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Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Freedom - almost - there's still Elcie

The girls arrived at school without incident and without forgetting anything. I got them settled with their belongings and watched one teacher carefully checking to make sure all possessions were labeled. (Ours were). If I missed anything, it's too late now. By now, they're probably tucked into their purple and royal blue sleeping bags giggling. Tomorrow will be their first "exploring" day. It's such a wonderful opportunity and I hope they love every second.

Andrea - I haven't made it to Yosemite yet - ridiculous when it's only 80 miles away. Maybe in the spring. The girls are all one up on me now.

When Elcie went, I waited until the buses left and had planned to this time. However, the girls were trying to have a good time with their classmates and I was putting a damper on the whole thing so I hugged them one last time and left. One of her classmates said to Rochelle, "boy, you sure are a huggy family". Yep, we sure are. Another year or so and they may be embarrassed but not yet and I'm taking advantage while I can.

Ray's lung specialist was worried about some weakness in the left arm so today he went to see a cardiologist. Good news - nothing wrong with his heart according to ekg and ultrasound. Bad news - may be a little angina so he now has a prescription for nitro. When he had surgery three years ago, he had a couple of small strokes while in hospital so when something unusual happens, we worry. Mollie, further to our conversation earlier, the small strokes were some weakness in his arm and considerable distortion of speech. He recovered from both except for some minor speech problems. I do most of his phoning for him but, in person, he's understandable. He's had several health problems over the last few years; none life threatening in themselves, but all debilitating. Good days, bad days, so-so days. It's hardest on him because he was so active and still wants to do things that physically he can't.

While he was at the doctor, I picked up Tim and we went to sign some legal papers for PFLAG to incorporate here. Second time around. Our treasurer had copied them double sided and the government wanted them single sided. Great - they can kill twice as many trees that way. One of the joys of dealing with the government. So, back to square one. We never did find the small print that said no front and back copies allowed. Ray still wasn't out so we headed for Long John Silvers next door to the doctor's office. Very convenient. Ray called just as we sat down and came over and joined us. Elcie had eaten so my evening became suddenly simple.

I don't hang out at doctors' offices with Ray. It makes him more uncomfortable, not less. He's more relaxed if I just go do something else. Took me a while to learn that one and then I had to pick it up from body language. He'd tell me I didn't need to stay and I'd insist, thinking he was just being polite. I bet one of my commenters here can relate to that.

Elcie is now sitting behind me clipping her toenails which may sound fairly mundane but for Elcie is an achievement. She's been dressing herself (except for shoes) much more as well. It's not quite like pulling on jeans with legs in casts but it's similar. It's a lot of work and she should be proud.

I don't know if any of you have been following the ongoing "room painting" post over on BB. I'm not sure why that would be controversial but it turned into a discussion on how much control parents should have over their kids' choices. It was a continuation of a discussion a couple of weeks ago about "out of control" kids which became an attack on parenting.

Anyhow, some of the comments on both posts bordered on nasty which led to another exchange on acceptable blogging behavior. This led me to wonder what acceptable blogging behavior is. I know I wouldn't have hung out at BB the way I did if the nastiness had become commonplace. If I want that, I'll head over to the political blogs. On the other hand, if I ask for opinions, I don't want to hear only from the people who agree with me. I learn nothing that way. People can support me as a parent or guardian by pointing out a different way of doing things. That's not attack. I think I recognize the difference.

I look at BB as a forum with many viewpoints, a variety of topics, a lot of humor, an opportunity for learning, and usually a lot of civility even when we're fiercely opposed. I'd like it to stay that way as much as possible. That's just me.

Since I have no real blogging experience, I'm wondering what my friends over here think. If one of the contributors to BB puts a topic out for discussion, does he or she leave him/herself wide open for attack? Should the contributor just "suck it up" and move on? Is she or he justified at feeling hurt? Asking once more, is there such a thing as a decent gender neutral pronoun? This he/she stuff is driving me nuts. Political correctness can border on the absurd. Is there such a thing as blog etiquette? I think there is and it varies widely from blog to blog.

Should I even be bringing this up here? Maybe. Am I a little thin skinned myself? Possibly. Just wondering what others may think.


Andrea said...

comments, grr,
I had trouble once but it seems to have passed.
Putting things out for disscussion and asking for opinions, fine great, people can comment. I say leave your opinion, wether positive or negative but nastiness in any form is never called for. If you need to be nasty you are no longer commenting you are being down right ignorant and rude.
People who leave those sorts of nasty comments are words that I dont want to say.

Worried said...

Amen, Andrea. Ann:
1). re:bureaucratic asininity. I rcd an official notice from a govt entity, on official paper and envelope, bearing the location, name and extension number of the official, regarding benefits to which I was entitled under the Pickle amendment.When I duly presented myself, everyone denied knowing such an official, professed ignorance of a Pickle amendment, etc. In searches thru the bureaucratic maze, no one knew anything.Competence and efficiency.
2).Parent vs. Kids. Haven't been on BB. When J. was a teener, she wanted her entire room done in black. My Self shrieked NO!! but my parent Self dictated that she begin decision making as part of her maturation process (begin to learn, with parental oversight).We effected a compromise: black woodwork, curtains, and accessories, new black and chocolate mix carpet, but walls remained white. In about 6 mos. she tired of it and wanted a more conventional decor. Stripping and repainting woodwork was not nearly as difficult as covering black walls. Her low pile, easy care carpet remained longer but she selected several bright scatter rugs to accent some places.
3). Viciousness in debate. A little satire ok in comments or posts. No personal attacks, especially derogatory or cruel personal remarks. In my opinion, the attacker disrespects himself as well as his victim, is rude, ill bred, uncivilized and renders debates unproductive.It obviates intelligent discussion and descends to a form of hate.
4). Political Correctness. Can carry absurdity to heights of sheer silliness at times. Neutral gender? Our language seemingly has no such word that I know of. What is a good word for cohabiting adults who are lovers but do not wish to be husband and wife?
5). Egads, Lady! You are involved in a veritable host of projects and activities!! And where do you find the energy, strength, and stamina??

Gawdessness said...

thin skinned? I don't think so. For me it is when things become nasty in a place I don't expect it too that throws me.
Like about painting a room.
Then I remember that there are people who will find or give offense in any possible situation. They are that way either by choice or because they can't help it or don't see it.
Or they respond before they have really thought about it.
I thought about this stuff a lot when I first started blogging.
It used to astonish me that people would put up a blog, open it to comments and then get really angry when someone posted something disagreeable or in disagreement. T I was also surprized that there were commentors who would go out of their way to be nasty.
So I have a sense of what I feel comfortable with on my blog and when I comment. I do think part of doing this is that I need to be able to suck it up sometimes and not others and to know when to tell the difference. If I actually achieve this, I will send out a press release. At the same time it is also reasonable to expect respect.
I have stopped reading blogs because of racist or just plain insensitive posts - after I have tried to open up dialogue and it doesn't seem to take.
Gender neutral isn't an issue for me at all. I do like having the him/he changed to her/she from time to time and I do like they and them. I don't worry about it too much though.

Cutting the toenails is a big deal. Miracles are actually when the smallest things suddenly become doable. How wonderful.

Hope Ray has no more medical troubles for a while. Sounds like he has had more than his fair share.

Sure the girls are enjoying their camping trip.

Take care, my butt is getting sore from sitting so I must move!

Angel said...

I think on a community blog like BB, you open yourself up for comments. After years of AOL, you have to learn to filter out the nutjobs who only have negative things to say. Thicker skin, if you will.

Now, my personal blog, I'm careful about what I post, and I will delete any comment that I find to be offensive (so far, just spam has needed to be deleted).

L. said...

Wow -- you really are taking care of everyone, aren`t you???

Going to BB is like visiting a public park -- you never know what rude nutjob might say something to piss you off (or what homeless person you`ll observe crapping in the bushes).

Personal blogs, though, are like going to someone`s house. You have an idea what you`ll encounter there.

When I need "gender neutral," I change the sentence to plural and use, "they." Better than nothing!

Jenorama said...

Well, I admit that I am biased, because I write for Blogging Baby (though not so much this week as others).

I admit that we do put some provocative things out there on purpose, and so we deserve what we get when we do that. On the other hand, it still hurts. It's hard to find things to blog about regarding parenting, families, children, five times a day, every single day. So, sometimes we just throw stuff out there, and then we get viciously attacked.

On the other hand, I have the power and ability to remove any comments I don't like. I don't do this often, but I have done it.

I would say that at the rate we are being paid (which is less than I would make at Taco Bell) per post, we probably don't deserve vicious attacks. But that's just me.

Mary P. said...

It's so hard for people to accept others' points of view, particularly on something emotionally loaded - like parenting or politics. Some people, though, go through life looking for ways to be offended, and refuse others their right to another opinion.

I've had very few negative comments on my blog, and when I have, I've responded respectfully. If they'd responded with hatefulness, I'd have deleted them. If they continue to disagree, but can do it civilly, that's fine.

A day or two ago I posted on the blog of a woman I truly admire. A previous commenter had had a few critical things to say, but I'd seen him (her?) as having some good points and being generally supportive, though missing the blogger's main point. Said as much.

I was blasted by a subsequent commenter (who I think had not read my lengthy comment in its entirety) for, essentially, not being partisan enough.

Sigh. Me and my see-both-sides mind. I just can't turn that off, you know? Nor would I want to.

Bottom line - as I say to my teens all the time - you can disagree with me, but you will do it respectfully.