Tuesday, January 18, 2011

I Am A Second-Class Citizen in My Own House, Technologically Speaking

The laptop that I use, an IBM Thinkpad, will not start and only beeps, rudely, and says it has a "fan error." I tried leaving it alone for a few hours to rest. Matt and I both tried blowing on the fan. I tried swearing a little and then I tried acting like I didn't care. Then I crept back into the room, snuck up on it, and tried to turn it on. That did nothing. Of course the warranty has expired and it will actually have to be taken somewhere to be fixed.

This is really putting a crimp in my blogging.  The only computer in the house now is the one in Matt's office, which he spends most hours of the day entangled with, Borg-style. It is not a family machine.  I'm only able to type this because he's in the bathroom.

There are a couple of large posts forming in my consciousness, but I don't know how they will ever see the light until my computing situation improves. And have I mentioned that Matt is a computer game developer? Something about the cobbler's children comes to mind. Getting him to take the laptop to be fixed will require special pleading. 'Cause get this: he hates computers.  He likes programming, but he has mostly contempt for the actual machines, and anything to do with fixing them, buying them, talking about them. And who suffers? Moi.  Virginia Woolf was totally freaking right. See how the tools of literacy are being withheld from me? It's amazing that I didn't have to finish my dissertation on the backs of envelopes.

Somebody call the wahmbulance.

So I thought I'd tell you what I'm up to lately. What are you up to?

The last two days I've gone over to Pretty Neighbor's house and done the 30 Day Shred workout with her.  We were doing it the week before I went to California and got snowed out of Atlanta and took a giant break.  So I shred and then I come home and make sure to announce to anyone around, "I've already worked out today."

Then I read my daily chapter of Les Misérables.  I've mentioned this on the Twitter but I don't think I told y'all. Somewhere on the internet, around the end of the year, I glampsed the fact that Les Misérables has 365 chapters. Oh ho, thought I.  There are also 365 days in the solar year. A person could read a chapter a day and, through the magic of compounded interest, read the whole novel in the course of 2011.  The idea appealed to me, because it's not something I was otherwise going to read, so I downloaded it to the Kindle app on my phone. The book is basically free on Kindle.  So I've been reading along and I'm 18 chapters in.

Now, is it in fact true that the novel has 365 chapters? I have not verified this. It wasn't like an authoritative source that gave me this information, it was some discussion thread on Metafilter. I could be in for a rude awakening on December 31. But I'm really enjoying reading it, so let us defer this vexing question. The challenge is that when I get to the end of a chapter (they're pretty short) I sometimes really want to go on, but I make myself wait for the next day to read more. My rule is that each day's chapter is sufficient unto itself.

Now Matt's on the phone with his business partner, so I'm still bloggin'. Hee!

I am also, in addition to these pursuits, tending children. We went to the fourth grade musical tonight, the one for which Laura was Sacagawea's understudy, as you may recall.  Well, despite it being cold and flu season, and what I know to be several viruses circulating in the school environment, Sacagawea was able to perform, so Laura was relegated to the corps. In the car afterward I told Laura that I thought she would have been a hundred times better in the role, and Matt was all, "Whoa, now, I don't know if that's how we want to talk about this," because I was not modeling gracious behavior.  Whatever, I model that shit all the time, I was just speaking the truth. I am not a Tiger Mother, I guess.

Good night, friends. My housecleaner Fabienne is coming tomorrow, after a loooong snow-mandated absence, so I need to go half-heartedly pick up stuff off my bedroom floor.

I love you all.


Kate said...

Tiger Mother, now that's a term that is on everyone's tongue these days! Loved Ayelet Waldman's rebuttal in the WSJ. I think I blogged about Bad Mother once upon a time. too lazy to go back and look. guess that's why i am not a Tiger Mother. I often model laziness.

Elizabeth said...

That whole Tiger Mother thing/debate makes me feel both intensely bored and slightly nauseous.

But I love your post, as usual. And I'm sorry to hear of your computer woes. I hope you're back up, posting more, soon!

Beth said...

I have been tending sick children, which I am not really used to-- generally, they haven't yet caught any bad stuff. Seven year old got the flu this year though, wouldn't you know, the first year he didn't have a flu vaccine. It's been going around here. 17 kids absent out of 45 last week. Needless to say my blogging has suffered.

@Kate, I have Bad Mother and haven't yet read it, but my seven year old keeps finding it in my room and hiding it in *his* room. He thinks it's a how-to. It's kind of sad, actually. :-)

My word verification is vaghtsit, which is a little too close for comfort, you know?

Jenni said...

You are a model of gracious behavior. I think you're allowed to tell the truth on occasion.

You have the kindle app!! We can lend books to each other! Exciting.

Michele said...

What is this Kindle app that you speak of? Authoritative sources are not nearly as much fun as the un-authoritative ones.

Hootie said...

Did you know that men are different than women? I offer this single data point as proof: I read this blog post, and practically glossed over everything past "fan error." Instead of commiserating, I'm like, "I bet I could fix that. Let me try to fix that." Does that make me a bad husband? I think that depends on what decade it is.

janimal said...

This post totally brings back my feelings from the 6th grade when I was the understudy for the lead in our school musical "Sky Happy". The lead went to an 8th grader.

Man, I would have killed in that role.

So anyway, I think it's totally cool to tell Laura she woulda been better. You're her Mom - so you have the absolute right to be her biggest fan. Gracious schmacious!

The fan crapped out on my Thinkpad too. Perhaps a common problem for them?

Becky said...

Hoot, I'm going to tell Matt that other men are stepping forward wanting to fix it and see if that gets me any leverage.

Keely said...

A dissertation on the backs of envelopes would be kind of interesting, from a concept point of view. Probably only visual artists could get away with it though.

Elle said...

Mari & I can not share a computer. Bathroom, closet, bed, toothbrush, car, whatever, it's all fine, but in the collective days we have had to double up on computing machines, we could have easily let Dr Phil show us the lighted path to divorce court.

I feel like, yk, we either parent according to our values and commit ourselves to whatever endless laboring that entails or later we get busted for being phonies by incredulous, fault-seeking teens. That's all.

You should blog from Conspiracy Guy's house. Take Hank with you and tell him to shove over.

Kelly said...

Lincoln brought it to my attention last night that we haven't seen you guys since last year. That is something we should fix pronto! ;)

Star said...

If it's easier than carting the laptop to the computer shop (and--if it works--it certainly will be cheaper), first get a can of pressurized air made especially for blasting lint fuzz out from the innards of a computer and from around its fan.
Just might do the trick.
I'm told that this should be done at least a couple of times a year (but betwixt the cup and the lip....)

Casey said...

I hate having to preclean for the cleaning ladies but I do the same thing. It takes like an hour to pick up and arrange shit, we live in filth.

I'm sure Laura would have kicked ass in that role and you were right to tell her. :)

Amy said...

I am utterly awed by your Les Mis commitment. Fab idea. Can I totally copy you... in 2012, that is?

And when I finally decided it was time to give up the post-precleaning person, my first reaction was relief that the dreaded preclean would no longer be visited upon me. Invariably the MPM and I would be glaring at each other and saying snide things at 10p the night before her arrival. Honestly? I'd rather clean.

Rebekah said...

I just dusted off the 30 day shred this morning too. Got to get back. I've never made it more than 4 days, so time to try again.

Megan said...

1. Now that I'm back in school (too old for this!), I envy the ability to read any novel for fun. Please keep up the updates on your progress!!
2. In the play, did they pronounce the character "Sack-uh-juh-WEE-uh" or "Sah-kah-gah-WAY-uh"? Just curious. That second way always throws me.
3. Wish we could lend you a laptop. Somehow my husband and I have 3 of them, soon to be 4. ??

gretchen said...

I love the "Les Miz" idea. I have done the same thing with "War and Peace". I decided it would be nice to have some light reading for the gym. Which means, of course, that I never read it. Sigh...

Tell Matt I said he must get your computer fixed or I'll stop thinking of him as the perfect man.