Technical Relics

I wanted to pull together some old writings I have before leaving on my next adventure. I put aside my iMac and MacBook Pro, and dusted off the old Dell Inspiron 700m.

And by golly, six years after buying it, two of those years spent on the bottom shelf of a side table, it still works. Granted, it has to be tethered to an electrical outlet, the speakers are shot, the trackpad is hardly sensitive and the keyboard isn’t backlit so I am straining to see the letters as I type this in bed in the dark (please ignore the typos), but, BUT it still works. After all these years. It connects to the wireless flawlessly, checks for viruses and updates. And most importantly, it holds all the secrets of myself from the past six years. Dependable Dell.

This laptop saw me through the end of Cornell and a life-changing move to Baltimore. It saw me through five jobs and a plethora of unfilled short stories and poems, grad school applications and miscellaneous blog posts and toolbar bookmarks for sites I’ve nearly forgotten – the dieline, this is by us, totally fair trivia.

I never loved this laptop the way I love my Macs. The fact that it’s only been two years since I put it down, feels much to recent. This thing is an ancient artifact, I couldn’t have been subjected to its whims a mere two years ago, could I? And yet here it is, old trusted friend, never once backed-up, still going strong. I feel a little silly, and stupid, for buying into the cult of Mac so easily. But like a lot of other people, I wanted the faster, new, shinier toy. Which seems so unlike me, or so I like to think.

I have no plans to get rid of this laptop, all though after some file transfers, I have fewer and fewer reasons to use it. Maybe one day if I ever do decide to write and do nothing else, I’ll use this laptop. For writing and nothing else. Like some updated, out-dated version of a writer using a type writer, clicking away on Microsoft ’00.

UPDATE: Here’s a little piece I wrote for the 2008 New Year. Wow, I used to have a really ‘aggressive’ writing style.

Get Slim in 2008! This is your year!
Sick and tired of the same lame NYE resolutions

Damn it people. Everything I’ve read about online, in the city’s alt paper, and hear on the radio for the past week has been all about people’s big plans for their 2008 New Years resolutions. Now, in fairness, I’m fairly anti-New Year Eve. As in, I don’t think it’s a big deal other than I get the day off. So, I don’t make too many resolutions. But I’m tired of hearing about your resolutions and how they’re the exact same selfish resolution as your previous years.

Quit the bullshit: I’m going to diet, I’m going to lose 20 lbs, I’m going to eat healthy all the time! This super optimism does not negate the past month (and week for Thanksgiving) that you’ve been filling your belly like a heifer with glazes, sauces, cheese balls, meats and cookies.

So, this year if you have to do something (or restrain yourself from doing something) for 2008, let’s make it a little less selfish and a little more creative. Here are some starters:

1. Visit a slaughterhouse (and take a friend). This may make you rethink how you use meat by considering where it comes from and how its handled and how much you eat of it and how much you waste of it. I’m not screaming go vegetarian by any means, but let’s open our eyes.

2. Ride your bike 5x a week. Or play tennis 5x a week. Or indoor volleyball. Or skiing. Or swimming. Or running. Do you get the point? Don’t puss out and say you’ll do it two or three times a week, you really want to lose those 20 lbs, stop bullshitting yourself and stop starving yourself. Go out and get some exercise.

3. Play more scrabble, do more crosswords or READ everyday. (Stipulation to this: the TV must be turned off.) Have an intellectual conversation everyday damn it.

4. Go out more often. Stop holing yourself up at work, on the internet or at home with your family. Go outside. Meet the people in your community. Volunteer. Support art and theater projects in your neighborhood. Go to city council meetings.

5. Learn public transportation (trains, busses, subways, your work car pooling.) You’ll be amazed at home many avenues (ha, pun) this may open in your life. Discover a new place. Keep doing it until you can do it with ease and confidence and you are not the person standing by the bus driver fumbling for change as the bus speeds to the next stop.

The thing about these resolutions is it doesn’t have to be a new year to do them. You can do them any day of the week, month or year you want. That’s the deal that people seem to forget about all the things that they want to do and change in their lives—you CAN, at any moment’s notice! So please people, get out there and stop worrying about your stupid diet plan that you know you’re going to break as soon as a steamy pile of ketchup laden French fries is in your face.


Technical Relics

Daily Delight #65

Some things are bitter sweet. Several people have died in the past few months, and it’s sad. I guess we’re at that age, where that starts happening.

I am incredibly grateful for the time I’ve gotten to spend in Ithaca over the past few months. I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my recently-widowed Grandpa. I really love my grandpa. I have a hard time pin-pointing what it is exactly, but I really think he’s the greatest. Every time I go away, I worry that he might not be here when I return. (My grandma died the morning after I arrived in Portland.) I know everyone has their time, and he is fairly old, but I want to be selfish and have him live for a long long time more. Tonight, because we were being nostalgic, he told me that people die in spurts, usually three at a time. Well, I’ve known three people who have gone down in the past few months, so I told him he’ll be okay, at least til next year, wink wink. And I very much hope I’m right.

Daily Delight #65

Daily Delight #63

I had a co-worker who when he first came to my company I didn’t like. I won’t go into the details, but he’s pretty much the complete opposite of me. It was just a first reaction kind of thing. But we had to work on a project together recently, and turns out he’s not so bad. I even told him how I didn’t originally like him, and he cracked a joke about it this afternoon. It makes work much easier when you get along with your co-workers. So, shame on me for judging a book by the cover. Every person has an interesting story.

Daily Delight #63

Daily Delight #62

Learning something new.

I learned consistency is not one of my personal traits. But curiosity is, and I certainly think one is better than the other.

I started a book that used words I’m unfamiliar with. I realized it has been a long time since I’ve read a book with challenging words. Anything contemporary just doesn’t seem to cut it.

I learned my two heritages often come to a head – my model minority Korean self that serves to please and my independent, stubborn Dutch self that just wants to have a damn good time. Quite conflicted.

I learned one of my goals in life is to live like time doesn’t exist.

Daily Delight #62

Daily Delight #61

Watching the State of the Union Address. Inspiring. I’m not naive enough to think things will be different tomorrow, but… you know it will be different tomorrow, because tomorrow is a new day, it has never happened before, and anything will be possible. I am naive, fuck it.

I thoroughly believe in a person’s ability to reinvent themselves. A country can do the same.

Watching the address makes me feel like a good citizen. A measly hour and a half on the future of our country and so many don’t bother to tune in. No wonder things are going downhill here. Being informed should outweigh being entertained.

Daily Delight #61