Archive for June, 2010

I Think It Is Done

June 28th, 2010

What a bloody crazy week/weekend. Over 4 gigs of data later and all my websites have been successfully transfered to their new home. Overall, I do think it went pretty smoothly. There were a few bumps in the road but they were quickly ironed out.

But it has left me mentally exhausted. I’m edgy. I’m cranky. I’m irritable. I am having a difficult time communicating which just exacerbates the edgy, cranky and irritable. I was hoping to get a day of mental rest yesterday in order to fix this but it didn’t happen. Stupid Jules who cannot not do something when she sees it needs to be done, decided to do some things that would fall under the work category and I am left to feel as if I haven’t had any me time in a billionionty-one + infinity years.

And now that the transfer is complete, I have a bunch of songs that I need to finish reviewing for Spintunes by tomorrow and all I want to do right now is sleep for the rest of the week. But the site is transfered. And that is good. So far, it seems to be running splendidly. My load times are A LOT quicker. I do not know if anyone else has noticed that difference.

I do have to thank Will Bradley for the new home. I put a link on the bottom of Geeky Pleasures saying the hosting is courtesy of Zyphon.com. I’ve also tweeted about it to some extent. As I was writing up the “I need your help” post, he tweeted me asking if it would help if he ran my site on one of his servers. I told him I was busy writing up a post at that very moment explaining what I need and once it was done, I’d send him a link and then we’d talk.

After he read the post, he tweeted back to me, “So, I ask you again. Would you like me to host your site on one of my VPS for free.” Well, I think my response should be pretty damn obvious, HELLZ YA! He was super awesome and helpful with the transfer. He put up with my nitpicking and asking him to add a bunch of crazy things. I felt horrible asking especially as he is giving me space for nothing, but without a single complain or any sign of frustration, he did it. In the middle of last night, I realized I had fubar’d myself by changing the URL for my personal blog when it comes to sites that have linked to it. He saw my tweet and wrote a redirect code so that I wouldn’t have to spend hours with a plugin manually entering every old URL to redirect to the equivalent new URL. He was up until like 6 am this morning working on my site to make sure it ran smoothly for all of you. That is totally awesome. There are still a couple backend things to finish up, but the really important changes are done (I think).

I just hope I don’t use up my space on his server too quickly. I’m already over 50% in storage capacity because between my three sites, as there is a lot of media and data. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it (I think that eventual bridge issue has already been solved but I am tired and cannot recall correctly. I could check my email for the answer, but I am too lazy at the moment). At least I have a new home and it is one less thing for me to worry about because my plate is overfull at the moment with things both professional and personal.

Now just because my hosting is free at the moment thanks to a fantabulous sponsor, doesn’t mean I still don’t need your help. There are still other bills and such to pay to keep the sites going. So if you have no already, please read the post before this one and email me if you think you can help or point me in the right direction. And there is always the donate button on Geeky Pleasures. Plus you can purchase Geeky Pleasures merch and purchase my book (free shipping during the summer to US customers) and this also helps raise money for Lupus research and treatment.

Thank you all again for putting up with not so pleasant Jules lately. Hopefully pleasant Jules makes an appearance again soon. She just needs some rest, a bit of a time out and some room to sort a bunch of stuff that is going on.

I Need Your Help

June 19th, 2010

I don’t like the idea of having to write this blog, but I have run out of options. And if someone doesn’t help me find a solution soon, Geeky Pleasures is going to die in a fire and it will take this blog and the World Lupus Day virtual art gallery with it.

Some of you are aware that things are really tight on my end at the moment. I have done every thing I can think of to fix this. Including reluctantly taking the advice of others and putting a donate button on Geeky Pleasures and joining affiliate programs. Despite this however, if it were not for a couple of donations, all of this would have been offline at the beginning of this year. But thankfully, last minute saves were thrown my way. Now I am in need of another last minute save. Without giving too much detail, I will try to give you the gist of the situation. Full details are not for the whole world to know, but if you want/need more details than what I am about to give, email me here.

My site is about to become a victim of its own popularity. My current host cannot handle the traffic that I receive. To give you a basic idea of what is going on, in February, my average daily transfer rate was 250 MB per day. My traffic has been increasing in such a way that in May, the average daily transfer rate was over 1 GB per day. In the last two weeks, they have had to suspend my site and reboot the server which hosts it because I kinda killed their server. Downtimes, because of inability to handle the traffic, have increased from a couple times a day to at least 10 times a day. Today alone, in the last hour, it was down twice for about 20 minutes total. I cannot have this. I don’t know if you have been subjected to it, but on my end it is more than frustrating to find my site down when I go to do some maintenance or update the site.

Because of this, I am having to switch hosts in the next couple of week. My site can no longer be hosted on a shared server and I am having to move to VPS. And thanks to another donation given to me in the last week, I am able to afford this switch… but only temporarily.

I can pay for the hosting for 3 months but after that time (as it stands at this very moment), I will have to revert back to a shared hosting plan and have the same issues or pull my site all together. I am not going to ask for donations. I figure, if people wanted to donate, they would have by now. I haven’t exactly been secret about my situation. Even so people keep telling me, “Geeky Pleasures can’t go offline”, I guess I can understand to a certain degree why they don’t want to help keep it online. That being said, I am not going to refuse donations. Even if it is just 20 dollars, that is another month the site stays up. Seriously folks, that is how broke I am right now. I can’t even afford 20 dollars a month to host the site on the necessary platform to keep the site up without glitches.

What I really need is advertisers and sponsors. Donations are more than welcomed but that is only a temporary fix. I need something permanent. The problem is, I have no idea how to go about approaching sponsors and advertisers. There has to be someone who reads my blog who knows how to do this or knows someone who knows someone. I am not looking for a lot of money. Just enough to not worry about hosting for a long while so that I can really concentrate on getting other things going. Because if this goes offline and I lose the momentum I have been fortunate enough to gain in the last few months, I doubt I’ll ever be able to climb out of the financial hole I am currently finding myself in.

I am really sorry to burden you with this. But I really am at my wits end. This is beyond frustrating. It would really suck if my site died because it became to popular. So if you see a way in which you can help, please let me know. I wouldn’t be asking for your help if I hadn’t already exhausted all options that I have been able to see.

The Week That Was

June 17th, 2010

I remember a time this space would be updated at least 5 times a week. Now it is lucky to be updated 5 times a month. Things just feel very odd lately. I have a lot of things I could say but I do not know if it matters if I say them or not. And by that I mean, I don’t know if it matters to me if I say them. Whether it matters to others really isn’t my concern.

I have been totally neglecting my personal blog lately. There are various reasons for this. 1) I have been so busy keeping Geeky Pleasures updated, by the time that is done I really am not in the most communicative of moods. 2) I’m in this weird place at the moment. I’ve been in this weird place for quite some time and my brain is having a hard time wrapping itself around these events. 3) Lately, I seem to be at a loss for words, A LOT. And even so it has been a nice slow week for Geeky Pleasures and I’ve had a lot of time to reflect, I just can’t get my thoughts to translate into words that would make any type of sense.

I think part of this has to do with having a huge amount of moments of squee. There have been a lot of moments of WTF as well. The events of my life seems very bipolar at times. It seems that every time something really big happens, something equally really shitty coincides with those events. And you cannot really talk about the moments of squee (or at least I feel that I cannot) because a) I think that people may think I am bragging or putting on airs or something, and b) some of it involves talking out of school (even so it is not “bad” gossip but I see all gossip as bad) or talking about things I am not really at liberty to discuss. And well, the moments of WTF, nobody wants a downer.

But this past week has been quite the emotional roller coaster. It has put me in a spot, mentally and emotionally, that causes me to feel both happy and uncomfortable at the same time. I find it quite strange. I am unable to decide exactly how I feel about what has gone on. It is nothing negative, but I do find it a bit unsettling. Only because I have a hard time with “I don’t know.”

I did something this past week, that for me, was a bit of a triumph. And not for reasons many other people might see it for. For me it was a triumph because I overcame another fear. And the weird thing about it, is I’m the one that is getting the thank yous. I find this so very odd! All I did was help someone get a message out. All I did was agree to an interview. All I did was allow someone to talk. Sure I did some of the talking as well, but it was in relation to this other thing. If you haven’t figured out what I am talking about yet, I am talking about my interview with Patrizia Hernandez and my review of Love Simple.

The amount of feedback and the things said to me in private about this whole thing has left me speechless. I do not know if I should go into too many details because I do not want people to take it the wrong way. It feels weird to be told that it is an honour that someone got to work with me. It feels weird to be told that I’ve inspired. It feels weird to be told how I touched someone deeply. It feels weird when I am shown genuine appreciation. I think maybe that is what it boils down to. Is that I have genuinely inspired and touched people and that I was genuinely appreciated. This does not happen often. And an even bigger bonus, I made new friends in the process.

And despite the fact it being one of my goals in life (to inspire and to be an example when it comes to dealing with certain things), I never imagined it would happen to the degree it appears to have. I thought I would be lucky to accomplish this with one person. However, thankfully due to technology, my reach appears to be broader. And even so the internet allows my voice to be heard by a potentially unlimited audience, I never expected nor was I prepared for the reach it appears to have. I am humbled and in awe. And as selfish as this may sound, it lets me know that the shit I have to deal with on a daily basis is not in vain. That I have been able to do something positive with it. Even so I do these things altruistically, it does help me get through the really bad days.

But here is the thing. I feel “guilty” (for lack of a better word) accepting the thanks I have been given. At least with this latest bit of overwhelming events. Because if it were not for Mark von Sternberg creating this movie, if it were not for LupusNY reaching out to me and asking if I would do this interview, if they had not thought about me, well then I would have had no voice to use. I am so greatly touched that I was the one asked to do this. I am sure there are many other people who could have done this, but they asked me. Why, I doubt I’ll ever know. I am not going to even ask. I am just thankful they did.

I am so very thankful to every one behind the making of Love Simple, John Casey at Magic Star Enterprises and LupusNY for all they are doing to raise money and awareness for Lupus. They are the ones that deserve the praise I have been receiving. And hopefully they are getting it. But all I’m seeing lately is comments directed towards me. They are the ones that have done the good deed. I’m just the messenger.

I do not know if this makes any sense to anyone. Any time I try to explain this in more detail to those close to me, they don’t quite get it. Which is not their fault. I think it is one of those things that you have to experience to understand. Or at least have my strange way of looking at the world.

And despite how weird this all feels and my opposing feelings towards it, I do hope I get more opportunities like this. It does feel good to know you have done some for “real good”. It is nice when you are allowed to be a part of something that will benefit so many people. Again, I am humbled and touched that I was asked to be a part of it. This experience has been amazing regardless some of the comfortableness surrounding it, and I am glad.

In Which I Tell The Tale Of Weird And Wonderful Coincidence

June 10th, 2010

I live in a cone of silence. Meaning, my suite is very much sound proof. It is rare that I hear the noises from the outside world. Today, my cone of silence was broken. Most likely this is due to the fact I was on extra alert as I waited for a much anticipated package to be delivered by FedEx.

I had difficulty falling asleep last night. It may as well have been Christmas Eve. My thoughts were going at warp 10 as I wondered what was in store for me once “Love Simple” arrived at my door and I could finally sit down and watch it in preparation for my interview tomorrow morning. You see, judging by the trailer for the movie, I have a funny feeling a lot of what I am about to see will mimic my own life. Especially when it comes to having “the talk” about the elephant that takes place when you form real relationships. I have a feeling it will be a weird and wonderful experience watching part of my life played out on screen. Especially as most people have no idea what lupus is.

This morning, I awoke much earlier than I normally would. I was one edge (a good edge) anticipating the arrival of the package. Now, I was like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for the house to wake up. I had difficultly focusing on my tasks for the day. I was pacing the corridors of my mind, daydreaming about what my evening had in store. I kept getting out of my chair and peering out through the cracks in my blinds any time there was a hint of noise coming from the outside world.  And then the deliver van arrived minutes after tweeting, “I feel like a kid on Christmas morning waiting for the house to wake up.”

I jumped out of my chair and leaped to the window to see if the vehicle, which had just pulled into my driveway, was in fact the package. Seeing that it was, I gave a little squee and ran to my door. What was about to happen was all kinds of weird and wonderful. I opened up the door just as the delivery lady was about to ring my doorbell. I am going to try and recount this amazing tale as accurately as possible, but it an hour later and I am still shaking.

Delivery lady, “Wow. You must have been waiting with great anticipation for this package.”

Me (barely able to contain myself), “I was!”

Delivery lady, “You are like a kid on Christmas morning.”

Me, “I am!”

Delivery lady, “What is in this package that has you so excited?”

That is when I began to recount the story. The story of this movie called “Love Simple” and how it about this girl who has lupus. Before I could get any further, she interupted.

Delivery lady, “Does this affect you personally? Do you have lupus?”

I told her that I did have lupus. That I have SLE. Tears began to swell in her eyes as she told me that she too has lupus. She has discoid lupus. She said how she knows that it is not as bad as what I am going through as discoid lupus is not as severe as SLE but that she gets it. Tears began to swell in my eyes and my hands could not stop shaking, which caused the package to rattle.

I gave her a quick synopsis of the movie. How this girl who has lupus falls in love and has to tell this dark secret to her romantic interest. How that conversation is the worst conversation to have to have with someone. How I myself have had to have it more times than I want. Her eyes swelled with tears even more as she nodded her head and quietly said, “I have had to have that same conversation more times than I want as well. I know how difficult it is. Not many people are aware of what lupus is. It is not easy.”

I then told her how I kinda interview people and do things “on the web” in an effort to raise awareness and funds. I told her about the interview that I have tomorrow morning with the actress who plays the main character and how difficult it will be as it hits so close to home.

We stood there and stared at each other in silence for what felt like an eternity. In reality, it was probably only a few seconds. We both seemed to have the same revelation at the exact same moment that there were no more words that could be said. That this weird and amazing set of circumstances are much too profound for that. We both understood what the other was thinking. We both “knew” equal amounts of pain and joy were being felt by both parties, as we stood on my doorstep.

Before she left she told me that this was the best delivery she could have ever made. Neither one of us expected to have made that type of connection with someone today. The odds of one person with lupus delivering a movie about lupus to another person with lupus are staggering especially as only .0007% of the world’s population has lupus.

She started to walk away but quickly turned back to face me and say, “Thank you for sharing this with me. Thank you for doing what you are doing. More awareness needs to happen. I am very happy and fortunate to be the one who got to make this delivery today. I hope you enjoy your movie.” I thanked her in return and with that she walked away as I closed my door.

I came back into my room, barely able to breathe and my muscles seizing up with nervous energy. The sheer awesomeness of today’s random events will be one that will never be forgotten and I will take it with me for the remainder of my days. We were both able to touch each other deeply and in a way that does not happen often.

I may be forgetting a few things as I recount this tale. Some of the dialogue may not be completely accurate. But my mind has been blown again and my heart and soul touched. I seem to be having a lot of experiences such as these as of late. So please forgive me if my database of a brain decides to sputter for a few moments while it tries to grasp the awe of these events.

The Bitter-Sweet Opportunity

June 9th, 2010

I am a ball of nerves like I have never been before. You may think it crazy but it is what it is.

When I awoke this morning, I was greeted with an email regarding Love Simple, an independent film that deals with lupus. Starting on Monday, partial proceeds will be going to S.L.E. Lupus Foundation (in New York, in Los Angeles). I think it is really apparent by now, lupus awareness, treatment and research causes are near and dear to me. Also in this email was a request for me to interview actress Patrizia Hernandez. She plays the main female character, Seta, who has lupus. Of course, I said I would love the opportunity.

I think some may be perplexed about this decision, because at this moment in time I have stopped doing interviews and have put a lot of them on the back-burner until certain circumstances change. I have had many interview requests and I have turned them down. And for others it will make complete sense because of the subject matter. I have made it one of my personal life goals to do anything and every thing I am capable of to bring greater awareness to this very mysterious disease.

But this opportunity is bitter-sweet. The main character’s situation greatly mimics my own. This interview hits very close to home and is very personal. I am very nervous. You would think that after interviewing for as long as I have and considering the people I have interviewed, it wouldn’t be an issue. But this interview will probably be one of the most important and most difficult interviews I will ever do.

I need to approach this interview in a way that I have not had to deal with others. I am afraid in order to cope that I may become detached and emotionless while I do it so that I do not do something stupid like cry. Every time I have talked about this in some public way, whether it be on the phone with the BC Lupus Society, when I was interviewed over on Too Much Awesome or when I did my personal lupus podcast, I cried. But I cannot detach myself from this. It would be a huge disservice to every one involved if I did. It needs to be real. It needs to be honest and open.

I have never been as nervous as I am right at this moment. I have had my fair share of nerve-wracking experiences, but this one takes the cake. I feel a responsibility with this interview that I have not felt with the others. The others were for fun and for shits and giggles. There was no motive behind it other than geeking out with fellow geeks. This interview is very purposeful and meaningful. This is different.

When I was speaking today with one of the people involved in helping to organize this, he said, “Patrizia looks forward to speaking with you, and we appreciate your interest.  Your site looks terrific by the way, so we’re honored to be a part!” Like that doesn’t add a bunch of other nerves. I am very happy and honoured they asked me to do this. There are no words to describe exactly what it means to me to be able to use my voice and bring awareness to this, what it means that I have been sought out to use my voice for this. I am humbled and touched.

I just hope I don’t become a mess while I do it. I also hope, despite the bitter-sweet nature of this opportunity, that more happen to come my way.

The interview will be available for download on Geeky Pleasures (hopefully) on Monday, June 14, 2010.