Back in New York


I look a little morose in this picture, but you get the idea. I’m tired, y’all. It’s about midnight and I just got home from JFK about a half hour ago. I’m hungry and I really don’t want to unpack, but I have to at least get some of it done tonight so I can move around in my bedroom (it’s a bit wee). The good news is, my free wifi is back! The other good news is that I was able to take the photo above with the camera on my brand new MacBook, which was sorely needed for the pursuit of writing. I’ll miss Iphegenia Doubtfire (my old iBook G4), who has more than served me well and deserves her retirement. She hasn’t died, though, so I can still use her if I start feeling nostalgic. (I’m only half-joking about this; I’m unreasonably sentimental about stuff. I think this has its roots in the fact that I used to believe all my toys, from the stuffed animals to this electric candle I used in a choral concert one year in middle school, had personalities with desires, goals, expectations, even itches.)

My new computer’s name is Viola, after the main character in my favorite Shakespeare play, Twelfth Night, to match my iPod Sebastian. Now that I’ve finally found and installed Microsoft Office on Vi, I can continue with my MB revisions and hopefully get those to my editor in a couple of weeks. Okay, time to put some of my stuff away…I just remembered, my mother packed me some pierogi to take home, and that needs to go into the freezer STAT. A bientot!

Epic Day of Fail (Reprise)

Thankfully, yesterday wasn’t filled with quite as much FAIL as the day before. I did end up “fixing” my iPod, and I put “fixing” in quotation marks because it is not really fixed, it just has less problems than it did before.

I made a huge mistake. I looked at the picture of the product I had ordered from the iPod fixing Internet store and I noticed that there was no hold button on it. And I says to myself, I says, Crap. They’re sending me a new one, but it’s just going to be the same thing I ordered before, meaning that there would be no hold button. Because, you see, you can actually take apart the hold button and install the replacement headphone jack into your current hold button. This might be easier to understand with visuals:

This is the product that actually came in the mail on Wednesday. See the big thing that looks like an audio jack? That’s the audio jack. See that little rectangular piece of practically nothing directly across from the audio jack? That goes inside the hold switch. Below is what I thought was the product I was getting:

Now, it’s flipped around but it’s basically the same, except instead of a little dinky piece of nothing, that little dinky piece of nothing is inside a new hold switch. AND THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN SO MUCH EASIER TO INSTALL. But because I thought that, although I originally thought I got the product in the first photo erroneously and called and had them send me a replacement, I then realized that the first photo is the photo that was next to the product I actually ordered. So I got the piece I ordered, and I assumed they’d just send me another one that was just like it.

Sigh. This might have been somewhat avoided if I hadn’t found instructions on the website I purchased the replacement jack from that told you how to take apart your hold button and install the new jack into it. So I thought that was what I had to do. I WAS SO WRONG, INTERNET. SO WRONG.

Because today, when the replacement of the replacement came, guess what? It had a hold switch on it! Just like the second photo above. But yesterday I “fixed” my iPod by installing the audio jack I’d already received, ruining my hold button in the process (it no longer works). Additionally, although I can now hear clearly out of my audio jack (it used to fade in and out or completely stop working if I didn’t jam the headphones in properly and hold it in such a way that it never moved even half a millimeter in any direction), I can still hear out of only one headphone. But get this: it’s a different headphone than I used to be able to hear out of! I used to be able to only hear out of the left headphone, now I can only hear out of the right headphone. Do you know what that means? It means that the problem is probably not the audio jack, it’s the motherboard, which I cannot fix myself and would never attempt to. ARGGHGHGH. And now I have this extra audio jack/hold switch I don’t know what to do with, because I’m definitely NOT reopening my iPod and installing this new one even though it would fix my hold switch problem.* TOO MUCH WORK.

But, please, learn from me, dear friends. Do not try to repair your own iPod, especially if the problem is with the audio jack. Just don’t do it! There are places online that will do it cheaply and quickly, although I cannot vouch for the quality of the work.

Still, although I got a lot of help from Sunil and also did not end up really fixing my iPod in the way that I meant to fix it, I opened it, installed the audio jack, and closed it without damaging the hard drive or the battery or anything pertinent (okay, I did damage the hold switch, but that could not be avoided and is mostly not a big deal). I still have all my music, and even though I’m having to adjust to only hearing out of the right headphone after a year of only hearing out of the left one (it changes how the songs sound, and not always in a good way), my iPod is still arguably functional AND I got to see what it looks like inside, so I’m calling this a WIN.

I still don’t know what comes next in my new WIP, though. Working on it!

*Seriously, you guys, I totally jerry-rigged my iPod. I used a screw from an eyeglass repair case to affix my hold button to the backing case just enough so that I could close the damn thing without having it all fall apart! Hey, at least the battery still charges, which was a major concern for me, since I stuffed it in there and couldn’t tell if I’d reconnected it correctly.

Revision shhedual*

Confession: I haven’t worked on AUT in, um, a few days. Maybe two? It’s Thursday, right? Yeah. And I don’t really see myself working on it a whole lot tonight. I just have a hard time working on weekdays. It’s like, I get home from work around 7:30 or 8:00 and either I consume something (usually pasta, because it’s cheap and I’m broke) and then head over to my friend Cambria’s because she has cable and I don’t (last night after I got my couch we watched America’s Next Top Model**), or I stay at home and watch Netflixed movies and read a little before bed. I work much better on the weekends, when I can get up late and then spend about 10 hours unshowered and in my pajamas, writing (or, in this case, revising) my little heart out. In other words, I make more progress in marathons rather than sprints, which doesn’t surprise me–I was a distance swimmer in high school, never had great times in the 50 or 100 yd events but kicked ASS during the 200 and 500 yd free events. Not that swimming has much to do with writing, but…just go with the analogy, mmmkay?

So. This weekend. Needs to be the big push. I’ve decided to extend my self-imposed deadline to Wednesday, April 9 (or, I guess, Tuesday, April 8, because I want to email the revised MS to Joanna on Wed. morning), which will give me time to let the edits percolate before I give the MS another once-over and then send it off. I don’t plan on working very much the weekend of March 31 because my friend Jack (!) is coming into town all the way from sunny Arizona. Jack and I went to college together and last year when I was getting my MA at the University of Chicago, he was here in town, living just a few blocks from where I live now, getting his MA from Columbia. I haven’t seen him in over a year and a half and I’m super excited to hang out with him. Also? To hang out somewhere nearer my apartment. I feel like I always end up going to the UES or LES which, while fun, is quite far from my house via PT and I can’t afford cabs.

To wit, I’m going out on the LES tomorrow night with my friends Katie and Cambria! We’re doing happy hour at Happy Ending, which is sort of a haunt of Cambria’s and mine because our friend Jessica’s boyfriend is a bar back there. I like it because the drinks are cheap-ish and usually strong, which is a very good combo if you are not so flush with cash. It used to be a spa and looks really trashy from the outside (very LES), but inside it’s sleek and red and downstairs there are refurbed showers where you can sit with your friends. Usually they’re reserved, but one time we went there and sort of commandeered a shower before anyone got there (before they’d even opened up the downstairs, but Jessica’s exalted status there got us in without major incident) and got to keep it the whole time (drunkards sort of filtered in and out, but whatever).

But after Friday, I am BUCKLING. DOWN. I’m around pg. 150 with my revisions, which means I’m a little less than halfway through (before revisions, I’d be more than halfway through, but I have somehow managed to add thirteen pages to the final count). I can get the rest done by Sunday, which means that I can use whatever downtime I have the NEXT weekend (when I’m not out with Jack and Cambria and his Columbia friends) to do the once-over. Sorry to bore you with all this, it’s really to keep myself accountable and give myself an actual schedule that I can follow. I work well that way.

Other random slices of my boring life:

  • I’m in the middle of Enchanted right now, and I have to admit that I’m simultaneously loving it and hating it. I got it because I really like Amy Adams (SO GOOD in Junebug, if you haven’t seen it please do), but I’m finding her character sort of irritating–I know she’s naive because she’s, like, a formerly animated Disney princess, but still, the bubbly personality and squeaky voice and omnipresent smile still grates–since I’m of the same mindset as Patrick Dempsey’s character, Robert–he doesn’t really believe in romance and neither do I. Of course, he’ll be converted by the end of the movie, but I’m pretty sure I won’t. James Marsden as Prince Edward is pretty hilarious, though. I know it’s a satire, and I’m trying to let that roll, but I’m losing patience.
  • We got our couch! We even managed to get it through our front door/hallway, though it was a bit of a tight squeeze. It is wonderful. I might have to name it, to show it how much I love it.
  • Still haven’t found our mail key. Apparently, our neighbors are never home. We talked to the girl who lives next door with her boyfriend and she hadn’t picked it up, but the other three apartments weren’t home. It was sort of strange. This was 8:00 PM-ish. Where were they? Do people actually live in those apartments?
  • My college BFF Carmen and her boyfriend Tim are coming to visit me this summer! She finally gave me the dates, and I’m very excited. My summer is pretty much going to be a revolving door of people visiting. It will be exhausting, I predict, but very very worth it.
  • Talked to my mom last night about my taxes and I’m getting money back from all three states (California, since it’s technically my permanent state of residence; Illinois, since I worked there over the summer for a wage; and New York, obvs.) and the federal government. It’ll be just enough to cover my outstanding credit card balance if I pay off the whole thing; I think I might pay off most of it and then get my iPod fixed. I decided a long time ago not to replace the headphone jack myself because I just don’t trust myself to open up my iPod and fiddle around with it myself. I’m handy, but not that handy.

So I think that’s it. If I don’t get a chance to blog tomorrow, happy weekend everybody!

*Pronounced as the Brits do. I’ve been watching far too much Shameless. My internal monologue has a Manchester accent at the moment. It is very disorienting.

**I was sad to see Aimee go, but, to be honest, every season we get a naive, vaguely religious girl on the show who’s uncomfortable being naked and similar and I just have about zero patience for it now. It’s like, do you even watch the show? Don’t you know that those type of girls ALWAYS go home? The job involves compromises; get over it. Also, I really like Lauren and Whitney, and conversely dislike Dominique, but I thought all that mean-girls stuff they were doing in last night’s episode, like talking shit about her while she’s trying to sleep IN THE SAME ROOM, is just being incendiary for no reason. Like, I get that they’re young and bored and they really don’t like her, but come on. It’s just not necessary, and Claire? You have a daughter and THIS is what you want her to take away from your ANTM experience? That you’re a bitch? Grow up.

ETA: Apparently, not all Brits say “shedule”. Thanks Trudi! Any writers out there should check out Trudi’s post on overcoming writer’s block, as well as her other craft-related posts. Spoiler: she compares writer’s block to erectile dysfunction. Very apt, I’d say.