Yesterday marked eleven years of owlyblogging.
I’ve been having trouble wrapping my mind around units of time recently. Ninety percent of my CD collection dates from college and university, for example (and not because I embraced the digital form of albums, but rather because the money had somewhere else to go, I wasn’t in record shops as often, or I just wasn’t as excited by new releases as I used to be). Most of my bookcases date from the same era, the contents of said bookcases covering twenty-five years of purchases (again, book buying has taken a severe hit recently, in the last five to seven years). The majority of furniture in any given room is either secondhand (donated or, more rarely, purchased), and the few pieces that were purchased new were done so over seven to ten years ago.
And then I realised that Sparky has only another four years in elementary school (mind = blown), and my concept of time took another sucker punch. I’m sure yours just has, too. You’re welcome.
I have met some wonderful, wonderful people through blogging, people whom I consider good friends even though we have not met in real life. I have even been fortunate enough to meet a handful face to face and tell them what they mean to me. I am thankful for this mode of journaling, and for this method of communication, even though I do it primarily for myself. Thank you, dear readers, for journeying along with me, some of you for the entire eleven years, some of you only for a few days, weeks, or months so far. It is lovely to have you here.
Owlet’s thirteen-month post is up and backdated to 4 September 2012, so you’ll need to scroll down. Or just click this handy link instead.
If you read via RSS, you already know this, so hurrah, thank you for playing, and disregard this note. Go have an awesome day! Actually, everyone should have awesome day, whether they read my posts via RSS or otherwise. Also cake. Go have cake.
Since I failed at going back to keep monthly track of my reading in this journal, I will mention here that I lately reread Mary Robinette Kowal’s Shades of Milk and Honey before reading the sequel Glamour in Glass, which was excellent, and then I read Ally Carter’s fun YA book I’d Tell You I Love You but Then I’d Have to Kill You. I am working my way through Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn as well, and for some reason I put Amanda Downum’s Kingdoms of Dust down a month ago and didn’t pick it up again till today.
After all the drama with having to cancel my trip and the conference and then finding out that I couldn’t buy my iPad two weeks ago… not one but two iPads were offered to me within a space of seven days, both won as prizes by people who won’t/don’t use them. The first was exactly the iPad I was going to buy, given to me at Owlet’s first birthday party with basically an admonition to not refuse it, to think of it as a permanent loan or to pay whatever I thought was fair for it whenever I could. The second was offered via a friend of HRH’s from college who didn’t even know I was looking for one, with the same permanent loan/eventual payment whenever rule. HRH will likely end up with that one, which is great because he’s been exploring trials of drawing and art apps on this one, and is really excited about the possibility of working on the backgrounds for the Sunset Val web comic digitally. I was so blown away. It feels like the universe was apologizing for all the crap that’s been flying around lately. Here, have this new toy, which you can also work on, and also not so coincidentally a reminder that friends absolutely rock.
Sparky and I had optometrist appointments this past week (there, we have now covered his delinquent dentist and eye doctor visits). His eyes are great, as we expected, though there’s a slight imbalance the doctor wants to check up on again in a year. For my eyes, the doctor was a little surprised to discover that there had been almost no change at all in the past ten years. It’s so minute that there’s no reason to get new glasses, which is somewhat disappointing since I’ve had one pair for nine years and the other for four and I was allowing myself to think about new frames, but also a relief because really, where would the money come from? He told me to come back in two years, which is when he wants to see Owlet, too. While I have the glasses for general wear, when I told him that they actually made my eyes a bit worse when I tried to read highway signs he confirmed that they were mostly for reading and up-close daily use. So I took them off to drive home, and it was a relief to do it and know that I wasn’t being irresponsible somehow.
I think I’m growing my hair again. I realized the other day that if I hadn’t been hacking an inch to two inches off every two months for the past year and a half whenever it got to the awkward length, it would be officially long again already, around the bottom of my shoulder blades. We’ll see what happens, and see how long I can stick to “no, I’m growing my hair again, really” this time. I really like how I look in pictures of it at chin length, but I feel I can do more with it long. (Who am I kidding? What do I do with it other than twist it up and clip it?)
I got cheque for the first copy edit I did post-baby! It all has to go places, so I shouldn’t have walked into Reitmans after depositing it at the bank, because I found two tops I loved and couldn’t justify buying them, even though there was a “buy one get 50% off the second” sale. I’m just starting to wear non-nursing clothes, and the last time I wore my regular wardrobe was two summers ago. None of it thrills me, and it fits oddly — too loose, too short, neither of which is really due to body changes but rather to a shift in how I want to look or feel. I should have at least tried the tops on to discover that they looked awful on me so I could get over it, but I had both kids with me and that wasn’t going to fly. I might set myself a budget and take an hour to go through the local thrift store selection of tops to add something new to my basic jeans-and-t-shirts selection.
I have a bunch of stuff to post, so I’m going to get the post covering the unpleasant stuff out of the way first.
I’ve had a really, really awful month, and a couple of things happened Saturday morning that brought it all to a head. I have been literally sick with worry and fear about finances and how we were going to handle this important conference I was registered for next weekend. I’ve been struggling to handle everything that’s been thrown in my way over the past four weeks. Every time something new happens I’ve asked myself if it’s the universe telling me to prove myself one more time and conquer the obstacle so I can go, or if I’m being told to understand that I’m not meant to go and to cancel, and every time I’ve worked it out and somehow arranged it so I can go. Yesterday I finally broke down under a one-two punch life dealt me, and I admitted defeat. I have to cancel, and it breaks my heart. I was really, really looking forward to it, despite all the panic about how I was going to manage it and how much easier it would have been all along to just say I couldn’t go. And it was going to be a long weekend away from my family, as much as I love them, with people I enjoy.
All along I’ve been worried that to give in and admit defeat would be taking the easy way out but good grief, how much more bending can I do? How much more grief and anxiety do I have to handle before I say that it was a good fight, but I’ve lost it honourably?
So I made the decision and cried about it a lot, and my family was wonderfully supportive and loving. I made the call cancelling my attendance last night, and it felt awful to do it, but the organizer fully supported my decision and my situation and helped me feel better about it.
The one good thing about it (apart from not going into total financial ruin) is that I will be home for Owlet’s first birthday after all. That means a lot to me. I can invite a couple of people over and bake piles and piles of cupcakes, and I can dress her up and we will have balloons, and then we get to do it again for her family-centred birthday celebration the following weekend.
And for the first time in about a month, I woke up this morning without immediately plunging into an anxiety attack. That tells me it was the correct decision. I’ve also been able to eat today without getting ill in some way, which is another welcome change from the way I’ve been living. Things still suck, but they suck a bit less, and I can deal with the amount of suckage that’s on my plate much better, now.
As if that wasn’t enough, Saturday morning I finally went out to buy my iPad and was stonewalled there, too. According to the salesman, Apple very quietly discontinued the iPad 2 16 GB model last month, and it has stopped shipping to non-Apple stores. (I can’t find Apple-sourced proof of this online, just mentions here and there of various shops in both the US and Canada marking it as discontinued and no longer available.) And of course, the iPad 2–16 GB, WiFi only — was the one I was going to buy, because it was the least expensive of them all, and all I needed. So there were only two left in all the Best Buy stores in the province, and they couldn’t be transferred to my shop in time before I left. (This was still before I cancelled my trip entirely.) I couldn’t upgrade my purchase because I didn’t have the money; I couldn’t buy it elsewhere or online because I had cash and shop-specific gift cards. The salesman was fantastic; he came up with half a dozen solutions, most of which we tried to make work, and each one of them fell through. Eventually I admitted defeat. With the rumours of the iPad 4 being announced this fall, I might as well wait till then and get the iPad 3 when the price lowers.
It felt like being kicked while I was down. And although I tried not to think about it, I wondered if I’d run right out after my birthday and purchased it if there would still have been one or two left in stock. But it was a huge purchase, and I traditionally hover and bite my nails about large purchases before I feel okay doing it. I don’t know whether that worked against me this time or not. Cancelling the trip also reduced my immediate need for the iPad, which was going to be my main note-taking and entertainment unit as well as my Skype link back home so I could read to the kids and talk to them every night.
I’m trying to look at it as having something to look forward to for a while longer.
(This was written, then I forgot to hit publish. Your RSS feeds aren’t confused; I backdated it to when it should have appeared.)
Owlet is walking, albeit stealthily. This morning I watched from the kitchen as she stood up in the middle of the living room, bounced in place for a bit, looked over at her toys by the wall, and walked over to them before plopping herself down. Ha ha; we see you, baby. It’s not a secret.
Sparky starts camp on Monday. His info packet arrived a few days ago, and his personal schedule came by e-mail. Guess who needs his own set of drumsticks? (We have one. It’s just amusing.) He’s doing science, karate, choir, drums, and art/cartooning. We also got the info packet for the International School, so we have supply lists and fee deadlines and so forth. He’s going to start halfway through the last week of August, and the first two days are mornings only, with the Friday being the first whole day, followed by the three-day Labour Day weekend. The ped days at this school are scattered through the weeks instead of being clumped into a long weekend, which is nice in a way.
HRH has painted the front awning! (Or whatever the thing over the front door is called. We call it the awning, even though it’s solid.) It was a horrible faded purple, once brown, we suspect. I chose a lovely dark green, and it looks wonderful. He’s going to continue the green up around the trim that’s the same faded purple-brown later this year when it isn’t so stupidly humid and hot. Next year we’ll tackle scraping and repainting the white ironwork and it will be the finishing touches on the front exterior.
(That’s actually not a very good colour match for the real thing. It looks more blue than dark green here. But anyway.)
I’m participating in the Tour de Fleece for the first time this year. (I’ve also signed up for the
Ravelymics Ravellennic Games for the first time. Hanging out with my online July 2011 babies group of knitting mamas is doing weird things to me.) My personal goals were to spin for about fifteen minutes a day, to sample the Teeswater I got in a swap last year, to sample the Cormo/silk that Bonnie blended, and to attempt a new technique like corespinning. So far I am good on the first two, so now I get to choose one of the last two and give it a go. I’ve got one week left.
I received another freelance project, this one editing a YA science-fiction/paranormal title. My publisher recently launched a couple of fiction imprints, one for YA, and so this is my first pro fiction copyedit. It’s very exciting. I’m ahead of schedule because it’s good and an easy read. This is a nice switch from trudging through the fiction manuscripts from the self-publisher I used to work for, where I had to read them in order to evaluate them. I was instructed to edit this with a very light hand, which also helps. It’s also a nice switch from the last book I edited, a non-fiction book on manicure art, where I handed it back more red than black after rearranging and rephrasing and clarifying steps. Step-by-step instruction is hard to write for most authors, pro or not, so a lot gets reworked in the editing stage to clarify what the reader doesn’t know simply because they’re not the author.