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Category — Friday Blog Roundup

490th Friday Blog Roundup

So I was about to start out this post by telling you that I was deleting Candy Crush from my mobile device. I’ve definitely slowed down in my playing. (I’m on level 421, so not making a lot of forward progress anymore.)  But moreover, I haven’t been able to have it sync with Facebook for a week or so.  This means that even if I pass a level on one device, it won’t update my progress anywhere else.  And I can’t send my friend tickets nor ask for people to send me tickets when I get to the end of an episode.

I looked online to see if anyone else was having this problem, and though I couldn’t find anyone else talking about it on Twitter, there were plenty of bulletin boards that spoke about this problem.  The two suggestions were logging into Facebook via the settings on the phone (vs. just downloading the app and signing in there) or deleting and reinstalling the app.

The first one was a no-go.  If you read the TOS and see what you are granting Facebook once you log in via your settings, you would revoke that privilege so quickly from them that Zuckerberg’s head would spin.  There is no game — not even Candy Crush — that would entice me to give Facebook that sort of access on my phone.

And the second one begged the question: if I was deleting the app, why would I reinstall it?  Why wouldn’t I just delete the app and go about the rest of my life, Candy Crush-free?

So I opened this post box to write the Roundup, and I paused to dramatically delete the app.  And then, like a junkie, I decided to reinstall just to see if it worked (and then I could always delete again).  It did.  It worked.  My device connected via Facebook, and took me back to where I had been on the map before the problem cropped up.

Deleting Candy Crush is like burning the bridge to a semi-dysfunctional friendship.  Yes, it would emotionally cocoon me to not have access ever again to the Crush.  But just as I sometimes like to get coffee with an old friend, not to rekindle the friendship back to a daily basis but to touch base with the past, I sort of like seeing that app on the phone, knowing I can sneak in a round or two before bed if I choose.  If I choose.  Because you no longer have a choke-hold on my life, King.com.  Well, you do.  But I pretend you don’t.

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YOU CAN GO TO HOGWARTS.

Esperanza told me about a LARP that fans created online where you can enroll in Hogwarts and take online classes.  It’s like University of Phoenix for the magical world.

Yes, I am enrolling.  Yes, I am going to complete all the course work.  Yes, I am going to talk about it incessantly.  Yes, the twins enrolled too which means, like Hermione, I need to help them with their homework.  Yes, I am going to neglect things like basic hygiene and eating in order to fit more Harry Potter in my life.

HOGWAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARTS!

Who is joining me?

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

  • Mday” (Because We’ll Figure it Out)

Okay, now my choices this week.

Inconceivable is at the start of a pregnancy, deep in the waiting zone from beta to beta as she tries to discern what her spotting means.  She pulls in a quote from the Princess Bride that so perfectly sums up the feeling that hangs over an infertile person’s head during pregnancy.  A perfect post, though I’m hoping that like the Dread Pirate Roberts, nothing comes of the threat.

Life as I Know It has a post about her seventh blogoversary.  While she’s started and given up on many things in life, she keeps coming back to her blog, year after year.  She says it best with this simple thought, “I blog because it frees me to just be and feel.”  Hells yeah, and happy blogoversary.

Anabegins also has a post about blogging. (You know I’m a sucker for blogging about blogging!  And the fact that she named it “Meta” made me swoon.)  It’s about finding the energy to do the hard work of writing when you aren’t forced to do the hard work of writing.  And all the things she gets out of blogging in return.

Lastly, Mona Darling has a post about never being too old to try something new.  To quote the teens these days, YOLO, and this blog post embraces that idea of not waiting or making excuses to take a risk.  She writes, “Why is 40 too old to change careers? Or, 45 in my case. Don’t you don’t deserve better from life then spending a majority of your day doing something you don’t enjoy?”  The post is a rallying cry for figuring out what you want to try, and then doing it.

The roundup to the Roundup: I fixed Candy Crush… crap.  I AM ENROLLING IN HOGWARTS!  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between April 11th and April 18th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

April 18, 2014   3 Comments

489th Friday Blog Roundup

Proving just how enormous and scattered the ALI blogosphere is, I had never heard of the Wiegands until they released the trailer for
American Blogger, though the wife of the filmmaker — Casey Wiegand — started her blog after her miscarriage.  The women in the film are all Casey’s friends from the blogosphere, but I don’t recognize any of them.

I am going to be completely mortified if one of you writes and tells me that you were in the film.  Actually, no wait, I’m not going to be mortified.  You’re bloggers.  I pay attention to your words, not what you look like.  Excluding the people I’ve already met, I can only identify a handful of you by sight if I bumped into you in the grocery store, and that’s with staring at your Facebook picture in my newsfeed.  Most people don’t look exactly like their picture anyway.

It works both ways: you likely wouldn’t be able to pick me out of a crowd.  I’ve only be recognized once.  And it was in an airport bathroom.  And it was only because the person had been reading Life from Scratch and had the book closed and facedown in her lap during the flight, so she was staring at my picture for awhile.  And then I was washing my hands in the same airport bathroom.  How trippy is that?

Do you guys know who is in this film?

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I have fallen deeply in love with Newman’s Own Cinnamon mints.  I’ll admit that I avoided buying them for years because the tin exclaims in bright red letters HOT.  And I wasn’t so into the idea of putting something in my mouth that visually proclaimed itself to be so spicy that it made tigers growl.  And then on a whim, I bought a box.  And ended up eating the whole thing in a few days.  And then purchasing two more boxes: one for the purse and one as a back-up.

They’re not that spicy.  They have a great taste of cinnamon.  They’re sort of like a red-hot without cringe-y ingredients like confectioner’s glaze (otherwise known as an excretion of the lac bug).  And they’re always now in my purse if you want one.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

An Engineer Becomes a Mom about releasing her anger.  It is an incredibly powerful post, and the author lets out a loud roar, especially to the people who make armchair judgments while her heart is in the middle of the fray.  “It’s hard to own up to this anger that as an adoptive parent.  We are supposed to say and do the right things, think child-centric, be compassionate to the parents, and sometimes to let ourselves get hurt during the process.  Because we do get hurt during the process.”  It’s a must-read.

A Half-Baked Life has a post about losing the house they were about to buy that reminded me of house hunting in the middle of treatments.  She draws her own analogy between miscarriages and buying a house, as well as pointing out the ways these two life experiences diverge.  It’s a great post, plus you get the villanelle “One Art” to boot.

Lastly, Silent Sorority has a post about the concept of “healing” and whether it’s an accurate term to ever use in regards to suffering.  She talks about a recent David Brooks piece, pointing out that “We’re reminded daily that it’s bad form to remain too long in a negative state. Society is uncomfortable — plain and simple — when the iconic happy face is not front and center.”  I absolutely love this line: “There’s nothing quite so dark as seeing yourself at your worst and then discovering your heart is blacker than you might have imagined.”

The roundup to the Roundup: Who is in American Blogger?  Love Newman’s Own Cinnamon mints.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between April 4th and April 11th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

April 11, 2014   10 Comments

488th Friday Blog Roundup

The ChickieNob has fallen in love with the British royal family.

Up until now, her affection has been entirely for US presidents.  She is freakishly knowledgeable about presidents, first ladies, first children, and first mothers (though, strangely enough, not first fathers).  Oh, and first family pets.  And the White House itself.  She can name every president by sight, rattle off a few facts about each one, tell you their administration’s major accomplishments, and give you a quote or two from one of their speeches.  I’m telling you, she’s a great party trick.

And then, a few weeks ago, just like that, stories about the Queen were suddenly in our home.  She started talking about the British royal family as if they were distant relatives on the family tree or characters in a particularly juicy book.  She affectionately gave her opinion on everyone from Queen Victoria to Kate Middleton.  And she followed on my heels while I tried to cook, telling me all about their various affairs and arranged marriages and wars.

We let her watch The Queen (she is fiercely protective of Diana) and The King’s Speech with us.  We’re looking for other great movies or documentaries you can recommend.  I think that Elizabeth is a little too racy for her.  (The King’s Speech is rated R, but it’s for language.  And language doesn’t really bother us.  We just don’t want mature themes or violence.)

Has anyone seen (and can give an opinion on) any of these films?  I know nothing about them:

Or really, recommend anything tied to the British royal family (at any point in time).

I’m sort of digging having the royal family verbally around.  They’ve really grown on me.

Ooooh, just wait until she branches out into prime ministers.

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So we decided to do a party for the twins’ birthday, and we’re going with a Minute to Win It theme.  Dozens of games which each take one minute to play with the kids divided into two teams.

It’s less work than their original idea, which was “The Spring Olympics” where they wanted to come up (and have me execute) eight “Olympic”-like games.  With a full medal ceremony at the end.  Uh… no, thank you.

This is a lot less work.  A lot less fuss.  Just make two cakes, grab a few props, rope in a few friends to help, and we’re good to go.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

No Words to Say It has a post about being a perfectionist and how that affected her during her struggle with infertility as well as the transition into adoptive parenting.  She writes so gorgeously about her connection with her child’s first parent, “I looked up at her, and suddenly, I knew that trying to look and sound perfect on the day that we met was ridiculous. I knew this because the eyes mine met in that moment were my own. There was no need to be perfect. There was just a need to be me. To be the best I could be for her. And her.”  The post is just beautiful and an important reminder.

In a very brief, mostly visual post, Mona Darling gives us a fantastic Eleanor Roosevelt quote.  One that maybe everyone should have posted somewhere prominently (and permanently) in their field of vision.

Edenland gives us a post to bookmark and read every time we get a nasty blog comment.  All of the stages are applicable to any angry encounter in the face-to-face world too.  It’s brilliant advice that will hopefully get you quickly to stage 5.

Lastly, I cannot resist sharing Two Adults, One Child follow-up Disney post.  Ooooh, I just love Disney, and all of the advice she’s giving is bookmarkable too.  It sounds like a lot has changed from the last time we were there, including the magic bands and the way they now do FastPass tickets.  So I read it now, but then I bookmarked it to save it for later because… Disney!

The roundup to the Roundup: Recommend movies about the royal family.  The party idea we ultimately decided to do.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between March 28th and April 4th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

April 4, 2014   18 Comments

487th Friday Blog Roundup

I have cold medicine brain, that overtired, slow-thinking feeling when your body hasn’t been able to sleep off the residual effects of Benadryl.  I slept enough, but my body doesn’t quite want to release Benadryl’s sweet grip.  So everything is moving somewhat slowly today.

I rarely get ill, but this winter, I’ve been sick at least four times.  I think it’s been five, but I’ve lost count.  So to be conservative, we’ll say four.  This is in addition to throwing out my back.  In other words, I’ve been a hot mess.

It feels like every time I get back up to speed in life, I get sick again.  Which makes me take a step back to tend to my watery eyes and sneezing nose.  Afterward, it takes days to get back up to speed with life and become productive (instead of playing catch-up).  And right when I hit that sweet spot where I feel like everything is back to normal, I get sick again and the cycle begins anew.

This has been the lost winter.  Between snow and illness and death and a host of other shittiness, very little has gotten accomplished.

I’m trying to be okay with the lack of forward movement.  To just sit in the reality of this winter, shrug, and think, “well, maybe spring will be different?”

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On the other hand, my Hay Day farm is chugging along.  I’m about to enter level 46.  Buy the soup kitchen.  I’ve opened up all my fishing holes.  My barn and silo can each hold 650 units.

It’s good to be productive somewhere.

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

Two community-created/led projects: The Infertility Voice is back up and running with a gorgeous new design and a lot of resources.  You can jump directly to the blog posts, but make sure you take some time to peruse all the links she’s compiled for everything from discount fertility drugs to premature ovarian failure.  And DI Dad is spearheading a very cool, frank discussion on donor conception.  In the vein of Postsecret, DI Dad is asking those in the donor conception community (donors, donor-conceived, and donor-assisted parents) to lay bare their thoughts on donor conception.  Those utilizing donor gametes should check it out.

Res Cogitatae has a post about the figurative ravens on her shoulder: anger and anxiety.  She writes, “That one says more than the other. It is larger, more demanding, harder to shut away. Anger is more prone to unexpected outbursts, croaks responses that lack proportion. Anxiety is softer but more insidious. It has spent more time with me.”  It is a gorgeous, gorgeous post, and Serenity’s comment is equally thought-provoking: “Fear is a misuse of imagination.”

Lastly, With Every Heartbeat has a post about loneliness; about how difficult it is to make friends with other women when all the various friend-making avenues are closed.  I love love love the end of this post.  Love it so much.

The roundup to the Roundup: I’m sick.  Again.  But my Hay Day farm is awesome.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between March 21st and March 28th) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

March 28, 2014   8 Comments

486th Friday Blog Roundup

The “Other” category on my iTunes account is back up to over 6 GB.  An Applecare technician was able to reduce it to a reasonable amount right before Christmas.  Unfortunately, she did this by giving me terrible advice that erased my phone completely, causing me to lose my contacts, calendar, and photos.  But… you know… the “Other” category was smaller afterward, so it was an overall win?

And then I synced my phone and it jumped to 2 GB.  I synced again and it was over 4 GB.  And today, I had to sync my phone, and now it’s over 6 GB.

I’ve tried all the suggestions I could find online: turning off the phone while it’s plugged into iTunes (this is supposed to reboot it?), deleting old messages, deleting the cache in Safari, deleting apps that I added recently.

Before I call Applecare again and risk losing what I’ve been able to reconstruct, does anyone know how to reduce the amount of space taken up by “Other” in the phone?  I’m assuming, by this point, that it’s corrupted files because the number jumps with each sync.  But how do I get those corrupted files off the phone?  Or maybe it isn’t corrupted files.  Has anyone else had a problem with the “Other” category on iTunes, and how did you reduce the size of that category?

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And now the blogs…

But first, second helpings of the posts that appeared in the open comment thread last week.  In order to read the description before clicking over, please return to the open thread:

Okay, now my choices this week.

I’m going to touch the third rail here and link to two posts that I think are important posts to read.  We will never move forward by sweeping our foibles under the rug.

A+ Effort has a post about positive adoption language, and the incident that happened on Facebook this week.  She explains, “Bottom line: language matters. We, the infertility community, KNOW THAT. We bristle at ‘just relax’ or ‘it’s God’s will.’ We spend a lot of energy educating those around us that we have a medical problem and that it’s unthinkably rude to suggest maybe we aren’t meant to be parents … The community of adoptive parents* has as strong of an interest in teaching people to use appropriate language about adoption…”  It’s a wonderful, respectful, thought-provoking post that points out that talking about difficult subjects doesn’t require perfection, but it does require the listener and the speaker to both be able to communicate openly with one another.

Additionally, From IF to When has decided to move to a new blog space, and also touches on the Facebook incident.  Her post shines light on the responsibility of a host.  If two guests started shouting at each other in your living room, you would jump into the fight and try to quell the hurt feelings.  You would maybe moderate the conversation between the two sides so they could come to a place of peace.  You wouldn’t stay in the kitchen, humming to yourself while you refilled the veggie dip bowl.  And the same goes for online gatherings.  When arguments bubble up, it is the host’s responsibility to address the tension: in another blog post, within the comment section, in individual emails, in a new thread.  There are plenty of options, but silence or saying that you don’t have time to monitor comments isn’t one of them when it comes to responsible hosting.  Or, silence/lack of monitoring is an option, but then the host needs to deal with the consequences of that silence.  In this case, the silence hurt the community, and as I stated above, the only way forward through hurt feelings is forward.  Yes, it may be upsetting to dredge up comfortable thoughts, but really, it weakens our community when we can’t speak openly with one another.  Ultimately, if people are willing to listen and respond, a lot of good can come from those tough conversations.

And now onto other topics.

A Greater Yes is moving from family building to family living in this post about being almost done (in 2015) with trying to conceive.  After being ensconced in this mindset for half of her life, she muses about how difficult it will be to stop thinking in terms of embryos and cycles after 16 years.  She writes, “Honestly, I don’t know how to be anyone but this one. Almost my entire adult life has revolved around trying to become a mother. And now to complete our family. Yet I look forward to letting this chapter close and just focus on the children that I do have. No more looking for embryos. No more saving money for treatments. No more comparing medication prices. Just living.”  It’s exciting and settling and scary, all at the same time.

Lastly, If You Don’t Stand for Something has a post about emerging from the long winter.  It’s been a hard period of time, and all of her energy has been going into getting through it. (Well, and her remaining energy is going to Girl Guides — thank you!)  I like this post because it’s a glimpse into someone else’s life, like looking through a window.

The roundup to the Roundup: Save me from the “Other” on my phone.  And lots of great posts to read.  So what did you find this week?  Please use a permalink to the blog post (written between March 14th and March 21st) and not the blog’s main url. Not understanding why I’m asking you what you found this week?  Read the original open thread post here.

March 21, 2014   15 Comments

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