THINGS I LOVED/HATED THIS WEEK #116

LOVE:

Apple Watch Activity Monitor:

Fitness-Workout-apps-Apple-Watch

I am still getting into the groove of the Apple Watch. I have alternately loved and loathed it. This depends almost entirely on how well Siri listens to me. When it works well, it works incredibly well, but at other times, I find myself infuriated. I’m desperately waiting for the delayed update. I think that will make the device more helpful than it is now. (It’s out now and things are much better! I write more about this later.) It’s impossible to edit a message, at the moment, and that’s ridiculous. But, I am loving the Activity Monitor, which is something that I didn’t expect. When I was at the Apple Store, the friendly sales associate was going on and on about how awesome it was to go for runs with the Watch. I laughed. He seemed offended, but I was too distracted looking at my soulmate across the table wearing the Harry Styles tattoo sweater. It was in heather gray and perfect. I forget what he looked like — not ugly. We probably should have gotten married. Anyway, I don’t exercise beyond a walk! I set the app to give me standing goals, calorie goals, and active minute goals…and…I’m like…exercising because I want those stupid little circles to close. I was feeling glorious last night when I got 2/3 of them. If I hadn’t slept in, I would have got all three of the damn things! When my wrist buzzes to tell me that I’m doing a good job, a feeling of euphoria washes over me. I know it’s stupid, but it’s the truth. I like this dumb Watch. I don’t love it, but I do like it.

Getting Hieroglyphs Correct:

3djedkarekart

I needn’t introduce the topic again, as you know it well, but Egyptology is everything to me. I remember watching specials on cable about sending robots through the Great Pyramid and others on water damage done to the Sphinx. Zahi Hawass was always there. And I was always riveted. As life went on, Egypt had to be put on the back burner. Then, a few years ago, that burner exploded and it became all I could care about. After going to Egypt and becoming infuriated by my inability to do anything more than transliterate the inscriptions on tombs and temples into the English alphabet — which does nothing — I became absolutely obsessed with learning how to read the ancient language. So, I have ever so slowly (slower than ever now that school and work are back in session) working my way through Gardiner’s Egyptian Grammar. It’s an infuriating book, and I have hardly made it an eighth of the way, though, and find myself endless annoyed. But then I look back on just how much I’ve learned and I could not be more thrilled. It’s truly the most satisfying thing to have in my brain. I still can barely understand it, but I can understand a bit, and that bit is a hell of a lot more than I used to understand, and that hell of a lot is a HELL OF A LOT more than most people. Especially the guides at Karnak Temple, but I digress. Anyway…I am reading the most amazing book about Champollion, the Frenchman who first understood ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, one of my idols, and because the book is about hieroglyphs, there are many in the book. Yesterday, I correctly transliterated the name of a pharaoh — Djedkare Isesi — who I have never heard of before. (The history of ancient Egypt is so absurdly vast that it’s hard to have a solid grasp on anything!) And when I discovered that I had properly read the hieroglyphic inscription in my book, I can’t describe how wonderful I felt, how incredibly satisfied I was, or how jubilant in my knowledge I was. It’s extraordinary. I have another book coming today about reading the hieroglyphs, and I can’t wait to try out this new method and learn even more. It’s really one of the only things I’ve ever wanted to be able to do.

Apple Watch Update:

watch-os-2

I have owned the Apple Watch for a week now, and it’s taken me about that long to understand it and enjoy it. I have never been so confused by an Apple product in my life. That’s not a good thing, but I’m slowly getting more comfortable. There’s a learning curve to it that you can not expect or even sympathize with until you’ve got one strapped to your wrist. It does maddeningly confusing things. Sometimes the little wheel works and other times it doesn’t, why this should be so is inexplicable. There is no real guide to using it, and I didn’t even know the Glances screen existed until a few days ago. Now, as I begin to unlock the secrets of my Watch, I’m learning to find it useful in my life. I adore the fitness tracker in a way that a person who abhors fitness should never do. But, it’s oddly enjoyable to see the fitness rings close. My favorite thing about the Watch, though, is the fact that you can use your own pictures as wallpapers on the lock screen. This doesn’t seem like a big deal, but it was unavailable at the beginning, and there is something wonderful about looking down to check the time and seeing a memory. I have mine linked to my travel photography, so I get a little thrill each time I look down and see the Great Pyramid, an Édith Piaf exhibit, Tiger’s grave in Paris, Luxor Temple, Runyon Canyon, a piece of focaccia in Turin, or Madame Betty looking up at me. That’s probably my favorite of them all. I miss that woman. She was tremendous. I still don’t know if I recommend the watch, but I appreciate it and will remain neutral with my shopping advice.

Free Microsoft Office:

Logo_Office365

I consider myself to be a great many things, but one of the careers that I defend with sincerity, is a writer. I do have a reasonably priced novella available on Amazon right now for $1.99. Why don’t you pick up a copy and enjoy the seasonal, paranormal romance over a cup of hot cocoa one of these lazy Saturdays of the autumn. It has five-star reviews, and has sold OVER TWENTY COPIES! *fans self with royalty check amounting to $2.27* Anyway, because I consider myself a writer, and because I write pages and pages most days, I am intimately familiar with different word processors. My favorite is Pages, made for the Mac and for iOS. They are simple programs, easy to use, and remarkably useful when documents are saved in the cloud. I can work on writing from my laptop, my iPad, my iPhone, and from any computer in the world with an Internet connection. It’s wonderful. But, it’s not the standard program used in the literary world. That is, unfortunately, Microsoft Office. I have a deep and real loathing for that software. It’s a behemoth that makes little sense. I have studied it. I have taken online courses on it. And yet, I still cannot figure out how to have headers hidden on the pages with new chapters. It is infuriating and I want to scream. Do you know how? Let me know in the comments. Yesterday, they announced that there was a new update available for Mac computers, so I looked into getting a new copy of the program, hoping that it would be more useful than the hunk of junk I have been forced to use from 2011. I can get it discounted through work, but I was annoyed at spending $10 for a program that I hate. I remembered then that students can get it for free through the college I’m attending, so I downloaded it right away. It was truly free! I haven’t had time to mess much with Office 2016 as of yet, but if the hour I spent with it is anything to go by, it’s going to be a nice change. Maybe it’ll be a bit more intuitive? I doubt it. But it was free and doesn’t freeze every two paragraphs.

Project Planning:

 

I almost certainly won’t get around to it anytime soon, but I’ve started making plans for the junk room in my upstairs. It’s in the very center, and all of my beautifully remodeled rooms are attached to it. So, it is a bit of a shock going through a room filled with flotsam and jetsam (very little of which I care about or even know I have) to pass into my comfortable lounge, my five-star quality bedroom, or my light-flooded writing studio. I’ve had just about enough! I don’t believe in owning things you aren’t aware of. I don’t believe in piles and stacks. I don’t believe in clutter. I don’t believe in wasted space. It is absolutely infuriating. So, this weekend, I am going to begin the great purge. I will toss everything out. I will repurpose only a bit of it. And then I will paint the hideous walls — it is constructed of drywall and was forgotten about in the mid-90s. The ceilings are covered in texture. Very few outlets were installed. So I need to get my steamer out. I need to pick up some electrical conduit and a new chandelier. And then I’ll slap some Sharkey Grey paint on the walls, nail trim to the walls, and I will finally have a room. I found a love seat at the World Market that I’m crazy about. I want to get an antique mantle, and affix it to the wall. There’s no way to install a fireplace reasonably, so I’ll just go with the look of a faux one. It’s going to be glorious. My idea is an Art Deco Prohibition library. I’ll cover shelves with my books on Egyptological matters, and then I will fill up a brass and marble bar cart with fine gins and the like. I might even pick up a little ice machine. It’ll be glorious. Especially in the harsh winter that is rapidly approaching. I won’t have to leave my suite of rooms. It’ll be perfection.

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