Archive for March 2009

Google Alert quirk

Why would Google Alerts send me an alert about a year-old post on my own blog that I deleted weeks ago? Weird.

Google Alerts is a good way to find out which spam sites are stealing my content, but it's not like I can do anything about it once I find them. I've been using Google Alerts on my own name and the name of my blog for a long time-long enough to know nobody in the world is talking about me.

Do you use Google Alerts, and if so, for what purpose?
Monday, March 30, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

So about my hand...

So I hurt my hand on Friday, remember?Once again, I was paying attention to the kids and not where I was going and paid the price. This time we were on our way out, the kids excited about the promised Spring Break trip to the skating rink. They ran ahead, and I called out instructions as I closed the door behind me, and I stepped wrong, twisting my ankle. I put my hand out to catch myself on the stoop and  jammed my middle finger, I guess, on the step with all my weight on it. Something popped, actually several things popped, and I screamed. The pain was so great I was afraid to look at it, so great I forgot how to speak. I knew the kids would be worried, but I couldn't think of what to say.

Unlocking the door seemed an insurmountable challenge, but driving to the skating rink seemed doable for some reason. I didn't want to disappoint the kids, and I thought it wasn't as bad as I thought. I was wrong.

The swelling is almost gone, the bruises have started to fade, but I can see it's going to be weeks before I regain full function of my right hand. It gets tired fast, and the middle finger still isn't right. I can type with it as long as I go slowly and take many breaks, so maybe I can get back into my writing schedule now that the kids are back in school.

Thanks for the supportive comments. This is the last time you'll hear about the hand until I announce that it is completely healed.
Monday, March 23, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius


I feel like crap today, people. Among other, smaller aches, I hurt my right hand yesterday. I have a lot to say about it; however, my left hand alone can't keep up with my brain, so I'll just have to tell you all about it later. No, I haven't gone to the doctor, and yes, it's starting to look like maybe I should. I'm a wait and see kind of person, so I'll probably do that for a couple of days.

Not sure why I bothered pecking out this post. Guess I just wanted some sympathy. Go around with your dominant hand in your pocket for a while and you'll get an understanding.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Hot glue fixes everything that duct tape can't

I've mentioned my Dell Latitude's iffy power jack. Well, I was talking to Darcknyt about it last night, and he mentioned hot glue. I thought it couldn't hurt to try. I mean, if I mess up, hot glue is pretty easy to peel off after its cooled, yet it could take up the space inside the jack and thereby stabilize the cord. So this morning I smeared a little hot glue around the plug, slipped it into the jack, wiggled it till I got a connection and held it there for a couple of minutes till the glue cooled. After waiting a few more minutes for good measure, I picked up the laptop and moved it around, akin to the movement of my lap, and voila! I didn't lose connection once. Woo!

You may have noticed I moved my sidebars around, added some new links to my lengthy blogroll and cleaned up some dead links. If you are my friend and I removed your link, it's only because you never post. (Looking at you, Benti.) I added an RSS feed to some writing blogs that I like, and with 20 blogs to choose from, the feed randomly selects which posts to display. Those should refresh every day, maybe every time you refresh the page.

I also have a couple of new pages. (Page tabs are at the very top, above the header.) My "contact" list is so long with the various social networking sites that I decided to give those links their own page. Another page I added is dedicated to the various blog awards I've received, as well as the images people have made for me. They are dear to me and deserve a special place.

So click around and see what's new, and if there's any feature you enjoy on other blogs that I haven't included here, let me know and I'll check it out.
Thursday, March 19, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

The Oklahoma Aquarium

[gallery link="file"]

Friday we all took a day trip to the Oklahoma Aquarium. My camera didn't like the darkness, and my video camera didn't like the constant echoey background noise, but I got a few good pictures. That catfish up there in the first picture? My ten-year-old daughter christened him Mr. Kitty, and her whole body could have fit inside Mr. Kitty's space with plenty of room to spare. The creature in the bottom-center is called an Indian Mudskipper. He's a poster child for evolution. Wish I'd gotten a video of those fish in motion. Here's one that tells a little about them. The shark tunnel was the coolest. I do have some video of the sharks swimming over our heads, but it needs to be trimmed so I won't upload it today. Who am I kidding, if it's not today, it will be never.

I did pretty well, fragrance-wise. We got there early, so I didn't encounter many people at first, but as the afternoon went on more people showed up. Specifically, flowery, old-money ladies who'd have brought their pink poodles in if it were allowed. Those ladies smell worse than anyone, and soon I started to feel light-headed. Richard suggested I go lie down in the car while they watched the feedings. That was the only invitation to leave that I needed, so I went out and read Stephen King while they finished up.

The new car made it there and back with absolutely no problem, though a two-hour trip is about the longest I'd want to attempt. The car's just too small for comfort on a longer journey. But dangit, I'm not complaining. I still love the Saturn.
Sunday, March 15, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

See? Okies are cool.

I've been a bit obsessed with this song, "Still In the Dark" by Aranda. Finally googled Aranda, and guess what I found out?? Aranda is from Oklahoma! I know I seem a bit over-excited, but I love finding out that cool people came from right over there.

Since I prefer live performance to canned, I'll give you this video they made promoting KattFest, a local radio station's annual rock festival. I think the dark-haired guy sounds a little bit like Richard Marx, but obviously cooler. I think I just dated myself. Anyway, enjoy!

Saturday, March 14, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

New secret identity: Metallic Whiplash

[caption id="attachment_1085" align="aligncenter" width="223" caption="Metallic Whiplash"]Metallic Whiplash[/caption]

Make your own Superhero here.

Thursday, March 12, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

On tenacity

I've been thinking a lot about mistakes. Mistakes I've made and mistakes others have made with me. I forgive others' mistakes a lot easier than I forgive my own. I think a lot of us are that way, but one mistake I make over and over is believing that everyone is that way.

But that's not really the point. This isn't a woe-is-me post, nor a heavy reflection of my inner workings. It's just a fact: I don't give up on people, ever, except for myself. Embarrassment makes me back off. I go through a strange cycle of introversion and extroversion. Some days, when confronted with a new opportunity, I say, "What have I got to lose?" and dive in, head first. Sometimes I belly flop and come up laughing. Sometimes I go in without a splash. During my extrovert times, those are the two normal outcomes.

But then something changes. I'm diving in, having a wonderful time, and something will happen that I can't laugh off. Usually it has to do with me saying the wrong thing, some sheer dumb utterance that I can't take back, and it freezes me up. And I'll stay that way a while, frozen on the outside, burning on the inside, flogging myself, "Stupid, stupid stupid," until I get a little unexpected success that flips the switch the other way.

I said this wouldn't be a reflective post, didn't I? Sorry.

If I have a point in this rambling post, it's this: I don't want to let my mistakes shame me into quitting anymore.

I just threw my hat in the freelance writer ring, putting a profile on oDesk, and even answering my first interview request. (Haven't had the interview yet, though.) I'm bound to make a lot of mistakes, as I've never done this kind of thing before.

Thing is, I know I'm smart enough to do it. I'm an extremely hard worker. I have the skills necessary, and I want to put them to use. I have to allow myself the mistakes I will certainly make, and continue on, because I am at heart a very tenacious person when the knee-jerk embarrassment is not a factor. Stupidly tenacious, at times.

Maybe I'm finally ready to try freelancing because my need of a new laptop outweighs my fear this time. Wish me luck!
Monday, March 9, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Thoughts from the treadmill

  • I hate making breakfast. Why should the only chore I truly dislike be the first thing I have to do in the morning? When the youngest is about 8 I think I'll never cook/pour breakfast again. They can get their own rackin-frackin cereal, and I shall never eat breakfast again. I truly resent the breakfast thing.

  • I hate my laptop. I try to keep a good attitude (at least I have a laptop, etc.) but it's so annoying with its myriad of problems. Here, let me list them:

    1. The battery is only good for about ten minutes, yet..

    2. ...the power jack is so loose that I must remain absolutely still in order to keep it plugged in, even when it's sitting on a table. Hard to do when you're typing. This is something I fixed before.

    3. The hinges are so loose the screen falls down at the slightest movement. Also something I've fixed, several times.

    4. The little eraser mouse thingy drifts, so I disabled it, however...

    5. ...the pad thingy is alternately completely unresponsive and extremely sensitive, so I end up selecting and clicking things I don't mean to.

    6. The damn thing is slow as hell.

    It's hard to concentrate on the  book when I'm obsessively checking to make sure everything is placed just so. And yes, I've checked settings and upgraded software and defragged and replaced parts, and I think it's just time to admit it's too old. It's an old damn laptop.

  • My tummy hurts.

  • Thinking about my dream last night. I was working for a rich family I don't know in real life. They had been hit by a tornado, but instead of tearing down the old, ruined house, they'd simply built a new one on the other side of the barn. They were all living happily in this new house, with all their new things, but occasionally sent the house manager over to the old house to retrieve things. This time it was a large, pink teddy bear.The two main things I felt during this dream were the self-centered nature of the family, and sadness and confusion when confronted by this old house, ruined and abandoned. I was sad, yet I knew it was best for this family to forget the old house. It had been useful and was no longer, and even in the dream I understood I should adopt this attitude as well.There was more, but I think this is a pretty clear answer to a question I posed to the Universe yesterday.

  • I'm extremely grateful for my loyal friends. That's you.

Friday, March 6, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Now I know I'm not alone...

H/T Nathan Bransford for this article: Writing for a living: a joy or a chore?

Here's the description I identify with the most:

Hari Kunzru

Hari Kunzru I get great pleasure from writing, but not always, or even usually. Writing a novel is largely an exercise in psychological discipline – trying to balance your project on your chin while negotiating a minefield of depression and freak-out. Beginning is daunting; being in the middle makes you feel like Sisyphus; ending sometimes comes with the disappointment that this finite collection of words is all that remains of your infinitely rich idea. Along the way, there are the pitfalls of self-disgust, boredom, disorientation and a lingering sense of inadequacy, occasionally alternating with episodes of hysterical self-congratulation as you fleetingly believe you've nailed that particular sentence and are surely destined to join the ranks of the immortals, only to be confronted the next morning with an appalling farrago of clich├ęs that no sane human could read without vomiting. But when you're in the zone, spinning words like plates, there's a deep sense of satisfaction and, yes, enjoyment…

Now off to my torture chamber--ah, I mean, my office.
Thursday, March 5, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

Thoughts from the couch

  • I'm just going to start typing and see where I end up, 'kay?

  • I've been a lazy bum. No treadmill, no supplements, much junk food, very little writing. Buying a car and then driving said car on many shopping trips during PMS sucked my energy. I hope to get back on track (or at least the treadmill) tomorrow. But you know what? Walking just doesn't seem to change my body, never has. Maybe it's because I've always walked in my jobs, or chased kids all day, or whatever. I use those muscles already. When I get on the bike, now that is a workout. I could get a stationary bike, I guess, but I don't know if I could stay steady enough to read or type, and if I don't have those things I'd just quit after ten minutes anyway. I don't know.

  • The writing is becoming easier. Sometimes you wake up from a state you didn't even know you were in, and I'm not talking about Idaho. Sometimes you can look back and put a flavor on a previous segment of time, you can say that time in my life tasted like sad, dazed, frantic, joyful, etc. Well, looking back at the past year or so, I think my flavor was clenched. I was a big old bowl of grasping energy with milk, and I'm lactose intolerant. I don't know if I'm ready to totally unclench yet, that's the thing. I want to, but if I've learned anything about my personality it's that the more I fight for something, the more elusive it becomes. I feel like I'm relaxing my grip a little, and with relaxation comes ease, and with ease comes enjoyment, and with enjoyment comes ... well, for me with enjoyment comes guilt, but I'm working on that. I have to start somewhere. Somehow the point of the paragraph got lost, that when I think about writing now, I'm not paralyzed.

  • And for some reason, that makes me think of Twitter. I enjoy Twitter very much. It's a non-demanding way to have a conversation. If you want to follow me on Twitter, go here. I'm sort of stuck at 50 followers, which isn't a bad number, but I wouldn't mind some more.

  • Something has been thumping the outside of my house for a month, can't figure out what it is.

  • Today feels full of possibility.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius
Tag :

Honoring intuition

Well, folks, I did it. I bought the '97 Saturn I talked about in the last post. It's just big enough to seat two adults and three tiny-heiny children. I wrote the check Friday afternoon, and couldn't even look at it sitting in the driveway. What if I didn't do enough research? What if I look outside and all four tires have gone flat and the door has fallen off? What if my intuition failed me?

I finally drove it Saturday afternoon, expecting to crash at every lane change on the way to Wal-Mart, expecting the brakes to fail at every red light, expecting the engine to fall out when I hit 60 mph.

None of that happened. In fact, I fell in love a little more every moment. The car runs great. It stops like it's supposed to. All the accessories work, with the exception of the rear passenger window. It's cleaner than any 12-year-old car I've ever seen. Somebody took care of this car. I didn't think it was possible for me (me!) to have good luck with a car. I drove it many more times over the weekend, and now I'm comfortable that I got a good deal.

I mentioned getting a Carfax report on Twitter, and a Carfax employee contacted me and offered me a free report. I didn't see the offer until I'd already bought the car. I almost got took the free report but thought, nah, the point is moot now, and I want to honor my intuition. From the moment I saw the car I was drawn to it. I looked at all the other cars, even chose a second-favorite, but I just kept going back to this one. It was difficult to tell if the nerves surrounding the whole thing was my intuition, or if the initial draw to the car was. Knowing myself pretty well by now, I decided that the nerves were layered on after the initial attraction, and so I should honor that first feeling. I did the same thing with this house, and it has turned out to be just the right house for us.

Still, I wait for the hammer to fall. It seems that Murphy's Law ruled my life for so long that I still can't shake it, even though since I moved into this house, the planets align in my favor more often than not. So since I have confidence in my new car, I feel it's too good to be true. I wait for my new-found freedom to be snatched away when the old van breaks down and the hubby starts driving my car to work.

There's also an element of selfishness that I have to get used to. Yes, we needed a family car. Yes, I did all the work to buy the car. Yes, it is a totally modest used car. But I've maintained a certain level of self-denial for so long that I don't know how to just enjoy something that costs money. Heck, if I spend $10 on a pair of shoes I get the anxiety. I felt the same way when I got my much-needed washer and dryer, even though we got mismatched, dented models at a deep discount. There's no extravagance going on here. I just have to get used to it.

Sometimes things go my way, and it's usually when I honor my intuition.
Monday, March 2, 2009
Posted by Sherri Cornelius

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