Operator? Get me Tupac…

Soooo. You’ve heard the news. Michael Jackson is dead. Brought to the hospital under not-quite-clear circumstances, something about a maybe heart attack and a deep coma. Regardless of the circumstances, the media is all aflutter.

On the one hand, the neurotic in me is thinking “Why is everybody dying this week??? What’s going on???”

 

  

On the other hand, the sheer instantaneous nature of the announcement is a clear example of our changing times and manners of communication. My first inkling of the news was in fact not from the news, but from a coworkers changed MSN status. Nowadays CNN no longer has breaking information but is in fact trying to keep up with the likes of Perez. There’s good and bad to this. While it’s nice to know that the media machine is now open to more opinions than that of the right wing money based corporately driven illuminati, it also means that it’s open to all manner of others, credible or not. Not just to left wing extremism (which does exist, and can be just as dangerous when we like the think that we’re correct just because “we’re not them” – although I don’t hear any left wing Nancy Graces losing their mile-high shit over social injustice), but to anyone with a computing device and $30 a month worth of internet. Anybody can say anything and be taken seriously – how many times do we have to be reminded that Wikipedia is not a citable source?

Not to digress from the issue at hand. I just couldn’t help but get a little boggled at how fast the alternate-media world moves. Clearly I’m a part of it, with my itty bitty corner of the blogosphere. But never in a million years do I consider the possibility that someone reads my opinion and takes it as flat out truth. So while I’m all for free speech and the idea that more information is always better than restricted information, sometimes it worries me. When the bottom falls out of the legitimacy of our media sources (or when you realize that there hasn’t been much legitimacy all along – if you haven’t seen Wag the Dog, go do it now), are we all going to start believing everything Google says?

Because here’s the thing: I don’t believe it.

No, seriously.

It all seems a little too crazy. It could be that the quickly adultifying kid in me is outright floored by the sudden removal of a cultural icon. Because love him or hate him – and I do a little of both – you can’t deny his massive presence. It’s difficult when you reach the age where you start to realize that you have “your” music and all this crap kids listen to will never be as good as what you listen to. Or when you realize that this is only going to continue – people I knew of and followed and listened to will drop out of existence, and my eventual children will have no idea what significance it has. I can’t say it’s so much an existential crisis as an unpleasant reality check, but I’m not a fan thus far.

Or it could be that in these modern times with the advent of nano-second communication and hyped up media flurry, it would be all too easy to just disappear. One little tweet can rocket a myth through cyberspace with enough impact to shut down Google and Wiki. And while one could argue back and forth about MJ’s status in our popular culture, from regarded musical icon to tabloid freakshow, one certainly can’t deny his measure of bizarreness. Of all those recently departed, MJ would have more reason than any to make a grandiose departure from public life.

So maybe I’m just in denial. Or maybe I’m just tired of believing everything the internet says. Or maybe I’m a little freaked out at the undeniably bizarre coincidence of so many characters finding their ultimate end in such a short period of time. Either way, I’m still expecting years and years of ‘recently discovered’ singles to start filling the shelves. Burrito appearances shouldn’t be too far behind.

 

“Hello, Operator? Get me Tupac. Yes, Tupac. You see, Michael is on his way over to chill with him for a bit, and I just wanted to give him a heads up. Don’t lie to me. I know you have the number.”

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Sweet, Sweet Change of Plans

Okay everyone, remember how I told you to bitchslap your computers? We’re changing course – start knocking on every variety of wood you can find (short of injuring male loved ones for the sake of double entendre). Feel free to use pressed fiberboard, paneling, and exes.

The internet…waaaaaaaaiiiit forrrrrrr iiiiiiit…is back!

Jack

I have a new modem. It’s spiffy and shiney and new. And somehow, through a miraculous alignment of the cosmos (angry fist shake) I managed to get it up and running. It’s supposed to take ten minutes. It took me two hours, and I didn’t even have any problems. It was just very…involved. Vista shines here, with the constant approving of every goddamned step, and having to restart every time some new aspect gets installed (such as the piles of anti-virus – oh internet, why are you so dangerous?). Download this executable file, launch said executable file, install feature, loading, loading, loading. It was just a meticulous, pissy little process that had me sitting on the edge of my seat all night.

But finally, finally, I have the internet.

Wireless internet!!!!

Me! Technologically stunted and maimed, I somehow figured out how to appease the digital deities and actually got my wireless working. I’m not covered in cables! I can sweep my floor without meticulously unplugging, draping, carefully arranging (or just ignoring it and nibbling my lip over the bad-housekeeper guilt). I don’t trip over things at 2am when that last bottle of juice announces itself as a poorly timed idea!

It.

Is.

Fan.

Tastic.

Now let’s not get carried away. This month, overall, is still sucking the big one. Work is a pain in the ass, and every douchebag and their ugly sister seem out to get me. They’re filming underbudgeted movies on my block and cluttering up the traffic. Starbucks has discontinued the only vegetarian breakfast sandwhich. Josh is hard at work both on the job and getting some renovations done around his brothers house for my visit, so between that and the rest of life we’re often pressed for time. I’ve promised May that I won’t use Limewire, and so I’m dying without my instant fixes and guilty pleasures. I still don’t have tiles on half the floor, and my futon is becoming lumpier by the day. Also, neither tax nor bonus season were as kind to me as I’ve grown accustomed. Boourns.

But this, I will celebrate. This one teeny, tiny technological victory, as brief as I realize it could be, I will take it and run with it.

thumbs_up

Thumbs up internet, I’m back in your grill. Now let’s finish suckerpunching the rest of this shitty month and get on with my damn vacation, alright?

Alright.

Continuing Technological Interruptions, or: Why I Need A Flamethrower

I tell you, it’s a damn good thing I’ve got internet at the office, and at least three fairly decent chunks of time during the average work day in which to surf (somewhat) freely. If it weren’t for relieving my receptionist for her breaks, you might never see me ’round these parts.

Yes, it’s true. My internet at home has once again decided to laugh with maniacal glee at my frantic efforts to stay connected to the world more than twenty feet away. I woke up Saturday morning and my computer was dead. Just….dead. No blue screen of death, just dead. It looked more like a pillowcase – horizontal, somewhat ragged looking stripes. I tried to restart it – fail. I tried to do all those little safe-startup options that you’re offered when you haven’t shut your laptop properly – fail. Fail, fail, fail.

I didn't...but almost

Then I thought, well, fuck it. Any files I *really* care about are floating on the internet anyways. I know better than to trust this machine with anything long term. I’ll go grab the magic disc and just wipe this thing back to its basic operating system. Oh no, I’ll have to re-install msn, firefox, and iTunes and lose all my hilarious bookmarks. Big deal. As long as I can get the internet back, I’m happy. What can I say? I’m a product of my generation, and no internet means no Josh – even our phones are web based.

Off I went then, to grab the original packaging for the computer, placed neatly on a shelf in the spare room.

The backup disc? No more than a set of instructions on how to create your own backup disc. A futile, futile piece of paper.

Well fuck. Good thing I’ve got a nerdy friend on speed-text. I gave May the shake-down on the latest fuckuppery, to which she said “Bring it on over!” So over I went, as is the habit on Saturday afternoons anyways. I plunked the laptop down, and proceeded to ignore it for most of the night. Eventually the sake bombs were busted out and I started feeling much better. Some time after that, I remembered the useless hunk of computery plastic wedged into my purse – complete with non-laptop-sized keyboard! Remember that story? About dumping a whole glass of water on it and frying all but three letters to kingdom come? Yeah! That was fun! Anyways, long story short another geeky friend who happened to be in attendance got it back to factory setting fairly quickly. Thanks nerdy friends! Problem solved!

Not so much. Sunday morning I woke up to find that although my computer worked fine, in all it’s zero-actual-programs glory, the internet was down.

What. The. Fuck. Are you serious???

I understand this on a whole 'nother level now...

Apparently, yes. I called Bell, bitched my schpiel, and two hours later we were able to determine that my modem was malfunctioning, not picking up my IP address properly. Or some other bullshit. They could have told me it was dying of syphilis and it wouldn’t have mattered. They would still have to send me a new one, days away. In the meantime they MacGyvered a basic connection, the mechanics of which I don’t even understand. But no video phone, and too weak to download msn. Great. That’s about as helpful as an internet connection in a government office where you’re allowed to search all of three excitingly informative pages and play solitaire when the boss is in the can.

I texted May. Forget tech support, clearly I’m e-doomed. Can I borrow a flamethrower, chainsaw, sledgehammer or some other kind of destructive implement? She texted back that Talea was on her way over for gardening, and didn’t that sound like much more fun??? Yes. Yes, it very very very did.  So over I went to take my wrath out on weeds, semi-useful computer in tow for another joyous adventure with oversized luggage on the bus. May’s prognosis was: “You know, I used to think it was user error. Because even the smartest person can make a mistake on their computer. It happens. But now I think the internet hates you. Clearly, it must. Because this is just ridiculous, you poor thing!”

It does! It must! Call me crazy, but I’m almost certain that every single device in my apartment is fully awake, aware of my name, my neuroses, and the worst days to mess with me. I’m going to start wearing a tinfoil hat!

Maybe not...

Ahem. So yes, with much help from technologically non-impaired, non-cursed friends, I was able to once again plug myself back into the all important internet. And the internet, by the way, owes me a day of my life back.

The new modem should be arriving soon, beginning what I’m sure is yet another long battle against the machine. Could you all do me a favour and slap your computers around a little tonight? I’m hoping it’ll send a message to the internet about what happens when you push my buttons a little too long. And if it doesn’t go well and I end up making the news in some horrible fashion, well…at least now you can say you know my side of the tale.

Stay tuned.

Fun Developments!

Okay, so the plan is back on to move my ass to the States at some point. This whole college idea for getting Josh up here is not going to work out very well considering the bastards who run the American Judicial System haven’t even handed down his sentence yet, never mind the probationary aftermath, nevermind the drawn out process that is getting ones record pardoned and cleared and blah blah blah, nevermind the following brouhaha of actually getting the college part in gear. You remember the end of highschool, the college bit alone is a confusing and frustrating pain in the ass.

Plus, I’m in the mood for a change of scenery, and for someone with a crazy hectic brain like mine, I think the slower pace could actually be very good for me. That and even if Josh is away by the time I end up down there, just being closer makes me feel better.

There’s just one problem with that. Actually, there are a ton of issues that will have to be traversed, but let’s focus on one thing at a time. Josh is the patient one, who understands the frequent necessity of just sitting back and letting things take their course. No point in spending extraneous amounts of energy on something you can’t control. I however, do not function like that, and it’s the recognition of these differences in thought process that contributes to a succesful relationship (among other things, like our general awesomeness and a healthy abundance of sex appeal). If I’m on the subway and it shuts down, I know there is absolutely nothing I can do about it. I’m going to be late, and that’s that. But this is different, because I feel like I *can* do something. And it’s driving me literally crazy. Crazier. Whatever.

So I want to move. But because I am the impatient one, it’s understood that this is something I am doing of my own perogative. Josh is stuck in limbo, and you can’t make rent money while you’re in jail. It would be unfair of me to decide that I don’t feel like waiting, up and move my ass, and then expect him to cover for me. If I move down there, I need to be able to support myself. Obviously, Josh will and does help out where he can, but I can’t tie someone down to a decision that I made.

That’s not a problem. The problem is my Canadian citizenship. I hope I’m not alerting myself to the FBI here or anything, but from what I can gather, taking up physical space in the U.S. is not so much a problem as it is taking up a job. Understandably, the U.S. government is not keen on the idea of handing out jobs to foreigners while there are able bodied Americans who could be employed in that capacity instead. I’ve explored a fuckton of avenues, and it doesn’t look good. I don’t have any kind of special degree, or a lot of money. And while I’m fantastic at my job, the fact of the matter is that being a highly organized, functional, multitasking administrative assistant is not the most specialized field out there. And Josh and I are not about to get married for the sake of a Green Card. That’s retarded.

What the hell do I do then? Save up a whack of dough, first of all, but what about income beyond that? I figure I need to save up at least a couple grand to live off of for the first couple of months while I get myself settled, but I need to have an income. After being told “no, you suck” by a number of agencies, I went bawling to my friend May. Talea is plenty smart and inventive, but May is smart in different ways, and is all about me moving for the sake of love. Talea, while supportive, is less thrilled by the idea of her best friend moving 800 miles south for a couple of years, while May is used to her friends moving far and wide to chase their dreams. So May sits me down with a coffee and essentially says “Hellooooo? The internet! That’s what we do!” May and her husband are the most incredible, best-geeky-friends style, super nerd awesome couple you can imagine, and they are good at what they do. Think Tron, seriously.

And one of the best things about May is her “You can do it!” attitude. So the fun development: I am building a website! It’s solely for the purpose of making money, but I’m not a complete sell-out. It’s still going to be an awesome project that I’ve seriously contemplated for some time. But now the gears are in motion. I don’t know the first thing about computers, but with the right amount of drive, self-learning, and a little coaxing from my geek-chic friend, I should be able to make something fly.

Here’s the plan! I like to think I’m pretty awesome, and I know how to do awesome stuff. I’d like to share that awesome know-how with my buddies, blog-buddies, and the world at large. The basic premise of the site with thusly be weekly tutorial videos on how to do awesome things. How to make awesome lemon squares, how to make awesome knitting patterns, how to do an awesome hair style, makeup style, crafty project, anything! In fact, I think I’ll title it “How To Be Awesome”. And it will include a bloggy type area, and links where you can buy the fun crafty things I make (I specialize in awesome scarves and have been wanting to sell them for a while), as well as ads for stuff that I genuinely do love and endorse in the hopes that they will pay me for hawking their wares.

So that’s the big news, an official website is on the way! I’ll very likely throw a quick little something together with Google pages while I mire through the technical aspects of HTML and Dreamweaver, but I hope at few of you will come on over and check it out once it goes live.

I shall keep you posted!

Here’s Your Sign

So it’s just about ten at night on a Tuesday. Josh is sleeping after a hard days work in the sun, and I’m feeling rather quiet. I was feeling melancholy, but I’m getting better at not letting my brain go down the wrong roads. Last night wasn’t so great, and I ended up losing my temper and breaking a glass. Actually, I did manage to control my “I really want to flip over a table” frustrated freakout long enough to pick a plastic cup instead of something that would shatter into a million inconvenient pieces, but it turns out I managed to crack it in half anyways. I know, I know, I’m working on it. Tonight I’m just quiet, and a little more patient.

What’s pissing me off so much? MSN. That’s it. Or maybe it’s not even messenger, maybe it’s my internet connection. Maybe it’s my provider, or maybe this fancy ass new computer still isn’t up to snuff enough to get a decent video going. I realize that I might sound like a modern spoiled “but I can’t live without my blackberry!” snot. I don’t own a blackberry. The point is this: I didn’t even have internet at home prior to about six months ago. I had internet sitting in front of me all day at work, what do you mean pay for it? The only reason I plugged in my domicile was because I missed Josh in the evenings, and staying so late at work was getting ridiculous. So it’s getting really frustrating that the one damn thing I need a computer and internet connection for simply refuses to work properly. Holy fuck cosmos, you’ve already planted the love of my life 800 miles away, and now I’m not even allowed to see him? GRRRRRRRRRR!!!!!!

Yes, I realize my predecessors waited weeks and months for overseas letters, but I’m going to be in that boat soon enough when Josh goes to jail (except it’s a lake, and I presume even outbound prison mail doesn’t take months to be delivered). And my predecessors didn’t fork over money for a device advertising its ability to enhance communication. It’s one thing if I can’t see my boyfriend because he’s behind bars. It’s one thing if we can’t chat because he’s just so tired and I’d rather him have a nap and feel better. It’s another thing all together when our webcams don’t work or we randomly go offline. Yes, I know he’s still on the other side of that screen, and even if it was working he’s sleeping. That’s not the point.

Maybe it’s my hyper driven corporate side, but if I’m paying for a computer, an internet connection, or a waffle iron for all I care, it should just fucking work. I gave you money and time, why do I have to deal with your incompetence?

Why can’t shit just fucking work? Ever?!? 

My dad’s reminder that the computer is in fact NOT a physical entity out to get me was surprisingly helpful. Because I honestly forget that sometimes; that plastic cup had to nerve to be in the way of my frustrated flinging hands. And Josh is the best thing in the world for my crazies. He’s like concentrated awesome and happy in a goatee, and he’s patient with me even when I’m a snarky bitch for no reason other than I’m mad at not being able to see him (which I *realize* makes no sense, welcome to being a chick). So overall I’m feeling better.

The internet is being shitty again tonight. But I’m nowhere near as pissed because I know eventually we’ll figure out a way to get it working, and eventually we won’t need it anyways. And Josh isn’t on the other side of the computer with his fingers crossed hoping for all the ones and zeroes to line up, he’s sleeping like he should be.

That and a few other things. Every now and then, no matter how frustrated or pissy I get, something lines up just right and I’m reminded that I’m still on the right path and all I need to do is be patient. Like the other night.  I was going to tell Josh about this, but I keep forgetting because we always get caught up talking about something else awesome and important. So instead I’ll let him stumble upon this story on his own and brighten his day a bit. He was listening to Brooks and Dunn last Friday night, a song all about hard working blue collar men like himself. We were in a great mood, even though he was packing up to go camping for the weekend and we wouldn’t be able to talk for a day or so. That’s a long time for us. We usually leave our webcams on overnight so we can chat first thing in the morning before he leaves for work at quarter to six, so having a blank computer screen as the late shows came on was a little disheartening. I turned on The Hour, my hip and urban “Jon-Stewart-Meets-60-Minutes” type interview show, and favourite bedtime background noise. That night’s guests? Brooks and Dunn.

In appropriate redneck fashion, I will quote Jeff Foxworthy: Heeeeeeeere’s your sign.