Long ago and far away, there was some debate as to whether our house contains a casino, and adorable little-kid word mix-ups aside, I think we determined that no, it does not. It never occurred to me that the day would come when I would also have to determine whether or not this here blog contains a casino, but apparently while I wasn’t paying attention, that became a thing.
Confused? I was, too. Allow me to explain. Sort of.
You may have noticed (har har) that I don’t write as much as I used to. My time and energy has turned more to other things, like sewing masks and dealing with people on Poshmark who want to pay $4 for a $200 coat and such. (Don’t be jealous of my glamorous life, yo!) I may have let a few things fall by the wayside, such as installing updates on Ye Olde Blog.
And so one day I randomly decided to look at my traffic (famous among dozens!) and discovered that there were incoming links to the blog which were redirecting to gambling sites, and although they were definitely using my site address, they weren’t anything I’d ever created and I couldn’t FIND them anywhere because my entire knowledge of WordPress would fit into a Dixie cup.
Long story a little shorter, there are ways for hackers to inject links into your site if you have certain security vulnerabilities, and I’m sure there’s a technical way to describe this, but just trust me that it Messes Shit Up™ and the way to fix it is NOT contained in the Dixie cup of information I possess.
Because I’m a strong, independent woman, upon discovering this, I went to Otto in a panic and asked him to fix it. His WordPress Knowledge Container is larger than mine. Much larger. Like, maybe Big Gulp size? Regardless, he poked around and did some things and he couldn’t figure it out, either, so he went to our hosting guy, who is an all-around helpful mensch and regularly goes above and beyond the call because I am so prone to breaking things on my sites, anyway, and so if you’re thinking this was beyond his purview, YOU ARE CORRECT. But he looked it over, anyway, and concluded it was good and broken.
The solution, according to Otto and Hosting Guy, was to back everything up, and completely reinstall WordPress and everything else associated with it, and by the way, that would break the theme I was using for the site, so hurry up and pick a new theme, and then MAYBE we can fix it. There may have been other words included, but that was the general gist of what I was told, and I slinked away to sift through my Dixie cup worth of knowledge to figure out why I needed a new theme and then to cry about the fact that I like my OLD theme and also what if everything breaks?
Fortunately, I complained about this enough while it was happening that a lovely and kind reader offered up her husband’s services to get everything revamped, and… TA-DA! Through the power of dark magic, or maybe just being a lot smarter than me and Otto, in just a few days everything was updated, secured, and looking almost like it did before! Except this time there are no garbage links or ways for people to insert them. Also I am still learning how to tweak stuff, but the main point here is that a (relative) stranger saved my bacon out of the kindness of his heart, and this is the sort of thing that makes me hate the world a little less.
While this was happening, I was frantically shopping online for holiday gifts on the heels of the EXCELLENT news that Chickadee and Sunny will be coming home for Christmas. This meant I could alternate between being pissed at myself for not taking better care of my websites with sending Chickie random texts like “Does Sunny have a preference when it comes to toothbrushes?” Believe it or not, it kept me occupied. Shopping for stocking stuffers is serious business.
[Sidebar: Sunny is Jewish. And not just sort-of Jewish, but planning-to-become-a-rabbi Jewish. Depending on the strictness of your definitions, Chickadee—after a lifetime of agnosticism—is also Jewish! And now that she’s in a serious relationship with a rabbi-to-be, she is teaching herself Hebrew and otherwise learning how to be a good Jew. This tickles me for a hundred reasons. However, our family celebration of Christmas has always been more about a good excuse for family and food and gifts than religion, so everyone seems good with celebrating Christmas here. Yay! This is all a long and rambling preamble to telling you that JEWISH CHRISTMAS STOCKINGS ARE A THING, and they are glorious, and I sure did buy one for Sunny. It’s utterly ridiculous and I can’t wait for her to see it.]
Other things that happened since I last wrote here, which are also not casino-related:
1) Everyone in the family voted. Yay, democracy! I, for one, am still brimming with existential dread, but at least we did our part to try to end our long national nightmare.
2) The only thing suckier than only leaving the house for groceries during this time of coronavirus is coming down with a UTI out of nowhere when the very last thing you want to do is leave the house and go to a germy doctor’s office. Oh, did I say you? I meant me. Of course it was me, because when HAVEN’T I had shitty timing? Fortunately my doctor responded to a frantic message through the portal thingie and called in some antibiotics for me. Everything is fine now. But I did not have “randomly peeing blood” on my bingo card, that’s for sure.
3) Otto ordered, like, half a cord of wood. Otto may be a secret pyromaniac, I don’t know. First he ordered the wood, then he ordered a couple of racks for the wood, then ANOTHER rack for the wood, and did I mention? Lots of wood? Basically any time the temperature dips below 70, now, he suggests we build a fire. And we have OPTIONS, because we have a fire pit outside, as well as a fireplace inside. I’m all for the coziness of a fire in the winter, but it’s still basically summer here. I’m a little worried about him.
4) I ran out of estrogen, by which I mean I filled my prescription for it and then somehow misplaced the bottle such that I went unmedicated for about a week before I tore apart everything to find it. If you’re not a woman, or if you’re not a woman in menopause, allow me to assure you that without proper levels of estrogen your brain becomes fuzzy and listless, resulting in, oh, say, about a week of “Gosh I should sure find that estrogen. Sometime.” In the end I found it exactly where it belonged (in my bin of meds), where I had looked at least four times prior. I cannot explain.
5) Otto went out to grill us some food one night for dinner and found a nest made of Duncan’s hair inside the grill, along with a small, furry resident. He cleaned everything out and we had a good (horrified) laugh about it and figured that was the end. Two nights ago he went out to the grill and there was a NEW nest, also made of Duncan’s hair. (His hair is very soft. I understand.) Related: NO MORE GRILLING. I made burgers that night in my cast iron pan, inside, and they were delicious. (And more importantly: rodent-free.)
In other words: That was around 1,300 words to tell you I am grumpy and my site was broken and now it’s not. You’re welcome.