Sunday, January 20, 2008


There are few things that I really fear and actively worry about. I worry about death, going broke, losing one of my front teeth and not being able to fix it because I’m broke and having people laugh at me and shun me because of my broken front tooth and lack of money. After this weekend though I have a new worry – one that trumps all of the others because I now know it’s possible, terrible, and truly life shaking -- the death of my hard drive.

Yesterday started off like any other Saturday. Birds chirped, the sun shone, and I didn’t get out of bed until 10. All was right with the world. I showered, poured a diet Pepsi and sat down with my laptop to check up on the world and see if by some miracle overnight George Bush had been thrown from office and replaced with someone reasonable – like Hulk Hogan. However, my computer wouldn’t boot up. The screen remained dark, with just a blinking cursor. And then it began making a noise like a robotic kitten being strangled. I turned it off. I turned it back on. Nothing changed. I moved it from the counter to the table, giving it a light tap on the side. No better. I leaned down and very softly asked it to wake up, but my pleas fell on deaf ears. I actually think it started screaming louder to mock me.

I didn’t know what to do. If Sally or Ryan had started making a weird noise and wouldn’t wake up I would just call the vet, but with my computer acting in this strange way I was at a loss. I couldn’t even look up what I should do, because I didn’t have my computer to help me. Suddenly the world felt very cold and confusing, and I started wondering if I were on some sort of Mexican practical joke show. Finally, through the fog of my mind, I remembered two words -- “Geek Squad,” and was out the door.

The guy who helped me was maybe 21 and probably still doesn’t have to shave every day. I took this as a good sign though. After all, surely this child computer whiz could just tap my computer or hit Alt, Shift, F8 and every thing would be okay. However, it wasn’t to be. “Yeah, you’re hard drive is toasted,” was all he said. He said it without pretense, and with very little emotion, making me very glad he wasn’t a doctor, and making the pain that much worse.

He started laying out all it would cost me to make my computer whole again. Money had very little meaning for me at the moment, so I just nodded dumbly, agreeing to everything including the donation of my kidney if a fellow Geek was in need. I just needed my computer back. Then he asked me if I wanted data recovery, or if I had everything already backed up on a separate heard drive, and I almost lost consciousness.

I know about the importance of backing up computer data. I have seen the episode of “Sex and the City” where Carrie loses everything. I am familiar with zip drives and those little sticks nerds carry around on their key chains containing the history of the world and their high gaming scores. Ryan and I had even just gotten a separate hard drive to back up everything his work and my home computer. We just hadn’t done it yet. Data recovery would be necessary – if there was any data to be found.

I left the store without my computer, but with a bill for $461. The Geek, hoping to make me feel better, promised they would refund the data recovery fee if my computer were “totally fried.” Somehow, that didn’t lift my spirits.

When I got home all I really wanted to do was crawl into a bottle of Chardonnay, but it was only 11:45am, and that’s a little early for even me. So, I did the only other thing I know to do in times of stress – I cleaned. For two hours I dusted every picture and knickknack, I oiled the floors, I vacuumed the carpet and the couch, and I cleaned out cabinets and scoured doorframes. After everything was cleaned to a shine even my mother could appreciate I sat down to relax, and was slapped in the face by the harsh reality that my computer was gone.

I started feeling very out of touch. I had no idea what was going in the world. Who was winning the South Carolina primary? I didn’t know. Was Britney Spears alive or dead? I didn’t know. Had anyone forwarded me a hilarious joke I hadn’t heard a million times before? I DIDN”T KNOW!!! Ryan tried to calm me down, saying I could read a book, or have a conversation with him, but all of those things just seemed to be pale substitutes. After all, what if he said something really funny during the conversation? I couldn’t blog about it, so what was the point? And a book? What am I, a pilgrim? Why don’t I just go out back and build a handcart? Luckily I was able to get Tara on the phone, and she understood exactly what I was going through. She talked me down, and promised to stay near her computer just in case the world came to an end and I didn’t know because I couldn’t log on to I started breathing easier. Maybe it is true that everyone only has one true soul mate.

So, now here I sit, waiting to hear if anything on my computer has been salvaged. All of my music, most of my pictures, and about seven half started short stories hand in the balance. At least I’m back in touch with the word today though. Ryan took pity on me and went and got his laptop from the school. Luckily nothing horrible has happened since I’ve been offline – and I only missed one Britney drug store visit, and no new pictures of Brangelina. Also, I have had the pleasure of looking at all of my favorite gossip sites on Ryan’s computer, which means they will pop up in the tool bar when he tries to go to boringschool/ Ha, ha.

I just hope my computer is back up and running before the Oscars. I mean, there are limits to how much one person can take. Maybe I should go light a candle at the Cathedral… or the Apple Store, just in case.


Anonymous said...

Thank heavens for Tara's sensibility and ability to connect to you Lib, I am so glad that she could talk you down. Bless you Tara. mom