Friday, September 19, 2014

Learned Helplessness

At work, you have to pay to park your car.

You have to pay to park your car, even though the place you park your car is nowhere near your actual office.

Still: Forced Daily Walk!

You have to swipe to get into the garage.  Which make sense.  Clearly, if we are all paying for the privilege to park here then we must protect these spots.

But what made less sense to me was that you also have to swipe your badge to get OUT of the lot.  Guys, once I'm in, that's it.  I've parked.  I've used the space.  Bygones.  What are you going to do if I lose my parking pass during the day?  Let me rot in the garage forever?  I'm now in garage-jail?

And then I realized that they were using those swipes to track employees.


More understandable, but also more creepy.

Anyhow, the past few days the gates have been broken at my garage, so they've just left them open.

Oddly, anarchy did not ensue.  Who would have known?

On the contrary - each of the past two days I've had to sit patiently behind a person who not only stopped at the open gate, but dug around, found their pass, and waved it at the sensor.  

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Who would win?

Jessica makes a good point, which is, if I am going to stop writing, I should at least try to make sure my last, lingering, post doesn't make me look like an idiot.

So in the interest of pushing that particular post down in the in-box of this blog, I will recount a few conversations I had recently with Owen.

School started.  I'm always a little worried about my kids and their social lives.  Kids with friends are bullied less often, and in a less sustained, systematic way.  The friends don't have to be cool.  Just having friends is protective.  So I'd like my kids to have friends.

"How's school, Owen?  Are any of your friends from last year there?  Do you like the kids? Are they nice to you? Did you make any new friends?"

"Mom," he says, placing a hang on my shoulder, "it does take a while to devewope a frwendship."

So I let it go for a few weeks.

Then, we were talking last night, and I asked again.

"Have you made any friends at school yet, Owen?"


"Anybody you want to be friends with?"

"Not reawwy."

"Is anybody mean to you?"

"Wewl.  Sometime they do ask ask me questions during recess."

"What kinds of things do you do during recess, Owen?"


"Ok.  Well, you're saying kids ask you mean questions while you are playing?"


"Like what?"

"Like, 'what are you doing?' and 'are you having fun?' and 'do you want to plway wif me?'"

Oh, the cruelty of children.

And then he said, "Mom?  I was hoping I could ask you a question."

"Of course, Owen."

"Because, wewl, you told me earlier I had to stop asking questions."

That's true.  It did happen.  He asked a bunch of horrible questions I don't care about.  It's exhausting, and sometimes, when I'm trying to make dinner and pack lunches and set the table and do the laundry, I don't have any brain space left to determine the winner of whatever crazy contest Owen can dream up.  But we are now engaged in a deep, meaningful, conversation.

"Who would win between the King of Ice and the Sword of Fire?"

P.S. You're thinking about it, aren't you?  Who WOULD win?  The King of Ice probably has arms, which could be helpful in a fight, but the Sword of Fire is made probably made of fire, so . . .