If anything can go wrong, it will.

Monthly Archives: August 2015

Dear Shannon

Hello. It’s me. Or that is to say, it’s you. An older, hopefully slightly wiser you. Me.

I want to talk to you about a few things that, from this end, are still on the horizon for you.

You’ve just had your heart broken by someone that you had put all of your time, energy, faith, and hope into. He let you down, and left you when you needed someone the most.

Be patient. It’s true what they say about good things coming to those who wait.

It’s okay that you feel heartbroken.  You’re allowed. I promise you, though, that it won’t always be that way. Soon, very soon, someone is going to come along who will help you understand why the relationship you’re lamenting the end of just didn’t work out.

It wasn’t meant to be.

There is something, someone, so much better for you about to come along. I promise.

He won’t live anywhere near you. In fact, he’ll be 4,132 miles away, and there will be times that the distance is so hard. Don’t give up.

You will get scared. You will because you will love him so much. You will worry that he won’t be able to handle the miles that separate you. You will worry that he will find someone nearby to take your place in his heart. You will lie awake at night and obsess over all the things that might happen, all the ways in which you might not be enough for him.

I wish you wouldn’t. And he will wish you wouldn’t, too.

Be brave. Be confident. When he tells you that he loves you, take him at his word, because as you will eventually see, he will never give you reason to doubt.

Don’t let jealousy or fear get the better of you. Understand that in his eyes, there is nothing and no one who could ever take your place. Nothing and no one who is “better” than you.

Take notice of how much you love him and how happy he makes you, and never take those things for granted. Never take it for granted that he knows how you think or feel about him, either. It may not seem like it, but he gets scared, too. Take the time to remind him, often, how much you love and appreciate him.

You will argue sometimes. It happens to all couples. Understand that in the same way that you still love him when you are upset and frustrated, he loves you, too. Don’t assume that he is going to give up on you because of an argument. Or two. Or ten. Don’t hold him accountable for the way you’ve been treated by others.  Don’t think that he will be just the same, because he is not.

Cherish every bit of time that you get to spend together. The time zone difference between the two of you will be hell. Six hours difference means that you will only get a few hours in any given day, particularly weekdays. Make the most of your time together.

Mostly, though, be brave. This one,  he’s The One. The one that you’re going to spend forever with. The one who is going to work just as hard as you will, right by your side, to make it work.

Remember that love is not just a thing that you feel, but something that you do. Keep falling in love with him every day. You will see, by his words and his actions, that he does the same for you.

14K Fridays: Week 5

I should be doing the laundry and at least starting to pack. Instead, I’m here expounding upon my own personal list of things to be happy about.  And waiting for Alex‘s lunch hour, because I’m really missing the sound of his voice. The laundry and the packing will wait… though not for long.

  1. The Sims You go ahead and judge me if you must, but I freaking love The Sims 3. I’ve been playing Sims forever, and TS3 is my favourite. TS4 can die in a fire, though. It’s more like The Sims 2.5 since they took away open neighbourhoods and CaSt. I refuse to move on to TS4 without CaSt, even if I could live without open neighbourhoods.
  2. Pumpkin Pie. If I would be just a little bit less lazy about it, I could have pumpkin pie all the time.  There are very few things that I know how to cook, or bake, but I can do scrumptious pumpkin pies.
  3. Halloween. I’m not that big on most holidays, to be honest, but I do enjoy Halloween. I’ve not dressed up for it in years, but I do love to see the costumes on the little trick-or-treaters who come by.  And, even though I’m  not actually much of a fan of horror films, I am looking forward to spending Halloween with Alex, and cuddling up with him to watch whatever scary stuff he chooses.  The scares are just good excuses to bury my face in his chest and snuggle up closer, right?
  4. Never completely growing up.  Of course we all have to grow up to some extent, and be responsible, productive members of society, right? But that doesn’t mean that it’s not still sometimes fun to sit on the porch steps and blow bubbles. 4 cups of water, ½ cup of dish soap, ⅓ cup of honey and a good bubble wand makes for some really awesome bubbles.
  5. Cupcakes! Aside from Alex, I don’t know very many people who don’t enjoy cake, at least now and then. Cupcakes are awesome because you get a whole cake all to yourself, without having to feel quite so much guilt as you would for eating, say, an entire sheet-cake.
  6. BLTs. Oh, how I love bacon. My mouth is watering right now, and I think I need to stop putting food on the list. I’m starving!
  7. The sound of my cat(s) purring.  Apparently I angered one of the cats, I’m not sure which, in the middle of the night last night. Kitty was apparently so ticked off that his or her yowling woke Alex.  Suffice it to say, I’m glad that both of them seem happy with me this morning.
  8. Making up after a fight.  I’m also thankful for little things like the way Alex never raises his voice at me on the rare occasions when we do argue, even when he’s asking me to please stop yelling.
  9. Little love notes written in sand.
  10. ’67 Ford Mustangs. Not the fastback.

My Father, The Asshole

For a long time I avoided having to speak on the phone to my father very much by virtue of being unable to accept collect calls without paying a hefty deposit to my phone company. (Never mind the fact that I’ve had the same home phone number and account for fifteen years, or that we’ve always paid the bill, and that a huge deposit to allow us to accept collect calls seems unreasonable in these circumstances, it was convenient for me to just say that I couldn’t do it without paying the deposit). Since he, as an inmate of a correctional facility, didn’t exactly have a regular long distance plan of his own, phone calls were rare. By rare I actually mean they never happened.

And then my father discovered that he could pre-pay for his calls if he had money on his books.

I suppose that one positive thing that I can say about my father is that he has a great work ethic. He’ll work long hours without complaint, and he’ll even ask for overtime. Despite the low wages an inmate receives, he’s got plenty of money on his books to pre-pay for phone calls. Apparently so much that for the next week he intends to call me every single day.  Every day because I’m leaving on the first of next month and, pre-paid or not, he won’t be able to call while I’m abroad for the next three months.

Yesterday’s call is still fresh in my mind. Probably because it still has me seething just a little bit.

I suppose the call started pleasantly enough. Within two minutes, though, the tone went downhill entirely. “How’s the weather” turned into “I don’t watch the news any more, it’s too depressing” which turned into “this nation is more wicked than Sodom and Gomorrah before the Lord destroyed it” which then became “It’s not enough that we’ve got all these homos, but now they get to get married, too”.

My dad said the look on my face was enough to make him clear the room.

I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised. I’ve known for a very long time that my father is a horrible bigot. I spent a fair few of my formative years in a household where religious, ethnic, and racial slurs were tossed around casually by one parent while the other tried to teach me how hurtful and wrong that behaviour was. I’m thankful that I had my mother to show me what kind of person I wanted to be.

There are a million things that I can think of now that I wish I had said to my father. I’ve had time. Whether I should have been surprised by what he said or not, though, I certainly was. Surprised and angry.

I suppose I should be thankful I have my father to show me what kind of person I don’t want to be.

Preparing To Travel

I’m just going to put it right out there and say that I’m a nervous, anxious sort of person.  At least about a fair few things.

I don’t like heights.  And by this I mean that I don’t even care to use step-stools or to stand on a chair to reach something on the upper shelves of my cabinets.

I’m no fan of small spaces. You’ll never find me hiding in a closet, even if it’s the last place to go in a zombie apocalypse. I’d just let the damn zombies have me for dinner, because I’m far less afraid of them than I am of being in a small space.

I am not particularly brilliant at talking to strangers.  I wish that all I meant by this is that I’m not particularly good at making conversation, but no, I really mean that I get anxious and nervous at the thought of having to approach someone I don’t know and speak to them, at all.  Even to ask for directions.

I don’t like public restrooms. It’s not that I freak out about germs; I wash my hands and if there aren’t seat covers for the toilets, I will hover, but I don’t think this is particularly abnormal behaviour when it comes to public facilities. I just can’t proceed to do what you’re meant to do in a restroom where other people are already present or could enter the room at any moment.

So, why am I getting on a plane, allowing myself to be packed like a sardine in with a lot of strangers, and shot tens of thousands of feet into the air for many hours? (At least the airplane’s restroom isn’t a public restroom, even if it is ridiculously small).  Obviously I love my fiance significantly more than I fear any of those things.

Because of his work schedule, Alex is not going to be meeting me at the airport. So I get to try to figure out how to get myself from London to St. Erth all by my little lonesome. Alex assures me this is easy. In fact, here are Alex‘s directions:

Directions from Airport to St. Erth

I still think I may wind up lost. In a foreign country. 4,132 miles from home.

At least I (mostly?) speak the language.

It’s just a little over a week before I leave, and I’m still waiting on the suitcase I purchased to be delivered. After Alex‘s trip here, I realised that I definitely needed a little suitcase on little wheels so as not to have to haul anything particularly heavy through huge airports. And I’m way too nervous about lost luggage to check anything.   I think I might need some of those plastic bags you hook your vacuum up to to suck all the air out of them to manage to fit everything I’m going to need into the thing, though. I’m going to live for 3 months out of a suitcase designed to fit in the overhead compartment of an airplane.

But, I get to be with Alex.  Provided I don’t get lost. So I’m really not complaining. It’s completely worth it.

Self-Hosted WordPress Woes

There are a lot of things that I love about running a self-hosted WordPress blog. I love that I have complete control over everything; the plugins installed & available to me, and being able to create or download any theme I like without paying anything extra.

WP is, and has been for some time, the best blogging software around, in my opinion. Sure, there are other great options, too, but having tried several of them over the years, it is always WP that I come back to.

There are some things that I’m not a huge fan of, though.

As a self-hosted WP blog, I don’t have the “reblog” option.  Anyone wishing to share any of my content can still do so, but it’s not as quick & simple as having that reblog  option.  You’ve got to copy/paste and manually create a link to my original post, if you want to do the same thing that the reblog function does.

If I want to allow visitors to comment using their WP credentials, or their Facebook or Twitter credentials, I have to enable JetPack comments. Now, JetPack has some awesome features for self-hosted WP blogs, but I feel that JetPack comments are causing more problems than they’re worth.

So I’ve disabled that part of the JetPack suite of plugins.

Sadly, this means you can’t just login with your WP account (or any of the other options JetPack comments provides), and it may mean that you will have to go through comment moderation again due to the switch back to WP‘s native comments system.  I’m sorry for that, but I’m afraid I really do prefer the native comments due to the quirks and issues with JetPack comments.  One of the quirks I’m hoping this fixes is the issue with long comments screwing everything up. So I’m crossing my fingers.

Dear Windows 8.1

I hate you.

To be honest with you, Windows, hate doesn’t even begin to accurately describe how I feel. Every time that I have to interact with you, I cringe just a little bit.

I’ve tried to give you time, thinking that perhaps once I got past the unfamiliarity with you, that I might learn to appreciate you, at least a little bit. The more I get to know you, though, the more I really do loathe you.

Just a massive pain in my ass is what you are, Windows.

Let’s talk about Tuesday.  Tuesday, I decided that it would be nice to watch a movie with Alex, and so I double-clicked on the file, your native Video application opened up, and you proceeded to inform me that I required an update to the app before I could proceed. Fair enough, I’m not opposed to updating software, particularly when it is meant to improve quality and performance, or allow for more file types, what have you.

You had a huge problem with updating the software, though, Windows. When I clicked the link in the Video app to update, you told me that I needed updates to three apps in total. Reader, Video, and Music. I clicked your friendly little install button, and waited for the apps to download. I did my part. Your job was to download and install these three updates, and you failed me, Windows.

You informed me that the apps could not be installed, and rather than giving me any useful information about why that was, you gave me an error code.  That’s fine, you uncommunicative little shit. I got skills, baby.  And by skills, I mean “Google”.

Unfortunately, the exact error code didn’t have results of its own in search, but I did find other people having the same app installation woes. So, I went through each and every one of the suggestions I found from “gurus”, and guess what, Windows? You still wouldn’t co-operate! However, in going through each and every one of those suggestions, I did discover that you had neglected to register a bunch of .dll files that were necessary for the apps in question.

After hours of searching, and repeating some of those steps multiple times, you finally informed me that an update was pending, and I needed to restart my computer. So, I rebooted your sorry little ass, Windows. Once the computer was restarted, I tried again to update Reader, Music, and Video. Still, you insisted there was a problem, and threw me the same useless error code. Still, determined to make things work, I went over all the steps as before, and finally you said that the apps were updated.

Only, they actually weren’t. I opened Video again, and you informed me that those three apps still needed updates.  I threw my hands up and walked away from it, and watched my movie using VLC instead. (Which I downloaded after giving up on you, Windows).

On Wednesday, while Alex was at work, I decided I would try again to convince you to update Reader, Music, and Video.  You decided this time that you would proceed with the updates, and actually install them. Hooray!

Only, after you updated Reader, Music, and Video, when I attempted to open any of those three apps, they would immediately minimise.  Not crash, mind you, but minimise. When I’d maximise the window, they would just minimise again. Over and over. So, sure,  you updated my apps you little monster, but you broke them in the process? These are built-in, and as far as I can tell there’s no way to remove them. So, I guess I just have a bunch of useless shit sitting there taking up space? Hello VLC, Calibre & Adobe Reader, and iTunes, which my iPod was going to demand I install anyway, I guess.

Today, I double clicked a video file without thinking about it at all, thought “Oh shit” as Video proceeded to open, and then…

Everything works perfectly.

What the hell is wrong with you, Windows 8.1? Honestly!

Oh, and by the way, I do see your little notification about Windows 10 down there in the system tray. It’s a trap, Windows, and I know it. I’m not falling for it.

14K Fridays: Week 4

Technically I should be farther along than week four, but I’m nothing if not inconsistent.

  1. Booking plane tickets. Being able to travel somewhere, but especially if it’s to see someone you love.
  2. Making new friends.
  3. Peach Mango Sunny D. Oh, seriously, it’s delicious.
  4. The little domestic things you do together with your significant other. Cooking. The grocery shopping. Maybe it’s because I don’t usually get to do these things with Alex that I’ve learned to really appreciate them.
  5. When someone you care for lets you know that they appreciate you.  I mentioned in a previous post that my little cousin Dylan is often in my care, and he’s had some serious injuries. The other day, when I was discussing leaving for England, Dylan told me, “I’m mad you’re going before I’m all better”.  It’s not as if he came right out and said thanks, but I still understood it to mean that he likes having me around to look after him.
  6. Red licorice. I cannot stand black licorice, though. Seriously, ew.
  7. When Alex calls me on his lunch break. I miss him very much when he’s working, and it’s nice to know that he misses me, too.
  8. Spring. As someone who is not a huge fan of snow, it’s always really nice to see it start to melt away, and the flowers start to bloom.
  9. The silly things you hear when your significant other is dreaming or talking while still only half-awake. This morning, Alex woke and mumbled to me, “Stop trying to sell my kidneys. We can afford the plane tickets, it’s fine”. I had to mute the microphone I was giggling so hard. For the record, I’d sell my own kidneys before I’d try to sell his.
  10. Receiving random compliments from strangers. Well, as long as they aren’t creepy compliments.

Seriously, I’m Not Dead

I swore when I started this blog that I was going to keep it going. Thankfully, it was a vow I was making to myself, so I don’t feel too terribly guilty about having been “missing in action”.

Okay, I feel a little bit guilty.

Life has been, to say the least, interesting and busy around these parts.

My cousin Dylan, who is very often left in my care, has broken bones. I’m pleased to say that these things didn’t happen on my watch, but… the poor kid. As if the first break wasn’t enough, he took a baseball to the face and now has his jaw wired shut.  He’s living on apple sauce, pudding, jello, mashed potatoes, and broth. Oh, and occasionally, ice cream.

And then there’s my father. My father whom I have very mixed feelings about. I love him, but I don’t like him very much. Contact is thankfully minimal, because he’s in prison in South Carolina, more than 1,000 miles away, but what contact there is is often unpleasant.

I’m not particularly religious, but every time my father lands in jail, he rediscovers G-d. When he does, he feels the need to “share the good news”.  What baffles me about this is that he knows full well how I feel about the subject of religion, he knows that I’ve heard “the good news”, and whatnot, and made an informed decision, and knows that the subject is a sore one with me, and yet still continues to push. He’s sent me a bible, a book by … Joseph Prince, I think it is? and plans on sending me another bible. Because apparently I need more than one. Let’s just ignore the fact that I have three or four of them already – the KJV which is neatly bound with the rest of the LDS scriptures, a women’s devotional one, and the NLV. There are several bibles in this house should I wish to read one.

Perhaps the most stressful thing to happen recently, though, is The Great Travel Agency Ordeal of 2015.

Yes, it is such a big deal that it’s a named event. A capitalised named event.

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