Don’t Bother With Zoom

On July 4th, I signed up for Zoom, to keep in touch with family and friends. Like ya’ do. We’re all quarantined, and we haven’t seen each other in a young forever. Most everyone I know is in another city. I suggested we all get together on Zoom once a week and everyone thought it was a good idea. We just need to match up schedules.

I looked at their options. They had a Pro service you could pay for, but I didn’t need that. The free service met my needs, so that’s what I signed up for.

The next day, I noticed a charge hit my bank for $159.80, from Zoom. I also received an email from Zoom thanking me for signing up for a Pro account.

WHAT????It was late in the evening, so I called the next day (Monday). Monday was an observed holiday here in the U.S., but globally? I figured not. Someone must be there. But, due to the Covid-19 crisis, they are short staffed in the billing department. I had to leave an urgent message. I waited two days and no one got back with me, via phone, email, or text. So I tried again today. I signed into the account. I tried chat, but all I could get was a useless bot. No live chat, no options on a refund, no help. I tried calling. I spent an hour just trying to navigate their IVR, trying to get a live person.

I finally called the Sales line. I thought, surely, I can get a live person here. I know they want to make money every day. I was right! Within minutes I was speaking to someone. She couldn’t resolve my problem, though. She opened up another urgent ticket to billing, and this time copied me via email so I have a way to trace it for my bank. I told her if I don’t hear something within 24 hours, I’m reporting them for fraudulent charges and will let my bank handle it.

I know a lot of people use Zoom. If you aren’t using them yet, DON’T. I’ve finally figured out how they make their profits.

No, I’m just crazy.

It’s not just another phase of life. I am just crazy. I’m starting to believe it, anyway.

Depression is not something we keep in the closet anymore, nor are other mental health issues. We seek help. We talk to our friends. There are medications available to help stable us out if we need them.

Yeah….the medications. There are so many, and it’s so hard to find the right one (or combination of meds) that work for each person. In some cases, they work but they have horrible side effects, one wonders if they’re worth it. In other cases, they work for a while, then they stop working completely. Raising the dosage doesn’t help; they just never work again. I’m one of those lucky souls. I can’t tell you how many head meds I’ve been on that suddenly didn’t work anymore. It’s like I build up a resistance to the damn things!

The last two have been Citalopram (generic for Celexa) and Quetiapine (generic for Seroquel). Now, keep in mind, I’ve never been diagnosed as bipolar, schizophrenic, or with other disorders Seroquel addresses. I have chronic insomnia, horrible depression, and anxiety issues. This was to “stablize the mood”.

They both stopped working. At the same time. Lovely.

My head-up-her-a** doctor decided to keep me on Celexa while switching me to the extended release of Quetiapine instead. My thoughts? How the fuck is this going to be any different? Oh, if I only knew… I’ve had the worst reaction. Mania! RAGE!!!

Rage at the slightest goddamn thing! Disagreement with the husband?? Fuck. Him. I won’t talk to him about it like an adult – I can’t!!! I scream, I yell. Jeezus, I wanted to throw things last night!!! Doctor doesn’t return my call? Fuck. Him. I’m looking for a new one. I don’t care if I’ve been seeing that doc forever. I don’t care if that doc might have a valid reason. I didn’t get my callback!

This is not me!!!!!!

I officially stopped taking this gods forsaken med last night. I warned my husband. I can’t seem to get a callback from the head-up-her-a** doctor who prescribed them. Having all the “cold turkey withdrawal” symptoms anyway, so I may as well do it.

Still Here

I survived the Great Mold Crisis of the Summer of 2018, and the move that followed. Not only that, I actually made it through all that stress without having a seizure!!

happy-dance2

I stopped checking Facebook on July 8th. Sure, I have to check it to maintain a business page for my husband, but I only check up on that about once or twice a week. When I’m online I’ll check to see how my friends are doing, but I don’t post like I used to do. I’m not “all over” Facebook like I used to be. It’s been almost 2 months now. I’m kinda’ mixed about this…. It feels really nice to not be caught up in the drama and BS that goes on with the FB platform, but I feel out of the loop with everyone. It seems we all still use this platform to keep in touch with each other, despite the fact they sell our information to the highest bidder.

FB Selling Information

Yes – that image above? All those innocent quizzes you’ve taken were harvesting your data so it could be sold. I’m sure other free social media platforms sell data, too. As we’ve all heard at one time or another, “Ain’t nothin’ in this life for free.” But FB seems to be the chief offender in this one.

Harvesting data wasn’t my only problem with FB, though. It just seemed there was so much negativity, especially as polarized as our society is right now. Yes, people have the right to express their opinions, but after a while, some of us just get tired of the back and forth and (at times) less-than-adult ways of handling discussions. Especially with the November elections coming up, I’m glad I’m still off of FB.

But I miss my friends…

sigh

I may have to start checking in on FB more frequently, just to keep in touch. I feel like I’m giving in and Zuckerberg wins this battle, but that’s not really the case. I can choose here – I can either lose touch with people completely or not. I can post or not. I choose how much (or how little) I want to share.

So, as far as Flakebook, I guess I’m back… kinda’. :: sigh ::  Ever feel like FB has us by the short & curlies? Yeah……

 

 

Father’s Day

To all the good fathers out there, I wish you a happy Father’s Day and I hope today was a good day for you.

:: sigh ::

It took years of therapy, a good conversation with my sister today, and still, I have a hard time writing that opening sentence.

I hope you didn’t have to deal with a dysfunctional family when you were growing up. I doubt anyone has the traditional “nuclear family”, but surely, there is some example of normal out there somewhere. I hope you had it in your childhood. I figure, if you did, you probably enjoy things like Mother’s Day and Father’s Day.

My sister and I, we didn’t. We like to believe that the crazy environment we grew up in made us the strong people we are today. It’s true. If you survive something like that, you are stronger.

But you remember your parents. Days like Mother’s Day. may be easier to handle if you are a mother. You strive to be a better parent, and you love your children. I can handle Mother’s Day.

Still, I hate Father’s Day.

He was never around. Or, if he was, he was so drunk he wasn’t present. He never made the effort to be a part of our lives. What kind of father was that? Please….

I’ve always had this mental block on Father’s Day. I just don’t remember when it’s coming around. Unfortunately, this means I need to set a reminder now…. My husband adopted my kid, and my husband isn’t such a bad guy. I have to make myself say the words now…

Happy …

:: closes eyes and swallows ::

Father’s Day.

:: deep breath ::

Gods above, can’t I call it something else????

Happy Holidays (ugh…)

It’s Christmas day, and the first day of Hanukkah. I wish you all a very happy holiday, whatever you may celebrate. Me? I’ve given it the effort this season, but I just haven’t felt it. I really tried. But with every exuberant “Merry Christmas” I heard from complete strangers as I went about my day, it only served to remind me of my lack of holiday spirit and how very-not-merry I was.

grinch

You could say I sound like a grinch. Perhaps I do, but I can’t help it. This entire year has completely sucked, not just for me but for so many people I know. That, combined with political bullshit I refuse to go into because we’ve all been dealing with it on one side of the fence or another, but suffice to say, the current political climate in society is a ticking time bomb, IMHO.

You can only be so torn up and worn down before you can’t celebrate… By the time 12/24 got here and the tree still wasn’t up, I decided it wasn’t going to happen. We’re going to celebrate the new year, instead.

And, as I type my entry, I’m still getting greetings of “Merry Christmas”. :: sigh ::

Is just me? Or did anyone else notice there were a metric ton of “Merry Christmas” wishes this year. I especially noticed it, not because of my lack of holiday spirit, but because Hanukkah started at the same time. It seems like this year, more than any other year, we should acknowledge other beliefs. But, really, I’m not even Jewish. It shouldn’t matter to me one way or another, right?

My best friend just called me to wish me a Merry Christmas (again, while I’m writing my blog post). I laughed and replied, “Hail Satan.” At least she had a good laugh, too. 🙂

 

 

Bratty-arsed children….

Sunday we always have a metric ton of children at renfaire, but this last Sunday was probably the worst one on the books for badly behaved children. I don’t know WTF parents are thinking, these days, other than they aren’t. I’m not advocating things so old fashioned as corporal punishment, but goddamnit! It’s ok to tell your kid “No,” and, oh, maybe teach them some common courtesy.

A mother passing my shop saw the handmade soaps, said to her family, “Oh! Handmade soaps! It smells so good! Let’s go inside.” The daughter, about 12-ish, took a look inside the shop, made eye-contact with me (I was standing near the doorway), and said, “No. I hate them,” and ran into the shop next door. The mother just … followed.

I don’t care that they didn’t come in. I don’t care that they went next door. But I just gotta’ wonder who makes the decisions in this family – the parents or that little child. You can guarandamntee that behavior goes beyond deciding what shop to go into.

Oh, and does anyone remember this little girl?

willywonka_veruca

She was in my shop this weekend … with her whole famdamly. She was about 9 years old. She purchased a lip balm, and that was all. As I ringed up her purchase, I told her I would hand it to her rather than give her the huge bag (everyone else prefers to carry the lip balms and use them…). It was very cold and my fingers were numb. I accidentally dropped her unopened lip balm when I handed it to her. Not that I cared if she exchanged it, but rather than ask, she demanded in a very hateful tone, :: disgusted sigh :: “I want another one now.” 

Her parents were right behind her and didn’t bat an eye.

I smiled and said, “Of course, my dear.”

She comes back and says, “Now I want a bag.” And to make her behavior just that much more special, she added a wee bit of a snarl to her smile. I handed her the clear plastic bag, trying to keep myself from doing society a future service….

She continues to behave badly in the background with her siblings while waiting with her grandparents and what appears to be aunts and uncles. Mummsy and Daddsy are at my register now with their purchases. Mummsy just looks over to her children and smiles, then looks back at me to pay. I look at her, then look at the demon spawn I just dealt with. I smile and say, “You’ve done such the job raising her.” (note, I didn’t say what a good job she did…)

It went right over her head, of course. Between the bright and shiny of renfaire, all the dialect, all the shopping, and oh, who has time to be a mother these days anyway…. some little girl is going to grow up to be a complete terror to her family. And to everyone else around her.

I’m not going to finish this with the standard “If I had done that when I was a kid… It’s overused and easily tuned out. You may as well start talking about how you walked uphill to school each day, in the snow, barefoot. I will say that these parents that mollycoddle their children will regret doing so someday. They aren’t doing the kids any favors. If they think they’re making life easier for them by lowering expectations, not saying “no”, or softening each little blow life gives them, the kids will never learn about the cruel realities of life when they eventually get out there on their own.

Or maybe they just want these kids to live with them forever… :/

I’m going back to Droid.

I loved my iPhone, but I’ve had it after this last update. I’m going back to Droid, just as soon as I possibly can.

I have an iPhone 6S Plus. Up until now, I’ve been quite happy with my phone. I was one of those iPhone users who loved the product. In fact, I saw no need to go to the next version when 7 came out (especially since they saw no need to include a headphone jack). I’ve been using an iPhone since about 2011 and I’ve had no complaints … until now.

Apple recently released the 10.0.2 software upgrade. I had no desire to install this update; at least, not immediately. I wanted to read about it, see if there were any bugs … you know, approach it with the usual caution we always take with an update to our hardware. So I kept saying “No”, and postponing the update.

I know for a fact I never accepted the update, nor did I hit the wrong option and tell it to install.

Saturday night I left my phone on the charger. It was also connected to wi-fi, of course. I checked my emails, and, of course, I received the prompt to update my phone (again). I told it no (again). I put the phone down and decided to get some sleep.

The next morning, LO! I had a shiny new version of the iOS on my phone. A version I neither approved nor wanted. A version from an update that was forced on me, just as Windows 10 was forced on users without their approval. Yeah, that’s a whole ‘nother rant, right there…

I’ve installed updates I didn’t like before, and I’ve adapted. I couldn’t work with this one. The features of the phone were not user friendly or intuitive.  Some features were no longer available; some had been moved and were difficult to find. The battery life drastically lowered, overnight. Oh, and let’s not forget – I didn’t choose to install it in the first place.

Of course, Apple doesn’t have a “rollback” feature on their updates. You can backup your phone to iCloud all day, but even when you restore your backups, it’s on the new version of the iOS.

Everything about the new update just made me want to rage scream and smash my phone.

noooooooo

But I knew I was stuck with it. Getting a new phone isn’t in the budget right now and even if it was, I shouldn’t have to do this, goddamnit!! I didn’t ask for the goddamn upgrade!!!

After a lengthy search online, I did find a jailbreak to kinda’ get my phone back to where it was. The problem was, I lost about half my apps, and some of my calendar data. This, of course, wasn’t a supported solution. Apple wasn’t going to help me with this, so I didn’t bother. I did; however, bother to call them and give them an earful about the goddamn upgrade. I actually got sent to someone who does their customer recovery and takes product feedback. I told him the only little silver lining in this mess is that I don’t have the iPhone 7. At least my phone has a headphone jack.

Apple – I never said “Yes”. I never gave my consent. You forced your crappy update on my phone and there’s nothing I can do about it. Oh… but I can.

I can tell everyone who asks me if I’m happy with my iPhone just what I think.

screw-you-apple

 

Suddenly, parents need Special Parking??

I’ll preface this post with a grow-the-fuck-up to all those parents out there who won’t agree with me on this.

How many of you have seen these signs in the grocery store parking lots, shopping mall parking garages, and other areas where it is difficult to find parking?

Families With Children Parking Sign

You might find something similar. You know, Reserved for Expectant Mothers, or Reserved for Parents with Infants. You get the idea.

What special snowflake came up with this batshit crazy idea? I mean, seriously. If you can’t handle getting from your car to the store with your kid(s), maybe you shouldn’t be a parent. Need special parking close to the front door because you’re pregnant??? OMFG, PLEASE!!! That’s when you need to be walking and exercising, bitch! Put your phone down, get off of Flakebook, and walk for a little bit. Do something good for that baby growing inside of you. Try to be a good mother now, because you have a hell of a lot of work in front of you after that baby gets here.

Let’s face it, people. Having children is not a disability. Stop trying to treat it like one and asking for special parking, ok?

‘Cause, tell ya’ what. As long as I see these signs at the grocery store and the spots are available, I’m gonna’ park there.

I did it today. I went to the local HEB just to buy beer.

Hooray Beer

I come out with my six-pack to my empty car and get the stink eye from a mother with her bratty child who’s whining and screaming already (and he isn’t even in the store yet). I stopped and looked at her with the raised eyebrow.

She walked away.