Life in progress


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#JusJoJan 2018, the 22nd – Liberty

People take such liberties these days, don’t they? Yeah, I know I sound like I’m going into a “back in my day” rant, but it really does seem to me that the meaning of “free speech” has somehow gotten skewed. Free speech means that one is free to say whatever they want, yeah. We have the legal right to speak, as long as it’s not to falsely malign or spread hate. But it’s a legal right, not a moral one.

Used to be that people were polite. Then again, it used to be that people spoke face to face, or at least over the phone. These kids with their technology, they hide behind their screens in their dark little basement rooms and say whatever they want and damn the consequences. It ain’t right, I tell ya! It just ain’t right.

Such liberties.

This old-folk rant, courtesy of my birthday, is brought to you by Just Jot it January, and in particular, prompted by the word “liberty,” provided by Capt Jill! Thank you so much, Jill! She hadn’t posted for the prompt yet at the publishing of this post, but you can find her blog by clicking right here. Please go and say hi! To participate in the prompt, please visit this post, where you’ll find the rules and you can leave your link in the comments.


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Self-published Books – You Get What You Pay For?

Warning: rant ahead.

There’s a discussion going on in one of my Facebook groups and I’m having a very hard time staying out of it. So lucky you, you get to hear the side that’s going on in my head.

The complaint was a misused word. The sentence they are “Ugh!”ing over included the phrase, “something worst.” The original complainer called it a grammatical error. I pointed out it could have been a typo, and asked if it was one of many. She said it was the only one she’d found, so I said it was understandable: even a spellchecker wouldn’t have picked it up, to which she replied, “True probably self published.” Note the total lack of grammatical issues with her reply. (Sorry, I get sarcastic when I’m pissed off.) What I wanted to say was that even had it been edited and proofread professionally by a traditional publisher’s editing department, they hire humans. And humans are fallible.

Oh, but this isn’t the worst of it all. Someone in the group actually had the gall to say that with cheap, self-published books, you get what you pay for. First let me say that we self-published authors, no matter how much effort we put into a book, have to stay competitive. That means charging less than the big publishers do, because we don’t have the fan base who will buy anything as long as it has our name on it. That means, yes, undervaluing our work much of the time. But even so.

Name one profession other than writing where you can pay the person producing the work under five dollars for five thousand hours of work. Think about it. How long does it take you to read a three hundred page book? Do you think the writer wrote and edited it faster than you read it? Did you pay minimum wage for the number of hours it took you to read it? I don’t care who you’re reading, you’re getting much more than you paid for, and chances are if it’s a self-published author, you’re getting a lot more of their blood, sweat, and tears than you are of an author with a team of editors and marketers behind them.

End rant.


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What they don’t tell you about menopause

I’m going to go off on a rant here. It may be bizarre–it may be the most bizarre rant you’ve read all month–but make no mistake about it, it’s a rant. Laugh at me if you must. In fact, it might be for the best if you do – for all of us.

So, menopause. You’ve all heard of it. Even if you’re not there yet or you’ll never be there, you probably know about the hot flashes. Some of you may have read or know first hand about the mood swings. The books all tell us about bouts of unexpected crying, of possible depression, and of flying into rages over the littlest things. But what about the laughter?

Laughter, you ask? I’ve never heard of a menopausal woman flying into a fit of laughter. Well guess what? Neither have I? So why am I ranting about it?

Imagine this scenario: You’re trying to get your kid into bed but he’s busy playing with the dog. You’ve been asking him to get into his pyjamas for fifteen solid minutes. You’re trying to make his bed so he can actually get in it, you’re frustrated, harried from a long day, tired, about to lose your cool, and suddenly the dog jumps on you and your kid starts giggling. And then completely out of the blue, despite the fact that you were just about to blow your stack, you start giggling with the kid. UGGHHH!!! Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to start laughing when you’re trying to be mad?!?

And it keeps happening! Used to be when I was angry, I stayed angry. Wake me up six times through the night because you want to be covered up by me when you’re perfectly capable of doing it yourself, I’m going to be damned mad! I’ve got to get up in an hour, and I’ve only slept for 45 minutes all night! But now? By the sixth time I’m snickering and wondering if I’m ready for the funny farm!!

The only reason I can think of for this new bout of hilarity is menopause. Why didn’t anyone tell me it would be like this!!!???!!!

Is it just me? Is that why? If not, let’s discuss this well-kept secret so everyone can have it to look forward to, along with the damned hot flashes!


37 Comments

The Advocate

I’m not sure if this is going to come off as a tired rant, a tirade, or an attempt to show others that they’re not alone, but here we go anyway.

Advocating for one’s family is a ball-buster. Bureaucracy makes it so that the people working at the level the public deals with on a daily basis in the schools, and all the way up to the federal government, are in a position to simply throw up their hands and say, “Sorry, this is the way it is.” Which makes it necessary for us advocates to go above their heads. But it’s not as easy as just making a phone call. Oh no. There are “proper channels” we must go through. Forms to fill out and send either by snail mail or fax machines we have to drive around town to find and then spend money on.  And then there’s the wait. The wait that is so damned long we forget whether we do indeed have to just wait or follow up. Follow up? Oh yes, start at the bottom again to get the right phone/fax/post office box number.

And while all that’s going on, something else has come up. It’s a lot of work and it’s stressful! Even if we do manage to talk to someone on the phone we have to go into “stand and fight” mode before we even start. Because nothing is easy and no one at the other end is going to give in. If we’re lucky (and I use that term loosely) we get transfered to the next higher up on the food chain so that we can go through our case again. And then what? Normally it’s wait and see. Or, “We’ll mail you the forms to fill out.” Again.

What I have on the go includes (but is not limited to) getting an aid to help my 20 year old Autistic son in class so he can graduate high school this year; getting the funding I’m entitled to for my other son’s eyeglasses; finding out what the hell is going on with the holter (heart) monitor his cardiologist ordered months ago; sorting which hoops I have to jump through for the nurse at his school who doesn’t want him to eat by mouth this year, this after a lengthy process (with a two year waiting list) of having a swallow study done, followed by a report which was discussed at a meeting with the specialists and the above mentioned nurse to explain that he could eat by mouth; finding out what happened to the money my mother was supposed to get back from the condo corporation after we sold her unit… The list goes on and on. And it’s all wrapped up in bureaucratic bullcrap.

Luckily I’m a stay-at-home mom, so I don’t do anything all day anyway… 🙄

I’m sure I’m not alone in this. In fact I’m sure there are others out there who have it even worse than I do. I have to wonder if there’s a better way to do things. Don’t you?


49 Comments

E is for Easy

And… this is the hardest word I’ve had to deal with yet. How ironic.

Actually, you know what? If you’re EVER looking for inspiration for something to write on your blog and you have an actual, physical thesaurus (because it’s not going to work with an online one), challenge yourself to write whatever you turn to. Even if you have to close your eyes, open the book and point. Whichever root word your finger lands on, write the first thing that comes into your head. Not good enough? Look at the synonyms! Everything you need to write a post is there.

Like this one – “easy.” The entry for this is full of not only words that mean the same thing, but there are phrases as well. For example: “easy as pie.” How easy is a pie? Have you ever made a pie from scratch? I haven’t. Why? It’s too damned hard! The phrase makes absolutely no sense to me. Or how about “like taking candy from a baby”? That’s not friggin’ easy! It’s cruel! Who the hell wants to take candy from a baby? If nothing else it disturbs the peace!

So what have I learned from this post? From this little exercise? That apparently the easiest thing of all to do today is get me into rant mode. Odd that some of the synonyms further down on the list are serene, tranquil, and untroubled. That’ll teach me to read the whole entry before I start typing next time, won’t it?

BATZAP by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

BATZAP by Doobster @ Mindful Digressions

 


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A Rant about Memes

Facebook is littered with them – memes which state that if you care about something you must prove it by re-posting a picture with a bunch of often grammatically incorrect sentences or misspelled words. Things like, “If you want cancer to cured, re-post this in the next twenty seconds,” or “Share if you think animals have rights too.” Of course I want a cure for cancer to be found, and I certainly can’t stand to hear about animals being mistreated, but I never re-post these things – I don’t feel that I need to prove the way I feel to anyone.

But the one that really gets me are the “children with special needs need to be treated like anyone else” memes.

Like this one:

1517440_10205983584770964_93714871328423065_nNo. No, no, no, no, no. I won’t re-post this on Facebook. (Yes, I know it’s going to show up in my feed when I publish this blog post, but at least it’ll have an explanation with it.)

Do I want people to be aware that kids with special needs need to be treated just like everyone else? Yes. Do I want to be guilted into posting this because it shows I have “a strong heart”? No. Do I sound ungrateful right now? Maybe.

I don’t feel that I need a strong heart in order to love my two kids with special needs, and I don’t think anyone else requires a particularly strong heart to care about them. They just need to be observant and kind. Treating any human being with kindness is a simple matter of compassion and at least an attempt to understand. No one has to prove themselves as far as I’m concerned, unless actually confronted with a situation in which they can provide a smile or at least refrain from saying or doing something nasty.

I mean seriously, how far does one of these Facebook memes go? If someone is confronted with an uncomfortable situation in a public place where an Autistic adult walks up to them and begins to talk about his or her imaginary friend, does the poster of the meme remember they posted it and take it to heart? No. The last thing on someone’s mind in this situation is Facebook.

Rather than posting a meme, learn something. Take the time to think about what you’d do. Read articles written by the parents of a special needs child and take their advice. Being guilted into posting on Facebook is useless unless you know what it means.

Ungrateful rant finished.


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SoCS – A “But” Rant and a Thank You

There are times when I just can’t stand hearing people say “but.” I do it myself sometimes and I hate it when I do it too. I suppose that’s why I hate it – they say the things we dislike in other people are the things we dislike about ourselves – that’s one time it fits to a tee.

“I want to go on vacation, but…” This is the one I hear most often that bothers me. Is there really any good time to go on vacation? There will always be something more important to do than taking time for ourselves. There will never be enough money to go. There will never be enough time. So do it! Stop saying “but”! Either that or stop saying you want to go!

Wow, there was a rant I wasn’t expecting.

A bit of this time I’m taking to write this post should be used to mention that the participation today, and in the last couple of weeks has been awesome! My promise to read and comment on each and every SoCS post is taking longer and longer to do, so I apologize if it’s next Friday by the time I get to your post, but I will get there. I hope there will not be a time when I can’t read everything, but at the same time I hope this prompt will spread further and wider so that many bloggers will have the opportunity to participate and, most of all, connect.

So, thank you!! To all who read the SoCS posts linked in the Friday prompt, to all of those who are part of this wonderful WordPress network, and most of all, to all of you who join me in Stream of Consciousness Saturday!

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

Badge by: Doobster at Mindful Digressions

This post is part of SoCS: https://lindaghill.com/2014/11/07/the-friday-reminder-and-prompt-for-socs-november-814/ To join in the fun, please click on the link to get started!


47 Comments

A Rant

I am officially ashamed of my job. The organization that prints and distributes the local newspaper that I deliver–that people pay good money for–needs to take a good, close look at itself and its practices. It’s no wonder subscriptions are on the decline. I’ve gone from having twenty-three customers to thirteen in the three years I’ve been doing the job.

Today, however, takes the proverbial cake.

The article in question (no, I won’t cite it for the following reasons:  a) I don’t want to advertise publicly where I live; b) the article is conspicuously absent from their website anyway; and c) I still work for them. For now.) is about a recent awareness-raising campaign entitled “Slut Walk.”

The annual Slut Walk, if you haven’t heard about it, is a tool to teach people (men mostly) that dressing like a slut isn’t an invitation for sexual assault. This, in and of itself, is a reasonable lesson to learn. You can read more about it here: http://www.slutwalktoronto.com/about/how if you’re interested.

But it’s not the Walk itself that I have a problem with – it’s the article.

Apart from numerous grammatical errors, (“you’re” instead of “your”? Come on!) which point blatantly at the fact that if an editor even read through the article he needs to be fired clean out of the editorial cannon, there are the questionable quotes from the event’s organizer, in which she states that the word ‘slut’ need not be a bad word, and that, “It just describes someone that is sexually promiscuous, someone who is maybe for work or for personal reasons and that is not a bad thing.”

Then she goes on to say people are complaining that the Walk isn’t child-friendly, but that, “…there is not a whole lot of scantily clad people…” this directly below a picture of a woman with the middle of her t-shirt cut out, revealing her bare breasts (and no, it’s not edited) and then, “…I think there is only one sign with profanity…there is nothing here that you wouldn’t see on TV or hear on the radio.”

Where is anything child-friendly about this scenario? On one hand you have a legitimate message – clothes don’t invite rape – and then on the other hand you have a newspaper quoting an organizer saying it’s okay for girls to be sexually promiscuous for work or personal reasons or whatever. Not only that, she’s blind!

And so is the editor of my damned paper!!!

Aside from finding a way to get a note to the author of the article to ask him if he grammars much, I’ve a good mind to write a letter to the editor.

I just don’t know where to start.


48 Comments

Technology Sucks!

Incoming rant: be prepared to duck.

Why can’t they make computers that will last? Okay, fine, my desktop is four years old, and my son Chris is on it all the time. Almost. Today it started acting up. It has some sort of bug going on – whether it’s a virus or the hard drive is failing (which I think is the case) I’m not sure. But for an Autistic kid to deal with it’s the end of the world. I’ve spent most of this morning trying to fix the computer while Chris sits beside me beating his head with his fists and yelling.

All this after Alex came home yesterday to an infected laptop. Thank goodness I have Kaspersky on his machine – it cleaned it up quite well, though it took almost two hours to do it. It would work even better if it didn’t give him the choice when it detected an attack to go ahead and trust the virus or get out while the getting is good. He’s a very trusting little guy.

But it’s not only that the technology we use is so delicate which has me upset. Alex’s school has a great new program in which they’re using iPads to carry around in the community so they can communicate with hearing people. Wonderful, right? It would be if the school didn’t expect me to buy him an iPad. And I thought the expense of indoor shoes was bad enough!

And now Chris is asking me for a new computer. What I need is a car. A real one – not the 1993 puddle-jumping Tempo I inherited from my mother when the doctor took her license away in February. Wait, did I say technology? I suppose even the Flintstones thought their “cars” were technology. Anyway, the Tempo has taken to stalling every time I stop now… which I suppose is better than when it was zooming through stop signs no matter how hard I pressed on the brake.

Ugh!

End rant.

Seriously, I detest whining. I just had to get that off my chest. Thanks for reading.


37 Comments

It’s For Your Own Good! A Rant

What are you striving for? Is it within your reach? Yes? Then go for it. You want to lose weight? Stop eating cupcakes. You want to write a novel? Get off Facebook and Twitter and spend more time writing. You want a better job? Make more of an effort to get one than bitching about the one you have.

Is what you want not within your reach? Then stop spending so much energy wanting it. You want to be taller? Too bad. You want to live on a yacht the size of an apartment building but you’re on welfare because you’re too lazy to work? Give it up. You want to be younger? Ain’t gonna happen.

I’m so tired of listening to people complain, who aren’t able to either live up to or define their limitations.

How did we end up being a society of whiners? Is it Facebook and that tempting sweet spot–the box asking us, “What’s on your mind?”–that taunts us to write whatever we’re thinking and share it with the world? Is it the message, “You can be anything you want to be,” that’s expanded people’s heads so that they barely fit on their pillows? “Dream big!” they say.

“Wake up!” I say.

Enjoy the life you are cut out for. Know your limitations! You’ll be much happier.

End rant.