The Hundred Year Fiasco

It was July 5th. The morning sun had not yet broken through the clouds as I groggily fired up the PC.

The tower hummed to life as all of the familiar lights flickered. I let the computer wake up while I brewed up some coffee and toasted my english muffins. The air was full of buttered bread, coffee, and small shadows that began to creep across the floor as the sun poked out between the clouds.

I sat down at my computer chair, munching on my muffin and sipping my cuppa. I typed in the password and waited impatiently as I fingered crumbs off my plate. A finger was still in my mouth when I looked up at the screen and saw it..

No. Internet. Connection.

My mouth dropped open and my finger fell to the desk. My eyes grew wide and my heart began beating a little faster. All of the usual withdrawal symptoms.

Wait… this can’t be right. I climbed under the computer desk, A.K.A. dust-bunny land. Down on all fours in my pajamas, I began a frantic check of the wires going to the modem and computer. Was it plugged into the jack?

I sat up and sighed heavily. I’d have to recycle the power to the modem. For such a small chore, it seemed a huge dread. It only took a few minutes, if even that, but they seemed to drag on.

I followed the age-old procedure of unplugging the power cord, the dsl cord, and then the ethernet cord. I unplugged the jack. I waited the horribly eternal one minute and then plugged everything back in.

Nothing. All of the lights were green except for the important one. The DSL light was totally red.

Shit.

I decided to try restarting the computer, this time sighing and tapping fingers while it rebooted. Acid kicked up in my mouth. This shouldn’t have any impact on whether the modem is working, but it was a last ditch effort.

No.Internet.Connection.

“What the fuck?!” I’m sure I had woken half of my neighbors, but I didn’t care as much as I should. I had no internet! They’d understand.

 


 

This is how my day started. Well, maybe not *exactly* how.. but it gets the point across. I didn’t have a lot of time to mess around any further with the blasted thing since Hubby and I had to get to work. I figured it was just another “outage”.

Oh how wrong I was.

I contacted my internet provider once I got home. I spoke with a lovely woman who said that a technician had been out in the area recently and had “accidentally” turned off the internet for our entire area.

Fucking Christ.

She assured me that our area was being rerouted to another server, but if the problem continued, I should call back after 6pm that night.

It continued. I called back. And then I realized that everything I had been told was probably a lie.

At 6pm, the alternate customer service reps take over. I actually got the same customer service rep that I talked to with the last outage. She was very helpful the last time.. not so much this time. Everything I said was met with heavy sighs and a strained voice that said every word as if she were speaking to a toddler.

She had a very thick accent and I couldn’t understand her very well. I’m sure this is what was causing her distress. It took about five repeats from her end before I realized she wasn’t asking for my company address, but my complete address. I felt like an ass for repeating that I was not a business. Ugh.

The longer we spoke, the more furiously I paced. Hubby started following me around asking if I was okay and rubbing my shoulders as I made fists in the air.

“No, the only red light is the DSL light!” I roared into the phone. I had answered the question a million times. She would click off to put me on hold and then click back on, probably with a question she had already asked me. I knew that she knew what she was doing. At least, she did last time. Why was she doing such a horrible job this time?

Despite the problems, I finally got an appointment set up for a technician to come out.. in a week. I hung up the phone, infuriated. Not just at the long wait, but also at the obvious miscommunications taking place. Hubby calmed the situation with the notion that in a week, it would all be over and we would have the internet back.

Again, we were very wrong.

The week came and went. No technician showed up.

I called back on my lunch break to make sure I would get ahold of a primary CSP (customer service representative) . I got a CSP that seemed honest and that I could understand. He apologized for the obvious inconvenience. (Was that all it was? It felt like I had lost a limb.. maybe I was being dramatic..)

Apparently, my inside wire insurance had been removed and then re-added to my account.
Gee, I wonder who could have done that.
For some reason, the system thought that meant the tech appointment had been cancelled. He put me on hold and contacted the technician supervisor to get it straightened out. I got another tech appointment. Another week’s wait. I was just happy to have an end to this nightmare.

He assured me the technician would be there on Thursday the 21st, and only after I was off work. I breathed a sigh of relief.

To calm the wait and our fraying nerves, we spent the hours after work for the week playing Solitaire and watching YouTube videos on our phones. What was the point of having a computer if there wasn’t any internet? Oy.
I was getting increasingly good at Minesweeper and Hubby had found some Pen and Teller magic show.

That Tuesday, I went to pick up my husband from work, just like every other day.. but I found out some grim news. Our landlord had gotten ahold of my husband while he was at work. He asked about an internet technician. It was Noon when he texted. It was Tuesday the 19th.. not Thursday the 21st.

While I drove home, Hubby called the internet company back, again, and explained the situation. The CSP assured him that the appointment was still set. Apparently, if a tech is in the area for a call, they will swing by and see if they can knock it out instead of having to make the drive later on. It seemed feasible.

I didn’t hold my breath, but I hoped the tech would show up on Thursday.

On the 21st, I sped home so I could do a quick clean of the place before having to speed back into town to get hubby, and then speed home again to get there before the tech (hopefully) showed up.
I sucked up dust-bunny-ville with a powerful cyclone (A.K.A. Hoover) and pulled everything away from the modem and wall jack. I picked up Hubby and we both waited, with half-baited breath.

At 8pm (an hour after the cutoff point), we admitted defeat and went to bed.

The following day after work.. well, you know the drill by now.

The CSP I spoke to, still a different one than all the others, apologized profusely. She said that the only thing she could do was to set up another .. yeah, you know.

This time, however, we set it up for early morning on Saturday. The CSP put in the notes that we would absolutely not be home until then. I wasn’t sure if it would make a difference, but I was grasping at straws here.

I explained this to Hubby as we drove home. We both agreed it was a good idea. He had to work all day Saturday, but I would be at home. Neither of us dared to ask if the notes in the computer would actually keep a tech from stopping by at a more convenient time .. well, convenient for them, anyways. We were too superstitious by this point. We had become internet jaded.

Once home, Hubby and I sat around in the living room, soaking up the air conditioning. I sat in the rocking chair, petting the cats. Hubby was eating and watching Pen and Teller on his phone. I hate Pen and Teller.

Suddenly, he popped his head up.

“Uh, we have internet.”

I jumped out of the chair, cats racing to all corners of the room as if a tornado was going by.

“WHAT?!”

We both looked at the modem. All of the little lights were on and were green. Even the DSL light.

“How did that happen? Did a tech come out and not tell us?” I checked the windows. No tech vans.

Hubby shrugged. “We should keep the appointment in case it goes out, again.” I nodded and rubbed my greedy little hands together. “Mmmm, sweet internet,” I whispered. Hubby slowly backed away and retreated to the bedroom to watch more Pen and Teller.

Ah, two problems solved. Life was good.

Frankly My Dear..

You know the rest. But I do! I do give a damn!

I came home from Mom’s and grabbed the mail out of the mail box. There was a flier from one of our state’s congressmen.  I didn’t really think anything of it because we tend to get fliers from congressmen whose district we are not in. We tend to get them a lot, actually. I was ready to throw it in the burn pile, but morbid curiousity took hold of me and I read it. I READ IT! Ugh.

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It was a thick, high gloss flier that had a perforated area you were supposed to detach and send back. It wanted you to check off all the things you thought the state government needed to focus on. National Debt, Job Creation, and Border Security were just a few options. I went to grab a permanent marker to make one big “X” that would cover all the check marks, but something grabbed a hold of me. I snatched a pen from the pen pot and started writing in the “Other” section. I told my congressman about how piss poor employment is here in Indiana. That job creation wasn’t the problem, employment at will was the problem. A so called “right to work” laaws had paved the way for companies to treat their employees like disposable commodities instead of human beings. Turn over rates, accident reports, and job dissatisfaction is on the rise. Something needs to be done now!

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I looked over my sentences that were peppered with exclamation points and shrugged. It would either get thrown away at the congressman’s office, or I’d get contacted for being aggressive. Either way, I had done my part, right? Wrong. I turned the flier over and noticed something at the top right hand corner. There was a little box. Inside that box there were four words, “Place Firstclass Stamp Here”. What?! This flier was franked.

I had heard about this on the news. Franking in America (this is my new  favorite phrase BTW) is the process of stamping an envelope to state that the postage is paid for.  There’s nothing wrong with it, it’s a good method. It’s not so good when government employees start franking mail with taxpayers dollars, however.  The flier I received had been franked by a machine, with one of those “First Class Postage Paid” markings. next to a pre-sorted marking.  This means, the money to send it to me came out of my own pocket, as a taxpayer, and now I was being asked to use my own money to send it back.

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WHAT?!

Oh L no. Homey don’t play these games. If I was going to have to use my own money to pay for the postage on the return trip, I was going to be saying a lot more. This is probably how I am going to spend my evening: drafting a well written letter to my congressman about the perils of treating individuals like throw away razors and treating companies like human beings. In between bouts of politically-fueled ire, I’ll work on my afghan to ease tension. I think I’ll probably have to use more than one stamp to send him the book I plan on writing, but at least it (hopefully) gets his attention more than a few measly check boxes.  I hope not to get so much attention that I get labelled dangerous and thrown in jail, but I did always wonder what the inside of a jail cell looked like.

The nerve.

Just Another Day..

..in Ye Olde Timey Towne.

Hubby and I decided it was time for a change, so we did some major Spring cleaning. I mean major.  We tore the bedroom apart, first, and holy crap! I think we killed a sprawling dust bunny metropolis. Under the bed, no less. The room itself just feels cleaner now and falling asleep is less of an allergy-induced nightmare. Ahh.

It was such a hit, that we decided to Spring clean the living room. Again, this was a major cleaning. I think we mopped the floor five or six times and you still can’t tell, but! We did completely revamp the place. It’s amazing how moving furniture around can make such a huge difference and now you can actually walk around. Wow! In the process, we discovered some old particle board .. uh.. boards from a bookcase a few years ago.  Now, I’m not sure if this is a testament to how poorly mass produced craftsmanship has become, or a reflection of how little books are used now-a-days, but said bookcase did not last long because we put books on it. That’s right, we used it for its intended purpose so it broke. Granted, we have quite a few heavy books.. but still. It’s a bookcase for crying out loud. I could understand if it was something like a tower of milk crates.. but it was designed and built to hold books.

I digress. We found the particle board boards from this bookcase and decided to try and upcycle them into two, small computer tower shelving units. The plans were sound, the brackets and screws were new, and the appreciatively loaned tools worked great. It should have come as no surprise to us when things did not go as planned, however, because these boards have already fallen apart. I guess we never learn.

Did I mention that we had to paint them, first? Before we discovered (again) that the boards were useless and couldn’t even hold up their own weight let alone anything else, we painted them for prep.  Even that one backfired. I present to you Exhibit A:

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Now, I know what you’re thinking.. “Why did you keep spraying with the paint if you saw it was getting on your fingers?” Because I am stupid, that is why. You see, the nozzle was defective and it was not only leaking paint, but also a vast amount of compressed air. This made it difficult to actually paint the boards and froze my index finger in the process. AGAIN.. an object that is created for a specific purpose that cannot perform said purpose. For shame. And just in case you missed how much this pissed me off, I present to you Exhibit B:

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I figured I could get away with that picture because my finger is the same color as my hoodie. And no, I am not wearing a peach colored hoodie.  At least you can’t tell that I pretty much got a fine mist of paint all over my clothes, shoes, and self. Clean up wasn’t the most pleasant thing I have ever been through, but it gave me some amusing pictures.

The day wasn’t a total loss. While helping the Mom-In-Law with yard work, Hubby and I found a really neat creature:

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This little guy was about the size of a quarter and was almost stepped on by us. I’m sure he would have survived with that tough shell, but we put him someplace where he wouldn’t be bird food: in the pond. He promptly ran down a snake hole on the edge.. so at least he won’t be bird food, right? Unless one of the herons eats him.. Well, at least we didn’t step on him.

We finished up our weekend by finding out that our car has officially taken a crap on us. Walking all over town to get groceries and price other cars has been quite a workout. Poor Hubby has to find a car tomorrow and I hope it works out because he works about 20 miles away. We have a bike but let’s be reasonable: If walking 5 miles in one day makes us feel like extras on The Walking Dead, I think a 40 mile round trip bicycle excursion will actually kill us.  So, another car it is. Stay tuned because I have a feeling that the ball of bad luck has just started rolling. Ah well, at least we’ll get some good pictures out of it.

Is that the bell?

Do you remember when you were in your High School Speech class?  The teacher made you write essays and speeches about given or suggested topics.  It seemed like, initially at least, a lot of the class started their speeches out with dictionary definitions of the subject.  Well guess what?  It’s High School Speech Class time because I feel like I’m still living in friggin’ High School.

The dictionary defines “drama” as “a situation or sequence of events that is highly emotional, tragic, or turbulent”(Dictionary.com, 2012).  I think we need to change this definition a little to perhaps “a situation or sequence of events that is distorted through personal opinion to become a highly emotional, tragic, or turbulent event.”  And it seems as though society is not only adept at doing this, they prefer it to the normal sequence of events and their drab interpretations.  Case in point, the current state of the media. Oh I know, you are all probably sick to death of hearing about it.  At least you are if you aren’t “dramatic”.  I am fed up with the so called “news” reporting on situations and issues in a way that is designed to stir up distorted feelings amongst the population instead of simply reporting the facts.  OMG!  Like, the facts are so totally boring.  I have to project my own personal beliefs onto them so that I can get all worked up and then I won’t talk about the facts of the situation anymore, I’ll talk about my own personal, distorted interpretation of the situation.

Wow, really?  I am not surprised.  From the news we go to advertising.  Facts have always been “polished up” in advertising to .. well.. sell a product.  A product that may not do all that the seller claims it will.  This seems to be readily accepted and somehow, we blame ourselves for buying a product that fails when it doesn’t live up to the promises of the seller.  Say what?  “Oh sigh, how dare I spend my hard earned money on this thing.  The guy promised it would do this, and it didn’t.  It’s all my fault.”  Classic codependency.

What is codependency?  It has many definitions, depending on who you ask.  Oh my.  So not only are we now distorting news tidbits with our personal opinions, we are distorting the simplest facts such as word definitions.  I can understand that if you come from a certain branch of study, you may lean more towards a specific definition of a word or have a different take on a situation.  That is not what I mean.  I mean when people use the distortion of such a situation to get emotionally “worked up” because they seem to need to bounce from drama to drama in order to feel fulfilled.

I believe it has something to do with the rising levels of false entitlement that seems to be ever present as of late.  How dare that person go first at the four way stop even though they had the right of way!  I will yell at them because I have the right!  Ahhh.. but you don’t.  The rights of this country seem to have taken the same beating as news stories and word definitions.  People are projecting their personal biases onto them instead of accepting the laws and constitutional guidelines for what they are.  Just because someone else doesn’t agree with you, does not make you or them wrong.  It just means you’re different.

The constitution was smart enough to reflect this by doing one thing: separating church and state.  The forefathers understood the impact that projecting one’s religious beliefs onto the laws of the country could have.  Such examples can be readily seen today and, very sadly, they are not being upheld constitutionally.

Like the forefathers of yore, the peace-seeking activists of the distant past, and the minority groups of today I long for a country that lives by its own guidelines.  Why can’t we all be different, accept and enjoy those differences, and still be respectful to one another?

This concludes my High School rant of the day.  Back out into the jungle.

Opinion Time (aka Soapbox Time)

Alrighty, let me just get my little pedestal in place before I start ranting.  There.

First of all, I am so tired of hearing about Chick-Fil-A.  There are various aspects to this, such as how often does this happen without getting as much media coverage?  Again, if the media hadn’t blown it up to begin with, would it have gotten this far?  Also, it brings us back to the whole Christians who worship a God that teaches tolerance and love to all.. not really doing that.  As one of my friends pointed out, replace “Gay” with “Black” and this is 1960.  Secondly, who the hell cares how two people have sex?  Why is it such a big deal if people of the same gender want their rights recognized?  Hello!  In the Bible they did things like trade women into marriage for other property, marry at a young age, make the brother of the widow’s husband marry her.. etc..  We don’t do those things anymore, why can’t we accept this one?  Oh wait, it goes back to prejudice and intergroups.  Don’t want to have a stronger group uprising against the White, Middle-Aged, Middle Class.  Because those are the people I see complaining about this whole fiasco.  Ugh.

This type of mentality is why Romney is so popular these days.  He is backed by the upperclass white.  This will be his downfall when voting time comes around.  He’s not relatable.  When I watch the broadcasts of his speeches, his audience is a sea of white, older faces that are auspiciously dressed.  Shocker.  When I watch Obama speak, the audience is multi-colored, multi-aged, and multi-classed.  He’s relatable.  As much as the American people don’t like the fact that Obama can’t wave a magic wand and fix everything wrong with this country (that the people are causing by the way), they dislike Romney more.

As for that magic wand, let’s take a closer look.  Perhaps things would not be so bad financially if.. oh wait, I know it is easy to look back and reprimand.  The thing is, I’m guilty of it too.  I had to learn my lesson.  Don’t buy things you can’t afford.  It is that simple.  If we as a country did that, I think it would help to solve a lot of issues.  I am not saying it is the magic pill, I’m saying it would definitely help.  Another few things that would help?  Getting rid of career politicians with life-long cadillac insurance and retirement plans.  Getting rid of archaic Government programs that were designed to assist the soldiers and their families from wars from almost a century ago.  Stop putting them into law!  We can’t afford them.  It’s time to restructure and develop a new system that truly addresses the issue, doesn’t just get you re-elected.

Last rant-o-da-day, have you watched the news lately?  I got news for you, it ain’t news.  I’d like some good, old-fashioned information.  Not this hyped up, jacked up, make believe world story crap that is designed to cause drama and not inform.  Mike Wallace and Peter Jennings are turning in their graves.

Okay, I’m done. Thank you for listening, you’re a great audience!  Have a good night.  Don’t forget to vote for.. oh wait.

I’m going to become a hermit…

…And live far away in a land made of music, sunny days spent lounging on the grass, and lemonade by the pool.

Because these things sound like they would make me happy.  In fact, I’ve tried them out in my short lifetime and.. what do you know?  Yup!  They make me happy.   I guess I’m weird like that, I like things that make me happy.  It seems to be an oddity in these parts.  At least, with the people I’ve been coming into contact with lately.

If the Wicked Witch of the West really did have a baby, these people would be the descendants.  They enjoy being miserable.  And not just any miserable, a kind of sadomasochistic miserable.  Pass the cat–o-nine tails!  Hurry!  I feel a happy thought coming on and I must banish such unsavory thinking!

Seriously, all insanity aside: I am about as fed up as a clam at high tide.  I enjoy singing because it makes my day go by faster and it puts me in a better mood.  But these people don’t want to sing.  They don’t even want to know how your day is going unless it’s for ammunition. They want to gossip.  They want to talk about eachother while the other person is standing right there.  Uh, say what?

They want to find out teeny, eensy, bitty details about a person’s life and blow it out of proportion.  I think they keep drama dynamite in their purses for this.  Hide all the boring bits of your life!  They might blow it up!  And not just blow it up, but twist it too.  Make it something worth getting upset about.  That’s the stuff!

As if that weren’t enough, they don’t know how to communicate.  “Oh, did you hear about so and so?  Yeah, they’re having a problem with such and such.”  Ok, why the hell do I care and why aren’t you trying to give the suggestions on their problem? OR “Can you believe I found this?!” Nope, don’t care.. why didn’t you tell someone so we could actually do something about it? Oh wait, I forgot.. you like to be miserable.  And you like everyone else to be miserable too. If you communicated situations before they turned into problems, it wouldn’t give your meager brain anything to do.. you wouldn’t have a life.  MY GOD!  You might have to try to be happy!  The horrors!

Whenever I see these people sitting together, I imagine some wicked witches sitting over a bubbling cauldron.. plotting their next horrible curse on mankind.  That’s the same feeling of dread I get. Yea.. I’m gonna be a hermit and live far away from the evil witches that are plotting the demise of all us happy people.

I think I might need to buy an island..

He was a one-eyed, one-horned, flyin..

Okay, I’m not purple and I definitely don’t eat people.  But I certainly don’t seem to be getting along with them lately either.

Them?  Really?  Makes me feel like I’ve said something racist or sexist.  I guess I do have a bias against the majority of people.  I have a natural instinct to push them away while still wanting contact and intimacy.  Make up your mind, woman!

There was this great picture I saw years ago done up in the 1970’s pulp fiction style.  It was a woman pointing a gun and the title said “How dare you love me!”  Yea, I feel like that a lot lately.  How dare you people put forth the effort to try to get close to me.  I’ll show you!

I’m not sure if it’s my allergies, stress, or a combination of a lot of things.  But I just don’t want to be around “THEM”.. and yet I do.  I want to share opinions, laugh at stories, and have fun.  And yet..

I find myself getting frustrated with THEIR opinions and perceptions.  How can they think that way? Jeez.. what’s wrong with THEM?  Yea, I know the problem is with me actually.  I’m being all controlling again. Shocker.  Me? Controlling? Get outta here..

But still.. I’d like to know, is there anyone out there that doesn’t drive me absolutely crazy?  That doesn’t make my skin crawl with annoyance?  Or should I think about overdosing on some chocolate and funny movies right about now?

Maybe I need more sleep.  Maybe I need an attitude adjustment.  Yup, I’ll just flip my lid and turn the dial, there attitude all adjusted.  It was that easy!

So many things come to mind when I think about “adjusting my attitude”.  Changing diet, regulating sleep, and exercising more to help my body feel better.  If I’m already feeling crappy, how am I ever going to get motivated to schedule and organize all that?  Bah.. self-defeatist procrastination alert!

Then I swing into the opposite extreme.  I am Wonder Woman!  I can plan and schedule and anything is possible!  I become talkative and a real people person because I am ontop of the world.  And then it crashes.  Something happens that I can’t control with all my scheduling and organizing.  Ahh, back to THEM.

I need to get off this carousel.