Thursday, March 29, 2012

Death of the Book

Today's topic for our Thursday blog post is:

Books, magazines, paper publications are all available for our perusal now online through the Internet, E-readers, etc. This poses a huge threat for our libraries and book stores. Where do you feel these technological advancements are headed? Will hard copies be a thing of the past? What are your feelings about our print future?

This topic is very timely.  On March 12th, Encyclopedia Britannica announced that they will no longer publish encyclopedias.  But, before you shed a tear for them, their electronic business is thriving.  You can carry all the volumes of an encyclopedia in your e-reader.  This is certainly not an option if the material is printed.

Some other fun facts, on Christmas day Amazon sold more down loadable books than actual books.  Now, it is Christmas day and folks were probably downloading books on to their new e-readers.  But, it is still notable.  Amazon's Kindle was the most gifted item during the last holiday season.

The facts are that the trend is towards on-line content.  In California, all college text books must have an online version by 2020.  This will help make text books cheaper, but it also makes it easier for students to access the material.  They can search for that one fact that they are looking for.  They can access the book online if it is needed and the physical book is lost or at home. 

Even my 6th grader has access to most of his text books online.  It is great to not have to lug a heavy textbook home every day to use for homework.  I wish the school would give the kids tablets.  They could access their books, use an app for a graphing calculator, etc.

Printed media has been around for over 500 years, and the technology is unchanged.  Gutenberg, the inventor of the movable type setting machine, the father of the Printing Revolution, could come to today, he would still be able to use a book.  All technologies eventually end, and the printed book is going to give way to the digital book.

Part of the question is, what do I think about that?  I have mixed feelings, I love that I can get a book I want as soon as I want it.  I don't have to go to the store to buy it.  But, I also like to browse through a book, look at it to get a feel for what it is about.  It is much harder to do that with a digital book.  At the end of the day, how I feel about it is irrelevant.  The train has left the station and it ain't stoppin' now.

I will be the last person on the block who sits down every morning to read the newspaper.  I love my paper.  My kids will fire up their smart phones or tablets and read the news.  It is how it will be.  My mother reads books on her Kindle.  It truly is the end of era. 

Remember, you read this electronically.  Want to read the other electronic opinions?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Friday, March 23, 2012


It is our one year Thursday blog project anniversary.  I, for one, cannot believe we have been doing this for a year.  I am also surprised that we continue to come up with topics.  Yeah, I know, some of mine are like totally bottom of the barrel, but hey, what can I say!

The topic for today is to either re-write a post that we didn't like or think we did our best on, or to to talk about what we think of project.

I am not going to re-write a post.  I realize that one of my posts was a re-write, but the celeb doplegagger topic was so well done by the post about the lady in the airport that I decided I couldn't improve on that.  I sort of felt bad about "coping" out, but I still really like that post and think it was funny. 

My fair-tale post could also have been perceived as a cop-out, but the amount of time I spent dreaming that up was insane.  I tried to bribe Mac to write me a rap about a fairy tale.  I even asked Sam and Hannah to write something for me. 

So, I think that leaves me with talking about what I think about the project.  I have actually really enjoyed doing this.  When Froggie did it the first time I was sort of jealous that I wasn't involved.  I didn't know that many other people who blogged so I couldn't start my own.  But, when that didn't work out and she asked me to join her for another go at it, I was very excited.   

There have been weeks and even months where the only thing I post is my entry for this project.  My blog, which started when Mac entered Kindergarten has taken a lot of turns.  I posted most regularly when I was processing our move and Bob's unemployement.  I feel like I am currenlty stuck in a drama vortex, but it isn't the type of thing you share with the general public.  I think I have started to get more concerned about privacy with my blog.

I have enjoyed getting to know the other ladies better.  I don't know how long our project will last, but until we run out of ideas I know I will keep playing along.  Granted my posts will have a tendency to not always be on time.

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Thursday, March 15, 2012


Today's topic is how we cope with the tough times.  Specifically, when the going gets tough, the tough ___?

Things have been tough lately.  I am worried and scared and really out of my element, I don't know what to do.  I think the people that are helping me are good and that they will help us get through this, but for now, I am trying to figure out what I can do to keep the demons at bay.

I knit.
I eat chocolate.
I watch television.
I run.
I buy yarn.
I wear yarn.
I pet my yarn.
I knit.
I eat chocolate.
I run.

I do it all over and over, I hope that something will make things stop.  Sometimes something on that list makes it stop.

When all else fails, I crack really bad jokes.  It is always better the laugh than cry.

Today was a hard day.  I am going to go smell my yarn stash and cry for a bit.

Want to see what the other ladies do to cope?  Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Monday, March 12, 2012

How I look

Check out this post at

Mac looked at it and said, "looks sort of like you, except there should be strings of puke coming out of your mouth."  Nice kid.  Just to be clear I am the one on the right.

Link won't bring you back, but I am done.

Friday, March 9, 2012


It would seem I have more than my fair share of crazy to deal with lately.  I am trying to keep everyone moving forward and not veering too close to the edge.  That said, in order to keep the troops mobilized, many things fall off the plate.  Depending on how much effort the  mobilization requires, everything other than moving forward might cease to be important.

Just a side note about priorities, it is interesting what remains important when everything else is crashing and burning.  Laundry, cleaning the house, writing my Thursday blog post, driving kids places, fighting with the school about the wack-a-doo teacher, all those things cease being meaningful, but showering doesn't.  Actually going to the gym or working out still made the cut.  Interesting.

All this is my long winded way of saying, sorry folks but in the midst of my personal drama, ya'll didn't make the cut.  But, here we are now.  Today's, ok, yesterday's topic is to talk about how you changed someones life.

I think it is hard to know the impact you have on someone else's life.  A random stranger bought my kids candy in the grocery store one day when I was having a really bad day.  She brightened every one's mood.  Right then and there, she gave me the strength to carry on.  But, she will never really know how much I appreciated her grace.  Have I done things like that for other people?  It is hard to say.

There is one person who has told me that I changed her entire career.  That I gave her feed back that no one else had ever given her and it has changed how she teaches and approaches her life.

But, let me back up.  Mac had a teacher who seemed to really want to work with him, but was incapable of making it work.  I had meeting after meeting with her where I delicately suggested that she not internalize his behavior and take it personally.  His behavior wasn't a reflection on how he felt about her.  Finally, we were sitting in a meeting with the principal and some other staff members where I directly said this.  I tried to be tactful, but I was pretty direct.

I imagine that the words stung, but she thought about it.  The next day she said my words echoed in her ears as Mac did something that would have ired her.  She let it go and redirected his behavior, and it worked.  She said that she allowed him to get her goat and in doing so she would react defensively towards him.  By reacting in a more neutral fashion she was able to achieve her end goal.

Mac loves this teacher, and she patiently maintains contact with him.  She has told me time and again how teaching Mac made her a better teacher and a better person.  That kids come into her classroom now and they don't have the impact on her that they used to have.

I agree, parenting Mac has made me much more patient.  It has taught me that the shortest distance between two points is often not a straight line.  I am much better at finessing situations.  I will never be a charming manipulator, but at least I am a bit more creative in how I reach my goal.

Want to check out the other stories?   Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Make it stop

Here is the deal when you have kids, they don't come with a manual.  When you buy an electric pencil sharpener it comes with a 50 page manual on how to work it.  You take a baby home from the hospital and they pat you on the back and say good luck sucker.  Ok, they probably leave the sucker part out, but it is there.

So, what do you do when the baby hasn't stopped crying in 50 hours?  I mean beside cry yourself?  You start asking for help.  I think in the old days, where there were more people around that were, say your family, it wasn't such a big deal that you didn't have a f-ing clue about what to do.  Grandma would take the baby and shoo you off to bed.  But, our modern society has separated us from Grandma.

You make it through the baby stages, you figure out how to potty train, and then adolescences sets in.  I don't know how to express this other than to say, great googly-moogly balls of fire, it is like having a baby in the house again.  In that you suddenly have this creature that you are responsible for and you have not a clue on how to manage it, and Grandma ain't willing to help you anymore.

It happens right when you are feeling sort of cocky that you got this parenting thing.  You sleep regularly, you can leave the house without enough gear to outfit a small country, going to visit a friend for an afternoon no longer requires a level of planning that would impress the US Army and it seems like you might make it out alive.  The universe HATES it when you start to feel like you might make it out alive.  So, enter a pubescent, hormonal crazy person, aka, your child.

This child will announce that you don't know how they feel, you have N E V E R been in love, and you have no idea how much it hurts that your first love rejects you.  I am always tempted to say, back up the bus there buster, I was an overweight pimply faced kid.  NO one wanted me.  I was like kryptonite to guys.  They weren't into it.  I was rejected more before breakfast than you ever will be in your life, so get a grip.

As you express this, the mutant will look at you and say, MOTHER, you just don't understand, it is different for me.  I can not get a grip, my life is ruined.  I will never love again.

I am left wondering, when did my life become an ABC after-school special?  Who took my sweet child away and left me with this crazy beast?  Seriously, I want a refund or at least a manual.

Thursday, March 1, 2012


Today's topic has to do with gender.  It is based on this article:  Gender Neutral Child.  If you want to take a minute to read it, you can.  But there isn't a return link, so you will have to use the back button on your browser.

I will summarize:  Essentially this family had a baby, they decided not to tell anyone what the sex of the child was.  They gave the child a gender neutral name and dressed him/her in a gender neutral manner.  Spoiler alert, it comes out that the child is a boy.  When he goes to school the decide that they have to "out" him as a boy.

First off, this sort of behavior strays a bit to far from socially accepted norms for my taste, so it is not something I would ever consider doing.  I had to know what sex my kids were before they were even born.  We sports themed room for Mac from the beginning.  Further, using my child to make a societal statement is not something I would opt to do.

That said, as a society we place a lot of pressure on people to conform to gender roles.  So, while I am sure I would not do this to my kids, this family it attempting to allow their child to be what he is and not force him to conform to gender roles.  There is a great blog about a family with a son who likes to do girl stuff.  He wants to take ballet, wear tutus and dress like a girl.  Pink sparkles is his thing.  They have decided to accept him the way he is, and deal with the "scorn of society."  Raising my Rainbow

I remember when Sam was a baby and Mac started trying to nurse his baby dolls.  He was only mocking the behavior he had seen me do, and trust me there was a lot of focus on feeding Sam, "Mr. I lost 20% of my body weight in the first 5 days of my life."  Mac's friends were mostly girls.  Mac did a lot of things that didn't conform to gender norms.  My husband struggled with that.  He wants a boy to be a boy.  That wasn't how Mac rolled.  I think it is best to let him be what he will be. 

Hannah, my baby girl in pink, will clock you if you aren't careful.  She is as tough a cookie as they make.  She can keep up with any boy she can meet, pass them probably.  Her friends are mostly boys.  It is ok for her to cross gender expectations.  It is ok for her to play with trucks.  It is ok for her to play soccer with the boys.  Society is a lot more accepting of a girl-child that plays in the sandbox with boys.  This changes as girls get older, but I am focusing on children.

I am left wondering why is is ok for Hannah to act like a boy, but it isn't ok for Mac to act like a girl?

Want to see what the other ladies have to say?   Check them out at: Froggie, Momarock, and Merrylandgirl

Editors Note:  Mac does not act like a girl at this point in time.  The example refers to Mac when he was the age of the child in the article.