11/9/15 Chronicles

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  Monday 11/2/15

It's been a stressful day. The only good part was that I got to interview Lou Diamond Phillips this morning! I've loved him ever since I saw that movie "La Bamba!"  He's done so many great things since...mostly TV, but he still does movies as well. He's starring in a new movie next year where he plays the Night Stalker serial killer, Richard Ramirez. He should be great in that! He's on "Blindspot" on NBC so that's why I got to interview him.

Tomorrow I'll hopefully found out about my desktop computer....why it stopped working for me, but they can't see any problem! LOL! It's like when you take your car into the mechanic....

I have a painful cut on my middle finger right near the nail, where one of the calluses is from playing guitar chords. I'm taking today off from practice because of it. It even hurts to type.

I had applied to the Television Critics Association in August for the second time. Now, I didn't think I would probably get in, but the rejection still hurts. Their email says: "The TCA Board of Directors vetted your application and your application failed to meet the criteria set out on the official TCA website at time of application." Well, that makes no sense. The only criteria they listed on their website were 4 things: Your press site/magazine/newspaper has to be your full time job and your only source of income.  It has to have advertising. You have to cover TV as the bulk of your job. And lastly, that you act in a professional manner. All of that is true, so I don't know what they mean. I emailed them back, thanked them and asked which criteria they thought I failed to meet. Hopefully they will answer...it's just very frustrating. If they had said, your website doesn't get enough hits, or your writing is not up to our standards, or we had other applicants we thought had better websites and we only accept a few people per year, etc. then I would have understood...  This is far more disturbing and upsetting.

I have almost 480 Twitter followers now! So exciting :) https://twitter.com/SuzanneLan

I still have to put away the Halloween decorations, back in their boxes. Such a pain :)

If you like my blog or have something to say about it, leave a comment below! Or email me.

I don't care at all about sports, but I'm glad the Kansas City Royals won the World Series because I know it made our friend Barbara very happy! I have some other friends who are Mets fans. Sorry for them! David is a big Padres fan, so I know what they go through. I think it's similar to how I feel when my favorite TV show is canceled.

As I've mentioned before, it can be very noisy here in the downtown, especially since we have to keep the windows open. Down below is a bus stop. Across the street is a park where there are a lot of homeless people. Nearby there are many bars and restaurants. So we get a lot of people out there, late at night, or all hours, yelling, screaming. Some are crazy, some are drunk, some are high, and some are just fighting with other people. I try to tune them out. During the day, you can't hear them as much because of the other noises from sirens, construction, traffic

Tonight I heard two people yelling at each other, and it sounded a little different than the usual. I wondered if I should call the police. The problem is now that we're on the 7th floor instead of the 16th, the trees cover up a lot, particularly at the bus stop.  Fortunately, the cops came there before I had a chance to decide, so they took care of whatever it was. Well, it's entertaining, at least!

Last week when I was on my way to my guitar lesson, I passed this church that's about a block from our place. A person was lying down outside, but the person was dressed better than the usual homeless person (and was wearing a sweater, even in the heat). Also, the person looked like they had collapsed, not like they were sleeping, and there was a pen and pad nearby. I debated whether I should see if the person needed help or not, but I didn't want to be late for my lesson. I hope someone else helped them. The person was gone later when I went by there, a few hours later. I just always feel bad when I see people lying on the ground or passed out. First of all because I worry - what if David or I were to collapse and no one saw us? They might assume we're just some homeless person or some drunk tourist sleeping it off? We might be dead before anyone figured it out.  Secondly, it's just so awful that anyone should ever be sleeping outside unless they're camping or something.  We live in such a rich country and yet we have such great poverty. It's very sad and upsetting. There are other countries that are less rich than ours, who also have this problem. Sometimes living here in the downtown seems more like Bangladesh or something.  Hawaii may be "paradise" but believe me, you don't want to be lying down in the hot sun or the rain, or on the ground. It's not fun.

I stayed up until about 6 am working on my site and watching TV...

  Tuesday 11/3/15

The PC repair guy called me this morning to say that he couldn't replicate the problem with my desktop and monitor. So frustrating. He brought it back and set it all up. He thinks that the pc or monitor is probably dying and I should think about replacing it, but since I don't know which one to replace...that's not very helpful! He's good at what he does, but he's not exactly a friendly person.  He probably thinks I'm some idiot who couldn't turn on the computer adequately or something. I found this page where the person has the exact same problem I was having. It doesn't sound like a very likely fix, though. I kind of wish I had taken classes a long time ago in computer repair so I could fix my own problems and build my own pc's instead of having to always take them to an expert and pay lots of money. I would have saved so much by now if I had done this back in the 90's when I first got into computers. Ah, well.

There are so many things I would change in the past! I would have taken up guitar and piano seriously like 20 years ago. I would have changed my site to a simpler CMS or at least Adobe Dreamweaver, which is still around. I would have focused more on building pages.

I went back to sleep until about 2:30pm...

I was emailed by someone from Coastal Living who wanted to feature my swizzle sticks in an article. Unfortunately, they're all in storage still. I referred them to the ISSCA club to see if someone else can help them out.

This week is my foster mom Marianne's birthday! I'm still very grateful that she and her then-husband Phil took me in and gave me a safe place to live for a few years when I needed it.

We went to Epic for dinner. It was kind of crowded and loud, but the food was good as ever. I was in the mood for a burger. Their burgers and fries are really great. I like all of their food, actually.

We watched some TV and then I practiced guitar. I wasn't feeling very well. I don't know if this was related to my allergies or not. I had a little bit of a headache and felt somewhat dizzy when I got up from my chair. It might be the medication I take. Some of the pills I take say they cause dizziness, although I usually don't have that reaction. My nose has been stuffed up a bit the past few days, so who knows. I felt better after playing the guitar, but I was really tired, so I went to bed really early, before nine.

It was super windy last night and the noise kept waking me up all night.

  Wednesday 11/4/15

I woke up around 3:30 am and couldn't get back to sleep. I got up and wrote this article about singing.

My sinuses are hurting a little and my noise is pretty stopped up. UGH. The doctor had given me this new medicaine, Singulaire, a few months ago. I ran out of it a couple of days ago so maybe that's why I'm not doing so well. I do take three other allergy medicines, though!! The new batch of Singulaire should hopefully arrive today...

I went back to sleep around 8:30 and slept until noon. I can't believe how much sleep I got.

After working a little, I got dressed and left about 12:40. I went to Jack-in-the-box and had my usual there - two junior bacon cheeseburgers, and a small fry, but I don't eat too many fries. I'm trying to stay away from carbs, plus their fries are not really that great, anyway, so it's pretty easy to just have a few. Not like McDonald's fries, which I can't eat any more since they have gluten. Jack's is good about giving me no bun, and they even gave me the sauce and bacon this time around! LOL! Sometimes they will wrap it in lettuce, but I don't care either way.

The weather is pretty nice today. I don't think it's cooler so much as there's just nice breezes and maybe a little less humidity.

I went to be guitar lesson - this week it was on Wednesday instead of Thursday. It was a nice walk since it wasn't too hot. It was a really great lesson, too.  Today is 2 months since my first lesson! I can play roughly 5 songs, more or less, and sing with some of them, so it's a great start. The teacher is really nice and very complimentary about how fast I'm picking things up. Yay!

On the way back, I noticed this little shop that I'd never seen before. It had "going out of business sale" signs all over it, so I went in. It has lots of nice clothes and jewelry, with a lot of sequins. Just my kind of place. I bought a few things. You can see here.

I stopped at Walmart briefly. There was a really rude lady... I was in line in the restroom, with two people in front of me, and a few behind me. This big, ugly, fat, stupid-sounding woman walked up to the elderly lady at the front of the line and said, "I have to piss. Can I go in front of you?:  The woman looked back at us, laughed nervously, and said she didn't think she could wait. The door to the handicapped restroom opened right then and that awful RUDE woman just went in there and grabbed it.  How awful she was. None of us were going to say anything, though. She looked like the type that might start a physical fight. UGH. 

Then I was in line for a long time at the cash register. I stopped at Subway to get sandwiches and then stopped at the Tap Room to use their restroom (by that time, I had to go again!) and buy some cupcakes. It was good to get home, though, and rest a bit.

David and I went to Murphy's for dinner. I had steak and we shared it.

I have these calluses on my left hand, and they're annoying... from playing the guitar. They're good, but I have this habit of chewing on them, which is not good at all.

Other than that, I've just been working on my site...nothing too exciting!

  Thursday 11/5/15

I got up and decided to record some more songs... then we went to J.J. Dolan's for him to get some pizza, and I got my dinner next door at Tap Room.

I did some more recording and guitar playing when we came back. It was not a very interesting day. I stayed up too late as usual, and then I woke up about 3 hours later! The allergies have been really bad lately. I just mostly caught up on work for the site, and continued to update my new laptop. I also spent some time listening to music on the karaoke sites I go to...

  Friday 11/6/15

After I went back to sleep, I slept in around 2:30pm. I did some more recording and guitar work... and a little bit of work.

I've just been very lazy about doing much of anything else, like housework. Also, the heat doesn't help.

We went to Scratch for dinner. They have great food. We were surprised that there weren't many people there. I guess people haven't figured out yet that they're open for dinner. They were mostly a breakfast and lunch place before.  This is First Friday when they have special artsy stuff going on downtown...hopefully they got more customers after we left.

When I was coming up in the elevator, there was this cute little girl toddler in her stroller. These two women who live here are always out with their little terrier, and they visit the cats that live here and bring them food. The dog and the cats seem to get along. Anyway, the girl was so happy to see the dog. She said, "There's a doggie in the elevator!" She had such a cute little voice, too. She kept going on about it, "Oh, my God!"  It was hilarious.

We didn't do anything interesting after that - just watched TV. I did a more recording and worked on my site. I finally watched the movie "Mr. Holmes," which is just great. I love Ian McKellan, anyway.

I kind of wanted to go see "The Magic Flute" that was playing down the street this week at the Hawaii Theater, but I didn't really get my act together to ask if anyone wanted to go. I was just so busy, anyway. Next week I'll probably go see the new James Bond movie with Tom and Cynthia.  Hopefully it's better than Skyfall.

We're going to Waikiki on Sunday because my guitar teacher is having a concert there at the Hard Rock at noon with his students. I'm not participating - hopefully I will next semester. I kept forgetting to ask him about it, and he didn't mention it. I can play 3 songs now, and sing with them, and I've been working on a few others now. He has me learning how to pick with my right hand, doing chords for "Greensleeves", so that is fun. Hard, but fun.  He showed me a new way to strum, too, for this other song. It's all great. But my body hurts after a while from practicing...that's the only problem. Between the calluses and the backaches, and the hand cramps...

  Saturday 11/7/15

We went to lunch at Gordon Biersch as usual. I was very tired...took me a long time to wake up. I stopped in at Walmart on the way back to get a few things. I also stopped in at Ross. I wanted to look for more Thanksgiving decorations. There aren't too many around aside from pumpkins, and tablecloths, napkins, that sort of thing. I went online later and found some, so I'll be adding to my Thanksgiving decor. Check it out on Instagram.

For some odd reason, the guys who have been repairing the lanais were working today. They usually only work Monday through Friday. It's annoying because I have to be dressed or cover up when they go by with their platforms.

I had a little nap, too, but otherwise I just worked on my site. I really need to go to the grocery store, but I've been lazy.

For dinner later, we went to Smith & Kings, but it was not very comfortable. Too many people there, for one thing. We just had a drink and some of their deviled eggs, then we went to Murphy's. There wasn't much there I liked, so I got the steak again and we shared that. We also stopped in this new bar/restaurant called the Dumb Coq. They have some truly paintings on the wall, but they seemed nice. I had a delicious sugar drink of some kind. We looked at the menu... it's mostly salads and sandwiches, but they said they'll be adding more. They said the salad dressings are gluten-free, so we'll probably be back.  Their bathroom is out the back door, so they share it with other shops in that complex, but the funny thing is that there's just ONE bathroom and it doesn't seem to have a lock. Now, maybe it locks automatically when you shut it. There is a sign saying leaving the door open when you leave. Otherwise, who knows? LOL!

I played some of my guitar songs for David...they're all oldies, so he knows them, too, so he was singing along. That was fun!

I stayed up too late again, doing laundry, dishes and work. I only have one more thing left to do in the apartment - put all of those Halloween decorations away and reclaim that middle bedroom. Hopefully I can do it this week. I need to find my iPod, too.

I sent my laptop to Marcos and he's trying to see if he can salvage any of my files...still waiting on that.

I have accounts at three karaoke sites, including this one karaokescene.com AKA Singer's Showcase. I have a paid account there, so I can store up to 75 songs at once. I had it set up with Paypal to automatically renew, but it didn't work (probably because my credit card number changed) and no one let me know. So last week when I went to post a new song, it said that I had the free membership again, with links saying UPGRADE. Also, most of my songs are archived (meaning that no one can listen to them), and I have only 11 songs up. The free account only allows you to have 5 songs up, so if I want to post a new song, I would have to delete 7 of those songs. Usually the guy who works there, Phill, is really good about answering emails or PM's, but I sent him a PM late Wednesday and still haven't heard. I also emailed him and posted a message on the forum. I guess he must be sick or something. You'd think that he'd let someone else that works for the site know, though. Anyway, I went and upgraded my account, and it still is saying I have a free account. It's been very frustrating. Then I just registered for a new free account, with a different name and email address, so I could post some songs. I checked back and now the site is down :(  The funny thing is that one of the other karaoke sites, thisiskaraoke.com (TIK) has also been having lots of problems with their site being down.

  Sunday 11/8/15

I got up around 10:30, took a shower etc.  We went over to Waikiki, to the Hard Rock, to see my guitar teacher's concert. His name is Curtis Kamiya; he and his wife are in a band called Mango Dreams, and he also teachers voice, guitar, ukelele etc.  It was a nice concert. I'm glad I wasn't in it. I'm definitely not ready.  Most of the students were in high school.  The first one was his sister, who's in the 8th grade. She's already gorgeous and has a pretty nice voice. She seems very outgoing, too, so I think she will go far. Even if she doesn't pursue music, I think she will do well. There was a woman, not sure of her age, but I think she was older...she played ukelele. Curtis' band was there to back everyone up, so she did Red Hot Chili Pepper's hit song, "Under the Bridge" and Curtis and his band played it with her, and he sang it. It was really good. They had other singers and guitar players...most of them were new at learning guitar or voice. At the end, there was an older guy, probably around my age. He sang really well and played a couple of good songs.

This is the second time we had food at this Hard Rock, and both times it was disappointing. I had ordered the fish tacos and asked if they had corn tortillas instead of flour, and asked the waitress to leave off the avocado. Well, it came first with the avocado... so then they brought it later, but the fish was almost raw. If it was ahi or some kind of sushi-like fish, she should have told me. It said "catch of the day" on the menu, but I'm not used to eating ahi and don't particularly like it.  The tortillas were not at all cooked, and the whole thing was cold.  I didn't eat it. The side dish was delicious - some fried plantains with a delicious coconut sauce. More like a dessert than anything. The waitress was very nice, and apologetic. They were short-staffed, so everything took forever. The manager came over and apologized, too, and gave me his card. He admitted that they messed up. I ordered a cheeseburger, and it was really good.  He ate his fish, but he said it was not that great, either. Oh, well. At least it was a really nice concert.  I chatted for a minute with Curtis and he said I should be in the next one. We'll see!

I emailed the All Natural Band to find out what the heck was going on, but I just got the same old excuses about everyone being busy etc.  Whatever! Such a shame that they couldn't get their act together, especially after that great concert we had back in January.

Hopefully in a few months, I can start going to open mic night to play guitar. I might go to one, anyway, before that, to see what they're like. I've never been to one. I see that this place near us, Fresh Cafe, has them on Thursdays.

Looks like we're having Thanksgiving dinner with our friends Lena and George at this very nice restaurant called The Beach House on Waikiki. We went there once before with my SIL and MIL when they visited. Should be great. I will have to call them to make sure they will have gluten free stuff. I guess it's already booked up because this was our second choice of places and we couldn't get a reservation until 7:45!

I have stayed up way too late finishing this blog... It's still been very windy here all weekend.

I don't know if my phone's dying or what, but it's been going through battery power like crazy all of a sudden the past few weeks.  I usually charge it at night and then it usually lasts all day with no problem. Lately it's been running out of juice by the evening.  I have a Galaxy S5 that's only 16 months old.  I went online and found some tips for saving the battery power - so far it's been working pretty well. There's a power saving mode, so I put it in that. They say to turn off the GPS, the wireless, the bluetooth and the data transfer when you're not using them. Also turn the light down to less than 50% (take it off automatic). There were a couple of other things, but those were main ones.

Next Friday I'm going to see the new James Bond movie with Tom and Cynthia. That should be fun!

I really need to take my guitar in to the shop to get some new strings put on and a couple of other things...we'll see. I don't want to wait until Friday for that.

I don't know about you, but I've really been enjoying all of the funny Ben Carson memes on Facebook (the ones that are making fun of some of the more ridiculous things he's said, such as that the pyramids were full of grain and built by the biblical character Joseph. ) Some of them are just so clever and hilarious. Then there was one that showed Dr. Frankenfurter from "Rocky Horror" with the caption "still a more credible doctor than Ben Carson" or a similar one with Dr. Smith from "Lost in Space." Ha ha! I've put some here for your viewing pleasure. I didn't create these...

Wednesday's a holiday, so David will be home. Yay! Have a great week and holiday!

Don't forget to also check out my TV Blog! Both are updated about once a week.

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This page updated 3/24/17

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