Sunday, October 30, 2011

Several Quick Things, remote log-in edition

1) I've been plagued with electronic issues lately. My laptop, which died a near-fiery death a year or so ago (I forget now) and was brought back from the brink by a generous friend, still has some quirks. Think Steven King's Pet Semetary. You know, it lived, but there's something a little different about it, and it's kind of... mean? Aw, Fluffy! What happened? Ouch!
Anyway, it mostly manifests this way- the wifi works beautifully, everywhere, except at home. Which really wouldn't be much of an issue, except that the laptop can't feel the presence of an ethernet cord either. SURE, you say, google and get help from the brains online. Well, I did, at work, and after doing what they told me, it has sort of returned to a semi-life, with each page taking about 4 minutes to load, mostly text-only, and sometimes not at all. But it's... better than nothing?
1.5) Also, my Satellite Radio receiver is acting up. About 5 minutes after powering on, it just goes silent, and stays silent. The display taunts me with the name of whatever show I can't hear. Sat. radio is frustrating enough for a talk-radio listener, viscously blanking out whenever there's an important point or punchline.
1.7) So I'm relying a lot on my wonderful, blessed IPhone. I can play my podcasts on the car radio through the doohicky I have, and have constant access to google, IMDB, and facebook. Thank you God, and I guess, Steve Jobs.
2) it truly did snow here last night, we got about an inch I guess, although it's hard to know with all the rain and slush what really counts as snow. I'm looking out the kitchen window right now, at our lovely summer furniture and my garden covered with slushy grossness. We had all day on Friday to get it covered up or brought in, and the shovels out, and whatnot, but instead we lazed around. Mother nature now mocks us, and I continue to sit on my butt. So, HA Mother nature.
3) this week's This American Life is about middle school- as a Youth Ministry couple, we listened intently... and it was really good. It reminded us how thoughtful and deep middle schoolers really are, and what a great age it is to do some great communicating with kids, before their mouths officially clamp shut. But it also affirmed how scary, treacherous, and anxiety-ridden middle school can be. One person talked about how little he thinks middle schoolers are even able to learn, school-wise, because they're so full of all that's going on inside and around them, and I have to admit, I don't worry much about how much material middle schoolers learn (in religious ed) but I do think it's invaluable time in which to form and strengthen connections with caring adults, faithful peers, and God. Middle schoolers, they are awesome. I think a lot of people see kids in middle school as a lost cause, but it's the exact opposite. It's just about appreciating them for who they are and where they are. The Church that does that for a kid, at a time when no one else is doing it, is able to make a difference.
4) Along these lines, I visited the youth group at their annual Laser Tag Lock-In. No head injuries this year! One girl did ask for ointment for a scrape she'd gotten on her arm, but by the time I got back from the first-aid kit with it, she was already off playing Guitar Hero so I assumed she'd recovered okay. I stayed a lot longer than I'd expected to, because the kids were SO fun, so great. They were kind to each other, said the funniest things (Scott won one round and was bragging about being number O-N-E and a kid came up to him for a high-five and said "oh yeah? Well I came in last, L-A-S-T-E!" Also, there was "you don't play video games? Why not?" " Because I have a life?") It was grade 8-12 and the range in sizes and movements and humor was massive, and fascinating. There was a big scene when someone got mad because people kept shooting him... in laser tag... and a family dispute, and everything turned out all right. I had a blast, just watching everything and having conversations with the kids. Well worth the sleep lost.
5) Last night, in the midst of our groggy post-overnight sleep, the carbon monoxide detector started to chirp. I swear they are set to lose battery power at night. Anyway, my natural response was to try and sleep through the chirping, and my second natural response was to rip the detector from the wall and pull out the battery. and stuff the whole thing under a nearby blanket. Scott, with a cooler head, got up and reset the detector and we are no worse for the mid-night wear.
6) My cats are getting old- 16 and 17, by our best guesses, and although they are still healthy the older one is continuing to get... well... crazier. It's coming out as a deep, obsessive love for me. She follows me around, must be near me or if possible in my arms, like a baby. She has double paws, and claws, and love from her is painful. But to deny her affection feels so mean. I wake up at night to her trying to take the same space as my head, imposing herself on my pillow or sometimes, licking my forehead in a fit of mid-night passion. It's... sweet, but so annoying. But I can hardly deny her. It is a lot of work to be the object of someone's obsession.
Okay, the roads seem clear, and the sun is out, so I'm off to work. Wonder where the shovel is?

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