i did a little googling and read a story about a guy whose account got suspended because of a glitch caused by a software upgrade at aol, suddenly they thought he was under 13. he was able to reinstate himself by providing a credit card number. i tried to do that, but i wasn't able to log in at aol's website, it kept telling me my password was incorrect. i know full well it's not, it's the same username and password i'd been logged in with just a few hours earlier. so i tried having aol e-mail me my password, to see if they thought it was something different. it's been over 24 hours, and while they e-mailed me an ad about all the lovely opportunities they could set me up for low low prices, they still haven't sent the password e-mail. what kind of crap is this?
sigh. only nine or ten years ago, the internet was nothing but an interesting amateur college project. absolutely no WAY that crowd would have allowed a slimy corporation like aol to control any part of their online experience. somebody would have written up an rfc describing a free and open instant-messaging protocol, and dozens of open source clients and servers would have sprung up. that's exactly the process that led to apache, the most widely-used web server in existence.
while getting my hair cut yesterday, i met this 20-year-old kid who was absolutely captivating, the most unselfconscious person i've ever talked to. he also happens to be a little slow, at about the level of a ten-year-old, i'd guess. i got halfway through writing about that experience, but i couldn't finish it. i don't think i can do justice to him. it's a horrible cliché that the mentally challenged are somehow closer to god or something, and my story was starting to fall into that category. good story or no, i'm not committing any clichés.
today i visited a group home for teenagers from crummy families. i'll be volunteering there, if they'll have me. i don't even want to go looking for the entry when my neighbor first gave me the number for that place. it was six months ago, at least. when i lived in miami, i'd been eyeing the van across the street with the number for big brothers and sisters on it for at least a year before i finally called. i'm slow that way.
i never wrote about it, but big brothers and sisters here in nashville actually turned me down, the bastards. the rejection letter they sent was vague, but i'm sure i know why: they talked to that cow of a social worker i got stuck with in miami, and they believed her. i'd write more about that, but i'm trying to keep that sort of bile out of my life. just as well, i guess. i'll be better with teenagers than i was with seven- and eight-year-olds.
UPDATE: while looking for abandoned screen names to deactivate so that they can be reused, aol accidentally shut off ten thousand live accounts. read about it here. they've got fifty million users, yet i managed to get into the tiny sliver of that total which was accidentally deleted. lucky me!