Thursday, September 15, 2011

Technology Paranoia

You know whats weird? We now have a friend who has the same first name as my Husband. Every time I call or text my husband I check the number about 15 times before hitting 'send' because I am just certain someday I will be careless and hit the first Zach I see in my phone and embarrass myself. Not that I send incriminating texts or voice mails on a regular basis... but a "Hey Babe, I love you!" sent to the wrong person would still be a little awkward.
But then, I have always been extra paranoid about that kind of thing. Since the very first day I had an email account (we had dial-up Juno on our family desktop-- anyone remember juno???) I always kinda worried that maybe my emails weren't going to who they were supposed to. Even today, I always check and double check my addresses several times-- even if the email is not of a personal nature. I am terrified when I do send something of a more personal nature and often will check my 'sent' box several times just to make sure I didn't hit 'reply all' or something.
And again, it's not that I am sending nasty or incriminating emails out... I just... wonder how my thoughts and info in the wrong hands might be perceived?
When I am out with friends, or even just having conversations with my husband, I frequently check my phone to make sure I haven't pocket-dialed someone who is getting an earful. This has happened to my dad several times (and got him in big trouble with mom when he was commenting on her cooking... oops!) and actually happened to me when I, unbeknownst to me, announced my pregnancy on my cousin's voicemail through an over heard conversation with my husband... via pocket dial. Oops.
Not that I spend a lot of my time secretly plotting things, or bad mouthing friends... but everyone has personal stuff that they discuss with their spouse or close friends they'd rather not the whole world hear, right?
And so this world of technology at our fingertips (or pocket tips?) and all the simple but disastrous ways things could go wrong has me double checking like a paranoid freak on a regular basis. Just to make sure...
Am I the only one who does that?

Monday, September 12, 2011


We had two cars 'in the shop' last week. That's always a bummer. Shuffling cars and rides about and trying to get everyone where they are supposed to be is a pain. But not as painful as the repair bill when you get the cars back. I mean, we are totally grateful for our good friend, and honest mechanic who saves us a buttload of money on car repairs... but even still car repairs always produce cringe-worthy bills at inopportune times.
Times like last week, when we had just been on vacation, paychecks were smaller than usual, and rent was due. Yikes.
I felt like last week we were holding our breath financially-- trying to squeak by without spending any money on anything so we wouldn't have to pull from savings to pay for the car repairs. (I HATE pulling money from savings for any reason. I know that's why you have 'emergency' savings-- for emergencies like cars, but I still hate using it because it goes so darn fast.)
Anyway, we made it through the week, and when our paychecks hit the bank on Friday we went to the grocery store, filled our cars with gas, and paid our rent real-quick-like. And it felt like a sigh of relief. We went about our weekend in a normal manner, made no large purchases, but the normal trip to walmart to pick up some cleaning supplies, and a lunch at chipotle on Saturday afternoon.
I checked our bank account this morning online (as I do fairly regularly), did some quick calculations in my head, and sucked in a quick breath as I realized after the student loans due to pay this week, our bank account would be nearing that dreaded round number again by the end of the week.
I guess it is going to take us a little longer to financially recover from those car repairs than I had hoped. By the end of the month we should have that happy little 'cushion' in the bottom of our account again... you know the one that makes me feel all comfy and less anxious? But even still, I know that I need to find new ways to define 'comfort' and 'security'. Ways that don't involve dollar signs, nagging my husband about his 'lunch money', and stressing about our financial and work situation once Baby P arrives.
So I guess for me, TRUE recovery is going to take a bit more than waiting a few weeks for things to spring back in our favor. Sigh...

Thursday, September 8, 2011

The Name Game: You could win an all expense paid Guilt Trip!

Yes, we have selected a name for our child.
No, we will not share with you what it is until he is born.
Stop pouting. It's unattractive, and will get you no where. We understand you think this is annoying and selfish. You are welcome to that opinion.
We decided not to tell you our kid's name yet because-- listen closely, now...
For real. We really don't.
And I don't say this to be confrontational or rude. There are some things we might desire your input and opinion on, in which case we will ask you. Naming our child is not one of those things.
You see, when you start throwing names out there that you are considering... then other people feel like they have a right to comment...
"Oh, that was my grandfathers name!"
"Oh, I knew a kid with that name I just couldn't stand..."
"I have heard 16 other kids with that name in the last month, wow."
"Eh... I don't know if I like that as well as _____"
Um, yeah... don't care about your grandfather/uncle/teacher/niece/barber who had the same name-- even if you think they are a great person. Don't care that you have bad connotations relating to someone else's kid. Don't care to know how many other people you know who have the name. Don't care if you think it 'works' or 'flows' or isn't as lovely a name as 'Jimmy'.
The reason we pick names is because we like them. We have good memories or connotations of people with the same or similar names. We think it 'works'. Sooo... your comments are not necessary.
I was talking with a friend of the family the other day who was trying to pry the name out of me, and then she started guessing... "Oh, I bet you will name him after your dad. I just can't see any reason why you wouldn't name him after your Dad. I mean, I haven't said anything to your dad just in case you don't, but I will fall off my chair if that baby doesn't have your dad's name."
Yeah, so... what if I am not naming my kid after my dad? What if I want to name him after his own dad or the paternal grandfather, or Z's buddy who died in Iraq, or any number of other special influential people in our lives? What if we are not the kind of people who want to name our kid for someone else? Then what?
Then she just put on a big ol' guilt trip about naming our kid, and stuck her big ol' foot in her mouth, now didn't she?
And yeah, we have the perfect name all picked out-- but what if we change our mind at the very last minute? Then would we have to poll the public for all ya'lls opinions again before we could settle on something? Gosh, I should hope not. The kid would just have to be called BABY for the first couple months of his life. That's silly.
No, my friends. We are keeping this to ourselves. It's a personal, though well thought out decision between just the two of us... And Z and I feel confident you will love the name as much as you love our little bundle as soon as he makes his appearance.
We get it. You are excited.
We are excited, too.
You want to feel involved and important.
And we want you to be involved in Baby P's life.
Just not his name game.
But for real, we are really excited to share the name with you. All of you. As soon as he gets here. 
Until then... should the urge strike you... please refer to the large bold type near the top of this post.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Back Seat Granny Driver

It's no secret: I drive like an old lady. I know it. I've dealt with it. I embrace it.
I have certain physical limitations that have forced me to make adaptations when I am driving... mainly the fact that I have very VERY poor depth perception makes driving difficult. Driving at night is nearly impossible for me. But I know my limitations, and becuase of this, I drive 'slow' (never more than the speed limit) and allow myself 'extra space' (when parking, following, or merging... whatever) Slower speeds and more space offer me more reaction time, therefore make me a safer drivier despite my physical limitations... but it also means sometimes I drive slower than the people I share the road with... or even the people I share a vehicle with.
At the risk of really sounding like an old lady fuddy-duddy... I want you to know that I do not drive over the speed limit. And I don't really like riding in vehicles where the driver does. I know, I know... You are sitting there thinking, well, I only drive 5-10 miles over, and they are not going to give you a ticket for that and I am a safe driver, so it's fine. And perhaps you are an excellent driver... But Joe-Schmo driving next to you on the interstate is not. And when Joe-Schmo makes a bad decision that threatens your safety that 10 mph over the speed you should be driving has just drastically reduced the time you would have to react to Joe cutting you off or slamming on his brakes... etc. Besides, 5-10 miles over the speed limit is only REALLY going to shave a matter of seconds off of your arrival time, though it increases your risk of accident and/or injury exponentially. To me... not really worth it.
So when I am driving, I don't get in a hurry. I make it a habit to allow myself plenty of time to get to my destination so 'hurrying' is not a temptation, and I stay as calm and focused as possible while driving.

Anyway, I am thinking about all this becuase the other day I was in a vehicle with a family member who was driving in such a way that I felt unsafe and uncomfortable. There was a small case of road rage in which the driver of the vehicle decided to tail another driver at a greatly increased rate of speed (in excess of 15 mph over the posted speed limit) on a two lane highway. There was little shoulder on either side of the road, and little room for error. I was exceptionally nervous.
It's pretty universally understood that no one really appreciates a back seat driver. So I closed my eyes and gripped the door and prayed that nothing drastic would happen. We arrived safely. But it kinda made me wonder. When, if ever, is it appropriate to comment on someone else's driving?
Is there ever a time when it is appropriate for someone beside the driver to make a call on how fast someone should be driving for the the situation, road condition, safety of others in the car, etc.?
Is there a time when it is appropriate to say to a driver, your actions or attitude are impairing your ability to drive, you need to cool down/focus or allow someone else to take over? (And I am not talking about someone who has been drinking, lets all just agree that you would never let them begin to drive... but I have told my husband before not to eat, or flip through his CD's while driving... my sister is the queen of texting while driving--which scares me to death... or the case the other day with the road rage impairing the driver's judgement...) At this point should you as a passenger say-- for the safety of myself and others, you need to slow down/cool down/ take a break/put the phone down...
Do you accept their driving and judgement when you get in the car with them and respect their space and keep your mouth shut?
What do you think? Is there a line there? Where would you draw it?