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Archive for March, 2019

I go online, while being female.  Sometimes I play phone games while being female.  Sometimes I allow others online to notice that I am playing phone games while being female.

Sometimes this is a problem.

avatar

Here is my profile for Words with Friends.  It’s a Facebook game, so it’s linked to my real name.  I had previously used a number of different avatars. and  discovered that using a picture of myself (I’m not particularly attractive or young, but I am visibly female) tended to get game requests from unknown middle aged men.  These men who would, in chat, request details of my personal life, the exchange of email addresses, additional photographs, etc.  I had decided that, although I don’t mind occasionally chatting with strangers over a game this was a bit creepy.  So I changed my avatar to a photo of a hat I’m reasonably proud of, modeled by a male friend. (Thanks Steve!)

The profile does still reveal that I’m gaming while female, but you have to at least click to find it.

So, I hoped, that chat requests would at least come from guys who were willing to put a little more effort into the whole conversation thing.   It had the immediate effect of slowing down chat attempts from strangers.

The conversation even started fairly promising.  He made an obvious typo, ‘were’ for ‘where’.  I seized on it, and he seemed willing to play along.

I ended He 1-start

It turned out that he’d never heard of Stephen Hawking’s Time Traveler party, and quickly lost interest once I sent him a pointer.

2-annoyed

‘Why are you asking so many questions?’ Really?  Everything this guy has sent has been a question.   ‘Were’ for ‘where’, ‘I am an engineering’…  The ONLY thing this guy and I know about each other is that we are both playing a word game, and he doesn’t show any awareness of grammar or punctuation.

I seem to have cut out the part below where I tell him he’s getting creepy (which is after he keeps getting personal, and asks if I’m married).

At this Thi3 ending

At this point I put the phone down and got in my car.  I expected him to go into a long whine about how he didn’t mean any harm, he was just lonely, and I should really just be his special friend…

Instead, I got this:

blocked

 

 

OK.  Fair enough.  I did tell him he was creepy, and asked to be called such.  Blocking me seems like a reasonable response.  I’ll take it.

I would have preferred the time traveler, though.

I think I gave him a fair shot.

Have any of you managed to get a decent conversation out of random convo’s on phone games?

 

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So here’s the thing.

I have no job.  I was given the option of getting COBRA for insurance, which was the only way to avoid lapse of coverage.  I have a diagnosis and a scheduled treatment which will be quite expensive.

So I got the COBRA, thinking that as soon as I got verification of coverage I would go to the state marketplace and get a less expensive plan, so less out of pocket right now and no pre-existing condition.  Simple, right?

As soon as the COBRA paperwork came (end of February) I sent in the check.  It was cashed on March 14.

Over the weekend I got a letter from the insurance company stating that my coverage was valid through March 12 (the letter was dated March 11).

The customer service representative just said she couldn’t do anything.  I had to demand that the call be escalated before she checked to see that the coverage was in force (even though the system says it’s not).  I’m ready to kill someone.

In the job hunt front – I applied to a position with the State of Maryland.  They want to interview me (AWESOME!).  They want a college transcript.  OK, shouldn’t be a problem.  I hope. The last time I tried to get a transcript I went round and round with the registrar’s office for a while before they found me – apparently my birthdate is wrong in the system.  So I had sent in the documentation to get my records corrected.  I tentatively tried to request my transcript again…  Nope.  Can’t find myself in the database.  The campus, apparently, is on spring break.

*sigh*

I have until March 26 to schedule an interview on April 1.

That’s just today.  I’m not even going to get into last week…

Honestly, this whole thing feels like a bad April Fools joke.

 

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I had the oddest dream earlier this week.

It started off as a quasi lucid dream.  On some level I knew that I was dreaming, and that my husband was in bed with me.  I was doing that flippy/flying thing which I can sometimes do when I realize I’m dreaming.

For some reason, when I recognized what was happening, I decided to hunt.  I was going to stalk and rend, blood would flow…  The decision gave me a gleeful energy.

This choice isn’t typical of my waking self.  I’m a pacifist, and I’m not a hunter. However, within the dream I was totally jazzed by the idea.  I was gecko-walking along walls, scoping out potential victims.  I picked one (as I recall, he was the only other living thing within the dream).  I was going to sneak up on him and telekinetically fling him into a wall, then pounce!

This being a dream, the sneak up part just didn’t happen.  I approached him directly.  He cocked his hoodie clad head and flung me against the wall.

Of course, I woke up.  But it didn’t end there.

I was in bed, curled up with Steve, and I couldn’t move.  I felt a hostile force in the room with me.  Then there was an overwhelmingly loud voice – I mean it was nearly deafening. I couldn’t make out what it was saying, but the tone and timbre were reminiscent of Jerry Lewis’ most obnoxious ‘Hey Lady!’.  Then it quieted down, and was replaced by a more conversational volume babble of many voices.  Then that faded and soon after I could move again.

I must admit, I was totally freaked.  It felt absolutely real, a psychic attack which reached out of the dream and into my brain.  In that instant all skepticism was drowned out by fear.

What broke the spell?  Not a returning sense of reality.  No, it occurred to me that this terrifying incident would be awesome fodder for the NaNoWriMo I’m planning.  I grabbed my phone and hurridly typed away before I could lose any of the sense of wonder and dread.

It wasn’t until hours later that I made the connection with Night Hag Syndrome.  It’s not a typical presentation, but certain aspects (the sense of hyper reality, of being under attack, of being unable to move) definitely fit.

As far as skepticism, yup, it’s still there.  I can easily hold both ‘realities’ in my mind at the same time, and switch from one to another.  I can accept that the phenomenon was completely psychological, created from the sleep/wake interface (because that makes sense) and still appreciate that it came with an overwhelming sense of reality.  It absolutely felt like a hostile entity was striking out at me. (I say hostile, not malevolent, because I was being such a jerk it would be hard to consider myself as a victim.)

Still a skeptic, but it was definitely a frightening and cool experience.

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Birthday Blues

So today is my birthday.

It’s not an ‘odometer year’, but it still feels like a big one.  Let’s call it a speed limit year.  I recall when my father was this age he was eligible for a senior ‘free coffee’ discount at Roy Rogers (remembering Roy Rogers also makes me feel old).  I think that senior discounts were sort of a novelty then, because he was weirdly excited about it.  Of course, when he filled out his card they asked if my Mother would like one too, and he immediately said no – I think he was oddly protective of her, and didn’t want to make her feel old.  Aging is weird.

As of next month, if nothing changes,  I will be officially menopausal.  This means that I can declare myself a crone.  The fact makes me laugh out loud, but still…  Aging is weird.

I’m getting tons of birthday wishes on various social media platforms.  Both from people I see all the time and those I haven’t seen in years.    It’s really nice, mostly, but there’s still this shadowy corner in my mind which is full of negative comments, ranging from snarky to toxic.  Depression is weird.

So I’m trying to acknowledge the complexity of the whole thing, allow myself to have mixed emotions (because denying them is never a good idea), and enjoy the positives. Honestly, most of the negatives  come from the fact that I’m not where I’d like to be at this point in my life.  My best bet is to try to make sure I remember the good while acknowledging the bad.  I have plenty to complain about (I’m looking at you job situation, and you gall stones), but so much more to celebrate (I have a messed up family which really loves me, and crazy friends who accept me as I am, and a world which is beautiful and interesting all at the same time!)

Weird fact – a mug of Deathwish coffee has enough caffeine to generate the same sensation my dosage of Adderall used to when I was taking it.  Not sure if will help with the ADD (I can never notice that from the inside), or if it will lead to the end of day crash (that one I do notice).

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FO Friday

Just a couple of projects done recently.

The first one is an itty bitty thing.

Tawashi

It’s a pot scrubber.   The pattern is ‘two tone tawashi’ by Maryann Walsh, and it’s my first time playing with Red Heart Scrubby.  The yarn isn’t bad to work with, not as harsh on the hands as I’d thought it might be (but it’s not exactly ‘like butter’ to work with).  I think I might work up a section of a cotton dishcloth with it in the future.

The next one is the Sweet Pea Cardigan by Samantha MainSweet Pea

No, no grandkids coming yet, but Abby’s boyfriend’s sister is expecting, so I may as well get in practice.   I’d forgotten how fast and fun baby clothes are!  Gotta love the ducky buttons.

That’s it for now.   I’ve got a pair of socks on the needles, but I don’t expect them to be done in a week, so it might be a bit before the next post.

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