Venti Gold Coast

Jill (Nin-Jill, Jill-o shot, Jillicious) was so funny when she said that based on the timestamp of my last post, I probably needed A LOT of coffee. She wasn’t wrong, but I’m not nearly as tired as I thought I would be. I did the exact same thing I did every night (Pinky), except for the fact that I took a Sudafed as well. Sudafed is one of those drugs that keeps me awake even if I’m on a morphine IV drip. In fact, I can take Sudafed and Benedryl at the same time, and THAT is saying something. Taking Benadryl all on its own is inviting the type hangover where your entire morning feels like trying to nail Jell-o to a wall.

So what did I do this morning? I took all my morning drugs, including some more Sudafed, and left for SBUX at 6:51. Sudafed and coffee are an excellent replacement for sleep, especially since I am normally asleep before 9:00 so that I can keep my early mornings sacred. So I might be a little sleep-deprived today, but I won’t be tomorrow.

For those of you that have a computer hooked up to your TV and use the Kodi app (cross-platform, although the most annoying is that Windows Media Center went out with Windows 7 and it was the one app from M$FT I actually *liked*), I was mostly playing  with the Jamendo add-on for Kodi music. Jamendo is a catalog of unsigned artists, and you can download anything as long as it’s not for commercial use…. Although you do not have to download anything. You can stream everything rather than saving it to your local hard drive, or in my case, “Goliath,” the nickname for my 3TB drive.

My rent includes cable, but because of Kodi, I don’t use it. I might if I get a TV card for my laptop, but it has all the channels I’d normally watch. Right now I’m hooked on “The Fosters” and “Switched at Birth” on ABC Family. My favorite video add-on is PBS ThinkTV, where I can catch up on everything from History Detectives to American Experience. Also, “Geek and Sundry” has a channel with shows like “The Guild” and “Tabletop.” The reason I want to get a TV card before I hook up my cable is that with streaming media, I don’t have to be home when the show airs… but I do miss things like live debates. The TV card would allow me to record in real time, like a free and open source Tivo.

I leave my laptop plugged in like a desktop all the time now, because my iPad mini and my Bluetooth keyboard have replaced it entirely. My mom and my aunt Nancy went in together and got me some Best Buy money for Christmas, and the Bluetooth keyboard is seriously the best thing I’ve ever bought for myself. It has what most nerds would call a “KVM switch,” and that means there is a dial on the left side that allows me to pair with three devices. My iPad is one, my phone is two, and my computer is 3. When I do bother to carry my computer, I carry a mouse and this keyboard so that my palm doesn’t accidentally hit the touchpad and erase everything I wrote (recoverable with CTRL-Z) or somehow changes the page from WordPress to something else (not recoverable, even with a lot of swearing in its general direction). The other cool thing is that the keyboard works on two AAA batteries, which means that even on the go, I can recharge it easily… and I haven’t changed the batteries in months.

And now that I’ve talked about the fabulousness of my keyboard, I want to talk about eventually getting a new phone. Right now I have a pretty sweet deal. I’m on my dad’s business plan, and I only pay $20.00 for voice and data. I don’t want to lose that price, and I don’t want to make my dad sign a contract for my new phone, either. I’m wondering if a 3G + wifi tablet will let me use navigation in the car, because those are relatively cheap and I want an Android, because most of them come with radios and an expansion slot, and 9/10ths of what I listen to is NPR… which is why back in the day I bought a Zune over the iPod. Additionally, Android has two things going for it that blow the iPhone out of the water. A) It’s compatible with Linux. II) It doesn’t encrypt your music so you can drag and drop from your music library to your phone and back again.

iPhones are perfect except for the fact that the storage space is so small and you can’t add more. I can fill up the entire thing in three days with podcasts (I download them over wifi so that I’m not using mobile data in the car- same with Amazon Music). I thought about getting an MP3 player that I could load up, which would have been perfect when I was taking the Metro everywhere, but I can only drive two or three places without navigation. Check this out! I can finally get to work without turning on my GPS! #smallblessings

Plus, even when I know where I’m going, the directions do two things for me. The first is to keep me concentrated on where I’m going and how fast I’m driving (Waze has a spedometer on the left-hand side). The second is that when my mind wanders off into space with all of my mind-worms, I don’t forget where I’m going, miss my exit, and show up late because I am directionally challenged…. VERY directionally challenged. I don’t even know how to read a map properly. If I was dropped off pretty much anywhere out of my comfort zone, you might as well just say, “I’ll miss you.”

Yesterday I discovered a gorgeous drive, from my house in Silver Spring to Nathan’s house in Alexandria. For the life of me, I can’t remember how I got there, because I don’t do street names. As the Facebook wisdom goes, “bitch, do I turn left or right at McDonald’s?) The other cool thing, besides it being drop dead gorgeous even in the pouring rain, was that I passed the CIA campus in Langley and it reminded me of every “Covert Affairs” episode ever. Annie Walker goes that way at least once an episode, and because everything past the exit is pretty much a restricted access road, that’s the only real part of the drive you see. For a split second, I imagined that someone was tailing me just because I could. That show is GOLDEN. You can watch it all on Amazon Prime, and even though there are situations that could only happen on TV, Valerie Plame is the technical consultant on the show, so I know at least some of it is real. For instance, I did not know that Langley has a food court, and when I found that out, I thought it was really interesting, so I Googled it and what came back was lots of employees complaining how bad the food is. You’d think that with all the tax money that goes into military/intelligence you’d at least be able to get fresh bread at Subway. But no one asked me.

Seriously, if you haven’t seen Covert Affairs, drop everything. It reminds me a lot of “Alias,” because have you ever seen Jennifer Garner and Piper Perabo in the same room? Check that shit out. Also, not sure that Victor Garber was actually on Alias. I think it was Merrick Garland… you basically have to save up if you want to work for the government….. One of the things that the show points out is that for all the danger that the agents are in, they’re still paid regular government salaries. Things like big, shiny cars and millions of dollars wired into accounts don’t make the agents themselves rich. It’s the government’s money. They just get to decide what to do with it and then go home and eat macaroni and cheese. I suppose that the money comes in when you are so busy you don’t have time to spend any of it.

Government salaries are so wacky. I hate it that most CEOs make more than the President, because it’s not like he’s not busy or anything. Plus, most beginning jobs in the military are only a few steps above peanuts and popcorn…. but again, the money comes in because you are entirely too busy to spend it.

It’s also fucked up that you can either work for the government for a pittance, or negotiate a contract as a private entity and make five times as much. I would much rather give that money to the boots on the ground, because even though we’re spending tons on weaponry, we don’t always make sure that the “boots” have enough shoes, clothing, etc. My friend Volfe actually had to *buy* extras. That is a special kind of incompetence…. military intelligence at its finest.

I waffle back and forth over whether I want to date a soldier. Because first of all, damn they’re hot. DAMN. Second of all, though, and this is the hard part, I’ve already belonged to a military family once (Dana’s dad was a Marine in the JAG) and every time the family got together, we’d get ten minutes into a conversation and I wouldn’t understand anything. Too many acronyms, too little time. I also don’t know how to read “fruit salad,” so I don’t know what rank to call people and/or how important they are.

But did I mention that DAMN, they’re hot? I would let them bench press me any day of the week. Samantha says that I need to date one of the women that just completed Ranger School, and I’m all like, “first of all, how would I meet them? Second of all, how in the hell would I broach the subject?” In DC, it is REALLY hard to tell the difference between soldier and lesbian. I should know. I get thanked for my service more frequently than one would think, and I am giving my camo t-shirt to Goodwill because of that very reason. At first, I thought it was cute. Now I just think it’s disrespectful. It would look cute on an eight-year-old where it’s clear the camo is just for fashion. On me, it looks like I just got out of basic.

No one is out of the realm of possibilities as to who I would and would not date. I’m just saying that with the military, there would be a steep learning curve, because I didn’t get it the first time around.

But did I mention they were hot?

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