Friday, August 25

A sour Apple

I know what you all are going to say: "That's what you get for being so loyal to Apple." Nothing but bad news. Expensive bad news, too.
The iBook died a few days ago ... in a bad way. It suddenly wouldn't boot up properly, and all I would get on the screen is that random folder image with the question mark in it. This afternoon, I took it to the "Genius Bar" at my local Apple store, and was given an ominous diagnosis.
The hard drive is cracked out, i.e., the computer has the "click of death." This phrasing is techno-geek fabulous, and means that the drive has suffered some mechanical failure, and is no longer functioning. Oh yeah, "and if you haven't backed up in a while, you've probably lost all your data," the Genius says. Terrific. I'll tell you what I said to him, and then to my mother (much to her horror): I've never backed up my computer. I don't even know how.
So what's on this suddenly worthless piece of plastic laptop? Five years of financial records; the entire iPod library (which isn't that big a deal since the iPod also has the entire library. I guess that's my back up there); and, much to my sadness, everything I've written since college (term papers, reports and every article I've authored for every magazine I've worked for). Grr.
And here's the fun part: for Apple to fix it, it'll probably cost upwards of $350. The Genius gave me some cards for some guys that also work magic on Apples, and they should be able to beat that price by at least $100, he says. Let's hope so.
I'm really in a bit of a heartbreak over the whole thing. I do so love the Apple. And unfortunately, I don't have the cash to just write it off and buy a new iMac.

Thursday, August 24

A "planet" no more

This, from CNN: "After a tumultuous week of clashing over the essence of the cosmos, the International Astronomical Union stripped Pluto of the planetary status it has held since its discovery in 1930."
I feel bad for Pluto (in the photo's left, with one of its moons). All these years it's been considered a full-fledged planet -- a major link in our solar system. And then, based on some new-fangled definition of what a "planet" is, its status as a member of the nine rocks around the sun has been stripped and demoted to "dwarf planet." That's deflating. As if the little place wasn't cold and alone enough, now it's going to be mocked by its larger neighbors, and perhaps even kidnapped by another solar system that sees it as our weak link.
I'm also concerned for all the kids out there who will now have to argue with their parents during the solar system portion of science class when their homework answer is eight, and the parents insist that, no, there are nine planets in the solar system.

Wednesday, August 23

Another blowie at the White House

ITEM!: I love it that the Internal Revenue Service is taxing the celebrities on the "swag bags" that they receive for showing up at awards shows and presenting a statue. It's no secret, at least among us entertainment whores, that these gift bags are worth upwards of $70,000, depending on the event. (I think the Oscars' bag was worth that last year.) It's ridiculous that a celebrity, who already makes a ton of money, should get stuff as random as a new phone, trip to a spa, invitation to a store opening or something like that, when they'd probably get it anyway, just for showing up at the phone store, spa or store that morning. At any rate, the taxes for the Academy Award bags will be paid retroactively by the Academy (through last year). This year, however, I wouldn't be surprised if such gifts were nowhere to be seen. (And lest we forget, the wonderful George Clooney donated his Oscar bag to charity to be auctioned off for hurricane relief.)
ITEM!: Paramount has severed ties with Tom Cruise's production company. Huh. It seems that becoming a kooky guy of the highest order can get you thrown off the lot -- no matter how big a star you were.
ITEM!: President Bush met with the guy who drove his FEMA trailer from Louisiana to Washington, D.C. today. The guy made news because, well, he wasn't invited to D.C. At any rate, it should be mentioned that the gentleman was on his way north to thank Bush for all the help that the government has given the region. Tell me that isn't a photo op waiting to happen! OF COURSE Bush would choose to meet this yahoo, instead of someone who has issues with the administration, like Cindy Sheehan, or the millions of other Hurricane Katrina survivors that are venomously unhappy with the president's reaction to the hurricane. Why try to solve something by hearing about people's problems when you can get blown on the White House lawn by a guy who just wants to get on television?
ITEM!: I'm loving the new Christina Aguilera. As a diehard Brit fan, you know how tough that is for me to say, but Aguilera's new single, and the potential in the new album is enough to make me bust out to get my computer fixed tomorrow so I can download the tunes on the Pod.
ITEM!: This image is brought to you by some organization's public service announcement in Scotland (I think). It's designed to ward people away from taking that one last drink that they know they shouldn't have, but are peer pressured into downing anyway. Seriously, it is disturbing, but it brings to mind my first year of college. Is that bad?

Sunday, August 20

Chocolate, dudes. Just chocolate.

Is it wrong that I would have looked at this two-inch tall mound of chocolate drippings and thought, "Cool. Leftovers from the chocolate vat; right here where no one knows it drips;" and then I would have eaten it, and kept the little dripping place to myself so that every two or three days I could go to it and have a little secret snack?
Even in the off chance that I too thought it looked like the Virgin Mary, I would have eaten it, perhaps after taking a picture of it with my phone and blogging about it. (Actually, it looks more like one of those fake owls that people put up on the corners of their houses to scare away the pigeons.) However, I certainly would not have shown everyone in the building, put the photo up on every news wire site, and claimed that my chocolate workplace was the newest portal to religious bliss.
Do these people really think that, if there is a religious deity controlling the world out there, that it would choose to manifest itself in chocolate drippings? Or in water stains in a freeway underpass, or on a piece of toast, or in the random swipings of a window washer?
I would hope that such a deity would be a bit grander in its pronouncement of existence.

Friday, August 18

Happy 301!

It's hard to believe, but true, my friends. This is the 301st blog post on "It's all about..." I certainly appreciate your faithful readership, even if I have been slacking off a bit lately.
So what's the what: Oliver seems to have adapted well enough to our new environment; the apartment itself is becoming more and more comfortable every day; I'm getting into the swing of this whole working-at-home thing; and Brian is deep into getting his Arizona licensure.
This weekend, we'll make our second trip out to IKEA. Our second trip ever ... and it is to pick up the bookcase that we didn't get last week. Have any of you been to an IKEA? Holy crap! Talk about a huge store with tons and tons of stuff in it! Yikes! Mom and I would have had so much fun setting up my first dorm room in that place! As it stands now, since we have most everything that is necessary for a cozy home, there is little to nothing for us to buy there (a fact that is a happy for my credit cards), so a lot of the product goes unappreciated. However, the fact that they have little apartments set up throughout, and sample living rooms and the like, makes it one of the coolest stores ever. I'm wondering how well the bookcase will fit in the back of the car though. We'll take Brian's vehicle, because it tends to pack better, but still, I think we may have to leave the back open, and put me behind the driver's seat to get it home.
Since we are missing HBO in our new cable program due to a lack of funds, we've started digging in to our own DVD library for movie entertainment. Last night, we watched Stripes, starring Bill Murray and Harold Ramis. That movie is such a gem! The most fun about it is that, even though neither of us had watched the flick in a long time, we still could roll along with quoting the dialog, quips and phrases that made us laugh the most. (It's like how you know the words to a song even though it's been years since you've last heard it.) The movie was released in 1981, if you can believe it, and is still as much a giggle today as ever.

Tuesday, August 15

A desk reborn

We've got a desk, and I feel like a normal computer person again! Yay! No more bending over, all hunched up on a chair or on the floor to compose my e-mails and blog posts. I never really appreciated the beauty of a desk until I was without one for several days. It sucks; believe me.
So now that all is somewhat normal in my life, I'll be able to get back into the real swing, and start haunting my entertainment web sites and all that. Yay for the return of my obsessions!!
So, how are all of you doing?

Sunday, August 13

I miss my magazines!

I think that you all would be impressed with the amount of stuff we've gotten done over the last few days. With Mom here, I'm always more motivated to get more done during the day, so right now, this place is remarkably livable. We've ordered our new sofa; gotten a new printer/fax/scanner/copier; filled up the refrigerator at both the grocery store and Costco (my Fudgsicle tonight was DELICIOUS); and hung up some pictures. Really, the setting up of the house is all that I've been focused on over the last couple days. I know little to nothing about the news -- entertainment or otherwise -- so don't have anything else on which to comment.
Tomorrow, we get our mail delivered. It's been on hold since mid-July, and hopefully, we'll have a good pile of stuff to take care of. But really, who am I kidding, I just want my Entertainment Weeklys for the last couple issues. I've got the shakes, it's been so long since I've read that magazine. Here's hoping that all the forwarding is progressing well!

Wednesday, August 9

Happy jam

It's a good omen, don't you think, when one opens up a brand new jar of Knott's red raspberry jam, and this is what they see on the top? Awesome! Good omens outweigh bad omens by a long shot, and this is definitely a good omen!
So we've been in our new home for about three days, and have most every box unpacked, and just about everything put away. Brian and I tackled the kitchen today, and I'm happy to say that everything fits, and we've got a lot more counter space. I like that. And let me tell you; the three of us have slept so well in our own bed over the last few nights! Lovely!!
Mom arrives tomorrow for a weekend visit, so who knows how much blogging I'll get done. But once I've got a desk in my office, it'll certainly be more comfortable!

Monday, August 7

Home sweet...

Hello, my darlings!
It's been an age since I posted; I'm so sorry!!
And the scoop? Well, I'm in my apartment (siphoning off someone else's wireless), and I've got all my stuff surrounding us. The movers were here bright and early this morning, and were finished unloading the ungodly amount of furniture, boxes and crap we own at about noon. It was ridiculous hot out, and I don't envy them the job they do, especially since there were only three of them, and it was like in the 90s already. Too hot for me. Thankfully, this whole belly thing gave me the perfect excuse to sit on the rocking chair and do nothing but check off the stuff as they brought it in.
So, about the place. Well, it'll do. I won't be surprised if we end up changing locales, or even states, next summer. Never again shall we select something as important as a home straight off the internet. Not that it's too bad, but I did have a crying fit last night when we arrived. It looks much better in the light of day, and I'm sure will be a nice home once we've got everything unpacked. (So far, we've finished the master and guest room closets; and I've made the bed. It doesn't sound like a lot, but it is.) Quitting time for me today: 6 p.m.
So Matthew, the move driver, called us at 8:45 yesterday morning to let us know that he would be here between 8 and 9 a.m. this morning. Of course, we were cozy and happy in Sierra Vista, and took our time about leaving there, so didn't stroll into this place until 10:30 p.m. or so last night. It was a rough drive, since B was in his car, and I was in mine, and freakishly, it was the longest time we'd been apart in two weeks. (The drive was only three hours, but with the crazy thunder and rain storm, felt a lot longer.) So at any rate, we're here, and have our work cut out for us over the next few days.
Oliver, I think, has realized that this is home, and has been catching up on his sleep all afternoon. He's enjoying the return of his doggy door, too. Free and unfettered access to the balcony? Brilliant!!
Oh yeah, and it's f**king hot here.

Wednesday, August 2

August avatar

Back into the swing of things, I present to you the August avatar.
She is, of course, comfortably ensconced in her new apartment, with cozy furnishings around her. This is not me yet, but will be, I hope, some time late next week. Seriously, I'm ready for my stuff to get here and to get started finding places to put everything!
Okay, what's up with Mel Gibson? Did I call it or not when I told all of you that a religious zealot who lives his life based on The Passion, is a person taking a dangerous walk on the wild side of sanity. And now, his own actions have brought him crashing back to earth, where the real people are. Did you read his apology? Press relations brilliance, if completely without merit and sincerity. The mug shot cracks me up, as do the pics of him drinking and hugging all the girls at the bar. This is a real family man, isn't it? Whatever. He lost me with The Passion, and will likely never get any of my movie money again.
Also in entertainment news, Heath Ledger has signed on to play The Joker in the next installment of the Batman movies. To tell you the truth, I'm pretty excited about this casting. I love that the superhero movies are skewing younger. It gives me something prettier to look at.

Tuesday, August 1

Greetings from the Grand Canyon state

Well! HELLO from Arizona!!
We have made it to Brian's parents' home, and with only seven days, and about 3,400 miles put on the car! Who knows how much we've spent on shady motels and expensive gasoline, but we certainly made it! And boy, are my legs tired.
The last bits of drive from El Paso to Sierra Vista was a hop and skip compared to yesterday, so I won't even go into that. Suffice it to say that even the torrential rains and flooding we drove through heading out of town this morning did nothing to slow us down, knowing that a big bed, homemade dinner and six days minus the vehicle were waiting for us. At any rate, it's all done now, and in a few days, we'll finally cap off this drive by investing the final three hours to make it up to Scottsdale.
Things we saw today include: some guys in a red Mustang getting pulled over because the drug dog signaled their car as we drove through an inspection station; random rain storms that successfully washed all the big bugs off the car; and, in a "we must be getting close to the West Coast" moment, a convenience store that carried Lipton tea, unsweetened with nothing in it. Ah, the joys of home!!
So, enjoy the fact that I'll have regular access to my e-mail and blogging over the next few days, my dears, because I certainly will!!