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.

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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.

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Technical Relics

9th Grade – Memory #2

No daily delight today, but I was reminded of something hilarious.

As is normal during the holidays in a small town, I saw several people I haven’t seen in a while. And I was explaining to a friend’s new girl friend that yes, I knew her boyfriend and friends from high school, but really, didn’t know them until college. And without missing a beat, her boyfriend says, No we’ve been online buddies since 9th grade. And suddenly, something I hadn’t thought of in practically a decade came rushing back to me.

I slapped my hand over my mouth to stifle a laugh. And nodded my head to let him know I remembered. See, back in 9th grade, I was advanced in the online world – I had been building webpages and IRC chatting for a few years by then – and so when everyone in my school found AOL/AIM, I naturally, went along with it to test the waters. I chatted up a lot of people under various aliases just because I was curious what they had to say, what secrets they would tell, who they were when they didn’t think anyone was looking.

I chatted up T even though I really didn’t know him (we went to different middle schools), and nothing too exciting or embarrassing happened in our conversation. In fact, he made a good impression on me, he said something about how he’d much rather have his grandparents around rather than have their money – don’t ask me how this topic came up. Goodness, I might even still have the transcripts from our conversation. Note to self: check old computer.

But the really funny part to this story, was while we were chatting, I’d give him clues to who I was but never actually reveal it. And I told him that we had a class together, maybe I even specified which one – social studies or american history or global history or something like that. And the next day in the middle of that class, he just stood up. I mean the teacher is at the front of the classroom lecturing about one country invading another, and T just stands up and starts scanning everyone in the class.

I was sitting next to my then-best friend and she knew what I had been doing to him, so we had to do everything possible to not completely lose it. Because it was the funniest thing ever – him just standing there looking over everyone, actually turning left to right – to the point where the teacher stopped and asked him if he had a problem/needed something. It was just hilarious, in that silly, giddy-secrets-girl kind of way.

I’m super glad I saw T tonight and was reminded of this.

9th Grade – Memory #2