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Thursday, December 18, 2014

#throwbackthursday


Chilling in the April sun back our first year together (2006).

ntodd

December 18, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Depressing Sporks

Via Facebook:

The spoons model of disability works like this:

Imagine that you have a certain number of spoons. Every time you do something, you have to pay a certain number of spoons: eating is one spoon; showering is three spoons; going out and socializing is ten; having to give a speech in front of ten thousand people is a hundred. If you’re out of spoons, you can’t do anything. Most nondisabled people have more than enough spoons to do everything they want to do. Their spoons are overflowing the kitchen drawers. However, disabled people often have to watch their spoons. If they shower today, they might not have enough spoons to go to class.

The spoons model has been elaborated upon in various ways. Two of my favorites are the concept of multiple kinds of spoons, so you may be out of language spoons but not out of self-care spoons, and the concept of “borrowing” spoons– using emotional energy now at a high cost in the future.

The spoons model is an excellent model. However, in thinking about my own mental illness, I have discovered that it is, in fact, the exact opposite of how my mental illness works. Therefore, I have decided to coin the forks model.
...
You would think that you would start doing productive things and then wind up in a beautiful virtuous cycle where you do things, and the things give you more forks, and then you spend more forks on doing things, until the forks are not only spilling out of the drawer but they’ve filled the kitchen and are making headway into the bedroom. This is probably true of some people: they’re triathletes with four successful startups who are considering going for a PhD in physics (you know, just for the fun of it).

Unfortunately, some people– like me– are, for whatever reason, stuck with chronically low forks. Chronically low forks leaves you in one of the most perverse situations ever: when you know that if you did a particular thing, you would be happier and more able to do things, but you don’t have enough forksnow to do the thing. (Unlike spoons, you cannot borrow forks from future selves.) If I worked on my homework, after like fifteen minutes I would feel like I could take on the world, but right now all I have the energy to do is browse Tumblr. If I ate, I would totally be able to cook an awesome meal, but right now I’m too hungry to cook.

The utensil construction is a bit goofy, as the author notes, but my dog, this is precisely something I have never been able to articulate well.  I'll also add one more problem to the scenario: it costs forks to not do the things you know would make you happier.  

So if you have something hanging over your head that you desperately need to get done, there's an extra emotional burden.  A heavy amount of guilt, maybe, or just spinning your wheels thinking about thinking about thinking about maybe thinking about getting started as soon as you have enough forks to think about starting, etc, which takes away forks.  That makes it harder to deal with the damned task.  

It becomes a negative feedback loop, and the loss of forks in that instance can hamper other aspects of your life as you lack forks to deal with those, too.  Then exogenous things can become problematic because you don't have the forks to handle them, or you spend your forks on those things and thus can't address the regular parts of life, even the most basic, that are always there (work, housekeeping, self-care).

So there it is.  Although I'd use coins or chits or something instead of forks.

ntodd

December 14, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, December 12, 2014

#throwbackthursday On Friday


Tweens Lola and Dear Departed Vinnie ponder the snow dumped here during the Valentine's Day Storm of 2007.

ntodd

PS--Got about 32" all told at my house.  Made me miss a teaching gig for the USPTO, and our road wasn't dug out for a couple days.  I snowshoed to the General Store for wine.

December 12, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Snow Day


Dog help me if school's closed tomorrow, too.

ntodd

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Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Princesses Can Be Scientists

Having played a few songs from Frozen for Sadie just now, this resonates:

When my 4-year-old told me the other day that she was “ready for princesses,” part of me died. Not just because the day had finally arrived when that virulent meme had infected her, but also because of how utterly powerless I was to contain it. Let me be clear: These weren’t progressive princesses like Adventure Time’s Lumpy Space Princess and Doctor Princess (that’s just her last name). This kind of princess forced my programmer wife and I to do what we swore we’d never do to our child, which is deny our daughter a book. The one my kid picked up in the bookstore spent more pages describing its characters’ future husbands than the princesses themselves, and when a book about girls for girls fails to pass the Bechdel test, something is pretty wrong. Other princess books she looked at weren’t much better. 

Yet we've decided to indulge rather than deny her.  We model, encourage other options, etc, but if she wants to do the princess thing, that's what she wants and we roll with it.

An exchange at the start of our YouTube session:

Daddy, I want Queen Elsa!

Okay, hold on, I'll find Let It Go.

She's so pretty.  [sotto voce, hands on cheeks]

Yes she is.

SHE HAS BOOBIES!

Ah.

Sadie also likes Taylor Swift and Pink (the singer and the color).  What are ya gonna do?  It's not like princesses can't grow up to be scientists or programmers or presidents.

*exits singing Shake It Off*

ntodd

December 3, 2014 in Family Life, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Monday, December 01, 2014

Potty Mouthed Pritskys

We're doing it fucking right!

[A]llow your child to use the swear word within limits. “Tell her, ‘Some people don't like that word, but in your room you can say it anytime,’ ” Klein says.

This gentler, more empowering approach also circumvents what might be called “the shame problem.” As Klein writes in her book How Toddlers Thrive, parents often unintentionally shame their young children when they criticize them and try to control their behavior. “If the message to the child is that these are bad words, never to be used, then the child can feel that she is a bad person for having tried them out,” Klein explains. Plus, chances are, your kid doesn’t know what these bad words actually mean and why they are bad; she just knows that you have anointed them as bad. Some research suggests that children who’ve been made to feel ashamed are more likely to withdraw and hide than own up to future mistakes. (This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t discipline your kids or set limits; just be careful not to chastise them in a way that could make them feel humiliated.)

I do feel compelled to note it ain't my fault Sam observed during last week's storm: "holy moly, that's a shit-ton of snow!"  But we haven't been called into a teacher's conference yet, so everything's good...

ntodd

December 1, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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Thursday, November 27, 2014

#throwbackthursday


A young Sam the Cat tries an attack from below on Dear Old Saffron (Thanksgiving 2003).

ntodd

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Thursday, November 20, 2014

#throwbackthursday


From my Quixotic pre-Selectman days.

ntodd

November 20, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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Wednesday, November 19, 2014

A Broadcast From The Future

Hecate has an interesting exercise:

One of the most powerful magical acts that I know is to take some time and really envision the life that you’d like to be leading five years from now...Where do you live? What time do you wake up? Who do you see throughout the day? What do you wear? What occupies your time? What things that are currently in your life are banished? Journal or draw or dance all of it.

Now, ask yourself what underlying assumptions you’ve made. For example, do you assume you can turn on the tap and get clean, potable water? That you have access to medical care including birth control? That you can communicate without Big Brother listening?

I would've not even considered the water issue, if we had not lost a controller for our well pump this summer which caused a couple days of more complicated life living as we did in simpler times.  Not to mention the time just before Xmas a couple years back when we were without hot water for weeks because of gas company shenanigans.  

And health care?  I assume we will still have it thanks to being Vermonters, but I'm getting a little worried that our move to single-payer by 2017 might be derailed.

I will have to ponder this further.  I'm not sure 5 years ago I could've imagined the life we have today.

ntodd

November 19, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Monday, November 17, 2014

Monday Snowydayblogging


Make way for Mila!


I've decided to join a monastery.


Furio seems unconcerned about my new career path.

ntodd

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Thursday, November 13, 2014

#throwbackthursday


Missing the old girl something fierce today for no particular reason.

ntodd

November 13, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Saturday, November 08, 2014

Photos Don't Lie, People Do

I have a real problem with this essay:

No one’s life is just pumpkin patches and happy outings, but there’s no mention of the mediocrity- the exasperated expression we give our spouse when we’re stressed and tired and he forgot to do the one thing we asked of him, the countless children’s fights broken up, complaints whined, the orders shouted. We don’t post status updates about our kids’ failures or struggles, only trophies and achievements. We don’t post about the times we don’t get to the gym, don’t prepare a Pinterest-worthy dinner, don’t feel up for a family outing.

We fail to mention that we snapped at the kids in the pumpkin patch because all we wanted was one good picture and that shouldn’t be too much to ask for; that we spent most of the time at the aquarium in a desperate search for a bathroom, first for one kid and then the other because she didn’t think she had to go when we were just in there; or that shortly before we went out for ice cream cones our kids asked if we are getting divorced because they overheard us arguing.

I’m not suggesting that we all must either stop posting happy photos or start posting about some of our lesser moments. Of course we want to share the cute apple picking shots and our trip to Disney. But, as we rely more and more on platforms like Facebook to maintain our friendships, and less and less on phone calls and actual get-togethers, we are only seeing a narrow view of our friends’ lives. Without ever seeing the full picture, soon we wonder: everyone else is so happy all the time, why aren’t I? What am I doing wrong?

First of all, I'm not sure that, even if people only posted unicorns and rainbows, we'd only see so narrow a view of our friends' lives.  It's simply one view in the public sphere.  Seeing how they see themselves and/or as they want to be seen, is still a significant component of all lives.

What's more, I'm fairly sure we all know that everyone poops.  And has bad days.  So who the fuck cares if folks share only the good things?  Maybe they just want to celebrate positive stuff and not dwell on the not so fun.  There's always more negative undercurrents, and we don't need to know the details to be friends, online or otherwise.

And I don't know who this person's friends are, but I see all sorts of bad shit posted.  Death.  Frustration about family.  Job losses and rejected resumes.  Photo fails.  Whatever.

Seems to me the whole essay says more about the author's issues than any problem with how people interact on Facebook.  So yeah, she should wonder what she's doing wrong.

ntodd

November 8, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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Monday, November 03, 2014

Monday Goofballblogging


Sadie carried her bro's backpack home today.


Because Sam's arms have gone missing.

ntodd

November 3, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (1) | TrackBack

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Parenthood Is A Zero-sum Game

Indeed, trying to do something to support families who have more than one breadwinner by giving them better care and education options for their kids so certain parents don't have to take a pay cut is a slam against stay-at-home-moms.

ntodd

November 3, 2014 in Family Life, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Friday, October 31, 2014

Only A True Waistline Can Save The Princess

More of this, please:

Buzzfeed's Loryn Brantz decided to digitally edit six famous Disney ladies -- Ariel ("The Little Mermaid"), Pocahontas ("Pocahontas"), Jasmine ("Aladdin"), Belle ("Beauty and the Beast"), Aurora ("Sleeping Beauty") and Elsa ("Frozen") -- to show what the cartoon heroines would look like if they had more realistic physical proportions. After all, since these characters are supposed to represent people in films made for children, they should probably look more like real people, right?
...
Last year, artist Meridith Viguet got some press for a tutorial she created on how to draw a Disney-friendly version of a princess. Disney's animated female figures, she noted, typically have long, slender necks; "demure" shoulders; B- or C-cup breasts and "soft but very defined" waists. But don't look for hips, because Disney princesses tend not to have them, Viguet pointed out in her tutorial, using Meg from "Hercules" as an example. "[H]er curves DON'T come from having really round hips, but from connecting the top of her legs (which are at their widest) to a slim waist," Viguet writes of Meg.

A real woman, however, has a thicker neck, wider shoulders and a less defined waist with actual hips.

I hope when this 2yo princess grows up, she'll scold Disney.

ntodd

October 31, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Thursdaysadieblogging


Footrace with Little C on the way to pick up the big kids.


Dancing at the playground after Quiet Time.


Rolling down the hill before heading home.

ntodd

October 30, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Learning The Alphabetimus Spell From Harry Potter


I asked Sam who that is and he said, "you!"  Okay, Daniel can play me in the biopic.

ntodd

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

They Don't Seem To Ever Learn

Thin red lines on a
child's small fingers: hard teachers
are the kitty's claws.

ntodd

October 28, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Queen Fucking Elsa Agrees

I'm sure one day our children will accidentally use "at-home words" in public.  Hardly a sin compared to the societal obstacles our daughter faces as she grows up (and influences that, despite our best intentions, compelled her to choose a queen costume for Halloween).  Fuck that sexist shit.

ntodd

October 26, 2014 in Family Life, Soaking In Patriarchy | Permalink | Comments (2) | TrackBack

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Saturday Halloweenblogging


Why so grim? Bumblebee might be worried about losing the Cake Walk. Seriously, there was great angst. Then the boy won a bunch of yummy cupcakes.


Last one to the party doesn't get any sugar!

ntodd

October 25, 2014 in Family Life | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack