XML Hell

I am in the middle of XML hell. This class that I am taking on e-publishing infrastructure is my college algebra nightmare come to life. You know the one: you dream (or at least I do) that you’ve forgotten to go to math class all semester, and now it’s time for the final exam, and you don’t have a clue as to how you are going to pass the exam because you haven’t gone to a single lecture. Well, that’s what this class is like. I’m going to the lectures, but I think that my intake valve is stuck, and nothing is getting through, that or the pain of trying to put together the website still hasn’t ebbed enough for me to be willing to ingest the miasma which is code and the code behind the code. I think the Borg are behind it all. I’m certain that there is some plot to assimilate my consciousness into the computer, which, at this point, is fine with me because I’m just not getting it.

Then again, it may be a serious lack of chocolate that is affecting my brain, or perhaps chocolate overload. My house is full of Easter candy: peanut butter eggs, truffles, jelly beans, chocolate covered marshmallow eggs, other things involving chocolate, coconut and caramel. My youngest son, the thinker, pointed out that he has yet to figure out the connection between the holy holiday and eggs and chocolate bunnies. I nod sagely, and shove more chocolate between my teeth as I move between the kitchen and the bedroom, muttering “why?” over and over, which my family knows is code for “mom is losing her mind over the computer again, and let’s just leave her alone with her chocolate…”

It’s sad, really. My daughter stopped by, this evening to “borrow” a pot to plant her new lily in, and I had plenty since I never got around to potting any plants last year. She wondered aloud as to why I had emerged from my cave. Wasn’t I supposed to be doing my homework, she asked? Exactly, I replied. What a good time to come out and find a container for her new bamboo . . . There is no form of avoidance that I won’t employ in the name of honest procrastination techniques, and this assignment called for drastic procrastinating. So we looked for a vase. Unfortunately, the vase I was looking for had been thrown out or given away about five or six years ago, so we had to look for another one, which was good for at least another half an hour of searching. I managed to waste about 45 minutes before resuming my self-induced Sisyphean torture.

I’m sure that at some point it will all begin to make sense to me (or at least that is what I am hoping), and then I can cease to bemoan my lot, but until that point, it remains one huge boulder that I must push uphill. My only solace? Lots and lots of Pepsi and chocolate.