This is not the topic I’d intended on writing after last week’s MIA/AWOL, however…….

I signed up for this great service about 6 months ago — and it really is a great service. It’s called JustAnswers.com.  For $55/month you can ask an unlimited amount of questions to attorneys of any specialty (state-based attorneys), physicians, engineers — the list goes on and on. Of course, there’s no confidentiality and you don’t have a real lawyer or have to pay for parking at a doctor’s office, but it’s a great baby step. For someone like myself, it’s great because I want to make sure my facts are on point before making decisions.  Unfortunately, for the last several months I’ve been in a situation where I need to fact-check before dialing phones, e-mailing, etc. And they’ve been amazing.

Except! It keeps refusing to let me in.

I have four passwords for just about everything internet-based, and it won’t accept any of them. So, I contacted customer service and they switched me over to my seldom-used e-mail address. Unfortunately, my debit card payment isn’t attached to that account so it wants me to pay for the answers. And back to customer service that sends me an e-mail saying if I’m having trouble accessing  my account to go away and change my cookie settings. There’s not a damned thing wrong with my cookies.  Back to customer service. They send me a link to change my password for the account that doesn’t access my debit card.  Back to customer service. Waiting. Another e-mail. Waiting. Yet another. Waiting. Have been at this since yesterday afternoon, and back at it since about 7:30 this morning. It’s after 10am now.  Just sent another e-mail that said something to the effect of, “Will you guys please get your shit together. I’m tired of paying $55/month for the privilege of playing this game — especially since you won’t let me play.”  Waiting.

And then, there’s Toshiba Ted. My dad used to tell me that if it has tires or testicles it’s eventually going to be trouble. He didn’t know about computers.

Ted has been in and out of the doctor’s office for the last week. Probably going back tomorrow.  It’s stupid stuff now.  When I push “internet explorer,” the little circle spins for awhile, then it stops. I push again. Same thing. By the time it finally decides to make an appearance, I have 26 home pages to delete to get back to one Google page.  And then I get a message that “Your browser session shut down unexpectedly. Do you want us to restore the session?” And I do. And it brings back about 6 blank pages again. And I delete them till I’m back down to one and start over.   I know. It’s the evil Internet Explorer. But, I’m a PC, and it’s what I’ve got.

The other problem is that Abbi told me I shouldn’t leave my computer on all the time because, just like my car, the engine shouldn’t run 24/7.  I learned a long time ago to do what Abbi tells me to do. Life’s just better that way. Especially since she’s usually right.

So, I’ve been letting Ted go to sleep when I’m not needing his help. Problem? He likes sleeping. When I massage the little plate that should rouse him from his slumbers, half the time he says, “Hell, No!” and I only get a grey screen. So…..I have to turn off the computer and re-boot.  But sometimes when I turn it off, it doesn’t want to go.  Keeps saying “shutting down,” and I get mesmerized by that damned circle twirling in front of my eyes for what seems like forever. Then I have to push the power button to turn him off, and we’re back to “Your browser session has closed unexpectedly……”

Is Ted trying to hypnotize me? What does he want from me? If my computer really is a guy, I’ll probably never know.  Maybe that’s the problem. I’ve got Doctor Robert working on Toshiba Ted, and all that testosterone in one place is screwing up the circuits or whatever is going on in the computer’s motherland/motherboard/motherf……… (oops).

Maybe it’s time Toshiba Ted had a sex change. I’ll talk to Dr. Robert when Ted goes to see him again tomorrow. We’re spending as much time at UCLA now as when we lived there.

And speaking of UCLA, I’m still waiting for JustAnswers.com to get a damned password-change code to me so I can make sure all my ducks are in a row before making the call I’d planned on making about 8:30 EDT this morning from my home-couch base  at 5:30 PDT. Waiting. Since for some reason I think the call should be made first thing in the morning, by the time I finally get a code, get into the system, submit my questions and get the answers back (which usually happens pretty quickly – they really are good when you can find them), that call will happen tomorrow morning.

It took me all afternoon yesterday sitting at Wendy’s messing around on the computer reading every legal document I’ve gotten from the-organization-and-people-from-UCLA-that-must-remain-nameless-because-I’m-not-allowed-to-say-anything-disparaging-about-them crew and crosschecking California law to make sure my assumptions are correct. And that time and even more time spent getting up my nerve to make this phone call because I really don’t want to deal with it anymore, but they owe me a good deal of money and there’s a principle involved. And you know how I am about principles. Damn. I’ve gotta quit doing the right thing. Bites me in the ass every time.

The other problem I had at Wendy’s was concentration. I kept seeing really obese parents feeding their getting-too obese kids cheeseburgers (“no vegetables, please”), fries, and those Wendy’s drinks that come with the kids meal — those things that are thicker than shakes and you can literally see the granules of sugar glistening off the chocolate. It was all I could do to keep from  bitch slapping people for the four hours I was there. (In answer to your question, I had a junior deluxe which includes lettuce and tomato, no mayo, and iced tea. I SO behaved.)

Of course, there are other things that don’t work…..like the trunk-release thingy inside my car. But I like that. If someone broke into my Chrysler convertible that has 100,000 miles on it and looks like it has lived on college campuses for six years, they couldn’t open the trunk — the trunk that is currently my closet. So, that thing that doesn’t work is a good thing.

And come to think of it, I’m not working either. So I guess it’s time to start answering that question with, “I’m a writer.” Which means I probably should quit blogging and start writing.

So until tomorrow when I’ll share the blog you should have gotten today (unless something else comes up), be careful out there.