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03/23/06 11:03 - 33ºF - ID#21977

Some Things Are Too Important

How is it that adult humor is the most juvenile?
Heh heh heh.

So yesterday, (e:Zobar) and I are sitting at the dinner table, each discussing our sucky days at work, but good-naturedly, because, well, you know, things aren't that bad and also the food is good.
Z's drinking 100% grape juice, and reading the back of the bottle. "This says an 8-ounce glass is two servings of fruit," he says. "But I think it should be more than that. I mean, from 8 ounces of pure grape juice? You should get, like, two servings of fruit and a gold star."
I find this amusing, and begin considering giving people gold stars. I am feeling benevolent towards Z at this point, for reasons which will become clear as the story progresses. "We should give each other stars," I say.
"I dunno," he says. "What for?"
"Well," I say. "Let's see. I would give you:
  • 1 star for the snuggles you gave me this morning
  • 1 star for the sex, because that was nice too
  • 1 star for making dinner because it's awesome
  • and 2 stars for buying me Cadbury eggs on the way home because that involved remembering a conversation and extrapolating it into action which means a Bonus Star.
So that's five stars right there!"
He looks oddly wounded. "Don't I get any for doing all the dishes in the sink?"
I pause. I blink. "You did?"
He points. I look. The sink had been full of things like the wok and the grill pan and other non-dishwasherable things, left over from a rather ambitious dinner earlier in the week. I mean, full, like to the point that I tried to rinse out a milk glass and wound up breaking the thing.
Now it is not.
"Oh, honey," I say. "No, you don't get stars for that."
"I don't?"
"No," I say. "You get oral sex for that."

Some things are too important to fuck around with stickers.
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Permalink: Some_Things_Are_Too_Important.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

03/21/06 01:25 - 31ºF - ID#21976

Home Networking: Or, Murphy's Law

I keep meaning to update this blog and I keep not doing it. Livejournal's the one I'm in the habit of updating. I did manage to add the RSS feed of (e:Zobar)'s journal to my LJ friendslist, but really I should've done one of the whole site. Put that on my list of Things To Do Once The Internet Isn't Broken.

Yes, the Internet's broken at my house.

Being the live-in girlfriend of an information technologist isn't all it's cracked up to be. Because, see, he leaves the house sometimes. And while he's out of the house, he's fixing broken things. When he comes home, after a long day of fixing broken things, he's astonishingly unreceptive to complaints about Yet More Shit That's Broken.

So I'm trying to Fix the Internet.

Now. You will know, if you've been following along, that I am not an IT specialist. I know just enough about computers that my mom makes me fix hers whenever I visit. This doesn't mean that my fixes make anything better. No. I am a writer and a waitress, and not terribly in tune with technology. (Answering machines make me stammer, television remote controls bewilder me, and I have on more than one occasion been reduced to tears by the Direct TV sattelite receiver at work's inscrutable refusal to "get the game up on the big teevee there". Bar customers are shockingly rude when you're too busy serving beers to indulge their television whims. But I digress.)

So. Armed with the knowledge of It Can't Be That Hard (Or They'd Have To Pay (e:Zobar) More, Right?), I went into where the router and modem sit. (On a milk crate on top of a disused bookshelf in (e:Zobar)'s room, for the curious.) I located their power adapters. I unplugged first the router, then the modem, and waited five seconds for each one to fully power down. I then plugged in the modem, and waited until all its blinky lights had gone back to being either blinky or steady as was appropriate. I then plugged in the router, and watched its self-check, and let its blinky lights go steady or blinky as desired. Right.

Internet still didn't work.

I made a pot of coffee, put in a load of laundry, wrote a Livejournal entry in a Word document since there was no Internet. Came back. Still no Internet.

So I did my I Feel So Effective power-cycling trick again.

I checked: (e:Zobar) didn't bring his phone to work. So I could text him and ask him to call me when he wasn't busy, but he'd get the text message sometime next week.

Finally I gave up. I'd been planning on doing a lot of research on various topics on the Internet today, to sort of reward myself: over the last two days, courtesy of my laptop, I've managed to write over 7,000 words on the novel I'm trying to complete. I worked diligently on Sunday in a slow shift at work, and yesterday on the bus, or waiting for the bus, etc.,-- all places with no Internet.
Perhaps, I thought, this is the Cosmos's way of saying to me that I should not take a break, but should continue writing at that pace. Because the Cosmos is sick of me whining that my book isn't done yet.

So I got out my laptop, and settled myself in a comfy, pillow-propped position (my laptop screen only works when held at certain angles, see, so pillows are helpful), and opened up my Word document, and was rereading the last few paragaphs when--

Wrngggng (i challenge you to spell that more logically)

iChat signed onto the Internet. The Internet: Fixed. Nugh!

I extricated myself from the pillows and ran back out to where my desktop is set up, to continue my Internet research. I opened half a dozen tabs in Firefox and was eagerly reading all the links I'd been dying to click when the Internet died. I was about halfway through when...

The Internet stopped responding again.

I have discovered that the only way to Fix Broke Things is to resign myself to their being broken.

Now that leaves me with only one question:
How do I fake resignedness? Because I really want to keep doing what I was doing on the Internet (researching publishing and agents, if you must know).

Sigh. *climbs back into bed with laptop*

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Permalink: Home_Networking_Or_Murphy_s_Law.html
Words: 740
Location: Buffalo, NY

03/14/06 01:38 - 34ºF - ID#21975

Rosa Parks

This site keeps making noises I don't understand. I feel very codgery, sort of like standing on my lawn and shaking my stick at all the esoteric icons. "You dang printery lookin' thing, get off my lawn and tell me where the Update Journal button is!"

That said, I am very pleased by all the welcome comments and chats I've gotten. Please be advised, however, that I am an exceedingly disorganized person, which condition is sorely exacerbated by job stress and the fact that I'm in the final stages of completing a full manuscript for my second novel (the first one is in the back of a drawer awaiting editing). So I have about 3% of a brain at this point. So I kind of miss a lot of emails and comments and the such, here and at my livejournal, and this has given me this constant low-grade guilt that's taking up approximately a third of my remaining brain-- leaving me functioning at about two percent.

The novel's going swimmingly, though, when I'm not trapped at work by flight delays.

I logged on here partly to spy on (e:Zobar), of whom I have seen very little these last few days what with all the work that's been going on (for him and me), and partly because I had a mildly entertaining story from riding the bus.

I take the MTA's 30 bus to get to work some days, because Z & I have just one car between the two of us. (It's his car, legally, but I've paid for approximately half of it by now, as well as much of the insurance.) Z takes the bus many days as well, so don't go thinking I'm all self-sacrificing. I'm not. It's just that I've discovered that now that I have a laptop I can get a lot of writing done on the bus, and I'd rather spend that time writing than spend that time driving.

I digress. There are always things going on on the bus. I witness a lot more of life when I'm on the bus. It's sort of interesting because I interact with a different cross-section of society when I'm on the bus. The 30C goes from Vulcan to the University Station (at UB South) and thence to the airport via ECC, so I get a high proportion of people on their way to classes at one of the two universities, and also a lot of people who work in this weird little industrial park between ECC and the airport-- it seems to host some call centers and the like. There's also a nursing home in the middle of the route, so there are often nursing assistants riding the bus. Not a lot of crazies or drunks on that route.
All of which is immaterial to the story, but I'm setting the scene, I guess.

Yesterday on the way in I listened to a young woman inform her friend of where all the best jobs were. She mentioned the company I work for, and then mentioned a coworker I'm fond of by name and thoroughly ran her down. I was sitting there in my uniform, which gives you some idea of how perceptive this girl was. She then complained about how she'd been fired for such trivial reasons, and advised her friend to avoid that company. I relayed the incident once I was at work to the coworker in question, who laughed. "I remember her," she said. "She called (Supervisor) a fatass."
So there's your answer on that.

But. The amusing anecdote. (I was going to be succinct. I failed. I told you, this is only 2% of my brain, and the editing part is Busy, thanks very much.)

So I get on the 8:28 to go home after my shift. I am the only one that gets on at the airport. I usually sit in the back, but tonight I decide to stay near the front. I'm tired. So I'm sitting there, and we get to the weird little industrial park.

Three people get on, all three of at least nominally African descent, all apparently friends or at least acquaintances. The first one, a young woman, pays her fare and sits down near me. The second one, a still-younger woman, pays her fare, sees that the coveted back-of-the-back-of-the-bus bench is free, and says, "Come on! Let's sit in the back!"
The sitting girl says, "Rosa Parks DIED so we wouldn't have to sit in the back of the bus!"

I thought that was really funny. The group merrily corrected her, and they eventually concluded that Parks's noble sacrifice was so that they could have a choice of where to sit, and thus they all went to the back and had a grand old time for the 40 minutes it took us to get to University Station.
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Permalink: Rosa_Parks.html
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Location: Buffalo, NY

03/13/06 08:04 - 53ºF - ID#21974


Normally I would be really excited, as I love thunderstorms. But today I am filled with dread. Why? Because planes can't fly in thunderstorms. (The turbulence makes them fall out of the air, which is generally regarded to be Bad.)
And normally I wouldn't mind a few flight delays. I mean, they're awful to live through, but are really your best bet as money-makers. (Think about it. Your flight's delayed. You think, what to do? Ah-- go to the bar. Makes sense. Unfortunately the same thought occurs to everyone else simultaneously. And that makes for rather a stressful atmosphere behind the bar, because such people tend to be low on patience, and given Murphy's Law, something else usually goes wrong about then, i.e. "Forty-nine people have just walked in and my Labatt Blue keg just kicked and the cocktail waitress just went on break.")

And yet, still, I wouldn't be lying in my bed (with laptop, ha ha) filled with dread, except for the fact that I just spent yesterday at work. Now, I don't know if any of you were outside yesterday, but if you were, you might have noticed something. What something was that?
It was foggy.
Not only was it foggy here, making takeoffs and landings impossible for eight hours, but there were also weather issues in JFK/LaGuardia, and I don't know the details but I do know for sure that 1) JetBlue, 2) US Airways, 3) United, 4) AirTran (you know, for being out of business, the number of flights they have that leave from BNIA's Gate 9 has remained utterly unchanged), 5) Continental, and 6) Southwest, which was so bad I should say it twice, Southwest,... had flights not taking off. Some had flights diverted, rerouted, canceled, etc. JetBlue boarded flight 7 at 5:30, and we were all filled with hope: maybe it would leave, maybe that meant that some flights would leave-- but then, at 10:30 pm, the entire contents of the plane came pouring into the bar all at once, having just sat on the runway for five hours.

I arrived at ten to noon for my shift. I got down to the bar and things were already in chaos. (The opener arrives at 11:30 on Sundays, and I was the cocktail waitress, who arrives at 12:00.) So I ran around like a crazy person getting things sorted out, and then I ran around like a crazy person taking care of customers, and then I ran around like a crazy person for a while longer, and...
I took my lunch break at 10:45 pm.

To say I'm "kind of sore" today would be an understatement so vast the mind laughs at it rather than trying to comprehend it. I hurt my back on Friday during the Canadian Spring Break rush. I hurt my left bicep on Saturday during the continuation of that (with the added "cheap fucks who'll drive four to eight hours to save $100 in airfare usually fly on Saturdays" bonus meaning that my tips averaged 8% of my check totals, and were frequently lower). So a nice peachy twelve-hour shift of UTTER CHAOS was just what we needed to ensure that I truly appreciate my vertebrae.

I have to work today, and then I'm off for two days. So I admit, ungrateful as it may sound (bartenders always hope it'll be busy. it's the only way you make money), I really, really hope those thunderstorms clear up by the time my shift starts, because I have made about all the money I can stand to make out of injuring myself.

Although the thunderstorms do mean it's spring. I have snowdrops blooming in my front yard, and crocuses. My mother bought me crocus bulbs when I first moved into this house, big giant purple crocuses, and they were so exciting to see last year-- I'd never planted anything before on my own. This past autumn my older sister Katy, who was in Iraq at the time with the Third Infantry Division, bought me a big order of bulbs from White Flower Farm, mostly because she was hankering for her own garden. So I've got fifty more crocuses in assorted colors this year, and 25 Galanthus Nivalis snowdrops all along the front yard. Zobar wants to naturalize snowdrops all through the lawn, and I think he might have a good idea there. But anyway. I am, despite my airport-schedule trepidation, excited about spring.

Even though we kind of got gypped on winter.
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Permalink: tunderstorms.html
Words: 736
Location: Buffalo, NY

03/07/06 02:47 - 33ºF - ID#21973

uh... hello?

Obviously, I am not one of the cool kids. I had something witty and flippant all ready to go here, to make an impression and be fancy and witty, but then the browser ate it, and it's gone now. (To further prove my lack of awesomeness, I'd composed it beforehand in a word processing document which I had (here comes the brilliant part) closed without saving because it was pasted into the browser window so surely all was well. Right? No. Duh.)

So anyhow.
You wouldn't know it, but I'm actually quite an old hand at blogging. I started my Livejournal (don't groan at me like that-- at least it's not MySpace) in the summer of 2001 because I was tired of emailing the same things to different people. "How was your week? I did this and this and that!" Why not just put it online? Great!
Only, my mom still doesn't read it, and it's just as well.
Having a blog has meant that I have dozens upon dozens of online friends. But, as the founder of this site has pointed out, that means I've been rather lazy about seeking out real-world friends. I've lived in Buffalo for two years now, but have very few friends here.
So, inspired by the Geek Meet, I thought, well, I might as well, since I'm online all the time, seek out other people who are online in Buffalo. It's sort of like a half-way step towards a real-world social life. But let's not talk crazy here.

My instinct here is to go on about myself for an hour or two but I suppose I'd have more of a chance of salvaging a halfway-to-coolness impression if I were brief. So, in short:
1. I write novels. I don't necessarily finish them. I have one complete but it needs a redraft. The second one's almost done and needs to be trimmed down. Numbers three through twelve all need a whole lot more than that.
I know there are a bunch of writers' groups in Buffalo and I should join one for some support and motivation and exchange of ideas, but again, do I leave my house? Seldom: I have the Internet.
2. I tend bar at the airport. There are three bars in the Buffalo-Niagara International Airport, all on the far side of security. If you're flying out, stop in and see us-- there's one at gate 6, one at gate 10, and one at gate 16, all staffed by the same people and run by the same company. Which means that the people are all nice, but the prices are all identically atrocious. I mostly work weekends.
3. I am the girlfriend of Zobar , who is the geek who ran the Geekmeet and works for prominent altnewsweekly and writes them brilliant :: columns. Do I resent him for being published when I, a novelist for a decade and a half, am not? NO. NEVER FOR A MINUTE.
He's also a total noodge. However. He cooks well, when he sets his mind to it. Which has to count for something. I've lived with him at 4 addresses for 3.5 years in 2 states, so either it does, or I'm a moron.

OK. Here goes nothin'. *hits Publish*

  • edited to add* Oh. Doesn't use HTML.
Pardon my dust while I figure out how to include a link. Durr...
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Permalink: uh_hello_.html
Words: 575
Location: Buffalo, NY



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