grrgoyl: (Vendetta V)

We had Christmas four days early this year, because we're grown-ups and can do as we please -- and we got socked with ten inches of snow, Tery took a four-day weekend, and wanted toys. 

So I'm writing this on my new tablet.  It's pretty damn awesome, like my phone but three inches bigger; and after a few short hours playing with it, my phone already seems comically tiny and I can't imagine how I did anything on it (just now Tery brought it in from where it had lain forgotten under today's mail, and I cried, "Nobody wants a Charlie-in-the-box!") 

Not to mention the wi-fi network I had to set up to get online with the tab is pretty sweet, and surprisingly painless to establish, considering my adversarial history with all things wireless.

So maybe we can expect to see more updating from me in the future.  Merry xmas to all of us.

My second-best present was the book "Harry Potter: Page to Screen," which is gorgeous and truly so enormous we might need to add a new wing to the condo just to house it (you know those corny fantasy films where the wizard leafs through a spell book the size of a coffee table? This book is about that big.  If you were reading it before bed and fell asleep with it on your chest, you'd be crushed instantly).  Still, for all its girth, it took a full five minutes of paging through before I found one picture of Snape.  >:(

Tery enjoyed her presents as well, being as they were mostly running-oriented.  So I would say the Christmas of a Thousand Dreams (as I've been marketing it all month) was a roaring success!


Unless you count my cynicism bordering on anxiety about certain recent  political developments--I'm referring to some very scary legislation that you'd never think stood a chance of getting passed in America (NDAA and now SOPA. Look them up if you think I'm overreacting).

Not helping my near-hysteria in the slightest was the arrival of an email from my dearest friend H, an isolationist in the best of times who now sounded like his paranoia had reached critical mass in the six months since our last communique.  His email was peppered with links supporting his thesis that "the internet has been compromised" (hence my protecting his identity here).

I'm including here my response, because I think it sums up pretty well my present feelings, and my blog, in addition to entertaining me, has proven to be a great source for future historical references.

"Once upon a time I would have said, 'Oh, H, my adorable conspiracy theorist.' Not any more.

I didn't click on any of your links because frankly, I already know too much. I don't want to know these things I know, and I damn well don't want to learn any more. I want to go back to being angry about stupid things like picking up Tery's socks one more time, or that every time I go for an oil change it costs me $500 (forever finding maintenance jobs to do on my 14-year-old car). I don't want to think of my government as sinister, and I don't want to live with the fact that the people we're hoping will fix things are a very big part of the reason things are the way they are in the first place.

I want to live in the Fox News bubble, or no-spin zone or whatever they're calling themselves these days. I want to point at Occupy and say "dirty lazy hippies." I want to read my Snarry, play my Angry Birds, watch my Netflix and imagine that none of this has anything to do with me.

I want to tell Morpheus to give me the blue pill, please, and I want a steak, medium rare.

I sign online petitions. I signed about a million of them to try to stop NDAA, and now I'm signing a million more to stop SOPA. And I've written to everyone including Obama about both. All I get back are dog-and-pony-show form letters, and I know it's a fucking waste of time, but I feel like I have to do SOMETHING. And I can't march with Occupy because they have their big actions on Saturday when I always have to work, and anyway I don't want to get pepper sprayed and/or end up in Gitmo one day.

Everyone says the answer is to vote out all the incumbents. But November is 20 years away, and anyway MyFriendDeb asks "and replace them with who?" And she's right. Which of them can we trust? A lot of Occupiers say Ron Paul, and I know he's on the right page for economic reasons, but his position on the rest of the issues kind of sucks.

If I could have a Christmas wish this year, it wouldn't be for world peace. It would be for everyone to behave, for the politicians and the bankers and the 1% to stop thinking of themselves and their secret agendas and to just give a shit about their fellow human beings for a fucking day. It would be for America (and the world) to go back to a place I'm not scared to live in."

That's my naive little wish.  Naive because H is convinced there's a far bigger end-game, somewhere down the road, and all these little grabs of power and erosions of our rights are quite, quite deliberate and straight out of some tyrannical playbook. 

It isn't just the two of us. Check out the mad ramblings of Rick, the radical refrigerator repairman, a full two years ahead of his time. Perhaps not so radical anymore?

I've already said too much.  Happy Holidays everyone!

Posted via LiveJournal app for Android.

grrgoyl: (ferrets attack)
Hey, LJ, long time no see. I'm still around, just not much to talk about. Not that this entry will change all that, but if I don't write for awhile I start to wonder where my life is disappearing to. Like all I'm doing is working, eating and sleeping, and that's no kind of life at all.

I do have an update on the Banksy T-shirt. Remember that? Quite tragicomical, really. The replacement took so long to arrive I really thought it had gone missing in the mail. The countdown had begun for when the seller and I would give up on it (but how refreshing to deal with a seller who didn't vanish as soon as they received payment), when at last it showed up. Whew.

I eagerly unwrapped it, only to have my hopes dashed once again to see they had sent a different graphic -- a chimpanzee preparing to push down an old-timey bomb detonator. This is my life. Why is this my life? Why does EVERYTHING have to be a damn saga?

I said to myself fuck it. I'd live with it. At least it had an amusing history behind it. And I probably would have done exactly that, if it still didn't fit me quite right (we had upgraded to a large -- better than medium, but still a bit too tight to ever be my favorite shirt. And at this point with the money I've invested in this transaction, there is an insane amount of pressure for this article of clothing to exceed all expectations).

I emailed the seller about the good and bad news. I said I would live with it, but then he replied, "Arrrrrrgggh! (a/n: I couldn't have put it better myself) Forgive our incompetence! Are you sure you don't want another replacement?" Ahh, the British. It's refreshing to deal with someone who owns their mistakes.

So this morning chimpy went back to Merry Olde. I told the seller I insisted on paying for shipping both ways (bringing the total to more than $40 for me) because it wasn't fair the way his profit was dwindling with each trip. But, I added, $100 for a t-shirt is my absolute limit! You know, to lighten the mood. Because this transaction is clearly cursed.

The irony of this shirt is, of course, the buying of it ended my 2011 spending freeze. I had agonized a good two weeks over the frittering away of $23, and now look where we stand. I've learned my lesson and the spending freeze is back in effect.

~*~

Particularly since my birthday present to myself was a new phone. My old phone works fine, fine enough to resell at least. It will go down in history as the phone that soured me on Motorola, who strung owners of my model along for a year promising an update to our version of Android, only to announce a few months ago that it wasn't going to happen. Leaving us with the oldest version of the firmware that was losing support by app developers every day. And no Angry Birds for us, not with this laggy ass processor.

This resulted in a deafening uproar, at least on the support forum on their site. Did Moto care they had pissed off so many customers? Not so much. Nothing was offered in the way of compensation, except a free Bluetooth headset if you complained loudly enough, but I don't use Bluetooth. Bluetooth is for people who get so many phone calls they need to handle them while walking around the grocery store, not for people who use their phone for playing solitaire and reading slash fiction.

Having such a short time before upgrade anyway, I opted not to go the route of haranguing T-Mobile call centers to try to get out of my contract, but there were plenty who did, with mixed results (reportedly it depended on the agent you spoke to, and more often than not you had to be persistent and nag and call multiple times. I ain't got that kind of time. Plus harassing innocent low-level workers in crappy jobs isn't my style anyway -- I'm more of a let people walk all over me and then bitch about it online kind of person). Perhaps if I were stuck with the phone for the next two years I might have (most of the truly unhappy customers had just bought the phone fairly recently, largely based on the promise of T-Mobile salesmen that an update was coming any day now).

So my stupid obsolete Moto is currently up for auction (bidding up to $56 with 24 hours to go even with full disclosure about its lack of an update, believe it or not. Never assume no one wants to buy your used crap. And thank god. I need the proceeds from the Moto to finance my Banksy t-shirt shipping habit). It still works great as a phone, if that's all you care about. But now I have a shiny new Samsung Galaxy S 4G, and it is about the slickest device I've ever held, let alone owned.



I took this vid with it:



For now, it might be the first and last I make using the phone -- not least of all because I look like a terrorist. (If it seems to end rather abruptly, it's because I was forced to cut out the final segments because the wind noise completely drowned me out.)

In case you skipped the video (why did you skip the video?) I explain how the Galaxy has a front-facing camera like the iPhone, which weirdly doesn't take video with the stock software, only pics. But a video chat app called Qik, also stock, does let you record in addition to chat. I used it for this vid, but then was forced to install an update that evidently fixed the app for some other devices, but made the front camera stop working (for video) on mine. (I know, my life is such a thrill ride. Hang on!!)

I emailed the developer and they are aware of the problem, but evidently unable to just let me roll back to the previous version that worked fine for me -- doing so only brings me to a screen insisting I update and won't let me go any further. Ah, Android. Your quirks will never make me switch to an iPhone, but you can't stop me wishing you weren't quite so quirky.

Edit: Wahey! Finally got a fix. We'll see how long it lasts. Apparently there's nothing protecting me from further forced updates.



Here are some photos taken with the Galaxy, both using night shot mode (the phone lacks a flash, which is a dealbreaker for a surprising number of people, most of whom welcome any chance to get online and bitch at great length about it).


Non-shit-eating ferrets



Taken in almost total darkness. On the Moto this would have been a big splotch of white in a field of complete black




And now, honestly, truly, I mean it, I am done spending money.
grrgoyl: (Sunshine I give up)
Another birthday come and gone, the first anniversary of my 40th, haha. We didn't do anything special really; I didn't even get a cake, not that I could have eaten it if I did. (However, we did recently discover low-fat ice cream that has us almost comically excited.)

(Update: At this point I've lost 30 pounds on my pain-aversion diet. I dug out my shorts from last summer to find most of them are now far too big; but one pair that I bought too small fits me perfectly. I'm thinking I'll never have surgery if it's this easy to lose weight without it.)

I didn't want anything exciting in the way of presents either -- that is until I installed a new on-screen keyboard for my phone that was instant love (I lead a uniquely dull life; I have to enjoy enthusiasm where I can find it). You've seen the Blackberry ad with the world record fastest texter using a keyboard called Swype? (you slide your finger from letter to letter rather than pecking each individually) This is a Swype knock-off, except more accurate with a better UI.

I got so addicted to it in only a few days that I started to bemoan having a bulky slider phone with a physical keyboard I now foresaw possibly never using again. You can probably see where this is going: I needed a new phone. And here I just happened to have this birthday money. I know I have bills to pay, but if you use birthday money to pay bills, then you're just a year older and another year closer to death and that's no way to live your life.

::The rest in here, if you care to see:: )

It doesn't make sense to me that phone carriers make you wait a year (now two seems more popular) to upgrade your phone. I understand the phones are very expensive and they have to make up their costs somewhere. I also understand they want to get you in a contract to ensure your continued business. But if there was a company that provided satisfactory service (which TMo does) and also let you buy a new phone whenever you wanted, I don't think customer loyalty would be a worry.

Also stop with the restricting phones only to certain carriers. Everyone could sell all the phones, and would have to rely on superior service and competitive pricing to lure in customers, like everything else that we buy.

Why not split the difference between the inflated manufacturer's price and the dirt cheap rebates? Somewhere in the middle seems to be a price many people happily pay on the open market. If people want the phone, they'll find ways of getting it; how many "jailbroken" iPhones are out there? Piles and piles of money that could be in AT&T's pockets that isn't. Christ, Craigslist is full of people advertising their jailbreaking services. It's not even a secret.

And people who don't care, just want a cheap phone that works, could be on a plan like the current system, so they aren't priced out of the market.

Is this all incredibly naive of me? I don't know anything about the inner workings of cell phone retail, I'm just talking as a customer who loves fancy new gadgets. An Obama-type visionary of the cell phone world.

Oh, and BTW, the XT is pretty awesome.

~*~

Some pics:


Biking in our park with mule deer. "I'm crushing your head!"



Biker...walking. Tery's tire went flat and she walked most of the way home. This was taken with my phone



Monday morning lie-in. Unfortunately I had to get up to pee shortly after this was taken, reminding them they were mortal enemies
grrgoyl: (U2 iPod)
I have a new phone. Don't judge me. For someone who hates talking on the phone, I sure go through a lot of handsets.

It's stupid T-Mobile. The reason I buy unlocked phones from other carriers is because T-Mobile offers a line of singularly boring phones. Any exciting, sleek, sexy, state-of-the-art pocket-sized communication technology you see advertised, you can bet your bottom dollar it's for someone not T-Mobile. Sucky.

But when Tery and I recently had some trouble with our lines and I called for service, not only did they fix it in about 24 hours, they also helpfully pointed out that we had both been eligible for an upgrade for about 8 months now. Upgrade meaning sexy new phone at new customer rebate prices.

Tery was all about another phone, given the state of her 2-year-old RAZR (worked fine but the screen was exhibiting a peculiar corrosion at the edges). She wanted a Samsung Gravity after seeing Tabby's at work. I've wanted a slider since the first time I'd heard of such a thing, but all the slider phones offered by TMo seemed to be universally hated by everyone, and none of them were capable of playing movies (which had transformed from luxury to necessity with the Motorola).

In particular I had previously checked out the Sidekick, a sliding QWERTY phone that seemed born to play movies, having as it does an enormous (by phone standards) 16:9 ratio widescreen, but moronically no, it did not have video playback.

Hang on a minute though -- the new Sidekick LX DID support video it seemed. The LX 2009 was new enough that there would be no steals on eBay with the frenetic bidding going on, but it seemed there was a Tony Hawk Limited Edition LX. I have no love of Tony Hawk, and "his" design meant the phone was covered in obnoxious skateboard graphics, but TMo had it for only $99.99. Not bad.

Calling around to local stores however revealed that no one carried it in stock. Whether through them or over the internet, there would be shipping involved. I was nervous that TMo's shipping would be way too slow. I returned to eBay, where I thought I had found a nice compromise -- a navy blue LX with accessories for only $179 shipped (oh, the money I waste in service to my towering impatience).

I went for it, and only THEN found all the websites explaining that the blue incarnation of the LX STILL didn't support video. GODDAMMIT. T-MOBILE, WHY IS IT SO HARD TO THINK OF DIFFERENT NAMES FOR DIFFERENT MODELS??

I frantically emailed the seller verifying the video issue, and if so would it be possible to retract my winning bid. He was uncharacteristically cool about it and even sent me a full refund within 5 minutes of my request, so no saga there.

So it was off to a TMo store to see the Sidekick in person and try to order it through them.

As I said they didn't have Tony's, but they did have the 2009 on display. $249 smackaroos (with rebate). Ouch. The saleswoman (Lindsey. Trust me, I spent enough time there to be comfortable on a first-name basis) said they could order the Tony Hawk, but after playing with the floor model for awhile I had my doubts.

Sure, the screen was gorgeously bright, practically HD. And that was about all I liked about it. Access to the keyboard was gained by nudging the screen's corner, whereby it would flip violently in a 90-degree arc. Even worse was all primary operations were carried out by four buttons on all the corners of the phone, with no indication at all of what did what, like a Nintendo joystick, so I found myself returning again and again to the home screen in frustration.

Although I hadn't been considering it originally, I found myself slowly drawn to the G1, the so-called "Google phone." This is TMo's answer to the iPhone. I remember when it first came out - about 12 hours after I made that disastrous decision to buy the iClone, because I wanted an iPhone so badly but it just wasn't going to happen. I remember thinking, "DAMMIT T-MOBILE" but getting over it quickly, because being brand new it was selling for $500 and I wasn't getting an upgrade then.

But here it was, sitting so pretty right at the front of the store, costing only $179 with upgrade. That's right, the exact same price I had almost blown on the eBay auction. Too coincidental to be an accident, I naturally thought.

It had quite a siren song. Smooth touchscreen with swiping action like the iPhone, that slid up in a sedate horizontal plane to reveal a full QWERTY if you preferred. Much more compact than the Sidekick, sleeker and more serious looking. And let's not forget the bonus of walking out of the store with it in hand, no shipping of any kind necessary. That idea was too compelling to walk away from.

What probably clinched the sale for me was when the younger saleswoman chatted with me about the two phones and mentioned that the G1 has an app store just like the iPhone. I felt my eyes literally light up. I took one last longing look at the Sidekick screen, turned away, bought the G1 and never looked back.

I haven't regretted it since. The phone isn't perfect, I don't think any phone can be, but I'll get into that later. The first app I downloaded is called "Shazam," and it lets you put your phone up to the radio and it displays the artist and album -- including links at the bottom to buy the mp3 from Amazon or search YouTube for a video (YouTube is Google-owned, which I didn't realize, so YT access is built in). This makes the phone worth the purchase price alone. You know whose phone can't use this app? Poor [livejournal.com profile] kavieshana's dinosaur of an iPhone (it was originally an iPhone app, but not supported on older models. Lame, Apple).

The second app I got was "Shop Savvy," that lets you scan barcodes in stores and pull up competitors' prices and internet reviews. So I won't just assume I can get it cheaper online, I'll know for sure. And believe me, contemplating buying the G1 without my bevy of review sites to help me was a very nerve-wracking proposition. I don't buy anything if it has less than 4 Amazon stars.

Of course the great sales prices at the store were only applicable if we added a data plan, which I easily talked Tery into. Yes, I only leave the house twice a week. Don't judge me. If nothing else, now that I have access to the internet round-the-clock I might catch up on the HUGE backlog of Snarry I've got bookmarked that's too much of a pain to download onto my PDA. More on that later.

So, without further ado, ::the phone:: )

Overall the phone can do more stuff than it can't, and I think people bitching everywhere on the forums (and pissily declaring they're going back to their old phone because it was just INTOLERABLE, as if losing them as a user would be a crippling blow to the other forum readers) have irrationally high standards (although the phone is regularly priced at $500. If you pay that much, then perhaps you might have a reason to bitch). I myself am suitably impressed, so perhaps I shouldn't change my dream job to phone reviewer (from film reviewer) since I'm still wowed by things like a swiping touchscreen.

Coming up, because this entry has already bloated out of control: I review the worst movie I've ever seen!
grrgoyl: (Dylan apoplectic)
Okay, the iClone saga.  I'm cutting for space, because I don't use the word "saga" lightly.  I need to get all the facts down because this might get uglier before it's over.  Hence this might only be interesting to those who are endlessly fascinated by how difficult my life can be.  And of course anyone who wants to participate in the quiz at the end.

::iPhone? No! iClone!:: )

I think that brings us all up to speed.  What do you all think? 

[Poll #1347899]

Speaking of bad eBay sellers, I never heard back from that seller who whined about my negative feedback when he sold me that faulty software.  I thought he was going to live with the black mark and I was never going to see my $9.99 again.  Imagine my surprise when I received notification of his request that I withdraw it, because he had "resolved the dispute."  My first reaction was "Are you high?" because I hadn't gotten a refund or anything, so how was it resolved?  Unfortunately the form you fill out when explaining why you are denying the request doesn't have any room for sarcasm. 
grrgoyl: (mars who I am)
If there's one thing I hate about Christmas, it's the subterfuge required to keep presents a surprise until the magical day. The deception, the duplicity... It's wholly against my nature. At least 20 times a day I have to stop myself from telling Tery a story that might inadvertently reveal something I bought for her. I crack so easily under pressure. We tell each other where our stuff is hidden so we don't stumble across it accidentally. "Don't look too closely in the upstairs closet," I told her. She told me my gifts are all cleverly hidden on various store shelves and in shipping warehouses.

The need for secrecy has had me hanging by a thread in the case of one of her gifts, her own Motorola Razr. Back when T-Mobile was offering the upgrade for only $30, she was all, "No, I've just gotten used to my old phone. Why do I need a new one?" Now that the promotion has been upped to $50, she's noticed that her ghetto Nokia is too old for T-Mobile to offer downloads, and that the Razr has a kick-ass animated emoticon system that's not compatible with the Nokia. Suddenly, #2 on her wishlist is "Razor phone." *rolls eyes*

First I tried ordering it by calling T-Mobile. They said I couldn't have the upgrade until we paid off some of the overdue bill. Great. How could I pay the phone bill (which she normally does) without her becoming suspicious? My way around this was to offer to pay what I actually owed her already for my phone. Score! But the T-Mobile operator had mentioned that I could get the new phone at any local dealer, and that was more appealing to me than the further stress of hiding a visit from FedEx from her.

That night I ventured out in 8-degree weather and the first official snowstorm of the season to a T-Mobile kiosk. The salesman was super friendly, however, the problem was I wasn't on the account and could not authorize the contract extension necessary to qualify for the rebate. This was of mild annoyance because I specifically remember being put on the account when I needed warranty service on my phone a few months ago; guess it just didn't take. He apologized profusely even though I was very understanding. I thought for a minute, and was struck with inspiration. I had a cell phone on me. I stood on the icy sidewalk and called Tery, asking her to call T-Mobile and add me to the account, praying she couldn't tell I was calling from outside. "Why do they need you on the account just to pay the bill?" she asked. Uh-oh, hadn't thought of that. I said I didn't know, they just did. "I'm driving through 3 inches of snow, I'm not calling T-Mobile now!!" and she hung up. Grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.....

If I were as smart as I thought I was, I would have just called T-Mobile myself. It's not as if they can distinguish my voice from hers and I know all her personal information. But I wasn't smart and I decided I just had to return the following morning. When Tery got home I had to nag her twice before she made the call. Again I hoped she didn't become suspicious at the sudden urgency to get this done, and every minute the temptation to just blurt out my hidden agenda pressed against my brain relentlessly.

Finally the deed was done. The next morning the minute her car disappeared from the parking lot, I was out the door. I was glad the same salesman was working, but first I had to wait behind this guy who wasn't shopping so much as delaying his return to the cold weather. He paid his bill, then started asking questions about rebate offers and phone features. Even after being told he wasn't eligible for an upgrade, having renewed his contract only a few months ago, he persisted. The salesman was infinitely patient and friendly throughout, while I stood there and gritted my teeth. The customer grasped at thinner and thinner straws until his last question, which was "Why don't the new Motorolas show the date? My old Motorola showed the date." By now I wasn't even trying to be subtle about rolling my eyes back in my head, but the salesman hung in there with a smile. He's a stronger person than I and props are due (I filled out a glowing online comment card about him).

I got my business done, paid the bill and got Tery's phone. DONE. I went home and contemplated deceptive ways of wrapping it so it wasn't obviously a phone, then felt immensely pleased with myself when I thought of sticking it inside an old coffee mug that she never uses.

But the parade of lies never ends. Today she asked me for proof of my payment to send to her hospital headquarters (they reimburse her a certain amount monthly). Gah. While she was in the shower I hurriedly leafed through the paperwork from my transaction. I had a receipt, however it had the address of the kiosk boldly printed across the top and an invitation to fill out a questionnaire on my in-store experience on the bottom. If she barely bought the lie about needing to be on the account to pay it, she ABSOLUTELY wouldn't buy that I left the house to do so. I briefly thought of scanning it into the computer and doctoring it, but this didn't seem like a wise idea for a document that would be sent to corporate. I'll just have to find some way of putting her off until after Christmas, I guess.

I'm simply not cut out for all this sneaking around. I have learned two things, however: Judge Judy is 100% right - If you tell the truth, you never have to worry about keeping your story straight. And, I'm never, ever buying a cell phone as a gift for anyone again.
grrgoyl: (frankLOL)
Now, I'm not saying that Tracey Crankwhore and I are BFF all of a sudden, so don't jump in my shit. After two nights of pre-dawn moving activities, I left a very polite note on her door requesting that she try to be quieter if there was really no other time of day she could do it. In a perfect world I shouldn't have to ask, but we thought maybe because she never hears any of us considerate neighbors that she assumed the doors were thick enough to cover her. Well, we haven't heard a peep since. Lovely, and completely unexpected. This doesn't mean that she's ponied up the money to test our attic, but that isn't keeping us awake nights. Baby steps.

By contrast, I decided I've had enough of the Alcoholic using her handicapped space or not based on the position of the planets and I bloody well left a somewhat less polite note on her door telling her what I thought about it (anonymously, not out of cowardice but out of unwillingness to start a pointless neighborhood flame war). The next day she went out and came back again, and again parked in a regular space. So YOU tell ME who the worse neighbor is. I'm getting very sick and tired of people being such selfish, thoughtless asshats, which I guess is bad news for me since it isn't likely to change soon.

Is it any wonder I dreamt about buying a house out in the middle of nowhere, with no neighbors for miles around?

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I never finished talking about the kennels last weekend. One of the reasons I was soooo happy to have an excuse to leave was because I was rejoined by my arch-nemesis, Honus, the Asshole Beagle of Death. He was slightly better behaved, in that I didn't even notice him until I was filling out my rounds sheet and I came face to face with him in kennel #7 at the end. "Helloooooooooo, Newman Honus" I hissed in recognition. He looked up at me utterly guilelessly. It didn't take long, however, for him to remember the way of things and return to his annoying, whining, yelping, ceaseless barking.

This time he was prescribed a tranquilizer. It was scheduled for 2 a.m., but by 11 p.m. I had had all that I was going to take. I gave it to him and he still wouldn't shut up, so I called Tery. She suggested I take him upstairs with me, maybe he just wanted some company. Yeah, I'm sure the poor thing is just misunderstood. He seemed happier upstairs, probably because it gave him the opportunity to make twice as much work for me. He spent more than an hour after taking the tranq spilling every trash can in the place, and even climbing onto a few doctors' desks and knocking all their papers on the floor. Fucking ASSHOLE. He never stopped moving once, so I figured the little field trip wasn't doing any good and brought him back downstairs. Where he proceeded to bark the rest of the night. My hatred for this dog knows no bounds.

So I happily left him barking his fool head off to go to the Halloween party on Saturday night. The problem with this was when I returned and slid my key into the front door of the hospital, I felt like I was returning to a jail cell, with Honus as my jailer. I tiptoed through the dark as long as possible to delay the inevitable, but at the first creaking floorboard the basement erupted into a cacophony of barks and howls with Honus leading the pack (this is why I've taken to removing my shoes and going about in stocking feet all night). A comfortingly yelled "It's okay, babies, it's just me!" shut everyone up except for you-know-who. He KNEW it was me, that's why he was barking, the fucker.

The good of the weekend was probably these two dogs:

Warning:  Objects in picture are much larger than they appear

This is Nishika the malamute and Kava the Great Pyrenees. Sisters, and fortunately both very sweet and docile, because if one of them decided they didn't want to return to their kennel, I'm not sure what I could have done to make them. Still, I found it very hard to wrap my mind around the logistical nightmare that daily life with 200-odd pounds of dog would entail.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

I'm getting a new phone. Our Lady of the Contemptuous Scorn of All Things Cellular is now on her first upgrade. It's Tery's fault, sort of. She asked me what I wanted for Christmas, and the first words out of my mouth before I'd given it any sort of thought were "Motorola Razr." Here I'd been so proud of myself for resisting its allure when it first came out, and unbeknownst to me deep in my heart of hearts I had continued to covet it all this time. Of course, now that the desire was out there, there was no question of waiting for Christmas (not to mention Tery knows nothing about the workings of cellphone plans/upgrades, etc., so I knew it was all up to me). The guilt of indulgence was softened considerably when I idly browsed T-Mobile's site and saw a deal on this one for only $30 after rebate. T-Mobile's very reasonable asking price was merely that I sign over my soul to them for the next 2 years. Well, they can have it -- it's black and brittle and used up anyway (oh, angst!) Sure, it's a V3 which is probably considered ghetto compared to the many new versions that have since been released, but my cellphone needs are still pretty basic and I'm sure that any shortcomings in features will be more than compensated for every time I fondle the Razr's sleek, streamlined body. Yep, this phone will be bringin' sexy back (into my life, at least).

It hasn't even arrived yet and I've started tricking it out (or "pimpin' my talk" as Tery puts it). I spent far more time than necessary last night on Tery's office computer looking at accessories on eBay. She's got dial-up, so you KNOW that's some shopping dedication when every web page change requires at least a 5-minute commitment. Ugh. Dial-up suuhuuhuuhuuhuhuuhcks, in case anyone didn't know that by now. Still, I managed to find a pretty sweet case that hopefully will arrive about the same time as the phone. I'm damn excited about it, for someone who still practically never talks on the phone.

~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~

And.....speaking of killer eBay finds, I don't think anyone in their right mind who knows anything about me could possibly expect me to resist this when I discovered it during a casual search for overpriced Frank the Bunny Halloween costumes (don't worry. I didn't pay anywhere close to the price in the link). Oh. My. God. The head interchanges with Frank's human head and it says 7 phrases from the movie. It's almost as if someone IS listening to my fantasies.....
grrgoyl: (sissy)
I already had some stuff to update about, and then this went and happened last night. The Saga of the Crankwhore will have to wait a bit, but I'd like to think my faithful readership (I know you're out there. Just admit it) sees more in me than the vicarious thrill of living next door to a drug dealer that I provide. I have so much stuff to update, as a matter of fact, that I'm extending a rare courtesy and cutting for length. Enjoy it while it lasts.

::The night I thought my sister was killed:: )

::Adventures in Cell Phones and Stupidity:: )

::What you've been waiting for...Crankwhore goodness:: )

::Finally...more about my favorite obsessions:: )


Whew. Quite the exciting week. Something I need to mention in passing is that I put that goddamned Coleman grill on eBay on the advice of [livejournal.com profile] ms_hecubus and [livejournal.com profile] metatronis and would you believe it sold for $100????? Making it only a $20 mistake and much easier to live with. It went to a local woman who met me to pick it up. I refused to take her money before making sure she could use it, but she shrugged me off. "If I can fix airplanes, I think I can work with this." O-KAY. Have at it then and I won't give it another thought. Thanks for the valuable words of wisdom, Michelle and Roxie.

Shutting up now. Now let's see how many tags fit this monstrosity.
grrgoyl: (XenaKiss)
I'm kind of tired today (been working since 5 a.m.) but still feeling the update taskmaster slavering at my heels. So I'm going to pad my words with some pretty pictures.

Tery and I have learned the meaning of "A picture is worth a thousand words" when using our cell phones. Since discovering we could send photos as easily as text messages, we've been letting the pictures speak for themselves.

For instance, the night I was going to see HP and the Goblet of Fire with friends, Tery complained she didn't have anyone to hang out with. I good-naturedly invited her along, to which her response was, "Screw Harry." My reaction looked a little something like this:

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And the time I informed her that my sister and I had discussed her hands-free microphone usage (it rubs on her clothing, producing a deafening rustling sound in my ear) and both come to the conclusion that she had to be doing something wrong, her reaction looked a lot like this:

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You can just see the long years of suffering and tolerance etched into every tired line of her face. I'm pretty proud of that.

This next picture requires some longer explanation. I'm still fixated on Snarry, and when I reach this level of obsession I find ways to incorporate it into my everyday life. I was idly speculating one day when it occurred to me how like Snape and Harry my two boys are. Not in appearance, but definitely in temperament. Hear me out. Giddy (the sable) is very energetic, playful, affectionate, fearless and extremely fond of ignoring rules and subsequently getting in trouble. This is how he ends up in places like the bottom of the hamper, or behind the washing machine, or in the cutlery drawer, or even once memorably on the top shelf of my closet (he's a climber), all places he certainly is not allowed. Xander (the albino, which is the exact opposite of the color you'd associate with Snape) is more reserved, quiet, doesn't much enjoy being touched, and typically can be seen scowling darkly beneath the furniture, watching Giddy's antics disapprovingly. I know thinking about things like this is gay, but I can't really help it. I believe this picture illustrates their polarity nicely:

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See, Giddy prefers being the center of attention whereas Xander likes hanging back a bit. I've petitioned Tery to change Xander's name to Severus (since he doesn't seem especially attached to "Xander" anyway) but as stated earlier, S. names (never mind S.S. names) are anathema to our ferrets, and changing it would almost surely result in his untimely and tragic death within a week. And that would definitely put a big old damper on Christmas.

Finally in this series, I'm throwing in a picture of Nemo, cuz he's just too damn cute not to:

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I went to see Chronicles of Narnia yesterday all by myself in the middle of the afternoon. I read the book(s) in elementary school. I don't remember them as well as the 1979 animated version I grew up with. If you've seen that, you've seen this movie (although the effects are much better). It's very faithful to the cartoon, practically a frame-by-frame adaptation (except thankfully leaving out the queer and purely superfluous part with Aslan hopping and flying about after the Stone Table incident). The effects are really well done, but what else do you expect from Weta Workshop, the geniuses behind the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Particularly the centaurs. Why, back in "my day" (i.e. Hercules: The Legendary Journeys and Xena: Warrior Princess) the centaur effect was created with guys wearing some kind of furry contraption and shifting restlessly from foot to foot to simulate a horse standing in place (but more often looking more like they just needed to pee really badly) for closeups, and looking like a photoshopped nightmare pasted into scenes as an afterthought by a Tandy computer, grossly out of proportion to their co-stars, in far-away shots.

Tilda Swinton was perfect as the White Witch, being naturally abnormally pale and scary-looking. As for my favorite character I have just two words: Mr. Tumnus.

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He was perfect. Adorable. Sweet. Sexy in an innocent, unassuming (unclothed) kind of way. I wanted to put him in my pocket and take him home, but Tery would probably make a fuss.

The movie had its flaws. The plot dragged in a lot of places, even the big exciting battle. I found myself wondering why jaguars fought on the side of good while Siberian tigers were evil. I'm sure this kind of drifting off wasn't what the director intended. Also, I know C.S. Lewis is commonly associated with Christianity (I even studied him in college with regards to this) but the metaphors in the story aren't terribly clear-cut and I feel like it would take too much energy to study them any more intensely now that I can't get college credit. For instance, I feel the whole "innocent willingly being sacrificed in a traitor's stead" should smack of Biblical references, but it doesn't quite fit that neatly. And the White Witch (especially appearing in the Amazonian getup during the battle in this movie) SHOULD represent Paganism, but then Aslan sure has a lot of wild creatures fighting for him as well. Oh, it just gives me a headache.

In summary I don't see this taking off like, say, Harry Potter, even though there were 7 books. I'm not even sure I liked this movie enough to own it forever and ever. I'll have to see what else is around when it's released.

I went straight from this to a rental, White Noise. I got excited when I saw this was about EVPs (electronic voice phenomena), but the only thing scary about this movie was how frightfully stupid it was. Another film with a good premise that ended up tripping over itself at the end and leaving absolutely nothing explained (not to mention a very lame attempt at a last-minute shock which, I kid you not, was only the actress turning her head suddenly for no apparent reason). The 5-minute segment I saw on SciFi's Ghost Hunters when they caught a real EVP was 100 times creepier than this thing. Ugh. I hate being this jaded and hard to scare, I really do.

One last pic, to make [livejournal.com profile] velmaneuwirth happy. Tery and I in our younger, happier days:

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I was just a wee baby. She totally seduced and corrupted me. Blame her.

Lastly, for [livejournal.com profile] ohdeve (because I keep my threats word):

Oh unicorn, my unicorny
You make me warm and kinda horny
Splashing through rainbows and rivers all day
Sweet, sweet unicorn, never go away

I shall now sit back and await the inevitable deluge of comments.
grrgoyl: (perfect drug)
My beauty, my precioussssssss has arrived. I would take a picture of it but it looks pretty much like it does on the on the internet. It's sleek and sexy, with pretty lights and noises. Camera, FM radio, calculator, calendar, alarm clock...it won't be long before I will come to rely on this baby for every modern convenience from now on. All I'm missing is a karaoke machine and a rape horn (and an mp3 player, which some other phones actually offer nowadays, but they didn't get such good reviews).

I feel like absolutely the biggest hypocrite in the whole world. For years I have had nothing but disdain for cellphone users. Walking around like they're all that, carrying on their stupid, pointless conversations, adding more noise to an already too noisy world. Now it's my turn to be all that. Besides, have you tried finding a payphone lately? They're definitely on the way out, which is just as well, as I never have change anyway. Now when I'm grocery shopping and my mind goes blank on what I stopped for (which happens more often than I care to admit), Tery will be just three keystrokes away. Dinner disaster averted! I feel so hip talking on it, freed from the ties of my cordless phone that could never reach all the way to the mailbox (which, let's face it, is as close as I come to leaving the house 85% of the time). Like I said earlier, the main draw was having a camera handy. It doesn't take the greatest pictures, but my real camera sure doesn't fit in a lambskin swivel holster on my belt. My overriding rationale is that it's free, and that's good enough for me. If it works out and we can get rid of our landline, our monthly phone bill would be cut in half. A cellphone makes good financial sense right now. But I could still give it back tomorrow if I had to. Honestly.

Besides, I've already wasted a ludicrous amount of time scouring the internet for the perfect ringtone that tells the world who I am in 10 notes or less. What an agonizing decision. How do people live with the stress? Most of the tones I found are pretty useless. They start at the beginning of the song, taking their own sweet time getting to the more recognizable chorus. I can't foresee ever letting my phone ring long enough to get that far. I originally set out in search of "Jerk it Out" by The Caesars (the first iPod commercial theme). The beginning would be a kick-ass ring, so naturally every file I found skipped right to the chorus. Work with me, people. I abandoned that when I discovered the Buffy theme. THIS is da shit. Same with the Angel theme. Hours and hours later I finally stepped away from the computer after finding an equally awesome Rage Against the Machine tone (the piece at the end of The Matrix. Yes, it's repetitive and vaguely Chinese water torturish, but instantly recognizable). I was so excited about this one that I played it for Tery, who commented in the least enthused, yet most supportive tone she could muster, "That's pretty good, hunny." Other cool ones that were passed up were the Monty Python theme and The Final Countdown (aka G.O.B.'s theme...I can't be bursting into fits of laughter every time my phone rings). Please god let me be able to transfer these with the cable I found on eBay. I really don't want to pay $2 a pop to get my phone just the way I want it. I guess they figure if you can afford a cellphone, you've got money to burn on stupid things like ringtones. Rumor has it the phone supports mp3 tones too. There are some tracks on my new Depeche Mode CD that would be great, in all their synthesized glory. I hear ringtones everywhere I turn these days.

I don't even know myself anymore.

When I started reading through the welcome packet, chapter one included an enormous list of all the info I would need when I called to activate the phone, a 15-20 minute process. I despise talking on the phone so much that I dreaded making this call. Don't think the irony of this is lost on me. Fortunately LetsTalk.com had already pre-activated the phone for me. I just had to turn it on and start dialing. I ♥ them for this.

And I really hope this love affair lasts, because I just got a buttload of accessories off eBay to keep my precioussssss company. Because what's the good of a shiny new toy without the "sold separately" accoutrements?

Tery went out last night with Tabby and Ryan. I stayed home and watched the Saw commentary. Oh, yes, I ran out and bought this as soon as I learned of its existence. I couldn't possibly be expected to resist this brilliant marketing:

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There's a bladder with "blood" on the front cover (at least, I'm hoping it's "blood" and not...blood). This cover is rivalled perhaps only by the Evil Dead Special Edition, bound in "human skin." I don't own that one, not for lack of those marketing bastards preying on my senses just as hard as they can.

The extra gore promised was barely noticeable, but the extras on this version are a lot juicier. I'm mightily excited about the sequel.

The POINT is when Tery got home all she could talk about was how all Ryan could talk about was me. How much he loved me and couldn't wait to hang out again. I've met this guy ONCE. I refuse to believe I am THAT charming. I told Tery I was sorry that my milkshake brings all the boys to the yard (even the gay ones). She explained that he's a "dyke hag," which I didn't even know existed (the fact that I'm not a dyke notwithstanding). She called them to let them know she made it home okay and put me on the phone with him. I was really out of it (I've been getting up at 4 a.m. every day this week), but remember clearly the part where he told me he loved me, followed by a nervous (adorable) little giggle. He wanted to be the first person I called when I got my precioussssss (sorry, baby. It had to be my sister). I invited him to Halloween tomorrow night, but he went and invited all his coworkers to his parents' house in the mountains this weekend. Poor guy wants desperately to cancel on them to be with me us, but he can't. I promised I would take lots of pictures of the evening for him (and for this journal).

I wanted to invite him to the movies on Sunday, but Tabby informs me that Sunday is Broncos day, so that's right out. Guess I'll just go see Serenity alone (I doubt he would have been up for that movie anyway). (Yes, I finished Disc 4 of Firefly. So much promise, so much potential. I really love these characters. Maybe it will be like Star Trek and spawn countless film sequels.) Speaking of Tabby, we made up today, but I still anticipate a lengthy conversation tomorrow night. I think it will be good for both of us.

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grrgoyl

December 2011

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