Fixing All the Things – or Trying to, Anyway

Originally my post for today was going to be about my mad love for Moulin Rouge, as I watched it for the umpteenth time last night. Instead I will write about my day of attempted fixes.

First up, the blog. I had to do a manual update of WordPress, which in and of itself wasn’t too difficult, but when you haven’t done something the not-easy-but-not-all-that-hard way for a long time, it takes a while to figure out how to do it without screwing up a bunch of other stuff. I spent a lot of time searching the help forums, emailing back and forth with a friend who knows WordPress well, and fiddling with PHP files. I still cannot get it to create directories so that I can update my plugins, or even switch to a new theme, but that’s an issue for tomorrow or later in the week.

Second, my car. Agnes Lincoln has served me well for 5 years to the point I’ve gotten spoiled. Working from home means I don’t drive as much, so maintenance costs have been minimal. But tonight that all changed, as she wouldn’t start after I went to get tacos for dinner. A jumpstart didn’t work, so I had the car towed to a service station. The tow truck guy predicted a fuel pump issue, based on what he saw and what I told him. We shall see. I know enough about cars to know that I want someone else to deal with every aspect of their maintenance.

In true child-of-the-70s-and-80s fashion, I always think of Schneider from “One Day at a Time” whenever I have to be in fixit mode. He may have been a bit of a pest, and not the most skilled handyman, but he was funny and had a good heart. Here’s hoping the person who works on my car has excellent skills AND is as nice as Schneider, and has reasonable rates, too.

Schneider was THE fixit guy of the 70s and 80s.

NaBloPoMo 2014: Let’s Do This Despite a Raging Headache

I’m poking around on HootSuite, reading through tweets on my 4 different accounts, and I see something about NaBloPoMo. I’ve done it before, and I like deadlines and discipline when it comes to writing, so I go sign up, choosing to ignore the headache I’ve had since returning home from a writing session at Starbucks. (Soy peppermint mocha induced? A reaction to my cinnamon apple candle that I fired up once I got home? Who the hell knows.)

Then I start digging in to the WordPress issue I’ve been having since dealing with login attack issues a few weeks ago: it won’t let me update anything AT ALL. Not WordPress itself, not my plugins, nothing. Of course, as many bloggers know, a raging headache is the perfect time to troubleshoot your blog and go through the codex trying to figure out how  this got all shades of f***ed up.

I’ve downloaded WordPress and the plugin that will keep people from trying to access my site, I’ve poked around on the FTP site changing a few settings, and I’ve come to the conclusion that I need help figuring this shit out. Tomorrow I’ll reach out to my WordPress savvy friends. For now I’m gonna go lay down.

Educating Pops on Social Media

A while back Pops accidentally clicked Like on a certain presidential candidate’s FB Page, thinking that he could express dislike that way as well. Because Pops is still a FB novice, he was convinced he could not figure out how to Unlike the Page. This irritated me to no end, mostly because I do not like, or Like, said candidate, and I know that Pops doesn’t like or Like him, either.

Early yesterday evening, after a phone conversation about the debates, I finally broke down the steps for Pops in an email, which I have reproduced below in the hopes that some of you will be amused by it.

To: Pops

From: Moxie

Subject: How to Unlike Mitt Romney on Facebook

Very easy to fix this!

2. You’ll see a page that looks like this (I put this image here so you know what you’re looking for):
Inline image 1

3. In the box that says “To connect with Mitt Romney, sign up for Facebook today” there are two buttons. Click on the Log In button, which will take you to the Log In Page.
4. At the Log In page, input your email and password at the prompts, then click Log In. You’ll be taken to your News Feed page.
5. At the top of the browser window, where it says, copy and paste this address:
6. Underneath the big picture and on the right, you will see a button with a checkmark and the word Like next to it. Click on that button.
7. The window that pops up will have an Unlike option at the bottom. Click on the word Unlike.
You have now told Mitt Romney he can go *#%! himself. Well, not really, but your liberal heart will feel so much better.
With love from your left-leaning, socialist-sympathizing daughter,

Did Anyone Get the Number of That Truck?

I am sore all over and I blame the boot camp workout I did yesterday. The instructor, Abby, had us doing 5 minutes of squats. FIVE MINUTES. To encourage us to keep going with the exercise, she said, “When you’re 85 you’re gonna be able to go to the bathroom on your own. You might not be able to go tomorrow, but you will when you’re 85.” The muscles in my quads, abs and shoulders are all screaming at me for yesterday’s torture session. I have done nothing but lay around and wish a massage therapist named Sven with big hands and a sullen disposition would knock on my door, carrying a massage table and a note reading, “Your one hour massage session and Sven’s tip have been taken care of. Thanks for voting, Governor-elect Jerry Brown.”

Pedestrian Rage

I’ve been using public transit for 6-plus months now. In that time I’ve figured out the LA transit system a bit better: I’ve learned that the online trip planner sucks if you’re trying to calculate the most efficient route anywhere, that if Mussolini isn’t around you can forget about trains being on schedule, and that the people you meet while riding the bus are an interesting bunch, to put it mildly.

Right before my car was repo’ed (it’s still hard to say or type that), I had been getting very nervous about driving. The drivers here can be so crazy and self-centered, and all of them seem to be of the belief that their car and their errands trump anyone else’s, and how dare you want to be on the 405 freeway at the same time as me? Don’t you know who I am? It was getting to be more than I could take.

What I’m finding, though, is that being a pedestrian is no less nerve-wracking. As I walk to and from bus stops and train stations, I’m extremely annoyed by the obnoxiousness of drivers. Now I don’t have a big hunk of metal and heavy-duty plastic to protect me from the insanity of L.A. drivers who are so busy yammering into Bluetooth headsets (or Blueteeth, as Peter likes to call them) or texting or looking anywhere but at the road. I’m doing my part to obey the road rules – jaywalking can get you a ticket in LA – so being at the mercy of stupid drivers makes me enraged. Didn’t driver’s ed talk about “the pedestrian has the right of way”? Or does that concept carry about as much weight as “the customer is always right”?

Walking around with all this rage isn’t helpful to me or anyone else, of course. I’ve started talking back to people who act a damn fool on mass transit. Like the guy who sat down on the escalator right in front of me, then leaned back to talk to me – and I had on a skirt that day. “Dude! That is so not cool!” I yelled, then walked around him. Yesterday I flipped off a bus driver who nearly mowed me down while I was legally crossing the street. And I’m very close to banging on someone’s car in a crosswalk and yelling “I’m walkin’ here!”

It’s all the more amusing, then, that I’ve started planning a new website/blog, Mass Transit Tales. It’s going to be a central location for the positive stories coming out of metropolitan public transportation systems throughout the country, possibly worldwide. Because while I’ve had some hellish experiences in the LA transit system, I’ve also had some very funny and uplifting ones. I figure I’m not alone, either.

So if you have some good stories you’d like to share about riding the bus, trolley or subway, please shoot me an e-mail at editors at masstransittales dot com. I’ll be posting ads soon on Craigslist to build up a collection for the site.

In the meantime, I’ll keep working on choking down my pedestrian rage.

Hot Child in the LBC

I am hot. No, not in that way, although that is true as well. I am temperature-challenged hot. Today it is 100 degrees Fahrenheit in Long Beach. Does that seem fair to you? Does it make any sense that a beach town should be 100 degrees? It doesn’t to me. I thought the air was supposed to be cooler at the beach. Damn you, global warming. You’re f—ing it up for everyone.

Here’s a picture of my pool. Well, I wish it was my pool. If it was mine, though, you could all come over for a swim, and perhaps a barbecue.

What makes it worse is that my apartment complex does not have central air conditioning, and I don’t have a window or portable A/C unit to help cope with the heat. I just have an oscillating fan that is working overtime to push the hot air around, giving me the semblance of coolness. Thank god we have a pool, though. If I could eat, sleep, read, blog, surf the Internet, and use my Bluetooth headset all the while laying in the pool, I would be so happy. I would have extremely wrinkly skin, but I would be happy.

When it’s this hot, I have a very hard time thinking clearly. I feel stupider than normal. And because my body temperature has exceeded normal limits, I feel almost constantly enraged. So I pretty much try to avoid doing anything that involves talking to people at length.
I feel hot all over again, so it’s time to get my chlorinated pool water-dampened butt back in the pool for a bit. For those of you living in cool climates, please send some chilly thoughts out to SoCal. And possibly icy cold beverages too.

Uhhnngghh…I’mb Sick (sniffle snort cough cough cough)

For the second time in about 2 months, I am sick with sinusitis. This is unfair and un-American. I hate coughing and blowing my nose already, but to have to feel like this when it’s nice outside? It’s just wrong, wrong I tell you!

When I moved to California seven years ago, I thought I was done with seasonal allergies. The first few years were blissfully free of wadded-up tissues and post-nasal drip. No more weekly trips to the allergist for shots, no more Claritin, and no more expensive Flonase crap. I could roll around in fresh-cut grass, oak leaves, and ragweed and feel fine.

Alas, those days are gone. Apparently my body has finally picked its favorite Californian allergens and decided to torture me with them. I’ve perused pollen reports but either they don’t make sense to me anymore, or the Weather Channel isn’t getting accurate readings. In any event I am sneezing like it’s the new pink and coughing up a lung. On top of this, it’s hard for me to maintain the level of cuteness to which people have become accustomed when my nose is chapped.

Say a little prayer that this round of nasal drama goes away quickly and doesn’t return ever ever again. I hate this.

(cough cough cough pppfffffffhhhhhhttt)