Apparently Mac isn’t just superior in overall stability and virus-prevention, but also in its resurrection abilities.
As I’ve mentioned in previous entries, Z spilled a cup of coffee on my Macbook pro (which wasn’t even finished being paid off) and it died. I brought it back to Futureshop where I’d purchased it, and they sent it off for repair on not much more than a wisp of a hope. Naturally, after a month and a half of silence, they finally deemed it water-damaged and refused to touch it. It returned a few days ago and I got the call from the local store saying it was in, and totally useless. I went to pick it up shortly thereafter and had a conversation with the employee who brought it back out. He was surprisingly nice and told me that if I intended to have it fixed (rather than buy a new one) I should go to another local store that would save me hundreds of dollars over them. He went over all the damage with me and listed off the things that were tested and came back fucked: wifi cable, USB port, DVD drive, trackpad, some keys, logic board… all in all the thing needed over $1100 worth of work. And that’s not including the cracks in the screen and trackpad, which were there prior to the coffee incident (but don’t affect the functionality or visibility, by nothing short of a miracle). He summarized with what I expected: it’s going to be so expensive to fix, that I might as well just buy a new machine. Especially since this one has already been in the shop twice for a top case replacement, (fortunately under warranty) since I purchased it.

I thanked him, took my paperweight home and stored it on a shelf. A day later, using Marika’s laptop (which is my old, now obsolete, Macbook that I sold to her after it could no longer handle my workflow) I looked up how to salvage parts from a fucked up Macbook Pro in hopes that I’d be able to save my data or some RAM and save myself some money and stress. I randomly came across a thread about someone spilling water on their Macbook and having it resurrect some time later.
Now, coffee is not water, and I knew that. Plain water damage is way easier to recover from than coffee or soda… but out of curiosity I plugged my Pro in, let it charge the battery for twenty minutes, and then tried the power button.
To my surprise, it made the “DONG” turning on noise, the keyboard briefly lit up, and then sort of sputtered and spit and everything stopped.

Well, at least I tried.
And at least I knew that something within it worked. The screen didn’t turn on or even flicker when the noise was made, but I know for a fact that the visual parts weren’t damaged… so maybe a cord came loose during the repair and testing. And if that’s the case – maybe, just maybe – I might be able to get it on long enough to pull my data off properly.
I waited another few minutes, let it charge up a bit more, and pressed the power button again.

DONG!

Lo and behold the screen turned on. The lights under the keyboard turned on. And the thing loaded up. Perfectly. I stared aghast and slack-jawed at the desktop for a few very long moments. I convinced myself that this was a lucky break or a dream or something. $1150 worth of repairs doesn’t just magically go away, right? It seemed to be running okay… but this just can’t be right.

In my head I listed off all the things that had been proven to be broken, and I tried them one by one.
I attempted to connect to our wifi network… Check! The wifi cable appears to work fine.
I ransacked our PC desk and eventually came up with an old Lacie hard-drive driver disk from a system I haven’t used in years; that would be perfect to test a potentially broken DVD drive… I wouldn’t miss it if it was eaten or destroyed. To my surprise, it worked fine. DVD drive: check.
I opened up Photoshop and ran my finger all over the track pad. Check.
I compared colour profiles to photos I had printed out prior to the disaster. Monitor functionality: check.
I plugged in my camera and tried to pull off some old photos. USB ports: check.
This went on for a good 40 minutes. I tested everything I could think to test, and it all passed with flying colours. By the end I still hadn’t picked my jaw up from the floor. I took a photo with my phone and texted Curtis with a message, “You won’t fucking believe this.”

So, after 1.5 months sitting disassembled in a random Apple repair shop located all the way across the country, having had NOTHING done to it other than test the parts for functionality (something most of them failed), my Macbook has somehow miraculously repaired itself and is now working fine. It has continued to work fine for over a week now, and shows not even the slightest sign of damage. I realize I may be running on borrowed time here… but for now I’m absolutely dumbstruck.
At the very least, it’s saved me not just hundreds – but THOUSANDS – of dollars in either repair or replacement laptop cost. It’s also lucky I got the inclination to try turning it on, because I was ready to literally throw it in the bin thinking it was worth less than a goddamn rock. Thank god I tried to turn it on first.

So, uh… Go Mac?


I’m so emotionally exhausted. Every time things start looking up, something else comes crashing down. Our resident teenager is going through one of her selfish/dishonest/passive aggressive cycles in the worst way – as teenagers tend to do – but the difference is that this time it’s causing a massive amount of emotional stress and financial strain for us. Part of it is our fault for depending on her the way one would an adult; and I suppose it was a valuable lesson for me. Teenagers are still going to be teenagers no matter how mature they may seem. This kind of shit is probably easier to avoid when it’s your own child rather than your baby sister trying to be grown up, and you’ve spent the last six months trying to establish an actual adult-ilke sibling relationship. This is my fault though, and I accept that. Fool me once, shame on you; fool me sixteen times and clearly I need some sort of brain scan. Anyway…

On the up side, Curtis’ promotion was finalized and his pay bump turned into salary. He’ll receive regular raises into the end of this year, and by next year we’ll be literally bringing in 10k more than we received all of last year, and that’s pretty goddamn amazing. Just knowing that is on the way feels better than words can describe.
Curtis may have grown up middle to upper class, but I didn’t. I grew up very poor. Food bank and power shut-offs poor. My parents are still poor; so being able to see my family move up to a place where we no longer have to be terrified of our bank account every month means that we’ve managed to break the poverty cycle for our children, and that’s no easy task. Don’t buy into the hype: it isn’t about simply “choosing” to get out of poverty. It has taken us ten years of hard work, a lot of luck, plus the considerable privileges we have as white people who had access to education. It’s not as easy as people think it is; if it was we’d have done the bootstraps thing ages ago. Even after this we’re nowhere near “middle class”, but to us it might as well be.
The only “bad” part is that this didn’t come several months ago when it rightly should have, which would have made this whole other mess a lot easier to get through. As a result, we’re dealing with this ridiculous situation where we may be forced to move to support ourselves, all the while knowing that in just a few short months we’ll be fine and wouldn’t need to move at all. Frustrating, to say the least.
More than just frustrating; it’s kind of devastating to feel like we may have to give up something that we love and need with every deep fibre of our being and we wouldn’t fucking need to do at all if it was just a few months sooner. I really don’t want to leave behind another home I had one of my babies in. We love this place, we love this area, we’ve lived here 7 years and it’s as close to perfect as I think we’ll ever get at this point in our lives. It’s certainly not the most ideal place, but it works really well for our needs.
The situation seems horrifically unfair when we’re so close. We’re modest people and don’t have any grandiose ideas of owning some beautiful home on a mountain-side somewhere; all we want is to stay in an area that benefits our family.

This town is expensive, there’s no doubt, and we’re looking around for alternatives that are able to balance the additional cost of commuting (work, school) with potential rental savings… and we’re not coming up with much. There are cheaper areas in the city, but only if we commute 30+ minutes, multiple times a day. Gas in Canada is about $2-$3 more than even the most expensive gas prices in the USA, so commuting costs a helluva lot more than you’d think.
I think we could tough it out if we cinch our belts a lot tighter over the next few months, but Curtis is concerned about my stress levels. The hours he’ll be working through the summer will be absolutely brutal. We’ll rarely see him, and I’ll likely be a work widow for a while. He doesn’t want to add a massive financial strain onto us (me) in the midst of a potential mothering burn out. The last thing I need on my plate is knowing that the few conveniences that might make my life easier during that time (like classes for the kids, gas money for bringing us to events that take up some of the long hours of the day, ingredients for good food) would put us too far in the hole to be doable. The whole reason he accepted the promotion was because of the financial offset that would allow us to have those small luxuries to take up the day.

We had a pretty awesome financial plan over the summer and fall; it appeared to be foolproof until stupid shit came down without any warning – as stupid shit often does – and now that security is gone for stupid reasons. So yeah. This sucks. Times like this make me wish we were one of those “poor” people who have two cars and thousands of dollars in a savings account to hold us over.
In the end I think we’ll make it through the coming months, so maybe this is just stressing for nothing, but it’s hard not to stress about money even if you believe you’ll be okay in the end.

On a related note, Curtis’ new schedule has been in effect for two weeks now, and I’m feeling the strain. I adapt because that’s what needs to happen, but it’s lonely without him in the evenings. Three kids seems like a lot more when you’re putting them all to bed, all at once, all by yourself.
Tempest doesn’t need much more than a reminder to take her melatonin because she’s old enough to want (and get) some independence; she doesn’t want me involved in her bedtime routine that heavily. Xan always wants to be read to from a very specific book for a specific amount of time, plus he still needs help adequately brushing his teeth and has a whole routine about ice water and hot water bottles and how he doles out his goodnight kisses… all the while Zephyra is a goddamn nightmare because she’s nearly two and wants constant attention and also to never go to sleep ever, fuck you very much for trying. Whenever I sit down to start reading to Xan she insists that she either nurse the entire time while switching sides every 4.2 seconds, or sit on top of the book I’m reading like an attention-starved cat. It makes it very difficult to meet one child’s needs at the same time, let alone both.
Trying to cook dinner as she screams, and screams, and screams while doing figure eight’s around my feet for 30 solid minutes is equally awesome.

I have so much respect for mothers of multiple children; I don’t know that I could do this every single evening with no end in sight. At least I can look forward to the two days of Curtis’ weekend.
I think it just feels extra difficult because I’m overwhelmed from the many stresses of last few weeks. With the moving/financial shit, mixed with the timing of Curtis’ promotion and his change of hours, everything else seems to add up more quickly and it seems like it’s a lot harder. It’s like focusing a magnifying glass over a normal hectic day and setting it on fire.


My mother was recently gifted a random assortment of beads and stone chips from a friend’s jewelry-making supplies. I’m not entirely sure why this person chose her to give it all too, but you know, it’s cool. She called me up and asked if the kids might enjoy it, or if I’d like to check it out. Most of it was in little clear baggies and not at all organized, so mom picked up a few of those little plastic container organizer craft things and had the kids come over a few nights in a row to separate everything out. That worked out great, except that Tempest ended up throwing away all the little scraps of paper that identified the beads and stones, so I don’t know what half of the stuff is now. Regardless, it’s all very pretty.

I ended up going out to the craft store one afternoon for some supplies, anticipating that I may have some free hours during Curtis’ endless night shift that I could use to muck about with this stuff. When I was a little kid I had an “Indian bead loom” that I loved to death, so I was kind of looking forward to it.
I picked up a little set of tools for cheap, grabbed some copper and silver wires of various gauges and took out a book from the library. My first project was a bracelet, which was absolute hell on my hands and took approximately six times longer to complete than I thought it would. It’s a little sloppy, but I actually kind of like it.

Next project was a wire-wrapped tree that I found a tutorial for online. This one was easier than working with the really thick wire. Tempest laid claim to it because the chips are peridot, which is her birthstone. I changed quite a bit of what I read in the tutorial, some on purpose and some not, and the result was great. I want to do more of these.

Third was a moon and star pendant. I made this one up, so it’s a lot sloppier than the tree. I like the idea, but execution needs serious practice if I want to do more. Still thinking on that one.

I went to the library a few days ago and got a little carried away… I literally took out every single jewelry or wire creation book that was available. 12 in all. I don’t think I can reasonably expect to get through all of them before they’re due back, but I have learned a lot from what I’ve gone through so far. This is not exactly something I can do all the time due to my arthritic hands, so I won’t be inviting myself to craft fairs anytime soon, but maybe if I get good enough I can sell a few pieces and ease some of the strain from the next few months.
Good timing for several hundred dollars of jewellery making supplies to fall into my lap, I suppose.


Zephyra has pitting on her upper teeth, like cavities. I first noticed it a few months ago, which is not that long after the teeth have come in. I thought it was staining, but it won’t brush away no matter how often (or vigorously) we clean her teeth. I can’t tell if it’s hurting her or not because she freaks whenever I try to get in there, and any appetite or eating habit changes are hard to track since she’s a toddler. LC’s elder daughter Freja had to have all of her top teeth removed due to a genetic issue that had them practically come in crumbling, so I was afraid that was happening to Z as well.
I made an appointment with a paediatric dentist to have her checked out and was really not looking forward to it. Putting aside my pure mortal terror of dental work and motherly concern for Z’s mouth, I watched LC go through a ridiculous amount of bullshit with two or three different dentists who blamed her for Freja’s tooth problems and berated her about not weaning Freja sooner. I was worked up on adrenaline all worried that I’d have to make some impassioned speech defending all the fucking hard work I put into our breastfeeding relationship, then lecture her about how breast milk is noncariogenic and substantially improves tooth, jaw and mouth development (and continued health) the longer the child nurses.
Fortunately that never had to happen, and the dentist instead paid us compliments about how well we’d taken care of her teeth. She said this probably happened from either a very high fever in early infancy, or from nutrition problems in pregnancy. I don’t recall Zephyra being really sick ever… so I’m pretty sure it was the hyperemesis that did it. Regardless, it wasn’t preventable and we’d apparently done a bang-up of reducing the damage. She gave us some information, as well as something called “M1 paste” or, “MI paste” which helps to re-calcify teeth, and told us to keep an eye on it. If we’re fortunate the paste will help reduce further damage, maybe even reverse some of it, and she’ll eventually just lose the baby teeth when she gets older. So hooray for that, because I really did not want to have to go through the process of having her under general anesthetic for tooth removal or fillings. I don’t imagine anyone is that great at getting a 20 month old to sit still through a drilling.


I don’t generally blog about current events, but this one is personal to me and has been all over the place, so it’s important to mention.

Kathryn is a close friend of mine, and I went down to photograph her pregnancy and birth a few years ago. We were pregnancy buddies and her triplets are just a few days older than Xan. Coy is trans* (MtF), and has been living publicly as a girl for more than a year now. Watching her transform has been nothing short of incredible. It’s hard to put into words, but it’s totally inspiring seeing how she’s blossomed and come into herself once she came out (Kathryn did the whole therapy thing, having her identified as having gender dysphoria, confirmed trans* by specialists, found support with other parents and organizations that support trans* youth, etc). It’s like she’s a whole different kid now; she’s herself.
Last year when she entered school, the faculty was made aware of her situation and was initially really supportive. Kids don’t care: they accept you for who you are and present as, so Coy was having a fine time. Then out of nowhere the school turns around and suddenly bans Coy from using the little girl’s restroom and forces her to use the boy’s. She’s not a boy, she’s a girl, and going pee in a closed stall AS A GIRL is not hurting anyone… but being forced to be in the boy’s washroom? Not cool. The only alternative the school suggested is to make her walk across the building and go in the staff bathroom, which means being singled out in front of the entire school because she’s no longer considered ‘a real girl’. It’s also a blatant violation of her home state’s laws that protect Trans* rights and prevent discrimination like this from happening. So Kathryn and Jeremy pulled Coy from school, got a lawyer from a trans* support network and fought them. They expected the school would comply with THE GODDAMNED LAW but they didn’t. They pulled out all this shit about how having a little girl use the girl’s bathroom would “create problems” as she grew older, sexual harassment, blah blah.
Now I don’t know about you but when I was a kid I didn’t sit around showing off my genitals to everyone who went into the school bathroom with me, and that goes double for trans* kids. It’s obvious transphobic bullshit, and everyone knows it.
They eventually got support from local media, and then others caught wind of the story and her family were invited to the Katie Couric show to attend a taping about growing up trans*. From there the story has absolutely exploded and has been everywhere from Fox to CNN.

You can watch the Katie show [ here ], and read more about their struggle [ here ].
Kathryn doesn’t blog anymore, so there’s no place to read about it other than the news stories, but there’s a lot out there about her right now. No interview or piece was done without Coy’s consent, and she’s checked in on frequently. Once she said stop, they stopped – but the legal battle goes on to ensure that other children are not discriminated against in the future. It may not seem like such a big issue to someone who is cis, but the ‘bathroom issue’ is a huge one for trans* folk and isn’t just about being able to be seen as who you are… it’s also about safety. Trans* folk are often victims of horrible violence simply for being in the “wrong” bathroom, and especially when being forced to go in another they aren’t comfortable being in. It’s an important issue, and it needs to be addressed. It’s also good to see more discussion about trans* youth. When you grow up trans* you don’t magically become aware of your identity when you turn 18 – you grew up trans*. Coy knows she’s a girl as much as I did at that age… and I knew I was girl not simply because I possessed a vulva. And explaining the concept to your kids isn’t hard either. This is how my conversation with Xan went.

“How do you know you’re a boy?”
“I have a penis.”
“But if you woke up tomorrow with a vulva, and inside your brain you were still a boy, but we tried to force you to wear pink dresses and use the girls bathroom and have everyone call you a girl… would you still be a boy inside?”
“Yes.”
“Why?”
“Because I’m a boy in my brain.”
“That’s very smart. And that’s what being transgender is like. In your brain you know who you are, but your body may not show that. It’s not just a penis or a vulva that makes you a girl or a boy.”

And that was pretty much it.


I’ll end this with some fat baby pictures. Taliah is an impossibly old five months now, and is just starting to sit up. She loves the Jolly Jumper and chews on absolutely everything. She also got her bottom teeth over a month ago which is totally fucking crazy; I’ve never met a baby that young who got teeth. Her and Z play with each other all the time, and when Z isn’t picking her cheeks for no apparent reason they absolutely adore each other. Taliah is one of the happiest, smiliest babies I have ever seen.

One from Instagram a month or so ago.

And one of Zephyra napping, because she looks so… old in this picture.

And one random one. During a child-led conference for Xan’s grade one class, he had to create a page for the number 16, which had to include an equation about it using some sort of symbol (dots, lines, triangles, whatever – it needed to be represented visually and numerically).
He wrote, using fish: 3+2-1+1 and then looks up at me and says, “Now, I’m going to do something you totally don’t know about. Are you ready for this?”
“Sure,” I say. He finishes the equation as 3+2-1+1 (‘does not equal’ sign) 16. Stunned, we asked him where he learned that. “The library”, he replies casually. “I bet you’ve never seen THAT before.”

Conversations of the day:
Zephyra had an epic tantrum as we left her dental appointment because she wanted to stay and play with this comic book she’d found, so I grabbed a little booklet off the pamphlet table in the waiting room in hopes it would keep her happy (it didn’t). As we walked I took a look at the front and remarked to Curtis that the model in the photo looked like she could be an advertisement for just about anything, rather than a specific product.
Me: “It’s sort of a ‘white lady hawks beauty products’ catch-all image. Teeth whitener, shampoo, Latisse…”
Curtis: “Latisse?”
Me: “Eyelash thickener. Makes you have big, fluffy, silky eyelashes. I think it’s like a pill or something.” (edit: it isn’t, it’s a topical serum, but I didn’t know that at the time)
Curtis: “That’s a little disturbing.”
Me: “I mean how did they even find that shit out? Was it a side effect from some other medication?”
Curtis: “Does it only target your eyelashes or am I going to wake up one morning and find that the hair on my ass is now thick and lustrous? Though I suppose then I wouldn’t mind having ass hair nearly as much.”
Me: “Your new and improved, fluffy ass hair.”
Curtis: “Lay upon my silky ass, for it is luxurious, and downy soft like the ass of a swan.”
Me: “We could charge for that experience.”
Curtis: “Blowjobs would be as awesome for you as they were for me due to my incredibly silky and lustrous pubic hair.”
Me: “It’s like having a feather tickler attached to your cock.”
Curtis: “I’ve changed my mind: we may have to look into this pubic hair softener.”

Links of the day:
The ultimate anti-gay-marriage ad – Absolutely hilarious. The only thing they forgot to show was the queue forming outside the courthouse of men and women holding books, teddy bears, dogs, spoons and various other things they want to marry now that gay people can get married. Because we all know that’s next.
Two minutes of goats yelling like humans – Exactly what it says on the tin.
Get American Netflix – This one’s for my Canadian brethren. Netflix selection sucks ass? Install this on your browser (firefox or chrome), and you can thank me later. Also get it [ on your Wii ] (works on a hacked Wii; you don’t need to update it).
“To this day”This was linked to me a number of times, but I kept not playing it because the line in the title about being called ‘pork chop’ and ‘growing up to cook it into this’ made it sound like it was one of those lame, stupid Facebook pass around memes. But once I finally opened it, this absolutely amazing short film set to Shane Koyzcan’s spoken word poem had me on my knees in sobs. I love this man’s poetry, and every time I hear another piece of his it’s like he’s speaking to my soul.
The pain and the scars from the horrific bullying has never gone away, and if anyone else was a victim of that kind of bullying, you’ll find solidarity in this too.

Comments

comments

4 Comments

  • Lisa Bobisa says:

    I just looked at the M1 paste website and it says it shouldn’t be used on children under 6 because of the fluoride content. Not telling you what to do, just wanted to let you know so you can look into it. 🙂

  • Susie says:

    In case the paste doesn’t cut it or her teeth get worse (hopefully that won’t happen), there is a phenomenal book called Cure Tooth Decay that has some really great information. An upper lip tie is causing some issues on my 2yo’s front teeth, and we’re doing the diet/supplement protocol from that book to hopefully avoid caps.

  • lissi says:

    In the picture of Z, I think she looks just like Kathryn’s pictures of Lily when she was around the same age! Beautiful!!

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