Um…what’s broken??

I discovered sometime, last week? The week before that? WordPress is happy to give me writing prompts – here’s the one displayed today, as I ‘added new post” – and well – since I’m on the free version, no sense in biting the had that may, someday feed me or has in the past, right??

Is my life today what I pictured a year ago?

Pretty much – overall – Simply because I try to walk the fine line between remembering the past, meeting today and planning for the future…

There have been some surprises along the way – new information that really changed my entire outlook on what I THOUGHT was true, for most of my life, and turns out? I didn’t understand what it really meant, as well as some rather deep introspection fronts I have descended into to ‘change gears’ of myself….

Or…to explore new ‘tricks’ that this (me) Ole Dawg might be capable of learning –

Um, yep – the short & sweet example is I asked an AI Chatbot what the meaning of “Bless your pea-picking heart” phrase originally meant – Last Friday…

Hmmmm… I didn’t realize there was ‘that meaning’ out in the world that apparently, given what ChatAI was ‘trained on’ was understood by many – just not me…

Cue the Existential Crisis and Introspection into myself…

Yeah – I seriously do not know if I fall on the ADHD or whatever is the correct term, now! (Ya know, this was over 20 years ago! Acronyms and meanings change!) spectrum…..

Ahh.. The backstory of that time, back when/back then….

….. given what was known or believed to be known, at the time (cue the ‘put someone in a box, via a label, and broadly apply whatever is deemed as ‘needed’ to ‘fix them’ to be approved for general societal interactions

(this was, I report to you, well before the blossoming of wide-spread internet connectivity, a gazillion websites all screaming for attention, purchased ads for websites and brands to promote their wares/services/ideas on the ‘internet’ (also known back then as www. and later called, ‘Dubya, Dubya’ in some derisive circles, the birth of wide spread use by many of social media platforms, etc….

My story to tell, my context of the time I lived within, to try and convey to you….

Just so YOU have the context of my story, which ChatAI may or may not have been trained on when it was built….)

Back near the ‘turn of the century, when so many were concerned about total societal, economic and safety collapse, given the Y2K bug??

I was once told I probably was ADHD/ADD, but me and my son were both ‘graded’ as “high functioning ADHD/ADD” by the for-profit, therapy/counselor/entrepreneur, who was approved by the school, and whose report would be ‘considered’ when submitted to school administration, and taken into account during my already scheduled meetings with school officials and a first year, young teacher, lacking class room discipline, who requested that my oldest son be punished and put on a lifetime of pharmaceutical ‘aides’ for the temerity of…..

“… student blew up the balloon provided for science experiment, and proceeded to pinch the top, while expelling the air, to mimic the sounds of ‘farting’ and didn’t immediately cease and desist when teacher asked…..”

[Paraphrase of teacher, principal, superintendent and reigning board member’s ‘concerns’ and duly written up in a report…given to me orally, every, single, step of the way ….circa 1999-2000]

My Label? “You Gave a 9-10 year old Boy a Balloon….?”

….What the Hell Did you expect? Really???

Bodily functions, the human condition of just eating, digesting, fighting off infections, expelling the waste of our own daily lives, or the toxins that made us sick and must be rid of, ASAP?

That whole thing has been of endless fascination to many humans, over millenia – Doctors and Health care providers want to know about it…by young humans that are learning about it, cultures around the world label such things as ‘acceptable/not acceptable’ etc., based off

Historically? Ripping out a big sounding fart or burp has been viewed as a sign of respect for the chef, or a badge of manhood or one’s own ability to cross gender lines of the society within which one lives, in order to ‘prove’ we are worthy of ‘being a part’ of this ‘pack’….

You Don’t Believe me?

Well – okay – but my male cousins and neighborhood male child playmates, suffered me on ‘well, the adults are family/friends, and we have to play together, but ‘you’ (me) are only here on sufferance by us, simply because:

  • I never did learn how to ‘burp’ the alphabet – but I could chug a beer and rip out a musical burp if I absolutely ‘had’ to for ‘prove you are one of ‘us’ challenges…
  • I never did learn how to hold a ‘fart in’ if food prepared/ingested, didn’t agree with my digestive processes – but I learned to no be an arse-wipe and blame it on the ‘dog’ or another unsuspecting victim, housed in the same room…
    • In some circles I would suffer great pains OR leave for home early and in others, I just did what my body needed to be done….
    • I learned to cuss like a (insert your preferred label, ‘sailor, trooper, truck driver’) in some circles, and get really creative to string enough non-curse words together to convey my overall emotional response to proposals/demands of others, here and there…
    • I learned that my eyes shedding tears of grief, frustration, anger, were, here and there, completely understood and considered bodily/emotional function needed for my health, and ALSO, something which must be held back, never see the light of day by anyone other than myself….
  • I learned in any public work place, after one comes back after maternity leave or a period of ‘not employed within corporate’ after being ‘temporarily laid off from business structure’, while doing freelance, sub-contract jobs while also being a full time ‘keep the home fires burning/stay-at-home parent’ job, It IS not O.K. to be overwhelmed and blurt out in the hallway as you are making your way to the bathroom, “I gotta go potty, wait a minute” like you got used to saying to your 3-year old during 2 years of holding things together financially and care wise for your family, and you rather were so overwhlemed at the time? You got on auto-pilot and ‘forgot’ to retrain yourself on ‘what to say’ in ‘polite society (yup – that happened in early 2001, to me. The five male co-workers standing in the walk-through breakroom on way to the bathroom, all quietly said, to me, later….”It’s okay – let it go! You take care of us and forget what “HE” said to you…” but the same ones, stood still and quiet, while the recently promoted ‘leader’ who they all knew would lie to their face, and tell the afternoon team something totally different, ripped me a new one, and my lack of professionalism, right there, right then….good news? I have control! I didn’t pee my pants while standing there taking my chewing out over the fact, I asked for the space/grace to use the bathroom first, before I met the ‘leader’s’ most pressing need….

Perhaps, I’m old and broken on some fronts…

And, in my mind?

Perhaps I’m not –

Perhaps I’m a reminder of how things used to be that, still goes on- that is old as geographic time and/or, old as the ways of fights for power within one’s ‘known pack’ have been going on; all of which slowly change and have always played out among humans, in nuanced ways, over and over in our ‘collectively stored history of humanity…

To me?

That’s what I learned or am stubbornly clinging too, as ‘historical wisdom’ on my front….

I might be wrong, I might be right – but I tell ya!

I woke up o’dark thirty on Saturday A.M….

You may be familiar with that time frame – it was a few hours after I ‘braved/risked’ everything I fear, on Friday night? By RISKING, to my mind, the possible ramifications/price to be paid, in the future, should I engage with ChatAI – ya know the one – the one that says it’s not connected to the internet over and over and yet, the only way I can engage with it is over internet provided service….

A service that has may middle-steps, along the way, and many mid-steps that may/may not be vulnerable to, or actively engaging in, monitoring, gauging whether I’m a ‘threat’ etc. or trying to steal my financial information or personal information to sell for personal or for-profit gain –

Um, yup, My Internet was down –

HAD I NOT engaged at all with ChatAI the night before?

I would have been less stressed – why?

Well, cuz the further I went into the ‘conversation’ the more I realized, “Hmm.. there is a very good liklihood I am viewed as the ‘enemy’ by alogorithms, spot checks, etc…..

And while I was on hold for 40 minutes, then troubleshooting for 20+ more minutes….

I was, already, writing out in my mind, the dystopian fiction, all while reading, non-fiction, by Robert Fulghum work, “What Have I done?” I didn’t know was published, but recently ordered in….and…

Well – I could picture how, in my mind, my ‘just asking’ questions with ChatAI might be considered a ‘threat’ to national security in some minds – I mean – if folks aren’t afraid to lose/die, what power can be wielded over them, really?

Over the time frame from late Friday night to late Sunday afternoon?

I was without internet other than my phone – which, I hate to use for stuff and may/may not have enough GB to do what I need to, just then, in response to those who expect me to be willing/able the moment it crosses their mind as needed –

And me? Started thinking of Back Up Plans –

as if, any back up plan is really worth investing in for 10 years just in case….on tech fronts…..

Doesn’t work, to my mind, having one or more back-up plans in place for tech/grid stuff on anything other than –

  • drinking water
  • food
  • heat/cooling (energy)
  • waste management
  • Something to gladden your heart during hard days (religion, sociology, art, beauty, sense of meaning, etc., etc., etc)

…Ultimately? Between Friday afternoon and late Sunday afternoon into the early hours of this morning?

I just gave up and figured, “Well, it all goes to hell, maybe I messed up and broke things or maybe not – not that anyone who breaks things on purpose, themselves, upon which many count upon, would pony up or say, “we are experiencing issues – we’re on it! ” or even have the ability to do so given time, infrastructure that is working, etc….

So I spent most of yesterday pulling out and using my BOOKs on raising Food, purifying water when all around you collapses, generating warmth or cooling things down when humans are in need….


I have the books, I realize that crap, if I get it stuck into my brain, know it, can do whether my home library blew away in a tornado or burnt in a fire….

That stuff?

Well – it might be useful, overall, if those in walking distance can say, “Let’s go over to TamrahJos! She can help!”

And…again? I think yet again, of one of the Superwomen I’ve known, during my life –

The one who over and over thought I was ‘so cool’ to be able to do computer things etc, who, in my mind?

Was the one with REAL skills I couldn’t even begin to live up to – and you can read about her, that one horse of many, that she had and here way’s of being, here...

I do not know if she is still among the living – I haven’t had contact with her since circa 2007 – I do not remember if she is a tad older than me or a tad younger than I….

But I fixed sub-par lasagna last week for me and others who like delivery of home-made, ready to heat/eat meals –

And…well – another mentor of mine passed away last Monday – and I ain’t, just yet, ready to talk about or tell you about here –

It didn’t start ‘really’ hitting me until Friday morning when work and other needs started raining down on my soul – but I was thinking of her, mourning her, all while I visited with ChatAI about death -how it is portrayed or understood by various folks, religions and cultures…

Why would I discuss such things with ChatAI?

Well, because she hasn’t been up to late night philosophical or spiritual or religious conversations for quite some time – –

Because there were others who could care/keep an eye on here better than I was equipped to do, and she reached out to them, more and more, over the past two years, than to me – via a phone call/check in –

But mostly because – in late fall, of 2020, her phone number showed up on my phone and given ‘tech issues’ I answered with my standard,

“This is TamrahJo, how can I help ya?”

Because, well – tech, phone numbers and email addresses often change – as cyberland changes and as folks, themselves, change….

Her reply, that long ago night?

“Talk to me – PLEASE! Just talk to me!”

Human alive!

(Previously known via lingo as “man alive!” as gusto for something great in everyday life)

Didn’t we have a grand ole conversation, until she felt better about her life, while checking in on me, about all swirling around here in changes, news, politics, and was ‘ready to sleep for tonight and try again tomorrow’ without nightmare dreams –

I slept better that night too – just knowing a nearby neighbor struggled with age old questions and current events, as I did –

And now she is gone from us ever having such a conversation, here, on Earth, ever again….

Had she been here, on Saturday Night? I could’ve called or walked across the road, to visit with her, if she was up –

Alas, I cannot, nor can I ever again….

And that, I guess, is the truth of the matter – I know grief, I understand it, and yet, sometimes, here and there?

I still don’t know how to remain functional and assimilate all the lessons of grief that are delivered – over and over and over again – as one by one, folks I love, die before I do – and I feel called to remember their stories, and mourn their loss, and soldier on, often, in ways that feels like, “all by meself”

Merry/Happy Winter Holidays –

Whatever ones (or ALL of them!) that you hold sacred/choose to celebrate –

Catch ya on the flipside….

*Featured Image is one of my ‘celtic braided’ hair – long ago – why? Well SHE who I mourn, thought it was beautiful; the hair, the clan stories I ‘listened to’ when I shared with her, my ‘Finally made it to the local Celtic Fair! Wish you and I could have gone to it together!” stories & pictures, many months later –


8 thoughts on “Um…what’s broken??”

    1. Maybe algorithms ‘made an example of me’ – did ya even CONSIDER that this was an oblique way of telling ME I needed to start writing better?? Instead of it being a ‘I’m not special’ on your front??

      I tell ya, it’s TOTALLY PROBABLE, in my world – ifinitely POSSIBLE that WordPress auto-stuff runs through coded rules and says, “OMG! IT’s TamrahJo Again! We need to give her some nudges to write something worth reading…”

      All while, it just checks in and determines,

      “Oh, it’s King Midget – he writes stuff worth reading… move on, let’s go where we are needed…”

      It COULD happen! LOL

      I went to look up comedian Judy Tenuta “It Could Happen” clip from long ago – Ahh…um…I’m sharing the really short version – after watching the 21 minute version? Sigh – SHE still CRACKS me up cuz she manages to point out things AND make fun of everyone, all at the same time, including herself – but nowadays? um…one line, out of context, and all the sudden, someone is the Spawn of Satan – but..well, we are email pals – I can send the long link! LOL

      On the other hand – here’s the ‘short version’ of “It could Happen….” (When, really, probably – not – ) LOL


        1. Ahh – stop it! It MAY ONLY be because you haven’t updated the theme you use for your blog since dinosaurs walked the earth – – JK! ๐Ÿ˜€

          I suspect, without even doing a ‘serious, trying to help/inform front, that it MAY just be because your theme for your site hasn’t been updated for quite some time – why do I tell ya this?

          Well – because I need, once again, to update my theme, which I’m rather grumpy about – but, that aside, the functions that ‘used’ to work, aren’t working as expected, anymore – and given the work and such I do in self-hosted land using WordPress as the platform to build within?

          OMG! If ya saw the never ending updates of newer things, or the ‘um, this won’t be updated for higher PHP version” or “Oops! We shoved this out, but it doesnt’ work with (xx version) so for folks on this version of PHP or That version of WordPress? Stay with this until you have updated/tested this – –

          Me? In MY WORLD of ‘fine – this must be tested/worked/done??

          Um…it’s possible that you just are on an older theme that still ‘works’ for ya to post, etc., BUT doesn’t show you or give ya what you used to get – the days of ‘we are going to code for backwards compatibility for long time?” seems, to me, to have disappeared – either ya fly by the seat of your pants, break things or spend most of your days trying to shove new ‘we want this’ into older frameworks (including older themes!) and it ‘not working’ –

          Try to cheer up and not feel disenfranchised – if it makes ya feel any better, my back end of WP here no longer gives me option to quickly show me my word count – –

          Why? I cannot tell ya – it might be because of my theme – it might because I’m on a free version and no longer resource saavy to give me ‘guardrails’ for free – who knows? Certainly not me!

          Why, you ask? Don’t you build and maintain WP sites for a living?

          Yes, and yes – but, well, um…I spend a lot of my time herding cats and turtles on client and service provider fronts – and that likes to wear me out, over and over – meaning, if I’m on a ‘free’ service? I often let it go – cuz I got more important stuff to do –

          If ya need an example of how this overall, to my mind, rising game is played out?

          Just ask power Twitter Users – – LOL

          It’s all the same, to my mind, but, I confess to not being an expert on any of it – just a curmudgeony grinch on most of it – “we shall see” in cyber world, infrastructure, start ups and tech world, is pretty much, my resting base point -though I admire the youngn’s who still have hope over it all – ๐Ÿ˜€ They teach me a thang or two, here and there – but…in the end…?

          I teach them, as well –

          And that’s the beauty, overall, no matter what biz, tech, advances in tech is, really, to me –

          Do we end up learning from each other instead of providers of tools?

          If the answer is ‘yes’ or ‘mostly’ then – well – okay then, to my mind, we ‘mere mortals’ are managing to ‘hold the line’ here and there against catastrophe – ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m going back to my ‘hope for the best/prepare for the worst’ ways – really – i moved out of my comfort zone for about 3-5 years – here, there and yonder and well – merry happy day for me really, is a waxing/waning things – sometimes it means being compassionate to someone and somedays it means saying to others that which they don’t wish to hear and I may get fired – sigh – I’m COMFORTABLE in either of those places and after running several different experiments? For ever so long? I, in my own lil ‘survive long enough to learn more…’ ways?

      I’m tired of trying all these other ways – me, as I was since I was born, but refined, often works, anyhoo – so why bust my butt learning new, when, I can show up and say, “I can do this/that, I won’t do this/that, I may not be your best option if you wish to do this/that, but I can help you on this/that front – ” and be done – say hello/wave goodbye – I guess, all of this stuff? Just reminds me of the never ending flow of life that is never static/unchanging – but I tried it for a bit (or rather, tried to see if I do some things different) but the changes aren’t, really, ground breaking! They are simple adjustments of ‘well, I used to do this with this tool, but now? This tool over here might work better’ but me? I haven’t changed much except for saying to myself and others, “If the only tool you know how to use is a hammer? Every goal/issue/problem all the sudden becomes a nail…and that’s not always true….” ๐Ÿ˜€

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think “Merry Happy” all by itself is, rather sneakily, quite genius… “Christmas” is still silently in there ~ and possibly more obvious (?) when left unspoken. That said, do have a very Happy Christmas too : )๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„๐ŸŽ„

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I have had ‘updated’ conversation on a few fronts with folks who prefer either Merry Christmas or Happy Holidays. In the end? Feeling rather ‘Merry Happy’ that despite so many reporting otherwise? Such conversations on, “Your thoughts? Do you feel the phrase different from what you say, attacks or lessens the impact of your preference?’ – etc. STILL can take place – thus, after worrying about ‘being like a dog with a bone’ on some fronts? The conversations still happened and thus far, doesn’t seem like massive fall out from daring to ask the question – – and the answers on many fronts were very, very interesting, compared to the answers previously given, by same folks, in the past – they and I change here and there, day by day – a once in a year checkin is sometimes the only way I know to try and catch up with what has come on, is on their radar, this ‘pondering’ time of year! ๐Ÿ˜€

          Liked by 1 person

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