Body Dysmorphic Disorder is a mental illness wherein a person manifests excessive concern regarding a perceived defect in their physical features. I’ve known more than one person who suffered from this disorder.
People: Your magazine covers lie to you. Stop looking at them. Don’t buy into the manufactured, unachievable standard of beauty that they are selling.
As facial recognition software and photo retouching software gets more and more automatic, it’s all too easy for software that distorts and mangles an otherwise beautiful photograph of a beautiful person into a covergirl train wreck of a photo.
Case in Point:
So, Anyway, I returned Perfectly Clear for Android as soon as I realized that their ‘patented Beautify” mode was a shaming celebration of body dysmorphia. You are wrong, Athentech. This is not beauty.
*We were asked to take a look at Gaia’s Math Reference Book and note three things about it that we found interesting.
- Penguins on page one
- Red blood cells on page 19.
- 171 pages in total.
I could have, of course, written more.
Today was the first day. And I suspect there shall be a second.
As my delightful seven-year-old took on her first day as a mighty Lincoln Panda, I spent my first day as a writer at Epic Systems Corporation. I make pretty words about some of teh softwares. I use Microsoft Office. And Outlook. Oh, yes I use Outlook. Like a champ, I do.
And if the first day is any indicator of what the future holds, I’ll tell you this, my dearest, dearest darling, It’s going to be great. There are a million reasons why this is a great fit for me. A million.
Thank you to each and every one of you who has helped or will help my family during this difficult transition. We are blessed to be surrounded by some of the most thoughtful, caring, and generous people on Earth. You know who you are.
And if you have any leads on pet friendly housing rentals in Watertown, Wisconsin, please pass them to me.
I promise, there are stories to be told here. I’m just not quite ready to tell them. But it’s exciting times, friends. Exciting times.
When we brought Merm home we learned pretty quickly that he was something of a magical cat.
First, he wasn't the cat that the Humane Society said he was. He was clearly older, crabbier, and smarter. Somehow he'd wrangled his way into the holding area of a three-year old tabby, but we later learned that Merm was neither three. Nor a tabby. Nor ready for adoption.
His first vet check up revealed that he had a heart murmur and the vet said he could live 5 years or five weeks, but that the case of mites he'd picked up at the humane society wasn't helping.
We got him cleaned up and brought him home anyway. And he quickly became highly ranked among Gaia's best and most special friends.
He was named in honor of her cousin Kyra's cat "Nermal" but because of the comunication challenges between 3, 6, and 36 year olds, the cat was named "Mermal." and he was called "Merm" or "Mermriel" for short.
Merm, however, was not the familiar that Gaia was looking for. Merm was an old man. He was less interested in the cuddly, frenetic energy of a three-year-old companion and more interested in attending to his own comfort. And attend to his own comfort he did.
Gaia eventually found her familiar. And Merm settled into a role he was very happy to play: The Big, Comfortable kitty.
Which is not to say it was a one-way relationship. He was quite good at taking care of Jenifer when she was ill, and would sleep on the bed with Gaia when she needed extra companionship.
About two weeks ago he came downstairs full time. Merm almost never came downstairs. he was an upstairs cat. He took to laying in the sunshine and moving around the lower part of the house to keep tabs on us. He was tired of being alone, I think.
We wished him well last night as we went off to bed. he was beginning to look weary. We told him to make sure he was comfortable and that he didn't need to stay with us if he thought there was something better for him. He flipped his tail and sighed, but stayed on the floor of the guest bedroom.
When we we found him on Saturday Morning. He'd moved his tired old body in to the sunshine in the kitchen where he passed. Quietly. Comfortably. And from all indications, with neither fear nor distress.
He was a good friend. He was loved and he will be missed.
Gaia comes running into my office with a panic in her face.
“Dad,” she says in that serious voice she uses when she’s trying not to cry.
“Dad. I was reading. Like I’m supposed to.”
Yes, I say, trying to treat the interruption as a teaching opportunity and not a distraction. Yes. You were supposed to be reading. “What happened, honey?”
“I was reading to Don Doodle.”
A knot tightens in my gut. The three-and-a-half-pound chihuahua is very delicate and prone to injuries. Worse, he’s prone to reacting very dramatically to small injuries. When he goes to the vet for his shots he sometimes goes on a multi-day hunger strike.
“What happened?” I ask, trying to swallow down my emerging sense of panic.
She takes a deep breath and speaks, holding back tears: “I accidentally…” My gut churns. “…sneezed on him and now he’s got snot all over him.”
My gut releases. I smile and laugh.
So that’s why we are going to give Don Doodle a bath today.
Ten to Twelve.
My daughter sleeps.
It won't be long
'til alarm clock beeps.
In these few hours
of peaceful quiet,
she can escape
life's rot and riot.
Let tomorrow bring
a brighter day--
hurt melts away.
I want to fix it.
I want to keep
her safe from storms.
She just needs sleep.
I wrote this to someone with whom I may be getting into a business relationship.
I have a beautiful six-year old who is having the best summer of her life with her work-at-home dad, and an extremely tolerant wife who indulges me in my hobbies and business projects.
I decided I needed to share this post with you guys because it pretty much sums up what I've done so far this June.
Gaia and her little Dog are at home for the summer.
It hasn't been fun suddenly punted into the world of "funemployment." But it has been different. And I've had a great time watching Gaia figure out how to have the kind of summer I remember having as a kid.
I was, as many of you know, a teacher's son, so my brother and sister and I spent our summers hanging out at home, keeping ourselves busy, and just generally being subject to our father's whim.
He had some whims, too. Going to swim in the lake, running out for 25-cent McDonald's Softserve, picking up Friday night sliders at the American Legion Hamburger Stand in Lake Mills.
It was a good time. And I feel like Gaia is having one too. I would prefer that we were having a good time together in a less financially precarious situation, but I'll take my silver linings where I can get them, I guess.
I'm working. She's working. And it's all good. Could be better... but it's good.
I don't feel like I've lost my voice since my previous employer and I parted ways, although my post counts at Writelarge.com would indicate otherwise.
And that's ok.
See, the thing is: I've never been so busy. I've had projects and assignments and work to do. I've been hustling and meeting and going out and about. I'm cat sitting and sit catting and video-making and interviewing.
The truth is, it's non-stop working here. Non-stop. Like, never stopping. The Working. Just keeping the working going. Continuously. It's making it harder than it needs to be. Something needs to change.
Re-learning what work means.
I mentioned this to some friends at a meet-up I was at lately: Remember how I used to talk smack about how I was "done working for the day" at 9 a.m.? Maybe you remember me making jokes that implied I was a slacker, or suggested that I didn't work all that hard. You guys realize that was all an illusion, right? You guys realize that I was then (and am now) the kind of guy who works pretty much all the time, right? Because that's the honest truth. I might stop and have a pronounced coffee break at different points throughout the day, but I am almost certainly stopping as part of a general strategy of productivity.
And maybe I started to believe that I wasn't a hard worker. Maybe I didn't realize that when I was thinking about and making notes and observations relevant to work all the time, inside and outside of working hours, I was, in all actuality, working.
Because I have always done that. Time is hard to segregate out like that. Time is a big ball of wibbly-wobbly, timey-wimey stuff and all that. Some of it is working. Some of it is not working. Some if it is both. Some of it is neither.
Where do you draw the line?
Out side of the realm of the artificial boundaries of a nine-to-five, I am suddenly faced with a work-day that does not end and does not have boundaries between "Gabe time" and "Paid time." I don't know how you free-lancers do it. I feel guilty every time I sit down to play a game. I feel self-indulgant every time I fire up a text editor to write my own things. I feel silly for spending any un-productive time fiddling with software or bits or tweaking out an operating system preference.
That being said, it was good to face a real weekend here. My child's annual dance recital weekend is capped with the observance of "Father's Day," so I was able to spend some time on the couch with the child and my lady and enjoy some quality time in Hyrule. It was good, and fulfilling. And pleasant. And nice. And now it's time to get back to work.
Monday is always and forever Monday, right? It's back on another non-stop workday right? It's frustrating and stressful. I'm up for it, though. And my family's certainly worth it. But I have learned something from this current situation: I do not give myself enough credit for being a hard worker.
Maybe this post is a little self-serving. I hope you can learn from my troubles, internet. I am re-learning how to work. It's like learning how to walk, I guess. I keep falling down. But I get up again. Never going to keep me down. The only other choice is to just lay there.
And I see now, more than ever, what a dangerous approach that would be.
Every melon tells a story.
Was it plucked from the vine too soon? Or left to linger too long in the weeds? Does it carry the battle scars of youth into its plump old age or is its wizened skin pocked with fresh victories?
Our job, as those who carve the melon, is to slice away those scars. With each stroke of our knife we carve away another distortion, another half-truth, another falsehood from the melon’s purest essence, which awaits us at the fruit’s core. There, in fleshy pink, is the melon’s central core; the truth of its melonness.
It survives there not in defiance of its stories, but in celebration of them.
This is why we carve, my child. This is why we carve.
The Nintendo 3DS has this feature where it can merge the faces of two people who are standing in front of each other. It’s a little strange and finicky, but it works sometimes, and the end results are… weird.
Like this picture of Gaia and her cousin Kyra merged, that looks a good deal like Kyra at age three or four.
I think that there is something really space-age about a pocket computer with three cameras that can combine multiple images to make composite image of pair of faces. I have been really impressed with the 3DS, as a Nintendo game system and fun toy for a six year old, it’s a really great experience.
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