Crying

It is much easier to start crying than it is to finish.

Don’t Say Uhhhm

I am practicing a speech for a presentation on Surviving Multiple Personality Disorder. I made some note cards with large letters so I wouldn’t forget anything or be tempted to say

“….Uhhhm.”

I will also be speaking about child abuse in front of ………uhhhm….the same group of friends and neighbors. I have been thinking back to my class on public speaking, and I remember…….uhhhm….that you’re never supposed to say ….’Uhhhm.’

So now I realize how much I actually say uhhhm. Pretty much two or three times in ….uhhhm every sentence.

I am starting today to ….uhhhm try to quit saying uhhhm. It is going to be an ….uhhhm uphill battle.

Do you say uhhhm a lot?

Godly Wisdom

My daughter, Janine, has been known to speak wisdom since she was a teenager. Thankfully, those wild and crazy years have passed, and she has become an adult. She works as a nanny and one of her clients is a ten year old boy. He is handicapped and she helps him with his school work and other things that are difficult and keep him from attending public school. She seems to have a good relationship with James.

One day, while they were studying, James came up with a question that had nothing to do with their studies, but which is a question common to man.

“Why would anyone want to go to Hell?” Unless one went to seminary, this is a difficult question.

Janine thought about it a minute and this was her answer:

“People who don’t want to hang out with God when they’re alive, won’t hang out with God when they’re dead.”

I was amazed when she told me her answer. Seems wise, doesn’t it?

Reading ‘The Yard Gnome’

I wrote a very comical series called The Yard Gnome. I should not have divided it into parts because it made it too hard to read.

If you would like to read it, you have to go to my blog and start on the blog from May 24th, My Neighbor the Yard Gnome, which is the first section of the series. Then you would read the blog from May 26th, Yard Gnome II.  If your not laughing by that time, you can read the blog from May 27th, Yard Gnome III. I hope you can still laugh after all this confusion.

Sorry about that.  D.I.D. I do that? Nancy

A Dummie’s History of Computers

Believe it or not, I was born long before the first computers became available to the public. I totally lack any credentials for writing a blog on the history of computers, so I am only presenting the few facts I know to be true from experience. In other words, I am the dummie!

My first husband was an electrical engineer who graduated in 1964 from Carnegie-Mellon University. At that time, if a computer were mentioned in a conversation, most people understood it was at IBM, and had nothing to do with real life. However, my husband got a job at the university making circuit boards for their new computer, one of the first in Pittsburgh.

The computer was not a lap-top or a desktop. It took up almost the entire third floor of the new computer research building. I am saying this to explain that size mattered at that time, and the idea of a computer sitting on a desk would have drawn laughter. The computer used at least 50 huge 1’x 6’x 6’ high cabinets. These large metal cabinets held all the files and hardware for this computer, and took up the whole floor. When I see teenagers running around with internet capable cell phones I am still amazed. How did those computer cabinets get small enough to fit into these phones?

To make a program for a computer you needed three bachelor’s degrees, two master’s degrees and twelve PhD’s, so there were very few programmers. I am exaggerating, but then, as now, these people were considered the smartest of the smart, or as Apple calls them, geniuses. These are to be differentiated at all times from dummies.

One of my husband’s jobs was to solder circuit boards. The boards were about 3” by 6”. My husband soldered the wires to the board all day and when he came home at night he explained how the computer worked. One wire connected to either a 1 or a 0, depending on the voltage used. If the user asked the computer a simple question, the wires went through many boards connecting various ones and zeros until it arrived at the answer. A simple question might travel  through hundreds of wires and circuit boards. It was mind bloggleing.

“It sounds so simple, doesn’t it?” I ask.

“No it doesn’t,” another personality answers.

“Are you crazy?” a third personality chimes in.

“Who’s asking?” I wonder.

“I don’t know. Do you?”

P.S. Having checked out a few articles on computers from the Internet, I think the computer language I’m talking about is called binary, but the reader is cautioned not to speak of the information in this article in front of a professional or an educator for fear of looking a lot like a dummie. And remember, a dummie can be a computer user, but a computer user might be a genius.

God, the Ultimate Genius

My sister, Greta, is a born-again Christian and she loves the Lord. She also loves people and when a friend asked her to drive her to radiation treatment in Columbus, my sister agreed. Greta is very giving. Please don’t ask her for the shirt off her back, she’ll probably give it to you, leading to an embarrassing situation for all concerned. Anyway, we have a sweet friend, Holly, who has been battling cancer for about four years, and she asked Greta to drive her to Columbus. Greta did request, however, that they stop at the Apple Store in Columbus because Greta’s new I- phone was not working properly.

Holly’s appointment was for 1:45, but the ladies arrived at the Apple Store in plenty of time for Greta to explain her problem to a consultant. The consultants work at the GENIUS BAR, and are referred to as GENIUSES, and rightly so, since they seem to be a whole lot smarter than everyone else.

The problem with Greta’s phone was that it would not ring. When she received a call the phone merely vibrated, so my sister was missing a lot of calls. She has a two-story house and if she was downstairs, when the phone was on the second floor, she couldn’t hear the buzzing sound. She has a telemarketing business, so it was essential that the phone would ring. The Apple Store was her last resort in exchanging the phone.

Greta and Holly arrived at the store in plenty of time for Greta to pick out and exchange her phone. The consultant, excuse me, I mean the Genius, agreed she needed a new phone and within a few minutes she had one. The problem came when the geniuses tried to download her content from her old phone to the cloud on her new one. They started the download and the phone got the first few entries, but then it stopped and nothing happened. They tried again. The same thing happened.

Time was passing by and it was getting late. The Geniuses tried to download the content again. Greta was getting nervous. This was her last chance to get a new phone, because Apple doesn’t have a store in our town, and obviously traveling two hours to get to Columbus is not an easy option. Even so, the phone downloaded the first part of the content to the cloud and then sat still.

Greta decided to pray. She quietly and unobtrusively laid her hand on the phone and prayed:

“Dear God, you are the real Genius. You gave these people the knowledge to create this phone. You can do anything. Please make my content download, so I can take Holly to her appointment.” As she lifted her hand to look at the phone, the rest of her content began downloading and within minutes it was done. She silently thanked the Lord, who is the ULTIMATE GENIUS.

As Easy as Pie

I’ve been cogitating on the idiom “as easy as pie.” Apparently this phrase was first used by someone who was eating a piece of pie, not baking a pie, because baking a pie can be difficult and may involve tears.

As a young bride of 21, about a hundred years ago, I had to make breakfasts, lunches, dinners, do the food shopping and wash the dishes, and I didn’t have a clue. I had purposely avoided the kitchen at home because I didn’t like my mother. She always seemed to find fault with me.

I hadn’t been married long when I decided to make an apple pie. In those olden days, one had to make piecrust from scratch and anyone who has done this, knows it is a skill that needs carefully practiced. I started with a stick of soft margarine and some flour and salt. I happily mixed it all together expecting it to become dough. However, it didn’t become dough. It became a wet, gooey mess.

I started over with fresh ingredients, reading the recipe over several times to get it right. This time I got a bunch of crumbles that wouldn’t congeal without adding water, and when I did add it, the same thing happened. Then I cried.

I called my mother, but she wasn’t home. I called my girlfriend and she told me I needed several things I didn’t have. First I needed to use real butter, and I needed a pastry blender. I didn’t have one. I didn’t even know what they looked like. I cried some more. She said I could blend the shortening and the flour with a fork but I had to do it very easily in order to get a good crust. Apparently if you mash the ingredients together too hard, the dough gets tough, and the tough get doughy.

I actually tried to make the crusts again, using butter and a fork to blend it, but it still didn’t work. I cried long and hard after that.  If tears were used to moisten the crust mixture, I could have had the best pie ever made. I’m sure at some point I threw something to vent my anger, but I don’t remember what. What I do remember is the flour was all over everything, there were dirty forks, spoons and bowls and there was no pie.

Whoever said something was “as easy as pie,” has never tried to make a pie crust from scratch. Long live ready-made pie crusts. No tears necessary.

The Vat of Words

It takes a really long time to write a book.

When you start, you think you’ll just write down a few things about the subject, put them in an outline and write a chapter a week until you get it all down. But then, about a third of the way through the project you start to realize it’s going to be a lot harder to write this thing than you thought. At first your ideas were so simple and orderly, but suddenly there are conflicting ideas and many more possibilities than you first thought.

It’s like jumping into a big vat of words. You swim around in the words for awhile, but you don’t know how to get out. There’s only one thing to do: realize it’s going to take a really long time to write your book, and settle in for the long haul. You have to learn to swim in the big vat of words. You’re a writer.

For years your friends have been asking you if you finished your book, and the answer has always been no, because it takes a really long time to write a book.

Finally you begin to get to the end of your planned book. Just a few more chapters to go. However, when you start to tie up the loose ends, there are so many that it’s hard to sort them out. My question is this: how can a few more chapters take so long to write? Is it possible that the end of the book is harder to write than the beginning? Is it even possible to know when it’s done?

Well, I finally finished my first draft of my memoir. I feel like I have done something very special because I finished my book. I am finally coming up for air, climbing out of the big vat of words. Wow there’s life out there! There are people walking around doing things. Yes! I feel like I have accomplished a good thing. I’ve written a book. Whether or not anyone reads it is another story entirely. Or would that be another book?

 

Did You Celebrate Multiple Personality Day?

I am so embarrassed. I missed Multiple Personality Day, which was March 5th. I hope I have not lost any readers because of my memory lapse!

Did you celebrate? Are you a multiple or a single-minded individual? I’m sure many of you had great celebrations with cakes, gifts, and balloons, but what about those who are not multiples? We could call them indivisibles, with liberty and justice for all. I think that’s what we should call them.

My guess is that most multiples had no idea it was Multiple Personality Day. Most of us try so hard to appear normal that we forget everything else.

Some parts of me realized this special day was during March, but my overall presiding personality, Control, wanted confirmation in black and white. Unfortunately I was not able to find the information I wanted on the internet, but I did find a great video on multiple personality, which I presented in my last post.

Since I have mentioned Control, I will describe him/her/it. Control was created in the eighties, when I became a married middle-class woman living in a small university town. My third husband kept coaching me on how to raise my two daughters from previous marriages. No matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t seem to do it right.

“You have to be consistent,” he said. Well, if there’s anything a multiple can’t do, it’s be consistent. An untreated  multiple has little chance of being consistent. Some of us can’t remember what we did yesterday, much less what significant lesson we were trying to teach our children.

So I created Control, who has no feelings, no gender and no past. This personality was the perfect entity to run a complex household. He/she kept track of holidays (unlike Nancy), car pool schedules, grocery lists, Doctor’s appointments, church responsibilities, cleaning schedules, laundry and meal planning and execution. (I don’t actually execute my meals, I do cook them!)

Control handled all of the above without getting upset. Most of my other personalities can’t do that, because they get upset if there are too many details. They get overloaded and then, wham, they change into someone else!

So that is my excuse for forgetting Multiple Personality Day. I hope you were able to have a nice celebration anyway! Did anyone do anything special?

Angus T. Jones is a Whole Man

The teenage star who plays Jake on Two and a Half Men has proved that sometimes a half a man is more than a whole. Angus T. Jones debased the show yesterday in a video, calling it “filth.” I applaud the stand this young man has taken against the “crap” that is sometimes broadcast on television, not just the show he works with. Do you agree?

We stopped watching Two and a Half Men more than a year ago because of the “smutty” remarks and continual references to and portrayals of  sinful sexual activity. I am in complete agreement with Jones, in telling my friends, “Don’t watch it.”

I would also like to go on record that a show doesn’t need to put in dirty words every two minutes in order to keep an audience. There is a lot of funny material that has no reference to sex at all. I would like to see a lot less sex on TV, and definitely less reference to “private parts!” What do you think?

Are you an Oxy Moron?

Is the expression “just plain crazy” an oxymoron? I am nominating it, because people are either plain or they’re crazy. How can someone be both? If you’re crazy you will automatically do many things that show that you are not plain: such as stopping in the middle of the sidewalk or the mall and turning around quickly and going the other way. Plain people don’t do that. They continue on for a few feet, pretend to stop at a store window and then slowly meander back the way they came. In other words, they are just as insane as the crazy people, but they know how to cover it up.

Perhaps all plain people are crazy people who know how to “act” plain.

How about people who talk to themselves? The plain people only do that when they are at home by themselves, so no one can hear them. Crazy people do it whenever they feel like it. That way they can hash out any type of inner argument from any angle. I’m sure lawyers must do this a lot when they are preparing for a court case. At least I would. Or course, I’m not a lawyer, I’m a crazy person.

Actually I once learned that it is healthy to talk to yourself when you’re alone, because part of your brain is listening and figuring out if what you’re saying is true or not. How many of us believe that one?

Another sign of being crazy is sharing way too much personal information at the first meeting. A plain person waits until the second or third meeting and then blows their new friend away with a whooper. I believe the term is TMI, too much information.

How about the person behind you in the check out line who gets too close? Are they oxy morons or just plain crazy? I have learned several defenses against these people who are  breathing down my neck.

1. I turn slightly and stick my elbow out so they can only get as close as the end of my elbow. Ha!

2. Leaving my groceries where they are on the conveyer belt, I move up to the front of my cart and let them hover around the back. That’ll teach them.

3. If the just plain crazy person still comes up behind me I turn around and glare at them. If I had more courage I’d say something like “Back off lady.” (These boundary breakers are usually women, aren’t they?)

Actually I would never have the nerve to say that to anyone. They might hit me. Glaring is about as violent as I get, oxy morons or not.

The Multipologist

During my first ½ year of blogging about multiple personality I have made up several words that need attention from Webster’s wife Merriam and his daughter, Kory.

Multiple – a person who has more than one personality. The aforementioned person may or may not know about it. The psychiatric community diagnoses these unfortunates as having Dissociative Identity Disorder. They may consider themselves insane, crazy, deranged, a kook, or a nut case. In my case, I knew I was crazy from the age of four, but doctors of psychology didn’t find my “alters” until I was fifty. In other words, it is very hard to diagnose a multiple.

Deranged – A crazy person with no ability to think clearly. Blogger.

Derangement – Rearranging the furniture until one feels deranged and/or nauseated.

Multipology – The study of patients with multiple personality. One could possibly receive a degree in multipology, i.e. a BS in multipology (not a Bachelor of Science degree.)

Multipologist – One who feels apologetic about studying multiples, or is an expert in the field of multipology.

Multipoligamist – One who is married to a multiple or several multiples.

Weirdom – A state of being weird and unable to do anything but type.  May closely follow an episode of derangement. Seek professional help.

Lastly but not leastly, here is the dictionary definition: Multiple personality n (1901) an hysterical neurosis in which the personality becomes dissociated into two or more distinct but complex and socially and behaviorally integrated  parts each of which becomes dominant and controls behavior from time to time to the exclusion of the others.

I recently came across a blog I love. It is called Harmless Drudgery, and the writer, Kory Stamper, claims that she is seeing life from inside the dictionary, mainly because she works at Merriam-Webster. I can’t imagine a better job than being around words all day, except that, since we think in words, it might become difficult to think clearly after lunch. Perhaps Kory receives visitors on the job, and I could bring her my list of words.

The conversation could go something like this:

“Hi Kory, I’m Nancy and I made up some words for the dictionary.”

“I’m sorry, Nancy, but we can’t put words into the dictionary until they are commonly used.”

“They are commonly used. I use them all the time.”

“By commonly used, I mean a lot of people must use them in common conversation.”

“Maybe they do use them!”

“Maybe they don’t.”

“Well, I do, and I want them in the dictionary.”

“Too bad, until they come across my desk as being in common usage, Merriam-Webster doesn’t put them in the dictionary.”

“Well, humph! Do you happen to have the address for Funk and Wagnalls?” (I leave the office feeling somewhat deranged).

Who will replace the Lunatics?

Last week the US government made a decision to take the word “lunatic” out of all federal laws. I applaud this decision because as a representative of crazy people, it makes me uncomfortable to be called a lunatic. It comes from a very old word that originally referred to someone who is ruled by the phases of the moon. In later years the word meant someone who is wildly foolish, insane or commits an extravagant folly.

I think the lawmakers who came to the decision to leave the word ‘lunatic” out of legally binding law realized that we all are sometimes wildly foolish, we may be insane and we have all been guilty of committing extravagant follies. So that didn’t leave anyone to prosecute in case of wrong doing.

Mr. Webster defines the LUNATIC FRINGE as “members of a political or social movement espousing extreme, eccentric or fanatical views.” Doesn’t that describe most of our politicians and lawmakers today?

The question before the American public is this. What word will we use to replace “lunatic?” I have put forth several suggestions. Let me know which one you prefer.

MAD MEN – Unfortunately the TV series has given us a warped idea of what a mad man is, leaving it almost impossible to distinguish between “normal” and “mad.” The words MAD WOMEN are still applicable, and therefore females can still be considered crazy.

DERANGED – Having one’s brain de-arranged by others or by terrible circumstances.

OUT-TO-LUNCH – This term is not connected with eating at all, but refers to someone whose thinking is not clear. Their thinking is out of touch with reality, as in the sentence “the President is out-to-lunch.”

TURKEY – This is my best choice for a word to replace lunatic. Although some people may get confused or deranged enough to think that this refers to the bird cooked and eaten annually in November, it really refers to a stupid person. The person is stupid, not crazy. If the government takes my suggestion to heart and changes lunatic to turkey in all the laws, there will be a lot of arrests of real bird turkeys and a lot of confusion as to who is stupid and who is smart. Obviously, a smart person would need to make the arrest and incarcerate the turkeys. However, remember the old saying “It takes one to know one!”

This post is making me deranged, so I’m going to stop while I’m still sane, I think.  Who are all those men wearing white coats?

Held Captive by the Food Chain

The food chain is a description of the way different species survive on the earth by feeding on a food source from another plant, animal or organism. Grass grows by sucking the nutrients from the soil, cows eat grass, and people eat cows, and so the chain proceeds from microbes to elephants, each having its food source.

One could describe the food chain as a cycle of “I’m bigger, so I’ll eat you!”

Being of unsound mind I always envision a chain made of food when I hear this phrase. I imagine it is made of noodles and looks like the construction paper chains we made in grade school to decorate Christmas trees. There are many foods that would make good food chains: bagels, pretzels, cheerios, green and red pepper rings, hamburgers(with holes in them), over-the-hill carrots and my all time favorite, donuts! Can you imagine sitting down to watch TV with a long chain of donuts? YUM!

However, we must stand firm against being held captive by the food chain. We can eat microbes and bacteria if we want to. Arise America. Eat whatever you want, no matter where it is on the chain, or if it’s the chain itself.

P.S. I once tasted a popcorn chain that had been on my Christmas tree for a few weeks. UGH! BLAW!

Proper English for Elves

Finally the telecommunications industry has come up with a great new invention, caller announce. I am a big fan. I try to enjoy the evening hours relaxing with my husband, watching TV. A phone call, especially from a telemarketer, is a bothersome interruption. Instead of relaxing, I jump up and down answering the phone.

With caller announce, I can sit still and not move a muscle, pretending the phone is not ringing. A weird voice will eventually tell me whose calling. The only problem is that the voice doesn’t know how to speak English. Yesterday the phone rang, and I was told the call was from Ben T. Bone, and I almost didn’t answer. Who is Ben T-Bone? Finally, my curiosity got to me and when I did answer, it turned out to be my good friend, Betty Bond. Go figure!

The phone doesn’t know how to pronounce the language. To solve this problem, perhaps the manufacturers could buy Rosetta Stone to teach the phone proper pronunciation. Or perhaps the phone company could give a class on understanding the caller announce feature. This is a bad idea: we know they’ll charge umpteen dollars to take the class.

I believe the answer to this conundrum is in genetic engineering. We need to raise a few very small people, elves, to learn English and live inside our telephones to tell us who is calling. The phone would need to be a little bigger in order to have space for a tiny apartment. We’d probably need to have tiny plumbing installed too. The elves could go to a special school to learn proper pronunciation of the English language.

Just now, I received a call from Washington DC. The phone actually knows how to pronounce Washington, but, how can a city call you? Is there a big central telephone somewhere near the capital building that picks up phone numbers from the ether and mysteriously dials the number? Does that mean that some politician or political organization needs money or votes to continue messing up our lives? I didn’t answer.

I must confess, sitting down in the evening and not answering the phone gives me a feeling of power. I have the power to sit still and not talk to anyone, if that’s what I want. I am the Goddess of Silence, the Queen of Incommunicato, as I sit upon the Lounge of Lassitude. I’ll let the elves do it.

Previous Older Entries

Other Multiples

If you know someone with multiple personalities, please tell them about my blog. I would like to connect with them