The Long Swallow

Well, so. If this blog is supposed to be about growing up, facing the less cool parts of livin’, and moving on with the business of aging gracefully, I suppose I should share this day’s activities.

I got a gastresophageal–something something endoscopy today. Apologies for the commercial at the front of the video.

Not much to say about it, really.  It was a bummer going to this thing alone and having noone waiting to see how I was doing.  I did get some semi-anonymous facebook love from high school classmates, but I had to practically beg for it by posting a few links and mentioning it in my status.

I’ve always been very independent.  In fact it’s one of my biggest faults.  But this living just out of reach of a whole sack of shit that seems like amazing fun is seriously wearing me down.  It’s hard to come home every day to a giant empty apartment and not have the option of stepping out for a few drinks with some friends.  Or even alone, with the possibility of interesting conversation with like-minded strangers.

So I recently read this book, The Paradox of Choice by Barry Schwartz, and it tackled some of the roots of this ennui I’m feeling.  (Is it even called that? Do I care to make sure that’s correct?)… I recommend the book to anyone currently regretting any decisions they’ve made, or struggling to make some choice that seems life-or-death. It isn’t a very good book, but it had some nuggets.  Suffice to say I should know better than to pine away over something I didn’t even really have when I lived in the fucking center of it all.

Still, coming home alone all groggy from anesthesia wasn’t the high point of this month.

The Shame of Being Human

So I recently bought an Airport Express after agonizing for about 3 months over the best way to handle my now wireless situation at home.  I wanted to be able to print without having to cart my computer over to the printer, plug it in, etc etc.  That was the essential thing I needed, but bonus wifi frills I was considering were the possibility of shared storage (so I can plug in a hard drive over by the printer and use it to stream crap to devices on the network), or streaming tunes wirelessly.  Plus I didn’t want it to cost any money.

Long story short, I got the airport thing, which lets you plug your printer and a set of speakers in.  I got that for the same price as a wifi printer and got to keep my sweet trusty Samsung 1710 for a little longer. So I get it at J & R because any time I can buy an Apple product somewhere other than Apple, I do, and I got it home and set it up.  Barely a hitch.  The thing works, I can print and my speakers have been liberated from the computer.  Sweet, yet I still feel empty inside.

And then in the middle of a song, about 5 days later the thing stops working and starts flashing a yellow light at me.  Back up a little, I used to work at an Apple Store as a Mac Genius (the repair guys). Forward: I do a ton of troubleshooting and crap and it just won’t work.  The thing’s broken.  I make an appointment at the apple store (for 5 days later because that shit is booked solid), and stew.

Here’s where I’d like to go on a tirade against Apple’s in store service policy.  I won’t, but it sucks.  You have to go there and sit and wait.  Usually to get turned away with a half-assed solution.  I think I prefer hours on the phone with india to hours sitting on artsy wooden benches.  At least with india you can call right back if you don’t like the results.  With Apple I suppose you have to find a different store and start all over again.

Back to my story.  I wait an hour past my appointment time to be seen.  I get a seriously by-the-book guy as my genius.  He hears my problem, reproduces it, and then tries something that hadn’t occurred to me: he plugged it into the computer directly (with an ethernet cable).  What happens?  Well it works perfectly, without so much as a hiccup.   I had been doing all my configuring wirelessly, and while it had worked perfectly fine at first,  I guess I should have assumed that was a fluke.  I mean, who would assume you can configure a device meant to run totally wirelessly, wirelessly? What an idiot, right?

Anyway, he returns to me to show the screen with the proof he had set it up all fine and shit, beaming and maybe even a little smug, and I realize I have a choice.  I can let him have his moment and just take the piece of shit home (did I mention I threw away the packaging as soon as I got it working? Don’t ever do that, or you could be stuck with something that works in the store but not at your place) and try his dirty trick of plugging the wifi thing in… OR I could insist he do it the way I was supposed to be able to do it and let me see that it worked before I agreed to leave.

I chose b.  And if Apple is listening, if I had been served at the time of my appointment, I probably would have accepted the guy’s verdict, and you could have spent the next hour helping 4 other customers.  Anyway, we probably spent 50 minutes sitting there, trying to get the thing to stream music and it wouldn’t do it.  I made this point: shouldn’t it not be this hard to get it to work? Did yours at home (he told me he had some) take this much futzing?  He tried to make the point that apple can’t control for whatever my specific situation at home is… Something I can appreciate, having delivered that line to people myself in the past.  Thing was, the store’s airport express shows up fine and dandy, no warning lights in the setup software, unlike mine which continued to flip to yellow at random points.

I would rather not get too detailed about what happened next, but I will say that I got a replacement and I’m not proud of how it had to go down.  Noone was happy in the end.  So I come home.

On the subway this kid of about 12 is walking around the mostly empty car looking closely at nothing, then i accidentally make eye contact with him so he comes over and sits next to me.  And I ignore him.  A few stops later some people get on and sit across from us.  I notice they are watching the kid next to me and smiling, which I assumed was because he was mumbling to himself.  I glanced over and he had a fully loaded swiss army knife completely unfolded, turning it over in his hands, caressing the various blades and screwdrivers and sporks.  I switched cars at the next stop and I swear to god he almost followed me.  NY is nuts sometimes.

So what happened with the stupid airport express?  Well the new one had the same fucking problem, of course.  What did I do?  I plugged it in to my computer and set it up over ethernet, that’s what.  I live in constant shame.

Boring Real Life

Well so here’s the part where I jump into divulging mildly confidential info and am thus forced to keep this site anonymous forever and ever ever.  But first, the noise problem.

The part of the neighborhood I moved to is made up mostly of people waiting to die.  They are old.  They are great as far as old people go, though.  At least to someone who’s used to a certain stereotype of the elderly as quivering, barely mobile, mostly silent and lacking in the spunk department.  Where’d I come up with all that awful bigot-ey bullshit? Well the southwest, natch.  My point is, though, that here you get some real live wires.

Take my upstairs neighbors as an example.  They scream at each other all the time, move furniture in the middle of the night (2 AM), and have crazy topics as fall-back conversation.  When encountered in the laundry room, the old man from upstairs likes to wistfully declare that the “Indians” had it right.  “Huh?”
“The Indians had it right hundreds of years ago.”
Me: “H- how so?”
Upstair Old Guy: “They never washed their clothes.”
Me: “Oh, yeah?”
UOG: “Yeaaah, they had the right idea, this washing stuff’s for the boids.”
Me: “Is that right.  Well I think I prefer being clean.  It gets a little unpleasant after a few days–”
Uog: “Naah, they really had life down back then, those Indians. You have a nice day.”
Me: “You too”

Problem is they’re fucking loud sons of bitches.  Even when they are off to Florida until April, like the building manager (who’s sympathies lie firmly with the older residents) claims. In fact, as I write this I hear something large being dragged across the floor.  And I have to be the crazy psycho who forces the sweet old couple to buy carpets (which everyone is required to have).  And leave asshole notes tucked in between the doorknob and door jam.  Which bitch about loud humming machinery that turn out to be in the basement and NOT in the “empty” apartment upstairs.  So now I’m crazy.

So two more people got fired last week.  I’m wrapping up the last episode of the show I cut, and would probably be the next in line.  And I bought an apartment.  This is a new type of stress.  And the messed up thing is I’m finding myself getting boxed into WANTING this job badly because of the mortgage and the inherent potential depression factor of being jobless in Siberian Brooklyn.  Nuts.

Want a fun link? Not safe for work

Dreams Different

I’ve been having a new version of the classic anxiety dream lately, and I’m not too pleased.  On the other hand, it’s at least an interesting phenomenon, so I’ll share it with the intergallery.

So here’s the most recent dream, analysis to follow (but it won’t be necessary): So, from what I can remember, I was house shopping at the beginning of the dream.  My goal was to get the biggest place with the most impressive layout for what i could afford.  So I find this place owned by a little old lady who’s moving south or something, and it’s pretty cool.  Old, a little undermaintained, but funky layout, two stories, big bathroom, lots of character.  Blah blah blah, I get it, have some friends over and it starts raining.  I’m giving them a tour of the place and we walk into a room at one end of the house (which is draftier and creakier than I remembered), and it’s leaking! I feel palpable dismay and a sense of failure.  I distinctly remember that in the dream i chastised myself for not checking for water damage or getting the place inspected before i bought it, and then I notice that half the ceiling in this room is missing.  The back end of my new house is completely open to the elements!

The rest of the dream is me scrambling to find a tarp, and trying to find the hidden value of my new home to somehow compensate for the gigantic hole and water damage.

So this is only the latest in my new series of anxiety dreams, most of which feature some sort of me forgetting to make a bill payment and suffering consequences.  The plus side, I THINK, is that I won’t be having anymore school-theme anxiety dreams.  No more forgetting my homework, or realizing I went a whole semester without attending chemistry class and there’s an exam tomorrow.  yay, adulthood.