Monday, October 13, 2008

Ode to my computer

It has been a difficult few days for me. After an accidental dropping of my computer this weekend by one of Pat's friends, my computer would no longer turn on. It couldn't have been broken, I thought, since it only feel approximately two feet from the couch and landed on our carpeted floor. The problem was, I had my flash drive in the USB port and of course since I'm cursed with all things electronic, it landed right on the flash drive causing it to jam internally into the rest of the computer. Pat and I took it to the Apple store yesterday. I held the computer in my arms as we walked to the store to determine the fate of my computer. My lifeline. My love. After doing some testing, the Apple Genius, I believe his name was Jeremy - we will call him Dr. Jeremy, informed me that the results were not good.

The USB drive had been pushed into the motherboard of my computer on impact during the dropping. It would cost me over $800 to repair it. I felt like the walls were closing in around me. My computer is three years old (in fact, you can look to one of my very first posts in October of 2005 to read a blog I wrote about the excitement when I first purchased my computer and my frustration with my previous PC). Since you can buy a new computer for $1,100, investing $800 in the old one is just not worth it. Dr. Jeremy gave me a moment to process all of this information and apologized for being the bearer of bad news.

As the information started to sink in, questions started to fill my mind. When was the last time I backed my computer up? Weeks? Months? Within the last year? I couldn't remember. What are the odds they could get everything off of my hard drive? I asked Dr. Jeremy and just like any doctor, he couldn't make any promises that he wasn't sure he could keep. If I did purchase another Apple computer, they would do their best to retrieve the information off of my hard drive and move it over to my new computer. But they wouldn't know until they tried. He went on to suggest that I take a few moments to look at the notebooks on my way out and added that Apple will be holding a press release on Tuesday October 14th to release their new line of notebooks and suggested I wait until then to purchase a new computer. Come on Dr. Jeremy. Do I look like the type of person who has the money and decisiveness to just walk over and buy a new computer only moments after finding out that mine was ruined forever?

We did take him up on his suggestion to at least peruse the notebook section on our way out. But as we were looking at the options and the prices, Pat and I both knew that it was something we just couldn't afford right now. We're not sure how we'll even pay for our wedding and honeymoon in seven months so the computer is just not in the budget. The thought of going seven months without a computer was more than I could bear at the time. I suddenly felt sick and needed to leave the store.

Most people who know me well, can appreciate the fact that my computer is my most prized (and valuable) possession, aside from my wonderful fiance of course. On a recent vacation to Virginia Beach my digital camera also three years old, was exposed to a little too much salt water on a dolphin watching excursion and bit the dust (side note - the only warning we received before going on this trip was that we might get slightly "splashed." Translation - you might as well jump in the ocean. My camera was in it's case and underneath my shirt but still got a little wet due to the drenching of all customers on the dolphin boat). Long story short - I now have no computer and no camera. Already memories are passing me by. Pat and recently celebrated our 3 year anniversary. I have a scrapbook page of our previous two. Not this one. No camera to document it with. Halloween is quickly approaching and I have no camera to capture these memories. No camera means to pictures. No pictures mean nothing to scrapbook. You get the idea. Oh the pain! The pain!

Sorry, Mom & Mark. You purchased both my digital camera and my computer. I know I have let you down. I hope that you believe me when I say that these technological losses of late are not due to irresponsible behavior on my part but the curse of all things electronic that has been cast upon me.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Betty Homemaker I am not...

To all of you Martha Stewarts out there, today I want to salute you. Since I've moved into our house, and have pretty much tripled the square footage I'm responsible for maintaining, I'm realizing how far from being a Betty Homemaker I really am. To be completely honest, I didn't do a great job of keeping my apartment in tip top condition either, when I had a fraction of the space. I had all of the excuses in the world: I didn't have enough storage space, no place to do laundry, no dish washer. The list could go on and on. Well, I've run out of excuses. I have plenty of room to store all of my belongings. I have a laundry room equipped with a washer, dryer, utility sink, and even a separate area for the litter box and other kitty necessities. I now have a dishwasher, double sink, and lots of counter space. So what's my problem? My problem is, when I get home from work I don't feel like doing anything. And if I did do something, what I should be doing is working out. And I plan to get back into that routine sometime within the next seven months so that I am comfortable wearing a bathing suit on my honeymoon. But that is neither here nor there. When you get home, work out, and cook dinner, where is the time to do the regular upkeep and cleaning in the house? I try. I really do. I just can't seem to keep up with it all!

I learned a lot about working women and the "second shift" they assume after coming home from working a daytime job and then starting job number two of taking care of their family and keeping up with housework. I know I was impressed and enlightened when I learned about these remarkable women, but I'm even more astounded by this concept now that I have a full time job and a house of my own. I don't even have the kids to take care of and I still can't do it! I can't cook (but I try) and I can't keep up with the housework (but I try). I'm very lucky in the fact that I have a partner who is more than willing to split the housework and split the cooking (let's be honest - I don't think I could marry someone who didn't help and expected me to be the housewife is knows her role in the kitchen and as the maid. And in the spirit of being honest, someone who was looking for a Betty Homemaker, wouldn't want to marry me either!).

So maybe it's all a learning game. A juggle of priorities and time management. If so, maybe there's hope for me yet. And something I can't complete this blog entry without mentioning is the fact that my mom was named the "Betty Homemaker of the Year" recipient in high school. This should be a sign of encouragement and hope for me, right? It's actually not. It's quite scary. They must just hand those awards out! ha ha. I kid, I kid, mom. I've got nothing but love for you.

Speaking of housewives, please read through the following quiz I found online from a newspaper in 1957. Let me know how you do. According to this quiz, I should probably sit down and think long and hard about my relationship with Pat. I don't seem to be serving him well. Wow, thank goodness for the advancement of women over the past 50 years or I would never have a lasting marriage. :)

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

You hate your job...I get it...

Dear Cleveland Postal Workers,

I have had many encounters with various postal workers throughout my last year of employment in Cleveland. None of which have been enjoyable for me. Most of which involved me getting scolded and lectured in ways that I haven't experienced since being a small child. Today's experience, although small in overall comparison to the others, was the straw that broke the camels back. I just don't understand how individuals who so obviously hate human interactions, end up working in customer service/sales related positions such as postal workers. Perhaps it's because of problems in our social structure which require people to do jobs that they don't enjoy. But I have a separate blog for political issues such as these.

Many people dislike their jobs and are dissatisfied at work. Not everyone, however, takes it out on innocent people who just want to buy some stamps for their non-profit. Yes, I admit. You caught me putting tape on a stamp once. You did not like it. You made it quite clear to me that it was a big no-no and that I should never make that mistake again. And guess what? I won't. The thing is, you really only had to tell me once not to do it again. I learn quickly. The five minute lecture and badgering was a bit much. I work for a poor non-profit. We have to try and reuse stamps from old mailings. I didn't have a glue stick yet, I had just started my job. I thought tape was harmless enough. Since the incident, and believe me you made my first experience at a Cleveland post office quite memorable, I have purchased a glue stick and I know never to put tape on a stamp again. In other trips to the post office, and additional lectures and badgering, I have also learned that you cannot drop envelopes in a mailbox with rubber bands on it. This one probably should have been common sense. I was out of my game on that one. Lesson learned. You have also taught me that once I'm given the necessary paperwork, I must exit the line to fill out the forms and then re-enter the lines. Noted.

The final lesson I have learned is that no matter how sweet and innocent I try to act at the post office (well, it's not really an act. I am sweet and innocent), I get yelled at each and every time. I still will kill with kindness though. I will not treat others poorly just because that's how they treat me. I should also mention that I have visited a total of 5 different branches of post offices throughout the greater Cleveland area and my experience has been the same each and every time. But I want to give you credit where credit is due. Today you definitely showed me that it's nothing personal. Even the 90 year old-woman in front of me in line was spared no mercy. She wasn't quite fast enough making her elderly way over to the counter. That made me feel a little bit better (no - I don't enjoy when elderly people are mistreated. I was just glad it wasn't a personal vendetta, me versus the Cleveland Postal Workers).

I look forward to our next encounter. I will keep trying to obey all of the rules and not screw up and you keep trying your hardest not to smile at work and make each experience with your customers more miserable than the last. Until then....

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Just Do It!

I was in a meeting at work today and was completely inspired by something our guest said. We were talking about making changes and improvements in an organization (our organization to be specific) and he said, "Stop talking about it. Stop thinking about. Just do it." Outside of it's immediate context (although I thought it was very inspiring for us and our organization) I was actually thinking more about myself and my most recent blog about my anxiety and worrying. I told myself I'm going to adopt it as my new motto. It was one of the only notes I took during that meeting.

I think it's fitting that I've been worrying all day and evening about my surgery tomorrow. Hey, Rome wasn't built in a day! Getting put under isn't fun, surgery isn't fun, being in pain isn't fun, and I'm just ready to be done with my mouth trouble (as you know). The last time general anesthesia was used on me, I had stomach problems for over a week. I hope that doesn't happen again. I won't know until I wake up tomorrow morning whether I will be needing one surgery or two. Whether my healing time will be two months or six. There's just so much uncertainty. I think I'm more nervous about the money than I am about the surgery. No matter what it is specifically that I'm worried about, the reality is, I've been waiting and saving for this procedure for a long time now. I know it needs to be done so I need to stop talking about it. Stop thinking about it. And just do it!