ree: (working)
I think I can call my previous post's experiment concluded, with pretty much the results I had expected: not many people reading, but those who do are important to me. I had been a little worried that I was totally filtered off of everybody's friends page. I'm not sure why I thought so. Habitual social anxiety? Something to ponder another day. I'm glad I'm not just mumbling to myself in here though.

Nobody guessed that I had gotten an MRI. That's a bit of a tale, one that I intend to tell, but it's longish and full of old stress; I haven't the energy today. It's not a big deal anymore - I have a minute benign growth and the problems it caused are fully manageable with medication. Aside from motherhood-related fatigue, I feel better today than I have in years.

Two of the other entries in the guess list were inspired by things I am considered, but have not done. I'm toying with installing Linux on my old Win XP laptop, or at least running bootable USB or disc Linux. I'm so pleased that the old thing keeps shambling along (its predecessor died at maybe 1/4 this thing's age), but it's no longer safe anywhere near the Internet and it's gotten slow enough to be genuinely enraging. The right Linux distro could get it safe and peppy again, I think. (Although I did recently dig out my old Palm m125 and sync it to that box; not sure I want to try installing Win98-era Palm Desktop on my cranky Windows 10 tablet unless it's my only remaining option.)

My Palm is out because I'm attempting to use it as an ersatz e-reader. I'd like a Kindle, but I'm trying to see how much I would even use it before I put money into it. Unfortunately, I'm having problems. Like, four out of five attempts to HotSync result in a BSoD. And you have to HotSync to install (I think? I haven't used this thing for over a decade!) or back up. And the error is an IRQ thing and all I really know about those is that they're a tremendous pain in the ass to diagnose and fix and ugggggh. I am pretty Dutch when it comes to money but it might be worth the cost of an older, used Kindle to have it Just Work. I'm putting that aside today; I have a few ideas to try tomorrow, but first some distance because this isn't worth getting worked up over.

I'd avoided Kindles for years because of money and because I felt I wasn't the bookworm I was in my childhood, that I wouldn't use a Kindle "enough" to justify the expense. I still rather think that I wouldn't use it enough to spend $80+ on, but older used ones seem to be in the $30-ish range. I don't read many novels these days, but I use the heck out of my Instapaper account, which can wirelessly deliver unread articles to a Kindle and can deliver over USB to basically any reader (they support MOBI and ePub; Kindles read MOBI and basically everything else supports ePub or both).

I did (at long last) get a smartphone when my old phone mercifully gave out, and I've had the Kindle app on there for about a year (and now Instapaper, love me that Instapaper). Problem is that I use it enough, and get few enough good opportunities to charge it out of the baby's unusually long reach, that I run its battery down and have to turn it off and of course that's when the kid deigns to nap and I have nothing to read on. (I do have a Windows tablet but it's prone to spontaneously powering itself off, so it's frustrating to use for much of anything, most especially something as immersive as reading a good novel. Also it's rather big, so if it manages to stay on, it becomes a chore to hold.)

Ah well. I have some ideas to try tomorrow (try a different USB port; make sure m125 isn't trying to sync software that isn't on the desktop, e.g. the late lamented AvantGo; try installing Palm Desktop in Win98 compatibility mode; give up on Desktop and just take advantage of the SD card and already-installed MobiPocket to see if it can read Instapaper exports without crashing to menu!).

Do you use an e-reader? What do you like or dislike about it? (Apparently there is at least one model of Kindle - the Kindle DX - that doesn't do WiFi, just 3G, so you get charged a few cents for every single wireless delivery. This sounds like a kind of punishment for Kindle bargain hunters. If I don't learn how to distinguish that model from other Kindles, I'll have to avoid them all to avoid stupid fees or sullenly content myself with only USB deliveries.)

Much love, folks.
ree: photo of a woman with long blonde hair and glasses (okay)
I've started about three different entries this week; I think it's about time that I finished one, so long as I keep the whining to a minimum.

I'm still getting over a cold, which moved in mid-Tuesday. Coincidentally, I was supposed to be out of town Wednesday to scour a going-out-of-business sale. Instead, I stayed bundled up at home. Also, while under the effects of sickbrain, I mistakenly updated my 3DS firmware, so now I can't play EarthBound on it anymore.

So that was all unhappy and I spent an amount of time whining to an empty house about the unfairness of the world blah blah blah.

After I finished unleashing my inner teenager, I grabbed my PSP (which already had a SNES emulator on it), transferred my EarthBound save to it, and spent about an hour fiddling with and testing some advanced settings until I could play EarthBound at a reasonable speed and still see my pre-battle swirl. (While not hugely important, I like the swirl; its shape is different for boss fights, and its color is different depending on if you have the advantage, the enemy does, or neither of you does. A green swirl usually means you don't even actually fight. The game just recognizes that you're going to win and hands over the victory banner and some experience. Yay!) It is not quite as nice, because it means carrying 2 handhelds instead of just my favorite one, but it's the next best thing.

All I really want out of video games is a continued opportunity to escape to someplace familiar where I can use my recognition of the rules to gain advantages and make a difference. New games don't usually give me that. My old favorites do. And now I can play EarthBound on my living room sofa again. That sounds like something I want to be doing right now, come to think....
ree: from http://undermine.net/tracy/mirth/icons/ (JJ don't judge me so harsh little girl)
Lately I've been reflecting on some shit that went down in 2004 or so. At the time, I was part of an online roleplaying group. (Haven't I always?) The group's leader went and founded a second, very similar group, which was trying to co-operatively write a novel (or several) and get it/them published.

When I found out about it, I was invited... to proof their posts, not to actually join. I would be permitted to play in their sole non-novel roleplay area, and nowhere else, so long as I cleaned up their shit and knew my place.

I did it. For weeks, maybe months, I did what they wanted. They posted crazy numbers of posts every day; I dutifully combed through and corrected them. Eventually a virus kept me away for a week, after which I felt the weight of their daunting post count and ran away. How long would I have kept going if my health hadn't stopped me?

I wish I had the vocabulary to describe this accurately. I think that those events hurt me badly enough that something in the back of my brain decided that potential repeats must be avoided at all costs. So when I'm trying to work up the nerve to jump into something that feels too much like that hurtful experience, this piece of myself starts screaming at me "no no no avoid avoid avoid". Because that's supposed to be helpful, see, it's supposed to protect me from pain by getting me to freak out and agonize. Agony being the same as pain, brain, that is not as helpful as you seem to think.

Apparently the next several days are going to be full of non-routine stuff for me. I expect I'll be gibbering in a corner somewhere before Monday rolls around. I think maybe I have one day more before the particularly stressy stuff starts, but I could be wrong about that.

Whatever may come, today I have dried my tears on the sleeve of my most comfortable hoodie, sipped hot apple cider, and found things to giggle about. That's what matters.

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