New Gadetry

So Lorna got a Samsung Galaxy S7 yesterday. She wants to be the one to do all the work on it. Like, remove the bloatware, figure out how everything works, all that. I’ve walked her through a lot of stuff and let her do it all herself. She was really hands-off with her S3. And I do mean really really hands-off. I’ve had to do a few things, though, because I had to look them up and fiddle with it for a while. Like get rid of that blanketyblank visual voicemail thing (fancy name for voicemail to text on the screen because we are too damn lazy to dial 1 and listen). I wouldn’t want it if it were free so why the heck would I want to pay for it? The app is annoying because the notification won’t go away and keeps insisting you pay attention to it. So I did. And I told it…well, you can imagine the colorful terminology I used as I used my Google Foo (to no avail) then figured it out myself how to turn the notifications from the app off. You can’t turn it all the way off or you aren’t notified AT ALL that you have voice mail. Pain. In. The Ass.

Anyway…

When I started looking for her a new phone, I was hesitant to get the S6, even with as few apps as she has. The S6 was teh stoopid because it did not have the expandable memory. I wince at the non-changeable battery concept (if I wanted an iPhone, I would have gotten one!) but I draw the line at the lack of memory (again, didn’t want an iPhone). I also knew I didn’t want the S5 (poorly designed), and knew I didn’t want to go all the way back to the S4. When I read the S7 brought back the expandable memory (but not the interchangeable battery, dammit), I was hoping I could talk her into it. Lorna’s not a technophobe but she’s not all that friendly with them either. So a brand new, made this year phone? Good luck, I thought. It actually wasn’t that hard. She was so tired of her S3 and it’s crankiness.

The S7 is brand spankin’ new (just came out in early March) but that newness comes with both good and bad. Good ’cause freebies! We got a free wireless charging dock thingybob whatsit. And a big discount from Sprint. And because we had to upgrade her half of the plan (Sprint was so weird a few years ago: we have two lines on the same plan but we each had different “plans” within that plan), we actually are now going to be paying LESS each month! That doesn’t happen often.

The bad is there’s some weird quirks with the S7. Heat issues have been reported. It did get hot as it was charging and updating but that’s expected. It is something she will have to watch for this summer when she is on the mail route. Her S3 overheated a few times and turned itself off just sitting there in the car, out of the sun. The other weird thing about it makes me glad this is not my phone. For example, let’s say you have 5 pages/screens. With our other Samsung phones, you swipe from 1 through 5, you then swipe again, and you are back at 1. It was like a loop. As someone who has the max pages/screens allowed, I loooove that. You could do it in the Apps and in the Widgets, too. Lorna’s new S7 wouldn’t do it and I thought it was a setting. I couldn’t find it so I went to the wonderful peeps at Android Central and asked about it. It’s a Samsung thing and they done took it away. I’ll be keeping my Note 4 for a while!

The other gadget I talked her into (and have been for probably two years now) is another tablet. She’s been using her Nook that I got her for her birthday 4 years ago. Then Barnes and Noble stuck their heads up their ass, said it was dark, and began messing up a good thing. I have downloaded all her books from their website (they took away the download buttons and links so I cheated) and removed the DRM via Calibre (which I heart muchly). Now we can put her “Nook books” on any device and read them there. So when her Nook finally died (and no, I didn’t help it along although I was tempted) she finally agreed to getting a tablet.

We got a Galaxy Tab 2 (8″) and I think she likes it more than her phone! Setting it up was a little trickier so she let me do a lot of it. I got it updated, installed a bunch of apps I use on my tablet, and then gave it back so she can arrange it the way she wants. And what is she doing? Not reading ebooks, nope. Watching Netflix. Sigh.

I like her little Tab but it is too small for me I think. And I like the pen function of my Note 10.1 (2013 edition). But she’s loving the small size and the light weight. She is also loving her new phone. They didn’t have the screen protectors in stock so I got a “folio” case for now. She didn’t like the idea but, HA, she actually likes it! She likes that it is also “grippier” than her Otterbox case she had on the S3. And as we all know, as long as she’s happy, that’s all that matters!

22 Years of Subversion

22 years. That’s how long Lorna and I have been undermining heterosexual marriage. The existence of our relationship had been detrimental to so many heterosexual marriages and is part of the reason the divorce rate is at least 50% now. We take full responsibility for it.

Today is our 22nd anniversary. We celebrate the day we met (on 8th and Market in Philadelphia), June 23, 1990. Wow. Lots of things have happened since then. I was but a young 25, she was a young-ish 38. Several years after we met, we teased each other and said we would have a 38 yr contract (so that Lorna had been with me half her life). Sixteen more to go. Think we will make it?

21 Years…

…is a long time. Trust me on this.

And a lot of things happened on June 23rd. Titus succeeded his father, Vespasian, as Emperor of Rome. It is also the day that Vespasian died. So cheer for Titus after the funeral, ‘kay?

It is Father’s Day in Nicaragua (Feliz Día del Padre!), Poland (Happy DzieÅ„ Ojca!), and Uganda (Siku ya furaha ya Baba!).

It is June Carter Cash’s birthday. She would have been 82. Couldn’t sing worth shit, bless her heart, but she was a nice lady.

It is St. John’s Eve, a night of music and bonfires. And probably alcohol. It started as a celebration in honor of Celt goddess, Aine, but of course the Catholics had to “Christianize” it and declare it the birthday of John the Baptist.

And it is the day when Precious and I first met at 11am on the corner of 8th and Market in Philadelphia. What was supposed to be a few hours date wound up being fourteen hours. And what was to be a friendship turned out to be a 21 year (and counting) relationship. That’s right, TWENTY ONE YEARS.

Yes, it is a miracle.

Yes, Lorna is up for sainthood.

No, it’s not been easy. There are no perfect relationships. We fight. We argue. We laugh. We make love. She’s my other half and I am hers.

I won’t get into a discussion today of how our 21 year relationship is not a marriage. Nor how our being married would cause anarchy and the downfall of the American way of life. No, I’ll save that for later.

Birthday and High School

I neglected to publicly wish my darlin’ a happy birthday. I got her two cards and a wireless headset for the television. Okay, so maybe the headset was also for my benefit, too.

Precious (she’s Precious, I’m Special) had to work that day (Jan. 13th) and I had a major headache so we didn’t go out to eat until the next day. We went to the Longhorn Steakhouse. Not too bad price but the cook for the day was far too fond of the salt shaker. We mentioned it to the waiter (he asked why we had so much left on our plates and why we weren’t taking it home) and we got a free dessert. We didn’t want it but he thought he was doing something nice so we ate some of it.

Our 20th anniversary is coming up (June 23rd). We had hoped to maybe go to the UK this year but international travel kept looking hairy. We don’t know what we’ll do now. The GCLS conference is in May or June in Orlando so maybe we’ll just add some time onto that trip. It’s not that I’m apathetic to where and what we’ll be doing but I really had my hopes set for the UK. Of course, accessibility issues would have made it very difficult but we’d survived.

Speaking of 20 years, I heard from a friend from high school (go Chiefs!) the other day. High school was 27 years ago. We actually also went to college together (go Railsplitters!) but grew apart as graduation neared. She joined the military and I went to NJ. We’ve been emailing back and forth as she reminds me of folks we knew and where they are now. Weird. When she first contacted me, she used my Other Name and I was tempted to not respond. But I knew who it was and I didn’t want to wave her off. Apparently, I am hard to find! When most women change their last name, they do it because they got married. They then become Sandy Jenkins Smith (hyphen is optional). But I didn’t change my name because of marriage so that other moniker just got tossed aside like dross (new word of the day).

I’ve often thought of going to a high school reunion. Our freakin’ 30th is coming up soon. I’ve changed a lot. I’m fat. Really fat. I don’t think so until I see a photo and I freak and want to stop eating for the next month. I’ve got enough fat that I can live off of that until then. Bad genetics bit me in the butt so many times… Then there’s the whole “And this is my partner, Lorna. No, she’s not my caregiver, she’s my lover. Yes, she’s a brave woman for putting up with me.” thing and the “I write books. The genre? Lesbian romance and lesbian sci-fi/fantasy.” And then there’s the wheelchair thing. “No, not Iraq or swimming pool or drive-by gang shooting. I was born a mutant and lived among you as a human.”

Laundry Fun

We went to the laundromat this afternoon. (yeah, that’s where I fell and I’m still not allowed to go there by myself).

We take our hang-up shirts and lay them out flat, hanging them when we get home. So while I’m sorting socks and undies, Lorna is doing the shirts.

“Interesting. Look.” She points to the two stacks of shirts – hers on the left and mine on the right. “Nice whales on one shirt and Goofy on the other.”

“Ha.”

“Oh, and look. Tapir one one shirt and, yes, another Goofy shirt.”

“Stop it.”

“Oh, wolves on one and, wow, Dori from Nemo.”

The conversation degraded from there because next up was her cheetah shirt and, well, another cartoon shirt.

Valentine Poem

Here’s what I wrote for my darlin’ of 18 1/2 years:

There’s not enough words for me to tell you
I can’t find the words to tell you
How much I love you, that I love you

I can’t sing any lyrics
Write any prose that says
How much I love you, that I love you

And then, I reach over and touch you
Your arm, your leg, your face
And words are not longer needed, are they?

copyright 2008, Paula Offutt