New iPhone, Who Dis?

It’s been a long time since I logged in to write a new blog post…

Some things have changed, some things remain the same.

It’s unchanged that when I get frustrated, I ragequit or stop doing something to make the frustration go away. So when WordPress for example, has big changes, I don’t want to even start my desktop, laptop, iPad, or iPhone to start a post. If it’s frustrating, I tweet, because gratification must not be delayed.

I got a new iPhone recently… this is frustrating because Apple and I have a history. A history where I have an old, old, old AppleID that somehow can’t be permanently merged with my more current AppleID. And every time I get a new Apple device, I struggle to access all of my music, much of which is attached to the old ID that was (ludicrously) associated with an ancient AOL account. The other one is attached to a Gmail account that I use now. If Gmail ever goes away (thanks, Google) I’ll be screwed again.

It’s not even a really new iPhone – it’s David’s previous one, just a newer model than my old one that still has fingerprint ID. I prefer fingerprint over face recognition because I most often use Apple Pay, a damn useful feature, in checkout lines and drive through lanes at fast food joints. David likes to upgrade with the latest and newest. I like to get used to how something works, and use it and use it until it can no longer accept required updates, so here we are.

New iPhone, who dis? Who is this person now? Struggling to reset her passwords, her applications, her LIFE?

I stopped riding my bike this year… I just… lost interest in fitness and this stemmed from being frustrated at being left behind in group rides. Also, I kept struggling with somewhat irrational fears of falling. Every small bit of progress was thwarted by my fear of … succeeding? And having positive change. So it was frustrating, and I … stopped.

I stopped blogging, obviously. So far, not too frustrated with typing on a new Bluetooth keyboard on my (also relatively new) iPad Mini. David bought that for me for Christmas, and I got this rather nice Fintie case (affiliate link) that holds it at a comfortable angle for reading on my lap desk (yet another affiliate link).

I stopped checking in on Facebook with family and friends – this was more out of a frustration with politics and how Facebook was used in 2016 to shape the hellish future we live in now. Now I mostly hang out on Twitter (and my constant posts are in a side column here, so technically I’ve been microblogging all along. I used to use G+ for this kind of simultaneous blogging/tweeting/G+ activity, but whatsoever Google makes useful, Google taketh away after it becomes essential.

I stopped sewing. I had been all gung-ho for making masks for the Tour de Cure fundraiser, for friends, and for family. But then after getting fully vaccinated and boosted, and realizing that Covid-19 was simply evolving to be less lethal but a permanent feature of life now, fabric masks seemed less protective than commercial N95s and KN95s. And I got frustrated with the technical skills required to make a fabric mask that I felt was worth the time, effort and materials to make.

I had already sort of pivoted to sewing things for myself – I’m quite proud of the little baskets, gadget holders, and placemats that I made. I have all this nice fabric. I’ll take it up again but I’m stuck on about 6 projects at once, which is frustrating… so I stopped. But I expect to unstop myself soon, as I have some unfinished projects that actually would take just about 60 minutes to complete, so maybe I’ll follow Karen Brown’s advice (of Just Get It Done Quilts) and set a timer later and… just get it done.

I stopped going to church right after Easter. This was out of frustration, too. Partly because I was frustrated with being the website maintainer, and I didn’t want to do that anymore (partly out of burnout, partly out of frustration with WordPress). Also I was frustrated with how things are done there – we’re so small and we depend on the same few people to do everything and don’t have the resources to do everything. This morning, for example, I’ll get a notification that the Facebook Live stream is starting for the 10am Eucharist, but I won’t watch because I’m irked that it’s still being done on the vicar’s iPhone with no external microphone. I got frustrated last spring after trying to convince them to invest in a better mic/streaming camera option that wasn’t expensive. I even had David talk to the vicar and tell him about options, but the technical requirements were beyond leadeship’s ability to deal with (and also the WiFi coverage is poor because it’s a crappy old donated router and repeater). So they continue to have 3 online services a week with terrible, muddy audio and an iPhone clamped in PORTRAIT MODE because they can’t figure out how to rotate the clamp 89 degrees.

Yep there’s my calendar event for choir practice, and soon for the streaming service. Not going, not tuning in. I had a text yesterday from my choir director. Am I coming back? Rehearsals start in mid-September! They miss me! But my work schedule prevents me from coming to Wednesday evening rehearsals, which start 30 minutes before I even log off for the day, and I’m 20 minutes away once I get on the road. I don’t want to swap Wednesday schedules every week with co-workers, so I’m waiting for the next shift bid and hope that my stats and standing get me a better bid position for an earlier shift. But I’m not optimistic, which is, yes, frustrating. Even if I get an earlier shift, I’m ambivalent about going back to church just yet. I’ll just get pounced on and the vicar will make the same tired “Hi, I’m Father Manny, what’s your name?” joke. Again.

I stopped being a catmom. This is a hard one. Our little cat Pearl was ill with thyroid disease for years, and rather than choosing an expensive treatment that would supposedly have cured her, I opted for using an ear salve that sort of worked, but wasn’t really helping her to gain weight. Eventually we had to change to pilling her, which was more of a struggle, and she kept losing ground. In early July, it was clear to me that I couldn’t consistently get her medication into her with various tricks, and she just lost too much weight. Finally, I took her to the vet for the last time on July 5, and petted her and praised her as she slipped away with the young vet’s help. I still need to call them to find out if there’s a little memorial ceramic tile to pick up. I keep putting that off (I may have missed a phone call or text). I miss her little meows and trills.

We had Grace (my in-laws’ cat) after I took Pearl away, and she sort of walked around looking for her for a day. Grace is kind of a difficult cat – very moody – and we were originally supposed to have her for a short weekend, take her back, and have her again for a longer stay because the ‘rents were traveling again. But Grace absolutely balked at going back in the carrier, which was frustrating… so in the end, I didn’t take her back for her “interim” week, and we had her for a total of 2 1/2 weeks. At least she got friendlier toward the end and accepted pets. She really only wants to be petted when she’s up on the bathroom sink, drinking. Fortunately, she drinks A LOT of water, so she got petted A LOT. In the end, I finally bum-rushed her into the carrier by cornering her in the bathroom during yet another drinking and petting session, and used a towel to herd her, protesting bitterly, into her carrier. BAM!

That moment of triumph was so satisfying. It was the one thing in the last few months where I was able to overcome my frustration (and reluctance to be torn limb from limb, truth be told) and get something done. Grace is coming back for a visit in early September, so I’ll have another chance at refining my cat-wrangling skills. Gonna need a bigger towel, though.

I stopped having a reasonable work-life balance about 5 months ago. This was due to a shift change where I got stuck with the closing shift. My phone stats had placed me in a poor bidding position – too few calls taken because i was taking too much time working email requests, and the calls I took were too long (because I commit the sin of being thorough, dammit, I’m good at what I do). So my workday starts at 11am, and I am on duty until 7pm on paper, but often much later if I get “caught” on a late call or find an urgent request that must be actioned. Without naming names, some of the travelers and admins I support are really, really frustrating. The tools I must use are really frustrating. The scripts I use (glorified macros, really) that fill in the many gaps in function between multiple tools are really frustrating. My job is really, really frustrating, but I can’t stop doing that. Yet.

I’ve unconsciously been doing something like “quiet quitting” recently – trying to set limits on what I do immediately after being able to log off the phones at the end of the day, but don’t always succeed. And it’s almost a given that I “work for free” for a bit before logging in for the day, just to do unproductive but necessary “housekeeping” tasks to reduce my to-do list.

About a year and a half ago, I stopped doing Second Life stuff – more out of burnout than frustration. I still have a lot of assets and probably a lot of credits built up but my main account is inactive and I can’t be bothered to log in to open a help ticket to get it reactivated. Eventually, I should close everything down and get the credits out to PayPal.

But I’ve stopped doing everything else in my life, except for playing this one game on my iPhone, that is actually pretty frustrating too. That’s for a separate blog post, more like an extended review/tips for newer players/warning for newer players not to get sucked in.

We DID go on a couple of trips in the last year, finally, that were wonderful and very sustaining. We visited family in Phoenix for Thanksgiving and went to the Grand Canyon and we visited a friend and went to Rocky Mountain National Park for a June vacation… and since then I’ve been frustrated by the lack of scenery and free time in my life here in Illinois.

I’ve been pretty frustrated by politics and the news lately but there are positive signs, too. Dems in array! Republicans in retreat! I’ve started writing #PostcardsToVoters again for some of the midterms and special elections and plan on writing more (reserving supplies for important campaigns for the Senate). But I was horribly frustrated and angry by the overturning of Roe and the successful 30-year secret campaign to take over the Supreme Court by the right. And I’m furiously frustrated by the way the toothless dragon, the NRA, can be teetering on the brink of bankruptcy and STILL be able to rouse the ammosexuals to action. It’s frustrating that horrible mass shootings happen and Congress is unable to enact much in the way of assault-weapon bans (or ammunition bans, for that matter). It would be very satisfying to see the NRA get taken down by any legal means necessary.

Hmm. It hasn’t been too frustrating getting used to this newer version of WordPress to make a simple blogpost. It hasn’t been too frustrating using this new Macally Bluetooth (affiliate link) keyboard to write it with my iPad Mini (my speed has picked up just in the course of writing this). It’s certainly less frustrating than hauling out the (old, handmedown) laptop, accepting a lot of security updates, and blogging. Or, God forbid, starting up my desktop gaming computer, ditto. This way, I can set up anywhere with my little lap desk (bought during an intense period of retail therapy via Amazon during the Lost Years).

We’ll see how it goes, getting back into blogging. And I’ll see how I might start to overcome my frustration with… everything else in my life.

What Had Happened Was… (Sept. 2nd-8th, 2019)

Here’s a catch-up of the major events of the week of September 2, 2019. You can check in with a minimal time commitment, read about the big stuff and stay in the know before we’re on to the next. This week we saw Parliament step-up to defeat Boris Johnson, an ongoing attempt by Trump to defend altering a map with a Sharpie, four states canceling GOP primaries and the Taliban at Camp David… on the week of September 11th…supposedly. There’s a lot to cover, let’s dig right in.
— Read on shero.substack.com/p/what-had-happened-was-sept-2nd-8th

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