Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Is it wrong that I get irritated when people pigeonhole me?

I know not everyone can know everything about another person, but it really bothers me when people assume I only have one facet of my personality and that's all they will talk about with me. 

I know that shouldn't bother me so much, because some people may legitimately not know anything about me other than the fact that I like Doctor Who, or that I work at a church, or that I once auditioned for American Idol.  For those people, it's ok, I guess.  I can't expect more than that.

But people who have known me for any length of time and refuse to see me as anything other than the one thing they've pegged me as? Or that they designate me as "The Person Who Does This One Thing and That Is All I Care About."  It bothers me.

I'm an effing, shiny diamond, y'all!  I mean, sure, I'm a little chipped and dusty in places, but I can still sparkle if you look at me from a different angle! Grrrr.

This is why I'm extra grateful for the people who've taken time to get know me better over the years.

That was an weird little rant, wasn't it?

Monday, July 20, 2015

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) I screwed up the church's editing computer and I feel really, very terrible about it.  If you follow me on any of the other social networking sites, you've probably heard me reference the struggles I've been having with the damned piece of technology, but I don't think I've been able to adequately express my hatred/shame over this computer's issues.

Two years ago, the church bought a massive iMac that we use to edit our Sunday sermons. I can't be certain, but I'm fairly sure I'm the only person in this church who knows how to use a Macintosh computer for more than just browsing the internet.  Because of this, it usually falls to me to update programs or do any kind of maintenance that it needs.  I'm decent first tier tech support, but just barely, and we've been lucky so far that we haven't had many problems at all with the Mac. A while ago, while I was editing the sermon, I noticed that the OS needed to be upgraded to the newest version, but I just didn't have the time to babysit it while it did the updating, so I kept putting it off.  About a month ago, I decided to just bite the bullet and update the thing.

The very next time the programs we use to record and edit were opened, we noticed that one piece of our equipment wasn't being detected.  We have this thing called a Blackmagic Intensity Shuttle Pro, and I don't know what it is exactly, but it allowed the composite A/V from our cameras to be transferred to the iMac for editing.  It's literally the beating heart of our ability to use the data the cameras collected, and according to the software we usually use, it didn't exist anymore.  The computer hardware knew the shuttle was there, but none of the software could see it.  I did everything I could think of to make it work and nothing happened.  I contacted the company, and the tech support line I got was very little help.  I looked up the problem online, and apparently a lot of people who bought the shuttle have the exact same problem that I'm having, but nothing the company's tech support told them to do worked either.  So I got Steve involved, and as brilliant as he is with computers, I still know more about Macs than he does, so we tried working on it together and still couldn't figure it out.  He did everything he could think of, including learning how to wipe and reload the entire brain of the computer, just to see if we could reload the original software for the shuttle.  Nothing worked.

I can't tell you how frustrated I get when working on computers.  I don't see how computer people don't throw things out of windows more often, but I can tell you I had to walk away from it more than once because I got the temptation to punch my fist through it.  I finally just got so frustrated that I packed the whole massive thing up and took it home so we could work on it there.  We still haven't figured out the problem, even after doing everything (and more) that the tech support told us to do.  We finally had to resort to ordering a completely different piece of equipment to see if we could use that instead of the shuttle, so keep your fingers crossed.

The thing I feel most badly about is that I've basically interrupted an entire ministry.  I'm sure I've mentioned that there are people who can't physically come to church, and they rely on the videos we sent out and upload online to be able to participate in our worship services. So, for those people at least, I've basically done the technological equivalent of putting our pastor in a coma and locking the church doors. I've also hobbled the group of women who visited our shut-ins and took the DVDs to them.  I'm the devil.  : (

All I did was update our software!

2) I learned this weekend that, no matter how much you enjoy doing something, don't tell anyone! There are people in this world that will make sure you never get to do that thing again!

3) I don't usually comment on politics, but I will say this: Donald Trump is a clown shoe. I think he got into the presidential race as a kind of publicity stunt, and somehow he got much further into the process than he realized he could.  Now he's saying insane things to try and get out of this mess, because he knows he's not qualified to run our country.  If he gets elected, this country deserves whatever it gets. 

4) I've been incredibly restless lately! I just want to go out and do silly, irresponsible things.  I don't know why.  It's very weird.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

I CRINGE

Perhaps you don't need to know why.

Just know I feel very dumb, a little disappointed, and a bit confused.

Having said that...I'd probably do it again!

But, I still cringe.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

QUICKY

I think I had a mini stroke or something, because I've volunteered to to a talk to some of the church kids next week about Graphic Design as a part of "Operation Education."

Operation Education is something that the children's teachers put together so that adults from our church could teach skills to the younger kids.  I think that they were thinking more about practical skills, though, but so few people volunteered to do anything, they're taking what they can get. They'd actually originally asked if I could teach the kids crochet, but A) I'm horrible at teaching people to do stuff, and B) crochet is not something I could get those kids to understand in half an hour. I felt bad because I knew that they needed people to come and talk to the kids, but I couldn't think of one thing I could teach them that would be useful.  My only idea was to tell them about art/graphic design.  So...either I'll get some kids interested in it or I'll bore them to death.

I don't know how to talk to kids.

What have I done?


Tuesday, July 07, 2015

SIGH

Last month a lady came by our church and she was distraught. Like...screaming and crying distraught.  She had just found out that her mother had passed away, and she was taking it very hard.

I don't know this lady, except that I see her at church when she's here, but apparently she doesn't have very much in life, and she needed some clothes to wear to her mother's funeral.  The pastor asked if I had any clothes of a certain size that she could borrow, and because I like clothes and have been many sizes in my day, I did. 

I went home and grabbed as many of the things I had in that size that would be appropriate for a funeral, thinking that she'd pick something and I'd take the rest home. However, in the 20  minutes I was gone, the lady apparently had a complete come apart and ran out of the building and went home.  OK, then.  So the pastor loads me (and the clothes) up in his truck and takes me to the lady's house.  Instead of finding something that would fit her, she took it all. 

I wasn't mad, because the lady was obviously upset, and I just figured that I'd never see any of that stuff again.  I have a lot of clothes, so I didn't think it would be a big deal if she kept what I'd given her. I pretty much wrote it all off.  No biggie.

When I finally saw the lady again a few weeks later, she told me she had worn one of the dresses and would have it cleaned and bring everything back as soon as she could.  I told her to take her time, and I didn't see her for a couple of weeks.  I finally just decided to tell her to keep everything, if she wanted it.  I didn't want her to worry about having everything cleaned or worried that I'd be mad if she didn't bring it back.  However, the next time I saw her, she'd actually brought everything back and left it in my office.  I offered to let her keep everything, but she declined, so I went to take the stuff home and discovered that yes, she had the one dress dry-cleaned, which was awesome!  She had then stuffed it in a bag with the rest of the clothes, which had been sitting in her cigarette smoky house for over a month. I now have to take a load of reeking clothes back into my house. I hate cigarette smoke.  I wish she's kept the clothes.

Also, and I feel kind of bad about this, one of the dresses I gave her I had retrofitted into a Halloween costume. It wasn't gaudy or flashy, but it happened to be in with the clothes I got out of the closet.  That was the one she chose to wear to her mother's funeral. I cringe.


RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) Our church directories are FINALLY in.  Hallelujah.  We got the proof back during the first week of June and I had to make revisions (which was a lot of revisions.) Honestly, I was so done with the whole thing by the time the deadline to return it came around that I mentally gave it the middle finger and just told the printing company that they could print it without sending it back for a second revision. Luckily, we must have caught the most glaring errors, because no one has complained about them yet!  I have never known a bunch of adults to be so impatient about anything in my life.  Granted, I know the directories are important to them, mainly so they can remember the names of the people they sit next to in services, but good grief. I swore that if one more little old lady asked me when the books would get here, I was going to start launching people through the stained glass windows like lawn darts.

2) I had a fun holiday weekend, and I hope you did too! I got to spend some of Friday with one of my oldest and dearest friends, who I don't get to see nearly often enough. It rained a lot, so our visit was a little damp (we met at a park because I didn't look at the weather when we were making plans) but I still had fun.  I really wish those visits could happen more often! Since I never know when one is going to happen, I'll just enjoy each visit like it's the last one! Live every week like it's Shark Week!

Saturday,  Steve and I didn't have any concrete plans, so we decided to pick up some food to grill and hang out at home and just relax. I would have loved to have seen some fireworks, but it was raining on and off all evening and I didn't really think anyone would be doing their firework shows.  I was wrong, of course, and we could hear a big firework show going on somewhere in town, but when I stepped outside to see if I could see any of them, it was raining really hard. Eh, well, even without fireworks it was still a good day!

Sunday was church, of course, but that night we'd been invited over by a couple of friends to play a game called Cards Against Humanity with some of their other friends. I'd never played it before, but we had so much fun!  I tied second place with our hostess, and Steve actually won the game.  I'm not sure it's something to be proud of, but we were both disturbingly good at the game!

3) I think I'm getting paranoid.  Sunday afternoon while we were walking into a restaurant for lunch, I hear something go "POW!" I nearly hit the concrete before I realized that it was just a bottle rocket.  Oy.  I think my current sense of self preservation would make sense if I were a combat veteran, but I have no idea why I'm this jumpy in my current situation.

4) This morning has started out magnificently. I woke up about 6:30 or whenever Steve got up.  I was awake, but I didn't get out of bed, because lazy.  Anyway, since I don't have to be at work until 9, I thought I'd just doze off for a few minutes before getting up to get ready, but I'd forgotten that I'd already turned off my alarm clock. I'm fairly certain that I was dreaming that I was lying there, awake, waiting for the alarm to go off, because when I actually did wake up and look at the clock, it was time for me to be actually leaving the house. So I was an hour late for work today.  Yay for me!

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

I AM TIRED

I'm having a blue day.

Nothing specific has happened, per se, but it feels like the world has just gone to boogers and lately it feels like just existing in it is a chore.

Don't worry, I'm not about to off myself or anything, but seriously, if I had a real opportunity to just unplug from everything and hide for a while, I think I'd take it.  The big problem with that is I'd eventually have to come back to it all.  You can't really hide from it. 

I know a lot of this stems from the fact that I had a very sheltered life for a very long time.  When you are safe in your own home, with people who care about you, you don't have to think about it. It's easy to forget/ignore the homeless, the mentally ill, the poverty, the neediness, the lonely, the sick, the children who's parents don't care about them or that abuse them, the racism, the sexism, the dishonest, the violated and the violence. Technically, I still live a very sheltered life, since I'm (thank God) not actually experiencing these things first hand.  I see it at work a lot these days, though, and it scares me. It's constant. People come to the church all the time with their hands out, sometimes they are legit and other times they are scamming us, but all of them have sad, pitiful stories. I don't believe most of them anymore, because I'm getting so cynical, but that doesn't mean I'm immune to them.  There are enough of them that are true.  There are days when I feel like I'm trapped under a big, heavy blanket and it's smothering me. The really bad part  is that I'm not even dealing with the biggest part of things, I'm just in the wings.

You can do things to try and help, but it doesn't feel like it makes much of a difference.  Sometimes it feels like the ugliness is winning. 

Thursday, June 11, 2015

RANDOM ACTS OF BLOGGING

1) At the end of last month, I had to go to my doctor's office to get a prescription refilled.  I was literally only in the office for about 10 minutes (which was way less than I thought I'd be in there) and I was so glad, because I wanted to get breakfast before I had to go to work and I didn't want to be late.  However, when I got down to my car, the battery had died. I was going to be late after all.  Boo.   I had to call AAA to come and deal with it.  Well, I called Steve first so that he could come and rescue me, but he reminded me that we are members of AAA and we kind of pay for them to come and do this kind of thing, so I called them.  Whatever.

Anyway,  when they got there, it turned out that my battery wasn't just dead, it was really-most-sincerely-dead.  It had apparently had enough of a charge to turn on my radio earlier, but not enough to hold a charge and keep it, if all they did was jump it off.  So I agreed to let them put a new battery in my car.  It wasn't cheap, but I figured that it would be worth the money if my car didn't die while I was at work and trap me in the ghetto with no one to help me!  I was so pissed off at my stupid car!  It's been giving me trouble for years.  Not bad enough trouble to get a new car, but there were strange electronic hiccups and bits falling off of it all the time.  I was ready to drop-kick the entire car into the ocean, but before I could do that, I'd need a battery to drive it there. When they pulled out the old battery, it actually turned out that my POS car wasn't as much of a POS as I thought.  Although I'd been having issues with my car always doing something strange, it wasn't the car, it was the battery.  The battery hadn't been changed since 2006, when we'd bought the car.  All those alarms going off, indicator lights flashing, and the car turning itself off at red lights had been my battery slowly dying.  I credit my car for somehow managing to work, albeit with the problems it had, but all the while doing it with a battery that was flickering in and out of consciousness.  That battery had worked longer than any the AAA guy had ever seen.  So, I'd like to publicly apologize to Lois, my car, who I verbally abused for reasons that were not her fault. Sorry, Lois.

2) Have I mentioned that I hate this part of the year?  It's like the whole world goes crazy.  Not zombie apocalypse crazy, but just crazy enough to unsettle me until July or so. Maybe I just hate June. Bad things sometimes happen in June. I'm ready for June to be over.

3) I finally got my permanent crown!  Yay!  It's actually much better than my old crown, which felt like it was a size bigger than any of my other teeth.  I didn't have to be sedated to have the new one put in, thank goodness, but it was still unpleasant.  They accidentally cemented my new crown to the tooth next to it, and then spent 15 painful minutes trying to break the cement with dental floss.  They kept pushing down hard and snapping the floss, and when they finally broke through it, I think that they damaged the tooth it was cemented to because it's been almost 10 days and it still hurts to chew on that side. You guys know how much I like to eat, so chewing is important.  At any rate, I have the new crown, and it looks nice!  It'll also make it that much easier to identify my body in case I'm murdered and discovered months later in a shallow grave!  Silver linings!

4) Well, I managed to look wildly racist this morning, so that was fun.  We have a rule that, because of the neighborhood the church is in, I am not allowed to let people inside the church while I'm here alone unless I know them.  That probably seems like common sense, but that rule hasn't always been in place.  We have people that often come here asking for help.  I used to let them in to hear them out, but after some people at a church across town were killed doing the exact same thing, the rule was created. So this morning our doorbell rang and it was three black men asking for help.  I told them, through the speaker, that someone would be with them in a second, but then remembered that I was here all alone. I'd forgotten the pastor was dropping someone off somewhere, so I went to the door myself and they asked if anyone could give them a ride.  I knew our pastor would do it (he's cool like that) but I knew I couldn't let them in.  I had to tell them that I couldn't let them in, which made me feel about in inch tall, but they seemed understanding about it. They all stayed outside. While they were outside waiting, one of our church members - a white lady- rang the doorbell and I didn't think twice about letting her in.  It wasn't until I was unlocking the door that I realized how it looked.  So, you know, now I'm probably the racist lady who works at the church.  Great.

5) Sorry if I sound glum.  I've had a really weird week.  It has made me tired.