Life in progress


Poll for Pingback Users

Pingbacks have been unreliable for a while now, but it seems in the last week or so they’ve gone from fickle to downright unstable.

I’d like to conduct a little experiment, to see if different types of accounts/different editors have anything to do with the recent issues.

Please choose one of the following, and let’s see if there’s any clear correlation between the technology we’re using and the pingback failures many of us are having.

Thanks for participating!

And thanks for the idea, Shelley!


Paula, a psychiatrist, and a pandemic walk into a bar …

It’s been a while since I’ve gone into armchair-psychiatry mode so how’s about a little sit down, eh? While we’re here, why don’t we talk about the theoretical link between the pandemic of depression and social media?

Is there even a link? Let’s imagine for a moment there is.

I don’t want to write an entire dissertation here–I lack both the time and the energy to do research, thus, the armchair. But just grazing on the surface, it’s easy (I think) to see a few different realities that exist in social media that could, quite easily be the cause of depression.

The first and most obvious is the common troll. There are no lengths to which many will not go to attain their goal of making their target miserable. To the point of depression? Perhaps.

Second, the “keeping-up-with-the-Joneses” factor. Being inundated by how good everyone else’s meals look/kids are thriving/vacations turn out/book sales are going (that last one might be personal) can be enough to point out how much yours is/are not. It’s like being a rock in the way of the tide–it’s gonna wear you down eventually. To the point of depression? Maybe.

Third, and possibly least likely–your name isn’t Paula. Because who doesn’t want a name like Paula? (Be nice, Paula is reading your comments.) Could not being called Paula cause depression? Well, you can always change your name, so probably not.

What do you think?

NOTE: I am, in no way trying to make light of the very serious disease that is depression. I’ve suffered it myself, and I understand the debilitating nature of it.

Thanks to the three lovely ladies who gave me my three “P” words for today’s not-A-Z post. You’ll find their links under the words “psychiatry,” “pandemic,” and “Paula.”

I need suggestions for “Q” words for tomorrow’s not the A-Z Challenge post! I’ll take the first three. Note, the comments on my blog are newest on top. One word per person, and please keep ’em clean.

Thank you!

Criticizing a Caricature

On my recent blog post on Donald Trump, ( ) I’ve had a counterpoint made in response by the dear Mr. Jack Sutter. I have to admit that since I wrote it, I’ve heard Mr. Trump speak on the issues of allowing people in to the country by way of more rigorous screening, and I agree, it’s something that needs to be handled. However.
Donald Trump has proven himself to be a Narcissist of epic proportions. Anyone who has known a Narcissist and been manipulated by one, can attest to the fact that they are both untrustworthy and dangerous. Therefore, one must conclude that what Mr. Trump says now, may or may not be what he would carry out as president. For anyone who has not known a Narcissist personally, I urge you to research Narcissistic Personality Disorder, both for the sake of identifying Mr. Trump and for the event that you might meet one in person.
Jack points out that my statement about not building walls, and instead standing together and being brave means we are doing nothing. I’d like to clarify as best I can. By standing together as a society, we can best find ways to protect ourselves. In the spirit of finding an example, consider this on a smaller scale. If we box ourselves up inside our own four walls with our family, and listen only to the radio to discover what is going on outside, we learn only what the radio tells us. However, if we go out and talk to real people, with real diversity, we learn so much more. We find that we have things in common. Things that the radio doesn’t tell us about because they WANT us to be fearful. It’s their way of controlling us. Once we get out, we can plan to live side-by-side, and do what is best for our communities, and only then can we find the best way to defend ourselves if necessary, using the strength we have in numbers.
When Jack talks about Cold War tactics in his post, he makes a very good point again. Except we have to come back to Mr. Trump’s untrustworthiness. Yes, he might be “just saying” he’ll wipe out the families of terrorists, but he might not. And if he does, then what? You can bet the terrorists will double their efforts.
Again, Jack makes a good point about putting a timetable on taking out the terrorists. But if it’s to be done, it has to be done right, no matter who does it.
And finally, Jack says that Mr. Trump is protecting American Muslims. I counter with this: he’s talking about sending every immigrant back to where they came from, and making them reapply for citizenship. Sending them back to war-torn countries is hardly protecting them.
My main concern is that Donald Trump is a pathological Narcissist. Look it up. He’s the poster boy. If he’s a caricature at all, it’s of himself.
Please visit Jack Sutter’s post to comment, and please keep it civil. Thank you.

Empire of Sludge

Donald Trump is not the monster his critics make him out to be.

That’s not an opinion, it’s a statement of fact.

Most of the criticisms leveled at him – or that you yourself may have even leveled at him if you’re a critic – are based on a caricature. Not on the man himself though, nor on his actual policies or rhetoric. This is verifiable for anyone who wants to look through transcripts of his speeches or listen to them in videos to see what he’s actually said, and to anyone willing to go to his website and actually read his policies. The following, a comment I left on Linda’s post about Trump

Is a slightly edited response to one of the criticisms I’m describing…

“But how do we fight fear? By being brave and standing together. Not building walls and hiding within them, never letting anyone else in.”

View original post 1,152 more words


Psychosomatic or Real?

Since my fall on the ice just before Christmas when I received a concussion, I’ve been having pain in my right shoulder. It wakes me up at night, has caused weakness in my right arm, and is generally a pain in the ass upper body.

So about three weeks ago I finally decided to take it to the doctor. He ordered an x-ray and an ultrasound and two weeks later I called him back because I hadn’t heard anything. His secretary said the tests showed there was nothing wrong.

But it still hurt. I made an appointment to see him.

As it turns out, I have a slight case of arthritis between my collarbone and my shoulder blade. (There’s another one of those rocket scientists at work here – not sure if it’s the secretary or the doctor, but I suspect it’s the doctor. He’s always been a bit of a twit.)

The point is, since I found out what the problem really is with my shoulder, it’s been feeling better. Is it possible to be given information that there’s nothing wrong and believe it so much that the symptoms go away? I think it is. But in my case, I’m sticking with the belief that now I know it’s not the joint, I’m no longer afraid of doing more damage. Muscle pain I can live with. I can stretch through it and I can work through it. I know now that if I use my arm more and re-build the muscle, my condition will improve.

I also know I am susceptible to psychosomatic disorders. When I get stressed it affects my skin. I itch. And no matter how much I know this to be a fact, and that there is really nothing wrong with my skin, it happens.

I posed the question above, is it psychosomatic or real, but is a psychosomatic illness any different than a real illness? They say attitude can help with the symptoms of sickness – it works both ways. It’s not all in your head. But some of it is. The mind is a powerful thing.

Have you ever suffered with something you knew was psychosomatic, and yet it persisted?


How Are Chickens Like Days Off?

I’m within an hour of the end of two days off. Yesterday I got a fair bit of work done on my manuscript – almost fifteen pages edited, which for me is flying through. I managed to take the evening off from everything and just watch an episode of “Breaking Bad.” I’ve only watched two so far – still wondering what all the hype’s about.

Then today I was woken up early with a phone call – Chris was sick at school and they couldn’t reach his dad. So I texted my ex, got up, delivered the papers, had a piece of toast and lay on the couch … and proceeded to sleep most of the day away. No editing accomplished.

How are chickens like days off?

Don’t count them before they’re hatched.

I need a week off.


EDDD 17 – All I Want – Talent

It’s Day Two of “All I Want”!

Whether it be for Christmas, or for whatever you do or don’t celebrate, what I’d like to know today is, if you could be blessed with the natural-born talent to do anything, what would it be?

I’ve always wished I could play the guitar, but not JUST play – anyone can learn. I’d love to be able to play with the passion of Brian May of Queen, David Gilmour of Pink Floyd, Eddie Van Halen; the list goes on and on. Talent beyond compare. Even to play the piano like Schroeder, in the Peanuts cartoon, would be amazing!

Now it’s your turn. If you could do anything really really well – so well that people would swoon – what would it be?

Blog post of December 17th, in honour of Every Damn Day December. Check it out!


How comments can hurt

It didn’t start as a comment directed at me, but it bothered me nonetheless. The discussion was about a situation in which a man, with a disabled wife and a small child had taken a weekend ‘off’ to visit with friends and came home to find his wife had died. The comment, on a friend’s journal, stated that the commenter couldn’t understand why, if the man loved his family at all, he would need a weekend away from them.

I am a single mother of two disabled kids with whom I live alone. I love them more than anything in the world – but I need time off! By the time their father’s scheduled weekend with them comes around, which is supposed to be every two weeks but is more often not until the third weekend, I’m all but pulling out my hair. Loving them doesn’t preclude the work that’s required to look after their every need, nor does it make up for the fact that I don’t get any more than five hours of sleep a night when they’re here.

Back to the comment: I tried to explain to the girl who made it that it’s not that clear cut – that there are many things that go into the care of the disabled and the very young. She came back to say that she knows – and that she looks after her disabled parents. I fail to see the parallel. In the end I got the last word, telling her that she is a better person than I am.

It’s probably the way the conversation was left that bothers me the most. That I couldn’t make her see I’m not a terrible person and that I don’t not love my kids because I need time to myself to recharge and re-align my emotions, still sits badly with me.

It makes me wonder whether people out there with different problems than I have are just reluctant to look deeper into the difficulties of others or if they simply don’t care to try. It’s this ‘it’s not my problem so you must be doing something wrong to make it yours’ attitude that worries me. At the same time I hope they are never put into my situation, a little part of me hopes they are. Not very altruistic, but there you go. Sentiment breeds like sentiment.