Thursday, January 22, 2009

Life's lesson...lost on me

Life keeps trying to teach me One Big Lesson, and I just don't seem to be able to get it. What, you ask, is it?

Is it: Be kind to animals? No. I'm already way too kind to animals. I won't even use the shredder or the vacuum cleaner unless the cat is far away in the house because their sounds upset her. I get up even before dawn has cracked because Behemoth Cat has already eaten the Fancy Feast from the night before, and dry food, my darlings, just will not do it. I use my laptop at a horrible angle because to use it correctly would infringe on her lapspace. I sleep on the edge of the bed because she prefers the good spot, in the middle where the blanket is full around her.

Is it: Be gentle and sweet and all that good stuff? Oh, right. We're talking about me, remember? I'm already gentle and sweet and all that good stuff. Were you not paying attention?

Is it: Think of others first? Well, no. I'm finally learning NOT to do that all the time. So shoot me. It's about time I found a backbone. I'm only a hundred and eighty gazillion years old.

Okay, here's the lesson:


True, true, true.

Driving to work: I always, and I mean ALWAYS, get behind somebody going a nice steady 15 mph, and who cautiously slows down at every green light just in case it plans to turn yellow and then red within the next five minutes. Here's a clue: It will.

Doing laundry/dishes/housework: If I run through it in my brain, all this should be accomplished zippity-quick but it never works out that way. Things have to be sorted and rinsed and stray bits of stuff banished to wastebins and disposals. And there's definitely a good amount of that always engaging game: What Do You Suppose THAT Is?

Paying bills: Here's what slows me down on that. Find the bill. Check the due date. Pass out. Come back up. Try to pay by phone. Learn that's only possible 7 am to 3 pm, Outer Siberian time. I am not in Outer Siberia. Go online. Oh, look at that. Internet is down. Restart router. Whew. Now the site is down. Sigh. Open the checkbook. Out of checks. Get up, find the box of checks. Sit down. Where's that bill? Find the bill. Write the check. Bill has slithered off somewhere. Find it under the chair. Put it with the check. No envelope. Get up, find an envelope. Put the bill in the envelope--uh-oh, where's the check? Ah. On the table by the box of envelopes. Return address label, easy. Stamp? Stamp? Uh-oh. Thirty minutes later I might have paid one bill.

Writing a book. Once upon a time I was an absolute writing dervish. I have even written a book in a single day. And that memory is engraved in my mind. Now, bear in mind that I can't remember most anything else but I do remember that. I wrote a book in a single day! But here's the kicker in that memory: I was a whole lot younger then. I could even, oh, stay up all night! On purpose! (Just as an aside: Getting older speeds up once you hit the mid-50s. Everything that can will sag, wear out, clog up, or wrinkle. And it does it all in one day. You go to bed, looking like you're in your 30s and wake up as your grandma. It's the pits.)

And so this post, which has taken me much longer than I'd anticipated, is over!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Inauguration Day

So much for the digital highway, which slowed to a digital traffic jam around 11 am Central time. I missed seeing our new President being sworn in and hearing his address--apparently everybody was online at the same time. I don't know if anyone else got to see it online or if the feeds crashed all over the place. I just know that I didn't get to see it. Sniff. The online world let me down!

But I did read his address online (and loved it!), and tonight I'm sure the news will replay his taking the oath.

Tonight, though, I have to be very very good and not get caught up in the splendid balls that will be going on. I'm sure they'll be covered both online and on cable. I am on deadline, and last night the words were flowing wonderfully, so good that I couldn't sleep, but the sensible part of my brain was saying, You need to get up early and sign up for RWA! And then go to work! You must sleep!

Well, I didn't sleep. And although I was online at 8 am to sign up for RWA and the hotel, THAT took until after 9 am, thanks to el crasheroo at their site. I should have figured it was a sign of things to come--or not to come, as the case may be.

But I did get registered, did get a hotel room, Sen. Obama became Pres. Obama, and life went on. And look at me--back online.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Obligatory post about the weather

I had to chuckle last night when I saw that Yahoo! had two news items spotlighted.

One was a newscast about how deadly the cold was and how horrible it was that people were exposed to it in their jobs. The temperature they were talking about? 20 degrees. ABOVE zero.

The other was about the cold that was sweeping the midwest, and yes, even my community was mentioned for its notable freeziness. Our temperature? 37 degrees. BELOW zero.

20 degrees above zero sounds pretty tropical right about now. That's 57 degrees warmer than we are. And no, nothing closes when it's 37 below. I still have to walk from my car to work. That's about a block. Schools are in session, and some children walk home from school. The mall is open. The grocery store is open. Nothing closes.

I like to say that up here, our blood doesn't flow--it chugs. We're a hardy bunch up here. Or a totally nutso bunch???

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Cute, cute, cute

A couple of days ago I couldn't find anything on late-night tv to watch (imagine that!) and ended up watching listening to one of those entertainment shows where they revisit celebrity news. The only reason I kept the show on was the lure of "cute things falling asleep." Every commercial break was preceded and ended by the promise that they were going to talk about this wonderful website.

Finally they did, but I had to watch listen to a lot of booooooooring stuff first. However, it was so worth it.

I admit it. I'm a sucker for babies or kittens or puppies anyway. And here's a site where you can watch short videos of children and animals conking out.

Sleepy Baby 10 is by far my favorite.

It's a great site for when you want a quick chuckle.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Tabula Rasa

Tabula rasa--it's a concept I learned about in philosophy and education, and I really liked it from the moment I first heard of it. We start with a blank slate and experience writes upon it.

Well, theoretically our slates should get fuller as we get older. But you know how it is: some people gets their slates filled faster than others. Some people have a lot of cross-outs on theirs (can't erase on your slate, sorry). Some people seem to have basically empty slates.

The writing on my slate crisscrosses and is edited and re-edited and is marked with lots of doodles. And the ink is probably magenta. I like magenta ink.

Anyway, I've decided I need to learn some more stuff--to get more writing on my slate--so I checked out the offerings in community education.

Oh, WOW!

Knitting! Well, of course I already knit but I am a total inept when it comes to changing skeins. I'd spend my entire life doing one skein projects just to avoid changing skeins. So here's a class in basic knitting. I hope I'll learn how to change skeins. And maybe find a way to do double-pointed needles without looking like a buffoon.

Felting! I love felted things. Here's a class in it. I'll be able to make those cute felted hats and purses!

Plumbing! I know nothing about plumbing but plumbing knows about me. It seems like whenever there's a plumbing emergency, it's at midnight on a holiday weekend. Wouldn't it be nice if I knew how to at least turn the water off? There's a one-night class in the basics of plumbing. The teachers seem to cover it all--in one night. I'm excited!

Pottery! I can't wait to dig my hands in some slimy gooey clay and make a breath-taking pottery masterpiece. I know I have some incredible talent that will be released in this class. Think of all the years I focused on POETRY when it should have been POTTERY. Stupid dyslexia.

So by the time spring rolls around, my tabula will no longer be so rasa. There'll be lots more stuff written on it--in magenta ink, of course.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Caffeinated Janet

I knew it. I knew I shouldn't have. It was after 3 pm--as a matter of fact, it was 7 pm. But the coffee smelled SO good and the company was SO good and the gossip was SO good, I couldn't help myself: Yes, I'd love a cup!

So far I've done this:
1. Wandered hither and yon on the internet.
2. Put new flannel sheets on the bed--wrestled a pillow into a pillowcase clearly meant for, oh, a pair of socks or something.
3. Looked at some stuff that needs to be sorted through, but sorting through is so, you know, inert.
4. Thought about exercising, but the flannel sheets thing was worth a good two hours of cardio. I mean, honestly, what is with new flannel sheets and those teeny tiny pillowcases? Can they make it any more difficult to put clean sheets on a bed?
5. Looked at the dishes. Ick.
6. Folded up old blankets to take to Hugo's for the Humane Society drop.
7. Cracked myself up because I originally typed Human Society drop. If only....
8. Wondered where my knitting project is. Wondered what my knitting project is.
9. Eyed my book. Could I sit long enough to read?
10. Thought about MY book. It's due in 20-something days. Too caffeinated to think about it.

I give up! I need help. What do YOU do when you're caffeinated?