But I digress...

Tue Mar 16, 2010

Speed Shopping

My main opportunity to buy groceries has long been on my way home from work in the morning. It requires not being so early the stores aren't open yet, or else going to Walmart where it's open 24 hours. It also requires having enough time on the other side to complete the mission. I've been running about $30-40 a week lately (a problem in the long run, since on what I have to assume for income my food budget is about $3/week), not counting any money Deb passes along for me to shop and what she spends mainly at Walmart for the bulk of stuff that is best or most conveniently bought there. The kids have turned into locusts.

We run tighter together on shifts than we once did, so there are days I have to leave work early or there has to be another adult in the house to bridge the overlap. There are other days I don't make it home with much time to spare. It's rare that I can take lots of time, but usually I save it for when there's some leeway.

Today I needed to be home by 7:30. Hannaford, my shopping target due to what things I needed and sale prices, opens at 7:00. I usually get done just before to just after 7:00, and sure enough, it was about 6:57. Which is good! I'd forgotten to watch the clock and when I came up for air I was in a panic that I would make her late.

Now, that isn't as early as I'd prefer, but I was going to run out of sugar, coffee creamer, butter, really wanted to hit the sale on chicken, and had been out of milk for a couple of days. A combination of prices and a gift card I'd received for Christmas chose the store.

Now, some people think I take forever to go through a store and shop. I can see how it seems that way, with the kids, but I don't think I'm that bad. Usually.

So today I was quite proud of myself for burning through the store in SIX minutes, from stepping out of the car to getting in the car. It was a small trip, just $27-odd and $10 of that a pack of chicken, and I knew mostly what I wanted and where to find it. But still. Speed shopping. Go me!

Posted by: Jay Solo on Mar 16, 10 | 3:08 pm |


Sun Feb 28, 2010

Seven Years

I started this post on the 24th to be sure it was ready the 25th, then got derailed. Except for a substantially identical first paragraph that is now the second paragraph, this is a new version.

Seven years ago, February 25, 2003, at 12:57 AM - missed the 24th by that much - I made my first blog post (actually not the original location, but I replicated the post to my original non-BlogSpot blog and that is the link I can find easily), intentionally of no consequence just to get started. I'd been tempted to blog for several months before that, and could easily have been a "generation" or half-generation before the one I happily fell into. I say happily because I was in such amazing company. Blogging then was also social media before there was social media, and may never be like that again, barring an effective way to "open source" key social media functions across individually controlled sites. But that's a digression.

No, strike that. The next paragraph and beyond to the point where I stopped are still what I had typed. Let this be the aside I was going to insert here then to assure the reader or two that there is some connection between what follows and the above. It's such a big shift, that struck me as non-obvious after I'd banged the keys a while longer. The rest was going to get eliminated either completely or changed to some a modest conclusion that said little, just so I could get it posted on the day of, but I gave up even on that.

I recently watched Lemonade, which I wish I'd seen 2-3 years ago. At least. At that, it's not alien to me, the idea you pursue what you love, what really matters to you. Or even the idea that an adverse time of transition may be the time for it, perhaps life is telling you something. I've just always resisted it. Be practical, the nagging voice says. Figurative voice, that is. I don't have any of those kind. At least not yet. So I never fully bought into it, and more importantly, I've had big trouble even knowing what it is I love that much. Unless I confuse knowing and accepting, with a smattering of competition for the title thrown in.

That was a problem in job hunting, when there remained some laughable iota of a notion I might be employed again. If you can call what I did before "employed." I didn't latch onto That One Thing and exude Passion in it's general - let alone specific - direction. And you know? I've lately realized that maybe I don't love computer-related work. Not like that. Not anymore. Maybe it never was like that.

I think what I was going to say was I have trouble even knowing what I love enough to go for it even if it looks laughably unremunerative, but having pondered recently, it seems to come back to writing. Which makes sense. I managed to turn tech support into a job with an extensive writing component. I've found myself missing blogging. Yet it's hard to get back into as a routine thing, and the exact set of places devoted to it need to be rethought and revised. If I can make writing what I do and practice it that way, who knows from there.

That was where I left off, and that last paragraph was hard to write because I was already coming back from an interruption and not as sure of the flow or where I'd been and was going.

So. I plan to reboot the blogging. Yes, I love it. Yes, I love to write in general. No, it's not an ordinary or clear career path. But this economy - my apologies for having been a leading indicator, feel like I dragged the rest of the world along for the crash - doesn't lend itself to ordinary, traditional, clear or direct. We've seen that there is money in blogging, and no offense, I will also be in it for that.

It won't be easy. As you can see here, I am easy to interrupt to the point where posts get discarded or changed in direction completely. But the kids are getting so much easier to work with, and there are seldom other adults, oddly a bigger distraction, in the house. Otherwise, I am my own biggest distraction. It never helps that I feel guilty about writing because it's not "real work." This is where the part time job may help, keeping me grounded and giving me a "real work" (and exercise!) outlet.

The set of blogs will change. Still not sure precisely how, but the outlines of it are there. I may retire this one after all, for real, but may take content with me elsewhere, if selectively or by revisiting what I said before. In keeping with the above, I will probably make no attempt to maintain a tech blog, per se. Conversely, the foremost thing I am working on is a food blog, a new one more logically named and themed. In an unusual move, I'll probably let the domain of the old food blog expire in May, porting content. Blogblivion will probably remain but change or add a focus. Despite requests to the contrary, Accidental Verbosity will remain retired. I'll probably keep the business blog going and attempt to post there sometimes, and attempt to keep the latest incarnation of CotC via Twitter and digests going. Those won't be a big priority. I never was a full-fledged business blogger, after all, and of CotC I was mainly a manager and superb editor/commentator. It's just that the business blog actually pulls revenue, and there is hope the CotC site can as well. Worst case, the two can be one again. I will attempt to revise and revive the snarky political blog, which also touches culture and economics. There's a place for fun stuff, books, culture, kid-oriented things. Might even make that the kid pictures and antics place. Debating an entirely separate domain for that, though. How thin can you spread... How thin can you spread...

Mostly, and still indeterminate, there will be a personal blog on whatever, the direct successor to this one and much of my marital blogging. I had hoped to announce and even launch more of this on the 25th, but oh well. The main thing...?

I now consider writing to be my job.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Feb 28, 10 | 4:17 pm |


Thu Dec 31, 2009

Go Away

If you don't want to catch me blogging feelings of an almost human nature. Just go. Don't read. Don't come back. This is, in large part, a place for personal blogging. It always was.

If you are part of my life, or ever were, you may recognize yourself here. Or worse, not, which might should alarm you, but you don't have to read. I am not forcing you to. That is all.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Dec 31, 09 | 12:24 am |


Wed Dec 30, 2009

The Rest Is Epilogue

A year ago this day I was dumped officially. Not unexpected, in that the roots of it went back four years and I knew it was an alternative I'd invited all along by passively awaiting change. Not preferred. Not something I expected such external influence on. Not unthreatened. Not even final, it turned out. That would come the next month. Most of all, not something I expected to spark from such a trivial, inane incident that wasn't even much of an incident.

It's been a long year of letting go.

It was only a few months ago that I grasped how much I loved her, that it was a problem I still did, that it was why, along with other factors, I reacted as I did - with fear and avoidance of confrontation. Even though I'd long since decided and been certain I'd not want her back even if there were such a possibility, it took that recognition to let go and actually fall out of love, start to recover, start to think about having a life beyond. If I ever do get past my certainty that I never want to get entangled again so much as casually, that will have been a first and urgent step. Certain as I am, it seems a shame to stop at the one experience. Oddly, those years and a marriage and three kids later, I still feel as if I am waiting, still a newbie, still mystified, still wondering what it's all about, and is it really all that to be worth the trouble, and why would anyone want me even if the hypothetical stuff is real and possible. For my psyche, it's as if it never happened. Maybe worse than if it hadn't. Maybe not.

I was lucky enough to be on MassHealth, for all I despise the very concept of socialist healthcare, and until my last appointment on September 11, I was able to undergo counseling, considered a good idea if you have a pending divorce. I was luckier to be able to meander through a lot of sessions that just happened to culminate in a major breakthrough on the last one. There have only been two times since that I have wished I could see my counselor again (and I'd be happy to pay cash for the privilege, if I had it, which is something I'd never have expected to say about that entire concept). Funny thing was, I spent my first two sessions talking mainly work and school history and such, before getting heavily to the whole marital thing. The last session was a logical closure to that, as there is a similarity to my relationships with certain bosses. I could easily have kept going, and would have every so often had I been covered for it. Beyond being a dominant personality type compared to me, I'd finally realized I was afraid of her. The counselor thought the better word might be intimidated, but I ultimately disagreed after time and reflection. It was weeks later when I realized how much the degree to which I loved her was a factor, and how much I still did. It was like a final tumbler clicking into place, and I'd have liked to share it with the counselor. It was as if admitting that was key to eliminating the feelings. Liberating. That has led to a ton of reflection not only on other relations with people, and how I interact, but also to a ton of reflection on possible root sources. How I relate to authority figures. Who I consider authority figures. What intimidates or scares me. Why this seems to apply more to female than male figures, and why females become authority figures in my eyes almost by default. What factors make me deal rationally with some authority figures, and what can change that. That kind of thing.

So. Answers or not, here I am, caretaker of three autumn year kids I'd come to expect never to have after wanting so very much, ruined income, ruined earning potential, devastated economy, just seeing the light to being able to work despite circumstances and interruptions. A post like this - and personal blogging or not, it factors eventually to income and is "work" as well as pleasure and a once and future surrogate for what I got out of counseling - is almost impossible to write coherently. If you call it coherent even when it's not the effort of multiple hours and interruptions. As I will have posted subsequent to this, I will blog personal here. I'll try to be pleasant and light on some details and all that, but it's what this place is about, it's what I lost when I lost blogging to the rest of my life. If you don't want to know, go away, don't read here.

And on that note, I believe I either have to say a lot more, or nothing more. There are posts enough and time down the line. Can't have the kids flooding the bathroom with tub water. You should see the ceiling in the neighbor's bathroom below us from last time.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Dec 30, 09 | 9:52 pm |


Sat Dec 26, 2009

Big Day

Six years ago right now I was in the air, halfway across the country, making one of the biggest mistakes of my life, except for the caveat of my three awesome little consequences. I was a babe in the woods. She was not, and so I can't imagine what in the world she was thinking.

Not to say I had no reservations, before or after meeting in person. I just dismissed my reservations too lightly, didn't believe age mattered, couldn't have imagined what hormones could do, and didn't grasp my own psychology or the still occluded reasons why I would relate and react to certain types and individuals certain ways.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Dec 26, 09 | 4:02 am |


Mon Dec 14, 2009

Happy Birthday!

To blogger Rob Sama, who reminded me I'd intended to bring back the birthday tradition Real Soon Now. One place or another.

Posted by: Jay Solo on Dec 14, 09 | 10:53 pm |

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