME. So with that mind set, I've started the horse trading.
This weekend, I'm going to have some over-night friend time (a high school reunion/birthday event), and in 3 weeks, a girl's weekend. A couple of weeks after that, I'm taking 7 days off work, and the Hubble, Stinky Bean and I are going on vacation together. So I'm trading family for friends, then I'm trading work for family. The art - my personal passions, those I'm still working on - what do I swap for those and when, but I know I'll find some time, sometime. Ultimately, it's a shell game - there's never enough time for everything. But, if you are able to say 'not now' there is enough time for SOME things.
So ladies - you can't have it all, all the time, at the same time - but over time, with some juggling and compromise and a serious resetting of expectations - you CAN have an awful lot of it...
screw this bringing home the bacon and frying up in a pan crap - the new marching orders? I'm going to have my bacon and eat it too - so there.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Fake or Real?

I've been watching the Blogher '09 tweets fly fast and furious for the past few days and feeling a combination of regret and relief that I'm not there. Regret because it sounds like such FUN - and so many people who I've gotten to know and really like through twitter and their blogs are there, all in one place. I could meet them in person! And that's where the relief kicks in... there's a certain safety in the 'anonymity' of tweeting and blogging. But once you meet someone IRL, once you can put a face to the name, things change. It's the Seinfeld "world's colliding" scenario.
Online life is often completely segregated from real world. In some cases its logistics. Some of my favorite twitter friends are in Canada, and Seattle, and Maine. It would be tough for us to get together for lunch. But Blogher, THAT we could coordinate, maybe. But what if we don't like each other in person, what if it just doesn't translate? That would just blow, but odds are, that's the last thing that would happen. People are who they are, regardless of which world they are in... If you like someone on line, you'll like them in person.
The other source of the relief centers on the conference itself. It's a BLOGGING conference - If I went to Blogher, since I'm an attendee and a chick, people would think that *I* was a BLOGGER. I'd be totally misrepresenting. *I*m not a blogger.... I mean, yes, I have a blog - you are reading it, so you know that. But I'm not, like, a BLOGGER. REAL bloggers post every single day, and make money and have sponsors and fans and banner ads and are so WAAAAAY cooler than me. I just blog sometimes, I'm not really a BLOGGER. HerBadMother and Sweetney (really everyone at MamaPop), and basically all the smart clever women I've met on twitter, THOSE are BLOGGERS. Me? I'm a just chick with a Blog...(see: 'Impostor Syndrome')
But maybe, just maybe, not everyone at that conference makes six figures a year off of their adsense accounts. Maybe the conference is full of women just like me - normal people, who blog when they can, as best they can, not because they have a huge adoring audience who demands it, but because they like to - who go to the conference because they want to meet other people, just like them, who just blog for the love of it.
Or maybe they go just for the swag...
Either way, I'm thinking I need to start saving now for 2010...

Friday, July 10, 2009

I have nothing

Really. I've got nothin'. Which is surprising since I normally have a million ideas, and words and just STUFF bouncing around in my brain, but recently... nada. Just a yearning for sleep and endless to do lists. And this bothers me more than you can imagine. I'm not sure the WHYs of this change, but I wish I did know. My deep and abiding fear is that I used up all of my creativity making a human from scratch and I've got nothing left.
I LOVE being creative, it is a big part of who I am and how I view myself - but these days, I'm suffering from an identity crisis. I sleep I work I hang with the Hubble and I care for the Stinks - and it's all good, but I don't create. I make dinner, I don't make art. I'm suffering from a severe and measurable lack of inspiration.
Is it because I am exhausted? I hope so. Or because I haven't put anything inspiring into my brain? Maybe. I'm really really hoping that its lifestyle or tiredness or not visiting enough art galleries. See these options are fixable - they would mean that I'm still creative - I'm just too tired or busy to DO it. And that can be changed. My fear is that I'm not creative anymore. That I've lost that spark - that I gave birth to it, or that is just died from lack of tending and that I'll never get it back. And that terrifies me. So much so, that it's a self fulfilling prophecy. I'm now afraid to even TRY to create - to force it without the inspiration, because what if it really IS gone? Then what? The who am I? And thus begins the panic.
Something is going to have to change though - I need creativity in my life - it's who I am - or at least who I was. I'm going to have to take a class, or paint something, or sculpt something - I'm going to have to find out if, somewhere under all the powerpoint presentations and spreadsheets and budgets and laundry, there is still a woman who can make beautiful things. Because if not... well... I don't want to even think about that...

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Makes me smile EVERY TIME...

I just LOVE the cuteness! Ah childhood - where did it go?