Saturday, August 25, 2012

Woes of a Geek

I've recently decided to upgrade my phone---I've had it for going on three years and it's started acting quirky (though as one of my friends insists, it's because it knows I'm planning to replace it. :D) But I'm also on a budget (who isn't?) and there are other things I want to spent my money on so...

I did some online research but I still had some questions (and it's impossible to play with a phone online anyway,) so in I went to my local store. I should probably preface this by saying a few of my friends go to this store and have never had this particular issue, but it was apparently my day for it. I told the sales clerk what phone I wanted to look at, and making a long and torturous story short, the salesman apparently thought I was only interested in what colors the phone came in.

Right. 

I wonder what gave him that idea? Because I was female? Probably. It's not the first time I've dealt with this attitude; I once walked off a car lot because a salesman refused to pop the hood on a model I was looking at (I couldn't find the release latch) because, as he said, "Why?  You'll never look at it."

Right. 

The thing is, I like technology. I was a PC user for years, and now I use a Mac full-time. I've used computers, of one sort or another, since I was ten. I was also lucky that my dad, the main gadget geek in our house, never discouraged me from learning. So my interest in computers, in phones, in cars, tends to be a little bit more than "Oooh, what color does it come in?"

Sigh. I walked out of that store, of course. And if I need help with my phone, I'll go to another store. But in this day and age--2012--it's astonishing that the view that woman= not good with technology is still so pervasive.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Ready? Not me. :-)

Today, my daughter finished her last day of preschool. Aside from summer camp at her preschool (if we decide to send her) and some time in February where she might return there (bless preschool teachers who don't mind if their former students return) when her school is out for break, this is it. My daughter is no longer a preschooler.

I got to thinking this afternoon how unready I was for so many of life's biggest changes. I was ready to graduate from college, but not ready to be self-supporting. I was ready to settle down, but I knew nothing of being a wife. I wasn't ready to no longer be pregnant when my daughter tumbled into my life ten weeks early. And although my daughter is ready for kindergarten and is going to a good school this fall, I don't think I'm quite ready for her to no longer be one of the six students at her itty bitty preschool.

But I became self-supporting. I got married---next April is our tenth anniversary---so I suppose I figured that out. I guess I'll get used to having a kindergartner too.

Change is coming---faster than any wheel, and I know I won't get to dictate how or when or why it happens. All I...all we...can do is hang on and try to enjoy the ride.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Meanderings on making banana bread

I am not the world's greatest cook. By which I mean, I totally do not have the talent my husband has, to take a look at a pantry and throw something together that tastes good. I can follow a recipe (so long as it's not complicated) and as the sign jokingly says, millions have eaten my cooking and gone on to lead normal lives.

(I am also not the world's greatest blogger *blush*. 2011 has been...well...busy. I'm trying to post more regularly, honest. :-))

But lately, I've started baking again. Our last apartment had two outlets, and one was taken up by the refrigerator. Adding in that, the lack of counter space and that our kitchen faced into the sun most days...and the stand mixer stayed under the counter, gathering dust. But in this apartment---there's both some counter space and outlets so...yeah. I'm baking again. Bread, sometimes. Banana bread, tonight. Brown bread (for an office get-together) earlier this week.

There's something curiously satisfying about making bread...I can't really explain it. A friend of mine, also a Wiccan, says cooking is a form of worship...after all, the cauldron is one of the witch's tools and certainly there's no more powerful magic than throwing together a bunch of ingredients to feed your family. For me lately, it's been a form of meditation. We've had a lot of challenges this year (who hasn't?) and anything that brings a small amount of peace into the chaos can only be good.

And banana bread? Yum. How can you beat that?

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Body image and the preschooler

Yesterday, my daughter and I were snacking on grapes when she said to me, "Don't eat all those or you'll get fat."

Whaaaaaaattttt?

She's four and not a cruel child, but the remark brought me up short. I have...curves, putting it mildly, but I'm sure I've never said such a thing to her. I've tried not to discuss food issues in terms of being thinner or trying to lose weight, but only in terms of eating more healthy foods, especially since she herself is at a perfectly normal weight for her height and age. So where did she get the idea?

When I picked my jaw up off the floor, I told her, as calmly as I could, that it wasn't nice to say such things, that it was mean and could really hurt someone's feelings. I think she understood, but again, she's four and of the age when the world is entirely black and white and it's okay to say what you're thinking when you think it. (Which I usually admire in her but um...yeah. Sometimes, not so much.)

The remark, though, made me think---about all the things we tell little girls about how they should look and what they should be. Abercrombie and Fitch just got into trouble (again) for marketing push-up bikini tops to seven year olds. I've seen platform shoes and ultra-short skirts marketed to kids Roisin's age and younger. We've done our level best to innoculate her from the worst of things, but I don't fool myself--the pressure from her peers, from society itself, is never-ending. I don't want her to look in the mirror and feel fat or ugly, not ever, but especially not at four. And I also don't want her to think it's okay to be rude to other people, even if she is speaking a literal truth. Sometimes, people are overweight for reasons other than eating too much food and even if they are, it's not her place to say so.

Sigh. There isn't anything like parenthood to make you worry. :)

Monday, February 14, 2011

"Do you love me?" :)

Today is Valentine's Day, and I confess that our family is pretty much ignoring it this year.

My husband and I will have been married eight years at the end of April. In that eight years, we've had four moves, one miscarriage, one premature birth, one cardiac bypass surgery, one NICU stint and all the other various and sundry things that happen in a marriage. I'm reminded of the line from "Fiddler on the Roof" where Tevya asks his wife, after twenty five years, if she loves him. She gives him a laundry list of all the things she's done and at the end of it, says, "If that's not love, what is?"

After eight years, I agree with Tevya's wife. My husband is an excellent father and husband---if he has kitchen sink blindness occasionally, he's also the same guy who can make a good meal out of seemingly nothing in the pantry, the same guy who also remembered a remark I made in passing, and bought me my favorite lip gloss.

In eight years, we've struggled, grieved, loved, lost, laughed and learned...together. I don't need a card to remind me to tell him I love him. I already do. And I know he loves me and loves our daughter. We don't need the day....it's nice, but not necessary.

If that's not love, what is? :)

Monday, December 6, 2010

You are my sunshine...

To my daughter, on her birthday....

I found your sonogram pictures the other day---five or six of them, stored in an envelope with your birth certificate and the name chart and growth chart from your stint in the NICU. The sonogram pictures were our first pictures of you---the earliest of them was when you were a whopping 4mm long. I was five or six weeks pregnant and terrified that I was having another miscarriage; my OB took pity on me and my fears and squeezed me in, somehow, for an ultrasound.

And that was when I saw you for the first time. I realize, if you read this later, that you might think that you looked like a really small baby, but you didn't, not then. You did look like the seed that gave you your first nickname (Sprout) before we knew if you were a boy or girl...but then, that early, you were just this tiny life who'd arrived in our lives against tall odds. I fell in love with you then---which you probably won't truly understand until you have a child of your own, but it's true. I saw you on that screen and I knew I'd fight for you, struggle with you, love you, no matter what.

It's four years later, four years since your birth and I don't quite have the words to describe how you've changed both of our lives---the terror and joy and hope and awe that we've felt as we watched you be born and grow. We're seeing more and more of you now, parts of me, parts of your dad, and parts that are most definitely just you, the unique presence that I first saw on that ultrasound all those years ago.

Happy 4th birthday, Róisín. :-) We love you, so very, very much.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Nope, definitely what we didn't need, thanks.

Well, yesterday it was time for auto maintenance---oil change, brake check, tire rotation, that sort of thing. We took it to our local mechanic---two guys who run a hole in the wall place about a mile away. I've been going to them for my repair needs since I drove my VW bug regularly (which was, if memory serves, before I met my husband.) They don't take appointments, so you have to get there roughly at the crack o'dawn, but they're reasonably priced and honest.

Anyway, our Honda is not even three years old yet (it'll be three in February) but we're going to have to replace the tires on it soon. Not real soon (else they'd have told us yesterday...they're that honest) but soon. And with Rob hoping to start school in January, we'll have to have it done before then. I'm just glad that we don't have long commuting trips planned or snow and ice to deal with.

It's just...gah, annoying. I had a suspicion we'd need to buy them soon; the tires on our last new car, a Toyota, needed to be replaced when it was roughly three years old. I don't get it, though...when you buy a new car, I think you should more or less be able to expect that the tires wouldn't need to be replaced before the 36K mile mark (we don't even have 30K on our Honda.) We're not lead-foots or dangerous drivers...but it seems that junk tires are the rule, these days.

*Facepalm*

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Wife, mom of a preemie, follower of the old ways, lover of anything Irish or Celtic, history buff, trivia nut, Star Trek and Ren Faire geek and costuming fiend. Offer me coffee or chocolate and world peace is assured. Or at least I'll try really hard. :) I also believe in deleting spam. So, to the person or persons who keep leaving me comments in Chinese (along with links to what I can clearly tell are Chinese porn sites) stop it. It's bad karma, to say nothing of being really, really rude.

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