A lovely treat

Tonight I got to hear my daughter sing. I know to some that may not sound like a big deal, but for me, it is. She usually pleads shyness whenever I ask her to sing. Whether I’m belting out music in the car or just bopping around the house, she gets all shy and reticent.

But apparently the key was having her boyfriend ask her to sing for him. He had been asking her to sing for him too and she was playing the shy card with him as well, I think. But when she ran out of present ideas for his birthday, she decided she’d relent and record herself singing one of her favourite tunes: Russian Lullaby.

She downloaded Audacity and taught herself how to use it to create three versions of herself singing the same lines and layering them so it sounded like she was singing in a round. It came out fantastic and not only am I proud of her for doing it but as a geeky editor, I’m proud of her for creating and editing the whole thing herself.

I don’t have a really good way to record it and share it so I jerry-rigged some mics and earphones together on my craptop to make this AudioBoo. yes, she gave me permission to post it. I think she’s pretty proud of it too 🙂

Listen!

Balancing act

I’m trying to balance being a good parent who lets their child leave the nest, and a starting-to-worry parent who hasn’t heard from her child in an unusual amount of time right now.

I know what you’ll say. “C’mon Steph, she’s all grown up now and probably just busy with her college life stuff. Cut her some slack.” Believe me, I want to. I try to encourage her in that direction after hearing she’s finding her downtime from classes to be a bit boring. I asked if there are any club she could join or activities she could either take part in or go and watch. I know she would like a part-time job and maybe she’s out hunting one up.

But not a day has gone by since she left that there aren’t at least 2 or 3 text messages throughout the day. maybe an email or two (to say gnight usually) and once a week a phone call. I don’t think that’s too much, do you? Am I tugging too hard on the strings? I try to let her contact me when she needs me and no matter how many times I want to text and just say hello or see how she’s doing, I stop myself and think that I need to let her be.

But as I’m writing this, I haven’t heard a peep out of her since her last facebook post last night. No email, she’s not answering my two texts and at first I reckoned she was just busy but as time passes the horrible things going through my mind are getting worse and now I just want to know how you other parents out there deal with this? How did parents deal with this before Facebook and Twitter and cell phones? Am I just TOO dependent on all this tech?

I expect a certain amount of ‘well if you weren’t a facebook-stalking mom, you wouldn’t be worried right now.’ And maybe that’s true. But while I don’t consider myself that extreme when it comes to keeping tabs on her (we have both talked about the level of connectivity we have online and what she’s comfy with and so far it’s not been an issue. I really do try to giver her her space.) I DO worry that the level of connection I do have with her is leading me to worry unnecessarily when goes out of touch for a while.

I’m sure she’s just fine.

Life

You may not know it from this blog, but I’m pretty active online. The problem is, I’m active in a bunch of different places, like Twitter, Facebook, Posterous, Audioboo, Twitvid, twitpic etcetera, etcetera.

(And shameless plug, but I’ve started a new website with my honey called Doodurls. What the hell is that? We thought it would be fun to collect the little things people doodle when they’re bored. We started it about a month ago, and in that time, so many people have sent us their doodles – and beautiful art – that we got noticed. We’ve been featured on TheNextWeb, Neatorama, College Humor, Entertainment Weekly, and we made it into the London Metro. Cool eh? It keeps us pretty busy.)

What I never seem to be able to do is find time to write here. So my quest is to find a way to incorporate all my various “lifestream” (I hate that term) stuff into this spot. Why is that important? It’s not. It’s just something I want to do. I’ll still post too, when I can. I have much to say about learning to live alone and watching my little girl make her first steps in the world. But until then, I want to corral as much as I can in one place.

In the mean time, might I suggest you check out the aforementioned awesome girl’s blog? Yesterday she gave blood for the first time ever, and she blogged the experience 🙂

The Next Phase

Today I helped my daughter move into her dorm room. She’s a college girl now. *sniffle* She’s been so excited, so nervous, and stressed and bouncy… It’s been amazing to watch her get her stuff together and plan and talk to her roommate-to-be and well, she’s just simply amazing.

Because I’m me, here’s some pix and video from today 🙂

Outside her dorm:

A tour of her room:

Trying to make her loft bed:

The fun happening at the weekend 🙂

Catching up

It occurs to me that I have been neglecting this blog. This blog that I have had since before Google owned Blogger. This blog that has been through so many changes, both cosmetic and in focus.

That’s just it though, I’ve never found a focus for this blog. It’s just been my catchall for my life. And that’s fine 🙂 But it does tend to get a little dusty around here from time to time. And then I come along feeling guilty and use it for a while, until I get distracted by other shiny things. Such is the lot in life for this blog. For those friends and family who faithfully still check to see if I’ve had anything new to add (I do still look at my stats, and I see you Aunty Jo 🙂 You rock) I will try to do a better job. But I can also be found here, here, and here.

Sooooo let’s see… DC was a rocking good time. I hope my tweets, pix and vids from the trip came through ok. I had fun “liveblogging” the trip, so to speak. And it was wonderful to hang out with my sister and brother-in-law. DC is a great town. Also? ‘West Wing’ is much cooler to watch when you know what all the buildings are.

Since we’ve been back we’ve been busy getting the kid ready for college and looking after the grandparents who, after their month-long incarceration in the hospital, aren’t getting around so well. So we’ve been taking care of their shopping and laundry, chores around the house and that sort of thing.

The kid is getting very excited for college to start. Move-in day is August 20th. Mental breakdown day for me will be on the long drive home by myself later that night. I think it will be fine and I am very excited for her to start this new part of her life. I do wish people would stop asking me how I’m going to ‘handle it.’ I know they mean well, but frankly I don’t know how I’ll handle it and I won’t know until she’s all moved into her dorm. Right now, I try not to think about it too much. I want her to move to the next phase of her life without worrying too much about how I’m going to handle it. I’m pretty tough. I’ll be fine. It’s the kid that should be the focus 🙂

It’s pretty cute actually. She’s combing through the dorm checklists and planning what to pack, what she can get from target after she moves in, what her roommate will bring vs. what she’ll be bringing, how to decorate… she bout a whiteboard and wrote out her entire list of things to pack and her class schedule on it 🙂 It’s adorable.

She also has until the 15th to clean the hell out of her horribly messy room. I have plans for it 😀 hehehe. Just kidding. Other than sticking her twin mattress back in there and a chair for the nice desk, I wasn’t going to do much apart from leave the door open for a change so the cat will have a new room to rule (the kidlet *never* lets Spooky in there for fear of never finding her again.)

So this will be a big month for her. I’m so proud of her and I hope college is going to be everything it should be for her.

What’s going on elsewhere? Let’s see, on top of sending her to college I just got told about the 2nd round of paycuts at work. This year I’ve taken a 9 1/2 percent paycut and I’m making just barely more than I did when I started at the paper five years ago this month. Nothing like working hard to get ahead and staying loyal to a company only to feel like you’re swimming against the stream.

My beloved laptop that I’ve had for just over a year just died this weekend. I’ve never had to take a computer to a repair shop before. Ever. Until now and I’m afraid of the repair cost. I wish I was more knowledgeable about the inner workings of laptops and PCs. Thank goodness for my iPod Touch because I simply don’t think I could function without being able to ‘check my stuff’ as I usually put it 🙂 Mostly I check Twitter and Facebook and end up playing solitaire most of the time, hehe. but my laptop is also my DVD player and I watch movies and stuff on it, so without that I’m at a bit of a loss. I’ve no idea what’s on telly anymore because I rarely have it on.

And I don’t mean that to sound pretentious and snobby. I used to watch tons of TV. I just somehow got away from doing that. It wasn’t a conscious decision or anything, it just sort of happened. If there’s something I want to watch, I DVR it or catch it online. Truth be told, I’d rather wait and watch TV shows and stuff when they’re out on DVD anyway.

Yeah okay, I’m rambling about nothing, which means time to wind this up. I will, as usual, try to keep this blog updated in a more timely fashion, but no promises 🙂

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Melia goes to Washington

This is for my family, friends and anyone else who might care to follow along as I head off to DC to celebrate my daughter’s 18th birthday, and see the city, and watch the fireworks on the Mall. I will be tweeting, twitpiccing and audiobooing. For those of you who don’t bother with Twitter or Facebook, you can just check here for the latest 🙂 Trip tweets etc begin Wednesday the 2nd. Also, Happy Birthday to my gorgeous 18 year old girl, July 3rd 🙂

For the latest Audioboos from DC, check the sidebar 🙂 ———————————>

Latest Tweets:

Latest Twitpics:

View the rest.

Latest Videos:

Also visit Minimelia.com to the kid’s tweets, Boos and pix 🙂

The Return of Ficly

Ficly (formerly “Ficlets”) is back – and better than ever.

I wouldn’t have used this description over a year ago, but Ficly is like Twitter for fiction writers. And like Twitter, there is great freedom in restraint.

A long time ago, I followed a link recommendation from Wil Wheaton, which brought me to the most wonderful, awesome site for writers I’ve ever known: Ficlets.com (I won’t link because that site is now dead.) Ficlets restricted your story to a mere 1,024 characters, or a few brief paragraphs.

Some of the things you could do with it included prequel or sequel any author’s story and hopefully get a chain of different authors adding to one story; issue writing challenges; write your own little series; comment/rate stories (leading to one of the most instructive, constructive feedback sites I’ve used); use creative commons pictures from Flickr as inspiration for a story; use quotes or starters as inspiration.

A lot of fun packed into a neat little site. Ficlets (and the nifty Flickr inspiration) helped me break through a problem I have always had whenever I tried to write a long story – namely, I could never write anything longer than a short story.  But Ficlets helped me create a story, with characters I fell in love with and storylines galore. and with the help of being able to write brief sequels, I found myself with a workable outline that eventually grew into what I hope will be a book in the near future: CherryPopMcGee.com.

So I have a deep love for Ficlets. Imagine my dismay when I learned it woul be closing down. For reasons I won’t go into, the creator of the site was made to shut it down. Oh we had warning and most of us were able to save our stories – our babies really – before the last day.

And then, one day, came the word that he was rebuilding it. That he was taking his time to make the improvements he couldn’t make before. That he and a core group of people, out of the kindness of their hearts and love for the community they had originally built, were going to bring it back.

And after a very long wait, this weekend Ficlets returned with a new name, Ficly, a beautiful makeover, and a crowd of voracious writers ready to make it what it once was. As of this writing, already over 600 Ficlies have been written. To me, that is phenomenal and worthy of a visit, if writing is your thing 🙂 I give it the highest of recommendations I can give it.