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Venting: Apple iPhone and iTunes [Aug. 5th, 2017|01:06 pm]
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I'm so angry I could piss vinegar!!!

I had the music on my iPhone perfectly arranged and all new purchases added to playlists.
Now, with the recent iTunes upgrade, the damn thing un-did everything new on my iPhone!!!!!

Apple people, don't you believe in quality testing anything before rolling it out?
Rolling out a "bad" product and then having to send patches the very next day IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!!!!!
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JoCo Cruise 2017 [Mar. 11th, 2017|11:48 pm]
At the last moment, someone was not able to make the cruise and he sold his ticket to me at a discount. A fortuitous concatenation of work events enabled me to take advantage of this opportunity!! This "Jonathan Coulton-convention-on-a-cruise-ship" was awesome!!! I thought I'd get seasick, but I arrived on the ship completely exhausted after trying to get 2 weeks worth of work completed in one week. My theory for this pleasant surprise is that I was too tired to fight becoming acclimated to the rocking of the boat. After all, I get seasick in the back seat of a car! I was delighted to have felt no discomfort whatsoever and had no trouble eating. I stayed 100% away from alcohol just in case, though.

The food the first night was apparently designed for people who no longer had taste buds - I had to send everything back it tasted so bad. The chef adjusted and I was thrilled with the food in the dining room thereafter: prime rib, lamb, duck and lobster that included proper gravies, sauces, rues and butter with the proper spices. The food on the Lido deck was consistently wonderful. The food at high tea was hit or miss. Frankly I was dying for simple cucumber and cream cheese on squishy white bread and biscuits. The quality of all the food was very high, though. I normally have trouble with "bad dairy", but the ship must get its dairy stores from an organic farm or from non-US sources since I had no digestive discomfort at all despite my eating all the ice cream I desired.

We had a small inside cabin with no window. I thought this might be an issue, but the ship is EXTREMELY well ventilated. My shower barely steamed the mirror - and at home my mirror is completely steamed up. Me and my roommate kept a tidy room - unpacking and closeting all our clothes and belongings. Even in our small cabin there was sufficient storage to have everything unpacked and to store the bags, too. The beds were EXTREMELY comfortable. I slept well every night. The service was also very good. NOTE: there is absolutely no privacy on a ship - cameras everywhere and staff in/out of the room multiple times a day. The larger cabins are decadent compared to mine. However, there are points to consider. Windows provide light. My room was so dark that sleeping was very satisfying. Also, on a ship repairs to the exterior are common and repairs make noise. From my interior room I heard nothing. My room had no view, but I sat next to windows at every meal, so I didn't feel like I was missing anything. The luxury of a window and balcony would have been nice, but my cruise was not less for not having them. Honestly, there was so much to do that I spent little time in the cabin anyway.

The panels were awesome. There were panels by podcasters discussing shipboard epidemics (and how wonderful the record of the Holland America Cruise Line is) to sing-along sea shanties to game demos to JoCo Concerts to Author readings and everything in-between. There was always something to do.

The port at Cabo San Lucas would have been more fun for me if I could have joined an expedition. Everyone in my party had booked excursions and by the time I committed to the cruise anything I was interested in was already booked. I ended up just walking around town. It wasn't pleasant due to the intrusive hard-sell tactics of the business owners, cat calls and gaudy/tacky signage. I didn't stay long.

Loredo Mexico on the other hand was lovely. The historicalness (historicity?) of the town has been preserved. The pavements were properly maintained; the grounds were spotless and the people were pleasant rather than pushy. It reminded me of Savannah, Georgia which I also recommend visiting. The town threw us a Food Festival in the town square and JoCo & Friends performed. It was a warm and windy evening, but extremely satisfying.

The next day a few of us went ashore to spend time on a beach. The beaches were nice, but unfortunately the weather had turned cooler and the sea was cold. I believe this was the cause of our sniffles on Friday. Note to self, take advantage of good weather while it lasts, because tomorrow's weather isn't guaranteed.

Overall, the price is well worth the experience. If such a favorable concatenation of circumstances should arise again, I will definitely make sure I have savings to be able to do this again!!
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Off the Island, Now Adrift [Aug. 2nd, 2014|01:52 pm]
Well, I finally convinced my doctor to take me off the meds. After 5 years HUZZAH!!!!!

I'm sure it will take me a couple years to re-balance all the hormones and for the medicine-induced acne to go away. Well, it's better than the alternative.

For the first time in my life, I am completely adrift. In front of me is a black hole and underneath is not solid.

My present is shaky.
I have no dreams for my future.
I have no goals for my future.
I have no ideas about my future.
I have no loves.
I have no lovers.
I have no crushes.

Thankfully, I have friends. Thankfully I (currently) have a job. Thankfully I have conventions (i.e., something to look forward to). Thankfully, I have faith (a reason to forego the alternative to living).

Frankly, my anticipation of being in such a place was worse than actually being here
- unless I'm still too deluded and benumbed by shock to realize how badly I'm really doing. Maybe.
I hate surprises. I mean I really HATE surprises. Yes, that includes "good" surprises, too.
I love adventure, but I always plan for them. If I had known this interlude was coming, what would I have planned? Hmm.

To me, the biggest lie on TV is "pursue your dreams". So, what to the dreamless do?
All the dreams I had when young ended up as a "No".
I'm afraid to even contemplate a new dream.
I mean, how many heartaches can one seriously survive in a lifetime? [a one, a two-who, a three, three licks to the center of a tootsie pop] Hmm, not willing or wanting to find out.
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Returned to the Island of Misfit Toys [Nov. 18th, 2013|01:25 pm]
Did I mention that emotional spinning on a dime is another of those wonderful side-effects of the medicine? Wow, it's a good thing that I already learned the lesson that FEELINGS LIE or I'd really be a wreck right now. Broken. So glad I was warned about this on the paperwork that came with the bottle. Thanks Pharmacists!!

I not only miss my old self, but now I really appreciate what I had. I almost think that risking cancer (I DO NOT have cancer now - just high risk) would be worth having me back the way I was. Before I decide I really need a second opinion, but I cannot seem to get a referral to a great OB GYN.

Then I need to perform an exorcism on some old emotions that won't just go away no matter what I've tried in order to ignore, replace or drown them out. I might just have to live with them. We'll see.
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The "Date" - Wicked [Nov. 17th, 2013|02:06 am]
It was a wonderful evening. Despite the rain, all went according to plan and every plan was executed exactly as planned.
I looked good and he certainly dressed up yummy. I was in black/red/gold and he was in black shirt with a grey Miami Vice jacket and slacks. You all would have been proud of me for the self-control I dredged up from the nether regions of my being to keep my hands to myself. We met outside the theater, saw the play and then I drove him home. Short but sweet. When next we meet, it will be for a lovely dinner. He says it will have to be some time after Thanksgiving.

We had excellent seats. I had never been to the Oriental Theater before - didn't really know it was there - and the interior was lovely. The play itself was wonderful. However, for a couple of geeks like us, it was a trifle too emotional by hitting a little too close to home. The general theme seemed to be around "fighting or succumbing to the expectations of others". I was moved and I know he was because when the action on stage got emotional, he cracked his knuckles. I had heard bits and pieces of the music over the years, but it was awesome to hear it all in context and in whole. I'm not sure if I'll get the soundtrack. My emotions are still a bit too raw. If I do get the soundtrack, it will likely be so I can sing a duet with Xapling2.

The evening ended on a bittersweet note. I value honesty and full disclosure, so I told him about my medical issues. To his credit and my dismay, he sounded disappointed. We'll see if he actually goes through with the dinner now. I think this is one of those relationships where in another time and another universe, we'd have been an awesome "Geek Power" couple. No, I'm not OK. But I'll be fine tomorrow. I'll have to cuddle with both Pooh and Boo tonight.
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Too Excited - Part 2 [Nov. 11th, 2013|06:15 pm]
OMG!!! Talk about sh-#4*-ing bricks!! I was so excited about seeing Wicked that I bought the tickets before I confirmed with Corey (his name is Corey) that he was available for THIS SATURDAY!!

I really need to calm down. I feel like a puppy whose human has finally returned home after being away, like, forever. I need to run to the front door and back about 50 times or chew on the futon or something.

I just spoke with him and he DID have plans. The beautiful person that he is, he re-arranged his plans so he could still go with me to the play. Unfortunately, we'll have to do dinner another night. Did I say unfortunately? I think I meant - SCORE! LOL

This is the makings of a beautiful friendship. Due to his and my [medical] issues, this won't be a romantic relationship. It's just really cool to think I'll have someone single to go out with once in a while. Whee!

Oh, and something else wonderful happened today. My goddaughter from Ghana has returned to the USA and there's a 90% chance that she'll be living with me starting in 2 weeks for at least 2 years while she's in community college!!! I may not have children of my own flesh, but I'm blessed with 2 beautiful goddaughters and 1 godson. I need to run to the front door again. Whee!
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Windycon [Nov. 10th, 2013|09:00 am]
Whee! Back P.M. (aka pre meds) I remember what it was like to only have one emotion at a time. Now thanks to the side-effects of modern medicine, I get to experience multiple emotions all at once in kind of the same way that the music/harmonies in the song, Sycamore Tree are "spaghettied". Oh, the things I missed in puberty.

I felt well enough to go to the Con on Saturday. Yea! Lots of good music and harmonies to make me 'ole heart swell with the wonder of it all. Let's see, in concert there was Tom Smith, Dave Perry (The Toole's), Dan the Bard and Arne Parrott (Bard Camp), Cathy, Jason & Gundo (Three Fifths), Feng Shui Ninjas, Beth Kindermann, Riverfolk, Moonwulf and oh, let us not forget every band's Plus One - Amy -insert giggle. I'm a little miffed at myself for missing Herculean Cheese Storm and Adam Selzer, but I was having my hair done. Moonwulf sang a sad song in his concert about regretting what you didn't do more than what you did do. It affected me as all good music is wont to do.

I have been wanting to see Wicked for a long time and it finally came back to Chicago. But, you know, I wanted to see it with someone who would totally be into it and someone who had not seen it yet and someone who had not memorized the entire libretto yet. The first person who came to mind was a gentleman whom I have seen only at Windycon, like, for the past 10 years, but didn't know his name. So, with Moonwulf's song in my head, I caught up with this guy in the hallway and asked him if he would like to accompany me - and he said YES!! Yippie!! And to top it off, I now know his name! So, because of my excitement of the impending outing I think I sang too loudly in the circle or something, because I kept getting "the looks" that usually means I'm too loud. So I felt badly and paranoid about that. Then I think I inadvertantly hurt another friend's feelings for which I am utterly remorseful and guilt-ridden. And forgetful, too. I think I've edited this post 12 times now.

ARGGH! Spaghetti! Too much all at the same time. Where's the re-set button?
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A Valentine to my Community - post OVFF [Oct. 28th, 2013|11:17 pm]

I love you period. no ifs, buts, or howevers. Just period.

We all try to live our lives as best we know how. We all have our own pain and our own special joys.
My valentine is in grateful gratitude for each of you for sharing your smiles with me, for sharing hugs and kisses with me, for sharing cuddles with me and who otherwise made my burden of pain easier for me to bear.

Dear Community,
You are my Beloved and I am my Beloved's.
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Bad Day [Oct. 15th, 2013|01:43 pm]
Do you want to know how it feels to be shaken down by the mob? Hire ADT and then try to cancel the service!! Grrr.
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Hmmm [Aug. 28th, 2013|02:23 am]
On some days I am deluded into thinking that anything I say or do makes a difference.
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