Friday, November 9, 2012

Days off. I fail at Nablopomo...

...but if that's all I fail at?  I'm doing pretty good.  I decided to dress fancy today, because it has been days since I have been able to do that.  House cleaning does pay pretty well, but let's face it.  It's not very glamourous.  And well?  I need glamourous.  Sorry, but I do.

Today has been mostly about leisure.  Lunch out with the kids, a parent teacher conference thrown in for good measure, followed by dinner with friends in a bit.

The little one is doing well in school, and really blossoming.  She loves it, and has been making all sorts of progress just in the few months that she has been there.  This is great, and I am very happy to see that she is so happy.  I don't fantasize about having any sort of control over the lives of these people I brought into the world, but I sure am enjoying watching them find the things that make them happiest.

She asked me the other day whether she should be an opera singer, or an artist.  I told her she had plenty of time to decide, and well?  Why not be both?

Her teacher told her she already is an artist.  So cool.  I love this school so much!  I love the way that the people working there honestly care about these children, and not some agenda, or rigid curriculum, to the exclusion of all else.  I had the latter experience, growing up in LA. I don't miss it, and am glad to have found something better for my children.  School is challenging enough without all the added pressure of fitting into one particular mould, and being told you don't measure up, if you don't.

This may no longer be the case, but as an undiagnosed dyslexic in the 1980's, I encountered those very words via a couple of my teachers, and it made things very difficult for me, because I had trouble believing I could do much.  It made life pretty hard for me for a good, long time, actually.  So, finding a school that actually believes in meeting a child where they are and working with them accordingly? WIN!

It is not looking like Ru has dyslexia.  She seems to be plugging right along, within the range of whatever normal is. (I hate that term!)   But as I have mentioned before, my older daughter, Lily, has Mixed Expressive/Receptive disorder, and had extreme difficulty learning to read for quite a few years.  Well?  She is now in 4th grade, and is reading and writing this year.  I am so proud of her!  And so are her teachers!  Success is amazing to watch, especially when it's something that is just as important to the child, as it is to those around her, who care about her.  That is HUGE.

Growing up, I didn't have quite the same issues, but thanks to the way I was handled by the public school system, I had no confidence, and therefore no drive to succeed, until it really mattered, and well?  That meant community college to start off with.

So, to see her get excited about learning new things, and taking on new challenges?  One of the most satisfying moments of my life!

I may have failed at Nablopomo, but I must have at least done a couple things right.


Monday, November 5, 2012


I have some things to be grateful for, for sure. One of them, is the fact that we, as humans, are allowed to set boundaries for our own comfort, and well-being.  Sometimes, this means doing things others may not necessarily like, but may be necessary for ourselves, and our sanity.

I have had to say no to a few things lately, and it was extremely difficult, but necessary.  There are just not enough hours in the day for everything I want to do, so I have been needing to prioritize a ton, and stick to the core things, so that I don't burn out.

Wow.  Saying: "no."

It feels good, and awful, at the same time.

But as a good friend pointed out to me in the past week; it is not my job to save everyone from the onerous tasks that I may, under different circumstances, really excel at.  It is my job to take care of myself, because I do have other people in my life who depend on me, and need me to be there, instead of 50 different places, at once.  And even as I type this, I usually do have about 50 things going at once.  I do thrive on multitasking, but at some point, adding that extra ball is tough for any good juggler.

I also need to remember that I don't have local family support, as others may have.  The mister and I rarely get a night out together, and when we do, we have to pay a sitter.  I sometimes find myself getting pretty jealous of my friends who talk often about their kid-free weekends.  We get a few a year, and sometimes, they end up being filled with things we don't really want to do, like house maintenance, or other chores. 

So, free time?  For me?  It's really at a premium.  I need to remember that it is OK for me to say no to things when I am feeling like I am about to burn out.  I am extremely grateful that I have friends who understand this.  I guess that is part of growing up, 'non?


Sunday, November 4, 2012

The New Guy

I don't know why it took me so long to do this, but I finally upgraded my PC.  My old one is now 7 years old.  A while back, I upgraded my camera from a Canon EOS Digital Rebel XT, (The Baby, which I actually do still use on occasion,) to a Canon EOS 5D Mark II.  (The Beast.) To my chagrin, the Mark III has already been released.  I sometimes really hate technology.  It is getting damn near impossible to keep up.  But whatever.  I have a kickass camera, and finally, the system to handle the thing.

Before, I was using my old PC for this, and it was kind of infuriating, and sad.  I really wanted to play with the Beast, a lot.  But alas, it was just really hard to process the photos with such limited RAM.  The lack of ram kept getting worse, until it was actually really bad, and not just for photos.  It got to where I could barely even run facebook, or other programs with it, because they were all taking up so much space.  Forget about running multiple programs at once.  Lightroom constantly crashed, even if I had nothing else running.  I found myself taking days to process a shoot, when it used to take me just a couple hours, at most. 

See, I'm one of those photogs who just believes in taking good photos to begin with.  I don't fool around with these programs a whole lot, other than to maybe make something slightly brighter here and there, and to resize them so I can show them on the web.  Other than that, I am not a big shopper.

So for a long time, I figured I would just cripple the thing through until I absolutely had to replace it.

And then my daughter dropped it on its power cord while it was still plugged in.

It... stopped charging.

I thought that the power cord was the problem, so I replaced that.


It was the port.  I was telling a friend about this the other day, and he laughed, saying:  "She broke your computer's vagina!"

True.  She did.  I once had a broken vagina, and lived, and now things are fine again.  I don't recommend pushing a baby with a nuchal hand out in 11 minutes, but what can you do?  Computers on the other hand?  They are not technically women.  They just can't handle that shit.

Digressing now, because I didn't mean for this to turn into a post about my lady parts. 

Anyway, the only way to charge the thing, was to hold the power cord upright in just the right position.  I propped it up on a pack of playing cards and a CD, hoping for the best.  It did OK for the last two weeks I really needed it to work, but I knew it was definitely time at that point.

And finally... it was time.  Time to get the new guy.  The new guy is pretty slick, I must say.  I think I'll be sharing lots more photos now!  Hooray!


Saturday, November 3, 2012

A ribald story of nut intrigue.

I was pretty hung over and exhausted yesterday.  If you read my previous post, it was just a long, long, week, and by the end of yesterday, I couldn't see the top or bottom of my world.  It was just TV snow.  And TV?  Let's face it.  I haven't watched that in a VERY long time.  What's TV?  I don't even know that bitch.  I missed going out with the ladies, and had to prioritize a couple of other things out, because I was just... done.  Like Ron Jeremy after one of his long weeks.  Done.  And I looked about as good, too.

So yeah.  I did the last of what I said I would do.  I baked a few dozen cookies for a school potluck... half were vegan, half made with butter, all gluten-free, because I love my peeps.  I do.  I really only felt obligated by my own mind, and gratitude, because they are just awesome people.  So... I do my best to give back even in small ways, when I can.  There were none left when we left the potluck, so I must have at least done something right.  But, sadly, I was on auto-pilot, and didn't think about where I was going.  A potluck.  And yeah, you are supposed to bring your own plates/utensils.


So then,  I was tired, hungry, and in it for the long haul, because it was a movie potluck.

It was still fun, but I had to cut out early, because I was... yeah, I was.

I get home, and the mister is still not there.  I had some organizing to do in the basement, so I was down there when he came in, and he found me pretty fast.  He usually looks for me when he walks in the door, no matter what part of the house I am in.  I could be upstairs taking a massive shit, and he'd still come in and talk to me about his day. 

That's love, right there.  That's what that is.

He hadn't eaten yet either, and was three sheets to the wind, because it was his night to go out and have a little fun.  He's a little bummed, because his buddy just got hired on at a different outfit, across town.  So, yeah.  If he can find time to get out with that guy, he should take it.

Earlier, I had gone to the store.  I did NOT feel like cooking when I got home, so I made myself a salad and threw some packaged sliced turkey on top.  He rummaged and looked for nuts.

He found some, but not the ones he so desired.  (Spicy Thai Cashews from Trader Joe's.)  I did buy these nuts earlier that day, but I put them in a different place than usual, because I got tired of him eating the whole bag before I could get to them, and I also like these nuts.

I also completely forgot that I did this.  Did I mention I was running on auto-pilot yesterday?

So, in my haze, I decided to have a little fun with him. 

"Hey, did you buy cashews?"

"Uh... I think I forgot."

"Damn.  I could really go for some cashews right about now."

"Sorry, it appears to be just past 9, and the store has closed.  There are nuts for you, in the store down the street... locked away... in the cold, and dark, and you can't go in there right now."


"I did buy myself a candy bar from there, and I'm not feeling it.  Have at.  It's on top of the fridge."

So, he ate that.  Then, this morning, I realized I did buy those nuts. 


Ah, well, what's a little delay in the ways of pleasure?  We're still alive.  And now, we have nuts!


Friday, November 2, 2012

Wow, it's been a while.

Lots of stuff has happened since my last post here.  Lots.  I am now currently running two businesses.

I don't look down.

That's my secret.

Things are going well there.  I actually hand off work to a couple of friends when I can't handle the load on my own, so that's nice.  The one that is doing really well, is my house cleaning business.  I decided to give that a whirl when I wanted to get more serious about paying off my photography studio.

Because... waiting to turn a profit from that?  Yeah... no.  It takes a LOT of time to get up and running with photography.  I have several thousands of dollars tied up in equipment now, so I must be serious!

Well, yes, I am.  In fact, while I was investing all the time, planning, and money into that little venture, (Including the purchase of a 3500 sq ft, commercially zoned house, which does include a studio space with a secure, separate entry,) I was singing "Climb Every Mountain" a lot.  Especially this line:  "A dream that will need all the love you can give, every day of your life... for as long as you live!"

It does.  And I do.

But I also have mondo responsibilities; raising two children, running the aforementioned haunted mansion, dealing with other things like investment properties, and the maintenance and upkeep involved there, involvement in our school, and needing to be in about 8 places at once, etc., etc., ad nauseum.  I have been doing this for a couple of years now, and all things considered, the photography portion of my life, the DREAM, portion of my life, has, admittedly, been pretty slow.

But!  I will not give up.  It will happen.  I have faith that it will.  Why?  Because I have been doing it for this long, and I still have the drive and determination to make it happen.  This is the first school year in which I have had this much time to dedicate to my craft, and get things going, so you can bet that I am going to make the most of it.

I am also learning to prioritize my time.  In the beginning of the house cleaning venture, I just started by taking any job I could get.  The response was amazing, and I was extremely flattered, so I did my best to make time for everyone.  Well, I learned that I am not superhuman.  I got overwhelmed very quickly.  I figured out that I need a few days a week to dedicate to the photography end of things, or it will never happen. That said, I do have a few regulars I clean for, 4 days a week.  That leaves three for photos, and maintaining my studio.

This past week has been a bit crazy making.  I admit to having a meltdown yesterday, but I am better today.  The crazy doesn't usually last too long before I find those boot straps again, and figure out what I need to do with them.

But, for fun, I'll give you a little rundown.  This is kind of what my week was like:  Get up while it's still dark out, actually cook breakfast, because we are healthy like that, drive the mister to work, swing by the school, and drop off kids, go to work, go to the gym, pick up kids, come home, help with homework, cook a reasonably nutritious dinner that said kids will actually eat, go over to the rental, paint, somehow figure out how to get the kids ready for Halloween, come home, crash.  Lather, rinse, repeat.  All goddamn week.

Until last night, when I did manage to squeeze in a beautiful, gifted hairdo from a dear friend, and cocktails.  Today?  All about leisure, and baking some cookies for a class potluck/movie night we will attend later on, and possibly, a night out with the ladies, if I am still awake by the time that rolls around.  Sounds pretty good to me.