Saturday, February 25, 2012

Your Two Things

I haven't really gotten out of the house yet. Well, again, did the shopping, went to church once and house sat another day but haven't been able to have a fun escape. Too many things are keeping me here. 

But I still crave social interaction. With our first internet connection in the mid '90's I learned a very valuable lesson: there are people out there accessible through this machine.

At that time I was a SAHM of a bitty baby girl. We had been relocated from Chicago to a teeny tiny town in Iowa. Actually, we had been relocated three times in less than two years so the opportunities to meet people were very, very slim. I was lonely and while my Mommy Susan was flourishing, My Inner Susan was withering away.

The internet changed that for me. 

And it's what I go back to when I am stuck at home like I have been lately. Doing that today I was led by a woman that I follow on twitter, but have never met in real life, to this article:Article from a country I have never been to, brought to my attention by a woman I have never met- but one that got me thinking. 

Basically, the article is about a blog started by a man who was an economist. This economist met someone in a bar who sort of changed the way he thought. (Sounds like the beginning of a joke,"This economist walks into a bar...")

Anyway- at that meeting the new acquaintance asked him to narrow economics down to two things. Two statements. From that column (This Column Will Change Your Life, by Oliver Burkeman) in The Guardian:

" 'You know, the Two Things. For every subject, there are only two things you need to know. Everything else is the application of those two things, or just not important.' " 

 This game got the economist thinking, and really I am about as far from an economist as you can get, but it got me thinking, too. It must, therefor, be a universal thought generator. 

Think about what you do. Maybe not even what you get paid for doing, but what titles you associate with yourself. Can you narrow it down to two things?

Can I?

Let's see:

1) Love with your heart 
2) Love with your brain

1)Open mind to possibilities
2)Close mind and edit

1)Prepare, prepare, prepare
2)Make it sound like you didn't have to prepare

Here is a link to The Two Things Blog if you want some ideas. The economists name is Glen Whitman and it sounds like he is a former economist, current writer which sort of makes me smile. Why? Because if I had to narrow life down to two things I might say:

1) Love your choices with all you have
2) Be prepared for change

If you want to follow the bouncing red ball across the internet it looks like this: twitter led me to a website that led me to a blog that prompted me to write this blog which I will share on several social media sites. And you can, too, if it gets you thinking.

And if you want a recommendation of someone very interesting to follow on twitter: Howlinow

I know, you aren't a commenter, but I really would like to hear your Two Things.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I need to get out of here

I have been trapped at home for a couple of weeks now. Oh, I went "out": Walmart, the grocery store, dropped my kids off at school, took one to the doctor. Last week I house sat for a relative who had surgery. whoopie.

But I'm not one to whine, ok, I am trying not to be. So I won't.




Ok, that was fun....I need to GET OUT OF THIS HOUSE! I know that this is a common issue with work at homes, stay at homes...when my kids were tiny I would try to get out at least once a day. Sometimes we went to the grocery store to buy a piece of fruit we had never tried before. Sometimes we would go to the library. Sometimes we went to the fire station to see if we could look at the, uh, yeah... the trucks (seriously...this may be the greatest reason to have kids EVER.)

A lot of the time we would go to Target and walk around and see all the other Mommies and little kids who had to get out of the house. If finding new mommy friends is like dating ( it is), then Target is the club. THE CLUB. If you can't find a new Mommy Friend in Target, then your social skills are seriously lacking. And no one's social skills are more lacking than Moms who spend all day with toddlers, so we are talking skills that need some work.

But I tried to get out of the house every day. I had to. My sanity was at stake.

But the kids are in school now.  I have no reason to go to the library other than to pick up the books I have held online. Or pay the hefty fee for not dropping off the ones I had at home. I never go for a piece of fruit, that's just stupid. The whole list, once a week. And forget Target. I don't have the cute babies in the carrier. Now I just look like a creeper when I admire someones baby. Or a little old lady. And I am neither. (I'm not! Shut up!)

And the fire fighters look at you weird if you show up without a kid and ask for a tour. Just trust me on this.

Anyway, now my days are home based, and rarely do I get out. I have to force myself. And force myself I shall.  I will. Tomorrow. '

Or maybe the next day, tomorrow I have a lot of work to do. And it's dusting day.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

And let your Klout be your guide

Apparently I am talking about this just a liiiiitle bit too much. In all honestly, if I have three cocktails in one week it's a lot. I can go weeks without any. I have a small.... (ok, it's not a bottle, it's a carton--are you happy? Yes, keeping it classy one box at a time.) I have a small box o'vino in my fridge half consumed for three weeks now. I'm going to use it for cooking at this point.

But the point is, I am not a heavy drinker. But apparently, the Klout algorithm thinks I talk about it a lot.  
Don't know Klout? It's a ranking device attached to social media. I allow it access to my facebook and blogs, and it gives me a readout of how influential I am. It tells me the area's where I have influence, the number of people I reach.

Which, like the above announcement, cracks me up every time.
I'm not influential. I can't even get my boys to aim properly in the toilet. I have been married for 20 years. In that time I haven't been able to influence my husband to do anything! 

And yet, based on whatever I post Klout thinks they know me, know my reach. 

uh huh.

My reach is about 2 feet above my head which is only about 5 feet off the floor. I'm pretty sure my reach is quite limited. 

There is a whole science behind Klout, I get that. And really, the science bores me. I know I shouldn't say that, but it's true. I would rather spend my time researching childbirth in Tudor England than worrying about how to increase a Klout score.( I did that today! The Tudor childbirth's very interesting...). I'm fairly certain that my future is not as a mommy blogger- I realized that about a year ago. I enjoy it when I do it, but don't have the heart to monitize. I like to think of myself as a recreational mommy blogger.

And, as such, I am not a huge Klout fan. I signed up to see how it works, leave my account up to check in periodically for humor, but aside from that, I don't have a real purpose for it. An algorithm isn't a content generator, it's a reporter. And not a very accurate one at that.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Of course...

My camera is flipping out. I can take pictures, but not upload them to anything. 

Why should you care? You shouldn't, it's one of those things that will either be resolved, or not. Although if it was two weeks sooner, I could have asked those people who say,"what would you like for your birthday" for cash. I mean, cash is really an impersonal gift. If you don't know me well enough to know what I would like, then maybe you don't know me well enough to get me something. It's ok, REALLY. I would rather not get something than get something that makes me turn my head sideways and think," you saw this and thought of me?"

Although, those extreme gifts are rather humorous. But I mean, a token just so you can cross, "Get Susan Gift For Her Birthday" off of your To Do list? If someone just wants to get me a Cross This Off List Gift- cash will work.

Back to the camera issue, I should look for a picture that might entertain you. How about this one? He is turning seven. This means that I have succeeded in getting three children through the age of six without giving in to the question,"why don't we eat our young?"


The cake is chocolate. The frosting is cream cheese. The M& Ms are plain, milk chocolate. The outfit was selected by the Birthday Lad that morning. He was trying to put together and outfit that was,"colorful, and fun, and matches this cool shark tooth necklace Kevin gave me."

 Now I have to describe the picture that I just took but can't get on here. Just because it made me want to drop my head to the keyboard and cry.

Luke is 13. He is looking older each and every day. This, naturally, makes me wonder what kind of man he will grow to be. I shudder with most of the images that flash in my mind. Surely, they outgrow this...age. I know they do. I have brothers. And a husband. And I shudder again.

No, not really.

So today, the 13 year-old fixes himself a snack. We had many leftovers from the Superbowl Table O'Snacks that I provided. He chooses: 3 slices of pizza, a handful of carrots, three chicken wings and a puddle of ranch dressing. Then he sees that we never finished the bottle of sparkling juice (the spiffy 7 year old likes to play mixologist with sparkling and other juices and fancy glasses. He really was born past his time.) So here is the picture:

Teen boy, scruffy hair, sleeveless white t-shirt( the kind called a,"wife beater" if you don't find that term offensive like I do.) Plate heaped high with gross greasy food ( and a handful of carrots!). With his free hand, he grabs a highball glass, opens the top of the juice bottle--that really is a wine bottle, and he pours himself a highball. I mean, juice. Then, he takes the bottle, puts it to his lips and swigs the rest that won't fit in his glass.

That's when I snap the picture. Shaggy teen wearing a tank top t-shirt, gross food, highball glass of 'wine' and drinking from the bottle.

My head hits to keyboard gtttttttttttttttttttdfs"enh vcewq- Basement dweller in my future?!!!