My computer freaked out Thursday afternoon, and I had to take it to the computer doctor.
The doctor happened to be one of two non-store-affiliated computer-repair places in the entire county (I hate Circuit City for shutting down and taking away my computer geeks). There weren't a lot of options. Even so, I had instant second thoughts about leaving my baby there as soon as I pulled up.
My new geek is located in the downstairs of a former house converted into an acupuncture clinic in one of the sleaziest areas of town.
I couldn't find it at all in the beginning, though I could see half of its sign sticking out of the juniper bushes. No door to be seen. Just the acupuncture clinic and a ramp leading pretty much nowhere into piles of junk.
I wander around for awhile, then finally give up and ring the doorbell to ask the acupuncturist upstairs (apparently it was still a lived-in house, not just a converted one). After about five minutes an old Japanese man answers the door and irritably gestures down the ramp toward the junk.
I try again. Through a non-door, down some dark, dirty stairs, to a hallway full of wires.
A huge, smiling Japanese kid with bad teeth and bad hair steps out and immediately starts talking computer talk in an excited voice.
I take a relieved breath. I have my geek, and he doesn't look like a rapist. Yes, I am judging purely by irrational gut feeling and the fact that Japan has very little crime. Also, because he is so excited to fix my computer. He turns it on, gets my error screen, and holds it up to his ear.
Him: Hear that clicking sound?
Me: Uh, no...
Him: That's the hard drive trying to load files and it can't.
Me: I'm not going to have to replace my whole computer?
Him: Oh, no. This is easy. I will call you when it's ready, probably tomorrow.
He doesn't give me a claim paper or have me sign anything. I hope he doesn't mix up my computer parts with all the other wires and computer body-parts lying around.
That was Thursday, late afternoon. Today is Monday, late afternoon. I'm hoping my baby wasn't sold over the weekend on ebay.
I can't work today, so I mope around and read an entire book.
I am lost without my computer.
This one has no space bar (don't ask). You can't write novels on a computer with no space bar. And I cannot focus my brain when I can't write. It spins. I sometimes think my computer is my brain.
So I'm writing a blog post on the computer with a missing space bar and it's taking me forever. My brain is still spinning.
But it works well enough for me to remember that the reason I decided to write this post is that I put no deadline on my free book drawing. So, let's make it Thursday, May 27th, just for an even week.
I'll tell you when I get my brain back.
Imagination doesn't just mean making things up. It means thinking things through, solving [problems] or hoping to do so, and being just distant enough to be able to laugh at things that are normally painful. [Some people] would call this escapism, but they would be be entirely wrong. I would call fantasy the most serious, and the most useful branch of writing there is.
--Diana Wynne Jones
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