The Hardest Choice

June 8, 2009

The article below is a beautiful and heart-breaking piece about abortion past the first trimester. It is so difficult for me to understand how people cannot hear stories like this.

The Hardest Hardest Choice: Why I Had a Second-Term Abortion.


My Switch from PC to Mac

June 2, 2009

Back in September I wrote about why I was switching from PC to Mac. I got my new MacBook (the newer silver one) in October about a week after they new ones came out. This is a quick and dirty post about the switch, mostly for those who might consider the switch.

Type of user I am: I am just a plain old computer user – I listen to some music on itunes, I email with Thunderbird, use Firefox web browser, download pdfs, watch some streaming video, and type on Microsoft Word. Simple stuff. No gaming. Nothing too fancy. Competent enough, but just enough to get done what I need to get done.

Main point: SO HAPPY WITH THE SWITCH from Windows based PC to Mac. I’ve since convinced my mom to do it and my sister did it on her own after a bad experience with Vista. My partner made the switch three months before me (also due to the hell that is Vista). Everyone is happier. My poor dad didn’t want to switch (understandably, as he is not exactly Mr. Technology), ordered a new computer, and is now stuck with an old clunky Dell computer with Vista. He doesn’t think it is that bad, but the rest of us dread using his computer for anything. It is like going back to the stone age.

Here is why I love the switch.

Computer boots up in about 10 or 20 seconds. Something fast. This is versus minutes (and then more and more minutes as it got older) with my Windows based PCs of which I had five before this Mac. It seems like a small thing but it is so nice for the computer to turn on and work. And, if you close the screen, it goes to sleep and then when you open it, it wakes up. My two previous PCs would never do this or stop doing it soon after I got them. They got confused and would not turn back on, or something would go wrong. I could never shut the cover/screen without turning the whole thing off. It was a hassle.

The computer always works. You turn it on. You do your thing. You turn it off. It just works. Things don’t have to “think” for a long time. They don’t lock up. My screen doesn’t go blank. And it doesn’t seem to me like invisible files are somehow accumulating somewhere that I will have to “clean up” and that slow my computer down. This makes me glad.

I love the integrated camera. Makes skyping so easy and fun.

I had five Windows based PCs before this Mac. Starting in 1997. Two desktops, three laptops. That is a lot of computers and I only replaced when everything got too slow and impossible and unstable that I had to switch. Granted, I use them a lot and lug them around with me everywhere, but if this baby lasts even five years, it is an improvement over my PCs which lasted three years if I was lucky. And they always got so hot. This computer does not get hot when I use it. That is nice.

What can I say. It is just cool. It looks cooler. It feels cooler. I like it.

These don’t seem like huge points, but they really are. You know, especially that the computer consistently works. That is a big one for me.

Slight Things I Don’t Love.

I don’t love the filing system. Maybe it is because I am not very computer literate or there is something I don’t know, but I don’t like how I can’t organize my files like I want and when I put a file in a folder and there is already a file of the same name, it doesn’t tell me the “last modified” date of both files so I know which one I want to keep and which one I want to delete. I just can’t figure out a good way to manage all my files like the explorer thing in Windows did – like where I can put them in order by date modified or date created or alphabetically. There is only the finder thing on my Mac which  doesn’t work nearly as well. But this is a small price to pay. (Quick edit: Is there anyone out there who knows what to do about this? Can’t I download some sort of better filing system?)

I don’t love the mousepad that is both the pad where you move your finger around AND you also click on the whole pad to click. Buttons were better. For one thing, it makes it hard for my dad and mother in law to use the computer because they absolutely cannot figure it out. But, again, small point. (Quick edit, of course you can use a peripheral mouse which might be a good idea anyway if you work at a desk).

I don’t like iphoto. This really refers to point one of what I don’t like because on my old computer I organized my pictures in my file folder system. I liked how that worked – files and folders along the left side, contents of folder on the right side. I could make them thumbnails or bigger pictures so I could see details.

And slight thing which really isn’t the fault of my Mac, but my family tree software doesn’t work on Mac. So I need to buy new family tree software and figure out how to use it on Mac. And import the old stuff from my other software. Which I doubt will be a smooth import. (Quick edit: Any family tree people out there who have good suggestions about family tree software?)

But, don’t let the minor points detract from the main point which is that I love the switch, love my Mac and will never go back to Windows.

And that is the summary.


Life With Baby

June 2, 2009

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Annie Dillard

I am trying not to be worried that my house will never be as clean as I want it. Crumbs are not poisonous. They are not specks of doubt flung around announcing my inability to manage my life.

I was telling my partner – I need to think in terms of sanitation..the house must not pose a health hazard – rather than trying to actually keep it clean. I can understand a bit more now where good old Betty Friedan was coming from.

My sweet angel wants to be held. Always. I am not of the cry it out school of parenting. Or the school that thinks you can spoil your baby. He needs what he needs. He need reassurance. He needs my arms and my breast and my heartbeat. Still adjusting to his life that is his own and not 100% woven together with mine. As I said in an earlier post: It is flattering, but exhausting.

Yet. I want to life a life that is about love and peace and gentleness and kindness. Maybe I am some sort of cliche, but these things actually have meaning for me – they are not words – but a life that I long for and believe in. And it cannot be lived if I am running around like a mad woman muttering about papers that are not written or sleep that is not had or crumbs that have not been dust-busted.

So, I try to lose myself in my mesmerization. Let myself feel it. The soft skin. The wonder of our boy. The way his eyebrows are just little fuzzes that I can rub against my cheek while he is sleeping on my shoulder. Just let him sleep on my shoulder rather than try to put him down in order to do something else.

The way his breath smells sweet. The magic of watching him learn how to giggle.

How we spend our days is how we spend our lives.

So I will do what I need to do – the work, the school, the cleaning, the errands – as I can. But when I cannot, I will smell his sweet baby breath. Sit and wait for the wild turkeys to come and get the corn we have put out for them.

Pray.

Breathe.

Cuddle.

And try to let go.