sohotrightnow: Thor with a big smile on his face. ([avengers] god of thunder and :D)
[personal profile] sohotrightnow
So, the highlight of July was SDCC! As always, this was a delight, though not as much fun as last year, since Mom couldn't make it (she promised Rita a year of childcare, and BiL's parental leave ended the week before). Dad also kept procrastinating on calling his sister to ask if we could stay in their condo again, to the point where when I discovered he still hadn't asked, just assumed, it was too late for us to get in the hotel registration as a backup. So by the time he finally got around to it, his sister said we were welcome to stay again! Except she and her husband would be there for part of the weekend, too. The place is massive (EAT THE RICH AND TAKE THEIR CONDOS), so there was plenty of room for all of us, but it meant being on our best behavior and, as Dad thanked me for doing, discreetly leaving the room when conversation turned to politics. They're ~genteel~ enough to think Trump is vulgar, at least, and we were able to politely agree to disagree on some things, and even agree on a couple of things, so that was a win, too.

BUT it was still lots of fun anyway; I spent a ton of money, in keeping with tradition, and got some new art (I am gonna run out of wall space, but probably not anytime soon since I still haven't found frames for everything from last year) and other goodies. The main panel I wanted to get to was the Star Trek: Discovery panel in Ballroom 20, which I'd told Mom I'd at least try and get into on her behalf, since she couldn't go. The line was dreadful when I got there and I wasn't optimistic, but it moved much quicker than I expected and I actually ended up getting in three panels ahead.

DISCOVERY LOOKS SO GREAT, UGHHHHHHHH I HAD SO MANY FEELINGS.

Panel highlights )

Then there was some hilarity on Monday because my father had misread the tickets for our flight home. So we arrived at 8:30 for a 10:30 AM flight, went to check our bags...and discovered that, in fact, our flight was for 10:30 PM. To be honest, I just burst out laughing when we learned, but Dad and Doug spent most of the day sulking. I mean, it was annoying, sure, but it wasn't that bad. It's better, as Doug pointed out once we finally got home, than the time he was going to visit our parents in Australia, misread the tickets, and realized he was more than twelve hours late for his flight. I ended up finding a movie theater not far from the airport, the fancy kind with big reclining seats, good food, and alcohol, so we took a Lyft over there and saw Baby Driver. I had a couple of excellent Moscow Mules, which improved my tolerance for their sulking, and the movie was lots of fun.

I spent the following weekend popping large amounts of sparkling wine with Mom in our relief over the healthcare vote. CRIPES I can't even tell you how fucking relieved we were, Internet. And that Monday, the 31st, I took a half-day from work, and went downtown to have lunch with [personal profile] newredshoes. We have been friends for aaaaaages but have never actually met in person before and IT WAS SO GREAAAAAAT, we had brunch at Kramerbooks (and cocktails when they switched over to their lunch menu) and talked for ages and bought books and it was just a total delight.

So, all in all, July went pretty well, I would say. Well done, universe, that's definitely made it a bit easier to bear August.

(no subject)

Aug. 9th, 2017 03:50 pm
killing_rose: Raven/corvid in the frozen surf (Default)
[personal profile] killing_rose posting in [community profile] fucking_meds
Dear amoxicillin:

It isn't that I don't appreciate killing the sinus infection. I do.

What I don't appreciate is you mixing badly with my brain and my other medications. I have been out of my godsdamned tree for 12 bloody days, and am only JUST able to go, "...oh hell,that's the meds."

Do not appreciate .

[Real Life] Telephones

Aug. 5th, 2017 07:10 pm
thefourthvine: Two people fucking, rearview: sex is the universal fandom. (Default)
[personal profile] thefourthvine
(Trying to get back into the habit of posting, so this is a random piece of personal telephonic history!)

Lately, I’ve been in a bemusing battle of wills with my phone, where I tell it to sync certain songs and only those songs, and it does grab the ones I tell it to, but also randomly adds other songs from my music library, often ones I’ve never listened to. When I told Best Beloved about this, her take was that I should just live with it. I questioned the Queen of Solving Problems Right Now, Immediately, Using a Hatchet as Necessary on her surprising stance and she pointed out that she knew me in college. When I had the Let Me Call You Sweetheart phone.

See, my college did not have voicemail for landlines in the dorm, and this was back when people still used landlines sometimes. My parents, who were sending a 15 year old off to college, thought they might like to leave messages for me at some point, and so they bought me a combined phone/answering machine to take with me. And for a while, it worked as advertised: people called, I did not answer, they were invited to leave a message, they did, I sometimes listened to the message, I very occasionally called them back. (This is as good as it ever gets with me and telephones. Our relationship can best be described as “mutual disdain.” That’s also why I didn’t have a cell phone back then; smartphones hadn’t happened yet, and I could think of exactly zero reasons why I might want to be MORE available for phone calls.)

At some point late in the first semester, though, people who left messages started to sound a little amused. And then, after a month or so, they began sounding more … annoyed. I checked my outgoing message to make sure no one had recorded weird stuff on it, because, you know, college, but it was still normal and fine. So I shrugged and accepted it, until one of my friends suggested I call my own phone.

I did. The outgoing message played, exactly as recorded. But after it, I was treated to an extremely tinny instrumental version of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” that sounded like it was played on the buttons of a phone, followed by the customary leave-a-message beep. Bewildered, I checked the box, which I had saved for moving convenience. No mention of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” No mention of it on the manufacturer’s website, either. My phone had apparently developed a musical mind of its own.

Huh, I thought, and went about my life.

A few weeks after that, people started sounding really annoyed in my messages. I called my phone again. It now sounded like this:

Me, in a recording: Hi! You’ve reached me, and you know what to do.
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart/I’m in love with YOU/Let me hear you WHISper/That you love me too
[Pause, as though the phone is about to emit that life-giving leave-a-message beep]
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart/I’m in love with YOU/Let me hear you WHISper/That you love me too
[Pause, which only serves to raise hopes that will soon be dashed]
Phone: Let me CALL you SWEETheart…
[Repeat a painful number of times]

Eventually, it broke off in the middle of a line and beeped.

Well. There are only so many times that you want to hear that song, that way, and my phone had begun exceeding people’s lifetime limits in the course of a single call. I apologized, but what could I do? You can’t reason with a phone.

The year ended. I packed the phone into its box and took it home with me for the summer, which it apparently spent plotting. Then I brought it back to school.

Shortly after the school year started, I discovered that my phone had developed a new glitch. If I did pick it up when it rang, I couldn’t hear the person on the other end. On the other hand, if I waited until the answering machine got it and then picked it up, I could hear them, but they couldn’t hear anything I said. However, after extensive experimentation, I discovered they could still hear the beeps if I pressed buttons on the phone. So, as any reasonable person would, I changed my outgoing message to:

“Hi! My phone is broken. If I pick up, I can hear you but you won’t hear me. I’ll beep to show I’m there. Ask yes or no questions and I’ll give one beep for yes and two beeps for no. Thanks!”

(If you are now going WHY DIDN’T YOU BUY A NEW PHONE? – it never even occurred to me. Technically, some communication was still possible with the phone, after all, and I inherited from my father a gene that makes me very anxious in the presence of new objects. This is why my family had a garage door that you could only make work by inserting a penny into the innards of the opener, and that often went up and down on its own, sometimes as many as 60 times in an evening. It’s why I kept, for over a year, a computer chair that would occasionally just collapse, dumping me on the floor, and why I’m sitting on a partially broken chair as I type this. It’s … just who my people are, I guess. We are not so much “make do and mend” as “it’s fine, everything is fine, please stop talking about buying new things because that is the worst thing in the world to do and I’d rather just sit on the floor in the dark forever.”)

This led to a period of my college career where, to call me, you had to:
  1. Sit through what was, by then, up to 15 minutes of “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” (I know because people timed it, since there wasn’t a lot else to do, and then shared the times with me. I think maybe they were trying to suggest to me that I should buy a new phone, but that kind of subtlety was never going to work. I mean, I come from a family that could afford a new toaster and willingly chose to keep the old one, even though it caught fire from time to time, enlivening many a morning. “Let’s just get a new one” is not a phrase in my vocabulary.)
  2. Listen to my outgoing message.
  3. After the first beep, say, “Hello? Are you there? It’s me, please pick up.”
  4. Wait for the beep that would indicate that I had in fact picked up.
  5. Hold a séance-like session with me wherein you were restricted to yes or no questions or, in cases where that just would not work, you had to count beeps for each letter of the alphabet. (You know: A=1, B=2, etc. Let me tell you from grim experience: it takes a LONG time to beep out even a single word, and also you tend to forget where you are halfway through letters like M and T. I honestly take my hat off to the fraudulent mediums of old. They worked for their money, by gum.)
  6. Hope that the phone didn’t just cut out altogether in the middle of the séance, as it was known to do.
Basically, communicating with spirits was, overall, probably slightly easier than talking to me. I for real do not know why anyone bothered. They did, though, which shows you what excellent and patient friends and family I have had in my life.

If you’re wondering about the resolution of this odyssey of disintegrating telecommunications technology: eventually my parents got tired of only being able to communicate with their youngest child via beeps. My mother (who does not have the “hates new things” gene) suggested several times that I buy a new one, but I beeped twice for no each time, so she, in direct violation of our precious familial traditions, went out and bought a new one and sent it to me at school. I kept it in its box in my room and avoided looking directly at it for a week or so, but then word spread among my friends that I had a new phone and was still using Mr. Beepy, and they basically held a technological intervention until I installed the new phone. (It worked fine for a year and then developed a glitch where it clicked a lot and would only record the first 15 seconds of a message, and no one minded at all because at least it wasn’t playing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart.” My life motto: I can always get over the bar, because I dug a hole in the ground and buried it.)

But times change! Humans age and progress and develop workarounds for their flaws! Which is why, when BB and I were attempting to explain this telephonic family history to our nine-year-old earthling (challenging, as he has never known an answering machine or a time when humans made phone calls to humans other than their senators), we had this conversation, which tells you everything you need to know about the people we’ve become:

Me, thinking back: You know, I probably should have just bought a new phone instead of beeping at people for months.
BB, also thinking back: I should have just broken your phone completely after it started playing “Let Me Call You Sweetheart” more than once per call. I can’t believe I didn’t think of that.

Anyway. That was the start of my long and complex adult relationship with phones. I wended my way through many glitches and minor disasters to arrive where I currently am: in possession of a phone that has its own opinions about music. And, upon reflection, I am prepared to be satisfied with that.

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April 2014

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