Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Melancholy story.

So, last night when I was trying to find fair trade stuff to potentially get for the historian for Christmas (this kind of shopping is also always a project of trying to imagine my life being in complete harmony with my so-called values (wait, wasn't that a television show once--in fact, one of my favorite television shows?)), my laptop notified me that I had "Low Battery" (a condition I have come to think of as endemic to this part of the semester), and then "Critical Low Battery" (the analog spiritual experience of critical low battery, that will come next week--).

But the green light on the power cord was a-shinin'. How could I have critical low battery? I checked all the hook-ups and every thing seemed fine. Other than that the laptop felt slightly hot, but that's pretty much all the time. (Beautiful laptop: despite the way I need you, I want you, I have to have you!, you have many flaws. Design flaws. See below.)

Well, about midway through the No Sweat website (after having thoroughly perused Fair Indigo), the computer made a sad sound. It was the sound of a teeny, tiny aneurysm, a small explosion, a minuscule pop. And then, the screen was black. Despite the green glow of the power cord, nothing could make the computer revive. It would not. turn. on.

Nothing--not letting it cool down, not putting it in a quiet dark place so it could regain its equilibrium, not my deepest imploring--changed this state of affairs. Not at midnight, not this morning. Not even, as it turned out, in the IT Lair. That is, until IT Guy figured out (after not too much poking around) that the connector--the little place on the back of the laptop where the power cord plugs in--was broken. And guess what? that little connector is connected to the motherboard! Which is connected to how my laptop lights up, turns on and gives me that great feeling that all is right with the world. That I can blog and check e-mail and chat and possibly do some work and Christmas shop. You know, live.

The good news is that the part, aka motherboard/power connector, is now ordered--my laptop still has 100 days of its warranty left, although whether that's good news or bad, I'm of two minds--and everything should be excellent by Friday. (I am in the computer lab down the hall from my office at the moment, composing this post.) IT Guy stuck a charged up battery in my computer so that I could, for my own piece of mind, retrieve a couple of pieces of data without which I would be screwed (grades/comments from my two face-to-face classes, poems from my new ms). It's sort of amazing how an event like this clarifies what you can't live with out. A functioning laptop is very close to the top of that list.

Megastore residents update: Running son has moved in with his dad for the last few weeks before he leaves on his mission. I have tried to be extra supportive of this move--the whole process of back-and-forthing definitely has its wearying side for the kid, so he hasn't exactly been on top of it all. He came in to our room last night where we were watching television, after I had made the umpteenth grilled sandwich since I bought the sandwich grill (this one had a thin layer of scrambled egg, ham, and cheese, his request. "That's pretty good, mom, but it's no ham and cheese," was the verdict).

"I'm going to dad's," he said.

"Okay," I said; then, "for good?"


There was a small amount of hugging--a tolerable amount, I hope, for him. Bruiser roused himself to observe--he is keenly aware of comings and goings, always keeping hope alive that when any human stands vertical, it might mean a trip to the dog park.

I expect that between now and January 9th, there will be an innumerable number of small moments like this--how many more times will Bruiser curl up with running son for the night? how many more variations on the ham and cheese sandwich are there to make?--that remind me of the fact that he's leaving home, good bye.


  1. A tear in the eye. Leavings are always melancholy. Good news about the laptop though.

  2. A lot of great fair trade companies are listed at - and you can use the database to search by the items you're looking for (and save battery time)!

  3. Sad about Son leaving, but he's not going too far yet. And there are more sandwiches. And you have Bruiser to keep you company. And you can always put a bra on him. Just for fun.
    And sad about the laptop. But happy! It's only temporary. so that's good. And as long as you can still blog, I'm happy.

  4. I think your laptop sensed you anti-capitolist shopping and decided to cut you off--you know like Hal in 2001.

    Now as for leaving children, what a Kubrick moment you have described. I can imagine it filmed at an uncomfortably distant one-take. Know what I mean?

  5. And I don't mean anything negative about the Kubrick comment. It just seemed one of those strange domestic moments that are weirdly surreal. He was good at depicting that and the underlying tension/emotion that was there.

  6. Thank you for referencing my favorite meloncholy beatles song. I hope your laptop virtually recovers.

  7. i'm so sorry about this change. all change is terrible. we should all be in the primordial slime having a big bacterial party, as far as i'm concerned.



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