Saturday, April 04, 2015

Stop Bugging Me!

I don't ask for much, and I know I've groused about this before, but I am so tired of business entities and sellers demanding I review their products/work/etc. immediately. Everyone is SO VERY REVIEW DRIVEN and it's really getting on my last nerve. If I had to review every single, solitary product I've bought I'd have no time for anything else because I can't just give them a few stars. NO! They want words from me too. Seriously?

Here's the quick skinny. If I keep buying the product then you can safely assume that I like the product. If you screwed up and sent me an item in the mail, by UPS, etc. and the packaging was far too big for a single item, especially when it is 1 of 3 items, each sent separately with lots of air filled plastic bladders, and what was sealed inside the original item has fallen out of the original packaging, then, yes, I will give you a bad review. Refunding my money might result in me deleting the original negative review, but on no account does that mean I will upgrade the negative service to a positive service. The item was damaged because of poor packaging to send and it was a waste of resources and my time since the item was DAMAGED! Have you finally gotten that message now? Keep bugging me and I will put back up the negative review and mention how you have hounded me several times a day since I contacted you begging me for a review. STOP IT! NOW!

Okay, now that I have that off my mind and I feel a little bit better, I can move on to other things, like almost all my seeds have sprouted and now I need to get busy and plant the other seeds in their little peat buttons, ready the planters, put together the 2 deck chairs I bought, and finish getting rid of the rest of the boxes and packing materials that have accumulated over the past weeks, most of which are for my seeds and plans for container gardening.

And then there are the constant demands and rounds of begging from work insisting that I give up my free time to work even more hours to bail them out because the numerous hospitals they service are running out of turn-around-time and they will be in breach of contract and have to pay for their breach. I get that you need to keep good relations with your customers, but I do my time and should not be expected to pick up the slack on other accounts when you have had me running around learning a whole bunch of different accounts, 7 in the past 3 months, and keeping me in QC hell because I don't have the time to get up to speed on any one account because I am confused learning so many different account protocols in a short space of time without finding my groove in any one account before you bump me into yet another account. Please! Give me some time to get up to speed before you load any more on my tired brain, especially since you want me to also pick up the slack at yet another long list of hospitals and health network without so much as hazard pay or financial remuneration. I like you, but not that much. Be glad that is the case.

Okay, so it's not all bad. They have offerered a 2 for 2 bonus for my extra time and no days off that will result in me getting 2 hours of PTO (paid time off) in return for 2 hours of my free time given to your customer relations, but I would prefer something more useful, like a year's worth of paid health benefits, dental, and vision with no cost to me. That would be better in my opinion. in the meantime, get behind sellers demanding reviews good reviews. I'll get to you eventually -- maybe.

I found yet another Kdrama. This one is called Good Doctor and is about an autistic young man who is brilliant where medicine is concerned. He has the classic autistic behaviors when confronted with violence, chaos, and new situations, but he is still pretty high functioning. I liked the young man, Park Si On (pronounced Park Shi On), and found him sweet, sad, and brilliant, as well as a bit immature. What else could one expect from such a situation? After all, there should be room for growth and advancement, and there was plenty.

Good Doctor reminded me a bit of The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon, which is about an autistic young man who is high functioning, but who should be cured, fixed, whatever because he's not like other people. I found Moon's protagonist quite fascinating as he was, even with his rituals and autistic behaviors, but then I enjoy the oddities and special people in life. They make everything more interesting, even when they're being frustrating. Park Si ON was very much like that. Yes, he could be frustrating, but he had a good heart and genuinely cared for the children he was determined to heal, just as Lou Arrendale of Moon's vision of autism is special and as unique as a snowflake even though he was too early to benefit from genetic manipulation that would fix him, as if he were a broken toy. Park Si On isn't a broken toy either and the knowledge he has gained in his studies is not just information contained in a robotic data bank. It's so much more -- even though it is difficult for him to articulate in the normal way. These two young men are extraordinary and I would like to see American television embrace such a concept and give it substance and reality. Now that would be worth watching.

As we strive to make robots more human, maybe we should also spend some time embracing the unusual, odd, and special in humans. That is a subject for another post and will likely encompass Alan Turing and Eva, a 10-year-old free robot who is as unique and beautiful as she is dangerous. After all, every odd duck is complex in so many ways. We shouldn't seek to make them conform or mentally, physically, or chemically castrate them, but celebrate their differences and the unique vision they embody.

One thing I see is that even when a Kdrama is set in modern times the basic themes remain: abuse of power, politics, self-effacement, and romance. Whether set in centuries past or in a modern hospital (the best in the country), the back stabbing and politicking remain, no doubt an offshoot of earlier times when rank and how you get and maintain it is of paramount importance, even to an young boy with autism violently abused by his alcoholic father and neglected to the point where he ends up being brought up in an orphanage because his father hates him and wishes him dead -- at least until it's time for said abusive alcoholic father to face his own mortality and the fact that there will be no filial devotion from the child he battered unless he makes peace just in time to guilt his son into making propitious offerings and setting out ancestral meals for him to enjoy in the aferlife. Reminds me of Livia begging Claudius, who she has repudiated and wished dead numerous times, except that he is a stumbling, bumbling idiot, to make her a goddess when he becomes emperor, as he undoubtedly will because he has outlasted all his relatives, so she won't spend eternity in the fiery furnace of hell for her murders in her quest to make her family important and powerful and wealthy . . . for the good of the Republic. Funny how that works out.

If you'd like to watch a Kdrama, like The Moon Embracing the Sun or Good Doctor, go to Netflix and sign up for streaming or videos by mail. That is where I found them.

There are so many things for me to write about -- Yggdrasil, the heaven-purgatory-hell, 7 levels of existence of Mayan belief, etc. -- not to mention seeds sprouting into plants, getting back to writing, continuing my cross stitch projects, and any number of personal and not so personal subjects, but I'll stop here -- while I'm at least a little ahead. in the meantime . . .

That is all. Disperse.

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Kdrama With Me...

...heavy on the drama.

Kdrama, or Korean Drama, is my new obsession. Rather, it is The Moon Embracing the Sun that is the obsession. What's not to like about 19th century costume drama with intrigue, betrayal, love, loss, and happily ever after mixed with a bit of magic and a love triangle or 3? The actors are handsome and pretty and the costumes are gorgeous enough to send me googling to find out the background of each, like the hair pin that gives the name to this particular Korean costume drama. Just beautiful.

This is my second time through this particular Kdrama, but only because I figured out watching it on my laptop provided a lot more detail than watching it on my Kindle Fire. There is something to be said for size.

Synopsis: Court official's daughter bumps into crown prince climbing over the wall of the palace grounds to get away from the protocol and hassle of being crown prince and he nearly falls on top of her. She thinks he is a thief. He tells her he is a eunuch. She is at the palace compound to watch her older brother get the award for best scholar and he's running away. It is love at first sight, even if he is a thief, as only love can hit us when the girl, Heo Yeon Woo, is 13 and the prince, Lee Hwan, is 15. She is a learned girl who can read and write Chinese and knows philosophy. He's a spoiled prince with a penchant for disguising himself and running away from protocol to see what's really going on in the country outside the high walls of the palace compound.

Yeon Woo eventually discovers he is the Crown Prince and she becomes one of his little sister's companions. Min Hwa's other companion is another court official related to the Queen Dowager, who is a nasty piece of work and not at all bothered having people killed, as long as the king doesn't know about it or get his hands bloody. That's what the Minister of the Home Office is for. Besides, he's a member of her clan, the Yoon clan, and greed runs in the clan. His daughter is the princess's other companion and she is a nasty piece of work who hates Yeon Woo because she is everything that Yoon Bo Kyung is not -- queenly and not at all vicious, mean-spirited, or duplicitous.

Yeon Woo is chosen as the Crown Prince's bride-to-be until the Queen Dowager has the chief shaman call down a curse that will kill her so that Bo Kyung will be the Crown Prince's bride and eventually Queen. Too bad the Crown Prince sees through Bo Kyung's polite words and smiles and refuses to consummate the marriage during the 8 years of their married life. Yeon Woo is presumed dead by her family, and the Crown Prince, and his half-brother, Yang Myung, who is also in love with Yeon Woo. But she was only sleeping and the chief shaman had her dug up after her burial and registers her as a shaman with the local temple.

For 8 years, the shaman travels around the country with Yeon Woo, who has lost her memory and has been told she was possessed by a powerful spirit and found wandering in the streets before becoming a shaman, her maid, Seol, and a street urchin with the gift of sight, Jan Shil, while Yang Myung wanders just a few steps ahead of the rebels that want him to over throw his brother and become King, and Bo Kyung and Lee Hwan live  separate lives while their ministers steal the country blind and gather power to supplant the king once he sires and heir on the Minister of Home Office's daughter.

Okay, enough of the synopsis. Even reading the subtitles cannot dampen the enthusiasm of seeing such a wonderful spectacle or falling a little bit in love with the actors, or even laughing at the head eunuch's exasperation and shock at his master's antics. He suffers in silence -- most of the time -- and the comedy is a breath of fresh air after the passion and tension of the main story. Lee Hwan's chief eunuch is kind of cute and funny which is a nice counterpoint to the very handsome young men playing the lead parts. One can even forgive Princess Min Hwa's spoiled brattiness and utter devotion to Yeon Woo's older brother even if she did ruin his life and his future. After all, she is so cute in a kitten with a whip fashion.

But life goes on, and so must I.

You will have to admit the actors are all quite handsome.

At any rate, there are other things to fill my world, like sees, plants, and supplies to create my container garden. I even plan to put a couple of trees in the house, specifically a dwarf Meyer lemon and dwarf fig tree. I do so love lemons and I've never actually had a fresh fig. I've eaten plenty dried figs and I love Fig Newtons.

Then there is bread to bake and food to cook, although I must admit I'm not much in a food eating mood, unless you count the occasional biscuit or the omelets, peanut butter, and fruit that I eat once a day. I also like to have hot chai, but have given it up this week for fruit juices, most of which I water down with real water. For some reason, the juices seem a bit heavy at times, though they are delicious.

And then there is work. I ended up with my 7th account since starting 2-1/2 months ago and seem to always be in QC hell (i.e., making very little to no money because I have to learn the protocols for another whole hospital or health care system). It is hard to keep the differences in mind when switching between so many different accounts. I think I've finally convinced my supervisor to settle me into 3 accounts, one of which is all typing. I've learned that in order to make money stability is key, and so are lines, especially when those lines are typed and not edited. When it takes me more time to edit the lines than it would to type the entire report, especially when I'm getting paid half as much for the edited lines, over time and typing full reports is key. I might actually make enough money to live on once I get settled in.

The best part about switching jobs, once I get out of QC hell and make the money I'm capable of making when I have the same accounts all the time, is that I bargained for 14 vacation days and ended up with 43.46 vacation days. All those years of working for a company this company bought out is the vacation time, nearly 6 weeks. I have never had that much time to use in my whole working life. I plan on taking at least a couple of vacations for 2 weeks at a time and use the other nearly 2 weeks to carve out a 3-day weekends. All paid in full. That is definitely worth changing jobs for, as are the benefits, chance to make more money, and a health care plan that does not cost me more than a month's rent every month. Made me feel like I did when I was newly divorced and working 2 jobs to pay for the babysitter for my 3 young sons. Rather defeats the purpose of working if all your money goes for someone else's benefit and there is little to nothing left for the necessities of life: food, clothing, a roof over your head, and utilities to power the furnace when it gets cold. Into every life a little rain . . . and all that stuff.

As long as the rain does come through the ceiling in the kitchen and getting someone to repair said hole and the roof are proving difficult at best. Like I said, into every life a little rain. I am optimistic that I will be able to get everything handled. I'll do whatever it takes to keep my cabin in the mountains even if it means working more hours and finding someone to do the repairs, even if I have to drag him into the house and make him watch Kdrama

That is all. Disperse.