Wednesday, September 2, 2009

New York Botanical Garden

Wednesday, September 2, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

Apple’s “solution” is that I HAVE to spend (waste) hours on the phone today with one of their Super-Techs. Right. That’s gonna help. I’ll play along, to show that I’m being “cooperative”. And if/when it doesn’t work, I will rip them a new one. And turn the matter over to the Attorney General. It’s been over a month since I started having problems. Enough, already!

I’m restating — if I was a man, this would have been solved properly the first time, and I would not be forced to jump through all these hoops.

And if that was our “next step” — why wasn’t I told that when the phone messages started TWO WEEKS AGO, and why wasn’t it set up then? Two weeks of “let’s talk” messages when all they were going to to do is make me sit through another useless tech session.

Unbelievable bullshit (pardon my language).

I know, at least they keep calling back, which is more than Dell would ever deign to do (although the NY State Class Action Suit against Dell may force them to actually honor their service contracts). But I still don’t have a solution — which, to me, the only acceptable solution is a computer that runs properly.

What did I do yesterday? I went grocery shopping (just about my favorite thing in the world), I did more Prague prep, I wrote, I did some research for an international proposal that has to go out when I get back from Prague, I drove to Greenwich to use their library computers so I could invoice Confidential Job #1 (and picked up a few books from their book sale while I was there), looked over the NYFA site. This year’s grant cycle includes both fiction and playwriting. The deadline is the beginning of November, and the applications aren’t available yet, but should be in about a week.

The big thing was that Stop&Shop sent out new membership cards and an offer for a discount if we signed up online. However, when you go to the website, it’s hijacked by someone or other who claims that you have a Trojan in your computer (because it’s put one there) and the only way you can get off the site is to BUY their anti-virus software.

Fortunately, I have an Apple, even a limping one, so my computer was not infected, the Trojan didn’t gain access, I could simply quit Safari, run the proper function to make sure everything was healthy and move on. I called the head office, who shrugged it off and said,”That’s out of our control.” Bite me, you bastards; I was lucky, because I had a Mac, albeit it a flawed one. But if I was still on the PC, I would have lost everything. YOU are responsible for the security on your site, especially when you have a marketing campaign out there falsely offering a discount when all that really happens is a computer virus. That is absolutely unacceptable, and hopefully anyone whose computer was infected won’t just roll over and take it.

I did some more work on AMENDS, got some reading in for Prague. I did a favor for a neighbor, which, unfortunately took longer than it should have, and I missed my meditation group. Fortunately, the nature of the group is that you’re there and they’re glad to see you, you’re not and they don’t make you feel guilty, so it’s not that big a deal.

Had a slow start on this morning’s session with AMENDS, but once I got into it, it went pretty well. I’m about to write a scene with my protag and a character with Alzheimer’s — another difficult scene, but vital to the plot.

I hope to get out a bit of correspondence before the tech session. This afternoon, I have to go through some boxes in storage to find some papers and send off copies for something that was resolved five years ago and has come back to haunt me because of either the other party’s incompetence or corruption.

The results of the Bush Administration: Incompetence and corruption without consequences.

So, we’ll see how today goes. I don’t want to go into the session with a completely negative attitude, but I’m very skeptical it’s anything but another waste of time and vamping on Apple’s part, hoping that if they drag it out long enough, I’ll just give up. If it DOES work, and the computer actually runs the way it’s supposed to, I will go back to being a happy camper, but still be highly skeptical of Apple’s integrity because of the way it was handled to date.

I really want to pack, but if everything sits in a suitcase for 12 days, it will be horribly wrinkled. My carry-on’s mostly packed, though. I’m trying to put as little as possible in it: Books for the plane, yoga mat, journal, camera.

I’m going to print out the luggage specs, so when the airline tries to overcharge or tell me that the luggage is the wrong size, I have the correct specs in writing. I haven’t flown British Air in years, but, in general, the international carriers are often more committed to customer service than the US carriers, so I’m hoping there won’t be too much hassle. Air France is my favorite carrier. I liked Icelandair once we were actually on the plane, but getting on it was a little disorganized.

The weather’s gorgeous and I need to get a lot done today, because I’m headed out to CT to check out a site tomorrow.

Let’s hope my Super-Tech session doesn’t take hours and solves the problems.


AMENDS: First draft: 18,875 words out of est. 75,000
Eastham, MA

I could use a few hours staring at a peaceful view like this right now!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

New York Botanical Garden

Tuesday, September 1, 2009
Waxing Moon
Pluto Retrograde
Jupiter Retrograde
Uranus Retrograde
Sunny and cool

It went down into the 40’s last night and is only in the 50s right now. I love the cooler weather, don’t get me wrong, but wow!

I am having a heck of a time with the Czech language. Totally at sea with it. I hope it will make more sense when I’m immersed in it. Usually, I have some trouble speaking a language outside of its country, but this is ridiculous. It’s all going in one ear and out the other. I’m not retaining ANYTHING.

I do love that the language volume has an entire chapter dedicated to asking one’s way to a bookstore!

I can’t get my ear in tune with it. There are so many variations on meaning, where the word is spelled the same except for an accent over a particular letter, but the meaning is vastly different. And if I get it wrong – it could be nasty! 😉 I’ll wind up offending a lot of people when I didn’t mean to.

So I probably won’t talk a lot (which might be a relief).

I already suffered from foot-in-mouth disease when I didn’t realize the National Opera and the State Opera were completely different — I thought the State Opera was one of the branches under the National Theatre, not two wildly separate entities in different sections of town (which wasn’t clear because of the way the site I was on linked them).

The American Embassy has not been helpful to date. You’re not in the midst of a revolution, no one is defenestrating anyone (as far as I can tell), so you could PLEASE answer ANY of the questions I asked back in June?

And could someone please decide which currency they’ll be using in two weeks? I find it a little ridiculous that no one can give me a definitive answer if it will still be the Czech krona or if it will have completely switched over to the Euro.

This is why I should be Dictator of the Universe. Things would run more smoothly! 😉

Apple still only leaves me “let’s talk” messages. I don’t believe they have any solution, nor any intention of fixing the problem. They hope that, if they drag it out long enough, it will go away. When the computer works, it’s a amazing, and a 100 times superior to any PC. However, they don’t stand by their products, and they aren’t willing to fix the problem when they sell a lemon. That is not acceptable.

Good morning’s work on AMENDS. I wish I could finish the first draft before I leave, but, even if I worked on it full-time, there’s too much to write. I’m enjoying the writing process, though! Obviously, things that bother me in life are spilling into it — issues of sexism and not making assumptions based on appearance are big themes in the book, while there’s still a lot of lighthearted mystery and action.

I polished an article, and I’m waiting for some responses to fact checking before I send it off.

I’m working on two proposals for projects for 2010 that I will send out when I return, and I have to visit NYFA to see if I’m eligible to apply for anything in this grant cycle.

I hope to have some GDRs up later today.

Back to the page.


AMENDS: First Draft: 17,062 words out of est. 75,000

New York Botanical Garden