Chaos Attraction

The Laptop Dance

2003-07-02, 4:14 p.m.

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I have been being sooooo immature today.

I've been all excited about my new NaNoWriMo idea, and knowing me I won't get much down on paper without some powerful motivator like that project. Only I don't know if I can actually pull it off if I have to go out of town.

Mom and Dad offered me a trip to Disneyland (they can get some sort of deal), but the thing is, they ALWAYS want to go in November for Dad's birthday. And they want to go for a WEEK. So basically, the entire first week of a four-week writing session would probably be useless. Okay, so I don't know if they will actually go then because we have a relative who wants to visit then and Mom might have to work some rotary auction, but it's something to worry about.

If I had a laptop, this would not be a problem, but I learned all too well last year that the Palm really didn't work well for me for writing on the road. Due to the small screen and no way to do a word count, I always thought I'd written a lot more than I had, and ended up really behind after weekends even beyond being busy with other people. The keyboard wasn't as fast to type on as the usual kind, and then there was either dropping the Palm and wiping the memory or the debacle that was trying to sync the thing at my parents'. Just didn't work.

And I started thinking, if I had a laptop, then going on vacation for a week wouldn't be a relative problem (on the one hand, no writing for five days because of Disneyland, on the other hand, two days of nothing but driving = nothing but writing time!).

Between that and my computer crashing about four times in 20 minutes last night (often crashing WHILE trying to boot up again, mind you), I was feeling frustrated. If I had the money, I was about ready to drop some RIGHT NOW on a laptop, you know? Even if the timing isn't great for my future, at the moment I could swing it on a technicality. I found out that should they not resolve the budget crap any time soon, they won't actually start cutting my pay to minimum wage until September (that's assuming I don't get laid off, of course). And in the meantime, I got a small retroactive (thank you, clerical union) raise. I don't have all the money I would like to have saved up and reserved officially for a computer, but if this one died tomorrow I could do it and pray I don't lose my job and find a roommate. (For those wondering, no, I have not heard squat on this. I am trying to not care.) I am kind of worried that I won't have the disposable income to do this if I wait now, and that who knows when my computer will die for good. There is kind of a time factor involved, and I am very nervous about the idea of "wait for December sales."

Unfortunately, this was the time when Dave discovered that lo, they have cheap laptops on ebay. I am not an auction person (hate suspense, hate checking back), but some had a "buy it now" option. And he found two that might do, one for around $700 and another for around $625. Not every advantage with them, but can I be picky? Then again, there's the "fuck, I'm spending that much money to some stranger? What if they rip me off?" fear.

I started asking on chat, and AMK4 was very helpful about this stuff. He suggested looking at some of Dell's cheaper deals. Which got quite tempting, except for one problem: those deals get snapped up in five minutes after showing up online, no joke. I had no time to think about whether or not I wanted that one versus this one or anything. So well, that didn't work out either.

I went to bed all wound up about that last night, and this morning went through a powerful phase of "I WANNA LAPTOP NOW! RIGHT THIS FUCKING SECOND!!!!" I was beyond reason, I wanted one so bad so I wouldn't have to go back to fighting with this one and would have something to write on in November. I'm tired of being tied to a desk already! Y'all should pity Dave for having to put up with me and talk logic to me when I was in THAT kind of a mood. He came up with this very reasonable plan for going and buying one right now if I so desired. At which point, I finally snapped back into reality.

Realistically, I know I can't get a laptop now. Period. No, Jen, NO *slaps hand* I have to put my fucking life on hold until the budget crap and the roommate crap is settled, STILL, so I'm not destitute if Murphy's Law decides to kick me in the crotch. And technically so long as this computer holds out, I can make it without a laptop until the fall.

Though in the meantime, it is driving me crazy to have the money and not get it. I kinda want to just get it now, even without any deals, or give up on the whole idea and buy a Dana to do the novel on, though the Dana is Palm OS and essentially works like a Palm only with a better keyboard. Kinda pointless there except in an emergency, I guess.

Suspense sucks.


In other news, I wrote this on Friday when I heard about it and posted it in the LJ because Diaryland is dead to me during the day. So I'm reprinting.

Hill's going for her last flying-out-of-town interview before she gets formally offered the job in two weeks. Unless things go horribly, horribly wrong, she'll be handed the job on a silver platter (I doubt they get an enormous number of applicants given the requirements of it) and be moving out of here by August.

Oh, and instead of Georgia, she gets to move to Florida. Yes, just an hour from Disneyworld. I'm so jealous of that bit I could plotz, even though in all honesty between the giant bugs and the crazy old people I probably wouldn't do well in Florida.

Like I said, it is kinda sad that I essentially won't be seeing her again after the move. I'd love to go to Disneyworld, but god knows I'll never have the money for a plane ticket AND food AND hotels and whatnot. But if she ever goes back to visit relatives, she might stop in. And we'll probably e-mail a bit in her occasional spare time. She's delighted that her free phone minutes will be starting at 6 p.m. CA time.

That's great for her, she gets to go to camp (her favorite thing) professionally for years, and she'll save a shitload of money, and move to a coast where she might be able to find teaching/counseling work afterwards, since here sucks so bad. Plus, she gets out of her current hell job that she will be resigning from the SECOND things are formalized.

I am, however, rather envious. She's so excited about starting a new life, and comparing mine makes me rather sad. I don't have anything to get excited about in my life. I can't afford to even move out of my apartment into another apartment, much less move to another town or find a more exciting job that uses actual talent. I'd love to live in southern California, but I know that's a huge pipe dream that isn't happening unless I win the lottery (and hell, I don't even get around to buying tickets). I don't do anything that's worth paying a lot for, jobwise. I'm having a hard enough time holding my life as is together even as it erodes.

And as for getting married, god only knows when we can do that. We can't even get it together to live in the same town and have it be a town we both like. That whole thing is feeling very dead end, and I wish I hadn't told anyone we got engaged because I sure feel stupid answering questions about it. Plus there's the whole "it's not real without a ring and a date" crap my family pulls.

Things feel rather dead for me in some respects. It could be a lot worse, and I am sooooooo grateful for what I have left you have no idea, but sometimes a girl can't help but envy someone who has something to be excited about beyond booty calls and shopping.


After all this whining, I shall leave you with a funny! I'm always the one who screws up in the house, but this time Hill did it and did it big time. She started boiling eggs, forgot about it, and drove off to Sacramento. She returned to the sweet sound of smoke detector and the sweet smell of scortched pot. Sadly, she'd used the good one and had to throw it out. Since this occurred, she has been buying up Febreze and fresheners and smelly candles and whatnot in semi-futile attempts to drive the smell out.

I've enjoyed this so much. It's so nice not to be the only one who does the dumb forgetful shit for a change!


Fourth of July weekend is looking to be well, not hugely exciting. Our plans to hang out with Teri and buy fireworks have gone to hell since (a) Teri has decided to take up constant pot smoking as a result of separation from Gabe and now won't hang out with non-smokers and (b) we're still waiting around for Dave to get the money he's owed. We have no transport to go anywhere to watch fireworks at his place, and Dave's not allowed to come here and watch them because he's not allowed to leave his dog (who is scared of fireworks and has epilepsy and has been having scared seizures all week). I expect we won't do much beyond play with clay.


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