Look Around List

“Look around! Look around at how lucky we are to be alive right now!”

“America the Beautiful

Listening to these amazing ladies sing, while getting to see it beautifully signed? Where are the tissues?

Cooking. I got back to my apartment tonight and did dishes. It’s hard to cook if you don’t have clean dishes. I cooked up a very tasty dinner, and that always feels good.

Groceries on sale. I’m on a bit of a budget right now. So when I got to the store to discover that I could get over 3 lbs of boneless chicken thighs for about $1.50 a pound, as well as peppers and mushrooms for $1 each? I was so happy! I was able to get everything I needed as well as a few wants and got change!

Media apps. I do not have cable. It seems so silly for me to have it since I bought a Roku last year and have had Netflix and Hulu the whole time. But, networks are pulling their stuff from Hulu, which is frustrating. So today I made a couple of changes. First, I finally got CBS All Access. It’s the only place they are going to be showing Star Trek: Discovery, and hubby and I have been discussing getting it for that reason. Luckily, most of the TV I watch is on CBS. So it’s a double bonus for me. Second, I figured if I’m going to get CBS without commercials, I should upgrade my Hulu so I don’t have to deal with commercials, too. That will actually be useful when teaching because I only have 50 minutes to show something. Take out the commercials? It fits!

Technology. All of my love for the fact that I don’t need cable is such a privileged thing. The fact that I can afford to have a Roku stick with all these apps on them and a television and to be able to pay the monthly fees to keep using some of them is privilege. But I’m still grateful for that privilege.

Teaching. As I’ve mentioned many times lately, I am grateful for the opportunity teaching gives me to make a difference in the world. I know that might sound cliche, but it’s true.

Pure Leaf Raspberry Iced Tea. Sometimes it’s the little things. Being able to go to the store down the road to get this instead of giving in to pop…something I am very grateful for.

My hubby. I am always aware of how lucky I am to have him in my life. But this weekend he went above and beyond. He not only set up our haircut appointments, but he sprung for me to get my hair back to red. My hair is now not only shorter, but a lovely shade of red. I love it! Of course, that’s not the only reason, but right now it’s a big one.

Music

I had made a point of avoiding any news on Tuesday. I have enough on my plate that watching the results would have done nothing but added to my stress. As it got closer to midnight, I checked in on Twitter on a couple specific users (@JMunozActor, @Lin-Manuel, @Kelly_Carlin) because I knew that if anything definitive had happened, they would say something. That’s as close as I got. When I woke up on Wednesday, I decided to check Twitter again.

When I saw people talking about Lin thinking of moving to Canada and his response (both of which I posted yesterday), I knew something did not go the way I had voted and was hoping. Considering I teach a class with 35 students, I knew I needed to know what the result was. I found out. I taught class as planned, partially out of wanting to not have a debate, partially because I knew I would not be able to stay calm about it.

Since we have no class because of Veteran’s Day today, and I have no class on Thursdays anyway, I had a drive home ahead of me. I usually listen to music on the way home. Sometimes it’s an audiobook/radio drama. But this time I knew it needed to be music. So I put on my “Pump It Up” playlist and sang along loudly:

  1. Get Your Rebel On” – RuPaul
  2. My Shot” – Hamilton
  3. Raise Your Glass” – P!nk
  4. La Vie Boheme” – Rent
  5. The Click” – Good Charlotte
  6. Sissy That Walk” – RuPaul
  7. It’s My Life” – Bon Jovi
  8. One Week” – Barenaked Ladies
  9. Don’t Fear the Rabbit” – Frenchy and the Punk
  10. Fe Fi Fo Fum” – Frenchy and the Punk
  11. Caravan” – Frenchy and the Punk
  12. Make Out” – Frenchy and the Punk
  13. Steampunk Pixie” – Frenchy and the Punk
  14. The Doctor Lies” – The Ken Spivey Band
  15. Get the Party Started” – P!nk
  16. Born Naked” – RuPaul
  17. Responsitrannity” – RuPaul
  18. 2112 Overture/The Temples of Syrinx” – Rush
  19. Closer to the Heart” – Rush
  20. Follow Me Down” – Seanan McGuire

It really helped me feel better. The playlist ended before I got home, so, before switching to my Filk/Steampunk playlist (populated by Frenchy and the Punk, Seanan McGuire, Professor Elemental, The Ken Spivey Band, and a few others), I had to listen to a song that has had a place in my heart since it came out, and it’s message is more important than ever now:

Music has a way of healing us. Music has a way of making us feel better. Make a playlist. Put an album on repeat. Do what you need to do to take care of yourself. Music helps!

Happy Happy

Today I finally did something I’ve been meaning to do for a while now. I bought a new monitor! Well, actually I bought a new monitor and a new, mechanical, keyboard and a lap desk for the laptop and longer HDMI cable. I am all set to be comfy wherever I am using the computer now!

I don’t know if I ever mentioned this, but a few months back I decided to just switch completely over to the laptop. Upon deciding this, I invested in a docking station so I could hook up the printer an external keyboard and mouse and monitor, among other things. Since then there was a power outage and I think it fried the old monitor. Since the outage, it would randomly bring the brightness down to zero without me touching anything.

I bought a new surge protector to prevent that from happening again. But I had been putting off getting a new monitor. I suffered through for a while, but eventually I wasn’t using it because it was too annoying. Today I went to Micro Center and bought myself a new Acer monitor with IPS, for the photos.

It is amazing! I have it hooked up via HDMI, which improves the picture. I have to go to a fairly extreme angle to the screen for there to be any visible difference. Right now I’m watching “Deep Breath” and I feel like I’m watching a small version of the TV in the living room! This is amazing!

Now if I can just figure out a configuration for my ‘desk’ so I can easily read the screen on my laptop, I’ll be in great shape!

Upgrade complete!

Yesterday I got three packages: one Krampus bag from The Devil’s Panties (which is totally awesome (“It’s not Satanic Porn”)), and the two main components for my desktop upgrade!

After about 3 hours, I finally had my monitor, printer, keyboard, mouse, wi-fi, external hard drive, and converted internal hard drive hooked up to my dock and thus my laptop. I was able to move files around on the monitor while the laptop screen played Doctor Who. It was beautiful!

Now I just need to see if my external DVD drive works, once I find a USB port that’s not being used. There’s a reason I have a 7-port USB hub on its way. Despite the dock having 6 ports and my TARDIS hub having 4, it’s still not enough. So much connects to computers via USB now, it’s amazing that computers don’t come with more. Although, my old desktop did have 8. The laptop does still have two free ports, but I’m trying to limit what’s connected directly to the laptop. I want to be able to simply disconnect the dock and the power supply, if it’s plugged in, and go.

When I get home tonight, there is so much that I will be unpacking! The tea order from ThinkGeek arrives tonight! Also the bulk of my massive order from Amazon arrives tonight. Which means I’ll have Spaced!!! Maybe I’ll find some motivation to get my room cleaned up so I can work on my friend’s Yule present and get it done before we see them on Sunday. I have a lot to do tonight…

The avalanche begins

Last week I decided to splurge a little on ThinkGeek. Then when I got my bonus check from work, I did some online shopping. Yesterday I did more shopping with Christmas money and gift cards. Tonight after work I finally get to pick up the first of the packages. Tomorrow the beginnings of my new desktop configuration are supposed to arrive. The majority of my Amazon order from yesterday (including Spaced!!!) is set to arrive Wednesday. There are a bunch of other items I ordered that don’t have an ETA, so they’ll probably be sprinkled in throughout the month. It’s going to be like Christmas all month long!

Ah-ha!

As many of you may not know, Windows will no longer be supporting XP soon. Yes, my desktop at home still uses XP. I bought it when Vista was still new and so it physically can’t handle an upgrade to 7. Also, it is that old, so it’s been needing to be replaced. But if I’m going to get a new desktop, I want to build it myself with a little tech-savy help. That is not cheap.

But I do have a laptop. 🙂

Today I found that there is a laptop dock that will not only work with my laptop, but will support additional monitors. So not only can I use my mouse and keyboard and all that, I can finally have two monitors! I’m planning on using Christmas gifts to get the dock and some hardware to turn my desktop’s 1TB hard drive into an external hard drive. I’m going to have more computing power than I’ve ever had, while still having a simple laptop!

Now to figure out if my external DVD drive is broken or if it was just that one disc…

Fall cleaning

Yesterday I woke up and decided I needed to work on my room. It had turned into a pile of my stuff with a narrow path leading to my computer chair which was covered in stuff. Not useful.

2 weeks ago I had bought some awesome shelving to replace my former storage system. That involved moving everything from one storage system to the other. While the room was pretty messy to begin with. But yesterday I got the shelves better organized and threw out a very full trash bag of stuff. There’s still a section of my room that’s a pile of stuff, but at least now I can use my computer again.

Those two things combined and I decided to go through and get my desktop organized too. My internal hard drive is partitioned so I have two separate hard drives. I also have an external hard drive. Neither one is full, so I decided to go through and put almost everything on the external. I went through and deleted so many files. So many files…

Anyway. Later I extended the cleaning to my flash drives and my laptop. And I got my iPod completely up to date. It’s strange how organizing and cleaning up computer storage can add to the feeling of cleanliness. Something intangible being organized and clean made me feel just as good as physically cleaning up my room.

I’m sure that has some deeper meaning, but I’ll leave that to the professionals. 😉

Technology

As I was listening to episdoe 39 of Ben Gleib’s Last Week on Earth, something Kevin Smith hit on something in my mind.

Technology is really becoming the great equalizer. Technology is allowing me to simply write out my thoughts here for anyone to come and read. Technology is allowing anyone to create a series or a movie and put it out there for everyone to watch with really minimal costs. Technology is bringing the world much closer together than ever before. Technology is allowing people to write novels and putting them out there without having to try to get a publisher to publish it.

Maybe the fact that I’m re-reading Feed (again) helped a little bit. George was just talking about how important the bloggers were in humanity’s survival during the rising. I do think that if something like a zombie apocalypse were to happen and we still had our computers and the internet, we will stand a much better chance of surviving as a species. But that’s just me.