Sunday, April 29, 2007

bizarro new world

Oh my god. This is so strange. After backing up some files to CD on my old (I think) virus-infected Dell, I bought a new computer. It's an HP something or other ~ by the time I had listened to the happy parade of fast-talking 22 year-olds with Dell, Best Buy and Fry's I was so addled and glassy-eyed that I just handed my credit card to the last guy I encountered and begged him not to hurt me. Good thing he worked for the store.

Which is all pretty exciting, or should be, except that this new model is running Windows Vista, with which I am unfamiliar. The first thing I did was to accidentally run a file backup program, which completely filled my D disk and immediately triggered messages that I'm low on memory. Wonderful! Right back where I started. I can't tell if I managed to delete it or not. Nothing looks right or functions the same. Where are those happy little geeks when you need them?

I don't even know how my start up screen functions, and I'm afraid to check and see if I'm still compatible with my digital camera or MP3 player. I haven't tried the media programs yet. Although it's really nice to up-and download in seconds rather than minutes. I love my tight little new keyboard too, although I've no idea about some of these hieroglyphics. Is that a hyperlink key...?

Anyway, I just came here to check the blog before I do any further damage. I must say, it is very different from the one I'm accustomed to seeing. The pictures look smaller and the page seems bigger. Everything appears somewhat distorted. My sidebar-self seems to have gotten shorter and a little wider ~ not unlike my actual self, come to think of it. How dare Virtual Me mimic the more unappealing aspects of Reality Me? Most inconvenient. I think I'm getting the vapors.

This is all too much for me. I've been challenging what's left of my brain all day. Time to fly the martini flag here in Luddite Land. I bet there's a key for it somewhere here on the board. I wonder what this pretty crescent moon thing does...

Friday, April 20, 2007

growing older but not up

We are growing old together with something less than grace, my appliances, my husband and I. Although not necessarily in that order.

And while as a rule I like to ignore this sad fact of life, I was forced to confront it yesterday when an abrupt reminder arrived in the form of a cheerfully insulting 'welcome' letter from AARP. It was a harbinger of doom that I chose to take personally.

"What the hell?" I cried, flinging the temporary identification card away from me as if it were on fire. Turk, seated at the kitchen counter opening his own mail gave me a knowing glance as I raved on. "I am not old enough for AARP! Why would they think I am? Who are these people and why are they saying such terrible things about me?"

"You think that's bad?" he asked, eyeing a pretty cream-colored piece of stationary in front of him. "This is from the Trident Society. They want to incinerate me."

"I don't think they want to incinerate you. I think they want to bury you at sea."

"I don't see that that's any improvement. And it's definitely incinerate. But that's not the point. The point is, why are they in such a hurry to bury me in the first place? Where do they get these lists? My accountant? My doctor? What do they know that I don't know?" He paused. "I'm not dead yet."

"No, honey. Indeed you're not! And I'm not old yet."

And thus it was unanimous. We remain, as always, untouched by time or mortality. We smile, happy in our shared delusion.

Meanwhile, in another room the family Dell is dealing with it's own issues. Running slower and slower of late, it's been creaking and groaning loudly enough to hear the little hamsters that power it chugging along in their rusty cages. Being online is becoming a painful experience, and I'm afraid an intervention may be in order. Pages load like lava flows when they load at all, after which they disappear in a slow fade from top to bottom. Error messages abound, and Windows sends up ominous flares warning that I am dangerously low on virtual memory. If it only knew.

So I am in the process of uninstalling obsolete programs (at least I hope they're obsolete and not, you know, essential...) and deleting ancient files. I am not sure how much good it will do. What I would really like to do, while I'm at it, is to purge all AOL programs from the system, but I'm afraid that doing so would also remove my control over the old AOL blog, which I should but can't bring myself to delete. (I know. I'm just sentimental that way.) But if anyone has any information regarding the issue, I'd love to hear it.

In the meantime, it looks like it may be off to Rehab for my poor geriatric Dell 4500S, which takes me out of the blogging game for a bit. But that's the trouble with interventions; they're always hardest on the family.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

the answer

"Listen: We are here on Earth to fart around. Don't let anybody tell you any different"
~ Kurt Vonnegut

Farewell to a profoundly generous and heroically empathetic man. He was funny, sad, brilliant, sensitive, accessible, lonely and complicated ~ qualities that add up, in the course of a lifetime, to represent the depth of human wisdom.

And somehow, thinking about it now I suddenly realize that I have no desire to waste this glorious bright gift of a day sitting here in front of the dead white light of my computer screen, reading the tributes of others and growing old in my chair.

"The main business of humanity is to do a good job of being human beings, not to serve as appendages to machines, institutions, and systems." ~~ 'Player Piano,' 1952

The answers are, and always have been to my mind, fairly straight forward. To thine own self be true. Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Do a good job of being a human being. Damn it.

So ponder the mysteries of the universe if you will. I, my friend, am off to do some serious farting around.

(* pearls before swine)

And so it goes.