Chaos Attraction

New Operating Systems

2009-11-17, 2:10 p.m.

So...I just love the modern era where I've been saving for years to replace my computer equipment when it fails, but now that it's failing I can't replace it and have to save my money for pay cuts and/or potential disaster.

Anyhoo, a few weeks ago my laptop started dying. Since Jess was coming into town anyway and could do phone proxy consultation with her techie husband, I waited on that.

The issue is that Windows is broken, but the rest of the computer isn't. Unfortunately nobody gives you a backup disc for that sort of thing any more, so either I have a big ol' paperweight, I blew a good chunk of my savings on a new machine, or I had to install Linux on it.

I went with the latter.

Now, I used to be in a LUG back in the day (before I royally pissed off the founder, to the point where I was all "hoo boy, you're scaring me and I'm outta here"), so it's not like I'm 100% unfamiliar with it. I generally like it, I'm a supporter of open source, I'm all for sticking it to the man and whatnot. And Linux actually works on old computers, so that's always nice.

But the reason why I haven't ever run Linux for any sustained length of time (I dual booted in college, and my minilaptop runs it) is the access problem. Now, I think it's lovely that the GIMP exists to replace Photoshop, Open Office exists to replace Microsoft Word, etc. That's great. And happily, my camera will still work with the machine to download photos. On the other hand, I'll never be able to sync my Palm again, no more iTunes, can't watch Netflix streaming ever again... grrrrrrrrrr. So, that is incredibly annoying. Well, that and I wish I was more of a programmer so I could understand it all.

Yes, I'm aware that I'm stupid for not wanting to buy an organizer combined with a phone so that I can pay $100/month for a data plan, but darn it, I don't like phones enough to do that. Though I had a brief freakout that my iPod was about to die as well (at least that still works without ever *having* to sync it) on Friday the 13th and started looking for a replacement, and thought, "Hey, the iTouch would work....and I can't use that either now. DAMMIT."

Though on a related front, I'm at least caught up and halfway through the NaNo novel, so that's good.

Jess just went home (sigh), we had a great time for two weeks. I got in as much driving as possible. I actually drove all the way to the next nearest town that I could get to via back roads, multiple times. The one thing I really did that freaked me out on driving over the last two weeks was attempting to pass other cars (which we set up since we had Jess around for lessons and two cars).

Oh, and Jess wanted to go to a bar again. For obvious reasons of married-with-kid, she doesn't get to do that on a regular basis, so when she comes here she wants to hit one. Last time we saw a good band and she got a little tanked and kept yelling "Paaaaaaaaaants!" at the singer, who was tending to take off his shirts.

This time, well, it was not quite so much fun. I like drinking and dancing, but I don't generally go to bars much, due to my crazy magnet-dom. I just can't go in the darned places alone. I really wish I had more opportunities to dance without only having them in bars, because of the whole social contract thing. Because even though (a) I'm well aware of how to act if I want to blend in with the nearest wall, (b) I'm ugly and nerdy, and (c) when I go to a bar I wear the baggiest clothes in my closet, none of that matters because I unfortunately can't do a darned thing about Walking Into A Bar While Female. And the social contract of Female Existing In A Bar seems to translate into "I'm single, you can hit on me, and I may very well fuck you."

My crazy magnet-ness has been going off quite a bit of late. Like in the last week when I was meeting Merry on a street corner and some creepy bum (who was trying to have a conversation with his cigarette the first time I saw him) literally stood at my shoulder and went "Heh heh heh" in my ear over and over again.

I did not realize that Jess had never quite bought it when I'd tell her my various creep magnet stories, even when I called her to tell her about the last bum, which I had to go hide in a cafe from so he wouldn't follow me. She and my shrink (yes, I brought her to a session) were both all, "You never give anyone a chance" to me. And I in turn am all, "I've given fuckloads of chances to people I didn't want to give chances to, and I don't WANT TO any more."

But now, well... after having to go through a horde of crazies hanging out at the front door of the bar, about five minutes after sitting down we got approached by two older guys (I am a magnet for the 40+ dudes, what with looking barely legal and all. Especially balding/bearded/baseball cap wearers. The talky one was at least 40 and his friend was probably at least 60. And wearing one of those Tilley-esque hats. In a bar? Really?). Jess thought they just wanted pleasant conversation, since it's been years since she was in a bar, got hit on, etc. I thought "riiiiiiiiiiigght," but hey, she wanted the bar experience and the people-watching and promised to wingwoman me, so....

And sure 'nuff, I was right. They were spouting what sounded like a whole lotta BS about their careers. Like "international photographer" and showing us some topless pictures of that, and claiming to (a) be a reader for a publishing company, and (b) have scripts out in LA. I can't help but think that if you are so LA-connected and all, why are you in this small town, HMMMMM? Just all kinds of "yeah, I don't buy this for a second" bullcrap. Jess is an excellent wingwoman, I must say, and did her best to deflect the guy who didn't take a hint. Really, he tried to "make a connection" over me saying I do data entry by trying to offer me money to do the typing for his volunteer job. Ah, something does not compute with that. It was just such an enormous load of bull and I felt dirty. Eventually Mr. Chatty, who had been grabbing our hands and making us fondle his beard, got the hint and left the bar with his friend before the frat crowd came in.

Afterwards, Jess was all, "Okay, now I believe you, I will never say you should give them a chance again, because you DO attract awful people." I should point out that for the rest of the night when the bar was filled with attractive Greek barely-legals, I didn't get one glance. Because the fish in my attractiveness pool are...well, they probably are radioactive and have extra flippers.

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