Sunday, August 24, 2008


I think that I’ve learned quite bit about my temperament here lately. It seems that when people are tested they can either learn from the experience or they can choose to stew over it and build up that lovely stress maker, resentment. I try to be a learner; sometimes it’s easier than other times. Lately it seems that the tests have been frequent and well…irritating, as tests may tend to be. There is a lot going on in my life right now, as is the case with most people. Of course, it all boils down to how we handle those situations. Are we learners or resenters?

I figure that I’m one step ahead of the tests, though, since I realize that they’re there. You know what I mean? I think that if a person is capable of recognizing the areas or events in their life that pose the biggest stress points, then they are more likely to be able to deal with them. This, of course, sounds obvious; but I think sometimes it is painfully oblivious to people when we’re in the thick of things. I know that I need to take time to evaluate my life from time to time. This means taking an honest look at what is happening. This does not mean taking a negative view on life. It’s not right to look at all the bad and forget the good. An honest “moral” inventory, means also allowing yourself to see the good and to give appropriate credit where credit is due.

Now, I have no intention of airing my dirty laundry or patting myself on the back here. Suffice to say, that we all go through things, and I feel that we all could benefit by taking the time to reflect on our lives, the situations that have brought us to our current point and whether or not we’re happy with it. If we’re happy, then we should understand how we got here so the positive can be repeated. If we’re not too happy with a particular situation then we need to decide the best course of action for correcting the problem in a manner that will have a more positive outcome for all parties involved.

For me, I find that I reflect best if I engage in a creative individual activity. I tend to zone out in the garden, or involve myself in a sewing project. These activities allow me to empty my mind from the squirrel cage mentality that usually drives my thoughts. I find a peaceful, tranquil even, retreat to where my mind empties, as it were, and only the breath remains. It’s meditative and it’s the point, for me, in which I become able to assess my life honestly. I can be upfront with myself and look at things that are bothering me and see the part I played in the problem. Now, while I’m not able to change the actions, or reactions, of others; I am able to change mine. Therefore, if I truly (honestly) understand the role that I played; I can then claim the power of changing the situation, because once I change my role I have introduced a new variable into the equation and the odds of a different outcome increase.

So, where is all of this taking us? Who knows? I mean really. I know that I’m a better person for finding a way to reflect and assess, and that’s about as far as I have the power to take it; the rest is in anyone’s court. But, the end result….and I know you’re expecting some big philosophical answer here, but that won’t happen because it’s no longer in my court….is aprons; yes I said aprons. I sewed four of them here lately, and a new skirt as well. I went on a meditation binge as it were. In the end, I feel more enlightened, more relaxed, more self assured, more confident, and overall better. I’ve taken some pics of them and I’m going to try to get them up on the blog within the next day or two. We’ll see; I’m not sure I have all of the necessary equipment, hopefully I do. If so, you should see them soon.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Comcast is the Devil...and...It's Not My Fault

K…this latest gap in writing really isn’t my fault, I swear. It has been bizzaro world around here lately. Do you remember when my hard drive failed? Well, apparently that was just the beginning of our hardware and networking problems.

A short time ago R’s hard drive crashed as well, and yes, we lost what was on his drive too. I’m over it people; I just don’t care anymore. Perhaps it’s fate calling and telling me that what I write is not intended to be forever. Maybe I need to work on accepting the thought of revision more, or maybe I just need to, oh I don’t know, back things up!

What was really the kicker, though? Comcast! Can you say, “Oh My God! What an Unethical company”? Seriously, I have never dealt with a company who is so terrible with its customer service and so very unethical, if not outright, illegal. Folks, if you have a choice, stay away from them. Here’s what happened.

Around six months ago we switched to Comcast for our Internet and phone service. The idea was that we would have better connectivity so that R and sons could play their MMOs together. Well, we had one problem after another. We were constantly losing our connection; I’m talking at least two times a week. This would require our entire home network to be shut down and rebooted a tedious task, and one that under the proper administration of Comcast should have been unnecessary. So, we ended up having a tech come out twice to try and correct the problem, without success. We finally decided that we should purchase a new router, so we went with a D-Link. Comcast doesn’t support this type of router via their tech support. That in itself would have been ok, but…we were having difficulty getting through to the net. The router was showing that it was working ok, everything seemed to be running and connected, the network showed an established Internet connection, but we couldn’t access the Internet. So, we called Comcast.

Here’s where it gets good folks. The first time we called we were put on hold for 40 minutes just to have the tech get shitty with us and hang up on us. R was trying to explain what was going on, what we had done, but the tech kept interrupting him so R finally said to him, “look, I’m trying to explain to you what’s going on so will you please stop talking?” The tech replied, “sure” and then hung up. Next tech please….we call back, another marathon hold session. When we get through the tech says, “Oh, the problem is that your modem isn’t set up for Internet access, we have it set to phone access only. Let me just flip a switch here on this end and you should be fine. Now, we’ll be disconnected when this happens so I’ll call you right back, ok?” R says, fine and he hangs up. Well, we wait for about 30 minutes, no phone call. R checks the Internet and the connection is completely gone, vanished, so we call back. R gets a hold of yet another tech and tells this one what happened. He explains that the tech was supposed to switch something over on that end and call us back, and that not only did we not hear from him our service was completely disrupted now. (I need to clarify that prior to this, because the D-Link wasn’t working we had at least reconnected the original router and had Internet access again). Anyway, here we are without any Internet now and guess what? The tech says that the last tech cleared our account. “What does that I mean?” R asked. She said it meant that our account was no longer valid and we wouldn’t have any service until a tech came out and set us up as if we were a new account. Of course, we were livid and not understanding why she couldn’t just simply flip the switch in the other direction and turn us back on. So…yes, they screwed us and left us with no service what so ever. That’s when R said, F*** this and a few other choice phrases and asked me to call AT&T. So I did and we switched over.

The story doesn’t end there, though. Here comes the unethical (illegal) stuff. I called to discontinue our service with Comcast. When I got through I stated that I wished to end the service, I was put on hold for 30 minutes while I was “transferred” to a different department. At that point, I was finally able to speak to someone and when I told her that I wanted to disconnect the service and why I was so unhappy with them, guess what…she hung up on me…yes…oh yes she did…and BTW I was not rude with her. So…I have to go through the whole process again. When I finally get through I’m told that it is Comcast “policy” not to end service until the bill is paid in full. So I said, “Well. R doesn’t get paid until the 15th and it’s only the 6th, am to understand that not only are we being billed for the days where we had no service due to Comcast’s inadequacy, we are also going to be billed for a service we no longer want or are receiving because our pay cycle doesn’t coincide with our desire to end this service?” She replied, “Well, we won’t turn the service off until the bill is paid, so technically you will still be receiving the service. We’ll disconnect the service only after we have received payment.” And folks, that was pretty much the end of it. She wouldn’t budge and even though we had AT&T set up and running they refused to disconnect our service and are charging us for it.

My advice…stay away…far away from Comcast!!!

R’s hard drive is still not fixed, my hard drive is still not fixed, but we do have Internet access again. Although, the speed is really not what we need. Anyway, I’m currently using R’s laptop to Blog and such, but it’s not very convenient. Hopefully my system will be up and running again before too long. Until then, though, posts may be a bit intermittent. Bear with me please. And stay away from the Devil Corporation!!!!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Vampire RPG

We had our first Vampire game last night, and let me say, I was not disappointed in the least. It was a load of fun and N ran it like a pro. Yes, N agreed to run a game for us.

The setting is modern day Chicago. We were all killed last night in a BDSM club, very interesting time there I tell ya. Basically, we were all there as observers in the club when a massacre took place. Only six of us survived due to being embraced by the attackers; we were all then abandoned. The club, itself, was being run by the Toreador Primogen who took pity on us, and instead of killing us outright she arranged for shelter and blood. She will now have to be responsible for our behaviors until we are old enough to be turned out on our own.

We ended up with a good mix of clans in the group. All of the Camarilla clans, with the exception of the Nosfurotu, are represented. My character is a Ventrue named Lily. If you’re familiar with the show Angel, an offshoot of Buffy: The Vampire Slayer, then think Lilah Morgan. I modeled my character after her. I’m a 26 year old, brunette, corporate lawyer with a bitch attitude. [Lilah Pic] So far, it’s working out well.

The other characters include a Malkavian who in his human life was a famous rock star; a Russian tourist who in his human life was a sort of street thug and has now been turned into a Toreador; talk about messed up. I think the sire of these two guys got things a bit backwards. For anyone who is unfamiliar with the clans the Toreadors are the artists and the Malkavians, well, they’re all insane. BTW, the Ventrue are the business minded clan who brought the Camarilla together and just so happens to have a great deal of sway over the sect. Our other group members are a 4 foot 2 inch Italian mob wanna be who is now a Gangrel and a bald headed short female occult bookstore owner who is now a Tremere. The other two are both Brujah. R’s cousin, who has much more experience with the game than the rest of us, is playing a Brujah Neonate while the rest of us are fledglings. He is helping the Toreador Primogen by guiding us and teaching us in the ways of the vampire.

Other than N and R’s cousin, who are both experienced with the game, I have some experience (I’ve played about 4 or 5 one night games) and the rest of the group is new to the game. So, many of us have no real idea yet as to what the game is going to entail. Which is a good reason for us all coming in as fledglings, think baby vampires. The Neonate is a bit older, but nowhere near the top of the ladder. Usually, but not always, a Primogen is the eldest member of the clan. So there we are, and there you have it. The game has begun. I look forward to giving you more updates and hopefully amassing tons of wealth and prestige for my character along the way.