Yak Shaving By Number

To keep it simple, I number the kids.  When I was a kid, my parents constantly called my sister and I by each other’s names. Every parent does this- goes through all the kids before they hit the right name to yell at. When you have lots of kids, that’s a bunch of names. By the time you hit the right one, you look like an idiot. By that point, the kid is going, “You don’t even know my name. Why shouldn’t I sit on top of the dogs’ cage and dent it in while swinging the door back and forth, squeakily, over and over until your last two brain cells resonate sympathetically and drive you to jump off a cliff and fall to your doom?”

Here’s a reference to shaving a yak.  The term refers to the absurd series of seemingly unrelated tasks you find yourself embroiled in before you can actually tackle the thing you’re after. I’ve been shaving a yak for like six months, at least.

It all started with #4’s camping trip last June 3. She went with her youth group and took my camera. Meanwhile I downloaded two seasons of Dexter and True Blood onto my laptop, completely oblivious to how much space a season of a TV show takes up on one’s hard drive, particularly an old, smallish hard drive packed full of music. In addition to this, several times before I got hip and password-protected my machine, #1 used it to upload her own photos to then post on Facebook.  I wasn’t allowed to see her profile, because she wouldn’t re-friend me. Apparently I’m a stalker. But the pics were on my hard drive. Go figure.

Eventually every time I tried to use my camera, I got the message that it was full. I would go to drop the pictures onto my computer, and I would get a similar message. I needed to free up some space.

My husband’s boss gave us Time Capsule, but we hadn’t pulled it out of the box yet. It was a Scary Unknown Variable.

Somewhere in the garage were two external hard drives. Somewhere in the boxes stacked six feet tall, still left over from when we moved in two years ago.

Commence yak shaving.

Today I was able to get the pictures off the camera. It took all afternoon. There were pics from last year’s second grade wax museum in which #5 played Ben Franklin, pics from the first day of school this year, Halloween, Christmas, and, of course, 276 pictures of the camping trip. The rest of the space was filled up with videos. A four minute video of a campfire. Followed by a three minute video of the same campfire. Followed by a two minute video of walking away from the campfire. Etc.

So I took the liberty of editing #4’s pictures. Never once has she asked me where her camping pictures are, so I didn’t feel bad about it. This is the same kid who at age ten still spells her own name wrong sometimes. Granted, it’s a long name that most people spell wrong, but still. Maybe she should just start going by her number.

In amongst the campfire videos, the pictures of her food, and the pictures of her friends taking pictures of her, I found a few gems. Here they are.

The Lake

Broken Branches

Moss rocks

I have no idea who that kid on the rocks is. I hope she didn’t jump.


2 thoughts on “Yak Shaving By Number

Comment. It gives me a reason not to clean my house.

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