Mrs. Flinger: A work in progress

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.

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.)

fusion 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

#Life#Rants and Raves


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

#Life#The Flinger Family

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.”

Blue Wiggle

On Loneliness Dec 02, 2010

#Life#The Flinger Family#Those Little People

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.

Sorry, I brag

My six yr old drew this. Thankgod she's got art skills. I need an illustrator.

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.

Girls after tea party

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.

Right? Right.

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

#tech words

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.


Snow and Stitches: A Flinger Holiday Story Nov 29, 2010

#Life#The Flinger Family

Get ready for a boatload of snow pics. This one? My backyard.

Wow, y’all. Was that a week or what?

boy in snow

The week started out as usual. Monday morning came with the furry of gathering children to breakfast, rushing them to dress and hurrying out the door. The snow started just hours later and by noon, [all of Seattle] I was in a mass panic to get to Sea-Tac in a [blizzard] light snow storm.


With my parents secured, already bragging of 80 degree weather the day before in Houston, we managed to safely (SOMEHOW) get back north. Let me tell you, it was life-threatening snow flurries! Or very small flakes! Either way, I managed to navigate the treacherous freeways. (No, seriously, just watch the news if you don’t believe me. What? The news exaggerates more than a sixth grader talking about the size of his penis? Hu.)

ER trip #2 for LB

My daughter managed to trump the snow in her pursuit to be more like her mother. While dancing in the living room, as she does, her socked feet slipped out from under her and she crashed, chin first, on the hardwood floor. Blood, tears, and screaming soon followed. Oma, having gone through this three times with her own young daughter, a very young me, quickly assessed that stitches would be necessary. Mr. Flinger and I took our sobbing six year old to the ER where we thanked netflix mobile for hosting Astro Boy, which kept her calm and quiet before the doctor could make it around. “Seven stitches!” he declared. And so began the fixing, cleaning, stitching up of my young daughter. She bravely sat, big blue eyes wide, and held our hands. I remembered being in her position, at six, looking up at the bright light above me, the doctor working, and the kind nurse telling me I could squeeze her hand as hard as I wanted to. We will have matching scars now, my daughter and I. (And apparently most of facebook, according to your chin-scar-stories. Thanks for taking that uniqueness away from me. I thought I was the only one with stitches on my chin. But what’s that? You only did it once? Oh, I did it THREE TIMES. That’s right. I win teh ugly chin! Take that, facebook.)


Aside from that, the family arrived, the food was prepared, the snow was thrown, the wii was used, the booze was drank. The turkey may have been dry and the green beans a bit stringy, but the cranberries were delicious and the yams were mashed by my cousin and aunt. The women gathered in the kitchen while the men talked history. The children played and spilled things and another year of memories began in our new house.

And now, let the holiday season begin.

All the things I would do differently Nov 18, 2010

#Travel#Life#Working Mom

Nobody wants to hear you wax morose about the things in your life you’d change. It’s not a very good blog post. It’s a much better bartender story. Bartenders are trained in that sort of thing: Indecision, Regret, Wondering.

The Internet as a whole, not so much.

But, oh hell, you’re getting it anyway.

I’m so busy being a “jack of all trades” that I haven’t narrowed down my one passion. I’m so.. passionate… that I haven’t figured out where to concentrate that passion on.

I’m actually, literally, A-D-D with my passion.

This is ultimately what’s wrong with telling our children they can have the world. THE WORLD IS YOUR OYSTER! Which, side-note, gross, right? Why not my globe or my fortress or my bitch? I digress.

We tell our children they can be anything! ANYTHING! OMG YOU CAN GO TO THE MOON.

But look, most children won’t make it to the moon so that’s a little bit of false advertising, no? YOU CAN BE PRESIDENT. Well, comon, maybe? But most likely you’ll end up a slightly over-weight middle manager at a firm who could use several more employees and a little more vacation time and a mortgage that swallows you whole.

The pessimism, it is dripping off of me.

I blame the weather.

In most respects I am an optimistic person, always thinking I can do it all! I can be great at all things! I WIN! THE ENTIRE WORLD! IT IS MINE! [evil laugh as I claim my empire] And in other respects I realize there’s no way to live up to my own expectations. It’s learning how to balance my own wants and needs with reality and that is crushing. How do we tell our children life is not a fairy tale without squishing their dream of greatness?

And how do we prevent them wondering what the hell happened in their mid thirties?

Insight? I need it.

I’m rubber, you’re glue Nov 16, 2010

#Life#Getting to know me

I never had headgear. I never had braces. I never had extreme acne. No, my Jr. High experience was flanked with sports and friends and the usual self consciousness. High school was a stable place with a boyfriend and good grades and more sports.

Gymnastics 1986
*Me in 1986. I got medals for showing up. BOOYAH.

God, I knew this would come back to bite me. I just didn’t know I’d be thirty-five.

Call me brace face, four eyes, Darth Vader. (I linked to that just in case you didn’t know who Darth Vader was. Then I realized fuck you, you know? If you don’t know who Darth Vader is, google it. Also, seriously? Where were you in 1979? Oh, not born yet? LIKELY EXCUSE.)

And you will because now? Now I get to sleep with fighter-pilot like gear on.

Oh sweet sweet Maverick-esque gear.

On the plus side, I’m having what the sleep study shows as “Rem Rebound.” Apparently my body is so excited to get to sleep that my dreams are vivid and constant. My body is plunging itself in to REM like it’s the missing opiate.

When I dream that Miranda Bailey is working at a coffee shop handing out pot while a dude in a thong rides roller blades, it’s proof that I’m really, truly, seriously on something. And it’s called Oxygen. Seriously.

So laugh all you want. Name call if you will. But dayam, people, I feel awake for the first time since 1991. Some of you weren’t even born then. But don’t tell me that.


Because I swear to you, this is a disease, man Nov 15, 2010

#Life#Getting to know me

I’ve had a package, two actually, sitting in my living room for SIX MONTHS that I need to mail. It contains time sensitive materials. They are full of clothes for my sister’s daughter, I think you call that my niece, and my good friend’s daughter.

It’s literally been six months and I doubt they will fit their children anymore.

I’ve had a check sitting in my purse for three weeks. It’s not that we don’t need the money, ohgoodlord trust me, it’s that I can’t seem to actually DEPOSIT the check. And I’ve walked by the ATM. Twice.

I really don’t know what this is about but I actually fail to be a grown up sometimes, but I’ve somehow managed to clean the dishes every night and catch up on Grey’s anatomy. I must be doing something right.