Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Happy Days Are Here Again!

Another round of good news on the medication front.  My doctor's office called this morning.  The makers of Savella (my other Fibro medication) approved my patient assistance, and there was 3 months worth of free meds waiting for me at the office!  Yay!  My Fibro meds are the only ones I take that are too new to have a generic, which means they are the most expensive.  Now that I'm getting both of them for free, my monthly med costs have gone down by about 3/4.  That's huge-- a significant line item in the monthly budget slashed.

In other news, I've got the Kindle down to 724 items.  So far it hasn't made a bit of difference.  In fact, the battery is dying even faster.  But that might be because of all the clicking around to delete stuff.  I'll go back to more normal usage for the next couple of days and see if there's any improvement.

And more good news-- I have a solid story idea to work on.  Last night I was thinking about a story I started almost 15 years ago and abandoned.  The actual pages are long gone at this point (trust me, it's no loss), but the idea lingered.  As I was falling asleep last night it fused with another scrap of an idea, and suddenly I have a viable story idea.  In the next few days I'm going to work on Kelley Armstrong's Outlining 101, and then I want to start writing March 1st.  I'm not going to push myself to NaNo it.  I'm afraid I'll flame out in a couple of days at that kind of pace.  But I'd definitely like to finish March with a nice chunk of pages.  I've also had a little bit of a brain wave about the story I was working on last fall during Discovery.  So I think I may end up outlining both at the same time.  We'll see how confused I get.

Lip Balm Flavor of the Day: Gingerale

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Cleaning Up My Act

I've noticed lately that my Kindle is chewing through its charge at an alarming rate.  I don't leave the wireless on, so ideally it should be good for 10 days or so.  At a minimum it should last for 7 days.  My most recent charge lasted 4 days.

So today I called Amazon customer service.  Apparently, I have an astonishing number of files on my Kindle, more than almost anyone the rep has seen in the 3 years he's worked for Amazon.  There were only 837 files on my Kindle at the time, almost half of them samples.  And the K2 (the version I have) is supposed to hold 1,500 books.  So even if a sample takes up as much space as an entire ebook, I'm still only a little over half full.

I didn't really understand all the tech-speak, but I guess the problem isn't the number of files on my Kindle per se.  The problem is with one of the 837 files.  There's a glitch in one of them, and it's making the Kindle continuously try to index itself, which is eating up power.  Supposedly there's no way to figure out which file it is, so the only thing to do is delete as many excess files as possible.  Either the bad file will be deleted and the problem will stop, or with fewer files it will spend less time indexing.  As the number of files goes down, hopefully the battery life will go up.

I accept that there's probably no way to know for sure which file is causing the problem, but this still annoys me.  I barely ever leave my room, let alone the house, so it's not like I'm ever in great danger of being Kindle-less.  But the charge really should last longer, and I don't want to have to clear that much stuff off my Kindle!

It kind of boggles me that the customer service guy was so surprised by the number of samples I have.  I can't be the only weirdo who uses her Kindle the way I do.  I find shopping directly from the Kindle to be a bit of a pain.  Also, I spend a lot of time cruising around reading websites, so I probably hear about another 2-3 books I want to check out every day.  I pop on over to Amazon, download the sample, and move on with my day.  When I want a new book I go through the samples until I find something interesting, and then with a couple of clicks I can purchase directly from the Kindle.  I can be anywhere to do this, including a doctor's office or the bathroom (prime book buying locations for me, btw).  As far as I know, the Kindle can't tap in to your Amazon wishlist, so adding all those books I'm interested in to my wishlist just won't work as well for me.  (I do wishlist books that haven't been released yet, since there are no samples for those.  Then, I check the wishlist every once in a while, and anything I'm still interested in I'll sample.)

I spent a good bit of my reading time today working my way through samples and deleting books that I didn't love and won't be reading again.  But the rest of my day was spent trolling Goodreads and adding more samples.  So I'm only down to 829 items-- a net decrease of 8 files.  Unless I got really lucky and deleted the problem file, I'm pretty sure that's not going to make a difference to my battery life.  I guess I'm going to have to spend the next couple of days reading samples.  That's fun in its own way, I guess, but I'd rather do it on my own schedule!

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Feeling Weepie

After reading several really good books lately I'm in that moody, creative place where I feel like I want to start writing again.  I've been listening to music again, something I haven't done much of in the last couple of months. 

I don't have much on my mp3 player, comparatively speaking.  (Someone I follow on twitter said today that she has 10,005 songs on hers, and was pondering if she should if she should delete 5 songs to bring it back to a tidy 10,000.  My old but serviceable mp3 has about 1/10 that capacity.)  But there's still enough stuff on there that I forget what I have.

So I was cruising through the other day, looking for something good, when I rediscovered The Weepies.  I only have three of their songs, but I've been listening to those three songs on repeat ever since.  I'm thinking about taking the $2 in free mp3 downloads that Amazon if offering right now (promo code: VDAYMP3S) plus some of the gift certificate credit that I have saved up and downloading a few more songs, or possibly their whole catalog.  I could see this music being the core of a soundtrack.  I know I said this before, but I just logged in over at Wiz IQ, and I'm going to go through the Discovery class again, this time with less moving and distractions.

And here is a video I found for one of the songs I've had on repeat.  It's not an official video, they don't appear to have made one, which is a shame.  But it's still pretty good.  I'd love to know where the images are from, if anyone knows.  Looks like something Japanese to me, and while I have wide ranging tastes, this is an area that I'm completely unfamiliar with.  Some of the clips look pretty romantic, and I'd like to check them out.

And now, Take It From Me!

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Why Can't They All Be Ebooks?

Small pet peeve time, folks.  As I'm sure I've mentioned 8,000 times around here, I love my ebooks.  Now that I've moved into a tiny room with no bookshelves and no storage, they are vital to my existence.  That's not hyperbole, y'all.  If it weren't for ebooks there'd be no books at all.  And I can't live like that.

So why, oh why, must so there be so many books I want to read that don't have a digital edition?  In the last week I've been all over Josh Lanyon (in the metaphorical sense), and now I want to try some f/f fiction.  (Apparently it's Gay Week here in The Little Bedroom in Indiana.)  I've done some research.  I found a title that comes highly recommended.  It looks like it has a lot of humor.  Score!  Except that it doesn't have a digital version.  No score!  No score!

The problem isn't so much that I want to buy, download, and begin reading an ebook while never leaving my bed (the only sitting surface in my bedroom), because I could buy it off Amazon and have it delivered right to the house without having to risk contamination by any of that icky ice and snow that's going around right now.  The problem is, once I have it, what do I do with it?  It's gone beyond a little scary and right into "call the EPA" at the moment.  I desperately need to CLEAN ALL THE THINGS!  Or more realistically, CLEAN SOME OF THE THINGS!  If one more thing comes into this room, it may just pop like a zit.  (Now there's an image for you.)

So all that means, no lovely, funny f/f story to read.  It makes me very sad.  The moral of this story?  (My mother would say it's "clean your room," but that is never the moral of any of my stories.)  Publishers, put out digital versions, please.  Because those of us with small living spaces and snow allergies want to read your books, too.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Indiana is Pissing Me Off

Usually I avoid the news, because I don't have enough energy to waste any being annoyed.  But I caught just enough of a news broadcast to skate past annoyed into pissed off.  The Republicans are currently pushing an amendment to the Indiana Constitution to ban gay marriage.  It's already state law, but they want to make really, really sure that no judge can overturn it.  This piece of asshattery was particularly irritating:

“Two percent of the population does not have the right to define marriage for the rest of the population,” said Micah Clark of the American Family Association, referring the minority of Americans who are gay and lesbian.

Does he not see that his 98% (not that I believe that 98% is even in the ball park for those who support this amendment) don't have the right to define something so personal as marriage for that 2% either?  Marriage, from the government's point of view, is a contract.  That's it.  As long as all parties are of legal age to enter a contract and freely consent, the government should be satisfied.

It's religion and the couples' beliefs about marriage that give it personal meaning.  No one is saying you have to let two men or two women marry in your church, if your church does not accept gay marriage.  (It's called separation of church and state.  We'll keep our government out of your church policies, you keep your church out of our government policies, and everyone will get along just fine.)  More than that, marriage is a union of hearts and lives.  It's what each couple brings to the table that makes a marriage.  You can't define that.  You can't control it.  And you have no right to impose your ideas on this most personal of relationships.

For anyone who wants to read a little bit more about the proposed amendment, here's an Indianapolis Star article that explains the situation in more detail.

I'd really like to end this with telling all of those GOP bastards where they can stick their stupid amendment.  But I won't.  I'd just as soon stay out of their bedrooms, and I wish they would extend the same courtesy to the rest of the world.

Friday, February 04, 2011

Playing Nice

Mom was pretty cranky today, so in an effort to pacify and play nice, I spent the evening in the living room with them instead of in my room.  I picked a movie off my Netflix queue, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs, and we watched it.  Or I watched it, Dad slept through the whole thing, and Mom slept through a good chunk of the middle.  That's not really a comment on the quality of the movie.  Dad's got pneumonia right now, so he spends a lot of most evenings sleeping in the chair.  And Mom falls asleep in front of any movie that isn't overtly Christian or produced by the Hallmark channel.

Other than Harry's Law, there are no TV shows that we both enjoy.  And I've pretty much exhausted my supply of Instant Netflix movies in the Family category.  So if anyone has any suggestions, that would be great.  They don't have to be animated, and they don't have to be kiddish.  They just need to be low on cursing and adult material.  And for my sanity if they could be low on the religious references and cheese factor, that would be good, too.

Even though Mom was snitty today (she is totally freaking out about all the ice outside our front door and getting the cars and driveway cleared out, even though we have no where to go and no way to get there, since the roads are just as bad), I had a pretty good day.  I read a book I enjoyed by a new-to-me author.  If Dad listened to Rush Limbaugh I never caught him at it.  And I, surprisingly, got a good night's sleep last night after my 3 hour nap.  I think I'm almost caught up.  Or as caught up as I ever get.

So that was my day.  How was yours?

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Attitude Adjustment

I took a three hour nap this afternoon.  It's made a world of difference in my mood.  There's been a few minor annoyances today, but my nap armed me to deal with them like a rational(ish) human being and not fly off the handle or rant on the internet.

Tonight we watched Harry's Law as a family.  The usual thing is that I retreat to my room after dinner and do my own damn thing.  (Mom and Dad have an unhealthy appreciation for Hallmark movies, and movies she finds at the Christian store.  It's February and they're still watching Christmas movies.  I don't mind an occasional cheesy/sappy movie, but there's a limit.)  But we all enjoy Harry's Law, so we usually watch that one together.

It surprises me greatly that Mom and Dad like it.  The language alone would normally be enough to send my mother flying.  And you can't deny that Harry comes at things with a liberal world view.  Dad listens to Rush Limbaugh.  Also, the show's by David E. Kelley.  There haven't been any dancing babies yet, but there is a certain wackiness that you might expect from this guy.  (Harry, who is a woman, has set up a law office in the ghettos of Cincinnati? Columbus?  I don't remember.  Somewhere in Ohio.  The storefront she took over used to be a shoe store, and the former occupant left quite possibly thousands of dollars worth of designer shoes.  Did I mention this was in the ghetto?  Anyway, her assistant answers the phone, "Harry's Law and Fine Shoes," which should tell you all you need to know about the show.  Oh, and Kathy Bates plays Harry.) If I were to make a bet on the one show Mom and Dad would not like, this is the one I'd pick.  But I guess to them it's less objectionable than the cut 'em up, shoot 'em up shows I like to watch, like SVU and CSI.  There's very little on screen violence in Harry's Law, and so far she's managed to help somebody who really needed it by the end of the episode, so I guess that fits with their tastes.  I just like that Harry is a broad who's willing to call it like she sees it without having a hang 'em high kind of attitude.

I think I'm actually starting to get tired, so I'll cut it off there.  Today was a better day for me, and hopefully tomorrow will be, too.

Tuesday, February 01, 2011

In Which I Am Unpleasant

I have many annoyances and frustrations today.  And so I thought, why not share them with you?  That is what the internet is for after all.  Ranting and porn.  Sorry, no porn today.

Annoyance #1:  There was a cop killed in Indianapolis recently.  It's a terrible thing.  He pulled someone over for a traffic stop, and the guy shot him.  There are many things about this which are bad, including the fact that the guy was erroneously out on bail, and shouldn't have been out and free to be shooting people in the first place.  But the reaction to this has been extreme.  They rented out a sports arena to hold the funeral.  Reportedly, thousands of people attended today, in the middle of an ice storm.  They televised the service.  It was on for hours.  Literally, multiple hours.  My mother watched the whole thing, TV cranked to the max as usual.  I had to hide in my room with the door closed, listening to ABBA and Katy Perry to drown the whole thing out.

I'm willing to admit that my less-than-ideal emotional state is at least partially, if not mostly, to blame for the aggravation this is causing me.  But I can't handle listening, even second hand, to two or three hours worth of funeral right now, even if the whole thing didn't strike me as an overblown media circus.  I'm very sorry the man died, especially when he was serving the public and the man who killed him should never have been out in the first place.  But the hoopla is distasteful. 

Annoyance #2:  This one is both gross and embarrassing, but since I'm being unpleasant anyway, I'm just going to go ahead and (over)share.  I can't shower every day.  My skin (like the rest of me) hates the cold and dryness, and showering daily makes the whole thing worse.  Plus, showering is hard work, and I just don't have the energy for it.  Last week I went for several days, it may have been like 5, without showering.  Objectively, I know that's gross.  It's embarrassing to admit.  But I didn't want to, so I didn't.  (In the rational part of my mind, I know that this is a fairly big red flag that there's something not good going on in my head.  Unfortunately, that's only a very small part of my mind.  The rest is saying "fuck it", which is why I think I probably need to find a psychiatrist pretty soon.)  I finally took a shower on Sunday night, when Mom refused to serve dinner until I'd bathed.  And then I showered again last night (but didn't wash my hair, that was just too much effort) when Mom started in on how we were going to lose power and I might not get a chance again for a while.  We didn't lose power.  (Obviously, or you wouldn't be reading this post.)  Today, after showering two days in a row, I am in itchy misery.  I'm scratching my pits like a monkey.  It's not pleasant, and it's not pretty.  And Mom is hassling me again to take another shower.  Fuck that.  I am not showering today.  Maybe not tomorrow either.  Go away.

After venting Annoyances #1 and #2, Annoyances #3-5 don't seem so significant.  I want to hide out in my room, reading and listening to the most cheerful music I can find.  I don't want to interact with my parents.  I don't want them coming and standing in my door and talking to me.  (Which my mother does all the time, and which is bugging the ever loving fuck out of me.)  I want all my interactions to be on my own terms.  The internet is perfect for that.  Living with other human beings is not.  I don't want to live here any more.


My plan was to try to post every day this month.  February is a short month anyway, so why not?  Although, after that screed I'm not sure anyone is going to want to read any of it.

Going back in my hole now.