July 28, 2002
Finally called Gateway support today
Finally called Gateway support today and got a real human with half a clue. They said my power cord was shot. Wow, color me surprised. They're sending a new one. I also ordered a second battery as well. Go me.
Gateway can bite me. So much for their friendly customer service. The power cord on my laptop died. Unfortunately, it did so while I had the computer on, and I didn't notice until the battery died. So I have a computer with a dead battery, and no way to power it. So I used Gateway's chat system. The first person referred me to their 24 hour phone line. Apparently their 24 hour phone line is all automated, because after telling me they were transferring me to a live person, I got back to the beginning of the automated troubleshooter.
Undaunted, I tried chat again, and got Alvin. Alvin, I am convinced, is a middle school drop out who has programmed answers in front of him. If something comes up that doesn't fit the program, he gets confused. Here is an unexpurgated transcript of our chat session--thoughtfully emailed to me by Gateway--which took about 20 minutes, since apparently Alvin doesn't type too fast either.
Topic: My laptop will not power up when connected to an outlet, and the battery is dead.
Alvin: Hello Lisa, welcome to the Gateway Chat Support Service. I am Alvin here to help you with your issue.
Alvin: Please wait a moment while I search for your customer information.
Lisa Nichols: Hi. I chatted with someone earlier, and they referred me to the phone line, but there was no answer outside the automated system, which didn't help.
Alvin: Thank you for waiting.
Lisa Nichols: No problem. :)
Alvin: Can you please tell me the exact problem which you are facing with calling our phone tech support?
Lisa Nichols: The first time I went through the automated system, was told I was being transferred to a representative, asked my SN, then nothing happened. The second time, I was told I was being transfered, and i wound up in the automated system again.
Lisa Nichols: I'm fairly certain all I need is a replacement power cord at this point.
Alvin: Lisa, I understand the problem which you are facing right now.
Alvin: For your convenience I am submitting your issue to our Second Level of Technical Experts Department and they will respond you within 2 hours via e-mail.
Alvin: I am sure they will definately help you to get the issue resolved.
Lisa Nichols: Okay, why? My power cord is not working, that's all. It's under warranty. What other troubleshooting do I need?
Alvin: Kindly try to use another Power Cord.
Lisa Nichols: If I had another one, I would. Unfortunately, you only ship them with one power pack. :)
Alvin: Lisa, kindly wait for another 2 hours our tech experts will definately provide you power cord.
Alvin: Thank you for using the Gateway Chat Center. Our chat session will now be closed.
Thankfully, Gateway has you fill out a survey after each online chat session. I let them know exactly what I thought. I should've saved it. It was lovely. It was forceful and polite but angry. We'll see if I hear from these 'experts' soon or not.
July 24, 2002
Aiser rolls his eyes audibly.
Aiser rolls his eyes audibly.
Cinderella says "Ew. That's gross."
Cinderella says "Eyes should be seen and not heard."
Cinderella says "Eyes should never EVER be heard."
July 19, 2002
In case you were wondering
In case you were wondering if the joke was still alive...
Paige says "Wimp!"
Aiser glares at Paige, then punches her in the nose and tackles her.
Aiser says "Graar!"
Cinderella says "Kick him in the hobbits!"
Aiser is wearing a hobbit protector. He calls it Fangorn, because it is the protector of the wood.
July 18, 2002
I'm so sad. After class
I'm so sad. After class today I bought a "Slurp and Gulp" at 7-Eleven. It was Vanilla Coke (which is nectar of the gods) and frozen Vanilla Coke, separate but together in the same cup! Then on my way into my apartment, I dropped it in the parking lot. Wah.
July 17, 2002
The hell? What is it
Now I'm wondering where in Ann Arbor this happened...
July 15, 2002
Today was a welcome change
Today was a welcome change in my stay at home-ness. After class this morning I ran some errands and then took off to Dawn and Jason's house, where I spent the afternoon hanging out with Dawn and distracting Justin, particularly when we all went grocery shopping -- I make a good baby distractor! Then when Jason got home the adults all hung out. I just got home. Not an eventful day, but a good one. I tired, I go sleep now.
July 14, 2002
Finished, finally. I'm still very
Finished, finally. I'm still very bleah though. I don't feel like sleeping because of my naps, but I know if I'm going to get up for class tomorrow I really need to go to bed NOW. I think I need to find something good to do, something fun. I've been spending too much time alone and at home. I'm not depressed, I'm just bored. :P
Still procrastinating, yes yes. I've
Still procrastinating, yes yes. I've finished one half of my take home exam, and I'm staring blankly at the second half. Bleah, just bleah.
Did I mention I have
Did I mention I have a midterm take home exam to write today? It's basically a short paper, 4-5 pages. Have I started it yet? Well, if by started you mean "have Word open and have my name typed on the document", then yes. I've started. But in the meantime I've managed to watch a movie and write a journal entry. I'm even considering housework as a procrastinating technique. I'm just kinda headachy and blah today. I want to either take a nap or sit here and veg in front of the TV. Or nap in front of the TV.
Dragons are Just Cool
Ever since I first read The Stand, sometime in high school, I've been fascinated with the end of the world and stories that deal with it. That's one of the reasons I was so into Tribe 8. I'm ashamed to admit it, but I liked "Waterworld". I even liked "The Postman". Amazingly, I've never seen any of the Mad Max movies, although I keep meaning to rectify that. So yeah, the idea of what happens after the end of the world intrigues me. So much so that I'm even working on a novel about it right now.
I have to admit, of all the ways I've seen the world ended, I'd never considered dragons. I rented "Dragonheart" a while after it came out. I never quite understood the notion of the helpful, friendly dragon. So I watched the movie, listening to an irascible Sean Connery and just going 'enh'. Dragons are big, scary, destructive creatures who, if they have their own agenda at all, really have their own agenda, and generally don't need a puny human to protect them.
Simply for recognizing this fact, and for coming up with a really unique way of ending the world, "Reign of Fire" gets high marks. I mean, a post-apocalyptic movie about dragons! How cool is that? Pretty damn cool, all things considered.
Then there's the cast. Christian Bale was appropriately brooding and scary, and as his best friend Gerard Butler was huggable to say the least. And Matthew McConaughey... well, a friend of mine put it best (although at the moment, I can't remember if it was Nic or Julie) when she said, "You have to really work to make Mathew McConaughey not look good." Well, "Reign of Fire" almost succeeds, but something about winding tattoos around great big muscly arms, oy. Besides, he did your stereotypical American military guy pretty well.
All in all, I really liked "Reign of Fire". But I had the same frustration with it that you have when you see someone you really care about wasting all their potential doing something stupid. "Reign of Fire" is an action flick, with all the plot holes and shortcuts that belong to your basic action flick. It's sexist as hell -- there's one main female character and, despite the fact that she's presented as one tough cookie throughout the movie, she spends most of the climax of the movie practically weeping in fear while the men reassure her.
What frustrates me the most is that it could have been so much MORE than just an action flick. There's hints of it here and there. One of the most memorable scenes in the movie has Bale and Butler giving their own take on what mythology might become after the world ends (I'll give you a hint, one of them ends up saying, "I am your father!" to a collective gasp of astonishment). There's hints of how people regrouped, how they survived, but not enough. I don't know, the pacing was just off somehow. I wanted more information on how people survived, but I wanted more build up to the action too. By the time the big climax came, I sat there thinking "this can't be it" because the tension just hadn't had time to build, and I think that's because the events that should have built the tension were too fast, too glossed over.
"Reign of Fire" could have been a truly amazing movie, but it settled for just being a summer action movie. Still, for a glimpse at the potential alone, I'll probably see it again.
July 12, 2002
I saw "Reign of Fire"
I saw "Reign of Fire" this afternoon. I've got some thoughts about that turning about in my head; I may write about it more in depth later. But that's not what I wanted to talk about. No, what I wanted to talk about is that before the movie, they showed the trailer for "The Two Towers". How geeky am I?
The trailer gave me goosebumps.
July 10, 2002
Heaven help me, I've started
Heaven help me, I've started two new MUSH characters, my first serious attempts to MUSH in well over a year. Now I'm in the 'waiting for approval' stage on both. Character number one is a WoD character named Micky Tyler, one of my rare attempts to gender bend. He's a Celestial Chorus mage with a terminal illness -- don't gack at me, at least he doesn't have AIDS. He's convinced God chose him to make a difference in the world before he dies. He's quietly, determinedly cheerful. It'll be interesting to see how he plays out.
Character number two is on a Harry Potter MUSH, a fourth year Gryffindor student named Olivia Hughes. I have very little idea how she'll play out, because I'm learning that HP MUSHes are worlds away from anything I've ever played before...
Homework? Writing? Yeah yeah, still doing those too, I promise.
July 09, 2002
A Day in the Life of an In Joke
The story's a familiar one. A conversation starts, funny things are said, and next thing you know you have an in-joke that's destined to last, well, for at least weeks if not months. Here, condensed from about eight hours' worth of MUSH log, I present the anatomy of an in-joke. I'm Cinderella, Laura is Paige, Brand is Haylon, Mo is Mo, and Lem, a.k.a. the Internet's Hot Soup, is Aiser, also known as the Instigator.
Aiser coughs. "Can I be painfully, horrifically blunt for a second?"
Aiser doesn't like balls. He doesn't want to be a eunich, however, but he still doesn't like 'em.
Cinderella falls over and laughs.
Cinderella says "As much as we womenfolk have bitched about our periods here, you're entitled to bitch about your balls."
Paige says "What's wrong with them?"
Paige says "Like, do they get sweaty or something?"
Aiser nods. "I mean like, they just hang there. In the way. And get all bunched up in undies. And I'm not even talking about how much they hurt if they get 'nudged'. I mean, they're just... okay. They dangle."
Paige says "Nudged! Pow!"
Aiser thinks balls are dumb.
Aiser shrugs. "Peter? He can stay. He knows when nobody wants to hear from him, and just kinda hangs out. But balls? They're like the people you didn't invite to the party, but show up anyways."
Paige has to take a moment and compose herself before shrieking with laughter all over her office.
Paige hrms and now wonders how Josh regards his balls.
Aiser shrugs. "Like, from what I can tell, most guys don't really care, they just get in the way sometimes."
Paige knows her dad is really happy with them, because he's always reaching into his pants to scratch at them. It's always the most charming part of a visit.
Aiser has a funny anecdote from last night. "I was sitting on the couch, hands above my head, relaxing. Then, in a lazy gesture, I drop my hands into my lap. Well, my right hand hits one of the little freeloaders, and I double over in pain. Chuck, who saw the whole thing, starts laughing ruckously and shouts "Dumbass!""
Cinderella is dying here. Falling off the couch.
Paige has tears in her eyeballs from the no-laughing-out-loud
Aiser sighs. "I just don't see why the little bitches can't like, I dunno, take a day trip to inside my pelvis during the times of my life where I'm, y'know, not procreating. Is that too much to ask? A little recession? Maybe with the transformer sound? A compromise maybe, one out one in. They can work in shifts."
Aiser hmms. "You know, I don't feel sorry for them at all. They hang out all day, expecting the best life can give them. Then suddenly, it's one misplaced table corner, and they suddenly don't want to play anymore? It's like... good plan there, buddies."
"We'll just chill here until something painful comes by, howzat." "Great."
Cinderella thinks if she had balls, she'd probably get all distracted with playing with them. Kinda like guys say they'd be with boobs.
Haylon says "Naw, you play with Peter. Sam and Frodo just kinda hang there."
Cinderella says "NO YOU DID NOT just call them Sam and Frodo."
Cinderella says "Wrong. Wrongwrongwrong."
Cinderella now gets this mental image of Elijah Wood and Sean Astin, and that's all kinds of wrong.
Paige is going to have to go with WRONG WRONG WRONG too, there.
Aiser laughs. "Heehee. Hey, I'm a good boy!"
Paige says "No, no you are not."
Paige says "Father is going to be furious. ;)"
Aiser pushes Paige against the wall. "Not if he doesn't find out."
Paige knees Aiser in the Frodo and Sams.
Aiser cries out "AUGH! MY HOBBITS!"
Cinderella does likewise.
Paige dusts her hands. Her work here is done.
And hours later...
Paige says "It is apparently nakie time in our house."
Paige hides her face. "Now I can't look at Josh without doing the mental check list: peter, frodo, sam.
Haylon rolls around on the ground.
Cinderella does too.
Paige had to look away because you just /don't/ bust up at your man naked.
Haylon says "Couldn't they like, withdraw into my body when I'm not procreating?"
Cinderella says "Freeloaders!"
Mo Jave huhs?
Paige says "Brand apparently named his balls "Frodo" and "Sam". He's your boy, we just watch him while you're gone."
Cinderella says "Lem started it!"
Paige says "Yeah, but Lem didn't anthropomorphize them!"
Haylon says "He did so!"
Haylon says "he just didn't name them."
Cinderella says "Yeah, okay. Brand started with the Sam and Frodo wrongness."
Aiser laughs. "Little dancing hobbits!"
Cinderella says "Hell, I'm sure I've still got the whole conversation in my scroll back..."
And so I did. And this is how in-jokes get started.
July 08, 2002
Okay children, it's time to
Okay children, it's time to play an old favorite game: what's wrong with this picture? I smell a disgruntled WOTC artist...
July 07, 2002
Oh yeah. Happy birthday to
Oh yeah. Happy birthday to Brand too, but he's just a young whippersnapper of 28, so he doesn't know anything.
(Mo says I can say that now, cause I'm 30.)
July 06, 2002
Happy birthday to me --
Happy birthday to me -- I'm 30, wheehaw.
July 02, 2002
Go, read the latest Tomato
Go, read the latest Tomato Nation. I've still got tears in my eyes from laughing.
July 01, 2002
So Jelly Belly actually went
So Jelly Belly actually went and created Bertie Bott's Every Flavor Beans. Mer bought some tonight at Write Club, and we tried them. They really are every flavor. We tried sardine and grass and dirt, which were all realistic enough that none of us had the nerve to try the ones labeled vomit and earwax...