Sunday, June 25, 2017

Feeling Old

I had picked a dark blue gray for the siding to my house, and thought maybe it should have been grayer because I thought with a gray color then many years down the road, if some paint flakes off, we won't notice and won't need to do anything about it. We're trying to make choices that are low maintenance and tough so we aren't doing a ton of repairing/replacing/changing/fixing/touching up/maintaining etc as we age in place.
So the hardie planks arrived. Do you know what color hardie planks are? YELLOW! A subdued sort of nasty yellow, but still YELLOW!  If I had known the base color of hardie planks was yellow I would have picked a gold metal roof instead of the bright blue I did pick and dun or gold-ish for the siding color. It hadn't even occurred to me to ask what the base color was. I mean, hardie planks are wood fiber and cement. Cement is gray! Attempting to come up with a color that wouldn't clash with the base, I ended up picking the exact opposite color of what I needed. The base hardie will glow like neon if paint ever wears off anywhere on the house.
I did not throw a tantrum I did not throw a tantrum I did not throw a tantrum. But I wanted to.
And then I wanted to know why I had such an emotional reaction to what, if you look at life in general, is pretty small stuff. What's the problem here?
The problem with picking the exact wrong color is this: it encapsulates what's been going on in building the house, making decisions about publishing, choosing appliances, choosing cars, choosing everything in the last years. I make an assumption, don't even know it's an assumption because it feels like background knowledge, and make a choice based on that assumption that turns out to be wrong because what I know is WRONG and now I have to live with the consequences of making the wrong decision.
Everything is changing so fast! Amazon changes its rules. Printing companies change their policies. Banks change their requirements. Zoning departments change their regulations. Companies change their manufacturing specifications. Factories that made great stuff last year make crap this year. Materials change their formulations and properties. Stores change what they sell.
I don't know why I bother to keep learning new things when that knowledge will be wrong six months from now. I don't mind, in fact I love, learning new things. But I cannot keep up with the sheer volume of new facts new facts new facts that come streaming my way every day. I have a TV I can't turn on and use because I don't know which of the three controls control what. Washing machines are precision instruments now. What they're precise at, I don't know because they don't wash anymore. Dryers don't dry anymore. Appliances that used to last thirty years now last six. Radios that used to have one knob now have multitudes. Which one will get me the station I want? I used to know how to invest money, approach a publisher, use a vacuum cleaner, go to a bank, drive a car frugally, use a phone, save money, talk to people, buy what I want etc etc etc. I don't know what I want anymore because I don't have the knowledge of the choices before me. I don't even know what questions to ask to gain the knowledge I need on a day to day basis. Every day I talk to the builder is another day I'm told that what I want isn't sold anymore, can't be done on my budget, will add even more time to the process, requires what I don't have, is illegal.
I write science fiction and am smart and have knowledge available with a few taps on a keyboard. This shouldn't be this hard. But it is.
And that makes me feel old.

Monday, June 12, 2017

Holding my breath.

I'm starting to hold my breath. Travis says he plans to release Writing Speculative Fiction: Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror by the 27th of June. Will he make it?