Tag Archives: techyness

Writing Misc.

I’ve read a few books lately that have broken some “rules.” They’ve mixed first-person and third between chapters. They’ve included pieces of a “destroyed” diary in italics, so the reader would know what was going on when the first-person protag didn’t. They’ve told stories in the present tense, first-person, and then stuck in an epilogue from another character. On and on. Yet, I enjoyed these novels. Just shows to go ya!

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I don’t have writer’s block. I’m not sure how to describe my “ailment.” I’ve written a boatload of bloggery lately, a bit of it fictional, some poetry for Twitter, etc. I still feel that all my previously outlined story and novel ideas have potential… but I can’t work on them, given my lifestyle.

One, I’m no longer capable of getting up at 5am and writing for a few hours before work. Just can’t do it. Maybe once a week, but not consistently like I did 10 years ago.

Two, I’m not capable of writing fiction for 3-4 hours at night after work. Or even two. I’m tired. I can fling off a blog poast and some texts, but my eyeballs rebel at doing solid screen work.

Three, I’m too OCD to let my cleaning and chores mount up on weekends to write. I need to get stuff done. And I enjoy seeing movies, hanging with friends, and, most of all, spending time with family when I can. I’m not going to give up that stuff to pound out chapters of a book only a dozen people at best will ever read. Not motivated.

But that’s not the same as writer’s block. If I had the time ~ if I were retired, forex ~ I’d be cranking out those stories like I did years ago when I had more energy. They are still in my head. Dunno how long they’ll stay there. That’s a different issue.

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Conversation with my daughter…

Me: I don’t feel safe putting my documents in the cloud.

Sharon: Why not?

Me: Because I’ve already shared a photo folder with people, so they might be able to see all of them.

Sharon: You’ve sent emails to people. Can they read all your other ones?

Me: Good point.

Sharon: Now I know how Mark Zuckerberg felt in front of Congress.

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So Many Photos!

I’m a bit compulsively organized, as I may have mentioned previously. So, it was already bugging me that I had a giant box full of disorderly photos. They were of my children and my pets, my exes and my parents, ancient relatives, random friends, cakes and flowers, and whatever else, all spanning like a hundred freaking years. There were “leftovers” that hadn’t made it into my cute memory albums, duplicates I couldn’t bear to dump, and sepia shots of strange people who possibly are related to me.

I tried not to think about this too much, even though the box was lurking right there in my hall closet like a sleeping demon.

But then my former sister-in-law gave one of my daughters another big box of photos consisting of all the photos I had given my in-laws over the years while they were alive. My daughters took the photos they wanted and gave me the rest, which was a lot. A lot.

Now what was I supposed to do? Add this box to the other, so they could weaponize against me? Hah. I know how that works: soon my closet would turn into the devil’s disaster zone. No thanks. Only one option ~ I bought big envelopes and am sorting all the photos into categories and filing them away.

It’s taking me longer than I expected. Some of the photos provoke memories that I stop and linger over for a minute or three. And some I struggle to categorize. My girls look very similar as babies; I’m happy when they’re both in the same shot so I can toss that one in the “sisters” envelope.

Now everything is on our phones and in “the cloud.” Don’t think I’m not making folders there. Are you kidding? My cloud is totes foldered up.

I am the Goddess of Folders!

Ch-ch-changes

I just downloaded the WordPress app and so far it seems fabulous! They’ve really improved it since I tried it a zillion years ago. It takes a lot of motivation for me to deviate from my habits, so this is a big deal, blogging from an app. Truth be told, I’m a bit resistant to apps in general, misliking the idea of cluttering up my phone with icons. Why can’t I just use my browser? But this WP app is very nice. Very nice indeed. Of course, now I’ll need to d/l more apps to even out the row, but never mind that.

My motivation is partly due to the fact that blogging from a phone browser is rather clunky, and while I have a semi-solution in my old Kindle Fire, it’s still imperfect. (Hard to access media from there.) Also, I like using one device. I already have a sweet Kindle for reading and the Fire is pure backup, which I like to keep at home.

Isn’t this fascinating? I thought my fans would be enthralled with an OCD data dump.

I’m feeling good about all the things I’ve abandoned along the path toward enlightenment, or death, whichever comes first ~ husbands, real estate, dating sites, Facebook, fiction writing, and thigh highs. Thank gawd I never have to wear stupid thigh highs again! What a dumb invention.

Oh, and sushi. Blech!

My Independence Day

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I celebrated this July 4th by flinging off my self-imposed yoke of fiction writing tyranny. Hurrah! Instead of dumping tea into Boston Harbor, I spilled it all over my laptop and destroyed my keyboard, thereby depriving myself of the means to gaze at the screen wondering why a best-selling novel authored by me doesn’t materialize while I screw around reading the news. Tuesday I had a meltdown while visiting my daughters because I’m so frustrated and stressed over my lack of writing progress and success, so I suspect the tea spill was a subconscious rebellion.

Of course I could buy a new laptop, but I don’t want to. My hard drive is fine and safe, if anyone cares, and most of my stuff is backed up, but I can’t write fiction on my phone. I feel relieved. I spent the day watching movies and doing NOTHING. I’m tired of telling myself that the minute I get home from the office, after typing on a computer all day, I have to start working on a novel or else I’m failing at life. Most nights I don’t even write ~ I just sit there, tired and miserable, staring at the screen, until I crash into sleep.

Maybe my subconscious was also at work when I titled my last book of poetry All She Wrote. At the time, I meant it about a specific situation… or so I thought. In any case, I don’t intend to stop blogging or tweeting, or even writing the occasional pome, all of which are phone-friendly. I’m only talking about giving up the agony of fiction writing and the hopelessness of self-promo. These nowhere goals have been adding to my depression. (I probably shouldn’t use the word depression, but since I allow people with regular bad headaches to call them migraines, I figure I can haz a pass.)

These are the movies I watched yesterday:

1. Spaceballs! So freaking funny. I can’t believe I never saw it before. Loved it. Just what I needed to cheer me up. And whatever happened to Daphne Zuniga? So pretty! She was in a sweet romcom with my honey John Cusack back in the day. What was that? Be my google.

2. Winter’s Bone. Yikes, what an intense movie. I can see the appeal of Jennifer Lawrence now. She is incredible in this utterly bleak yet fantastic film.

3. The Age of Innocence. Generally I don’t like narrated movies, but there are exceptions to every rule, and this is one. What a lovely film. Everyone was superb. Daniel Day-Lewis is such a gifted actor ~ what a shame he retired.

I plan to feast madly on movies and books from now on. Other people have created delicious art and I’m simply going to nom up theirs and shoot down any idea that I need to write a novel, should such a crazy notion ever raise its nasty serpentine head again out of the tangled jungle of my mind. Begone, slithery, sanity-stealing, ego constrictor of doom.

Freedom!

My Trophy Life

For a long time, I thought I was doing online dating incorrectly and that’s why I was always so unhappy about it. Whenever I’d poast about it here, that feeling would be reinforced by all the (well-meaning) advice I received. I’ve deleted most of those poasts because they and their comments annoyed me in retrospect. After five and a half years of online dating (including some breaks), I gave it up for good around a year ago. As it turns out, I wasn’t doing it wrong ~ it’s just wrong for me and many others like me. Millions of people. Not talking about the creepy process of selecting our dates by specs like we buy a TV off Amazon, though that’s horrible enough. Not even talking about the brutal way we reject people because they have a scratch and we think we deserve a flawless model no matter how imperfect we are ourselves, nope. Talking about this:

Last year, Match.com released a volunteer-based study on recent dating trends. Although the survey wasn’t scientific, the results were revealing. Almost one in six singles (15%) reported feeling addicted to the online process of looking for a date. Millennials were 125% more likely to say they feel addicted to dating. Men were 97% more likely to feel addicted to dating than women, but 54% of women felt more burned out by the process. [Source]

It’s addicting for people who get addicted to things, and that’s a lot of people, myself included. Hell, I just became briefly addicted to Spider Solitaire after Windows 10 updated itself and installed it on my machine. OOH WHAT’S THIS? Must play game. I played 135 games. In less than a week. They sent me a notice that I’d flipped over 10,000 cards and I got very excited. It was a gold trophy. SHINY! Got a few more goodies. Then I thought wtf am I doing? I’m supposed to be writing a novel, hello. So, I deleted the entire app from my laptop.

Every time I joined a dating site I told myself I’d just be chill and let things unfold. But that isn’t my way. It’s just not. I had to check out the profile of every man in my area who fit my criteria. I had to try to figure out why someone rejected me if they viewed me and didn’t say hello. I’d make up my own stories about each one. I overanalyzed every chat. If a man criticized me in some way or was drive-by mean, I took it personally. It was hard to shrug that off. On and on. And these were the guys I never even met!

But people with OCD are particularly susceptible to spending too much time fussing over stuff in general (obviously), and for whatever reason technology tends to exacerbate that tendency. Online dating is like a game, isn’t it? Or a job hunt. We are driven to “win” or to achieve a goal, whatever that means to the individual, and we keep playing, clicking, swiping, liking, checking, turning over cards, whatever, until we get that shiny trophy. And then what? Well. There’s a question for another day.

In the meantime, here’s a study from 2016 that links addiction to mobile devices with depression and anxiety. Again, it’s more relevant for people who already have issues with OCD in the first place. An online dating site is that perfectly irresistible magic mix of toxic elements coming together for someone prone to anxiety. Definitely not a safe place for someone like me, which I always suspected. I wasn’t doing anything wrong, except for joining to begin with! Those sites fed my existing problems and that’s why I became miserable while dealing with them.

It wasn’t me; it was them. This last year has been so much better since I gave up online dating, and even better still in the last two months since I left Facebook and Instagram. Onward to more shiny goodness!

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The Best Medicine

Sometimes you just gotta laugh, amirite? More times than not really. Otterwise you just spend your life perpetually enraged and that’s no good for the old BP. It can be a struggle though, especially when you’re dealing with one of the giant mega corp chatbot clusters:

Me: I have an account but can’t seem to log in.
Them: I see you’re using Chrome. Have you tried using another browser?
Me: I don’t want to try another browser.
Them: OK. What’s your account number?
Me: [pastes it in from last auto-billing email notification]
Me: I have an auto-reject message saying it looks like a credit card number and won’t send.
Them: Oh, sorry. You’ll have to break it in half.
Me: {whaaa?}
Me: [does that]
Them: Thanks!
Me: K
Them: The problem is you don’t have an online account with us.
Me: Then how have I been auto-paying my bill all these years?
Them: …
Me: All I wanted to do was log in so I can see my options since my bill has increased and it seems ridiculous to pay $75 per month for just internet.
Them: Understandable! Would you like to switch to a package deal?
Me: Well, I’d like to see what’s available. Do you know why my price went up?
Them: Can you open your January bill?
Me: Apparently not. I can’t log in, which is why I began the chat.
Them: You were upgraded to extreme internet!
Me: I don’t need extreme internet. Can I return to normal internet?
Them: No. We only have extreme now, unless you buy a package.
Me: …
Them: Has your issue been resolved satisfactorily?
Me: Not really. I still can’t log in.
Them: Let me get an account specialist.
Me: Great.
A Different Them: Hello! I hear you need to create a new account! I can help you!
Me: {whaaa?}
Them: Are you still there?
Me: Yes. I think I have an account, since I’ve been auto-paying my bill online for years.
Them: Can you log in?
Me: No. My credentials don’t work.
Them: I suggest making a new account. I can walk you through the steps!
Me: {%*#&@*$&}
Them: Here is a link to get started!
Me: [clicks link, makes account]
Them: Are you having success?
Me: It says I can’t use my email as my username, since that account already exists, as I told you.
Them: …
Me: Never mind. I’ll use another name.
Them: How’s it going?
Me: I’m done.
Them: Has your issue been resolved satisfactorily?
Me: Yes.
Them: Please take this survey.
Me: [rates them high because who cares and they were polite]
Me: [checks out the package deal options in my ZIP code only to discover there aren’t any and I will have to continue paying $75/month for extreme internet, wotever that even is, probably some stupid thing for people who watch 17 TV’s at once and play Dragonpr0n Ap0calypse]
Me: [takes valium and laughs]

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The End.

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The Daily Prompt: Laughter

In Which I Beg a Big Corporation to Take My Money

When I deleted Facebook, Messenger, and Instagram, I wiped all the history, cookies, etc. off my devices in an attempt (probably futile) to rid myself of their tracking and crap. Until yesterday this was no big deal, but then I tried to buy a song for my Nutty Playlist on iTunes and all hell broke loose. I had to re-enter my info and every time I tried to put in my credit card stuffs, the program shut down. Fine, I said, I have an iPhone meow, I’ll do it that way. NYAAH!

I went to Apple music on my iPhone and said hai can I haz a song? They said only if you sign up for our music thingie and pay. WOT? I don’t want to pay for a whole program ~ I just want to buy a song sometimes like I do for my cool themed playlists. They didn’t care at all about my cool themed playlists. Rude. I didn’t know what to do except I did know I was going to get what I wanted and finish my Nutty Playlist and put it on a CD to listen to in my car because well I just had to! They shalt not thwart me and my OCD! (Especially when a CD is involved.)

I went to Shazam on my iPhone where I remembered it offers the option to buy a song. First, I had to play the song on YouTube on my laptop so I could Shazam it (it was “Angie Baby” by Helen Reddy, if you must know, which no one suggested, but I chose later after googling songs about insanity which I do not recommend because it can really flip you over the edge into severe depression). After the song was up on Shazam, the buy option appeared, so I clicked it. Next, I was flooped over to the iTunes store where it let me buy the song with my fingerprint. WOT? I didn’t have to sign up for the program? Nope. I could buy “Angie Baby” for $1.29 like I had wanted to in the beginning. I did that. I also bought a couple more songs for Nutty and also some for another playlist that had been sitting around called Dating Sucks. Burned them to CDs. Now I have two new CDs and am working on two more themed playlists. I’ll pester you guys about those later.

The coolest part is that it only took a few seconds for the song to show up in my iTunes library on my laptop after I bought it on my phone. Isn’t technology AMAZING?! Actually, one of them took like 45 seconds and I started to get angry. WTF??? The otter ones only took 10 seconds. I can’t bear all this waiting. I have things to do! OMGGG!!

I still don’t understand why Apple allows you to buy an individual song via Shazam but you can’t simply click into the Apple store on your own and buy one. That’s so weird! More likely I’m misunderstanding how to do it, but whatever… I got what I wanted. Yes, in a very roundabout strange way, but hey.

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The Daily Prompt: Thwart