UPDATE TO Mrs. Flinger October 16, 2015
Because the Universe has a wicked sense of humor, after this delcaration, my blog threw up all over my last upgrade.
So I'm starting over using Craft. Turning 40 and kid entering Jr High next year, sometimes it's just time for a change. These archives will still exist in the way the last child goes off to college and their room is the same for 20 years, but it's just time to move forward.
FAIL BIG OR GO HOME Dec 29, 2010
I don’t really “DO” New Year’s Resolution, yanno? I see it as just one more thing to fail at by the third week, oh who am I kidding, the third day in to the New Year.
Oddly enough, my boss told me to embrace failing this year. “Try to fail more this year” he said.
There’s a theory to this and it sounded as eloquent as shit when he told it to me. I just can recollect that right now.
But I get the point: Don’t be afraid to fail. You’re not trying if you’re not failing. You’ll never know the limits if you don’t push them too far.
And other such clichés.
(Like I said, it was eloquent as shit when he told it to me.)
So, I’d like to introduce a few things I’m going to fail at this year in list form because I like lists and you’re too busy to read paragraphs anyway.
1. I will fail at being a marketing director: I will. I understand logic and coding and social media but I do not know marketing. Not yet anyway. But I will BE a marketing director. Or, rather, I *AM* a marketing director.
Let me ‘splain. No, wait, I’ll let Kevin Smith ‘splain:
Remember that if an ass-hat like KevinSmith can succeed at something like film or life, then what the fuck is stopping YOU from doing the same.
2. I will fail at eating well and working out daily: If I don’t plan on failing, I’ll never plan on the day AFTER that fail. The day I decide I can either get back on that healthy horse or get down on myself for falling off of it in the first place.
3. I will fail at paying my bills on time: I’m setting up a five day late policy for our family. We’re allowed five days. FIVE DAYS after the first and the fifteenth. Not twenty, not ten, not six. FIVE. In the mean time, I’ll also plan on autopaying a few of those and have checks as a backup.
4. I will fail at being a perfect mother: Duh. But I’ll remember that my kids love me and I’m still an amazing mom.
5. I will fail at being organized: And that’s ok. It’s not an excuse, it’s a fact. Facts can change. Excuses can’t.
6. I will fail at being a great friend all the time: So it’s OK if someone fails to be mine.
7. I will fail at my freelance job: So I will not over promise and I will learn from my mistakes.
8. I will let my children fail, too: I will watch them explore, I will begin the process of letting the rope out inch by inch and I will hold them when they fall.
9. I will fail at my marriage: There will be days I try too hard or too little or talk too much or not enough or misread body language. So it’s ok if my husband does, too.
2011, here’s to you.
What are you going to fail at this year?
The Winner of the Freelancer EE LIcense Announced. Congrats @awsmsrc Dec 28, 2010
It was time, past time, to pick the winner of my “what super hero would you be” content for a Freelancer license.
To be fair, I did draw Laura’s number first. But, as she confessed, she has no shortage of licenses, what with being married to the president and all, so I redrew. I’m thrilled THRILLED to announce a friend of mine in the EE community, Matt Robin won the license.
Way to go Random.ORG.
Thank you to everyone who played along. As a side note, I’ve decided my Super Hero power would be flight. I could fly to Paris for coffee and Rome for lunch and be home in time to grab the kids from school.
I’d be a bird. How did I never think of that until now?
(Which, I guess is more of an animal than a super power, but I’d be the bestest super human bird EVER. I’d build really cool nests made of organic materials. Yaknow, LIKE ALL BIRDS DO. Oh shut up.)
(Doesn’t that sort of beg the question: what animal would you be?)
How do we not have a cure for RSV yet? Dec 27, 2010
When my son was a preemie, we were told RSV IS THE DEVIL.
I was a paranoid, germ-a-phobe literally walking around making people Purrell before they could LOOK at the baby. If I had face masks, I would’ve made you wear them.
No, I’m serious.
Now I’m much more relaxed with germs. “Bah! It’s the floor! Whatever, just wipe off the gummy bear and eat it anyway.”
My kids go to public schooling institutions. There’s not a lot I can do to prevent illness anymore. I’m over the whole “baby in a bubble” thing.
But mothereff I need to revisit that.
We have The RSV. Most notably, *I* have The RSV. My son and I share hours of hacking while my daughter is recovering. It’s estimated that RSV is the most common germ that causes lung and airway infections in infants and young children. Apparently I’m a big baby because dang, yo, this shit sucks.
Whiskey does not even cure it.
So excuse the hacking and snot-dripping while I briefly recount our Christmas.
Ready? :: cough ::
Christmas Eve was delciously amazing. Wonderful chicken, mash potatoes, stuffing: a real foodgasm. Vdog rocked dinner.
The gifts were even better.
We let the kids get up at 5:45 AM because we’re sadist like that. Self sacrifice! FOR THE LOVE OF CHRISTMAS. The boy joyfully informed us that our house did not crash under Santa’s weight (apparently there was some concern over Santa’s recent weight gain).
The toys were played with, the packages were ripped and by 6:04 AM Christmas was over.
Like getting lucky. If you now what I mean. :: Elbow Elbow Nark Nark ::
*Passed out and everything if her new quilt*
Later in the day the gingerbread men were mutilated, the Wii was used for Man Bonding, and mass quantities of Spinach Dip and Chocolate Vodka was consumed. You know, the traditional Chocolate Vodka? Wait, it’s not? Oh, but it should be. OHMAHGAWD.
Now the tree is raw like our nostrils after blowing. But we are thankful and happy to have such friends surrounding us, love abounding around us and a new year to look forward to. Here we go, folks. Twenty-Eleven. May you not suck half as bad. :: hack cough hack ::
I’ve been trying to tell you I love you Dec 21, 2010
I recently posted a photo. The title was, “Such a thin, small window separates us. Literally and Figuratively.” I watched the homeless man wander on the sidewalk as I sipped a latte. I looked for him later to give him a few dollars but he had already left by the time I stepped out to find him.
It is in this spirit that several amazing people have entered our lives recently.
It’s been a rough year. It’s been a tough month. It’s been a really hard few weeks.
We’ve been discussing our life a lot lately. We both feel that the culmination of events of the past six years have brought us to this point. There’s a boiling point we’ve reached, a cliff, the end-of-a-sidewalk, if you will.
It’s a bit like it’s now or never. Change or fail.
The robbery was the last straw for us. At each turn we told each other things were looking up, we were going to be ok, everything was going to be fine. Every time we felt optimistic, life crashed on us. Hard.
The past week has been one of heart break. The finances, the insurance bills, the medical bills, changing locks and accounts and credit cards. But there’s more to being robbed than the actual act itself and the corresponding physical consequences. It brings on an entire line of questioning about humanity. Why do we try to be optimistic? What kind of person steals from others? From children? Before Christmas?
At this precipice we lingered. We teetered on hope, rocked on doubt. Our tiny community we love so much, the people we’ve gathered close both physically and emotionally, the schools we hand picked for our children: Each of these came in to question. Did we really settle in the best home possible? Would these be the type of teens our kids could interact with?
And then the unimaginable happens. You happen.
Sizzle offers us a Wii. “I have one to give away and it needs to go to you and your children.” She glows in an adorable knit hat the day we meet. She hugs the best type of “I’ve known you forever” hug. She smiles as waves away my thank yous.
Others come up and gift our holidays. Amanda, gifts us Amazon. (Yes, ALL OF AMAZON. Chick’s got connections.)
Friends gather together, scheming, planning. Secretly they raise money without us even knowing.
And, on her very birthday party, intended to celebrate her life, my own best friend gifts to ME something amazing.
More than money, she gifts love, surprise, and joy.
And she videos the whole thing.** (new! Now Rated Oma Approved: Less Cussing)
This Christmas is one I will never forget. Not because of the robbery or the water heater or the stitches or the condo foreclosing. I will remember it because you loved us. From way out there, beyond the physical, you loved us.
Thank you for restoring humanity for me. For reminding me there is love and joy.
Especially at Christmas.
Win an ExpressionEngine Freelancer License! Dec 16, 2010
I get asked to do a lot of giveaways. Why don’t I? A lot of the time it’s crap. People, I have no shortage of crap. If you live anything like I do, I’m thinking you don’t either.
So this particular giveaway is hand picked by me, from my heart, to you.
Yesterday I had the joy of launching an exciting new venture at work. With an amazing designer working after hours in Ireland while I tossed in code, we pulled together a freaking BEAUTIFUL page (if I say so myself) to promote our participation in the Fusion Ads Bundle.
(Seriously, I said, “WE NEED A COUNTER! ..... AND SNOW!” and then John Henry is all “KAPLOW WITH AWESOME” and behold! THE AWESOME.)
Okok enough with the blahblahblah, what is ExpressoinEngine and why do I want to win it?
EE, as the cool kids call it, is a Publishing Engine. (Think awesome content management for large projects ... or even small ones like this here blog which has been on EE for six years.)
Like WordPress without the limitations.
Like Drupal but it works.
Like Superman but without Kryptonite.
Like Batman but with a less gay side-kick. (Not that there’s anything wrong with being a gay super hero, just saying.)
Like Wonder Woman but without the wedgie.
What? So I’m a fan.
Anywho, all you have to do to win a Freelancer license is tell me “If I was a superhero, my power would be…” Also maybe throw in what your development/design experience is. “I can change the background of my MySpace page!” isn’t going to work so much.
And hey! Even if you don’t get, want, need, or care about EE, why not tell me your super power ANYWAY because it’s the holidays and dagnabbit, I could use a little super hero love.
If Dr. Seuss wrote about real life instead of Whoville… Dec 13, 2010
Right before Thanksgiving, a feast of turkey and more
Our daughter danced in socked feet, slipped to the hardwood floor
Busting open up her chin, seven stitches she bravely took
After all the kids were settled, we promptly went to Redhook
Another day of working from home, a fire I could not attain
Smoke suddenly filled the house, we waited in the rain
Two fire trucks and four firemen appeared in gear that day
The smoking log they finally found, made it look foul-play
The next busy thursday, busier than the usual Flings’
A call prevented my Canadian trip, someone took our things
My wedding ring, baby photos, the iPad I had won
They’re out there with the Wii, in some big stack of fun
Three weekend days to recover, not nearly enough
Wondering what is wrong with people, an attack we rebuff
When suddenly the water heater, not having been attended to
Decides it’s time to mix things up! Fuck Chrismtmas! Such hullabaloo!
A deductible, a water heater, four new locks and a door
Security system installation and a few items more
Ensure this christmas will be a small one, no large packages or bows
And If the condo won’t sell, add to the list WE FORCLOSE
I wouldn’t mind if Santa was more than an artful farse
Maybe bring my ring back? Some money? Save our arse?
In the spirit of the season, I’m thankful we’re all ok
But comon now, let’s be honest, life is not a Cabaret
Such a year it been, two thousand and ten
I don’t mind so much that you’re done
All I can do, is watch for the other shoe
and hope it won’t drop in twenty - one-one
On Parenting Very Young Children Dec 08, 2010
We were at the dinner table the other night, when the conversation turned surreal:
“No, look, Elmo and Zoey would never get along as a married couple. Zoey is way out of Elmo’s league.”
“You think? I dunno, Elmo is pretty famous. Maybe she’d marry him for the money.”
“Do you think people without kids even know who Elmo and Zoey are? And why do we know this shit so well?”
“You think if you asked someone without kids which Wiggle they thought was the hottest, they’d think we were on something?”
“We should be on something. Clearly it’s the blue one.”
“Oh, yea, I can see that. The women all want the blue wiggle. But I’m pretty sure the red one is gay.”
“I’m really disappointed we know this.”
“You know what sucks more? If you say ‘Fruit Salad’ I say ‘Yummy Yummy.’”
“Lets go watch something blow up. I need to be a man.”
On Loneliness Dec 02, 2010
My daughter came home with her usual bouncy, free spirited, attitude. She usually rolls through the door like an electrically charged ball, so when she flopped through the door with the daily spastic energy I’m used to, I didn’t think to ask if anything could be wrong.
It’s been a few weeks of this now, assuming things are going well, listening to her stories of school, until last week the little girl that usually sits by her on the bus chose to sit six seats back from my daughter. I asked her about it later that day, “Why didn’t Liv sit with you?” “Oh, she and Rose don’t like me anymore. I don’t know why. They just don’t talk to me now.”
Apparently this had been going on for a little while.
I asked her more about what was going on with the girls at school. “They have a club that I’m not allowed to be in anymore. So I started my own club and I’m the only one in it. Well, me and my fairies.”
I think my heart busted in twelve pieces.
“Who plays with you at recess? Didn’t you usually play with Ave and James?” “No, nobody plays with me at recess now. Nobody. I just play alone.”
She stated this with such a matter-of-fact tone that I didn’t want to make it a big deal but, y’all, remember elementary school? Remember how the person that shows up in first grade could very well be the person you are labelled as for many many many years? The bed-wetter? The girl-who-cried-all-the-time? The boy-who-took-his-pudding-and-threw-it-on-a-teacher? I mean, those labels follow you through high school.
No, seriously. Kids are mean.
Since my daughter is new to this school this year, I wanted to give her the chance to make friends in her grade. “Let’s have a tea party,” I suggested. “Invite three of your friends from school that you want and we’ll have a tea party for them. You can use your nice tea party set from Grandma and Grandpa.”
She loved the idea.
The next night she worked on invitations for three of her friends. She sat and drew while I lay on her bad talking to her about this or that. She spent an hour making the invitations exactly right. I confess, I was impressed a bit myself.
Two of the three girls made it to our house the following day. There was mass consumption of sparking apple cider, homemade oatmeal/cranberry cookies (gluten free, of course) and many hours of pretend cat noises from upstairs.
After their tea party, a little girl asked if she could do her homework. “Of course!” I taught the girls how to have a study group. THey helped each other with their math and discussed each answer, checking their work together. Then it was time to go.
One of the mothers became an instant friend. We chatted, our daughters so alike, and decided to hang out some more. I’ve already met her at the Y for a workout and planned another playdate for our girls soon.
The best possible thing I can do for my daughter is give her the chance to find her own people. I’ve been lucky over the years to find a tribe here. I have people I love to hang out with, people with children like mine, people who make me laugh and make me feel funny.
She might not know it yet, but she’s going to need people as she goes through her schooling. People, community, friends; they make your life rich and give you the chance to take yourself less seriously. And, honestly, they’re way better than fairies. They’re real.
So.. the fire department just left.. Nov 30, 2010
Look, before I say anything, let me just tell you that I’m a pretty safe person. Aside from sky diving and climbing mountains here or there or biking down ski paths, I’m pretty safe, really. I always get tied in when I rock climb.
So it’s no surprise that when I walk in after grabbing my daughter from the bus and the living room is suddenly filled with smoke when for the last four hours it was not, I freaked my shit out and called 911.
And hey! Firemen!
They took my info: I was home all day (working). I tried to start a fire at 9AM but I suck at it so I put it out. At 3PM I took a shower (let’s discuss how I didn’t have a chance to shower until now. No? Now’s not the time?) and walked out of the house to get my daughter. After SIX HOURS of not having smoke in the house, or a fire, the room filled with smoke caused me some… alarm.
Five young men suited up for fire came in to my house, looked around assessed the outside. There was discussion. “You know HOW to use the fireplace, right?” YES. JESUS. .. SORTA. The Flue was open, right? YES JESUS.. I THINK. “You know how to correctly put out a fire, right?” YES.. JESUS.. WITH SAND.
That last one is just for Smokey the Bear.
At any rate, after some discussion about the chimney, which possibly was on fire, no, maybe not, well, it could be a chimney fire… oh wait WHAT IS THIS?
Why, it’s a PRESTO log that suddenly began smoldering again.
As if it is risen from the dead, the presto log came alive, during those five minutes I walked to the bus stop, and filled my house with smoke.
I think the youngest fireman laughed when they carried the log out to the back and “put out the fire”.
No, I’m sure he did.
Either way, I’ll be going to purchase some new smoke alarms since not ONE of them went off. I’ll also be getting a chimney sweep and an escape later for upstairs.
Because Internet? Repeat it with me: BETTER SAFE THAN SORRY.
God I feel like a dipshit right now.
**I don’t know what’s up with my comments. Apparently today is broken. But thank you for letting me know I’m not a “DIPSHIP” and that I’m just a very safe, very careful, very responsible person with a plan.
And I still feel pretty stupid. But at least I confessed it to the Internet.
Class Selector by Class Selector Nov 29, 2010
I’m nearing the end of a freelance project. It’s been an exciting process as my skills develop and I build better and more robust, well planned code. Each site is a little better than the last. But each project comes with a theme song and I hear this one building in my mind as I near the climatic finish.
Bird by Bird, I remind myself. Just take it Bird by Bird.
I recite the title from one of my all time favorite writing books, “Bird by Bird” by Anne Lammot. The story starts with her brother sitting at the table facing a deadline on a paper about birds. Her dad looks at his overwhelmed son and advices, “Just take it bird by bird, buddy. Bird by bird.”
I sit and look at the few bits that are left. Why each project extends beyond my expected finish, how each detail can create a pixel off here or a query fail there is something I should learn to anticipate. And yet, still, I sit here looking at nearly great code sighing heavily as I realize there is that ONE MORE LIST to style, ONE MORE SPAN to fix, ONE LAST SELECTOR to place.
Bird by Bird, I tell myself. Just take it Bird by Bird.
Micro-Coding. Near the end, it’s all I can focus on. It’s in the details that our clients rejoice.
Bird by Bird.