Monday, December 28, 2009

White Girls Can't Dance

Let me preface this by saying, I have always been fully aware of my lack of coordination (and thus my inability to participate in team sports and the reason I took up running in the first place - anyone can run. It's just really fast walking). I am not exactly what you would call graceful... in fact I am probably the only person I know who can go to sit on the couch only to end up bouncing off a cushion and skinning my knee on the sisal rug. But I digress.

Not only do I lack grace, but I have a penchant for breaking expensive things. You'd be a fool to leave your laptop plugged in anywhere that might cross my path, as there is a 100% chance that I will trip over the cord, knocking your laptop to the floor. Luckily my sexy new MacBook Pro comes with a safety feature made especially for people like me - the AC power source is magnetized to the inlet on the computer, but quickly and easily becomes detached if the cord is yanked. So... trip over your cord? No problem. Your MacBook Pro will be unphased. Just like the glass of wine in the Tempurpedic commercials. We may not be able to say the same of your bodily person, but... as long as the computer is safe, right? (I do not work for Apple, by the way. I just really like my MacBook)

Anyway, my MacBook is fairly new, maybe a month old... I had to purchase said MacBook as a replacement for my old PC laptop, which had the misfortune of belonging to me and as a result fell victim to my clumsy hands.


I've had to make the following repairs as a direct result of my butterfingers:

1: Replace hard drive, recover files from old hard drive

Wow, this was the crisis of the century for me. I had been working my fingers to the bone on a case study that was due in 5 days. I was almost finished. I believe it was 20 or 30 pages long. And did I have it backed up? Of course not. The only copy I had was a rough draft I'd sent in email to my mentor for review. A very rough draft. As in... maybe 5 pages rough. Ouch. That's pretty much a recipe for disaster.

Well anyway, I was cleaning up in my apartment waiting for R to come over (back in the days when he and I were still long distance) and being the genius that I am, I placed my PC atop a stack of binders on the coffee table. Now, you know that the covers on binders, unless they are packed completely full, lay at an angle. I thought it would be a fantastic idea to place my PC on a decline.

Gravity.... well let's just say Isaac Newton wasn't just blowing smoke up our collective wazoos... gravity took over and much to my horror, my PC landed on the floor. The screen? Blank. No problem, it wasn't that far of a fall, I probably just have to restart it. I pressed the power button. Nothing. I pressed it harder, multiple times in rapid succesion (It's just like elevator buttons. If you press the button frantically, the machinery will perceive your sense of urgency.) Still nothing.

R, who had a key to my place, walked in the door of my apartment. He was greeted by the sight of me standing in the middle of the living room, cradling my poor laptop, lower lip quivering. Uh oh. He immediately went into boyfriend-fixer mode and got on the phone with his friend, D, who is a veritable computer genius (I'm not just saying that to get him to recommend my blog, either...really). D walked us through the process of uninstalling and reinstalling Windows (at this point the computer would turn on, but nothing would load). It didn't work. Shit.

R wanted to start dismantling the thing right then and there, but knowing what was at stake (my 30 page paper), I decided this was a job for the pros. So, I took it to Geek Squad at Best Buy, since that's where I purchased the computer, and thought that maybe... just maybe, paying extra for that added warranty might be worth it. They ran some diagnostic tests on it while R and I sat in the waiting area, like anxious family members waiting for their loved one to come out of surgery.

The bad news? Your hard drive is busted, yo.

The good news? We can send it away and our fancy technicians can retrieve *some* of your info... but we can't tell you what, or how much.

The bad news? It will cost you about $1 billion dollars. (Or $400... whatever), and your warranty is no good because there is a tiny crack in a piece of plastic completely unrelated to your hard drive, which shows signs of external damage and... well, you're basically screwed.

Hmph. In a normal situation, I would just say F it. The computer itself only cost around $600, why would I put $400 into fixing the old one instead of using that money towards a new computer? Well, my deadline was looming, so I begrudgingly shelled over my $400 (or my mom's.... Come on! I was a full time student! The only money in my bank account belonged to my parents or the government. At least my parents didn't charge interest.) They informed me that my hard drive would be sent out immediately and I would receive CDs with the files they were able to retrieve. In about a week.

Uh.... what? My case study was due in 5 days. I didn't have a week. Well, fine. Damage control time. I immediately emailed my mentor explaining my problem and asking pretty please with sugar on top for a 1 week extension. She was ever so gracious and granted me the extension. Phew. Ok. Safe for now.

Fast forward about a week. I got a phone call from Best Buy letting me know that my CDs were ready to be picked up. Ok, great. Now all I have to do is just retrieve my case study, put the finishing touches on, do some editing and submit it to my mentor. Easy, right? Except that they couldn't get the whole file. Some of it was there, about 8 pages of it... but the rest? She was history.

I had 2 choices: I could panic, or I could buckle down and finish the remainder of my paper in record time. I chose both. First I had a full on panic attack (this is before I discovered the miracle that is Klonopin) and then I got my shit together and worked day and night finishing that case study. I did finish within the constraints of my 1 week extension, and I got a decent grade, but I'm pretty sure the whole ordeal shaved a few years from my life, or at least contributed to premature wrinkling (At what age is it socially acceptable to get Botox?).

After all that, you would think I learned my lesson, but I am still terrible about backing up my files. I don't have anything of real importance on my hard drive right now, since I am no longer a student, but damn if it wouldn't be annoying to have to re-download my 1,927 songs on iTunes. That settles it. My New Year's resolution, or at least one of them, will be to consistently back up my files.

2: Replace LCD screen x 2

There is a reason you are not supposed to pick up your laptop by the screen. Because if done in just the right way (ie: half asleep, still in bed), your thumb will create a pressure point on the screen, causing it to crack and leak scary mercury all up in the screen. Yikes.

So, off to Geek Squad I went. Again. And they informed me that this will be a pricey repair. Again. And again, this repair can't be done in-store, so the computer has to be sent out for repair. Frustrated, I walked out, and called R from my car.

R, the smart smart boy that he is, discovered that I could purchase the LCD screen individually from eBay at a reasonable price. He also located several YouTube videos outlining the procedure. Seemed easy enough. Okay, bought the part on eBay, now we wait...tick tock tick tock.

The part arrived within a few days. Following the instructions to a T, I performed the transplant. Scalpel, please? I pressed the power button and crossed my fingers. Please work, please work, pleaseworkpleaseworkpleasework.... Amaaaaazing! The computer, she is saved! Without draining my bank account! Phew. Dodged that bullet. Or did I?

The PC was fine for several months, until one day for no apparent reason, the LCD screen was scrambled. I tried checking the wiring, the connections... to no avail. I considered putting more money into FrankenPC, but truthfully, I'd had enough problems with it and already sunk too much cash into fixing it. So I took the plunge. Goodbye PC, Hello Mac. And I haven't looked back since.

Ok, so what's the point in telling you about all of this? Well recently, R and I joined the gym. It's part of our "December Declaration" (not New Year's Resolution, because no one ever keeps those) to get into better shape. So I've been dabbling in the group exercise classes, trying to find something that keeps my interest for more than 15 minutes (After repeatedly injuring my knee by running, the treadmill is out, and I hate, HATE the elliptical. HATE.) So far I have tried Spin class (Um, if I ever intend to do this again I need to invest in health insurance just for my ass. Owwww.) and a class called Hip Hop/Funk. I figured, "Ok, this sounds fun. And I'm a pretty good dancer, so I should pick up pretty quickly." BZZZZT. Wrong.

In college I spent a good amount of time on the dance floor (sometimes literally on the floor. I told you I was klutzy, right?). I always figured I looked like this. In fact, I was so confident in my dance skillz (skills with a z, so you know I'm extra skillful), that I regularly challenged people to "dance offs." My signature moves? The Robot and Air Guitar. Nice.

So, I went into this class thinking it would be a cake walk for an expert dancer like myself. Well, not only did I seem to have inherited from my father's side, what I consider to be lanky Go-Go-Gadget arms, (Far better than T-Rex arms, in my opinion. I'm looking at you, Hayden Panettiere) but I also seem to have inherited the "white person dancing" gene. You know what it looks like:



Anywho, I found myself in a class with mostly 5'2" petite girls, so at 5'7" (a perfectly average height, definitely not of the Green Giant variety) I was already looming over them all. Perhaps the only person in the class my height or taller was the Michael Moore lookalike. I thought, "I know I'm definitely a better dancer than Michael Moore over here." Well, who would have guessed that Michael Moore Lite had the dance skillz of all the cast members of the Broadway production of Cabaret.... COMBINED???

Yeah, so anyway. I got my white girl dance skillz on, always going left when I'm supposed to slide right, half a beat late on all the moves, "White Girl Arms" flailing about... I'm sure with my Stretch Armstrong arms I looked a little like one of those Wacky Waving Inflatable Arm Flailing Tube Men. It. Was. Awful. But my experience has led me to 2 very important conclusions:

1. Clumsy White Girls Can't Dance

2. Beer definitely makes me a better dancer.

To wrap things up, I'll leave you with the deep thoughts of 9 year old T.

Nov. 23, 92

I saw Home alone 2 on Friday Nov. 20 it was cool!! I liked the part when his pants fall down (of course you did, you little perv) and the stapel gun and the briks and the high voltage wires and when Harry dips his head in the toylet. (Come on, you can spell "high voltage" but you cant spell "bricks" or "toilet?") I can't wait till Christmas. I still can't believe it is only 4 weeks and 5 days till Christmass thats 33 days till Christmass (Wow, thanks for breaking that down for us, Pythagoras.) I want to put up the tree tomorrow night but mom said no. (Gee, I wonder why my mom didn't want to deal with our ridiculously huge fake Christmas tree in the middle of the living room for 4 weeks and 5 days. That's 33 days, you know.)

Stay tuned for more inspiring diary entries from mini-T.

2 comments:

Cheryl said...

That's just horrifying. I hate technology- MacBooks too, even though they've got the safety plug feature- the safety plug does not keep the laptop from falling off the bloody desk anyway.

PS, I loved your comment about "Auld Lang Syne" so much, I had to post it, so I guess in a way you're sort of being featured on my blog- if you care, at all. But anyway, what the hell are the lyrics anyway? And who came up with the song? Cause quite frankly, it's kind of boring.

In my world I ROCK said...

note to self: call someone to back up my Itune files...

 
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