tl;dr: i should blog more

The irony of being a WordPress geek who rarely blogs is not lost on me. I spend most of my days in front of a screen, working with this very interface, but how much of that time is actually spent blogging for me? Practically none. And it’s not that I don’t have anything to write about; I have plenty! In fact, I have a list of potential blog topics a mile long, dating back to this spring.

I’m going to make an effort to work through the list in the next couple weeks, in preparation for (my first!) NaNoWriMo. I figure if I flex my writing muscles here, I’m more likely to complete the month of November with a workable first draft.

Topics covered may include:

  • Our new house and its myriad of slow-going projects
  • What happens when you drop a pot of coffee on your kid (spoiler alert: Bad things!)
  • How I wrote a novel I’ll never be able to publish
  • This year’s Halloween costumes
  • Life with a newly-minted two-year-old
  • Life with a newly-minted Kindergardener
  • Health update

But I’m going to start on a high note (hah) by writing about my biggest reason for not writing: Depression.

I tried to write about it sooner, but everything came out morose and dark and un-fun. Makes sense; depression is a pretty morose, dark, and un-fun thing. I have a list of saved drafts that, from my newly medicated perspective, sound like sad whining. I’m grateful I didn’t publish them, but I’m also grateful I wrote them for me.

(Why do I feel like everything I publish here should be light and fluffy? I don’t know. New therapy topic!)

Here’s an excerpt from one of those drafts:

Originally, I thought it was the winter blues, lingering. Then I thought it was situational stress, that would get better once we’d sold the condo and moved. Then I chalked it up to ye olde woman’s woes — oh, those pesky hormones! Then I tried telling myself to get over it, snap out of it, and suck it up, which, as you can probably guess, went over really well with my anxiety-ridden brain. But now I’m beginning to think that whatever Eeyore-esque cloud has settled around me is not going to magically disappear, no matter how much I try to brush it off as nothing, or pretend it doesn’t exist, or yell at it to go away.

On my best days, I’m mostly neutral. On my worst days, I’m non-functional. Thankfully (?) there are mostly neutral days and not a lot of bad days, but just one day where I can’t get out of bed because the world is nothing but black, crushing anxiety, is one too damn many.

The ability to feel genuine excitement or joy would be nice, too. I miss that.

The me of today, the Celexa-and-therapy me, is feeling awesome. I no longer wake up and dread getting out of bed. A messy house will not give me a panic attack. I can actually feel happy about things again.

The amount of stuff we’ve been through in the last year makes my head spin. I suppose I needed a reality check; at my first therapy session, I began to list all the things I felt I had to keep track of, and after the sixth or seventh major item, my therapist’s eyes said it all.

Lady, you’re going to make an excellent client.

Two little kids. New puppy. Moving. Selling our house. Renovations. New living arrangements. Full-time job with travel. Crappy internet. Weight loss. Exercise. Me time. Husband time. Family time.

Over the summer, I shed a couple of those items, and now I’m managing my crazy life and mostly enjoying it, rather than suffering and dreading it. It’s amazing what a little pill and regular talking can do for your perspective. Depression made it hard to want to talk about anything, and not writing got me out of the habit. Now that the former is being addressed, I can work on the latter, and hopefully the result will be a more active personal blog!

2010 in review

Elspeth's Second BirthdayThe fact that I’m 10 days late with this year in review is appropriate, given how regular I’ve been about blogging lately… which is to say, not regular at all!

One of the things I did start in 2010, albeit a little late, was a regular exercise routine. Since mid-October I’ve exercised every single day in some form or another, and I definitely notice a difference. Without changing my diet drastically, I’ve lost about 10 lbs and I feel so much better about myself. I knew there was a reason I used to do this! I’m sticking to 20 minutes a day of either aerobic stepping with Wii Fit or Dance Dance Revolution… DDR in particular is a really good workout. That’s one thing I’ll definitely be continuing in the new year.

The other health-related thing I’d like to keep up with: No fast food. I don’t even really like the stuff, but it’s so easy to get into the habit of pulling up to the drive-through when I’m in a rush. Tim and I have made a point of bringing our lunches to work for the last month and it’s greatly helped our budget and health, so this month we’re using the same rule for breakfasts to save even more money.

2010 was a moderately creative year as well. I put all of last year’s doodles in a set and came up with nearly 90 illustrations, which doesn’t even include all the custom design for other clients. Photographically I was also more active in 2010–only 3 shoots total, but that’s a huge improvement over the big fat zero from 2009. And I’m really proud of the work I did produce, so I hope to keep that going this year. And I’m proud of the websites I’ve built for myself this year, even if I haven’t exactly been consistent about updating them!

On a personal note, Tim and I celebrated 10 years together in 2010. We also celebrated Elspeth’s second birthday, and our second year of parenting a toddler–yikes. And we survived our second major home project when we renovated our downstairs bathroom (practically at gunpoint, thanks to water damage and black mold, but still.) I checked an item off my life list when we saw Joshua Radin in concert. We also had our first family vacation and escaped with our sanity mostly intact, which is something.

Phew. I don’t think I realized until now just how busy 2010 was. I have a sneaking suspicion 2011 is going to be just as busy on all fronts. Case in point: There will be potty training.

Bring it on!

oh, dilemma

So, I’ve rediscovered Blogger.

One of the things I really like about it is the ability to customize my sidebars and have complete control over colors, fonts, layout, scripts, etc.  It goes without saying that I’m a control freak, and I find the overall look is much cleaner than Vox.  Vox used to be clean, but now it’s cluttered.

The only thing that’s missing at Blogger is… you!

I really enjoy the social networking aspect of Vox.  There are groups to join, tags to explore, new people to meet.  Vox also affords me more privacy than Blogger, which is important, because sometimes I get a little, err, personal.  Y’know.

So for now, I’ll probably cross-post Etsy- and photography-related entries to both Blogger and Vox, and keep the more personal stuff here.  It’s a messy solution, but until I can automatically feed posts to Vox from Blogger, it’s all I got!

UPDATE:  Apparently you CAN automatically feed posts to Vox from Blogger, using the Mobile Blogging settings in Vox.  This is good to know.  Pardon the ridiculous number of test posts that will ensue.

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happy hobbles!

So, it’s been a few days… done some stuff… and I have nothing relevant to say.  Time for another scintillating edition of…

What is Caro thinking right now?

  • I busted into my first Diet Coke at 9:43 a.m.  If that’s any indication of how this day will go, I should go home.  Oh, and there’s a stain on my shirt.  Which is, surprisingly, right-side out.  The shirt, not the stain.
  • There are new-job-vibes in the works for the S.O.  My fingers have been triple-crossed for a full day now.  They hurt, and it’s hard to type like this.  New job, please come through, preferably soon, so that I can uncross my fingers.  Thanks!
  • I’m so glad for this NaBloPoMo thing.  Not because I’m participating (bwahahaha, the thought) but because I haven’t been for want of new material from some of my favorite bloggers since the beginning of November.  Please don’t leave me, NaBloPoMo!  Work is damn near unbearable without you.
  • In that vein, I’m tempted to start a new blogging event of my own.  Let’s call it… iBlogNazi.  In order to participate, you must blog every single day for the rest of your life, solely for my personal entertainment.  If you forget to blog, I’ll send out a vicious army of squirrels to nibble on your toes, and then you’ll have something to blog about, wontcha?  Dance, minions!  Dance!  … What, you don’t think it will catch on?
  • I’m adding a subscription to JPG Magazine to my Christmas wishlist.  You can still vote on photos for the next issue if you haven’t already.  *hint hint*
  • Thank you, Pilgrims, for coming to America and growing food and dying and sharing a meal with the indigenous peoples, all so I can have a four-day weekend and eat myself into a tryptophan oblivion.
  • And finally, to leave you in the spirit of the upcoming holiday, a joke by yours truly:

What does a turkey with a broken foot say?

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honesty is overrated.

MMS is Monday Morning Syndrome, which is what I jokingly told the IT guy I had when he had to ask me three times to correct a link on particular University Web site before I got it right.  “Yeah, sorry for the delay, I have Monday Morning Syndrome.”  Hah-hah-hah.

But it’s a real disorder.  Seriously.  A couple hours later I went to the restroom and happened to look in the mirror, and that’s when I realized I’d put my shirt on inside out when I got dressed this morning.  Three hours of walking around the office with the tag hanging off the back and all the seams sticking out.

I don’t drink coffee, but it’s times like this that make me think I should.  What makes me a true geek is, the inside-out shirt incident actually made me think to check my underwear while I was there, because I have a terrible habit of putting on my underwear inside-out and/or backwards.

Just call me “spatially challenged.”  It’s a bit more politically-correct than “special.”

Anyway, you can see what kind of day it’s been so far.  My personal theory on Monday is, the quality of your Monday is inversely proportional to the comparative quality of the prior weekend.  (Unless, of course, it’s one of those beloved national-holiday-observed-days, in which case we get to skip the Monday gloom entirely and go straight to Tuesday.  Thinking about it that way, I wouldn’t mind if we declared EVERY Monday a national holiday from here on out, but then I suppose we’d eventually run into TMS, or Tuesday Morning Syndrome, which would usurp MMS and make the whole point moot.  But let it be known that I am all in favor of three day weekends across the board!)

Anyway, my point is, this is not one of my better Mondays ONLY because I have the luxury of saying I had a good weekend.  Look at me, putting a positive spin on things!  This is totally unnatural, and as backwards as my underwear!

One of the things I’ve promised myself–after making the decision to work full-time, and after all those days spent trapped on the couch–is not to let my weekends go to waste. I have precious few days during the week where I can just do whatever the hell I want, and I’m finding that what I want is to get away from the computer periodically and get out of the house.  Amazing, no?

Keeping that in mind, the S.O. and I have started a new tradition of going out to breakfast on Saturday mornings.   This Saturday we chose Governor’s – one of those local, hokey, family-friendly places that serves a breakfast menu all day (because by “going out to breakfast” I really mean “going out to breakfast at noon, or whenever I decide to haul my lazy arse out of bed”) and generally has good service and cheap food.

This time, however, we got stuck with a waitress who might have had a touch of ADD.  She was nice enough, but she kept interrupting us when we’d try to ask for something (one of those, “I already know what you want so I’m just going to blurt it out before you’ve finished speaking” people), talking too fast, throwing items down on the table as she rushed by, never quite looked you in the eye because she was watching her other tables, etc.  We’ve had better service, we’ve had worse, and having worked a brief stint as a waitress the summer before I started college, I’m pretty sympathetic to the profession.  It wasn’t the kind of thing I was going to make a big deal about (especially not in a place like the Gov’s, where her best tip is probably a five), but her lack of finesse was noticable.

When our meal was finished, she made the mistake of giving the S.O. and myself a comment card, and, because I’ve been brainwashed to “fill in all the little circles, completely, with a number two pencil” (many thanks to Mrs. Ivey, and all those second-grade aptitude tests), I made the mistake of filling it out.  And when I got to the part about  “Please rate the friendliness of the waitstaff:  Exceeded Expectations, Met Expectations, or Did Not Meet Expectations”, well, I didn’t really think about the answer too much, because I’m a bonehead.  By process of elimination, I circled “Did Not Meet Expectations.”

… not really thinking the the waitress would come back to the table as we were getting ready to leave, pick up the comment card, blatantly look at it, and then, without pause, in front of everyone else in the restaurant and in the LOUDEST VOICE POSSIBLE, glare at me and say, “OH, I’M SORRY I WASN’T FRIENDLY ENOUGH FOR YOU!!”

… making me think I’ve mistakenly walked into an episode of Seinfeld.  I’m thinking, Are you kidding me?  I’m getting called out on a comment card?  Now you’ve proven that you have no tact, and I’m forced to reference a television show I don’t even like.  Lordy!

The S.O. and I ducked out rather quickly after that, me feeling partly like she was way out of line to do that, and (let’s be honest) partly like a bitch.  Because it’s not like I intended to hurt someone’s feelings that morning, and in hindsight, maybe I didn’t give her enough credit.  Maybe she was having a case of delayed MMS.

Of course, after I’d gotten over the initial shock, my next words to the S.O. were —

This is so going in my blog.

Thankfully the rest of the weekend was normal-ish, and fun, and relaxing, and not at all like an episode of Seinfeld, for which I am very grateful.

Now, where is Tuesday when I need it?

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I’m such a nerd because…

What’s the nerdiest thing about you?

“Nerdiest” would imply the one, most nerdy thing.  One?  Just one thing?  Well, okay.

Hi, my name is Sheara! I’m a 60 Undead Priest and a Blood Guard of <Grim Determination> on the Earthen Ring server.  For the Horde!

Need I say more?

Other nerdy facts about myself, because just one nerdy fact does not a good blog post make:

  • I’ve had an online journal/blog/personal Web site since before I hit puberty.  To me, Web design is an artform.
  • I use a Mac, and I like it.  No, I <3 it.
  • I went to a special high school for nerds called the Maine School of Science and Mathematics (alternately known as the Maine School of S & M).
  • I graduated from university with a degree in New Media.  “New Media” is Latin for “nerd”.
  • I’ve been known to abuse the emoticon.  🙂
  • Lists.  Lists everywhere.  Lists about anything and everything, as long as it’s a list.
  • Megapixels turn me on.
  • And finally… I’m spending my lunch break writing this instead of eating lunch.  That pretty much sums it up!

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“blog” is such an ugly word.

I’m recalling the various services I’ve used for journalling over the past several years.  Remember Diaryland?  Remember Scribble?  Remember when Livejournal was the hot new thing?

I suppose I’ve always been more of an online journaller than a blogger.  Blogging implies journalling with the intent to connect with and discuss issues with others, but as a journaller I’ve always focused inward – thoughts, feelings, aspirations, failures.  Ahh, sweet narcissism.

Despite being a devoted Livejournal user for years, I’ve always had a love/hate relationship with online journalling.  I’ve gone back and forth between entirely public journals to entirely private journals, and neither extreme really satisfies me, but the online medium stays the same.  Why?  I spend 70% of my week near a computer, whether it’s for work, school, or play.  Journalling in the space where I spend so much of my time already is, simply, convenient.

But despite all this time I spend floating about the Internet, I’m a terrible blogger.   Too introverted, maybe?  Too self-centered, probably.  We hermits do like our caves.  Vox and co. does not subscribe to the preferred hermit lifestyle, methinks.

(There’s this freaky little Vox-dude on an ad banner on the side of this page, asking me “have you left a comment lately?”  I can’t help but think he’s accusing me!  Already, with the guilt!)

I like posting pictures, when I have new ones to post (a rare occasion).  I enjoy the occasional random thought, link, quote.  But what makes a good blogger, really?  I find myself drawn to the “blogs” that are more like journals than blogs, so what do I know?

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oh dearie, i think i’m a blogger now.

A first post.  What do I say?

I’m attracted to Vox because it reminds me of my iMac… bubbly, all  bright colors and point-and-click good-ness. Vox is kind of like coming home.  Ahhhhhhh.

In contrast, my life as of recent doesn’t feel bubbly.  The photo to the right is more reflective of my state of mind at this time, I suppose.  Things are downright dreary, for a number of reasons, most of which being a sudden inability to cope with life, and all its many conundrums.

But how can I write about that here, in this cheery kindergarten-colored blogosphere?  Where I’m greeted in bold, smiling letters: Hi Caroline!  Where I’m encouraged to “write and share”, where I’m asked, “have you connected to anyone lately?”  How could I bring my problems here, to happy-land?

So, I’m afraid this blog, as it were, will not amount to much more than fluff.  Fluff might be a welcome change, at this point.


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