Tag Archives: nablopomo


When I was a teenager I made a goal to someday be perfect. I figured it was in my range of ability — I just had to work hard at it.

I began my training in perfection with my mother’s high school yearbooks. In the mid-20th century seniors could list their pet peeves under their graduation photograph. I made a list of several of the pet peeves of the graduating class of 1954 and vowed to note each and every one of those pet peeves and not do things like “wear red and pink” (easy), “Sing [insert pop song from 1953 here]” (piece of cake), “wear too much makeup” (Ok), and “be a woman driver” (huh? maybe I could just be a good woman driver). I don’t have the list nor the yearbook in front of me, so I’m just guessing at these now.

So, list of pet peeves of high school students from the early 1950’s in hand, I was on the road to perfection.

Then I discovered the advice column in Seventeen magazine. It gave advice on how to be popular — and weren’t perfect people popular? I read it religiously and tried out some of the tips. I’ve already written about the tip about wearing a pendant on my back instead of on my chest. That kind of spoiled the advice columns for me.

The next stage in my quest for perfection (and no, I didn’t manage to avoid all pet peeves) was when I discovered self-actualization. My memory of what I thought self-actualization meant and what I’ve found online differ somewhat, but the idea is the same: to reach one’s potential. Since I was certain perfection was a potential for me, I used this to strive for perfection.

I made a list of behaviors and goals in a journal (called not-surprisingly Dona’s Self-actualization journal — now lost or destroyed) and kept notes on my journey.

When I met my husband-to-be he said that self-actualization was not much different from a cult or Scientology (apologies to any Scientologists who may read this). I believed him and gave it up. I’m not sure he was right — but I think I might have been planning on giving it up anyway. Long time ago — so there is little way of knowing.

Anyway — at some point I realized that I was not going to be perfect. Ever. I think this was about the same time I realized I could never be invisible. Or talk to fairies.

That’s ok. I know some people who are [what I considered to be] perfect. And I don’t like them much.

Whew! Close call.

Indian Summer

It’s Indian Summer here in the DC area. How do I know? I know because we had a frost and now the weather’s turned warm again. That’s my definition of Indian Summer. Other people have different definitions, but I’m sticking to mine.

When I lived in Illinois, the sure sign that winter was coming was the Chicago Tribune‘s annual “Injun Summer” cartoon by John T. McCutcheon on the front of their Sunday magazine (if I recall properly). I’m pretty sure that now it is considered a politically incorrect view of this weather phenomenon and I don’t know if the Trib still runs this in the fall, but you can purchase a copy for $5.95 from their store.

I always looked forward to that cartoon. It meant Halloween was on the way and Thanksgiving not too far behind. It was a tradition in a time that traditions were becoming rarer. My first taste of nostalgia perhaps — a reminder of what the summer was like, and would be again after the cold winter of the Midwest.

What if my House Used Twitter’s API?

Do you know what an API is? Me neither, but it has something to do with the inner workings of web applications like Twitter, LibraryThing, GoodReads, Facebook etc. When web application developers let their API’s into the wild strange things can happen.

For instance. I’m on Twitter. I’m also on GoodReads. I clicked a button on GoodReads that allowed my activity there to be let loose on Twitter. So when I add a book to my “shelf” on GoodReads it goes out as a twitter. That’s fine. Except that when I just change my status of what page I’m on in a particular book on GoodReads it also sends that to Twitter. So yesterday, for much of the day my twitter status said:

So, that was a little embarrassing. I checked GoodReads and there is no obvious way to turn this off. I don’t know whose API is at fault here, so I’m avoiding GoodReads until I figure this out.

This got me to thinking.

What if other things were to tap into Twitter. Like my house for instance. What if everything I did were to be broadcast to Twitter. It might look like this. (And yes, the House made a few typos).