Jill "xtingu" Knapp

Traveling musician. Singer. Road warrior in bursts. Dork. Easy to spot. Gauche eyeshadow fan. Unreasonably happy.

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There's a difference between being a proud small business where you're not tied to big dumb corporate rules so you can be flexible and agile, and being so small that you still have a single AOL email address on your website.

I want to support the small guy, but if they still use AOL, how can I be confident that my credit card info is secure in their office?

This one local place sells kitchen appliances. They have cutesy commercials featuring the owner's two small boys. "I'm Cameron!" "And I'm Gavin!" "And if you have trouble, call us and we'll make sure it gets handled RIGHT!"  I wonder how creepy it would be if I called up the store asking to speak to Cameron or Gavin to complain about a bill or a customer service issue. They would call Child Protective Services in 5 minutes. And what the fuck does that say about their family dynamic (or Dad's business acumen) that a 7 year old is their accountable executive in charge of customer satisfaction?!

Anyway.

We need a new washer/dryer. The one I have currently is the set that came with the house. I would love to get a set of stackables, and then put a shelf where the dryer currently is.  The washer/dryer used to be in the basement, but my house's previous owners brought them to the main floor of the house, taking up the hall linen closet with the washer/dryer. So I'd love to reclaim some of that closet space since I currently have none whatsoever, unless you count bedroom closets.

I heard a thing on the radio this morning about how small businesses should consider buying "CyberInsurance" in addition to general liability insurance and worker's comp, because small businesses are more vulnerable to cyberattacks.  Really? I know of a zillion huge corporations that were brought down by the ransomware viruses and no small businesses that I use were hit. But maybe that's because large businesses have a higher percentage of dumb people who surf the web at work, clicking on shit they oughtn't... and granted, I'm a small (vaguely tech-related) company, so maybe the percentage of employees who work for my company who click on dumb shit is 0%. 

But I figure Cameron and Gavin (or their mom) click on dumb shit pretty often, so they probably need CyberInsurance. 

The only people who use the term "cyber" are people who shouldn't.

In other news, we spent this past weekend (Saturday through Tuesday) at my folks' place. We hadn't seen them since Christmas, which is waaaaay too long. My mom tore a muscle in her right shoulder, so in addition to her back and her legs being in constant pain, let's add her right shoulder to the laundry list.  My dad has days where he's very weak for no discernible reason, so we needed to go up there and just help them out a bit. They felt so awful that they decided to cancel Easter dinner because my mom couldn't cook and my dad couldn't clean the house, and they both felt that having a house full of people would be too much.

So we offered to come up and do all of the cooking/cleaning, so now Easter is back on. 

We're in the car now heading back up there. We'll be there for a few days. I'm so excited it's finally starting to get warm... this fucking winter might FINALLY be behind us.

I hope everyone has a fabulous Easter, Passover, or April Fool's. :-)

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3/31 '18 7 Comments
"So we offered to come up and do all of the cooking/cleaning, so now Easter is back on."

Yer gud.
I'm torn between "har-har, you still use AOL," and "oooh, you were a savvy early-adopter." I say that because among lawyers, it's often an early-adopter thing. As in, a lot of lawyers were quick to get word processor machines and Palm Pilots and Compuserve numbers -- but then they didn't upgrade, whether because it was a pain to migrate the files or it got too expensive (because they needed to hire IT staff/consultants) or time-consuming. And if you're not at a firm where they give you a LawyerName@ThousandDollarSuitBigLawLLP.com address, then why not keep using the same AOL address ("number") that your clients and their world-of-mouth referrals have been using for 20 (!) years now.

Also you can take my WordPerfect when you pry it from my cold, dead fingers.

Hope yer Easter trip goes well!
Michele Grant 3/31 '18edited
I think I saw WP on the shelves in a store recently, and it made me happy. I don't have much preference in word processor programs (I tend to use Wordpad in windows or Google Docs) but I did use WP in college and remember it fondly.

I also happen to know a big tech company that still uses Lotus instead of Office, so there's that.
WordPerfect (actually an entire suite by Corel) is regularly upgraded. I had a learning curve from Quattro, which is what Lotus 1-2-3 became, to Excel; I still think Quattro is better in a lot of ways but I'm more likely to start something new in Excel now. The Corel version of PowerPoint leaves a LOT to be desired, though.

I avoid Google Docs for functionality, privacy, security, and subpoena reasons, and also because of the risk that anything Google could just disappear at any time for no reason, and there's no recourse. The risk is small, but I'm unwilling to take it.
Entirely reasonable. I suspect if I was doing anything that, you know - mattered - I would have the same mindset.
🤘 Scripsit forever 🤘

Love it.
 

Hi, all!

July 4th, seeing the folks; parental update

Spent July 4th up at my folks' place. I sometimes feel guilty that they don't have any friends who invite them to hang out on holidays, so late on the 3rd Matt and I decided to head up to their place. Was happy to see them.

My dad has been battling this mystery ailment where food tastes BAD (like decidedly awful), and it's been like this for about 6-8 weeks. Because of this, he doesn't really like to eat anymore, so his energy is crap now. I'm worried about him. Not sure what the fix is, but his doctors ordered him labwork and everything came back OK, except for low sodium. (Which is funny, considering he always would eat salty snacks and put a crap-ton of salt on his food. But he doesn't eat the salty snacks anymore because of how awful everything tastes... hence his now-too-low sodium. I find it so fascinating that the body craves what it knows it needs.)

Work/money/gigs

In other news, I have no work lined up and it is scary. We also have no Hot Breakfast gigs scheduled.  We must remedy these things.

My book royalty checks have been keeping me afloat in these non-workin' times... but last month's book royalty check was $105. For the record, $105 does not pay the mortgage.  (The reason the book royalty check was so small was because my book is sold by two different companies: Pearson (my publisher) and SafariBooksOnline.com (a reseller). 99% of my book sales come from Safari, and Safari didn't get their monthly sales numbers to Pearson in time for the May royalty check (which I receive in June) because of Memorial Day.  No biggie... my July royalty check will have both May and June's royalties in there. But I can't tell my mortgage company to just wait a month.

What else can I update you on...

Lizzie

I dunno if y'all remember, but I was asked to audition for and got cast in Lizzie, which is a four-woman hard-rock musical based on Lizzie Borden. I play Emma, Lizzie's very pissed off and much-older sister.  The show was supposed to go up in April, but the theater was having trouble securing the space (they lease space from Opera Delaware) for rehearsals and the show dates. So the show got pushed back and pushed back, and got pushed back so far that we lost our Lizzie because she had plans to move to California in July, which she just did.  So anyhoo, things have solidified, and rehearsals officially start next week for a September run.  The girl we got to replace our original Lizzie is wonderful, so I'm excited about that. I am 20-ish years older than the other cast members... curious how we'll interact. Also curious what the costumers are thinking about dressing us in. I've seen some photos from some productions where the cast is in lingerie and/or BSDM gear. I've seen others where they are dressed all emo/goth. And then there are others where the girls are wearing period-appropriate clothes. So I dunno.  All I know is I desperately need a haircut and dye job, but I don't know if they'll want my nutty Jill Hair, or if they're gonna stick a wig on me.  I'll know more in 2 weeks, I guess!

Golden Anniversary 

This weekend is Matt's parents' 50th Anniversary party (their actual anniversary is tomorrow). Tonight (Friday) we're having a small family get-together, and then tomorrow (Saturday) is the big soirée at a restaurant. They planned it themselves and also said "No gifts, we mean it!" which essentially makes us look like jerks. My mom used to do that all the time... she'd book her own party and then would make everyone feel like a shitbird* for not throwing a party for her.

Allrighty-- gonna try to catch a 40-minute nap before we head to Matt's folks' for Anniversary Dinner Round 1.

Hope all is well.

------

* "Shitbird." Thanks, Gas-Man!

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First up, I read "parental update" as "prenatal update" and was seriously surprised for a second.

That taste thing with your dad, sounds rough! My first thought is maybe a low grade sinus infection, which can affect taste. My hypochondriac panic response is brain tumor, which would also explain the low sodium levels and his energy levels. (Well, lots of tumors can cause that actually.) Sorry, I shouldn't share my medical anxieties so freely! I'll stop now. I hope it gets figured out and your dad feels better soon. Not wanting to eat sucks.

Can you talk with your mortgage lender? Is it a local lender or just Big Bank?

When will Lizzie happen? Where? Can I come see it somehow? I'm good with sleeping on couches...

For the record, I've been taking a LOT of 20-minute naps lately. I'm surprised to find that they actually help.
Anne Mollo 7/7 '17edited
Nonono, please don't ever hold back with the medical expertise, even if your thoughts are considered kinda ooky. I wanna know. Because my first thought was "mini stroke." So hearing you say "brain tumor" certainly isn't comforting, but it makes me think if they don't find anything with this next round of bloodwork it might be time for a CT.

Lizzie is happening in September! We have a comfy guest room with a nice, new bed and its own bathroom, and we love guests. I also have a zillion hotel points if you'd rather stay in the Doubletree. I'm not the best hostess when in "gotta get ready for a show"-mode, but I also know you get that. :-) So come on down! But lemme get some rehearsals in first just to make sure it doesn't suck first. (This theater does excellent, excellent work. It's considered our city's "edgy theater." So the only way the show will suck is if I suck, which is possible, because an actor I ain't.

As for the mortgage stuff, we're actually OK... Matt (godblesshim) has things comfortably under control. I just hate asking, and he hates that I hate asking. :-)
Do please keep me updated! I will be in NYC the weekend of Sept 16 for my BURFday. I decided my present this year should be a visit to the botanical gardens at night, to see Chihully glassworks lit up and glowing. So we're all going down and staying with James (eldest daughter's dad; former husband) at his newish house in New Jersey, so we call all six of us visit the gardens together.
Anne Mollo 7/14 '17
That's closing weekend. Yay!

We have shows that week(end) on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and we close on that Saturday the 16th. The theater is a few steps from the Wilmington Amtrak station.

They are renovating the NYPenn train station which impacts service between Wilmington and NYP now through September 1st. Assuming they finish on time, then all should be happy. But if the repairs run late, then Acela service will be your only bet, and that's spendy (assuming you wanna take a train).

Where in Jersey will you be? (I'm originally from Jersey, but I don't know the gardens.)

But let's make sure the show is good first. :-) The music director in me wishes they tested everyone's harmony-singing abilities at auditions, but they didn't. I don't know any of the actors, but tomorrow is our first rehearsal/sing-thru, so I'll know more soon.

If you wanna spend a day in my neck of the woods, a day-trip to Longwood Gardens is pretty amazing, and is about 20 minutes away.

Yaaaay!
Damn, Lizzie sounds awesome! I bet you're gonna have a blast and I know it will be fantastic.

Sorry to hear about your dad... that's scary, especially because they don't know why. I hope you guys get some answers about that soon.

I hope your work/gig life fleshes out again soon too. As a fellow freelance worker, I know how crappy those slow times are (like right now, so you're in good company).

Enjoy your nap!
Leela 7/7 '17
The nap was most excellent. :-)

Thanks for the kind words, too... I'm sure things will straighten out soon. :)
That "everything tastes bad" thing sure sounds like pregnancy. Maybe you should give your dad The Talk.

I've got a birthday present squirreled away for someone. I'm crossing my fingers they don't freekin buy themselves one before their birthday.

Thou shalt not drop hints and then self-gratify before your birthday! It's, like, a rule. I just made it.
I agree with this rule!

My mom would also just buy what she wanted for herself, so when we'd say "what do you want for x holiday?" She'd say "Give me $28 to cover the cost of the thing I bought myself." Grrr.

I mean, on one hand, I get that sometimes you don't wanna wait until your birthday or Christmas to get what you need. But come ON.
Please let me know when Lizzie tickets are on sale. I wanted to see that show when I first heard about it, and now that you are in it, I REALLY want to see it.

Also, I know that when you complain about money, you are not asking for help, but if you need help with anything, please reach out. Or get Matt to do it, because you suck at asking for help, even when you need it. xoxoxoxo
Awww, thanks babycakes. We're actually in (blessedly) good shape financially, as a couple. I just hate asking Matt for money, and he really hates that I hate asking. He's very much "what's mine is ours" and I'm very much "I MUST HANDLE ALL THE THINGS ALONE! The house is in MY name, and is therefore MY problem!" So it's a thing. But also totally not. I just need a foot up my ass. (What else is new?)

I'll keep you posted re: Lizzie! I'm really itchy to get rehearsing.
 

This entry has been copied/pasted from xtingu.dreamwidth.org/1034861.html .
I was happy to see that rone replied there.

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Wow, I've been writing a lot. I take this as a good sign, and maybe the first sign that maybe my hermitty ways may be ever-so-slightly starting to lift. 

I wanted to jot some things down so I don't forget them, in no particular order.

1) My company, Knapp I.T., Inc. is celebrating its 10 year anniversary this year. Coincidentally, my brother's company, Jephens Tech is celebrating 20 years this year. I feel like we should get the employees of Boutell.com and Moskowitz-Inc and go spend some pre-tax dollars on an employee appreciation dinner. :-)

2) If my company is 10 years old, that means I've been living in my house for 10 years come this November. Jeeeezus. So much for only moving to Delaware for six months until I figured out where I wanted to wind up. :-)

3) Matt and I have tickets to a Phillies game tomorrow. The weather should be perfect. This will be my first time at the "new" stadium. 

4) Our home wifi dies once a week or so, and one of us has to go reset the router in the basement when that happens. So this afternoon the wifi died, but it turns out my entire FiOS box is dead dead dead... it's not getting power at all. The outlet works, and the battery backup seems to be charging, but no power is getting to the main unit. Not sure what's happening, but the nice Verizon man will come out on Saturday to fix it. Until then, we have no land line, and only Internet on our phones. Hmmmm. Suboptimal. 

5) This past Friday we went to Hummingbird to Mars, which is a cute speakeasy sorta place in Wilmington. It's not as swanky as Please Don't Tell in NYC or the Franklin Mortgage and Investment in Philly, but it's fine for Wilmington. We went with our pal Brian and also with Kevin and Lee. We all agreed it was very civilized. And no matter how foo-foo and well-prepared a cocktail is, I just don't give a crap about drinking. Gimme a ginger ale and I'm happy. 

5a) I went for a quick check-up (more like a check-in) with my regular doctor and he asked me the usual questions. When he asked if I drank, I said no. "Not at all?" "Nope." "Not even a glass of wine?" "Maybe once a year..." "Wow, OK." I found his surprise amusing. :) Anyway, he gave me crap about not having a gone for a recent mammogram or a DEXA bone density scan, so imma go do those, along with my big annual bloodwork and anemia labs.

6) Last week our pal Noelle was releasing her new EP at the Wilmington Art Loop, so we went to grab a copy and to see the gorgeous photo exhibit of images by Joe del Tufo that accompanied the album. We then went to the DCCA to see Lauren at her art studio and seeing all of her paintings made me itchy to paint again. So I started a new piece soon to be called "Hello, Pinball." I love it so far... really proud of it, but the hardest part (the lettering) hasn't begun yet. I can't decide what color to make the letters yet. Hmmmm.

7) Tonight while I was painting, I saw the BIGGEST FUCKING ANT I have ever seen in my life, and I ran screaming as if I were getting axed in the face. Matt saved the day with a slipper... and it took me 10 minutes for my heart to stop leaping out of my chest. I love bugs, spiders, beetles... but ants? NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE NOPE. Little ants? If there's only one or two, I'm ok... but if there's a line, or wosre, a pile? AAAAAIIIGGHH!! And big ants (like carpenter ants)? FUCK THAT GET A BAT. This ant that I saw was waaaay bigger than a standard-issue carpenter ant. I don't know what the hell kind of radioactive mutant ant it was, but if I had to guess, it was probably called a OH MY GOD GET IT AWAY FROM ME KILL IT WITH FIRE ant. 

8) When my company was born all those years ago, one of the first things I did was hire an accountant/bookkeeper. Her name is Carol, and I honestly couldn't run my business without her. She's funny, she's brilliant, she talks to me like I'm six, she fixes my QuickBooks stupidity, she handles forms and files my taxes and just takes care of everything and keeps me out of jail. I love her. Welp, she used to be a one-person business, and then she got bought out by a bigger firm, and now that firm is focusing on wealth-management clients and getting rid of their accounting/bookkeeping clients. I am heartbroken. I mean, I totally understand of course. So we're trying to tie up as many loose ends by the end of the month as possible, because she officially goes away on June 30th. It is daunting trying to find a bookkeeper, an accountant, and someone who can run my payroll under one roof, so I figure I'll go back to using Paychex for my payroll at least. No idea about the bookkeeper/accountant yet. Gotta move on that soon, though. 

9) Last but not least: I need to see my folks; it's been too long, and I miss them. I have to figure out a Fathers Day Plan. I'm gonna call my folks tomorrow and see what they're thinkin'. 

Allrighty-- that's all the news that's fit for bloggin'.


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6/15 '17