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Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Isn't Christmas Done Yet?

Hello there all you Beautiful Mother Lovers!  I hope everyone is managing to make it through these always challenging last few days of December.  Merry Christmas, to those who celebrate that, and Happy Holidays, to Everyone!  Personally, I will just be happy when January 2nd rolls around and I can put another fucking holiday season behind me.

This is not a good time of year for me.  I have tried all my life to get into the whole "Christmas Spirit" thing, but some one always has to come along to fuck it up.  Its Not even worth the effort to try anymore.  Now I just go through the prescribed paces, eliminating more and more of those each year.  I am not even wrapping the fucking gifts this year.  The kids said I don't have to, since they already know everything they are getting, since they picked it all out.  And we didn't put up the big tree, or much of any decorations this year.  I did decorate the two little trees, a three foot one for the living room and a 2 foot one here in my office, but that was the extent of it this year, and I didn't even get around to doing that until about a week and a half ago.  I did actually bake some cookies this year, but only 4 different kinds, instead of the 10 or 12 I used to make every year.

I know most people probably go through a certain amount of disillusionment with the holidays as they get older, and that is certainly a great deal of where my current bahumbuggedness is coming from, but it is more than that.  It is a lifetime of conditioning, and a decade and a half of having my life ruled over by a moron, and world full of judgmental fucking hypocrites trying to destroy everything that is good in this world all for the sake of their all-mighty fucking dollar and then wrapping it up in some vague fucking Bible verse that they cherry picked for their agenda!

So yeah, maybe I am just too old for this nonsense any more.  I know I am sick and tired of the people who created the "war on Christmas" by turning into a commercialized monstrosity with no resemblance to the "true meaning of Christmas", claiming that every one else is attacking Christmas, while they are the only ones truly defending it.  How fucking stupid do they think people are?  Oh yeah, probably about as stupid as the 34% who buy into their nonsense.  Open your fucking eyes people!  You have been played!  Your whole fucking life is based on lies and deceptions based on what you think every body else believes, its all bullshit.  Manufactured in advertising agencies around the world, and spoon fed to us from birth, every day, all fucking day long.

I better stop myself before I go running off an a whole different tangent again.  My point was, I will be glad when the holidays are over and I can get back to work on my new life.  I have a whole list of plans and ideas that I am going to share with all of you over the course of the coming new year.  2014 is going to be the start of a whole new life for Mother, with a whole slew of out of the box new projects and completely out of my comfort zone new plans.  I am working very hard on learning all these new software programs, and all of the other stuff I knew absolutely nothing about a couple of months ago, but to be honest, the most difficult part of any of it is just the idea of showing my face to the world.  Sharing my words here is one thing, and that has taken me a long time to get used to, and sharing my voice, like on the first two videos I have made, was even more terrifying.  But sharing my face?  That is going to take a strength of will I am still not really sure I possessThat's why we are easing into the idea gradually.  

As much as I absolutely do not care what people might think of how I look, unfortunately I know there will be people out there who will find it necessary to tell me what they think anyway.  Not caring what they think does not mean their words are not hurtful.  I think the best way for me to deal with those kind of people will probably be to do my very best to publicly shame them for their cruel and superficial behavior. Its either that, or ignore them, and I don't think that would be as much fun.  I have been ignoring them for my entire life and they don't seem to stop, so I think I will try a new approach.

I am actually trying to work out a whole new approach to a lot of things.  This whole mid-life crisis thing I have been going through the past few months has gotten me thinking about who I am, and who I want to be, and how the two haven't always been necessarily compatibleSo, I am working on that too.  In all my spare time.

At any rate, be looking for some big new surprises from Mother over the coming weeks and months!  And be looking forward to actually seeing Mother some day on your computer screen (or phone, or whatever you people use to watch videos on the internet these days).  As soon as I get up the nerve to put myself out there, I can promise you all will be the first to know!  Because, no body else will care

In my research and explorations I have learned that the first 100 videos I produce will probably just be crap, but each one will get significantly better than the last, and some day I might even start making some good ones.  So, try not to hold me to too high a standard as we go forward, okay?  I am doing the best I can with what I have to work with, and hopefully the content quality will make up for the lack of video quality until my skills can catch up with my ambitions.  I ain't promising nothing except that I will do my best to entertain, and perhaps occasionally enlighten you, in my own unique, and perhaps slightly odd, sort of way. 

So Until Next Time, I hope you enjoy the first two of what I hope will be many more, and hopefully someday even better, videos to come ... 
                                                 
                                              
                                                   

Monday, December 9, 2013

Raising the Minimum

 Hello again Lovely Internet People!  I was reading an article the other day about the fact that if the minimum wage had kept up with inflation, and everything else, it should be close to like $21 an hour by now.  I know a lot of people seem to think that $21 an hour is a ridiculous amount  of money for a minimum wage job, but it really isn't.  At 40 hours a week it only amounts to a little over $800 a week, before taxes.  And while that is far more money than I have ever earned in a week, no one is ever going to get rich off of it.  What they could get would be a decent life and a little less stress about whether they are going to have enough money to feed their kids AND pay the bills after working their asses off all day every day!  Not to mention the huge increase in our economy that would occur as a result of the people who actually spend their money, actually having money to spend!

There was a comment at the end of the article from some guy complaining that only 3% of our population actually works at a minimum wage job, so we shouldn't bother spending any time worrying about the issue.  While I find it personally reprehensible that he believes that those 3% of Americans don't deserve to be compensated fairly for their efforts, that was not the reason that I was so disturbed by his comments.  The sheer lack of common sense exhibited in his comments were what bothered me.  Here is a supposedly intelligent person that cannot understand the connection between what the minimum wage is, and what EVERYONE who is not a CEO of a major corporation makes.  Whether your salary is computed hourly, weekly, or monthly, doesn't matter, your salary is based on your value to the company, and they figure that number from the ground up.  From minimum wage up.  So if the minimum wage is $7.25, like it is now, and you are making say $21 an hour, and you probably think you are doing alright with that.  But, if the minimum wage was the $21 an hour it should be, then you should be making around $63 an hour!  Now do you understand why the minimum wage should be a big freaking deal to ALL of us?!

And as for that stupid argument that raising the minimum wage would cause massive inflation, and all the prices would sky rocket to make up for those increased wages, that's just bullshit.  I live in a state where our minimum wage is $2 an hour more than the national minimum wage, and a hamburger costs the same here as it does in the state next door where they pay the federal minimum wage.  And, if we instituted a federal MAXIMUM wage, that prevented those fucking CEO's from collected multi-million dollar, tax deductible (for the company) salaries and bonuses, that would cancel out any need for increased prices.

 I am just sick and fucking tired of people who have no clue what it is like to be dependent on a minimum wage job to feed their families telling people that they should just "get another job" or "work harder".  I have a college education, I am extremely intelligent, and I can learn pretty much any job you set before me in less two weeks (okay, maybe not brain surgery, that might take a little more than two weeks), but I have no work history to speak of, and certainly nothing that could showcase my abilities, so if I had to go find a job tomorrow at 46 years old, I would be lucky to find a full-time minimum wage job.  And it would cost me more to go to work everyday than I could possibly bring home.  After the federal government takes 50% of my pay for the student loans I still cannot afford to pay, and the normal FICA and SS deductions are removed, that leaves me making about $4 an hour.  The first of those eight hours is then spent paying for the gas to get to and from work, another hour (at least) to pay for clothes to wear at the job, and at least three hours to pay for the after school child care that I would have to arrange for my kids, oh and add in another hour to pay for their school supplies and lunches, and one more hour to pay for whatever the hell other expenses are incurred (like car  repairs, etc).  Guess what?  Now I have worked all fucking day, at a job I probably fucking hate, for people who treat me like crap, and you know what I got out of it?  Yep, $4.  That's the net result, a whole fucking $4!

I heard Rand Paul was in Detroit last week and asked a group of people that had gathered to hear him speak, if any of them worked for a poor person.  Now, as someone else quickly pointed out, Senator Paul, was elected by the citizens of the state of Kentucky, a great many of whom are poor, so technically, Senator Paul works for poor people, but he is not alone.  I have seen it written on the internet many times in recent years that poor people do not create jobs, only rich people do that.  I call BULLSHIT!  I know lots of poor people who create jobs, not just by spending their money and creating the demand for jobs, but by actually creating them!

As I explained in the previous paragraph, for me, like a lot of people, getting a typical "job" is not a financially viable option, so I have created my own business, which provided me with a job.  It doesn't pay very well, but I net a considerable amount more than the $16 a month I could make working for someone else, and I don't spend all day every day longing for the sweet release of death to free me from my misery, so there is that added bonus.  My husband, who technically probably could get a decent paying job that would net him significantly more than $16 a month (but still not enough to raise us above the poverty level), also started his own business, which not only provides him with a job, but also provides me with a second one, and in a few years when they are old enough, it will might even have grown enough to provide jobs for our children as well.  So technically, I work for a poor person.  Actually I work for two poor persons, so there.

I am really just beyond sick and tired of the people who benefit the most from the status quo, telling the rest of us that things cannot be changed because they have always been the way they are.  It seems to me that if shit is broken, we should probably fix it.  And if you cannot see how badly our system is broken, then you are probably the one in charge of breaking it and you should really just shut the fuck up now. 

Until Next Time ...  


Friday, December 6, 2013

Things That Terrify Me That Probably Won't Happen

Hello again all you Lovely Internet People!  Mother has been hard at work creating new silly things for all of you to enjoy.  Yesterday I posted my very first video on YouTube, it was this, in case you missed it:


                                       
Yes, I know it isn't as perfect as it maybe could have been, but for a first attempt I think it is fairly decent.  Its not like I am competing for an Oscar or anything, just making silly little videos that I hope somebody might enjoy. It was a lot of fun learning all the new software programs and figuring out how to put it all together.  Its going to take some time for me to get used to the idea of talking into the microphone, and developing a personality for that, but someday I might get good at it.  Well, we can hope anyway.

It would probably help if I had a better idea of what I am trying to accomplish.  You know, if I had some kind of actual plan, or something like that.  I mean, the original idea was to make silly videos and stuff to make people laugh, but most of what I keep wanting to produce isn't all that funny.  I mean, I try to make fun of the stuff, and make it as humorous as I can, but exposing hypocrisy and shining a light on what I see as the real evils of the world, isn't really something that most people consider comedy.  And it doesn't help that I am not really all that funny anyway.  I mean, I know I am really good at getting people to laugh when they really don't want to, I do that to my friends and family all the time.  But, for some reason I can't seem to find a way to translate that humor to people who do not know me really well.  Most people take me far too seriously.  Even my wonderful husband, who has known me for 12 and a half years now, still tries to take me seriously when he, of all people, should really know better by now!

Pretty much every post I have ever written on this Blog had something in it that I thought was funny.  Even the most mundane and boring "what I did today" posts generally contain at least some silly little something that I found amusing and hoped someone else might also enjoy.  I am sure I have not been nearly as successful at that as I might like to be, but I really do try.

I have spent the last two years here at this Blog trying to develop some idea of who I am and what I want to do with the rest of my life.  It has not been an easy process.  It certainly has had its bumps along the way, but I have learned a great deal about myself that I am not sure I would have recognized had it not been for having this outlet.  Most people would not be so willing to lay open their hearts and minds to complete strangers in such a public way, but I have found it strangely liberating.  To be sure I have left out a lot of the details to protect the privacy of any one who might happen to know me in real life, but I have tried to be as open and honest as possible about myself and my life and the road I have taken to get to where I am now.

When I first started all of this I was terrified that someone would expose who I really was and what I had been through.  Here we are, two short years later, and I have not only put my own name to my work, but I am preparing to actually show my face to the world for the first time as well.  And I am still terrified.  But, then again, I do not remember a single day in my life when I was not terrified.  Life is fucking terrifying for me.  I still have to keep living, so I might as well keep doing the rest of it as well.  Right?

Its funny, every time I get a new idea for a project that I think is really awesome, it triggers a switch in my brain that immediately starts screaming DANGER! DANGER!  In order to be "successful" at becoming an "entertainer" some level of fame is required, and the last thing I have ever wanted is to be famous!  I think this is the greatest challenge to my psyche that I have ever faced. The more I think there is a posibilty that people might like something I create, the more retiscent I become about creating it.  I look at Pages on Facebook that started when I did but now have hundreds of thousands of "likers", and all I can think is "thank goodness that's not me!"  I see Page owners like Patti Ford from "Insane in The Mom Brain" talking about being interviewed on TV, and I start having panic attacks.  I don't want that kind of attention!  Don't get me wrong, I would LOVE for the whole world to read what I post, and watch my silly little videos or whatever, but I don't want them to pay attention to ME!  That shit is fucking terrifying!  The whole reason I created "Mother" was so that people could pay attention to her and leave me the hell alone!

I know that the only way that people are going to ever be able to see what I produce is if I go around telling other people about it and asking them to share it.  Unfortunately I am not equipped to do that.  Hell I can't even manage to ask all of you to share my stuff.  I am not a self-promoter.  That would mean bringing attention to myself, and I think I have established the fact that I have no interest in doing that!  So I am left spending countless hours and endless days, weeks and months, producing vast quantities of possibly entertaining materials that will never be seen by more than a couple dozen people.  Which is a couple dozen more than ever would have seen it if I hadn't spent the time to produce it, so I keep producing it anyway.  Maybe someday I will put something out there that develops a life of its own and brings my work to the attention of a wider audience, but until that happens I am learning to be content in the knowledge that every once in a while somebody stumbles across something that I created that brings them some joy or confort in a world where both seem to be in way too short of supply.  That's good enough for me.  Its not going to pay the bills, or keep a roof over my head, but then neither is anything else I would be spending my time on, so I suppose I should quit worrying about that.  Especially since the only way it could ever pay the bills would be if I became famous, quite the catch twenty-two I have gotten myself into, isn't it?  I am very good at that.

Oh well, I will just take whatever comes from this as it comes.  If some day success comes knocking on my door I will just have to deal with it, just like I have dealt with every thing else life has thrown at me.  There really isn't much sense in worrying about something that will probably never happen anyway, although I do a lot of it for some strange reason.  Part of my charm, I guess.  I am really fucking charming you know.

Until Next Time ... 

                                       

Friday, November 29, 2013

Black Friday Observations

Hello there Lovely Internet People!  I hope everyone has made it safely through the madness that has become the true National Holiday of the United States, Black Friday.  I have been following the multitude of stories and Facebook and Twitter updates concerning this saga (cause I sure ain't going out in it!), and there are some issues that I have seen that I want to address.

Issue Number One: I have seen several posts and stories suggesting that Black Friday "is the one time of year poor people can afford to buy nice things".  That is complete and total fucking bullshit.  I have been "poor" for most of my adult life, and I have lots of nice things, none of which were ever purchased on Black Friday.  In fact the only people that I, personally, have ever met who actually do go shopping on Black Friday are as far removed from being poor as I am from being wealthy. 

If you actually pay attention, Black Friday deals are not that fucking great in the first place.  Most of the stores jack up their prices right before they put shit on sale, so you are pretty much paying the same price anyway.  If you really want great deals, those are the week after Christmas, and the first week of January, not fucking Black Friday!  Sure, they may throw a couple of "loss leaders" out there to try to scam you into coming to their store, but odds are those will not be available by the time you get there because they "sold out".  Of course they sold out, they only had 5 to start with, and 50,000 people showed up to buy those 5.  They know that since you put in all that time and effort to go there, you are probably going to buy something else, so they don't need to actually stock those "loss leaders", they just have to advertise them.

Issue Number Two: I don't have the same problem with the whole idea of the stores opening on Thanksgiving to start their scam sales that other people have expressed, if people want to shop, the stores should be open.  When I was working in the retail and service industries I always volunteered to work the holidays, and I am sure I am not alone.  Lots of people need the money, or don't have a family to spend the day with, or, like me, just don't really give a crap about holidays, they shouldn't be denied the chance to work if they want to.  And if people want to spend the one day off they have shopping, instead of being with their families at home, well I sure can't fault them their choice, I would rather be pretty much anywhere than stuck hanging around with the rest of my family.  Whatever floats your boat.  I do wish the retailers paid their employees a living wage, and gave them the choice about working holidays, but that is going to require Government intervention.  No greedy bastard is ever going to do the right thing by choice.  I think they have already proven that.  

My kids will get exactly what they want for Christmas, and I will not spend very much money, nor will I fight crowds or spend days running from place to place trying to find the "best deal".  It probably helps that my kids don't have expensive tastes, nor to they have any peer pressure about what is "cool".  They have pretty simple requests that are generally fairly easy to fulfill. The youngest wants Legos, the next one up wants video games, and the oldest just wants whatever cash I can spare, and maybe some cookies.   I guess this is one of the few times where our complete lack of interest in impressing other people does actually pay off in our favor.                                      
                                                
Issue Number Three: I understand that our capitalistic system requires rabid consumerism in order to sustain itself, and I also understand that the collapse of that system would have some pretty severe effects on all of us.  So I certainly can't advocate that everyone not participate in the relentless pursuit of "more".  But, I would ask that you take just a moment each time you do decide to spend your hard earned money, and think about who you are giving that money to, and why.  If you are okay with the answers to those questions, then spend away.  If not, well, then you have to make the choice, what are your priorities? 

Until Next Time ...    

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Happy Turkey Day! Or Not

 Hello again Lovely Internet People!  Happy Turkey Day!  My wonderful husband is in the kitchen slaving away over our Thanksgiving meal, so I thought I would pop in here and chat at all of you for a few minutes while my assistance is not being required for the preparations.  Its just us and the two youngest boys this year, as usual.  We watched the parade this morning, and my favorite football team is playing in the big turkey day game this evening, so we are enjoying a nice, quiet, Happy Thanksgiving, with no stress, and lots of fun.

I am not really much of a holiday person any more.  I try to go through at least some of the motions for the sake of the kids, but I really just can't get into the whole "celebration" thing.  Its just another fucking day to me.  One that generally involves doing a lot of extra work that I do not enjoy.  I am thankful and grateful for my life every day, I don't need to dedicate one day a year to it.  And I hate being told when I am supposed to give things to the people I love, I don't care what stupid day it is, if I find something that I think some one will enjoy, I want to give it to them, right now!  I don't want to wait until the appropriate holiday arrives, I don't have time for that shit!  And with the way shit happens in my life, I may not even be able to give it to them by the time the approved holiday rolls around, so I am stuck with a reminder of how fucked up my life is.  Awesome.  Yeah, I don't much care for holidays.

And this whole fixation with holiday food?  Hahaha.  Um, not something that interests me, at all.  Yes, I will very much enjoy the meal that my husband is busy preparing, but it won't be any thing like the culinary orgies going on in many other homes across this country today.  And the entirety of the caloric intake I will consume today, is probably equal to what most people have for breakfast.  So, yeah, not a food person.

As for the whole gathering together of friends and family thing?  Yeah, well, that doesn't really work for me either.  I have never had a lot of friends, and my family makes me uncomfortable (to put it mildly), so the whole concept of holiday "togetherness", is something I have pretty much always felt left out of anyway.     

I used to really enjoy decorating the house for the holidays, but even that tiny bit of enthusiasm has dulled with the years.  It just dawned on me that I am supposed to start the Christmas decorating tomorrow, that's my holiday tradition.  While millions of Americans are trampling over one another at the malls, I have always spent Black Friday at home, putting up fake trees and sparkly lights.  And I will do it again this year, perhaps with a little less enthusiasm than in my younger years, but that is pretty much how I do every thing these days.

Damn, I hope this post didn't sound as depressing to all of you as it does to me.  That wasn't my intention.  Holidays aren't depressing, they just aren't very exciting to me.  I could, if I let myself, fall into a that deep dark hole of depression on any given holiday, but I choose not to allow that to happen.  I don't think about the things that are missing, I remind myself, as I do every day, of all of the things that are not missing, and I focus on how extraordinarily grateful I am for those.  And you guys.  I am really grateful to every person that is visited this Blog and taken a few precious moments out of their lives to read the slightly incoherent words of this crazy middle aged lady who never expected anyone to actually read any of this shit.  You are fucking Awesome!  Thank YOU!

Until Next Time ...

    

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Song for Thanksgiving

Hello again Lovely Internet People!  Mother has had a very frustrating few days and she is really hoping today is at least a little bit less so.  I wrote a great, several paragraph long, Blog post yesterday telling you all about my (mis)adventures into the world of music creation.  Unfortunately, when it was all finished and ready to be published, I went to add the obligatory picture that I always put at the end of these things, and ... Blogger crashed.  Everything I had spent 3 hours carefully wording was gone!  Awesome.  Its not the first time this has happened, and I can pretty much guarantee it will not be the last.  The wonders of technology can really suck ass when they aren't being wonderful.

Anyway, I wrote this awesome Thanksgiving protest song last week and I have spent the last several days desperately trying to figure out all these new music programs so that I could put it to music for you before Thanksgiving.  It turns out that I am not the computer genius that I have (never) claimed to be.  So, I am afraid this year you are just getting the written lyrics, maybe I can put it all together for next Thanksgiving, but it is not happening for this one.  And with the way I sing, perhaps this is something you all can be grateful for in your list tomorrow.

Until Next Time, Happy Thanksgiving (to my American peoples), sure hope that you enjoy ...

"Its Time To Kill The Turkey" 
Lyrics by S. Walthour

Its time to kill the turkey
and serve it on a plate
Forget the grief around the world
its time to celebrate
Give thanks for all the suffering
just grateful its not you
Pretend the problems aren't your fault
but you haven't got a clue.
Tell the poor they're lazy
and they should get a job
while you get rich on dividends
you pathetic wretched snob.

You're Always laughing
at the lowly poor
while you keep busy
making sure there's more
You don't pay fair
to the man on the floor
just keepin all the money
for the names on the door.

People can't live
on what they can make
But you put them down
if help they must take
Out here the average guy
can't ever catch a break
and all you can say is
let them eat cake?

Happy Thanksgiving,
sure hope that you enjoy
Pay no attention
to that starvin little boy
He must deserve to suffer
for the things he cannot change
So make his life be rougher
that is easy to arrange.
Tonight people will go hungry
They will suffer for your greed
while you will stuff your face with plenty
others won't get what they need.

You're Always laughing
at the lowly poor
while you keep busy
making sure there's more
You don't pay fair
to the man on the floor
just keepin all the money
for the names on the door.

People can't live
on what they can make
But you put them down
if help they must take
Out here the average guy
can't ever catch a break
and all you can say is
let them eat cake?

Hope you enjoy Thanksgiving,
and your Christmas too
keep on cuttin their safety net
soon they'll be eating you.
This year lets make changes
So that everyone can eat
Heal the sick and house the homeless
No more dying in the street.
Clean water is a human right
food and health care should be too
No one else should go without
to feed the greed of a few.

No more laughing
at the lowly poor
we're not gonna let you
keep on making more
We demand fair pay
for the man on the floor
Taking back our lives
from the names on the door.

People need to live on
what they can make
we have had enough,
no more can we take
Time to give every guy
and girl a fair break
The Time has come for everyone
to share in that cake!
 


                                     
                                       
                                          

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Frying My Brain On Acid

Hello there Lovely Internet People!  Mother has spent the last several days frying her brain on Acid.  No, not the drug kind, the software kind.  My wonderful husband installed Sony's Acid Music Studio program on my new computer and I have been hard at work trying to figure it all out.  

After three days of tinkering and farting around I have come to the conclusion that the 10,000 little pieces of music that I have to play with are not going to be nearly enough.  I think the obsessive compulsive part of my brain is going to have a hay day with this new little project of mine. 

I have managed to make a few pretty decent songs.  I still have to create and record lyrics for them before you all are gonna get to hear them, but the few people I have played them for have been remarkably impressed.  Even my husband, who I know had absolutely no confidence in my ability to do this (and rightly so since I have no musical background whatsoever to speak of), was actually left speechless at the awesomeness of my first musical creation.  That was so fucking cool!  The look on his face as he went from telling me that I don't know what I am doing, to realizing that maybe I did, I will treasure that look for the rest of my days.  It isn't often that I shock the shit out of him with my endeavors, at least not in a good way, so I have to make the most of it when ever I manage to do so. 


Now that I have a fairly solid basic understanding of how to operate the Acid program I need to get on to figuring out the rest of the software programs that I am going to require going forward.  I still have to learn all about the world of making and editing video, which I also have zero background in understanding.  That should be lots of fun.  And then there are still the graphics programs, and the web design software, but at least I do have some experience with those kinds of things, so the learning curve shouldn't be quite as steep for those programs.  That's what I am hoping anyway.

One thing is for certain, I cannot remember a time when I looked forward to going to work each morning as much as I do right now.  And tearing myself away from the computer when bed time rolls around has been increasingly difficult, which for someone who enjoys sleeping as much as I do, that is pretty danged incredible!  Just sitting here typing about it has gotten me all excited to get back to work, so I think that is what I am gonna do.  For now I will leave you with the results of my first attempt at working with my new graphics program, it turns out that I can "draw: pretty good after all, not great yet mind you, but its a pretty good first attempt for someone who can't actually draw.

Until Next Time ...  

 

                                         
                                                 
                                             
                                                    

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Why I Won't Be Reasonable

Hello again Lovely Internet People!  The other day I spent several hours in here, venting and raging and typing my little fingers off on a very bitchy type Blog Post about something that happened out in the "real" world that pissed me off.  Then my wonderful husband came in here, read one sentence out of the hundred that were on the page, took it entirely out of context, and then spent the next hour raging at me.  I deleted that post without posting it by the way, out of sheer frustration and exasperation, and because I never did find a way to finish it and I forgot the point of why I was writing it in the first place, not just because he was being ridiculous. 

Now I have stated before that I am not allowed to discuss my husband when we are fighting, but, since "we" were never actually fighting, and since I am not actually mad at him at the moment, I am gonna talk about it anyway.

He's been under a great deal of stress lately, much of it self-induced, but most of it from external and uncontrollable sources, and it seems that for a moment there he kinda forgot who I was.  So while he is standing there telling me how "unambitious" I am, and how I need to be more "reasonable and responsible", all I can do is look at him and wonder just who the heck he is talking to.  

I mean really now, you would think after 12 years together he might have learned something about me. And, to be fair, he really has, but apparently he forgets all that shit when he decides to displace his displeasure with the rest of the world onto me.  I am quite sure I do the same thing to him on a regular basis, so it all evens out in the end I guess.

Once he exhausted his need to vent all of his frustrations and other assorted non-classified emotions he was quick to acknowledge that he was being ridiculous.  And I was quick to remind him that being ridiculous is MY job in this relationship, and while I don't mind sharing the load occasionally, I have no intention of relinquishing the position.

I am not ever going to be "reasonable" or "responsible".  It is not something I am psychologically, or physiologically, capable of doing.  Okay, that's not exactly true.  I am very capable of being both reasonable and responsible, but doing so causes intense, chronic, debilitating, physical and psychological depression. That is not something I have any interest in going back to, ever again, thanks anyway.  

I do my very best not to be Irresponsible or Unreasonable.  I don't have credit cards, I don't go out and party, I don't drink, or use drugs, or gamble, and I sure don't sit around on my ass all day eating bonbons and watching soap operas.  But I cannot be expected to worry about the things the rest of the world wants me to worry about, I just can't do it, and I am not even going to pretend to try any more.  I was honest about all of this from the very beginning it really should not be a surprise to him now.

As for being "unambitious", nothing could be farther from the truth, and he knows that better than any one.  I am probably one of the most ambitious people I know.  I just don't have the kinds of ambitions that other people think I should, nor do I generally share any of my ambitions with any one else, because they are not usually what other people would consider reasonable, and they probably border on irresponsible most of the time.  

Go ahead and tell me that making twin sized quilts for every one of my parents' 12 great-grandchildren, plus several more twin and queen sized ones for 4 of their grandchildren, in less than two years, was not an ambitious undertaking for someone with no money, no time, and very little quilt making experience.  It was extremely fucking ambitious!  It was also extremely unreasonable, and probably more than a little irresponsible.  

The reason I never did anything more with my life than what I have done is because of all the people who required me to be reasonable and responsible when they should have been feeding the fires of my ambition instead.  If there is one determining factor in why I adore my husband no matter how often he intrudes into my realm of ridiculousness, it is because he feeds those fires, even when he thinks he shouldn't.  He might bitch, he might moan, he might even try to explain to me how foolish and unreasonable I am being, but he will pull out all the stops to help support and encourage what ever it is I want to do the moment I express an interest in doing something.  I still don't expect him to, but some how he always does it any way.

For now we have returned to the happy equilibrium where he takes care of the responsible and reasonable stuff, and I take care of everything else.  I have enough to do without worrying about all that reality nonsense.   

Until next Time ...                                     

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Brand Spanking New, Ultra-Secret, Extremely Impractical Project

Hello again Lovely Internet People!  Hope everyone out there in the interwebs is having an awesome day!  I have been sitting here catching up on the news of the day and the workings of the world and just generally enjoying a quiet Sunday morning and I thought maybe I should pop in here and see if I could come up with something entertaining for you all to enjoy.

Then, I started typing, and there was nothing entertaining coming out on the page. No surprise there.  So I started thinking again.  And thinking, and thinking, and thinking.  Nope, I got nothin.

For the last several days (maybe weeks, I am losing track of time again), I have been working on a brand spanking new, ultra-secret, extremely impractical project for all of you.  Okay fine, it's really actually just for me, but I do hope you will enjoy it too.  If you have been following along around here you may already know that I have been in a desperate search for a productive and challenging use of my time that might in some way lend itself to making the world suck just a little bit less for myself, and as many other people as possible.  I think I have finally found it.

I am not sure how "productive" it will actually be, that is dependent on a lot of factors that are beyond my control, but I know it will be challenging, and I do have some small hopes that it will be at least minimally successful in reducing the world suck quotient at any given point in time. 

So what in the world are you talking about this time Mother?  Damn I wish this woman would learn to get to the freakin point without all this talking in circles crap!  No, you don't, if you wanted to read something written by someone who was capable of getting to the damn point without all these silly innuendos and colloquial circle jerks, you wouldn't be here reading my shit in the first place.  So quit pretending you don't enjoy my nonsense when you know you really do.

Anyway, for as long as I can remember (which may or may not be that long, since memory isn't my strong suit anymore) I have had this secret dream of being a comedian.  Up until a few weeks ago I had never expressed this desire out loud to anyone because there had never been anyone in my life who would have approved of such a career choice for me.  And to be fair, as a self-confessed, emotionally high-strung, obscenely sensitive, anti-social, anorexic, agoraphobic, with an anxiety disorder and an overwhelming terror of public speaking, who also happens to be extremely uncomfortable with being the center of attention, perhaps comedy is not the most optimal career path, but I did mention I was looking for a challenge.

All my life, the one thing that has always been the most gratifying to me is to make other people happy.  I find no greater joy than in being able bring laughter to people who desperately need it.  When I was an adolescent I used to sign off on all of my letters and notes with the phrase, "With Love and Laughter".  That simple little phrase defines me, it defines my life goals, my mission, my purpose, and it is time I learn to create a world around it.  And that is exactly what I am trying to do now.   
                                              
So how does a self-confessed emotionally high-strung, obscenely sensitive, anti-social, anorexic, agoraphobic, with an anxiety disorder and an overwhelming terror of public speaking, who also happens to be extremely uncomfortable with being the center of attention go about becoming a comedian without leaving the house or actually interacting in the real world with actual people?  The Internet of course!

I am in the process of developing my own web site which will hopefully be an amalgamation of happy, silly, fun stuff that will bring happiness and joy to at least one or two people over the course of its theoretical existence. Now, a great percentage of what you will eventually find there has not been created yet, so this is going to take more than a little bit of time before it is ready to make anyone happy, besides me, who gets to be happy by learning all kinds of new things that I have no freakin clue how to do yet. 

The envisioned web site will (hopefully) contain a multitude of resources for inducing fits of giggles and maybe even some all out belly bursting laughter, all available with just the click of a mouse.  Along with Pages for the pretty much mandatory silly picture galleries, and of course Blog posts filled with these awe inspiring colloquial conundrums that I have become so famous for over the last couple of years, there will also be a vast array of brand new genres of silliness!  I am working at writing a whole bunch of new "songs" with original music which will all be really bad because I can't sing and I don't know shit about music, but I think they will be funny anyway, and that is the only point. 

And, I am in the process of working up the courage to start making something they call a "Vlog", which is basically just making a video of me actually talking to you instead of you just having to read the words yourself like you do here.  I truly believe these would be an outrageous hit if for no other reason than the fact that most people will find me extremely funny looking and may watch just for that reason.  I am trying to get used to that idea, and be okay with it, but I must admit it is something I still have some work to do on.  

I have been spending an inordinate amount of time on YouTube lately, doing research on this whole vlogging concept, and no matter how long I searched or how many variations of search terms I used, I could not find anyone out there who was even remotely like me.  After much extensive searching I found a few Vloggers who are middle aged women (very few), but they were either doing DIY videos for crafting, or home repair projects, or make-up tutorials, or some other incredibly useful and informative crap like that, and they all look like they have their own professional make up artists and an entire production crew.  The very, very few female vloggers who were just there to share ideas and induce laughter in their viewers were all under the age of 30, most of them less than 20!  I could not find even one single independent middle aged female vlogger who wasn't pushing a product line or promoting some propagandist agenda.  Wait, I take that back, I did find one, there is one very awesome woman who does outrageous covers of popular songs and some other silly stuff, but even she is the polar opposite of me in just about everything except the silliness factor. 

Now it could very well be that I could not find any of these women because no one on the planet besides me has any interest in finding them.  I know I am completely and totally unique, but what remains to be seen is whether or not people will find that entertaining, or just annoying.  I know there are at least a few people out there who seem to enjoy my sense of humor, and I really hope we can find a few more in the coming months and years. 

Of course all of this is totally dependent on me figuring out a whole bunch of new complicated and intricate computer programs and getting over my semi-paralyzing fear of being recorded in any way, but I do have high hopes for a potential launch date of early next year.  I am shooting for the first of January, but I am not too sure how realistic that is since I don't even have any of the programs to even look at yet.  Hopefully, by the end of next week I may have a better idea of exactly how much work is ahead of me.  In the meantime I am super duper excited about all these fantastical ideas for supremely silly content that I hope to create.  Stay tuned for updates and exciting announcements coming to a Blog, and a couple of Facebook Pages, near you soon.  

Until Next Time ... 

Thursday, November 7, 2013

How Important Is Online Education? Mother's Response.

Hello again Lovely Internet People!  I was doing some research yesterday and I came upon a YouTube Channel Called "Talk" .  In the last month their channel has done a series of videos talking about the importance of online education, and whether or not it could, or even should, take over from our current classical education model.  I think I have a slightly different perspective on this issue than the folks at "Talk", so I wanted to share some of my thoughts on this issue.

Those of you who have followed along here for any length of time already know that I am a HUGE fan of online education.  I am a HUGE fan of pretty much all forms of learning, because I know for a fact that everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning. We do not all learn all things in the same way.  Even within a single individual there are major differences in each person's learning style for each subject they might attempt to learn.  I don't learn new math concepts in the same way I learn new facts about history, the processes are very different.

My husband envisions a future where all learning is done via computers, with teachers only being available for answering questions or providing oversight.  I don't know if this is the best answer for everyone, and I certainly do not believe that all subjects can be taught exclusively on the computer.  But I do believe the option should be available for those who could benefit from it.

I don't think the answer is to replace our school system with all online learning, but I do think our current system needs some major overhauling.  There are many valuable lessons beyond academics that can be taught in our schools, but at the moment we are teaching the wrong ones.  

In her interview with John Stewart on the Daily Show, Malala Yousafza talked about all the things that children should be learning in school, beyond the subjects they are being taught.  Things like how to get along with one another, how to treat other people, how to cooperate and collaborate with others, all of these things are vital lessons in the development of a child, and a community.  Unfortunately, these are not the things that I see being taught in our schools in this country. We seem to be teaching the exact opposite.

Okay, I hope we maybe can all agree that these aspects of education are very important to the functioning of our society.  Maybe the reason our society is in the mess it is in is because we have neglected teaching these valuable lessons in our schools. My question is this, is there no other way to learn these lessons than in a school setting? And to me it seems that the answer is a resounding, NO.

I am a strong proponent of online education because I believe it does more to level the playing field of our world than any school system ever could.  Of course it does require access to the internet, which may be as unattainable as a classroom education for many people around the world, but for those who can access it, a whole new world has opened to them that they never even knew existed before.  

Education is not something that can be contained within the walls of a classroom.  Life is education.  Whether we like it or not, most of us learn something new every day, long after we have finished our formal education.  Any person who believes that learning must take place in a classroom, and must be tested to be verified, is missing out on 90% of the learning they could be doing.

I have mentioned before that I home school my kids. I do so for a wide variety of reasons, not the least of which is that I believe it provides them with a better opportunity for their education.  They work at their own pace, and they control the flow of information that they consume.  My son, who technically should be in 6th grade this year, according to his age, is taking two High School Advanced Placement level classes (American History and Environmental Science) online and doing quite well in them.  They would never let him do that in a regular school!  About 80% of my children's "school work" is done online each day, but only about 20% of their learning is done there.  Learning happens everywhere, if you allow it to happen.

Personally, I love online education because of all it has given me.  I have finally found a way to learn about any subject I could possibly want to know, without having to haul 100 pounds of books home from the library every week!  That is a tremendous weight off my shoulders, literally and figuratively.  I have always been a self educator, I learned early on that the school system could never keep up with me, so I took on the responsibility.  And for decades I did lug dozens of books home from the library every week.  When I got my first library card at age 5 I asked the librarian how many books I was allowed to check out at a time.  The silly lady told me that I could take whatever I could carry!  She apparently had no idea just how much an extremely determined little girl was capable of carrying! 

I would have to say that online education is one of the greatest gifts of the 21st century.  Whether it is in a formal setting, such as taking actual online courses through a University, or an informal setting such as YouTube, the abundance of information now available at the click of a mouse is staggering.  But it can also be very dangerous.  There is no system of accountability online.  Anyone can post anything they want to post, whether it has any basis in fact or not is not relevant.  So online learning requires a lot more vetting of the information gathered to ensure its legitimacy.  But this is also an extremely valuable skill that everyone would do well to develop since such a large percentage of the "information" we are flooded with on a daily basis is in fact false.  Whether it comes from the TV news, advertisers, or even our own government, there is so much false information being shoved down our collective throats every day that it is often hard to have a rational discussion with people because they are too busy defending their false information to spend even one moment looking for the truth.  And that is sad.  Very, very sad.

Until Next Time ...