Tied up and Twisted

So, in my house, the people that sell us our telephone line also sell us the cell phone package and the cable TV we use.
Nearby, at the corner near the freeway, there is a gas station. It has an automatic car wash. A lot of the time when I buy gas there, I also wash my car.
The first example, the phone company calls it a bundle. The gas station doesn’t call it a bundle, but it kind of is. I used to only go to that gas station when I wanted my car washed. But now, because I have tried it a few times, I will go there just for gas. In fact, honestly, I go there for gas more than I do for the car wash.
Here’s something I’ve noticed about bundling. It’s worth thinking about. What is the nature of the things we consider groups?
For instance, I bundle cream and sugar with my coffee.
When it comes to my cable TV, cell phone and home telephone, I don’t have to bundle it. I could buy it all separately.
At this moment in time, I have bundled waking up with checking my phone. I don’t have to check my phone. I could do something else.
Taking a second look at the way I do things, I can see if there might be another way.
There are a lot of things that didn’t used to be bundled but now are. 20 years ago, no one would have checked their phone when they first work up. But our phones got all tangled in other things.
The smart phone was invented. And it got so smart, the phone part was the least of it.
So with the other habits I’ve developed, maybe I could unbundle some stuff.
It used to be that publishing a book was bundled with finding an agent and getting a publisher. Well, that’s unbundled. You can do it yourself using the platforms developed by other people.
There are so many possibilities now. I’m wondering what things I’ve assumed are one unit that are ready to be unbundled. What barriers have I assumed my whole life, but when I take a closer look, they aren’t even there anymore? There are far more ways to redefine my life if I let myself see it.
I am still considering dropping cable TV.

Books I read in 2016

Amazon makes a list of all the ones I read on Kindle. I read most books on Kindle. There were a few.

IT”S FUN TO REMEMBER BOOKS! my old friends. Here they are:

The Slow Regard of Silent Things (The Kingkiller Chronicle)
The future belongs to those who dare (Not finished)
Behind Barbed Eyes
The Anglo Saxon Chronicles (not finished)
The God of small things (not finished)
Constitution of Lberty (not finished)
Celestina (not finished)
I am Malala
The Bands of Mourning
State of Wonder
Digital ABCs for Baby
Ask (not finished)
The Signature of all things
The Glass Magician
The Paper Magician
Shadows of Self
The Allow of Law
Pieces like Pottery
Schiit Happened (not finished)
Hunger Games Trilogy
The Magical Art of Tidying up
Hmm…What else? I think I had a few p-books. But I don’t have time to remember them all.

Homework and phones

People talk about how school children interact with their phones. I love my phone, and I really need it to keep me from going crazy. i tell you, if I hadn’t hd things to listen to when Veronica was a newborn I don’t know how I woul dhave survived.

But now there is a new form of crushing boredom.


The homework Veronica takes home from second grade is not possible for her to do alone. It required a HUGE amount of help from me.

Also, as the mom, I get to recieve a lot of pushback that a teacher would not have to tolerate.

We have a new way of pracicing her spelling words. I have her spell the word out loud, correcting any error by speaking, and then she writes it down.

This gives her a little more practice in writing too, which is really needed.

But it’s soul crushingly boring. For both of us.

I have to resist checking my phone for stuff to think about. THERE IS NO BREAK. She fights me every step and at any second there will be something I need to correct.

SHe would love to be watching Youtube as well.

But I actually CAN read texts while she is spelling a word. But I can’t be distracted by it. The words keept coming.

New Old

In the current model of parenting, schools rely heavily on parents handling the homework. I do not remember my parents helping me this much. Maybe my older brothers did. But my daughter’s schoolwork is almost impossible to complete without parental help.

And second grade has a lot of homework. Even Christmas vacation has special homework: a family history project. She is supposed to write out 3 pages, using primary and secondary sources of information about her family. One page must be a map.

The standards are pretty high for a second grader. Primary and secondary sources? really? yet again parental intervention is required.

But this is a special problem for me. I can’t do it for her…I have to coach her into creating the project that will meet the requirements.

So I ask, what is the most interesting thing about your family?

“I think the most interesting thing about my family is that I have four uncles.”

She answers in complete sentences. Just like that.

Uncles. So I check with the teachers if uncles are okay, yes they are.

So now I set up the video calls.

Veronica and I actually worked out a few questions that would follow the spec. She will ask them about what it was like for them in second grade.

When she talked with my oldest brother, she asked what she had asked the rest, “What school did you go to for second grade?”

He didn’t quite remember. He and I reviewed our remembered family history and named three schools before finally remembering the right one.

And then it came up that he’d skipped 3rd grade.

I never knew that.

I told him I’d skipped 8th grade.

He never knew that.

There’s a theme song for new years- Auld Lang Syne. It says: “Should old acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind…”

Well, maybe there’s a lot of old acquaintance we never knew to even forget. And also, maybe there are new things that our old acquaintances have matured into.

There’s new stuff happening even in the old stuff.