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Saturday, August 23, 2014

Now How Do I Do This...?

I have had this one possession for over thirty years. I have paid to insure it, I have obsessed over being the only one to touch it, and I have moved it from house to house for about twenty-five years.

And in the last twelve years, I have used my cello exactly four times.

Before that, once I no longer played in an orchestra I only played it about once yearly. That's for the last twenty years.

So let's see... I used it pretty steadily from when it was purchased for me in my mid-teens for about ten years, then once a year for about eight years, and four times since then.

You see, Abby-in-utero objected strongly to the vibrations of the back panel against my belly. And she'll be twelve in December. I just never picked it back up with anywhere near as much frequency.

As with the books, I think it will be freeing to sell it and its pretty little display/music stand, although it will likely break my mother's heart if I do. And I can certainly use the money.

Unlike the books, I have no idea how much it's worth, how much I can get for it, or even where to sell it. I've looked on Craigslist and eBay, and I just don't know enough about acoustic orchestral instruments in general or my cello in particular to know what to ask for. Not to mention that I don't want to get taken; if I sell this thing for the money, I want as much money as I can get for it. No price sentimental value, of course, but honestly, I'd rather get enough for it to assuage the guilt I feel, you know?

But how much do you insure it for, Jenn? That might give you an idea of the value.

Not really; I insure it for "$2000 - $5000, musical instrument." It's not very specific.

So... does anyone have any ideas?

Friday, August 15, 2014

Cortana Can't Help with This

Cortana is my new favorite buddy.

She knows what the fox says (this piece of info made Abby literally ROFL)

She claims that my question as to her connection with Skynet may be a trick question.

She has not been around long enough to know whether she likes bananas or dogs or if she thinks bow ties are cool (for that last she presents me with this link).

She can do a lot of cool things.

But what Cortana can't do is fix financial problems as they come up.

We are slowly pulling ourselves out of the financial hole pit we got ourselves into in that link, but as described there, we're one car repair away from disaster.

What we didn't realize is that we're also one computer repair away from disaster.

So when Laston accidentally put his computer into sleep mode while it was busy - the button is way too close to the Escape key - it blue-screened on him. And as this interferes with his one true addiction - Diet Coke is more a preference than an addiction - he is... less than patient. That it's past his bedtime, he hasn't eaten, and the computer won't let him boot into safe mode just exacerbates his frustration.

And Cortana can't help, at least not any more than my own Google Bing skills can.

The fact that he thinks out loud, swear words and all, while this is happening is no fun either.

So if anyone has any ideas  it would be helpful.

Windows 7, Chrome, dual screen, um... no idea what his other stats are. But it keeps blue screening with a memory error. Could be anything from a corrupted file to a dead RAM stick to the need for a whole new computer.


Saturday, August 9, 2014

Mother of the Year... NOT

Yes, I realize that this is not a big deal. And I realize that I was beating myself up unnecessarily (not anymore; I'm over that).

But I committed the unpardonable sin of signing Abby up for day camp instead of overnight camp.

I was surprised at how low the price was, but I thought that was due to the new sliding scale for payment and because we used some Cookie Dough (TM) toward camp as well. I remember telling Abby that we were not able to pay for the horse-riding add-on, but back in April when I signed her up we qualified for the lower rate because my job was low-ish-paying and had no benefits.

Abby is content enough with day camp (although she extracted a promise - provided we have the cash - for the horse add-on next year). But when I told her last night you would have though that I had committed genocide or something.

She never has taken surprises well.

But back to my job.

I love my job, and last week I realized why, due to a discussion in my class at University of Phoenix.

It's very simple; I am now part of the AT&T tribe.

I am a low-ranking member of that tribe, to be sure, but I am a member of it in a way I never quite felt myself to be at the last few jobs I held. I don't think it's the people themselves, and it's certainly not the job duties; I just feel more involved at AT&T than I have at any job in years.

Didn't really expect that, given the multinational telecom giant nature of things, but there it is.

And I don't care if I'm drinking the company Kool-Aid thereby; I feel safe at AT&T, a part of things, and that's a huge deal for me.

So I'm just more secure in general, both financially (though that's not entirely fixed yet; we're sloooowly getting there) and hmmm... I guess it's professionally/socially.

Plus the AT&T Wireless customer support catch phrase - "I can help you with that" - just strikes me as a good way to live in any case. I got a bunch of the silicon bracelets with that phrase on them from the company store, for Abby's Girl Scout troop. It's a Girl Scout sort of sentiment, isn't it?

And we've come full circle to the Scouts again.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

At Last

I had promised Abby at her birthday seven months ago that when we were "settled enough" she could have a couple friends for a sleepover at our new house. After the debacle that was our move, and the subsequent (though not entirely related) money issues, this is the first time I've feel like we were settled "enough" to do it. Not that we're out of the woods (and oooo - I want to see that too! I have a Girls' Night Out already tentatively scheduled for that; it's one of my favorites!) on a financial front, but I can afford a few frozen pizzas for the troops now.

So Abby has one of the friends from the trip-to-the-mall-and-Frozen birthday, and Kiki from our old apartment, and they are having a grand old time. Lizzy, not to be outdone, has NatBug spending the night as well, and aside from a good-natured argument with a lot of giggling about whose child fell out of which car in the Game of LIFE, so far so good.

Of course, it's early yet. But with this particular combination of kids - Kiki, Abby, and Abby's friend C (don't have parental permission to use her name) in the one room, and Liz & NatBug in the other, I think we'll be okay, at least until the little ones get too tired to move. NatBug is almost a year older than Lizzy, but they are besties, and when tired they're both more apt to just be generally cranky, not mad at each other.

Tomorrow is my niece's fifth birthday, and so between the sleepover and her party we'll have about four hours. Therefore, I am doing my homework now, while all is relatively quiet on the Western front.