Friday Book Club: J-Dub’s Review of If It Bleeds by Stephen King ~ 12/31/21

Today I would’ve written something for #WATWB but if I read the twitter feed correctly, they ended in November 2021. Truth be told, the #WATWB challenge ended before that with a few folks hanging on through FB and twitter to rotate hosting duties. No complaints from me, a lot of work goes into hosting. If they start up again in 2022, I’ll join back in.

And without a regular month end feature, I am restorting to the tried and true Friday Book Club. I finished up If It Bleeds by Stephen King on 12/28/21 and promptly picked up a new book to continue the streak into 2022. But for today, let’s stick to the book at hand. If It Bleeds is a compilation of four novellas (long stories). I did a little googling to learn the differences between short stories and novellas; they are subtle. I won’t attempt to explain but instead, here’s my no spoiler pre-google search Goodreads review:

Not sure what is the difference between short stories and novellas. Any way you slice it though, all four stories pulled me in. The words vividly set the scenes and created believable characters. I enjoyed every minute. Especially Holly’s return. I’m glad to see she’s still not smoking and she’s still taking her Lexapro. I’m also glad Jerome and Barbara survived. Definitely a recommended read.

Here are the quotes I grabbed from the first two stories. I got too involved to capture anything from the final two. Something’s better than nothing I guess.

What that song says about motherless children is true: They have a hard time.

My grandmother used to say a person shouldn’t call out unless they want an answer.

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone

The human brain in finite, no more than a sponge of tissue inside a cage of bone – but the mind within the brain is infinite.

The Life of Chuck

Life and art intersected. Kinda of funny that Wednesday, I mailed off a defective phone that kept going off every 8 minutes and the first novella was about calling a phone that had been buried with someone and the voice mail continued to work for years afterwards. If he listened real closely, he could hear the phone ringing deep down in the grave. Cell phones are fodder for all kinds of good storytelling. Oh and yesterday I got a bargain with a capital B to replace my iPhone7 with an iPhone12 – 99 cents plus tax or the low, low price of $1.07. Yeah buddy, now we’re cooking with gas. And that’s all she wrote/read. Until next time.

As always, more to come.

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Thursday Thoughts ~ 12/30/21

As this year winds down, I’m not sure what to do with myself. I worked a few days over the holidays since for the first time ever our entire family is gainfully employed. Without the same tenure as I have or with being a boss like B is, they had to work. Left with too much time on my hands is no bueno. Work was a respite. Plus the office is quiet and I was able to complete some long overdue “housekeeping”. No scroll inbox for one! Yeah buddy. My outlook system is back in bidness.

What a cluster. Things I have not posted about. The minor irritations I post about instead to mask and redirect. This is not my story to tell but we’re gutted.

I’ve also not written about my continued pain. No relief but with every test known to man conducted and shown as negative, I have resigned my lot. My GP will give me any pill I ask for but that is little consolation to finding out what this is and treating to cure not just take the edge off. And that comes with consequences otherwise known as side effects.

The physical therapy was a fiasco though I continue with at home exercises that do help somewhat. I always feel better when I’m mobile. I’m determined not to whine as much anymore. I’ll still bitch about it when I hit a wall like now but otherwise I’ll just keep powering through until I keel over. I told B that if I go before my time, to sue them because not finding out my diagnosis wasn’t for lack of trying.

In fact, I went in too often. I secretly think my doctor wrote me off as crazy considering the notes from her predecessor which I have in my hot little hands. She picked up where the other left off. And the other? Well I hope her concierge medical practice failed miserably. First do no harm my Aunt Frances. She left us in a lerch.

Enough already! Turn that frown upside down. Grab some breakfast, then get to work. Tomorrow is a holiday and I’ve got a book with my name on it … or not exactly on it. Lol. That ship has sailed. I’m avid reader not a writer and nary the two shall meet.

As always, more to come.

The Saga Continues ~ 12/29/21

Alrighty. Well the broke ass phone is all packed up in its box and ready to be returned. But it is going off every five minutes with a quick little chime. All this despite not even having the SIM card in it.

So weird because yesterday it didn’t make any noise but now that it’s packed up to be mailed back, it’s pinging like nobody’s business. I sure hope that the post office will still deliver … that they don’t think it’s some sort of a bomb or something. Which makes me wonder what kind of weird things get mailed. I know they have their rules about no liquids etc. but this isn’t a liquid.

And we really have no other option but to mail, it’s not like there’s a return center we can drive to. I’m not sure whether I should be irritated with AT&T or the manufacturer Samsung. I am refocusing my ire to Samsung … the mofos. If they make and sell a phone for over a grand, then it needs to effing work. And not go cuckoo for cocoa puffs after less than a year.

I have about 30 minutes to showtime. Fingers crossed that it’ll just run out of steam. Wish us luck! And have a very happy Wednesday!

All’s Well That Ends Well ~ 12/28/21

… and we’re not talking ’bout Willie Shakes’ play from 1623. I released the hounds for nothing. Look HERE for a re-cap. Well maybe not nothing. This experience took almost a whole day; that is time we’ll never get back and a lost floating holiday for the kidlet. But he is fortunate that a floating holiday was even an option. He worked from the office all by his lonesome today because the rotation of A – Team and B – Team is on hiatus due to the Omni monster.

Despite getting an email stating the delivery of the new phone would be 1/26/22, we got a Fedex email at 2:00 am while we were snoring that changed the delivery to no later than 8:00 pm today. Means I started tracking that bad boy. Phone arrived in SAT at 8:14 AM and was promptly out for delivery. I signed up for status updates as the phone moved along the route. Ultimately FedEx beat their promised time by five hours. Thank you Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

As I sit and write this post, the new phone is pulling in the cloud data, breathing back to life. The old phone with its’ defective LCD screen is packed up and ready to be shipped back within the requisite 10 days. I have pictures of everything in case they try to claim water damage or physical damage because there was none!! Just google it, known defect. But no sense getting riled up again. Whew! Time for a deep sigh of relief.

I’m saddened that we are reduced to a puddle by a thin rectangular jezebel who holds our life in her hands. Okay, now I’m being the queen comma drama and MSU = making stuff up. Or am I? Because we’ve come to this point haven’t we? I should come up with a better analogy though. Bad boy over jezebel. Why does negative sentiment always have to be female? Ugh, but that’s a rant for another day.

As always, more to come.

Share Your World ~ 12/28/21

Here are Melanie’s questions. If you’d like to join in, click on the link. The following are my two cents worth 1/2 a penny due to inflation.

WORLD QUESTIONS 2022 Is bearing down on the world.   In my opinion 2021 was 100% better than 2020, but it hasn’t been without its own set of problems and fresh worries.  I’m hopeful that 2022 will somehow see a return to ‘life before Covid’ , but I also realize that’s a foolish hope.   At 12 a.m. on December 31st/Jan 1st, what will you be doing?  (use your own time zone please) Sleeping. I quit trying to stay up for the NYE ball drop many years ago. If I happen to be awake, it is usually because I’m reading a good book that I can’t quite put down. I always miss the striking of the hour any way. I’m a self proclaimed fuddy duddy. The weather is typically nasty. I’ve usually eaten my weight in desserts and in need of a detox. Not sure what all the hype is about. After all, NYE is just another day, like all the rest of them. We shouldn’t have to wait for a holiday to be happy and celebrate. We can make every day the special gift that it is … insert eye roll. That’s sarcasm folks. Haha & hehe.

Is there a tradition you have for New Year’s Eve? As a kid yes. Mom and dad left us to fend for ourselves as they went to Martinez Social Club for the big NYE dance. Dad would make black-eyed peas and take them to the dance in thermos where they all partook of a teaspoon full shortly after midnight. They left us at home with good provisions. We could drink cokes and had all sorts of delicious goodies. There was also unsupervised fireworks a time or two. Yeah buddy!!

Do you have any hope or reason you find that next year will be better? Well it can’t get worse. Or can it? Only the shadow knows. Bwahahahaha!!! Better or worse is relative actually. I will continue to live in my deep deep denial that everything is sunshine and roses until I keel over one day. All I can control is my emotion.

What’s the biggest personal lesson you learned during 2021? Take a pause for your own personal healing. And if you don’t want to do something then don’t!

GRATITUDE SECTION Describe in 1-3 words how you feel going into 2022 Exhausted but grateful.

Release the Hounds ~ 12/27/21

WP people help a sister out. I need to vent with a capital V over some seriously champagne variety problems. A cell phone is a necessity. Yeah I said it. Much like water and electricity. Not to make calls (though the original intended use is still beneficial) but to connect to work.

Brief backstory. Pony’s alarm on his phone went off this morning like usual but he couldn’t turn it off. The screen was blank. He kept punching and what would’ve been the alarm app and eventually it stopped. He did all the diagnostic things because he can but still nothing. Blank screen though he could feel the haptics (whatever the heck that is) working.

We went to an ATT store, only to be told we don’t do warranties in store, you have to go online. Due to the work situation, we explained we needed the phone today! Oh so sorry but were told no worries, the warranty department can expedite.

Back home, online … many hours later and ugh! Guess how that went? C’mon three guesses. Did they do right us by? Nope. They did not.

We were transferred and lied to and transferred some more. At the last transfer, we were put back to the beginning of the queue. This final liar, a newbie, still wet behind his ears, but who shall remain nameless, referred us to uBreakiFix as an alternative to waiting. ATT (through Jesus) without affiliation to do so, claims uBreakiFix would repair or replace right there on the spot.

Well we made an appointment with a branch of uBreakiFix that was right next to a different ATT store so we could hop on over there afterwards if necessary. The tech at uBreakiFix was gobsmacked. Uh no, we cannot replace your phone. We are not a retail store but yes if under warranty, we will fix it.

Yay! And why was this not told to us at the beginning?!?!? We’d understand an immediate repair option. Tech further explains, this is common occurrence where the LCD screen goes out. A KNOWN DEFECT. Everything else about the phone is working but yeah, he is not surprised, in fact his phone did the same.

Sadly, he does not have the part in the right color. And mix matching colors is not allowed for parts/inventory etc… and consumers don’t want that either. Samsung should plan for desperate consumers who just want to go back to work. Let us mix would ya?! We called the two other corporate branches of uBreakiFix and they all have the same issue … no part in the same color and no they cannot use the bronze or white instead of black.

One option was to buy off the contract and get a new phone @ 2k! Ommfg!!! Or go back to the warranty division and jump through their rings of fire. Which is what we did. I made the poor girl spell her name and type in specifically that this claims is not water or physical damage but rather a KNOWN defect where LCD screens give up the ghost. They are expediting; the new phone should arrive in 1 to 2 days. We have 10 days to return the original phone or there will be a $1299 plus tax penalty. The mofos. But all in all, tragedy avoided right?

Well I can’t leave well enough alone. I found a franchise uBreakiFix (don’t use non corporate says the tech at the first place, they are not as good). Well maybe but their Yelp beat your Yelp, take that 4.1, franchisee is 4.7!! And this franchisee has 3 in the right color. I’m going there tomorrow and if they will honor the 20 days left in the warranty, then we’ll do the ole LCD screen switcheroo. If not, it is $289 and we’ll say screw that noise and wait for the new phone.

Hindsight being 20/20, we should’ve looked at all the places to see if any had the part. We quit too soon. Still overwhelmed with options. Still anxious to get this resolved. Meanwhile the world burns. Small potatoes as “they” whoever “they” are say.

Ok, lemme let ya go. I’ve ranted too much already.

As always, more to come.

Sunday Reflections Part Two: The Post Christmas Edition ~ 12/26/21

Aaaahh. I’m sitting here enjoying a cuppa even though the weather is too warm for hot tea. I have this thing, hot tea only when it’s cold outside. Otherwise I left my tea steep until it’s room temperature. But the day is a gray humid drizzle so in honor of that, hot tea is called for to break the spell of the hum drums. I used my electric kettle for which I’m eternally grateful.

The kettle actually belongs to Pony for his coffee but after last year’s February Snowmageddon, he’s discontinued using it so I claimed it for myself. Hard to believe that just a little less than a year ago we were without running water for several days. Something during that time flipped a switch in his brain. The habit was broken. Good thing my addiction lives on.

Due to medical conditions, I limited coffee to one cup a week. Then last week seeing as it was the holidays, I leapt off the wagon, and drank coffee daily. I’m paying for it now and have begun my detox with this fantastic green tea elixir. Amazing what small life changes can do. I’ll stay on the wagon. I’ve done it before and will do it again.

I’m replaying our Christmas Eve in my mind. While it wasn’t a repeat of “what the hell was that?” from 2020, it was different. We jokingly called it low key hot ass Christmas. Oh joy! And yesterday Lulu and I spent the day alone. B and Pony went deer hunting.

Alrighty. Enough blathering about. I’ve caught up on #SoCS though I’ll go back later to see if anything new comes in. And I’ve got angry music to listen to as well. And with all the time in the world, I’m going to keep reading If It Bleeds by Stephen King. The title comes from the old newspaper expression, if it bleeds, it leads. Yep yesterday and ripped from today’s headlines all rolled into one. I think his short stories are the best! I know he’s not everyone’s cuppa but I’m able to separate. His words paint vivid pictures in my head and characters who come to life. Yep just what the doctor ordered.

As always more to come.

#SLS ~ 12/26/21

Jim and Amy provide the sets ups again today. Unless I have lost count, that is three weeks running. A trifecta. Woo to the Hoo. The prompts are Anger, Frustration, Furious, Irritated, Mad, Provoked, Revenge. I have to admit I laughed when read the post as I pictured little Jim having his candy meltdown and his mom walking away. I was told to do that a time or two but instead, I left the kid’s at home with B until they had outgrown the tantrum phase. Avoidance is the best risk mitigation technique. Yeah buddy.

Okay so now for the songs. I have always used music to soothe me. Part of that is listening to music that can be somewhat aggressive, playing the songs loudly, and screaming singing. Yep that’s a thing. Better out than in as Shrek says. I know the friendly ogre was referring to something else but the sentiment fits here too. I have tons of songs to choose from. Ultimately I landed on two. First, Bodies by Drowning Pool. Songwriters: Stevie Benton / Christian Joseph Pierce / Michael J. Luce / David W. Williams. There’s some growling in there. Fllllloooooorrrrrrrr. Noooooooooo.

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Beaten why for
Can’t take much more

Here we go!
Here we go!
Here we go now

One – nothing wrong with me
Two – nothing wrong with me
Three – nothing wrong with me
Four – nothing wrong with me

One – something’s got to give
Two – something’s got to give
Three – something’s got to give now

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Now!

Push me again
This is the end

Here we go!
Here we go!
Here we go now

One – nothing wrong with me
Two – nothing wrong with me
Three – nothing wrong with me
Four – nothing wrong with me

One – something’s got to give
Two – something’s got to give
Three – something’s got to give now

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Skin against skin blood and bone
You’re all by yourself but you’re not alone
You wanted in and now you’re here
Driven by hate consumed by fear

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

One – nothing wrong with me
Two – nothing wrong with me
Three – nothing wrong with me
Four – nothing wrong with me

One – something’s got to give
Two – something’s got to give
Three – something’s got to give now

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor

Hey! Go
Hey! Go
Hey! Go
Hey! Go

And for good measure – Walk by Pantera. Songwriters: Rex Brown / Philip Anselmo / Darrell Lance Abbott / Vincent Paul Abbott. Lyrics within.

Rock on wit ur bad selves …