Wednesday, January 31, 2024

Thursday Thirteen #346

The 13 most popular video games. Over the holidays I listened to my nephew (24) and nephew-in-law (31) talking about their gaming lives. I felt like a stranger in a strange land, where the denizens spoke an English dialect I didn't quite get. So I did a little research and discovered these are the most popular games in the US (3Q 2023).

I've heard of many of these games, but I've only ever played #4.

1. Super Mario Bros.

2. Sega. 
3. Mario Kart 8.

4. Candy Crush. 

5. Super Smash Bros.

6. Marvel's Spider Man.

7. Spider Man.

8. Mortal Kombat.

9. Call of Duty. 
10. Grand Theft Auto.
11. Grand Theft Auto V. 
12. Mario Kart 8.

13. Bejeweled.

Please join us for THURSDAY THIRTEEN. Click here to play along, and to see other interesting compilations of 13 things.



Drowning in First World Problems

I haven't been posting much lately, or visiting any of your blogs, either. I have been thwarted by a million irritants. You know the kind I mean. To borrow from John McClane in Die Hard, I am dealing with flies in the ointment, monkeys in the wrenches, pains in my ass. 

Let me start by saying nothing is really wrong. I am fine. The cats are fine. My bills are paid. I'm not afraid when the phone rings that it's bad news. I'm just really annoyed and stressed, drowning in the bullshit that overwhelms each of us every now and again.

1.  The laundry room. Like much of the country, Chicagoland was beset by a multi-day stretch of arctic cold. I do not like this, of course, but I prefer subzero to 90ยบ+ and the thing of it is, we can count on both here every year. Along with the freeze came burst pipes. All over Chicagoland, people were without heat or running water because of burst pipes. We were lucky in that the only pipe in our building that broke was in the laundry room. No one's health or immediate comfort was ever threatened.

However, our washers weren't functional. In fact, they stopped working mid-wash and were filled with water and clothes. Our management company could not get anyone to come out here and work on them for weeks because dirty clothes are not a priority, not compared to people who are shivering in their own homes or can't flush.

Finally the plumber came out. YAY! Oh, not so fast. He fixed the pipe and checked to see the washers weren't damaged. But we still can't use the machines because the fitting that connects the washer to the pipe is cracked and needs to be replaced. It's on backorder because of course it is. It was supposed to be here last week ("Thursday or Friday"). It wasn't.

I haven't done laundry in my building since January 5. This month has seen me at the laundromat -- several blocks away -- twice. Twice I have trudged for 15 minutes over muddy streets with my clothes in a shopping cart to wash them in a depressing, expensive ($3 per load to wash and 25¢ for 10 mins. to dry) laundromat. And then trudged another 15 minutes home, trailing my cart behind me.

When will our washers be up and running again? I don't know. Let's consult a Ouija Board. Do you have a Magic 8 Ball handy?

2.  My teeth. Of course. There's always something going on with my teeth! Now specifically it is two molars in the back. I had gold crowns placed on them back when I was working on the Clinton Campaign. That would be Bill Clinton's 1992 Presidential campaign. So they had a nice run and have served me well. But alas, my gums have receded in the past 30 years and allowed a little decay to take hold below the crowns. Will it be a simple procedure to take care of the cavities and replace the crowns with porcelain? Maybe. Or maybe not. Here's the thing: X-rays don't penetrate gold and the dentist has no idea what the condition of the teeth are under all that precious metal. It could be crown lengthening or worse, extractions and implants. And we won't know until I endure a two-hour (2!!) appointment on the 14th. Let's not even contemplate the expense that could be involved in all this. And a Happy Valentine's Day to you, too. 

3. My laptop. My MacBook Air just crapped out Saturday. It wouldn't power on. I tried to do Apple Chat from my phone but I couldn't. When I bought this laptop back in 2020, I did something really stupid. I connected my Apple ID to my work email address. At that time I was thinking if I couldn't get onto my personal laptop, I could contact Apple through my work laptop. Guess what: when Apple tried to confirm my email at my former employer, the messages kept bouncing back. Am I an idiot or what? So I had to haul my laptop downtown to the Michigan Avenue Apple Store Genius Bar, where they could check my ID and my serial number in person and confirm that I am, indeed, me and that this laptop is, indeed, mine. 

The problem was minimal, having to do with the battery and the charger. It was repaired at no cost to me and I was back on the train, riding home, within an hour. But the stress was mighty. I NEED THIS LAPTOP. It's tax time: I have documents on this computer that I want to print out and give my accountant! My banking is on here, too. Not to mention that Blogger is a bitch from my phone. So I am so very, very glad to be speaking to you from my fully functioning MacBook Air.

But this, too, shall pass. As tension-filled as this has all been, none of it is irreversible or unconquerable. I just have to get through it.

Photo by Stormseeker on Unsplash