I was thrilled to find a new wireless keyboard under the Christmas tree.
The old one was quite banged up, and it’s hard to type with no visible letters.
Drawing the letters on the blank keys was getting tiresome, and I’m too old to learn to type without looking.
Looks like I’ll be able to continue writing now that my technology has improved.
We’re furiously packing for NYC. Finn has planned an uplifting day on Monday– a visit to both the Holocaust Museum and the WTC Tribute Museum.
We need to see both of these, but that’s a lot of tragedy for one day. I think I’ll take them to Economy Candy afterwards.
Bill says watching me manage my blog is akin to witnessing dogs mating: there are shudders and misfires, yelping and awkward pauses, but in the end a post or a puppy is produced.
Although I’ve been blogging for more than two years, I was 37 when I started. HTML and Flickr have all been highly mysterious to me, and every week I struggle with something else that seems like it should be elementary, but it ends up taking me hours of playing with codes and applications to figure out. None of this comes naturally.
Perhaps those of us who are old enough to have witnessed the mind-blowing transition from rotary to push-button telephones blew the neural pathway that instantly grasps the most basic points of computer programming. (Heartbreakingly, my parents were not earl adopters of the new phone technology, despite my pleas that we were wasting more time than most people because we dialed of 9’s so often, which took forever.)
My latest challenge arose when I was trying to upload a tiny image from another website to mine and link it back to that same website. I do that all the time, but this time the site asked me to “upload the image and save it to my server” and not to link directly to the page itself.
But I’m not quite sure what “my server” is and a fair amount of googling didn’t help. I found other pages containing instructions for uploading graphics, but all seemed to assume that anyone capable of blinking could upload an image to her server.
By dinnertime, I had uploaded the image to my desktop and fiddled with it, looking for its code, with no success.
“I’ve uploaded a graphic to the desktop and I can’t find its HTML,” I complained to Bill as I grated Parmesan to sprinkle on our Linguini With Bacon and Roasted Red Pepper. “And I don’t know what ‘my server’ is. Is that my computer? Is that WordPress?”
Finn was pouring the milks for dinner, and I heard him mutter, “I thought I was the server around here,” but I ignored him.
“And even if I knew what my server was, I’d still be in a mell of a hess* because I can’t find the HTML for the picture. It’s making me insane,” I continued. “Can you call twinsanity and tell them dinner’s ready?”
Once we sat down, Bill was ready to address the issue.
“Have you vacuumed under your bitmap?” he asked, trying not to laugh. “Or you could try bleaching the jpeg.” He was spouting nonsense; he considers this type of talk foreplay.
“Ha ha,” I said. “You won’t be getting any until I figure this out.”
Three hours later, the kitchen was clean, laundry was running, the boys were asleep and I either figured out or finessed a way to create some code that ran the graphic off my site, but linked it to the other one.
I found the HTML: a big victory for a forty-year-old blogger making her way through the blogosphere one small step at a time.
* My mom used to say this in the days of shag carpets and rotary phones; no idea how it popped out of my mouth in the new millennium.
Two years ago in My Tiny Kingdom: Blender
Getting a compliment from a sixth-grader is the highest form of flattery, so I was thrilled when a close friend’s daughter asked me to talk about writing at her school’s Career Day. Although I’ve never given this type of talk to twelve-year-olds before, I’ve done it in front of several adult audiences, and I figured I would be a huge hit with the preteen crowd.
I like to make sure I have a large film screen set up so everyone can see the screen well. I demonstrate how comments work, and how clicking on the name in a comment will take you to that person’s blog. I show them the back side of the blog where all the coding is and that generally draws a big response and much undeserved respect for my limited coding skills.
It’s also a cool touch to show the audience your stat program at the beginning of the talk so they can see how many readers have checked in, and then look again at the end of the presentation so they can see how many people clicked on the site while they were listening.
I figured I had it made. Internet, cool coding, funny stories, winning personality– I’d be the Career Day Star.
Things didn’t go exactly as I had planned. First, I’d assumed that the other speakers would have boring jobs. A lawyer (I’ve tried to tell my boys what I do in that job and make it interesting and that’s a losing battle), an investment banker, an accountant with a head for numbers and a personality to match.
The NPR folks brought a microphone and Lord knows what else and let the kids stage a high-energy mayoral press conference. The pastry chef had mounds of fruit and melted chocolate and the students prepared chocolate-covered strawberries. The makeup consultant did a professional makeup application on one delighted sixth-grade girl, and handed samples of Chanel’s Chance perfume to everyone. Most thrillingly, the orthopedic surgeon showed clips of sports stars getting injured, then whipped out models of femurs and vertebrae and showed how he fixed the athletes. Blood, gore, sports– I never had a chance. Or a Chance.
Meanwhile, I was droning, “And after I’ve made sure I’ve used strong, vibrant words, I proofread again to take out all the extra commas that slow readers down.” Ugh.
It’s okay, really. I’d much rather concentrate on writing when I’m not practicing law. After all, I already spend a lot of time addressing blood and gore, though under less dramatic circumstances than the surgeon does. I interrogate my boys on a regular basis, so I have the art of the interview perfected at least as well as the talented folks at NPR. I’ve written plenty about my mad culinary skillz.
Next year I’m bringing sparklers and Pop Rocks for everyone!
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