What Did I Just Do?

I am not sure how I got myself into this. I blame Anne of Green Gables, actually. What can you expect from a troublesome red-head?

It started innocently enough with a comment over on sj’s blog. Oh, that’s right. It was sj’s blog. I blame her, too. Anyway, she is celebrating a year of reading whatever in this world she wants, and Anne of Green Gables is there on her list. I’ll show you the slippery slope I stepped upon right here.

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Two things here. Anne of Green Gables and free books. I was up a creek already. See that last sentence? Yeah. That one.

A few hours later, I wandered into the used book pound and met this little guy.

Look_what's_living_in_my_house

Look at what is living in my house!

It licked my face, peed on my shoe, and crawled into my lap. What else could I do? (that rhymes. I rock.) I took it home.

Let the record show that I had an e-reader once. It was beautiful and happy, and it did everything short of fetching the paper. I loved it, but I hated Amazon, so I sent it back. I’ve been in the half-hearted market for another e-reader that didn’t require the selling of my soul to the devil or a credit card, so I knew I wanted a Kobo.

This version is a year and a half old (happy birthday, little friend), and there are no bells and whistles. It’s not backlit like I really wanted, but after using my trade credit, it cost me all of $8. Worth a try, right? Definitely. Especially since there’s a money back guarantee.

Koko the Kobo works well. It’s intuitive, I’ve been able to use all functions easily, and I’ve even converted some ebooks I had into epub format and loaded them onto the device. Hold me back! I’m in the 21st century!

Here’s the problem. I have ten days to take it back, and the only thing left to determine is battery life. I feel obligated to spend as much time as possible with the little guy. I’m getting nothing else done. I get up, I read. I eat lunch, I read. I weed eat the lawn, I read. Because I have to.

My New Year’s resolution was to write 1000 words a day, and I’m already behind after being ill the first few days of the new year. I’ll catch up, right? Even though all my free time is spent reading with my new best friend?

Phoebe and the cats will no longer speak to me. My lap is unavailable for cat or canine because Koko is already ensconced on his pillow. And forget about petting. I need a hand to turn the page.

Husband is no longer speaking to me because the time I am not test-driving the reader is spent scouring the internet for clothes to dress Koko up in. He needs a pretty cover, and a light, and maybe a new chew toy. And forget cooking a meal. That would involve tedious time-sucks like, I don’t know, grocery shopping.

The kids are no longer speaking to me because, being forced to raise themselves, they have turned feral and are living in the woods.

The upside is that since no one is speaking to me, it’s quiet enough to read.

What should I read next?

Catching You Up

In case you’ve been following my computer saga (and who hasn’t? It’s riveting!), I am now on my third computer in two weeks. The color on the first two was bad. After returning the first two and opting for a different brand entirely, I brought the newest one home with much trepidation.

After Squish went to sleep, I unpacked it all. With bated breath, I booted it up. I was so angry at the distorted appearance on the monitor that I was ready to throw the whole thing out of my second story window. My blood boiled as I thought about having to trek back to the store AGAIN to return a faulty laptop.

Yes, the hands are disproportionately large. Thanks for noticing. We'll call those my "angry hands" and call it a a day, 'kay?

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About 10 seconds later, I remembered to remove the thin black foam used to protect the screen during shipping.

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And we can call these "stupid hands."

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Then I carefully packed everything back into the box to return it. Because I am maybe too stupid to own a computer.

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In case you’re wondering, that was not the issue with the first two computers. I swear!

I See What I’ve Been Missing

We cut off cable a few years ago when we moved to our new house, and we never bothered to have it hooked back up. After a Saturday at my mother’s house with access to 300 channels, I am now discontent with my life. We need cable.

I was there to take care of Mom following her surgery. But apparently post-op patients tend to take a lot of naps, which left me in control of the remote. Such power! I skimmed through that awesome and amazing TV guide channel and discovered the most amazing things. I found an educational program called “Brazilian Butt Lift” on the ABC Family Channel. As the old adage goes, “Families that lift their bum-bums together go to therapy together,” and who wants to stand in the way of that?

I scrolled through more channels and found about fifty more workout programs. I didn’t bother. According to a fellow blogger, I would actually have to do the exercises in order for them to help. As if.

And there were a few dozen home improvement programs. Watching a team come in and knock out half of the walls, paint everything green and purple, and spend large sums of money on weird bits of furniture is good fun. The families are always so excited about that latch hook Dogs Playing Poker rug in the living room and the velvet Elvis on the bedroom ceiling because it’s all in such good taste.

I finally settled on Planet Earth, a nature series with spectacular cinematography. And even better commercials. I timed it. Three minutes of commercials for every five minutes of programming. You know what that means? Too much programming. I found that I have been missing out on a lot of great stuff.

I need a GoJo. It’s the truly hands-free headset, and I need to use my hands less. And I want one for the whole family. We don’t have cell phones, and I only voluntarily make one phone call a week, but we need this thing. With this device, I could do back flips and carry my five pound laptop without even using my hands. I have always wanted to be able to do a back flip.

And there was this sticky roller thing used to get pet hair off of clothing. They said that buying their product could save me $100 a year, and who doesn’t need extra cash? But here’s the sad part. Vince promised that if I called within the next 20 minutes, he would double my order, but they couldn’t keep the offer going all day. And apparently he meant it. I couldn’t find the phone, and they never ran the ad again.

So here I sit, sad and still covered in cat hair, unable to lift my Brazilian Butt off the couch, and still using my hands to hold things. I am way behind the modern world. I may never catch up.

Dude, with a GoJo, you could be holding that cat hands-free. I swear!

Lost in Translation: Facebook Edition

Needs no translation. Tiny snowman is angry because he is at the mercy of the thermometer. Bummer.

A little guide to the new Facebook. As you know, I am a born interpreter.

Find Friends: People with whom you have much in common and should probably add. They are friends of friends, pets of friends, play an app that you deleted, went to the same school as someone you once met, answered similarly when taking a “Do you like soap?” quiz,  or they, like you, are breathing. See? You are practically twins. Add them, or you will die alone.

Share: Click the button, you selfish pig. Everyone wants to know that you have leveled up/unlocked a treasure/poked a pet. Everyone. Who do you think you are, the Queen of England? Like you’ve got secrets to keep.

“Overall Protection Is Low”: We don’t have enough information about you to completely wreck  your life when we sell it. We only pretend to care about your security question. What we really want is your mobile number. So we can call you on your birthday. We promise not to share it with anyone. Pinky swear. At least not until the next update. And if you could go ahead and provide samples of your hair and blood, that would be just super.

Privacy Settings: This has nothing to do with actual privacy. If it helps, think of it more as a video game. Just like you aren’t growing actual vegetables on Farmville. But it’s fun, right?

Ticker: A running list of every single thing that your friends are doing that you forgot to unsubscribe to. You now have the ability to make fun of your friends because you know how many times they have listened to “You Give Love a Bad Name” today. As important as it is to have friends, you have our permission to unfriend those who admit to listening to anything by Justin Bieber. It’s our one exception.

Like: Ambiguous and sometimes creepy, it’s a great way to let someone know that you have read their post without actually commenting. And it always keeps them guessing! When you see someone “likes” your post that your dog has mange and is undergoing experimental treatment, do they mean “I hate your dog because he poops on my lawn.  Go, mange!” or do they mean “I’m so glad that a brand new treatment is now available?” That’s part of the fun.  You decide! After all, Facebook is about giving you control and enhancing your relationships!

Recent Stories: A bunch of stuff you used to read. We prioritized it for you because deciding what should be important to you is what we do. It’s pretty much the same stuff you’ve already seen in your news feed. It’s basically a reminder that we’re collecting data on everything you do and will either sell it or use it against you in the future. You’re welcome.

Tags: Easy way to invade someone else’s privacy. Have an embarrassing photo of someone? Awesome! Post it and tag ‘em. Not only will it go to all of your friends, but it goes to all of theirs as well. And their minister. And maybe their kindergarten teacher. We’re not totally sure.

 

 

The Sorted Details

The Official Logo. Courtesy of Pottermore,com

I am cool. I have an early invitation to Pottermore. A friend signed me up a couple of months ago. You wish you had friends like that. Actually, you should. She’s awesome. Here’s the fun part. Early admittance didn’t actually mean we could get into the site early. We still had to wait for our letter to arrive (via email, not owl) in order to fully access all the features. But mine arrived this morning. I got in early. The site isn’t open to everyone until October, which is, um Saturday. . So I guess that means I rock, but only a little more than the average person. Having received notification that I am just to the right of ordinary, I logged in. Or I tried to.

Now, I’m not here to offer any spoilers or anything. I am pretty sure there were Terms of Service that I agreed to. I know I must have promised not to tell anyone anything cool about the site. Since I’m in the cool-kid club and got in early and all. If I violate the terms, a mountain troll will probably poop on my lawn. So call me the secret keeper. I say nothing about what I see. Except this:

They’re beta-testing the site, and I hope someone over there is taking notes. I can’t get in. Once I’m in, I can’t stay in. And if I stay in, I am not sure how to get where I am going. And once I am there, it takes me forever to figure out how to get where I have been. Nothing makes sense. Kind of like Facebook. Pottermore is the new social network for geeks.

I have no idea what I am doing, and I can’t find a tutorial. Not sure how to see the stuff I want to see. I know people have been sorted into houses because I have been subjected to them via my Twitter feed for the last two weeks. But how do I get there? I want to be sorted, too, but every time I think I have moved a bit forward, I get kicked off the site. The servers can’t handle the volume of users without suddenly shutting people out. I have not been able to stay on for longer than a minute and a half yet, and it’s only open to a million people so far.

It’s a total time-suck. The precious hour I wasted messing about on the site getting absolutely nowhere was time I need to spend writing. Or cleaning. Or eating. Or all three. I spent significantly more time trying to log in than I actually did exploring. I found the whole mess to be tedious and frustrating. I may actually have yelled at my computer once. Okay, twice. An entire hour of my life I will never get back.

So my user name is WolfsbaneNight8. I’ll be back on again the moment I can. Look me up, and we can be friends! Yes, I know. I have a problem. You don’t need to point it out, but thanks.

I Got Dumped

photo courtesy of busytrade.com. Because I don't take pictures of my trash

I don’t know what happened. Yesterday you were a part of my life, pretty as you please. And today, poof, you are gone. Vanished from my life completely like a thief in the night. And it hurts. Is it me? I’ll never know. Because you dumped me, severed our tenuous connection. That’s right. You quit following me on Twitter.

I’ve been learning all about social media recently as an effort to promote the things that I am doing. I avoided Twitter for a long time, mostly because of the lingo. Hashtags don’t sound like something a Christian should be involved with. I gathered my courage and jumped in this week, and this is the thanks I get. I was so proud of building some followers, and then I got up this morning and discovered you were gone. I am devastated. I wish I knew which one you were.

Were you the girl who added me under my old user name (cheapthrills03) thinking that I might enjoy reading about your drunken, drug-addled romp with your married boss? Actually, such a parting might not be bad for either of us, as we obviously have different interests. But what if it wasn’t you? And what if you actually read this. Should I just go ahead and say goodbye now? Do I send a card?

Were you the guy who tweets about the fabulous software that you have created. That no one has ever heard of? Or the girl who was looking for a good time? I am a fun person. We could play Monopoly, or even watch Harry Potter! Or are you the one who wants to sell me penis enlargement pills? Don’t let my lack of such an appendage come between us. We can work it out!

Or are you the lady that I was following myself. The one who found me in the bushes outside her house? I am so very, very sorry about that. I am really new to Twitter, and I got a little confused. I now know the difference between “following” and “stalking.” My bad. Please accept my apologies and a new azalea to replace the one I squashed. And the private investigator will no longer be parked outside your place of business. Restraining orders are handy little things, no?

Anyway. If you are out there, my long, lost cyber-soul mate, please look me up. I miss you. And I’ve got a telemarketer friend you might really like, too. She’ll be calling in a couple of hours. We can all hang out and go get our nails done or something. Follow me!