Thursday, November 29, 2007

Multiple Personality Crisis

You think I oughta use this one for my profile?

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


I've installed Apple's new Mac OS without a hitch. Nice new interface! Cool 3D icons in the dock! New and improved "Mail" software!

I wonder what will malfunction first.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007


I've bought two 160 GB iPod Classics in the past month, and visited the Genius Bar twice. Each of the four times I went to sync the iPod to the iTunes on my iMac, it would copy about a few hundred songs and then give me this error message:

"The disc 'Melinda's iPod could not be read from or written to."

I would have taken this as a sign of a corrupted file if it were not for the fact that the files on which I've received the four error messages are nowhere near each other. And the possibility of two different iPod Classics from two different stores both having the exact same problem seems remote. (The problem is not the remote.)

After restoring, reformatting, troubleshooting and general do-si-do-ing, the Geniuses at the Genius Bar narrowed the problem down computer.

"You have a problem with your serial bus. It's possible that the old G4's can support the new devices, but we wouldn't guarantee it."

Since my beloved G4 already needed so many upgrades that it would be worth the cost of a new iMac, I went to the Apple Store on Black Friday and bought a new iMac. It has this automatic migration tool that can copy all of your set-up information for your Internet and e-mail software and preferences from your old Mac to your new Mac. What it also copied was the old Mac's name and every buggy piece of shareware my husband ever downloaded.

So I plugged in my new iPod, and the new Mac tells me that I can't use it with my new iTunes, because I don't have the latest version of iTunes. I went to download the latest version of iTunes, and couldn't, because I couldn't figure out where the cable modem connects on the new Mac. Oh, I know where the USB thing connects, but the old Mac had a little port with a little icon of a phone and the new one doesn't have that icon.

So I hooked up the iPod to the old Mac and downloaded iTunes 7.5. And when I went to install it on my iPod, it tells me I can only install it on my iMac.

I'm looking at a long, long call to Apple when I get home this evening.

I think the problem is with the size of the hard drive on the new iPod. When I used to use 120-minute audio cassettes, I had a problem with them on my Walkman and on the little tape recorder I would bring to clubs to tape my act. The motor in these small devices was too underpowered to turn such a long tape properly.

I'll mention this comparison to the Apple tech support person. He or she will probably say, "It's not the same thing, Ma'am." Also, he or she will probably be too young to know what audio cassettes are.

Update, 7:45 PM:

Okay, the connectivity problem's been resolved--it only needed one cable--and I'm posting this from the new iMac. I'm now on hold with the iPod specialists. Estimated waiting time: 15 minutes.

Waiting, waiting, waiting...

You know, dinner is really overrated as a meal.

Update, 8:00 PM:

Still holding.

You know, New York is on the sameĀ latitudeĀ as Madrid. That surprised me. I thought Madrid was hotter.

8:45 PM:

Okay, the iPod Specialist has determined that my iPod is broken, but he's consulting with an extra-special specialist just to make sure.

So now I've been on hold for another 20 minutes.

You know, even if it turns out that it was another bad iPod all along, I think I'll keep this iMac. I love the big screen and this thin keyboard. It goes clickity clickity clickity clickity

9:00 PM:

clickity clickity clickity

9:10 PM:

I would welcome root canal therapy right now.

9:20 PM:

Okay, the extra-special specialist said that my iPod got corrupted from being connected to my old iMac. Apparently, the iMac is a bad influence on the iPod.

They made an appointment for me to go to the Genius Bar and get a new one on Thursday.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Elementary, My Dear Watson

cash advance What's your blog's reading level?

This comes as a total surprise to me, because in elementary school my reading level was always "Geek!"

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

More Deco

I'm back at work, and sorting out my pictures. Here are a few more of South Beach, which is just the Art Deco district of south Miami Beach.

Last Wednesday, I took a walk along Ocean Drive and Ocean Walk, which is next to...the ocean.

Most of the hotels here were built in the 1930's. They were designed to look like luxury liners, because the idea of ocean voyages was romantic but only rich people could afford to take them.

The last time I was there was in 1990, when South Beach was just beginning to get gentrified and renovated. It felt like Soho in the 1970's. It had a raw, pioneering edge to it. Now it's like Soho in the 2000's, a mainstream tourist destination with upscale chain stores and multi-million dollar condos.

Sitting on a bus during a sudden squall.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Bruno in Art Deco Land

Collins Avenue and Lincoln Road in Miami Beach, where I was this afternoon.

Friday, November 09, 2007

Cat Cold

So now Ashley seems to have some kind of upper respiratory infection. I'm taking her to the vet this evening. She's due for a check-up anyway. Fingers are crossed that it's something that will resolve on its own, because it's a challenge to get meds into her.

Update 7:30 PM: Back from the vet. The cold seems to be resolving itself, but the little head-shake she's had today is from a tumor in her left ear, which is almost certainly benign and which will be removed when I take her in a few weeks for dental work.

Hopefully, now I will rest and think happy, positive thoughts such as, "The tickets are non-refundable and I won't be able to get back before the cats die!"

And this is why I need a vacation, oh, more than I will ever admit.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

"A giant inflatable rat is here, sort of like a false god of dirty mammon."

Being a fourth-generation Union member and New Yorker, this cracked me up:
A giant inflatable rat is here, sort of like a false god of dirty mammon. He is the symbol of striking here in Gotham. He is available for rent. It might be fun to have the rat at some sort of post-ironic hipster party. It occurs to me that in Los Angeles, if the giant inflatable strike rat came out, there are certain people I know that would get down and pray to him. Like at Lourdes.

HuffPo has a Writers Strike Opinion Page. (H/T Sideways Mencken)

I'm Around

Around 5'5", 5'6".

I'm getting ready for a week of fun in the sun, and wrapping up some projects here at work. I've been getting used to the new floor and the new cube, and no longer feel as if somebody blindfolded me and spun me around.

Administrative Services greeted us on Monday morning with a platter of donuts and some broken file cabinets. The broken file cabinets are being replaced. The donuts, I've been eating too much of lately, so I was a bit apprehensive about seeing my endocrinologist this morning. But apparently the little pills I've been taking with my meals have been doing what they ought to.

She did give me a scare when she examined my thyroid.

"Look up...Swallow...Wait a minute, swallow again...Shaneequa, is the Sonogram Room available?"

"Uhhhh, sonograms aren't just for cancer, are they?"

"Don't worry."

What it turned out to be is a benign nodule, very common and it doesn't need any treatments, just scanning every year.

A quick vein poke to test my blood for cholesterol and I was through. I'll find out the results of that tomorrow. And of course, whenever there's a piece of me being taken and results to wait for, I'm afraid they're going to find something incurable and terminal.

A few years ago I would have dismissed this worry as hypochondriachal, but after you've heard a doctor tell your spouse, "You have a tumor in your brain..." you enter a world where anything is possible and henceforth, when you go to the barber, you will worry that you have developed cancer of the hair.

No matter what the results, I need a break.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Goodbye to the Cube

My department is moving tomorrow to a newly-renovated floor in the same office building, so Friday was Packing Day.

I explored the new floor so I could avoid that "temp" feeling on Monday: "Where's the Ladies' Room? The pantry and coffee supplies? Is that the only coat closet?"

On the old floor, I'd been in two cubicles in five years, but the pantry and the Ladies' Room were a constant. They were the places I'd rushed to and crept back cautiously from, when awaiting the results of medical tests for myself, my husband, and various human and fur-bearing family members; praying I'd see the red glow of the message light on my phone, and praying I wouldn't.

So, a new floor, new facilities, a new phone system that the company actually had us all come to training sessions to learn, and maybe some better news.

Thank God we all got an extra hour of sleep.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Bruno Rocks The Lobster

The B-52's did a show at Roseland last night. It was Halloween, so the audience wore costumes. The B-52's always wear costumes.

The opening act was a local band named Rapture who were young enough to be the B-52's children and who played so interminably long and loud that I've been going around all day smiling and nodding stupidly to everything everyone says to me because I can't hear out of my right ear.

There was a break between the opening act and the headliners, and when I got back from the Ladies' Room I got separated from the mothership, or more specifically, from my friend Kathy and her work friend James. This ultimately turned out to be not so bad, since they'd been standing front and center in a tightly-packed crowd and I ended up in a little pocket off stage right that had a small bar and an open space and seating and few people. It was our own little concert, our own little dance hall, our own private Idaho, and I danced with King Tut and a Hoochie Mama. At least I think those were costumes.
Kathy is a Corpse Bride; I'm "Cool"

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