Monday, November 22, 2010

Would Be Counterfeiter: Age 10

We're in a jobless recovery, so I tried to do my bit and create some jobs. I told the Boy I needed help moving furniture out of the way so I could clean my family room and kitchen floors. I offered the promise of a few dollars and ice cream. The Boy, who is saving up for some new bit of plastic weaponry for his arsenal, accepted with joy.

Next day when I was ready to start the project, he had a meltdown. I haven't seen so much melodrama since I last watched a fifty-year-old B movie about zombies. After five minutes, I was ready to call the Academy and nominate him for best actor.

"OMG, don't you know I'm only ten and should not have to work for money?" At this point, tears the size of grapes began to squirt out of his eyes and splat at my feet like mini water balloons. "Furniture is heavy and I don't have all my muscles yet. You should be able to move stuff yourself without bothering a kid."

"Maybe so, kid, but my wand is in the shop."

"Not fair! I want the money, but I don't want to work. Why can't people make their own money the way the government does?"

"Hey, if making your own money would work, I'd be the first one handing you a stack of paper and some green crayons so you could whip me up some Evans bucks." I used a beach towel to mop up the tears that by now were flowing across the floor and threatening to wash one of the Chihuahuas out of the room. "Please, let me enlighten you about money and economics."

I'm not an economist, but I know the basics. I explained supply and demand, trade in goods and services, and how if someone could make their own money out of green paper, it wouldn't be worth anything. After about five minutes, the Boy caught on, heaved a gigantic sigh of resignation, and said he was ready to start work.

Pretty good for a ten-year-old, right? What I want to know is, why can't anyone in Washington catch on?

Friday, November 12, 2010

Why I Am Following My Own Blog

Caption for photo: Me trying to figure out how to open a CD.

I've never been the fastest dog on the track when it comes to dealing with technical things. Program a TV remote? Oh, please. I'm lucky if I can change the batteries. Set up my Brita pitcher? Yeah, I did that and it was a year before I figured out, courtesy of the Boy who is ten, that the reason the water kept spilling when I poured was that I had the top on backwards. And all the while I complained bitterly about the poor design.

Setting up computers, DVD players, iPods, or anything that even remotely requires tech savvy are all done by others in my household--my husband, the Boy, one of the Chihuahuas. I don't care as long as it isn't me struggling to decipher cryptic instructions written on a thin sheet of paper the size of a business card. Really, have you noticed how a piece of electronic equipment that can do everything except bounce a laser beam off the moon always comes with four lines of instructions? And one of these lines is wasted on a warning to avoid dunking the product in water, putting it in your mouth, or setting it on fire.

Writing? I can do that. I can even do it on a computer. Go me. Internet? I know my way around. I can email with the best of them and I'm a whiz at using search engines. But get this--now I'm told I need to master social media. Social what? I need online friends in order to promote my work? Okay, I'll give it a try. Facebook--I'm there, but not sure what I'm doing and where all these friends came from or why they're writing on my wall. Twitter. Right. Now I have followers and people I follow. It all sounds kind of cultish, but I admit I kind of like tweeting and retweeting. Hey, everyone, I just tweeted. I might be important because I have almost 103 followers.

Website? Now I know you're kidding. I did actually make a website of sorts, but it was so ugly, even I didn't look at it more than twice in a year. My son kindly stepped in last month and made me a real website. It's beautiful and useful. So I'm covered there. Book trailer? My son again. Very nice. Blog? I'm told that's a must have. So I have. But I look at other blogs and I'm perplexed. Mine is so generic and I really would like to have followers and a blog roll and links to my books and to other social media. I don't have any of those things, but it certainly isn't from laziness on my part. I tried. I wanted to follow my followers, all five of them (now six). Sadly, the old tech-clueless bug bit again and that's how I ended up following my own blog. At least I'll know right away when I make a new post.